JUNE 2016


Connecting productivity and environment with Smart Working & BIM.

  • In France the roofs are green.

    France has passed a law - the first of its kind at the national level - that will require all new commercial buildings to be covered halfway with either greenery or solar panels.

    Green roofs have gained popularity in recent years as more cities worldwide promote their use as a way to save energy. Some, including Canada's Toronto or Switzerland's Basel, even mandate rooftop vegetation in building bylaws.

    They have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favoring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle, ecologists say.

    John Farrell, the director of democratic energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, says that France is taking the right approach because laws like these - that put all new building projects on an equal footing - can be very effective at boosting city-wide, or even country-wide, sustainability levels. He says the most cost-effective way to install a green roof is during a building’s construction, rather than adding it on later.

    Aside from being a sustainable and economic move, the new law will help minimize urban heat island effect - the increase in temperature due to large quantities of asphalt and concrete structures. According to Think Progress website, France has lagged behind other major European countries like Germany, Italy and Spain in solar power development. As of last summer, France had just over five gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity, accounting for around one percent of total energy consumption. Germany has nearly 40 GWs installed. France is heavily reliable on nuclear power for its energy, and nuclear generation in 2012 made up about 83 percent of the country’s total generation.

  • A carbon fiber net against earthquakes.

    It looks a bit like a nest, a bit like a tablecloth, but it is something more revolutionary. The former head office of Komatsu Seiren (in the city of Nomi - Japan) is the world’s first building that uses a seismic reinforcement made with Cabkoma Strand Rod, a special thermoplastic carbon fiber composite.

    Rather than tearing the old building down and building something new from scratch, Komatsu Seiren decided to pioneer a new type of reinforcement, with a new carbon material designed in collaboration with famous architect Kengo Kuma.

    The Cabkoma Strand Rod for seismic reinforcement is a thermoplastic carbon fiber composite. It uses carbon fiber as the interlining, while its outer layer is covered with synthetic fiber and inorganic fiber. It is finished by impregnation with thermoplastic resin. Its tensile strength is high, while it is the lightest seismic reinforcement in the world. It is delicate but also strong and very nice to see.

    “Despite being stronger than metal, carbon fiber is very light and thin - said Kengo Kuma. It’s also ideal for securing a freedom of space and light while being anti-seismic. It is something that we dreamed of, but was impossible to realize. We believe that this flexible anti-seismic reinforcement is quite an accomplishment.”

    Watch the video on YouTube here

  • A new Smart Town to be built in Yokohama.
    40% reduction of CO2 emissions , usage rates of 30% or higher for new energies.

    The Tsunashima Sustainable Smart Town (SST) Council and its lead organizers, Panasonic Corporation and Nomura Real Estate Development Co., Ltd., recently revealed a concept plan that guides the development of a new smart town they plan to build in Tsunashima in the City of Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo.

    The Tsunashima SST, at the site of a former Panasonic factory, consists of residential and non-residential facilities. Under the concept of “Innovating the Future Together,” private enterprises and the local government involved aim for an urban smart city, fostering innovations by exploiting synergies among progressive knowledge, technology and services. They also envision a town that brings together people who want a better future and makes their interactions part of a global network. The Town Development Concept has set targets for this urban smart city, including numerical goals, such as a 40% reduction of CO2 emissions (based on the levels in the fiscal year ended on March 31, 2006) and usage rates of 30% or higher for new energies. Notably, it also stipulates the rules to manage the town’s landscapes and design, and those to help realize sustainable and comfortable lifestyles, as well as smart services, to ensure the town operates with unity and harmony as a whole.

    The new forward-looking town will have a town energy center, a hydrogen refueling station and an international student dormitory. Tokyo Gas Group will install a gas cogeneration system in the town energy center, from which electricity and thermal energy produced by the system will be provided to other facilities. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation will be involved in operating a refueling station of hydrogen, which is considered as the next-generation energy source, and promote hydrogen supply to fuel-cell vehicles as well as other initiatives toward a future hydrogen-based society. Keio University will open an international student dormitory designed to realize active international exchanges and collaboration with the local community through mechanisms encouraging student-led activities and practical efforts by researchers.

    More information

  • A building to touch the sky.

    Architect Hoon Moon designed a skyscraper based its owner’s fingerprints. The result is this crazy, eccentric but yet beautiful creation called YDP Tower, that is bound to be realized in the Gangnam district in Seoul, South Korea.

    "The client wished for a unique tower with some curves. We provided various schemes and the one with the client’s fingerprint as a facade and structure won his heart. At the moment we are collaborating with structural engineers. The tower will most likely be a double skin building with a hybrid construction method - steel and concrete mix. The fingerprint facade will be a metal finish screening a curtain wall behind it" said Hoon.

    The building will house a residence for a South Korean actor. Lower floors would accommodate studio spaces, while the ground floor would be used as a car park.

    “The project aims at providing a dynamic house with a roof garden and studios with high ceilings with bare interiors so that new tenants can design it for themselves,” explained Hoon.

    The architect is well known for his creative, colorful and playful style. He is interested in breaking the boundaries of architecture by experimenting, fusing, mixing, and so forth with various other disciplines.

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  • FICO Eataly World: from the field to the fork

    Eataly - the Italian mega-food destination - is currently creating a 80.000 sqm theme park near Bologna. FICO (which stands for Fabbrica Italiana COntadina) will be inaugurated in 2017.

    It has been designed to become a place for food and environmental education, and it shall provide children and young people from all over the world with the chance of getting to know the rich heritage of its country, thus becoming an ambassador of the Italian agri-food history and culture. It shall be a place where to study and to make practical experiences, where to come in contact with every single stage of the production chain.

    FICO will welcome hundreds of small and medium-size Italian, high quality businesses then will showcase live their manufacturing and crafting arts.

    "FICO Eataly World will be a place where children and young people from all over the world will understand the immense heritage of Italy - said Founder Oscar Farinetti - a place which aims to enhance the culture related to food and to generate a sense of pride in the new generation. It will a place of contrasts but also of collaboration between small and large Italian companies, between new start ups and old traditional businesses. It will be the showroom of the Italian excellence, the showcase for Italy in front of the World."

    And with 43.750 photovoltaic panels, it will also be a sustainable a sustainable place to visit, combining ancient traditions and innovative technology.

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