Courtesy MIT

MIT and Harvard University spinoff startup Generate Architecture and Technologies has designed a residential structure in Boston that it describes as "a new kind of net-zero-energy building." Made of prefabricated cross-laminated timber units that will be assembled on-site, the building will feature 14 residential units and a co-working space for residents on the ground floor. Before selecting a final design, Generate founder John Klein and Placetailor, a Boston-based design, development, and construction company, "modeled nine different versions of an eight-story mass-timber building, along with one steel and one concrete version of the building, all with the same overall scale and specifications," according to MIT. "Their analysis showed that materials for the steel-based building produced the most greenhouse emissions; the concrete version produced 8% less than that; and one version of the mass-timber building produced 53% less." The team reports that the final structure will be so efficient that its carbon output, even in operations, will be essentially zero. [MIT]


Mountain View, Calif.–based drone logistics company Matternet has unveiled its new drone station to facilitate aerial delivery between hospital facilities and medical suppliers. Measuring approximately 10 feet tall, the station keeps drones high enough off the ground to ensure safety of nearby pedestrians during takeoff and landing. To use the system, professionals deposit a package into the station, which is then transferred up to a waiting drone. “We are building the technology platform for extremely fast, point-to-point, urban medical delivery, enabling hospital systems to shrink patient waiting times and save millions of dollars per year through the centralization of laboratories and medical inventory," said CEO Andreas Raptopoulos in a press release. "The Matternet Station is a very important part of the ecosystem for making this vision a reality." The system is available to hospitals on an annual subscription basis. [Matternet]

With the World Health Organization's official declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, companies worldwide are enacting safety policies and precautions for their employees. Several design firm leaders across the U.S. shared their concerns and responses, and what they believe the novel coronavirus has revealed beyond architecture. [ARCHITECT]

The annual LEDucation trade show and conference in New York has been rescheduled from March 17–18 to Aug. 18–19, 2020, due to mounting concerns of the spread of COVID-19. [Architectural Lighting]


Researchers at the Australian National University have set a new record for the conversion of sunlight into energy, achieving an efficiency of 27.7%. "In comparison, typical solar panels being installed on rooftops at the moment have an efficiency around 20%," said ANU professor and study lead Kylie Catchpole in a press release. Assembled by stacking a perovskite solar cell on top of a silicon cell, the new tandem solar cells use organic and inorganic materials to enhance solar energy absorption. [ANU]

Exton, Pa.–based AEC software developer Bentley Systems acquired the London-based cloud service manager GroupBC. "The transaction results from GroupBC’s expansion agenda, and Bentley’s investment appetite, for international growth opportunities stemming from the U.K.’s national initiatives for major infrastructure investment and towards infrastructure digital twins," Bentley said in a press release. [ARCHITECT]