Green Blocks

May 2010

1. Cover Image - View into a Green Block

May 25, 2010 10:07 PM
Erik Lomeland

This is a view into one of the top units, shown to introduce how the indoor and outdoor spaces are brought together within a compact development.


2. Cover Image - View of Green Blocks in 'North Park'

May 25, 2010 10:04 PM
Erik Lomeland

This is view of the Green Blocks added together as a complex within an urban setting. Edmonton Alberta is the actual city, but it could be within any number of Northern cities, or 'North Parks.'


3. Typical Green Block

May 25, 2010 9:56 PM
Erik Lomeland

This is the essential 'Block' of the prototype. As designed, it puts 8 cars underground and puts 8 homes above with commercial space at the middle ground - where locals meet by just going about their business. The primary structure (columns, slabs & beams) is concrete, chosen for its durability, fire resistance, and recycleability. Interior partitions are wood frame to ensure the adaptable components and materials of the building are renewable.


4. Typical Block Section

May 25, 2010 9:53 PM
Erik Lomeland

This section shows the overall construction of the block. The design is very simple, modular and intended to fit into many urban settings, with the lower commercial levels providing a privacy buffer from the streets below. Depending on specific requirements parking can be put underground or behind the building and covered over with communal garden space.


5. Water System

May 25, 2010 9:51 PM
Erik Lomeland

Shown here is a schematic diagram of the water system tracking how water enters the building, is used and stored as greywater within the individual units and then distributed to the various green spaces.


6. Indoor Gardens

May 25, 2010 9:45 PM
Erik Lomeland

Interior View from a living room into one of the Indoor Gardens. Being vertical, the Gardens save a lot of area compared to a suburban lawn - but they still allow enough room to comfotably enjoy the green space in a variety of ways.


7. Typical Green Wall

May 25, 2010 9:39 PM
Erik Lomeland

Shown is a rough diagramatic view of the green wall & its proximity to the building envelope. Depending on the panel type and growing medium, either agricultural or ornamental plants can be grown, either of which helps naturally clean the air of excess carbon and airborne particles.


8. Pivot Windows

May 25, 2010 9:35 PM
Erik Lomeland

The pivot windows are used in the Indoor Gardens to regulate fresh air intake relative to seasonal outdoor temperatures. Additional upper panels with operable louvres vent out warm air and ensure better circulation.


9. Block Orientation

May 25, 2010 9:20 PM
Erik Lomeland

An important aspect of the blocks is that they are divided into two climatic zones:

1. LIVING SPACE - This is the inside area protected within a proper building envelople that includes the required insulation, air & vapor barriers.

- Which is an intermediary zone between the living space and the outside. The gardens prolong the growing season, & provide enough space for a variety of work, relaxation or play.

East-West orientation of the blocks is generally preferred as it allows a garden on each side of the units that can open to cross-ventilate the space. Passive ventilation, even light exposure nd reduced peak heat gain form midday sun all contribute to an efficient & comfortable environment - this is the solution presented throughout this proposal.

An alternative North-South orientation, with the garden and living space South & bedrooms to the North, offers advantages of a singular, more efficient sun room, and also better thermal efficiency in cold weather (as the North face requires less glazing).


10. Parkade and Commercial Levels

May 25, 2010 9:13 PM
Erik Lomeland

Plan views of the underground parkade, and grade level commercial space.

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Green Blocks - North Parks

Title: Green Blocks - North Parks
by, Erik Lomeland of Edmonton, Alberta

This new housing prototype, effectively a type of stacked town-house, is designed to combine generous living accomodations within high-density neighbourhoods. Regionally, these 'Green Blocks' are intended for Northern Climates with variable seasons. As such, the form, function and sustainable aspects have been considered for those of us living around and above the 45th parallel - a domestic region we might generically label 'North Park.'

The intent of the Green Blocks is to set the private home in closer context with the city - in hopes that individuals and families can live more comfortably in Urban Settings, and in so doing achieve a broader compact of sustainability with the world.

Together, six design aspects help define an overall approach that links individual and collective needs together toward a stronger and more resilient whole.

1. Indoor Gardens - Effectively like front-door green houses that provide an extended summer into the home, allow plants to naturally clean air, and provide space to garden (for food or ornamentation). The indoor gardens help promote local self-sufficiency, reduce air-borne carbon, maximize use of daylighting, and add redundancy into the food supply.

2. Local Agriculture - Space for the production and retail of locally grown food is provided as a way for families and individuals to feed themselves and their neighbors.This adds a layer of communnal self-sufficiency and redundacy to the private realm of the indoor gardens, mentioned above.

3. Density & Mixed Use - As an overall solution, the prototype provides family sized dwelling at roughly 800% more density than conventional suburbs, thus reducing infrastructure and resource demands. It also functions as a mixed use building, in recognition that communities are complex and have a variety of needs - thus it promotes system diversity.

4. Water Reuse - To protect our most precious resource, the water system makes use of grey water from sinks & showers for use toward toilets and gardens, adding redundacy to the water supply and draining less from municipal & natural resources.

5. Reduced Presence of Cars - In the interests of gaining acceptance with more North Americans, the design maintains a place for personal cars, but simply puts them off the street so that residents are given more room & opportunity to walk, blike, or take public transit.

6. Contextual Adaptability - As simple self-sufficient blocks that can be added together, the prototype is amenable to a variety of large and small sites, old and new. The repeated modularity of its design ensures a stadardization that lends itself to easy re-use, adaption and replication of parts. Thus, easy to build and easy to site, it is capable of bringing sustainable design to a wide variety of locations.

Altogether, this proposal is considered a realistic prototype, one not intended to subject people to the latest frontiers of green science, but rather, put current ideas and technologies into more common practice. In this regard, the Green Blocks are made to play a strong 'supporting role' in creating resilient cities; by either blending into small sites, or patching together neigbourhoods in whole or in part. Essentially, the point is to achieve Resilience collectively, one block at at time...

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