Perkins+Wills University of Hawaii building is an eco-conscious beacon in West Oahu

January 17, 2019 by  
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The University of Hawaii West Oahu has gained a new Perkins+Will -designed addition that’s not only visually striking but also site-specific to Kapolei, a planned community on the island of Oahu. Created in collaboration with Hawaii-based KYA Design Group, the campus building offers a mix of workspaces and learning areas for students, faculty and staff. All parts of the University of Hawaii’s new Administration and Allied Health Building was inspired by the site context, from the siting of the building to the sculptural zigzagging roof that references the area’s historic sugar mills. Located on land that had formerly been used as sugarcane fields, the University of Hawaii’s West Oahu campus is tied to a long agricultural history dating back more than a hundred years. Continued sustained tilling, however, has stripped away rich topsoil and rendered the land less fertile and less able to retain water. As a result, Perkins+Will has made environmental stewardship a priority in the project with a landscaping plan that will restore the topsoil through nitrogen fixing planting, improve onsite ecological water and nutrient management and revive native landscaping . Eco-friendly principles also guided the design of the 43,000-square-foot complex, which features deep open-air lanais (balconies) on the south-facing facade that provide shade against the harsh sun and promote natural ventilation . The textured monolithic skin is made from concrete masonry units (CMUs) that form a geometric pattern inspired by traditional Hawaiian kapa (cloth). Related: Perkins + Will’s KTTC building blends beauty and sustainability in Ontario “The challenge was how to best consolidate the distinct functions of teaching labs and classrooms within the same building as office space for the campus administration,” Mark Tagawa, associate principal at Perkins+Will’s LA Studio, said. “We wanted to create a facility that interacted with the landscape in a sympathetic way, through water management, landscaping and materiality. Cultural and ecological appropriateness was our filter for all design decisions.” + Perkins+Will Via Dezeen Photography by Andrea Brizzi via Perkins+Will

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Perkins+Wills University of Hawaii building is an eco-conscious beacon in West Oahu

Studio Gang to sustainably grow Toronto with this energy-efficient tower

July 20, 2018 by  
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American architecture practice Studio Gang has unveiled designs for One Delisle, a new residential tower that marks the firm’s first foray in Canada. Located in downtown Toronto on the corner of Yonge and Delisle, the project is envisioned as a standout architectural icon that combines a striking hive-like design with energy-efficient performance. The proposed building intends to achieve Tier 2 of the Toronto Green Standard. Inspired by plant growth, the sculptural, 16-sided One Delisle features eight-story modules stacked together in a spiraling formation to reach a height that surpasses 500 feet. The 550,000-square-foot building will comprise 263 residential units as well as a two-story base with retail space and restaurants. The area around the tower will also be redesigned to include wider landscaped sidewalks, an expanded park and other improvements for a more pedestrian-friendly experience. The main street character will be preserved to respect the existing neighborhood architecture. “Responsive to the surrounding streetscape, the tower is rectilinear at its base to fit within the city grid and address its corner condition at Yonge Street and Delisle Avenue, transforming into a multifaceted cylindrical shape as it rises to expand views, capture more sunlight and minimize shadows on the street,” the firm said. “The full-block revitalization will utilize a district energy system that allows the new construction to share mechanical loads with existing commercial buildings, offsetting energy use .” Related: Amazing Hive comes alive with sights and sounds in Washington, D.C. One Delisle, along with the newly developed Delisle Park, will provide greater density to one of the city’s most important nodes at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue. In addition to greener outdoor spaces for the public, residents will enjoy access to balconies and spacious terraces carefully angled for protection against wind and sun. Different floor plate sizes and configurations allows for a variety of residential options. The project is slated for completion in 2023. + Studio Gang Images via Norm Li/Studio Gang

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Studio Gang to sustainably grow Toronto with this energy-efficient tower

Incredible teepee-shaped ORKA house is made from 24 interlacing beams

May 23, 2017 by  
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This   teepee-shaped home is made from twenty four interlacing beams that shelter a large open-plan living space. Antony Gibbon Designs ‘ ORKA house explores different geometric shapes and unconventional forms for residential architecture. The three-story dwelling features a rooftop platform with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The house has twenty four wooden beams that coalesce, forming a pivoted illusion which transforms angles into a seemingly curved hyperboloid form. Using the frame as an aesthetic starting point, the architects interlaced the beams to naturally create diamond-shaped patterns. These patterns become part of the geometry and symmetry of the structure. Related: This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways The envelope wraps around an area 10 meters in diameter (33 feet), allowing for a large open-plan living space. A spiral staircase connects the ground floor to another three floors, with the top floor doubling as an outdoor viewing platform and balcony offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. + Antony Gibbon Designs

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Incredible teepee-shaped ORKA house is made from 24 interlacing beams

Rare bag of moon dust to be auctioned for millions of dollars

May 23, 2017 by  
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Souvenirs from humankind’s missions to the Moon are extremely rare; NASA usually holds on to moon rocks or moon dust instead of allowing private owners to keep them. But they couldn’t hold on to one bag of moon dust. The artifact – supposedly collected by astronaut Neil Armstrong – is the property of a Chicago lawyer, and now she plans to auction it off. After Armstrong took that historic leap for mankind on the Apollo 11 mission, he did what many of us would do – grabbed a space souvenir in the form of a handful of moon rocks placed in a bag, which he put into a second bag. That second outer bag then embarked on a journey of its own. When the bag was accidentally put up for auction, lawyer Nancy Lee Carlson obtained the bag in February 2015 for $995 on a federal auction website. Related: ESA 3D prints extraterrestrial bricks with concentrated sunlight and moondust Carlson kept the bag for a while and then decided to send it to NASA to see if it was really authentic. NASA said the bag did indeed have traces of the moon’s dark gray powder. But then the agency tried to confiscate the bag as the property of the government . Carlson fought the move and this year in February a judge decided she’d acquired the bag legally and could keep it. NASA put out a statement after the ruling: “This artifact, we believe, belongs to the American people and should be on display for the public, which is where it was before all of these unfortunate events occurred.” Before going up for auction the bag belonged to Max Ary of the Kansas Cosmosphere museum; he was convicted of stealing such interstellar objects and putting them up for sale, and when several of his possessions were seized by the government, the moon bag was among them but was mixed up with another bag lacking the treasured dust. Now Carlson plans to auction the bag off once again on July 20, send some money to charity , and set up a scholarship at her alma mater, Northern Michigan University. Auctioneers think the bag could be sold for between two to four million dollars. Sotheby’s auction house curators think the bag of moon dust could be the only privately held object of this nature on Earth. Via the Chicago Tribune Images via Wikimedia Commons and screenshot

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Giant sinkhole opens up in front of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort

May 23, 2017 by  
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One of President Donald Trump’s claims on the campaign trail was that he’d “drain the swamp” if elected. Whether he kept that promise is up for debate; sure, he selected business tycoons like Rex Tillerson to fill top government positions but also chose people like the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Elaine Chao. But now the swamp may be encroaching on another part of America: Mar-a-Lago , Trump’s Florida golf club, where a sinkhole just opened up. Obviously, the Internet didn’t pass up on the opportunity to dish out puns. Yesterday the town of Palm Beach, Florida – where Mar-a-Lago is located – posted a traffic alert about the sinkhole on their website. “A four feet by four feet sinkhole has formed on Southern Boulevard directly in front of Mar-a-Lago,” the notice reads. “It appears to be in the vicinity of the newly installed water main. West Palm Beach utilities distribution crews have secured the area and will most likely need to do some exploratory excavation today. One lane is closed but the road remains open. Please pay attention to signs.” Related: Trump saved a toxic pesticide – and then it poisoned a bunch of farmworkers Naturally this was just too easy for Twitter . Some saw the sinkhole as a sign from God – whether Republicans would listen was another matter. Sinkhole opens next to Mar-a-Lago in obvious sign from increasingly irritated God https://t.co/IBicOjX698 pic.twitter.com/IhlzTpTU8K — Jezebel (@Jezebel) May 22, 2017 "Give us a sign, God."[sinkhole appears in front of Mar-A-Lago]"Hm, can't be sure that's anything." https://t.co/oTrfQkYBxR — Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) May 22, 2017 Some people wondered if the sinkhole had anything to do with the illuminated orb Trump was pictured touching in Saudi Arabia. Actions have consequences, people. pic.twitter.com/r0LOrGBldy — Slade Sohmer (@Slade) May 22, 2017 The #sinkhole at Mar-a-Lago is absolutely NOT an ancient evil escaping its glided cage after being released by The Orb. No siree. — Rogue Illuminati (@RogueIlluminati) May 23, 2017 Others thought perhaps the sinkhole had been mistakenly termed… My working theory: It’s a hellmouth, not a sinkhole. — Jeff LaMarche (@jeff_lamarche) May 22, 2017 Sean Spicer wants to make it very clear there is NOT a sinkhole in front of Mar-A-Lago… It is a Florida Swamp Center. — Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) May 22, 2017 Some Twitter users actually began to cheer for the sinkhole. rare heroic sinkhole ? https://t.co/i2i1I287vv — AS ? (@Alschapel) May 22, 2017 @townpalmbeach @Fahrenthold Has anyone ever rooted for a sinkhole before? — chuckyou2 (@chuckyoutwo) May 22, 2017 And as the metaphors left everyone’s heads spinning about the mysterious origins of the clearly supernatural sinkhole, former The Onion writer Dennis DiClaudio stepped in to make one thing clear: Hate to be pedantic, but the Mar-a-lago sinkhole isn't *technically* a metaphor, because metaphors aren't *that* obvious. — Dennis DiClaudio (@dennisdiclaudio) May 22, 2017 After Palm Beach has dealt with the sinkhole, we think Washington, D.C. could use a little “exploratory excavation” as well. Via The Washington Post Images via screenshot and screenshot

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Giant sinkhole opens up in front of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort

Bio-friendly energy storage device draws electrical power from the human body

May 23, 2017 by  
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Humans are constantly on the go, so doesn’t it make sense to harness some of that kinetic energy ? Scientists from UCLA and the University of Connecticut asked themselves that question, which eventually led to them developing an energy-storing device that can draw electrical power from the human body. The biological supercapacitor is a protein-based battery-like device capable of extracting energy from the human body. A supercapacitor is a term used to describe a high-performance electrochemical capacitor (ECs), which is similar to batteries but has a much higher power density. Supercapacitors have faster char-discharge rates, lower internal resistance, higher power density and better cycling ability than batteries. Once energy is obtained by the newly-developed energy storage device, it is then released inside an electrical circuit which looks similar to an implantable medical device. According to the paper Ultrathin Graphene – Protein Supercapacitors for Miniaturized Bioelectronics , which was published earlier this month, the supercapacitor utilizes a “harvester” that operates by using the body’s heat and movements to capture electrical charges from ions, which are found in human body fluids including blood and urine. Bleeping Computer reports , “As electrodes, the harvester uses a carbon nanomaterial called graphene, layered with modified human proteins. The electrodes collect energy from the human body , relay it to the harvester, which then stores it for later use.” Graphene sheets can be drawn as thin as a few atoms, which means the incredibly thin supercapacitors could potentially serve as alternatives to batteries. Related: Researchers close in on world’s first 100% self-charging lithium-ion battery Most importantly, the supercapacitors are bio-friendly , as they are made with natural materials. Graphene is composed of carbon, whereas current implantable medical devices are powered by classic batteries that contain toxic materials. Because the new device is thinner than a human hair, it is more flexible than traditional batteries, as well. This technology could have far-reaching implications for the medical industry. Researchers believe that an implantable medical device using a supercapacitor could last a lifetime. In result, patients wouldn’t need to go through operations at regular intervals to replace batteries – one of the main complications with implantable medical devices. In addition to being used with pacemakers, the new energy device could be paired with devices that stimulate other organs, such as the brain, stomach and/or bladder. + UCLA Via Bleeping Computer Images via Islam Mosa/University of Connecticut and Maher El-Kady/UCLA , Pixabay

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Bio-friendly energy storage device draws electrical power from the human body

This window transforms into a balcony right before your eyes

March 3, 2016 by  
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Plantable: All-In-One Table & Trellis Hybrid Lets You Grow, Harvest and Eat

October 25, 2011 by  
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Zahra Shahabi and Ollie Hammick/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Beyond the conventional planter on your balcony, there are many ways to grow food and herbs right in your own home, without the need to rely on a trip to the store. London-based designers Jamie Elliott and Liam Healy of JAILmake created this table that’s a mix of eating surface and mini-garden, where the legs are re-fashioned as planters and trellises to support climbing plants…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Plantable: All-In-One Table & Trellis Hybrid Lets You Grow, Harvest and Eat

In Johannesburg, An Owl Family Calls a Potted Plant Home

October 17, 2010 by  
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A screenshot from the Pot Plant Owl’s webcam , via Africam.com . In August 2009, Allan and Tracy Eccles woke up to find a spotted eagle owl sitting in a potted plant on their balcony in suburban Johannesburg, South Africa.

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In Johannesburg, An Owl Family Calls a Potted Plant Home

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