Finally a Court House is a house designed around a courtyard

August 31, 2021 by  
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Wind and Wellington, New Zealand go hand in hand. Finding an outdoor space with an escape from the constant wind became the primary goal when Spacecraft Architects began designing this home for a young family seeking shelter from the elements. Dubbed Finally a Court House, the centralized courtyard was the starting point for this roughly 80-square-meter home that features two bedrooms, main living areas, two separate conservatories and a studio, in addition to the court garden. Every room in the house faces the central courtyard, offering views through high-efficiency powder-coated aluminum windows with clear double glazing, which provide  natural light  throughout. In addition, the windows open to provide ventilation and passive solar heating. Related: Energy-efficient Wanaka Wedge House offers views of the Southern Alps The home offers a tight envelope and is highly insulated for energy efficiency. It’s placed on a thermally broken natural concrete slab that reduces heat loss and features thick wall framing for maximum thermal insulation. The exterior of Finally a Court House is clad in fiber-cement sheets, which are budget-friendly and fireproof. Interior walls that face the courtyard are clad with  wood  sourced locally from the Macrocarpa Cypress tree, which is native to New Zealand. Outdoor areas feature corrugated polycarbonate sheet roofing to protect from the wind while allowing the sun into the garden and, ultimately, the home. The house is oriented to take advantage of winter sunlight to warm the house, while the natural ventilation through skylights, windows and large doors eliminates the need for air conditioning. Further energy savings are achieved through the use of LED lighting and ceramic light shades. Concrete slabs inside the home capture heat from the  passive design  elements that provide direct sunlight. However, for supplemental heat, there is a small wood-burning fireplace that can also be used as a stovetop. An instant gas system heats  water  close to the source in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room.  + Spacecraft Architects Via ArchDaily   Images via David Straight and Joe Norman

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Finally a Court House is a house designed around a courtyard

Recycling Mystery: Plasma and LED TVs

August 25, 2021 by  
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You’re ready to spring for a brand-new television, and now you’re faced with a problem…. The post Recycling Mystery: Plasma and LED TVs appeared first on Earth911.

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Recycling Mystery: Plasma and LED TVs

We Earthlings: LED Light Bulb Lifetime Savings

July 20, 2021 by  
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You can make a big difference in how much energy you use — and save… The post We Earthlings: LED Light Bulb Lifetime Savings appeared first on Earth911.

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We Earthlings: LED Light Bulb Lifetime Savings

Earth911 Podcast: Drilled’s Amy Westervelt on Who Is Driving the Resurgence of Plastic

July 19, 2021 by  
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It’s Plastic-free July and we’re talking today with journalist, podcaster, and author Amy Westervelt about… The post Earth911 Podcast: Drilled’s Amy Westervelt on Who Is Driving the Resurgence of Plastic appeared first on Earth911.

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Earth911 Podcast: Drilled’s Amy Westervelt on Who Is Driving the Resurgence of Plastic

E-Waste: What Happens When We Fail To Recycle Electronics

July 19, 2021 by  
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Today, the average person owns three to four electronic devices. But what happens after these… The post E-Waste: What Happens When We Fail To Recycle Electronics appeared first on Earth911.

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Earth911 Inspiration: There Is No Such Thing as ‘Away’

July 16, 2021 by  
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Today’s quote is from Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA: “There is no such… The post Earth911 Inspiration: There Is No Such Thing as ‘Away’ appeared first on Earth911.

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Earth911 Inspiration: There Is No Such Thing as ‘Away’

These Christmas lights are made of trash left on Canary Island beaches

October 27, 2017 by  
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While some associate Christmas with crass consumerism, Spanish architect Fernando Menis from the Canary Islands believes it’s a great opportunity to reuse discarded objects. To prove the idea, Menis designed Christmas lights out of recycled summer waste for the coastal town of La Oliva on the island of Fuerteventura. Colorful floats, surfboards, buckets, beach toys and even plastic bottles abandoned on local beaches will have a second life as very unusual Christmas decorations on the exotic island. Instead of classic “White Christmas” snowflakes and snowmen, the architect proposed more appropriate marine decor that fits into the local context. La Oliva is traditionally linked to the sea and fishing, so Menis dreamt up giant squids, hibiscus flowers, palm trees, boats and jellyfish garlands – all lit with energy-efficient and environmentally friendly LED technology. Some of the lights are even powered by small solar panels. Menis also wants to bring his oceanic Christmas theme to the sea by supplying fishing boats navigating near the coast with recycled garlands that light up at night. Related: How to Green Your Holidays With Eco-Friendly Christmas Decor The project will be realized with the citizen participation – In fact, its assembly will involve the inhabitants and especially the local kids. What a great way to have fun and celebrate Christmas while creating real value with objects that tourists discard upon leaving the island. + Fernando Menis Images courtesy of Fernando Menis Architects

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These Christmas lights are made of trash left on Canary Island beaches

Magical Frost Light burns on the power of melting ice

September 26, 2017 by  
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Watching ice melt has never been cooler. Dutch architecture firm Edhv Studio transforms melting ice into electricity in Frost Light, a beautiful and brilliant lamp that harnesses the power of natural energy. The renewable light source taps into the magic of thermodynamics and shows how energy can be harvested from unexpected places. Frost Light is made up of four main components: an LED with hidden wires inside a metal plate, a block of ice, a base of solid aluminum, and a long metal funnel that extends to an upturned ice block mold. When the ice block is set on the metal plate, the melting process and resulting temperature difference generates enough electricity to power an LED for approximately three hours. The water drips down the funnel into a bucket that serves as a mold for new ice blocks. Related: Incredible ICEHOTEL shows off stunning fantasy-like rooms carved from ice and snow Frost Light was created as part of design collective Dutch Invertuals’ Power Play, an exhibition that addresses how natural energy can be transformed into valuable products or objects. The eye-catching melting ice lamp also made a recent appearance as part of Dutch Invertuals’ Harvest exhibition for futuristic designs at the London Design Fair earlier this month. + Edhv Studio

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Magical Frost Light burns on the power of melting ice

Floating Cloud lamp adds levitating magic to any room

August 14, 2017 by  
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Take your home to new atmospheric levels with this incredible floating cloud lamp. Designed by Richard Clarkson Studio and Crealev , Floating Cloud is a magnetically levitating ambient lamp that adds a magical touch to any room it hovers in. The designers just announced a limited production run of these unique and fluffy lamps—read on for more details and to see the cloud come alive. Floating Cloud is the latest iteration of an ongoing collaboration between Richard Clarkson Studio’s cloud-themed designs and Crealev’s innovative levitation technology. Made from PETG and hypoallergenic polyester fiber, the fluffy cloud-like mass floats approximately 2.75 inches off its base using magnetic levitation. The Cloud is entirely wireless and the base is powered with a rechargeable lithium ion battery. The cloud spins and bobs side-to-side for a “more realistic atmospheric experience,” while hidden sound-reactive RGB LEDs create the powerful illusion of a storm cloud with lightning. To reduce weight and size, the Floating Cloud does not include a speaker, however it will react to existing sound systems and voices. The Cloud flashes to the beat of the music in four different styles using an embedded microphone. An infrared remote controls a range of ambient lamp modes from white to colored versions. Related: This water-filled lamp makes it rain in your home “The Cloud is held in place using both rare earth magnets, electromagnets, and a location sensor,” write Richard Clarkson Studio. “There is a discrete infrared locating beam in the center of the Cloud, which, if obstructed by an object (such as a hand) will result in the Cloud “falling off” it’s levitating balance point. In such an event the Cloud has a soft felt bottom to cushion the fall. To return the Cloud to its floating position, use your fingers to pry the Cloud off the base and with two hands hold the Cloud roughly in position, slowly move the Cloud from side to side until you feel it ‘lock’ in place.” The studio has released a limited 100-unit production run of the Floating Cloud, available on their website for $4,620 USD . + Richard Clarkson Studio

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Floating Cloud lamp adds levitating magic to any room

Inexpensive new battery generates power with just a drop of saliva

August 10, 2017 by  
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In addition to aiding digestion, it turns out saliva can also power batteries. Researchers at Binghamton University discovered this while inventing a small, paper-based battery that generates energy when mixed with a drop of saliva. The batteries, which are more like tiny microbial fuel cells, are inexpensive to make and could be used in natural disasters and remote settings where on-demand power is hard (if not impossible) to come by. As a result, access to medical care and screenings in rural settings could improve. Binghamton University Electrical and Computer Science Assistant Professor Seokheun Choi spent the past five years developing the micro-power sources. His ultimate goal was to find a way to power medical diagnostic tests in poverty-stricken regions; finally, he succeeded at developing paper-based bacteria -powered batteries “On-demand micro-power generation is required especially for point-of-care diagnostic applications in developing countries,” said Choi. “Typically, those applications require only several tens of microwatt-level power for several minutes, but commercial batteries or other energy harvesting technologies are too expensive and over-qualified. Also, they pose environmental pollution issues.” Related: Indian startup pioneers new battery swapping system for electric buses The batteries contain freeze-dried exoelectrogenic cells which generate power when saliva is added. Astonishingly, with just one drop of spit, the paper batteries can produce enough power for low-power biological sensors in just a matter of minutes. Eureka Alert reports that a benefit of freeze drying the cells is that they can be stored for a long time before use. This means they can be stocked in medical clinics around the world. An additional perk is that the required biological fluid (saliva) can be easily obtained anywhere, anytime. At present, the battery can only produce a few microwatts of power per square centimeter. However, Choi and his research assistant, Maedeh Mohammadifar, are working on boosting the output. In the future, the team hopes to make the paper batteries more robust so they can sustain devices other than LED lights when connected in a series. The paper, “A Papertronic, On-Demand and Disposable Biobattery: Saliva-Activated Electricity Generation from Lyophilized Exoelectrogens Preinoculated on Paper,” was published in Advanced Materials Technologies. + Binghamton University Via Eureka Alert Images via  Binghamton University , Pixabay

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Inexpensive new battery generates power with just a drop of saliva

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