High Density in a Green Environment

 

Geneva Suburban Project as Urban Housing Model

 

 

©Bauen+Wohnen

 

An article, Trois tourettes et un jardin (Three Turrets and a Garden) by Swiss landscape architect, Valérie Hoffmeyer, in Werk, Bauen + Wohnen, is another recent example highlighting the value of green space in the design of mid-rise residential buildings.

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Modular Wood Construction in the Spotlight: Urban Adaptation Competition

 

Image ©Francesco Allaixand Julio Orduña

 

Recently we are beginning to see a resurgence of wood as a primary building material, not only for detached residential housing, but also for multi-family and commercial urban structures. Masonry, steel, and composite materials are still the bread and butter of the construction industry; but wood

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Chicago Disruptive Housing

Winning entry by Greg Tamborino

 

If cities in the U.S. are anticipating funding from government entities to solve a dire need for affordable housing, they should be prepared for a long wait. The national government, a traditional source of funds for such projects, has shown little if no interest in the issue, and

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Miremont-le-Cret, Geneva

The Renovation of a City Landmark

 

Photo: ©yandre Prises de vues du 9 10 2015

 

The renovation of Miremont-le-Cret in 2012 was unusual in that the project was the subject of a competition. Designed in 1953 by a local architect, Marc-Joseph Saugey, this building had long been landmarked as one

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Rise in the City: An Affordable Housing Competition in Lesotho

Wining entry “Creating Spaces” by Tanmoy Dey (all images courtesy RISE)

 

The Rise in the City Housing Competition in the African country of Lesotho presented many similarities with student competitions that have occurred over the past decades, the main link being the presence of mentors as advisers to the team(s) who were

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Russian Open Competition for Alternative Layout Design in Standard Housing

1st category prize entry by AKVS (Image courtesy STRELKA-KB, © AKVS Architecture)

 

 

Of all the nations that had been part of the Soviet Bloc after World War II, only the Russian Federation itself has lagged behind most of its neighbors in the design and construction of affordable housing. During that post-Cold War

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Kazan’s New Garden City Competition

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Addressing Affordable Housing in Bentonville

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Boston Housing Innovation Competition

by William Morgan

Winning entry ©D/R/E/A/M Collaborative / Wozny Barbar & Associates

 

“We must look beyond current options and activate new and original ideas,” declared Mayor Martin J. Walsh in announcing Boston’s first-ever housing competition. “The Housing Innovation Competition, “ Walsh continued, “ is a chance for Boston to take its place in

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Not Just a Coming Attraction: ZNE is Already Here!

nexus
Professional Merit Award winner – “Nexus” by Dialog (Vancouver, Canada)

Several years ago, Zero Net Energy, or ZNE as it is often referred to, would have been an unthinkable goal for any community in this country, let alone for an entire state. But in California, it is certain to become a household word by the end of this decade. The City of Santa Monica recently passed an ordinance requiring all newly built single-family homes, duplexes, as well as multi-family structures, to be in compliance with ZNE codes. By the year 2020, the State of California will require the implementation of a similar step in housing construction. According to California’s Green Building Code, a ZNE home is one that produces as much renewable energy on-site as it consumes annually.

 

Contrary to anti-sustainability positions taken by some government officials in other states—most notably in Florida—California has been at the forefront in promoting energy efficiency measures. As an offshoot of this trend, a series of competitions supported not only by the AIA California, but also by the primary energy provider in the state, PG&E have taken place annually since 2011—all at different sites. Although conceived as ideas competitions, the clients who were considering construction projects participated in supplying the necessary site and volume data for the program, and it was probably understood that some of the ideas from the competitions would be incorporated in the ultimate projects.

 

In this year’s 2016 Architecture at Zero competition, the site was located at San Francisco State University, near Lake Merced in the southwestern area of the city. As a potential client, the university supplied data for a student residence project, especially important to the San Francisco area because of the high cost of housing. One negative outcome of this scenario has been a low student retention rate. By targeting affordable housing for students, the university sees this as part of the solution.

 

site-plan

 

Competitors were tasked to regard the design challenge with these priorities in mind:
“By encouraging innovative design solutions to site-specific design challenges, the competition aims to broaden thinking about the technical and aesthetic possibilities of zero net energy projects. Further, it seeks to raise the profile of ZNE among built-environment professionals, students, and the general public in California and beyond.”

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