Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Symbiosis principal Giancarlo Mangone to present high performance building design and performance evaluation system at World Green Roof Congress 2012 in Copenhagen

 Symbiosis principal Giancarlo Mangone will present the company's developing high performance building design and performance evaluation system at the World Green Roof Congress 2012 in Copenhagen, on September 20, 2012.
This innovative design support system will be explained through a presentation of a case study Symbiosis generated for a developer in Amsterdam. Using a renovation for a typical existing, mid-size Dutch commercial office building, the performance and applicability of this design support system was evaluated.

Design solutions that improved the performance of the project in a myriad of performance parameters were developed, including economic performance, worker performance, and ecological performance. A standardized performance chart, along with more detailed text guidelines, was developed for each design solution. These tools offer a method to compare the performance of the design solutions, which provides design teams with the opportunity to effectively and efficiently determine which design solutions and strategies are most suitable for their project. Thus, design teams, developers, and building owners can utilize this toolkit to make informed design decisions that result in higher performing buildings, improved employee performance and comfort, and improved local biodiversity and ecoligical integrity

In the Netherlands, 14% of existing office buildings are vacant. 60% of these buildings remain vacant for more than three years, thereby becoming out-dated and unable to provide adequate work environments for prospective tenants.
By renovating existing office buildings with the shared goal of improving local biodiversity, building performance and costs, company revenues, and worker performance and comfort, the performance of each of these project parameters can be improved, while providing more appealing and accommodating office spaces.
Attend the conference in September to learn more about how to reduce building costs, increase company revenue, improve worker performance and comfort, and improve the local ecosystem through architecture.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Giancarlo Mangone guest critic for design studio in the Umea School of Architecture in Sweden

Symbiosis principal Giancarlo Mangone will be a guest critic for design studio reviews in the  Umea School of Architecture in Sweden. The school curricula is focused on integrating sustainability, research, and aesthetics, in an experimental, and innovative manner. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Can Investing in and designing for Nature Stimulate the Economy?

Symbiosis Research Question of the Week : Can Investing in and designing for Nature Stimulate the Economy?

Over the years, Symbiosis has taken on various research initiatives to identify methods to improve local economies through the construction of natural environments. The primary design driver in this research has been : Can architecture be non - anthropogenic (not designed primarily for human occupation and direct use) and still improve local economies, ecosystems, and communities?

The Guardian reported an inspiring example, that although not currently engaging the field of architecture, has developed methods to stimulate local economies while improving local ecosystem biodiversity and ecological integrity. By constructing a 'forest wall' across the border of the ever-expanding Sahara desert in Africa, local ecosystem biodiversity and integrity is improved, while providing agricultural resources for local communities, reduce the local desertification process, 20 years in the making, this project now has global financial support, and is set for construction.

So the question is, how can architecture engage this concept?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How can buildings enhance and protect occupant health and performance?

High Performance Office Building, designed by Symbiosis

Symbiosis Research Question of the Week : How can buildings enhance and protect occupant health and performance?

The environments people occupy have a significant, direct  effect on their health and well-being. The average person in the US and Europe spends around 90% of their time indoors. Current building environments frequently generate illnesses and negatively impact people's health, well-being, and work performance, through Sick Building Syndrome, other Building Related Illnesses, and non-stimulating environments. Poor air quality, toxic materials, and disconnect from natural stimuli such as natural daylight, plants, and local climate conditions are among the contributing factors. In addition, current research by the Biology and Built Environment Center indicates that typical mechanical ventilation strategies meant to improve air quality are having the opposite effect, removing the beneficial bacteria and matter (which generally originate in the natural environment) from the air, and replacing it with detrimental matterincluding human sweat, saliva, and VOC's. 

How can buildings be designed to enhance and protect occupant health and performance?

Symbiosis, in collaboration with Wageningen's environmental psychology ' Health and Society ' chair, is developing a building health performance evaluation tool and guidelines for designers.

Check back in for future results

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Symbiosis high performance design process published in book, Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture

Symbiosis principal Giancarlo Mangone's book chapter describing his innovative, performance based design process , "Constructing Sensuous Ecologies : Looking beyond the energy + carbon efficiency arguments" published in the book, Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee.

Now available for purchase on  and 010 publishers

Symbiosis joins The Green Collective biodiversity network

Symbiosis joins The Green Collective network to collaborate on developing solutions to sustain biodiversity at the building, urban, and national scale in The Netherlands.

Friday, March 2, 2012

How can buildings improve local biodiversity?

Symbiosis research question of the week : How can individual buildings be designed to improve local biodiversity while improving building and occupant performance?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Symbiosis recognized for improving low income senior citizens living environment

Symbiosis' LEED Platinum senior citizen affordable housing project Adaptive Generations is now featured on the  Organic Architecture Guild  website as an exemplar sustainable project that integrates human and natural environments in order to improve the performance of the building and the lifestyles of the occupants.

Giancarlo Mangone to teach how to implement innovative, high performance design in Neapolis University, Cypress

Symbiosis founder and principal Giancarlo Mangone has been invited to teach several workshops at the Faculty of Construction Management of Neapolis University in Cypress in April. The workshops will focus on translating innovative performance concepts to building constructions and optimizing construction projects to comply with LEED, avoid risks, and maximize project performance.

Symbiosis tasked to improve performance of vacant Dutch office buildings

Symbiosis has been invited to join the Refill team by Deerns Mechanical Engineers to make existing, vacant office buildings in the Netherlands higher performing and more desirable in the commercial office market. Symbiosis' focus will be on developing strategies, design solutions, and performance evaluations that improve building and occupant performance, while reducing project operating costs. Specific strategies of investigation include the utilization of vegetation, hybrid microclimates, and microforests as integrated spatial infrastructure typologies and building program.