Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How to sell your house with fengshui

I read this article on how to sell your house with fengshui. A lot of you might need help with selling your house in the current market situation. Hope this is helpful.

Sell Your House with Feng Shui
9 Ways to Help it Sell Faster and Easier
by Kathryn Weber
Publisher, The Red Lotus Letter

From determining pricing to having to keep a home “show
ready,” marketing a house is always a challenge. And, just
like inoculations, homeowners usually want to get the sale
over as quickly as possible. Here’s nine feng shui tips to help
your house move faster.
1. Engage the senses.
Prospective buyers must be engaged in every way possible. Use these ideas to engage the senses of buyers at your home.
Looks good:
Use lots of horizontal space. Clear off all the tops of everything (dressers, counters, shelves, etc.). Draw the eye to the corner diagonal to the door to each room. This makes the room feel larger and makes buyers focus on a feng shui good luck area.
Feels good:
Make sure all entries and rooms can be entered easily and comfortably, and that there are no mirrors opposite any door. Keep your home from being “dead still” by keeping something moving, such as ceiling fans.
Sounds good:
Place a fountain close to the front of the house or keep music playing at all times, especially in the northwest corner of the house.
Smells good:
According to feng shui, earthy scents are the most appealing to the widest range of people. So, opt for cinnamon and pine scents rather than floral or vanilla scents.

2. Sales are made by first impressions.
The front door is THE most important area of the house in feng shui. Keep it immaculate, with lights turned on in front at in the foyer, a new doormat, and have something flanking either side of the front door, such as two pots of lush, healthy plants and flowers.

3. Be ready to move.
To assist you over the mental hurdle of leaving, buy the new owners a small gift such as a new front door mat or crystal candy dish (filled with chocolates because chocolate is excellent feng shui).
Perhaps more importantly, start moving out. Yes, that's right. You want new energy (a buyer) to come into the house, right? Well, then give it (them) room to come in by putting a lot of the excess stuff you don't need into a rented storage unit.
Ask any Realtor -- they'll tell you that they wish ALL their sellers would do this! It makes more space -- and it gives you a jump start on packing. From a feng shui perspective, it symbolically creates room for another family to move in.

4. Correctly place your “for sale” sign.
Make sure the “for sale” sign is to the right of the front door as you look at it. This is the yang, or energetic, side of the house.

5. Make a “Welcome Vignette.”
Have a table in the foyer or front room of the house, on the right as you enter the front door, with business cards, literature, a bowl of chocolates or cinnamon candies, and small vase of fresh flowers. Put this on a red-colored cloth. Make sure business cards are in an acrylic holder so they are not “laying down” on the job.

6. Energize the helpful people sector.
The northwest corner of a home is considered the “helpful people” area – important for sales. Activate it with music playing here.

7. Focus on the kitchen.
In feng shui, kitchens are prosperity and health areas. Insist on clear counters, clean, organized pantry, and wastebaskets and knives out of sight. Place a small, lush plant and jar full of cookies on the counter.

8. Get growing.
Make sure there are no plants touching the house (this draws energy away from the house), no spindly plants (it makes the house seem like it’s dying, too), and no dead plants whatsoever. Give all the plants in and around your house a good sprucing up!

9. Insist that bathroom doors remain shut.
Buyers should never see a toilet when they enter a house or a room. Toilet lids should remain down and doors to bathrooms should always be closed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stylish Kids rooms

Is FisherPrice taking over your entire house? Here are some neat, stylish looking kids rooms. Enjoy !!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Organizing Kids Closet

Article published in
Organizing kids' clothing and keeping it that way is possible with these 10 closet organizing tips.
There are many ways to keep a kid's closet organized and accessible without spending a lot of money or time. Organizing expert Louise Kurzeka has 10 ideas:
1. First, take everything out of the closet and sort, establishing what stays and what goes.
2. Use the highest shelf to store out-of-season clothes or hand-me-downs from an older sibling. Store in labeled containers by season (fall/winter, spring/summer) or by size (3T, for example). Hang out-of-season dresses in the back part of the closet.
3. Place a cardboard box on an upper shelf for donations. As the child outgrows items, they can immediately be put in the donation box.
4. Pair up matching outfits and store them on one hanger.
5. Place a tall kitchen garbage can on the closet floor and use it as a dirty clothes hamper. Kids are more likely to use a hamper/clothes basket that is close to where they change clothes.
6. Place a basket on the floor of the closet for storing stuffed animals.
7. For younger children, it may be easiest to create a home for their little shoes by designating a dishpan on the closet floor.
8. Install a hanging accessory bag with at least seven shelves for holding complete outfits that parents and children put together for the week ahead. Label the shelves for each day of the week, if not already labeled.
9. A shoe-hanging bag is a great organizing tool for holding small stuffed animals, dolls and action figures.
10. For an older child's closet that has wire shelving, consider placing heavy plastic shelf liners on the shelves. Items such as mementos and collectible figurines will be less likely to fall through the shelving.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Clean Technology tower

Building on principles of biomimicry, Clean Technology Tower by Adrian Amith + Gordon Gill utilizes advanced technologies and climate-appropriate building systems to foster a symbiotic relationship with its local environment. The tower is sited and formed to harness the power of natural forces at its site- but it refines the conventional methods of capturing those natural forces to significantly increase efficiency. Wind turbines are located at the building’s corners to capture wind at its highest velocity as it accelerates around the tower. The turbines become increasingly dense as the tower ascends and wind speeds increase. At the apex, where wind speeds are at a maximum, a domed double roof cavity captures air, allowing for a large wind farm and the use of negative pressures to ventilate the interior spaces. The dome itself is shaded by photovoltaic cells that capture the southern sun. These systems provide both comfort and energy to the space.The complex includes over 1.8 million square feet of office space as well as a 300,000 square foot hotel, a spa and street-level retail. Dedicated elevators will provide access for both office and hotel tenants to all of the tower’s amenities.An adjacent grand plaza and park enhances the tower’s relationship with the surrounding neighborhood and provides a public gathering space for tenants. The plaza also complements an existing adjacent winter garden and strengthens the connection between the existing retail and the new tower.The tower is easily accessible via both public and private transportation. Hotel and office lobbies have dedicated street entrances and vehicle pick-up and drop-off locations. Service access to the building and parking are available below grade.The tower affords tenants unparalleled views of the city, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Office space will be located on high floors to maximize available views and take advantage of the direct natural daylight. The tower’s domed top offers unrestricted skyward views, creating a truly modern, grand atrium space.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Schools Rapidly Turning Green Across America

Smart New Designs Boost Learning, Cut School Energy Bills and Provide Better Indoor Environments for Students and Teachers

Tens of thousands of students across the country will go back to school this fall to find their halls and classrooms turning green – as in environmentally sound and healthy, energy efficient and high performing. Hundreds of thousands of additional students are poised to attend environmentally designed schools within the next few years, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
As the school year begins, nearly 1,000 school buildings will have met or are seeking LEED certification, with applications growing at a rate of more than one per day. The total number of square feet of LEED certified and registered school space will exceed 100 million square feet as the school year gets underway, according to new figures released today by USGBC.
LEED certification provides parents, teachers and communities with a “report card” for school buildings – verifying that a school was built to meet the highest level of energy and environmental performance. Through July, more than eight million square feet of school space are certified LEED while another 90 million square feet of projects are registered with USGBC.
“Green schools save operating costs for the district, create a better workplace for teachers, provide a healthier learning environment for students, and support a
more sustainable community. Every school in America needs to be green, and increasingly our school boards, teachers, PTAs and students are demanding it.”
Public or private schools in 50 states have turned to the LEED for Schools program for new or renovated buildings, as educators and school leaders increasingly see environmental building as a way to improve air quality for students, teachers and communities while also cutting energy and water costs
Case study analysis of completed LEED certified schools show the facilities use 33 percent less energy, saving 32 percent more water and reducing solid waste by 74 percent, compared to traditional school buildings.
On average, green schools save $100,000 per year, enough to hire two new teachers, buy 200 new computers or purchase 5,000 new textbooks, according to the report “Greening America’s Schools: Costs & Benefits” by Gregory Kats of Capital E, a national clean energy technology and green building firm. Another study in North Carolina by Heschong Mahone found that 2 of 3 students in classrooms with the most daylight had consistently higher test scores by 7-18 percent.
And green schools’ carefully planned acoustics and abundant daylight make it easier and more comfortable for students to learn and for teachers to teach. According to case studies profiled in “Greening America’s Schools,” cleaner indoor air cuts down sick days for students and teachers alike, as green schools commonly report reductions in teacher absenteeism and teacher turnover.
Green schools even provide a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities, where the school itself becomes an interactive teaching tool.
“Twenty percent of America goes to school every day,” said Michelle Moore, USGBC senior vice president. “There is no better or more important place for us to demonstrate as a society that we can have a more sustainable future.”
Green schools are popping up everywhere from urban America to rural areas, in both private and public schools. Among the examples:
• Ohio now requires all new schools and major renovations to earn LEED certification,
with 250 green school projects slated to begin in the next two years.
• All new schools in Chicago will be built green, like the Tarkington School of Excellence, where sixth grader Christian Torres doesn’t need an inhaler any longer - at his old school, he used it several times a day.
• Increasing numbers of school districts and private schools are committing to building
new facilities and retrofitting existing ones following the LEED for Schools rating
• New Orleans is rebuilding public schools green following the disaster of Hurricane
Katrina. As Greensburg, Kansas works to recover from the devastating May 2007
tornado, every new building in the town, including the schools, will be built following
LEED guidelines.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic Village in Beijing Earns LEED Gold Certification

Engaging the people of China in USGBC’s vision of healthy buildings and communities
Washington, DC (August 18, 2008) - Athletes in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games are
staying at a first-of-its-kind, environmentally friendly Olympic Village. The plan for the village,
the temporary home to 17,000 athletes from around the world, has been awarded LEED®-Gold
certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) under its pilot LEED for
Neighborhood Development certification program.

The Beijing Olympic Village is the first Olympic Village to receive LEED certification, and as
part of the pilot program, it is one of only eight developments – and the first international project
– to thus far achieve certification under LEED for Neighborhood Development. The pilot
program began with a call for pilot projects in early 2007. Nearly 240 projects from 39 states
and six countries are now registered to participate in the pilot program. The information learned
during the pilot program will be used to make further revisions to the rating system and
certification process, and the resulting draft rating system will be posted for public comment
before it is submitted for final approvals and balloting. For more information on LEED for
Neighborhood Development, visit

“The world’s most pressing issues – including climate change, habitat destruction, water and
energy shortages, human health, and social inequities – require global cooperation to solve,”
said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chair of USGBC. “The Olympic Games
represent the exciting possibilities that emerge when the world comes together. The
commitment of the Olympic Village, demonstrated through its success in the LEED for
Neighborhood Development pilot program, is an important part of that effort. It sets an inspiring
example while the world is watching, and the real, measurable environmental and health effects
will be a real benefit to the people of Beijing for years to come.”
LEED for Neighborhood Development integrates the principles of smart growth, New Urbanism
and green building into a comprehensive system for neighborhood design. The result of a
collaboration among USGBC, the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources
Defense Council, LEED for Neighborhood Development certifies neighborhoods for their design
and performance in four categories: Smart Location & Linkage, Neighborhood Pattern &
Design, Green Construction & Technology, and Innovation & Design Process. The Green
Construction & Technology category awards developments for their integration of green
infrastructure elements and the green building principles promoted by the other LEED
certification programs. Depending on the number of points a development receives in each
category, LEED for Neighborhood Development certification is awarded at four levels: Certified,
Silver, Gold and Platinum.

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and China’s Ministry of Science and
Technology developed a “Protocol for Cooperation in Clean Energy Technologies for the 2008

Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.” The Protocol resulted in plans to seek LEED certification
for the Olympic Village.
The LEED-Gold certification of the Olympic Village is the latest example of USGBC’s
commitment to engaging the people of China in USGBC’s vision of buildings and communities
that regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Most recently,
USGBC has supported the formation of the new China Green Building Council and anticipates
working with the China GBC as it grows and continues to promote sustainable, healthy building
practices in a country that builds nearly half the world’s new buildings every year.
“China’s growing population, its emerging economy and the opportunities and challenges it
represents ensure that China will play a key role in the future of our planet,” Fedrizzi said. “The
fact that one of the world’s first LEED for Neighborhood Development-certified plans is a cause
for great optimism that China’s growth in the coming years can be a model of sustainable

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AC Towers, Dubai, UAE

Architect: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The AC Towers- three of the world’s tallest buildings- rise up out of a central canal. The development’s unique form is also highly functional: soaring clusters of cables and occupied sky-bridges connect the towers together as they ascend. The towers are designed to the highest environmental and performance standards and will serve as a strong symbol of Dubai’s commitment to sustainability.A true "city center," the complex is accessible directly by both land and sea. At the base of the buildings, grand arched entrances allow boats to travel underneath the building and into a central atrium space, an oasis in the center of the development. The atria oasis, open from water to sky, is framed by the three towers and the sky-bridges above. The space has the potential to transform into a premier entertainment venue.The mixed-use development includes a hotel, residential, commercial retail and entertainment space totaling 800,000-900,000 square meters

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Solar powered autorickshaw

Auto Rickshaws, or cycle rickshaws, are a popular mode of human-powered transportation all around the world. The higher tech electric version of the foot-pedalled rickshaws has been gaining popularity recently, as it is an important sustainable mode of transport across developing nations. Now, London-based research and design company Solar Lab is working on a solar-powered rickshaw that will be the first human powered hybrid vehicle - combining pedal power with energy from rooftop photovoltaics.
SolarLab’s rickshaw is a response to the pollution and congestion of London. As a solution to the city’s traffic and emissions woes, their rickshaw will run mostly from power generated by photovoltaics fitted on the roof. The solar energy will produce 75% of the total power needed to drive the vehicle, while the rest will be provided by the driver’s pedal-powert. The physical effort required to drive the rickshaw will be very small.
The solar rickshaw would significantly reduce pollution and CO2 emissions in London. SolarLab estimates that each vehicle could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2 tons. And, the design of the rickshaw is modular so it can be easily converted into a load-bearing vehicle if necessary.
SolarLab’s rickshaw will be launched next year in. Based on its performance in London, the vehicle could soon be made available in other cities around the world.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Homeowners Are Investing in Green

Despite the current economy, consumers are spending money on eco-friendly products for their homes.
- Stir Magazine

Green living is fast moving from the fringe to the mainstream. Consumers aren’t afraid to invest in eco-friendly options for their homes — even in the context of the current economic state. “You can find a green solution to anything and everything,” says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “The consumer is responding to that, and they’re doing a lot more research before purchasing products. The demand is definitely there, and it is increasing daily.”

The reasons for going green vary. Some want healthier indoor spaces, while others want to save on their electricity costs. Of course, protecting the environment continues to be a driving force among many consumers. From purchasing compact fluorescent bulbs to installing countertops made of recycled glass, homeowners are making changes both big and small that are positively affecting their lives — and the planet.

Simple solutions
Small, straightforward projects can make a big difference in making a home greener. Plus, they’re a great starting point for those who may be new to the green lifestyle. Case in point: painting. These days, low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and primers resonate with consumers looking to improve their indoor air quality while lessening their effect on the environment. “It seems there are more people now who are more chemically sensitive than there have been in the past,” Jordan notes. “People with allergies and asthma are very concerned with what they’re putting in their homes. They want a product in which they’re not going to have to smell that paint odor.”

Sherwin-Williams offers four brands — Harmony®, Duration Home®, ProgreenTM 200 and Builders Solution® — that are considered green. In fact, the water-based paints either meet or exceed Green Seal criteria (GS-11) and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification, thanks to their low VOCs. Furthermore, homeowners don’t have to sacrifice color when using these paints. Duration Home, for one, is available in all of Sherwin-Williams’ colors.

In addition to their low-VOC content, these four paints provide other green benefits from a sustainability perspective. “You want a product that’s durable, which means that you can clean, maintain and wash it without having to repaint,” Jordan says. “You also want to apply fewer coats.”

Others in the design industry are seeing similar interest in environmentally friendly products. Greenspace, a shop specializing in eco-friendly items in Santa Cruz, Calif. carries such home-improvement products as flooring, stains, tile, countertop materials, furniture, plaster, lighting, linens, and energy- and water-saving devices. Bedding and beds are top products drawing serious interest from buyers. “People are realizing that they spend one-third of their lives in bed, and maybe it’s not such a good idea to sleep on a toxic mattress,” says Lydia Corser, owner of greenspace and an interior designer who has implemented green techniques for the past 13 years.

For consumers looking to buy new furniture that leans green, manufacturers such as Viesso have committed to environmentally friendly practices and materials; their sofas, for example, are composed of an alder frame certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), springs and legs from recycled steel, recycled or natural fibers for upholstery, and water-based glue and stains.

Accessories offer another simple way for homeowners to go green. Consider products made with sustainable materials such as bamboo or developed by manufacturers who have shown their production and delivery methods are socially and environmentally sound. Another easy green solution: switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs consume 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights and last up to 10,000 hours. Saving on water usage is also important to many homeowners. Flow-control valves, aerators and low-flow showerheads are all relatively inexpensive green options.

Thinking bigger
Designers who are helping their clients make more-substantial changes to their homes can find numerous environmentally smart options. A kitchen remodel, for one, provides plenty of opportunities to go green. Homeowners can replace old, energy-draining appliances (which should be properly recycled, of course) with ENERGY STAR®-rated refrigerators and dishwashers. Reusing existing cabinetry and painting or staining it with no- or low-VOC products offers another eco-sensitive outlet.

Changing out surfaces is another hallmark of a major kitchen remodel. Granite countertops are often the go-to choice for many consumers, but its energy- and mining-intensive characteristics — not to mention that it isn’t a renewable resource — have prompted eco-conscious homeowners to think twice about this stone’s use.

Fortunately, designers can find many alternatives for countertop materials. “Tile is a good countertop material, but people hate it because they’re tired of cleaning the grout,” Corser says. “However, it’s probably the least expensive, most environmentally stable option out there for countertops. You can get large-format tiles, such as 24" x 24", which minimizes grout lines.”

Many manufacturers now specialize in recycled-content countertops, often available in colorful options. Corser’s favorites include Syndecrete, a cementitious composite made of natural minerals and recycled materials; Vetrazzo, which uses recycled Skyy vodka bottles, along with beer and wine bottles, in its mix; and IceStone, which is made of recycled glass and concrete and offers a comparable alternative to quartz.

Like countertops, flooring comes in a variety of sustainable options. Linoleum — which has been around for 150 years — is a classic eco-friendly option, because its main ingredient is linseed oil. “A lot of people get vinyl confused with linoleum because vinyl replaced it in a lot of the marketplace after World War II,” Corser says. “Linoleum is inexpensive and naturally antimicrobial, and it’s a 40-year floor.”

Other popular green flooring options include fast-growing bamboo, cork, sustainably harvested FSC wood, seagrass with a natural latex backing, and carpets made of recycled content.

No matter what green products your clients choose, they’ll see many benefits by purchasing sustainable items or repurposing existing items in the home. A green lifestyle can reduce energy costs, improve one’s health, create long-lasting solutions and, of course, help the planet. And with manufacturers responding to consumers’ ever-increasing demand for green, designers can expect an influx of even more innovative, eco-friendly products.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Abu Dhabi Builds Its Architectural Image

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is footing the bill for a building boom to appeal to international investors and tourists
With the recent news of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority's (ADIA) $7.5 billion investment in Citigroup, the capital of the United Arab Emirates has been grabbing headlines. But in addition to the spectacular global business deals, it's also attracting attention for its growing number of spectacular architectural projects. Much like rival emirate Dubai, as well as ambitious cities such as Beijing, Abu Dhabi is in the midst of a building boom that's an ambitious attempt to capitalize on a flourishing economy to remake the area as a cultural and tourist destination.Over the past two years, numerous Abu Dhabi-based real estate projects with big-name architects and over-the-top budgets have been unveiled, bringing billions of dollars to the region in the form of construction projects and promising more in terms of ongoing tourist revenue. Many of the "starchitect" projects created by luminaries such as Frank Gehry are set to open in the next five years or so. These have gotten a lot of attention in the media—but tourists are also being lured by other destinations offering new, show-stopping buildings. Other projects in the works also make Abu Dhabi worth paying attention to—either as an investor or as a tourist. These include ambitious sustainable complexes, such as a zero-waste city-within-a-city, what promises to be the first LEED-rated structure in the United Arab Emirates, and a skyscraper with the world's largest atrium—built with mainly local, rather than imported, materials.

Emirates Palace Hotel
This hotel, which opened in 2005, features 114 domes covered in mosaic glass tiles, including the 138-foot Grand Atrium dome. Much of the hotel's interior is covered with nearly 20,000 feet of gold leaf, making it the world's largest gilded expanse in a single building. Built for approximately $3.9 billion, the Emirates Palace is currently the world's most expensive hotel construction project.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, this 24,000-square-meter extension of Paris' famed museum is scheduled to open in 2012. Galleries will open to the public in successive phases. It's one of several museums opening on Saadiyat Island, which is being developed as a cultural destination for tourists by Abu Dhabi Development & Investment Co., which oversees the real estate investments of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, a governmental body.Nouvel designed the museum's dome with a web-like pattern that lets natural sunlight filter through the roof. The idea is not only to cut down on lighting costs, but also to suggest the effect of sun rays filtering through palm-tree leaves—a reference to Middle Eastern foliage. The emirate is paying $520 million to France's Louvre to use the museum's name.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
Can the so-called Bilbao effect—the magnetic pull attracting tourists to Frank Gehry’s design of the spectacular Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain—work in Abu Dhabi, too? Gehry is the architect behind the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open by 2012, which, at 320,000 square feet, promises to be the largest Guggenheim in the world. Gehry's design features four stories of galleries surrounding a courtyard and natural cooling via skylights, which should cut down on electricity costs. The facility, also part of Saadiyat Island's $27 billion cultural district, will include a conservation lab and a center for art and technology, details of which have yet to be revealed.

Performing Arts Center
Zaha Hadid, the Middle East-born, London-based architect, has designed a 62-meter-tall building that promises to be larger than London's Royal Albert Hall—by more than 1,000 seats. Hadid designed the space, another Saadiyat Island destination due to open within five years, to have multiple "summits," or peak-like roofs, that house each of the center's five theaters (each venue offers a setting for a different style of performance, such as music or theater). The five auditoriums were conceived to represent "fruit on a vine," the architect said in a statement.

Maritime Museum
Minimalist Japanese architect Tadao Ando designed a simple yet elegant edifice that will house a reception hall, maritime-related exhibits, and a large aquarium as yet another part of the Saadiyat Island cultural district, this one to be completed by 2012. Ando has stated that his design concept, which features a reflective surface, was influenced by Abu Dhabi's natural surroundings—and it literally reflects nearby water. To carry through the maritime theme, Ando designed the interior with decks that recall those of ships. Ando also plans to position lines of trees in front of the building to create a neat, modern version of the traditional oasis.

Al Reem Island
This mixed-use development, the largest so far in Abu Dhabi, will take up 6.5 million square meters. Three developers from the region are spearheading the project: Tamouh Investments, which has a 60% stake, the rest being split between Sorouh Real Estate Development and Al Reem Investments (whose $8 billion waterfront residential development, Najmat Abu Dhabi, is seen here). The entire development, covering 20 million square feet, will accommodate 80 thousand residents and is scheduled to be completed by 2012. Engineering firm Arup is currently working on designs for an eco-friendly car park for 2,300 vehicles on Al Reem Island. This will include an innovative cooling system for the garage, featuring pumps that will channel cold deep-sea water into the structure, as well as a giant misting system that will produce a fine cloud to reduce temperatures when they soar.

Central Market
London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners unveiled plans last year for remaking Abu Dhabi's historic Central Market. The idea is to bring the traditional marketplace into the 21st century with offices, residences, hotels, and, of course, shopping areas. The design of the two-block shopping area plays off the concept of the souk, or market: The mini-city will be filled with small courtyards and pedestrian-friendly alleys and will include low-rise buildings. Shops will offer a mix of global, luxury brands (yet to be announced) and local merchants. Plans for many of the buildings include roof gardens. To keep a contemporary look, Foster + Partners also is designing a set of three towers to create a new landmark for the Abu Dhabi skyline.

Masdar Development
The ambitious goal of this 6-million-square-meter development is to create a carbon-neutral, zero-waste walled city within a city. Foster + Partners is completing the master plan, or the layout of the area and its buildings, for its client, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. Power to the whole locale will be supplied by a large photovoltaic system, and the entire city will be car-free; walking is encouraged by placing buildings close to each other so residents won't need to drive. Future plans also include wind farms to supply sustainable power. Early designs were unveiled this year; completion of the complex will roll out in phases, with an end date yet to be confirmed.

Miami-based Arquitectonica was hired by Sorouh Real Estate Development to build the Skytower, the tallest skyscraper in Abu Dhabi. The architects and developers plan to have the 83-story structure be the first in the United Arab Emirates to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating. The height of the Skytower, part of an eight-tower complex featuring residences as well as commercial offices and shops, is meant to stand out in the cityscape as a powerful landmark welcoming visitors to Abu Dhabi. The architects plan to use glass glazes that control sunlight to keep the building cool, as well as water-saving fixtures throughout. The smaller towers feature multistory windows that encourage natural airflow, reducing the need for air conditioning. The entire complex is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Tameer Towers
Architecture firm Gensler is designing the Tameer Towers, being touted as a sustainable skyscraper. It’s a $100 million mixed-use development with 9 million square feet across six 72-story diamond-shaped towers. By the time of its completion in 2011, the complex will feature 1,900 apartments, a hotel, shops, and offices. Apartments will be partially cooled from above by shade provided by landscaped terraces. The plan is also to use local rather than imported materials to create the 72-story building. The project is not without spectacular, show-stopping design details: It promises a 650-foot high atrium—the tallest in the world.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

From my own Drawing Board !!!

U.S. design firm profiles $720 million sustainable Qatar Education City Convention Center at Cityscape Abu Dhabi.
Leading architects and engineers, Yamasaki, will provide a sneak peek of one of the largest purpose built convention centres in the Middle East at Cityscape Abu Dhabi tomorrow.
The 79,000 sq m architectural showpiece in Qatar’s Education City, due for completion next year, will cater to 7,000 delegates. Designed to meet and exceed world-class standards the center will feature 10 conference and performance venues, including a 4,000 seat conference hall and a 2,500 seat theatre.
The stunning design of the convention centre is centered on a steel replica of the Sidra tree. An icon in Qatari history and culture, the Sidra tree is the symbol for Qatar Foundation which seeks to be a ‘haven of learning’ for Qatar and the region. As well as hosting conferences and exhibitions, the centre will also be a venue for local and international music and arts festivals.
Brought on in 2006 by consulting management group KEO and contractor Baytur Construction and Contracting company to hone and develop the intricate design originally conceived by Arata Isozaki and RHWL architects, Yamasaki brings 50+ years experience to the project. Founded in 1955 by Minoru Yamasaki, the modern organization focuses on design and architectural excellence throughout the world including a focus on sustainability and responsibility to the environment.
Yamasaki, a member of the US Green Buildings Council, will emphasize its commitment to sustainability in architectural design at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The company recently received the 25-year award from the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter for the Century Plaza Towers in recognition of an architectural design of lasting significance.
"Sustainable, high-performance and environmentally conscious design is becoming a standard for our projects," said Ted T. Ayoub, Chairman of Yamasaki. "We believe participating in Cityscape Abu Dhabi will bring us face-to-face with the clients as well as end-users and provide an opportunity to communicate directly on issues of sustainability, efficiency, and everlasting design here in the Middle East."
Yamasaki has completed numerous facilities of varied type in the Middle East, Europe, the Far East as well as the United States. With an increased focus in the Middle East and Gulf region, Yamasaki leverages significant project experience in the region including the Royal Reception Pavilion at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Dhahran Air Terminal, the King Fahd International Airport and the Headquarters of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Friday, May 2, 2008

Why Paint Sheen matters...

Tech Talk: Considering Sheen- Stir magazine

Why paint sheen matters: from the practical to the visual.
At first blush, paint sheen seems a minor design consideration — especially compared to color. But picking the ideal sheen for a paint job involves important visual and functional considerations.

As a practical matter, high-sheen or glossy surfaces are often easier to keep clean. These paint formulations traditionally produce the toughest and most stain-resistant finishes — that’s why high-gloss finishes are common in bathrooms, high-traffic areas and kids’ rooms. Aesthetically speaking, sheen or gloss draws attention to a given surface, especially indoors. This includes even the smallest flaws. If the intention is to hide or downplay a space, high-sheen paint should be avoided.

Most brands of paint come in several sheens, and both latex and oil-based paints are available in different sheen levels. Gloss sheens have the highest light-reflective characteristics. Next are semigloss sheens; then satin, eggshell, or low-lustre sheens; and then flat or matte sheens.
Technically speaking High paint-resin or binder levels create high sheen, smooth finishes and durable surfaces. (Paint’s binder imparts adhesion, binding the pigments together and strongly influencing such properties as gloss, weathering durability, flexibility and toughness.) Conversely, high paint- pigment levels, along with coarse pigment granules, create duller, rougher and less resilient finishes.

Glossed over Okay, so glossy finishes draw the eye — where should they be used then? Contrasting finishes provide a feeling of depth. To achieve a 3-D feel, consider using gloss paint on the trim in a room that has otherwise been painted with a low-lustre or flat paint. Also consider using gloss finishes to help architectural features pop — such as entry doors or trim around ornate glasswork.

Higher-gloss paint finishes can also help brighten dark spaces. Under most common lighting conditions, a combination of semigloss sheen and light-colored paint is an optimal wall covering method to brighten a dark space. (The reason a high-gloss sheen should be avoided in this situation is excessive glare. A dark space requires a lot of artificial lighting, and high-sheen walls would catch and reflect all this light.)

Halfway there: satin, low-lustre and eggshell All of these finishes have a sheen that is between semigloss and flat paints. Satin and low-lustre paints have a faintly higher sheen than eggshell finishes. Paints in this category are warmer and provide a greater appearance of depth than flat paints. They also resist stains better than flat paints.

Striking a flat note paints, also known as matte paints, are a valuable design tool when used correctly. Because they are nonreflective, they tend to conceal surface blemishes better than paints with more sheen. In a visual sense, these finishes effectively “smooth” walls that are dented or rough. And, since flat finishes actually deflect attention from surfaces, flat paints are a great choice for ceilings or other surfaces you want to downplay.

Unfortunately, stains are often difficult to remove from flat finishes. Unlike paints with higher sheen, a non-reflective, flat paint finish has a porous texture, which can trap dirt and result in burnishing when scrubbed or rubbed. However, there is one very important exception to this rule — Sherwin-Williams Duration Home.® Duration Home, which is available in a matte sheen, is formulated with patented cross-linking technology that forms a smooth continuous paint film. This cross-linking technology not only locks in the colorants, it also provides superior resistance to staining, burnishing and water-streaking or spotting, and ultimately provides superior washability. And it can be tinted to the deepest, most saturated colors your customers want.
One last option: in-between With four levels of sheen available in most products, designers can usually find a paint finish that matches their vision. But, if a manufacturer’s sheen does not work aesthetically for a particular project, consider mixing two sheens together to get a custom sheen or an “in-between finish.”

Friday, April 18, 2008

Perfect Retro Modern Bedding Collection

Looking for that perfect Retro Modern looking Bedding set for your home? has a huge collection to choose from. Browse through to find your perfect bedding set at an affordable cost. Enjoy Shopping !!!

Retro Radar Camel/Red 7-piece Bedding Ensemble


Echo Home Circle Game 7-piece Bedding Ensemble


Echo Home Lava Lounge 7-piece Bedding Ensemble


Echo Home Slinky 7-piece Bedding Ensemble


Cayman Bedding Ensemble


Branches French Blue 7-piece Bedding Ensemble


Echo Home Retro Remix 7-piece Bedding Ensemble


Block Party Butter Bedding Ensemble


Cosmo 7-piece Comforter Set