‘Solar city’ living

A 4,000-dwelling development planned for Canberra is being called Australia’s first mandated solar community, as there is a minimum solar energy requirement for each dwelling.

Each residence in Capital Estate Developments’ project will be required to have a solar system capable of producing enough energy to cover half the average Australian annual household consumption.

Capital Estate estimates this will reduce the carbon footprint of the entire ‘suburb’ by a third.

Many countries around the world are setting targets, introducing polices for promoting renewable energy and reducing emissions, with Australia and USA leading the front on developing these so-called ‘solar cities’. Interestingly, India is also making great progress on the issue.

Essentially, through a combination of enhancing supply from renewable energy sources in the city and utilising energy efficiency measures, this really should be a minimum requirement for city-planning for all countries developing for the future.

A great read on harnessing solar power in NZ:
“Germany, on average, gets as much sunshine as Alaska yet last summer it harnessed 80% of its electricity from solar panels. Here’s why Auckland needs to seriously consider solar as a mainstream source of energy given the city produces more carbon emissions than New York and London. ”


Building the Future – inhabiting the oceans

Mesmerizing to look at, self-sustaining underwater cities will be a part of our world by 2030 – merely 15 years away. Japan-based Shimizu Corporation believes the solution to a shortage of land for housing lies in expanding offshore – literally. It makes sense; approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean.

Shimizu’s concept seeks to ‘harness the power of the deep sea…to resolve five current crises revolving around food, energy, water, carbon dioxide and natural resources’.

Self-sustaining underwater cities comprising a floating dome and helical structure descending to the ocean floor could be home for up to 5000 people each.

The structures would be built using 3D-printing technology, and would also utilise hydraulic technology to desalinate water for consumption. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, micro-organisms could be used to turn carbon dioxide into methane, which would fuel power generators along the 14km-length of the spiral.

Shimizu predicts that the helical structure will cost NZ$36 billion to build.

This is SUCH a fascinating read:


Winner – World Building of the Year 2015

‘The Interlace’

If you’re familiar with the high-density housing of Singapore, you’ll understand why this project won World Building of the Year 2015. Over 1000 apartments and 170,000 sq metres of floor space = nothing new. But what is: The Interlace explores a dramatically different approach to tropical living; an expansive network of living and communal spaces integrated with the natural environment.

Thirty-one apartment blocks, each six-stories tall and identical in length, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form eight large-scale open and permeable courtyards. This forms a vertical village with cascading sky gardens and both private and public roof terraces.

Extensive roof gardens, landscaped sky terraces and cascading balconies…The Interlace incorporates sustainability features through careful environmental analysis of sun, wind, and micro-climate conditions on site, as well as the use of low-impact, passive energy strategies.

Find out more, including other winners of World Architecture Awards, here: