This pop-up prefab cocoon can immerse you in the heart of nature

November 1, 2017 by  
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Immersing yourself in nature without leaving the comfort of the hotel room may sound too good to be true, but that’s exactly what French architect and civil engineer Christophe Benichou sets out to achieve in LUMISHELL . Created in the shape of a cocoon, this prefabricated curved dwelling blurs the distinction between indoor and outdoor space with LUMICENEs, a patented reversible window concept. The LUMISHELL is designed for placement in a variety of exotic environments—even in Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat that experiences below freezing temperatures. Clad in a protective aluminum skin, the 40-square-meter LUMISHELL comprises all the needs for a comfortable, long-term stay including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room. The bedroom and living room are located at opposite ends of the curved dwelling and wrapped by LUMICENE , a curved glass sliding door that opens up to transform the room into an outdoor space. Curtains attached to the LUMICENE rails allow for privacy and protection from solar gain, while the shape of the structure is optimized for natural cross ventilation. Related: Cover installs its first prefab dwelling “for the masses” in L.A. “Both rooms provide unique panoramic views and can be occasionally transformed into outdoor spaces to enhance the feeling of being transplanted in the middle of vast scapes,” wrote the architect. “Various mirrors also create reflections that diffuse the landscape in the heart of the dwelling.” The self-supporting and prefabricated LUMISHELL can be assembled on site in as little as four days—not including hookups—and does not require foundations. The LUMISHELL is currently available for pre-orders and is expected to ship out for first installations in 2018. + LUMISHELL

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This pop-up prefab cocoon can immerse you in the heart of nature

The Cocoon: a biodegradable vessel that nurtures tree growth in harsh and arid conditions

September 23, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/164734151 The Cocoon has two primary benefits to the seedlings it houses: a safe shelter from the harsh surrounding environment and an adequate water supply to develop healthy roots during its first year. The cylindrical shelter also protects seedlings from becoming lunch for small animals, as its high walls surround the tiny plant. The process results in strong adolescent trees that do not require external irrigation, and the Cocoon disintegrates into the surrounding soil as the tree’s root structure expands. Related: Growing trees from seeds: which will work and which won’t Before planting , the Cocoon looks a bit like a bundt cake pan made from cardboard, which is to say it’s pretty plain. The biodegradable shell has super powers, though. The material is made from a variety of organic materials that the Food and Drug Administration has deemed safe for the soil, and when planted, the Cocoon creates a moat-like reservoir that ensures seedlings have all the moisture they need to thrive and grow. The addition of mycorrhizal fungi , which is present in 90 percent of the world’s forests, supports the root systems’ ability to absorb moisture and also enhance the surrounding substrate by releasing enzymes that contribute vital nutrients. Land Life Company , which produces the Cocoon, has partnered with tree-planting programs in 12 countries to help bring back plant life where it has been lost, including recently launched efforts in Peru and Chile. Other programs are already up and running in North America, Mexico, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Land Life works with local nurseries to source high quality seedlings best suited to the environment in which they will be planted, for a better chance at long-term growth of strong, independent trees. Because the Cocoon is a self-contained support system that requires little maintenance, this approach is more cost effective than traditional tree planting techniques. Land Life says the Cocoon is 10 times cheaper, in fact. That means this method can plant a lot more trees for the same budget as traditional planting methods. + The Cocoon Images via Land Life Company

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The Cocoon: a biodegradable vessel that nurtures tree growth in harsh and arid conditions

Ancient marine fossils in the Transantarctic Mountains offer disturbing clues about climate change

September 23, 2016 by  
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Marine diatom fossils in the Transantarctic Mountains have long puzzled scientists. Researchers wondered how these fossilized algae ended up in the Antarctic mountains and many were divided between two leading theories. Now a new paper drawing on new data suggests both theories may be partially correct, with implications for sea level rise today. The diatoms are from the Pliocene Epoch, and date to around 2.6 million to 5.6 million years in the past. One theory suggested the diatoms may have found their way to mountain rocks when the East Antarctic Ice Sheet melted in a Pliocene warm period. When the ice reformed into glaciers , the glaciers brought the diatoms to the mountains. The other theory suggested the diatoms were actually buffeted into the mountains by wind. Related: Antarctic fossil hunters hit a 71-million-year-old jackpot Four scientists from Northern Illinois University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Pennsylvania State University reported ” new atmospheric modeling utilizing Pliocene climate and derived Antarctic landscapes ” to unite the theories in a paper published online this week by Nature Communications . From the new data, the scientists think the East Antarctic Ice Sheet did retreat, by 300 miles, but wind still helped with the mysterious transportation of the diatoms. As the ice melted, “diatom-rich lands” were exposed to wind, which ferried the diatoms to the mountains instead of glaciers doing the job. The paper’s lead author, Reed P. Scherer of Northern Illinois University, told Popular Science, “The rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel has now elevated the concentration to 400 parts per million , matching for the first time the levels of the warm Pliocene.” As climate change today leads to sea level rise, the fate of precarious Antarctic ice sheets becomes of greater concern. When the ice sheets melted back in the Pliocene, ocean levels could have been 75 feet higher than today’s levels – a dangerous prospect. Via Popular Science Images via Wikimedia Commons and Reed P. Scherer, Robert M. DeConto, David Pollard, and Richard B. Alley

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Ancient marine fossils in the Transantarctic Mountains offer disturbing clues about climate change

Cocoon-like bamboo pavilion in Saigon celebrates traditional Vietnamese craft

June 28, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACgptpA-fJw Completed in April 2016, the undulating paper cocoon pavilion was inspired by the cocoons of insects and assembled similarly to the way lion head paper masks are traditionally crafted by artisans on Hang Ma, a street famed for paper crafts in Hanoi. The project was completed in just 13 days and began with the construction of an iron frame followed by the erection of the bamboo frame that was then covered in papier-mâché . The pavilion was built with approximately 800 bamboo sticks and 1,200 sheets of poonah paper that cover both the shell interior and exterior. Related: A21 Studio’s Rainbow Chapel Wins 2014 WAF’s Building of the Year Award “This pavilion has a structure rather strange to common students’ knowledge,” said architect Nguyen Hoa Hiep of a21 studio. “Through this project, we want to share with students how the work using bamboo as a construction material is formed in a new mindset.” At night, lights within the pavilion switch on and give the cocoon-like shell a glowing effect. The architecture exhibition is an annual event organized by Handhome , a networking platform for architects in Vietnam. + a21 studio + Handhome Images via Handhome

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Cocoon-like bamboo pavilion in Saigon celebrates traditional Vietnamese craft

NOAA has a plan to protect the oceans from troubling noise pollution

June 28, 2016 by  
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As if the world’s marine animals didn’t have enough to worry about — with climate change , ocean acidification, and overfishing threatening their existence — emerging research over the past several decades has also suggested that devastating “noise pollution” could be invisibly destroying their habitats. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a first of its kind roadmap for researching and managing the impact of ocean noise on marine life. Why is this so important? We’ve learned in recent decades that marine animals rely on sound to communicate with one another, navigate the waters, and generally understand their surroundings. Human activity, such as shipping, industrial work, and military exercises, can make it impossible for these majestic creatures to hear the sounds of the ocean that they rely upon to live. While research has largely focused on the impact this activity has on endangered whales , marine ecologists believe it could affect a much wider variety of organisms, including shrimp, crabs, and sea urchins. The truth is that scientists don’t really understand the scope of the problem, or how many species might be negatively impacted by human-generated noise. Global warming is also exacerbating the problem : sound travels both faster and farther through warm water, meaning that as the sea’s temperature rises, the ocean becomes noisier. NOAA has taken steps in the past to try to mitigate the impact of noise pollution on endangered species and marine mammals, but until now has handled these instances on a case-by-case basis. Mostly, this involved stopping noisy activities for a few moments when whales were spotted near work sites. This may be mildly helpful at the time, but it doesn’t address the cumulative and pervasive pollutant that noise has become. Related: Study Confirms Mass Stranding of Whales Caused by Sonar Mapping The new strategy calls for better protection of the natural soundscape within National Marine Sanctuaries, better use of NOAA’s resources to monitor noise pollution in US waters, better enforcement of marine mammal and endangered species regulations, and the promotion of quieter technologies. The last item is really key to this plan’s success, and might just have the side effect of promoting more sustainable, greener technologies. Right now, the strategy is simply a draft , and has not formally been adopted. The public is invited to submit comments on the new policies through July 1, 2016. Via The Washington Post Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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NOAA has a plan to protect the oceans from troubling noise pollution

SunPower nabs record for world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel

June 28, 2016 by  
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Solar panel efficiency is the holy grail of the solar power world, and SunPower just propelled the industry further with the ” most efficient rooftop solar panel ” in the world. They held the previous record, an efficiency of 22.8 percent, but the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just confirmed their module, made from silicon , has an efficiency of 24.1 percent. According to NREL Principal Scientist Keith Emery, the module tested had an aperture area of 11310.1 cm2 (aperture area), with “a power of 272.5 watts.” The module utilizes solar cells that have a mean efficiency of 25 percent, and improves on the design of SunPower’s X-Series, which held the prior record. Related: New solar panel coating could improve efficiency by more than 30 percent SunPower built the winning photovoltaic module in their laboratory; the solar panels they currently sell have an efficiency of 22.8 percent. But according to the company , “efficiency measured in laboratory conditions has benefits in real world conditions.” Advanced efficiency means users could glean more energy and need fewer panels in the future. Sustainability is another benefit, and that doesn’t just refer to the clean energy provided. If each panel provides more watts, SunPower won’t have to use as many materials like silicon and glass to construct the panels required to power a home. Therefore, there’s a smaller carbon footprint involved in panel construction. SunPower Vice President of Research, Development, and Deployment Peter Cousins said in a press release , “With greater efficiency, we can fit more watts on the roof with the outstanding reliability of the SunPower X-Series solar panel. SunPower’s world record efficiency panels offer customers the best value for energy and superior aesthetics due to our unique architecture.” The company said they want to keep pushing for efficiency higher than 26 percent as they work to “power our clean energy future.” Via Greentech Media Images via SunPower Facebook and Wikimedia Commons

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SunPower nabs record for world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel

Elon Musk aims to build clean energy giant with Tesla’s $2.8 billion bid for SolarCity

June 22, 2016 by  
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Imagine every home around the world with a renewable energy storage system collecting emissions-free energy from rooftop solar panels and using that clean power to charge electric vehicles . Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday took a big step to making this vision a reality with the announcement of a $2.8 billion stock offer to buy  SolarCity , the solar installation firm that Musk chairs. “Tesla’s mission has always been tied to sustainability,” the company wrote  in a blog post. “We seek to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transportation by offering increasingly affordable electric vehicles. And in March 2015, we launched Tesla Energy, which through the Powerwall and Powerpack allow homeowners, business owners and utilities to benefit from renewable energy storage. It’s now time to complete the picture. Tesla customers can drive clean cars and they can use our battery packs to help consume energy more efficiently, but they still need access to the most sustainable energy source that’s available: the sun.” Related: Tesla and SolarCity to add more energy storage in 2016 than the entire country did last year Musk said the SolarCity solar panel systems will be sold under the Tesla brand. Following his announcement, Tesla shares fell more than 13 percent to $190.59 in after-hours trading while SolarCity shares jumped 19 percent to $25.26. In March, Musk unveiled Tesla’s first affordable EV, Model 3. The car is priced at $35,000 before incentives and achieves a 215 mile range per charge. “The world does not lack for automotive companies,” Musk said on a conference call with reporters. “The world lacks for sustainable energy companies.” + Tesla Motors + SolarCity Via CleanTechnica Images via Flickr  and Wikimedia

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Elon Musk aims to build clean energy giant with Tesla’s $2.8 billion bid for SolarCity

Child Refugees Find Sanctuary in London’s Unique Cocoon-Like Sculptural Pavilion

August 11, 2013 by  
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For children who have been forced from their homes due to violent conflict or dire environmental conditions, the idea of a safe place for play and relaxation can seem a distant memory. Architecture might seem an odd tool to help these children rebuild their lives and sense of security, but for emerging London-based designer Natasha Reid the fit was obvious. As part of the An Embassy for Refugees  project, Reid worked directly with children from a refugee charity to develop a cocoon-like space called the “Transient Sanctuary.” Representing both refuge and openness, sanctuary and the freedom to explore what’s next, the sculptural pavilion brings together art, architecture, performance and participation with human rights advocacy.  Click through the gallery for an intimate look at this design that explores concepts of refuge. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Child Refugees Sanctuary Structural Pavilion , cocoon , Drought , famine , London , pavilion , refugees , sanctuary , UK , war        

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Child Refugees Find Sanctuary in London’s Unique Cocoon-Like Sculptural Pavilion

Micasa Lab’s Cocoon 1 is a Transparent Piece of Bubble Furniture You Can Live In

November 8, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Micasa Lab’s Cocoon 1 is a Transparent Piece of Bubble Furniture You Can Live In Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bubble furniture , cocoon , Cocoon 1 , eco design , green design , Micasa Lab , small spaces , sustainable design , Switzerland , transparent bubble furniture , wi-fi , Zurich

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Micasa Lab’s Cocoon 1 is a Transparent Piece of Bubble Furniture You Can Live In

DEDON’s Zero Waste Nest Rest is a Woven Cocoon for Snuggling in the Wild

March 26, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of DEDON’s Zero Waste Nest Rest is a Woven Cocoon for Snuggling in the Wild Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , biomimicry , Bobby Dekeyser , cocoon , Daniel Puzet , DEDON , DEDON Fiber , Fred Frety , German goalkeeper , green products , Nest Rest , non-toxic material , recyclable furniture , recyclable material , Recycled Materials , Recycling initiatives , Sustainable Materials , Treehouses , weatherproof material , zero waste

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DEDON’s Zero Waste Nest Rest is a Woven Cocoon for Snuggling in the Wild

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