Living in the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle conjures up images of extreme weather conditions, but one family has managed to create their own cozy oasis in the far reaches of Norway. The Hjertefølger  family has been living on Norway’s Sandhornøya island, where they started their journey into sustainable living, since 2013. Their three-story cob home—built from sand, water, clay, and other…

Designing for well-being

I consider that sustainability extends beyond the obvious “green veneer,” the ubiquitous solar panel or the wind turbine. As an Architect I seek opportunities with my Clients to design for the user or those who will experience the architecture. Designing for well-being is therefore critical to successful design. A successful building design promotes frequent use…

skyscrapers from wood & glue

University researchers in the UK are exploring cellulose and xylan on a molecular level that could lead to innovations in strengthening wood materials. Molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair could hold the key to making possible wooden skyscrapers and more energy-efficient paper production, according to research published today in the…

#urbandesign for #climatechange

Cities can identify opportunities for innovation and efficiency to diminish the causes of climate change. To accomplish this goal, climate action planning is crucial. However, planning can become complex for several reasons. GreenBiz Wee Kean Fong, Senior Associate at the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Climate and Energy Program at the “World Resource Institute” states, “There are…

renewable energy at home

Renewable energy has to be a fundamental part of our sustainable future and solar power is a “tested” technology in the commercial world. However there is still the investment verses the pay back calculation which is further factored by the location and aspect that the panels can be orientated to maximize efficiency. In the same…

A new dawn in Alberta… #solar

Mike Hudema shares his personal story about how he made the move to solar power to supplement his home energy consumption. As humble as they may seem, rooftop solar installations can be symbols of hope, community, and change. The answer is solar…?

#blue is the future

It is fascinating to think that colour could not only affect the aesthetics of our architecture but also the environmental performance. A new blue pigment, YInMn Blue has been developed and now licensed by Shepherd Colors for commercial use. Mas Subramanian, has been credited with the discovery and is based at Oregon State University as…

#holedeck #sustainable concrete structural slab

As an Architect I am always striving to bring new efficiencies to our architecture to provide sustainable solutions that are viable for our clients. This evolution in concrete slab design takes some existing thinking and refines it further with a product with multiple applications. Holedeck is a system of voided concrete slabs slabs that can be pierced…