ArchiWEB Explorer: energy

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Rollout: 10 More Abandoned Roller Skating Rinks

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

Roller skating may not have been as “cool” as ice skating but it was one hot recreational activity back in the days before inline was superseded by online.

Roller rinks, along with bowling alleys and drive-in movie theaters, form a sad triumvirate of dying “family” recreational venues done in by economics, demographics and the rise of personal electronics. The former Valle Vista Skating Center in Hayward, California epitomizes the decline and fall of old-fashioned outdoor entertainment – sign out front shoulda told ya’.

Living Lights: Grid-Free Lamps to Illuminate Cities Using Plant Photosynthesis

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

Microorganisms in this Living Light project convert chemical energy from photosynthetic processes into electric current, making these lamps perfect for off-grid and other green, cost-reducing applications.

Dutch designer Ermi van Oers envisions this approach working at scale and used to power smart cities, starting with things like street lamps but eventually providing energy for other applications as well. Plans are already in place with Rotterndam to illuminate a city park unique this process and technology.

“The potential is huge,” the designer says. “Street lights could be connected to trees. Forests could become power plants. Rice fields in Indonesia could produce food and electricity for the local population.”

It’s Alive! 14 Algae-Powered Inventions for Food, Light, Energy & Oxygen

[ By SA Rogers in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

If we could just get beyond pesky hiccups like catastrophic climate change and wanting to obliterate each other with nuclear weapons, we humans could learn from our mistakes and create a future that’s actually cooler and more sustainable than anything we dreamed up during the 20th century. Making the most of microalgae, one of the most ancient and prolific organisms on earth, we could produce abundant clean energy and healthy foods while also reducing the amount of CO2 in the air and producing more oxygen. These designs show just how this symbiotic process could manifest in our lives.

Living Chandelier Filled with Algae

Prefab Plyscraper: World’s Tallest Timber Building Tops Out at 173 Feet

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

On the University of British Columbia’s campus in Vancouver, a new record-setting wood structures highlights the many advantages of a growing trend: vertical timber construction. Brock Commons Tallwood house is the highest of its kind to date, providing housing for over 400 students.

The Canadian firm behind its construction, Acton Ostry Architects Inc, says that using wood allowed for a much faster building process. Offsite testing of wood-to-wood connections and structural stability meant less time onsite spent figuring things out. Combined with prefabrication techniques, these approaches helped the builders finish the tower in just 70 days.

Lush Life: 12 Verdant Architecture Projects Making Plants a Main Priority

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Not all architecture incorporating lots of living greenery is doomed to remain an unrealistic rendering, depicting buildings that can’t structurally support the weight of all the soil and water needed to keep full-sized trees alive. Architect Thomas Heatherwick built ultra-strong concrete pillars into his 1000 Trees design, for example. Other buildings take a subtler approach, choosing ivy, potted plants or existing trees rooted in the ground. All of these projects attempt to meld urban architecture with lush gardens in the hopes of cleansing the air, storing CO2 to mitigate climate change and providing enhanced access to green spaces in cities.

Valley: Green-Terraced Towers by MVRDV in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Modern and Green Single Family Residence: Breezehouse in New York

One of Michelle Kaufmann’s iconic designs, Breezehouse is a beautiful single family residence for modern enthusiasts designed by the award winning architects and design team from Blu Homes, being the model of their first development in New York state. Recently completed in January 2013, Breezehouse offers an elegant and spacious indoor environment  for a clean and simple living, harmoniously connected with wonderful indoor living and the natural landscape.