Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Colorado State University to host presentation by renowned built environment expert, Chrisna du Plessis


Colorado State University is proud to bring world renowned built environment expert, Chrisna de Plessis to campus on Wednesday, September 12th for a presentation on Your Role in the Regenerative World – 4:30-6:00pm in the newly renovated, LEED-seeking Lory Student Center Theater.


Chrisna du Plessis is Associate Professor in Sustainable Construction at the Department of Construction Economics of the University ofPretoria, and was formerly Principal Researcher at the Council for Scientificand Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa. She is known internationally for her work on the policy and research strategy for sustainable building within developing countries and is currently concentrating on urban sustainability science at both theoretical and technical levels.


“Chrisna is an inspirational leader in the sustainability movement – her compelling messages help all of us to envision healthy, thriving environments and cities and to understand our potential roles in places and economies that regenerate just as nature does,” said Brian Dunbar, Director, Institute for the Built Environment.



 The event is free.  There will be snacks and a cash bar.  We look forward to seeing you and your networks at this unique event!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Treehugger writes an article about IBE's "[Ours]: Hyper-Localization of Sustainable Architecture book partnership with eVolo Magazine

One of the tragedies of design in the last 50 years has the homogenization, the sameness, wherever you go around the world. Houses look the same, office buildings look the same; when in fact climate and social conditions differ radically. What let them be all the same was cheap energy: add more air conditioning here, more heat there. You couldn't have an "International Style" without it.
Green builder and Inhabitat contributor Andrew Michler believes that to build sustainably, you have to go hyperlocal. He's writing a book about it: [ours]: Hyperlocalization of Sustainable Architecture, and is down to the wire on a Kickstarter campaign (only four days left) to raise money for travel and research. He gives examples of the kind of hyperlocal responses to sustainability that the book will cover:

© Casey Young
[Australia Unfolds] to boldly explore how design practices inform a contemporary sense of place and provide solutions to complex issues in an environment of extremes. 
Andrew uses Casey Brown's Permanent Camping as an example of how one responds in a hot climate: Big shutters that act as shading devices when pulled up, made of metal for a little wildfire protection.

© Evolo
[Japan Condenses] some of the most innovative interior design in the world with space constrained design vernaculars leading to extraordinary solutions for urban living. 
Here, the approach to sustainability is to go small, in a society where space is at a premium (and the lots are tiny to start with).
The difference between the two projects shown here goes beyond local climactic conditions; it is hyperlocal, affected by social conditions and expectations. Andrew writes:
Rather than put great cutting edge building projects in isolation we want to look both inward at how they work and came to be, and outward at how environmentally astute architecture is informed by and can redefine the society they are placed in.
Also on the team producing the book are Katharine Leigh and Tara Steckly of the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University, and it's published by Evolo. I'm going to kick a few bucks into Kickstarter and hope you will too.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

IBE provides research support to eVolo magazine on the development of a published book entitled [ours] Hyper-Localization of Sustainable Architecture

About the Book: A Peek Inside [ours]
Contemporary design archetypes of the 21st century are “redefining the regions they [are] built in”, as noted by Andrew Michler, author of [ours] Hyper-Localization of Sustainable Architecture. A collaboration effort with eVolo and the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University are working to uncover the new architectural archetypes that are emerging in a new movement of sustainable architecture. Michler defined these movements as [Japan Condenses], [Spain Wraps], [Australia Unfolds], [Germany Maintains], [Mexico Buries], and [Cascadia Harvests], among others, each one describing the hyper-localization of architecturally sustainable design trends around the world.
The publication will feature in-depth narratives, interviews, and large format project photos and descriptions.
  • Art book quality with ground breaking architecture design theory
  • Approximate pages: 250
  • Large full color photography of selected buildings
  • Four regional chapters narratives
  • Projects descriptions
  • Project drawing index with floor plans, elevations and diagrams
[ours] disseminates how the best architecture comes together to create regional identity in the 21st century. Site specific design is a core reality in developing robust, thriving communities and exploring the shared nature of the built and natural world through environmentally attuned development.
Regions are already responding to the challenge through inventive and provocative architecture. [Japan Condenses], [Spain Wraps], and [Australia Unfolds] explores how design practices inform a sense of place and provide solutions to complex issues in the built environment. These three divergent areas exemplify the quality of redefined design vernacular that addresses deep sustainable objectives.
Other regions from around the world will be explored as well including [Denmark Plays], [Germany Maintains], [Mexico Buries], [Cascadia Grows], South Africa and Central America. The germ of the idea is to explore sustainable design by putting these buildings into context. All buildings by their very nature are hyperlocal, that fact was often simply ignored for too long. We see the re-imagining of the built environment as one of the most important goals in thriving in an altered planet in the 21st century. By pushing the envelope these selected projects create new architectural archetypes, integrating function and form to improve performance. We will explore how architects have learned from their failures and from taking risks.
Rather than put great cutting edge building projects in isolation we want to look both inward at how they work and came to be, and outward at how environmentally astute architecture is informed by and can redefine the society they are placed in.
The IBE is heading the development of the Place Assessment Tool or PAT, an integrated design attributes system used for the book's project selection. PAT promises to help design professional visually prioritize place making needs and environmental attributes in design phase of project development.
Some readers may just enjoy the sheer beauty in the novel designs, while others may take the knowledge and apply it to their region.
The Kickstarter Campaign
The Kickstarter Campaign will be raising funds for research interns at the IBE, traveling expenses, and recording and camera equipment that will be used to record interviews with the architects. By visiting hyper-localized sustainable architecture first hand, a true understanding of the projects will emerge as Michler will gain success and improvement stories from the architects themselves. By supporting this extraordinary publication, you will be presented with a selection of rewards, including a complete signed copy of [ours], eVolo’s latest magazine issue, a set of parametric zenblocks custom-made with reclaimed birch and non-VOC paint, or the digitally formatted [Japan Condenses].