World’s first autonomous, all-electric cargo ship to launch next year

July 25, 2017 by  
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The world’s first crewless, autonomously operated ship is set to sail in late 2018. The Norwegian-built Yara Birkeland is being dubbed the “Tesla of the Seas” because the vessel is fully electric . The $25 million ship will initially start out as a manned vessel, moving to remote operation in 2019 before going completely autonomous in 2020. The 100-container ship is being developed by two Norwegian companies — agriculture firm Yara International and technology company Kongsberg Gruppen. In late 2018 the vessel will start transporting fertilizer 37 miles down a fiord from a production facility to the port of Larvik. Related: Self-sufficient hydrogen boat embarks on 6-year journey around the world The companies said in a statement that the Yara Birkeland is expected to reduce emissions by removing 40,000 truck drives a year through urban areas in southern Norway. “We want to go zero emission,” Petter Ostbo, Yara’s head of production who leads the project, told The Wall Street Journal . “Even if some say climate change is not reality, it’s a business reality because clean sources of energy are more affordable than fossil fuels.” Via The Verge Images via Yara

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World’s first autonomous, all-electric cargo ship to launch next year

Episode 84: China’s clean tech assent and that Salesforce tower

July 14, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode: Michelin, GM halt deforestation; a G20-approved guide to disclosure; and the troubling new math on carbon reduction.

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Episode 84: China’s clean tech assent and that Salesforce tower

London could be getting its first ultra-green, tidal-powered school

June 16, 2017 by  
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London-based Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture just unveiled plans for what could become London’s greenest building – a tidal powered school situated on the banks of the Thames River. The five-story building would be entirely powered by energy harvested from a series of large turbines built underneath the waterway. According to the proposal, the school’s location is key to the tidal power project. Currently, the proposed site is being used as a city trash collection center where boats pick up and transport the city’s refuse to a landfill outside of the city. However, this exact site happens to be located on the narrowest section of the Thames – the point in the river with the highest velocity of tidal surge. Related: Is tidal power finally coming of age? “As far west as Teddington, the power of the coastal tides is felt twice daily along the Thames, with a rise and fall of as much seven metres of water,” said Wayne Head, one of the studio’s two directors. “The movement of water due to tides represents an untapped source of power that it’s high time London harnessed for good,” he told Dezeen . “The site is located directly at the narrowest section of the Thames – meaning that the velocity of the tidal flow at this point will be the highest in the river. The plan is to capture this four-times daily energy through submerged tidal turbines as the primary means to supply the building with carbon neutral power.” The proposal, which will be built to meet the Passivhaus standard as well as the BEEAM Outstanding rating, calls for using the building’s natural environment of clean air and cooler temperatures to create a pleasant microclimate on the interior. The school would also be installed with a number of carbon monitoring systems that would help the occupants limit their carbon footprint as much as possible. Additionally, the various renewable materials used in the structure would be left exposed to serve as an example for future architecture projects. Although the proposal is at its very early stages, the architect envisions the carbon neutral project as not only the city’s greenest building, but also a beacon for future of sustainable architecture in the city, “The Thames Tidal Powered School is potentially London’s greenest public building,” he said. “The design is conceived as an exemplar of low embodied energy and carbon construction technologies, using natural and bio-renewable materials sourced through local supply chains.” + Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture Via Dezeen Renderings by Forbes Massie

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London could be getting its first ultra-green, tidal-powered school

New on-demand energy system generates and stores power in one device

May 24, 2017 by  
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Your entire home could be powered, heated , and cooled with one system in the near future – thanks to scientists at the University of Newcastle and Infratech Industries . They’ve designed a Chemical Looping Energy-on-Demand System (CLES) that eliminates the need for a battery to store energy , instead generating and storing power in just one device. The university described the CLES as a Swiss army knife for energy . The CLES could totally change how we power our homes and businesses. The device can either generate electricity with natural gas , or store electricity from the grid or renewables to be utilized later. It centers around a reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction in which particles oxidize and create steam that powers an electricity-generating turbine. When the particles reduce they release oxygen. Related: These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030 The University of Newcastle says it can perform its functions – climate control and energy generation – with a fraction of the resources required by other systems. The system can also produce oxygen or hydrogen, which could be used or sold. The CLES is based on a Chemical Looping Air Separation invention from Behdad Moghtaderi, a professor at the university, and Infratech, which has been involved since the early stages of the project, aims to commercialize the technology. Their industrial-scale reference plant in Australia could power a retirement village or hospital. The reference plant will go through testing before it’s relocated to be used commercially. From there the team hopes to scale down the system to around the size of a refrigerator for use in houses. This should be available in around 18 months according to the University of Newcastle. A home system might generate 24 kilowatt-hours of power each day, and the scientists told New Atlas the system – which could cost around $4,500 for homeowners – would pay for itself in a year and a half. Via New Atlas and the University of Newcastle Images via screenshot and the University of Newcastle

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New on-demand energy system generates and stores power in one device

Dwell on Design 2017: The West Coast’s largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

May 24, 2017 by  
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Dwell on Design , the West Coast’s largest design event, is back and better than ever for 2017. The highly-anticipated three-day design event to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 23 – 25 will feature 300 exhibitors, continuing education opportunities and onstage programming from design’s foremost leaders. Visitors will be able to tour homes curated by the talented editors at Dwell and attend conversations hosted by notable architect Sir David Adjaye , designer-to-the-stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard and founder of DwellStudio, Christiane Lemieux. If you don’t want to miss this treasure trove of design-goodness, register here to reserve your spot and you can use the code INHABITAT to get a $5 discount. For it’s 12th year, Dwell on Design will welcome 300 new and returning exhibitors in 100,000 square feet of space. In order to foster a shared experience, all sessions and featured panels will be hosted on the main stage, with more intimate fire-side chats and panels taking place throughout the fair. These conversations will focus on five themes: Technology/Smart Home, Health & Wellness/Aging, Urban Space/Densification, Resiliency, and Business of Design. Every year, the home tours are a real highlight of the show. This year, attendees will be treated to yet another inspiring series of Dwell-worthy home designs, including the minimalist Drexel home, cleverly remodeled Kuehl House and the mnmMOD-constructed Sherbourne Residence. Returning pavilions will include the ever-popular prefabricated Cocoon9 and Method Homes . Other exhibitors will include Benjamin Moore, Ergotron, Build.com, Hansgrohe, Humboldt Redwoods, Koble & Koble, Marvin Windows, Smith & Fong, and Stokke. The fair will also feature the AIA LA Photography awards, book signings by Sir David Adjaye, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and more, Meet the Architects Night, and a silent auction. Architect Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates will be the keynote speaker on Friday, June 23. He’s known for his ground-breaking use of materials and has created such noteworthy designs as the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, the Moscow School of Management, and the stunning, recently-opened Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture . Then there’s Martyn Lawrence Bullard, star of Million Dollar Decorators and designer to Hollywood’s A-list, who has received international acclaim for his impressive mastery of style, and Christiane Lemieux, an acclaimed designer who founded DwellStudio  and Cloth & Company, as well as acting as creative director of Wayfair. Ongoing education partners include such respected names as the American Society of Interior Designers , U.S. Green Building Council , Sustainable Furnishings Council , and the National Kitchen and Bath Association . Attendees will be able to expand their knowledge on emergent topics, including the latest color trends, NetZero building practices, Passive Design principles, psychological effects of color use, sustainable landscapes, modern prefabricated design, living in small spaces, and sustainable housing. Year after year, Dwell on Design showcases groundbreaking and life-changing designs that end up transforming the industry. We can’t wait to see what is turning heads this year, but until then, you can check out all of the best Dwell on Design coverage from past years here . And don’t forget to nab your tickets for this year’s fair before they’re all gone,

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Dwell on Design 2017: The West Coast’s largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

This bike lane in Korea is topped with 20 miles of solar panels

April 27, 2017 by  
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Is this the greenest road ever? A highway in Korea features a stunning solar-powered bike lane running right down the middle. The lane is offset, protected by barriers, and sheltered by solar panels. The lane runs from Daejeon to Sejong, a distance of around 20 miles (32 km), which is a few hours’ drive from the capital city Seoul. It’s a fantastic idea that could pave the way for similar commuting-style bike lanes in the future. + Janbaz Salehi

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This bike lane in Korea is topped with 20 miles of solar panels

Kering and Silicon Valley find a good fit in sustainable fashion

April 27, 2017 by  
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The acclaimed fashion company behind Gucci and Saint Laurent teams with a startup accelerator to find the next big thing in circular, durable and decarbonized fashion.

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9 booze inspired designs to ring in St. Patricks Day

March 17, 2017 by  
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St. Paddy’s Day is definitely an homage to Ireland, but there’s no denying that it also pays tribute to something a little more universal – booze. And while you may be thinking “What the heck does alcohol have to do with green design?” there are actually a keg’s worth of hooch-related eco innovations out there that you might not know about yet. From a man that recycles his own pee into whisky to a machine that turns beer brewery waste into power , read on to see the best boozy green stories we have on tap. This tiny Irish pub on wheels wins St. Patrick’s Day When Irish cabinetmaker John Walsh decided to convert his rusty old caravan into a tiny pub, the world’s most charming St. Patrick’s Day hotspot was born. The Shebeen is literally translated into “an illicit bar where alcohol is sold illegally.” The mobile booze cruiser was so popular in Ireland, the people of Boston commissioned another one to be brought to the states. Aspiring Chinese architect built his office out of 8,500 recycled beer bottles This brings new meaning to the song 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall . Aspiring architect in Chongqing city, China designed and constructed his very own office with 8,500 recycled beer bottles. The impressive upcycled structure gets its sturdy foundation from 40 layers of beer bottles. The entire construction took four months and $11,000 to complete. PISSKY: Gilpin Whisky is Recycled from Diabetic’s Urine James Gilpin has a bit of a different interpretation of the adage “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Gilpin, who has Type 1 Diabetes got to thinking about elderly patients with diabetes, like his grandmother, who secrete tons of unprocessed medicine and sugar in their urine and had a cool – albeit a little gross – breakthrough. His Gilpin Family Whisky project is a high end line of single malt whiskey made from the sugar-laden urine of people with diabetes – Pissky! We’ll drink to that! HEINEKEN WOBO: A Beer Bottle That Doubles as a Brick Have your brick and drink it too? Famed beer brewer Alfred Heineken and Dutch architect John Habraken came out with their Heineken WOBO (world bottle) brick all the way back in 1963, but the principle behind it still rings true today. As you probably already guessed, the idea behind the boozy brick was that thirsty people could drink their fix of beer from the WOBO and reuse it to build structures. Cheers to that. Intoxicating Pavilion Made of 33,000 Yellow Beer Crates It must have taken a lot of frat parties to empty out the 33,000 yellow beer crates that architects SHSH stacked atop one another to create this intoxicating pavilion . Using the crates like giant legos, the design features interesting architectural touches like columns, arches and even domes inside. Beer Can House Has 50,000 “Bottles of Beer” on the Walls 99 bottles of beer is already quite a few to have on your walls, but how about 50,000?! Well, that’s about how many John Milkovisch used for his Beer Can House. He drank many of the cans himself (not his least favorite part of the job, we’re sure) and they’re on the walls, swaying from the front porch, and pretty much everywhere else! PurposeEnergy Turns Beer Brewery Waste Into Clean-Burning Biofuel We’ve seen everything from ice cream to 4Loko being used as fuel and now we can add beer to the list of alternative energy sources – well, beer waste, that is. PurposeEnergy Inc. has created a device that recycles the waste from brewing beer into a functional natural gas. World’s Greenest Whisky Distillery Unveiled in Scotland Okay, so we know today is supposed to be all about Ireland, but Scotland has been greening their booze game too so we need to give them a shoutout. Scottish drinks giant Diageo recently unveiled their £40 million environmentally friendly Roseisle Distillery in Elgin. The innovative project by Austin-Smith: Lord Architects infuses traditional distilling with modern environmental technologies and was even awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ award. DIY (Drink-It-Yourself) Xylophone Made From Beer Bottles! Up until we say this crazy contraption, the only music we thought could come out of beer drinking was awful karaoke. Designer Sam Gensburg’s creation is a lot less painful on the ears and features a special packaging for beer bottles that allows them to be transformed into a tone-accurate xylophone after you’ve drunk ’em. + Click through our gallery to see more booze-related green design

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9 booze inspired designs to ring in St. Patricks Day

Lucid releases details about new electric car – including $60,000 price tag

March 17, 2017 by  
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Lucid has released new details about its much-anticipated electric car , including an extremely affordable starting price tag for a fully featured luxury electric car. Unveiled at a recent VIP event in California, the Lucid Air comes in at just $60,000 for a base model—a figure that drops to a very-palatable $52,00 after the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs gets factored in. And while we’re talking about a base model here, the performance and features boasted by the Air are far from Spartan. The car has a 240-mile range powered by a 400-horsepower, rear-wheel electric motor—along with equipment for autonomous driving, 12-way power front seats, four interactive touch screens, and more. You can get even more if you get in on the ground floor, as the first 255 Lucid Airs manufactured will be special Launch Editions priced at above $100,000 with a unique trim, 21” wheels, boosted audio, and up to 315 miles-worth of range at 1,000 horsepower. The company will also offer other configurations and options that include a battery with up to 400 miles of range, a twin-motor configuration with all-wheel drive, a glass canopy roof, rear executive seats that recline up to 55 degrees, 22-way power front seats; a 29-speaker audio system, and more. Related: New York will give you a $2,000 discount to buy an electric car According to TechCrunch , the company recently released its pricing information in an effort to quell speculation that its vehicles would start at more than $100,000. Now they’ve revealed that you can not only get a luxury electric car for less than $60,000, but also one that’s high performance with great equipment; it’s getting harder and harder not to dump the gas guzzler and switch to electric. If you’re raring to get one of the first Airs off the line, you can reserve yours here –with a $2,500 deposit. Via Lucid and TechCrunch Images via Lucid

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Lucid releases details about new electric car – including $60,000 price tag

Republican senator claims the EPA is brainwashing children

March 17, 2017 by  
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Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma claimed Thursday on CNN that the Environmental Protection Agency is “brainwashing” America’s children, defending Donald Trump’s plan to cut the agency’s funding by 31 percent. He told the network: “We want to deliver the services. We ought to make things clean. But we ought to take all this stuff that comes out of the EPA that’s brainwashing our kids, that is propaganda, things that aren’t true, allegations.” This isn’t the first time Inhofe has made a controversial statement while he’s been in office. During the 2002 midterm election, he compared the EPA to the Gestapo , and has declared global warming to be a hoax on multiple occasions. (Unlike Donald Trump, however, he doesn’t believe it’s the work of the Chinese government. The credit instead goes to Barbra Streisand .) In 2015, he made headlines by bringing a snowball onto the floor of Congress in an attempt to disprove the existence of climate change. So while his statements this week are deeply troubling, they’re not at all unexpected. Related: Trump to purge climate change from federal government The most recent comments came during an interview asking Inhofe his opinion on proposed funding cuts to the EPA. The plan would cut a staggering $100 million from the agency’s climate change programs, and reduce its overall budget from $8.3 billion to $5.7 billion. This could have far-reaching impacts beyond reducing the EPA’s ability to fight climate change – it could also affect its ability to enforce clean water and air regulations, and would cut 3,200 jobs from the agency (about 1/5 of its workforce). The cuts would also end specific programs to restore the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes, along with a program to certify eco-friendly appliances under the Energy Star Label. The proposal would also cut funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by as much as $990 million and funds for critical health research carried out under the National Institutes of Health by $5.8 billion. Defense spending, on the other hand, would increase by $52 billion. Related: Scott Pruitt attacks critics and EPA employees in first speech The budget would need to be approved by Congress before it could be implemented, however, with lawmakers like Inhofe in office, we may have reason to be concerned. Via Business Insider Images via  Gage Skidmore , Screenshot/C-SPAN

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