EPA: Fiat Chrysler used software to cheat on vehicle emissions

January 12, 2017 by  
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Today, the EPA accused Fiat Chrysler of cheating emissions standards in over 100,000 of their vehicles, echoing the scandal that has been rocking Volkswagen . According to the EPA, the company installed software on SUVs and trucks made in 2014, 2015 and 2016 that allowed them to evade standards, allowing poisonous nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. While the current administration has shown it is willing to pursue Clean Air Act violators, the incoming administration could choose not to continue the investigation. The Italian automaker is accused of installing 8 different programs aimed at giving a false emissions picture. If those programs qualify as “defeat devices,” Fiat Chrysler could face a fine of up to $44,539 per vehicle if found guilty of violations of the Clean Air Act. Related: Volkswagen to pay $4.3 billion to US following emissions scandal Fiat Chrysler stated that it had offered to develop software fixes to help ease the problem and that they intend to plead their case to the incoming Trump administration . The company did not disclose the issue, rather, the EPA discovered during testing that the vehicles appeared to be within standards at a moderate speed, but at higher speeds or on longer trips, the emissions violated air quality standards. “FCA US is disappointed that the EPA has chosen to issue a notice of violation with respect to the emissions control technology employed in the company’s 2014-16 model year light duty 3.0-liter diesel engines. FCA US intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably and to assure the EPA and FCA US customers that the company’s diesel-powered vehicles meet all applicable regulatory requirements,” Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. via USA Today images via Petr Magera

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EPA: Fiat Chrysler used software to cheat on vehicle emissions

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  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on 6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

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

VW promises $14.7 billion to U.S. owners of cars affected by emissions cheating scandal

June 28, 2016 by  
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Today Volkswagen filed court documents outlining its pledge to pay $14.7 billion to American buyers of its two-liter diesel cars, as part of a settlement of the emissions cheating scandal that broke last summer. That amount translates to $1,000 to $7,000 per customer, depending on the age of each vehicle. Under the terms of the settlement, which will not become final for another month, VW agrees on payouts for vehicle buybacks or repairs for diesel vehicles impacted by the company’s deliberate failure to meet emissions testing standards. Documents filed Tuesday in a San Francisco federal court reveal more details about the car maker’s promise. The payouts will include up to $10.03 billion for legal claims from owners of affected vehicles, as well as a $2.7 billion investment in an environmental remediation fund to offset damages stemming from vehicle emissions. VW will also invest another $2 billion in zero-emission vehicle technology, which is no surprise since the company is already suspected of making a $15.5 billion investment in a giant car battery factory to support its new wave of electric vehicles. Related: Evidence suggests VW deliberately deceived U.S. regulators in emissions scandal This settlement impacts American consumers, but VW is in trouble elsewhere in the world as well. Last week, South Korea issued an arrest warrant for a man identified only as Yun, who was in an executive role with the company and based in South Korea during the emissions scandal. The court alleges Yun played a part in the fabrication of documents and violation of the Air Quality Preservation Law. As a company, VW is already well underway in its efforts to regain lost ground where consumer trust is concerned. Its new CEO Matthias Müller, who stepped into the role after his predecessor resigned due to the scandal, recently rolled out a 10-year plan to introduce 30 new electric vehicle models in an effort to sell one million hybrid and electric cars a year by 2025. VW is also taking up the challenge of self-driving vehicle technology, and wants to develop a system that it can sell to other car makers in 10 years’ time. VW’s settlement for U.S. car buyers is expected to be approved in court at a hearing scheduled for July 26. Via NYT , WSJ Images via Volkswagen

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VW promises $14.7 billion to U.S. owners of cars affected by emissions cheating scandal

Death to diesel? Volkswagen, Tesla and the new clean car market

September 28, 2015 by  
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The VW emissions cheating scandal throws a new wrench into an already fragmented market for EVs, hybrids and diesel cars.

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Death to diesel? Volkswagen, Tesla and the new clean car market

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