Articles Posted in the Lifestyle category

Really green architecture

March 23, 2008
Posted in Lifestyle

Patrick Blanc’s hanging garden Caixaforum museum, MadridThe extraordinary piece of urban architecture on the right is the Caixa Forum museum in Madrid. The building has been restored and given a two-storey addition made from rusted iron. This is juxtaposed with a stunning 24-metre-high Patrick Blanc vertical garden on one of the walls of the square in front of the building. Read more about it on TreeHugger

Positive energy HQ for Gulf solar city

March 22, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy

masdarcity-hq.jpgPictured is the headquarters of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. The building will be the world’s first large-scale positive energy building – which means it will produce more energy than it consumes – according to the architecture firm chosen to design it. The building will also be the first in history to generate the power needed to build it because its huge solar roof will be built first. The building’s features will include integrated wind turbines, one of the world’s largest building-integrated solar energy arrays, and solar thermal-driven cooling and dehumidification system. The building will also use 70 percent less water than “typical mixed-use buildings of the same size”.

Besides being the city’s HQ, the building will also accommodate private residences and businesses.

Masdar City will be constructed over seven phases and is scheduled to be complete by 2016. The headquarters should be finished by the end of 2010.

Via :: Environmental News Agency

Greener buildings could slash carbon emissions

March 14, 2008
Posted in Green News, Lifestyle

green-building-new.jpgThe role of the transport and fossil fuel sectors in generating greenhouse gas emissions has gained the attention of politicians and business. But more attention needs to be paid to the impact of the building sector has on climate change. Basic changes in building design and construction could cut emissions by 35 percent in North America alone, according to a report by the Commission for Environmental Co-operation. Read more

Gulf state to build solar city

February 10, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy

Impression of Masdar City from Foster + PartnersAbu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and one of the world’s largest producers or oil, is planning to build what architect Norman Foster describes as the world’s first carbon neutral, zero waste city.

Known as Masdar City, The New York Times describes it as a self-contained, mini-municipality for up to 50,000 people in the desert. It is intended as a hub for academic and corporate research on non-polluting energy technologies.

Famous London-based architects Foster + Partners are involved in the design of the community which will be car free and produce all its own energy from the sun. Its water will come from a solar-powered seawater desalination plant. All waste will be either composted or recycled and food will be grown locally in greenhouses.

Masdar City is part of a planned $15-billion investment in new energy technologies by Abu Dhabi, which is apparently looking to diversify its economy and find a post-petroleum development model.

See the NYT’s Andrew Revkin’s blog for more and a video virtual tour of the proposed new city.

Drink up, dear. We’ve got a house to build

January 23, 2008
Posted in Lifestyle

Earthship homeWant to know how to build a house out of used tyres and beer cans? Visit and you can see a pictorial history of the building of an “Earthship home” (pictured) deep in the Colorado countryside. The main building component is tyres filled with compacted earth and the interior walls are built with cans and mortar, which are then plastered over. The house is not on the electricity grid, so it runs off solar power. And, thanks to its design, its builder says it stays warm even when it’s freezing cold outside. Check it out, it’s an intriguing example of what’s possible.

Thanks to Len for the link.