Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

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image: Malcolm Baker Furniture Design

We know reusing is better. Some people use door step milk delivery not only to support their local milkman but also because your empties are reused. Before plastics salesmen invaded Europe glass was the packaging of choice for liquids and many other products. Reuse therefore was common practise. Not any more.

The plastics invasion has spawned a whole host of small to medium sized businesses looking to make use of all the recycled plastics. One such company is Smile Plastics.

Recycled plastics sheets have been used extensively all over the world including the Idรจe showroom and golf driving range roofing in Japan (Klein Dytham), Body Shop and Blanco fashion shops throughout Spain (Fern Green). The Science Museum, Design Museum, V & A and the Tate Gallery have all used it in different capacities. Images here.

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This month the top search is for McDonald’s, followed by (Norwegian) grass roofs.

I’ve noticed a significant number of people searching for local information on recycling so putting this type of info onto the web is obviously needed. ‘Effective communication is key to enabling people to implement environment solutions‘ says the cow. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Image: from Carbusters magazine. They provide useful background to car free development.

This new approach to modern urban living is supported in Government planning policy guidance and for the city of London, by the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy and London Plan. Camden is one such central London borough that has this approach on its agenda. See here for more.

This is a planning policy for new housing schemes where the space traditionally reserved for car parking is instead used for more housing units or greener uses such as more play spaces and cycle parking. Residents of car free housing schemes are not eligible for on-street parking permits.

Up to the summer of 2004, Camden says they have granted planning permission for 2,523 car free housing units (in 287 residential schemes), saving approximately 5,046 car trips each day once they are all built.

Car free housing is also being introduced in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Bremen, Cambridge and Edinburgh. In London, a number of other councils are now also encouraging the development of car free housing.

An example of such a development in the city of Glasgow can be found here. The positive approach of such developments can lend them to widening their environmental remit into other areas such as energy. The Glasgow example utilizes geothermal energy from a coalmine and solar ventilation.

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Not all environment solutions involve modern technology or new ideas. Grass roofs on houses in Norway are one such case. Translated literally, torvtak is “turf roof.” For hundreds of years turf roofs have been popular in Norway.

No two turf roofs are the same. Some are bright green and almost velvety. Others are golden and look like they’re growing wheat or oats. A number of turf roofs have flowers mixed in with the grass, and a few have small trees.

The advantages of turf roofs are many. They are very heavy, so they help to stabilize the house; they provide good insulation; and they are long-lasting. Special skills and materials are required to prepare the roof for the turf topping.

Turf roofs in Norway are a tradition and you will see them everywhere. This is not some new architectural trend in London or New York!

Here is a link to some photos of the more recent, trendy green roofs.

Meanwhile, in the UK the government would like to see more people go for grass roofs and suggest such a move could cut their tax bill. More here.

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