Art foundation in Oregon is a green space for creating

December 7, 2021 by  
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Sandy Bodecker founded the N M Bodecker Foundation in 2017 to create a collaboration and presentation space for creatives and artists in Portland , Oregon . The warehouse in Portland is designed to look like a labyrinth that reminded Bodecker of the journey of discovery he loved in the creative realization process. Now, the building has evolved as a unique art space for the Pacific Northwest. The designer cited Gordon Matta Clark’s “Building Cuts” as inspiration for the design of the Bodecker Foundation. Materials include repurposed items from the remodel, as well as contemporary carpet, steel, exposed plywood and wood trusses with custom lighting. Related: This apple factory turned artist ranch is a budding community “The warehouses were cut into and modified, while retaining the memory of their historic boundaries ,” Bodecker said. “Peeling back the roof of one and slicing the other, the warehouses were remixed and fused together with a new central core building.” The warehouse space is 7,769 square feet on multiple stories. The interior includes living areas and informal performance spaces, a recording studio and even an indoor skate park . Outside, living roofs and nearly 2,000 square feet of yard space complete the sustainable aesthetic. A third of the site is reserved as green space outside to manage water runoff. Unfortunately, Bodecker passed in 2018, after which the foundation moved into the space fully and made the work and performance spaces available to artists . Bodecker loved the feeling of curiosity and discovery in creating art that takes you back to being a kid discovering the world. The Bodecker Foundation said, “The collage of activities intersect and overlap to inspire a passion for collection, making and playing.” The new programs available in this space build around this core idea. The main spaces remain open to each other on the ground floor to encourage collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas for artists, musicians, performance artists and skaters. The homier living spaces for the artist in residence programs are located on the second and third floors, overlooking the public space below. + Skylab Architecture and Bodecker Foundation Photography by Jeremy Bitterman

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Art foundation in Oregon is a green space for creating

First US solar-powered airport is in Tennessee

December 7, 2021 by  
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Tennessee may not strike people as the most progressive state with 46% of the population conservative and 27% moderate, according to a Pew Research Center poll . You might not expect it to be a bastion of green energy, but the greater Chattanooga area is stepping out in front of many other parts of the U.S. as a solar pioneer. Among other firsts, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is the nation’s first and only airport with a solar farm that generates enough power to supply its total energy needs. The city of 185,000 is situated in southern Tennessee, near the Georgia border. It’s taken advantage of an average 207 sunny days per year to power several major solar projects. For example, Volkswagen has a 33-acre solar park in Chattanooga and recently chose the city for its first U.S. electric vehicle manufacturing facility. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee built a 10,000 solar panel facility at its Chattanooga headquarters. Other proud Chattanooga accomplishments include Majestic Theater, the first LEED Gold Certified theater in the US and the country’s second largest LEED Gold Certified office campus. Related: Should green architecture firms design airports? “[The airport] may not be the country’s largest or most amenity-packed airport , but there’s no question that Chattanooga Airport has made sustainability a top priority,” said Zach Honig, editor-at-large for The Points Guy, as quoted in Newsweek. “An expansive solar field became fully operational one year before the pandemic, producing enough power to support the entire airport. Outside the terminal building, there’s a Tesla supercharger and electric-vehicle charging stations.” Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport also switched out the airfield’s old incandescent lights for more energy-efficient LEDs. The terminal building’s exterior and interior lighting upgraded to compact florescent lights and hooked up to motion detectors so that lights were used only when needed. These simple lighting changes allowed the Chattanooga Airport to reduce its electric consumption by a megawatt per year. Blake Poole, vice president of air service and economic development at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, shared his insights with Inhabitat about being the nation’s first solar-powered airport . Inhabitat: How did this solar initiative first start at the Chattanooga airport? Poole: We began by looking at ways to reduce costs, but we also wanted to deliver on our quality service. By reducing costs, we also assist the airlines and their expenses, which opens up more services for our customers. Alongside EPB (our local power utility), we went after funding sources and ended up securing multiple FAA grants for the project. Inhabitat: Does the solar farm really power the whole airport? Poole: Yes, it does! Our solar farm sells enough renewable energy back to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) equal to all of the electricity we use. The solar farm also has storage as well to help after sundown and in low light situations. Inhabitat: Tell us about the workforce that installs and maintains the solar farm. Poole: Construction of the three-phase solar farm began in 2011. The first panels went online in that same year, and we completed the farm in 2019. TVA and EPB provided technical support to ensure the solar farm complied with national standards and codes. We worked with Inman Solar on the design and installation, and they also carry out our ongoing maintenance of the solar farm. Inhabitat: What other eco-measures have you taken around the airport? Poole: Several years ago, the airport started by initiating sustainable practices at the airfield and within the commercial terminal. The airport has grown its environmental stewardship to include larger projects like LEED designated facilities. Our corporate terminal was the first in the world to be LEED Platinum Certified. Other initiatives include lighting enhancements, green landscaping practices, recycling and maintenance of our ground surfaces in environmentally responsible ways. Inhabitat: Have the eco-upgrades at the Chattanooga airport inspired other businesses or airports to adopt similar measures? Poole: We’ve actually talked about the project with representatives of several airports around the world who are interested in implementing similar measures. Inhabitat: What else should readers know about the Chattanooga Airport? Poole: Over the past 50 years, Chattanooga has transformed itself from one of the most polluted cities in the nation to one of the cleanest. As a cornerstone of the community and a hub for economic activity, the Chattanooga Airport shares the region’s vision for sustainability. Beyond that, our city is known for its collaboration. Our solar farm project is a reflection of strong partnerships across Chattanooga. + Chattanooga Airport Images via Chattanooga Airport

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First US solar-powered airport is in Tennessee

Research finds people want Apple and Samsung to go green

October 5, 2021 by  
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Smartphones have become an essential part of most people’s daily functions. Such a massive industry has the potential to have an extensive environmental impact, from production, to the waste cycle. Smartphone manufacturers are showing signs of accountability through efforts to incorporate recycled materials into product design and work towards carbon neutrality.  As consumers, we have the power to choose the company we feel is making the best effort towards these goals. Research company Piplsay found out how consumers feel about green initiatives touted by the smartphone giants. The results show consumers are willing to use the power of the dollar to uphold their expectations.  Related: Nimble makes phone accessories from recycled plastic, CDs and more Piplsay polled 30,760 Americans and 9,140 Britons in the research, asking about their response to sustainability plans such as Samsung’s mission to use plastic waste collected from the ocean in all future products, from phones to headphones to earbuds. Apple and Microsoft have released similar plans, including the goal of achieving carbon neutral production in the next ten years.  The results of the research show 80% of U.S. and U.K. respondents feel policies like Samsung’s decision to use ocean plastic in Galaxy phones will make a positive impact on the environment “to a great extent” or “to some extent.”    While smartphone makers have been working on making products more eco-friendly for some time, relatively few consumers are aware of it. When asked which initiatives they were aware of, 27% of Americans said they are aware of smartphone makers using recycled materials in their products, while 21% know about the reduced use of plastic in packaging.  Interestingly though, once aware of the efforts, consumers overwhelmingly said it could impact their buying decisions, with 68% of Americans saying they would proactively buy from smartphone brands that are taking eco-friendly measures and 71% of Britons stating the same. These responses align with the participants’ opinions that other brands should take responsibility by setting environmental goals, with a yes response from 72% of Americans and 80% from the U.K.   As for brand trust, 64% to 66% of all those surveyed placed Samsung and Apple at the top of the list for taking responsible environmental action. Complete results of the survey can be found here .  Via Piplsay Lead image via Pexels

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Research finds people want Apple and Samsung to go green

Meet 15 BIPOC-led ventures getting a leg up from Apple

August 17, 2021 by  
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There are 15 organizations in the inaugural cohort of the Apple Impact Accelerator, ranging from a Native American-run renewable power company to one of the largest Latino-owned businesses in the United States.

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Meet 15 BIPOC-led ventures getting a leg up from Apple

Meet Nexii, the green construction company allied with Michael Keaton

July 29, 2021 by  
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Meet Nexii, the green construction company allied with Michael Keaton Heather Clancy Thu, 07/29/2021 – 00:01 Green construction startup Nexii first caught my attention back in the spring when the Canadian company announced a partnership with actor and Pennsylvania native Michael Keaton. The initiative — the creation of a manufacturing plant for Nexii’s “sustainable concrete” alternative Nexiite — will bring at least 300 new jobs to a redeveloped brownfield site in the “Steel City” of Pittsburgh that thrived in the era of industrialist Andrew Carnegie. “I’ve always been interested in design and construction, but I only recently learned the game-changing impact the construction industry can have in improving the environment by adoption of innovative, lower-carbon techniques,” Keaton said when the relationship was announced in April. “For me, the opportunity to marry job creation with an environmentally sustainable business is incredibly exciting.” Keaton’s involvement isn’t just money; he’s participating in a venture called Trinity Sustainable Solutions, which also includes Nexii and commercial real estate developer Trinity Commercial Development, a specialist in redeveloping brownfield sites that has done work for companies including Walmart, Rite Aid, Goodwill and CSX Transportation. The new factory will be constructed using Nexii’s composite, a material manufactured off-site into lightweight panels and then assembled where it’s needed. The building components are modeled using 3D design software; it’s like creating pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that can be pieced together. The approach reduces construction waste and speeds development times, according to Nexii’s marketing materials. If star power doesn’t impress you as a sustainability practitioner or climate-tech evangelist, the flurry of deals and alliances that Nexii has forged since that time will definitely get your attention. In June, the company announced a pact with JLL Philadelphia that is intended to help increase the ranks of Nexii certified partners from among real estate companies, developers and other companies in the building sector. More recently, Nexii created a strategic alliance with building automation technologies company Honeywell. The deal sets up Honeywell as the exclusive tech supplier for new buildings constructed by Nexii. What’s particularly notable about this arrangement is that it’s intended to encourage the use of building management software in smaller structures: Close to 90 percent of the commercial buildings in the U.S. are less than 50,000 square feet in size and lack any sort of management system, according to Energy Star data.  Nexii has also engaged a well-respected adviser from the regenerative and net-zero buildings movement as its “impact architect”: Jason McLennan , co-author of the Living Building Challenge and a Buckminster Fuller Prize winner. Nexii is living proof that entrepreneurship is alive and well and thriving outside of Silicon Valley. Founded in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, by two brothers with deep roots in the construction industry, the Vancouver company so far has raised more than $52 million in venture backing. Three-time former Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson (who made substantial updates to the city’s building codes during his tenure) is its executive vice president for strategy and partnerships, and Nexii’s board includes William McNabb, former chair and CEO of Vanguard, and Ronald Sugar, former CEO of Northrop Grumman who is also a board member at Apple and chair of Uber Technologies.  When I spoke with Robertson earlier this week, he told me that Nexii has a twofold mission: To dramatically reduce the embedded carbon associated with buildings — the sector is estimated to account for 39 percent of global emissions — while simultaneously bringing new employment opportunities to Rust Belt and Canadian industrial communities where there is a long history of manufacturing.  We are striving for that big climate impact but also competing toe-to-toe on speed and efficiency of construction. The Pittsburgh plant is an example of that, along with a sister facility in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, and another in Louisville, Kentucky, that Nexii is planning in collaboration with Buffalo Construction, a company that has a presence in 49 states. Its specialty is restaurants, hospitality and multi-family residential structures, among other things. Nexii’s process isn’t just hypothetical. The material was used in the construction of a Starbucks drive-thru cafe in Vancouver; designed to help reduce carbon emissions by about 30 percent. Nexiite is used in the store’s wall and roof panels and assembled in just six days. More recently, the material was used to help build a Popeyes restaurant in British Columbia in less than two weeks. And it’s working with Marriott on its biggest project yet, a 172-room, 10-story Courtyard property. “We are striving for that big climate impact but also competing toe-to-toe on speed and efficiency of construction,” Robertson said.  Nexii isn’t the only startup espousing some element of prefabrication: Two other startups to watch are Factory OS , beneficiary of strategic investments by the likes of Autodesk and Citi; and Plant Prefab , which counts Amazon and Obvious Ventures among its backers.  Want more great insight on technologies and trends accelerating the clean economy? Subscribe to our free VERGE Weekly newsletter.  Pull Quote We are striving for that big climate impact but also competing toe-to-toe on speed and efficiency of construction. Topics Infrastructure Climate Tech Buildings Startups Carbon Removal Decarbonization Featured Column Practical Magic Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off A panel made of Nexiite is hoisted for transportation to a construction site. Courtesy of Nexii Close Authorship

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Meet Nexii, the green construction company allied with Michael Keaton

This Arctic Apple has been genetically engineered to never brown

October 16, 2017 by  
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The Arctic Apple, a variety of fruit that has been genetically engineered to never brown, even when cut into pieces, may be coming to a grocery store near you. The fruit was first envisioned as a means to increase apple consumption among picky consumers while decreasing food waste. “There’s an awful lot of apples that go to waste,” said Neal Carter, president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, which designed the Arctic Apple. “We were looking for ways to rebrand apples to make them more convenient.” Starting in November, the Arctic Apple will be sold in approximately 400 supermarkets throughout the United States . Carter estimates that this year’s harvest of 180 pounds of apples will be on the market for about 12 weeks; the first variety of Arctic Apple available will be Golden Delicious, followed by Granny Smith in 2018. Okanagan hopes that this novel approach will catch on among the fruit-consuming public “We’ve seen apple consumption decline on a per capita basis over the last few decades, because they’re not seen as convenient,” said Carter. “When they started selling cut baby carrots, it more than doubled consumption.” Just like baby carrots , the Arctic Apple will be sold pre-sliced. Related: 5 Mouthwatering plant-based fall recipes Apple flesh begins to turn brown when it’s cut or bruised because of enzymes that turn copper upon oxidation. Although the bite-sized, forever-unblemished Arctic Apple may appeal to those who can’t stand to see an apple “go bad,” its status as a GMO may turn off some concerned consumers. “There are certainly people against what we do,” said Carter. “But there are less people against it than two years ago or five years ago. Once people experience the apple, generally they say, ‘Hey this is just an apple.’” Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia and Okanagan Specialty Fruit

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This Arctic Apple has been genetically engineered to never brown

Oil rig explodes in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain, injuring several near New Orleans

October 16, 2017 by  
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An oil rig on Lake Pontchartrain exploded on Sunday night in Kenner, Louisiana , home of the Louis Armstrong International Airport and only a few miles from New Orleans . Authorities began receiving calls about the explosion around 7:18 PM on Sunday; although no official explanation has been offered, authorities on the scene believe the explosion was caused by flammable cleaning chemicals on the oil rig’s surface. At least seven people were injured in the blast and, according to initial reporting, one person is missing. Many of the injuries were serious and authorities expected more to be reported in the near future. Lake Pontchartrain is a brackish body of water that is about 12-14 feet deep, though some shipping channels are dredged deeper, and covers 630 square miles to the north of New Orleans. The exploding rig in the Lake is owned by Clovelly Oil Co., which uses the structure for transferring oil . It is possible that oil is still leaking into Lake Pontchartrain, though this will not affect local drinking water, which is sourced from the Mississippi River. Local residents report having their homes rattled when the explosion occurred. “My house actually shook,” said Andrew Love, who lives in the area. “At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something, I had no idea what was happening.” No damage to homes has yet been reported. Related: New NASA study reveals just how fast New Orleans is sinking George Branigan was sitting at home with his wife and stepdaughter when the explosion happened. “We heard something blow up and it sounded like it was in my backyard ,” Branigan said. After going outside to investigate, Branigan heard what sounded to him to be small pebbles, likely debris from the explosion, falling on his home. Branigan was still watching the flames from his porch several hours after the explosion. Via the New Orleans Advocate and San Francisco Gate Images via  City of Kenner Government

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Oil rig explodes in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain, injuring several near New Orleans

Leveraging Leadership & Transforming Markets with Lisa Jackson of Apple

October 2, 2017 by  
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A conversation with Apple’s visionary sustainability executive on the company’s commitments on renewable energy, circular materials and other topics.

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Leveraging Leadership & Transforming Markets with Lisa Jackson of Apple

The transformational power of corporate clean energy purchasing

September 18, 2017 by  
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From China to Mexico, from Apple to Walmart and beyond, WWF finds businesses embracing this global movement.

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The transformational power of corporate clean energy purchasing

IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

September 13, 2017 by  
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Ever purchased a piece of furniture, only to find out later it didn’t fit the style or size of the room? Swedish furniture maker IKEA is tackling this problem with a free augmented reality (AR) application that utilizes Apple’s new ARKit technology . The app will let users experience how sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and other furnishing items will fit into their homes in augmented reality. According to the IKEA press release, all products experienced through the app are 3D and true to scale. This ensures “every choice is just the right size, design and function.” Said Michael Valdsgaard, Leader Digital Transformation at Inter IKEA Systems, “IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles, and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger. Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster.” Users will also have the option of capturing the setting in the app and sharing it as an image or a video with friends. Related: IKEA’s SPACE10 lab is bringing a pop-up vertical farm to London IKEA is the first home furnishing company to build on Apple’s new technology to create an AR app that ensures customers are confident with their purchases. Reportedly, the app has a 98 percent accuracy as it scales products based on room dimensions. “The AR technology is so precise that you will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings,” says the press release. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. Beginning late-September, users with an iOs 11 may download and enjoy the app. In total, 2,000 IKEA products will be available to experiment with. The first release will focus on larger furniture products, including all sofas, armchairs, footstools, coffee tables and top-selling “storage solutions” that can be placed on the floor.  Data collected from the application will also play a role in the launch of new product lines. “Now, technology has caught up with our ambition. AR lets us redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere,” said Valdsgaard. To use the IKEA app, all one needs to do is: upgrade their device to iOS 11, download the IKEA Place app for free from the Apple store, scan the floor in your home, browse the list of available products in the app, select a chosen furniture item to experience, and move and place the product into the space. It is that simple! + IKEA  Images via IKEA

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IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

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