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Why We Must Integrate Buildings into the Natural Environment Through the Envelope

[I wrote this for the “Sustainable Design as a Way of Thinking” class at the Boston Architectural College.]

 

When natural systems are destroyed in the process of creating a building, it is important to replace them by incorporating them, or a reasonable replacement, as much as possible into the building’s design. This is the only way […]

A more awesome type of habitable green roof

The type that is habitable for wildlife, soon to come (I hope) in Portland, Oregon.

Dusty Gedge, president of the European Federation of Green-roof Associations, took a tour of some of Portland’s green roof-tops.  Gedge says Portland is internationally known for its traditional eco-roofs which help reduce annual storm runoff by about 70 […]

Calling it 'sustainable' doesn't make it so

I heard about this really neat construction system at a meeting recently:

This company, Strata International Group (website navigation requires Flash, so is unnavigable in my current Firefox), has invented a method of making small structures (I believe the height limit is two stories) out of foam and a thin layer of concrete. They sell a […]

Evidence-based design

I'm sad that this – or at least the more rigorous application of it – is a relatively new practice. (emphasis added by me)

[James Timberlake, FAIA, of  KieranTimberlake, says,] “If we weren’t using evidence before, what the hell were we doing when we were designing? To me and Steve [Kieran], what’s new is the fact […]