logoSign upLog in
Design & Sustainability Network - beBee

Design & Sustainability Network

~ 100 buzzes
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.
  1. ProducerA Rescue Bin Hire
    4 Things You Must Think about When Hiring A Skip Bin
    4 Things You Must Think about When Hiring A Skip BinIf you’ve got a high volume of waste that you need to dispose of quickly and cost effectively, hiring a skip bin is a smart move. It’s easy, hassle free and all you have to do is fill it up before it taken away for good! You might be thinking of...
  2. Claire L Cardwell
    Humans have killed nearly half the trees on earth so far.
    A new study of arboreal density around the globe indicates humans are directly responsible for killing almost half the trees on the planet. This latest report confirms the devastation we already knew, but in a very real way, since this study is the first of its kind to be derived from actual data, giving us a more accurate picture of the Earth’s forests than ever before.
    This study is the first-ever data-driven global tree census, so it provides the most accurate count of trees to date. Researchers calculated there are some 3.04 trillion trees on Earth today, which breaks down to approximately 422 per person. That’s good news, because it surpasses previous estimates that put the figure at just a fraction of that. The bummer, though, is that the current number of trees represents a 46 percent decline since humans started cutting them down.
    Arriving at the new tree density figures was a feat partly of mathematics and partly of wizardry. Researchers collected 429,775 ground-sourced measurements of tree density from every continent except Antarctica. They combined that information with satellite data on climate, topography, and human land use. The resulting models predicted tree density around the globe down to a single square kilometer.
    Comparing those tree density predictions with spatial maps of forest loss, the researchers calculate that humans are removing approximately 15.3 billion trees each year, with the highest rates of decline happening in the tropics. Forest regrowth accounts for a little more than 5 billion trees per year, making for a net loss of around 10 billion trees annually. That’s a lot of tree killing we’re doing, people.
    Claire L Cardwell


    Praveen Raj Gullepalli
    13/04/2017 #1 Praveen Raj Gullepalli
    If we give serious thought to nature, it is plain to see that most of the stuff that humans do goes against or is detrimental to the habitat they live in. Flora and fauna nurture each other. two sides of the same coin. Yin and Yang. O2 and CO2. Where the hell did we come from anyway!? ;)
  3. Claire L Cardwell
    MAD and Stefano Boeri propose crinkled towers and vertical forests for Milan's disused Railway Yards.
    MAD, Stefano Boeri Architetti and Mecanoo are among five architecture studios to unveil proposals to completely transform unused railways across Milan, creating high-density housing and swaths of greenery.
    The five proposals emerged from a workshop held in December 2016, which invited architects to reimagine the brownfield sites of Farini, Porta Genova, Porta Romana, Lambrate, Greco, Rogoredo and San Cristoforo as public parks, social housing and hubs for sustainable modes of transport.
    The ideas for the regeneration project – called Scali Milano – were presented at this year's Milan design week.
    The Green River proposal put forward by Milan-based Stefano Boeri and his team is an "urban reforestation project".
    Aiming to cover 90 per cent of the available area in public parks, forests, orchards and a network of bicycle paths, the office estimates the scheme could absorb over 45,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and produce 1,800 tonnes of oxygen.
    The other 10 per cent of the land would be used to create areas of dense building comprising housing, workplaces and services such as libraries, clinics and kindergartens.
    Claire L Cardwell
  4. Claire L Cardwell
    8 homes that generate more energy than they consume.
    Your future home could make electric bills a thing of the past, and even help you earn money in the process. Plus-energy homes are popping up around the world, generating more energy than they use, and can even be set up to sell excess energy back to the grid. Beautiful, energy efficient, and increasingly affordable, these dwellings are proving the viability of renewable energy over fossil fuel sources. We’ve rounded up eight plus-energy homes that can produce more energy than they need, with some so powerful that they can even light up the house next door.
    Claire L Cardwell
  5. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    “Vegans and vegetarians think they don’t kill animals but they do” – PlayGround+
  6. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    Our Most Iconic National Parks Are in Danger of Becoming Oil and Gas Drilling Hot Spots
    tv.fusion.net Few people know that there is drilling going on in our national parks at...
  7. Claire L Cardwell
    How to stop deforestation: 'Indigenous people are the best park rangers'
    Trees soak up greenhouse gases, so how do we ensure their protection?
    1 | Stop subsidising agriculture that harms forests
    Countries need to stop using outdated fiscal policies for agriculture. In some places, such as Brazil and Indonesia, the amount spent by their governments on subsidising agriculture is more than 100 times higher than the international funding provided to those countries for forest conservation. It sends out a contradictory message if a government is signing up to zero deforestation commitments on one hand, whilst simultaneously making deforestation more attractive to farmers.
    2 | Invest in indigenous people
    Forest dwellers are best placed be the first ones to indicate threats and call for help. In the past, radio units were installed in some indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon and they did wonders. I think the more we invest in getting low cost tech resources like this to people living in forests, the more we will get in return to fight deforestation. There are 20 million people living in the Brazilian Amazon, we should support their role in protecting their forests. They are the best park rangers as their cultures and livelihoods depend on healthy forests. Yet support rarely reaches them.
    Claire L Cardwell
  8. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    Urban cliffs for better city biodiversity
    www.linkedin.com Natural cliffs in the landscape play home to a variety of flora and fauna. By contrast, cities are full of tall vertical structures whose glass...
  9. Claire L Cardwell
    Dropping costs in renewable tech spurs rapid shift to clean energy
    Welcome to the clean energy revolution – with or without Trump. A new report from the United Nations Environment Programme, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), and Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance reveals plunging costs in renewable technology have generated a whole new world of power. Unsubsidized renewables in more countries are now the cheapest new form of energy.
    Renewable energy detractors love to claim it’s too expensive, but that criticism simply doesn’t hold up anymore, according to the new report. Per megawatt, the average dollar capital expenditure fell by more than 10 percent for wind and solar. The report also revealed worldwide solar generation costs fell by an average of 17 percent in one year. Onshore wind dropped by 18 percent, and offshore wind plummeted by 28 percent.
    After the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidized wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world – sometimes by a factor of two. It’s a whole new world…instead of having to subsidize renewables, now authorities may have to subsidize natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability.”
    “Moving from fossil fuels to renewable sources such as solar and wind is key to achieving social, economic, and environmental development,” Renewable energy creates jobs, provides electricity for people who didn’t have it before, and reduces air pollution, all at an increasingly low cost.
    Claire L Cardwell
  10. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    The world’s first mall for recycled goods
    makewealthhistory.org Last week I wrote about the Edinburgh Remakery, and how they are trying to foster a culture of repair. It’s one of the most shared posts I’ve ever written, and there’s clearly a...
  11. Claire L Cardwell
    Indoor Pests - how to deal with them without using Poisons....

    Just remember - Boric Acid is very poisonous for cats.
    Claire L Cardwell
  12. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    “Earth Has Shifted”-Inuit Elders Issue Warning To NASA And The World (Video)
    www.theearthchild.co.za Living in the Canadian Arctic regions, Greenland and the USA, the Inuit people and their ancestors were all fantastic weather forecasters. NASA has received a warning from the Inuits, that warning is about climate change, but it isn’t because of...
  13. Claire L Cardwell
    All a big lie by big business and big pharma..... We knew it all along....
    Claire L Cardwell
    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...
  14. Mark Blevins

    Mark Blevins

    Mark Blevins
    3 Cities Prove Climate Action Works
    ecowatch.us7.list-manage.com "To date, this city has in­stalled 8.8 MW of solar PV across 52 mu­ni­cipal...
  15. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    Permaculture magazine
    www.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. Claire L Cardwell
    Mesmerizing 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.
    Claire L Cardwell
  17. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    Hammond ignores solar tax hike concerns in spring budget, Ross Hoare
    insights.hyperionsearch.co.uk Incredibly disappointing that the Government have stuck to their guns on massive tax hikes on companies and school who have installed...
  18. Claire L Cardwell
    The 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.
    Claire L Cardwell
  19. Flavio 🇯🇵 Souza 🐝
    Life finds a way Flavio 🇯🇵 Souza 🐝
  20. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    Desalination 'may be' WP first - Cape Messenger
    www.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...
  21. ProducerClaire L Cardwell
    Green Facades : Why are some Architects scared?
    Green 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...


    Claire L Cardwell
    07/03/2017 #17 Claire L Cardwell
    Thanks for the share @Lada 🏡 Prkic!
    Claire L Cardwell
    07/03/2017 #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.
    Devesh 🐝 Bhatt
    07/03/2017 #15 Devesh 🐝 Bhatt
    #14 people will eventually grow ears for it. Till then good luck.
    Javier Rojas García
    07/03/2017 #14 Javier Rojas García
    #11 You´re right, but this green facades are only the tip of the iceberg. Architecture has to say plenty of things about improving the living conditions of human beings through a better relationship with the environment.
    Javier Rojas García
    07/03/2017 #13 Javier Rojas García
    #10 ha ha ha, I´ll think about it...
    Claire L Cardwell
    07/03/2017 #12 Claire L Cardwell
    Thanks for the share @Javier Rojas García!
    Devesh 🐝 Bhatt
    07/03/2017 #11 Devesh 🐝 Bhatt
    The 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.
    Claire L Cardwell
    07/03/2017 #10 Claire L Cardwell
    Perhaps you can start sneaking in real plants whilst no one is looking @Javier Rojas García!
    Javier Rojas García
    07/03/2017 #9 Javier Rojas García
    Hi, 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.
    Claire L Cardwell
    06/03/2017 #7 Claire L Cardwell
    #5 @Phil Friedman - you really made me chuckle with this one! Would love to see a new Carrot Tower!
    Lada 🏡 Prkic
    06/03/2017 #6 Lada 🏡 Prkic
    #4 I am interested, too. The Vertical Forest in Milan is a rare example of a finished treescraper project. I think the time will show the suitability of this type of planting and how will the trees get used to the condition at such a height.
    Phil Friedman
    06/03/2017 #5 Phil Friedman
    #3 #4 Lada and Claire, I've heard that a new Trump Tower is being designed in the shape and color of a carrot to represent the overall appearance of its namesake. I can hardly wait.:-)
    Claire L Cardwell
    06/03/2017 #4 Claire L Cardwell
    #3 @Lada 🏡 Prkic - it will be interesting to see how this new vertical horticulture goes.... I guess in the majority of cases very hardy trees need to be planted. It would be fascinating to see how the plants and trees are installed and maintained.
    Lada 🏡 Prkic
    06/03/2017 #3 Lada 🏡 Prkic
    Hi 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.
    Giles Davis
    06/03/2017 #2 Giles Davis
    Agree - use greenery whenever possible! Looks stunning.
    Claire L Cardwell
    06/03/2017 #1 Claire L Cardwell
    @Lada 🏡 Prkic @Ken Boddie @Javier Rojas García - thought you may like this article! Have a great week!
  22. Claire L Cardwell
    Parasitic 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.
    Claire L Cardwell


    Claire L Cardwell
    05/03/2017 #4 Claire L Cardwell
    #3 Absolutely @Praveen Raj Gullepalli! Let's get cubing!
    Praveen Raj Gullepalli
    05/03/2017 #3 Praveen Raj Gullepalli
    #2 Well then - let's just Heave-a-ho Geronimo! :)
    Claire L Cardwell
    05/03/2017 #2 Claire L Cardwell
    #1 Great point @Praveen Raj Gullepalli! In fact with the new solar energy generating glass you wouldn't have to replace anything.... You could still enjoy the view and have your house lit up like a Christmas Tree guilt free!
    Praveen Raj Gullepalli
    05/03/2017 #1 Praveen Raj Gullepalli
    Replace half that glass with solar panels and you could have electricity generated and stored as well.
  23. Claire L Cardwell
    Claire L Cardwell
    Arup | Publications | Deadline 2020: How cities will get the job done
    publications.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...
  24. Claire L Cardwell
    Duke 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.”
    Claire L Cardwell
  25. Claire L Cardwell
    New 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.
    Claire L Cardwell


    Lada 🏡 Prkic
    01/03/2017 #2 Lada 🏡 Prkic
    #1 You too, Claire! Keep it coming. I love learning about new technologies.
    Claire L Cardwell
    01/03/2017 #1 Claire L Cardwell
    Thanks for the share @Lada 🏡 Prkic have an awesome day!
See all