A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan

September 26, 2018 by  
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Taipei-based design practice BIAS Architects recently completed “Greenhouse as a Home,” an experimental installation that reinterprets the living areas of a traditional house as five climatic zones. Created for the 2018 Taoyuan Green Expo, the project invited the public to experience the buildings with all five senses, from feeling the climatic differences to eating fresh vegetables hydroponically grown in the installation. Greenhouse as a Home consists of five independent yet interconnected steel grid structures with varying heights and climates ranging from 16 to 29 degrees Celsius (61 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit). Greenhouse as a Home was developed to promote a “culture of sustainability” with its interactive programmatic zones conducive to education. “Here, the human living space is intertwined with that of the plants and organized according to climatic zones, rather than traditional architectural areas,” the architects explained. “ Greenhouses building materials and structures are arranged to separate climatic areas, while the distribution of water and energy flows is technologically managed. The roof is covered with various combinations of agricultural gauzes and plastic films to control lighting and solar radiation.” The experimental project is divided into five structures: the Fern Living Room, Farm Dining, Photosynthesis Kitchen, Sun Garden and Theater of Mushroom. A defined walking path links the different volumes. The first zone visitors experience is the Fern Living Room, a shadowy and humid space dressed with potted ferns hung from the ceiling. The next room, Farm Dining, is slightly hotter and less humid and serves as the main activity zone organized around a large table. Related: 6 places where soil-less farming is revolutionizing how we grow food A vertical hydroponic farm is located in the Photosynthesis Kitchen, the middle zone where fresh vegetables are picked daily and cooked in the demonstration kitchen. The fourth zone, the Sun Garden, is the hottest and driest room of all and is used to desiccate vegetables. The fifth and final zone, the Theater of Mushroom, immerses visitors into a dark, highly humid environment with the coolest temperatures in the entire installation; the multisensory space is complemented by light and sound performances. + BIAS Architects Images by Rockburger

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A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan

How corn sweat is making this weeks heat wave even worse

July 22, 2016 by  
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Right now, there is one burning question on your mind, and I know it’s “What the heck is corn sweat?” The week’s extreme heat wave is blistering the middle section of the United States, where excess moisture from corn fields will evaporate and add an unwanted boost of humidity (called ‘corn sweat’) to the already uncomfortable levels. With temperatures expected to rise up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average in some places, meteorology experts say the phenomenon will happen more often as global warming worsens. The U.S. is in the midst of a severe heat wave , and it’s hitting the central and eastern parts of the country especially hard. The proverbial ‘they’ are famous for saying “It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity,” and in this case, it’s the darned truth. Scorching temps are plaguing most of the country this week, with the heat index rocketing into triple digits. Warm, moist air blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico combines with the corn sweat phenomenon to create a particularly miserable cocktail of heat and humidity in the Midwest, which is reflected in the heat index of what forecasters say will be the hottest summer on record. Related: Flame-colored NOAA map paints a picture of this week’s toasty heat wave As the effects of climate change wreak havoc on the planet, one of the outcomes is increasing levels of humidity, particularly during intense summer heat waves. Meteorologists have predicted that the next few decades will see this weather trend increase in severity and expand to impact even more areas, elevating the public health concerns associated with heat waves. Extreme heat is already one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths, particularly among the elderly and homeless populations, and the death tolls are likely to rise as the temperatures continue to soar. Via Mashable Images via Shutterstock and USDA

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How corn sweat is making this weeks heat wave even worse

NOAA Finds That Climate Change is Reducing Global Labor Productivity

February 26, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock No one likes working in uncomfortable conditions; it makes us tired, sluggish and unable to concentrate. According to a new report from America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , the increases in humidity caused by global warming are reducing labor productivity all over the world—and the problem is only likely to get worse. The report, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change , states that humidity is already reducing people’s working capacity by 10% during peak summer months around the world. What is even more disturbing is that this figure is expected to grow to 20% by 2050. The main cause? Increasing levels of CO2. The research team have said that if these levels aren’t bought under control, by 2200 safe labor would be impossible during the summer. This would include the entire US east of the Rockies. That would not aid employment figures. “So far little has been done to estimate the impact of climate change on labor productivity,” said David Peetz, professor of employment relations at Griffith University. “The impact on productivity shown here, for people not experiencing the increasingly expensive benefits of air conditioning, is going to be quite stark, especially for people in warmer or mid-latitude climates.” “It all points to the fact that it’s much cheaper to deal with it now than to wait until some date in the future.” The report’s main basis for its projections was a combined analysis of humidity and climate change projections with industrial and military guidelines for people’s ability to work under heat stress. That meant that factors such as climate sensitivity, climate warming patterns, future population distributions and technological and societal change were not all included in the final analysis. Professor John Freebairn, an expert in environmental economics at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Economics , said the paper provided “provides a detailed assessment of just one of the ways in which higher temperatures and humidity across the globe would bring additional costs to society.” “It is part of an extended exercise to assess the costs of climate change, and builds more details into the rough early estimates reported by Stern (2006), Garnaut (2008) and many others,” he said. + NOAA via Nature Images © USACEpublicaffairs and Alternative Heat on Flickr

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NOAA Finds That Climate Change is Reducing Global Labor Productivity

The Sprout Hog Is a Cute and Fun Way to Get Kids to Grow Plants

December 31, 2012 by  
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Check out this little Sprout Hog  – an earthenware sculpture made for growing sprouts for small people. Simply place a piece of old washcloth or similar fabric in the bottom of the hog, sprinkle some sprouting seeds of your choice, and then have your child water 2 to 3 times daily depending on the humidity of your location. These homegrown sprouts will be considerably fresher and tastier than the ones you will find in the store. + Sprout Hog The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: animal shaped pots , earthenware put , earthenware sculpture , growing sprouts at home , homegrown sprouts , sprout hog , sprout pot

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The Sprout Hog Is a Cute and Fun Way to Get Kids to Grow Plants

Project Home Again: Rebuilding An Energy Efficient New Orleans

March 16, 2011 by  
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This series is made possible by energy-efficiency specialists WellHome and their Home Weatherization Giveaway Sweepstakes. Take a quick visual quiz of your home’s energy use to see your potential yearly savings.

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Project Home Again: Rebuilding An Energy Efficient New Orleans

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