Innovative Architectural Methods Helping With Building Appearances and Efficiencies

Across the country (and around the world), conventional building methods are being thrown out the window in order to revolutionize both structural design and heating and cooling usage.

A new home was just constructed in Nevada that helps reduce solar heat gain and maintain efficient energy levels.

Developed by California firm OPA, the Shapeshifter House now sits in the Nevada desert with zinc-clad sections that act as a mirage to onlookers. The house is a three-story home that spans 5,900 square feet.

“They wanted a house that would both reflect the contemporary moment and be explicitly of the West,” said OPA.

Over a five-year period, from 2013 to 2018, the window installation industry revenue grew at an annualized rate of 3.4%, amounting to $4.7 billion. Though traditional window installation and replacement are still very important today, some buildings are using innovative approaches to cut down on energy costs. Heat gain and heat loss through windows are actually responsible for between 25% and 30% of a building’s heating and cooling usage.

According to Deezen, there are six specific buildings around the world that have utilized all kinds of innovative design approaches to maximize efficiency and improve appearances:

  1. Casa Roel by Felipe Assadi and Francisca Pulido, Mexico City — This home is covered by a wooden lattice for shade and is elevated to allow plants to actually grow underneath the structure. In a recent International Window Film Association Survey, more than 52% of respondents said that they worry about the sun fading their carpets, drapes, and furnishings around the home. The use of shade and a hexagonal pattern was installed across the street-facing side of the home in order to help mitigate heat gain and sun damage, as well as provide privacy benefits.
  2. Duo by Buro Ole Scheeren in Singapore — Hexagonal frames cover the curved portions of these all-glass skyscrapers. These two Singaporean towers have a plaza at their base, and feature gardens on terraces staggered up along the side of the buildings.
  3. Campus Netzwerk by Format Elf Architekten, Germany — Another building that features hexagonal holes sits low in the town of Toging am Inn, Germany. The building can actually control the amount of daylight entering into the interior, effectively maximizing the structures energy usage.
  4. One Delisle by Studio Gang, Toronto — This Canadian skyscraper was constructed by a U.S. architecture firm, but is now a staple of Toronto. The design consists of eight-story-high sections that are shaped like distorted hexagons, equipped with terraces and planters.
  5. Audrey Irmas Pavilion by OMA in Los Angeles — This Californian cultural building is a pavilion with tilted walls and patterned openings. The large tiles will be arranged at different angles and have rectangular slits inside.
  6. Homed by Framlab, New York City — Honeycomb-like clusters of pods could soon be used across NYC to help with the city’s growing homeless population. These pods can start a few feet above the ground and then reach the top of buildings along its sides.

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