How Bermuda’s iconic white roofs overcome island’s chronic freshwater shortage

December 30, 2016 by  
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Life in Bermuda may seem exotic and glamorous to outsiders, but the Caribbean Community member faces significant challenges – including a chronic lack of fresh water . To counteract the dearth of springs, rivers, and lakes, local residents designed the island’s iconic white stepped roofs, which slow rainfall so that it may be stored. While Bermuda’s stepped roofs were originally built out of necessity, they are now officially a part of Bermuda law, which states that every new home must include eight gallons of rain barrel storage per square foot of roof space. The roofs that sit atop houses, which are akin to those in British villages but with more festive pastel paint jobs, are built out of limestone to withstand hurricane force winds. Their white color reflects UV light from the sun, which helps to purify the rainwater runoff and keep the homes cool. Related: 6 innovative ways to harvest and harness rainwater As Bermuda’s population has expanded and its reputation as a vacation destination has grown, the island of 60,000 has had to expand upon its low-tech roof system to provide fresh water. “When you can’t spread out, you start building up but think of a house where the roof area and the tank area is designed to satisfy a single family – if you build up and put in another family, you double the consumption,” said Stuart Hayward, an environmental expert from Bermuda.  Tourists , many of whom desire to play a few rounds on water-intensive golf courses, do not possess the same water preservation ethos as those who were born and raised on the island, which has raised Bermuda’s water consumption. The island has integrated desalinization plants, of which there are six, throughout the island. In total, these plants generate over 3,500,000 gallons of fresh purified water each day. However, admiration for the white stepped roofs remains. “What’s good about it is individual responsibility plus collective oversight plus a dependence on social and cultural values,” said Henrietta Moore of the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London. “In terms of its advantages, it’s low-cost, has been developed over several hundred years so it’s been crafted and tailored to local circumstances,” said Roger Calow, head of the water policy program at the Overseas Development Institute. “It fits the climate , it works.” While Bermuda’s stepped roof method does not work everywhere, it may serve as a model for similar environments and as an inspiration for communities everywhere as they attempt to build water resilience in an increasingly unpredictable world. Via BBC Images via Andrew Currie  and Flickr   (1)

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How Bermuda’s iconic white roofs overcome island’s chronic freshwater shortage

How Bermuda’s iconic white roofs overcome island’s chronic freshwater shortage

December 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on How Bermuda’s iconic white roofs overcome island’s chronic freshwater shortage

Life in Bermuda may seem exotic and glamorous to outsiders, but the Caribbean Community member faces significant challenges – including a chronic lack of fresh water . To counteract the dearth of springs, rivers, and lakes, local residents designed the island’s iconic white stepped roofs, which slow rainfall so that it may be stored. While Bermuda’s stepped roofs were originally built out of necessity, they are now officially a part of Bermuda law, which states that every new home must include eight gallons of rain barrel storage per square foot of roof space. The roofs that sit atop houses, which are akin to those in British villages but with more festive pastel paint jobs, are built out of limestone to withstand hurricane force winds. Their white color reflects UV light from the sun, which helps to purify the rainwater runoff and keep the homes cool. Related: 6 innovative ways to harvest and harness rainwater As Bermuda’s population has expanded and its reputation as a vacation destination has grown, the island of 60,000 has had to expand upon its low-tech roof system to provide fresh water. “When you can’t spread out, you start building up but think of a house where the roof area and the tank area is designed to satisfy a single family – if you build up and put in another family, you double the consumption,” said Stuart Hayward, an environmental expert from Bermuda.  Tourists , many of whom desire to play a few rounds on water-intensive golf courses, do not possess the same water preservation ethos as those who were born and raised on the island, which has raised Bermuda’s water consumption. The island has integrated desalinization plants, of which there are six, throughout the island. In total, these plants generate over 3,500,000 gallons of fresh purified water each day. However, admiration for the white stepped roofs remains. “What’s good about it is individual responsibility plus collective oversight plus a dependence on social and cultural values,” said Henrietta Moore of the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London. “In terms of its advantages, it’s low-cost, has been developed over several hundred years so it’s been crafted and tailored to local circumstances,” said Roger Calow, head of the water policy program at the Overseas Development Institute. “It fits the climate , it works.” While Bermuda’s stepped roof method does not work everywhere, it may serve as a model for similar environments and as an inspiration for communities everywhere as they attempt to build water resilience in an increasingly unpredictable world. Via BBC Images via Andrew Currie  and Flickr   (1)

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How Bermuda’s iconic white roofs overcome island’s chronic freshwater shortage

Geothermal-powered Thompson Exhibition Building mimics a crashing wave

December 30, 2016 by  
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Walk beneath the curved ceiling of the Thompson Exhibition Building and you’ll be struck by how similar it feels to being engulfed by a crashing ocean wave. This dramatic effect is part of the many sea-inspired elements of the newly completed structure, designed by Centerbrook Architects , which serves as the keynote building for the 19-acre riverfront campus at Mystic Seaport , Museum of America and the Sea. The striking timber-framed building offers more than just bold design—energy efficient features are incorporated, including geothermal heating and cooling. Inspired by the nearby sea, the Thompson Exhibition Building also takes design cues from the curved hulls of the wooden ships that sailed from the town of Mystic. Its exposed wooden trusses bring to mind the ribbed skeletal forms of marine animals. The building replaces the Seaport’s previous indoor-oriented exhibit spaces with an improved, 5,000-square-foot exhibit gallery, visitor reception, events space, retail shop, cafe, and outdoor terraces that connect to the new Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle. Related: Greenery-infused nursery school in Japan brings children closer to nature Versatility was key to the design of the exhibition space, which features tall ceilings and demountable walls that can accommodate displays of varying sizes, from watercraft to fine art. Inspired by a sailing ship’s top timbers as well as the arc of a wave and whale vertebrae, the ceiling was constructed from curved lengths of glue-laminated Douglas Fir , a wood species preferred by New England ship builders after the Civil War. The architects write: “Overall, the building stands for what we came to regard as “the geometry of the sea” – the spiral shape of sea life, the kinetic movement of ocean swells, the crash of waves on the shore, the billow of sails, and the faring of wooden hulls. Wood was the ideal material for these purposes because it can economically enclose a large clear-span space while forming complex organic geometries.” + Centerbrook Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Jeff Goldberg

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Geothermal-powered Thompson Exhibition Building mimics a crashing wave

Turkish dairy factory turns cheese production into a 360-degree experience

December 30, 2016 by  
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The Farm of 38° 30°, an iconic boutique dairy factory designed by architectural studios Slash Architects and Arkizon Architects , is more than a simple production space. The architects designed the building as a cheese showroom and museum that allows visitors to observe the production of cheese in a unique 360° space. The circular building encloses an inner courtyard from where visitors can observe all sequences of production. The main entrance leads guests to a green courtyard where cocktails and events are organized. Most spaces are transparent, with Corten steel sun blinds rendering those used by staff semi-transparent. Vertical slits carved into the exterior facade offer views of the surrounding countryside and allow natural light to reach the interior. Related: Foster + Partners unveils new winery for Château Margaux in Bordeaux The architects combined locally-sourced materials such as natural Afyon stone with Corten steel to emphasize the building’s contemporary industrial identity. This rich material palette lends an element of modernity to the facility’s monumental form. + Slash Architects + Arkizon Architects

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Turkish dairy factory turns cheese production into a 360-degree experience

Meandering 2y House in Chile immerses inhabitants in its wooded surroundings

December 30, 2016 by  
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Few things in life produce the kind of peace and serenity found in a forest. This meandering treehouse in Chile provides a complete immersion into its wooded surroundings. Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos designed 2y House as a solitary retreat that enhances the unique experience of being surrounded by trees. The house is located near Lake Colico, some 470 miles south of the Chilean capital, Santiago . Locally-sourced timber anchors the house to the place and references the sense of infinity that is present in forests. Natural light filters through broad windows and wooden screens, mimicking the effect created by tree tops. Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature This arboreal aesthetic is further enhanced by the use of red-painted wood on the exterior. Using a natural palette of reds, browns and greens marks a departure from the concrete and glass architecture that tends to dominate Chilean residential design. + Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos Via Curbed

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Meandering 2y House in Chile immerses inhabitants in its wooded surroundings

Amazon wants to build flying warehouses in the sky

December 30, 2016 by  
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We’ve all heard before about Amazon’s plans to deliver orders via drone , but a recently-unearthed patent shows the company could one day push the concept to a startling extreme. Discovered by Zoe Leavitt , an analyst for CB insights, the patent describes an “airborne fulfillment center utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles for item delivery” – what is essentially a giant flying warehouse in the sky. The airborne fulfillment centers would exist aboard a giant airship , floating at altitudes of around 45,000 feet. As Amazon orders came in, individual drones would be deployed to deliver the goods. Smaller airships would be used to return the drones, resupply the fulfillment center with new inventory, and shuttle workers back and forth from the facility. While drones launched from the ground have a fairly limited range, the aerial deployment would allow the drones to cover a much wider delivery area. The warehouses would also be mobile, allowing Amazon to easily shift position depending on consumer demand. For example, the patent explains one of the warehouses could be positioned near a stadium during a game to allow fans to immediately purchase team merchandise or snacks during the game. Related: Amazon’s new Prime Air delivery drone is part helicopter, part airplane The concept is just that for now – there’s no indication that Amazon will de deploying drone-carrying blimps in the near future. However, don’t be surprised if airborne drone delivery one day replaces FedEx or the postal service. Via The Verge Images via Zoe Leavitt and Wikimedia Commons

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Amazon wants to build flying warehouses in the sky

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