This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

May 1, 2018 by  
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Skyshelter.zip is a mobile skyscraper that can be folded and transported to natural disaster zones . Polish designers Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa and Piotr Pa?czyk envisioned the design as a compact multi-purpose shelter that provides food, energy, and water and can be deployed using minimal manpower in the shortest possible amount of time. The project won first place at this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition . Its versatility and pragmatic design make it a great solution for crisis management in regions struck by earthquakes , floods or hurricanes. Damaged infrastructure can make it extremely difficult to respond efficiently to emergencies. The designers tried to address this issue by proposing a compact structure with a large floor surface that can quickly and easily be transported anywhere. Skyshelter.zip has a much smaller footprint compared to tents and containers, which are typically used during emergencies. This means that less site preparation is needed prior to setting up camp, which is extremely significant in densely populated areas. Related: This futuristic vertical factory feeds off a city’s waste to produce energy The skyscraper is designed to stand even on unstable soil. Light-weight 3D-printed slabs and structural steel wires function as load-bearers. Pieces of fabric attached to the main structure constitute the internal and external walls. The building envelope would be made with a nanomaterial based on ETFE foil and small, connected perovskite solar cells. This way, the building can produce clean energy even during times of disaster. The structure is also topped with a balloon that can collect and clean rainwater . The skyscraper can also provide first aid, temporary housing or storage, and it’s designed to host a vertical farm made from excavated soil. + eVolo

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This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

January 12, 2017 by  
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Building in a flood zone sounds like asking for trouble, but that doesn’t have to be the case if you use the right construction techniques. The most basic strategy to avoid rising waters is to raise the buildings above the flood level, but we’re more impressed by the houses that actually float off the ground when waters rush in. While this type of automated flood defense isn’t as common as elevated homes , we may see it pop up in more houses as flooding threatens to become a regular occurrence around the world. To take a closer look at these adaptive structures, we’ve rounded up six amphibious houses that float above the floodwaters—keep reading to see them all. Amphibious House by Baca Architects Baca Architects designed the Amphibious House, a flood-resistant home that enjoys gorgeous waterfront views without risk of water damage. Sited on the coveted banks of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire’s town of Marlow, the luxury home, which is described as the UK’s first amphibious house, rests on separated foundations that let the structure float upwards on extended guideposts when the River Thames overflows. The buoyant home has a 2.5-meter-high floodwater clearance. FLOAT House by Morphosis The LEED Platinum -certified FLOAT House is one of our favorite amphibious homes due to its small environmental footprint. Designed by Morphosis for Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, the net-zero 945-square-foot home offers a solution for floodwater-prone regions around the globe. The house is built on a prefabricated chassis made of polystyrene foam coated in glass fiber-reinforced concrete that’s lightweight enough to serve as a raft when floodwaters buoy the home up. Bamboo homes by H&P Architects Amphibious homes can also be affordable, as evidenced in H&P Architects’ designs for these bamboo homes in Southeast Asia. Made from locally-sourced bamboo , the thatched homes are built on platforms constructed from reused oil drums anchored in place. The recycled oil drums serve as a float and allow floodwater to buoy the home upwards. Maasbommel’s Amphibious Homes by Waterstudio and Dura Vermeer It should come as no surprise that the Netherlands is home to amphibious architecture given their low-lying landscapes. Dutch firms Waterstudio and Dura Vermeer completed a famous example of amphibious housing in Maasbommel, an area near the Maas River. Though the homes there sit on the river bottom, the architecture is engineered so that the house and foundation will float upwards in the event of a flood. Electrical and sewer lines are kept intact thanks to flexible pipes. Amphibious Container by Green Container International Aid When heavy monsoon rains caused major flooding in Pakistan in 2010, approximately one-fifth of the country’s total land area was affected and 20 million people were directly affected. In a bid to provide relief, Green Container International Aid designed the Amphibious Container, an emergency shelter made from reclaimed shipping containers , shipping pallets, and inner tire tubes that can break away from the ground and float in case of flooding. The Greenhouse That Grows Legs by Between Art and Technology Studio While the above amphibious house examples explore buoyancy, Between Art and Technology (BAT) Studio decided to take a different approach in their design of a flood-resistant structure. Instead of letting the waters push the structure up, the Greenhouse That Grows Legs uses a hydraulic lifting system that can raise the building 800 millimeters off the ground. The homeowners can move the building via remote control .

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6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

January 12, 2017 by  
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Building in a flood zone sounds like asking for trouble, but that doesn’t have to be the case if you use the right construction techniques. The most basic strategy to avoid rising waters is to raise the buildings above the flood level, but we’re more impressed by the houses that actually float off the ground when waters rush in. While this type of automated flood defense isn’t as common as elevated homes , we may see it pop up in more houses as flooding threatens to become a regular occurrence around the world. To take a closer look at these adaptive structures, we’ve rounded up six amphibious houses that float above the floodwaters—keep reading to see them all. Amphibious House by Baca Architects Baca Architects designed the Amphibious House, a flood-resistant home that enjoys gorgeous waterfront views without risk of water damage. Sited on the coveted banks of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire’s town of Marlow, the luxury home, which is described as the UK’s first amphibious house, rests on separated foundations that let the structure float upwards on extended guideposts when the River Thames overflows. The buoyant home has a 2.5-meter-high floodwater clearance. FLOAT House by Morphosis The LEED Platinum -certified FLOAT House is one of our favorite amphibious homes due to its small environmental footprint. Designed by Morphosis for Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, the net-zero 945-square-foot home offers a solution for floodwater-prone regions around the globe. The house is built on a prefabricated chassis made of polystyrene foam coated in glass fiber-reinforced concrete that’s lightweight enough to serve as a raft when floodwaters buoy the home up. Bamboo homes by H&P Architects Amphibious homes can also be affordable, as evidenced in H&P Architects’ designs for these bamboo homes in Southeast Asia. Made from locally-sourced bamboo , the thatched homes are built on platforms constructed from reused oil drums anchored in place. The recycled oil drums serve as a float and allow floodwater to buoy the home upwards. Maasbommel’s Amphibious Homes by Waterstudio and Dura Vermeer It should come as no surprise that the Netherlands is home to amphibious architecture given their low-lying landscapes. Dutch firms Waterstudio and Dura Vermeer completed a famous example of amphibious housing in Maasbommel, an area near the Maas River. Though the homes there sit on the river bottom, the architecture is engineered so that the house and foundation will float upwards in the event of a flood. Electrical and sewer lines are kept intact thanks to flexible pipes. Amphibious Container by Green Container International Aid When heavy monsoon rains caused major flooding in Pakistan in 2010, approximately one-fifth of the country’s total land area was affected and 20 million people were directly affected. In a bid to provide relief, Green Container International Aid designed the Amphibious Container, an emergency shelter made from reclaimed shipping containers , shipping pallets, and inner tire tubes that can break away from the ground and float in case of flooding. The Greenhouse That Grows Legs by Between Art and Technology Studio While the above amphibious house examples explore buoyancy, Between Art and Technology (BAT) Studio decided to take a different approach in their design of a flood-resistant structure. Instead of letting the waters push the structure up, the Greenhouse That Grows Legs uses a hydraulic lifting system that can raise the building 800 millimeters off the ground. The homeowners can move the building via remote control .

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6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

Prefab ‘Bank in a Can’ delivers banking services to remote areas of Africa

January 12, 2017 by  
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People who live in rural areas of Africa in particular don’t always have access to reliable ATMs or other banking services. To help alleviate this issue, Johannesburg’s A4AC designed new prefabricated banking units called BANK IN A CAN that can be delivered to remote, rural areas. The Bank in a Can project was realized in collaboration between A4AC and FNB (First National Bank) as a banking solution for rural areas where people don’t have access to quality banking and financial services. Each prefabricated container is branded with graphics inspired by different local contexts. Related: World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes The units are designed to be deployed in any rural or urban community and can be made operational within a few weeks. The foundations and structural infrastructure are prepared on site prior to the arrival of mobile units. The roof structure is then installed over the units. + A4AC

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Prefab ‘Bank in a Can’ delivers banking services to remote areas of Africa

Prefab ‘Bank in a Can’ delivers banking services to remote areas of Africa

January 12, 2017 by  
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People who live in rural areas of Africa in particular don’t always have access to reliable ATMs or other banking services. To help alleviate this issue, Johannesburg’s A4AC designed new prefabricated banking units called BANK IN A CAN that can be delivered to remote, rural areas. The Bank in a Can project was realized in collaboration between A4AC and FNB (First National Bank) as a banking solution for rural areas where people don’t have access to quality banking and financial services. Each prefabricated container is branded with graphics inspired by different local contexts. Related: World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes The units are designed to be deployed in any rural or urban community and can be made operational within a few weeks. The foundations and structural infrastructure are prepared on site prior to the arrival of mobile units. The roof structure is then installed over the units. + A4AC

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Prefab ‘Bank in a Can’ delivers banking services to remote areas of Africa

IKEA Better Shelter refugee house pops up in west London

November 15, 2016 by  
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Design Museum installed the 17.5-square-meter IKEA Better Shelter outside the South Kensington Underground station in west London, close to the Design Museum’s new location on Kensington High Street. Nominated in the Beazley Designs of the Year’s Architecture category, the Better Shelter was selected for its socially beneficial design, a characteristic that Design Museum curator Gemma Curtain says is at the core of the Beazley Design Award. IKEA’s temporary shelter was developed in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency. Thousands of Better Shelters have been deployed worldwide, from Botswana to Greece, where they serve as temporary homes, registration centers, medical facilities, and food distribution points. Related: United Nations to send 10,000 flat-packed IKEA shelters to refugees worldwide Each flat-pack structure meets the basic needs of living, such as privacy and security, and is designed to last for at least three years and accommodate five people. The house-like shelters are made with a sturdy galvanized steel frame with semi-hard, recyclable polymer plastic walls and lockable doors. A rooftop solar panel charges an indoor LED lamp, which includes a USB port that can charge a mobile phone. Though the Better Shelter is designed for temporary housing, each unit can be anchored to the ground and withstand harsh elements. Every structure can be easily set up without tools in four hours and can be expanded upon thanks to its modular design. Better Shelter will be on display outside the London tube until November 23, 2016, after which it will be moved to the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition that runs from November 24, 2016 to February 19, 2017. The Award winners will be announced on January 26, 2017. + Better Shelter Via Dezeen Images via Design Museum , by Luke Hayes

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IKEA Better Shelter refugee house pops up in west London

Wildfires in the southeast US are so bad they can be seen from space

November 15, 2016 by  
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An outbreak of wildfires across the southern United States is creating plumes of smoke so vast they can be detected by NASA’s orbiting satellites. Spread across seven states, the fires are affecting Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Carolinas. The thickest plumes are rising from the southern Appalachians, but all of the affected regions are visible from orbit. On the ground, the air pollution is so bad that authorities have warned residents in some areas to wear masks when they go outside. Normally, fires in the Southeast are fairly small and don’t produce much smoke, unlike the massive blazes seen in the American West. However, drought conditions have dried out the region’s vegetation, leaving considerably more fuel for the fires. Related: NASA builds more advanced shelters to protect firefighters from wildfires More than 5,000 firefighters and support staff are currently attempting to contain the blazes. In the case of the fires in Georgia, there are concerns the flames are starting to creep “ dangerously close ” to the metro Atlanta area. It’s suspected that the various fires are manmade rather than created by natural causes, although it’s not clear if all of the fires were set intentionally. Kentucky has already made two arson arrests, and Tennessee has followed suit. Unfortunately, drought conditions are expected to continue through January at the very least. We may be seeing more of these fires throughout the fall and winter. Via Discover Images via Nasa Worldview

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Wildfires in the southeast US are so bad they can be seen from space

Inflatable pop-up night club can disappear as soon as the party is over

October 12, 2016 by  
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BUREAU A designed SHELTER for the annual meeting of the Swiss Architectural Association (BSA/FAS). The inflatable structure is inspired by the shape of underground shelters , filtered through the theoretical work of Gaston Bachelard and Paul Virilio, as well as Beatriz Colomina’s research into the domesticity of postwar America. Related: The Pop-Up Maddox Beach Club Brings Breezy Relaxation To The London Olympics The architects’ fascination with the concept of underground architecture resulted in a mysterious black structure that inhabits modern space and allows the exploration of what is hidden. “For one night, the black hole of a neat and well organized society is revealed as a potential for distortion, a potential of let-go and provoke, with a slight smile, the unsaid and the sweat,” said the architects. + BUREAU A Photos by Dylan Perrenoud

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Inflatable pop-up night club can disappear as soon as the party is over

All-in-one Humanihut emergency shelters set up in five fast minutes

June 10, 2016 by  
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South Australian startup Humanihut has developed an all-in-one emergency shelter for refugees and disaster victims that can be set up in only five minutes. Unlike some temporary shelters, the Humanihut provides more than a roof over refugees’ heads and walls for protect them from the elements — showers, toilets, electricity, and laundry facilities are also integrated into the system. A standard shipping container can hold 16 of the shelters, allowing them to be easily transported and deployed. A “village” of the huts can be built in a matter of hours. https://youtu.be/VBz-zPCNZ18 Each hut is 7.3 meters long and 2.4 meters high, including solar panels on the roof and wiring for 110V outlets throughout. Heating and water purification equipment are built into the hut, and the units include a built in table, bench, and sink. The steel walls and roof of each unit contains insulated panels to help keep the temperature comfortable in hot or cold weather. The hope is that access to these facilities will help cut down on the rates of water-borne diseases like malaria that kill thousands of refugees per year. Related: 6 designs to help refugees live a better life The shelters aren’t just portable and quick to set up, they’re also incredibly durable. Each unit is expected to last for up to 20 years, a vast improvement over the tent shelters that many refugees find themselves living in. This both helps provide a more comfortable and stable living situation for the refugees or disaster victims, and helps cut down on costs for aid organizations . An investment in the Humanihut is expected to break even after about 3.5 years, and could potentially save millions of dollars thereafter. In a camp with 50,000 people, the huts could cut costs by $70 million per year. + Humanihut Via Treehugger

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All-in-one Humanihut emergency shelters set up in five fast minutes

President Obama and Prime Minister Modi talk renewable energy

June 10, 2016 by  
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This week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with President Barack Obama to discuss ways for India to scale up its use of renewable energy . The White House released a statement about “the deepening strategic relationship” between the two countries, which will result, in part, in the $20 million U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative expected to mobilize up to $400 million to provide clean energy for up to 1 million households by 2020. Industry observers think the prime minister is eager to finish deals in case Donald Trump takes office. Trump has said he would withdraw from the Paris agreement . While the New York Times reports he hasn’t focused on India much, his comments regarding topics like climate change and immigration worry Indian leaders . One associate from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said Prime Minister Modi “wants to get as much as he can out of Obama’s last months in office.” Related: India announces plans to boost its solar power five times to 100GW by 2022 According to a panel hosted by the World Resources Institute, if India is to meet their climate goals, they’ll likely need American investment. Ajay Mathur, India’s chief spokesperson at the Paris talks, said U.S. investment with reasonable interest rates is crucial so India can reach their goal of 100 gigawatts in solar power by 2022 and Indian citizens can access that clean energy. Around 240 million people in India still lack electricity, making such a partnership all the more important. According to a joint statment , “The United States and India share common climate change and clean energy interests and are close partners in the fight against climate change…India and the United States recognize the urgency of climate change and share the goal of enabling entry into force of the Paris Agreement as early as possible.” For the Paris agreement to take effect, 55 countries emitting a minimum of 55 percent of global emissions must ratify the agreement. So far, 34 countries, which account for 49 percent of emissions, have formally joined. Via New Scientist Images via American Center Mumbai on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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President Obama and Prime Minister Modi talk renewable energy

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