TINY NEW FLAT-PACKED OFF-GRID HOMES OFFER AFFORDABLE HOUSING BREAKTHROUGH...

Sep 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Lacy Cooke  INHABITAT View Slideshow For 11 years, Australia‘s five major cities have been listed as “severely unaffordable” – making home ownership just a dream for many. Architect Alex Symes realized home ownership is typically tied to land ownership, but land prices are now so high, most people can’t afford to buy. As a result, Alex started Big World Homes. The goal is to disrupt expensive city housing with tiny, flat-packed, off-grid homes that sell for between $60K and $80K in Australian dollars, or around $45K to $60K. A Big World Home is created with 39 flat-pack panels, which are comprised of “low environmental impact materials“, including plywood, thermal insulation, and lightweight cladding. Even people without building experience can erect a Build World Home using a drill and a hammer, with access...

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ASLA LAUNCHES GUIDE TO RESILIENT DESIGN...

Sep 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT     BY Jared Green Resilient design / ASLA A new online guide launched today by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) explains how communities can better protect themselves from natural disasters through resilient landscape planning and design. According to the guide, the goal of resilient landscape planning and design is to retrofit communities to recover more quickly from extreme events, now and in the future. In an era when disasters can cause traditional, built systems to fail, adaptive, multilayered systems can maintain their vital functions and are often the more cost-effective and practical solutions. The guide is organized around disruptive events that communities now experience: drought, extreme heat, fire, flooding, and landslides. Biodiversity loss is an underlying threat also explored. The guide includes hundreds of case studies and resources demonstrating multi-benefit...

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BATTLING MOTHER NATURE: Why New York probably won’t abandon its waterfront in the face of climate change...

Sep 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The city can’t surrender its waterfront. But it will have to do something to make it storm-proof. Ben Adler, Grist   FILE – This Dec. 4, 2012, file photo shows the ruins of Breezy Point in the Queens borough of New York where fire burned 130 houses during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)(Credit: AP) This post initially appeared on Grist Even under the best-case scenarios for climate change, much of New York City will be under water in 100 years. The city would be smart to retreat from its waterfront, according to experts quoted in a recent alarming feature article in New York magazine. But should the city really abandon its coastlines? And, given current political realities, how could it even do so? The article, written by Andrew Rice, suggests that waterfront...

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Why de Blasio’s Huge Rezoning is Unlikely to Create Enough Affordable Housing...

Sep 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By M. Barden Prisant, FRICS   COMMON EDGE.ORG I tried to rain on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s parade. I was not alone though. It was me and maybe 2,000 of my fellow community board members. So, who are we? How dare we? And exactly what parade did we rain on?   New York City politics has some quirky institutions, none quirkier than the local community boards. (I serve on Community Board 14, in Brooklyn.) We started life in 1963 as Community Planning Boards, and, though we’ve morphed into multi-issue entities, it’s in city planning, and especially zoning, that we still wield some influence.   We are, however, at the bottom of the food chain, mere appointees of the Borough Presidents and members of City Council. Developers and city officials come to us...

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WHAT DO ARCHITECTS AND FISHERMEN HAVE IN COMMON?...

Sep 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Duo Dickinson Architect magazine recently published a deeply reported piece by Leah Scottile that picked up on a U.S. Center For Disease Control study that ranked architects and others in the building trades fifth out of twenty professions in incidence of suicide. The piece falls on the heels of shorter pieces on the study in the mainstream media and the design press that tried to find a coherent connection between what architects do and why some of them might want to kill themselves.   To her credit, Scottile went deep into the essentials of architect-culture to try to understand the correlation between a high suicide rate and the profession I have toiled in for forty years. She spent considerable effort connecting pieces from academia, the NAAB, the AIAS, and other non-architectural organizations to paint a distressed...

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Landscape Architecture in the News Highlights (September 1 – 15)...

Sep 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] J.R. Taylor  THE DIRT Kim Wilkie landscape / The Architectural Digest Fire Pits Add Flare to the Backyard Gatherings – The Los Angeles Times, 9/1/16 “Fire pits — which are portable or permanent troughs or bowls that contain the flames — are expected to be the most popular outdoor design element this year, according to a survey from the American Society of Landscape Architects.” Clash of Titans? Opponents of Pier 55 Have Secret Backer, Media Mogul Says – The New York Times, 9/4/16 “In their quest to build a huge new cultural pier on the West Side of Manhattan, the Hudson River Park Trust and Barry Diller, the media mogul who is paying for it, have faced one seemingly intractable opponent: the City Club of New York, a little-known civic group founded in...

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THE LANDSCAPE OF TYRANNY

Sep 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Aaron King THE DIRT LA+ journal “The social and spatial manifestations of power are directly relevant to the design and use of public space,” explained Tatum Hands, editor-in-chief of LA+, the University of Pennsylvania school of design’s interdisciplinary landscape architecture journal. Tyranny, the third issue of LA+, delves into the complex relationship between abuses of power and public spaces. The issue devotes much of much of its first half to the split identity of spaces of tyranny. For example, public squares can benefit peace protestors and goose steppers, revolutions and counter-revolutions alike. Steve Basson, associate professor of architectural history and theory at Curtin University, exhumes the more disturbing historical uses of public squares in the opening essay, citing examples from Robespierre’s beheadings to Soviet oppression and Nazi torchlight parades. Perhaps more sinister than...

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Housing for the homeless is a crisis. The anti-density movement could create one for the rest of us...

Sep 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Editorial  la times Santa Monica residents have proposed an initiative that would require voter approval for most development projects over 32 feet tall. Above, a new Expo Line test train rides over a bridge to the 26th Street/Bergamot station. (Los Angeles Times) The Times Editorial Board Never mind the homeless crisis, the shockingly high cost of rent in Los Angeles or the recent survey showing that one-third of county residents worry about losing their home. The slow-growth, anti-development movement is only gaining momentum in the region. Activists in the city of Los Angeles have already planned a Neighborhood Integrity Initiative for the March ballot that would impose a harmful two-year moratorium on major developments. Now residents in Santa Monica have upped the ante with a proposed initiative that would require voter approval for most development projects over 32...

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What Really Happened to “World Trade Center Building 7” on September 11, 2001?...

Sep 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] September 11th, 2016 By Andy Whiteley Contributing writer for Wake Up World Today, on the 15 year anniversary of 9/11, there is so much evidence and information available that debunks the official narrative of September 11, 2001, it is hard to believe the U.S. people have not yet revolted. From the apparent implosion of the World Trade Center buildings to the lack of airplane wreckage at the Pentagon site, the official story maintained by the U.S. government simply doesn’t hold water. And the implications for the U.S. people (and the global community in general) are staggering. This article examines the collapse of the lesser-known building on that fateful day — World Trade Centre #7 or WTC7. Strangely, many people outside the United States were not even aware that a third building in the World Trade Center complex had collapsed, mysteriously...

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Michael Kimmelman on the Challenges – and Opportunities – Facing New York...

Sep 11, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Martin C. Pedersen  COMMON EDGE.ORG When Michael Kimmelman was named architecture critic of the New York Times, he was based in Berlin. He returned to his hometown in 2011 at a particularly auspicious time, as the rate of development (and gentrification) was continuing apace. The critic took on a number of local issues, a la Ada Louise Huxtable, advocating for a new Penn Station, as well as revisions to NYU’s overly ambitious expansion plans. In 2014 he was awarded the Brendan Gill Prize for his efforts. Last week I talked to Kimmelman about regulating tall buildings; the lost soul of the neighborhood he grew up in, Greenwich Village; and his continuing crusade for a 21st century transportation hub.     MCP: Martin C. Pedersen MK: Michael Kimmelman MCP: You once wrote, “Exceptional...

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HOW ARCHITECTS HELPED HEAL THE TOWN OF NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT...

Sep 11, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Martin C. Pedersen  COMMON EDGE.ORG Even for a country far too accustomed to gun violence, this was a horrific event: a mass shooting inside an elementary school. The town of Newtown, Connecticut was shattered. It’s difficult to imagine how a small, tight knit community could move past such an atrocity. But, because life for the living continues, there was no other choice. So last month, as the school year began, a new Sandy Hook Elementary School opened on the same site where an insane gunman murdered 20 first graders and six adults.   The school, designed by architects Svigals + Partners, is quite deliberately not a memorial to the events of that dark day in December 2012 (that will happen later, at a different site in town). Instead it’s cheerful, optimistic place...

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Engineering ourselves against terror attacks: How building design changed after 9/11...

Sep 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Most buildings had been built with defenses against total collapse, but progressive collapse was poorly understood Shih-Ho Chao, The Conversation   SALON.COM The One World Trade Center building, second from right, is reflected in the windows of the 9/11 Museum, in New York, Monday, March 23, 2015. The first stair-climb benefit will be held at One World Trade Center in May to raise money for military veterans, two foundations, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Captain Billy Burke Foundation, formed after the 9/11 attacks announced Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)(Credit: AP) This article was originally published on The Conversation. When buildings collapse killing hundreds — or thousands — of people, it’s a tragedy. It’s also an important engineering problem. The 1995 collapse of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City...

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Electricity-Generating Windows Could Turn Skyscrapers into Solar Farms...

Sep 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Business Wire In Brief SolarWindow has announced that they are working on transparent veneers that can be places on regular windows and panels, turning them into electricity-generating solar cells. Solar Skyscrapers Tesla may be at the forefront of solar technologies right now, with their merger with SolarCity bringing the technology full circle. In fact, one of their newer developments is a rumored “solar roof,” an actual roof that functions as solar panels. But what if I told you that a company is looking at turning not just your roof but all your windows into solar panels? SolarWindow has announced that they are working on “transparent electricity-generating veneers.” In other words, transparent solar cells that can be applied to existing windows. The company is looking at tapping the skyscraper market, which consumes 40% of the...

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Giant paper boats use holographic photovoltaic cells to boost California coral growth...

Sep 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] 1 by Tafline Laylin  INHABITAT View Slideshow A team from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania envisions a bold new world where giant paper boats float off Santa Monica Pier, harnessing solar energy to revitalize California’s coastal ecology. Another finalist of LAGI 2016: Santa Monica, an international design competition that promotes renewable energy and public art, Paper Boats is designed to harness solar energy using concentrated photovoltaics (CPV), reflectors, and Holographic Planar Concentrator (HPC) technology. Unlike other energy and water-generating designs, this energy is redirected to accelerate coral growth. And if you are weary of designs that don’t yet exist, note that LAGI’s competition guidelines require all entries to be technologically and physically feasible. In this way, Paper Boats, The Pipe, and other LAGI designs symbolize potential applications of existing technology. “Throughout the years, over-hunting and over-fishing...

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More Thoughts on Jane Jacobs from One of Her Closest Collaborator...

Aug 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Opinion By Roberta Brandes Gratz   COMMON EDGE.ORG It was refreshing to read Martin C. Pedersen’s 10 Lessons Learned from Rereading Jane Jacobs and see that he didn’t perpetrate some of the common myths about her (i.e. she wanted every neighborhood to be like Greenwich Village; she didn’t like tall buildings; or, even more preposterously, she was somehow to blame for the ills of gentrification).   And while Jane’s life on Hudson Street does indeed seem like a lost world, is there any urban neighborhood—anywhere—that hasn’t changed in the past fifty seven years? Wouldn’t it be smarter to explore the whys of that change in a broad and relevant context? Shouldn’t we be exploring why the children of suburbia now crave urban living? Shouldn’t we demystify “gentrification” to understand different forms of change, some of...

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A Letter to Prospective Architecture School Parents...

Aug 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Eva Hagberg Fisher   COMMON EDGE.ORG Is your child suddenly wearing angular clothes and pretending to need glasses and talking about things like maylines (sorry, forgot we’re not in the 90’s anymore) and 3d-printing and the power of the research lab to change the world studio? Has your child started rejecting your Frank Lloyd Wright photo books and started asking for that super sweet punched-out Chora L Works thing that makes no sense to you because there are literally holes in it? Has your child refused to go on anymore holiday house tours because, seriously mom, this is what I do all day at school? Then congratulations! You now have an architecture school student child. And as much as we have—and need—the framework of, say, Adult Children of Alcoholics, just as deeply do...

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Germany is building world’s largest passive housing complex with 162 green units...

Aug 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   by Lacy Cooke   INHABITAT View Slideshow In Germany, the world’s biggest passive housing complex is currently under construction. The solar-powered Heidelberg Village designed by Frey Architekten will comprise 162 units and a host of sustainable features, including rooftop and vertical gardens. Heidelberg Village, Wolfgang Frey, Frey Architekten, Heidelberg Village by Frey Architekten, community, passive housing, passive housing complex, sustainable architecture, architecture, design, energy efficiency, energy efficient architecture, passive architecture Frey Architekten founder Wolfgang Frey designed the complex so a wide variety of people could live on the property. There’s a range of one bedroom apartments to apartments that can house families of four or five people. Each apartment will have its own balcony. Solar power and modern ventilation systems will allow the complex to be energy efficient. Vertical gardens and roof gardens...

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TO GET TO NET ZERO, THINK BIGGER...

Aug 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Allison Hibbs ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE Guest Author The importance of implementing net zero at the district scale   The World Green Building Council (WGBC) just launched a revolutionary project calling for all buildings to reach net zero by 2050 in an action plan known as Advancing Net Zero. The announcement provides a shot in the arm to the net-zero design and construction industry at a global level, further increasing the impetus for governments, developers, and service providers to make ambitious net-zero commitments and action plans across the world. But it also requires the industry to confront a long-standing barrier—the assumption that net-zero buildings come at a significantly higher capital cost than business as usual. In fact, when approaching net-zero energy (NZE) at a district level and leveraging an integrative whole-systems design approach, the...

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artists build floating freedom cove off the coast of vancouver island...

Aug 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]     aug 12, 2016   off the coast of vancouver island, a curious and colorful complex floats amidst the calm waters of clayoquot sound. over the last 24 years, ‘freedom cove’ has been the home of canadian artists catherine king and wayne adams, who have built a multi-room dwelling as a sustainable and self-sufficient fortress.     off the grid on a homemade island video courtesy of great big story     video network great big story has recently documented the lives of king and adams at their floating paradise. a lengthy 45-minute boat ride to the nearest town, ‘freedom cove’ is tethered to shore with ropes, not anchors, making the entire habitat a buoyant and dynamic space. included in the complex is king and adam’s main living space, a dance floor, a lighthouse building and...

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Landscape Architecture in the News Highlights (August 1–15)...

Aug 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT  J.R. Taylor Rail Deck Park / City of Toronto, via The Architect’s Newspaper Working to Make Public Space for Everyone in Baltimore – The Baltimore Sun, 8/1/16 “For writer D. Watkins, it’s a sense of exclusion from what he called the ‘new’ Baltimore. For student activist Diamond Sampson, it’s a feeling of being unwelcome around the Inner Harbor.” Will Replacing Thirsty Lawns with Drought-Tolerant Plants Make L.A. Hotter?  – The Los Angeles Times, 8/2/16 “Last summer, a revolution occurred in Los Angeles landscaping: Across the city, tens of thousands of homeowners tore up their water-thirsty lawns and replaced them with gravel, turf, decomposed granite and a wide range of drought-tolerant plants at a rate never seen before.” How Noted Landscape Architect Jim Burnett Counters Dallas’ Concrete Jungle – The Dallas Morning...

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Landscape Architecture in the News Highlights (July 16 – 30)...

Aug 11, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT  J.R. Taylor Photograph by Simon Norfolk / Institute for the New Yorker Are Seawalls the Best Answer to Rising Sea Levels – or is Retreat a Better Option? – The Guardian, 7/18/16 “The extraordinary pictures of subsumed gardens and a swimming pool wrenched from the ground by the giant waves that battered Sydney’s northern beaches last month have revived debate about seawalls and the impact of human attempts to keep the rising ocean from our doors.” Cleveland’s Great New Public Spaces Helped Make RNC 2016 a Success – The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/22/16 “The Republican National Convention, where Trump gave his acceptance speech Thursday night, was a great, crashing success for its host city – and especially for the revitalized public spaces that framed the event and made it possible.” The...

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From Venice to Venice Beach: Denise Scott Brown’s “Wayward” Eye...

Aug 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The influential architect-planner reflects on her colorful and analytic use of photography over the decades. Denise Scott Brown  METROPOLIS MAGAZINE Piazza San Marco, Venice, 1956 Photography by Denise Scott Brown The grande dame of architecture and planning has always relied on her camera as a critical tool. Her photography is currently showcased in the exhibition Wayward Eye: The Photography of Denise Scott Brown, on view at the Venice Architecture Biennale through November 27, and will be featured in a forthcoming publication by Metropolis Books. Here, Scott Brown offers a brief history of her photography, as well as a selection of her works. In September 1956, Robert Scott Brown and I arrived in Venice for the CIAM Summer School. We were passionate Modernists who agreed with English New Brutalist ideas for updating the movement....

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A GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE COMPETITION WITH NO TALL BUILDINGS IN SIGHT...

Aug 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Carlin Carr  COMMON EDGE The Versova-Madh Ferry in Mumbai prepares for departure. On the horizon is Versova Village, the subject of the Dencity Competition’s winning proposal.  (Photo by Suyogaerospace) The world is facing a housing crisis of monumental proportions: Over 1 billion people now live in slums, in makeshift homes that often lack even the most basic survival amenities. These self-built settlements have proliferated at a rapid pace due to a confluence of massive rural-to-urban migration and ad-hoc urban planning, particularly in developing countries. As a result, slums have become the only option for low-income families struggling to get by. If cities don’t address this need for affordable housing, the situation is only expected to get worse. By 2030, the number of slum dwellers is expected to double to 2 billion, an issue being...

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DONALD TRUMP AS ARCHITECTURE’S NIGHTMARE CLIENT...

Aug 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Duo Dickinson Not since Thomas Jefferson has there been a presidential candidate more involved in designing and building structures than Donald J. Trump. He has commissioned scores of architects to design millions of square feet in hundreds of locations. You would think that would make him the favorite of our profession: a building insider running the country? How could that be bad for architects?   Well, we kinda know this guy.   This is a bizarre election season in America: collectively we dislike both major candidates. One is a narcissistic caricature of himself, the other has had her “issues” for decades. Forget about political issues, this is identity politics at its most personalized. Few find warm and fuzzies with either.   But architects know one of these personalities: many of us work...

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Why Mexican Squares May Be the Best Public Spaces in the World...

Aug 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Dennis Pieprz How do you judge a public space? Is the prototypical, windswept plaza—a winner perhaps of countless design awards—a failure if it’s always empty? Or the row of food trucks parked on a sidestreet a success because it’s always teeming with life (and the wafting plumes of barbecue)? I’d argue that people always vote with their feet: spaces intended to be gathering places should be just that. Unlike evaluations of art and architecture, there’s nothing subjective about public space. Either a crowd shows or it doesn’t. And contrary to the best laid plans of mice and men (and landscape architects and urban designers), the public uses space in unpredictable and ingenious ways. The best urban places are often self-designed, semi-blank slates with a lot of room around the edges for civic...

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Your Green Home of the Future: The LivingHomes Model House...

Aug 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Take a sneak peek at this home of the future. By Natural Home staff LivingHomes (C.J. Berg/Sunshine Divis) Slideshow   The standard for green home building just got higher—and the magic number is zero. The LivingHomes model house, built in Santa Monica, California, is a zero-energy, zero-carbon, zero-waste, zero-water and zero-emissions residence—the first of its kind. The home is also the first to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest LEED for Homes rating: Platinum. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Here’s a sneak peak at the green home of tomorrow. www.LivingHomes.us • The home is located on an infill site that was minimally disturbed during construction. It’s within walking distance of public transportation, schools, businesses, parks and the beach. • The living roof garden reduces stormwater runoff, helps cool...

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ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS CAN CUT GAS IMPORTS...

Aug 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Paul Brown / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Making existing buildings in Europe more energy efficient could create a million new jobs. (Tapio Liller via Flickr) LONDON—A renovation programme to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings in Europe could create a million jobs, provide warmer homes, more comfortable factories and offices, reduce fuel bills across 28 countries, and cut imports of Russian gas, researchers say. This is because buildings are currently the biggest single emitter of GHGs in Europe. Many have inefficient heating and cooling, combined with poor insulation. But with existing technology and political will, they could be transformed into energy producers and become carbon-neutral, says a report produced by OpenEXP, an international group of experts helping policymakers to reach sustainable development goals. According to the report, written by...

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Breaking Ground: Using Housing to Reduce Health Care Costs...

Aug 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Vanessa Quirk   METROPOLIS MAGAZINE Images Courtesy Michael Moran Boston Road is the newest addition to the Breaking Ground family, a New York City-based organization that provides supportive housing (affordable housing with on-site mental health, health care, and job-training services) for both low-income working adults as well as formerly homeless single adults, many of whom suffer from HIV/AIDS or other mental or physical conditions. Simply put, Breaking Ground employs housing as a strategy for reducing health care costs.Their guiding philosophy is that putting “housing first” infinitely increases the likelihood that an individual can achieve sobriety, live healthier, and contribute actively to society. The philosophy seems to have merit as supportive housing has been proven to be remarkably cost-effective. Between emergency care, shelters, psychiatric hospitals, and jails, the average mentally-ill homeless person costs the city...

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THE BEST IN HEALTHCARE 2016

Aug 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Point of View Vanessa Quirk METROPOLIS MAGAZINE Courtesy Bruce Damonte The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) has selected the seven recipients of the AIA National Healthcare Design Awards, granted to projects that “exhibit conceptual strengths that solve aesthetic, civic, urban, and social concerns as well as the requisite functional and sustainability concerns of a hospital.” Built Less than $25 million in construction cost Courtesy Bruce Damonte ​Kaiser Permanente, Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design Anaheim, CA ​”The design provides a calming, nature oriented experience through the use of natural light, organic forms, outdoor views to nature, soothing interior colors, and an internal “Zen Garden” which contains a vibrant living wall garden visible from the treatment areas.” Courtesy Bruce Damonte Planned Parenthood Queens: Diane L. Max Health Center  Stephen Yablon Architecture Queens, New...

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