Cutwork proposes innovative just add water housing for refugees

September 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Cutwork proposes innovative just add water housing for refugees

In a bid to alleviate the global refugee housing crisis, Paris-based design studio Cutwork developed a conceptual housing proposal that it says will only take one day and, at minimum, two people without special construction skills to assemble. The concrete textile exterior can harden into a protective shell within 24 hours after water is added — a quick process that gives rise the project’s nickname, “Just Add Water.” According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are approximately 25.9 million refugees in the world. To help address the humanitarian crisis in refugee housing, Cortex Composites teamed up with Cutwork to design a self-built and low-cost housing solution that can last for more than 30 years with minimal maintenance. The Cortex Shelter combines Cutwork’s bendable metallic tube construction system with Cortex Composites’ rollable concrete technology to create a conceptual, flat-pack housing unit that can be easily assembled without the need for heavy equipment or machinery. Related: Temporary lantern-like housing for refugees could slot beneath bridges Each housing unit would feature a frame of metallic tubes, easily bent by hand, with waterproof and washable insulation sheets “snapped and locked” into place. Finally, Cortex Composites’ rollable concrete textile would be laid over the top of the exterior frame and combined with water to cure and harden into a protective shell. Topped with a simple gabled roof, the conceptual refugee shelter measures 22.6 feet in length and 11.8 feet in width to offer enough room for a private kitchen and bathroom area in addition to living space. Solar panels can be installed on the roof to power mobile phones and internal lighting. Operable windows would let in natural light and ventilation. “Built to last for over 30 years, the Cortex Shelter by Cutwork is cheap to build and maintain, vastly more so than the current temporary tent options,” reads the press release from Cutwork. “Weatherproofed for all seasons and climate conditions, its secure and strong walls are fire-, knife- and attack-proof, and there is a strong, key-operated door for further security.” + Cutwork + Cortex Composites Images via Cutwork

Originally posted here: 
Cutwork proposes innovative just add water housing for refugees

Impossible Burger is now available in grocery stores

September 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Impossible Burger is now available in grocery stores

Previously found only at high-end restaurants and fast-food chains, the famous plant-based Impossible Burger now lines grocery store shelves in Southern California. Not from the West Coast? Don’t worry. Impossible Foods will, in the next few weeks, announce when their cutting-edge meatless burger shall debut in East Coast grocery stores. By mid-2020, the Impossible Burger is expected to be available in every region nationwide. Related: Beyond & Impossible alternative meats: are they actually healthier than the real thing? The success of the retail rollout is thanks to two reasons. For one, Impossible Foods has partnered with food provider OSI Group to expand operations. But, more importantly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally approved the company’s “secret ingredient.” According to Impossible Foods CEO, Dr. Patrick Brown, the secret to Impossible products centers around the heme protein, which is naturally found in soybean roots . This key ingredient mimics meat’s texture, even “bleeding” to simulate beef. Because the burger is plant-based, it does not taste exactly like a beef patty. Yet, it is a different type of delicious flavor, accented further with a crunchy coating. Also, with only 20 grams of protein per serving, it is a healthier choice. For now, Gelson’s Markets is the sole retail grocery chain selling the Impossible Burger with only 10 packages allowed per customer visit. Just earlier this year in May, while Impossible Foods raised $300 million in venture capital funding, its competitor, Beyond Meat , went public and has found stock valuation steadily increasing. Not to mention, when a single KFC franchise in Atlanta offered Beyond Meat’s meatless chicken on its menu a couple of months ago, it sold out almost immediately. Tyson and Smithfield are jumping in on the alternative meat trend. Similarly, Kellogg’s and Nestle are in the midst of research and development so that they, too, can partake of the meatless sector. Plus, Kroger is reportedly set to launch a line of meatless products later this year. Many environmentally -conscientious folks, determined to counteract global warming, are likewise singing the praises of alternative meat. Going meatless ultimately helps taper the methane-producing cattle population as well as scale back the amount of grazing land, which all translates into a smaller environmental footprint. Moreover, with no accompanying hormones nor antibiotics, the meatless burger patty is certain to delight health-minded enthusiasts everywhere. Via Gizmodo Image via

See original here:
Impossible Burger is now available in grocery stores

Eco toilets empower women and save nature in Colombia

June 28, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Eco toilets empower women and save nature in Colombia

Jenifer Colpas spends her days installing toilets, but her work has won her accolades as a Global Changemaker, Young Champion of the Earth and most recently as a winner of the United Nation’s Lead 2030 Challenge. For Colpas, her unique waterless toilet design is more than just a bathroom — its an unlikely hero and an opportunity to empower women, protect watersheds and finally flush widespread sanitation-related illness down the drain for good. In 2015, Jenifer Colpas launched her social enterprise, Tierra Grata , with some friends. They were determined to address the poverty that had first shocked them on a trip to India and then emboldened them when they realized it was pervasive back home in Colombia , too. “I was truly outraged by the fact that people lived without the most basic things, like access to electricity, a proper toilet and safe drinking water,” Colpas recalled . Related: Evaporative off-grid toilets don’t need plumbing, water or electricity Tierra Grata, which loosely means “pleasant earth” in Spanish, not only provides low-cost ecological toilet facilities for rural communities in Colombia, it also uses the toilet installation as an entry point to open dialogue, provide skills training and empower women. The perfect toilet Tierra Grata’s solution, the baño grata , is a simple structure that can be installed with local labor at minimal cost. The ecological toilet does not use any water at all, which saves approximately 270,000 liters per year when compared to a conventional toilet. “Instead of water, a mixture of lime, sawdust and ashes is used, placed each time a stool is made; that mixture of organic materials neutralizes all the odors, while it is converting the organic matter into fertilizer,” Colpas explained. In many rural communities, residents do not have access to any bathroom facilities and therefore must use makeshift bathrooms that are at risk of contaminating the soil or local watershed. The baño grata eliminates this risk, protects watersheds and even uses the waste to produce fertilizer for plants. Some of the bathroom structures also contain a separate shower and changing space, which specifically provides women with privacy that can be especially important during menstruation, pregnancy or post-partum. The link between women and water Tierra Grata’s business model is more than just the installation of an ecological toilet. Instead, its team targets households and communities either headed by or with a larger number of women and girls. Once selected, the team trains females in toilet maintenance and sanitation practices, providing skills that ensure the facilities are sustainably managed. In Colombia and throughout the world, the lack of access to a private or accessible toilet can deter women from participating actively in society — preventing them from attending meetings and trainings that would otherwise support their roles as leaders and decision-makers. If a woman knows there is nowhere to use the bathroom for miles around, she is more likely to skip out on an activity, and the community misses out on her contribution. Related: Women are essential to climate resilience in the Caribbean — here’s why “Access to water and sanitation is a basic human right, fundamental to the realization of all other human rights. Unfortunately, a lack of adequate access, either in terms of quantity or quality of water, often impacts women and children disproportionately,” said Lis Mullin Bernhardt from U.N. Environment. “In most regions of the world, women are responsible for helping their families get access to these life-giving services, so it is essential that their unique views and challenges are part of the decision-making processes and solutions. Tierra Grata is a great step in this direction.” Around the world, millions lack water and sanitation In rural Colombia, approximately 30 percent of people do not have an adequate system for the proper separation and disposal of sewage . Throughout the world, the situation is even more dire. Approximately 844 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Moreover, 2.3 billion people lack access to what is considered basic sanitation amenities: simple toilets, hand washing facilities and soap. Of these more than 2 billion people, 70 percent live in rural areas. In many cultures, women and children are responsible for collecting water for their families, cooking and washing clothes. These time-consuming tasks often prohibit their full participation in school and other activities. When rural schools do not have adequate toilet facilities for teenage girls, many skip out on important lessons during their menstruation cycle and fall behind their male peers. Despite technological advances and innovative entrepreneurs like Colpas, the percentage of the world population without basic sanitation actually expanded in the last two decades, from 59 percent in 2000 to 68 percent in 2015. For many, the problem is not a question of comfort and privacy but life and death. Improper sanitation leads to the spread of disease and the contamination of drinking water sources. For example, lack of proper water and sanitation facilities can accelerate the spread of diarrhea and pneumonia, two of the top causes of death among children under 5 years of age. “Water and sanitation issues sit at the intersection of environmental and social concerns,” Colpas said. “Lacking water and sanitation solutions contribute to disease, stagnation and the pollution of natural waterways.” Hope for the future Tierra Grata’s unique model not only addresses the immediate need for a facility but recognizes and addresses interrelated concerns — including gender inequality and environmental protection — which ensures more long-lasting success. Creativity and dedication from people like Colpas are promising signs of a more hopeful and equitable future. “There is not a single environmental problem today that cannot be solved through innovation ,” Erik Solheim, executive director of U.N. Environment, said. “Therefore, it is essential that we do everything in our power to empower and motivate young entrepreneurs. When we take advantage of that creativity, we can discover new ways of thinking and new possibilities for a sustainable future in our land.” + Tierra Grata Via U.N. Environment Images via Tierra Grata

More here:
Eco toilets empower women and save nature in Colombia

Desmond Tutu Clinic welcomes HIV patients with a striking sawtooth roof

June 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Desmond Tutu Clinic welcomes HIV patients with a striking sawtooth roof

In the Cape Town township of Masiphumelele, approximately 30 percent of the residents are infected with HIV. To help the low-income community, South African architectural practice theMAAK partnered with the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) to build a striking new public building to serve the area. Topped with a sawtooth roof, the humanitarian structure sports a dynamic facade that puts forth a confident and welcoming face for the DTHF. Located next to Masiphumelele High School, the recently completed Desmond Tutu Clinic spans nearly 5,400 square feet and is one of several clinics that the DTHF has built in communities around South Africa. The clinic not only serves as a new home for the Foundation’s industry-leading medical work, but also takes the social needs of the area into consideration by welcoming visitors with a new social forecourt. Related: Incredible luxury tree house is hidden away in a Cape Town forest “Balancing ‘striking and welcoming’, ‘bold and subtle’, the sawtoothed building appropriately addresses both the ambition and prestige of the internationally acclaimed research of DTHF as well as the sensitive human nature of their work,” the architects said. “It is on arrival that the new building shows its proudest face. From this angle, the north-facing aluminium facade fins optically compound to form a confident new image for DTHF. Seeing this strong formal presence as you approach the scheme, clearly marks a positive and impressive move forward for the Foundation and their growing footprint in developing communities around South Africa. Moving across the site, and changing one’s angle of view, the dynamic facade thins to subtly reveal the inner workings of the facility.” The zigzagging outline of the sawtooth roof is most visible on the north and south facades; the northern facade was made more prominent to mark the entrance. The roof’s geometry calls attention to the public building and lets in southern light into offices on the upper floor, while overhangs help shield the light-sensitive lab spaces on the ground floor. + theMAAK Photography by theMAAK and Anton Scholtz

Read the original: 
Desmond Tutu Clinic welcomes HIV patients with a striking sawtooth roof

Study reveals mass plant extinction rate since Industrial Revolution

June 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Study reveals mass plant extinction rate since Industrial Revolution

New research suggests that even by conservative efforts, the number of plants that have gone extinct in the last three centuries is 500 times higher than before the industrial revolution, and the rate of extinction is skyrocketing. According to the survey, at least 571 plants have become extinct since 1750, which should be a “frightening” concern to anyone who eats or breathes. “Plants underpin all life on Earth. They provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, as well as making up the backbone of the world’s ecosystems ,” said study author Eimear Nic Lughadha from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . The scientists also believe that their confirmed list of 571 plants is only the tip of the iceberg. In most cases, it can take years to declare a species officially extinct because of the landscapes that have to be scoured for any last survivors. “How are you going to check the entirety of the Amazon for your lost plant?” Maria Vorontsova, also from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, told The Guardian . Furthermore, there are thousands of species that are functionally extinct, meaning there are so few remaining plants that the chances of reproduction and survival are nearly — if not entirely — impossible. Despite their conservative tally, the researchers’ estimate is still four times higher than what is officially recorded on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List . “It is way more than we knew and way more than should have gone extinct,” said Vorontsova. “It is frightening not just because of the 571 number, but because I think that is a gross underestimate.” According to the United Nations, another 1 million species are currently at risk of extinction. Many scientists believe that extinction and biodiversity should be in the news and keeping us up at night just as much as climate change , but that it is often a less acknowledged, and less funded, crisis. Financing and support for plants is especially challenging within the conservation field, because they just aren’t as cute as their endangered animal counterparts. Scientists often collect and save DNA samples from extinct plants in labs at places such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in hopes that innovative discoveries could help save other plants or one day bring back old ones. Via The Guardian Image via Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Read the original here: 
Study reveals mass plant extinction rate since Industrial Revolution

This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

May 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

Skyshelter.zip is a mobile skyscraper that can be folded and transported to natural disaster zones . Polish designers Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa and Piotr Pa?czyk envisioned the design as a compact multi-purpose shelter that provides food, energy, and water and can be deployed using minimal manpower in the shortest possible amount of time. The project won first place at this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition . Its versatility and pragmatic design make it a great solution for crisis management in regions struck by earthquakes , floods or hurricanes. Damaged infrastructure can make it extremely difficult to respond efficiently to emergencies. The designers tried to address this issue by proposing a compact structure with a large floor surface that can quickly and easily be transported anywhere. Skyshelter.zip has a much smaller footprint compared to tents and containers, which are typically used during emergencies. This means that less site preparation is needed prior to setting up camp, which is extremely significant in densely populated areas. Related: This futuristic vertical factory feeds off a city’s waste to produce energy The skyscraper is designed to stand even on unstable soil. Light-weight 3D-printed slabs and structural steel wires function as load-bearers. Pieces of fabric attached to the main structure constitute the internal and external walls. The building envelope would be made with a nanomaterial based on ETFE foil and small, connected perovskite solar cells. This way, the building can produce clean energy even during times of disaster. The structure is also topped with a balloon that can collect and clean rainwater . The skyscraper can also provide first aid, temporary housing or storage, and it’s designed to host a vertical farm made from excavated soil. + eVolo

Originally posted here: 
This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

Russia just launched a 70 MW floating nuclear power plant to the Arctic Ocean

May 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Russia just launched a 70 MW floating nuclear power plant to the Arctic Ocean

Russia recently launched a floating nuclear power station on the Baltic Sea. The 70-megawatt Akademik Lomonosov plant will journey north around Norway to the Arctic town Pevek, and it could ultimately provide power for around 100,000 people . However some fear its environmental impact — Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe nuclear expert Jan Haverkamp referred to the plant as a “nuclear Titanic”. “Nuclear reactors bobbing around the Arctic Ocean will pose a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment which is already under enormous pressure from climate change ,” Haverkamp said in a statement . State-owned company Rosatom built the Akademik Lomonosov, which has been in the works for years. The floating nuclear plant has two reactors and is towed by two boats. Akademik Lomonosov will replace the Bilibino nuclear power plant, constructed in 1974, and the 70-year-old Chaunskaya Thermal Power Plant. Ars Technica said Bilibino was once the world’s northernmost nuclear power station, and the Akademik Lomonosov will claim that title when it starts operating. Related: NASA just unveiled a tiny nuclear reactor for future Mars residents In Pevek, construction of onshore infrastructure is underway. The pier, hydraulic engineering structures and other buildings important for mooring will be ready to go when Akademik Lomonosov arrives. The plant will provide electricity for remote industrial plants, port cities and offshore oil and gas platforms. Rosatom said the nuclear processes at the floating plant “meet all requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency and do not pose any threat to the environment .” But environmental groups aren’t happy. Haverkamp said, “Contrary to claims regarding safety, the flat-bottomed hull and the floating nuclear power plant’s lack of self-propulsion makes it particularly vulnerable to tsunamis and cyclones .” This isn’t the world’s first floating nuclear power station. The United States had a floating nuclear plant between 1968 and 1975 in Panama that powered nearby communities and the military during the Vietnam War. + Rosatom + Greenpeace Via Ars Technica and Engadget Images © Nicolai Gontar/Greenpeace ( 1 , 2 )

Read more:
Russia just launched a 70 MW floating nuclear power plant to the Arctic Ocean

Elevated bamboo peace bridge for the Korean Demilitarized Zone unveiled by Shigeru Ban and Jae-Eun Choi

January 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Elevated bamboo peace bridge for the Korean Demilitarized Zone unveiled by Shigeru Ban and Jae-Eun Choi

South Korean artist Jae-Eun Choi is teaming up with prolific architect Shigeru Ban to bridge a peaceful relationship between the two enemy nations of the Korean peninsula. The artist and architect propose to install a garden-lined bamboo bridge called “Dreaming of Earth” within the Korean DMZ area, which has grown into a unique wildlife sanctuary over the decades of tension between the two countries. The ambitious project includes an elevated  bamboo walkway with various meditation pavilions that would span roughly eight miles through the two warring countries. On a mission to create common peaceful zone that would sit strategically between the two enemy nations, Jae-Eun Choi and Shigeru Ban unveiled the design behind Dreaming of Earth at the 2016 Venice Biennale. The bridge would comprise a small, peaceful gesture within the 160-mile-long, 2.5-mile-wide DMZ zone that separates the two countries. The area has been a no-man’s land of sorts for more than half a century and as such, has naturally converted into a beautiful wildlife sanctuary where native plants and animals live in harmony. Related: 10 groundbreaking designs by Shigeru Ban that changed our ideas about architecture Choi’s project envisions a long curving bridge that would sit off the ground to protect visitors from DMZ landmine. A bamboo tower  with an internal winding staircase would lead up to a viewing platform to allow visitors to take in the spectacular surrounding nature. At every kilometer, a different open-air “Jung Ja” meditation pavilion would invite guests to enjoy the peaceful serenity of the area. Each pavilion would be designed by a different designer, including Danish artist Olafur Eliasson , Sebastian Behmann, Bijoy Jain, Seung H-sang, Minsuk Cho, and artists like Lee Ufan and Lee Bul, Tadashi Kawamata, + Shigeru Ban + Jae-Eun Choi Via LA times Images via Shigeru Ban and WikiCommons

Here is the original post: 
Elevated bamboo peace bridge for the Korean Demilitarized Zone unveiled by Shigeru Ban and Jae-Eun Choi

These beautiful ceramic heaters help Mexicos vulnerable communities stay warm

October 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on These beautiful ceramic heaters help Mexicos vulnerable communities stay warm

These wonderful ceramic Nest heaters are designed to provide much-needed warmth to vulnerable communities in the region of Chiapas, Mexico . The prototypes, designed by Estudio äCo , utilize the properties of ceramics to dissipate and conserve heat. The ECN02 (fire ceramic nest 02) and ECN03 (electric ceramic nest 03) heaters feature durable shells that store and radiate heat for a long time. Not only are they energy-efficient – they also have a colorful, sleek look that’s universally appealing. Related: Egloo launches brilliant electricity-free heater that warms your home for just pennies a day The studio, led by Lucila Torres and Max Almeida, collaborated with Fernando González to develop the project. The team received $100,000 MXN ($5,200 USD) as winners of the Inédito award at the recently concluded Design Week Mexico. + Estudio äCo + Design Week Mexico

Read more here:
These beautiful ceramic heaters help Mexicos vulnerable communities stay warm

This 20-cent, hand-powered centrifuge is set to revolutionize off-grid healthcare

September 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This 20-cent, hand-powered centrifuge is set to revolutionize off-grid healthcare

Centrifuges separate blood components to make pathogens easier to detect – and they’re essential to diagnosing and treating diseases like Malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis . However centrifuges need electricity to work – therefore, in remote areas without electricity, a common centrifuge is worthless. Enter the Paperfuge – an ingenious human-powered centrifuge made from 20 cents of paper, twine and plastic. The low-cost device can separate plasma from a blood sample in 990 seconds without electricity – and it could save millions of lives around the world every year. Manu Prakash is an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford who specializes in low-cost diagnostic tools for underserved regions. He was inspired to create the Paperfuge after a trip to Uganda where he saw a very expensive centrifuge being used as a doorstop because there was no electricity to power it. The moment inspired Prakash to find a way to convert human energy into spinning force using the low-tech spinning toys of yesteryear such as yo-yos, tops, and whirligigs. Related: 5 brilliant designs that will change the world in 2017 “There are more than a billion people around the world who have no infrastructure, no roads, no electricity. I realized that if we wanted to solve a critical problem like malaria diagnosis, we needed to design a human-powered centrifuge that costs less than a cup of coffee,” said Prakash. Working with a team of Stanford bioengineers and undergraduate engineering students from MIT, Prakash created the Paperfuge out of 20 cents of paper, twine, and plastic. Don’t be fooled by its simple appearance: the human-powered centrifuge can spin at 125,000 rpm, exerting centrifugal forces of 30,000 Gs, “To the best of my knowledge, it’s the fastest spinning object driven by human power,” said Prakash. The device aids in rapid, precise diagnoses, which result in more effective treatments for people living in areas where infectious diseases are common. The Paperfuge was recently honored with the world’s biggest design prize – the 2017 INDEX: Award . + Paperfuge + INDEX: AWARD 2017

Read the original here: 
This 20-cent, hand-powered centrifuge is set to revolutionize off-grid healthcare

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1410 access attempts in the last 7 days.