Experimental furniture eyeing urban regeneration pops up in Madrid

April 9, 2018 by  
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Enorme Studio teamed up with MINI to create an urban installation that taps into concepts of sustainability and urban regeneration. Called Mountain on the Moon, the experimental project comprises three mobile structures: a glass house/office and terraced bench seating units with attractive greenery on either side. The installation, located in Plaza de la Luna, was created for the Madrid Design Festival. Mountain on the Moon embraces the ideas of flexible and portable architecture as a means of encouraging collaboration and connection in the city. “Every day we all become increasingly aware of the need to improve our habits and the collective awareness about our environment, although nonetheless our cities—gigantic and vast—are often far from reflecting this change of paradigm,” wrote Enorme Studio. “It is urgent that, as citizens we contribute, along with different players like designers, public institutions, brands… and to start to collectively rethink new collective visions for our cities, which can regenerate the urban landscape in a way cohesive with people and their environment.” Related: Portable ParkedBench parklet injects a breath of fresh air in London The installation’s green spaces serve as informal seating, while the gabled glass house doubles as an office or lecture space equipped with USB charging points and reading lights powered by solar energy . Plywood lines the light-filled interior decorated with plants for a greenhouse -like feel. The paintings on the outside of the green terraces, which appear to mimic mountains or waves, reinforce this connection to nature. + Enorme Studio Via domus Images by Javier de Paz García, Luis Alda

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Experimental furniture eyeing urban regeneration pops up in Madrid

Scientists harvest the first ever Antarctic vegetables

April 5, 2018 by  
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Fresh, local produce might have seemed like an impossibility in Antarctica — until now. The experimental greenhouse EDEN-ISS at Alfred Wegener Institute ‘s Neumayer-Station III recently harvested their first crops: 18 cucumbers, 70 radishes, and nearly eight pounds of lettuce. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) described this achievement as the “first harvested Antarctic salad.” The EDEN-ISS indoor farm serves two purposes: first, to provide fresh produce for the Neumayer-Station III’s wintering crew. Second, to act as a test run for growing food in harsh climates, not just on Earth, but for missions to the Moon and Mars in the future. Scientists planted the seeds in the middle of February, and the first harvest was a success. Related: Arctic town grows fresh produce in shipping container vertical garden There’s no soil necessary in this indoor garden , where scientists grow plants with a closed water cycle and optimized light. DLR engineer Paul Zabel, one of the few people on Earth who can now add ‘Antarctic gardener’ to their resume, said they had to overcome some unexpected issues like minor system failures and the “strongest storm for more than a year,” but he was able to solve the problems and harvested the first crops. EDEN-ISS is around 1,312 feet away from Neumayer-Station III, and DLR said Zabel spends around three to four hours a day in the greenhouse . He’s also able to communicate with a DLR Institute for Space Systems control center, located in Bremen, which can remotely monitor plant growth — and can monitor it entirely on stormy days when Zabel can’t make it to the farm. DRL said this “bridging is possible for up to three days.” Scientists wintering at the station had used up their vegetables from their last delivery near February’s end, so they welcomed fresh produce from EDEN-ISS. Station manager Bernhard Gropp said in DLR’s statement, “It was special to have the first fresh salad of the Antarctic…it tasted as if we had harvested it fresh in the garden.” + EDEN-ISS + German Aerospace Center Images via DLR and DLR German Aerospace Center on Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 )

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Scientists harvest the first ever Antarctic vegetables

The Science Behind Cow Burps

April 2, 2018 by  
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You’ve probably heard that cows contribute to the greenhouse gas … The post The Science Behind Cow Burps appeared first on Earth911.com.

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The Science Behind Cow Burps

The farmers growing food across frigid northern latitudes

December 22, 2017 by  
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Although frost has arrived in most subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere, farmers still carry on even in the most extreme cold climates with the help of innovative technology and thoughtful design. Polar Permaculture Solutions of Norway  and the Inuvik Community Greenhouse of Canada are outstanding examples of defiant, determined agriculture in the Arctic. With features such as hydroponic systems, insulated greenhouses, and compost-warmed geodesic domes, these farms are far from frozen despite their high latitude locations. Benjamin Vidmar, founder of Polar Permaculture Solutions , was inspired to make a change through observations of his home, Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, the Svalbard archipelago’s largest island. “This whole island is about extraction: whales, coal, animals, fish, gas, oil,” Vidmar told Mic . “Everything here is based on taking things from the Earth . I feel like I have to do something for this town.” Vidmar, a chef, began researching methods for growing food in harsh, frigid climates and started growing microgreens for home and restaurant use in an insulated geodesic dome. Since then, Polar Permaculture Solutions has opened its doors for tours and classes for those interested in the challenge. Vidmar hopes to acquire a biodigester, which would create heat and fertilizer from food waste and quail droppings. Related: New Antarctic farm will grow produce despite temperatures of -100 d Across the Atlantic, then again across the most northern regions of North America, communities in Canada’s Northwest Territories are also implementing innovative systems to grow food despite the short season. In the small town of Inuvik, the Inuvik Community Greenhouse , which was converted from an old hockey rink, is now a cherished community space for all ages. The Greenhouse has 250 members, 149 community garden beds, and 24 smaller beds that grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers. During the growing season, which lasts from May to September in the greenhouse, community members donate 100 pounds of food to the local food bank. The Greenhouse also offers a compost collection service for town residents, which reduces local food waste, helps to build greenhouse soil, and financially supports the greenhouse’s growth. Via Mic Images via Polar Permaculture Solutions and Inuvik Greenhouse

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Two protective layers keep this angular house in Chile cool in the summer

December 22, 2017 by  
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The angular Two Skins House, designed by architect Veronica Arcos , is enveloped in two insulating layers that help maintain stable temperatures indoors all year roound. Perched on high cliffs north of Santiago, Chile , the house features generous openings that offer views of the Pacific Ocean. The house has a simple rectangular plan and faceted walls that add drama to the space. Dark pine planks used as cladding add additional variation to the exterior surfaces. Pine and other wooden structural panels were used to bring a little warmth and nature into the interior. Related: Angular cedar-clad home in New Zealand is designed to go completely off-grid Thanks to the presence of two outer layers, occupants can benefit from stable temperatures throughout the year. The gap between the layers facilitates natural ventilation and keeps the house cool in the summer. Mineral wool insulates the inner structure, while a zinc coating protects it from humidity. An overhang on the northern side shelters a raised platform and steps that lead to the garden. This wall extends to enclose the east-facing terrace and provide more privacy for this space. Most functions are housed on the ground floor, while the mezzanine , which marks the spot where the sloping roof reaches its highest point, accommodates the master bedroom. Minimalist interior design dominates the living room, with pops of color providing visual accents. + Veronica Arcos Arquitectos Photos by Cristóbal Palma

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Two protective layers keep this angular house in Chile cool in the summer

Spectacular ‘Dome of Visions’ greenhouse pushes the envelope for wood construction

August 16, 2017 by  
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Finnish company Metsä Wood is known for pushing the envelope when it comes to building with wood. Their latest greenhouse dome is the largest to date – and it showcases the company’s innovative use of laminated veneer lumber as a sustainable alternative to commonly used building materials. The structure, named Dome of Visions, was designed by Atelier Kristoffer Tejlgaard  as a way to explore green building. The Dome of Visions 3.0 is the third project in a series of experiments that explore the idea of creating sustainable spaces within dome-shaped structures. It has a new system of curved wooden beams , composed of 21 mm strips of Kerto LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber). This made it possible to minimize the amount of steel while achieving both a sleek and elegant grid construction. Related: Architect designs life-sized replica of Empire State Building made of wood Using curved wooden beams, the brackets for the dome’s supports were cut as stars in a five-millimeter steel plate. The custom-made Kerto beams made it possible to avoid the use of complicated and costly welded brackets used in previous versions. Related: Mobile Greenhouse Studio Boasts a Facade of CNC-Cut “Fish Scales” in Copenhagen “Wood as a building material has obvious advantages giving sustainability for the building industry. In principle, wood is a material that comes from a solar-powered factory,” said Kristoffer Tejlgaard, referring to the ability of trees to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and store it as carbon in their trunks, solely by means of solar energy . + Atelier Kristoffer Tejlgaard + Metsä Wood

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Spectacular ‘Dome of Visions’ greenhouse pushes the envelope for wood construction

This amazing farm in a box can pop up on any city street

June 26, 2017 by  
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It’s sometimes difficult to find fresh, local produce in urban environments. To solve this problem, Finnish enterprise Exsilio Oy has developed the EkoFARMER – an urban farm in a box. With a little bit of water and electricity, the EkoFARMER can sprout a flourishing veggie farm on any city block. Over the past decade, urban farming and community gardening have grown in popularity, with small gardens sprouting on top of skyscrapers – but they can be complicated and require elaborate supplies. EkoFarmer is a 13-meter long farming module that can be installed where there is a water and electrical supply. Containing ecological soil developed by Kekkilä, EkoFARMER was designed to produce optimal yields and be used for both commercial and scientific purposes. Related: Incredible rooftop farm takes over Israel’s oldest mall to grow thousands of organic vegetables Exsilio is currently on the lookout for co-creation partners that are interested in developing their own farming modules based on their own requirements. Restaurants and institutional kitchens can benefit from EkoFARMER, which can also function as an excellent complementary solution for farmers to expand their traditional greenhouses . Related: Boston’s Higher Ground Farm Will be the Second-Biggest Rooftop Farm in the World “EkoFARMER is an excellent option for business fields in need of salads, herbs, (edible) flowers or medicinal plants, for example. The social aspect of urban farming is also prominent. For this reason, our solution is suitable for associations wanting to earn some extra income, or societies wanting to offer meaningful activities for the unemployed, for example. This is an opportunity to create new micro-enterprises”, said Tapio. + Exsilio Oy

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This amazing farm in a box can pop up on any city street

This gorgeous greenhouse-like home in the Netherlands soaks up daylight

April 21, 2017 by  
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From beneath this traditional thatched roof in the Netherlands emerges a stunning glass greenhouse. Lochem-based Maas Architecten conceived the Modern Countryside Villa as two contrasting volumes: an opaque, timber-clad space, and a transparent glass structure that lets the outside in. The Modern Countryside Villa, located on the edge of the town of Berlicum in North Brabant, has an H-shaped plan with contrasting wings that house different amenities. The timber-clad volume accommodates a garage and storage space , while a greenhouse-like structure protruding out from underneath the thatched roof functions as a studio space. The second wing houses the main living areas. The wooden volume in front of the living area houses a kitchen, pantry and toilet, while the master bedroom has direct access to the sheltered courtyard with a swimming pool and terrace. Related: DAPstockholm’s Energy-Efficient Villa Midgard is Nestled Into the Swedish Countryside The transparent parts of the house are sheltered by a grove of trees that lines the plot towards the nearby road. Large glazed surfaces provide an abundance of natural light and expansive views of the picturesque surroundings. + Maas Architecten Via Dezeen Photos by Edith Verhoeven Save

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This gorgeous greenhouse-like home in the Netherlands soaks up daylight

MIT’s "food computers produce reliable crops anywhere

December 27, 2016 by  
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Hunger is an ugly social menace we would love to see resolved. It looks like MIT researchers may be getting close with their new ” Food Computers ”. Advanced greenhouses that use software to control for climate, energy, and nutrients, MIT’s new system is designed to produce reliable crops just about anywhere. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI56tVuDGcY Caleb Harper is the director of MIT’s Open Agricultural Initiative , a program he began after witnessing the agricultural devastation surrounding the Fukushima , Japan nuclear disaster. A food crisis impacted both the locals supply and their economic potential, due to fear of radioactive contamination. He spoke to Motherboard about developing the Food Computer, super-advanced greenhouse hardware and software that uses data analysis to create the perfect environment to grow preferred foods. Related: Beautiful, odorless tabletop ecosystem is powered with food waste The system is equipped with climate controls, grow lights, and humidifiers to encourage the growth of plants through hydroponic and aeroponic systems. Specialized “climate recipes” can be used for specific plants and unique traits, such as colors or sizes, so even the most temperamental crops can be grown anywhere in the world. “The biggest problem [in agriculture] is that we became way too centralized,” said Harper. When food must travel long distances and sit in warehouses before reaching the stores, and then the consumers, not only are nutrients lost in the process, but a lot of fossil fuels are burned along the way. Harper argues that food computers put the power of growing food in individuals’ and smaller communities’ hands, increasing food security and decreasing food waste. MIT’s food computers are all open source, so anyone can build one for themselves. They come in three different sizes: a tabletop model, a larger unit about the size of a shipping container , and the largest unit, which is as big as a warehouse. The newest generation of personal food computer costs about $2000. “The reality is most of us don’t have to come into contact with how food is being grown,” argues Harper. With a food computer in every home, that could change. +MIT Open Agricultural Initiative Via  Motherboard Images via MIT

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MIT’s "food computers produce reliable crops anywhere

The Picnic Project regenerates an industrial mining site into a bucolic mixed-use space

December 9, 2016 by  
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This pastoral vision of the northwest lignite mining area of Ptolemaida in Greece transforms the former industrial site into a sustainable, mixed-use development that combines agriculture, recreation and tourism. Architects Leonidas Papalampropoulos and Georgia Syriopoulou designed and presented the regeneration project in the style reminiscent of the early 20th century Garden City movement, pioneered by Ebenezer Howard, which is based on a radial network of patterns with open spaces, public parks and agricultural estates.   The project aims to deal with the industrial heritage of the site by introducing new management procedures and “re-instating [a] romantic” vision in order to create a new relationship between the user and the landscape. The team proposes the formation of a new archaeological site with exhibitions of industrial artifacts inside the former quarry. Three dams would be constructed along the stream in order to control its flow, form three water reservoirs for swimming during summer, and facilitate the development of a hydro-biotope. Related: Sugarhouse Studios Pop-Up Cinema & Workshop Encourages Community Interaction in London In attempting to re-appropriate the natural environment, three techniques would be used along the water path. The first would focus on exploiting the existing remote heating infrastructure to create a greenhouse -swimming pool. The second focuses of establishing botanical rooms, while the third would introduce urban residential environments. + Papalampropoulos Syriopoulou Architecture Bureau

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