INTERVIEW: HOK's Bill Odell on the Design of Saudi Arabia's KAUST University, the World's Largest LEED Platinum Project

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Opened late 2009, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, has come to be Saudi Arabia’s first LEED certified project and the world’s largest LEED Platinum project. Designed by HOK, the university is a super sustainable learning institution dedicated to advancing science and technology with a fellowship program that provides full tuition to both male and female graduate and doctorate students. The campus was designed as part of a larger master plan (also designed by HOK) to support a new town of 12,000 people living in over 6.5 million sqf on a 3,200 acre space along the Red Sea. Sited in an environment facing extraordinary challenges, including an extremely hot, humid climate, HOK was asked to create a low-energy, sustainable project that would also provide the necessary facilities to support cutting edge research and education, and a comfortable place to live. What resulted was a spectacular campus, that while modern in design, also draws deeply upon the traditional architecture of Saudi Arabia to minimize its energy needs. Structured like a traditional Arabic city, the campus is compressed to minimize the amount of exterior envelope exposed to the sun and reduce outdoor walking distances. The project also utilizes everything from passively cooled circulation thoroughfares, solar towers, traditional Arabic ‘mashrabiya‘ screens, water reclamation able to capture 100% of the wastewater, and more. We recently sat down with HOK’s Bill Odell, architect and Director of HOK’s Science & Technology group, to talk about the design of KAUST. Read on for Bill’s fascinating story on how he and his global team at HOK were able to construct this top-notch, high-tech institution, and how the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) helped them turn out the world’s biggest sustainable project in just 28 months.

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INTERVIEW: Julie Torres Moskovitz Discusses Passive Houses & Her New Book 'The Greenest Home'

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INTERVIEW: Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am Tells Us Why Green Fashion is the Future

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Green fashion already has a strong group of loyal followers, but how do we get the word out to a larger audience? We recently caught up with multi-platinum recording artist Will.i.am to see how he is using his influence and fashion expertise (did you know that he attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles before becoming a Black Eyed Pea?) to spread knowledge about the importance of sustainable fashion to the masses.

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VIDEO: Procter & Gamble's Dirty Practices are Destroying the Forest and Making Orphans Out of Baby Orangutans

Many of you may be familiar with Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign, which features several cute tots learning how to walk, swim, and more. But there’s another, less than adorable side to P&G that they’ve worked hard to keep under wraps. After conducting a yearlong investigation, Greenpeace has revealed that P&G has been sourcing its palm oil (an ingredient used in shampoos and other health and household products) from plantations that have decimated the forests of Indonesia. What’s even more shocking is that the remains of multiple endangered orangutans have been found scattered throughout and just outside land owned by two major suppliers of the palm oil. Greenpeace recently released a video showing some of the damage that’s been done to the landscape and to the habitats of these endangered animals. Please take a moment to watch it above and share it with your family and friends. And if you’re one of the more than 5 billion people who use their products—which range from Pantene to Tide and Gillette—do consider boycotting P&G products for those that use sustainably harvested materials. You can also further urge the company to do the right thing by signing Greenpeace’s petition asking them to make their products ethically.

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INTERVIEW: Kacie Meyers, the 22-Year-Old Who Turned Discarded Wood Pallets into a Commercial Flooring Business

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At a time when most college students are still trying to figure out how they want to make an impact on the world, 22-year-old Kacie Meyers is already building a business empire with Pal Hardwood, transforming discarded wooden pallets into well-designed products, and giving jobs to people with special needs. We recently had the privilege of chatting with the Johnson and Wales University graduate in Charlotte, North Carolina, during her public presentation as a college entrepreneur in ImpactU‘s business accelerator program. Check out our interview with this young social entrepreneur who is finding ways to use design as a catalyst to do good for individuals in need, as well as for the planet.

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DIY: Learn How To Make Waldorf-Style Whole Wheat Bread at Home (VIDEO)

by , 10/22/14

Pint-sized patissier Petey Rojas is back again with a brand new recipe to share! This time, our favorite four-year-old teaches us how to bake delicious Waldorf-style whole wheat bread using just a few simple ingredients (flour, salt, water, yeast). This yummy bread takes only a few minutes to prep, it doesn’t require a bread maker, and it’s a fun, hands-on recipe that’s sure to delight both kids and adults alike. Check out Petey’s adorable DIY video above, and be sure to give the recipe a try. We’ve also got the full, printable instructions after the jump!

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VIDEO: Inhabitat Interviews the Designers of the LowLine Underground Park

By now, you’ve probably heard of the High Line, but did you know that there is also an underground park called the LowLine proposed for downtown Manhattan? It may have seemed like a pipe dream at first but with many residents backing the project and New Yorkers in awe of what a subterranean park could mean for the city, the LowLine is picking up speed and could soon bring an amazing new public space (not to mention added revenue for the city) to the Lower East Side . Inhabitat’s very own Editor-in-Chief, Jill Fehrenbacher, recently caught up with the LowLine team, James Ramsey and Dan Barasch, to pick their brains about what could be New York’s next design landmark. Click through to see the video, and learn more about this incredible initiative.

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INTERVIEW: Boyan Slat, Teenage Inventor of the Ocean Cleanup Array


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Last year, 19-year-old inventor Boyan Slat made waves by designing an “Ocean Cleanup Array” which he claimed could remove 72.5 million tons of plastic from the world’s oceans. Although his idea received criticism from some quarters, a year-long feasibility study concluded that the idea will work. Not just that—it could potentially remove half the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within a decade. The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for the young inventor; he’s given talks around the world and conducted tests in The Azores. We sat down with Boyan Slat to ask him about his inspiration, dealing with criticism and what the future holds for the Ocean Cleanup Array.

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VIDEO: The Secret Life of Paper

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Did you know that the most important source of biodiversity on the planet – the rainforest – is being decimated so that you can have paper towels to wipe up? Did you know that the paper industry is the 4th largest emitter of greenhouse gases? Without those rainforests to suck up that extra carbon, we’re going to be in a bad state! Learn more about the Secret Life of Paper with Inform, Inc.’s informative and rousing video (after the jump).

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INTERVIEW: MVRDV's Anton Wubben on the Design of the Massive Tunnel-Shaped Rotterdam Market Hall

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INTERVIEW: Tesla Climate Riders Drive 1,100 Miles to People's Climate March

 

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A team of sustainability leaders from Orlando, Florida, drove a  Tesla Model S Sedan 1,100 miles to the People’s Climate March in New York City to demonstrate that zero emission electric vehicles can be a part of the climate solution. The trip took 27 hours with stops at nine Tesla Supercharger stations along the East Coast. Their destination was the newest Tesla showroom at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, where the biggest climate march in history started with an estimated 400,000 people taking to the streets of Manhattan to demand climate action ahead of the UN Climate Summit.

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Interview: Adrian McCarroll on Building Villa Amanzi in an Open Tropical Environment

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INHABITAT INTERVIEW: Water Architect Koen Olthuis on Floating Buildings & Hydro-Cities

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Architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.nl has been fascinating the Inhabitat editors for years with his innovative floating buildings and aqua-tecture. Far from being confined by convention — or by the boundaries of dry land — Olthuis has made a name for himself as an architect who pushes the boundaries of possibility when it comes to the built environment. With a studio focused on designing floating buildings for a future water world, Waterstudio.nl has designed everything from floating apartment complexes in the Netherlands to a floating mosque in the UAE to even an entire floating community of islands for the Maldives. While we’ve spoken in depth with Koen before about flood-resistant architecture, floating buildings and what he calls ‘sustainaquality’ — in the light of the latest tragedies that have hit Japan, we have to ask: how and relevant and sound is water architecture for today’s concerns? Read our exclusive interview where Olthuis explains the sustainability of building on water, as well as how he uses 3D modeling technology to help both clients and skeptics visualize how building on water could change the world.

 

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INTERVIEW: Home Improvement Legend Bob Vila Talks to Us About Green Building

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Bob Vila’s name has been synonymous with home improvement since he helped launch This Old House in 1979. After nearly thirty years of producing and hosting television shows about the world of home design and improvement, he now showcases many of his ideas on his popular website, BobVila.com – a destination also packed with how-to articles and archived episodes. A pioneer of the adaptive reuse movement, Vila helped bring “green” thought to the forefront, and in more recent years he has focused much of his efforts on investigating sustainable building and design. Read on for our conversation with one of the most recognized voices in remodeling as he discusses green building, retrofitting, materials and energy, and how we need to recognize science and the role of government when we talk about policy.

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INTERVIEW: Architect Gordon Beckman on How Mixed Use Buildings Create Healthy, Sustainable Cities

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Metropolitan areas are growing faster than suburbs for the first time in decades, as more and more people want to live closer to where they work, eat, drink, and play. As populations in cities continue to grow, requests for mixed-use communities are pushing architects and planners to think of master planning and design in new ways. Understanding this societal trend, architecture firm John Portman & Associates contends that mixed-use design is the fabric that enhances urban environments, and has created mixed-use developments around the world. This firm strives to design walkable communities that still accommodate commuter access, and balance local authenticity with opportunities to experience culture and entertainment. We had the opportunity to interview architect Gordon Beckman, Partner and and Design Director at John Portman & Associates, about the future of mixed-use and sustainable cities.

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INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Visits the Studio of Photographer Elena Lyakir and Furniture Designer Eric Slayton

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INTERVIEW: Landscape Architect James Corner On NYC's High Line Park

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VIDEO: Inhabitat Interviews Metropol Parasol Architect Juergen Mayer H.

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BOOK REVIEW: Bridgette Meinhold's Urgent Architecture Showcases 40 Sustainable Housing Solutions for a Changing World

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James&Mau's Casa El Tiemblo is an energy-efficient home made of four stacked shipping containers. Urgent Architecture is an organized, straightforward, no-nonsense collection of…

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VIDEO: Andrea Air Purifier Uses a Plant to Clean the Air in Your Home

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The Andrea Air Purifier is a brilliant partnership between man and plant that accelerates nature's natural ability to clean air in order to detoxify the atmosphere inside your home. We…

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INTERVIEW: James Dyson On Using His Famous Vacuum Technology to Suck Garbage From Rivers

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BOOK REVIEW: Bianca Bosker's New Book, Original Copies, Dissects China's Bizarre Knockoff Architecture Trend

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INTERVIEW: Architect David Benjamin on Building The World's First Mushroom Tower at PS1

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INTERVIEW: ECOBroker John Beldock on Green Real Estate

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Green homes are on the rise, but a world dominated by green real estate is far from reality. In this interview with ECOBroker John Beldock, we thought we'd take a look at ways to locate…

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INTERVIEW: Building Science Pioneer Dr. Joe Lstiburek on the Good, Bad and Ugly Side of Buildings

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The term 'building science' is used quite often now in sustainable building circles, but much of what we understand of it can be traced back to the work of Dr. Joe Lstiburek, founder…

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INHABITAT INTERVIEW: Koen Olthuis of WaterStudio.nl Talks About Design for a Water World

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In light of all the dire news related to climate change, rising sea levels and the natural disasters which have stricken numerous coastal areas around the world, we here at Inhabitat…

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