Pioneers change over time, just as cities do. Not that long ago (when it opened in 1960), Lloyd Center was a pioneer: an open air, car-oriented shopping mall. Now it's the center of a new kind of pioneer, a fledgling EcoDistrict, poster child for the five Portland eco-districts leading the way into the green, energy-efficient, healthy and sustainable 21st century.
What is an eco-district? Good question. The recent EcoDistricts Summit held at Portland State University had the answers, and was itself a clear indication of how city planning – and mainstream real estate development – changes over time, to the benefit of us all. We live and learn, as individuals, societies, and cities, from our mistakes and from the knowledge we accumulate over time.
The Portland Sustainability Institute (PoSI) knows what an eco-district is. They're a leading proponent of this new term for the latest and greatest way to build a city today, and are helping defining it. (Actually, "eco-district" is not exactly a brand new nomenclature, but has taken about a decade to get any traction.) PoSI was the lead sponsor of the EcoDistricts Summit. Their website tells us that "an eco-district is a neighborhood or district with a broad commitment to accelerate neighborhood-scale sustainability. EcoDistricts commit to achieving ambitious sustainability performance goals, guiding district investments and community action, and tracking the results over time." Got it? It's a logical step forward from the connection planners, politicos and citizens made in the 1970s and '80s to connect land use and transportation policies. Now, health – of the planet and its people – and resources are up front considerations as well. READ MORE >>
1 Bligh Street, Sydney — architectus + ingenhoven architects
The jury said:
"The office development at 1 Bligh Street, Sydney was designed to
achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating and a 5-star National Australian
Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rating, incorporating a number
of innovative environmental strategies. It sets a new benchmark for
sustainable high-rise commercial developments in Australia.
The proposal was developed with four critical considerations: view, public space, work environment and green building status.
Designed around the principles of flexibility, efficiency and communication, the building features a naturally ventilated glass atrium that runs the full height of the building, enhancing workplace connectivity while introducing natural light and ventilation.
The fully glazed double-skin facade is a major contributor to the Green Star rating and has been specifically developed to optimise amenity for the occupants, maintaining views while providing optimum daylight levels and solar control. The facade system includes an inner skin of performance glass, automated ventilated blinds and an outer skin of clear glass that is separated by a naturally ventilated accessible cavity. In addition to the facade and atrium, the development includes recycled concrete, steel with 50 percent recycled content, recycled timber, solar cooling, tri-generation systems, black water treatment, rainwater harvesting and sewer mining." READ MORE >>
The Phipps Conservatory in Pennsylvania is on the verge of completing its new Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a project the organization’s leaders hope will earn recognition as the nation’s largest Living Building Challenge (LBC) project.
The $23.5 million expansion project will update a 119-year-old non-profit conservatory, creating a state of the art 23,350-square-foot structure. The project was designed by local firm, Design Alliance Architects, with Turner Construction, also out of Pittsburgh, serving as the general contractor.
The design team used a large variety of green techniques in its quest for net-zero energy including: a green roof, energy recovery, geothermal power, natural ventilation, solar photovoltaic energy and vertical axis wind turbines, to name a few. READ MORE >>
MESH Cities just launched its new map app (for iPhones (and iPads), allowing urban users to share their smart technology findings (zip cars, wireless, open source, etc.) that define the cities of the future.
mission is to help distribute the methods and technologies that will
shape the design of tomorrow's responsive, sustainable cities.
Exhibition: October 6, 2012 - November 24, 2012
Past Futures Opening: October 5, 7pm
Present, Futures Opening: October 26, 7pm
Past Futures, Present, Futures presents 101 unrealized proposals for New York City, dating from its formation to today with 101 reenactments by invited artists, architects, writers and policy-makers to create alternative visions for the present and future of the city. With the belief that art and architecture, beyond the production of new forms of capital or building solutions, have the power to re-imagine new forms of collective aspiration, the exhibition will present a past and future historiography of novel ideas in New York to open discussion about relevant actions in the city, their vectors of desire, methodologies, limits, audiences and agents. READ MORE >>
Fantastic video from Gensler - created for the NAIOP '12 Ideas Competition (Commercial Real Estate Development Association):
"Given workplace mobility trends, broadening employee and corporate
interest in sustainability, in conjunction with growing economic
pressure on businesses, the vision for the office building of the future
in North America is no longer a new building. Instead the future lies
in existing structures that have been adapted beyond recognition, beyond
a use dedicated solely to traditional office work. These buildings will
be forever known as the 'Hackable Buildings'." READ MORE>>
Nearly every public project conducted in the United States incorporates some form of public outreach. Today, in an increasingly global and digital era, traditional public meetings often fall short of reaching the increasingly diverse and information-saturated citizens of today’s American cities. Or, the efforts fail to incite the interest required to achieve the long-term buy-in for planning and design strategies that’s needed to see a project through to successful implementation.
Successful projects, on the other hand, leverage the process of outreach into sustained interest in outcomes. Public process participants, in the most ideal scenario, become the champions of the project through the long road of implementation and the ever more daunting challenge of ongoing governance. In this way, engagement becomes a critical path toward both project realization and design excellence.
Inspired by an academic exploration at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in the spring of 2012 and launched this week by Sasaki’s Urban Studio, the Currents: Engaging volume
illustrates five recent innovations in public outreach as it related to
the design and construction of public spaces. These are defined as
process-as-event, on-the-ground, real time, early wins, and accessible
materials. Each concept posits an alternative to the traditional public
meeting format and is reinforced by a series of notable case studies in
which outreach was a critical component of the design. READ MORE >>
UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain aims to be home to the world’s first community designed as a Living Neighbourhood as part of the Living Building Challenge. This new phase of the community will eventually create as much energy and water as it consumes and be built using healthy, non-toxic materials. The plan will provide the platform to build, over time, a neighbourhood with a net zero energy, water and waste footprint– a global first.
Nice interview with BNIM's Bob Berkebile in The Huffington Post:
Bob Berkebile encourages us to look to nature as our model for how to live sustainably.
Omega: For more than 30 years, you have been a pioneer in the sustainable design movement, and helped introduce the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard that has become the benchmark for green buildings in America. How can new standards in sustainable design help to restore the environmental, economic, and social vitality of communities?
Bob: LEED was created as a voluntary educational tool for those who wanted to reach for higher levels of performance in the built environment, but, as it turned out, the industry was ripe for a new standard. When the United States Navy and the General Services Administration made it their standard for design and construction, others followed and it became a standard. I would argue that, by far, it has been the most transformative tool in the design and construction industry in my professional life.
Omega: You've been widely recognized for your leadership in the industry, including being listed as on of the top five role models for green and sustainable design by DesignIntelligence. Were you always passionate about the environment or was it something that evolved over time?
Bob: I always loved nature. My mom taught me about
observing the subtle but powerful forces of nature, and I try to bring
that to my work. I always look to nature to see how we can evolve and
change the way we build. Once, one of our buildings partially collapsed.
I spent an anxious night on the rescue team, wondering if somehow I had
caused this catastrophe. It was an epiphany. I became aware of
unintended consequences and the need to change the design and
construction industry to support life. This still continues to fuel my
desire for change. READ MORE >>