Architects are creating toxic 'killing machines'

I can really say that I was shocked reading this quote by William McDonough a concerned architect and a sustainability expert, with strong eco friendly believes.

“Architects are creating killing machines by not considering the toxicity of the materials used in buildings” William McDonough said expressing the thoughts of many of us.

Over-focusing on carbon neutrality or reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions is skewing the sustainable agenda. And while there’s so much focus on carbon, architects are still using toxic materials and effectively delivering a killing machine.

Now more than ever we need to focus on materials as much as we do on energy and although this is not an easy task, toxicity should be an integral part of any governmental initiatives and protocols.


Alghadeer Sorouh - Mock Up Villas to Ensure Sustainability

Sorouh Real Estate, a leading real estate developed has announced the completion of the 9th mock up villa at Alghadeer Sorouh. Yes, the 9th mock up villa of what will eventually become a sustainable destination of three million square meters on the borders of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The first actual residences will be ready in early 2012 but for now Soroud needs to select the building contractor of the project and believe me its not going to be an easy task, hence the mock up villas!
The mock up villas have been built to scale by experts in sustainable architecture. Each is fully fitted out and located to study a whole raft of best practice building initiatives from around the world. A key consideration in the selection processes will be energy saving and insulation techniques which offer environmental and cost saving benefits to occupiers and the entire project, as well as quality, speed and efficiency of construction.
“We believe an investment in alghadeer Sorouh is an investment in a new mode of living for a new breed of commuter. We are working hard on solutions to guarantee the ongoing appeal of the project” said Samer Abu Hijleh, chief operations officer, Sorouh Real Estate. Alghadeer Sorouh will eventually be home to 18,000 residents, who will enjoy access to outstanding facilities including two kindergartens, two primary schools, a private international school, two secondary schools, seven mosques, sports clubs, community centers, retail outlets, numerous restaurants, cafés and cinemas, all surrounded by safe, pedestrian friendly parks, communal areas and under-road walkways.

For more on sustainable cities around the world:

Dongtan Eco City
Masdar City
Zhuhai Green City
Xeritown in Dubailand
Jumeira Gardens in Dubai


Dongtan City - Still on the drawing-board

The Economist gives an update on the supposed eco-city Dongtan, being built on an island outside Shanghai. After the downfall of corrupt former Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu, one of the main backers of the project, construction has largely stalled:

A noticeable loser is Dongtan. Designed by Arup, a British design firm, to house 500,000 people, by 2010, when Shanghai hosts the World Expo, on a 8,600-hectare (21,250-acre) site, it was billed as a low-carbon alternative to urban sprawl and a blueprint for other eco-cities.

But four years on, not a single green building has gone up on the site. Arup’s Roger Wood says SIIC has opted to put construction on hold, pending further permits. He denies, however, that the project has been cancelled.
A new bridge and tunnel spanning the estuary is already completed and will open to traffic later this year. That should boost land prices on Chongming, and may give SIIC a nudge to develop—or sell—the Dongtan site.

It also raises the question, however, of what constitutes an eco-city.

Arup had envisaged a compact, mostly car-free community. Residents would live and work in green research centres and other such industries, buy local produce and use renewable energy. The new road link, however, puts Shanghai within commuting distance.

For more on eco-cities around the world visit:

Dongtan Eco City
Masdar City
Zhuhai Green City


Renzo Piano, The Shard at London Bridge, The Latest Skyscraper in Europe

Destined to redefine London’s skyline, The Shard at London Bridge will surely become a recognisable symbol of the capital throughout the world.
Construction of the Shard began this week and by the time of its completion, in early 2012, London will be the host of one of Europe’s tallest buildings and one of the most technologically advanced towers ever built.

Architecturally breathtaking, the concept behind The Shard was designed within seconds in a Berlin restaurant by the renowned architect Renzo Piano, a few years ago.
“The tower is designed to be a sharp and light presence on the London skyline, and to be sustainable from every point of view: human, technological, energetic and economic.” Says Piano and he really means it.

The Shard has many sustainable credentials and is expected to use around 30% less energy than other comparable buildings and will also be a virtually car-free building. Can you imagine that? A 320 meter building with parking space for only 47 cars. Seriously!
Modern offices and efficient, flexible spaces suitable for a range of different working environments, a luxurious Hotel and Resort Group offering only the best in Hospitality, the finest apartments in London, providing an address of unrivalled status and gallery spaces, sky-high bars and restaurants will be available in
The Shard.
And if you think that there is no market for such development projects in Europe, let me inform you that 40% of the building has been let out already, construction day 1!
If you are a Renzo fan you can also check out these articles:

Renzo Piano designs the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
Renzo Piano and the California Academy of Science


Diseño Earle – Sustainable Architecture - The Eco House, Spain

Diseño Earle designed The Eco House aiming to create the first zero carbon footprint home in Andalusia while maintaining a unique architectural perspective.
The design of the home, at nearly 7,000 square feet, is built with two-thirds less waste than traditional models and operates 80% more efficiently than similar sized homes.
Among its green features you will find a sophisticated rainwater reclamation system, a powerful photovoltaic system that will supply the electricity of the house and eventually run a radiant heating system within the floor, an innovative adjustable louver wall system with the ability to optimize heat capture during the day and retain warmth by night and a magnificent pool filled with saline water so as to eliminate the use of standard pool chemicals.
The house will be available for purchase by the end of 2009.


Eco Maps and Architecture

How closely related can these two be? Well, closely enough, according to the latest Trendwatching Report.

Geography is a universally familiar method of organizing, finding and tracking relevant information on objects, events and people, that is till yesterday….

Because today people are using eco maps to help them make decisions on where is the most suitable place, for them, to buy their property.

Is it an eco friendly neighborhood? What is the solar potential of the house? How much will my daily ride to work effect the environment?

These are our favorite Eco Mapmania cases:

Roofray, a Californian startup that aims to give consumers the information they need to install solar panels. The site eventually aims to provide a ‘RoofRaytings’ system that would be available to homebuyers as an indication of solar potential.
Google Maps Transit Layer, which is available for over 50 cities worldwide, overlays public transport lines onto the main map view, allowing the user to easily plan a green(er) journey to their destination.
For more on Eco Mapmania, you can visit www.trendwatching.com


Use architectural 3D’s to communicate and promote your new projects

Renowned architects from around the globe have been continuously using 3D renderings and 3D architectural illustrations in order to not only demonstrate their vision down to the smallest detail but also to breathe new life into their designs and greatly increase interest in their projects.

Nichole Vourvourioti, Marketing Manager of co.creations, strongly advises architects, interior designers and development companies of any size or background to capitalize on the immense marketing power of 3D Rendering and use still architectural renderings or 3D animation to get ahead of the game.

“Photorealistic 3D Renders and 3D animations are the most effective pre sales marketing tools available today, helping clients, shareholders and contractors to better understand the intent and aesthetics of the design”.

Make your design presentations exciting and add the “wow” factor to your promotional materials. Don’t keep your 3D’s in a computer file. Use them, share them, post them and create a powerful buzz around your new project. Unleash the true power of your 3D’s and let them become a critical part of your marketing and selling campaigns.

Today architects, interior designers and development companies are able to offer their clients a sneak preview of their new office building, a glimpse of the ambience from the new spa of their hotel or a detailed visualization of the latest renovation suggestions. Deliver lively and engaging experiences even before the projects leave the drawing board and build interest from the early stages of design.

Make sure you are not left behind. Contact a professional Architectural 3D Studio and enhance your marketing strategy today.