Dubai’s crazy rotating wind-powered skyscraper is actually being built

February 21, 2017 by  
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The modern world is full of unique, eye-catching buildings – but an upcoming Dubai skyscraper is about to put a new spin on the field of architecture. We’ve reported before on Israeli-Italian architect David Fisher ‘s crazy rotating Dynamic Tower – and now it looks like the 1,375-foot-tall high-rise is finally becoming a reality. Solar panels will be installed on the roof, and 48 individual wind turbines will be hidden in between the floors to provide power. According to the architect, the building will generate up to 10 times more energy than it will use. Proposed by Fisher almost a full decade ago, the project was supposed to break ground in 2010, but was put on hold due to planning obstructions and design changes. Now, seven year later, it looks like the project has finally been given the green light. https://youtu.be/jEYZ-ylelbg The Dynamic Tower will have 80 floors that are capable of rotating a full 360 degrees, letting tenants and hotel guests select their own personal views via voice command. However, even more impressive than the unique twisting feature is the project’s sustainability profile – the entire building will be powered by sun and wind energy. The apartments will offer the ultimate in luxury living – at a staggering price tag of 30 million dollars. The “beyond star rating” building will offer swimming pools, garden space, a fitness center, and even a car lift that transports cars outside individual residences. + David Fisher Via Mirror Images via David Fisher/Dynamic Architecture

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Dubai’s crazy rotating wind-powered skyscraper is actually being built

Phase 3 of world’s largest solar park slated to begin this month

January 20, 2017 by  
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Work on the world’s largest solar park is set to move forward this month. Phase 3 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai will add 800 megawatts (MW) of clean energy to the enormous solar park. The project could be a big win for the environment, expected as it is to displace 6.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year when it is completed. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and energy company Masdar are ready to commence Phase 3 of the groundbreaking solar park now that the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract has been awarded. Phase 3 will be 16 square kilometers, or a little over six square miles, when its three stages – adding 200 MW, 300 MW and 300 MW at a time – are complete, maybe in 2020 in time for the 2020 Dubai World Expo , according to New Civil Engineer. Related: Record-breaking solar prices in Dubai prove cheaper than coal Domingo Vegas Fernández, President of Spanish firm Gransolar , which received the EPC along with Spanish infrastructure company Acciona and Italian construction firm Ghella , said in a statement, “Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park project marks a new global milestone in the development of renewable energy in the Middle East and the world.” When the solar park is totally finished – probably sometime in 2030 – it will generate up to 1,000 MW. Phase 3 follows a publicized bidding war in mid 2016, where one record-breaking bid for Phase 3 was a cheap 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour , allowing solar power in Dubai to be even cheaper than coal. Dubai ruler and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, for whom the solar park is named, recently presented the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which calls for 50 percent of energy sourced from renewables. Dubai aims to boost their share of renewables by “seven percent by 2020, 25 percent by 2030, and 75 percent by 2050,” according to Masdar . Via New Civil Engineer and Masdar Images via Dubai Electricity and Water Authority – DEWA Facebook and (????)?*:??? on Flickr

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Phase 3 of world’s largest solar park slated to begin this month

Global subway map shows the potential of a hyperloop-connected world

January 19, 2017 by  
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Imagine being transported across the country in a tube, at speeds of over 700 miles per hour, and you have stepped into the minds of Hyperloop One ’s Global Challenge finalists. The LA-based company has selected 35 teams to present plans for local hyperloop train systems, which could one day become connected to a massive, global transportation system . Over the next five years, three regional routes will be planned for construction as the first steps. In 2003, Mark Ovenden designed the World Metro Map, which showed what the globe might look like if major cities were connected through underground railways. Hyperloop One ’s vision could end up looking a lot like this design, except people and cargo would be transported through the high-speed, vacuum-sealed hyperloop system. The company made waves last fall when its partner Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) announced its plans to connect Abu Dhabi with Dubai via capsule transport. Related: BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai “It’s more than just a train, or a pod in a tube,” Josh Giegel, the president of engineering at Hyperloop One, told Inverse . “We’re taking it to a level of connectivity and really being the high-speed backbone of the future transportation network.” The vision of a worldwide hyperloop network is closer to becoming reality, thanks to the company’s Global Challenge . Successful regional systems will pave the way for future projects and possibly, one day, an interconnected network that could completely revolutionize travel and cargo transport. + Hyperloop One Via  Inverse Images via  Flickr , Wikimedia

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Global subway map shows the potential of a hyperloop-connected world

Villa in Alps mimics the mountains with glimmering arches that provide strategically shifting shade

November 15, 2016 by  
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Villa in Alps is a conceptual design inspired by its namesake snowcapped mountains. Rozhko envisions the architecture project constructed from gleaming aluminum , echoing the icy origins of its inspiration. The arched structure mimics a pavilion of sorts, with spindly supports touching down in various points, using a very small footprint to hold up the undulating canopy of peaks and valleys. Related: Tiny alpine cabin rewards mountaineers who reach its stunning yet wild heights The design is meant to create moving spaces of shade and sun in an outdoor setting, such as a backyard or poolside, adjacent to a central residence. “(Villa in Alps) can make shadow and keep sunny areas for the whole day,” Rozhko said in his design statement, “and each zone is replaced by the previous, during the day when the sun changes its position.” With its smooth, arcing walls and large overall footprint, the mountain-like canopy offers outdoor shade without interfering with the ability to grow sun-loving greenery, evidenced by a lush living green wall included in the renderings. Meanwhile, views from the interior show how the Villa in Alps would offer unique mountain vistas, framed by its own sprawling arches. + Andrii Rozhko Via Yanko Design Images via Andrii Rozhko

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Villa in Alps mimics the mountains with glimmering arches that provide strategically shifting shade

BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai

October 24, 2016 by  
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Dutch architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has released a teaser video showing off its design of a Hyperloop project that promises to link Abu Dhabi and Dubai . The ultra high-speed capsule transport aims to turn the 93-mile trip between the two busy cities into a minutes-long commute, offering an efficient means of moving both people and cargo. Jakob Lange, a partner and head of BIG Ideas (the design firm’s tech division), leads the video sneak peek ahead of the Hyperloop design’s November 7 unveiling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypab90bc1Yw BIG ’s design is the result of a partnership with Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies), which is one of the two companies racing to build the first working Hyperloop track in the United States. Hyperloop One recently tapped BIG to aid in the design of its Hyperloop plans for the United Arab Emirates, with architecture and engineering firms AECOM and Arup on board to translate the technology into actual infrastructure. Related: Hyperloop One raises $50M and hires former Uber CFO as an advisor “We are in a new time now where you can develop a new transportation system in very few years and change the world,” said Lange in the video. “We’re not waiting for new technology like carbon nanofibers or anything in order to do this. We have everything we need to do it.” BIG’s design involves Y-shaped supports that elevate the Hyperloop itself, a track that carries high-speed passenger pods from one stop to the next at speeds over 700 miles per hour. The technology behind Hyperloop One’s UAE project may not be that different from tests of its propulsion system in the Nevada desert, where the proof-of-concept prototype reached 116mph in a staggering 1.1 seconds this past May. Still, there is a lot we don’t know about how the UAE track will be built, when construction might begin or end, and how much the project will cost. BIG’s teaser video offers an early peek at the design, with more coming on November 7, but even that could change in response to the demands of the still-emerging technology. Via Dezeen Images via BIG

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BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai

Surprising sustainability lessons from Africa and the Middle East

October 18, 2016 by  
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Takeaways for business can come from surprising places, such as a 1920s-style Kenyan safari or the glossy towers of Dubai.

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Surprising sustainability lessons from Africa and the Middle East

The world’s tallest tower just broke ground in Dubai

October 12, 2016 by  
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Dubai just broke ground on what will be the world’s tallest tower . Developer Emaar Properties says The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbor will stand 928 meters tall, dwarfing the Burj Khalifa ‘s 829.8 meters. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava , the energy-efficient tower will feature observation decks and elements reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

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The world’s tallest tower just broke ground in Dubai

The worlds largest artificial tree rises in Dubai’s massive new indoor rainforest

October 4, 2016 by  
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Dubai’s natural climate is arid and desert-like, but that doesn’t stop the posh city from trying on other ecosystems to wow its tourists. To that end, Dubai opened The Green Planet last month, a massive indoor rainforest housed within a 150-foot-tall glass building. The artificial ecosystem is home to more than 3,000 species of plants, insects, and animals, and the centerpiece is the world’s largest artificial tree, – recreating most of the natural elements of a rainforest in the middle of the Arabian desert.

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The worlds largest artificial tree rises in Dubai’s massive new indoor rainforest

Bowl-shaped stadium in the UAE uses smart design to stay naturally cool in searing heat

August 12, 2016 by  
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The 60,000-seat Mohammed bin Rashid Stadium will serve as the centerpiece of a new mixed-use sports complex in Dubai . The complex will also include training facilities, a practice pitch, warm-up areas, a 5,000-space car park, a museum, a multipurpose sports hall, retail, restaurants, and public parks. The stadium’s elevated playing field will be FIFA-compliant. The mixed-use sports complex was developed as part of Dubai’s “Sports Innovation Lab” initiative that aims to make the UAE an international sports destination. Related: The world’s new tallest tower moves forward in Dubai The bowl-shaped stadium and the playing field are elevated above ground level to create a shaded entry plaza below. The landscaping, which includes tall trees, and the water features create a comfortable microclimate . The permeable facade is outfitted with solar shading fins that help keep the stadium cool and also cast an interesting play of geometric shadows on the plaza floor. + Perkins+Will Via ArchDaily

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Bowl-shaped stadium in the UAE uses smart design to stay naturally cool in searing heat

Estream is the world’s smallest hydro power plant

August 12, 2016 by  
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Moving water becomes stored energy as the device’s turbine turns, even during a weak current or when dragged behind a kayak or canoe. The battery takes about 4.5 hours to charge completely, then it is fully portable and able to fuel three smartphones , GoPros, or even tablet PCs. Its modular design also allows it to transform into an underwater lantern. Related: Riversimple launches a 250 mpg hydrogen-powered car The rechargeable nature of the Estream depends on the consistent presence of running water, as compared to unpredictable wind or solar power . Being lightweight, small, and easy to use means both experienced and technologically disinclined users can use hydro power on the go. A Kickstarter campaign is in effect, offering backers a chance to get in early on the innovation. Enomad takes pride in the Estream, stating, “Not only does it minimize the environmental impact of your energy consumption, but it allows users to take an active role in experiencing how energy is produced and used.” + Enomad Images via Enomad

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Estream is the world’s smallest hydro power plant

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