- 22/03/2017All a big lie by big business and big pharma..... We knew it all along....We don't need neonics to feed us. It's time for a global ban.actions.sumofus.org The UN just released a scathing report calling the idea we can't grow food without pesticides a...
- 21/03/20173 Cities Prove Climate Action Worksecowatch.us7.list-manage.com "To date, this city has installed 8.8 MW of solar PV across 52 municipal...
- 21/03/2017Permaculture magazinewww.permaculture.co.uk Growing salads, fruits and herbs vertically not only allows urban dwellers to grow food in small spaces, but follows the permaculture principles of stacking, using renewable resources and making the most of the...
- 16/03/2017Mesmerizing Blue Light Makes Tasmanian Waters Glow
Bioluminescent plankton are responsible for the beautiful but troubling bloom.
A blue glow lighting up the waters off the shores of Tasmania has captivated photographers and onlookers ― but it’s also a troubling example of how rising ocean temperatures have disrupted marine ecosystems.
A mass of Noctiluca scintillans, a type of plankton, produced the bioluminescent glow known as “sea sparkle” this week on the north coast of the island.
- 08/03/2017Hammond ignores solar tax hike concerns in spring budget, Ross Hoareinsights.hyperionsearch.co.uk Incredibly disappointing that the Government have stuck to their guns on massive tax hikes on companies and school who have installed...
- 08/03/2017The sun’s rays helped shape this Studio Gang-designed NYC tower.
Solar Carve Tower advances Studio Gang’s ‘solar carving’ design strategy.
When designing a new office building located between Manhattan’s High Line Park and the Hudson River, Studio Gang wanted to protect the views between the park and the river and block as little sunlight as possible. The firm’s solution to this problem was to take on the sun as a freelance designer.
Expanding upon its “solar carving” design strategy, Studio Gang used incident angles of the sun’s rays to sculpt the Solar Carve Tower’s form. The result is a gem-like façade that allows light, fresh air, and river views to reach the park.
At any point during the year, the sun’s rays will be able to pour around the building’s unique façade, which takes the shape of an hourglass made up of smaller diamond-shaped carvings, to reach the surrounding park and green space.
On its website, Studio Gang says, “Solar Carve Tower explores how shaping a building in response to solar access and other site-specific criteria can expand its architectural potential.”
Each of the building’s floors will provide office space ranging from 13,700 sf to 14,200 sf, the New York Post reports. 16-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows will provide each floor with natural light, views, and connectivity to the natural environment. Solar Carve Tower will also include 17,000 sf of ground floor retail. In total, the new tower will provide 166,750 sf of space.
The project is targeting LEED Gold.
- 06/03/2017Desalination 'may be' WP first - Cape Messengerwww.capemessenger.co.za The Western Cape government could be the first to build a water desalination plant as the province finds itself in the midst of a crippling drought. SAnews.gov.za reports 2 March 2017 – Desalination is a process that removes minerals from salt...
- Producer06/03/2017Green Facades : Why are some Architects scared?Why are some architects scared to use vegetation at the heart of their façade design? Is it the loss of control implied by adding vegetation to the design? Is this due to a varying emphasis on greenery during architects’ training? Or just that it...
Comments07/03/2017 #16 Claire L 🐝 Cardwell#14 People don't realise just how important good architecture is for their lives. Living and/or working in a poorly designed space has a well documented deleterious effect on your health. There has been slew of articles recently about the benefits of natural light and how green building practices increase employee productivity and happiness.07/03/2017 #11 Devesh BhattThe public associates greenery with snakes, insects and allergies, atleast such is the case here in India.
The pollution of the big cities has resulted in ever increasing cases of children with breathing problems and greens seem to trigger more problems.
Although greening is good for thw eyes, another prevalent problem amongst city kids today.
Something that i need to study on before i can make claims about the health issue but i can definitely state the market condition, they fear snakes , insects , maintenance issues and yes someone has an allergy.07/03/2017 #9 Javier Rojas GarcíaHi, Claire. I agree Lada. Recently I tried to design a vertical green garden inside one office in Barcelona but it was impossible to make it natural. At first everybody likes it but then somebody talked about mosquitoes, another about who has to take care of it and finally they started to be afraid to broken water pipes in the middle of the office... Finally we built an artificial garden, it was nice but not the same. Next time I´ll try harder.06/03/2017 #3 Lada 🏡 PrkicHi Claire. I’ve posted a similar short post on LI about treescrapers. I am a big supporter of plants in architecture. All this concrete needs greenery, and people need more contact with nature
But the recent ‘flood’ of the tree-covered skyscraper designs raises the question about its real sustainability, considering also the treescraper concept a form of greenwashing.
I’ve read many articles that criticized treescrapers, mainly because of unrealistic visuals with myriads of high trees placed on every horizontal surface of the building, although - as said in the article - a building will never look like a drawing. Obviously, a big issue is how to maintain all these plants. As I said in one of the comments, if more of these treescrapers are built (Boeri granted approval for Cedar Trees Tower in Switzerland) many questions about planting and impact on environment will be resolved, and then will show how sustainable these buildings really are.
- 05/03/2017Parasitic wooden cubes slash Parisian building’s energy consumption by 75%.
Stéphane Malka has designed a clever way of optimizing the energy efficiency of older urban structures while working within the restrictions of Parisian building codes. Malka’s Plug-in City 75 design envisions attaching parasitic wooden cubes to the facade of a 1970s-era building, extending the living space and significantly reducing the building’s annual energy consumption by approximately 75 percent.
The innovative design is slated for a 1970s-era building in the French capital’s 16th arrondissement. Like similar buildings in the city, this one is burdened with low energy performance due to thermal bridges, poor insulation, and permeable windows. However, current building laws are quite restrictive and do not allow for the structures to be raised to make way for better, more efficient space.
Malka’s solution is to incorporate a type of parasitic architecture to improve the building’s energy envelope. According to the design, a series of bio-sourced wooden cubes would be mounted onto the facade, extending the apartments horizontally through openings in the exterior.
Extending the apartments outwards would divide the total energy consumption of the building by four. This would significantly reduce the rehabilitated building’s annual energy consumption from its current 190KWh per square meter to 45KWh per square meter.
The modular boxes, made from wood particles and chips are quite lightweight, which allows for easy transport and on-site assembly. Once mounted onto the building, the cubed extensions would not only add more living space and light to the interior, but would also create an inner garden courtyard on the first floor. The new facade would be draped in hanging greenery, greatly improving the structure’s overall aesthetic.
- 05/03/2017Arup | Publications | Deadline 2020: How cities will get the job donepublications.arup.com Deadline 2020: How cities will get the job done provides an analysis of the contribution that the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) cities need to make to deliver the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5...
- 01/03/2017Duke University researchers use light to convert carbon dioxide to fuel. What if the carbon dioxide building up in our atmosphere could be put to good use as fuel? For years chemists have chased a catalyst that could aid the reaction converting carbon dioxide to methane, a building block for many fuels – and now Duke University scientists have found just such a catalyst in tiny rhodium nanoparticles.
Duke University researchers converted carbon dioxide into methane with the help of rhodium nanoparticles, which harness ultraviolet light’s energy to catalyze carbon dioxide’s conversion into methane. Rhodium is one of Earth’s rarest elements, but according to Duke University it plays a key role in our daily lives by speeding up reactions in industrial processes like making detergent or drugs. Rhodium also helps break down toxic pollutants in our cars’ catalytic converters.
The fact that the scientists employed light to power the reaction is important. When graduate student Xiao Zhang tried heating up the nanoparticles to 300 degrees Celsius, the reaction did produce methane but also produced an equal amount of poisonous carbon monoxide. But when he instead used a high-powered ultraviolet LED lamp, the reaction yielded almost entirely methane.
Jie Liu, chemistry professor and paper co-author, said in a statement, “The fact that you can use light to influence a specific reaction pathway is very exciting. This discovery will really advance the understanding of catalysis.”
The scientists now hope to find a way to employ natural sunlight in the reaction, which Duke University says would be “a potential boon to alternative energy.”
- 27/02/2017New silicon nanoparticles could finally make solar windows commercially viable.
The trend toward integrating solar into homes and buildings seems to be taking off. First Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled his rooftop solar shingles that are invisible when viewed from the street. Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca have developed technology that could usher in a future with photovoltaic windows harvesting renewable energy from the sun. The research, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Photonics, demonstrates that high-tech silicon nanoparticles embedded into luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) can make the performance of solar windows more efficient, comparable to flat solar concentrators.
Photovoltaic windows could be a game changer in the race to power cities with renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Modern glass office towers could be retrofitted with photovoltaic windows that wouldn’t change the aesthetics of the building and yet would be able to meet the structure’s electricity needs. According to the US Department of Energy, turning the windows at One World Trade Center into solar collectors could power more than 350 apartments.
- 27/02/2017Trump to sign executive orders rolling back Obama’s climate protection policies
The environment could be the next victim of President Donald Trump’s executive orders. The Washington Post reported that according to individuals briefed on the measure, Trump is seeking to curtail some of President Barack Obama’s policies on water pollution, coal and the environment through upcoming executive orders. Signing such orders would signal the Trump administration will work to champion the fossil fuel industry, regardless of the economic growth the country could see through renewable energy.
- 21/02/2017Straw Bale Buildings Are Carbon Neutral
A study by the Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland finds that straw bale buildings are carbon neutral. Engineer Adrien Chaussinand conducted extensive testing of ECO-46, a straw bale building that houses the Department of Parks and Gardens in Lausanne.
People often mistake straw bales for hay bales. The two are not the same. Straw bales used in construction require a powerful baler that applies even compression. The bales are very dense and weigh about 20 lbs per cubic foot. They behave like wood and do not catch fire easily. The tallest straw bale building is located in France, where straw bales are permitted for construction of public buildings. The oldest straw bale building is 112 years old and is located in Nebraska.
Thanks to the study, we now have conclusive proof that a straw bale building is one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly structures available.
Comments20/02/2017 #5 Claire L 🐝 CardwellSolar-power system could provide clean drinking water in rural India for the first time. A solar-powered purification system could slake the thirsts of rural India with clean drinking water for the first time. This would be no ordinary feat. Tens of millions of people in India lack access to potable water, and roughly 600,000 Indian children die every year from water- and sanitation-related diseases like diarrhea or pneumonia, according to UNICEF. In the country’s most far-flung regions, where 70 percent of India’s population lives, toxic bacteria routinely fouls at least half of the water supply. But while the Indian government has focused its efforts on treating surface water in rivers and streams, researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland want to attack the source of contamination: sewage.
They’ve developed a system that uses sunlight to induce high-energy particles within a photocatalytic material, which uses light to generate a chemical reaction. These, in turn, activate molecules of oxygen, mobilizing them to destroy bacteria and other organic matter.
Because the materials require no power source, an off-grid system requires little more than attaching the photocatalyst to containers of contaminated water and angling them toward the sun until they’re safe to drink. If necessary, the system could be used in tandem with a filter to catch larger particles.
- 20/02/2017Scientists hatch crazy $500 billion plan to refreeze the Arctic. As governments make slow progress towards alleviating climate change and denial marks the Trump Administration’s approach to the global crisis, scientists have hatched a crazy $500 billion scheme to refreeze the Arctic. Led by physicist Steven Desch of Arizona State University, a team of 14 scientists concocted a plan to replenish Arctic sea ice using ten million wind-powered pumps.
The strategy involves deploying millions of renewably-powered pumps to send water onto the surface of Arctic ice during the winter. In theory, that water would then freeze, thickening the ice before summer. Desch said the pumps could add around three feet to the current layer of sea ice. If the ice is thicker, he argued, it would last longer and reduce the danger of sea ice vanishing completely during the summer.
The paper’s abstract states that the Arctic could be utterly devoid of summer sea ice by the year 2030. If that occurs, the ocean would absorb the sunlight it once reflected – so replenishing sea ice now is an imperative. The paper goes on to state that the 2015 Paris agreement won’t be enough to halt the consequences of global warming.
- 16/02/2017This smog-fighting music academy will have an air purifier as effective as 33,000 trees. The Polish city of Krakow has some of the worst air pollution in the world. In hopes of improving the city’s air quality, FAAB Architektura proposed a smog-fighting music academy fitted with a German air purification system that they say works effectively as 33,000 city trees. The music academy was designed as part of a larger “Krakow Music City” masterplan that envisions a largely car-free and environmentally friendly development atop a former military base.
Located between Krakow and the Vistula River, the proposed masterplan is designed to blend into the natural landscape with its vernacular wooden lap panel cladding and use of energy-efficient technologies. Around 1,300 square meters of a Green City Solutions-developed air purification product would be embedded in the music academy’s moss-covered rooftops. The special moss culture converts air pollutants into biomass.
- 01/02/2017The end of air conditioning? Asia architects use green solutions to cool buildings.
Spend five minutes in humid Ho Chi Minh City and you'll probably be running for cover into the nearest air-conditioned refuge.
In the Vietnamese city -- and many developing subtropical countries across Asia, such as Indonesia and the Philippines -- air conditioning (AC) is increasingly being considered a necessity.
But one architecture firm is advocating a different way to keep cool.
T3 Architecture Asia, which has offices in Vietnam and France, specializes in back-to-basics "bioclimatic architecture", which it says could make energy-guzzling AC units redundant.
By harnessing the local topography, climate, and vegetation, as well as cleverly manipulating a building's orientation, the firm can naturally create a comfortable indoor climate.
"It is crucial for all new building designs in cities to encompass bioclimatic architectural features," Myles McCarthy, director of implementation at the Carbon Trust consultancy and research firm, tells CNN.
"As demands in Asian cities for buildings -- both domestic and commercial -- increases, and the need for higher density living continues to climb with urban populations, it will be crucial to ensure this growth does not drive energy and water consumptions higher."
- 01/02/20178 surprising uses for hemp that could make the world a greener place -
Hemp isn’t just for hackin’ the sack at Phish shows or making rope. This amazing plant, a non-psychoactive variety of cannabis grown specifically for industrial purposes, has a vast number of applications for a greener planet. Cultivated hemp grows quickly in a wide variety of climates and does not degrade the soil in which it is grown.
Comments01/02/2017 #7 Chas ✌️ Wyatt#5 Yes, @Claire L 🐝 Cardwell, it is ironic that in the U.S. farmers in the mid-west were encouraged to grow hemp to help with the war effort during WWII. (rope, cloth, cordage, etc.). The U.S. Dept. of agriculture even put out a film titled "Hemp for Victory". That is why in states such as Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, it has become naturalized and grows on its own accord. Competing industries such as cotton (clothing), timber and oil (oil from hemp is a great lubricant) demonized it to put it out of business and make it illegal.01/02/2017 #5 Claire L 🐝 Cardwell@Chas ✌️ Wyatt It's incredible how many uses that Hemp has, you can make plastic, houses, electrical wires, bio fuel and even an aeroplane has been built! I can only imagine that it's been banned because of the competition with big business and the fact that it belongs to the Cannabis family. I read once that you would have to smoke nearly a ton of hemp in ten minutes to feel a very slight effect....01/02/2017 #3 Chas ✌️ Wyatt@Claire L 🐝 Cardwell, thank you. There is a company in Canada which produces fiberboard from hemp that is more durable than fiberboard that is produced from woodchips. Also, I seen a hundred-year-old bible that was printed on paper made from hemp pulp and the pages were still white, unlike paper made from wood pulp which yellows and deteriorates after a short period of time.
- ProducerBuilding Green? Here's some tips.In South Africa we have had 2 years of unusually warm weather and a drought. The coal reserves are set to run out by 2020. It is now vitally important to be environmentally aware and active. According to the Zero Energy Project, the construction...
Comments01/02/2017 #15 Claire L 🐝 Cardwell@Lisa 🐝 Gallagher - I've just spotted this link :- The end of air conditioning? Asia architects use green solutions to cool buildings
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/31/architecture/t3-architecture-asia-bioclimatic-architecture/01/02/2017 #13 Claire L 🐝 CardwellHi @Lisa 🐝 Gallagher - these aren't my photos - I will post some soon, they are taken with a small digital camera - I was using film up until I couldn't get it anymore.... I am saving up for a 'back' that will fit on my long lens. I get most of my images that I use in my posts from Free Images.com. As far as A/C is concerned I used to live in Singapore with my parents when I was a teenager. We lived in an old colonial house with deep eaves, very high ceilings and a really v. good cross flow of air. The Lounge was open on three sides. The living rooms were also quite large. However it was a different story at night - the bedrooms were small and only had one window, so we couldn't just rely on a ceiling fan. The trouble is that most houses today are not designed that way and get uncomfortably hot in the summer months. All I can suggest is that you get good insulation in your roof....01/02/2017 #12 Lisa 🐝 GallagherGreat info @Claire L 🐝 Cardwell! I am addicted to my A/C during the hot/humid months. What do people do in order to keep their homes cool and free from a lot of humidity, there must be solutions for that too. Using Central Air really costs a lot of money when the electric bill arrives. The photos I see you post, are some of them yours? I love photography, would love to see more of yours!01/02/2017 #6 Devesh Bhatt#5 it does, it is essential for the Developed countries and critical for developing countries.
I had submitted a paper here, lobbying didn't get it started. Idea was simple
Public toilets which produce power and compost ...But the special part was cashless incentives for waste collectors and green tops for air pollution, plus they could sell it to the grid or electric vehicles.
Functional, possible, sustainable with low maintenance on far off areas in tourist places, villages, highways etc.
Does it appeal to you. If yes we can discuss.01/02/2017 #5 Claire L 🐝 CardwellThanks @Devesh Bhatt - v. pleased you enjoyed my article. It makes commercial sense to build green and in many cases now it costs the same (or can be even cheaper) to construct an environmentally friendly building. There are many health benefits for the people living & working in green buildings - check out http://climatenewsnetwork.net/people-and-planet-benefit-from-green-buildings/01/02/2017 #2 Claire L 🐝 CardwellThanks @David B. Grinberg! Glad you enjoyed the article. There have been studies recently that demonstrate that there are many benefits to a green building, apart from the energy saving aspect,
"Studies into 69,000 buildings − homes, offices and factories − in 150 countries show that there are fewer illnesses among residents and workers, who report they are more comfortable and happier. Employers also find they are more productive. Companies that opt for “green” buildings gain because workers stay longer in their jobs and have fewer absences, while recruitment is easier because new employees are attracted to environmentally-friendly buildings."
http://climatenewsnetwork.net/people-and-planet-benefit-from-green-buildings/01/02/2017 #1 David B. GrinbergThanks for this excellent advice, Claire. I've noticed here in the USA that many building are "going green" by having grass and plants covering the roof. I think that's catching on. Hopefully, mega corporations will think long and hard about the important issues you identified. We all need to remember that you can't fool Mother Nature!
- IKEA Foundation and UNHCR's refugee shelter has been named the 2016 Beazley Design of the Year by Design Museum in London, selected as the winner of Architecture category. Designed by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, temporary refugee shelter gives a response towards the global issue of population displacement.
Better Shelter pipped the 5 other category winners to claim the overall prize. Better Shelter is a social enterprise bringing design industry innovation to emergency and temporary shelter. The project has developed safer, more dignified homes for those who have been displaced due conflict and natural disasters.
Featuring a lockable front door and a solar powered wall, the shelter utilises flat-pack technology used in furniture design and has repurposed it to create a shelter that can be easily assembled and transported. Flat-packed in a two-box kit along with all the required tools, the shelter is easily assembled in about four hours. The photovoltaic panel provides enough energy to power the supplied light or to charge a mobile phone. 30,000 Better Shelters’ are already in use around the world and the judges chose Better Shelter as a clear demonstration of scalable design that has the ability to make a worldwide impact.
- A cement company has launched a new, more environmentally-friendly type of cement based on an old Roman recipe. HR Cement in Tauranga looked to ancient Roman concrete mixtures for inspiration for its low-carbon footprint cement, eco-cem. The company has combined ancient methods with modern manufacturing techniques to create the more eco-friendly cement. According to a report by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the global cement industry accounted for 5 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas and about 900 kilograms of carbon dioxide was emitted for the creation of every 1000kg of cement.
HR Cement says the New Zealand construction industry uses about 1.5 million tonnes of cement every year.
Managing director Chris Hall said eco-cem had the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete used on construction sites by 15 per cent to 30 per cent.
The new cement uses a material called pozzolan.
Comments01/02/2017 #2 Ken Boddie#1 Nothing really new about pozzolans, Claire, which have been used for many years to supplement Portland cement as additives. A pozzolanic reaction really only describes the cementing that occurs when finely ground siliceous or aluminous materials are added, along with water, to calcium hydroxide. I must admit to being a little suspicious of such claims as stated in this article, and fear that there may be a little bit of climbing on the 'green' band wagon. It is well known that the Romans developed and expanded upon existing basic pozzolanic practices in their constructions, but the cement industry has achieved major technological innovation since then and is pretty diverse overall. As in all aspects of a highly competitive building and construction, the client, designer and contractor (not to forget the various national standards specifiers) need to have access to a reliable product or products with good 'close-to-site' availability at a competitive price, a material with well proven performance and workability, and good technical support. 'Green' on its own will not, I believe, be a marketing edge that will sell to hardcore builders.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDES 99% OF ALL NEW U.S. ELECTRICAL GENERATING CAPACITY IN OCTOBER 2013 - Renewable sources now account for nearly 16% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: water – 8.30%, wind – 5.21%, biomass – 1.32%, solar – 0.59%, and geothermal steam – 0.33%. * This is more than nuclear (9.22%) and oil (4.06%) combined.RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDES 99% OF ALL NEW U.S. ELECTRICAL GENERATING CAPACITY IN OCTOBER 2013 - Green Building Elementsgreenbuildingelements.com solar, biomass, and wind "units" provided 694 MW of new electrical generating capacity last month or 99.3% of all new...
- 30/01/2017At blinged-out Trump hotels, 'green' isn't part of the brand.
The website for President Trump's 52-story Manhattan luxury hotel boasts the best rooms money can buy.
The five-star, five-diamond hotel, where room prices start at $400 a night, offers nanny services and provides each guest with a personal Trump attache. Guests can relax at the Trump spa or dine at Jean Georges, a Michelin 3-star "sophisticated New French eatery."
But while Trump's showcase hotel checks every box in terms of luxury, it's a laggard in one area — how efficiently it uses energy. The 397,000-square-foot building on the southwestern corner of Central Park scored an 8 on a scale of 1 to 100, according to the city of New York's most recent energy benchmarking data.
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This hive is where professionals in the design and construction industry & the public get together to come up with sustainable design initiatives to solve housing and environmental issues. All over the world people are coming up with ideas to solve the endemic housing, water & food shortages. This is a forum for people to share ideas, ask questions and come up with working solutions.