- 19/11/20168 inexpensive earth homes almost anyone can affordinhabitat.com Let these earth houses inspire you to build your own affordable home from sustainable...
- Producer28/11/2016What you need to know before installing a rainwater harvest systemWater is vital to life and is such a precious natural resource that it makes sense to collect every drop of rain and re-cycle grey water and back-washed pool water. In fact you can reduce your water bill by as much as 90% by harvesting rain...
Comments01/12/2016 #13 Claire Cardwell#11 Unfortunately the water infrastructure has not been maintained or planned very well here either @Kirsten Horner - as the city gets more and more overpopulated and dense we are about to see some major problems with water supply, this has of course been exacerbated by the drought....29/11/2016 #11 Kirsten HornerThanks Claire. We live with water saving and water restrictions here in Queensland, Australia - in between the floods! The larger water management infrastructure is under pressure and hasn't been planned or managed well for future supply, so everyone has to do their part on their own property.29/11/2016 #4 Rod LoaderA good post Clair. Here is Australia, virtually all rural homes have rain water tanks. I have four 20,000 litre tanks, which supplies all my household water (drinking, showers, etc) and water for my gardens, pool etc. I also have a bore, which is not as nice, but still drinkable, as a backup. When you rely on stored water, you are a lot more aware of water usage.28/11/2016 #2 Lada Prkic"Water conservation needs to be a way of life.“ I second that Claire. Your article is a very good reminder of the importance of water. My homeland, Croatia, is water-rich country and also one of the countries where you can safely drink tap water. But despite this, many people in rural and suburban areas, and especially people who live on islands are collecting rainwater to reduce their bills when using water for agriculture.
In addition, several scientific studies propose to refurbish numerous abandoned traditional rain collectors (impluviums) in the Dalmatian area of Croatia to collect rain and dew water, which could provide a significant amount of water, especially during the dry season.
- 28/11/2016ZERO-BLADE TECHNOLOGY ► Tunisian start-up Saphon Energy developed a radical new way of harnessing the wind. The related wind converter, called "The Saphonian", is bladeless and non-rotating with a design inspired by antient sailboats, as well as the movements of birds and fish → https://youtu.be/b3aBPDTDtx8
- Producer19/11/2016Gut Feeling Heralds New Generation Lithium BatteriesCambridge Uni and Beijing Institute of Technology researchers have reportedly collaborated to develop a denser and potentially much longer lasting lithium battery. The concept is seemingly intestine-inspired. More details, for the bioengineering...
Comments24/11/2016 #8 Kevin PashukBack in 2001 NYT Journalist Tom Friedman (author of The World is Flat and no relation to @Phil Friedman) stated that the first one to come up with a cheap, reliable, renewable power source will be the one to rule the world, regardless of politics. (My paraphrase).
Looks like we are still working to rule the world. Interesting concept, and better than putting a mini nuclear reactor in your pocket.24/11/2016 #4 Ken Boddie#1 You can take a technocrat to water but you can't make him drink. He's too busy trying to redesign the tap to enjoy the magnificent fluid coming out of it, Lada. There's a world of readers out there, Lada, queuing up to read our buzzes. Sometimes engagement comes from the least expected direction.24/11/2016 #2 Dean OwenThis is very interesting. Back in 2008 i concluded that there was no doubt in my mind China would have car companies to rival Toyota and Ford. Chinese cars back then were shoddy rip offs. They have improved tremendously. There are a few contenders like Great Wall, but I saw promise with BYD who were producing electric cars. Legend has it the Chairman of BYD bought a Mercedes S Class then told his workers to disassemble it to see how it was built. They refused to take apart such a beautiful new car, so he got out his key and scraped all along the side of the car and said, "now do it!". BYD has since been at the forefront of lithium battery, and electric car production. Their cars are still pretty bad, but getting better. Warren Buffet has had a stake in them for a while now. I believe he bought at around RMB 20, it went up to 90, and is now around 46. With the development you mention above, I would suggest BYD is a good buy right now. Seeing how Japanese, and now Korean cars have improved, I have no doubt Chinese car makers will produce high quality cars within the next decade.
- Producer19/11/2016Noah's House?This house is built to facilitate rising river levels. It is claimed that building this floating house was cheaper (and certainly more aesthetically appealing) than building ugly flood defence barriers. Beats me how high the neighbours will keep...
Comments23/11/2016 #4 Kevin PashukI'm wondering if its a Scot who designed this (being married to one, I think of these things). I do remember seeing a small house built on a bridge for the very reason that in some jurisdictions that you weren't required to pay property tax if the home wasn't actually sitting on land.
- 17/11/2016Are there alternatives to foam when it comes to packaging and insulation? Yes says Ecovative Design, a NY company engaged in the design, development & testing of biomaterial applications. The company has launched 2 extremely green mushroom-based products. This high-performance alternative to molded or fabricated is renewable, compostable & cost-competitive. Ecovative’s Mushroom packaging, is a “Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified alternative” to plastic packaging. http://greenbuildingelements.com/2014/07/22/green-materials-report-ecovative-designs-non-foam-insulation/
Comments19/11/2016 #3 Pamela L. WilliamsVery interesting Claire, thank you for sharing. Styrofoam is one of my pet-peeves. Our recycling program does not include styrofoam so we collect it at our Sierra Club meetings and one of the members takes it to a business that will recycle it for use in other products.
- 16/11/2016Canada Tops Out World’s Tallest Wood-Frame Building. Celebrating the tallest wood-frame building of its kind anywhere in the world, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr recently attended the “topping out” ceremony of the Brock Commons Residence.
The new University of British Columbia student housing tower rises 18 stories to reach a stunning 178.8 feet (53 meters) tall. To read more go to :- http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/10/05/canada-tops-out-worlds-tallest-wood-frame-building/
Comments18/11/2016 #3 Claire Cardwell#2 Hi @Jan Barbosa it is an amazing structure, I think that wood would have more sound absorbing qualities than Concrete - especially with noise overhead and below. As to external noise the building does not look like it is an incredibly busy area, I guess it all depends on whether they used double glazing in the windows....18/11/2016 #2 Jan BarbosaGuess the building would need pretty good sound insulation... I live in an apartment made with concrete but guess sound insulation was NOT one of their PRIME directives !!! Believe me.. stopping noise coming thru an aluminum louvered window is almost impossible... nevertheless im amzed at such a construction using wood..
- 15/11/2016This is pretty cool!: "The PowerWatch uses thermoelectrics, a material which converts temperature differences into electricity."The PowerWatch, developed by startup Matrix Industries, is the first wearable powered by body heat.money.cnn.com The Matrix smartwatch is powered by body...
- 15/11/2016New Construction Materials… That Self-Repair?
Opening up a new field of design for construction technology, the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is envisioning futuristic materials that repair themselves.
After recently launching the Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program, DARPA’s goal is to create a whole new class of construction materials. Imagine engineering living cellular systems into the structural features of traditional construction materials. The results might offer, for example, a driveway that eats oil spills; a chimney that cleans itself or heals after heat damage; surface materials that never fade or flake; or even a roof that “breathes” and controls airflow.
To read more go to:-New Construction Materials... That Self-Repair? - Green Building Elementsgreenbuildingelements.com Opening up a new field of construction technology, DARPA is envisioning futuristic self-repairing construction materials grown from...
Comments16/11/2016 #5 Lada Prkic#1 Claire, thanks for the tag. I’m familiar with the self-healing concrete and bio-bricks and read a lot about that. This amazing concept of genetically engineered 3D structures from seeds looks a pretty bizarre but I'm also excited about its possible development. As the author of the article said, the internet was a pretty bizarre concept back in 1969, too. What is now unrealistic might become possible within 2 or 3 decades and I'm looking forward to it.16/11/2016 #4 Lada Prkic#1 Claire, thanks for the tag. I’m familiar with the self-healing concrete and bio-bricks and read a lot about that. This amazing concept of genetically engineered 3D structures from seeds looks a pretty bizarre but I'm also exciting to watch its possible development. As the author of the article said, the internet was a pretty bizarre concept back in 1969, too. What is now unrealistic might become possible within 2 or 3 decades and I'm looking forward to it.
- 09/11/20163D printing meets affordable, scalable housing construction. This has my geek-meter pegged high on sustainable innovation!This castle was printed in concrete This printer can print...
- Producer07/11/2016Building your house out of Straw? How about Rice Straw? I've just discovered that the best straw to use for building is rice straw. Pine Needle Straw and Coconut Straw also work really well, but due to the high silica content in Rice Straw it's far better than wheat straw. Rice is a staple food for...
Comments07/11/2016 #6 Claire Cardwell#5 I live in Boskruin (near the Rhema Church and Crescent Clinic (was the Old White Horse Inn). It only takes me about 20 minutes to get to Parkview on the back roads. Parkview is lovely, did you stay in one of those stunning old houses with the pressed iron ceilings? Please send me the link to your article when you write it @Paul Walters! I love the idea of a 'truth window' too.07/11/2016 #5 Paul Walters@Claire Cardwell Wow, this is amazing. Today I was working on a piece on building straw houses for a Magazine here in Indonesia . Met an architect here in Bali who is on a quest. Rice straw is all burnt here which seems a bit ridiculous. Her first structure has been turned into a coconut oil processing centre which is proving to be successful . I like the 'truth window' she puts into the structure showing the straw under the plaster. I have to have the piece finished by thursday and will eventually post iy on beBEE . However thanks for the article ( I might reference your work in SA) By the way where do you live in Gauteng ? I used to live in Parkview !!07/11/2016 #3 Claire Cardwell#2 Absolutely - I like the lego bricks too - it will make straw building so much faster and easier. Whilst I was writing the article I wondered if a little sand and some Sporosarcina pasteurii bacteria (used for the bio bricks) would eliminate the need for the glue.07/11/2016 #2 Ken BoddieI see 'padi' straw being burnt regularly all over South-East Asia, Claire. These 'lego' bricks look really interesting and may be a viable consideration in countries like Indonesia! Potential to greatly increase lateral resistance, particularly to the 'big bad wolf' who 'huffs and puffs'? 🌪
- 07/11/2016How about a backyard garden office? The owners wanted a backyard office and the shed was renovated into an art studio. - Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture, San Francisico, USA - to read more go to :- http://inhabitat.com/this-lush-green-cube-is-a-dream-artists-studio-hidden-in-a-san-francisco-garden/
Comments07/11/2016 #4 Ken BoddieI just can't stop the geotechnical engineer in me getting in the way of my aesthetic appreciation, Claire. Ivy on walls can be so destructive due to root jacking in existing cracks in the bricks and mortar, and can also damage the fabric of timber, not to mention housing unwanted pesky inspects. As for garden beds close to foundations, the intensive watering required and/or the root suction can cause structural damage, particularly when the house is built on reactive clays prone to seasonal shrink-swell movement. Looks great but looks can deceive. 😟
- Producer06/11/2016@Soulfulsundays - Thorncrown Chapel by E. Fay JonesThorncrown Chapel was designed by world renowned architect E. Fay Jones. Fay was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1921. He studied at the University of Arkansas, Rice University, the University of Oklahoma, and finally under his mentor Frank Lloyd...
Comments06/11/2016 #13 CityVP Manjit#11 There is another discipline that is akin to "school by doing" which is "action learning" - the important thing here is that doing is not a past tense, it is in the here and now, and Claire Cardwell can engage this right here or anywhere.
For sure getting to know how the Lloyds translated this to architecture is something you won't know unless we engaged in that school, but even me just discovering this as a reality has somewhat imperceptibly changed me. It is the appreciation of this awareness that matters.
Whether it is this discovery I had today about Taliesen philosophy courtesy of your buzz or visiting those who think about "action learning" http://www.wial.org/action-learning - the actual reality of this discovery is that both you and I can then operating in the school which we to belong even when it is a self-created school of our own online learning journeys.
This is why I especially really loved the affinity that I dug out of your buzz because it is kindred with how I personally want to relate to the WWW a.k.a. http://myhero.com/hero.asp?hero=T_BernersLee_MMUN_CA_07 and so I frame it as a "learning journey".06/11/2016 #9 CityVP ManjitWhat was personally relevant to me in this buzz was that I encountered the intellect of E.Fay Jones which informs my yellow hive, it contained the emergent and design aspects of architecture which informs my violet hive and it told the story of an educational institution for the Lloyd-Wright's vision of an architectural fellowship which informs my gray hive. When it comes to my own learning journey this buzz actually contained far more elements than simply directly appreciating the design thinking of the Thorncrown Chapel. Thank You for this buzz.06/11/2016 #7 CityVP ManjitDid not about Fay Jones. The one thing obituaries create is a doorway into a life, so I first accessed the NY Times page for his obit http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/01/arts/design/fay-jones-83-architect-influenced-by-wright-dies.html?_r=0 There I also learned about http://taliesinfellows.org/i/taliesin-fellows/ so again something new for me but now I see the connection even more with Lloyd-Wright as an educator. That in itself is worth buzzing to my Gray HIve https://www.bebee.com/group/gray noting here that my hives are for my own learning journey, rather than a singular interest in the field of architecture. An obit of an accomplished person describes the key moments of a life and a person's work, .In Fay Jones it's describes a "chance encounter with Lloyd-Wright". Again another evidence point what @Sara Jacobovici and Reena Saxena on LinkedIn have been talking about regards the subject of synchronicity. I also note Olgivanna Lloyd Wright's contribution in enlightening Frank Lloyd Wright towards this vision that I learned today was Taliesian. What we attribute to greatness is a web of relationships that I am beginning more and more to recognize in my own learning journey.06/11/2016 #6 Claire CardwellIt's on my bucket list of places to go along with Falling Waters by Frank Lloyd Wright who was E Fay Jones's Mentor. I particularly love the fact about how E Fay Jones insisted that the chapel only be built with materials that could be carried by two men through the forest.
- 05/11/2016Solar Roof is designed to replace traditional shingles.Elon Musk unveils Solar Roof by SolarCity Tesla CEO and SolarCity chairman Elon Musk just announced a new way to power your home with solar power. The product is called Solar Roof, and it’s designed...
- 03/11/2016NAIL HOUSE PHENOMENON ► Nail house is a building whose owner refuses to accept compensation from a property developer for its demolition, either for the love of the home, or because they want to 'hold out' for increased compensation.
Below is the famous nail house in China where the road was built around the house, leaving it as an island in a river of new asphalt. The house was finally demolished after its elderly owners agreed to accept compensation.
Comments05/11/2016 #5 Ken BoddieAmending John Donne's famous quote, "No house is an island"? The eventual stated solution makes us think how, and even whether, the owners 'agreed'?
Perhaps @Dean Owen may agree that, in this former feudal state, where impressive infrastructure is built with incredible speed, the state still comes first ..... and the individual? ...... a long way down the chain. But, yet again, how can you cloth and feed a nation of almost 1.4 billion and satisfy the appetite of a huge merging middle class, without treading on a few toes? 🤔03/11/2016 #4 Lada Prkic#1 Most nail houses can be found in China and most of them are eventually removed. Apparently, this farm in the UK was saved because there is a geological fault beneath the house so the lanes could not be joined together and the highway was built around the house. Not a pleasant place to live, but the owners have their reasons to stay.
Thanks for the share Don.
- 31/10/2016BLADELESS WIND TURBINE GENERATES ELECTRICITY BY OSCILLATING ► It will need less material, provide electricity to more people at a lower cost while leaving a smaller environmental footprint. It won’t kill birds and it won’t make noise. The turbine captures the energy of vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that creates a pattern of spinning vortices or whirlwinds. Here is the explaining video: https://youtu.be/WqcNc9bKlNY
- Producer29/10/2016The Rise of Urban Mining"There's gold in them thar' hills" - but not nearly as much as in all the cell phones, computers and electronic equipment we make and discard every year. According to the organizers of the first e-Waste Acedemy held recently in Accra,...
Comments31/10/2016 #7 Lada PrkicThis important topic points to a devastating fact that industrialized nations export their toxic e-waste to developing countries, rather than processing it themselves, because environmentally recycling in industrialized countries is up to ten times more expensive than the primitive recycling in developing countries.
But, ultimately, urban mining in such a way poisons us all. "What comes around goes around, no matter where you are."31/10/2016 #6 Praveen Raj Gullepalli#2 Not really sure how things stand in India Ken..gotta look into that for my info. But one thing I do know is that there is a large workforce of organised garbage collectors out on the streets. Mostly the homeless and destitutes. Just like the begging mafia network. Am sure there is some method and purpose to this relentless scavenging that happens around the clock. Most corporate bodies have ewaste disposal teams that engage local NGOs to do the last mile dumping.31/10/2016 #4 Claire Cardwell#2 There is also an informal re-cycling industry here in SA. Rubbish pickers go through bins before they are collected and collect metal, glass and plastic and drag them by hand on trolleys to re-cycling centres. There are rubbish pickers on the dumps too. I am not sure whether heavy metals and e-waste are recycled by these people as well.31/10/2016 #2 Ken BoddieExcellent illustration, Claire, of our need to carefully recycle our heavy metals instead of losing them in landfill. I don't know about the situation in Guiyu, China, but I do understand that there is a large recycling industry in Mumbai, India. Perhaps @Dean Owen has some knowledge on Guiyu?
- Producer25/10/2016Bio-Bricks - The Future of ConstructionTraditional construction materials such as brick, concrete and steel rely heavily on limited natural resources and use a lot of energy and water to produce. Concrete is one of the most energy intensive materials and uses limestone shale converted...
Comments27/10/2016 #4 Claire Cardwell#2 Hi @Phil Friedman, @Albert Gibel - Bio-Bricks typically have a compressive strength of 1-2MPa, Clay fired bricks around 17MPa and Concrete Bricks - 15-25MPa, blocks are 3.5-7MPa and Mud Bricks are 1.6-1.9MPa. According to bioMason their bricks are just as strong if not stronger than clay fired bricks.
- Producer26/10/20163D-printed Aquaponic Homes grow their own veggies and fish - Inhabitat.comAs natural resources dwindle and rising temperatures threaten to alter entire ecosystems in unknowable ways, architects and designers are creating innovative ways to shore up humanity's resilience. Aquaponic Future Housing, a conceptual design by...
Comments27/10/2016 #3 Claire Cardwell#2 I love the idea of living in a house that produces it's own food - however I don't feel that the 'habitats' shown in this article would work on a practical day to day basis. A while back I came across a concept called ReGen Villages which also used hydroponics, permaculture and aquaculture. Apparently the only item they had to buy in (in bulk that is) is coffee. http://inhabitat.com/utopian-off-grid-village-grows-own-food-in-shared-local-eco-system/ I also found an article about a house in Sweden the Naturhus - I am a fan! http://www.ecowatch.com/couple-builds-greenhouse-around-home-to-grow-food-and-keep-warm-1882128131.html27/10/2016 #2 Ken BoddieThanks for the tag, Claire. I'm sharing this on the ETD hive as follows, to see if there is any response from the engineering fraternity:
https://www.bebee.com/group/interesting-engineering-technology-and-discoveries View moreThanks for the tag, Claire. I'm sharing this on the ETD hive as follows, to see if there is any response from the engineering fraternity:
I'm not sure who wrote the original wording above, as replicated in the Mihai Chiriak link, but I found a lot of jargon being used which, for me personally, was confusing. My initial reaction was that the concept is sound but the illustrations appear to relate to a parallel universe. I'd be interested to know your reaction to this article, Claire and whether you see the concept being practically applied. As you probably know, I tend to be an unimaginative and relatively conservative thinker on these issues. Close
- Producer25/10/2016La casa columpio/ Balancing barn (Español & English)La casa columpio/ Balancing barnEsta casa muestra lo que debe ser la arquitectura y me encanta cómo lo define Winy Maas del grupo de arquitectos MVRDV. Creo que es la primera vez que he entendido la arquitectura como una película con un guión muy...
Comments25/10/2016 #6 Mamen Delgado#3 @Claire Cardwell, I am completely sure I wouldn't feel comfortable with the transparent floor, or sleeping in the house, or cooking in the kitchen... Or even swinging in that wonderful swing. But it could be a great way to "fight" with my own fears about vertigo. There's something too attractive about the house and the script inside it...
- Producer16/10/2016Construction demands good communicationAs a child we played a game which I’m sure many of you played. We sat in a circle and one person whispered a message in to their neighbour’s ear who then passed the message to their neighbour by whispering in their ear, who passed the message on,...
Comments16/10/2016 #1 Lisa GallagherVery thorough article @Paul Netscher. I agree, good communication is vital. This not construction work related but contractor work- we once hired a company to remove all of our shrubs and replace them with new shrubs. The man was in his late 70's (the owner) of this large landscaping business. We had a contract but it was explicit enough to cover us. We placed too much faith in this man because of his age and he appeared to be a man of his word. They never came back to take care of the new shrubs the next summer as promised (it wasn't in the contract) and he also planted shrubs we did not agree on- again the contract was too vague. We learned a lesson with that one. He charged us A LOT of money, so it was a major disappointment that his word was not sincere. That was our fault in the end.
Interesting Engineering, Technology and Discoveries+ 100 buzzes
This is the place when you can share information about interesting engineering projects, latest development in technology, new materials and other breakthrough discoveries and inventions. Welcome, all of you who love science and engineering!