Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Five modern trends in sustainable architecture

 

Five modern trends in sustainable architecture

.

Posted24 September 2011, by Pratik Basu, EcoFriend (Instamedia), ecofriend.com

 

.

With so many ecological concerns coming up every year, the need for the hour is to grasp the concept of Eco-friendly and sustainable architecture. The dawn of this green architecture came from the Eco-build in London, Cannes and the Earth Day and it seems to be develop rapidly in the developed countries. Green architecture can change the world. With rapid advancements in the field of Eco-friendly products, there is a huge demand for making buildings and construction techniques more greener and sustainable and less harmful for Earth. The world has grasped this idea very well. The need for new techniques and materials which can be easily recycled are taken into consideration. Here’s showcasing 5 trends in green and sustainable architecture which is a focus of attention amongst Eco-designers.

.

1. Vertical Farming

.

Vertical farming. Trends in sustainable architecture

.

With an expected increase in population to 9.1 billion people within the year 2050, feeding all the people around the globe is a cause for major concern. Food production needs to increase by 70%. This would mean having higher crop yields and expansion of the area cultivated. However land available for cultivation is not evenly distributed, while others are suitable for cultivating only a few crops. Thus architects have been designing buildings where one can grow crops on all the edges surrounding the building. This gives more area for cultivation and helps solve the expansion crisis. The vertical farms can be integrated with residential buildings too, with farms being set up on the external periphery of the buildings. This provides a clean environment for the residents to live in.

.

2. Straw

.

Straw House. Trends in sustainable architecture

.

Straw is a sustainable material which can be used as a building material. Many designers and builders today are making use of this natural material to make phenomenal designs which are Eco-friendly. These buildings can be made from prefabricated panels using straw. These panels can be assembled from locally sourced star which can be fit into the panel frame made from timber. This production style helps save money and energy and decrease build times and carbon emissions. Electricity can be generated by photovoltaic and solar thermal panels and the extra electricity can be sold to the electricity grid. The homes made by straw would be considerably cheaper, as straw is a product which is available in vast quantity. This low cost makes it more popular to the general masses.

.

3. Phase change materials (PCMs)

.

House from PCMTrends in sustainable architecture

.

Phase change materials are used to store both cooling and heating energy. These new age materials can be embedded in the ceiling and the wall tiles from where they absorb heat to keep the space cool and reduces the need for air conditioning. These Phase change material tiles have micro capsules made of a special wax which is developed to contain heat during the day. Some companies selling phase change materials claim that using the material reduces temperature of your indoor surrounding by almost 7ºC, hence reducing air conditioning costs.

.

4. Bees and biodiversity

.

Bees and diversityTrends in sustainable architecture

.

Bees are an integral part of our biodiversity. A small garden or a rooftop is all that is required to keep bees. They help in making delicious honey from plants and flowers in your gardens, parks and the tree lined roads. It is important to make an environment in cities that safeguards wildlife and also helps in further diversity. By incorporating biodiversity into architecture, we can make a cleaner and greener world. Hence keeping bees and making bee hives are an important step that needs to be taken to ensure a cleaner, greener environment. In London, vast number of bee hives have been created on the roof tops of buildings, attracting many bees.

.

5. Sustainable materials

.

Sustainable materialsTrends in sustainable architecture

.

Apart from the many products used in construction made from recycled materials, many researchers are looking at the construction industry for other sustainable materials from other sectors which are rarely used in design and construction.

Thousands of samples have been taken from countries all over the world. These selected materials provide an Eco-friendly alternative to other resource hungry materials which generally have many by products which are harmful to the environment. These samples are being studied and their properties are made good use of. So it is essential that we find sustainable materials which can be easily recycled and are durable and appropriate for construction.

.

Related Stories

Eco Architecture: Utopia One – eco friendly example of modern architecture

Eco Factor: Structure includes thin photovoltaic film and water management system to reuse gray water. Another entry for the ThyssenKrupp Elevator Competition to create a tall emblem structure for Zaabeel Park in Dubai, the “Utopia One,” by Cesar BEco Architecture: Sustainable and modern laboratories by Bond Bryan Architects

Eco Factor: Laboratories for University of Sheffield designed to have minimal impact on the environment. Bond Bryan Architects has designed modern and sustainable laboratories for the University of Sheffield. The laboratories will serve as a new…Sustainable Development in Architecture and Construction

Architecture and construction are known to go hand in hand. Developments in architecture are therefore mirrored in construction when implemented. Considering the importance environmental issues are gathering today, the buzz in architecture has…Farm Tower: Sustains agriculture amidst the lifeless Potter’s Field of London

What do you think of when the word farm is spoken of? It’s most likely that a majority of you would think of a vast piece of land covered with crops and greeneries all around. But, the Farm Tower proposal for London, yes London and not a countryside, desi…

.

http://www.ecofriend.com/entry/modern-trends-sustainable-architecture/

Retrofitting The Auckland Bioregion

 

Retrofitting The Auckland Bioregion

19 November

.

Posted21 September 2011, by Staff, Auckland Permaculture Workshop, aucklandpermacultureworkshop.co.nz

 

.

Tutor – Gary Marshall, Finn Mackesy and Rilke de Vos

 

“The question Where are we? has a deep, sustaining ring to it. It is a simple question with a deceptively complex answer”(Robert Thayer). This workshop asks participants to explore what it means to live locally in the Auckland bioregion. Through a series of discussions and design exercises, participants will investigate concepts and design strategies that seek to enrich their neighbourhoods and bioregion. The workshop includes a site visit to an on the ground example of a bioregional design and development initiative and talk with people involved.

Course content

Introduction to – Bioregionalism and Life Place theory; Bioregional and neighborhood audit and stocktake; Design strategies for retrofitting bioregions and neighbourhoods;Re-localization and Transition Culture – the Transition framework and the 12 Touchstones; Local, national and international best practice examples; Integrated Catchment Management, landscape ecology and settlement design.

Learning objectives

  • Develop a deepened understanding of the Auckland bioregion
  • Develop an understanding of the key principles of sustainable design and retrofitting
  • Develop strategies for living locally, enriching and retrofitting the Auckland bioregion for a sustainable and resilient future
  • Develop an understanding of retrofitting existing structures
  • Apply the day’s learning to a practical design activity
  • Identify opportunities and challenges to applying the day’s learning

 

Eco-retrofitting… means modifying buildings and/or urban areas to improve allover human and environmental health, and to reduce resource depletion, degradation and pollution – if not expand the ecological base. It implies an integrated and eco-logical design approach, instead of the mere addition of energy-saving equipment. It also implies a planning strategy that considers not just buildings but whole suburbs, cities and urban infrastructure”  \\ Janis Birkeland

\\ LINKS+ REFERENCE MATERIAL

Life Place, Bioregional Thought and Practice
Robert L. Thayer, 1999
A Field Guide to Auckland: Exploring the Region’s Natural and Historic Heritage
Cameron, Hayward and Murdoch, 2008
How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built
Stewart Brand, 1994

 

.

http://www.aucklandpermacultureworkshop.co.nz/retrofitting_the_Auckland_bioregion.php

Tutor – Gary Marshall, Finn Mackesy and Rilke de Vos

“The question Where are we? has a deep, sustaining ring to it. It is a simple question with a deceptively complex answer”(Robert Thayer). This workshop asks participants to explore what it means to live locally in the Auckland bioregion. Through a series of discussions and design exercises, participants will investigate concepts and design strategies that seek to enrich their neighbourhoods and bioregion. The workshop includes a site visit to an on the ground example of a bioregional design and development initiative and talk with people involved.

Course content

Introduction to – Bioregionalism and Life Place theory; Bioregional and neighborhood audit and stocktake; Design strategies for retrofitting bioregions and neighbourhoods;Re-localization and Transition Culture – the Transition framework and the 12 Touchstones; Local, national and international best practice examples; Integrated Catchment Management, landscape ecology and settlement design.

Learning objectives

  • Develop a deepened understanding of the Auckland bioregion
  • Develop an understanding of the key principles of sustainable design and retrofitting
  • Develop strategies for living locally, enriching and retrofitting the Auckland bioregion for a sustainable and resilient future
  • Develop an understanding of retrofitting existing structures
  • Apply the day’s learning to a practical design activity
  • Identify opportunities and challenges to applying the day’s learning

\\ LINKS+ REFERENCE MATERIAL

Life Place, Bioregional Thought and Practice
Robert L. Thayer, 1999
A Field Guide to Auckland: Exploring the Region’s Natural and Historic Heritage
Cameron, Hayward and Murdoch, 2008
How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built
Stewart Brand, 1994

The Personal Mega-Sized Eye of Horus: Naomi Campbell’s Eco-Mansion

 

 

The Personal Mega-Sized Eye of Horus: Naomi Campbell’s Eco-Mansion

The Personal Mega-Sized Eye of Horus: Naomi Campbell’s Eco-Mansion

.

Posted 19 September 2011, by Vrushti Mawani, Industry Leaders Magazine, industryleadersmagazine.com

 

.

An ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health, the Eye of Horus has been reproduced in its most physically monumental form on the Isla Playa de Cleopatra in Turkey in the form of Naomi Campbell’s eco-palace.

The 25-bedroom home, designed by Spanish architect Luis de Garrido, reported as being the architect’s gift to Campbell, has been designed to function in a largely self-sufficient manner.

With features that enhance the ability of the building to be self-sufficient in terms of its energy and water needs, Campbell’s new island mansion functions as an off-grid home complete with photovoltaic panels, a sophisticated geothermal system and an interior landscaped terrace.

Eye-ball Home Details

Naomi Campbell’s palatial eco-home, with its over two dozen bedrooms and five lounges, is one of the latest to join the rapidly growing list of eco-friendly celebrity island abodes, like Johnny Depp’s solar hydrogen fuel powered home in the Bahamas.

The large steel-and-glass dome, the eyeball of the Eye of Horus, is light and transparent, letting in natural light and warmth all year round. The intensity of how much light and warmth filter in is controlled by horizontal louvers, landscaping, and glazed windows.

Campbell’s personal Eye of Horus in Turkey has been designed by devising an ingenious system of structuring photovoltaic panels which helps generate a large share of the energy required to run the building. The rest of the energy requirement is met by a highly sophisticated geothermal system and passive design.

The design of this eco-mansion also includes a detailed rainwater harvesting system, while wastewater from the home is treated on site with the use of a biological treatment system, further increasing this home’s overall energy efficiency.

The architect has also tried to ensure that the house is well-ventilated, to address any concerns about the greenhouse effect creating an uncomfortable humidity level. The indoor landscaped terrace on the top floor of this eco-palace further contributes to the home’s superior microclimate.

Architect Luis de Garrido

Architect Luis de Garrido has, over the last few years, been in the spotlight for his signature style of creating designs based on the theme of “artificial nature”.

Luis De Garrido’s bold, yet respectful, design philosophy states “The architect can even surpass Nature, but to do so, they must understand it, take it in, and love it with all their souls.”

De Garrido’s expertise where new-age sustainable architectural technologies are concerned is demonstrated perfectly in projects like GREEN BOX, which is the first modular Garden-House that is prefabricated, can be built in just 15 days, is reusable, transportable, has an infinite life cycle, is bioclimatic, has zero energy consumption, and does not generate waste.

Intermodal Steel Building Units (ISBU) awarded Luis de Garrido the 2008 Architect of the Year Award for his sustainable Bio-climatic architecture, educational symposiums and the innovative award winning architectural designs.

 

.

http://www.industryleadersmagazine.com/the-personal-mega-sized-eye-of-horus-naomi-campbell%E2%80%99s-eco-mansion/

Permaculture (How to Design Systems for Sustainable, Community Living) – Bill Mollison

 

Permaculture (How to Design Systems for Sustainable, Community Living) – Bill Mollison

.

Posted16 September 2011, by Staff, Sterling Insights, sterlinginsights.com

 

.

WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?

Permaculture (permanent agriculture/culture) is the use of Ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, technology, & community development. The objective is to produce an efficient, low-maintenance, productive integration of plants, structures & people, to obtain on-site stability & food self-sufficiency in the smallest practical area.

See also: http://www.heathcote.org/PCIntro/2WhatIsPermaculture.htm

WHO IS BILL MOLLISON?

Bruce Charles ‘Bill’ Mollison (born 1928 in Tasmania, Australia) is a researcher, author, scientist, teacher and naturalist. He is considered to be the ‘father of permaculture‘, an integrated system of design, co-developed with David Holmgren, that encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology, but also economic systems, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities.

He received the Right Livelihood Award in 1981 with Patrick van Rensburg.

Bill Mollison, father of Permaculture, gives insight into the techniques, practices and benefits of the most important interdisciplinary earth science of our age.  Watch the following videos to learn about his concepts:

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofKTgmW_FAg

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0v3jrjEtUI&feature=watch_response

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwZiikke5HI

 

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNKuF7VZFVY&feature=related

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCvmffZbDOk&feature=related

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2_EdEOYLiQ

 

DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W15RRvKyJSk&feature=related

DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIelsCmdTA8&NR=1

DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGotaEnwqic

 

BILL MOLLISON BIBLIOGRAPHY:

.

http://www.sterlinginsights.com/insights/latest-insights/permaculture-bill-mollison

Green Buildings 101: Bioclimatic Design

 

Green Buildings 101: Bioclimatic Design

.

Posted 13 September 2011, by Jennifer Shockley, Green Building Elements (Important Media), greenbuildingelements.com

 

Design industries are taking new approaches to environmentally sustainable projects. Being aware and being pro-active is no longer a phase it is mandatory that in every project, our impact on the earth is accounted for. This accountability is found in Bioclimatic Design.

Bioclimatic Design is the reduction of energy consumption using appropriate techniques such as energy efficient systems and technologies including, but not limited to, passive solar systems. Passive solar systems are based on a building, its spaces, both interior and exterior, and the local climate.

Bioclimatic Design is the use of environmental sources: air, sun, wind, vegetation, water, soil, daylight for heating, cooling and lighting of buildings. Plus when a design takes into account the local climate, these factors must be considered and designed around: heat protection including insulation and air tightness, solar energy for heat and light, sun protection with the orientation, use of reflective materials, surfaces and colors, and the removal of heat with natural ventilation.

Kane Cres writes,

“As inhabitants of buildings, we can make our lives more comfortable, preserve the environment, our health and well being. We can use them appropriately to this end.

The energy we consume in buildings is costly. It is worthwhile asking ourselves who pays for this consumption and why.”

To achieve perfect balance with the environment with the use of Bioclimatic Designs the industry will require all kinds of participants. The manufacturing companies, the sellers, the designers, and the clients must all be on board and willing to achieve great designs through green technologies and to demand that their expectations be met, if a material is not available at the highest economy-safe standards, than a material must be designed at that level.

Different projects and companies are already displaying the smart choices that go along with Bioclimatic Design.

Elmer Avenue "Green Street"

In Los Angeles, a 40-acre neighborhood area known as Elmer Avenue has become a complete ‘green street.’ It is a Neighborhood Retrofit Demonstration Project following the water augmentation study done by the Council for Watershed Health to help lower dependency on foreign water supplies and to suppress flooding that occurs from the annual, although short-lived, winter downpours.

This street utilizes a variety of strategies to capture rainwater and runoff through the soil, clean it, and recycle it by added the water to the aquifers. The one block location generates and now captures more water than they use in an entire year.

“By capturing the rainwater, Southern California reduces its reliance on foreign sources of water and improves the overall health of the landscape. In addition, it helps save energy, since an incredible 19% of our energy use in California is devoted just to the movement of water from place to place!” wrote Brian Sheridan, Development and Marketing Manager of the Council for Watershed Health.

Elmer Avenue is a project designed to rehabilitate the neighborhood and also it is a continuous active research project that will benefit many communities in the future.

Elmer Avenue Bio-swale

The project implements the use of:

  • Under street filtration galleries
  • Open bottom catch basins
  • Bio-swales
  • Rain barrels
  • Permeable pavers
  • Climate appropriate landscape
  • Solar street lights

The first phase of the project was completed in 2010 becoming LA’s first off-the-grid neighborhood and the second phase will include an additional 20 acres, thereby capturing 60 acres of land’s rainwater to add to the aquifers.

Another company dedicated to Bioclimatic Design is a start-up company called First Coast Solar Screens founded by John Wilder a RESNET Certified Energy Auditor.

Solar screens can reduce temperatures of the sun coming through glass by embracing a relatively new technology of sun-screen fabrics. John Wilder wrote,

“The sun’s heat coming through glass almost works like a magnifying glass. I just took the temp coming through a skylight at our city hall yesterday and it was 117 degrees I took a temp through an east facing window in our school and it was 108 degrees. The solar screens reduce these temps down in the low 70′s which of course have a dramatic effect on your AC bill. They are literally the best bang for your buck in energy savings and typically have a 1-2 year payback.”

First Coast Solar Screens uses Phifer solar screening products.

Phifer fabrics

Phifer was founded by Reese Phifer and is the world’s leading manufacturer and seller of energy saving sun control fabrics for residential and commercial use.

 “Phifer’s commitment to the environment dates back to the company’s origins when our founder, Reese Phifer, envisioned a manufacturing facility that would bring a better standard of living to its community, advances in technology to its industry and innovative products to its customers.”

They offer products of insect control, plus interior and exterior sun control. Their products are 100 percent recyclable and their fabrics are PVC-free.

Their production process includes a waste management program, employee awareness training and pollution prevention programs to insure that they stay as green as possible.

Phifer was the first manufacturer in their industry to receive GREENGUARD Certification. They state,

 “At Phifer, environmental responsibility is part of our corporate culture. We are leaders. We are proactive. We do it because it is the right thing to do.”

Sun Control

GREENGUARD is an environmental institute that was created to help manufacturers to improve their processes and to do so in a more environmentally-safe and aware way. It has helped manufacturing companies in more than 20 industries to improve their processes.

As this article could continue on for endless pages, circling through all the companies that make up design industries, it is evident that Bioclimatic Design is everywhere and requires everyone’s commitment. It is throughout the design industries and is becoming a required mind-set verses a personal choice. It will take every industry, every person to re-establish what we’ve taken from and done to the earth.

Bioclimatic Design is a circle engulfing the world to make it a better place.

.

Resources: Greenguard, Phifer, Council for Watershed Health, The American Institute of Architects and Kane Cres

Special Thanks to: John Wilder and Brian Sheridan

 

.

http://greenbuildingelements.com/2011/09/13/green-buildings-101-bioclimatic-design/

5 micro wind turbines that can have a big impact on the environment

 

5 micro wind turbines that can have a big impact on the environment

.

Posted 12 September 2011, by Mahashweta Patra, EcoFriend (Instamedia), ecofriend.com

 

.

Wind energy generators have been around for centuries in various shapes and sizes. But as the eco-friendliness becomes a constant topic for concern, the wind energy generator or windmills are moving up in the preferred list of those concerned about energy and environment. Wind is one of the natural and renewable sources for thermal power generation. Scientifically, it is defined as conversion of kinetic energy (the motion energy) into mechanical power. However, large sized wind turbines are mainly suitable for the sea side or hill top areas. Therefore, many micro wind turbines (about 5+ meter of height) have been designed and have become very popular for generating sufficient electric power. Micro turbines are mainly suitable for off-grid places, where national grid electricity can not be accessible. The entire process comprises of the storage of generated electricity first in battery banks and then the circulation of the energy via inverters in the form of 240 A.C electricity.

 

When it was realized that micro turbines were not apt for urban areas, basically because of its noisy generator and poor functionality in low average wind speed, micro wind turbines became very popular. The micro wind turbines also provide an additional support to national grid electricity for specific areas. The micro wind turbine can be fitted on the roof tops conveniently and is capable of producing enough power for basic household consumption. These micro wind turbines are quieter with minimal vibration than the conventional turbines. There are several domestic micro wind turbines such as Windsave 1000 and D400 StealthGen, which are available in cost effective rates and are eco-friendly as well.

Here is the list of various types of micro wind turbines:

1.Skystream 3.7– The Original Skystream Personal Wind Turbine

 

Skystream 3.7: The Original Skystream Personal Wind Turbine

Skystream 3.7 wind turbine is well suited for homes and business areas. The most exciting feature of this energy generating machine is that, it functions even in low wind environment. It is a user friendly machine and can be easily controlled with the help of Skyview monitoring software installed in your computer system. This Skystream 3.7 comes in a sleek and modish design and there are monopole towers of varied lengths. Good efficiency even in low wind speed (due to presence of special blades which are swept shaped) and excellent durability with easy to operate are some of the highlights of this micro wind turbine. It also comes with a warranty of 5 years. The entire set up is capable of producing 400 Kilowatt hours of electric power per month and is highly recommended for schools and government buildings.

2.Bergey Excel

 

Excel: Bergey Excel

Bergey Excel was introduced first in the year of 1983. This wind turbine is installed at around 1,800 sites across the world till date. Recently, this specific turbine has been upgraded with powerful alternator and larger blades to enhance its efficiency and performance by 25 percent. This machine basically designed with around 7-meter diameter is estimated to produce approx 10,000 W power. Bergey Excel wind turbine is available in two configurations: grid-connected and battery charging form. It is highly reliable turbine and requires very low maintenance and functions in the adverse weather conditions as well. Also available with varied height towers (18m to 43m) and bending versions, these micro wind turbines are also offered as per your location. It is highly recommended for locations like Eco- tourism resorts, larger tele-communication sites, big rural areas, remote villages and places with lesser facilities. The price ranges varies from 25,770$ to 31,770$ due to upgradation with a voltage regulator or a grid synchronous inverter

3.Whisper 500

Whisper 500: Micro wind turbine

The Whisper 500 turbine is specifically designed to encounter the harsh and high speed wind conditions. The attention has been paid to its extraordinary design, which includes two blades with fiberglass reinforced design. The component named angle governor helps in protection of the turbine by turning the blades and alternator out of the wind. As a result, there is less exposure of turbine in high speed environment conditions. The side-furling angle governor basically helps in carrying out smooth functioning of the turbine resulting into the high yield of energy by this machine. It produces around 500 Kilowatt Hours of power every month with the wind speed of 12 mph. The only drawback of this machine is that it is not suitable for the installation in marine areas.

4. AeroVironment Architectural Wind

Architectural Wind: AeroVironment Architectural Wind

This particular kind of turbine is quite different from the conventional wind turbines, specifically in terms of design. The AeroVironment Architectural Wind design is such that it can contribute in easy production of thermal energy. It is mainly designed for commercial buildings and can also add up to the architectural beauty of the building. This micro turbine is to be placed at specific positions of the building to take the complete advantage of accelerated wind that eventually results into 50 percent maximum production of thermal energy than the power generated by the systems located outside the acceleration zone. This clean culture of power generation is very popular and adapted by most of the commercial offices.

5.Southwest Windpower AIR X marine

AIR XSouthwest Windpower AIR X marine

Southwest Windpower AIR X marine is considered as the latest evolution in the history of micro wind turbines. The AIR-X turbine is the world’s largest selling turbine so far. The special features associated with this machine make it more advanced and popular in contemporary time. The additional features include a micro-processor to regulate the speed that helps in enhancing the performance, advanced body charging capability and reduction in loud noise generated by the device. The controller attached to the main machine helps in keeping a track of the wind by controlling the function of the alternator. The main function of the cubic curve alternator is to generate the energy to be delivered to the battery. The smart controller of the turbine helps in proper movement of the blades and reduces the possibilities of flutter noise.

Recently, a new range of carbon reinforced blades with optimum angle direction has been introduced. These are very useful in increasing power production. The noise system is basically controlled by the efficient electronic circuit system of this micro wind turbine type. For example the electronic circuit system slows down the blades in case of heavy winds. Apart from this, special battery set up has also been introduced which mainly focuses on high battery durability and no overcharging. Any battery size bank between 25 amp-25,000 amp hours or higher can easily be associated with this kind of turbine. Also there is a special auto brake feature to slow down the AIR-X turbine to silent spin when the battery is fully charged and indirectly also helps in reducing noise. The highlight of this turbine system is that a manual switch on-off control option is attached to it. This wind turbine design is highly resistant to any critical situation of wind, sun and water and does not require any additional support of a tower.

Related Stories:

A peek at Nacelle, the colossal part of wind turbines

New micro-turbines can produce electricity from slightest of breezes

Wind turbines that are designed to be an architectural asset!

 

.

http://www.ecofriend.com/entry/5-micro-wind-turbines-big-impact-environment/

Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti : The City in the Image of Man


Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti : The City in the Image of Man

Posted 03 September 2011, by Oscar Lopez, ArchDaily (Plataforma Networks), archdaily.com

.

70 miles north of Phoenix, in central Arizona lies an experimental town created by Paolo Soleri, intended to house 5,000 people. Arcosanti is the study of the concept of arcology, which combines architecture and ecology. The intensions of this community is to form a gestalt that houses the relations and interactions that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment.

Click here to view the embedded video.

One of the most imaginative thinkers of our time, Paolo Soleri has dedicated his life to addressing the ecological and social concerns raised by modern urban existence. Soleri’s career contains significant accomplishments in the fields of architecture and urban planning, and his groundbreaking philosophical writings on arcology, the co-presence of architecture with ecology, continues to garner interest globally.

Born in 1919 in Turin, Italy, Soleri spent his earliest years absorbing the European landscape, culture, and architecture. He received his Ph.D. in Architecture from Torino Polytechnico in 1946. Soon after graduating, Dr. Soleri moved to the United States to attend Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprenticeship program at Taliesin West in Arizona.

Soleri returned to Italy in 1950, where he was commissioned to design a large ceramics factory, Ceramic Artistica Solimene, which is now an Italian historical landmark. During this time he began working as a ceramic artist, acquiring the ceramics knowledge he would later apply to producing windbells. Over the next fifty years, these ceramic windbells, along with his explorations in metal casting with bronze windbells and sculptural commissions, would serve as the major source of funding for the construction that would test his theoretical works.

Together with his wife Colly and their two daughters, Kristine and Daniela, Soleri moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1956. There they established the not-for-profit Cosanti Foundation and began work on the group of buildings that bears the same name, Cosanti. It is at Cosanti where Soleri began his initial architectural experiments with various earth-casting techniques.

In 1970, Paolo Soleri embarked on what is his most ambitious work, Arcosanti. Located in the high desert of central Arizona, Arcosanti is being constructed as a prototype arcology. Arcosanti is a materialization of arcology theoretics; the community embodies Soleri’s vision for a sustainable urban alternative. Since its inception in 1970, the development and construction of Arcosanti has been at the center of Soleri’s life and work.

Arcology is Paolo Soleri’s concept for cities that embody the co-presence of architecture and ecology. The arcology concept proposes a highly integrated and compact three-dimensional urban form that is the opposite of suburban sprawl, with its inherently wasteful consumption of resources and tendency to isolate people from each other and the community. The miniaturization of the physical environment of the city enables effective conservation of land, energy and resources.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Traditionally, an arcology is a set of architectural design principles aimed toward the design hyperstructure habitats of extremely high human population density. An arcology is distinguished from a merely large building or habitat in that it is supposed to sustainably supply all or most of the resourses for comfortable life: power, climate control, food production air and water purification, sewage treatment, etc.. It is supposed to supply these items for a large population. Also, an arcology would need no connections to municipal or urban infrastructure in order to operate.

Arcologies were proposed to reduce human impacts on natural resources. Arcology designs often apply conventional building and civil engineering techniques in very large, but practical projects in order to achieve economies that are difficult to achieve in other ways. Frank Lloyd Wright proposed an early version with his Broadacre City.

His plan described transportation, agriculture, and commerce systems that would support an economy. Similar to Soleri’s Arcosanti, Broadacre City faced critics who said that their proposed solution failed to account the realistic problems that come with sustaining a habitat of a large population and also they tried to assume a more rigid way of living and democracy than that of independent means and that of a formalized government.

“The problem I am confronting is the present design of cities only a few stories high, stretching outward in unwieldy sprawl for miles. As a result of their sprawl, they literally transform the earth, turn farms into parking lots and waste enormous amounts of time and energy transporting people, goods and services over their expanses. My proposition is urban implosion rather than explosion”. 

-Paolo Soleri, Earth’s Answer, 1977

Today’s typical city devotes more than half of its land to the function of the automobile. In anarcology, automobiles are eliminated from the confines of the city. The multi-use nature of the buildings in arcology design place living, working and public spaces within easy reach of each other, thus walking becomes the main form of transportation within the city.

An arcology’s direct proximity to uninhabited land provides the city dweller with immediate and low-impact access to rural space, as well as allowing agriculture to be situated near the city. In turn, this maximizes the logistical efficiency of food distribution systems. An arcology uses passive solar architectural techniques such as the apse effect, greenhouse architecture, and garment architecture to reduce the energy usage of the city, particularly in relation to heating, lighting, and cooling.

Overall, arcology seeks to exemplify a “Lean Alternative” to hyper-consumption and wastefulness through more frugal, efficient and intelligent city design.

Click here to view the embedded video.

“Arcology is capable of demonstrating a positive response to the many problems of urban civilization, those of population, pollution, energy and natural resource depletion, food scarcity, and quality of life. The city structure must contract, or miniaturize, in order to support the complex activities that sustain human culture and give it new perception and renewed trust in society and its future. A central tenet of arcology is that the city is the necessary instrument for the evolution of humankind”.

-Paolo Soleri, Earth’s Answer, 1977

In 1970, Paolo Soleri and the Cosanti Foundation began construction on Arcosanti, an urban laboratory in the high desert of central Arizona. Designed according to the concept of arcology, Arcosanti will house 5,000 people when complete, demonstrating ways to improve urban conditions and lessen our negative impact on the earth. Its large, compact structures and large-scale solar greenhouses will occupy only 25 acres of a 4,060-acre land preserve, keeping the natural countryside in close proximity to urban dwellers.

Master Plan

Urban sprawl, spreading across the landscape, causes enormous waste, frustration, and long-term costs by depleting land and resources. Dependency on the automobile intensifies these problems, while increasing pollution, congestion, and social isolation. Arcosanti attempts to address these issues by building a three-dimensional, pedestrian-oriented city. Because this plan eliminates sprawl, both the urban and natural environments keep their integrity and thrive. Arcosanti is a prototype: if successful, it will become a model for how the world builds its cities.

According to Soleri’s theory of arcology, at Arcosanti many systems work together, with efficient circulation of people and resources, multi-use buildings, and solar orientation for lighting, heating and cooling. In this complex environment, apartments, businesses, production, technology, open space, studios, educational and cultural events are all accessible, even while privacy is paramount in the overall design.

Arcosanti is an educational center. The five-week workshop program teaches building techniques and arcological philosophy while continuing construction. Volunteers and students come from around the world, experiencing Arcosanti through hands-on participation in its growth and development. Many are design students and some receive university credit for the workshop. However, a design or architecture background is not necessary.

At the present stage of construction, Arcosanti consists of a dozen mixed-use buildings constructed by 6,000 past workshop participants. These buildings house 60 to 80 residents, who are continually working on the construction and maintenance of the built environment. These longterm residents are workshop alumni, and work in planning, construction, landscaping, maintenance, cooking, carpentry, metal work, ceramics, gardening, communications, and administration. They produce the world-famous Soleri Bells and are visited by 50,000 tourists every year.

References: www.Arcosanti.org
Photography:  www.Arcosanti.org

Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti : The City in the Image of Man originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 03 Sep 2011.

 

(Ed Note: Please visit the original site  for many photographs, diagrams and artwork associated with this article.)

http://www.archdaily.com/159763/paolo-soleris-arcosanti-the-city-in-the-image-of-man/