Residential timber tower by Viguier Architecture
Courtesy Viguier Architecture Residential timber tower by Viguier Architecture

France's minister of towns and housing Julien Denormandie has announced plans for promoting a more sustainable future for the nation. According to an interview with Agence France-Presse, Denormandie is calling for the country to achieve low-carbon cities by building public structures with at least 50% timber or bio-based materials. The minister also requests a €20 million (approximately $21.7 million) investment in the establishment of 100 urban farms. "Sustainable cities are not for hipsters," Denormandie said in the article. "These urban planning changes in construction benefit everyone, not just those in the heart of the city, or where rents are the highest." [AFP]

In an attempt to more sustainably develop construction materials, Utrecht, Netherlands–based startup Studio Wae is manufacturing tiles made of reused raw materials. Using repurposed concrete tiles, the company's stone tiles comprise 76% recycled material with new sand and concrete added for strength. [Innovation Origins]

After leading Georgia Tech's Digital Building Laboratory and School of Architecture doctoral program since 2016, Dennis Shelden will head to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Architecture Science and Ecology, in Brooklyn and Troy, N.Y. [ARCHITECT]

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has signed an executive directive detailing specific initiatives the city will pursue in an effort to fight the climate crisis, including requiring "all new construction, major upgrades, and retrofits of municipally-owned buildings demonstrate a pathway to carbon neutrality." The directive also calls for new roofs and renovations to be cool roofs and for improved access to clean energy for multi-family and low-income housing. [City of Los Angeles]

Justin Chan Photography, Lord Aeck Sargent, and Miller Hull Partnership

Designed by The Miller Hull Partnership and Lord Aeck Sargent, the 47,000-square-foot Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech aims to become the first certified Living Building in the Southeast. See a section detail through the building's west elevation. [ARCHITECT]

Nicholas de Monchaux will become the next head of the Department of Architecture at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, beginning July 2020. The scholar, designer, urbanist, and educator joins from the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2006. [MIT Architecture]

OLEDWorks' Omled One S5 was installed at the DeJoy, Knauf & Blood offices.
Courtesy OLEDWorks OLEDWorks was one of 19 organizations to receive funding from the DOE's Building Technologies Office (image shows a past project).

The U.S. Department of Energy announced a $74 million investment for 63 projects "to research, develop, and test energy-efficient and flexible building technologies, systems, and construction practices to improve the energy performance of our Nation’s buildings and electric grid," according to its website. Many of the selected projects will seek to improve energy efficiency through grid-interactive efficient buildings and advanced building construction technologies and practices. The specific projects and research institutions, linked in the announcement, must also "address the cybersecurity of flexible buildings and verify the performance of their equipment." [DOE]

Courtesy Cornell University

Blaine Brownell, AIA, explores innovations in robotics that incorporate living cells and machine-controlled organisms. [ARCHITECT]

Have you recently launched an innovative lighting product, technology, or software? Submit it into ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING'S 2020 AL + AR Product Call for editorial consideration. Select entries will be published online and in ARCHITECT's April issue, which will be distributed at LightFair 2020. [ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING]

Have you recently launched a new product or collection for the building and design market? Want to reach thousands of architects, designers, and industry professionals? Exhibiting at the 2020 AIA Conference on Architecture? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, submit your products to ARCHITECT's Spring 2020 Product Call for editorial consideration for our May print issue. [ARCHITECT]