Biodegradable moss planter

http://www.blog.designsquish.com/index.php?/site/organic_moss_carpet/

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H&P Architects’ Bamboo Homes Float Above Rising Flood Waters

H&P Architects
H&P Architects from Vietnam
The bamboo was chosen for the homes not just because it is plentiful in the region, but it is also versatile, durable as well as traditional. Bamboo frames, roofing and walls are arranged between long steel piles that secure the home during flooding, much like an anchored boat. The floor is elevated, which not only keeps animals out, but also makes room for a layer of recycled oil drums that serve as a float.
Vietnam’s tropical climate make it terrible when the heavy rain falls because it may cause flood which becomes a trouble of living such as danger to people, destruction to buildings and household appliance. But with the Bamboo floating houses, the cost of dealing with the flood decreased a lot.

Green concept in Qatar city development

Qatar located in Western Asia, Arabian Peninsula. It is the one of the wealthiest state in the world due to its enormous gas and oil reserves. But the country is located in the desert, it stressed from the water shortage and 90% of food are rely on import. 

Farm in desert

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In order to re-engineering Qatar’s environment, The Sahara Forest Project have set up an 10,000 sqm pilot facility in 2011 and 10 months later it has opened. The Sahara Forest Project combines two environmental technologies, which are saltwater-cooled greenhouses, concentrated solar power (CSP) and technologies for desert re-vegetation around a saltwater infrastructure. The facility has an cooling system using saltwater to provide cooling and humidification, minimizing the crop’s water requirements and carbon footprint. And it uses solar-power for the production of distilled water for plants, and the wasted heat are used to warm the green house in the winter.

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The first barley harvest in the pilot facility

Convention center

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The facade of the center is inspired by the Sidra tree, an iconic symbol of Qatar’s heritage. The sidra has grown in the deserts of Qatar for hundreds year. Its roots reach deep into sands to find water, fruits that provide lives energy, leaves give shade to scholars and travelers. In time, the sidra tree became the symbol of nourishment, strength and courage among the Arab world.

The Invention center is also a result of green concept, it has 3600 sqm solar panel in its root support 12.5% of the total energy use. And it uses LED light in stead of normal light to reduce the energy use. According information noted LEED specifications, the new Convention center consume about 37% less energy than conventional buildings, and efficiently use energy, water, and other natural resources, protect occupant health, improve employee productivity, and reduce pollution.

It is really impressive that how Qatar combine the design and technology together in order to reach their goal. They caught the sustainability design movement, absorb the idea from it and localized it in the project. By continuing their move, Qatar would be the world-class model of green development.

China ghost town

Ghost city, is those cities die due to the exhaustion of resources, normally a ghost city is a old city, but in the background of crazy and twisted  real estate development and investment, a few brand new ghost cities were built, mostly in the secondary and tertiary cities in China.

The property bubble that burst-Ordos

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It was the China richest city, it has the biggest  square in the world, and it is the most well-known ghost city in China.

How rich was Ordos? There is a billionaire in every 217 people. But all the economy is based on the coal mine industry. It’s coal mine reserve is one sixth of the whole country and it should be able to keep supply coal for anther 500 years.

And it is the heaven for the real estate  developments. People buying the houses as pure investing. Normally the money that real estate developers got is the credit from the bank, but in Ordos most of the people became the usurer and they loan money to the developers. People use money to buy properties and mortgage them to the bank for cash and use the cash in usury, after they earn money from usury interest they buy more properties and continue the circle. But since when the price of coal dropped it brought a series of chain effect and eventually burst the bubble and it left 34000 million dollar debt from the usurer.

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The projects that has been stop for years

 

There are few reason why the ghost city keep occurring in China. The first one is that urbanization lost the balance between the people and industries and becomes just “real estatelization” the new cities only have houses but lack of industries which cannot draw population into the city. Such as Ordos, which fully rely on its coal mine industries, when the coal price dropped the whole city just die. The second one is the government selling the land for GDP, the land are sold the new city was built but as I said before, it can’t bring career opportunity to people.

And the problem seems not just because the local government because they are controlled by an upper level government so simply  criticize them won’t really help unless to find a deeper reason why this happen or this phenomenon will never disappear.

Lusail City

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In 2006, Lusail Real Estate Development Company (LREDC) began creating Lusail Development, a 38-km² site that is 15 km north of Doha, the capital of Qatar.

A Eco-city and smart city:

The priority of Lusail city is to design and build sustainable city. The whole city system are well designed,

  • Primary infrastructure
    • 21.5 km of roads and highways, including one bridge and five underpasses
    • 39.5 km of pipes for potable water firefighting
    • 34.1 km of stormwater drainage and five pumping stations
    • 36.8 km of irrigation channels
    • 518,000 m² of hard landscaping and 409,000 m² of soft landscaping
    • 40.5 km of 66-kV cables and 69.9 km of 11-kV cables
    • Three 66/11-kV substations and twelve 11/0.4-kV substations
    • 1,048 lampposts
    • 42.4 km of telecommunications cables
    • 14 km of utility tunnels

The aim of the development is to provide a high quality, well planned and sustainable extension of the city, attractive to tourists, future residents and businesses. The project as a whole will generate significant economic diversification and strengthen the tourism sector, which in turn will create great opportunities within Qatar and further afield.

Reflection: I think Lusail city is a example of future city everything is strictly planed and then all in one go. This remind me some differences between Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is the oldest city in Australia, it has some 200 years of history from a convict settlement to a modern city. In the early development of Sydney, due to the gold rush the expansion of Sydney is really fast but lack to plan or design, (what I imagine how people in that age build things is like “Oh this place looks nice lets build a bank or something”) and I think that is the reason why the roads in Sydney are just a mess and it is easy to get lost (As my opinion). But in Melbourne, the city are well designed, people will never lost because all the street are straight. What I want to say is that the future is to design the system of the city.

Video: http://vimeo.com/55525754

Eco Design in Qatar

Masdar city

The whole city is designed by the British architectural firm Foster + Partners, the city will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology.

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Link: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/apr/26/masdar-city-desert-future

Eco villa

The first environmentally friendly Eco Villa in Qatar.

It is a modern contemporary dwelling featuring traditional Qatari architecture, culture and heritage with using sustainable and recycled environmentally friendly building materials and an in-house energy generating system, water efficient plumbing and irrigation and intelligent building control systems. Design by LSI Archetects.ImageImage

Link: http://www.ifpinfo.com/asa/asa-news.php?news_id=482

Cactus Building

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An excellent example of desert architecture, MMA’s new building is designed be very energy efficient and utilizes sun shades on its windows. Depending on the intensity of the sun during the day, the sun shades can open or close to keep out the heat when it is too much. This is similar to how a cactus chooses to perform transpiration at night rather during the day in order to retain water – another great example of biomimicry. The botanic dome at the base of the tower will house a botanical garden. Hopefully it will include an edible garden and a living machine as well. Designed by  Aesthetics Architects

Link: http://inhabitat.com/qatar-cactus-office-building/cactus-building-2/

Solar-powered cooling for 2022 world cup stadium

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Qatar is racing to develop efficient solar-powered cooling technology to counter the searing heat of the Middle Eastern summer in its stadiums during the 2022 soccer World Cup, said a senior organising committee official.

The issue is that Qatar has promised to hold a carbon-neutral World Cup and so is researching solar-powered cooling technology. It will either create a central solar power farm or have individual ones installed in each of the 12 stadiums it is building, said Al-Khater.

Link: http://www.aljazeera.com/sport/football/2013/04/201341815028187915.html

Desert Farm

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Delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference COP18 – which will be held in Doha at the end of November  – are being offered a tour of a groundbreaking pilot project in Qatar’s desert.

The Sahara Forest Project aims to be 100 percent green, using saltwater to grow vegetables in the desert and helping to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, all powered entirely by solar energy.

Link: http://dohanews.co/post/34559886057/pioneering-project-aims-to-turn-the-desert-green

New Green LEED Convention Center

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The center will have an area of  177,000 sq meters and will have a specially designed roof containing 3,600 sqm of solar panels which will supply about 12.5% of the project total energy needs.

The center will also include other energy saving features such as LED lighting in the exhibition halls and a special wireless convention management system, reducing the need for paper while providing delegates with free internet access. It is also being aesthetically well designed with a unique curving escalator. It is being designed so that a number of events can be held at the same time.

Link: http://www.greenprophet.com/2010/02/qatar-convention-center-leed/

Green Buildings

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Msheireb Properties is building a 35-hectare (86 acres) sitethat will blend ancient building practices with modern green building techniques.

Link: http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/02/arabian-architecture-msheireb-properties-doha-qatar/

Floating Hotels

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Sigge Architect’s designs are linked to the mainland by boats and new transit lines in Qatar.  The hotels will be accompanied by luxury apartments and are part of a new island called Oryx Island off the coast of Doha. This new island will be equipped with its own utilities and power, and these new hotel buildings will exist entirely off Qatar’s grid. The hotel will have an independent sewage treatment plant, power generation and recycling possibilities.

Link: http://inhabitat.com/qatar-unveils-luxurious-off-grid-floating-hotels-for-2022-world-cup/

Lusail City

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In 2006, Lusail Real Estate Development Company (LREDC) began creating Lusail Development, a 38-km² site that is 15 km north of Doha

Through environmentally responsive protection policies and a controlled development strategy, Lusail City will generate significant economic diversification as it strengthens Qatar’s tourism sector, transforming existing raw tidal flats into a valuable product that highlights sustainable features:

  • Energy and water conservation
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Cogeneration
  • Renewable energy
  • Alternative transportation
  • Reduced trucking distance
  • Reuse of construction spoils for fill

Link: http://www.parsons.com/projects/pages/lusail-development-project.aspx

Eco Design in China

Pilot smart city

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As China accelerates the pace of its urbanization, the National Administration of Surveying,Mapping and Geoinformation unveiled its Smart City program on Tuesday with the first nineselected pilot cities.

The Smart City program aims to solve current urban challenges such as traffic congestion and pollution in innovative ways. By optimizing the use of technology in the design and operation of infrastructure and buildings the program contributes to make cities smarter, more efficient, and, last but not least, greener.

Link: http://www.innovativechina.com/2013/08/chinese-government-announces-9-pilot-smart-cities/

Shenzhen Guangming smart cities

Award-winning architectural-urban designer and UCL Bartlett academic, CJ Lim, has made it to the final three in a competition to build a new eco-city in China.

Instead of abandoning farming, Lim has incorporated it into the fabric of the city – lush grazing and arable land can be found on the roofs of the huge circular towers that make up the city. Additional land for crops is made available on a series of eighty vertical farms.

As a result, GuangMing – which Lim dubs the ‘smart city’ – is entirely self-sufficient.

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Tian Jin eco city

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The Tianjin Eco-city’s vision is to be “A thriving city which is socially harmonious, environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient – a model for sustainable development”. This vision is underpinned by the concepts of“Three Harmonies” and “Three Abilities”.

“Three Harmonies” refers to:

  • People living in harmony with other people, i.e. social harmony
  • People living in harmony with economic activities, i.e. economic vibrancy
  • People living in harmony with the environment, i.e. environmental sustainability

“Three Abilities” refers to the Eco-city being:

  • Practicable – the technologies adopted in the Eco-city must be affordable and commercially viable
  • Replicable – the principles and models of the Eco-city could be applied to other cities in China and even in other countries
  • Scalable – the principles and models could be adapted for another project or development of a different scale

Chengdu Eco-city

The “Great City” is a plan for an ambitious urban center designed to limit its residents environmental impact by producing clean energy, reducing waste, and promoting public transportation over individual car use.

The project is the work of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, who note that “Chinese planning officials [are] beginning to see the effects of automobile-dependent design and are open to better alternatives to urban sprawl.”

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All told, Smith and Gill expect to cut energy use by 48%, water use by 58%, and produce 89% less waste, compared to a conventional development with a similar population.

Shanshui City

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Ma Yansong of Chinese studio MAD is exhibiting architectural models and sculptures in a Beijing courtyard to illustrate his vision for a future city influenced by nature and shaped by human emotion

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The exhibition centres around an architectural model of Shanshui City, a new urban development proposed by MAD for Guiyang, China. Inspired by a concept first developed in the 1980s by Chinese scientists, the city is named after the Chinese words for mountains and water and is intended as a model of how cities and their inhabitants can reconnect with the natural world.

Green car

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Geely Automobile Group and Detroit Electric Inc. haveentered into a strategic partnership to co-develop battery-electric vehicles and related electric drive systems for the China market. Under the terms of the partnership, the first EV model—the Emgrand EC7-EV, based on Geely’s Emgrand EC7—will go on sale in 2014.

China

China is the 4th largest country with the 1st population in the world. With its abundant natural resources as the foundation for rapid development, and also the economic globalization provide a great scope for the labor forces in China. Thus the pillar industry of China is primary industry (export rice, weat etc.)  and secondary industry (such as manufacturing, mining ), but it also caused environment problems such as air, water pollution. To create a sustainable developing method, China has started to build up the third industry. What is important is that to improve the environment, and that require a revolution of city design which the eco-city project would help alot.

• Basic facts: Population/GDP (5 year comparison/Wealth
The 4th largest country has 1.34 billion populations. (2013 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.46% (2013 est.) country comparison to the world:155

Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north. GDP: $12.61 trillion (2012 est.) GDP growth rate: 7.8% GDP (PPP): $9,300 (2012 est.)China-2013[1]?????????????????????????

• Ethnic make up/religion/tradition
Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uighur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%
Religion: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%, officially atheist (2002 est.)
• Specific industries
mining and ore processing. machine building; consumer products; transportation equipment; telecommunications equipment.
• Specific capacity/efficiency/strength
Manufacturing. Practice new policies with efficient.
• Elements of interest
Land use:
Arable land: 11.62%
Approximately a half of China’s territory is uninhabitable.
Fresh water withdraws:
554.1 cu km/yr (12% for domestic/23% for industrial/65% for agricultural)
Environment issues:
air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulphur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world’s largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; desertification

Urbanization:
Urban population: 50.6% of total population (2011), estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development
Energy use:

123

Electricity – from fossil fuels:
69.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
Electricity – from nuclear fuels:
1.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
Electricity – from hydroelectric plants:
21.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
Electricity – from other renewable sources:
7.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26

• Historical milestones that affect the contemporary cultural make up
Establish of People’s Republic of China.
New art movement in 1989

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References:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html

Qatar

Background

Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues.

Location:

Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia

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Environment – current issues

limited natural freshwater resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilitie

People and Society:

Ethnic groups

Arab 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%

Religions

Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other 14%

Population

2,042,444

Economy – overview:

Qatar has prospered in the last several years with continued high real GDP growth. Oil and gas account for more than 50% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Oil and gas have made Qatar the world’s highest per-capita income country and the country with the lowest unemployment.

GDP $191 billion (2012 est.)

Architecture in Qatar

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Doha, the capital, houses more than 80 percent of the population. Its parks, promenade, and award-winning waterfront architecture are considered as the centerpiece of Doha. The large-scale land reclamation project undertaken by the government to create those waterfront properties is recognized as a major engineering feat and a symbol of the country’s economic and technological advancements.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Doha, the capital, houses more than 80 percent of the population. Its parks, promenade, and award-winning waterfront architecture are considered as the centerpiece of Doha. The large-scale land reclamation project undertaken by the government to create those waterfront properties is recognized as a major engineering feat and a symbol of the country’s economic and technological advancements.

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National Dress
Qatari national men wear a thobe, a long white shirt over loose pants. They also wear a loose headdress, called a gutra, in white or red and white cloth, held on with a black rope known as the agal. Qatari national women cover their head with a black headdress called a shayla, their body with a long black dress called an abayha. Some women also cover their face with a black bourga; sometimes the eyes are left uncovered. 3150545716_22b2da19d5qatar-women