A massive pollution-fighting green wall engulfs this Dutch city hall

May 1, 2018 by  
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When the Dutch city of Venlo decided to become the world’s first region to fully adopt Cradle to Cradle (C2C) principles, it seemed only fitting that their city hall be a beacon for sustainability. Designed by Kraaijvanger Architects , Venlo’s City Hall features a striking transparent facade engulfed by a massive green wall. Made with more than 100 different plants, the 21,500-square-foot living wall is among the largest in the world and it absorbs 30 percent of airborne sulfur and nitrogen oxides — roughly equivalent to the particulate matter created by 32,300 square feet of motorway. Located on the east bank of the river Meuse, Venlo City Hall comprises offices, a plaza, a public hall, exhibition space, meeting rooms and a garage that includes bicycle parking. The new building, completed in 2016, consolidates services that had been previously spread out across the city. Access to natural light, greenery and a variety of adaptable work spaces aids in creating a healthy working environment. A central light-filled core floods the interior with daylight and allows for natural airflow, replacing the need for mechanical ventilation. Heat trapped by the greenhouse located on the top floor is recycled to provide heating for the building. Water use is minimized, and a wetland roof purifies gray water and rainwater for reuse in irrigating the green wall and flushing toilets. Related: INHABITAT INTERVIEW: Green Architect & Cradle to Cradle Founder William McDonough “The construction is future-proof; the interior is built independently of the supporting structure and thus leaves a possible change of function a future option,” the architects wrote. “On a smaller scale, there is room for unforeseen developments in the field of sustainability; all building-related systems can be replaced without major interventions.” + Kraaijvanger Architects Images via C2C Center

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A massive pollution-fighting green wall engulfs this Dutch city hall

Your shampoo and deodorant cause a daily pollution ‘rush hour’

May 1, 2018 by  
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You may not realize it, but your shampoo, deodorant, or lotion could be contributing nearly as much urban air pollution  as your daily commute. A new study discovered emissions from siloxane, a common ingredient in those personal care products , are similar to those from vehicles in rush-hour traffic. Are you leaving air pollution-contributing chemicals in your wake? Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) led a study published online this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology that revealed people’s personal care items could be polluting the air. Related: INFOGRAPHIC: Demystifying “Natural” and “Organic” Labels on Personal Care Products The scientists were measuring VOCs from a mobile laboratory and the Earth System Research Laboratory roof, tracking concentrations of traffic-related compounds like benzene at rush hour. They saw a peak in the data and one scientist suggested siloxane. He was right. Siloxane emissions correlated with benzene emissions, so the team guessed siloxane might be found in vehicle exhaust. But tailpipe emission testing and roadside measurements revealed that wasn’t the case. Siloxane, a volatile organic compound (VOC), is added to lotions or shampoos to impart a silky feel. The VOC evaporates rapidly after being applied, and according to CIRES , “In the air, sunlight can trigger those VOCs to react with nitrogen oxides and other compounds to form ozone and particulate matter.” The scientists figured out both chemicals could be connected to commuting . In the morning, after people had applied personal care products and headed outside, siloxane emissions peaked, as did benzene emissions as people traveled in cars or buses. The emissions of both chemicals decreased in the day and then peaked once again at the evening commute, although the evening peak was lower for siloxane emissions as many personal care products had evaporated to a great extent. “We estimate for the city of Boulder, it’s about 3 to 5 kilograms per day of siloxane (D5), and benzene (from motor vehicles), we estimate is about 15 kilograms,” CIRES scientist and lead author Matthew Coggon said . “So it’s about three to five times lower (than vehicles) in terms of total mass. But the emissions that you see in the morning…they’re fairly close, which is the stunning piece. You driving your car, you’re emitting as much siloxane as your vehicle is emitting benzene. That’s the general gist.” “We all have a personal plume, from our cars and our personal care products,” Coggon added. “In this changing landscape, emissions from personal care products are becoming important.” + CIRES + Environmental Science and Technology Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 ) and Kathy Bogan/CIRES

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Your shampoo and deodorant cause a daily pollution ‘rush hour’

Lush Curvaceous Green Wall Grows in iArc Architects’ New Seoul City Hall

December 17, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Lush Curvaceous Green Wall Grows in iArc Architects’ New Seoul City Hall Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green wall” , “living wall” , City Hall , ecofriendly plaza , iarc architects , multipurpose building , natural light , seoul city hall , seoul plaza , solar heat gain , South Korean architecture , south korean city hall        

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Lush Curvaceous Green Wall Grows in iArc Architects’ New Seoul City Hall

Please Touch Community Garden Greens Abandoned San Francisco Lot

December 9, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Please Touch Community Garden Greens Abandoned San Francisco Lot Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: City Hall , community art , eco design , green materials , Lighthouse for the Blind , please touch community garden , recycled furniture , Recycled Materials , San Francisco , urban garden

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Please Touch Community Garden Greens Abandoned San Francisco Lot

Video Interview with Green Home Designer Michelle Kaufmann

May 7, 2011 by  
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At a West Coast Green conference in San Francisco, we were lucky enough to not only get a sneak peek of the Michelle Kaufmann mkLotus prefab house , but also to speak with the designer herself to get the low-down on the sleekly-designed zero energy home. Check out the video to learn all the details about the energy, water, and materials packed into this compact sustainable home.

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Video Interview with Green Home Designer Michelle Kaufmann

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