These solar-powered floating homes are built to withstand floods and hurricanes

April 1, 2019 by  
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As many coastal cities struggle to come up with resiliency plans in the face of rising sea levels, a Miami-based firm is creating sustainable, solar-powered floating residences that could offer the perfect solution. Already well-known for its high-end floating homes , Arkup is now teaming up with Artefacto , an environmentally friendly Brazilian furnishing brand, to create stylish floating houses that are not only resilient to storms and sea levels, but also represent the luxury style for which Miami is known. Arkup has long been recognized for creating sustainable and attractive floating homes that can provide discerning homeowners with what the Miami-based company refers to as “avant-garde life on water.” The residences are modern, cube-like structures that are completely self-sufficient, operating 100 percent off-grid thanks to solar power generation, eco-friendly waste management features, rainwater harvesting and water purification systems. Additionally, the homes are equipped with unique self-elevating systems that help the structures withstand high winds, floods and hurricanes. Related: These hurricane-proof floating homes are packed with green features In addition to the ultra sustainable and resilient features, the two-story floating homes boast interiors with a 775-square-foot living room, bedroom, kitchen and dining space, as well as an open-air rooftop lounge. Sliding glass doors, which almost make up the entirety of the front facade, lead out to a beautiful terrace. Although the company has been working on its floating homes for some time, it recently announced a new partnership with Artefacto, a Brazilian furnishing company with a strong commitment to sustainability  that is known for combining luxurious furniture made of raw materials with cutting-edge smart automation technologies. The Arkup residences will now be outfitted with eco-friendly furnishings, including high-end pieces made out of timber approved for use by the Brazilian Environment Department. + Arkup + Artefacto Images via Arkup

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These solar-powered floating homes are built to withstand floods and hurricanes

Teens exposed to air pollution more likely to experience psychotic episodes, new study says

April 1, 2019 by  
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Air pollution may have more long-term effects on teens than previously thought. A new study conducted in the U.K. found that adolescents who are exposed to pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, harmful particles and nitrogen dioxide , are more likely to experience psychotic episodes during their teen years. People living in densely populated, urban areas have increased risks of having clinical psychosis. This includes disorders like schizophrenia. Prior to the new study, researchers had yet to start any long-term projects that explore the relationship between air pollution and these mental disorders, despite pollution becoming a growing issue in urban locations. Related: Air pollution is killing Europeans at an alarming rate The new study, published in  Jama Psychiatry ,  looked at more than 2,200 children in the U.K. and examined the link between air pollution and mental health . The study was conducted over an 18 year period and included children from various socioeconomic backgrounds and geographic locations. In over 92 percent of the cases, the test subjects reported some kind of psychotic experience, such as having intense paranoia or hearing voices. “We found that adolescent psychotic experiences were more common in urban areas,” explained Joanne Newbury, one of the lead scientists on the study at King’s College London. Newbury added that they were unable to directly link the psychotic experiences of teens in the study with air pollution. Their findings, however, strongly suggest that these harmful chemicals are a contributing factor in the connection between urban populations and psychosis. It should be noted that the study took into account biological factors, and the scientists admitted that psychosocial mechanisms, such as stress, could also be at work. By 2050, experts estimate that over 70 percent of the world’s human population will be living in cities. With more and more people gravitating toward urban locations, it is vastly important that we discover why city dwellers are more susceptible to mental disorders. Although there are likely multiple connections to be made, the harmful gases and particles that commonly make up air quality should not be ignored. According to King’s College London , scientists hope to initiate more studies on the link between air pollution and psychosis, with long-term research being the key focal point. + Jama Psychiatry Via EcoWatch and  King’s College London Image via David Holt

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Teens exposed to air pollution more likely to experience psychotic episodes, new study says

A passive solar home embraces nature with a reduced footprint

April 1, 2019 by  
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Walls of glass pull the outdoors in at the Lake Manitouwabing Residence, a new four-season family residence designed by MJMA (MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects) to replace a 1930s abode. Located in the Ontario town of McKellar, the contemporary house was engineered to embrace indoor-outdoor living without compromising energy savings. To that end, the architects designed the house to take advantage of passive heating and cooling and integrated energy-saving technologies such as concrete radiant floor heating and low-E glazing. Set on a west-facing peninsula, the Lake Manitouwabing Residence blends into the pine-studded landscape with its low-lying profile, flat roofs and dark timber cladding. The home is oriented to the south and west for warmth, natural light and views of the lake, which are captured through full-height glazing that wraps around the living areas for fluid indoor/outdoor spaces. The expansive home covers nearly 3,000 square feet of space laid out in a U-shaped floor plan that wraps around a central courtyard punctuated by a uniquely cleft rock. “The project was developed around the goal of enhanced outdoor living and social gathering,” the architects explained in a statement. “A rectangular plan is carved to create interlocking outdoor terrace and courtyard spaces featuring an expansive and levitating lake deck and screened porch. Extensive flat roofs recall warmer latitude mid-century precedents and float outward to frame the quintessential Canadian shield horizon.” Related: Santa Barbara home is surrounded by wooden screens for natural climate control Deep overhangs jut out over the walls of glass along the home’s south and west sides to mitigate unwanted solar heat gain in the summer while allowing light and warmth to come through in winter. In contrast, the north and east facades are mostly opaque and heavily insulated to protect against winds and heat loss. Low-E glazing and an R-35 roof combined with a high-efficiency boiler, HRV and convection wood stove optimize energy efficiency. + MJMA Via ArchDaily Photography by Shai Gil via MJMA

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A passive solar home embraces nature with a reduced footprint

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