Endangered California condors are making a comeback with the birth of 1,000th chick

July 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Endangered California condors are making a comeback with the birth of 1,000th chick

The largest bird in North America is making a comeback after reaching an alarming population size of about 20 birds . The California condor was highly endangered during the late 20th century but holds spiritual importance to indigenous tribes and nature-lovers. Last week, conservationists announced that the 1,000th chick hatched and successfully survived, giving new hope that the birds’ population will continue to grow. The condor population plummeted in the 20th century because of hunting , habitat loss and lead poisoning from eating the carcasses of animals that had been shot with lead bullets. When the population was nearing just 20 birds, conservationists began breeding them in captivity. Related: 10 species at risk of extinction under the Trump administration According to Tim Hauch, manager of the Peregrine Fund’s condor program, more than 300 wild California condors exist today. There is a total of more than 500 when those in captivity are included. The newest chick was born in Zion National Park, located in southwestern Utah. Condors lay only one egg at a time , and female condors do not nest every year. Conservationists are incredibly hopeful every time one is born. “We’re seeing more chicks born in the wild than we ever have before,” Hauck told NPR. “And that’s just a step toward success for the condor and achieving a sustainable population.” Although the chick was born in May, it was not considered to be a survivor until July, given the typical mortality of young condors within the first two months. The chick will be able to leave the nest and begin flying around November. California condors are unique birds that can live up to 60 years in the right conditions. That makes condors not only the largest bird in North America, with a wingspan of 10 feet, but also one of the longest living birds in the world. Those who study California condors also believe that the birds are capable of having distinct personalities, which separates them from many other avian species. Via NPR Image via Wikimedia Commons

Go here to see the original:
Endangered California condors are making a comeback with the birth of 1,000th chick

This solar-powered home in Brazil blends into its environment with a massive green roof and an open-air ground floor

July 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This solar-powered home in Brazil blends into its environment with a massive green roof and an open-air ground floor

When it comes to modern homes, most architects focus on creating a soothing harmony between the indoors and outdoors, meaning lots of natural light, floor-to-ceiling windows, natural vegetation and so on. But Brazilian firm Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados has gone one step further by completely eliminating exterior walls. Located São Paulo, the solar-powered RFC Residence features an open-air ground floor that leads out to a connecting courtyard, blurring the lines between nature and the man-made. Spanning more than 6,500 square feet, the RFC Residence was built for a family of four with a strong passion for cooking. They asked the architects to design an open-plan layout that would place the kitchen at the heart of the living area to be not only a functional space for preparing meals but a spacious social area as well. Related: A micro home with a green roof sits atop a granite wine cellar in rural Portugal Topped with a green roof that shares space with a solar array, the home was built with a number of passive and active design measures. The rectangular volume is made up of two levels: an open-air ground floor and an upper floor clad in exposed brick with a long interior hallway lined in glass panels. The upper level houses the master bedroom and the kids’ bedrooms. The social spaces are all located on the first floor, which contains a living room, entertainment area, dining room and a large chef’s kitchen in the middle. Wrapped around a central courtyard , these wall-less living spaces are all connected, creating a seamless connection between the rooms as well as the interior and the exterior. Native vegetation was used in the landscaping to create a lush outdoor area. The main living areas all maintain a nice, cool temperature year-round thanks to natural air circulation . Additionally, the second level was built with overhangs that shade the ground floor, creating a more comfortable space for residents to take in the fresh air. There is also a small swimming pool as well as a wooden sauna and dressing room in the backyard. + Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados Via ArchDaily Photography by Nelson Kon via Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados

Read the rest here:
This solar-powered home in Brazil blends into its environment with a massive green roof and an open-air ground floor

City of Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings and homes

July 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on City of Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings and homes

The Californian city of Berkeley has become the first in the country to pass a ban on natural gas piping in new buildings, including private homes. Although it is considered cleaner than oil, natural gas is still a fossil fuel and contributes to global warming . New buildings in Berkeley, with few exceptions, will have to rely on electricity for heating water and kitchen appliances starting in January 2020. The natural gas ordinance was spearheaded by councilmember Kate Harrison, who told the San Francisco Chronicle , “It’s an enormous issue. We need to really tackle this. When we think about pollution and climate change issues, we tend to think about factories and cars, but all buildings are producing greenhouse gas .” Related: California is the first US state to require solar energy for new houses The legislation passed unanimously, but some critics outside of the city town halls and council meetings argue that electricity prices are higher than natural gas . The mandate will come at an expense to homeowners and renters in the Bay Area’s already stifling housing market. The ordinance also comes with funding for a two-year position for one staff member in the Office of Planning and Development who will oversee the implementation of the ban. David Hochschild, chairman of the California Energy Commission, reported that at least 50 other cities throughout the state of California are considering such a ban in hopes of addressing the contribution that buildings make to climate change and to encourage higher usage of electricity and renewable energy. Berkeley has a history of progressive bans, including becoming the first city in the country to ban smoking in restaurants and bars back in 1977. Earlier this year, the city banned single-use plastic utensils in restaurants (such as plastic forks). Restaurants and cafes throughout the city must use compostable utensils for takeaway meals and beverages. The city also passed an ordinance adding a 25 cents tax onto single-use cups, such as coffee cups. Via San Francisco Chronicle and NRDC Image via Pixabay

Originally posted here:
City of Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings and homes

Extreme heat wallops US

July 18, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Extreme heat wallops US

If you live in the central or eastern U.S., it’s time to fill your ice trays and seek shade as a major heat wave will put 50 million Americans under a heat warning this week. People in Nashville, Chicago, Kansas City, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C. and many other cities will be fanning themselves as temperatures top 95 degrees. High humidity will intensify the effect. “The prolonged duration of the heat and humidity will potentially become dangerous to those most vulnerable,” the National Weather Service warned. The heat wave will probably last at least three days. Related: Heatwave roasts mussels alive in California Climate scientists predict that by the mid-21st century, Americans will face an average of 36 days annually when the heat index surpasses 100 degrees, and 24 days when it exceeds 105. By 2100, those numbers could rise to 54 and 40. “Our analysis shows a hotter future that’s hard to imagine today,” said UCS senior climate scientist Kristina Dahl, according to Newsweek . In addition to direct health risks of scorching weather , heat waves bring other dangers and inconveniences to cities. More people cranking air conditioners lead to power fails. Places like Manhattan— which is served by underground delivery systems that heat up as the ground gets hot— are especially susceptible to blackouts. Scientists predict that the current heat wave will bring record high overnight lows in many cities, and that this pattern will also continue to rise with climate change. This phenomenon presents a serious health risk, as people’s bodies don’t have a chance to cool overnight. Via EcoWatch Image via NASA Earth Observatory

Read the original:
Extreme heat wallops US

Stunning solar-powered home in Singapore melds with adjacent botanic gardens

July 18, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Stunning solar-powered home in Singapore melds with adjacent botanic gardens

When charged with creating a new family home just steps away from Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, the Singapore and U.K.-based firm Guz Architects was compelled to use the amazingly lush surroundings as inspiration for the design. Located on top of a hill overlooking the incredible gardens, the solar-powered Botanica House boasts an open layout heavily influenced by a soothing combination of Feng Shui and sustainability. Spanning more than 14,000 square feet, the Botanica House manages to blend into its idyllic setting through the use of local building techniques that include natural materials , as well as the use of clean energy via solar panels installed on the roof. Perched on top of a hill overlooking the botanical gardens, the home is comprised of three levels with large cantilevers that give the structure the appearance of “floating” over the hilltop. Related: Solar-powered prefab home in Texas features a whimsical pop art water catchment system The home’s entryway is marked by a landscaped pond and waterfall that lead up to the front door. Following a sunken courtyard , the interior space features several connections to the outdoor areas. Although the natural setting and nearby gardens drove the design, the beautiful home was also based on various principles of Feng Shui , such as the round lift and angling of the front door. Water also plays a strong role with a soothing river-like pool that wraps around the exterior and winds its way through the interior. The home has a strong connection to the natural setting thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors that lead out to the outdoor spaces. Throughout the home, natural light is also diffused through various skylights. + Guz Architects Via ArchDaily Photography by Patrick Bingham-Hall via Guz Architects

Read the original post: 
Stunning solar-powered home in Singapore melds with adjacent botanic gardens

Surround yourself with Californias wildlife and flora at Oakland Zoos eco-minded California Trail

July 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Surround yourself with Californias wildlife and flora at Oakland Zoos eco-minded California Trail

If you’re looking for a unique, family-friendly activity in the Bay Area, look no further than the California Trail at the Oakland Zoo . Now celebrating its one-year anniversary, the eco-friendly exhibit offers gondola rides, an immersive experience in nature and up-close encounters with native California species. Designed by Berkeley-based architectural firm Noll & Tam Architects , the $72 million California Trail project is a triumph in environmental conservation, education and research. When the California Trail project was completed last July after 20-plus years in the making, the project doubled the size of the Oakland Zoo and added several new native California animal species including American buffalo, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, jaguars, California condors and gray wolves. The 56-acre exhibit includes 26 structures and was carefully designed and constructed for minimal site impact. To further reduce landscape impact, Noll & Tam Architects decided against developing roads and parking lots in favor of an aerial gondola that whisks visitors over the landscape to the start of the trail. “We worked closely with the zoo to minimize impact to the natural landscape, from the placement of the gondola that eliminates auto traffic to the careful siting of the boardwalk that preserves oak trees,” noted Janet Tam, principal in charge of the project. “The design intertwines animal habitats with human habitats; animals have their feeding grounds and night houses to retreat to, much like visitors enjoy the Landing Cafe for refreshment then stroll over to the Interpretive Center for quiet reflection.” Related: Newly opened Los Gatos Library by Noll & Tam Architects pursuing LEED Gold Visitors journey to different exhibitions via an 800-foot-long elevated boardwalk , which loops back around to the 20,150-square-foot Visitor and Interpretative complex that offers information about the history of the animals and the state of California. The California Trail also includes The Landing Cafe, an overnight campground and a playground designed to reflect the ecological zones of California. The buildings’ environmental impact is reduced even more with the use of solar power and rainwater harvesting. + Noll & Tam Architects Photography by Eric Dugan Photography via Noll & Tam Architects

Go here to see the original: 
Surround yourself with Californias wildlife and flora at Oakland Zoos eco-minded California Trail

Experimental design-build festival takes over Californian desert

July 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Experimental design-build festival takes over Californian desert

For the second year in a row, design lab Space Saloon has just wrapped up an exciting avant-garde art festival deep in the Southern Californian desert. Aimed to foster innovative design-build and hands-on education, the art festival , named Fieldworks, is an experimental outdoor campus where young artists can learn new techniques and showcase their groundbreaking designs. This year’s festival took place within the expansive desert landscape in the San Bernardino mountains between Joshua Tree, Palm Springs and Los Angeles. According to Space Saloon, the desert was the perfect place to host the open-air campus thanks to the wide open landscape that offers virtually no physical limits. Related: A magical field of solar-powered lights takes over a California landscape Like the first year’s event, Landing , Fieldworks was a week-long program where teams of students and designers live and work together, collaborating on site-specific installations that seek to question the relation between art and the environment. Led by Office Kovacs + Kyle May, Architect and MILLIØNS (Zeina Koreitem and John May), Fieldworks allowed students to attend various workshops that focus on subjects that differ from traditional techniques and processes in an attempt to broaden the students’ artistic horizons . The workshops showcase a range of experimental material, from coding exercises and sound mapping to performances and interactive installations. Using these workshops as guidance, the students developed new art projects, which could include any number of formats, including performances, videos, interactive coded programs, sound installations or immersive objects. One of the standout designs from this year’s event is DOTS, a pink and white framework with various connected platforms that could be used for an almost infinite number of interventions, especially as a flexible, temporary shelter . Another innovative project is Gymnasium 1, an outdoor communal bathing facility made completely out of hempcrete that aims to show that the carbon-negative material can be used in place of traditional concrete construction. The student projects from Fieldworks will be exhibited in Los Angeles in the fall. + Space Saloon Via Archdaily Images via Space Saloon

More:
Experimental design-build festival takes over Californian desert

Steven Holls new solar-powered concert hall plays up the dramatic contrast between new and old

July 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Steven Holls new solar-powered concert hall plays up the dramatic contrast between new and old

New York-based Steven Holl Architects and Architecture Acts has won an international competition to design the new 1,300-seat concert hall in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Created as a “perfect acoustic instrument in its case,” the acoustics-driven design has a strikingly contemporary appearance with a rounded zinc-clad exterior that stands in dramatic contrast with the Ostrava Cultural Center, a modern classicism-style building that will be overlapped by the new concert hall. In addition to optimized acoustics, the shape of the new building is engineered to minimize energy demands and the hall will be entirely powered by rooftop solar panels. Slated to begin construction in 2022, the new building has a roughly teardrop-shaped form with the concert hall positioned at the rear to shield it from urban traffic noise. The new entrance on the promenade appears to float over the top of the existing Cultural center and connects to a new sky-lit lobby. The rounded facade is clad in zinc with a titanium oxide smog-eating coating and punctuated with triple-glazed windows to prevent heat gains. The roof is topped with solar panels, while stormwater will be collected from the roofs of the Cultural Center and the new building and then treated and collected in a garden pond to create a cooling microclimate. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects wins bid for Russia’s new Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall “The smooth case of zinc holds an “instrument” in an extended vineyard-type plan made of concrete and maple wood,” explain the architects in a press statement. “Czech composer, Leoš Janá?ek’s theories of time will guide and give order to the concert hall’s interior geometry. Acoustic wall panels are organized according to scasovani, or rhythm, in three variants: Znici = sounding; Scitaci = counting; and Scelovac = summing.” The new concert hall will fulfill a decades-long dream of Ostrava to provide a more suitable space for the Janá?ek Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the leading orchestras in the Czech Republic . The concert hall competition was the biggest architectural competition in the city’s recent history. The opening ceremony for the new concert hall and refurbished Ostrava Cultural Center building is scheduled for 2024. + Steven Holl Architects Images Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Original post:
Steven Holls new solar-powered concert hall plays up the dramatic contrast between new and old

Smart fertilizers help farmers and fight climate change

July 9, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Smart fertilizers help farmers and fight climate change

Synthetic fertilizers aren’t great for natural ecosystems, but they do help farmers produce the crop yields needed to feed the world’s skyrocketing population. Since major chemical companies began pushing fertilizers, farmers have been spraying their fields and hoping for the best. Over the past two decades, however, controlled-release fertilizers have become available with high-precision release formulas that are not only better for the plants but are arguably better for the planet. Controlled release fertilizers contain nutrients in capsules instead of the soluble granules of conventional fertilizer. The capsules slow down the release of the nutrients, which gives the plant more time to absorb everything rather than having to take up the nutrients all at once. Recently, slow-release fertilizers have become even smarter. Companies like Haifa Group and ICL Specialty Fertilizers have capsules that release at different intervals depending on the soil conditions — such as temperature, acidity or moisture level. Related: Can vertical farming feed the world and change the agriculture industry? When combined with GPS sensors, soil quality mapping and artificial intelligence , precision farming technology can save farmers and neighboring ecosystems from serious fertilizer waste and pollution. A recent study by Michigan State University revealed that smart fertilizers also benefit the planet. According to the research, precision fertilizers and remote sensing technology could save 6.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere — the equivalent of 1.5 million cars per year. The technology they studied identifies a farmers’ most productive land using historical yield data and fertilizer rates. With this knowledge, large-scale farmers can focus crop production and fertilizer use on only the most productive land and reduce their use of fertilizers on land where the crops simply won’t perform as well. The researchers also suggest that farmers could use these least productive zones to develop “wild areas” specifically for important pollinators like the honeybee . “Nobody wins when fertilizer is wasted on areas that won’t produce,” the Michigan State researchers wrote in the published study . “Once farmers identify these areas, they can both save money and help the environment.” Via Scientific American Image via Binyamin Mellish

See the rest here:
Smart fertilizers help farmers and fight climate change

Electric airport shuttle buses: now taking off

July 9, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Electric airport shuttle buses: now taking off

A new policy in California extends public transit agencies’ electrification to airport shuttle operators.

Original post:
Electric airport shuttle buses: now taking off

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1298 access attempts in the last 7 days.