Sharing Cities: Building Local Collaboration

June 15, 2018 by  
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How do we get people talking about solutions to recycling … The post Sharing Cities: Building Local Collaboration appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Sharing Cities: Building Local Collaboration

LEED Platinum fire station boosts firefighter wellness in Seattle

May 16, 2018 by  
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Firefighting is consistently ranked one of the most stressful jobs in the U.S. — which is why the well-being of firefighters becomes all the more important in architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s design of Seattle Fire Station 32. Located in the heart of the Alaska Junction neighborhood in West Seattle, the 18,000-square-foot fire station boasts a handsome and modern appearance that not only enhances firefighters’ wellness, but also welcomes the community. The fire station , completed last year, is crafted to be highly energy efficient, and it recently achieved LEED Platinum certification. Filled with natural light and optimized for scenic views, Seattle Fire Station 32 is set in the heart of the neighborhood at the threshold between single-family residential areas and a denser commercial zone. To mitigate the site’s small size, the architects built upward, resulting in a four-story building with a basement. The building engages the civic arena with public areas that are visible from the street, such as the beanery and station office. The entrance of the office is marked by a 25-foot-tall wall-mounted fire truck sculpture . A 59-foot-long ladder truck and the firefighters’ activities are also put on full display behind a glazed end wall along Alaska Street. Related: Seattle’s Firestation 30 is a Copper-Clad Green Community Beacon Private bunk rooms and individual offices are tucked along the quiet residential-facing side of the building. The operational and administrative areas are housed on the lower floors, while the firefighters’ living spaces are located on the third floor. This floor opens up to an outdoor terrace overlooking the green roof . “The hose drying tower acts as a visual marker for the station between the southern residential hillside and tall mixed-use buildings to the north,” the architects wrote. “With a subtle lantern effect at night, the tower acts as a beacon of safety for residents and visitors.” The project was awarded a 2018 Green GOOD DESIGN Award , and earned LEED Platinum certification this month. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Images by Nic Lehoux

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LEED Platinum fire station boosts firefighter wellness in Seattle

Bjarke Ingels is joining forces with WeWork as Chief Architect

May 8, 2018 by  
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WeWork is synonymous with coworking, but the company isn’t content just to change the way we work in office spaces. As it sets its sights on schools and neighborhoods, the innovative design group has announced that Bjarke Ingels will be furthering its vision as Chief Architect. Together, Ingels and WeWork will expand WeWork’s “community-oriented vision to ground-up buildings and urban neighborhoods” across the globe. Bjarke Ingels is the founder of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) , which is known for its visionary, sustainable designs. “Bjarke caught my attention because he’s changing the way we think about architecture. His designs inspire as much as they surprise. When we started WeWork eight years ago, we knew the world didn’t need another office building, it needed spaces where people could collaborate on projects, connect and create together, and potentially change the world. As WeWork’s Chief Architect, Bjarke Ingels will help us reimagine and reshape the future of our spaces, our company and ultimately our cities,” said Adam Neumann, Co-Founder and CEO of WeWork. Related: BIG and WeWork reveal plans for interactive WeGrow kindergarten in New York City WeWork and BIG are currently working on a kindergarten in New York City that will focus on innovation, exploration and discovery. Ingels plans to maintain his current role with BIG, while adding his vision as WeWork expands its vision globally. “WeWork was founded at the exact same time as when I had arrived to New York. In that short amount of time…they have accomplished incredible things and they are committed to continuing their trajectory to places we can only imagine. WeWork’s commitment to community and culturally-driven development is perfectly aligned with our active, social and environmental agendas. As WeWork takes on larger and more holistic urban and architectural challenges, I am very excited to contribute with my insights and ideas to extend their community-oriented vision to ground-up buildings and urban neighborhoods,” said Ingels. + BIG + WeWork Images via WeWork

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Bjarke Ingels is joining forces with WeWork as Chief Architect

A spike in tailless whale sightings worries scientists

May 8, 2018 by  
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People have occasionally glimpsed tailless whales in western North America, but a recent spike in sightings has troubled scientists. This year alone, at least three flukeless gray whales have been spotted near California. Ship collisions or killer whale attacks probably aren’t to blame for the injuries; entanglement in fishing equipment is likely the cause. National Geographic reported that when whales are feeding in areas with debris, man-made objects or fishing gear, nets or ropes can get stuck at their tail’s base, slowly sawing off their flukes. Ropes and nets can also cut off blood circulation, causing a whale’s tail to wither away. Entangled whales may not survive, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ‘s (NOAA) California stranding network coordinator Justin Viezbecke. “The majority of them — if not all of them — are going to most likely die from these injuries,” Viezbecke said. Related: Unusually high number of humpback whale deaths prompts NOAA inquiry Losing a tail makes life difficult for whales. Feeding becomes a challenge; the limb serves as a propeller as they navigate to the seafloor and seek out crustaceans. The long migration from Mexico birthing grounds to Arctic feeding grounds can also be hard without a tail. Flukeless mother whales are less capable of defending their babies from killer whales . According to whale biologist Alisa Schulman-Janiger, some whales can adapt to the handicap. Brooke Palmer — who posted a YouTube video of a tailless whale near Newport Beach, California earlier this year — said in the video description that the whale was doing “seemingly well as it adapted to the loss of an integral limb. It is sad, but inspirational how resilient and adaptive these beautiful mammals can be.” The increase in tailless gray whale sightings matches up with what National Geographic called a general increase in whale entanglements. There was an average of 10 incidents a year between 2000 and 2012, but in 2017, there were 31 incidents, according to NOAA whale disentangler Pieter Folkens. Folkens said the reason behind the rise is unknown, although it could be possible that people are better at spotting the whales. Via National Geographic Images via Depositphotos (1, 2)

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A spike in tailless whale sightings worries scientists

LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

April 11, 2018 by  
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A striking aquatics center on the University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus melds elite-level swimming facilities with impressive eco-credentials. Designed by Canadian architecture firm MJMA , in collaboration with Acton Ostry Architects , to achieve LEED Gold certification, the UBC Aquatic Center is awash in high water demands with its three pools, hot tub, steam and sauna, drinking fountains, and 34 showers. To meet water efficiency regulations set out by UBC and LEED Gold, the architects employed an innovative water management system that includes water recycling and an underground cistern tank that can store 1.3 million liters of rainwater at a time. The 85,000-square-foot UBC Aquatic Center is more than just a recreational facility for UBC staff and students. Envisioned as a community resource, the swimming center was also created to provide a high-performance training and competition venue for Olympians and includes separated sections for Community Aquatics and Competition Aquatics. In a fitting response to the demanding brief, the architects topped the mostly glazed building with a white angular roof for that gives the facility a sense of eye-catching drama and helps facilitate rainwater collection. Combined with a long skylight that bisects the building, the continuous ceramic fritted glazing that wraps around three elevations brings in copious amounts of natural light . Sensors for zoned lighting control help reduce electricity demands. Healthy indoor air quality is promoted with an air flow system that replaces chloromine-contaminated air from the top of the water surface with fresh air. Related: Flussbad Berlin Wants to Build an Enormous Natural Swimming Pool in the City’s River Water is captured from the roof and reused for plumbing, landscape irrigation and pool top up. Rainwater collection provides the facility with around 2.7 million liters of water each year—an amount equivalent to an Olympic-sized pool. Renewable materials were also used throughout the build with approximately 30% of materials sourced from British Columbia and Washington State. + MJMA Via Architect Magazine Images by Ema Peter

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LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm

April 10, 2018 by  
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Solar energy development has skyrocketed in recent years, but many … The post Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm

11 Steps to Encourage Water Conservation in Your Community

March 28, 2018 by  
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In 2009, the Cherry Creek 3 townhome community in Colorado used … The post 11 Steps to Encourage Water Conservation in Your Community appeared first on Earth911.com.

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11 Steps to Encourage Water Conservation in Your Community

Community Solar Farms

March 23, 2018 by  
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Renters, apartment dwellers, condominium owners, and people with shaded roofs are … The post Community Solar Farms appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Community Solar Farms

New pay-what-you-can restaurant opens in Fort Worth, Texas

March 21, 2018 by  
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A Texas couple have opened a new restaurant that offers a pay-what-you-can model. Taste Community Restaurant targets middle class people struggling to get by who still deserve excellent food at a price they can afford. “Specifically,” Taste Community chef and co-founder Julie Williams told Dallas Morning News , “the missing middle 90 percent of the hungry who are not homeless and don’t qualify for government assistance. They might be choosing between food and medical bills or medication, be a single parent trying to make ends meet, be between jobs.” To serve this community, Julie and her husband Jeff founded the Taste Project , the 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports the restaurant. Guests at the Taste Community Restaurant are greeted with a warmly lit space, a friendly staff, 80 percent of whom are volunteers, and a menu that has no prices listed. Guests are not given a check at the conclusion of the meal and are instead encouraged to donate what they can to support the restaurant ‘s mission. Julie and Jeff Williams were inspired and informed in their work by  One World Everybody Eats , which helped pioneer the community cafe model in the United States .  While it is still early in the restaurant’s history, the staff are encouraged. “We measure success in number of patrons who come through the door, percentage of folks in need, number of volunteer hours served, and program revenue,” explained Julie Williams. “We need to increase the number of folks who can pay what they typically pay or a little more in order to reach those in need.” Related: The free grocery store fighting food waste and hunger Taste is particularly appreciated for its shrimp and cheese grits, rib-eye steak chili and butternut squash risotto. There are exciting options for vegetarians and vegans as well. A celery root-green apple vegan soup is popular, as is a farro dish with cauliflower, snow peas and broccolini, all covered with a poached egg and lemon vinaigrette. The menu is seasonal, with winter’s pimento cheese bruschetta giving way to spring’s sweet pea bruschetta. Taste Community Restaurant is currently serving lunch from Tuesday through Sunday. Via Dallas Morning News Images via Taste Project

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New pay-what-you-can restaurant opens in Fort Worth, Texas

Small Mexican town seeks social justice with innovative solar power project

January 24, 2018 by  
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Solar power prices have been plummeting in Mexico , which is good news for renewable energy advocates but potentially bad news for indigenous people . Much of the land suited for solar or wind projects is owned by rural communities that have historically been marginalized, according to Paolo Cisneros of Mexican organization Laboratorio de Investigación en Control Reconfigurable (LiCore). They’re at risk of exploitation from corporate interests. The residents of Ucareo, with around 2,000 residents , have a potential answer. Working with LiCore, they’re raising money for COOPEREN , a community-owned solar project that could offer a model for social and environmental justice . LiCore engineer Fortino Mendoza, a Ucareo native, established the relationship between the community and LiCore. They’re raising money for the community solar effort, COOPEREN, on GoFundMe . With the money they aim to build a solar plant generating power to be sold to the national electric utility. The residents of Ucareo can then use the money for different projects; a nonprofit organization is to be established for managing the solar farm and income. Related: Coming soon: NYC’s first community solar project Cisneros told Inhabitat they’d envisioned the money being used for infrastructure repairs, “but it can just as easily go toward social programming, public awareness campaigns, or anything else…that is entirely up to the people of Ucareo.” He said LiCore has hosted outreach sessions, one-on-one interviews, and other efforts with residents to make sure the nonprofit organization “is truly representative of the community and that everyone who wants to get involved has opportunities to do so. We’re doing everything we can to avoid a situation in which this group becomes hijacked by an particular sub-set of the community.” They aim to raise $15,000 on GoFundMe for a 6.4 kilowatt peak preliminary solar plant. Cisneros told Inhabitat one concern they had was how to ensure people could feel confident their money would indeed go to good use. He said, “Truth be told, GoFundMe doesn’t have a way of policing how people spend the money they raise. In response, we’ve committed to maintaining a really active dialogue with our donors. They receive monthly updates on the project and periodic opportunities to take part in live Q&A sessions with our staff. We also detail our work pretty actively on social media…We want everyone who donates to feel like active participants in the project.” And community energy projects are fairly common in America and Europe, but were only just legalized in Mexico, per the GoFundMe page, so it’s difficult for communities to secure bank loans for the projects. On the crowdfunding campaign page the team says, “We plan to prove the technical and social viability of this project in Ucareo, thereby making it easier for other Mexican communities to secure financing for community energy projects of their own.” You can find out more on the COOPEREN GoFundMe page . + COOPEREN GoFundMe + Laboratorio de Investigación en Control Reconfigurable Images via Depositphotos and courtesy of Sascha Nadja Ringlstetter

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