Sidewalk Labs

Google-owned Sidewalk Labs has unveiled a digital proof-of-concept for a 35-story timber tower as part of the organization's plans for Quayside, an digitally connected, all-timber community on the Toronto waterfront. Designed in Autodesk Revit, the 3D model rendering accounts for various stages of construction, including massing options, a timber bracing frame, a Passive House–like envelope, and more. The team is now exploring prefabricated components, "taking advantage of timber’s potential for use in off-site manufacturing," Sidewalk Labs wrote in a blog post. "The mass timber buildings that Sidewalk is planning will be produced in a factory that turns out standardized parts, which can be combined to form many different types of buildings. Everything in this 'kit of parts' has to be modular and interlocking, including infrastructure like plumbing." [Sidewalk Labs]

Operational carbon requirements are being adopted globally, but embodied carbon policies are just starting to catch up. Here are 34 regulations and standards that are setting the bar. [ARCHITECT]

New Jersey has become the first state in the nation to require builders to account for climate change when seeking government approval for projects thanks to an executive order by Gov. Phi Murphy. Murphy has called for new regulations to be drafted for adoption by 2022 and has invited business and environmental leaders to contribute to the rule-writing process. The order could face legal opposition from state Republicans. [The New York Times]


Blaine Brownell, AIA, highlights emergent building materials and assembly systems to watch this decade. [ARCHITECT]

The London Metropolitan University has launched a master's degree program focused on timber technology. "As well as developing a vast range of expertise in timber technology, you will also learn about adjacent disciplines including sustainable forestry practice and the timber construction industry," the university writes in a program description. "This will help you ensure that your own technical architectural designs align with the latest construction practices and efficiencies associated with design for manufacture and assembly." [London Metropolitan University]

courtesy SOM | Slashcube GmbH

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill announced it would continue its research collaboration with the European Space Agency into long-term habitation on the moon. Read more about their past work on this project, which won an honorable mention in ARCHITECT's 2019 R+D Awards. [ARCHITECT]

Transitioning to carbon-positive design is tough, and any tweaks to approach, philosophy, or workflow will invariably drum up concerns from your clients or supervisors, and even cause you to doubt yourself. Here are tried-and-true responses from seasoned experts who have fielded these FAQS. [ARCHITECT]

Process diagram: How to Transition to Zero-Net-Carbon. See a larger version of this diagram here.
Process diagram: How to Transition to Zero-Net-Carbon. See a larger version of this diagram here.

Want to transition your firm to focusing on zero-net-energy design? Three firms ranging vastly in sizes—Studio Ma, BWBR, and Gensler—share their step-by-step journeys. [ARCHITECT]