Self-sustaining Ugandan surgical facility provides healthcare to underserved areas

January 21, 2020 by  
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In an inspiring example of humanitarian architecture, Kliment Halsband Architects teamed up with Mount Sinai Surgery in New York to create the Mount Sinai Kyabirwa Uganda Surgical Facility, a prototype for an independent, self-sustaining ambulatory surgical facility. According to the architects, roughly 5 billion people lack any form of safe or affordable surgery, leading to millions of deaths annually worldwide. In response, the architects created a modular, easily replicable surgical facility to provide ambulatory surgical procedures for underserved populations in resource-poor regions. Located in Kyabirwa, a rural village near the equator in Uganda, the Mount Sinai Kyabirwa Uganda Surgical Facility is located on a site that originally lacked potable water, reliable electricity, internet or adequate sanitary facilities. To keep construction simple, the architects used a modular and minimally invasive design inspired by locally available materials. Taking advantage of the area’s abundance of red clay, the architects used locally sourced and fired bricks and cladding tiles for the main structure and topped it with a wavy roof reminiscent of the nearby White Nile. Related: Snøhetta designs healing forest cabins for patients at Norway’s largest hospitals Uninterrupted power is provided by 75 kWp solar panels installed atop the wavy roof, Li-Lead Acid Hybrid battery storage, an onsite generator and intermittent power from the grid. The team also installed 20 miles of underground cabling with fiberoptic service to provide critical internet connection for telemedicine links to Mount Sinai Surgery in New York, where doctors provide advanced surgical consultation and real-time operating room video conferencing. Gravity tanks with a filter and sterilization system store well water and intermittently available town water on-site, while water from a graywater system is recycled for toilet flushing and irrigation. The building relies primarily on natural ventilation and is not air conditioned with the exception of the operating rooms. “The primary reason for the limited availability of surgical treatments in underserved parts of the world is the belief that surgery is either too expensive or too complicated to be broadly available,” reads the project’s client statement. “We believe that surgical treatments are essential to building healthy communities worldwide and that surgical therapies need not be complex or expensive. This model is built around developing an independent, self-sustaining facility capable of providing surgical treatments in resource-poor areas.” + Kliment Halsband Architects Photography by Bob Ditty and Will Boase via Kliment Halsband Architects

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Self-sustaining Ugandan surgical facility provides healthcare to underserved areas

New tiny home for glamping on Governors Island offers guests the best views of NYC

January 21, 2020 by  
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Finding a little serenity in NYC is never an easy feat and often requires New Yorkers to head outside of the city to take in a little quiet time. But thankfully, Big Apple residents and visitors alike can now enjoy a relaxing stay in a fabulous new tiny home retreat on Governors Island . Just a 7-minute ferry ride from downtown Manhattan, Outlook Shelter offers guests a high-end, luxury glamping experience with city vistas they won’t find anywhere else. Previously, adventurers looking to spend the night on Governors Island were limited to sleeping in glamping tents located on a campsite known as the Collective Governors Island Retreat . Now, the campsite has broadened its accommodation offerings with five contemporary tiny cabins, designed by tiny home specialists, Land Ark RV . Related: Kennebunkport campground offers tiny cabins, Airstreams and more Designed to blend the features of a luxury hotel with the serenity of a quiet glamping experience, the tiny homes boast a contemporary design. Clad in corrugated metal and Brazilian hardwood on the exterior, each 400-square-foot structure includes two decks. These outdoor spaces provide unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and the harbor. Once inside, guests will be able to enjoy some down time in living spaces inspired by Scandinavian design . Furnished with items from Danish design brand Hay, the tiny homes feature high ceilings and ultra-large windows that create a bright and airy atmosphere. Each cabin has a small living space and kitchenette along with a bedroom featuring either one king-sized bed or a king-sized bed plus a double bed upon request. The en suite bathroom comes with a rain shower and a luxurious tub that sits under a massive window, so guests can take in one of the best views in New York while soaking their cares away. The unique tiny home retreat is a short ferry ride from downtown Manhattan, yet this peaceful oasis is tucked into hills of the historic island. Sleeping up to three guests, each tiny home comes with a number of high-end features that may or may not justify the rates, which start at a whopping $595 per night. + Glamping Hub + Outlook Shelter Via Tiny House Talk Images via Glamping Hub

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New tiny home for glamping on Governors Island offers guests the best views of NYC

Nepalese volunteers clean 3 tons of trash from Mount Everest

May 10, 2019 by  
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Fourteen Nepalese volunteers collected three tons of garbage from Mount Everest in the first two weeks of their clean-up. The government-sponsored initiative is an effort to reduce growing amounts of garbage on the world’s tallest mountain. Nearly one-third of the garbage collected was taken by helicopter to recycling facilities in Kathmandu, while the remaining trash was sent to a landfill in the Okhaldhunga district. “The clean-up campaign will be continued in the coming seasons as well to make the world’s tallest mountain clean,” Dandu Raj Ghimire, Chief of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry, told Agence France-Presse. “It is our responsibility to keep our mountains clean.” Related: China closes Mount Everest base camp after overwhelming trash problem reports In 2013, the Nepali government implemented a deposit system , requiring every climbing team to bring back 18 pounds of trash per person or lose $4,000 USD. Even despite this expensive deposit, less than half of the hikers returned with garbage. In February, Chinese base camps in Tibet reportedly closed their doors to tourists, limiting visitor traffic to just climbers. In the last 65 years, 4,000 people summited Mount Everest, with 807 in 2018 alone. Thousands more hikers and tourists visit the base camps at the bottom of the famous mountain yearly. With climbing season kicking off around April, the problem of trash remains a rising concern on both the Chinese and Nepalese sides of the mountain. The rising temperatures is causing ice and snow to melt , revealing garbage that was previously hidden. Climbing guides and sherpas say the trash problem gets worse as you get closer to the 29,000-foot summit, likely because exhausted and oxygen-deprived climbers welcome the lighter load that comes with leaving things behind. Related: Mount Everest’s melting glaciers expose the bodies of long-lost climbers Under the melting snow , the volunteer clean-up crew has collected tents, climbing equipment, oxygen tanks, bottles, cans, human excrement and even four bodies of missing climbers. The crew hopes to collect at least 10 tons of garbage by the end of their six-week volunteer clean-up effort. Via Yale Environment 360 Images via Mike ( 1 , 2 )

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Nepalese volunteers clean 3 tons of trash from Mount Everest

10 shipping containers make up this modern, mixed-use structure in Shanghai

May 10, 2019 by  
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Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design has transformed 10 shipping containers into a striking mixed-use structure on Shanghai’s Chongming Island in China. Located on an open grass field, the building has been named “The Solid and Void” after the staggered arrangement of the shipping containers, which seamlessly connect to outdoor spaces framed by angular timber elements. To further tie the building to the outdoors, the architects used a predominately natural materials palette and white-painted walls to blend the structure into the landscape. Challenged by the site’s remote location and constrained by the narrow interiors of the shipping containers , Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design decided to think outside the box — literally. The designers expanded the project’s usable floor area to 19,375 square feet by adding “void boxes”: outdoor platforms framed by timber elements that extend the interiors of the containers to the outdoors. “The added boxes, framed by grilles, increased usable area, met the functional demands and formed a contrast of solidness and void with the containers ,” the designers explained. “Natural light can be filtered through grilles, generating a poetic view of light and shadows. The containers, and the new boxes generated from them, together produce staggered and overlapping architectural form, making the building look modern and futuristic.” Related: Ennead designs a striking nature preserve to protect China’s most important river The three-story building consists of a reception and display area on the first floor, a cafe and restaurant on the second floor and office space with meeting rooms on the third floor. Large windows pull the outdoors in; the thoughtfully designed indoor circulation guides users to different views of the landscape as they move through the building. The modern and minimalist appearance of the building helps keep the focus on the natural surroundings. Elements of nature also punctuate the building, from artfully placed rocks that line the walkways to the winding stream that runs through the middle of the building. + Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design Photography by Zhu Enlong via Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design

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10 shipping containers make up this modern, mixed-use structure in Shanghai

China closes Mount Everest base camp after overwhelming trash problem reports

February 22, 2019 by  
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China is taking steps to clean up Mount Everest amid growing concerns about trash accumulation. The base camp at the foot of the world’s tallest mountain is officially closed to tourists until further notice. The closure of the base camp comes after a surprising report from the Tibet Autonomous Region Sports Bureau, which claims it has picked up over 8 tons of trash from the site, including human waste and general garbage, last year alone. It is unclear when the base camp will open to tourists. Related: Global warming will melt over 1/3 of the Himalayan ice cap by 2100 “[N]o unit or individuals are allowed entry into the core area of the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve,” local officials posted in Tibet . Qomolangma is what Tibetans call Everest. The notices were originally posted last December, though the closure is only now getting attention from media outlets around the world. Climbers can still gain access to Everest via China but not without a special permit. The country plans to issue around 300 permits in 2019. Tourists can also visit Everest, they just cannot reach the mountain through China. Anyone can still reach the north face of Everest via the Rongbuk Monastery, which is located around a mile from the main base camp. Trash buildup around the base of Everest has become a major issue over the past few years. China and Nepal have both initiated programs to deal with removing trash from the site, including encouraging climbers to take their garbage with them when they leave base camp. China, for example, has started to fine climbers who do not come off the mountain with their waste, while Nepal charges $4,000 for a refundable garbage deposit. Despite the efforts to curb trash accumulation, only about 50 percent of climbers came off the mountain with the minimum trash requirement. Although the majority of climbers reach Everest by way of Nepal, 40,000 visitors made their way to the Chinese base camp in 2015. China has not announced when it plans to reopen its base camp on the foot of Mount Everest. Via EcoWatch Image via Shutterstock

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China closes Mount Everest base camp after overwhelming trash problem reports

Artists transform gigantic Japanese park into a psychedelic forest of light

November 13, 2017 by  
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Japanese art collective teamLab has transformed a 5-million-square-foot park in Japan into a luminous “Forest Where Gods Live”. The massive art installation features 14 distinct artworks that use lights, projections, sensors, and sound to react as visitors stroll through the grounds. Mifuneyama Rakuen park is located in Japan’s Saga Prefecture in Kyushu. The exhibition spans the landscape of rocks, caves, and ample vegetation that leads to the towering Mount Mifune. The park is home to various Buddhist statues as well as 5,000 cherry blossom trees and 50,000 azaleas, all of which play key roles in the art installation . Related: Singapore Night Festival dazzles crowds with 13 stunning light installations TeamLab believes that digital art can connect people with nature: “We exist as a part of an eternal continuity of life and death, a process which has been continuing for an overwhelmingly long time. It is hard for us, however, to sense this in our everyday lives. When exploring the forest, we come to realize that the shapes of the giant rocks, caves, and the forest that have been formed over the eons, are the shapes of the continuous cycle of life itself. By applying digital art to this unique environment, the exhibition celebrates the continuity of life.” The exhibition, which is part of a Shiseido skincare campaign, uses projectors, motion sensors, and an ambient soundtrack to create a soothing forest of light in constant motion. Visitors can stroll through the park, passing through 14 artworks where the natural landscape lights up in reaction to the crowds. There’s a simulated waterfall that cascades down a sacred rock wall and a giant moss-covered boulder that digitally depicts the entire life cycle of colorful flowers. Walking along, visitors will see an example of artful Japanese calligraphy projected onto a large rock, surrounded by smoke. One of the most popular stops is the WASO Tea House, which displays beautiful flowers blooming inside a teacup, representing the skincare company’s slogan “All things beautiful come from nature”. + teamLab Via CNN Images and video via Team Lab

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Artists transform gigantic Japanese park into a psychedelic forest of light

Bright blue trekking tents are designed to pop up with speed in Iceland

November 13, 2017 by  
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As if Iceland’s gorgeous waterfall-studded landscape wasn’t enough to draw the eye, Stockholm-based Utopia Arkitekter has designed a bright blue cabin for installation along the country’s most famous trekking trails. Created for a competition, the Skýli (“shelter” in Icelandic) is a rugged yet beautiful structure that takes after the classic tent shape. These off-grid shelters are designed for minimal landscape impact and are estimated to take two to three days for on-site assembly. Skýli was designed for high visibility with its four triangular gables and steel cladding painted bright blue, a hue reminiscent of Reykjavik’s colorful urban architecture. Each structure comprises four rooms: two bedrooms; a multipurpose kitchen area and first aid room; and a dining room with storage space. The cabin accommodates 15 people. Four triangular triple-glazed windows let in natural light and frame views, while the inner shell and furnishings are made from light-colored cross-laminated timber . Utopia Arkitekter designed Skýli for quick and easy installation anywhere on the landscape with efficient delivery via helicopter. A system of plinths would serve as stable foundation for the cabin’s weather-resistant steel shell painted with GreenCoat® , the only product on the market using Swedish rapeseed oil instead of fossil fuel-based oils. “Skýli is designed for pristine environments where sustainable development is of the highest importance. Materials need to be eco-conscious, while also resistant to extreme weather, which is one of the reasons we decided to choose GreenCoat steel for the roof,” said Mattias Litström, from Utopia Arkitekter. Related: Compact floating cabin pops up in extreme remote locations Each cabin would be equipped with a solar panel and battery for limited energy storage. Rainwater can be collected from the roof and can be purified for potable use. Liquified petroleum gas powers the kitchen appliances and can be used for heating when necessary. The Skýli trekking cabin was recently nominated for the World Architecture Festival Award 2017 in the category “Leisure-led Development – Future Projects.” + Utopia Arkitekter

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Bright blue trekking tents are designed to pop up with speed in Iceland

Beautiful visitors center curves around a semi-natural ice rink in a Japanese forest

August 28, 2017 by  
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Tokyo-based Klein Dytham architecture completed a beautiful timber-clad visitor center befitting its surroundings in a breathtaking Japanese forest. Set in the foothills of the active volcano Mount Asama in Karuizawa, the Picchio Ice Rink Visitors Center welcomes tourists who flock to the area for hiking in the summer and ice-skating in winter. The architecture and landscape are sensitive to nature, particularly the site’s natural flow of water and ecosystem, and also draws direct inspiration from the surrounding flora and fauna. Designed in collaboration with landscape design firm Studio on Site , the Picchio Ice Rink Visitors Center is part of the popular Hoshinoya resorts area in Karuizawa, Nagano . One of the biggest highlights of this year-round destination is the “KERA-IKE (pond) Ice Rink,” a semi-natural gourd-shaped ice rink made from both assisted and natural freezing. In the distance rises stunning snow-capped Mount Asama. Deep wintering pools were carved into the pond to give fish and other aquatic life a place to live where the ice doesn’t freeze entirely. Related: Elegant Japanese wedding chapel mimics curved leaves The Picchio Ice Rink Visitors Center, which opened in summer 2016, features a clubhouse and serves as a trailhead during the summer and skate-rental area in winter. The building and a pair of complementary gabion walls behind it are curved to follow the shape of the pond and reference the arcs made by skaters in the ice rink. The walkways, landscaping, and benches are also informed by the landscape’s natural topography. The building facade is clad in cedar shingles punctuated by bright green and blue anondised aluminum tiles. Floor-to-ceiling glazing lets in natural light and offers views of the rink and nature from inside. + Klein Dytham architecture Via Dezeen Images © Brian Scott Peterson and Makoto Yoshida

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Beautiful visitors center curves around a semi-natural ice rink in a Japanese forest

Amazing photos capture the magic of Slovenia’s startling ice formations

December 23, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Amazing photos capture the magic of Slovenia’s startling ice formations Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Frozen Trees , Marko Korošec , Mount Javornik , rime ice landscape , Slovenia , snow photographs , weather photographer

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Amazing photos capture the magic of Slovenia’s startling ice formations

16 Last-Minute Gifts for the Procrastinator

December 23, 2014 by  
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Are you a procrastinator ? The holiday is fast approaching and if you find yourself without presents for several people on your list, you might want to panic, but don’t! We’ve rounded up 16 practical, clever, and eco-friendly gift ideas that can be found or thrown together at the last minute. From wine subscriptions to cherished recipes to homemade pesto , we’ve got something that will be perfect for everyone on your list. In fact, these gift ideas are so great, no one will be able to tell that you waited until the last minute! LAST-MINUTE GIFTS> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: DIY , diy gifts , eco christmas , eco friendly presents , eco holiday , eco xmas , eco-friendly gifts , eco-friendly stocking stuffers , edible gifts , environmentally friendly gifts , environmentally friendly presents , gift in a jar , green christmas , green gift guide , green holiday , green holiday gift guide , green presents , Green Stocking Stuffers , green xmas , last minute gift ideas , last minute gifts , last minute holiday gifts , mason jars , recipe in a jar , stocking stuffer ideas , stocking stuffers , Sustainable Stocking Stuffers

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16 Last-Minute Gifts for the Procrastinator

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