Zero-carbon buildings are buildings that produce no net carbon emissions. In short, these buildings produce carbon emissions because of their occupants, but the emissions are offset using methods ranging from reforestation to carbon credits, or even investments in renewable energy.

Benefits of Zero-Carbon building

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Please consider the economic benefits of zero-carbon buildings:

  • Since zero-carbon buildings are better insulated than their conventional counterparts, their occupants are better-shielded against changes in the price of energy.
  • Furthermore, operation becomes less expensive for occupants because zero-carbon buildings are so much more efficient. Over time, even small savings can build up into big sums.
  • Superior insulation results in even distribution of heat, which leads to a more comfortable environment.
  • Zero-carbon buildings are more in demand on the real estate market, meaning that their owners can resell them at a profit. Additionally, these buildings are becoming more and more popular as regulators move on the issue, meaning that their value is continuing to rise.
  • Although a skilled and experienced firm such as Trilogy can refit buildings for outstanding performance, it is more cost-efficient to build zero-carbon buildings from the ground up rather than refitting older buildings for the same results.

For more information on zero-carbon buildings, please contact us at Trilogy Partners.

Green villages are catching on rapidly these days, and for many reasons. Whether it’s in urban or suburban areas, the aim is to make sustainable practices part of the neighborhood’s daily life. Here are a few of the main reasons why eco-villages are trending:

  • Built-in Eco-Design  When you move into an eco-village, all the green design work is already installed for you. In most green communities, rainwater harvesting and composting, wind and/or solar energy are already being practiced. Other green design facets, for instance recycled and sustainable materials are also included.
  • Shared Areas – More Fun and Less Waste  Green villages offer a common swimming pool and playground that reduce the resources and energy that it will take for people to build and maintain them in individual residential property. In addition, these shared areas allow you to mingle with your neighbors.
  • Walk around the Village  One of the things that are very appealing about green villages is that everything is within walking distance. There is no need to worry about a car, gas costs, or finding a parking space.

If you are considering a home in a green village, contact us today for advice and tips about eco-living.

This week, The Guardian’s Environmental Blog featured a story on the increasing number of New York City buildings with green rooftops. Aside from simply improving the view, these designs also improve the environment in the city know for its towering skyscrapers.

The green rooftop movement is still small, but it has put the idea and design on the mind of many architects lately. These architects have actually started including green rooftops in the designs of new buildings throughout the five boroughs instead of including them as an after-thought.

Green Rooftop Trilogy Partners
Analysts have cited green rooftops as a big help to absorb up to 70% of the excess rainwater that would otherwise runoff, causing drain systems in the city to flood with sewage.

Tax incentives and the environmental movement are helping New York City to catch up with cities like Chicago that embraced the green rooftop years ago. As more resources become available and costs go down, even more builders and architects will get in on the game. Green rooftops save so much money in the long run, they can be found in most LEED-certified buildings.

What do you think of the green rooftop movement? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Photo courtesy of The Guardian Environmental Blog

With the advent of increasingly innovative green technologies, architects are now more than ever able to fully maximize their sophisticated artistic visions, while simultaneously minimizing the negative environmental effects of their structures. As climates and resources shift, environmentally-conscious architecture is beginning to produce more and more complex, sustainable, and awe-inspiring buildings, signifying that green architecture is the wave of the future from both a creativity standpoint, as well as out of ecological necessity. In fact, in the most extreme and inventive cases, architects are now not only working to preserve the natural environment, but actually to positively affect, alter and improve it.

In its most basic form, green architecture signifies building designs and practices which predominantly utilize recyclable and renewable materials to create structures that operate on a minimal amount of energy. Efficient building models are able to run off of solar, wind, and sometimes water-powered energy generation and take up as little land as possible in order to preserve or encourage green space.

If you’re interested in more architecture inspiration, these posts will amaze you:

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A massive and trendsetting example of green architecture is the Hearst Tower in New York City, which in 2006 was the first building to become certified with an LEED Gold rating.

The towering skyscraper, which is built on top of the 1928 Hearst International Magazine Building, can boast that it was constructed out of 90% recycled materials and currently uses 26% less energy than is required by today’s standard building codes.

An even more space-age like recent example – one which dominates another skyline – is the Bahrain World Trade Center.

The complex’s two towers are connected by giant wind turbines, which are capable of providing up to 15% of the buildings’ total energy consumption.

And it’s not just about the skyscrapers. While plenty of private clients now choose to construct homes, offices, and schools out of recyclable materials, outfitting them with solar panels and energy-saving appliances, some properties go one step further, opting to adopt “green roofs.” This design choice is exactly what it sounds like: soil and grass-covered roofs that provide insulation for the home, give back the green space claimed by the building itself and, in the most sophisticated of cases, help to maintain the ecology for surrounding wildlife.

A stunningly simple residential example of this can be seen in the OS house built in Spain by NOLASTER Architects.

The art department at Nanyang Technological University offers an even more whimsical model.

This, however, is only the beginning. As green technology advances, so too do architects’ visions for its usage. Some, like Vincent Callebaut Architects’ “Lilypad Project”, which proposes ocean-based eco-city islands that run on collected rainwater, will most likely remain pure fantasy.

Others, like Sheila Kennedy’s “Soft House”, that makes use of solar-harvesting textiles, may simply be too costly to ever be put into mass production.

The ideas come in all shapes and sizes, from skyscrapers filled with agricultural farmland to single-family homes that run off of energy produced by the household’s own inhabitants and objects.

CK Designworks in Nanjing, China, has recently unveiled their design plans for a remarkably large eco-city development slated to begin construction shortly. And while some projects are focused on preserving natural resources and finding alternative energy sources, others like the Living Mountain, dream up the creation of entirely new micro-environments.

In this particular proposal, inhabitants will survive the growing desert landscape by building cities inside of massive, mountainous skyscrapers. While creating protection from the uninhabitable outside, the structure will also work to pull water from the region, cycling it inside to produce an entirely new climate and ecology.

One thing clear in all these plans, visions, proposals and dreams is that green architecture provides not only new challenges, but new opportunities for designers. It is an inspiring and growing field full of imagination and innovation, one which puts firmly in the architect’s hands the exciting responsibility of envisioning and constructing a new look for the future.

Source: by Maria Nemenman

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