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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 | Scoop.it

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
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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, July 10, 10:41 AM

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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Stanford scientists develop new type of solar structure that cools buildings in full sunlight

Stanford scientists develop new type of solar structure that cools buildings in full sunlight | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Homes and buildings chilled without air conditioners. Car interiors that don't heat up in the summer sun. Tapping the frigid expanses of outer space to cool the planet. Science fiction, you say? Well, maybe not any more.
A team of researchers at Stanford has designed an entirely new form of cooling structure that cools even when the sun is shining. Such a structure could vastly improve the daylight cooling of buildings, cars and other structures by reflecting sunlight back into the chilly vacuum of space.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Chris Smith's comment, May 23, 2013 3:42 PM
Awesome.
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Graphene - the new wonder material

Graphene - the new wonder material | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The molecule is priceless but it is not a matter of cost – a few hundred dollars per kilo. The value lies in its potential. The molecule in question is called graphene and the EU is prepared to devote €1bn ($1.3bn) to it between 2013 and 2023 to find out if it can transform a range of sectorssuch as electronics, energy, health and construction. According to Scopus, the bibliographic database, more than 8,000 papers have been written about graphene since 2005.

 


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Wooden Skyscrapers: A New Level of Sustainability?

Wooden Skyscrapers: A New Level of Sustainability? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

A new breed of high-rise architecture is in the process of being born, thanks to the collaborative efforts of modern design pioneers. Envisioned as the best sustainable option for meeting world housing demands and decreasing global carbon emissions, wooden mega-structures are now one step closer to becoming a reality.


“Big Wood,” a conceptual project to the eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition, builds on the premise that wood, when harvested responsibly, is one of the best tools architects and engineers have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating healthy communities. Aspiring to become one of the greenest skyscrapers in the world, Big Wood challenges the way we build our cities and promotes timber as a reliable platform to support tomorrow’s office and residential towers...


Via Lauren Moss
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Linda Alexander's curator insight, April 20, 2013 1:47 PM

Whoa..Chicago!

Geovanni's curator insight, May 8, 2013 6:32 AM

Fascinating place. Must of been a lot of wood to be created.

Bubba Muntzer's comment, May 13, 2013 8:44 AM
It takes around 30 years for a seedling to grow into the kind of wood that can be used in construction. A little maintenance is required during that period. Meanwhile it's soaking up CO2 and making oxygen. The only industrial processes required are to cut it down and cut it into boards and 2 x 4s. If you stagger your planting you have an endless supply.