Sustainable solar housing with urban farming to take root in Eindhoven

July 14, 2017 by  
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A sustainable green design is taking root in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. The city just selected MVRDV and SDK Vastgoed (VolkerWessels) as the winners for the redevelopment competition of the inner city area around Deken van Someren Street. The project, called Nieuw Bergen, comprises high-quality and sustainable residences topped with green roofs and powered by solar. Billed as a contemporary and hyper-modern development, Nieuw Bergen will add 29,000 square meters of new development to Eindhoven city center. The project’s seven buildings will comprise 240 new homes, 1,700 square meters of commercial space, 270 square meters of urban farming, and underground parking. The sharply angled and turf-covered roofs give the buildings their jagged and eye-catching silhouettes that are both modern in appearance and reference traditional pitched roofs. The 45-degree pitches optimize indoor access to natural light . “Natural light plays a central role in Nieuw Bergen, as volumes follow a strict height limit and a design guideline that allows for the maximum amount of natural sunlight, views, intimacy and reduced visibility from street levels,” says Jacob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV. “ Pocket parks also ensure a pleasant distribution of greenery throughout the neighborhood and create an intimate atmosphere for all.” Related: The Sax: MVRDV unveils plans for a ‘vertical city’ in Rotterdam Each of Nieuw Bergen’s structures is different but collectively form a family of buildings that complement the existing urban fabric. Gardens and greenhouses with lamella roof structures top several buildings. A natural materials palette consisting of stone, wood, and concrete softens the green-roofed development. + MVRDV

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Eindhoven’s dazzling GLOW Festival blends technology and design

November 22, 2016 by  
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With Philips as their main sponsor, the annual festival sheds new light on the latest technologies the company has to offer by showcasing light installations, some mapped onto public building facades and others that visitors are encouraged to interact with. Visited by more than 730.000 people, the festival features two walking routes: the Science Route, a walking loop of 2.20 miles across the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe) campus and the City Route, another of 2.6 miles path through the city center. Related: Eindhoven’s annual Glow Festival set the city aglow with hundreds of LED installations Featured at TUe, Tom Dekyvere’ s “Cortex Machine” was a whimsical yet simple installation inspired by the intricate interrelations of geometric patterns interwoven in the brain. Back in the city we spotted Boiten & Thunissen’s “WannaPlay” , a giant interactive instrument made from 16 swings with luminary seats, connected to synths and forming a dissonant orchestra.  Catharina Church’ s historical facade was turned into a giant canvas mapped by Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch ’s hypnotic world in commemoration of his death 500 years ago and accompanied by Verdi’s dramatic  “Dies Irae” . At the design gallery and restaurant Kazerne , Simon Rycroft & Paul Thursfield ‘s “Lightfall” comprised an immersive landscape of vertical LED stripes that respond to movement. Bright installations and projections weren’t the only thing GLOW had to offer this year. Van Abbemuseum’s bridge across the Dommel River was also illuminated with alternating colored lights and Gianni Colombo ‘s “Project Spezio Elastico” (1967), an immersive room with a fluorescent grid, challenged guests’ perception of reality. Eindhoven’s 2016 GLOW festival ran from November 12 to 19. + GLOW Photos by Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat

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Eindhoven’s dazzling GLOW Festival blends technology and design

Massive 6.9 magnitude earthquake shakes Japans Fukushima region

November 22, 2016 by  
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Early Tuesday morning, a 6.9 earthquake rocked coastal Japan , sending residents of Fukushima into a panic and raising fears of a rising tsunami . The quake led to a preemptive evacuation of the area, under the threat of 10-foot waves that could crash in at any moment. 110318-N-SB672-1598 The tremendous 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the area in 2011 was overshadowed only by the destructive waves that followed. Areas like the Tohoku region, pictured above, suffered a 50-foot wave that killed 18,000 people and left thousands of others without permanent housing to this day. This catastrophe fueled fears in this week’s major earthquake. Related: Japan restarts second nuclear reactor since the Fukushima disaster amid public disapproval Luckily, no damage or radiation leaks have been reported at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which went into a triple meltdown in 2011. The tremors hit at 6 a.m. local time and were 160 miles away in Tokyo . Waves three feet high were seen on the coast, yet authorities warned that higher waters could be coming. The extent of damage to the region remains to be seen. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, abroad in Argentina, said, “I have ordered my government to immediately collect and provide information regarding tsunami evacuations and do everything to tackle the disaster.” Via The Washington Post Images via Flickr , Wikimedia

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Solar Cabin: modular refugee housing with an energy-generating solar field

July 15, 2016 by  
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With prefabricated gypsum walls and a western red cedar facade, Solar Cabin is an aesthetically-pleasing design that offers profound environmental and social benefits. Comprised of a modular kit of parts that allows for a variety of configurations, the cabins can be stacked together or stand alone. The roof is comprised of a rooftop solar array , or solar field, that provides energy for the home itself and neighboring buildings. In this way, the housing serves two essential functions – sheltering displaced people while also increasing the overall clean energy share in any given city. Related: Transitional Liina Shelter requires zero tools for assembly The design also incorporates rainwater harvesting and a constructed wetland that helps to filter blackwater. The architects point out that because of its various green components, potential investors will qualify for various government subsidies, including the Energy Investment Allowance. Albeit designed for refugees as part of the Home Away From Home design competition, this project is equally suitable for students, graduates and other low-income residents, offering housing for up to 10 years. Along with the other five winners, Solar Cabin is currently on display at the White Nights Festival in Rotterdam until 17 July, 2016, and prototypes of the buildings will be on display in Eindhoven later this year during Dutch Design Week . The Solar Cabin crew notes that their design will enlist various sectors of society to work together to address the tragic increase in asylum applications – as a result of wars across the Middle East. dNA writes, “Investing in Solar Cabin is an investment in the environmental objective of the Dutch government in 2020 and a preview of Dutch Design with added value to other countries.” Of course it also offers a more dignified alternative to the shabby tents far too many people around the world currently call home, and we hope to see its widespread implementation soon – in the Netherlands and beyond. + Solar Cabin + dNArchitectuur

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14 Pacific island nations considering world’s first ban on fossil fuels

July 15, 2016 by  
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14 Pacific island nations are currently considering the world’s first ban on fossil fuels. The measure is part of a climate treaty that would embrace the historic Paris climate deal and design a roadmap to meet the international goals. The proposed agreement up for discussion at the annual leaders’ summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) would ban new coal mines, create targets for renewable energy growth, and set limits for temperature increases. Insiders are optimistic that the treaty will progress, as national leaders have so far responded positively. “They seemed convinced that this is an avenue where the Pacific could again show or build on the moral and political leadership that they’ve shown earlier in their efforts to tackle climate change,” Mahendra Kumar, climate change adviser to PIDF, told The Guardian . Kumar said the treaty, written by a group of non-governmental organizations called the Pacific Island Climate Action Network (PICAN), will undergo several rounds of consultations leading to a report at next year’s summit. The earliest the climate treaty would go into effect, according to Kumar, is 2018. Related: Fiji is the first country in the world to ratify the Paris climate agreement Fiji ’s leadership established the PIDF in 2013, purposely excluding Australia and New Zealand, reportedly because those two nations (which belong to the older Pacific Islands Forum) tried to sabotage PIDF’s first meeting. The newer group embraces the ambitious 1.5C target set in Paris and seeks to ban new coal mines , as well as guarantee “universal access” to clean energy by 2030. The proposed treaty would also set up a “Pacific framework for renewable energy ” to that end, as well as establish a fund to compensate communities that have suffered the consequences of continued climate change. + Pacific Island Climate Action Network Via The Guardian Images via Wikipedia (1, 2, 3 ) and PICAN

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Hovenring: striking illuminated bike roundabout floats above Eindhoven’s traffic

December 30, 2015 by  
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14 inspiring designs from Eindhoven Sectie-C

November 30, 2015 by  
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South African court lifts ban on selling rhino horn

November 30, 2015 by  
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In a shocking decision handed down late last week, a panel of three South African judges struck down the country’s ban on trading rhino horn . Two of the country’s largest rhino farmers, upset that they couldn’t profit from the sale of their herds’ horns, challenged the 2009 ban on the grounds that it had been imposed on the country without any public input. Read the rest of South African court lifts ban on selling rhino horn

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12 quirky temporary structures made from mostly repurposed materials

November 26, 2015 by  
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France pumps out clean energy from Europe’s largest-ever solar PV project

November 26, 2015 by  
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Power is now pumping from Europe’s largest-ever solar photovoltaic plant, as France’s 300 megawatt Cestas solar project has been connected to the country’s power grid. According to Cleantechnica , connecting the massive project to the grid was no small feat, as it required a total of 25 individual 12 MW connections to get the solar farm linked into the system. The project, located in the Bordeaux region, took about a year from start to this final step and is set for official inauguration on December 1 st . Read the rest of France pumps out clean energy from Europe’s largest-ever solar PV project

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