Solar-powered biodome sustains all four seasons at the same time, under one roof

July 17, 2017 by  
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Italian architect Carlo Ratti just unveiled plans for a stunning biodome that recreates all four seasons under one solar-powered roof. The Garden of the Four Seasons is a 2,500-square-meter long enclosed garden that uses innovative climate-control technology to recreate the distinct atmospheres of all four seasons, all year long. The elongated pavilion, which is slated for a park in north-west Milan, would allow visitors to experience spring, summer, autumn and winter year-round. Visitors would first walk into spring and leave through winter, offering a natural progression through the seasons. Each garden pavilion will be equipped with digital sensors to carefully control the levels of water, temperature, humidity, and nutrients of the plants and display them in real time, creating an interactive garden experience. Related: Cloud House makes it rain on demand with creative water harvesting system Ratti was inspired to create the design to give city-dwellers the chance to see nature’s cycles up close, something that may or may not be possible in the future due to the effects of climate change . “In the garden, people can interact with nature in many ways – from working within nature, to eating al fresco during Milan’s cold winters, to celebrating a wedding in the Eternal Spring area. As climate change might become more extreme, the importance of envisioning strategies for climate remediation will increase dramatically,” said Ratti. “This was our inspiration behind the Four Seasons Garden – in which we usher in a technique for a sustainable and emphatic Internet of Plants.” The pavilion’s structure would use a zero-net-energy climate control system to achieve each season’s atmosphere. Solar panels on the roof will provide energy to the individual pavilions and a heat exchanger will cool the winter pavilion and heat the summer space simultaneously. For optimal insulation, the pavilion’s roof will be made out of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) – a transparent, responsive plastic that will use sensors to control temperature levels as people move through the pavilion. + Carlo Ratti Via Dezeen  

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Solar-powered biodome sustains all four seasons at the same time, under one roof

New online grocery store sells quality goods for just $3

July 17, 2017 by  
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Whether you’re shopping for a facial cleanser, gluten-free brownie mix, or bowls and mugs for your kitchen, everything you seek can be obtained at incredible low prices through Brandless . The new online retailer based out of San Francisco, California is selling nearly 200 generically packaged staples for a mere $3. Products include pantry items, beauty products, office and household supplies and personal care items. Best of all, over 50 percent of the items are organic , with many of the foods being free of preservatives, GMO-free and gluten-free. According to co-founder Tina Sharkey, the goal of Brandless is to “democratize goodness,” and ensure every consumer has access to affordable, basic necessities. “We feel like as a nation, we have become quite polarized, and we see all people as the same,” Sharkey  told NBC News . “We deeply believe people being able to live their values.” Some of the products presently being advertised on the Brandless website include organic applesauce, sea-salt quinoa chips, a six-ounce bag of fair-trade Colombian coffee, virgin coconut oil, and an eight-inch serrated bread knife. Because the store specialized in packaged nonperishables, no produce, bread, frozen goods, dairy or meat is sold. However, that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t receiving great deals. One can expect to pay $9 flat rate in shipping, unless they spend $72, in which case shipping is free. An annual membership costing $36 allows one to receive free shipping if their shopping cart totals $48 or more. As Today reports, Brandless can afford to sell a variety of high-quality products for $3 because none of the items on the shelves are brand names. In fact, all are unique to Brandless, which co-founder Ido Leffler says saves money in retail space, warehousing and distribution by eliminating the “brand tax” that often makes products cost up to 40 percent more. Before any item is sold, both Leffler and Sharkey approve the products, going through multiple rounds of taste tests before settling on what they want. They hope to attract health-conscious consumers and believe that in time, Brandless can rival stores such as Whole Foods , Sprouts and Trader Joes. Related: EarthCraft-certified Organic Life House teaches Atlanta agrihood residents about healthy living The co-founders are aware they need to sell a lot of the products to be successful, so the goal right now is to reach as many customers as possible. “We will absolutely scale our logistics and operations to work to delight everybody as quickly and we can,” said Sharkey. ”We’re just getting started.” + Brandless Via Today , GrubStreet Images via Brandless

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New online grocery store sells quality goods for just $3

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