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Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Latest Ideas in Green Architecture

From energy-saving construction to cutting-edge concepts with a futuristic twist, the newest buildings on the block are progressively embracing green architecture and design. Whether it's shopping in California, taking in the views of Shanghai, or selecting your next home – you could find yourself reducing your energy consumption, conserving water, and enhancing a sustainable lifestyle with the following options. Malibu Lumber Yard Malibu, California Breathtaking mountain and ocean scenery surrounds the nearly $25-million upscale, open-air shopping center built from earth-friendly materials. With impressive water conservation efforts and advanced wastewater-treatment techniques, the Malibu Lumbar Yard creates an atmosphere for green business to blossom. Other building features catapulting this structure to celebrity status, include certified sustainable hardwood decks, low-flow faucets and toilets, smart landscaping, and decomposed granite driveways. Admire the green architecture while browsing shops, such as Dance Star, J. Crew-at-the-Beach, Alice+ Olivia, and Planet Blue Kids. Architects of the Malibu Lumber Yard: Valleycrest Design Group Seawater Vertical Farm (in Dubai) Thanks to the efforts of Studiomobile (an Italian architectural firm based in the United Arabian Emirates), the conceptual vision of the Seawater Vertical Farm aims to solve issues of overpopulation and a dwindling supply of freshwater. With a futuristic flair, the Seawater Vertical Farm is a tower with the ability to transform seawater into freshwater. Comprised of five cocoon-like greenhouses, the farm would rely on a simple process of using seawater to cool and humidify greenhouses, which later converts seawater into humid, moist air that can irrigate crops. The technique is already in place regarding several projects in Spain, Oman, Abu Dhabi, and South Africa. Shanghai Tower Shanghai, China In the works, the Shanghai Tower aims to become the tallest building in China. Slated for a 2014 completion date, people should expect garden-filled atriums with a high air quality. The tower boasts a spiraling design to lessen wind load and includes features that collect rainwater for the heating and cooling systems. Powered by wind turbines, the building will serve as an observation deck and provide the public with new options in retail, entertainment, office space, and hotel accommodations. The winning design for this sustainable skyscraper is the handiwork of Gensler – a design and architecture firm with headquarters in San Francisco, California. One Haworth Center Holland, Michigan Earning LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the impressive expansion and renovation of One Haworth Center now showcases a three-story glass atrium and modular green roof. Despite becoming 20% larger than its former self, the building has managed to lessen energy consumption. If you're wondering what Haworth produces – choose this family-owned venture to outfit your green office with organic office furniture and features, such as raised floors, movable walls, systems furniture, seating, storage and wood casegoods. While their sustainable headquarters reside in Michigan, global offices are found in Asia, Europe, Canada, and Latin America. One Haworth Center Architects: Perkins + Will Lindal Cedar Homes for Dwell Home Collection With a reputation for building customized homes for more than 60 years, Lindal offers future homeowners a chance to purchase an environmentally efficient residence. Out of nine concepts created with the help of Turkel Design, Dwell chose three to generate Lindal Homes by Turkel Design. Ranging from 2,100 square feet to 2,700 square feet, the collection reduces the use of materials by decreasing surface area. Source and Photo Credits: Time Magazine

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