IDEA
www.recyclicity.net/index_en.jsp

Wondering if there's a low-energy alternative to reprocessing materials for future construction applications? Recyclicity, a building-community network in Rotterdam, Netherlands, shows one approach. A joint effort by local architects, builders, and others, Recyclicity takes waste materials in their primary form for use in new construction, instead of sending the materials elsewhere to be chopped up, melted, or otherwise transformed—an energy-intensive process. “As a positive side effect,” the site says, this “will lead to innovative applications [and] unexpected designs.”


PHILANTHROPY
openarchitecturenetwork.org

  • Credit: Open Achitecture Network

Architecture for Humanity, the Sausalito, Calif.–based organization that promotes design solutions for humanitarian crises around the world, has partnered with Sun Microsystems, copyright group Creative Commons, and others to create the Open Architecture Network, which launched in March. The site allows designers to, among other things, share ideas on improving living conditions through innovative, sustainable work; upload designs and review those of others; collaborate; and manage projects from start to finish. (Pictured: The Hexayurt, a low-cost shelter designed by software engineer Vinay Gupta.)


DIGITAL CITY
www.virtual-berlin.de

  • Credit: Virtual-Berlin.de

Berlin has become the first city to make an official 3-D model of itself available for viewing in Google Earth. Currently, the model shows more than 44,000 buildings at various levels of detail and covers about 10 percent of the city. (Pictured: Potsdamer Platz. The buildings in red have been constructed since 1990.)