Surprising ways seaweed benefits the environment

August 19, 2020 by  
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While the news often mentions the terrible things in the sea, such as gyres of plastic and other trash, the oceans also hold an extremely valuable resource: seaweed. This renewable and easily harvestable organism is used for everything from food to spa treatments to a possible  COVID-19 medicine. This eco-friendly ingredient also features in many common products, including paint, toothpaste, ice cream and beer. Farming seaweed People collect seaweed both wild and cultivated from seaweed  farms . Wild picking involves either wading into the seawater to gather the slippery crop or picking it up off the shoreline. Especially abundant harvests usually come post-storm when seaweed washes onshore. For centuries, people gathered seaweed using this traditional method. Nowadays, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 96% of global seaweed production comes from farms instead of wild gathering. Depending on the type of seaweed grown, farming may involve attaching the seaweed to rope lines suspended in the sea just off the coast, or growing the seaweed in nets. Seaweed farming in Japan started in the 1600s, and the practice may date back to the 15th century in Korea. Other parts of Asia, including  China , Indonesia and the Philippines, also produce seaweed for food and other products. In the Philippines alone, about 40,000 people made their living from seaweed production in the late 90s. When it’s time to harvest seaweed, people in most seaweed-growing countries use boats and machinery like rakes or trawlers. While easier than hand collection, harvesting with these tools can adversely affect habitats and wreck sea animals’ homes. To combat this, farmers in Norway devised a rake method that only removes the floating top canopy of seaweed, this avoiding seabed disruption. Seaweed helping the environment Farming seaweed might even improve the sea’s health, according to findings from Chinese researchers in a 2019 issue of  Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment . Research found that seaweed aquaculture can help combat eutrophication, the process whereby water becomes so overly enriched with nutrients that it causes excessive algae growth and oxygen depletion. The study discovered that seaweed aquaculture removed more than 75,000 metric tons of nitrogen and more than 9,500 metric tons of phosphate from coastal waters. Seaweed aquaculture also sequestered and absorbed a large amount of CO2 and released more than a million metric tons of oxygen. As a natural filter, seaweed helps remove pollutants from the environment; this does mean people should eat seaweed in moderation, though, as it can contain high levels of metals and iodine. In addition to keeping oceans healthy, seaweed also helps terrestrial farmers. When used as fertilizer, seaweed helps farmers avoid using nearly 30,000 tons of chemical fertilizers. Summarizing these benefits, the seaweed study’s authors wrote, “These results demonstrate that Chinese seaweed aquaculture has turned the  pollutants  that cause eutrophication into nutrients, which generates considerable environmental benefits as well as socio-economic values.” Seaweed in cosmetics and medicine Diverse parts of the world use seaweed in  cosmetics , too. Many Tanzanian women farm seaweed for export to China, Korea, Vietnam and other countries that use it as an ingredient in cosmetics and skincare products.  Even Ireland has harvested seaweed for hundreds of years. A 12th-century poem recounts how monks distributed edible seaweed to hungry poor people. In the early 20th century, the Irish coast housed nearly 300 seaweed bathhouses. You can still find some places in County Sligo to take a traditional seaweed bath. “This is our traditional spa treatment,” said Neil Walton, owner of Voya Seaweed Baths in the town of Strandhill. Scientists continue searching for more health benefits from  seaweed . The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York has even explored using seaweed extract to treat COVID-19. This extract contains variations of heparin, a common anticoagulant. Though heparin usually comes from animal tissue, this seaweed alternative may become popular. If so, this could lower costs for seaweed as a biofuel resource. Seaweed as biofuel Seaweed aquaculture may also increase the use of biomass as  renewable energy . In 2015, biomass-derived energy accounted for about 5% of U.S. energy use . Biomass energy encompasses plant and animal-derived energy, such as food crop waste, animal farming, human sewage, wood or forest residue and horticultural byproducts. So far, seaweed as biofuel has garnered little commercial interest, and the market remains mostly unexplored. But the industry holds great potential. According to Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a United States government agency that funds and promotes research and development of energy technologies, U.S. seaweed cultivation could reach 500 million tons and provide more energy than 23 billion gallons of gasoline. Seaweed farming paired with other industries Seaweed farming can also work with other industries, such as fish farming. Some environmental experts worry that open-sea fisheries negatively impact ecosystems due to the excess fish feed and fish feces floating in the water. Integrating seaweed production into fish farms could help reduce nitrogen  emissions  and break down other pollutants. A seaweed farm could also pair well with an offshore  wind farm . The first such operation is being built by Belgian-Dutch consortium Wier & Wind this year. The company plans to grow patches of seaweed for biofuel between large turbines 23 km off Zeebrugge in Belgium. This combination may lead to a genius symbiotic relationship. Seaweed production would make use of large open spaces between turbines, and the turbines would prevent ships from running over floating seaweed. Images via Pixabay,  Rich Brooks ,  Ronald Tagra  and  Gregg Gorman

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Surprising ways seaweed benefits the environment

Trump administration furthers Arctic drilling plan

August 19, 2020 by  
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The Trump administration’s environmental protection rollbacks seem to now come daily. Today’s bad news? A plan to allow  oil  and gas companies to drill in Alaska’s so-far pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In 2017, a Republican tax bill opened part of the refuge to gas and oil leasing. Monday’s development pushed the plan further, aiming to sell the first drilling leases by the end of 2020. Many Republicans back the plan, despite opposition from environmental groups and Alaska’s Indigenous communities. Related: EPA loosens restrictions on methane emissions The over 19 million-acre refuge has long remained off-limits to development. Managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, most of the refuge is true wilderness, free from roads, trails and facilities, and open to the public for exploration. The few travelers who visit access the refuge by private planes and air taxis. Visitors may witness the Polar and grizzly bears , wolves, wolverines, caribou, beluga whales, musk oxen and walruses that call this area home. Though wildlife outnumbers people here, both the Gwich’in and Iñupiat people reside on and live off resources from the land.  Sometimes calling themselves “caribou people,” the Gwich’in have based their culture around these reindeer for centuries. The Gwich’in live in 15 villages across northeast  Alaska  and northwest Canada and have actively fought against gas and oil leasing. David Smith, a Gwich’in leader in Arctic Village, worries that the industries will harm caribou and change his nation’s way of life. “I would say this is like no other place on earth, so we shouldn’t be treated like any other place on earth,” Smith said in an interview with  Alaska Public Media . “I can drive in any direction and  hunt  freely. I can drive in any direction and go trapping.” Despite the recent news, the fight to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge continues. Still, environmental groups say that once companies buy drilling rights, it will be harder for future presidents to stop  Arctic  drilling. “The Trump administration never stops pushing to drill in the Arctic Refuge — and we will never stop suing them,” said Gina McCarthy, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “America has safeguarded the refuge for decades, and we will not allow the administration to strip that protection away now.” Via Thomson Reuters Foundation Image via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

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Instagram data uncovers the world’s top #urbanjungles

June 12, 2020 by  
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Houseplants offer any number of benefits ranging from cleaner air to aesthetic appeal. Indoor plants brighten up a space and bring the natural world indoors, something that seems especially important during the 2020 COVID lockdowns. They make excellent gifts and enhance every photo opportunity within the home, whether it be a pre-prom photo or a snapshot of dinner. Love of houseplants  seems to be universal, but Budget Direct Home Insurance wanted to know specifically what areas of the world took the biggest interest in plant adoption and which plants people had the most passion for.  To figure this out, Budget Direct analyzed the most commonly used hashtags on Instagram to locate the top 10 plant-loving countries and which plants they are capturing for their feeds. After filtering the results of 200,000 Instagram posts and cleaning up the data by removing outliers and professional plant peddlers such as florists , Budget Direct put all its findings into an easy to comprehend map.  Related: 9 ways to add more houseplants to your home Results from the most common hashtag, #urbanjungle, show the United States as the top indoor plant hugging group with 7,592 posts. Brazil came in second, with half that number at 3,577. Europe is another plant-loving culture, with Germany posting 3,417 times and the U.K. showing a proud 2,323 posts. France followed at 1,673 posts, the Netherlands with 1,610, and Poland with 1,591 posts about appreciating indoor greenery. Rounding out the top 10 list was Italy with 1,405, pushing Europe’s total posts to over 17,000, then India with 1,327 and Canada with 1,288. The study breaks this information down further, looking at cities with the highest number of Instagram posts regarding indoor plants. NYC, London and Berlin, in that order, took the top three spots, followed by São Paulo, Paris, Los Angeles, Warsaw, Singapore, Amsterdam and Toronto. Representing an expansive geography, these posts make clear that houseplants are an essential part of  interior design  across various cultures.  While most people are familiar with product influencers on social media, you may not know about houseplant influencers. It makes sense when you think about it. You’re scrolling through Instagram, you like plants and you follow people who are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful so you can successfully grow and enjoy your indoor plants . By studying an assortment of popular hashtags such as #houseplants, #houseplantsofinstagram, #houseplantsmakemehappy and, of course, #urbanjungle, the researchers at Budget Direct Home Insurance created a top 10 list of houseplant influencers. In the results, the company stated, “According to our study, if you want to become an #urbanjungle influencer, you need a blend of houseplant knowledge, interior design flair, and friendliness.” If you’re looking for some inspiration or advice, here are a few of the houseplant influencers that made Budget Direct’s top 10 list. Coming in at number one is Canada-based Darryl Cheng ( @houseplantjournal ), author of “The New Plant Parent.” Following Cheng were U.S.-based creators The Potted Jungle ( @thepottedjungle ) and Hilton Carter ( @hiltoncarter ). Carter not only shares plant wisdom on Instagram, but also via weekly tips as the “Plant Doctor” for Apartment Therapy, plant propagating experiences on Airbnb and two books, “Wild Interiors” and “Wild at Home.” After pinpointing the most passionate Instagram plant owners and locations, the Budget Direct team took their research one step further to identify which plants are the most frequently captured on film. Greenery was identified by hashtags using proper botanical names, rather than common names. The results showed a combination of flowering indoor plants, succulents and foliage plants making up the top 10 most commonly posted varieties. Echeveria, a widely popular desert succulent, took the prize for the most photographed plant. Its striking blue-green rosette makes it a model for the camera. Plus, it is easy to grow and maintain. With 1,021,534 posts, Echeveria stands out as a clear favorite of plant lovers around the world. In second place with nearly half as many mentions (517,005) was the flowering crocus. Another easy-to-care-for succulent, Haworthia, settled into third place, likely due to its forgiving demeanor and eye-catching appeal. Indoor Fuschia and daffodils took over the fourth and fifth positions, showing that people love their flowering plants. The Swiss Cheese Plant, though many people may not recognize it by name, earned sixth place and is one of the most common houseplants in the world. The Dragon Wing Begonia, Living Stones, Freesia Flower and Chinese Money Plant round out the top 10 most frequently photographed and posted houseplants in the world. The results of this study are meant to be an enlightening report of who’s talking and what they’re talking about when it comes to houseplants. Still, Instagram may not be the best exclusive source of information considering it’s still not widely used in many areas. Instead of a comprehensive study, this data reflects overall  interior design  trends that suggest houseplants have a home anywhere around the world. + Budget Direct Home Insurance Images via Budget Direct Home Insurance 

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Instagram data uncovers the world’s top #urbanjungles

Tiered timber tea house embraces a Chinese ginkgo forest

June 8, 2020 by  
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On the outskirts of the Chinese city of Jiaxing, European architecture practice MADAM has completed the Gingko Forest Tea House, a tiered timber building that immerses guests in nature. Taking cues from the area’s ginkgo trees that are laid out in a grid formation, the architects crafted the three-story building as a continuation of the grid while using a material palette of wood and glass to emphasize continuity with the forest. The project was designed in collaboration with Chinese architecture firm Hexia and opened its doors in Spring 2020. Located on the western shore of Swan Lake, the Ginkgo Forest Tea House embraces its natural surroundings in both materials and orientation. After taking a train to the site, visitors follow a timber boardwalk — elevated for reduced site impact — that snakes through the trees to reach the tea house. In contrast to the winding pathway, the tea house is highly orthogonal and resembles a pyramid with its tapered form. Trees grow in and around the rooms, which are open-plan and surrounded by full-height glazing. Related: This trippy tea house in Shanghai is built from 999 handmade timber sticks “All together, the forest prevails as the main character,” the architects said in a project statement. “The pavilion remains as an inconspicuous piece of architecture in between the ginkgoes.” Inspired by traditional Chinese wooden joinery techniques, the architects use a similar construction method that overlays bidirectional beams; the timber structure has been left exposed and the interiors minimally furnished. The Ginkgo Forest Tea House spans three floors, each offering different viewpoints of the ginkgo trees and beyond. The interior rooms seamlessly connect to the exterior terraces that are fenced in by wooden slats and arranged so that views of the outdoors can be enjoyed from at least two sides. A sense of playfulness pervades the tea house and becomes more apparent on the higher levels, where sections of flooring fold up to create sitting nooks. A slide and climbing net has also been installed for children. + MADAM Images via MADAM

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Coronavirus and its impact on carbon emissions

March 16, 2020 by  
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As people cut back on traveling and the global economy slows, carbon emissions have dropped significantly, most notably in China. Unfortunately, reducing carbon emissions at the expense of public health is far from sustainable. By late February, China’s economy had already taken a hit. Coronavirus containment measures had reduced key industrial sectors by 15% to 40%, according to Carbon Brief . Industrial output and electricity demand were far below usual levels, including a 36% drop in coal consumption, a 34% drop in utilization of oil refining capacity and a 5% to 10% rate of flight cancellations globally. Both international flights from China and domestic flights within China are down by more than half. Related: Starbucks suspends personal cup use because of coronavirus As Chinese refineries shut down, ships become floating storage units for oil. About 87 million barrels of petroleum products are currently stored at sea, plus many more onshore, awaiting buyers. Some NASA satellite images taken in February are especially startling. The images show Wuhan’s usual yellow cloak of nitrogen dioxide — a gas produced by vehicles and industry — in early January of 2020, compared with nearly clear skies by mid-February. By the time of the latter photo, Chinese authorities had ordered a city-wide quarantine to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The images showed that nitrogen dioxide in the Wuhan skies was down 10% to 30%. “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in a statement accompanying the satellite photos. Coronavirus and Chinese New Year Every year, China sees a drop in carbon emissions during the 10-day Chinese New Year celebration. Shops close, construction sites take a break and many industries cut back on operations. Scientists have measured the reduction in energy demand and the resulting emissions. Coal-fired power generation usually drops by half for the 10-day period. This year, coronavirus hit in Wuhan, China just before the start of Chinese New Year. By the time people started traveling home to see family for the holiday, more than 900 cases had been reported worldwide. The numbers and panic increased over the course of the usually celebratory time. Instead of things returning to business as usual after the celebration, the reduction in industry — and carbon emissions — continued. According to The New York Times , after three weeks of coronavirus, the decline in Chinese carbon dioxide emissions was about 150 million metric tons, or the amount of carbon dioxide the state of New York produces in a year. Historic precedents This isn’t the first time carbon emissions have plunged during a time of human sickness or panic. Global emissions dropped significantly from 2008 to 2009. During this time, U.S. unemployment doubled, the housing market crashed and the stock market tumbled. Global emissions decreased about 1.4% , or about 450 million tons of carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, the drop was brief, and soon emissions soared to even higher levels than before the Great Recession. During the Great Depression, as U.S. unemployment climbed to 25%, global emissions dropped by 25% between 1929 and 1932. It wasn’t until 1937 that emissions reached their pre-1929 levels again. Of course, global emissions were much lower then than they are today. The worst pandemic in semi-recent history was the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 , in which 50 million people died globally. That year, carbon dioxide emissions shrank by more than 400 million tons. Other factors, such as the end of World War I and the resulting decrease in the steel and arms industries, may also have contributed to this decline. Carbon emissions after the coronavirus At the time of writing, coronavirus is still spreading worldwide. Soon we may see countries with similar reductions in emissions as quarantines spread across nations. But for now, China is the most interesting example, because it’s the epicenter of the virus and has such a vast economy. Scientists and the climate-concerned are already looking toward a future when the virus is contained and China fires up industry full-tilt. China had planned for 2020 to be the crowning year for a decade of economic accomplishments aimed at “building a moderately prosperous society.” But the virus has dire consequences on everybody, from big to small businesses to householders in China, who may fail to pay their debts because the virus has temporarily put them out of work. Chinese president Xi Jinping has expressed an opinion that the virus response has gone overboard, but local governments are more prone to tighten controls on movement and urge businesses to remain closed in an effort to contain the virus. Experts worry that China’s post-virus economic comeback will quickly reverse any ecological gains it has made during this time of reduced industry. “The reductions are substantial, but they are most certainly only temporary, and there will likely be a rebound effect,” said Joanna Lewis, an expert on China’s energy sector at Georgetown University . “Once people go back to work and factories restart, they may try to make up for lost time. This could result in a surge in emissions.” Images via Shutterstock and NASA’s Earth Observatory

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Tencent gets proposal from MVRDV for green smart city

January 27, 2020 by  
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After two years of development,  MVRDV  has unveiled its competition entry for Chinese tech giant Tencent’s next campus — a green and futuristic smart city shaped like a continuous undulating mountain range. Located on a 133-hectare site in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Bay, the nature-inspired development combines references to the lush, mountainous surroundings with Tencent’s cutting-edge technology. The massive urban district is expected to include enough office space for 80,000 to 100,000 employees, public amenities, a conference center and homes for 19,000 Tencent employees.  Although Tencent recently completed their current Shenzhen headquarters, the Tencent Seafront Towers, the company’s meteoric growth and technological ambitions spurred them to launch a design competition for yet another headquarters in  Shenzhen  that would take the shape of an enormous smart city district. In developing their competition entry for the Tencent Campus, MVRDV conducted intensive research and created 28 different outline designs. Their final proposal not only includes the key qualities of smart cities, such as innovation and adaptability, but also incorporates green technology, from solar energy to the introduction of autonomous cars and a shuttle bus loop as the main means of transit. MVRDV’s proposal envisions the Tencent campus as a grid of over 100 buildings topped with an undulating roof of  solar  panels. Sky bridges link certain buildings to create a continuous surface reminiscent of a mountain range, while a waterfront park at the foot of the buildings emphasizes the campus’ connection to Qianhai Bay to the east. The park is also home to many of the urban district’s public buildings, including a school and kindergarten, a sports center and a data center. A rock-shaped conference center bookends the southern side of the park. The “beating heart” of the development is a spherical information plaza that will display data related to the everyday functioning of the campus, from occupancy rates to carbon usage.  Related: BIG presents a sustainable “living laboratory” town in Japan for Toyota at CES “Our studies and competition entry for Tencent are an attempt to show that the smart city is also the green city,” Winy Mass, MVRDV founding partner, said. “With ubiquitous smart city elements, headlined by a futuristic data hub at the heart of the campus, Tencent employees would feel enveloped by technology. But they are also literally surrounded by nature, with the serpentine park always within a short walking distance, and green terraces all around them.” + MVRDV Images by Atchain and MVRDV

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Earth911’s 5 Things Today: Minneapolis Climate Emergency and More Chinese Import Bans Ahead

December 5, 2019 by  
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Every day brings new climate information and news about scientific … The post Earth911’s 5 Things Today: Minneapolis Climate Emergency and More Chinese Import Bans Ahead appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911’s 5 Things Today: Minneapolis Climate Emergency and More Chinese Import Bans Ahead

Jakarta’s massive bus system pilots electric vehicles

June 3, 2019 by  
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Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, is piloting a program to transition from public buses to electric vehicles . Jakarta’s bus system is the largest in the world with over 200 million riders and new routes added every year. The addition of cleaner vehicles promises to have a significant impact on the city’s toxic levels of air pollution. Starting in April, the city began testing electric buses produced by Chinese and Indonesian manufacturers. After the pilot trials, the city will test the buses with passengers. The city’s governor, Anies Baswedan is determined to make Jakarta one of the greenest cities in the world and cleaner transportation is a big step towards that goal. Related: UK-based company is making home delivery as green as possible with e-cargo bikes “We see the move toward electric vehicles as a vital way to combat air pollution and transition to a greener future. The electric bus trial program will give us a good sense of the changes we need to make to the system to ultimately replace all of Jakarta’s fleet of public vehicles with electric models,” said Transjakarta Chief Executive Officer Agung Wicaksono. The United Nation’s Environment Program is providing support for the initiative as part of their effort to reduce air pollution . In Asia and the Pacific alone, air pollution kills 4 million people every year. Bert Fabian, Program Officer for the UN Environment Program’s Air Quality and Mobility Unit, said: “The transition to electric mobility can have a dramatic effect in reducing pollutants and making cities healthier and more enjoyable places to live.” For some Jakarta residents, though, the clean vehicle program cannot come soon enough. This month, 57 residents unified to sue the city for its inability to address unacceptable air pollution . The lawsuit, which will be filed on June 18, will pressure the government to do more to clean up the air in the city and argues that transportation is only partially responsible. Citizens also call on the government to crack down on coal-fired industries surrounding the city. + U.N. Environment Program Image via Shutterstock

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Henning Larsen wins bid to design a sustainable business district for Shenzhen

May 13, 2019 by  
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Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects has won an international competition for the design of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City, a new district in the southern Chinese city spanning 5.5 million square meters. Working alongside two other local firms, Henning Larsen’s green and sustainable master plan will help cement Shenzhen  — often likened to China’s Silicon Valley — as the innovation center of the country. A critical part of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City is reconnecting the business district with the waterfront and emphasizing the pedestrian urban realm — something that Chinese planning authorities have long overlooked in favor of vehicular traffic. In Henning Larsen’s approach, cars will be relegated to an underground network of roads and highways so that commuter cars will rarely be seen aboveground in public areas. Moreover, the master plan’s central organizing axis will consist of a linear waterway that visually and physically connects the district to two larger bodies of water. “Our design aims to make Shenzhen the waterfront city it should always have been,” said Claude Godefroy, partner and design director of Henning Larsen’s Hong Kong Office. “To create an attractive waterfront, we brought commercial and cultural facilities meters away from the seashore, so citizens will finally be able to enjoy the atmosphere of Shenzhen Bay in an activated urban environment, like in Sydney, Singapore or Copenhagen.” Related: MVRDV unveils a “three-dimensional city” skyscraper for Shenzhen The architects also want to introduce a more “porous urban fabric.” Rather than create massive shopping malls that sit beneath tall buildings, Henning Larsen proposes siting smaller buildings between the towers and tucking retail partially underground. The city’s porous nature will optimize access to sea breezes to combat the urban heat island effect . As part of its “Forest City” vision for the master plan, the firm also plans to introduce 10,000 trees, roof gardens and ground-level bioswales to help cool the environment and create habitats for birds and insects. + Henning Larsen Images via Henning Larsen

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eVolo announces winners of the 2019 Skyscraper Competition

May 10, 2019 by  
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eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of its 2019 Skyscraper Competition from a pool of 478 projects. A jury of architects and designers selected three winners and 27 honorable mentions. The annual award recognizes “visionary ideas for building [high-rise] projects that through [the] novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics and spatial organizations, challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.” Methanescraper, an energy-producing “vertical landfill” city district concept was crowned the first place winner. Serbian designer Marko Dragicevic placed first in the 14th iteration of eVolo’s Skyscraper Competition with “Methanescraper,” a proposal for a city district in Belgrade that serves as a “vertical landfill” for waste and recycling. The district’s towers would be built mainly of waste capsules, modular units that contain sorted trash. Methane gas produced by the decomposition of waste would be extracted by pipes, pumped into storage tanks for filtering and then sent into the generator, where the gas is burned and transformed into electricity used to power the tower and the city. In second place is the “Airscraper” by Polish designers Klaudia Go?aszewska and Marek Grodzicki. Taking inspiration from Le Corbusier’s philosophy of houses as “machines for living,” the Airscraper was proposed to help fight air pollution in Beijing. At 2,624 feet, the mixed-use building is envisioned as the Chinese capital’s tallest tower and would contain three types of modules — an Air-Intake module, a Solar-Gain module and a Green-Garden module — arranged around an inner chimney that uses the stack effect to suck in outdoor polluted air for treatment. Related: The Fire Prevention Skyscraper brings sustainable housing to areas affected by forest fires U.K.-based designers Zijian Wan, Xiaozhi Qi and Yueya Liu designed the third place winner, the “Creature Ark: Biosphere Skyscraper.” Inspired by Noah’s Ark, the designers created a vertical conservation skyscraper for fauna and flora that consists of five simulated ecological environments, from the bottom up: arid, tropical, temperate, continental and polar. + eVolo 2019 Skyscraper Competition Images via eVolo

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