Definition – Resource and environmental performance – Planet
Projects must exhibit a sensible deployment and management of natural resources throughout their entire use-cycle. Long-term environmental concerns – especially those pertaining to stocks and flows of material, water, and energy – should be an integral part of the design approach.
- Minimizing a project's ecological footprint and maximizing its positive impact on the environment; reduction of harmful effects and increase of beneficial outcomes, with a premium placed on low-carbon construction.
- Environmentally-conscious land use strategies and policies that preserve the existing landscape, while taking water and land reclamation into account.
- Emphasis placed on the use of renewable energy in construction, use and upkeep of the built fabric to significantly reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, while minimizing toxic side effects.
- Innovative deployment of material resources in construction, with an emphasis on cradle-to-cradle cycles, mining existing building stocks, minimizing the consumption of water, and reducing waste.
- Use of resilient, durable, and non-toxic products, robust construction details, emphasis on the optimal interaction of building systems, as well as the promotion of environmentally sound technologies.
May 17, 2019 | "Planet" Example | Van Buren, ME, USA
Utility and aesthetics: The design for a land port of entry between the United States and Canada achieved the feat of combining supreme functionality with elegance – and incorporating a high degree of sustainability. This project designed by Julie Snow and Matthew Kreilich (Minneapolis, USA) won the Holcim Awards Bronze 2011 North America, was completed in April 2013, and meets the US Green Building Council LEED Gold criteria.
January 20, 2015 | "Planet" Example | Boston, USA
The Chrysanthemum Building extrapolates the idea that city living can promote new urban ecologies. The project promotes a “common sense culture” of building-related communication networks, domestic farm-to-table slow-food production, and embraces a car-free lifestyle that mines alternative forms of transportation such as subway, bus, and ferry. Each unit is provided with a bicycle, storage, and bike share mobile app. From the project’s carbon sequestering wood construction, its large windows that distribute natural daylight, and high-efficiency infrastructural systems that anticipate the region’s growth in wind-energy, the Chrysanthemum Building creates a model for environmentally responsible urban development.
The design offers a viable solution to the “housing question” – promoting an affordable model for residential development in a dense urban neighborhood. The structure, a wooden construction with a layered metal screen, takes its identity from its immediate surroundings through set-back terraces, the transformation of wrought iron fire escapes into digitally fabricated shading elements, and a commercial space at street level.
The Chrysanthemum Building creates an affordable, sustainable new model for residential development in a dense urban infill site. The project includes ten units (four compact units and six adaptable family units). The building uses a mobile app and social media networks integrated with efficient building systems to create a user culture that supports local sustainable services. The North End of Boston is characterized by it narrow streets and alley ways, its brick buildings and cascading fire escapes, and its social fabric. The Chrysanthemum Building takes its identity from its set-back terraced façade, the transformation of wrought iron fire escapes into a digitally designed and fabricated screen wall, and a commercial space that spills out onto the street reinforcing the neighborhoods street-life. The carved-out rear courtyard underscores the project’s motivation to create spaces that benefit from natural light and promote a state of well-being and permanence.See more
March 23, 2013 | "Planet" Example | Constitución, Chile
This project is based upon a Plan for Sustainable Reconstruction (PRES) of Constitución, developed after the 8.8 earthquake and tsunami of February 27, 2010. Instead of forbidding settlements, ignoring the risk or building massive infrastructure, the plan is based on applying a “geographical answer” to the geographical threat. A forest able to mitigate the impact of a tsunami was proposed.
If the trees had the right density, diameter and resistance to horizontal loads, we might reduce the wave’s energy by 40% (empirical evidence of the efficacy of the approach is the island in front of the city, which not only reduced the force of the waves, but also served as a vertical escape route, that saved many). Located behind this first line of defense are facilities that have specific restrictions on the use and layout of ground floor areas. These two interventions are accompanied by an evacuation plan as the third protection element.
The introduction of the mitigation also responded to an existing demand of the community due to flooding from rains that were occurring every year. The retardant lagoon and lamination gap mitigate tidal impact on rising floodwaters while at the same time upgrading obsolete urban standards from 2.2sqm of green space/person to 6.6sqm.See more
June 03, 2010 | "Planet" Example | Gland, Switzerland
The IUCN Conservation Centre in Gland, Switzerland is a showpiece of modern architecture incorporating green construction practices and advanced technologies. An aesthetic and comfortable work environment was created that also accommodates requirements for adaptability and durability, responsible resource use, energy efficiency, rigorous control of emissions, and moderate construction, operating, and maintenance costs.
The building, designed to LEED Platinum standards, features rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic power generation, a gray water system, local construction materials, waterless urinals, and many other green systems. The structure is a veritable showcase of modern and emerging concrete technology, featuring CO2-reduced concrete, recycled concrete, and insulating concrete.
Lean design and an innovative climate control system deliver high thermal performance. The ingeniously flexible and adaptable mechanical concept is fully integrated into the architecture, employing geothermal energy, thermal mass, decentralized blower units, waste heat recovery, and flexible multi-mode operation for maximum efficiency and indoor comfort during all seasons.See more