Smart birdhouses called TreeWiFi give free WiFi when the air quality improves

May 31, 2016 by  
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An Amsterdam based start-up called TreeWiFi builds birdhouses that measure air pollution and that make the levels of pollution visible through an LED status light. Air quality data is sent to a server where it is analyzed and made public for everyone to see. When the server detects an improvement in air quality, it allows the birdhouse to share it’s internet connection with everyone in the street. Users that connect to the network get tips & tricks on how to improve air quality locally before going online. Because the units are extremely cheap compared to regular government owned air quality measuring stations, TreeWiFi can be deployed by the hundreds or thousands, generating valuable data about an urban environment. The project started with a grant from the Awesome Foundation Amsterdam in March 2016, since then the team has grown from founder and designer Joris Lam to five in total. TreeWiFi is now looking to raise €6.500  to further support the development of the prototype and to be able to build five units that they can place in the city of Amsterdam for testing. So far the reactions have been positive from both citizens and press, due to the project’s fun and relatable approach to a subject otherwise hard to bring attention to. In the near future, founder Joris Lam hopes to install at least 500 units in the city of Amsterdam, or other European cities who want to tackle air pollution by gaining insight and raising awareness. + Support TreeWifi

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Smart birdhouses called TreeWiFi give free WiFi when the air quality improves

High-end upcycling shops with beautiful metal tab designs pop up in London

May 31, 2016 by  
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Gudjon Thor Erlendsson of AUDB and Andreas Krause of Krause Architects have just completed two new pop-up stores that celebrate upcycling in London. The project was commissioned by high-end fashion label Bottletop , a social enterprise that designs accessories from upcycled metal tabs and uses the proceeds to support young people in Africa, South America, and the UK who suffer from health issues. Inspired by the brand’s crocheted metal tab designs, the architects created a beautiful artwork woven from 3,000 soda tabs that’s suspended from the ceiling in an undulating mass. The furnishings are made from recycled and modular materials. One shop is located at the high-end retail Regents Street while the other is located on the other side of London at Redchurch Street in the East End. + AUDB + Krause Architects The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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High-end upcycling shops with beautiful metal tab designs pop up in London

This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

May 31, 2016 by  
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Thanks to the latest creation by geek gear designer Dave Delisle , Trekkies can now set up camp and star gaze in true Star Trek style. The Star Trek Shuttlecraft Tent is a two-person tent shaped just like the actual shuttlecraft in the show. Oh, and the carrying case? When not in use, it splits apart to become the craft’s thrusters. Collaborating with The North Face, the design team created the shuttlecraft tent to be a compact replica of the Federation shuttle from the iconic series, although, unfortunately, it isn’t able to travel through the galaxy just yet. True trekkies will recognize the small, but authentic touches such as the entrance at the back, just like the true shuttlecraft. Related: Handmade Star Trek Coffee Table Looks Just Like the USS Enterprise The tent is a perfect gift for the trekkie in your life. And for all of you who are thinking that most Star Trek fans don’t, well, trek, Delisle would like to remind you that Star Trek V began with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy camping in the great outdoors . + Dave Delisle Via My Modern Met  

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This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

Why Hawaii is leading us to 100% renewable energy

May 31, 2016 by  
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As an island state heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels for its energy needs, Hawaii is uniquely vulnerable to things like volatile electricity prices, rising sea levels and supply chain disruptions.Luis Salaveria, Director of the State of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, spoke at VERGE 2015 in San Jose about how Hawaii’s challenges act as an impetus for the state to become a leader in the evolution toward a renewably powered future.

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Why Hawaii is leading us to 100% renewable energy

T.Bar: enormous living green walls of lichen and moss line refreshing Panama Fusion restaurant

May 31, 2016 by  
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T.Bar, located in Panama City, took natural food a step further by bringing nature indoors. While the restaurant serves fast, causal food, they place an emphasis on natural, healthy fare. On their Facebook page they say they want guests to feel relaxed and cozy in their space, but they didn’t stop at comfy armchairs or the booth seating lining one wall. Flourishing plants really create an atmosphere of peace. Related: Nation’s largest green wall of native plants breathes life into SFMOMA According to a post written on Archilovers by Dos G Arquitectos founders Ivan Grippaldi and Ginette Gotti, they drew inspiration from the “inner courtyards that are so common in the old quarters of Europe.” Gotti and Grippaldi said they intentionally offered different types of seating for varying hours of the day, from the modern chairs designed for a quick lunch to the booths meant for those who can linger over a meal or cup of tea. According to the architects, T.Bar requested that patrons be able to watch their food being prepared, which they accomplished through ” a glass .” Concrete planters for the trees include tiny tables to allow patrons to get even closer to nature. The designers said this touch adds to the informal feel of the restaurant. Lichen and moss grow on living walls on both sides of the restaurant and in the back near the bathroom. The interior design of the restaurant takes green design literally, bringing the outdoors inside. Via Contemporist Images courtesy of Mosh Benjamin, Pro Pixel Panama

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T.Bar: enormous living green walls of lichen and moss line refreshing Panama Fusion restaurant

Tesla’s Gigafactory to host grand opening on July 29

May 31, 2016 by  
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Ain’t no party like a Tesla party! The California-based luxury car company (turned battery company ) is gearing up for the grand opening of its enormous Gigafactory located outside Reno, Nevada. Tesla announced late last week that the battery factory will open in just two months, with a celebration scheduled for July 29 . Oddly, this grand opening will be a lot different than most others, in that the factory is nowhere near fully operational and construction will continue long after party goers have gone home. Embed from Getty Images Fortune broke the news last week, describing the event as a sort of customer appreciation party. Some Tesla customers learned about the bash via email, when they were informed about winning tickets to the July 29 event—a perk the company extended to previous buyers who referred at least five new Tesla owners. The email doesn’t say much about what will happen at the grand opening party or who else might be in attendance, but it’s probably safe to assume the company’s CEO Elon Musk would join in the revelry. (He’s a pretty fun guy , after all.) Those lucky Tesla owners could be the first members of the public to see inside the giant facility, where Tesla is already manufacturing Powerwall batteries for commercial clients. Related: Take a first look inside Tesla’s Gigafactory It’s difficult to say how much of the factory will have been built prior to party time. Actually, Tesla has already held a number of smaller (also private) events in the areas of the Gigafactory where construction is complete. As of the beginning of May, Bloomberg estimates only 14 percent of the factory had been constructed. There are no updates to suggest how much will be finished by the end of July. The massive $5 billion factory has a footprint spanning 130 acres, making it arguably the largest building in the world . We hope Tesla remembered to invite the folks from the Guinness Book of World Records to the party. Hopefully, they will also invite some members of the press to cover the event, so that nobody has to risk getting arrested just to get a look around. Via CNET Images via QLC Tech Videos (screenshot)

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Tesla’s Gigafactory to host grand opening on July 29

Donald Trump believes California farmers who say "there is no drought"

May 31, 2016 by  
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Climate denier Donald Trump makes no bones about the fact that he doesn’t believe humans are contributing to climate change, calling it a ‘hoax’ proctored by the Chinese. Now he’s adding another scientific fact to the list of things he doesn’t believe in : the severe drought that has plagued California for the past five years. In a speech in Fresno on Friday, Trump claimed that a group of “50 or 60 farmers” told him, right before he took the stage, that “there is no drought.” And the Republican presidential candidate says he believes it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC-W971AeF4 In the clip above, Trump recounts his conversation with farmers, saying that he asked them how bad the drought was. They told him, he says, “There is no drought, they turn the water out into the ocean.” Trump said that, after 30 minutes of discussion, he believes what the farmers told him. To be clear, Trump never actually says there is no drought, but by quoting others who have allegedly said it and saying he agrees, we can all agree that’s pretty much the same thing. Related: Donald Trump vows to nix Paris climate deal and pave way for Keystone XL pipeline Anyone who has been paying attention knows that he’s wrong about this. California is suffering a very real and very devastating drought. There simply isn’t “plenty of water,” as Trump quotes farmers allegedly telling him. Some 95 percent of the state is enduring drier than average conditions, and 20 percent of the state is experiencing drought conditions deemed “exceptional” by the Western Regional Climate Center, which has been closely monitoring the drought for years. Even Fresno, the city in which Trump came out of the closet as a drought denier last week, is experiencing drought conditions that rank in the “extreme” to “exceptional” range. Across the state, hundreds of thousands of acres of farmlands have turned fallow , millions of trees have lost canopy water , and rampant wildfires have raged , fueled by drier than normal brush. Not even the wet El Niño season could provide much relief, although it has helped contribute to the snowpack in the northern part of the state. It continues to be difficult to tell whether Trump is on a mission to spread misinformation and foster distrust in science, or if the man is just very, very confused. Either way, we wonder what will he will deny next. Is gravity also a hoax, Donald? Via Slate Images via Donald J Trump/Facebook and  U.S. Drought Monitor

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Donald Trump believes California farmers who say "there is no drought"

China added half of new global wind power capacity in 2015

May 31, 2016 by  
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China is making massive investments in clean energy as the government works to meet climate targets and clean up polluted cities. According to a new report , China installed 30.5 gigawatts of wind power in 2015 – which accounts for nearly half of all new global wind energy installations. The most populous country in the world beat the United States in second place by a wide margin — the U.S. installed 8.6 GW, while third place Germany installed 6.1 GW. Brazil and India each installed 2.6 GW. “After focusing on increasing its installed capacity, China’s 13th Five Year Plan has raised the 2020 wind target to 250 GW, and aims to shift the focus from scale expansion towards quality and efficiency,” said Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s Practice Head for Power. “Indeed, the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) market in China, and all over the world, is poised for a growth phase.” Related: China puts the brakes on construction of 200 coal-fired power plants GlobalData predicts that China will maintain its position as the top nation for wind energy, installing 23 GW in 2016. The firm also predicts that China’s installed wind capacity will triple by 2030, increasing total capacity from 149 GW last year to 495 GW. But China is not just installing huge amounts of wind in its borders. The country is venturing into other markets, including the U.S. and U.K. Goldwind, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, recently announced that it bought the Rattlesnake Wind Project in Texas. The wind farm will consist of 64 of Goldwind’s 2.5-megawatt wind turbines. The U.K.’s first Chinese-backed offshore wind farm is moving forward . And the 588-megawatt Beatrice project off the northwest coast of Scotland is expected to be completed in 2019. + GlobalData report Via Climate Action News Images via Wikipedia

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China added half of new global wind power capacity in 2015

A2OFFICE transforms Porto townhouse into a modern daylit residence

May 31, 2016 by  
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The building, comprising a basement, two floors, attic and small patio , is located in the central part of Porto . A single staircase connects all levels. In order to facilitate a spatial flow and openness, the architects introduced an interconnected social area on the lower levels. Related: The Outerio House is a 3 Meter Wide Modernist Renovation Two bedroom suites were placed on the top floor. In order to preserve the memory of a lantern on the first floor, the team formed three new clerestory windows . These openings provide additional natural light for the entire space, including the attic area. A minimalist lighting system was integrated into the walls, cabinets and ceilings. + A2OFFICE Photos by AL.MA Fotografia | Alexandra Marques

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A2OFFICE transforms Porto townhouse into a modern daylit residence

Modular Amuneal shelves create flexible wall storage for tight spaces

May 31, 2016 by  
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Amuneal’s state-of-the-art system has been installed in museums, retail stores, and private residences around the country. Each unit is made in the USA and built in Philadelphia, PA out of oxidized oak and glass shelves, steel hooks, and a solid brass framework that secures to the wall. Replete with credenzas, industrial strength storage baskets, and elegant space to display collectibles, the modular series can be configured for a variety of needs. The swinging shelves make it especially easy to access stowed items, and LED light bars can also be integrated into each Collector’s Shelving Unit . This luxury shelving is built to last with beautiful materials that truly stand the test of time. Each unit is customized for the buyer’s interior, and so it will cost a pretty penny. The varied designs range from all sorts of subtle shelving styles, with each unit designed to accentuate collectibles (hence the name). Once the framework is installed, the shelves can be seamlessly exchanged for different finishes, colors, and styles. The company’s meticulous attention to detail, simple use of materials, and customization capabilities all work towards a goal of making smaller spaces more chic and livable. RELATED: Stylish and minimalist micro-apartment makes the most of small-space living One of the most interesting features of Amuneal is their modular glass option that is specifically designed for kitchens. These 1/2” thick shelves are a gorgeous way to display dishes, pantry items, or even plants, as demonstrated in this stunning display at the 2016 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) during New York Design Week. + Amuneal All images © Laura Mordas-Schenkein for Inhabitat.

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Modular Amuneal shelves create flexible wall storage for tight spaces

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