Helsinki unveils plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2035

March 21, 2018 by  
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Finland’s capital city has unveiled a new plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, accelerating the goal by 15 years. The plan, called Carbon Neutral Helsinki 2035 , outlines 143 specific actions that will result in reduced energy consumption and a greater share of renewable energy sources . In a press release, city officials said, “Helsinki’s definition of carbon neutrality is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated within the city borders by 80% and to offset the rest.” The Nordic city currently has a population of 640,000, according to the press release. Although they expect that to grow to 780,000, officials are convinced they can reach their carbon neutral target by taking specific actions to improve energy efficiency, increase renewable uptake, capture and reuse waste energy and improve public transportation . Most of Helsinki’s current greenhouse gas emissions stem from heating. The action plan, co-written with input from various civic organizations, stakeholders and researchers, proposes to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by one-fifth by upgrading infrastructure, enforcing stricter standards, and incorporating both heat recovery and geothermal heating technology . Solar power, despite the city’s northern latitude (slightly further north than Russia’s St Petersburg), is expected to produce sufficient power to cover one-sixth of the city’s overall electricity consumption. Related: Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built with natural materials By introducing more sustainable transportation, including electric vehicles, the city could cut related greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 69 percent — according to the plan. Esa Nikunen, Director General of Helsinki Environment Services says, “Helsinki can achieve its goal in transportation, which is much stricter than the national goal, owing to the increasing density in our urban structure . Helsinki has excellent opportunities to promote public transportation, walking, and cycling”. Although these long-term goals will take time to implement, the city has already cut their CO2 emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels, or by 1,000 kilotons per year (kt/a). By 2035, their target is to generate only 700 kt/a, which they will offset. With such progressive, proactive plans in place, it is perhaps little wonder that Finland was recently rated the happiest country on Earth . + Helsinki’s Climate Action Images via DepositPhotos Helsinki 1 , Helsinki 2

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Helsinki unveils plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2035

Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

February 17, 2017 by  
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Beijing is one step closer to completing the world’s tallest atrium. The 190-meter-tall atrium is part of the Leeza Soho, a 46-story mixed-use tower currently under construction that recently reached level 20. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the striking light-filled building integrated with energy-efficient systems and engineered to meet LEED Gold standards. Shaped like a slim barrel, the 172,800-square-meter Leeza Soho is set within the Lize Financial District and will be well connected with the city thanks to its position above a subway interchange station and proximity to the city’s bus routes. Zaha Hadid Architects used the subway lines that run beneath the site as the basis for a diagonal axis that splits the tower into two halves connected via the central atrium . The architects write: “As the tower rises, the diagonal axis through the site defined by the subway tunnel is re-aligned by ‘twisting’ the atrium through 45 degrees to orientate the atrium’s higher floors with the east-west axis of Lize Road, one of west Beijing’s primary avenues.” Related: Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza focuses on environmental sustainability The twist in the atrium allows natural light to penetrate into the center of all the floors and allows for a diversity of views into the city from all directions. To maximize energy efficiency, the glass curtainwall system is constructed with double-insulated low-e glazing units. High-tech insulation, self-shading and use of an advanced 3D BIM energy management system with real-time monitoring will help create a comfortable indoor environment year-round. The tower will target LEED Gold certification and also includes heat-recovery from exhaust air, high-efficiency pumps and fans, chillers and boilers, low-flow rate fixtures, gray water flushing, high-efficient air purifiers, and low VOC materials. Leeza Soho will reach its full height of 207 meters in September this year. The tower is slated for completion in late 2018. + Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

Is U.S. car ownership on the decline?

February 17, 2017 by  
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Peak oil might be less of a problem now that America has reached peak car. According to research by Michigan’s Sustainable Worldwide Transportation , both the ownership of light-duty vehicles such as cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks, plus the corresponding distance driven, began to wane in 2006. The reasons aren’t clear. “Friends and foes of car-centric planning have been fervently debating whether the post-2006 driving decline was a recession-driven trough or a reflection of the fact that younger Americans, with their Uber -hailing aversion to car ownership, were truly driving the automobile age to an early grave,” wrote Andrew Small in Citylab , a blog from the Atlantic , on Tuesday. There are hints —but just barely—of a rebound. Vehicle-ownership rates per person and per household rose by 1.4 percent from 2012 to 2015. Similarly, the distance driven per person and per household increased by 2.1 percent between 2013 and 2015. Related: Limits to growth prediction of imminent societal collapse As Smalls points out, all eyes are now on President Donald Trump. “The new administration’s pledge to roll back environmental and safety regulations might conceivably (eventually) make new car ownership cheaper and lure some Millennials back behind the wheel. (Especially if federal support for mass transit drops off the face of the earth.),” Smalls said. “On the other hand, the president’s proposed 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico would do the opposite.” TL;DR: We’re going to have to wait a few years to see how things shake out. Photo by Benjamin Child Via Citylab

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Is U.S. car ownership on the decline?

The Sunbubble greenhouse is a mini Eden for your backyard

February 17, 2017 by  
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Urban gardeners longing for a versatile space to grow their greens will love the Sunbubble Greenhouse – a portable dome-shaped pod that doubles as a mini Eden. The transparent bubble design provides optimal sunlight all day long, making it a perfect tool for growing plants as well as a chill-out area for reading or snoozing in the sun. The Sunbubble is a one-piece folding pack design with flexible fiberglass rods that allow for quick and easy assembly on almost any surface. The curved design lets the inside warm up much faster than a traditional greenhouse , enabling the surface to stay at 90 degrees towards the sun all day long, achieving minimum reflection and maximum light. Adjustable vents let gardeners control the interior temperature depending on their planting profile. Related: Gorgeous Bubble Gardens Pop Up in the Streets of Paris https://youtu.be/4ktuqgOEqLc Although there are many greenhouses on the market, the Sunbubble’s fun design doubles as a mini Eden for those wanting to enjoy their garden space year-round. Along with the vented windows, a strong, zipped doorway can be closed during inclement weather, letting users enjoy a quiet, covered space to read or relax surrounded by greenery and flowers. + Sunbubble Greenhouse Via Haxnicks

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The Sunbubble greenhouse is a mini Eden for your backyard

Carbon-negative Ashmount Primary School produces enough energy to power the neighborhood

June 30, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Carbon-negative Ashmount Primary School produces enough energy to power the neighborhood Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2015 RIBA winner , Ashmount Primary School , Ashmount Primary School by Penoyre & Prasad , BREEAM , BREEAM outstanding , BREEAM Outstanding school , brownfield , carbon negative , carbon negative school , FSC certified timber , heat recovery , high levels insulation , London , low VOC , Penoyre & Prasad

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Carbon-negative Ashmount Primary School produces enough energy to power the neighborhood

Street artist SpY gifts 1000 euros in witty coin installation

June 30, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Street artist SpY gifts 1000 euros in witty coin installation Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: coin art , CRISIS Spy street art , eco design , green design , interactive art , spy , Street art , sustainable design

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Street artist SpY gifts 1000 euros in witty coin installation

Weingartner Architects’ Elastic Woodscraper II is made up of flexible skycubes

March 17, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Weingartner Architects’ Elastic Woodscraper II is made up of flexible skycubes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Elastic Woodscraper II , glass facade , green architecture , heat recovery , Rooftop Terrace , urban garden , vertical architecture , vertical garden , Weingartner Architects , wooden tower

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Weingartner Architects’ Elastic Woodscraper II is made up of flexible skycubes

Fornebu S in Norway is the first shopping mall to receive BREEAM Outstanding certification

March 12, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Fornebu S in Norway is the first shopping mall to receive BREEAM Outstanding certification Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: AMB Arkitekter , BREEAM , BREEAM Outstanding certification , Fornebu S , green architecture , green roof , green shopping mall , heat recovery , LED lights , oslo , shopping mall , Solar cells , Solar Power

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Fornebu S in Norway is the first shopping mall to receive BREEAM Outstanding certification

EXCLUSIVE PICS: Mutual Tower is Namibia’s Tallest, Greenest Skyscraper

February 16, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of EXCLUSIVE PICS: Mutual Tower is Namibia’s Tallest, Greenest Skyscraper Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , eco design , Green Building , green design , Greenest Tower , groundwater , heat recovery , Leon Barnard , Mutual Tower , namibia , Namibia’s Tallest , Old Mutual , Solar Power , sustainable design , Terra Firma Solutions , Windhoek

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First Ever Waterproof, Solar-Charged, Battery-Powered iPhone Case Unveiled on Kickstarter

February 16, 2012 by  
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Calling all iPhone lovers! Snow Lizard just launched their uber-rugged  iPhone 4/4S AQUA TEK S. case and it’s the first waterproof, solar-charged, battery-powered case of its kind. Unveiling via  Kickstarter today, the case combines battery and solar technology , and it protects the phone against bumps and spills and even allows your phone to double as an underwater camera – perfect for thrillseekers with an eye for technology. Read the rest of First Ever Waterproof, Solar-Charged, Battery-Powered iPhone Case Unveiled on Kickstarter Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: AQUA TEK S. , green design , green iphone case , green phone technology , green technology , iphone case , snow lizard , snow lizard products , solar charged iPhone case , Solar Power , solar techonoloy , water resistant phone case , waterproof iphone case

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First Ever Waterproof, Solar-Charged, Battery-Powered iPhone Case Unveiled on Kickstarter

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