Resilience Is the New Green in Green Building

Much has been said about sustainability in green building.  But there’s another key component that needs to come to the forefront: resilience.

It’s the simple virtue of ensuring our buildings are able to gracefully withstand every possible challenge and risk applied to it.  These challenges can be in the form of severe weather disturbances and natural disasters (such as earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, and droughts—the last three of which we’re sure to be seeing a lot more because of climate change.

A house in Tacloban, Philippines lies in outright ruin caused by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 (Photo from

A house in Tacloban, Philippines lies in outright ruin caused by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 (Photo from

Or it can be in the form of political turmoil brought on by terrorism.  The point is when the power goes out (as is the case when natural disasters hit), when we’re reduced to our very basic necessities such as water, light, warmth, communications, how will our buildings help …

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A Lesson in Sustainability from Ancient Cities

Ancient cities are proving to be sustainable models for urban planning.

This fact has prompted the International Union of Architects to prepare and sign a document called the Caral Letter, named after Peru’s ancient city, where the architects have convened last week.

Bird's eye view of Caral, Peru

Bird’s eye view of Caral, Peru

First discovered in 1948 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009, Caral has always been regarded as an engineering marvel for its outstanding array of pyramids, sunken amphitheaters, earthquake-resistant buildings, and underground ducts. Archaeologists have estimated Caral’s civilization to be at least 5,000 years old, making their elaborately ingenious architectural feats even more remarkable.

More importantly however, the ancient city of Caral beautifully embodies the principle of sustainability in urban planning, something which modern cities have been forgetting and disregarding about these days.

The Caral Letter, jointly penned by more than 120 nations, thus highlights the Caral’s admirable sustainable aspects. It also calls for a much-needed return for urban planning …

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Bill Gates and His Call for Renewable Energy

Bill Gates shows he’s serious with climate change and renewable energy, hoping to inspire governments of the world.

One thing is for sure: the world needs more people like Bill Gates.

Microsoft’s founder and currently the richest man on Earth, Gates is known for supporting and spearheading various philanthropic projects regarding education, community, human rights, children, health, poverty, sanitation, and environment:

Bill Gates shows he's serious with climate change to the tune of $2 Billion.

Bill Gates shows he’s serious with climate change to the tune of $2 Billion. (Image courtesy of

Now, he’s focusing on renewable energy for a simple reason: he thinks it’s about time our energy system got fixed once and for all.  Because, hey, our long-standing dependence on fossil fuels is irrevocably plunging our planet …

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October Story Roundup: Ants, Meat, Poop, Drought, and Tech Predictions

Before we let go of October, here are a few of our favorite stories that piqued our interest and gave us an insight or two about our world.  Welcome to our monthly story roundup.

The Meat of the Matter: WHO’s Announcement Regarding Processed Meat

Health experts have always warned us that most processed foods aren’t very good for our body, more or less.  So it wasn’t surprising when earlier this week the World Health Organization, via its International Agency for Research on Cancer, released its report that processed meat (think: bacons, sausages, hotdogs,hams, cornedbeef, etc.) was carcinogenic.

Yummy yet carcinogenic? WHO's recent gave processed meat a bad rap. (Photo courtesy of

Yummy yet carcinogenic? WHO’s recent report gave processed meat a bad rap. (Photo courtesy of

Many people reacted to the findings, arguing that it was misleading for the report to classify processed meat in the same group as tobacco smoking.  WHO was quick to explain that cancer risks are not necessarily the same for both of them.

And it’s not just processed meat: consumption of red …

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Our Favorite and Notable Buildings This October

Cloud Forest and Mountain Top: Proposed Garden Skyscrapers in Singapore

An ambitious fusion of nature and skyscraper is set to take place in Singapore’s Marina Bay.

Lush and green: the proposed garden haven of Marina One in Singapore

Lush and green: the proposed garden haven of Marina One in Singapore

German studio Ingenhoven Architects and Singapore firm A61 will be behind the skyscraper named Marina One, comprised of four high-rise buildings unified by undulating balconies inspired by Asian rice terraces.

Meanwhile, the living fabric of plants will be taken care of by London-based landscaping firm Gustafson Porter.  The firm has proposed lush tiered gardens, complemented by pools and waterfalls at the center of the atrium.  The two terraces at the top of the structure will be dubbed Cloud Forests and Mountain Top, which are meant not just as a relaxing haven for visitors but habitat for birds and insects as well.  The entire project hopes to become the “largest green urban sanctuary within Singapore’s central business district.”

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