Beautiful German sauna village runs on recycled waste energy

September 14, 2016 by  
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The Jordanbad Sauna Village was built to replace a former set of sauna huts built from logs. Since the client wanted the new structures to be built from a longer lasting material, the architects settled on concrete for the base construction. Long-lasting Robinia wood slats clad the exterior, while different timber materials and finishes are used inside each sauna. The sauna village comprises a large infusion “Aroma” sauna for up to 120 people, an herbal sauna, and a fireplace sauna. The shower facilities are located in a separate building. The buildings are arranged around a large tree and overlook the pond and sun deck with built-in warm and cold basins. All the saunas and outdoor spaces are lit by indirect LEDs . The village is powered with a cost-saving CHP unit that covers all the electricity and heating demands. The saunas are heated with the CHP’s recycled exhaust gases —no solid fuels necessary. Related: Apple-inspired timber sauna is hidden within a grassy green slope “The design style of the sauna village is a contemporary architectural language—free of kitsch—creating rich extraordinary experiences for the visitors by careful use of space and form, light and material—inside and outside,” write the architects. “Inside, each sauna has its own individual atmosphere – with carefully chosen views into various parts of the garden, landscape and pond through large panorama windows.” + Jeschke Architektur&Planung Via ArchDaily Images via Jeschke Architektur&Planung , by Christina Jeschke and Sandra Wolf

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Beautiful German sauna village runs on recycled waste energy

Solar-powered Lucy tracks the sun to brighten any indoor space

September 14, 2016 by  
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Lack of sunlight can lead to everything from Vitamin D deficiency to seasonal affective disorder. Solenica , founded by Diva Tommei, came up with a bright solution: Lucy, a smart, solar-powered natural lighting system. Lucy tracks sunlight and reflects it inside to brighten even the darkest spaces. Solenica is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo , offering Lucy for a reduced price. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm5TUYOuKmU According to Solenica, for 90 percent of our lives we live indoors, missing out on the benefits of natural sunlight . Those who live through dreary winters or are simply more sensitive to a lack of light suffer. Solenica’s Lucy eases that suffering through an “articulated mirror” that follows the sun using a “proprietary algorithm” to reflect bright light into a home throughout the day. Lucy makes slight adjustments as the sun moves to bring more sunshine inside. Lucy can be placed indoors or outdoors – Solenica also sells a security lock if users want to place the device outside – and can easily be moved to different spots around the home. Related: Lucy is a robotic sunlight reflector that brings light into every dark corner of your house Lucy is a green alternative too: users can save energy and money by using the natural lighting system instead of electricity-fueled lamps. Lucy runs solely on solar power, and doesn’t include wires. The only time a user has to turn on the device is when they pull it out of the box. Italian design inspired Solenica to create a device that wouldn’t stand out but would rather add beauty to a home. Solenica started crowdfunding yesterday on Indiegogo and while they’ve reached around 300 percent of their goal, their early bird special is still available. After the campaign Lucy will cost $299, but right now Solenica is offering 200 Lucys for $199. Backers also have the option to purchase more than one or to purchase security locks. You can back the campaign and grab a Lucy here . + Solenica Images courtesy of Solenica

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Solar-powered Lucy tracks the sun to brighten any indoor space

Benoy’s new masterplan for Abu Dhabi park features a sheltered "urban forest"

September 14, 2016 by  
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Architecture firm Benoy released first images of their design for Abu Dhabi’s amazing Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Park. The renovation master plan, expected to be completed by 2018, will feature a sheltered “urban forest”, a co-working hub, cycling tracks, play areas, fitness zones and a large amphitheater for performances and events. The park will transform the former Khalidya Ladies Park in  Abu Dhabi into a vibrant urban space and a mix of state-of-the-art features, activities and events. In addition to transformative spaces, the design will include a variety of sustainable features. It is expected to become a symbol of economic diversification and growth. Related: Benoy Architects Top Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Hsin Chu Station Mall with a Lush Green Roof “Benoy is fiercely proud of its expertise in drawing different communities together with spaces that disrupt the norm, surprise and delight and allow people to enjoy them in their own way,” said Paul Priest, Director and Head of Benoy’s MENA Studios. + Benoy Via World Architecture News

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Benoy’s new masterplan for Abu Dhabi park features a sheltered "urban forest"

Reykjavik lays out plan to be carbon neutral by 2040

September 14, 2016 by  
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Iceland’s capital has laid out some ambitious plans to become completely carbon neutral by the year 2040. By controlling urban sprawl , increasing public transportation, and shaping all forms of transit to run on green energy, the city will become a model for other global and local governments in creating a more sustainable future. “Cities play a key role in the fight against climate change. They can react quickly… and are more often than naught far more progressive than the world’s governments,” said Reykjavik Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson earlier this month. He claims his city is in a far better position to accomplish the points in his plan, seeing as their carbon emissions are already very low and their location is prime for green operation. Residents’ homes are already heated by geothermal energy and all of the city’s electricity is generated through hydroelectric power. Related: 6 ways Copenhagen plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 One strategy of the new plan, according to Business Insider , is to increase the number of locals using public transportation from 4 percent to 12 percent, coupled with the task of converting all buses and cars to green energy within the next few decades. The goal of “urban densification” will be obtained by requiring 90 percent of new residential units to be built within city limits, which will, in turn, promote the use of mass transit and reduce carbon emissions. Via Business Insider Images via Flickr , Wikipedia

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Reykjavik lays out plan to be carbon neutral by 2040

Fords self-driving car will have no steering wheel, gas pedal, or brakes

September 14, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lITdVxm_hD0 Right now, the existing prototypes are, admittedly, a little quirky: the company has built a set of bulky sensors and mounted them on the roof of a series of modified Ford Fusion Hybrid vehicles while their software is under development. But by 2021, the company plans to have fleets of the new vehicles on the road as part of an on-demand mobility service that would compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft. Related: Ford Begins Testing Self-Driving Technology with Automated Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle The autonomous vehicles won’t be available for personal purchase to begin with – Ford claims that production will simply be too expensive for them to be affordable for the average consumer. However, given that an autonomous ridesharing service would be able to operate significantly more cheaply than one requiring human drivers, for many people hailing rides as needed might end up being more affordable than owning a car at all. Fields was quick to emphasize, however, that Ford is by no means planning to phase out the creation of conventional cars, nor is it attempting to transition away from producing personal vehicles. Instead, the company plans to expand into both markets simultaneously. Related: Ford to transform Dearborn HQ into a healthier and greener campus committed to sustainability To reach this ambitious 2021 goal, Ford is tripling the number of cars in its self-driving test fleet , with 30 of the Fusion Hybrids taking to the roads in California, Arizona, and Michigan by the end of 2016. Then, in 2017, that number will triple again. Ford has also expanded its research into advanced algorithms, 3D mapping, LiDAR, and radar and camera sensors, acquiring and investing in a number of companies in Silicon Valley and beyond. The company is also expanding its Palo Alto campus in 2017 in order to better collaborate with its tech partners. + Further With Ford Images via Ford Motors and Julie M. Rodriguez

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Fords self-driving car will have no steering wheel, gas pedal, or brakes

Romania races to save some of the last untouched forests in Europe

September 14, 2016 by  
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Romania’s forests are in trouble – and the government has teamed up with Greenpeace and other environmental NGOs to save them. The initiative is racing to map forested areas in a national database to ensure federal protection status. Both legal and illegal logging have devastated the woodlands in the last decade, but it is not too late for the unspoiled wilderness that still remains. The national database that will track the expansive forests is predicted to go online within the next six months. Several of Romania’s beech forests may also qualify as UNESCO world heritage sites , further protecting the area and inviting reverent hiking enthusiasts, instead of loggers. Valentin Salageanu, the Greenpeace forest campaign coordinator for Central and Eastern Europe, estimated about half of the 250,000 hectares of woodlands has been destroyed since 2005. He told Reuters , “Many of them were destroyed in the last 10 years … partially as a result of both illegal and poorly executed legal logging.” Related: Despite protests, Poland commences logging in Europe’s last primeval woodland In addition to mapping the area, the country’s environment ministry has increased guard presence and enforced harsh fines for any illegal timber cutting, shipping, or trading. They have also encouraged residents to use the Forest Inspector mobile app, which allows users to track logging trucks and provides the government with invaluable on-the-ground intel. Via Reuters Images via Good Free Photos , Flickr

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Romania races to save some of the last untouched forests in Europe

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