SOMs diagrid glass tower rises like a Chinese paper lantern in Beijing

June 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

A glittering glass lantern has risen in Beijing . Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) designed the Poly International Plaza, a three-tower complex located midway between the Forbidden City and the Beijing Capital Airport. The main and tallest tower draws inspiration from Chinese paper lanterns for its continuous diagrid pattern that shimmers like a jewel and helps lower the building’s energy footprint. Winner of two 2017 Architizer A+Awards , the Poly International Plaza was completed in 2016 shortly after the Beijing Greenland Center , another SOM-designed energy-efficient glass tower. China Poly Group, one of the country’s largest state-supervised conglomerates, commissioned the commercial project. The client specified a modern and elegant building that, in the words of Poly executive Zhang Wei, would “make [their] company more famous.” The Poly International Plaza comprises three elliptical towers connected underground. The eye-catching central tower is nicknamed the Diamond Lantern and rises to a height of 499 feet and is clad in a steel-and-concrete diagrid exoskeleton with angled glass. The two smaller buildings on either side reach heights of 275 feet and 220 feet and are covered in vertical grids of dark metal rods. Related: Beautiful prismatic glass panels envelop SOM’s Beijing Greenland Center SOM writes: “The exoskeleton structural system forms an outer thermal envelope around the office spaces, which are enclosed within a second glazed interior envelope. This creates daylit communal areas that accommodate meetings and foster social interaction, while establishing physical and visual connections between floors. The long-span structural design not only opens up the interior, creating a column-free work environment, but also employs a highly sustainable architectural/mechanical approach to address the climatic and air quality challenges particular to Beijing.” + SOM Via Architectural Record Images via SOM , photos by Bruce Damonte

Here is the original post:
SOMs diagrid glass tower rises like a Chinese paper lantern in Beijing

Global coal production falls 6.2% in the biggest decline in history

June 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

U.S. President Donald Trump may believe coal is the future , but newly-released statistics by BP Statistical Review of Energy state otherwise. According to the data, global coal production fell by an astonishing 6.2 percent last year — the largest annual decline on record. Additionally, consumption decreased for the second year in a row, dropping 1.7 percent. In wake of these findings, it should come as no surprise that once again, renewables were the fastest growing energy source, growing by a whopping 12 percent — a statistic which represents the largest annual incremental increase in output on record. The report , entitled “Energy markets in transition: BP Statistical Review shows long-term shifts underway,” concluded that the oil market is declining because fast-growing markets are shifting “towards lower carbon fuels as renewable energy continues to grow strongly and coal use falls.” The report also showed that the shift from coal is widespread. The UK, for instance, consumed 52.5 percent less in 2016, the U.S. experienced an 8.8 percent dip in consumption and China’s reliance dropped by 1.6 percent. Evidence to support these conclusions abound. For instance, the UK recently experienced its first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution. India also intends to halt all coal plant production in the near future, as renewable technologies have become more affordable. Related: U.S. coal production dips to lowest point in 35 years due to rise of renewable energy sources Bob Dudley, BP Group Chief Executive, said, “Global energy markets are in transition. The longer-term trends we can see in this data are changing the patterns of demand and the mix of supply as the world works to meet the challenge of supplying the energy it needs while also reducing carbon emissions . At the same time markets are responding to shorter-run run factors, most notably the oversupply that has weighed on oil prices for the past three years.” As was previously mentioned, renewable energy was the fastest growing of all energy sources, increasing by 12 percent. Though solar, wind and other renewable energy sources provide only 4 percent of the world’s total energy, the increase represents almost one-third of the total growth in energy demand in 2016. Despite certain leaders’ opposition to renewable energy investments, it seems clear the future is green and that consumers will continue to invest in energy sources that are beneficial for the environment, wildlife, and future generations – and their bottom line. + BP Statistical Review of Energy Images via Pixabay

See original here: 
Global coal production falls 6.2% in the biggest decline in history

China unveils train that travels on ‘virtual tracks’

June 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on China unveils train that travels on ‘virtual tracks’

City public transportation systems typically rely on a mix of trains and buses . But what if the two could be combined? Chinese company CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive recently debuted a trackless train that could ease traffic and emissions in urban centers. The Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) uses sensors to run along invisible tracks on city streets. Train tracks on city streets could be a thing of the past if all goes well with the ART, recently unveiled in the city of Zhuzhou in the Hunan province in China , where it recently went on a trial run. Firstpost described the ART as the world’s first trackless train. Sensor technology enables the ART to glide over roads, helping it track a guiding system in place. The sensors send the information back to the train’s central control unit – what Firstpost described as a brain – to help it travel smoothly. Related: You won’t believe the interior of Japan’s jaw-dropping new train More than 300 people can ride on the ART, which is comprised of three carriages in its basic state but can expand to include five. It has rubber wheels with plastic cores. A twin-head system means the train never has to make a U-turn, according to Firstpost. The trackless train is over 103 feet long. The ART is powered by electricity , so it won’t give off carbon emissions as traditional trains do. It can travel at a speed of around 43 miles per hour. CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive has reportedly been testing the ART technology for around four years, but the trackless train could finally be ready to roll out on the road in 2018. The company boasts a wide array of electric locomotives. Their Blue Locomotive won the title of Best New Energy Locomotive at the Berlin International Rail Transit Technology Exhibition. Via Firstpost Images via screenshot ( 1 , 2 )

Originally posted here:
China unveils train that travels on ‘virtual tracks’

What’s next for the Paris Accord

June 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on What’s next for the Paris Accord

What happens to the Paris Climate Agreement now that the leader of the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions has signaled his intent to withdraw from the landmark accord? We take a closer look at the consequences of Donald Trump’s decision to rescind US efforts to limit global warming in accordance with the 2015 agreement. President Donald Trump is a showman and his press conference was political theater for the 61 million Americans who voted him into office last November. The reality is that the withdrawal process could take up to four years to complete and Trump could be exiting the White House before he exits the Paris Accord if he doesn’t win reelection. The other reality is that, thanks to Senate Republicans who would never ratify the Paris Accord as a treaty, in order to push it past the finish line with the US onboard, the deal had to be “non-binding,” meaning all actions are voluntary. Related: Trump announces U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement By declaring its intent to withdraw from the Paris Accord, the US joins Syria and Nicaragua in refusing the deal. It should be noted that Nicaragua didn’t join the agreement because it didn’t go far enough in emissions reductions for the Central American nation. Minus the US, a total of  194 countries have signed and 147 parties have ratified the accord , representing 66 percent of global emissions. The accord entered into force on November 4, 2016 — 30 days after at least 55 parties representing at least 55 percent of global emissions joined. While it certainly could be argued that Trump has damaged America’s standing in the international community, it is not so clear that Trump has actually hurt the Paris Accord, Actually, there are indications that Trump’s announcement is having the opposite effect, with countries, cities and corporations redoubling their commitments to the Paris Accord and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Many experts believe that since Trump was never serious about committing the US to climate action, that his decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord could actually free up other world leaders to draft an even stronger agreement with enforcement mechanisms not possible with a Republican-ruled Senate in the US. Australian climate scientist Luke Kemp told The New York Times, “I worry that letting the United States just stay in the agreement and do whatever it wants could show how weak Paris is. It sends the message that the agreement is more about symbolism than action.” CHINA AND EU TAKING THE LEAD With Trump ceding US leadership on climate, China and the European Union are stepping in to fill the power vacuum. In a joint statement following Trump’s announcement, China and the EU — backed by all 28 EU member states — reaffirmed their commitment to full implementation of the Paris climate deal. The statement, the first between the EU and China, commited to cutting back on fossil fuels and increasing development of green technologies. Related: China says they’ll stay in the Paris Agreement – with or without Trump “The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever,” the statement reads. “The increasing impacts of climate change require a decisive response.” CITIES, STATES AND BUSINESSES STEPPING UP A group that so far includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses is negotiating with the United Nations to have their climate contributions accepted alongside other nations who have signed onto the accord. The Democratic governors of California, Washington and New York formed the US Climate Alliance to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Accord after Trump’s announcement. It isn’t only Democrats defying Trump — Charlie Baker, the popular Republican governor of Massachusetts, said on Friday that he was joining the US Climate Alliance . Related: US states and cities say they’re sticking to the Paris Accord without Trump “As the commonwealth reiterates its commitment to exceed the emission reduction targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, today we join the U.S. Climate Alliance to expand our efforts while partnering with other states to combat climate change,” Baker said in a statement, adding that the initiative aims “to protect the environment, grow the economy and deliver a brighter future to the next generation.” Also after Trump’s announcement, 187 mayors representing more than 52 million Americans and some of the largest US cities, stated their intention to individually join the Paris Accord and work together on stronger climate change mitigation measures and transitioning to the 21st century clean energy economy. Cities around the world protested Trump pulling out of the Paris accord, including Tel Aviv, which lit up city hall in green lights . “We need to take responsibility for the next generation,” Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement posted to Facebook. “That means, among other things, continuing to research, learn and act on the quality of the environment and the climate.” Major corporations are also on board with the Paris Accord — 95 of the world’s largest companies have commited to 100 percent renewables, including Google, Walmart and Nike. GREEN TECHNOLOGIES GETTING CHEAPER The price of solar, wind, batteries and other green technologies are dropping fast, leading to increased integration into the electricity grid. In 2016, the amount of new solar power coming online nearly doubled from the previous year — enough to power 2 million homes. Related: The sweet moment California got a record 50% of its electricity from solar Republican-ruled states are leading the renewables revolution. Kansas tripled its wind power production between 2011 and 2015. Wyoming leads the nation with 1,600 watts of new renewable energy capacity per capita being built. Nevada leads the nation in new solar power jobs while North Dakota leads in new wind power jobs. The conservative town of Georgetown, Texas is on track to be 100 percent renewable energy this year, becoming the largest US city to achieve the clean energy goal. Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, admits “it’s the reddest of cities, in the reddest of states…but we put national politics aside to do our best for the people we’re elected to serve.” Images via Wikipedia 1 , 2 , 3 , 4  and White House Archives

More: 
What’s next for the Paris Accord

China says they’ll stay in the Paris Agreement – with or without Trump

June 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on China says they’ll stay in the Paris Agreement – with or without Trump

China and the United States are two of the world’s biggest carbon polluters, and when both entered the Paris Agreement the moves were seen as a win for the rest of the world. But now as President Donald Trump considers leaving, China recently reaffirmed their commitment to the landmark 2015 deal. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the country would stick to the accord regardless of other countries’ changing stances. The news broke on the last day Trump was planning to yank America out of the agreement . He demurred, at first saying he would be making his announcement “ over the new few days ” with the addition of his campaign slogan in all capital letters. Several hours after that tweet he said he’d be announcing his decision on Thursday at 3:00 PM (no time zone given), with another all-caps slogan tacked on. Related: White House official says Trump is pulling out of the Paris Agreement But China isn’t going to wait for the United States. On Thursday they said they’ll remain in the agreement. Hua said in a daily news briefing on Thursday the Paris deal hadn’t been arrived at easily, and served as the international community’s consensus on climate change . She said, “Climate change is a global challenge. No country can place itself outside of this…We are willing to work with all sides to jointly protect the Paris Agreement process, promote the actual rules and regulations of the agreement in follow-up talks and effectively enact them, and promote global green, low carbon, sustainable development .” Hua was asked if China has been discussing the agreement with Trump’s administration and said the two countries “have close communications about a wide variety of topics,” one of which is climate change. Should the United States leave the historic deal they would be in company with Nicaragua and Syria, which are the only two countries so far to not agree to the accord. Leaving the deal would likely hurt America’s relationships with allies abroad, many already on uncertain footing thanks to Trump. Via Reuters Images via Michael Vadon on Flickr and screenshot

View original post here:
China says they’ll stay in the Paris Agreement – with or without Trump

New Feyenoord sports center has a perforated facade made from weathered steel

June 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on New Feyenoord sports center has a perforated facade made from weathered steel

A perforated weathered steel envelope shelters the interior of the new Feynoord Training Complex in Rotterdam , providing privacy and daylight for players and staff. Moederscheim Moonen Architects designed the complex as a new landmark for the city which will house various medical and wellness facilities, changing rooms for players, hospitality spaces and an auditorium. Offering facilities in line with the needs of a modern football club, the Feynoord Training Complex will be realized in a sub-area of the new Stadionpark district in Rotterdam as part of a larger masterplan . The building opens up towards two football pitches, while its rear facade “turns its back” to the public road. This provides privacy while enabling as much transparency and interaction as possible between the fields and the building. Related: Zigzagging Het Anker community center in the Netherlands is partially buried underground A sharply delineated facade doubles as a pronounced roof overhang . This element is made up of trapezium-shaped, expanded weathering steel panels with varying degrees of perforation . A red hue referencing the club’s distinctive colors reinforces the unique Feyenoord atmosphere. + Moederscheim Moonen Architects

Go here to read the rest: 
New Feyenoord sports center has a perforated facade made from weathered steel

This stunning vintage Airstream is a Scandinavian design dream come true

June 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This stunning vintage Airstream is a Scandinavian design dream come true

We always love a great Airstream conversion , and this Scandinavian-inspired renovation is making us green with design envy. Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw renovated the vintage 1971 Airstream Sovereign by implementing simple, but gorgeous design principles inspired by Scandinavian functionality. Using white walls and semi-minimalistic decor, the tiny 200-square-feet space is now a beautiful home the couple affectionately calls their “ Tin Can Homestead .” The adventurous couple are no strangers to breathing life into vintage vehicles. Before buying the old airstream, they converted a 1978 Volkswagen van into a livable camper to travel around the country. Once that trip was over, they had been permanently bitten by the tiny home living bug and decided to buy the 1971 Airstream, which gave them more living space. After one year of renovations and restorations, they now have a beautiful 200-square-foot home with an amazing interior. Related: 7 retro-chic Airstream renovations The Tin Can Homestead is a stunning example of Airstream conversion done right. The renovation process as well as the interior design was inspired by Scandinavian design, meaning that the process focused on custom-made furniture and a clean, clutter-free design. The result is a living space that is light and airy, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. All-white walls and ceilings open up the interior, which is enhanced with fun hints of colors, warm wood tones, and personal knick-knacks from the couple’s travels. The couple’s most prized possession – besides their two little dogs – is a patterned daybed mattress that adds a hint of “bohemian eclectic glam” to the interior design . The kitchen design is an enviable space thanks to its clutter-free layout and simple black-and-white tiled backsplash. The bedroom is also a warm space, with a king-size bed that is big enough for 6-foot tall Bashaw. The camper is equipped with plenty of storage and various hanging plants around the home also enhance the healthy, airy atmosphere. Although the transformation resulted in a beautifully mellow space, the conversion process was anything but uncomplicated. When asked about the hardest part of the process, Lawyer said that building furniture to fit around the airstream’s curves presented quite the challenge, “Never again will I build furniture to fit inside what is basically a Twinkie.” Such a dreamy day in Seattle today so I threw open all the windows and did a little planting. A post shared by tin can homestead (@tincanhomestead) on May 3, 2017 at 4:30pm PDT The couple recently sold the home to a new family, but you can check out tons of dreamy photos of the Tin Can Homestead on their Instagram page. + Tin Can Homestead Via Apartment Therapy

View original here:
This stunning vintage Airstream is a Scandinavian design dream come true

China subverts pollution with contained vertical farms – and boosts yield

May 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on China subverts pollution with contained vertical farms – and boosts yield

Around one fifth of arable land in China is contaminated with levels of toxins greater than government standards, according to 2014 data. That’s around half the size of California, and it’s a growing problem for a country that faces such levels of pollution they had to import $31.2 billion of soybeans in 2015 – a 43 percent increase since 2008. Scientists and entrepreneurs are working to come up with answers to growing edible food in a polluted environment, and shipping container farms or vertical gardening could offer answers. The toxins in China’s environment have made their way into the country’s food supply. In 2013, the Guangdong province government said 44 percent of rice sampled in their region contained excessive cadmium. Around 14 percent of domestic grain contains heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium, according to research from scientists in 2015. Related: Arctic town grows fresh produce in shipping container vertical garden Could shipping container farms offer a way around this contamination? Beijing startup Alesca Life Technologies is testing them out. They turn retrofitted shipping containers into gardens filled to the brim with arugula, peas, kale, and mustard greens, and monitor conditions remotely via an app. They’ve already been able to sell smaller portable versions of the gardens to a division of a group managing luxury hotels in Beijing and the Dubai royal family. Alesca Life co-founder Stuart Oda told Bloomberg, “ Agriculture has not really innovated materially in the past 10,000 years. The future of farming – to us – is urban .” And they’re not alone in their innovation. Scientist Yang Qichang of the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences is experimenting with a crop laboratory, testing which light from the visible light spectrum both helps plants flourish and uses little energy . His self-contained, vertical system already yields between 40 and 100 times more produce than an open field of similar size. He told Bloomberg, “Using vertical agriculture, we don’t need to use pesticides and we can use less chemical fertilizers – and produce safe food.” Via Bloomberg Images via Alesca Life Technologies

Read more from the original source: 
China subverts pollution with contained vertical farms – and boosts yield

Envirohaven’s super green geodesic homes can be built in just a few days

May 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Envirohaven’s super green geodesic homes can be built in just a few days

Geodesic homes are extremely energy efficient – and they’re a great option for those looking to reduce their footprint while living off the grid. Nevada-based company, Envirohaven , is offering beautiful, custom-made “eco havens” that can be constructed virtually anywhere in just a few days. At 1,600 square feet, the prefab structures are not exactly “ tiny homes “, but their decagon shape only measures 32 feet across. The design is ultra-efficient, affordable, and can be custom made to suit individual tastes. For easy assembly, the structures come with a set of site-specific engineered plans that are guaranteed to qualify for local building permits. Related: Zendome: Gorgeous Geodesic Domes Create Flexible Green Spaces The homes can be built using 30 percent less materials than conventional structures of similar stature. Each home ordered comes standard with sustainable green windows , siding sheeting, and a waterproof coating. They can be equipped with solar panels on the roof as well. Due to the nature of the decagon design, which places the core of the home in the center, energy consumption is minimal. Heating and cooling the home requires minimal energy thanks to the close proximity of the rooms. According to the Environhaven team, an entire house can be heated with a just a simple pellet stove – even in extreme cold climates. The many windows also help provide optimal air circulation during the warmer months while filling the home with a natural light . + Environhaven

Read more from the original source: 
Envirohaven’s super green geodesic homes can be built in just a few days

Worlds largest floating solar farm is now generating energy in China

May 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Worlds largest floating solar farm is now generating energy in China

A 40-megawatt solar farm in the South Anhui province of China is finally online and generating renewable energy . Larger than floating farms in Australia and India, the mass of solar panels is the largest in the world can produce enough clean energy to power homes in the area. Though the city of Huainan is known for its coal-rich land, the Chinese government decided to invest in a floating solar farm because the rainy weather has resulted in flooding. In certain areas, water is four to ten meters deep. The cooler air at the surface helps to minimize the risk of the solar panels overheating. As a result, a decrease in performance is prevented. As Daily Commercial News  reports , the panels are linked up to a central inverter and combiner box. Both are supplied by Sungrow and are customized to work with floating power plants. This ensures they are resistant to high levels of humidity and spray from the water. Related: How a small tribe in Nevada shut down coal and built a solar farm A spokesperson for the government said, “The plant in Huainan not only makes full use of this area, reducing the demand for land, but also improves generation due to the cooling effects of the surface.” China may be one of the most polluted countries on the planet, but the government is investing in green energy initiatives to offset that reputation. Now that Huainan is home to the world’s largest floating solar farm , it is likely to become a leader in renewable energy production. + Sungrow Via  Daily Commercial News Images via Sungrow , Pixabay

Here is the original:
Worlds largest floating solar farm is now generating energy in China

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2384 access attempts in the last 7 days.