Arkansas schools save millions by adopting solar power

October 22, 2020 by  
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Schools in the U.S. are using solar energy to cut down on expensive electricity bills. With funds freed up, schools can then improve the quality of education. As a  report by Generation180  shows, over 7,300 schools use the solar power approach to save on utility bills.  Generation180 is a non-profit organization that champions green energy . The group’s 2019 report indicates that about 16% of U.S. school districts had installed solar panels with a capacity to generate 1,337 megawatts of power.  One little-known Arkansas school district leads the way in adopting green energy. Once a cash-strapped area, the district has been able to generate surplus income by using solar energy. Batesville School District includes six schools that serve about 3,200 students. Just a few years ago, the school district struggled to retain its teachers due to high power bills. In 2017, the schools faced a possible shutdown due to an annual power bill of over $600,000. However, the school district managed to overturn its fortunes by adopting a solar power project.  After conducting an audit, the district realized it could save up to $2.4 million in 20 years if they installed 1,400 solar panels and energy-efficient lights/gadgets. According to Superintendant Michael Hester, the district chose this approach in a bid to increase teachers’ salaries. “Let’s use that money to start pumping up teachers’ salaries,” Hester said “It’s the way we’re going to attract and retain staff. And it’s the way we’re going to attract and retain students in this day and age of school choice.” Adopting the new initiative allowed the schools to transform their $250,000 annual deficit to a $1.8 million annual surplus. As a result, teachers’ salaries have increased by $2000 to $3000. According to Generation180, if all public schools in the U.S. adopted green solar energy, the education sector could reduce emissions equivalent to that produced by 18 coal power plants. However, many factors stand in the way of such a feat. Some factors that make the process complicated include lack of proper policy and financing. In some cases, the problem comes from communities reluctant to take steps in adopting non-conventional energy sources.  + Generation180 Via Energy News Image via Pixabay

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Story book of timber designed for University of Arkansas

April 2, 2020 by  
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Dublin-based Grafton Architects and Fayetteville-based Modus Studio have won an international design competition for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation at the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. Developed to bolster the university’s role as a leader in mass timber advocacy, the $16 million applied research center will be a “story book of timber ” promoting timber and wood design initiatives. The architecture of the Anthony Timberlands Center will also be used as a teaching tool and showcase the versatility and beauty of various timbers to the public. Crowned the competition winner after a months-long process that included a total of 69 firms, Grafton Architects also made recent headlines when its co-founders, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, were named the 2020 recipients of the Pritzker Architecture Prize . The Anthony Timberlands Center will be the firm’s first building in the United States and will be located in Fayetteville, Arkansas on the northeast corner of the University of Arkansas’ Windgate Art and Design District. The new applied research center will house the Fay Jones School’s existing and expanding design/build program and fabrication technologies labs as well as the school’s emerging graduate program in timber and wood design. Created with the public in mind, the Anthony Timberlands Center will draw the eye of passersby with its dramatic cascading roof that responds to the local climate while capturing natural light . Inside, soaring ceiling heights and rhythmical open spaces evoke a forest setting. Related: Canada’s first net-zero carbon, mass-timber college building to rise in Toronto “The basic idea of this new Anthony Timberlands Center is that the building itself is a Story Book of Timber,” said Farrell in a University of Arkansas press release. “We want people to experience the versatility of timber , both as the structural ‘bones’ and the enclosing ‘skin’ of this new building. The building itself is a teaching tool, displaying the strength, color, grain, texture and beauty of the various timbers used.” + Grafton Architects Images via Grafton Architects

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Story book of timber designed for University of Arkansas

Let’s do launch: 3 startups leading in circular economy innovation

December 11, 2018 by  
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The LAUNCH Circular Forum in Bentonville, Arkansas, showcased innovative solutions to circular design and manufacturing challenges.

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Arkansas university students designed this prefab cantilevering home for $136 per square foot

September 9, 2016 by  
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The modules were stacked perpendicular to one another, with the lower volume housing the kitchen, living and dining room and a small WC nestled under the stairs. A lightweight steel truss that run along the longer side of the module allow the projecting elements of the top volume. The entire house cost $136,000 to construct – $136 per square foot. Related: Blu Homes launches 16 new prefab home designs, including new tiny homes “By rotating the modules perpendicular to each other, three exterior spaces are created — two porches covered by the cantilevers and a roof deck above the kitchen on top of the lower module,” said the team. + Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design Via Dezeen

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Arkansas university students designed this prefab cantilevering home for $136 per square foot

Breathtaking Thorncrown Chapel is one of America’s greatest architectural masterpieces

April 8, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Breathtaking Thorncrown Chapel is one of America’s greatest architectural masterpieces Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aia , american institute of architects , arkansas , chapel , E. Fay Jones , frank lloyd wright , Jim Reed , Ozark Mountains , Prairie school of architecture , Sainte Chappelle , thorncrown chapel

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Iconic VW Camper van to be revived as a battery-electric vehicle

April 8, 2015 by  
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Since its launch in the early 1950s, the Volkswagen Westfalia Camper has been an enduring classic, an icon of cross-country adventures and the traveling lifestyle. Production ceased in 2003, but speaking to Autocar at last week’s New York Auto Show , board member Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser revealed that the company is soon to unveil a concept Camper that would revive the classic van as an electric vehicle. Read the rest of Iconic VW Camper van to be revived as a battery-electric vehicle Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: camper van , classic cars , e car technology , electric camper , electric car , electric car concept , electric vehicle , volkswagen , Volkswagen Westfalia Camper , vw van

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Iconic VW Camper van to be revived as a battery-electric vehicle

Federal judge approves Christo’s massive “Over the River” project

January 8, 2015 by  
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Environmental activists team up to battle a famous environmental artist—not your everyday face-off. Unless, that is, the artist is Christo . A recent federal district court case pitted his proposed “ Over the River ” project against the activist group ROAR (Rags Over the Arkansas River ). The $50 million installation would temporarily suspend 5.9 miles of translucent silver fabric panels along a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in south-central Colorado, much of which is federally-protected habitat for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles. Read the rest of Federal judge approves Christo’s massive “Over the River” project Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Art , bighorn sheep , christo , conservation , eco design , eco-art , ecological damage , environmental activists , environmental art , green art , ROAR , wildlife protection

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Federal judge approves Christo’s massive “Over the River” project

Raw, Unprocessed Cotton Can Be Used to Clean Up Oil Spills

May 21, 2013 by  
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As long as industry and infrastructure relies on oil to function, there will be spills . Cleaning up such disasters, like the recent Mayflower, Arkansas rupture, can be costly and time consuming. Even the chemicals that are used to disperse and absorb the crude can be dangerous to the environment, and researchers have long been looking for greener alternatives. A new study finds that raw, unprocessed cotton may be a cheaper and safer way to soak up oil than synthetics. Read the rest of Raw, Unprocessed Cotton Can Be Used to Clean Up Oil Spills Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arkansas , barley straw , ch foundation , cotton , cotton incorporated , industrial & engineering chemistry research , kapok , low micronaire , mayflower , oil spill , seshadri ramkumar , unprocessed , West Texas , wool        

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Raw, Unprocessed Cotton Can Be Used to Clean Up Oil Spills

Fallen Tree Wine Rack Holds a Wine Collection of Epic Proportions

May 21, 2013 by  
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Wood|Stone|Metal Studio ’s gorgeous new wine rack is large enough to cover an entire wall. The eight-foot-tall installation is made from a large slab of wood that was cut from a naturally-felled tree. The Canadian studio specializes in transforming reclaimed wood into innovative interior accents, headed by designer Tomás Berinstein. Read the rest of Fallen Tree Wine Rack Holds a Wine Collection of Epic Proportions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , green design , ICFF , naturally felled tree , reclaimed wood WoodStoneMetal studio , sustainable design , Tomas Berinstein , tree slice wine rain        

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Fallen Tree Wine Rack Holds a Wine Collection of Epic Proportions

Giant Shredder Breaks Down Fridges for Recycling

September 26, 2012 by  
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90 percent of used refrigerators are recycled for their metal, but the insulation and chemicals inside them often wind up in landfills. One processing plant has found a way around that. ARCA Advanced Processing in Philadelphia runs a massive…

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