Gloomy office transformed into a light-filled BREEAM Excellent building

August 15, 2016 by  
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Built in the 1970s, the original A.S.R. headquarters was a mostly opaque behemoth considered one of the largest office buildings from its time. The architects were tasked with bringing the building up to current building standards and regulations, but rather than start from scratch they preserved select building elements and recycled 98% of the demolition waste. The most notable change to the building is the installation of large glass facades that give the headquarters a new sense of transparency and openness. Related: BREEAM Excellent Library of Birmingham to be Europe’s Largest Public Cultural Space Most impressively, the headquarters was renovated to BREEAM Excellent sustainability standards. The slanted glass facades bring daylight deep into the building, improve natural ventilation, and reduce dependence on artificial lighting. Vertical green walls clad parts of the exterior, while the addition of winter gardens with mature trees bring fresh air and nature to the building interior and exterior. There’s also a greater diversity of workspaces, from open offices to intimate meeting rooms. A total of 2,800 flexible workspaces cater to the firm’s 4,000 employees. There’s also a new underground meeting center, restaurant, and coffee bar. + Team V Architectuur Via ArchDaily Images © Jannes Linders

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Gloomy office transformed into a light-filled BREEAM Excellent building

US Energy Dept says "holy grail" of clean energy storage is imminent

August 15, 2016 by  
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Many countries are on the brink of becoming self-sufficient in their clean energy production, thanks to advances in battery technology that allow electricity from renewable sources to be stored and used on demand. Over the years, as renewable energy generation methods have charged forward, utility companies have struggled with how to integrate that clean energy in usable ways. Now, scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, the Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs, and other agencies are working on energy storage projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy , with their sights set on what the department calls the ‘holy grail’ of energy policy. The department says the industry could be transformed in as little as five to ten years . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-fHWubF9-E Earlier this year, Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E), the division of the U.S. Department of Energy founded in 2009 to oversee  these projects , claimed to have achieved that goal. Without pointing to a specific invention or discovery, ARPA-E insists that the solution lies amid the 75 projects the agency is funding. The breakthrough technology—the next generation of renewable energy storage—is expected to be developed for large-scale usage in as little as five to ten years. Related: New study says U.S. could run entirely on clean energy by 2050 “I think we have reached some holy grails in batteries –just in the sense of demonstrating that we can create a totally new approach to battery technology, make it work, make it commercially viable, and get it out there to let it do its thing,” said Ellen Williams, ARPA-E’s director. The battery systems under development range widely in their approach to long-term renewable energy storage. They range from hybrid fuel-cell to zinc-air batteries, as well as next generation flywheels, a system that stores energy as heat in molten glass, and a wild idea from Harvard that uses a rhubarb derivative. If just one of the 75 government-funded research projects leads to a viable battery storage device that costs significantly less than current grid electricity systems, the future of utility-scale renewable energy will be cracked wide open. Of the projects backed by the agency, three already have grid-scale and back-up batteries on the market and six others are in the process of developing new batteries. Each promises the potential for efficient, cost-effective energy storage that could make it possible (and financially alluring) to break up with fossil fuels for good. Via The Telegraph and The Guardian Images via Shutterstock  and  Harvard University

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US Energy Dept says "holy grail" of clean energy storage is imminent

Washington DC’s national monuments are getting slimed

August 15, 2016 by  
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The US’ national monuments are under attack – not from a foreign power or aliens, but from microscopic organisms called biofilm . The National Park Service announced biofilm is blackening landmarks around Washington DC, and they’re searching for a way to combat the biofilm and return the monuments to a shiny white state. Biofilm is not only a menace to the Jefferson Memorial, but to monuments and old structures around the world. Angkor Wat, Egyptian monuments, and Hadrian’s Villa have all been victim to the microscopic organisms. Biofilm can be seen on many Washington, D.C. area monuments, including the Jefferson Memorial’s dome, the Congressional Cemetery tombstones and the Lincoln Memorial. Related: The National Museum of the Marine Corps Is a Green-Roofed Monument to US Servicemen Biofilm love to grow on stone . According to the National Park Service, the Jefferson Memorial’s once-smooth marble blocks eroded over time, creating an ideal environment for biofilm to thrive. The Jefferson Memorial biofilm ” became noticeable ” in 2006 and continued to grow. In 2014 a coalition of molecular biologists, architects, and conservators started to study the biofilm. Chief of Resource Management Catherine Dewey said in a press release, “Treatment of biofilm is difficult, as there is no known permanent method for removing it, and we have to ensure that any treatment must not do further damage to the soft marble of the memorial nor encourage further growth. We are testing a variety of treatment techniques to find the option that is least damaging to the stone, safe for the environment and visitors, and cost effective.” Biofilm has been dealt with successfully before in 2011 at the D.C. War Memorial. Now the National Park Service is testing ” 10 different chemical biocides ” along the Jefferson Memorial’s base to see how well they work. They’ll also test out non-traditional methods like laser irradiation. + National Park Service Images via National Park Service and Wikimedia Commons

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Washington DC’s national monuments are getting slimed

BLESS turned a hand-knotted rug into a cozy hammock for the workplace

August 10, 2016 by  
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Get ready to kiss another day of slouching in front of your computer screen good-bye. The designers behind the BLESS N° 56 WORKER’S DELIGHT installation at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany are looking to provide ergonomic solutions that improve workers’ health and well-being while getting them to step away from the screen. But they aren’t just creating another standing desk or balance ball chair. Instead, they’ve created an ingenious hammock  made out of a hand-knotted rug. Photo by Ludger Paffrath Design label Reuber Henning turned a hand-knotted rug into a cozy hammock for the BLESS N° 56 WORKER’S DELIGHT installation, demonstrating the versatility of everyday objects. The rug label teamed up with two BLESS designers and redefined their product as a suspended, moving piece of furniture in line with the concept of an experimental workspace . Four-meter fringes were used as ropes to suspend the carpet, transforming it into a large relaxing piece of furniture. Photo by Ludger Paffrath Related: Vitra’s new museum will house a permanent exhibition of iconic furniture designs The new installation BLESS N° 56 WORKER’S DELIGHT combines different materials, everyday objects , patterns and purposes to redefine the modern workspace, turning the Vitra Design Museum Gallery into a playful environment filled with experimental ergonomic and quirky design prototypes of new types of office furniture. The exhibition will be on show from 10 June until 9 October 2016. + Reuber Henning + BLESS Lead photo by Bettina Matthiessen © Vitra Design Museum

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BLESS turned a hand-knotted rug into a cozy hammock for the workplace

Stanford students take on dangerous superbugs

August 10, 2016 by  
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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “ superbugs ,” are one of the biggest challenges of the medical community. They are popping up at faster rates as antibiotic use increases, causing serious alarm among professionals familiar with their power. A few undergraduate students from Stanford University believe they may be on to a revolutionary idea that could kill off some of the most dangerous superbugs out there. Last fall, students Zach Rosenthal, Christian Choe and Maria Filsinger Interrante entered a Stanford University competition to provide solutions for major healthcare problems. Their idea of developing a set of proteins to annihilate antibiotic-resistant bacteria won them a $10,000 grant to test their hypotheses. “As soon as I started to read literature about multidrug-resistant bacteria, I decided it was a huge need area and interestingly neglected by the pharmaceutical industry,” said now-graduated Filsinger Interrante. She says that a smaller market size, lower profitability, and seeming inevitability of drug resistance lowers manufacturers’ enthusiasm about producing new antibiotics . Related: Dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in food products for the first time The specifics of their project are being kept secret, yet Rosenthal explains the mechanism of their attack, “We target something that’s essential to bacterial survival.” Preliminary reports of their tests are successful and the team hopes to continue working toward finding the Achilles heel for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii , two of the most drug-resistant and fatal superbugs existing today. Via NPR , Stanford News Images via Pexels, Stanford University

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Stanford students take on dangerous superbugs

The end of sitting? RAAAF and Barbara Visser radically reimagine the office

December 16, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of The end of sitting? RAAAF and Barbara Visser radically reimagine the office Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Amsterdam , Barbara Visser , flexible workspace , office layout , office space , public health , RAAAF , sitting is the new smoking , standing desk , The End of Sitting , workplace health , workspace

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The end of sitting? RAAAF and Barbara Visser radically reimagine the office

Renovated Paris Rail Station Will House 1000 Start-Ups!

December 10, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Renovated Paris Rail Station Will House 1000 Start-Ups! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , 000 start-ups , 1 , 1000 startups , adaptive reuse , business incubator , Cargotecture , eco design , eco office , flexible office , flexible workspace , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green renovation , halle , Halle Freyssinet , incubator , shipping containers , startup incubator , startups , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , wilmontte associes , Wilmotte & Associés SA , xavier niel        

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Renovated Paris Rail Station Will House 1000 Start-Ups!

Jerry Tate Architects and Students Unveil Awesome Low Impact Pavilion in the UK

December 10, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Jerry Tate Architects and Students Unveil Awesome Low Impact Pavilion in the UK Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Dartmoor Arts Project , Dartmoor Arts Week , demountable pavilion , Jerry Tate and the Dartmoor Arts Project , jerry tate architects , Jerry Tate Architects builds pavilion with students , locally sourced wood , London architects , shell-like pavilions , student design , treehouse design , wooden pavilion        

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Jerry Tate Architects and Students Unveil Awesome Low Impact Pavilion in the UK

DIY: Make a Yummy and Healthy Vegan Holiday Popcorn Sampler

December 10, 2013 by  
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Giant popcorn tins are as common as Christmas trees around the winter holidays . But let’s face it, though delicious, these popcorns are far from healthy. As an alternative to all those sugar, butter and cheddar laden handfuls, we’ve scouted a few vegan-friendly versions that are just as addictive, but definitely better for you and you family. Read on for some of these healthy holiday recipe variations. GET THE RECIPES HERE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cheesy vegan popcorn , cooking , food , healthy recipe , holiday recipe , holiday recipes , holiday treats , how-to , kid friendly , popcorn sampler , recipes , snack , vegan baking , vegan caramel popcorn , vegan popcorn sampler , vegan recipes        

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DIY: Make a Yummy and Healthy Vegan Holiday Popcorn Sampler

Metalysis Creates the World’s First 3D-Printed Titanium Car Parts

December 10, 2013 by  
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Rotherham-based company Metalysis just teamed up with engineers from Sheffield University to roll out the world’s first 3D-printed titanium car parts! The company has developed a novel process for producing titanium powder from sand to make the metal much more affordable. Although the technology for producing titanium parts is not quite ready for mass production, the company’s techniques for 3D printing car parts could cut waste and dramatically reduce the energy needed to power large-scale automotive plants and the long assembly lines housed within. Read the rest of Metalysis Creates the World’s First 3D-Printed Titanium Car Parts Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D printed car parts , 3D printed metal , 3D printed metal car parts , 3D printing , additive manufacturing , automotive technology , eco-boost , laser sintering , Metalysis , Rotherham , titanium , turbochargers , university of cambridge        

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Metalysis Creates the World’s First 3D-Printed Titanium Car Parts

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