"Outside Chengdu, in central China, a 78 million square foot site has been determined for an unconventional sort of construction project. It will be a city built from scratch, for 80,000 people, none of whom will need a car to get around."
Sandy featured a scary extra twist implicating climate change. An Atlantic hurricane moving up the East Coast crashed into cold air dipping south from Canada. The collision supercharged the storm’s energy level and extended its geographical reach. Pushing that cold air south was an atmospheric pattern, known as a blocking high, above the Arctic Ocean. Climate scientists Charles Greene and Bruce Monger of Cornell University, writing earlier this year in Oceanography, provided evidence that Arctic icemelts linked to global warming contribute to the very atmospheric pattern that sent the frigid burst down across Canada and the eastern U.S.
A laundry additive that neutralises nitrogen oxide could radically improve air quality, says Tony Ryan a professor of physical chemistry at Sheffield University. He is particularly interested in polymers and soft nanotechnology. Together with the fashion designer Helen Storey he is developing a laundry additive called Catclo that sticks to the surface fibres of clothes and reacts with airborne nitrogen oxides to neutralise them
BREEAM is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 200,000 buildings certified and around a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.
The largest commercial office in Manchester has now become the highest scoring BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ building in the UK with a score of 95.32%.
Designed by 3DReid, The Co-operative Group’s new £115 million low-energy, highly sustainable headquarters brings their 3,500 staff under one roof in a spectacular 500,000 square foot building.
The building, known as 1 Angel Square, has been designed to deliver a 50 per cent reduction in energy consumption compared to The Co-operative’s current Manchester complex and an 80 per cent reduction in carbon. This will lead to operating costs being lowered by up to 30 per cent...
The Konbit Shelter Project is an ongoing project to bring innovative superadobe homes and community spaces to rural Haiti. Superadobe buildings are easy to build with local materials and labor, and are resistant to ...
A Sugar Fix: Proterro, biofuels and affordable, renewable sugarsBiofuels DigestNews has been circulating that Proterro raised $3.5 million for a demonstration-scale of their renewable sugars technology, and secured a key patent allowance for their...
SMS has successfully demonstrated the viability of decentralized waste management in one of the world\u2019s largest and most crowded cities. Because poor, low-caste women comprise 85 percent of the waste picker population, Stree Mukti Sanghatana (SMS), a non-governmental organization, started the Parisar Vikas (PV) program to train informal recyclers as “parisar bhaginis,” or “neighborhood sisters.” The bhaginis are taught the principles of zero waste, how to sort and handle waste from multi-family dwellings, composting and biogas plant management, gardening, and how to organize as worker cooperatives and negotiate contracts. Through SMS programs, a total of 600 women work in almost 150 locations in Mumbai, ranging from institutional campuses to housing apartments. They bundle the dry, recyclable waste for sale to industry recyclers. Residuals and organics are either picked up by the city for disposal at dumpsites, or by SMS to be processed in composting and biogas facilities that produce manure and biogas for industry and domestic end uses. Bhaginis earn income from the sale of recyclables and sometimes also receive a service fee for collecting, sorting, or managing composting pits/biogas plants. Most earn US $2 - $3 per day from collection fees and sale of recyclables, though this can vary considerably. Some apartments pay the waste pickers directly; others pay the co-op.
Via Bert Guevara
Rhea Madarang explores the dark side of Bohol’s Bilar Manmade Forest.
Mahogany, not being a native species to Philippine soil, is basically an alien; thus, native organisms do not recognize those trees and do not thrive in such forests. “Didn’t you notice there are no birds?” she told me. “It’s so pretty but it’s a silent and dead forest.” There are no birds, no insects, only a nearly dead soil due to the lethal chemicals that leak from the rotting leaves (emphasis mine). Native species are rarely found as seedlings beneath the canopy, and so, most significantly, there is no future for ten hectares of mahogany.”
Via Bert Guevara
The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) is a truly innovative green laboratory.
From NIOO director Louise Vet: ”Ecologists... do high-level research on genomes and biodiversity, and I wanted the building to express this.” Thus, she chose Claus en Kaan Architecten, a Dutch architectural practice with a track record in laboratory design and challenged the architects to design a building that embodied cradle-to-cradle principles.
Claua en Kaan rose to the challenge with a variety of sustainable strategies. The linear building, 335 feet by 100 feet, has west-facing, sealed laboratories that manage heat gain via a deep brise-soleil. Windows on the east side are operable, allowing daylight and views of the surrounding environment, populated with native plants.
Vertical light-wells span two floors; a core of support labs not requiring daylight occupies the center of the building. The building’s columns were spaced in such a way as to allow for flexibility in future renovation, which is likely to prove a key factor in its longevity, and a green roof shares space with a roof deck.
Heating and cooling is handled via underground storage, making use of deep vertical pipes that store heat from solar arrays and the building at 984 feet below ground. A radiant, in-floor system circulates the warmed water through the concrete floors.
Additionally, the building treats all of its own greywater on site, and releases it into the surrounding landscape.
The architects here are to be commended on this design, as green laboratories are notoriously hard to design. By embodying cradle-to-cradle principles — as well as tailored green build strategies — the Netherlands Institute of Ecology raises the bar.
Note that this is Hurricane Irene and NOT Sandy .... hope all is well there now ...
Massachusetts aquaponic farms are the future of agriculture as they afloat in tough times like Hurricane Irene. Find out why here. (Hydroponic farms can (and WILL) prevail! As long as you're prepared, that is...
Many of the world's aquifers are being pumped dry to support unsustainable agriculture.
We are used to thinking of water as a renewable resource. However much we waste and abuse it, the rains will come again and the rivers and reservoirs will refill. Except during droughts, this is true for water at the surface. But not underground. As we pump more and more rivers dry, the world is increasingly dependent on subterranean water. That is water stored by nature in the pores of rocks, often for thousands of years, before we began to tap it with our drills and pumps.
We are emptying these giant natural reservoirs far faster than the rains can refill them. The water tables are falling, the wells have to be dug ever deeper, and the pumps must be ever bigger. We are mining water now that should be the birthright of future generations.
New research shows that many businesses around the world won’t start planning until 2018. Is this too late?
Despite widespread warnings of resource scarcity over the next few decades, a significant proportion of global businesses are not prepared to address the predicted shortfall, according to new research by Carbon Trust. The U.K.-based organization’s survey of 475 executives in the U.S., Brazil, China, Korea and the U.K. revealed while a majority acknowledged that their companies would have to charge more for their products and services as a result of resource constraints, 43 percent are not monitoring risks posed by incidents such as energy price increases and environmental disasters. Over 50 percent have not developed goals to reduce their company’s consumption of water, waste production or carbon emissions...
View the Carbon Trust infographic for more details on the survey.
During a lecture as part of the UN University’s (UNU) Ambassador Lecture Series, Stefan Stefansson, Ambassador of Iceland to Japan, said Japan could replace 25 nuclear reactors by developing its geothermal resources, and recommended Japan harnesses geothermal energy resources to minimize carbon dioxide emissions, lower heating bills and create jobs.
When most people hear the term “dust bowl,” they think of the American heartland in the 1930s, when a homesteading wheat bonanza led to the plowing up of the Great Plains’ native grassland, culminating in the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
Despite warnings from researchers and some farmers, history repeated itself in the Soviet Virgin Lands Project in the 1950s to early 1960s. Some 100 million acres (40 million hectares) of grassland were plowed under in Russia, Kazakhstan, and western Siberia during Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s push to produce ever more food from the land. When drought hit, the topsoil started to blow away. By 1965, nearly half the newly planted area was degraded by wind erosion. Yields plummeted. Ultimately farmers staged a retreat, abandoning much of that land.
8 Biotechnology Stocks to Buy Now Investorplace.com The grades of eight Biotechnology stocks are on the rise this week on Portfolio Grader. Each of these stocks is rated an “A” (“strong buy”) or “B” overall (“buy”).
An aquaponic system filters waste from freshwater fish — think tilapia, goldfish, or koi — using a bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrates: plants' favorite food. “All you have to do is feed the fish high-quality food and it does ...
A swirling sea of plastic bags, bottles and other debris is growing in the North Pacific, and now another one has been found in the Atlantic. But how did they get there? And is there anything we can do to clean them up?
Iranian Graphic Designers Fight Pollution and Climate ChangeGreen Prophet“Growing trend of cities and pollution, has created a big problem today. This plan shows the city is polluted and crowded , that black smoke is everywhere. Exploring the nexus where art and nature meet, Iranian designers look at the environmental problems riddling their cities and the innovative ways they can resolve them. Whether it’s reducing the use of cars, discussing the place of graphic art in urban design or highlighted the seriousness of climate change, these graphic designers really have something to say (or is that draw?). The stunning graphic designs which follow were all finalists in the FeliCity design competition and were displayed at an art gallery in Tehran this September.
Via Bert Guevara
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