Tag Archives: Sustainable Design

Lessons from the Sahara Forest Project

Four years ago, architect Michael Pawlyn recorded a TED Talk at the TEDSalon London 2010, where he spoke about the benefits of biomimicry and how it can be used to change the way society approaches sustainable design. Watch his presentation above, and you will be excited about the wonder and simplicity of natural systems that are guiding the way that our cutting edge developers and dreamers are creating a sustainable future.

The second half of his talk Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture, focused on the potential of the Sahara Forest Project (SF Project). Put simply, the project is ‘…a combination of environmental technologies to enable restorative growth, defined as revegetation and creation of green jobs through profitable production of food, freshwater, biofuels and electricity…’. Essentially this project aims to revegetate large areas of arid desert, whilst simultaneously using a closed loop system to create food, energy, freshwater and natural building products on the same land.

Four years on, the Sahara Forest Project has strong backing by many nations, and Qatar has hosted the pilot facility to asses and nurture the viability of the project since its completion in December 2012. In June of this year, Jordan signed an agreement to build a Test & Demonstration Centre, which will act as a hub for innovation and capability to showcase the economic viability of the project.

Qatar Plant

Jordan Facility

So what can we learn from this amazing experiment and its successes to date? Here are five lessons that will have a profound impact on the future of this project, and other projects that are in the pipeline around the world. Continue reading Lessons from the Sahara Forest Project

Glasgow 2014: Green & Gold

The 2014 Commonwealth Games are well underway in Glasgow, and our green & gold army is at the top of the medal tally, with England not far behind. The real ‘Green-Medal’ winner of these games, however, is the city of Glasgow which has made headlines in the lead up to, and during the games because of its focus on sustainable outcomes. Continue reading Glasgow 2014: Green & Gold

Up, Up and Away

Artist impression of the Phoenix Towers to be built in Wuhan China. The towers  will not only run on clean energy, but will give back to the surrounding ecosystem.
Artist impression of the Phoenix Towers to be built in Wuhan China. The towers will not only run on clean energy, but will give back to the surrounding ecosystem.

Pending official approval, it seems that China is stepping up its commitment to environmental sustainability. Once the Mayor of the city of Wuhan grants approval, development will begin on two towers aimed at being wholly self-sufficient and restoring the wider environment around it.

The architects responsible for the design is UK firm Chetwoods who sees the project as a catalyst for future sustainable development in the region. They are one of many global firms that are working with and mentoring a new class of Chinese industry, hungry to push the boundaries and create exponential social and environmental benefits for its citizens.

If Wuhan officially supports this development, it will be a real commitment to sustainable development, and a cultural shift within the PRC’s regime to focus on providing sustainable futures for its communities. This, in conjunction with increased discussion around air pollution mitigation strategies gives us real hope that the ‘Waking Dragon’ may be looking to temper the heat of its economic flame. See the article after the jump to get the details about these green skyscrapers, which when built, will be the tallest manmade objects in the world.