Award-winning rammed earth home in Spain halves normal CO2 emissions

July 29, 2016 by  
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Presented as a “contemporary vernacular 21st century house,” Castellarnau’s design incorporates a variety of energy and resource-saving strategies. The stone, earth, and straw used in construction comprises 80 percent of the home’s overall weight, and all building materials, including wood, sheep’s wool and hydraulic lime, were sourced from within a 150 kilometer radius. In addition to supporting local suppliers, this drastically reduces the distance materials have to travel, and thereby the amount of greenhouse gas emissions sent billowing into the atmosphere. In a recent press release, Castellernau reported that the lifecycle analysis of this particular design shows a 50 percent reduction in overall emissions. Related: Dome-shaped Earth Bag House in Colombia keeps residents naturally cool Other notable features include thermo-insulating blinds, thermal accumulator clay plastering, and a biomass boiler, all of which are designed to make the most of natural resources available to the client. Strategically-placed windows maximize the amount of natural light reaching the interior, further reducing energy use, and a cistern collects rainwater for reuse. In her quest to research local, traditional architecture over the last decade, the architect has refined old techniques and developed new ones, many of which she has tested on her own home. She is currently working on two more earth architecture projects in Spain, and we are immensely excited to see the results. + Edra Arquitectura Images via Doble Studio

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Award-winning rammed earth home in Spain halves normal CO2 emissions

Pokmon Go players are rescuing real animals in the wild

July 29, 2016 by  
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Unless you’ve been living under a Geodude , you’ve probably seen, heard, or read something about Pokémon Go. But did you know some gamers are actually rescuing real animals as they play? Whilst on a hunt for Dratini, Olivia Case rescued a juvenile bat and brought it to the care of Cornell Animal Hospital in Ithica, New York . Since the mobile game was released on July 6th, Cornell Animal Hospital has received a screech owl, rabbits, an opossum, and a baby squirrel from active Pokémon Go players. You may have noticed crowds of people swarming towards the location of a rare Pokémon . You may have been a victim of distracted walking or you may have lost ten pounds . If you are a kind and serendipitous gamer on a quest to catch ’em all, you may have even protected real wildlife . “The whole ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All,’ it’s great!” says Victoria Campbell, owner of Wild Things Sanctuary in Ithaca, which specializes in bat rehabilitation. “If you find a little bat when you’re searching for a Zubat, don’t freak out!” says Campbell. Campbell assisted in the care of the baby bat, fittingly named Zubat, thanks to the magic of Pokémon. Beyond calling for animal rescue professionals, those who discover an animal with nearly no HP left may keep them safe by covering them with a box and a sliding piece of cardboard beneath. Related: Macaon Transforms Aluminum Cans Into Cartoon, Video Game, and Superhero Characters Pokémon Go has come to the rescue of animals beyond Ithaca. In relatively nearby Rochester, a man desperate to fill his Pokédex stumbled upon eight ducklings stuck in a storm drain; his swift reporting of the distressed ducks resulted in their rescue. In South Houston , two fellow adventurers of digital Kanto saved several hamsters and baby mice, abandoned in a cage in a park. Pokémon Go seems to be facilitating some real interactions with nature, exercise and exploration, even if it is still defined by an omniscient screen. One wonders whether Pokémon Go has potential to protect endangered species suffering under ecological collapse. Perhaps if Pokémon Go had existed in the early 20th century, the passenger pidgey may still be with us. Via Atlas Obscura

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Pokmon Go players are rescuing real animals in the wild

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