Welcome to the February 2004 newsletter from Design
Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's
Quote of the Month: "Organic architecture seeks superior
sense of use and a finer sense of comfort, expressed
in organic simplicity." - Frank Lloyd Wright
Efficiency: First Things First
The average American family spends nearly $1,500
per year on utility bills. This expense can be
reduced by 10- 90 percent (depending on how inefficient
you are and how aggressive you want to be about
getting efficient). Saving energy can be a good
way to lessen the strain on family finances and
free up money for better uses.
There are hundreds of things you can do to
make your home more efficient, ranging from
simple, free adjustments to major, long-term
investments. Which ones you should do in your
home will depend on a number of factors-where
you live, the size and style of your house,
how efficient it already is, which direction
it faces, and so on.
Nevertheless, let one principle be your guide:
go for the best buys first. Often it will be
the cheapest, easiest projects that make the
biggest dents in your utility bills. Then, with
the money you're saving each month on energy
and water, you can tackle further projects.
Some utilities and state energy offices offer
great information and financing programs to
encourage their customers to invest in energy
efficiency and renewables. Ask yours about rebate
programs and energy-saving technologies.
Article © Rocky Mountain Institute. Picture
Junk mail generates 4 million tons of unnecessary
wasted annually and is filling 3% of American
landfills. The process of creating the mailer
is destroying 62 million trees and using 28 billion
gallons of water for paper processing annually.
Article © Design Forward
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Design. If you know of a project that should be
featured, please contact us. Let us know why you
think it should be featured and give us a basic
intro to the project, the sustainable elements
and any websites or contact information.
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The largest project of this scale, the Eden project
is leading architecture into the 21st century
with a new outlook on environmental conservation
on an enormous scale. The Eden Project, a monumental
architectural space of new materials, is an international
work of art. The combination of nature and modern
construction techniques, in a breakthrough design,
deals with many issues of sustainability. The
basis of the project is to maintain sustainability
of the environment and create a massive greenhouse
to accommodate diverse regions. The Eden Project
is being called 'the living theater of plants
and people.' Its location in Cornwall England
was chosen for its temperate climate and local
sand / clay pit. The Bodelva China Clay Pit was
used as the platform to create the large Biomes.
These Biomes, or geodesic greenhouse domes, house
three of the world's climate zones - Humid Tropics
(rainforests and oceanic islands), Warm Temperate
(the Mediterranean, South Africa, and California),
and Temperate (Cornwall, Atlantic woodlands, and
Chile). The Biomes will contain plant life collected
from all over the world.
The Biomes are made up of a series of geodesic
domes constructed of 3D space frames of hexagons,
pentagons and triangles. It was important to
use a structure, such as a dome, that would
allow for great spans so interior columns would
not interfere with the growth of the plants.
This complex structure creates a frame for the
foil cushions. These air-filled cushions are
made of a triple glazed ETFE (ethyl tetra fluoro
ethylene) material. EFTE are strong, light weight,
and recyclable. ETFE weighs only a bit more
than 1% of a comparable sized piece of glass.
The foil cushions are triple glazed creating
two pockets of air, increasing insulation properties
and improving upon the concept of thermal mass.
EFTE has a life span of 25 years, but if punctured
they can be repaired with a simple patch. Thinking
ahead to the future, the architects design the
building system to go together and come apart
with ease. The entire EFTE system can be replaced
with a newer material once it becomes available.
The Eden Project's mere existence is moving
architecture into the 21st century with a bold
new look at architecture. The combination of
ancient building techniques, such as rammed
earth, and new, progressive materials, such
as EFTE, gives the building a certain ambiance.
The ideas of conservation and a progressive
movement into the future are incorporated into
the design of the project. The restoration of
the site and the sustainability of the area
are seen throughout the project. The materials
take a new look at how architecture and the
environment can be combined together peacefully.
It does not compete with the landscape, but
rather tries to be in harmony with it. The Eden
Project will become an international symbol
of sustainability, environmental concern, and
a new style of monumental architecture.
Article © Lisa Van Veen.
about the Eden Project...