Ingenious Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion helps city dwellers breathe clean, unpolluted air using algae

October 31, 2016 by  
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Air quality is a serious issue that needs to be addressed as more and more people move to large cities . At the same time, we are losing the forests that help us combat air pollution, which means that pollution promises to be a major health threat in coming decades. The Chlorella Pavilion  addresses that need, taking inspiration from the air purifying process that occurs in nature. The design emphasizes the  symbiotic relationship between animal and plants. Miklosi conceived a system of tubes that run throughout the interior and exterior of the structure, filled with algae soaking up energy from the sun and “exhaling” oxygen into the space by way of a central fountain. The fountain is surrounded by seating so that people can relax enjoy the fresh air. Visitors coming to this futuristic oxygen bar will feed the algae by converting oxygen into CO2 with their breath, creating a continuous cycle. The entire system is run by solar panels, which provide power for artificial lighting that supports photosynthesis. Photobioreactors create a network of transparent plastic tubes, each of which is filled with 5 cubic meters of algae. The algae sucks in dirty air, cleans it, and sends out purified air. Surrounding this central algae “fountain” are a series of chairs in a circle, facing the center. Related: Biodesign Competition winners announced – algae takes center stage Called a “temple of relaxation,” the Chlorella Pavilion could be placed just about anywhere, including metropolitan areas where bustling city dwellers could use a natural boost of oxygen-driven energy – or just some fresh air. The innovative structure is built with molded beech wood and an isolating teflon film on the exterior to help create a space for relaxation and recovery. The project was inspired by Russia’s Controlled ecological life support system , in which a self-supporting life system was created using algae to provide oxygen.  Miklosi’s design recently won Inhabitat’s  Biodesign Competition . +Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion

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Ingenious Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion helps city dwellers breathe clean, unpolluted air using algae

This Self-Healing House features plants, moss, and birds to create a living facade

October 14, 2016 by  
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Some might think metropolitan living means you can’t commune with nature, but designer Edwin Indera Waskita’s Self-Healing House shatters that misconception. Waskita’s project transforms barrier-like walls into a mutually maintained scaffolding for plants, mosses, and birds to mingle with the human residents inside. By encouraging the growth of plant life, birds are lured to the spot and deposit seeds for more greenery to grow. The result is a space that perfectly unifies nature and modern living. Waskita’s proposal would create a balanced symbiosis with the surrounding natural world while providing housing for those in the world’s busiest cities. He created the concept for neighborhoods in Jakarta, Indonesia that suffer with substandard living conditions. Homes in the Kampung Pulo area of Jakarta, along the Chiliwung River, can be cramped, uncomfortable and unsafe. They can also lack reliable electricity, clean water and access to fresh food. Waskita’s proposal tackles this issues by turning squalor-like conditions into a symbiotic, safe space. The “Self-Healing” home features an exterior “ecological skin”. This skin is created using palm fiber, normally a waste product, to create a medium in which seeds can take sprout and grow. These plants are then attract birds, which will come and build nests underneath the roof, which is designed to accommodate them. The plants also absorb carbon, while providing clean oxygen for the home’s inhabitants. Home dwellers can harvest bird eggs from the nests for food, along with the plants. Related: Biodesign Competition winners announced – algae takes center stage For the hard structure of the home, bio-concrete will be used. This self-healing bio-concrete is able to filter air and water, creating a healthy space for the home’s inhabitants. Solar panels on top of the roof provide reliable electricity, while an open-water reservoir on another part of the roof collects rainwater. Skywalks connect the buildings so that city-dwellers can have a safe way to travel from one part of the neighborhood to another. But beyond providing better living conditions, the design also encourages community cohesion. Community participation is required both in the initial phase and ongoing to maintain the homes. The Self-Healing House is a demonstration of how buildings can become living structures to work within a bigger system of interconnectedness. Instead of fighting to widen the divide between human homes and the rest of the outside environment , it serves as an example of how we can embrace our deep ties to the natural world. The project wowed judges as a winner in the Biodesign Competition ’s Housing Category. +Self-Healing House Images via Edwin Indera Waskita

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This Self-Healing House features plants, moss, and birds to create a living facade

Dewpoint fog catcher collects water molecules like cacti

August 4, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii_oMviF-b4 (Dewpoint starts at 1.09) Dewpoint is one of nine projects submitted to the inaugural Biodesign Challenge , which asked students to imagine future applications of biotechnology. Unsurprisingly, many of the designs addressed pressing environmental issues, such as pollution and water scarcity. Related: How gooey cactus guts purify water naturally For their project, the Dewpoint team essentially recreated the spines of a cactus on a synthetic green surface. Like cactus , the device is able to collect and store water for later use. Several of them together form a panel, which may be mounted on a rooftop, for example. At present, little is known about the specific technology or materials used to make the spines, but its applications could be numerous. In their web presentation, SAIC said, “Biodesign may tackle the issues of water security and water management by helping foster a more sustainable relationship between humans and their environments.” We look forward to seeing more such solutions deriving wisdom from nature. + Dewpoint SAIC

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Dewpoint fog catcher collects water molecules like cacti

White House orders every government agency to consider climate change

August 4, 2016 by  
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The White House Council on Environmental Quality released a 34-page document on Tuesday directing government agencies to consider climate change in their environmental reviews. The Obama Administration said the policy is “intended to help agencies make informed and transparent decisions about the impacts of climate change associated with their actions.” The final guidance is the culmination of a six-year process shaping how federal agencies will factor climate change into their decisions. Under the guidance, agencies must consider a project’s impact on climate change via direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions as well as the effect global warming could have on the action. Examples include rising sea levels, extreme weather, drought and wildfires. The guidance could have wide-ranging consequences for federal projects – from roads to rail to fossil fuel infrastructure. Related: Obama to target Arctic and Atlantic oil drilling in fight against climate change “Simply put, this is a commonsense step that underlines the Administration’s commitment to addressing climate change,” Chase Huntley, senior director of the Wilderness Society ’s energy and climate campaign, told The Washington Post . “Federal land management agencies should implement this guidance without delay, and use cutting-edge science to make climate-smart decisions.” The environmental review process for government agencies is required by law under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) . Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970, NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the environmental consequences of their actions. The introduction to NEPA states that the purpose of the Act is “to declare national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.” + White House Council on Environmental Quality Via The Washington Post Images via Wikimedia 1, 2

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White House orders every government agency to consider climate change

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