Green Roofs and Green Walls

4 12 2008

I thought I would end these posts with a final blog about green roofs and how beautiful they can be. Many green roofs are more than just some grass and moss on a roof. They can be really pretty and very ecological at the same time. 

green-roof-beijing A green roof atop a building in Beijing

image00054 School of Art and Design, Singapore

A new idea being adopted as well is the green wall. You can even corporate these right into your home. has many products for the home and allows the user for an easy system of green walls.

home0031 Green Wall

5544358_eb3b2a923a Green Wall Two

– Kayla Schlosser


Disaster Architecture

27 11 2008

Branching out of flood architecture, what about other natural disasters? How do people re build after natural disasters such as earthquakes? 

This is a list of some of the companies who re build after natural disasters. They efforts are on an international level and are all very respected companies. 

An example of a model of a building built to withstand an earthquake.

How an earthquake can destroy a building. 

Tornado Resistant Homes and how they are being implemented.

stoughton_tornado_icf_house1 Concrete House Withstands Tornado Winds

– Kayla Schlosser

Acting against flooding- Monica

25 11 2008

Flooding is a major problem in many areas around the world, it is a natural process that’s has many benefits as well as disadvantages. When a river floods the silt and debris that is carried by the river is uploaded onto the surrounding land, this debris is full of nutrients and in turn helps fertilises the land. However flooding also has major negative affects when it floods urban areas or areas that are densely populated. This website gives some suggestions to how flooding can be prevented in some situations. These prevention techniques take a natural approach, protecting the stream and the surrounding resources.

I think it is a good approach to help prevent flooding by using natural solutions because it minimizes the effects on the ecosystem and is more visually appealing than concrete structures.

Le Corbusier (Alex)

23 11 2008

Why do people enjoy creating spaces inside and out that have elements of nature all around. What is it with nature that people always feel the need to connect to. We build houses and building on top of land, so we tear apart the natural landscape, we redesign the entire site, but when all that is done we put back a single tree or flower pot to show nature. Why? what is the point in the first place of dismembering nature is we are only going to add it back in smaller portions later on?

People do this because they enjoy parts of nature. It is calming and perhaps the simplest part of any ones everyday life. Nature adds character and refreshes even the most uptight person.

Le Corbusier wanted to design a city that did not need to fully interfere with the natural landscape around us. That is that the major part of the city (96%) would consist of parks and trees. This would help to preserve the natural environment around us.

Le Corbusier’s theories suggest that the center of a great city should consist mainly of skyscrapers – exclusively for commercial use – and that the area occupied by these should be no greater than 5 percent. The remaining 95% should be parks with trees. Also in the center there would be a train station, the “hub” of the city, and three-story buildings with “luxury shops, […] restaurants and cafés.”

Surrounding the center there would be a belt of residential buildings, in the form of those zigzag blocks with “set-backs” seen in the picture below (from his contribution to a 1933 competition for the renewal of Stockholm’s city centre). Each of these buildings are to be small communities in themselves, offering catering and domestic services. But what bothers me is that I can’t find any mention of shops, cafés, and restaurants in this residential district (or in the garden city, for that matter). Did he really intend for all shopping, out of house dining, and visiting cafés to take place in the center of the city?

Why won’t this city work? Because people rely so rapidly on the fast pace lifestyle that we have created a life that would respect nature and and therefore become less convenient would not be feasible in today’s society. Therefore people will continue to go fast and build building. Cities will continue to expand and at the end of the day when people go home they will sit down  in their postage stamp backyard with 2 trees strategically placed and never know any different about what nature could be without their interference. Peoples lives are content and therefore are not willing to change. To create a vision with change, even for the better means effort by the masses. Maybe one day Corbossier city will become reality.

Composting and How Easy It Is

20 11 2008

I looked up composting and what it takes to compost in Winnipeg and cooler climates. A site has this stat that 30% of the garbage we throw away each week can go in the compost pile. – Good site with all the details about compost and how it is done.

composting – Some factors you must take into account when composting. – Story of how Degrees, U of M diner switched over to bio-degradable containers. – On campus recycling group.

– Kayla Schlosser

Sustainable City: Portland: Lauren Pritchard

18 11 2008

In class we often discuss what  it is to be sustainable, and ways in which Winnipeg can become more sustainable.

 Portland is a perfect example of this sustainability. Portland is what the rest of North America cities should be striving for. Portland’s brilliant city planning from early on promises this city a bright future. It is a beautiful place to live, work, and play.

Just the other day I came across an article in the New York Times regaurding the 2008 most sustainable cities in America. It didn’t surprise me a bit that this is the fourth straight year to top this list. Portland simply understands and practices sustainable development. Other names on this list were fellow West cost cities, San Fransisco, Seattle. Followed by major Mid west cities, Chicago, Minneapolis.

The list of cities mention as sustainable, got me wondering what exactly it is that defines a city as sustainable. I feel a leader in sustainable cities should be one that is sustainable in as many aspects of city life as possible, and always striving to do better. chooses the cities for its list by these categories:

“Transit: What options do cities have?, Energy Use: How sustainable are your energy options? Does your city have a co-generation plan? Wind or solar sources?, Water Quality and Usage: Does your water come from a renewable source and, um, can you drink it?, Air Quality: How well can you breathe?, Green Building, Traffic Congestion, Land Use, Housing Availability and Affordability, Government initiatives”


City Charts

 “The city enacted strict land-use policies, implementing an urban growth boundary, requiring density, and setting a strong precedent for sustainable development.” ( Winnipeg could learn a lot from Portland’s land use policies, this si a way in which Winnipeg could begin creating a more dense city center.

Portland began green thirty years ago, we, along with the rest of North America have alot of catching up to do. It can be a bit overwhelming to think of how far behind we are. But if we start implementing sustainable policies today, in ten years we to can begin seeing dramatic shift in the quality of our city. We must begin now in taking  responsibility for the future of our city, just as Portland did thirty years ago.

Heating Floors and Walls (Alex)

12 11 2008

I recently have been overviewing how new homes have heating flooring. The idea behind this is that underneath the floors (hardwood, ceramic etc) their is metal tubing, which water travels in. When the water is heated, and travels to the piping under the floors, it gives enough heat to the floors that we walk on. (More information on this can be found in the site

I started to think about this idea, and wondered what if people used this similar technique to heat other areas of their house. For instance, if this tubing was included in the walls, could it potentially heat the entire room. Enough heating could also de3crease the amount of energy that is needed from using the furnace or heaters to supply heat to the rooms.

What if also water that has previously been used, such as in showers or sinks, could be transferred or stored in these pipes to alternately heat the room around you. The energy used in this way could also be reused in a different way. Reusing energy would mean less cost for the consumer and better for the e. Although I am not naive to the fact that their are problems to this concept such as the sustainability of the walls, it is very interesting to think that an idea like this could occur and potentially change our heat and energy is a large way.