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Archive for March, 2017

6 Green Design Ideas for Schools

Schools are great opportunities to implement energy-smart, sustainable and green design elements. Not only do they help work towards energy independence and a more eco-conscious built world, they can become talking points among teachers and students to help inform our youth of the importance of investing in a green future. Planting the idea of environmental friendly materials, design strategies, and electrical and mechanical systems in the minds of students paves the way for them getting more involved as their teeth get longer and their wallets get fatter.

Here are a few ideas existing and new schools can start instituting today to help usher in a new age of green development and sustainability.

1 | Insulated Concrete Blocks

Most schools these days primarily use concrete masonry units (CMUs) for their exterior wall construction. They are monolithic, fairly easy to install, and incredible resistant to fire and weather. However, they are horrible at providing enough insulation to not only meet code, but provide a comfortable interior environment for students to learn in. These walls have to be furred out from the inside and insulated with more traditional methods, which increases cost and still doesn’t provide the best thermal protection.
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Style tips to steal from amazing cathedrals

If we look back at the history of the British Isles we can see how our vibrant and sometimes volatile past has shaped the country we live in. Just take a look at the ecclesiastical buildings that punctuate our urban and rural landscapes, they tell many stories of turmoil as well as acting as sanctuaries for the people living around them.

There are 69 cathedral cities in the UK. By virtue of having a cathedral they are therefore known as cities, and with that title a sense of culture and importance is attributed. So wherever you are in the UK it’s hard to ignore these bastions of power that spike on our skylines and have dominated our surroundings for centuries.

As a non-religious person I guess it could seem strange that I have such a love for cathedrals and find them so inspiring. On a subconscious level they may be influencers of my interiors taste. Whether that is a moody grisaille colour palette, a Renaissance style opulent table display, theatrical use of draped fabrics or love of pews and bench seating. Cathedrals seem to be even having a moment in popular culture, as a number of films set in medieval Britain (featuring cathedrals) are released this year. ‘Tulip Fever’ was filmed at Norwich Cathedral, amongst other settings, and will set more hearts on fire than Alan Partridge’s under pants. Released in February it stars actors including Judi Dench, Cara Delevigne, and Skandi beauty Alicia Vikander. Its sumptuous yet rustic interiors and sexy floral appeal are sure to inspire people to deck out their homes in a similar becoming way.
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BIG Launches New Engineering Division

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group has further strengthened its in-house capabilities by hiring Duncan Horswill—former CCO at Søren Jensen Engineers—to lead BIG Engineering, a new specialized unit dedicated to ensuring the structural, mechanical integrity and resilience of BIG buildings globally.

Newly minted BIG ENGINEERING is currently working on a wide range of projects, including the new NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen and the Faroe Islands Education Centre. BIG will continue to collaborate with external engineering firms, including long-time collaborators AKT, ARUP, DeSimone, Thornton Tomasetti, BuroHappold, Schlaich Bergermann Partner, Bollinger + Grohmann, Ramboll, MKA among many others.
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