Sustainable and affordable urban block coming to Amsterdam

November 10, 2021 by  
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Located in Amsterdam , Robin Wood will be the most sustainable yet affordable wooden urban block in the Netherlands. The block features mixed-use property, including residential and commercial units available. It will feature 165 dividable homes that will serve the private sector, medium and large families and office users. The modular city was designed by Marc Koehler Architects and ANA Architects to create sustainable blocks for the future. The futuristic aspects of the entire design rests in its location, materials used, CO2 emission control and energy efficiency. The project will be brought to life by two developers: Edwin Oostmeijer Project Development and MaMa Pioneers. Related: Meet The Line, a sustainable design that looks like a ship Traditionally, urban blocks are built with concrete. The Robin Wood block will not only feature modern high-rise buildings, but will be made entirely out of wood and other recyclable materials. Wood improves the quality of life since it does not introduce unknown contaminants into the environment. “Wood stores CO2 and offers a healthy living environment because it is breathable, moisture regulating and has excellent acoustic properties,” said Mark Koehler Architects in a press statement. “Robin Wood promotes intensive timber bio-based construction and CO2-neutral housing.” The entire block will be net-zero carbon emissions during the construction phase and after it is open. With such a huge bulk of wood to be used (in addition to other aspects of the construction that limit CO2 emissions) the structure will indirectly offset emissions from 39,149,254 kilometers of exhaust for a mid-range car , according to the calculations made by Mark Koehler Architects and the team behind the project. The other outstanding aspect of the development is the tiny indigenous forest included on the property. The tiny forest is rich with a variety of highly compact indigenous species, increasing local biodiversity and creating an ideal environment for outdoor activities. Furthermore, the development is enriched with common areas that are open to all residents, which will promote a more social urban block . Social interaction is a key part to building sustainable societies. “Social cohesion contributes to a more cohesive and inclusive urban environment ,” stated MaMa Pioneers. “With most modern urban spaces, people live outside the social scope. This limits accountability when it comes to caring for the environment.” Although most parts of the development are made out of wood, aluminum for the windows and door frames have been used. More interesting is the fact that the construction will be done offsite. Prefabricated wooden panels are brought on-site for assembly, reducing waste and cutting down waste that would result from onsite constructions. Robin Wood will be the first-of-its-kind block in the Netherlands, leading the way for many other cities across the world. The concept is proof that environmental matters can be considered together with economic and modern developments. It is scheduled to be completed in 2024. + Marc Koehler Architects Images via Marc Koehler Architects

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Microplastics found in the bloodstreams of cows and pigs

October 26, 2021 by  
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The meat you buy in the store may be contaminated with microplastics. A recent study by Free University of Amsterdam found microplastics in the bloodstreams of pigs and cows for the first time. The findings have sparked questions over public health, with experts expressing fears over contaminants possibly affecting the entire food chain.  Previous studies have found microplastics in vegetables, birds and sea animals, but this is the first time plastic particles have been found in farm animals’ blood. According to Dr. Heather Leslie, the study’s lead researcher and an expert in microplastics, “hundreds of other animals also have microplastics in their bodies. But in cows and pigs, it had not been discovered before.” Related: New study finds microplastics in fruits and vegetables The study included 12 cows and six pigs, all of which tested positive for the presence of microplastics. According to Dr. Leslie, microplastics in the soil likely found their way into crops eaten by animals. Since the particles cannot be broken down by the body, they remain in the bloodstream for years.  Microplastics are already present in water, soil , air, and food. Scientists are now taking a closer look at the impact of these contaminants. Several studies have linked the particles to health complications such as immune overreaction, inflammation and increased risk of heart disease. “If you want to assess the risks, you first have to know what the actual exposure is and how toxic it is. If we are above the values ??that are still safe and responsible, then we have to do something about it,” Leslie said. Researchers now say that humans must act to determine the extent of plastic pollution in the food chain to protect both animals and humans. “It is in the interest of animal and human health protection to further explore this nascent signal of plastic pollution exposure in the food chain,” Leslie said. Via Earth Lead image via Pixabay

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Microplastics found in the bloodstreams of cows and pigs

Dash Linear turns cardboard into high-performance lighting

September 6, 2021 by  
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As part of  interior design , lighting serves a greater purpose than illumination alone. Fixtures set the tone of a room and work as a central element in the theme. Graypants Studio, with offices in Seattle and Amsterdam, takes the look of its lighting products seriously while placing a focus on producing them sustainably. The studio’s newest release, Dash Linear, is a high-performance lighting option for newly-created home-work spaces, home additions or upgraded kitchens. Dash Linear is the latest installment in Graypants’ Scraplight series, an appropriate name considering they are made out of recycled and virgin cardboard. Related: Serif + Sero modular furniture is made of 100% upcycled cardboard It may seem counterintuitive to make lighting out of paper, but the team at Graypants is dedicated to marrying modern and  minimalist  designs with technical function while maintaining a low carbon footprint. To this end, Dash Linear is handmade using a low-impact manufacturing process that includes zero-VOC adhesive and limited material waste.  Dash Linear is currently available across North America and offered in three finishes — natural, white and blonde.  Recycled  cardboard is used for the natural Dash, while virgin corrugated cardboard is used for the white and blonde options. There are height and length options, as well as differing brightness levels for a custom feel over a desk or other workstation. Available lengths are 48 or 93 inches. Height options range from 4 to 12 inches. While lit, Dash Linear relies on  energy-efficient  LED modules and can offer direct or uniform lighting. The flagship Scraplight line also includes table lamp options made from recycled materials and mounted on a brass base. Graypants Studio also creates pendant lamps in a variety of shapes and finishes.  Graypants explains that the studio “was founded as an opportunity to apply an architectural mindset to product design and art —enhancing space and enriching experiences. Graypants’ work, rooted in light-minded design, includes architecture, product design, art installation and exhibition, and fixture design.”  + Graypants Images via Graypants

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Famous Amsterdam canal gets a 3D-printed smart bridge

August 4, 2021 by  
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Amsterdam’s oldest neighborhood is getting a high-tech upgrade thanks to 3D-printing company MX3D and design firm Joris Laarman Lab. The team recently unveiled a stainless steel, 3D-printed smart bridge that will be placed over one of the city’s historic bridges in the Red Light District. The bridge will be equipped with digital technology to analyze crowd behavior. The stainless steel bridge has the capacity to hold a minimum of 19.5 tons, more than even what it was designed for. According to MX3D’s CEO, the success of the bridge project marks only the beginning for the company’s metal-printing technology.  Related: Award-winning redesign of the Brooklyn Bridge puts the focus on pedestrians “This robotic technology finally allows larger optimized designs to be 3D printed in metal,” said Gijs van der Velden, CEO and co-founder of MX3D. “This causes significant weight reduction and reduced impact for parts manufactured in the tooling, oil & gas and construction industries.” The project took four robots and over 6,000 kilograms of stainless steel to complete, but the most innovative aspect, arguably, comes in the form of the bridge’s smart sensors. Powered by structural measurements like strain, rotation, load, displacement and vibration, the bridge’s sensors collect data in real time. The accurate computer model helps engineers to not only keep tabs on the bridge’s overall health (for example, how it changes over its lifespan) but also better understand elements like overtourism , air quality and temperature. There’s an artificial intelligence component to it as well, because the sensor data can also be used to “teach” the bridge to essentially understand what is happening to it. The first step is to teach the bridge how to count how many people are crossing it and how quickly. “Evolution is a truly wonderful process that we try to harness in our work. Endlessly trying, refining, improving until slowly, something emerges that is so ingenious it looks like magic if you don’t know what went on before,” said Joris Laarman, owner of Joris Laarman Lab. “In our work, we try to capture some of that magic. Using emerging technology to develop objects and a visual language of the future that is informed by logic, we aim to make small leaps in that evolutionary process.” + Joris Laarman Lab + MX3D Via ArchDaily Photography by Thea van den Heuvel, Merlin Moritz, Jande G. Roen, Adriaan de Groot via MX3D

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Famous Amsterdam canal gets a 3D-printed smart bridge

Cities and the private sector partner for high-power innovation

November 1, 2017 by  
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Cities such as Houston and Amsterdam are tackling current climate-related challenges and generating savings and economic opportunities.

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Cities and the private sector partner for high-power innovation

Rusting 1950s cargo ship transformed into a stunning modern floating home

October 26, 2017 by  
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Yacht construction and house building fabulously come together in this conversion project that turned a 1957 cargo ship into a modern  floating home in Amsterdam. Dutch studio ANA architecten redesigned the structure for a client who wanted to live on the water and enjoy expansive views of Amsterdam’s canals without giving up the comforts of a traditional home. The architects shortened the ship to fit the water plot and made sure that the interior has enough space to house a modern home. Unlike most ship and barge conversions, this transformation eliminated the linear system of spaces and offers several sight lines that run the entire length of the ship and across different floors. One of the most important elements is the terrace that sits in the middle of the double-height space. Windows in the wheelhouse, portoles and the patio that leads onto the terrace provide ample natural light. Related: Coal barge in London converted into a sophisticated floating home The master bedroom functions as an independent living space and includes a pantry, bathroom, toilet and a sitting area. The kitchen sits at the core of the ship and provides a direct connection to the main living area. The wheelhouse acts as an alternative living room, which fits the overall concept of creating several seating areas throughout the interior. Related: Experimental floating office takes over a converted WWII barge The architects replaced the existing aluminum and single-glass windows with handmade mahogany frames and double glazing. An air-water heat pump extracts heat from the air and heats the ship through low-temperature floor heating. Photovoltaic panels can be installed on the roof in order to make the structure more energy-efficient. + ANA architecten

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Rusting 1950s cargo ship transformed into a stunning modern floating home

Futuristic play pod helps revitalize Amsterdam’s vanishing paddling pools

August 23, 2017 by  
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For years, Amsterdam’s paddling pools have been disappearing as kids abandon them and maintenance costs rise. In order to save them, architecture firm Carve created this futuristic, pebble-shaped object for the famous Oosterpark paddling pool. The structure is dotted with climbing holes and equipped with integrated sprayers for summer fun that helps make the park a kid-magnet once again. Famous Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck designed more than 700 public play zones in Amsterdam in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, including the one in Oosterpark. For decades these additions to the city parks  have functioned as a favorite hangout for kids. Over the last few decades, some of these play zones have disappeared. By 2010, only 90 remained, including the paddling pool in the Oosterpark. In 2012, the municipality commissioned architecture firm Carve to design an addition to the existing pool. Related: World’s First 3D-Printed House is Being Built In Amsterdam The project is part of a wider initiative to revitalize the entire Oosterpark area. The designers kept as much as possible of the existing structure and designed an addition that complements the original design. A large object with climbing holes and integrated sprayers, new seating edges made from natural stone , and play-programmed LED lights were added to the pool area. + Carve Photos by Jasper van der Schaaf

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Insane new flying Iron Man suit will be 3D-printed

August 9, 2017 by  
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Hold onto your seats Marvel fans and tech enthusiasts. Before you know it, a real-life “Iron Man” suit will be on the market — and yes, it can fly. Developed by Richard Browning, the co-founder of start-up company Gravity , the jet engine-powered flying suit was designed to “re-imagine manned flight.” With two engine arm configurations that weigh up to 90 pounds and a temperature threshold of 700°C (1292°F), the highly-anticipated invention will also feature wings. And did we mention it will be 3D-printed? The Gravity jet engine-powered flying suit was unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA, where Browning dished details to Tested’s Adam Savage. The newest version of the suit is comprised of four arm-loaded thrusters and an additional jet pack that is strapped to the user’s back. As noted above, two engine arm configurations can reach temperatures of 700°C (1292°F). 3D Printing Industry reports that if handled responsibly, the rockets aren’t as dangerous as they first might seem. This is because the heat is quickly dispersed by the air which, in turn, reduces the risk of one’s boots or sneakers catching on fire. Browning explained that the movement of the suit is controlled by a very “intuitive” system. For instance, minor movements of the arms determine the direction and height by altering the jet’s vector. It helps that a DAQRI augmented reality (AR) helmet with a heads-up display is connected. Not only does the AR helmet monitor the suit’s performance, it shows the data of speed and altitude in real-time, eliminating the need to check one’s wrist. Browning flew the suit at Comic-Con, wowing comic fans and technology entrepreneurs . He was reportedly able to fly at a speed up to 45/50 mph. Right now, between seven and eight different versions of the suit are in development; modifications will affect the functionality and appearance of the suit. “We are working on a whole bunch of adaptations with the manufacturer,” said Browning “to make [the engines ] much more fit for what we’re now using them for, because clearly they weren’t designed for this.” Related: Stunning Europe Building facade shows off the beauty of 3D printing in Amsterdam The most exciting part of the next-generation suit is that it will be 3D-printed and will feature temperature proof, one-piece aluminum housing for the thrusters. Because the control modules are in need of improvements, the engine configuration will also be changed. Finally, wings will be added to the suit to change the pattern of flight from vertical to airfoil. I’m quite excited about that, Browning said. “We’ve fully CADed up a beautiful, organic inspired housing, and that’s being 3D printed now.” No further information has yet been obtained about the potential cost or release date of the real-life Iron Man suit. However, in the past, Browning informed interested buyers that a custom-built suit should cost approximately $250,000. + Gravity  Via 3D Printing Industry Images via Gravity  

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Derelict worker’s apartment in Amsterdam is unrecognizable after space-saving renovation

August 7, 2017 by  
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Design Studio Deirdre Renniers renovated this derelict 484-square-foot apartment in Amsterdam into a spacious, modern space dominated by natural materials and daylight. The designers gutted the entire interior and introduced space-saving solutions that utilize its every inch. In need of a complete renovation, this apartment in Amsterdam ‘s De Pijp neighborhood had an unpractical layout, housing a small bedroom and living area and a kitchen, with an enclosed toilet in the kitchen area. It remained in its original condition, as a typical worker’s apartment, for 30 years before the new owners commissioned Deirdre Renniers to transform it into a living space for the 21st century. Related: Sinato cleverly adds an L-shaped wood partition to expand a small apartment in Japan The architects gutted the entire space and placed a new staircase that leads to the loft, formerly used as a bathroom. A galley kitchen connects the main living space with the dining area. A sliding timber panel can separate the living room from the rest of the space in order to create a guest room when needed. In order to optimize the layout, the design team furnished the interior with practical furniture like a sofa that folds into a bed, foldable dining table and other minimalist, space-saving pieces. + Deirdre Renniers Interior Design Via A partment Therapy

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Derelict worker’s apartment in Amsterdam is unrecognizable after space-saving renovation

South Korea’s President adopts rescue puppy, saving it from the dog meat trade

August 7, 2017 by  
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For the first time in South Korea’s history, a rescue pup will serve as the country’s “first dog.” The country’s president, Moon Jae-In, adopted a canine named Tory on Wednesday, July 26. The 4-year-old mixed breed was pulled from a dog meat farm by the group Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) two years ago, but has had trouble being adopted due to superstitions against his dark coat. Fortunately, he has finally found a forever home with none other than South Korea’s President. The news was published on the Facebook page of the President’s official residence, the Blue House. Now a part of the family, Tory will live a life of luxury along with Moon’s 10-year-old Pungsan dog Maru and a rescued shelter cat named Jjing-jjing. Animal rights activists are applauding Moon Jae-In for setting a positive example in South Korea , where animal abandonments are quite common. In 2015, roughly 800,000 animals were abandoned – and that number was closer to one million animals in 2010. Related: 10,000 dogs and cats to be slaughtered for the Yulin Dog Meat Festival Additionally, it is not uncommon for neglected canines to end up in the dog meat trade. This is because, in some parts of South Korea, dog meat is considered to be a delicacy. In fact, old beliefs hold that if prepared correctly, dog meat can have special medicinal properties. There are no rules or regulations limiting the farming of consumption of dogs in the country, which means that around 17,000 dog meat farms exist . At those locations, between 2.5 and 10 million dogs are killed every year. Tory was adopted during the peak of “Bok nal,” an annual festivity when the majority of dog meat is consumed. Aware of this reality, Moon Jae-In pledged early 2017 to invest in animal welfare by building playgrounds for pets and feeding facilities for stray cats . The politician also pledged to make South Korea better for both humans and animals, though he did not outright declare he would end the controversial dog meat trade. Still, progress has been made by the notable public figure adopting a dog that might have ended up on someone’s dinner plate. Korean K9 Rescue is an organization in the U.S. that rehouse dogs rescued from the meat trade. Director Gina Boehler said: “President Moon Jae-In is very aware of the campaigns around the world to ban the dog meat trade in Korea. We believe he will push for change and, in time, it will become illegal to raise dogs for consumption in Korea. He has the power to do it.” She added, “I hope that President Moon Jae-In’s adoption of Tory sends a loud message to South Koreans that all dogs are pet dogs. We hope this will be a catalyst for a change in mindset, values and compassion and extends to all dogs — even ‘meat dogs’ or strays.” Via BBC , Yonhap News Images via CARE , Cheong Wa Dae Handout

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South Korea’s President adopts rescue puppy, saving it from the dog meat trade

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