This urban tree cleans as much polluted air as an entire forest

June 26, 2017 by  
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Air pollution might be invisible, but it results in 7 million premature deaths each year. Fortunately, there’s a solution – the CityTree is a high-tech green wall that scrubs the air of harmful particulates – and it has as much air-purifying power as 275 urban trees. As you might have guessed, the CityTree isn’t really a tree . Instead, it’s a moss culture. Zhengliang Wu, co-founder of Green City Solutions said: “Moss cultures have a much larger leaf surface area than any other plant. That means we can capture more pollutants .” The CityTree is under 4 meters tall, approximately 3 meters wide and 2.19 meters deep. Two versions are available – one with or without a bench – and a display is included for information or advertising. Due to the huge surface area of moss installed, each tree can remove dust, nitrogen dioxide and ozone gases from the air. Additionally, the installations are fully autonomous, as solar panels provide electricity and collected rainwater is filtered into a reservoir where it is pumped into the soil. Related: Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death worldwide The invention also has WiFi sensors which measure the soil humidity, temperature and water quality. “We also have pollution sensors inside the installation, which help monitor the local air quality and tell us how efficient the tree is.” said Wu. Every day, a CityTree can absorb around 250 grams of particulate matter. Over the length of an entire year, the invention can remove 240 metric tons of C02. Green City Solutions seeks to one day install CityTrees in major cities around the world – but they presently faces bureaucratic challenges. Said Wu, “We were installing them (the CityTrees) in Modena, Italy, and everything was planned and arranged, but now the city is hesitant about the places we can install because of security reasons.” Regardless, the company will persist and already has plans to introduce the invention to India , where air pollution has reached dangerous levels in certain locations. So far, 20 CityTrees have been successfully installed in major cities around the world – including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong. Costing about $25,000 each, they are a big investment – but one deemed to be worthwhile as they clean the air of harmful contaminants. + Green City Solutions Via CNN Images via Green City Solutions

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This urban tree cleans as much polluted air as an entire forest

Biodegradable PawPods: a better way to bury your pet

June 26, 2017 by  
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Burying a beloved pet is never easy. But PawPods offers a thoughtful, biodegradable option for burying deceased animals with their bamboo and rice husk pods. Similar to eco burials for humans, PawPods allow pets to return to the earth with dignity. PawPods CEO Ben Riggan had a terrible experience after he had to put down a cherished dog. His pet was given back to him in what he called a glorified plastic bag, and Riggan said the experience bothered him and he couldn’t let go of it. He was determined to create an alternative so others wouldn’t have to experience what he did. On his website he said, “I decided to create a company to provide a better way for pets to come home, whether they will be buried or cremated.” Related: Space Burial Service Will Launch Your Pet’s Remains into Outer Space The result was PawPods. These pet caskets are made of bamboo powder, corn starch, and rice husks, and will fully break down in three to five years. They’re sturdy – Riggan said he didn’t want to offer flimsy paper caskets like others on the market. PawPods are also designed to be painted and decorated so families can grieve through art, and have a therapeutic experience as they say goodbye. PawPods offers several different sizes, from a $9.99 fish pod to a $149.99 large pod designed for medium dogs or large cats . The products have a seeded wildflower leaf on them so a pet grave can be adorned with color in the spring. They also come with a sympathy card. The company also offers two $39.99 urns – a heart-shaped one and traditional one. The urns are designed to hold ashes and will biodegrade as the pods do or can be displayed. These come with a seeded sympathy card that can be buried in place of an urn if the family wishes. + PawPods Via TreeHugger Images via PawPods Facebook

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Biodegradable PawPods: a better way to bury your pet

Brilliant woodland pavilion pushes the envelope of timber in tension

June 26, 2017 by  
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Architectural Association students of the Design & Make program are pushing the envelope on lightweight timber construction. In the program’s most recent annual project, students completed the Sawmill Shelter, an experimental pavilion that uses tension to hold the structure together and create a sturdy roof resistant to snow loads and wind uplifts. Located in Hooke Park of Dorset, England, the sculptural structure’s roof was built from locally sourced Western Red Cedar. The Sawmill Shelter was designed and built by students En-Kai Kuo, Evgenia Spyridonos, Eleni McKirahan, Rolando Madrigal, Trianzani Sulshi, Paolo Salvetti, and Diego Saenz Penagos. In addition to serving as the 2016-2017 Design + Make project, the experimental pavilion is also a prototype for structural systems planned for the new campus lecture hall and library. The structure was built atop an existing 50-square-meter concrete slab on which the campus sawmill is placed. The students built the Sawmill Shelter using 38-by-38-millimeter laths of Western Red Cedar sourced from Hooke Park and assembled from shorter sections held together with glued finger-jointed scarfed splices. “The structure adjusted, each lath carries up to two tonnes of tension, demonstrating the remarkable strength of wood under tension,” reads the project description. The laths were tensioned to create a “stiff net of wood” clad in CNC-milled aluminum panels for a striking and lightweight anticlastic timber net roof spanning nearly 11 meters. Related: Super-local energy-efficient Caretaker’s House is built from locally grown and felled timber Student En-Kai Kuo also helped lead the large-scale steam bending of whole tree to create unusual structural columns. Eighteen bent trees, made of Douglas fir and larch, support one end of the Sawmill Shelter. + Design + Make Via Dezeen Images by Valerie Bennet, Evgenia Spyridonos and Kevin Kim

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Brilliant woodland pavilion pushes the envelope of timber in tension

Japan’s House of 33 Years was once two separate buildings in two different towns

May 15, 2017 by  
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The past and the future coexist in this daylit house in Nara, Japan . Tokyo-based architecture studio ASSISTANT designed the house as a cluster of small buildings for an elderly couple who places great value on preserving memories. The result is a steel-framed structure that was built in several different locations and then assembled on-site to create several overlapping spaces. Local carpenters in Aomori built the main quarters of the house using locally available materials . The project was initially installed as part of the “Kime to Kehai” exhibition at the Aomori Contemporary Art Centre. After the exhibition, the team disassembled the structure and loaded it on a truck to transport it to Nara, where it was reassembled as the House of 33 Years. Related: Renovated Vietnamese home ‘sewn’ together with intricate steel threads Students at the Sendai School of Design built the rooftop pavilion as an homage to Philip Johnson’s Ghost House. Before becoming a permanent part of the house, the pavilion was installed in the courtyard of a university campus and used by the students as a space for growing vegetables. + ASSISTANT Via Archdaily Lead photo by Shinkenchiku-sha

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Japan’s House of 33 Years was once two separate buildings in two different towns

Japanese food artist carves fruits into incredible masterpieces using just an X-Acto knife

May 15, 2017 by  
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Playing with your food is generally frowned upon, but Japanese artist Gaku elevates humble fruits and veggies into art with his skilled and gorgeous carvings . With a simple X-Acto knife, he expertly embellishes radishes, papaya, apples, taro root and more. Honoring and exploring the Japanese and Thai traditions of food carving, Gaku makes precise cuts into his chosen fruit or vegetable. His designs often take on traditional Japanese floral and wave patterns and are amazingly detailed and intricate, especially considering the ephemeral nature of his creations . Some of his elaborate works incorporate real and fantastical animals , such as a crab design carved into an apple or dragons carved into eggplant or a banana. As bananas are cheap and readily available, Gaku says they are an good option for practicing food carving. Gaku’s attention to detail and careful cuts are truly impressive. This self-taught food artist began food carving as a hobby, and he is also a chef. Related| Extraordinary banana art etchings are inspiring and edible One of the most amazing elements of these designs is how quickly Gaku must work. As any foodie knows, bananas, apples, and avocados are fickle, turning brown and less visually attractive within mere minutes. Gaku’s pristine photos, which he chronicles on Instagram , barely show any sign of the dreaded oxidation . Almost 60,000 followers anxiously await his next mukimono-style food carving. In addition to apples and lemons, Gaku has carved pumpkins, carrots, zucchini, and some type of leaf or stalk, which he transformed into grasshoppers. One of the ideas behind these food carvings is to appreciate the beauty of simple fruits and vegetables, and we love how the stunning images instantly expand viewer’s artistic imaginations. We also love Gaku’s not-so-precious approach to his creations when they are done: he eats them. You can watch some of Gaku’s process here in this mesmerizing Instavideo. + Gaku on Instagram Via Booooooom and This is Colossal

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Japanese food artist carves fruits into incredible masterpieces using just an X-Acto knife

Scientists discover enough new forests to cover 60% of Australia

May 15, 2017 by  
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A new survey of the world’s dryland habitats has found a massive amount of previously unreported forests — 467 million hectares (over 1.1 billion acres), which is 45 percent more forest than found in past surveys. The newly discovered dryland forests cover an area equivalent to 60 percent of the size of Australia, putting dryland forest extent on par with tropical rainforests and boreal forests. The discovery could be good news for reversing global warming as it increases the estimates of total global forest carbon stocks by 15 gigatons to 158 gigatons — an increase of 2 percent to 20 percent. Although dryland biomes occupy more than 40 percent of the Earth’s land surface, these forests were previously difficult to spot because of the relatively low density of the trees . Technological advances have made it easier to accurately measure dryland forests as demonstrated in this survey. The scientists used Google Earth Engine to analyze high-resolution satellite images of more than 210,000 dryland sites in order to determine tree number and density. The researchers then compared samples of their findings with field information for accuracy. Related: Meet the teen planting 150 trees for every person on Earth The study’s authors point out the importance of understanding dryland forests and dryland ecosystems because climate modeling suggests these biomes could expand by 11 percent to 23 percent by the end of the century, covering more than half of the Earth’s land surface. “Considering the potential of dryland forests to stave off desertification and to fight climate change by storing carbon, it will be crucial to keep monitoring the health of these forests, now that we know they are there,” said University of Adelaide School of Biological Sciences professors Andrew Lowe and Ben Sparrow, co-authors of the study. + The extent of forest in dryland biomes Via Phys.org Images via TERN AusPlots

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Scientists discover enough new forests to cover 60% of Australia

Found Objects Become Magical Works of Art Submerged Underwater by Forlane 6 Studio

March 13, 2013 by  
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Using found objects and furniture,  Forlane 6 Studio created these magical underwater sculptures that serve as hauntingly beautiful reminders of our mindless consumption. Designed by the artistic duo of Mathieu Goussin and Hortense Le Calvez, the pair behind the studio, the works are then photographed to appear both mysterious and ethereal. The discarded items are transformed into illuminating works of art that perfectly embody the old saying: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Read the rest of Found Objects Become Magical Works of Art Submerged Underwater by Forlane 6 Studio Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: discarded items , forlane 6 studio , found items , green photography , mass production , reused objects , sustainable artwork , trash art

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Found Objects Become Magical Works of Art Submerged Underwater by Forlane 6 Studio

Crushed PET Bottles Form a Giant Glowing Sculpture at Venice Architecture Bienniale

January 24, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Crushed PET Bottles Form a Giant Glowing Sculpture at Venice Architecture Bienniale Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Art , Devebere , Gau:di , installations , interactive , Maciej Siuda , pet bottles , public art , Recycled Materials , recycled PET , Rodrigo Garcia , Urban design , Venice , Venice Architecture Biennale

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Crushed PET Bottles Form a Giant Glowing Sculpture at Venice Architecture Bienniale

Amsterdam’s Light Festival Sets the City Aglow With Magical LED Installations

January 22, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Amsterdam’s Light Festival Sets the City Aglow With Magical LED Installations Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , Amsterdam , Amsterdam Light Festival , Art , dutch design , green lighting , LED , projections

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Amsterdam’s Light Festival Sets the City Aglow With Magical LED Installations

Bryan Lemmel’s Beautiful Zome Structure Does Duty as a Play Structure and Meditation Space

January 22, 2013 by  
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Bryan Lemmel of Balanced Carpentry  built this beautiful ”Zome” in his backyard in Asheville, NC. Inspired by sacred geometry and Buckminster Fuller ‘s geodesic dome, the structure was built using mostly dumpster bound wood. Lemmel built the Zome primarily as a play structure for his two daughters (there is a slide and swing set connected), but it also does duty as a meditation space and music studio for the entire family. + Balanced Carpentry 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: balanced carpentry , bryan lemmel , dome house , eco house , eco tree house , eco treehouse , kids play house , tree house , treehouse , wood play house , zome

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Bryan Lemmel’s Beautiful Zome Structure Does Duty as a Play Structure and Meditation Space

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