Smart living wall monitored by artificial intelligence purifies indoor air

November 14, 2017 by  
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We spend around 22 hours per day inside, often exposed to more pollutants than we are outside. In an effort to improve indoor air quality and reconnect humans with nature , Finland -based health technology company Naava has designed a smart green wall monitored by sensors and artificial intelligence . They describe their product as a “fully automated air purifier, humidifier, and living plant wall all in one,” and even boast a scientific study to support the claim that their wall sucks pollutants out of the air. The philosophy behind Naava’s green wall is fairly simple: plants absorb air, the microbes of their roots purify that air, and then fans send the purified air back into the room. Plants grow in a soiless growth medium on the vertical garden , which can be attached to a wall or act as a space divider. It can even be set up on a wheelbase to move freely around a room. The green wall is equipped with an integrated water tank, and doesn’t require natural light as it has a lamp. Related: Nearly 10,000 plants grow on NYC’s largest public indoor green wall Naava co-founder and chief technology officer Niko Järvinen said in a statement , “Every American inhales as much as 3,000 gallons of contaminated indoor air every day…Humans are not at their most efficient and healthiest in an artificial indoor environment. Naava wants to change that and create human-friendly and health-enhancing indoors spaces with the help of the world’s only smart green wall.” The green walls naturalize 650 square feet of air, according to the company. They say their product reduces harmful chemicals in the air, and a study released online late October in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere, and Health seems to back that up. Seven researchers from institutions in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom tested Naava’s green wall and found a high level of volatile organic compound removal efficiency, according to the study. The Naava service team maintains the green walls every four to six weeks, and charges $249 a month for their Nature as a Service solution. The team boasts more than 1,000 smart green wall installations, and recently introduced their green wall to the United States at this year’s Greenbuild . They also recently opened a New Jersey production facility. + Naava Images courtesy of Naava

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Smart living wall monitored by artificial intelligence purifies indoor air

Finland has their own ice hotel – and a sauna made almost entirely of snow

September 5, 2017 by  
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The Arctic SnowHotel in Finland takes relaxing to a chill new level with their Snow Sauna : a sauna that, save for the wood benches, is comprised entirely of ice and snow . As the sauna’s snowflake walls melt, they fill the space with more steam. Complete with glass igloos and an outdoor Jacuzzi, this hotel is a cool place to spend a few days. And a bonus? It has great views of the Northern Lights . If snow is your thing, look no further than Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos for your next vacation. They offer accommodations for 70 in their SnowHotel , with transparent beds made of ice and snow, topped with sleeping bags and reindeer furs. They carve the hotel differently each year. They also offer Glass Igloos so visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the Northern Lights before they fall asleep. Related: Sweden’s new ICEHOTEL 365 uses solar cooling to stay open all year-round And then there’s the Snow Sauna. The sauna’s snow walls are around five feet thick. They melt as the sauna’s stove runs, losing around three to five millimeters a session. When the sauna melts completely, the hotel builds another. Off The Map Travel expert Katie Watson said of the Snow Sauna, “The sauna bathing experience is an astonishing combination of thick steam with intimate snow walls, which create a magical feeling of relaxation. It’s not like anything I’ve ever experienced before.” Arctic IceHotel also offers more traditional Finnish saunas and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Temperatures inside the hotel range between a brisk -5 and 0 degrees Celsius, or between 23 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Continuing their wintry theme, the hotel offers an ice bar with drinks served in frozen ice glasses, and a restaurant with ice tables and ice dishes. The Glass Igloos are open between November 20 and March 31, while the SnowHotel is open between December 20 and March 31. + Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos Via Business Insider Images via Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos and Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos Facebook

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Finland has their own ice hotel – and a sauna made almost entirely of snow

Provocative timber horn explores the hypnotic pull of the unknown

July 24, 2017 by  
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Digital fabrication and traditional woodworking fuse together in Y, a modern sculpture with a provocative and pixelated appearance. A team of international architects and carpenters comprising &’ [Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects] collaborated with the Finnish National Museum to create the funnel-shaped art piece in Helsinki’s Seurasaari open-air museum. The intriguing artwork is built from horizontal prefabricated cross-laminated timber elements interlocked by 568 timber wedges. The temporary Y was built in the historical Niemelä Tenant Farm courtyard , creating a new social space on museum grounds. “Y is an equation of temporality, time and provocative use of wood in the museum milieu,” wrote the architects. “As Y is the mathematical symbol for the unknown, the installation Y points to the future and the possible outcomes of Nordic built heritage. In Niemelä, Y is a variable within the parameter of time.” The funnels-shaped sculpture is large enough to climb into and explore like a cave, and its hypnotic effect encourages meditative practice. Related: Palestinian architects give the ancient stone vault a modern twist in Jericho Architecturally, the most interesting aspect of Y is its combination of digital fabrication with traditional woodworking . The project’s carpenters used traditional handicraft methods to help develop the project, while the architects brought their set of digital design and production tools to the table. The result is a sculpture that functions like a giant wooden joint that’s built from prefabricated cross-laminated timber elements. The use of timber gives the artwork a feeling of familiarity, however the pixelated appearance adds a touch of the futuristic and unknown. + &’ [Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects] Images by SWANG

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Provocative timber horn explores the hypnotic pull of the unknown

Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

June 5, 2017 by  
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Helsinkians and visitors take note—a beautiful new public sauna has popped up on a tiny island in the Finnish capital. Architecture firm OOPEAA designed the recently opened Lonna Sauna, a contemporary building constructed solely of natural materials. Built on a former military outpost in front of Helsinki’s city center, the timber sauna is an easily accessible escape that promises tranquility with a view. Commissioned by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna , the Lonna Sauna on Lonna island is one of several initiatives transforming the former sea fortress islands into recreational destinations. Accessible via a short waterbus ride from the city’s harbors, the new 190-square-meter sauna sits on the island’s southeast tip near six heritage-listed buildings that date back to Russian rule of the island in the 19th century. The wood-heated sauna was built as a continuation of Finland’s tradition of public saunas—a dwindling culture seeing recent renewed interest—with a modern twist. The log cabin -like building is constructed of handcrafted wooden logs left untreated and topped with a sculptural pitched roof clad in zinc . Related: Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun “The skillful use of larch in the furnishings and the large windows opening a view from the sauna loft into the archipelago create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere,” wrote OOPEAA. “The unique natural features of the Lonna island create a special and authentic atmosphere adding a new aspect to the experience of an urban public sauna. It brings together the calming and peaceful experience of the sauna ritual and the social aspect of the public sauna as a gathering place for people.” The Lonna Sauna is open daily from 2PM to 7PM throughout the summer. + OOPEAA Via Dezeen Images via OOPEAA and Lonna Sauna

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Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

Enviable cabin with coastal views dramatically cuts into bedrock

May 29, 2017 by  
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If you want a tasteful home with a sense of drama, you’ll love this spruce-clad cabin. Helsinki-based studio Mer Arkkitehdit set this white minimalist home into a rocky cliff that overlooks sublime coastal views in multiple directions. In addition to stunning landscape vistas, the compact Stormvillan home features a beautiful contemporary interior carefully furnished for a clean, modern, and cozy character. Located in Hanko, Finland, the 210-square-meter Stormvillan is set at the heart of the historic villa district characterized by grand wooden villas leftover from the late 19th century. Topped with a zinc roof, the new-build project echoes the local vernacular with its spruce cladding painted with traditional linseed oil paint similar to its surrounding predecessors. Unlike its historic neighbors, Stormvillan cuts deep into the rocky terrain on which it sits, submerging its basement level below ground. The aboveground Y-shaped main floor opens up in three directions, each optimized for views and to fit the natural shape of the rock. The living room faces the sea, the lounge looks west for sunsets across the dining terrace, and the master bedroom frames storm-swept junipers and pine trees. Large glazed walls are also used on the ground floor to reveal bare bedrock, a sharp contrast to the smooth white-painted interior. Related: Adam Knibb’s twin wooden homes seem to hover above the ground The large glazed openings illuminate the open-plan interior with natural light. Light-colored untreated wood complements the almost all-white interior. The ground floor and the main floor are connected via a carpet-clad staircase, as well as an elevator to accommodate the clients, an elderly couple. The roof of the ground floor level doubles as a wood terrace partially covered with a green roof . + Mer Arkkitehdit Via ArchDaily Images © Marc Goodwin

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Enviable cabin with coastal views dramatically cuts into bedrock

Lose yourself in Arctic beauty at Finlands charming TreeHouse Hotel

May 12, 2017 by  
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Santa’s home base in the Arctic Circle has a new, uniquely crafted hotel that’ll let you watch the Northern Lights from the comfort of a cozy room. Studio Puisto designed the recently opened Arctic TreeHouse Hotel that comprises a series of elevated, treehouse-like rooms in Rovaniemi, Finland. Designed to immerse visitors in nature and arctic mysticism, the shingle-covered units offer a nest-like space that blends into the surrounding landscape. The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel comprises 32 units elevated on black stilts to minimize site impact . Carefully sited to optimize views, the units are organized in pairs that function as combinable halves with one housing the bedroom and bathroom and the other containing a kitchenette and living room. Each unit features a glazed end wall positioned for the unobstructed views of nature. Environmental-friendly design played a large part in the design of the timber buildings, from its pine shingle-clad appearance to the use of natural materials . Green roofs top the units for stormwater management. Timber was predominately used for the facade and the interior. The units were prefabricated offsite to minimize material waste and site disturbance. Related: Snøhetta’s luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel At night the units light up like softly glowing lanterns, however, outdoor light pollution is kept to a minimum to preserve the “true wilderness experience” and viewing opportunities for the Northern Lights . “The inspiration for the accommodation concept — set on a steep natural slope — came from Nordic nature and culture as well as the magical world of SantaPark,” write the architects. “A vision started to form: small individual accommodation buildings set in nature, their spirit highlighting characteristics of the area and creating an optimal setting for experiencing both nature and arctic mysticism.” + Studio Puisto Via ArchDaily Images via Studio Puisto , by Marc Goodwin

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Lose yourself in Arctic beauty at Finlands charming TreeHouse Hotel

Finland’s Green Party says humanity must embrace nuclear power

April 17, 2017 by  
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Nuclear energy must be an option as humanity shifts away from fossil fuels , according to a recent article penned by four candidates of Finland’s Green Party , or Green League. The party strictly opposed the controversial fuel source in the past, but these four candidates said we’re running out of time to fight climate change and no longer have the luxury of picking between renewable energy and nuclear power. Humanity should take another look at nuclear power, according to Jakke Mäkelä, Tuomo Liljenbäck, Markus Norrgran, and Heidi Niskanen of the Finnish Greens. They wrote a March 6 blog post, translated by J.M. Korhonen , detailing why Finland should develop nuclear energy. Related: Germany’s massive nuclear fusion reactor is actually working Finland’s temperatures are spiking quicker than any other place in the world due to climate change, according to Forbes contributor James Conca. The country has pledged to end coal use by 2030, but they’re also widely utilizing biomass . The four Greens condemned the government’s burning of wood chips for power since it emits carbon dioxide and will destroy forests . The Greens said renewable energy won’t be able to help us wean completely off fossil fuels yet. They said solar and wind work very well up to a point, but on a large scale require lots of raw materials and land. They pointed to Germany, which shuttered nuclear power plants, but the consequence was renewable energy largely replaced nuclear energy and not fossil fuels. The four Greens said we no longer have the option of choosing between renewables and nuclear. They wrote, “Unless we spend a lot more money in all clean energy sources, we are certain to be doomed.” Korhonen notes their viewpoint is not an official recommendation from the Green Party or of the Viite, the technology and science subgroup of which Mäkelä is vice-chairman and the others are members. It’s simply the opinion of the four candidates, who were up for election in Turku. The Green Party won 12 percent of the total vote in the recent elections, gaining seats and winning the largest share in their history. Via J.M. Korhonen and Forbes Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Finland’s Green Party says humanity must embrace nuclear power

100-foot spinning sails harvest wind to power ships

March 15, 2017 by  
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For the first time in nearly a century, a ship is about to be fitted with a set of “spinning sails” that harness the wind to help power it across the ocean—a technology that could significantly green up the process of trans-oceanic shipping. As The Guardian reports, the spinning or rotor sail was first invented in 1926 by German engineer Anton Flettner, who installed them on two ships, including one that crossed the Atlantic. The “sails” are actually rotating columns that work with the prevailing winds to generate forward thrust for ships. This modern trial of a new take on old technology is backed by Maersk, Shell ’s shipping arm and one of the largest shipping companies in the world. One Maersk tanker ship will be outfitted with two of the nearly 100-foot-tall spinning sails – which are manufactured by Finland’s Norsepower . How, exactly, do they work? The spinning sails employ a principle known as the Magnus effect , in which wind passing through the spinning rotor sail accelerates on one side, while decelerating on the other. The movement of the sail generates a “thrust force” perpendicular to the wind. Electricity from the ship powers the turning of the sails, and the force generated by the sails lets the ship’s engine throttle back to lower fuel consumption. Using these sails could theoretically cut the fuel consumption of global shipping by as much as 10 percent. Related: Wind energy supplied all of Denmark’s power needs in one day Add to that the fact that, when the winds are right, each of these sails can produce about 3 megawatts of power while only requiring 50 kilowatts to operate, and the ships also have a source of renewable energy on board. The rotor sail only failed during its first go-around in the 1920s because it couldn’t compete with diesel power at that time. Now, as the price of fossil fuels is on the rise and climate change is here, this technology could be ready to set sail. Via The Guardian Images via Norsepower

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100-foot spinning sails harvest wind to power ships

Libeskind unveils zero-emissions university building designed in collaboration with students

March 14, 2017 by  
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A new building with exciting geometry and eco-friendly design is inspiring students at Leuphana University at Lüneburg, Germany. Architect Daniel Libeskind recently completed the New Central Building, a landmark university structure designed in collaboration with the students as part of the tradition at Leuphana University to involve students in campus changes. Topped with a green roof and powered by renewable energy, the light-filled sculptural building will operate at zero emissions . Created in the same gleaming and angular aesthetic common to Libeskind’s designs, the 13,000-square-meter zinc-clad New Central Building serves as a major university hub that promotes cross-disciplinary interaction and learning for students and faculty. The massive structure comprises four interlocking sculptural forms, each housing four programs: the Student Center that spans the height of the building; the three-story Seminar Center; the 1,100-seat Libeskind Auditorium; and the seven-story Research Center. Students contributed to the design process in seminars held by Professor Libeskind and other teachers at the university. Student participation spanned a wide spectrum, from the building and landscape design to the way-finding systems and interior design . “The idea for this project was to create a hub that would inspire the students through multiple connected spaces, infused with natural light and exciting new geometries,” said architect Daniel Libeskind. “It was a true creative collaboration by incorporating students ideas about program and design elements into the final design.” Related: Daniel Libeskind unveils spectacularly green physics center at Durham University In addition to aesthetics and a community-oriented design, the new student hub focuses heavily on sustainability. The energy-efficient New Central Building is powered by renewable energy and includes green roofs that can be seen from the interior, a gray water system , and an innovative structural Cobiax system. The zero-emissions building exceeds the EnEV (Energieeinsparverordnung = Energy-Saving Regulation), a standard that sets energy requirements for new buildings in Germany and also serves as a demonstration project of the Bundeswirtschaftsministerium (Federal Ministry of Economy) for energy-optimized design. + Daniel Libeskind Images via TK

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Libeskind unveils zero-emissions university building designed in collaboration with students

How Finland plans to completely eradicate tobacco use by 2040

January 27, 2017 by  
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Finland is looking to set a world standard for anti-smoking campaigns , with an ambitious new plan to make the country largely tobacco-free by 2040. That means the Finnish government wants less than 2 percent of adults in the country to consume tobacco in any form – be it cigarettes, snuff, pipes or e-cigarettes – by that time. According to CNN , smoking rates in Finland have been declining on par with those in other industrialized countries around the world – by and large due to things like bans on advertising and shop displays, as well as the creation of smoke-free public spaces. Still, the Finnish government has its work cut out for it, as 16 percent of 15 to 64-year olds in the country smoked as of 2013. That means they need to achieve a 14 percent reduction in just 23 years. Related: Coffee addict? It’s all in your DNA They’re hoping a “revolutionary” approach to tobacco reduction will help them meet the lofty goal. As CNN reports, instead of just targeting one area at a time, like exposure in public space or cigarette use, the Finnish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs plans to be precautionary in every angle, using a “comprehensive set of policies,” according to Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Kaari Paaso . They’re not going halfway by advocating for milder products that do less harm like e-cigarettes or snuff, as happened in neighboring Sweden. Instead, they’re moving to phase out all products. “We don’t want to fall into the trap of other policies that have less harmful products,” said Paaso, noting that he fears the promotion of other products will just create different problems for the health care system to confront down the road. “We want to phase out all products.” Finland plans to use a method that has worked in many other locations, raising the price of cigarettes, but with its own unique take. It plans to charge a licensing fee for vendors and an annual fee to pay for surveillance officers who ensure compliance with rules – which is sure to drive the price of tobacco up even further. Via CNN Images via Pixabay and Pexels

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How Finland plans to completely eradicate tobacco use by 2040

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