Passive solar community in Brazil combines social justice and sustainability

January 15, 2020 by  
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To empower a marginalized community in Brazil’s Maranhão state, São Paulo-based architecture firm  Estudio Flume  has completed Castanha de Caju, a new headquarters for a women’s agricultural cooperative that doubles as a welcoming community hub. Constructed on a limited budget and a tight timeline, the inspiring project included the refurbishment and extension of a small house as well as the inclusion of traditional construction techniques and materials to reduce costs. Low-cost passive thermal control strategies and considerable community input helped shape the project, which also includes permaculture principles, a biodigester, and rainwater harvesting. Located in Nova Vida, a small impoverished community in Bom Jesus das Selvas, the new agricultural co-op headquarters was primarily built to serve a group of women who make their living by collecting and processing a type of oil-rich Brazilian nut. As a result, the layout of the building was informed by the co-op’s workflows and includes nut cooking and breaking areas as well as an internal courtyard for drying foods. In light of the lack of  public spaces in the town, the architects also added facilities to the project, such as the sun-room and concrete bunch, to encourage community cohesion and knowledge sharing. In addition to  reusing  as much of the original building as possible, the new headquarters is constructed with perforated bricks and ‘brise-soleil’ pivot doors made with traditional techniques to allow for cross ventilation, natural light, and views. Since the area lacks a sewage system and a constant supply of potable water, the architects added a rainwater harvesting system and a septic tank biodigester for sewage treatment as well as a banana circle to filter gray water. The architects hope that through continued use and maintenance, the community will gradually begin to adapt these systems into other buildings in the town. Related: This beekeepers workshop uses sustainable design to minimize its footprint “This project is part of a wider plan for renovation works for small cooperatives and associations in the interior Maranhão and Pará states, in the north and northeast of Brazil ,” the architects said. “In a country with enormous continental diversity and cultural richness, it represents the opportunity to defend some sense of social justice, to ensure job security, comfort in the routine of a group of women. This was an opportunity to work with those who produce food on a small scale and with respect for the environment and, in the end, these products are eaten in the big cities.” + Estudio Flume Images via Estudio Flume

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Passive solar community in Brazil combines social justice and sustainability

Hundreds of beehives hang off a steep cliff in China to save wild honeybees

September 8, 2015 by  
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Hundreds of beehives hang off a steep cliff in China to save wild honeybees

Latvia’s Nature Concert Hall has a fabric skin that plays with the wind

September 8, 2015 by  
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Latvia’s Nature Concert Hall has a fabric skin that plays with the wind

Bazz the Beekeeper’s Dog Sniffs Out Bee Disease in an Adorable Custom Suit

July 15, 2013 by  
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A black labrador named Bazz has joined the global ranks of beekeepers who are fighting to save the world’s pollinators – and he even has an adorable custom suit to protect him on the job. Like Boneco the donkey in Brazil, Bazz does important but dangerous work: his owner, Josh Kennett from Australia, trained him to sniff out American foulbrood disease, an incurable disease that can decimate bee populations if it isn’t detected early. Read the rest of Bazz the Beekeeper’s Dog Sniffs Out Bee Disease in an Adorable Custom Suit Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , American foulbrood disease , Animals , Bazz the Beekeeper’s dog , beekeeper’s dog , beekeepers , bees , Environment , News , pollinators , sniffer dog detects bee disease        

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Bazz the Beekeeper’s Dog Sniffs Out Bee Disease in an Adorable Custom Suit

Backwards Beekeepers, Black Sabbath, and How to Capture a Swarm (Video)

August 23, 2011 by  
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Image credit: Backwards Beekeepers Whether it’s a “tough love” beekeepers’ focus on survivor genes , or a renewed interest in top-bar hives, Warré hives and other beekeeping alternatives , there are plenty of folks out there who believe that the industrialized, chemical-dependent model of large-scale beekeeping is part … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Backwards Beekeepers, Black Sabbath, and How to Capture a Swarm (Video)

New Study Shows Humans Are "Hard-Wired" For Density

August 23, 2011 by  
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Image credit Tim De Chant David Owen and Edward Glaeser tell us that density is a good thing, and that the closer together people live, the less energy they use per capita. Richard Florida tells us that it makes us more creative. Now Tim de Chant tells us that it was ever thus; he writes that

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New Study Shows Humans Are "Hard-Wired" For Density

The Environmental Impact of Cocaine

August 23, 2011 by  
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Whenever we talk about the production of cocaine fueling rainforest destruction , or the electricity consumption of indoor marijuana growing , many commenters decry that it is prohibition that causes these negative impacts, not the drug itself. There is, of course, some truth to that fact. We know, for example, that

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The Green Economy Is Growing, It’s Inevitable

August 23, 2011 by  
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image: 1BOG Since 2008, these two things haven’t changed: the world is getting warmer and millions of Americans are out of work. They’re not going away any time soon. Green For All was founded on the idea that those two problems could be relieved with a common solution, green jobs. We’ve seen that this can work; renewable energy businesses are among the fastest growing in the American economy. We’ve also learned that the green economy holds much more promise than just renewables. The s… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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The History and Design of the Bathroom Part 8: Pulling It All Together

August 23, 2011 by  
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Images and drawings by Lloyd Alter Over the last few weeks I have tried to pull all of the disparate ideas for the bathroom together and come up with a functional and practical set of ideas. Here is a summary of them all, in one bathroom that you can’t have; the components don’t exist. But they could easily. 1) Separate the functions As noted in Part 3, Putting Plumbing Before People , our different bathroom functions require very different design responses, but because of the way the western bathroom evolved, everything ended … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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The History and Design of the Bathroom Part 8: Pulling It All Together

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