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News that effects the sustainability of life on Earth
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Bamboo could help developing cities urbanize

Bamboo could help developing cities urbanize | Sustain Our Earth |

What if there were a local, renewable material that could be used instead of steel in reinforced-concrete buildings? And what if that substitute could be manufactured easily? These questions have motivated Dirk Hebel, an assistant professor of architecture and construction at the Future Cities Laboratory, in Singapore, to investigate a bamboo fiber composite as a possible substitute for steel reinforcement in concrete. The Future Cities Laboratory is a research arm of ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) Zürich, in Switzerland, and is the first program under the newly formed Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability, which conducts multidisciplinary research to foster urbanization that conforms to the principles of sustainable development.

Via PIRatE Lab
PIRatE Lab's curator insight, July 10, 2014 1:41 PM

There are many "ifs" here, but this is an intriguing approach that may avoid the pitfalls of previous attempts at using bamboo for such a strengthening role in buildings.  I suspect that this won't work, and am always worried when press releases go out before a project has even preliminary results, but I very much like the innovative and new idea-type approach these folks are taking here.

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How Weather Forecasts Can Help Optimize Energy Usage

How Weather Forecasts Can Help Optimize Energy Usage | Sustain Our Earth |

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have been exploring how using public weather forecast information can help deliver significant reductions in energy consumption.


Combining information from the Bureau of Meteorology with data from existing building management systems, the researchers have developed an intelligent model that remains one step ahead of the building’s temperature changes, automatically adjusting the heating and cooling supply accordingly.

Early experimental results have provided encouraging results, with at least 10 per cent energy savings shown to be possible.

Via Lauren Moss
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Rescooped by SustainOurEarth from Biomimicry!

Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Mother Nature

Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Mother Nature | Sustain Our Earth |

"With the relevance of the word "prevention" long ago lost, the two salient words in climate change action are now "mitigation" and "adaptation."  The ideal, of course, is to design adaptations to the changing atmosphere that also mitigate the effects or lessen the causes.  It does not make sense, after all, to cool your building while warming the planet. This is where nature might have some suggestions."


Photo details: Icefields Parkway Near Crowfoot Glacier , Banff National Park, Alberta. Copyright © 2011, Alan D. Wilson.

Via Miguel Prazeres
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