Innovative retractable glass roof can convert a mall into an outdoor space at the touch of a button

July 11, 2017 by  
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Large complexes such as shopping centers, hotels, conference centers aren’t exactly known for their energy-efficient design , but it doesn’t have to be that way. Working under the motto of “indoor comfort, outdoor freedom,” Turkish company Libart has created an innovative retractable ceiling system helps large spaces conserve energy use by letting in natural light and air circulation during good weather and shutting out the harsh weather – essentially converting the complex into an outdoor space at the touch of a button. Large shopping malls and retail complexes have typically been dark, cave-like spaces that don’t allow for much natural light. Libart’s flexible architectural system changes that by bringing natural elements into virtully any space, or according to the company. Large glass panels flood the interior with natural light and illuminate the space naturally, drastically reducing the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning. Perfect for a variety of uses, the attractive sliding glass structures can cover the interior during inclement weather or completely open to enjoy sunny days. Related: Sliding Walls Transform This Tokyo House Into an Office The retractable glass ceiling, referred to as “modern architecture in motion”, is a clean, minimalist structure that enhances almost any interior space, large or small. Custom made, the glass ceiling can be used for any number of buildings, from shopping centers and luxury hotels to industrial warehouses and conference centers. + Libart Images via Libart

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Innovative retractable glass roof can convert a mall into an outdoor space at the touch of a button

To feed 9 billion, will we need ‘GMO 2.0’?

June 28, 2017 by  
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The directors of the new documentary, “Food Evolution,” share an inconvenient truth: For safe, sustainable food, we may have to turn to GMOs.

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To feed 9 billion, will we need ‘GMO 2.0’?

Why mobility tech could be $600 billion boon for cities

June 28, 2017 by  
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From the way we use land to the emissions from public and private transit, an upheaval in transportation tech has big implications.

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Why mobility tech could be $600 billion boon for cities

Tyson Foods adopts video audits to monitor animal welfare

June 28, 2017 by  
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Company adopts new technological approaches in a bid to improve chicken and livestock well-being.

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Tyson Foods adopts video audits to monitor animal welfare

I’m an ex-CSO — so, who am I now?

June 28, 2017 by  
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Some reflections on one year since leaving the corporate life as a chief sustainability officer.

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I’m an ex-CSO — so, who am I now?

NRG Energy’s VP: Why sustainable innovation makes business sense

June 13, 2017 by  
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Less than a year into his role as vice president of NRG Energy, Bruno Sarda is helping the largest independent power producer in the country transition to sustainable sources of energy. “Part of the evolution to a sustainable energy future is to be at the leading edge of the transition to new technologies,” he said. “We may not invent the next solar cell, but what we’re really good at is bringing proven technology to scale in a commercially economical way.” 

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NRG Energy’s VP: Why sustainable innovation makes business sense

Research suggests humans emerged 2.8M years ago amid major climate change event

May 18, 2017 by  
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Mystery still shrouds much of the story of our origins, but new Arizona State University (ASU) research sheds new light on why we first emerged where and when we did. Around 2.8 million years ago our genus, Homo , could have emerged in a valley in Ethiopia . It was a time of change on that Earth long ago; it appears forest landscapes altered into grassy ones where our ancient ancestors lived. Back in 2013 an ASU team discovered a jawbone with teeth at Ledi-Geraru, and the incredible find is the oldest evidence of Homo we’ve yet found and dates back around 2.8 million years. The find was 400,000 years older than other fossils we’d discovered to that point. Building on that discovery, ASU scientists hoped to answer two questions: why did humans emerge in Ethiopia’s lower Awash Valley, and why did they emerge at that point in time? Related: New ‘Hobbit’ fossils provide a glimpse into human relative Animal fossils help scientists recreate the conditions of the past – what they ate help indicate the environment in those days. Scientists discovered that the animals found with the 2.8 million-year-old Homo fed on grass, seeming to support the guesses of many in the scientific community humanity emerged as grassy environments were spreading in a period of global cooling. According to IBTimes UK, the landscape in which early humans lived would have been similar to today’s Serengeti region. Scientist Joshua Robinson said evidence had hinted at the connection between the emergence of humans and the spread of those grassy, open environments, “but, until now, we had not direct environmental data for the origins of Homo now that it’s been pushed back in time.” The 2.8 million date is also incredibly important for the fossil record. The famous Lucy fossil ( Australopithecus ), which dates to around 3.2 million years ago, was found just around 18 miles west of ASU’s 2013 discovery. But the geological sequence ended around 2.95 million years ago, until the recent findings. ASU researcher John Rowan said although Lucy’s species endured many environmental changes, it appears they didn’t last through the ancient climate change as open environments spread. The diet of early humans was still very similar to what Lucy would have consumed, however. The ASU research was published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution . Four ASU scientists worked on the study with one geoscientist from the University of South Florida . Via Arizona State University and IBTimes UK Images via Kaye Reed/Phys.org and Josh Robinson/Arizona State University

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Research suggests humans emerged 2.8M years ago amid major climate change event

Barcelona set to double tree population in major urban greening push

May 18, 2017 by  
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You may think there isn’t much space for a centuries-old, built-out city like Barcelona to radically greenify itself with double the amount of trees and expanded green space. But that’s exactly what the city aims to do. They recently rolled out a Plan of the Green and Biodiversity Barcelona 2020 , including ambitious goals that could offer ideas to other dense cities needing greenery too. Air pollution , heat, and climate change are among the reasons Barcelona needs to become a greener city. But they have a plan – their 2020 goals could see twice the number of trees flourishing in the city, alongside park space increased by two thirds. Overall each citizen could receive nearly 11 square feet of extra green spaces . The plan aims to provide Barcelona with 108 acres of new green areas by 2019 and more than 400 acres by 2020. Related: Paris allows anyone to plant an urban garden How will the city accomplish this feat? First, they’ll plant five new gardens , which will later be connected to open spaces already in place to form thriving plant-filled corridors. Green roofs will also help keep the city cool. Creepers will snake across bare walls. And in spaces waiting for construction, the city will plant temporary gardens. CityLab reports some of the new gardens are already being built, and their designs reveal how to find space in a city where one might think space would be lacking. For example, the largest garden will be planted around a city square once filled with cars. That traffic will now be diverted to tunnels. Another garden is more controversial – the city will clear out a courtyard block filled with squatted 1920’s workshops to make way for greenery. One garden will green up a scrap of ex-industrial semi-wasteland. Slowly the city is filling up with new flora and fauna – local architecture firm JORNETLLOPPASTOR drew up many of these images around five years ago. Green corridors planted in the past have been successful; a 2000 one restored life to a stream formerly dirty. As climate change raises temperatures, a city that already reaches around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer stands to benefit greatly from the air-cleaning, cooling plants. Via CityLab Images via Ajuntament de Barcelona

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3 big ways sustainable design will shape future cities

May 10, 2017 by  
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When it comes to the evolution of urban areas, think up and think fewer cars.

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3 big ways sustainable design will shape future cities

Decrepit 19th century chapel converted into a breathtaking home

January 22, 2017 by  
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From the beginning, the principal renovation objective was to retain as much of the old church’s original essence as possible, keeping the beautiful arched windows intact and working around the rather complicated floorplan. To retain the original feel of the chapel layout , the design team went for an open mezzanine floor design. Related: Majestic church is transformed into a gorgeous modern family home in Chicago “One of the main elements of the Chapel is the Gothic style arched windows that elegantly frame the beautiful views and allow the space to fill with light. Before the mezzanine floor could be considered we had to ensure that the new ceiling line would not obstruct any of the windows,” says designer Paul King. “Our approach was to provide solutions that answered the brief, but did not alter the historic details or essence of the Chapel. The main hall was the core element that gives the Chapel its feel of space and with its detailed simplicity it became the heart of the proposed design.” For anyone who’d love to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Chapel on the Hill guest home has four bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living room, and offers stunning views of the expansive countryside. + Evolution Design Via Archdaily Photographs via Evolution Design

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Decrepit 19th century chapel converted into a breathtaking home

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