These are the 10 best sustainable buildings of 2020

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These bold designs push the envelope in terms of aesthetics and emissions reduction. Buildings generate nearly 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions—and since two-thirds of the buildings that exist today will still be around by the middle of the century, architects need to rethink their design now to have a chance of meeting goals for a net-zero economy. The industry is shifting, and sustainability has become a standard part of architecture. But some projects go further than others. Each year, the American Institute of Architecture Committee on the Environment selects the 10 best designs. Here’s the list for 2020 . Read Full Story

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The case for cookie-cutter buildings

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A new system helps architects design buildings with factory-produced parts—making them cheaper and more environmentally sustainable. The way buildings get built is wreaking havoc on the climate. Building materials and construction account for 11% of global carbon dioxide emissions , and that doesn’t include the amount of energy they use once they’re built and occupied. Read Full Story

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COVID-19 is crushing the architecture industry—but not in the ways you’d expect

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More than 70% of architecture firms saw their billings drop in the second quarter of 2020—but some building types are actually more in-demand than they were before the pandemic. When the economy starts to decline, architects often feel it before anyone else. Economic uncertainty tends to put major investments on hold, and for the multiyear process of designing and constructing a building, looming recessions are like poison. Read Full Story

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The future of architecture? The buildings we already have

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A new book by photographer Michel Arnaud shows some of the best examples of adaptive reuse, from a Masonic temple that became a nonprofit to an auto shop that was converted into an arts center. The built environment contributes to nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and new construction makes up a big chunk of that . Renovating the buildings we already have is a crucial way to protect the environment. The move toward adaptive reuse—or repurposing existing buildings for new functions—has never been more urgent. Read Full Story

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Architects spend upward of $200K on facades they never use. Here’s a creative way to repurpose them

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These luxury mockups are being turned into garden sheds and greenhouses in New York City. Before large and complicated buildings are built, they get tested. Small sections of complicated facades and unconventional design approaches are often built at full scale to test their visual or structural integrity. Known as architectural mockups, these 10 or 20 foot sample walls and corners are built to make sure that, once constructed at full height, the facades won’t fail and the buildings won’t crumble. Read Full Story

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The 13 best eco-friendly sneakers and street shoes

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From Reebok to Cariuma, these brands are elevating their footwear with sustainable materials. According a MIT-led life-cycle assessment , each pair of traditional sneakers accounts for 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions—which is comparable to keeping a light on for a week straight, or burning a gallon and a half of gasoline . A large amount of these emissions come from the manufacturing process and from raw materials. It takes a lot of crude oil to make synthetic fabrics. Read Full Story

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Mass timber is the future of architecture. But can it survive a world on fire?

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With global temperatures on the rise and wildfires regularly breaking out in places such as California and Australia, the increasingly popular construction material may seem like a risky way to build for an uncertain future. Sustainable, renewable, and versatile: It’s hard to find a better building material than wood. It’s often the builder’s go-to, whether for a single-family home in the suburbs or a low-rise apartment complex in the city. Read Full Story

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