Tag Archives: Earth Week

Green Architecture Around The World

It’s earth week! And what better way to celebrate than to take a look at some of the best sustainable architectural buildings around the world! As a leading Green builder, Minto is committed to creating better, greener buildings and homes with less impact on the environment.  We like to look at what other builders and architects around the world are doing to inspire us to push the envelope even further on Green building. Below we have some great examples of innovative sustainable home building and construction, plus a look at Minto’s own Net Zero project!

Let’s take a look:

 

The Sustainability Treehouse by Mithun ArchitectsWest Virginia

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The Sustainability Treehouse is a unique icon of camp adventure, environmental stewardship and innovative building design that uses the environment around it to inspire visitors within it. The Treehouse provides dynamic educational and gathering spaces for exploring and understanding the site and ecosystem at the levels of ground, tree canopy, and sky. The towering steel frame elevates visitors to extraordinary vantages and educates them on green building systems, such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, and a large cistern and water cleansing system. Visitors learn about energy and water conservation as they climb outdoor staircases up to a 125-foot-high rooftop rising above the leaf canopy. Sited on a former coal mine, the building features a locally made prefabricated steel megastructure, FSC-certified black locust wood housing, a photovoltaic array, a wind turbine, and a rainwater catchment system.

 

CV by Paz Arquitectura, Santa Rosalia, Guatemala City

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Located on a dense hillside forest in the Santa Rosalía area of Guatemala City, Corallo House integrates an existing forest into the layout of a house. It merges nature into the architecture. The home was designed with the goal to preserve the existing trees, in order to have the trees interact with the living space. The floorplan is free of columns, and the floor levels change with the existing topography. The façades are mostly glass in order to connect the interior to the exterior. The main structural component is exposed concrete, which contrasts with the texture of the wood and the trees. In addition, the home uses heat repelling concrete foundation and recycled materials.

 

The Council House 2, Melbourne, Australia

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The Council House 2 (CH2) office building was designed in collaboration with the City of Melbourne to follow a model that promotes a more interactive role between the city and nature, in which all parties depend on each other. The City of Melbourne aims to achieve zero emissions for the municipality by 2020, and so the CH2 was designed as a major contribution to this goal, as well as a working example for the local development market. The objective of CH2 was to have it rely on passive energy systems while producing a premium grade building. Plants are used for façades that moderate climate, tapered ventilation ducts integrate with day lighting strategies and a concrete floor structure plays a central role in the building’s heating and cooling, bringing down utility costs and the building’s overall emissions.

 

The HemLoft Treehouse, Joel Allen, Whistler

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The HemLoft Treehouse was built out of materials that Allen, the architect and brains behind this, got off of Craigslist mostly for free! These materials coupled with a lot of time and passion for living green is why this project became a world wide success.  Allen’s efforts to reuse materials from million dollar homes that were torn down in the whistler community, highlight the importance of reusing materials in and reducing waste.

 

One Central Park, Sydney, Australia

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One Central Park in Sydney, is a 117 metre tall residential tower, designed by Parisian architect, Jena Nouvel. It features vertical gardens covering the façade of the building, giving it a look of a building made of greenery. Lush gardens also occupy the terraces of the structure, and it is built around a spacious park, giving you green space at all angles of this building. The gardens are filled with 38,000 indigenous and exotic plants, providing  a mix of vegetation to the landscape. A cantilevered section of the building holds reflective panels that help provide sunlight to all edges of the building’s green spaces. One Central Park turns residential high-rise construction into the opportunity for more green space, and it lets you live in a home that is also a gigantic garden!

And last but not least, our very own Net Zero Home in Minto’s community; Arcadia!

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In Ottawa, our Arcadia community truly demonstrates Minto’s dedication to sustainable building design and techniques. We have exceeded the voluntary technical program requirements with our “Net Zero Energy Ready” homes. A Net Zero home means that in a given year, the home will produce as much energy as it uses. Projecting a 65 per cent reduction in total home energy consumption, the Net Zero home is positioned to further offset remaining energy use with the option to add solar panels post purchase. This is the first time a home like this has been offered to the average buyer! More importantly, our architectural and construction team has found unique and creative ways to conceal the green innovations in the design making the Net Zero home it appear quite typical and beautiful. Click here to read more about our Net Zero homes in Ottawa.

 
We hope you enjoyed all these innovative and amazing structures! Happy Earth week everyone!

 

Spring Gardening Tips- Just On Time For Earth Week!

There’s nothing like the warmer sunny days of spring! With gorgeous days like these there is so much inspiration out there to start planning for your Spring Garden! Some of you may be experts already, but for those of you with less than a green thumb here are some great tips to help start digging for the pre-summer season! Happy Earth Week Everyone!

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Plan Ahead!

Want to grow some flowers? Ask yourself some basic questions to help steer you in the right direction! What kind of sunlight do you get? Do you want annuals, which you would need to replant each year but would give color for most the spring and summer, or, do you prefer perennials, which have a shorter bloom time but come back year after year? Look outside during the morning, afternoon and evening and keep track of how much sun you get over the day so you can be sure to pick a plant that will thrive in your environment.  

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Clean out your Garden!

Before starting, experts suggest that you clean your garden and remove all the debris. Try to get rid of weeds and make sure that you get the roots so they won’t grow back. Also take this opportunity to sharpen your garden tools, because you are going to require them for plant maintenance and soil care.

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Pick the right place. 

It is suggested that almost all vegetables and most flowers need about six hours of full sun each day. Carefully chose the right spot before digging, and check plant tags or ask the staff at your local garden center from where you purchased from to find out how much sun a plant requires. Use rocks to determine the perfect spacing and placement of each plant.

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Clear the ground

Now that you are ready to begin, get rid of the top layer of sod covering the area you plan to plant in. Spread a 3-inch layer of compost (or combination of potting soil and topsoil) then start planting! When the sun starts to set water the garden bed, this time of day ensures that the warm sun wont soak up all the water.

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Digging Advice.

Dig only when the soil is moist enough to form a loose ball in your fist, but dry enough to fall apart when you drop it. Use a spade or spading fork to gently turn the top 8 to 12 inches of soil, mixing in the organic matter. In vegetable gardens and beds of annual flowers, turn the soil only once a year in the spring before you plant.

If you found this advice helpful and are ready for a few more tips than be sure to check out:

http://www.bcliving.ca/garden/gardening-101-start-up-your-own-personal-garden-this-spring!

 

Happy Spring digging everyone!