UNSense to develop a 100-home real-life testing environment for the future of housing

January 31, 2020 by  
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UNSense, an arch-tech startup launched by UNStudio , has announced plans to develop an adaptive neighborhood of 100 homes to explore how sustainable, smart technology can revolutionize the future of residential development. Commissioned by the Brainport Smart District Foundation, the project will be located in Brainport Smart District in the Dutch city of Helmond. The project is also part of the UNStudio masterplan for the expansion of the Brandevoort neighborhood that aims to become the “smartest neighborhood in the world.” Having recently completed a feasibility study for the “100 Homes Project” with positive results, UNSense has officially begun building three consortia to realize the project: a building consortium for constructing the homes and infrastructure; a tech consortium for constructing the innovative urban data platform that will host services related to housing, energy, mobility and health; and a consortium for service development. The 100 Homes Project will be a “Living Lab,” where data and technology will be assessed to see the effects of the neighborhood’s design on the well-being of residents, both socially and economically. In the spirit of Equal Exchange and data privacy, all residents will have access to and ownership of the data collected on them and can decide which data they would like to protect and which they would like to share. Related: UNStudio unveils sustainable vision for “The Smartest Neighborhood in the World” “Based on our findings, it is clear that technology within the urban landscape can lead to time, energy and financial savings associated with housing, mobility, food and health,” UNSense explained. “Our goal is that by developing intelligent services that connect and adapt to the needs and consumption habits of residents, basic services will become manageable and fixed costs reduced, while (net) income will increase. As a result, more time and energy can become available for people to spend on more meaningful, pleasant and healthier activities. This will increase their sense of quality of life, well-being, happiness and health.” Findings from the 100 Homes Project will help inform the UNStudio expansion of the Brandevoort neighborhood, a plan with 1,500 permanent and 500 temporary homes, green space and 12 hectares of business park. Brandevoort, which is located adjacent to the “real-life testing grounds” of the Brainport Smart District, has ambitions to not only become self-sufficient in food and energy production, but to also be recognized as the “smartest neighborhood in the world.” + UNSense Images via UNSense

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UNSense to develop a 100-home real-life testing environment for the future of housing

Transformed midcentury modern home focuses on sustainability

January 31, 2020 by  
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Originally designed in 1956, this mid-century property in Indianapolis has been remodeled to reflect the new owner’s modern style. The design plan included methods to turn the 60-year-old house with outdated fixtures and overgrown landscaping into an organized, harmonious, private living space. By prioritizing the preservation of the original architecture as much as possible while maintaining privacy for the occupants, the designers were able to create a “Midcentury Modern” home with sustainability features. The sustainability features that characterize the MCM 220 Modern Home include reclaimed structural elements in the wooden structure and fireplace, double-glazed low-E floor-to-ceiling windows and an unvented insulated roof system. Outside, a membrane roof combined with a deep roof channels stormwater to the screened porch for a “sensory experience” during rainfall. Additionally, a moss garden around the bedrooms creates a zen-like ambiance. New skylights and floor-to-ceiling high-efficiency windows were added to increase the flow of natural passive light inside the living areas, replacing the original small south-facing windows and outdated skylights. To create even more light, the outdoor landscape was completely overhauled, trees were pruned and brush was cleared to allow the windows to be more exposed. This also helped create an indoor-outdoor connection and make the home feel more spaciously associated with nature. A mudroom inside includes room for coats, laundry, crafting and space for the family dog. Custom walnut cabinetry can be found inside both the gallery and kitchen, with original brick stonework used to finish the fireplace and refurbished cantilevered hearth. A series of smaller, supplementary sustainability steps were implemented, such as high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, HVAC systems, LED light fixtures and light-colored roofing. Natural wood (oak, walnut and cedar) was used in aspects of the interior and exterior, including the dining room table. The inside is also decorated with reconditioned and reupholstered furniture and the interior is finished with a mix of slate and oak plank flooring built on the structure’s original concrete slab. + HAUS Via Dwell Images via HAUS

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Transformed midcentury modern home focuses on sustainability

What an island state taught the world about sustainable development

September 11, 2017 by  
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Hawai’i is the United State’s most isolated populated landmass, but its experiences, approach and solutions to sustainability can resonate through the world. The island state is internally navigating the challenges of balancing economic growth, energy independence, economic stewardship and community resilience. Furthermore, it is still strongly committed to the Paris Agreement on climate. 

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What an island state taught the world about sustainable development

The profitable hospital system with sustainability in its DNA

April 10, 2017 by  
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Gundersen Health Systems became the first U.S. hospital to reach renewable energy independence, saved $3 million and improved community health.

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The profitable hospital system with sustainability in its DNA

Why Siemens and a California tribe are building a microgrid

August 28, 2015 by  
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Can microgrids make reservations more resilient? This project looks to be a fitting proving ground for energy independence.

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Why Siemens and a California tribe are building a microgrid

Presentation Says Cheap Gas is a Lie, Despite Industry Claims

July 16, 2014 by  
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On June 6th, Fred Heutte’s  presentation to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Natural Gas Advisory Committee blew away idea of abundant, cheap natural gas  like a compressor station blow-down . Through the use of diagrams from places like the Energy Information Administration , Heutte dismisses conventional claims of energy independence; low-cost and production growth of shale gas up to and beyond 2040; liquified natural gas export terminals; and shale gas replacement of coal and oil for both transport and electricity generation. Read the rest of Presentation Says Cheap Gas is a Lie, Despite Industry Claims Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Atlantic Sunrise , Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project , careers , Climate Change , climate chaos , climate justice , coal , corporations , Cove Point , destruction , dirty energy , earth , energy independence , Energy Justice Network , Energy Justice Summer , engineering , Environment , environmental engineering , environmental justice , extraction , FERC , Fossil Free , fossil fuels , fracking , government , green jobs , industry , inhabitat , jobs , lng , Maryland , methane , natural gas , non-disclosure agreements , pennsylvania , pipelines , renewables , Susquehanna , susquehanna county

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Presentation Says Cheap Gas is a Lie, Despite Industry Claims

US Set to Surpass Saudi Arabia as World’s Top Oil Producer by 2017

January 16, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock Oil exploration , production and transportation in the United States may suffer from endemic failures in technology , regulation and common sense , but that doesn’t appear to be standing in the way of the nation’s path towards becoming the world’s top producer of the oozy stuff . According to an International Energy Agency report , the US is on track to topple production by the notoriously oil-rich Saudi Arabia within five years, and to become a net oil exporter by 2030. In an trend that bodes incredibly poorly for the nation’s environmental health, many are championing the move away from foreign oil dependence and towards energy self-sufficiency. Read the rest of US Set to Surpass Saudi Arabia as World’s Top Oil Producer by 2017 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions , Climate Change , deepwater horizon , energy independence , energy self-sufficiency , fossil fuels , fracking , global warming , green economy , green jobs , IEA , International Energy Agency , natural disaster , natural resources , oil politics , oil production , saudi arabia , world’s largest oil producer

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US Set to Surpass Saudi Arabia as World’s Top Oil Producer by 2017

US Set to Surpass Saudi Arabia as World’s Top Oil Producer by 2017

January 16, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock Oil exploration , production and transportation in the United States may suffer from endemic failures in technology , regulation and common sense , but that doesn’t appear to be standing in the way of the nation’s path towards becoming the world’s top producer of the oozy stuff . According to an International Energy Agency report , the US is on track to topple production by the notoriously oil-rich Saudi Arabia within five years, and to become a net oil exporter by 2030. In an trend that bodes incredibly poorly for the nation’s environmental health, many are championing the move away from foreign oil dependence and towards energy self-sufficiency. Read the rest of US Set to Surpass Saudi Arabia as World’s Top Oil Producer by 2017 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions , Climate Change , deepwater horizon , energy independence , energy self-sufficiency , fossil fuels , fracking , global warming , green economy , green jobs , IEA , International Energy Agency , natural disaster , natural resources , oil politics , oil production , saudi arabia , world’s largest oil producer

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US Set to Surpass Saudi Arabia as World’s Top Oil Producer by 2017

Data From Google Earth Helps to Uncover Chicago’s Hidden Urban Farms

January 16, 2013 by  
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Google Earth has already been helpful in such endeavors as monitoring the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and determining the location of landmines. Now, advocates of urban agriculture are using the technology to help identify and catalog food-producing areas in Chicago. Previous attempts at recording the plots of land at ground level were often difficult and inaccurate. When Sarah Taylor Lovell’s lab from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at first tried to verify over 1,200 community garden projects, they found that only 13 per cent were places that actually grew food. After intrepid student John Taylor spent nearly 400 hours pouring over Google Earth in 2010, he discovered 4,648 production sites covering 65 acres. Personal visits to the sites confirmed that 86 per cent were viable horticultural hotspots. Taylor’s data from 2010 was recently published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning . His information is also helping Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project (CUAMP) sponsored by Advocates for Urban Agriculture to find, monitor, and represent community gardens and private food producers. Guided by Taylor’s map, the CUAMP will start the pilot phase of their project within the next couple of weeks. They hope to eventually calculate the total harvest of all of the plots. With this information, they will be able to better connect farmers and local suppliers, farm stands with markets and restaurants, and community members with one another. Establishing these relationships may also be one of the few ways that urban areas can combat food deserts and introduce the only available supplies of fresh produce. “It’s all part of one big thing … increasing local food production,” Billy Burdett of Advocates for Urban Agriculture told NPR . Urban agriculture “in a lot of cases is the best and even only option for folks to have access to healthy, locally grown food.” A 2012 review of Google earth data saw a 50 percent jump in the number of Chicago community gardens from the last examination, a development that will surely keep the researchers busy for some time to come. + Advocates for Urban Agriculture Via NPR

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Data From Google Earth Helps to Uncover Chicago’s Hidden Urban Farms

NAIAS 2013: Chinese Automaker Guangzhou Shows Off Three Green Electric and Hybrid Models in Detroit

January 16, 2013 by  
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We love the idea of bi-directional house-vehicle charging, which seems to be an increasingly popular concept among automakers who realize the potential advantages of using a vehicle as a house or equipment generator. The looks of the Trumpchi GS5-BEV are also better than we expected, given the low bar set at previous auto shows by other Chinese automakers such as Geely. Guangzhou actually brought three green models to show off, including its GS5-BEV, the 4WD Trumpchi Hybrid sedan, and the E-jet Concept Extended-Range electric car. The company was a little light on details for these cars, but we love the look of the E-jet concept, which promises a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds. + GAC

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NAIAS 2013: Chinese Automaker Guangzhou Shows Off Three Green Electric and Hybrid Models in Detroit

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