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Please stop saving the earth!

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  • Date February 13th, 2011 09:37
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We’re all familiar with the slogans encouraging us to change the way we do certain things in order to “save the planet”. Dispose your non-degradable and non-recyclable paper coffee cup in a trash can and “the earth will say thank you”. Carry your cloth shopping bag around and “help the environment”.Even if the aim here is simply to build awareness, it just doesn’t do anything for the earth. None of our these eco actions do. Don’t get me wrong; I’m committed to living a sustainable life. But...

Paper; the grass is always greener.

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  • Date November 11th, 2010 18:40
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There are a slew of articles discussing the green merits of recycled paper vs. virgin paper produced from managed forests. An old debate, and one of the earliest discussion points in this whole green design paper malaise. These articles are mainly to defend and promote recycling actions, and to have us change our mindset towards maximizing our resources. All shouldered by that catchy slogan to 'save the trees'.But for me, these articles leave the question of why we are still using trees for...

Green will never be green. Sorry.

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  • Date January 23rd, 2011 13:55
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If, like me, you like a bit of irony every now and then, this one is the cherry atop the whipped cream that failed to sweeten the eco cake. The color green will never be green.Because of the way the ink or dye is made, it is impossible to use it without contaminating what it is used for. And as previously covered, contamination makes or breaks a material's chances at getting recycled. That green plastic, or green printed box? Contaminated. That glorious, first choice Pantone green P367? Yes...

Want to design positive? Go bananas.

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  • Date January 16th, 2011 12:20
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True story; at SGTH we compare the final outcome of any design project with a banana. It is actually my studio's professional goal to one day deliver another banana. Twenty years in the business, I have yet to deliver that one. Nor have I seen any design that compares. Here is one piece of fruit that teaches us nine demanding design lessons, for those who truly wish to design beyond just green.Its form fits its function and identity.You did not look at the photo above and recognize anything...

What will [y]our eco legacy be?

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  • Date January 29th, 2011 15:27
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Let's kick this door in with a bang; our economic activity cannot be sustained by the planet we live on. It's a kind of 'umph' moment, one that both dulls the mind and enrages it at the same time. It's a cold hard fact that we would still need two or three additional earths to go on living the average eco lifestyle we seek to live. Average as in making some effort in switching off eco lightbulbs, carrying your own shopping bag around, maybe even the occasional carbon offset for your flight to...

Why your design is not getting recycled.

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  • Date January 11th, 2011 18:07
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Pollution is everywhere. You did not need me - nor this blog - to point that out to you. Hence we all have this notion instilled in us that we want and need to recycle as much as we can. We figure that anything tossed in a recycling bin is going to get recycled in one way. Maybe more so here in China, where there is always a taker for anything paper.The problem here is contamination. That's a pretty big word, and most of us do not fully understand it. What this means is the blending of two...

Eco-tourism?

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  • Date January 26th, 2011 18:13
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Growing up, several of my friends had modest summer cabins on lakes nearby our hometown. Every year, when summer finally came around, friends would invite me to join them for 'clean-up' weekends. The goal of these 3-day trips was to make these summer abodes 'livable' for the summer months. After seasons of neglect, lawns were wildly overgrown, taken over by weeds and seeding grasses. Swimming areas were plagued by seaweed, frogs, fish, and bugs. We'd spend the weekend hacking away weeds and...

New Brand pages just launched.

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  • Date September 26th, 2012 18:50
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Building on feedback from design companies, manufacturers and suppliers, we've significantly overhauled the brand pages. Not only do they better show the culture of these brands, the pages are now easier to edit.

As a material provider:
1. Upload a mood / inspiration image that represents your company culture.
2. Post and link your materials (and projects).
3. Manage and edit your company contact(s).

As a design company:
1. Upload a mood / inspiration image that represents your company culture.
2....

Material boards just launched

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  • Date September 26th, 2012 23:13
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Building on designer feedback, we have just launched a better, more powerful way to organize materials for your projects: Say hello to material boards:

1. Under 'Create', select Boards

2. Give your board a name: Boards can serve to organize materials for an entire project or a space within a project. It could be Lujiazui Tower or Conference Room A... the sky is the limit. Enter notes and select a mood image.

3. Once the Board is set-up, click on 'Materials' in the top bar.

4. On the materials...

Halogen vs. LED: comparing lamp surface temperature and its influence on room temperature

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  • Date September 28th, 2012 17:02
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The Chinese government made waves by requiring that 30% of all new construction be built green by 2020. Since, subsidies have been released to incentivize the market to respond. On September 15, 2012 RMB 6,000,000 subsidies became available for energy efficient projects. We recently ran a test pilot at our office to measure the impact that lighting has on room temperature, and thus energy consumption. It is easy to calculate the energy saved when using lamps, though the heat produced by...

C2C Competition: $250,000 in prize money

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  • Date March 6th, 2013 03:26
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In 2010, GIGA teamed up with the C2C Products Innovation Institute in order to help advance research in the green building industry. We are now extending a competition opportunity to China: 250,000 USD (1,560,000 RMB) in prize money for building materials that can be pioneered in projects of the Make It Right Foundation .

Founded by Brad Pitt in 2007, the Make It Right Foundation has as its mission "to build safe and healthy Cradle to Cradle (C2C) inspired homes, buildings and communities for...

New Book: Chemical Alternatives Assessment

Chemical_alternatives_cover

We are proud to announce the publication of a pioneering new book on chemical alternatives assessment co-authored by GIGA.The book is Volume No. 36 in the Issues in Environmental Science and Technology series, which is published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is a learned society (professional association) in the United Kingdom with the goal of "advancing the chemical sciences." At its inception the Society had a combined membership of 34,000 in the UK...

GIGA / AIA Shanghai Special Working Session

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  • Date March 29th, 2013 08:14
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Partake in the draft of 2020VISION Green Building Challenge
(Please note that an RSVP is required for this session)

Date: April 24th (Wednesday), 7:00PM

Location: Shanghai

By now, most of us have heard of Central Government's green building targets: by 2020, 30% of new buildings must be green.

These targets only reference public and residential buildings and exclude projects and building types that have already adopted systems like LEED.

Although these targets are only mandatory for...

Manufacturers are walking the Talk

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  • Date March 6th, 2013 15:24
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Healthy

LEED project certifications are important not only to designers, but to manufacturers as well. More and more manufacturers are building their own offices and headquarters to LEED specifications. Haworth and Kokuyo are two good examples.

Haworth Shanghai Organic Showroom

Located in Eco City on Shanghai's West Nanjing Road, Haworth's Organic Workspace is certified LEED gold. Haworth picked building materials with their environmental performance in mind: low VOC content, recyclable, and from...

GIGA Green Design Training Sessions

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  • Date April 23rd, 2013 23:50
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8.7 Trillion RMB. In 2020, 8.7 Trillion RMB are expected to be spent on Green Building. This unprecedented 30% market shift challenges the entire construction industry - green designers, builders, developers, and material suppliers are all needed to meet the ambitious (and mandatory) goals that have been set by the Central Government.

How is your design firm positioned for this transformation? GIGA has developed green training sessions to help keep design firms at the cutting edge of this...

2O2O VISION Green Building Challenge: Special Working Session

2020_vision_pilot-03

The 2O2O VISON Green Building Challenge kicked off in exciting fashion by pulling together opinionated industry experts from design, manufacturing, project management and construction companies to brainstorm targets and solutions needed to eclipse China's ambitious green design mandates. Hosted by Interface, the capacity audience discussed ways to fill data gaps for the four largest barriers preventing regenerative design: Energy, Chemistry, Water and Design Innovation. 2O2O VISION is...

2O2O VISION: the Data Drive is underway

Launch-07

Wednesday June 26th, 2013 will go down in history as the official launch of the 2O2O VISION Green Building Challenge. As evening fell in Shanghai, design professionals, pioneering manufacturers and international media filled Kokuyo's ultra-contemporary, award-winning Flagship Showroom to welcome the largest transition to green building the world has ever seen.



The evening marked a night to celebrate the months of research and collaboration between GIGA and the industry's top professionals who,...

Start a Pilot Project, Join the Data Drive

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  • Date August 3rd, 2013 16:15
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Since launching 2O2O VISION, designers and manufacturers have been calling to find out how to get involved. The excitement for the Green Building Challenge has been overwhelming; we've been flooded with calls and emails asking about the Data Drive, chemical requirements and how to start a Pilot Project. To answer these questions and to keep the momentum building, we took an evening to introduce the details behind the Data Drive and 2O2O VISION Design Frameworks to help Designers and Suppliers...

Energy Intensive Q&A

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  • Date September 17th, 2013 16:07
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Our 'Energy Intensive' panel discussion drew a large audience and generated great discussion. For those who missed the event or for those who want to review the discussion, the dialogue (and loads of expertise) can be found below. If you have further questions, or want to add to the discussion please contact us.

Answers to the Q&A are separated into 4 sections, according to the panelists:

1. JOSEPH VAN DER ELST

2. EDWIN LEE

3. PHILIP RAFAEL

4. ROLAND GUNNESCH

5. GENERAL QUESTIONS

JOSEPH VAN DER...

Answering your questions: GIGA New Features

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  • Date September 26th, 2012 10:42
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GIGA has been growing rapidly over the past few months. With new users coming in from all directions, we've been asked over and over again, "What are all the things I can do on GIGA?"

To help our new users (non-logged in), we've added a left sidebar that explains our tools.


We've also added an FAQ section...


As well as made it easier to contact us...

And we've provided a feedback button so that we can build around your comments and ideas.


Finally, we've increased site security in order to maintain...

GIGA New Features v.3.1.12

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  • Date August 20th, 2012 23:16
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Follow

Community, community, community and more materials. This has been the focus of our latest features. We hope you like them. And please... keep the feedback coming!

Quick Material Entry
Sooo simple. Submitting a material now takes just a few seconds. All you need are 2 points of information: brand name and material name... and we'll do the rest.

Community, community, community...
Invite: Looking to include someone in the conversation? Invite them.

Follow: Found a designer who's work you like and...

Foreign design offices in China are shrinking.

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  • Date September 6th, 2012 08:18
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Every week I lecture on green design in 2-3 design offices, both foreign and local. Over the past six months I have been hearing the same news at an increasing frequency: foreign offices are shrinking. Recently, this topic has also appeared in online forums as well as professional gatherings.

Although many attribute this to the general market slow-down, particularly due to the upcoming change in Government, a growing number of foreign firms are attributing the losses to local firms, in...

LEED Adapting to Me

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  • Date August 20th, 2012 23:26
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Actually, LEED is adapting to the world, but how does this affect us Internationally?

Around the world, much of the grief about LEED is that it is so American centric. This makes sense for an American organization, but the reality is that in the near future non-US projects will likely surpass US ones. According to the USGBC, about 40% of newly registered are already non-US.

In response to this, LEED is finally providing new guidelines for international projects. The integration of International...

GIGA on TED

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  • Date August 10th, 2012 14:41
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TED invited us to introduce GIGA's vision, tools and progress made towards regenerative design, all within 4 minutes. In 3:45, GIGA Founder, Raefer Wallis, delivers GIGA's visionary approach to green design and introduces GIGA's Architectural Genome Project which aims to collectively and incrementally move towards regenerative. Watch to be inspired and become of the movement.

If you're interested to hear more, leave comments. Videos with the most traction will be invited to present a full 20...

China Green Building Trends

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  • Date August 3rd, 2012 10:59
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China’s green building future just got a huge boost. On April 27th, 2012 the Chinese Government released a report that will revolutionize green building both in China and across the globe. By 2020, 30% of all new construction (and 100% of all government buildings) built in China must meet or exceed green building standards.


By 2020, China will be home to more green buildings than the combined total of all current global green buildings. With this unparalleled experience, China will be both a...

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