Portugal-based nonprofit refurbishes old buildings with natural insulation

February 3, 2020 by  
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With a background in social initiatives, nonprofit Critical Concrete aims to refurbish socially relevant spaces that are shared by low-income communities in Portugal. In addition to refurbishing homes for those in need, Critical Concrete is also focused on educating the local community on sustainable actions and earth-friendly practices by running several different educational programs and activities. The organization promotes green architecture and social action through a summer school program that refurbishes a home for a family in need every year. In August, 32 students from 20 countries were brought together for three intense weeks, with a plan to establish a model to refurbish housing through sustainable methods. With the help of 15 experienced mentors and support from the team at Critical Concrete, the group worked on a home in the Bairro dos Pescadores (Fishermen’s Neighborhood) of Matosinhos in northern Porto. The old quarter was originally built for fishermen and their families around the turn of the 20th century. Related: Derelict property transformed into a vibrant, sunny hostel in Portugal To ensure that the theories behind the actions were being absorbed as well, students spent Tuesdays and Thursdays attending lectures by the program mentors, who were experts in architecture , new ways of building and urban perspective. Critical Concrete has made these lectures available on its Youtube channel , so anyone can learn more about these topics. Along with cooperation from the Municipality of Matosinhos, Critical Concrete also worked alongside public organization MatosinhosHabit, who contributed the cost of materials. The original building was constructed in the 1930s and is a representation of typical homes found around the Bairro dos Pescadores neighborhood, as in it is built without insulation . Previously, the nonprofit had used materials such as mycelium and wool to create an insulation solution for these types of structures, but in 2019, Critical Concrete started working with a new mixture of cardboard and lime. While this blend proved to be the most durable solution, it was also quite arduous. First, the cardboard is wetted and shredded, then mixed with sand, hydraulic and hydrated lime and plaster. Finally, the mix is applied to the formwork molds of the structure and dried. Though the transformation of even one house per year is impressive enough, Critical Concrete hopes to convert even more homes through additional projects in the future and have a more positive influence on similar communities throughout Portugal . + Critical Concrete Images via Critical Concrete

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Portugal-based nonprofit refurbishes old buildings with natural insulation

COP25: Diving into the first Blue COP

December 5, 2019 by  
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There’s a new tide of global awareness rising about the critical role of our oceans in climate mitigation and adaptation.

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COP25: Diving into the first Blue COP

Jeffrey Hollender and the critical need to change the rules

November 11, 2012 by  
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One of the pioneers of green products and sales reflects on where sustainability has been, and where it needs to go.

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Jeffrey Hollender and the critical need to change the rules

GeoPower Turkey 2012

June 21, 2012 by  
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Join us for GeoPower Turkey 2012 to meet face-to-face with your future contacts, partners and industry leading peers; you can’t afford to miss this critical event

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GeoPower Turkey 2012

Can we share our way to sustainability?

June 21, 2012 by  
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The sharing economy, exemplified by collaborative consumption-based companies like Getaround and Airbnb, are often touted as signposts on the path to a greener future. But it turns out it's hard to know if these are actually greener business models.

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Can we share our way to sustainability?

Green Schools "Breakout Session"

June 14, 2012 by  
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Free Webinar Series on Designing and Building Green Schools Scheduled for June 20 on GreenExpo365.com; www.greenexpo365.com

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Green Schools "Breakout Session"

Why Employee Engagement is Critical to Sustaining Sustainability

September 6, 2011 by  
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Whether your company is pursuing a traditional, metrics-based sustainability program, or a more holistic strategy, getting your employees on board is critical to success.

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Why Employee Engagement is Critical to Sustaining Sustainability

Animals Responding 3x Faster To Climate Change Than Expected

August 19, 2011 by  
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photo: Threat to Democracy / CC BY A new study in the journal Science sheds some light on the critical question of how well will animal species adapt to climate change . The paper shows that animals are responding up to three times faster than expected to climate changes, either moving to higher a… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Animals Responding 3x Faster To Climate Change Than Expected

States’ Critical Role in Fostering Energy Efficiency Businesses

October 13, 2010 by  
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For businesses to go green, it doesn’t just take a smart CEO and savvy business plan. It also takes strong state leadership to ensure that the best incentives, policies, and programs are in place to help businesses improve both the sustainability and profitability of their companies.

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States’ Critical Role in Fostering Energy Efficiency Businesses

Book Review: Biodiversity for Low and Zero Carbon Buildings: A Technical Guide for New Build

August 7, 2010 by  
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Though it may seem like a no-brainer to some, incorporating and encouraging biodiversity-friendliness in newer sustainable buildings is a must. With major declines observed in bee , bat, bird and other critical species, it makes sense that newer built environments now being designed with zero- or low-carbon status in mind should also integrate ways to boost wildlife diversity as well. That’s the premise of Biodiversity for Low and..

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Book Review: Biodiversity for Low and Zero Carbon Buildings: A Technical Guide for New Build

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