Sustainable Design with ArchiCAD





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Henry Deane Plaza by Rice Daubney

The development has revitalised the Railway Square precinct, and become a landmark in the southern gateway to the city of Sydney.

Photographer: Brett Boardman

Henry Deane Plaza was a finalist in the Property Council of Australia (PCA) Rider Hunt Award, 2003; won the Master Builders Australia 2001 National Environment and Energy Efficiency Award for Commercial Buildings; and was runner up in the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Building Greenhouse Rating Scheme Leadership Award.

Dubai Sports City Tower Hotel by Lang Hugger Rampp

The 5-star hotel is part of a new district, known as Dubai Sports City, which is currently being created in the southwest part of the Emirate, in the middle of the desert.

A dominant visual element is the innovative sunscreen structure that the Munich firm developed for this project. The sunscreen had to dramatically minimise the energy consumption required while not blocking light from the hotel rooms or obstructing views.

Despite the high visual transparency, the sunscreen design reduces energy consumption by approximately 60 % compared to a "normal" glass facade. Neither the amount of daylight entering the rooms nor the view from the rooms is in any way impaired.

Yellow Treehouse Restaurant by Pacific Environments

Photographer: Lucy Gauntlett

The Yellow Treehouse restaurant was the brainchild of an Auckland advertising agency for one of their campaigns. But since its construction, the treehouse has taken on a life of its own, capturing imaginations around the world.
The Yellow Treehouse restaurant was built on a north-facing site near Warkworth, New Zealand. But this was no ordinary site – it was 10 meters up a 40-meter redwood tree.

"The project is inextricably linked to its surroundings, so sustainability was at the front of mind. We employed many environmentally friendly practices, including short cuts of glue-laminated pine for the building's geometric exterior fins, which minimized waste, and we even employed an arborist to look after the welfare of the tree," says architect Peter Eising, leader of the designer team at Pacific Environments. The company is a recognized pioneer in the field of sustainable design and has nearly 50 years' experience in residential and commercial architecture.


The Rural Regeneration Centre by EUROBUILD UK Ltd.

The Rural Regeneration Centre at Hadlow College in Kent is the UK’s First Certified Passivhaus Educational Building. The Rural Regeneration Centre is a showcase of low carbon and renewable technology. One of the top three agricultural colleges in the UK, Hadlow College’s new Centre will use just 10% of the typical energy consumption of a modern building and is the first such building in the UK to be constructed using prefabricated materials.

The Rural Regeneration Centre is a sympathetic conversion and extension to redundant cow sheds (over 95% of the original shed structure was retained on site) on the College’s fully operational dairy farm. Built using prefabricated structural insulated panels, the centre was planned using Building Information Modelling (BIM) by ArchiCAD and assembled in just three days.

Hadlow College, EUROBUILD UK Ltd

Viikki Chiurch by JKMM Architects

The multi award-winner church design, which forms the core of an area plan that will be implemented gradually, extends into a narrow site amid building fronts, a park and a market place. The lines of the eaves echo the forms of a stand of trees surrounding it. The architectonic choices of the church were guided by prefabrication, as the church was built of factory-made components from start to finish. The church hall was built in a single phase.

Photographer: Arno de la Chapelle

JKMM's idea of a space carved out of a forest is realized in the halls of the church, whose architecture evokes the Finnish forest, its sacredness and its natural essence. Dense wooden clustered columns and beams are architect-created structures. The furnishings and lighting were custom-designed to suit the church's activities. The church combines modern and ancient building methods, sophisticated and rough-hewn surfaces, location and purpose, temporality and eternity. The intention of the client has been to create a modern successor to the long tradition of Finnish wooden churches, which takes into account the ecological ideas and criteria of sustainability of the whole Viikki area.

American Canyon Highschool by Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

This high school being built in California's Napa Valley will be one of the first to be a Collaborative for High Performance School (CHPS) - verified "green" school in the US. The CHPS program helps communities design and build high performance school environments that are not only energy and resource efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit, and containing the amenities for a quality education.

The high school will incorporate numerous innovative sustainable design elements. It will include a 500 Kw photovoltaic solar array that will provide more than 40 percent of the campus' electricity. It will also use an advanced ground source heat pump mechanical system, extensive daylighting controls, many sustainable materials and numerous water conservation measures. Together these features will make American Canyon an excellent example of green design.


International Fund for Animal Welfare Headquarters by DesignLAB architects

The new headquarters of the IFAW was picked as one of the United States' top 10 best examples of sustainable architecture and green design in 2009 by the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE). The COTE Award is the AIA's top green award, honoring projects that demonstrate a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology.

The 54,000 square foot global headquarters building on Massachusetts's Cape Cod was designed by Boston-based DesignLAB architects.

Photography © Peter Vanderwarker

A worldwide organization devoted to protecting wildlife, the IFAW sought a sustainable building that maximizes the organization's global advocacy, strategic planning and communications. The IFAW world headquarters was designed to minimize the negative impact of the built environment on the natural one, demonstrating IFAW's environmental priorities through their own architecture. Water conservation, habitat restoration and energy efficiency were as important as space, value and other typical office design concerns.

New Zealand's First 5-Star Green Building from Studio Pacific

Meridian Energy's new Wellington waterfront building, designed in ArchiCAD by Studio Pacific, consumes 60% less energy and 70% less water than comparable buildings.

Photographer: Simon Devitt

The New Zealand Green Building Council has awarded Meridian's new office with a 5 Star Green Star NZ Certified Rating, signifying 'New Zealand Excellence'.

alkiTECHNIK headquarters building by Peter Bachschuster

No oil tank, gas lines, radiators or air conditioners. The new headquarters of alkiTECHNIK in Ingolstadt is not only distinguished in its high-quality architecture but also in its innovative sustainable energy concept.

Architect and Photographer: Peter Bachschuster

The intelligent combination of using ground water and solar energy results in a savings of 50% compared to similar sized buildings using more traditional heating and cooling.

There are only five other buildings in Europe with a similar energy concept. Scientists and project developers from all over the world have been attracted to this countryside site to learn from this innovative use of energy technology. The building costs were only 5% higher than those for a conventional building, which will quickly be paid back thanks to reduced energy consumption.

Econia Business Park by CEJ Architects

The Econia Business Park is being built in Aviapolis, Vantaa, the fastest developing and growing business district in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Econia is being built ecologically efficiently and according to the principles of sustainable development.

The developer, Julius Tallberg Real Estate Corporation, and the builder, Hartela Group, have developed a unique futuristic business park concept. Its design emphasizes environmental solutions as well as comfortable working environments. "In Econia, ecology is high tech", states Tom Cederqvist, an architect from CEJ Architects, the company that designed Econia. The principles of sustainable development were taken into account in the ecology of the building: location of the building, solar panels on the facade, thermal comfort, and functions during operation.


Creating Sustainable New Holiday Lets, 2030 Architects Ltd.

2030 Architects Ltd.

The concept for this scheme is to produce an energy efficient building to provide two storey, two-bedroomed holiday-let apartments. The client is anxious to be able to market the properties not only as specialist holiday units but also as highly energy efficient. We are working to a tight budget and have had to justify all of our design decisions to the local planning authority including the size of South facing windows. Read more...

Making Old become New, and Efficient! - Constructive Thinking Studio, Ltd.

Constructive Thinking Studio Ltd.

Our strong focus on sustainability, as illustrated by the certifications we hold, means we are able to assess quickly the value of building performance software. EcoDesigner has proved to be an extremely valuable tool in helping us refine and test our ideas throughout design, from early concepts to documentation.
Our aim was to suggest a palette of measures that could be selected from on an ad-hoc basis to apply to all similar conservation area dwellings.
On completion the model will form an as-built record and the many Library Parts and Composites created for this project will be available for use in the wider roll-out scheme for similar houses. Read more...

Using PassivHaus construction principles to create affordable, energy efficient homes - Axis Design Architects

The drive to reduce the nation’s housing energy performance and deliver the carbon emission reductions required by 2050 mean that architects must design and build more accurately using techniques that ensure the finished product reliably behaves as expected.
This project – affordable PassivHaus - involved a multi-discipline collaboration between consultants, manufacturers and suppliers to create a Passivhaus compliant pair of houses for the affordable housing sector.
From the outset the project proposals were modelled extensively in Building Information Modelling software to create a single unified building model to produce drawings and data that could be used throughout the process. The final drawings were created by using an online BIM server allowing consultants to coordinate the building services in unison on a live model.
The design of a PassivHaus standard dwelling requires careful consideration of form, size and orientation from the outset. Although the architect is able ultimately to collaborate with an environmental design specialist to test the building’s performance using the PassivHaus Planning Package spreadsheet, the use of a BIM tool meant that the earliest design decisions could be tested quickly with each iteration of the proposal.Read more...

BrightBuilt Barn by Kaplan Thompson Architects

Naomi C.O. Beal Photography

Designing and constructing a building that produces more energy than it consumes and requires no furnace even on the chilly mid-coast of Maine was not just a science project for architectural firm Kaplan Thompson Architects. It was a serious effort to develop new sustainable building techniques, then offer them free to anyone interested in environmentally sound construction. Kaplan Thompson's BrightBuilt Barn, designed with GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD, is a 700-square foot structure with  two bedroom/studio spaces and a loft heated by thermal solar. Its "Net Zero" design means that it will produce more electricity in a year than it consumes, and its flexible layout enables it to adapt to new uses without consuming more energy and building materials.

BrightBuilt Barn was selected for the 2009 LEED for Homes Innovative Project Award of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It was also listed among the 2009 TreeHugger Best of Green: Design + Architecture buildings, and was documented as a "Net Zero" structure. EcoHome magazine named BrightBuilt one of "6 Prefab Houses That Could Change Home Building."

LEED Platinum home by RWH Architecture

Photography © Zane B. Williams

The Ross Street House in Madison, Wisconsin, was designed by (and is the new home of) Carol Richard of Atlanta-based Richard Wittschiebe Hand (RWH) Architects. The 2,700 square foot 3-level residence achieved 102 out of a possible 136 LEED certification points, and is one of only about 200 LEED Platinum homes nationwide.

Richard's sustainable design features include large south facing windows with sunscreens, permeable paving, tankless water heaters, solar panels, a variety of recycled and regional materials, an energy efficient furnace, and rainwater collection system for irrigation.

Award winning 'Urban Trees' Development by b9 architects

Designed with ArchiCAD, Urban Trees is a winner of an AIA Seattle "Future Shack" award recognizing progressive solutions for urban living. Bradley Khouri of B9 Architects designed the 11-unit project to create a vibrant community enriched by commercial businesses.

Urban Trees buildings are made from sustainable materials, including façade panels of seasoned fir boards reclaimed from old buildings, floors made of recycled pallets, and concrete courtyard pavers recovered from a car dealer's surplus. As befits its name, the project provides and preserves cherry, linden, maple and black hawthorn trees on the site.

Architect's 'net zero' dream home by Zona & Associates

Designed by architect John Zona III using GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD, and its companion products, EcoDesigner and MEP Modeler, the Jacksonville, Florida residence is the architects' personal dream home.

As a net zero home, the property consumes no more power than it produces with its elegantly arrayed 6.5 kwH solar photovoltaic panels. Its geothermal cooling system consumes less than half the energy of even the most efficient conventional air conditioning. Other eco-friendly touches include an 8,000-gallon rain collection tower for bathing, dishwashing, laundry and other non-drinking use. Graywater is reused for irrigation, and organic waste is composted for the garden. All materials are locally sourced, and all wood scrap from building the home was recycled into new boards. The roof and siding reflects, rather than absorbs, sunlight.

Green Highrise by Rhode Partners

A centerpiece of both urban sustainability and the city's downtown revitalization efforts, 7 Rio Condominiums, designed with ArchiCAD by Austin architects, Rhode Partners, is a is a 34-story luxury high-rise residential community. Nearly 400 feet high, the 158-unit "point-tower" building will be seeking LEED Silver certification and four stars under the Austin Energy Green Building Program, the country's first comprehensive program to encourage using sustainable building techniques in residential and municipal construction. The building will have six levels of structured parking, 27 residential levels, and 7,300 square feet of retail space.

Seashore House by David Chisholm

The Seashore House was the winner of the 2008 Spring architectsjury competition.
"I strongly believe in sustainability, and that buildings should excite and inspire their users, not just on an intellectual level. Too often I hear architects and students justify their designs with abstract theoretical jargon that is aimed at other architects, rather than the real users (or victims) of their architecture", said David Chisholm.

The design incorporates passive solar design throughout, with winter sun passing under the summer sun-shading devices, through double glazed windows onto a concrete floor. The house is mainly timber framed and clad, resulting in a low overall embodied energy. Solid waste is composted on site, and liquid waste is passed through a reed bed filtration system. Rainwater is collected and stored off approximately 80 metres squared of membrane roofing (topped with gravel), which in the Waikato Region will net on average 100 metres cubed of water per year. Solar panels are used to minimise the house's dependency on the grid.

LEED Platinum Eco-Townhouses by Building Arts Workshop

Architects Jeff and Tracey Prose of Building Arts Workshop LLC took the unconventional route of becoming their own clients in the design and construction of an eco-friendly re-development project in Portland, Oregon.

The project was uniquely designed to take advantage of the sloping site, with a dramatic two-story central space that pulls in the vast Oregon sky and landscape through multi-story glazing and skylights. Both 2,000 square foot homes incorporate advanced sustainable features and technologies including radiant heat floors, solar hot water, rain water harvesting, heat recovery ventilator, high efficiency insulation, native Douglas fir cabinets and woodwork and other locally sourced and reclaimed materials.

Award-winning, Eco-Friendly Cambridge House by Robert Augustine

World Architecture News called the Cambridge House an "extraordinary space wrapped in sustainable materials like pre-patinated copper and red cedar that weather with grace" when giving it its monthly award.

Using ArchiCAD, Augustine incorporated many sustainable design strategies into the project. Copper has the longest history of recycling of any building material known to civilization. About 80% of all copper remains in use today, with 40% of copper used annually recycled from prior uses.

Houses of Indian Beach by Guy Peterson

A new, awarding-winning neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida, will be one of the first projects to combine the clean beauty of International Style architecture with sustainable design concepts for both the buildings and surrounding landscape.

Architect Guy Peterson, FAIA, designed the project in ArchiCAD to take advantage of the landscape's beauty, with lot shapes and build locations preserving as much of the natural environment as possible. The houses will be of modest size, use simple, modular components, and employ the latest energy efficient systems, sustainable building materials and green building construction techniques.

Evergreen Home by Diane and Jay Plesset

Photographer: DP Design and Associates

Key design objective was sustainability. The Evergreen house was built with insulated concrete forms, and has energy-efficient radiant heating throughout. The flat roof home is designed to accommodate wind turbines and solar panels with maximum exposure. Custom low-voltage LED lighting illuminates the main living areas, and large dual-glazed windows on all sides of the home offer sufficient ambient light during the day. Sustainable cork flooring was used throughout the home.

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