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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Foster + Partners pledges to design only carbon-neutral buildings by 2030

Foster + Partners is the first architecture practice to sign up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment to make new buildings carbon neutral by 2030.
The Foster + Partners-designed Bloomberg building has the highest BREEAM sustainability rating

Foster + Partners is the first architecture practice to sign up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, meaning that by 2030 all buildings created by the practice will be carbon neutral.
The Norman Foster-led studio has joined 23 cities, including New York, London and Tokyo, in signing the commitment, which aims to reduce the built environment's contribution to climate change.
"We are proud to be the first architecture practice to sign up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, and welcome the Advancing Net Zero Status Report 2019 by the World Green Building Council as a collection of market leadership," said Chris Trott, partner at Foster + Partners and head of sustainability for the practice.
Foster + Partners is the first architecture practice to sign up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment to make new buildings carbon neutral by 2030.
Foster + Partner's Bloomberg headquarters is the "world’s most sustainable office"
The commitment was launched at the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018 by the World Green Building Council (WGBC), a non-profit organisation dedicated to holding the construction industry to the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
Signatories to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment have promised to make all new buildings net zero carbon for 2030, and do the same for their existing buildings by 2050.
Goal to offset construction's carbon emissions
Organisations, cities and regions have agreed to decarbonise their building stock and promote carbon neutral construction schemes as part of the commitment.
2050 is a target set by most climate change action groups to try and curb carbon emissions and limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In order to meet this target the WGBC aims to fully decarbonise the building and construction industries with its project, Advancing Net Zero.
Construction is a particularly carbon-intensive industry. The WGBC aims to reduce the industry's carbon dioxide emissions by 84 gigatonnes over the next 30 years.
Carbon neutral buildings reduce or offset the carbon emissions produced in their construction and over their life cycle.
They are energy efficient structures that integrate passive strategies, such as using air flow to cool interiors rather than air conditioning, and often include renewable energy strategies such as solar panels to offset the carbon released in their construction process.
Foster + Partners pursues sustainable design
Foster + Partners won the Stirling Prize 2018 for Bloomberg's London headquarters, which claims to be the most sustainable office building in the world.
Its facade features moveable bronze louvres that can be opened for natural ventilation, and petal-shaped ceiling panels inset with thousands of energy-saving LEDs.
The practice, which was founded by Norman Foster in 1967, is currently masterplanning a sustainable state capital city in India, as well as the carbon zero tech city of Masdar in Abu Dhabi.
Designers are trying to tackle greenhouse-gas emissions around the globe. Last year architects in America implored Trump to address climate change in a letter written to climate-change skeptic president, while numerous geoengineering solutions have been proposed to fight climate change.

Belgian bottling house converted into family home by Architecture Cotugno Thiry

La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry

Architecture Cotugno Thiry has transformed a 19th-century brewery building in Belgium into La Bouteillerie, a simple house with rugged brick walls.
Located beside the Lhomme river in the village of Jemelle, the building was constructed in 1895 and originally used for bottling beer produced by the brewery.
La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry
The brewery site has been owned by the family of Jean-Denis Thiry – co-founder of Architecture Cotugno Thiry, with Rita Cotugno – for five generations. The owners decided that the building would be better served as a residential property for rent.
Transforming it from an industrial relic into family home involved stripping the building back to its core structure.
La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry
"The only limits were a relatively tight budget, and a request to have three bedrooms to maximise the rental return," Thiry told Dezeen. "We wanted to keep the spirit of the place, as it was built at the time in 1895."
"The idea was to give the project a sense of timelessness, by proposing only a few simple tones and materials. We wanted to highlight the old brick vaults, formerly covered with plaster, and draw attention to the beautiful vegetation and tall trees surrounding the building."
La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry
One of the biggest challenges was opening up the ground floor, which had been divided into small rooms by a series of partitions added after the original construction.
Another was restoring key parts of the structure, including the steel beams on each floor that had corroded with time and an area of the building that had been poorly reconstructed after being partially bombed during the second world war.
La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry
Six original windows on the north facade had wooden lintels that had rotted away. These were replaced with steel beams, while areas of the walls were completely rebuilt.
"The interior divisions and annexes – which were added later on – were completely demolished in order to recover the original building," said the architects.
"Only three exterior walls, as well as the brick-vaulted flooring and steel beams were preserved. But the building's state of dilapidation made it necessary to reinforce them heavily."
La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry
The ground floor, which had been a particularly dark space, is now occupied by a long, open space that functions as a kitchen, dining area and living room, with storage and a bathroom along one side. The first floor contains three bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room, while the attic can be used for further storage.
The kitchen, storage and building facilities on the ground floor are contained in an 11-metre-long structure of dark MDF panels that runs along the south side of the space and wraps around the the new staircase.
La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry
"The vertical rhythm of the black MDF panels in the kitchen is designed to match the rhythm of the steel beams," said Thiry. "The very damaged brick vaults were painted white to increase the level of lighting in the space."
"The idea was also to recall the industrial character of the place. Stainless steel was used in the machinery, and the old cement paving stones were recovered from the brewery."
La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry
Floors are coated with a grey polyurethane resin, while the new windows are framed in black-coated aluminium.
The south facade overlooks a neighbouring property, so the architects added new openings to the west, including a wall of glazing at the end of the kitchen area that opens out to the garden beyond. Smaller windows were added in the gables in the upstairs bathroom and facing the staircase.
The architects also created a new entryway to the building from the nearby Rue du Congo, which provides the main access point to the site.
La bouteillerie by Architecture Cotugno Thiry
Other recent renovation projects in Belgium have also sought to combine historic features with contemporary additions.
Examples include a B&B in Ghent by Atelier Janda Vanderghote, which also features a central piece of coloured furniture that wraps around the staircase and draws the project together, and Bovenbouw's conversion of three historic buildings in Antwerp into apartments.
Photography is by Johnny Umans.