Abandoned fuel tanks retrofitted for new Shanghai art museum

April 7, 2020 by  
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On the banks of Shanghai’s Huangpu River, Beijing-based practice  OPEN Architecture  has transformed five giant aviation fuel tanks into Tank Shanghai, a new contemporary art museum and open park. Developed over six years, the adaptive reuse project not only creates a new cultural asset for the city, but also helps reconnect residents to the waterfront.  Located on an industrial site, the five decommissioned aviation fuel tanks had belonged to  Shanghai’s  former Longhua Airport. As part of a greater revitalization plan for the city’s southwest region, OPEN Architecture converted the waste containers into a vibrant community art center with each tank housing different programming. The surrounding landscape was redesigned with long, undulating lawns that emphasize connections with the once-inaccessible Huangpu riverfront and can accommodate a variety of outdoor events, from art festivals to book fairs. At the heart of the Tank Shanghai design is the introduction of a Z-shaped “Super-Surface”: a five-hectare zigzagging landscape of trees and grasses that weaves together the five tanks and slopes upward to become a green roof for a built structure below. Two tanks are located above the Super-Surface, while the other three are set slightly below. The tanks were  retrofitted  to include a two-story live-house and bar, a restaurant and art exhibition spaces. The architects preserved the tanks’ industrial exteriors and minimized changes to the facades. Curvilinear outdoor pathways complement the tanks’ rounded forms.  Related: 10 shipping containers make up this modern, mixed-use structure in Shanghai “Tank Shanghai represents a new type of urban art institution—one linking the past and the future, reconnecting people with the natural environment, and fusing art with nature,” explained the architects. “It is an  art center without boundaries, and as it continues to assimilate into the life of the city more largely, Tank Shanghai will continue to facilitate and inspire the creation of more inclusive and collective cultural spaces.” Tank Shanghai opened in March 2019. + OPEN Architecture Images by INSAW Image, WU Qingshan, and CHEN Hao

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Abandoned fuel tanks retrofitted for new Shanghai art museum

Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for coronavirus

April 7, 2020 by  
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Perhaps it’s not surprising that the first known U.S. case of an animal testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, should be in New York , the disease’s epicenter in North America. But what is shocking is the species — a Malayan tiger. Several lions and tigers in the Bronx Zoo developed a dry cough consistent with coronavirus ’ leading symptoms. The zoo veterinarian decided to test 4-year-old Nadia, a Malayan tiger, and send the sample to a veterinary lab. Because the test requires general anesthesia when dealing with such a strong animal, the veterinarians didn’t test the other big cats that are showing symptoms. Nadia’s sister Azul, three African lions and two Amur tigers are also coughing. A male Amur tiger that shares their enclosure is so far asymptomatic. The zoo has been temporarily closed since March 16. Related: Discarded face masks now threatening wildlife habitats “We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus,” the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement. “Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert and interactive with their keepers. It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries.” Bronx Zoo veterinarian Paul Calle also noted that the test used on Nadia is different than the type of tests available to humans and that there is no competition in available tests for animals versus for humans. How does a tiger catch the coronavirus? The USDA suspects via a zoo employee. “The handler might have been [close to] the tiger, and may have sneezed or coughed, which could cause infection ,” Vanessa Barrs, professor of companion animal health and disease at Hong Kong’s Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, told Time . “The tiger could also have come into contact with something the handler earlier touched.” While this is the first big feline to test positive for the virus, a Belgian house cat previously contracted the disease. Two dogs and a cat in Hong Kong also tested positive for coronavirus. These four pets lived with owners who contracted COVID-19 and probably caught the virus from them. There are no known cases of pets passing the virus to humans. The USDA advises people sick with COVID-19 to stay away from pets and other animals . + Bronx Zoo Via Time Image via ©WCS

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Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for coronavirus

Tiny timber cabin opens up to the French countryside

April 7, 2020 by  
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Kyoto-based architecture 2m26 used locally sourced materials to build a peaceful tiny timber cabin tucked into the French countryside. At just 376 square feet, La Petite Maison is compact, but floor-to-ceiling glass panels, multiple sliding glass doors and an open courtyard strategically connect the home’s interior to its quaint surroundings, making it feel vast. Located in the picturesque countryside of Guitinières in southwestern France, the tiny cabin was built onsite. From the onset, the architects were inspired to create a small, minimalist living space that blended seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Related: Transparent, prefab tiny cabin offers the best views of the Italian Alps La Petit Maison boasts a strategic design that makes it feel much more open and spacious than its square footage would lead one to believe. Made out of locally sourced materials , the square frame is crafted from light Douglas fir. The frame is elevated off the landscape with small concrete piles to reduce its site impact as much as possible. In order to open up the tiny home, which is designed to be a guest house, the architects decided to use multiple massive panels of glass to usher in views of the idyllic countryside. Several sliding glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interior with natural light and blur the line between the indoors and outdoors. Additionally, guests can enjoy spending time in the open-air courtyard that sits between the living space and the exterior. The minimalist interiors feature sparse furnishings. Made out of the same locally sourced wood as the structure, the furniture inside the tiny timber cabin is completely utilitarian, with just enough pieces for seating, dining and sleeping. Although the interior design is completely free of any sort of frivolous amenities, the guest house provides visitors with a relaxing, no-frills place to disconnect from stress while reconnecting with nature. + 2m26 Images via 2m26

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Even the most remote islands are victims of plastic pollution

May 17, 2019 by  
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Plastic hasn’t taken much more than a century to conquer the entire world. Since plastic’s invention in 1907, it has infiltrated even the most remote island chains, according to a new study by marine biologist Jennifer Lavers and her associates. When the researchers visited the Cocos Keeling Islands — 6 square miles of land 1,300 miles off Australia’s northwest coast — they found a staggering accumulation of plastic waste . Because nearly no one lives on the islands, the plastic bags, straws , cutlery, 373,000 toothbrushes and 975,000 shoes must have floated there. “So, more than 414 million pieces of plastic debris are estimated to be currently sitting on the Cocos Keeling Islands, weighing a remarkable 238 tons,” Lavers said in an NPR report . Lavers is a research scientist at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. Related: Ocean explorer finds plastic waste during world’s deepest dive Lavers and her research team studied seven of the 27 islands, mostly in 2017. They marked off transects of the beaches , then counted the plastic pollution inside the transects. Their estimated total is based on multiplying the plastic waste found in each transect by the total beach area of the Cocos Keeling Islands. But what surprised Lavers most was how much plastic pollution was buried beneath the sand. Her team dug four inches down. “What was really quite amazing was that the deeper we went, the more plastic we were actually finding,” she said. The sun’s heat breaks down plastic waste sitting on the sand’s surface, then waves drive tiny plastic pieces into the sand. “It’s the little stuff that’s perfectly bite-sized,” Lavers said. “The stuff that fish and squid and birds and even turtles can eat.” There’s not a lot of good news in Lavers’ study , which was published in the journal Nature. As the authors point out in their introduction, global plastic production is increasing exponentially, with about 40 percent of items entering the waste stream after a single use . “Unfortunately, unless drastic steps are taken, the numbers and challenges will only grow, with the quantity of waste entering the ocean predicted to increase ten-fold by 2025,” the study warned. + Nature Via NPR Image via Jennifer Lavers

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Even the most remote islands are victims of plastic pollution

Sublime net-positive energy farmhouse pays homage to the local vernacular

May 17, 2019 by  
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These days, homes are being constructed with any number of sustainable features, but this modern farmhouse in Lincoln, Massachusetts is a veritable powerhouse of energy efficiency wrapped up in one incredibly gorgeous package. Designed by ZeroEnergy Design and constructed by  Thoughtforms , the 2,800-square-foot home drew inspiration from traditional farmhouses found throughout the area. However, the home’s pitched roof and homey interior conceal an awe-inspiring system of energy efficiency that enables the LEED Platinum design to achieve an impressive net-positive energy performance. Built on 1.8 ares of farmland, the beautiful design pays homage to Lincoln’s agrarian roots with a few modern touches added. The design consists of the main home with an adjacent garage, which is attached to the main living space via a covered walkway. Clad in cedar siding, the farmhouse holds court in the middle of a large green field surrounded by a fruit orchard. Related: LEED Platinum home generates net-positive energy in Oregon Reminiscent of the area’s traditional farmhouses, both structures feature pitched roofs. The main roof is clad in a 13.1kW array of solar panels that generates enough energy for the four-bedroom home and then some. According to the architects, the farmhouse actually produces 42 percent more electricity than it consumes, effectively making it a net-positive energy building. The living space is exceptionally bright and airy with an open concept layout and plenty of communal areas for the family to enjoy. Once again, the beautiful design hides a sophisticated system of energy-efficient features made possible by a very tight envelope. Using dense-packed cellulose and a continuous rigid insulation, the home features ultra-thick walls and roofs, eliminating any thermal bridging. High-performance, triple-glazed windows add to the building’s super-insulated envelope . In fact, after testing, the home has been found to be one of the tightest in the country. In addition to the impressive efficiency and gorgeous living space, the design also concentrated on the exterior landscape . Before construction, the lot was cleared of any invasive species and replanted with apple, pear, peach and cherry trees. A rainwater catchment system is planned in the future and will be used to collect run-off from the roof to irrigate the gardens and landscaping. + Zero Energy Design + Thoughtforms Via Zero Energy Photography by Chuck Choi via Zero Energy Design  

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Sublime net-positive energy farmhouse pays homage to the local vernacular

GE’s HDlive 3D Ultrasound Reveals Super-Realistic Images of Baby in Utero

April 18, 2013 by  
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If you’ve ever seen a standard ultrasound, you’ve probably feigned an understanding of what you were looking at. Those grainy, blurry, black and white images could very soon be a thing of the past with the introduction of GE’s  HD live  technology. The HD live offers incredible 3D images that are startlingly clear and in color, giving parents a true to life view of their unborn child. So, how is it done? Keep reading to learn more. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D , color , dynamic rendering engine , fetus , ge healthcare , hdlive , imaging , prenatal , ultrasound        

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GE’s HDlive 3D Ultrasound Reveals Super-Realistic Images of Baby in Utero

GE’s HDlive 3D Ultrasound Reveals Super-Realistic Images of Baby in Utero

April 18, 2013 by  
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If you’ve ever seen a standard ultrasound, you’ve probably feigned an understanding of what you were looking at. Those grainy, blurry, black and white images could very soon be a thing of the past with the introduction of GE’s  HD live  technology. The HD live offers incredible 3D images that are startlingly clear and in color, giving parents a true to life view of their unborn child. So, how is it done? Keep reading to learn more. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D , color , dynamic rendering engine , fetus , ge healthcare , hdlive , imaging , prenatal , ultrasound        

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INFOGRAPHIC: Understanding Biomass as a Renewable Energy Source

October 30, 2012 by  
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UK-based renewable energy company Duncan Renewables made this great infographic which highlights the benefits of biomass for domestic consumers. The infographic shows information about biomass use around the world – a hot topic since the introduction of the green deal by the UK government this month. The graphic demonstrates a range of statistics about how biomass can help the environment and provide a more sustainable heating source compared to fossil fuels. Duncan Renewables has mainly installed biomass boilers in large-scale commercial settings such as farms and leisure facilities, but as the infographic shows, with domestic customers now able to get help with the cost of biomass boiler installation it is becoming a more popular technology used for heating normal homes. Check out the full infographic after the jump! + Duncan Renewables 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!

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INFOGRAPHIC: Understanding Biomass as a Renewable Energy Source

London’s First Zero-Emission Electric Taxis Hit the Streets

February 2, 2012 by  
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When it comes to clean transportation, London is charging ahead at maximum speed – not only is the city’s mayor a cycling enthusiast, but he helped to push the introduction of London’s first hydrogen fuel cell taxis just in time for the 2012 Olympics ! This week The Big Smoke rolled out their first fleet of zero emission taxis , which are now making their way across the city’s busy streets. Read the rest of London’s First Zero-Emission Electric Taxis Hit the Streets Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: electric cars UK , electric taxis , EV taxis , Renault Fluence Z.E , Renault Fluence Z.E 2012 Olympics , Renault Fluence Z.E climatecars , Renault Fluence Z.E climatecars zero emission , Renault Fluence Z.E electric cars , Renault Fluence Z.E electric taxi , Renault Fluence Z.E london taxi , Renault Fluence Z.E UK , Renault Fluence Z.E zero carbon electric taxi , Renault Fluence Z.E zero emission , Renault Fluence Z.E zero emission taxi , zero emission taxis

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Buildup to Greenbuild: How Green Is Toronto?

October 3, 2011 by  
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Last year before Greenbuild in Chicago, one of America’s best architecture critics, Blair Kamin , wrote the introduction to Chicago for GreenSource Magazine . So I was pretty nervous when I was asked to write this year’s introduction to Toronto; That is a very tough act to follow. It was a very difficult article to write, trying to make Toronto exciting, interesting and green right at the time when our new Mayor was ripping up bike lanes and trying to ram Ferris Wh… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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