Painting wind turbines may reduce bird collisions and deaths

August 27, 2020 by  
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A new study published in the journal Ecology and Evolution shows that painting one blade on a wind turbine black may reduce bird deaths at wind farms by up to 70%. For a long time, organizations, such as the Royal Society For The Protection of Birds (RSPB), have been championing for more care when it comes to setting up wind power plants to avoid the deaths of birds through collisions. This study could reveal a simple solution. Although wind farms provide one of the cleanest sources of energy , they are tainted by the effects of the turbines on birds. It is common for birds to collide with the turbines and die on the spot. The study now shows that if the blades of turbines are painted black, the rate of accidents could greatly decrease. The study was conducted off the coast of Norway; the location is home to the Smøla plant, where six to nine white-tailed eagles are killed annually. Related: US and Canada in drastic crisis with 3 billion birds lost since 1970 According to Roel May, researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research and one of the authors of the study, wind power negatively impacts wild bird populations. “Collision of birds, especially raptors, is one of the main environmental concerns related to wind energy development,” May said. The main purpose of the study was to find out if there are any mitigating measures that could reduce the collisions. The researchers found that if one of the main rotor blades is painted black, it reduces the motion smear, making the blades visible to birds when they are in motion. While the findings are promising, the study authors warn that more research still has to be done. The new study provides a platform for more studies to explore the possibility of reducing bird deaths at renewable energy plants. “Although we found a significant drop in bird collision rates, its efficacy may well be site- and species-specific,” May explained. “At the moment there exists interest to carry out tests in the Netherlands and in South Africa.” Further studies will need to be carried out in diverse locations to determine the viability of such a move in different areas and on specific bird species. Members of RSPB are also championing for establishing wind power farms in safer locations, where there are no large populations of birds. + Ecology and Evolution Via BBC Image via Matthias Böckel

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Painting wind turbines may reduce bird collisions and deaths

Norway oil drilling expands to Svalbard

August 27, 2020 by  
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Norway is expanding oil drilling operations farther north into the Arctic. Environmentalists are concerned about the fragile Arctic ecosystem, and campaigners worry relations with Russia will deteriorate as Norway pushes the limits of the Svalbard treaty. The Svalbard archipelago is northwest of Norway, east of Greenland and south of the North Pole. In addition to the 2,667 people who lived in Svalbard as of 2016, polar bears, Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes make their home in the remote and rugged terrain. Svalbard is one of the northernmost inhabited areas of the world. Related: Trump administration furthers Arctic drilling plan “Irrespective of changes in the environment, the Arctic is a very harsh place,” said Ilan Kelman , a professor at UCL and Agder University in Norway.  “A lot can go wrong, and when something goes wrong … it can cause extensive damage for a long time.” Several environmental groups, including WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Norway , sent an open letter to the Norwegian government pointing out its long track record of ignoring the wisdom of environmentalists to not continue a decades-long northward expansion of oil exploration. “Given that we don’t yet have the technology to clean up spills in an Arctic environment, it really doesn’t make any sense to continue with offshore extraction there,” Kelman said of the Svalbard move. Two of the reasons that this oil expansion is so tricky are the Svalbard treaty and the definition of the “ice edge.” Originally called the Spitsbergen Treaty, eight countries signed it in Paris in 1920 to try to regulate administrative and economic activities in an area that has been compared to the Wild West. Now, 46 countries are involved. The treaty states that Norway governs Svalbard legally and administratively, but that citizens from all treaty signatory nations can access Svalbard for economic activities. No nation, including Norway, is allowed to permanently station its military on the archipelago. Some experts are worried that Norway’s petroleum development in Svalbard will cause tension with other countries, especially Russia. Then there’s the ice edge, that place where open seas meet ice. This area is important because it’s where marine mammals, fish and birds feed on plankton. Because it’s so ecologically sensitive, the ice edge has been a no-fly zone for petroleum activities. But Norway has continually nudged its definition of the ice edge north to accommodate oil extraction. This latest move to open parts of Svalbard to petroleum companies is the farthest push north yet. Via The Guardian , High North News and The Maritime Executive Image via Einar Storsul

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Planting tiny urban forests can boost biodiversity and fight climate change

August 7, 2020 by  
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Planting tiny urban forests can boost biodiversity and fight climate change Alex Thornton Fri, 08/07/2020 – 00:30 How much space do you think you need to grow a forest? If your answer is bigger than a couple of tennis courts, think again. Miniature forests are springing up on patches of land in urban areas around the world, often planted by local community groups  using a method inspired by Japanese temples. The idea is simple — take brownfield sites, plant them densely with a wide variety of native seedlings and let them grow with minimal intervention. The result, according to the method’s proponents , is complex ecosystems perfectly suited to local conditions that improve biodiversity, grow quickly and absorb more carbon dioxide. The Miyawaki method The method is based on the work of Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki . He found that protected areas around temples, shrines and cemeteries in Japan contained a huge variety of native vegetation that co-existed to produce resilient and diverse ecosystems. This contrasted with the conifer forests — non-indigenous trees grown for timber — that dominated the landscape. Miyawaki forests can grow into mature ecosystems in just 20 years — astonishingly fast when compared to the 200 years it can take a forest to regenerate on its own. His work developed into the Miyawaki method — an approach that prioritizes the natural development of forests using native species. Miyawaki forests can grow into mature ecosystems in just 20 years — astonishingly fast when compared to the 200 years it can take a forest to regenerate on its own. They act as oases for biodiversity, supporting up to 20 times as many species as non-native, managed forests. Local pollinators such as butterflies and bees, beetles, snails and amphibians are among the animals that thrive with a greater diversity of food and shelter. Greening urban spaces worldwide The popularity of Miyawaki forests is growing, with initiatives in India , the Amazon and Europe. Projects such as Urban Forests in Belgium and France, and Tiny Forest in the Netherlands, are bringing together volunteers to transform small patches of wasteland. Urban forests bring many benefits to communities beyond their impact on biodiversity. Green spaces can help to improve people’s mental health , reduce the harmful effects of air pollution , and even counter the phenomenon of heat islands in cities, where expanses of concrete and asphalt raise temperatures unnaturally high. Carbon sinks The potential for helping to combat climate change makes Miyawaki forests a particularly attractive option for many environmentalists. Reforestation is a key part of strategies to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, with initiatives such as the Bonn Challenge , Trillion Trees Vision and the World Economic Forum’s 1t.org project setting ambitious targets. It’s estimated that new or restored forests could remove up to 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050. If you have a patch of wasteland in your local community that is sitting idle, a Miyawaki forest could be one way of doing your bit to help the environment. However, not all forests are equally effective in sequestering carbon. Mature forests of native trees soak up much more carbon dioxide than the monoculture plantations that make up many reforestation projects. As scientists learn more about the role of other factors, such as carbon in the soil , it is increasingly clear that planting the right kind of trees matters as much as the number. Conservation groups stress that Miyawaki forests should not be seen as an alternative to protecting existing native forests. Small, unconnected wooded areas never can replace the large tracts of forest that are vital to so many species — and that remain under threat from commercial plantations and slash-and-burn farming. But if you have a patch of wasteland in your local community that is sitting idle, a Miyawaki forest could be one way of doing your bit to help the environment. Pull Quote Miyawaki forests can grow into mature ecosystems in just 20 years — astonishingly fast when compared to the 200 years it can take a forest to regenerate on its own. If you have a patch of wasteland in your local community that is sitting idle, a Miyawaki forest could be one way of doing your bit to help the environment. Topics Forestry Cities World Economic Forum Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off An urban forest in Shirakawa-Go, Japan. Photo by Rap Dela Rea on Unsplash. Close Authorship

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Instagram data uncovers the world’s top #urbanjungles

June 12, 2020 by  
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Houseplants offer any number of benefits ranging from cleaner air to aesthetic appeal. Indoor plants brighten up a space and bring the natural world indoors, something that seems especially important during the 2020 COVID lockdowns. They make excellent gifts and enhance every photo opportunity within the home, whether it be a pre-prom photo or a snapshot of dinner. Love of houseplants  seems to be universal, but Budget Direct Home Insurance wanted to know specifically what areas of the world took the biggest interest in plant adoption and which plants people had the most passion for.  To figure this out, Budget Direct analyzed the most commonly used hashtags on Instagram to locate the top 10 plant-loving countries and which plants they are capturing for their feeds. After filtering the results of 200,000 Instagram posts and cleaning up the data by removing outliers and professional plant peddlers such as florists , Budget Direct put all its findings into an easy to comprehend map.  Related: 9 ways to add more houseplants to your home Results from the most common hashtag, #urbanjungle, show the United States as the top indoor plant hugging group with 7,592 posts. Brazil came in second, with half that number at 3,577. Europe is another plant-loving culture, with Germany posting 3,417 times and the U.K. showing a proud 2,323 posts. France followed at 1,673 posts, the Netherlands with 1,610, and Poland with 1,591 posts about appreciating indoor greenery. Rounding out the top 10 list was Italy with 1,405, pushing Europe’s total posts to over 17,000, then India with 1,327 and Canada with 1,288. The study breaks this information down further, looking at cities with the highest number of Instagram posts regarding indoor plants. NYC, London and Berlin, in that order, took the top three spots, followed by São Paulo, Paris, Los Angeles, Warsaw, Singapore, Amsterdam and Toronto. Representing an expansive geography, these posts make clear that houseplants are an essential part of  interior design  across various cultures.  While most people are familiar with product influencers on social media, you may not know about houseplant influencers. It makes sense when you think about it. You’re scrolling through Instagram, you like plants and you follow people who are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful so you can successfully grow and enjoy your indoor plants . By studying an assortment of popular hashtags such as #houseplants, #houseplantsofinstagram, #houseplantsmakemehappy and, of course, #urbanjungle, the researchers at Budget Direct Home Insurance created a top 10 list of houseplant influencers. In the results, the company stated, “According to our study, if you want to become an #urbanjungle influencer, you need a blend of houseplant knowledge, interior design flair, and friendliness.” If you’re looking for some inspiration or advice, here are a few of the houseplant influencers that made Budget Direct’s top 10 list. Coming in at number one is Canada-based Darryl Cheng ( @houseplantjournal ), author of “The New Plant Parent.” Following Cheng were U.S.-based creators The Potted Jungle ( @thepottedjungle ) and Hilton Carter ( @hiltoncarter ). Carter not only shares plant wisdom on Instagram, but also via weekly tips as the “Plant Doctor” for Apartment Therapy, plant propagating experiences on Airbnb and two books, “Wild Interiors” and “Wild at Home.” After pinpointing the most passionate Instagram plant owners and locations, the Budget Direct team took their research one step further to identify which plants are the most frequently captured on film. Greenery was identified by hashtags using proper botanical names, rather than common names. The results showed a combination of flowering indoor plants, succulents and foliage plants making up the top 10 most commonly posted varieties. Echeveria, a widely popular desert succulent, took the prize for the most photographed plant. Its striking blue-green rosette makes it a model for the camera. Plus, it is easy to grow and maintain. With 1,021,534 posts, Echeveria stands out as a clear favorite of plant lovers around the world. In second place with nearly half as many mentions (517,005) was the flowering crocus. Another easy-to-care-for succulent, Haworthia, settled into third place, likely due to its forgiving demeanor and eye-catching appeal. Indoor Fuschia and daffodils took over the fourth and fifth positions, showing that people love their flowering plants. The Swiss Cheese Plant, though many people may not recognize it by name, earned sixth place and is one of the most common houseplants in the world. The Dragon Wing Begonia, Living Stones, Freesia Flower and Chinese Money Plant round out the top 10 most frequently photographed and posted houseplants in the world. The results of this study are meant to be an enlightening report of who’s talking and what they’re talking about when it comes to houseplants. Still, Instagram may not be the best exclusive source of information considering it’s still not widely used in many areas. Instead of a comprehensive study, this data reflects overall  interior design  trends that suggest houseplants have a home anywhere around the world. + Budget Direct Home Insurance Images via Budget Direct Home Insurance 

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Glowing rabbit made of 3D-printed polycarbonate pops up in a Dutch pond

February 21, 2020 by  
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Early last year, Dutch artist Titia Ex presented the North Holland town of Heemskerk with an unusual gift — a massive glowing rabbit sculpture set inside a pond. Dubbed “Bunny Lights,” the site-specific artwork was a light installation built from recycled 3D-printed polycarbonate tubes, a series of stainless steel discs and multicolored LED lights that flicker on at night. Created to symbolize “the continuity of existence,” the artwork was designed in the likeness of the dune rabbit, an animal that has long been native to the region. As a master of experiential art, Titia Ex is known for her installations that often change depending on how they’re viewed. Her unusual art pieces are typically placed in everyday environments, such as in plazas or outside of houses and office buildings. Following this pattern, Bunny Lights was placed at a busy corner intersection in a pond near a residential development. Related: Recycled plastic art installation asserts that water is a human right in D.C. Weighing 1,100 kilograms (2,425 pounds) with a head that measures 5 meters (about 16 feet) in height, the gigantic sculpture added whimsy to an otherwise unremarkable site. The rabbit shape was made from stainless steel discs supported by a 3D-printed “vertebrae” of recycled polycarbonate with embedded LED lights. The lights automatically switch on at nightfall and change the color of the tubes from a dull gray to a rich rainbow of colors, from blue and green to yellow and red. The artwork also plays back recordings of waves taken at various locations, including the sea nearby. “With its mystery, history, nature and symbolism, the native rabbit is the perfect bearer for the centuries-long intertwining of man and beast in Heemskerk in the Netherlands,” the artist explained. “She symbolizes the continuity of existence. It is a landmark in the scenery and a beacon of the existence of man and animal in its wetlands .” + Titia Ex Images via Titia Ex

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Glowing rabbit made of 3D-printed polycarbonate pops up in a Dutch pond

12 good things that happened for the environment in 2019

December 26, 2019 by  
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For folks who read — and write — about sustainability, dire projections are revealed every day. Between rainforest fires and ocean pollution, much of the news is grim. However, 2019 also brought good news. In the spirit of optimism as we start a new year, let’s hope our species can build on this year’s gains in 2020. Here are a few high points from 2019. Banana leaves as packaging If you’ve ever had the good fortune to visit a southern Indian restaurant in Asia, you may have been served dinner on a banana leaf instead of a plate. Now, that idea has found its way into some Thai supermarkets. Forbes reported on Rimping supermarket in Chiangmai, Thailand that wraps its produce in banana leaves and secures them with a piece of bamboo . Way to cut down on plastic packaging! Robots rejuvenating reefs As we learned in the classic yet highly disturbing film  2001,  not all  robots are trustworthy. However,  Tech Crunch informed us about Larvalbot, a new underwater robot that is reseeding old corals with new polyps. A bot-controlling team at Queensland University of Technology is finding that robots can do this much faster than humans — and lack that pesky need to breathe. Good news for the American barrier reef Meanwhile, in Florida, researchers at Tampa’s Florida Aquarium  worked on “Project Coral” in partnership with London’s  Horniman Museum and Gardens . They announced their first successful attempt at Atlantic coral reproduction in a lab setting. The objective: to create large  coral egg deposits in a laboratory and ultimately repopulate the Florida Reef Tract. Inhabitat reported about how this could have important implications for saving barrier reefs. Help for the rainforests One Green Planet held out some hope for the tropical land being devastated by  palm oil plantations. A collaboration between the Peruvian government, the National Wildlife Federation, conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo and the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers’ Association (JUNPALMA) led to an agreement to only produce sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil by 2021. Peru will join the ranks of South American countries fighting palm oil deforestation, the second after Colombia. Cactus plastic developed in Mexico Research professor Sandra Pascoe Ortiz and other scientists at the University of Valle de Atemajac in Zapopan, Mexico used prickly pear juice to craft a new biodegradable plastic. This cactus plastic begins breaking down in a month when placed in soil and only a few days in water. Unlike traditional plastics, no crude oil is required, according to Forbes . Things are looking up for whales Humpback whales have made a comeback off the South American coast, USA Today reported. After nearing extinction in the 1950s, numbers have surged from a low of 440 South Atlantic humpbacks to more than 25,000. The rise in population coincides with the end of whaling in the 1970s. North American whales got a new app this year. Inhabitat reported on Washington State Ferries implementing a whale report alert system. This new app notifies ferry captains of the whereabouts of orcas and other cetaceans in Puget Sound to help prevent boat strikes. Baby girls and tree planting In the Indian village of Piplantri, families plant 111 trees every time a baby girl is born. Since 2006, this village has been fighting stigma against the double X chromosome, leading to more than 350,000 trees planted so far. The number 111 is said to bring success in Indian culture, according to this YouTube video about Piplantri. Renewable energy growth The International Renewable Energy Agency released a study showing that renewable energy capacity continued to grow globally. Solar and wind energy accounted for 84 percent of recent growth, according to Bioenergy International . Brazilian street dogs and cats get comfy and stylish beds Young artist Amarildo Silva realized he could do something about two problems in his Brazilian city Campina Grande: stray animals and too much trash. He began making colorful beds out of  upcycled tires for both pets and strays. The 23-year-old has been able to leave his supermarket job and make a living as an artist while having a positive and far-reaching effect on his city. The stray  dogs themselves inspired Silva’s breakthrough idea. He noticed that at night, they liked to bed down in discarded tires. So Silva began to collect old tires from landfills, streets and parking lots. After he cleans and cuts them down to size, he decorates the tires with paw prints, bones and hearts, according to Bored Panda . Dogs and cats sleep better, and people see art, not the eyesores of discarded tires. Video game entrepreneur saves North Carolina forests Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games, has amassed billions with games like Fortnite, Unreal Tournament  and  Gears of War.  Fortunately for the world, he’s putting the money to excellent use. Over the last decade, he’s spent millions on  forest preservation in his home state of North Carolina, according to  The Gamer . This video game developer likes his land undeveloped. South Korean food recycling soars Since 2005, when the South Korean government prohibited people from sending food to landfills, the amount of recycled food waste has soared to 95 percent. This is amazing, considering less than two percent was recycled in 1995. Seoul residents are now required to discard their food waste in special biodegradable bags, which cost families an average of six dollars per month. Money paid for bags covers more than half the cost of collecting and processing this waste, according to Huffington Post . Will artificial islands draw wildlife back to Netherlands? After a dyke collapsed in the Markermeer, an enormous, 270-mile Dutch lake, water became too cloudy with sediment to sustain fish, plants and birds. Now a Dutch NGO called Natuurmonumenten is building five artificial islands out of silt at a cost of €60 million, mostly from public donation, according to The Daily Mail . They hope that this faux archipelago will draw wildlife back to the lake. And so do we. Here’s hoping for more good news in 2020.

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UDEM students and Daan Roosegaarde install a Smog-Eating Billboard in Monterrey

December 19, 2019 by  
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Under the guidance of Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde , an interdisciplinary team of students from the University of Monterrey (UDEM) have designed and installed the “Smog-Eating Billboard” to purify the air in Monterrey, Mexico. Dubbed “Pollu-Mesh,” the installation follows in the footsteps of Studio Roosegaarde’s ongoing Smog-Free Project that includes the successful launch of the Smog-Free Towers, a series of large-scale, air-purifying structures in China, South Korea, Poland and the Netherlands. According to the team, the Smog-Eating Billboard purifies the same amount of air as 30 trees every six hours. The Pollu-Mesh project was created over the course of a year during Roosegaarde’s time as a visiting professor to the University of Mexico’s newly founded Environmental Design course. The idea to create an air purifier in the shape of a billboard was born from the observation of the ubiquitous advertising structure in the city; Studio Roosegaarde said that there are currently 9,760 billboards in Monterrey. Building upon existing infrastructure, the students and Roosegaarde created an air-purifying installation that also helps raise awareness about air pollution. Related: Studio Roosegaarde wants to turn space waste into shooting stars and 3D-printed housing Measuring 12.7 meters wide by 7.2 meters tall, the nearly 100-square-meter Pollu-Mesh billboard is coated with a chemical that relies on sunlight and wind to attract and then clean air pollutants via a process called photocatalysis. The text on the billboard reads, “This billboard is now cleaning the polluted air.” The team estimates the lifespan of the smog-eating billboard at 5 years and says it can provide clean air for 104,000 people daily. “It was great to work with the students and take a problem and transform it into a potential,” said Roosegaarde, referring to both Monterrey’s air pollution problems as well the visual pollution of the numerous billboards. “I am really proud to see them go from academic research to a real project. I do not believe in utopia, a perfect solution, but protopia, step-by-step improving reality.” + Studio Roosegaarde Images via Studio Roosegaarde

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UDEM students and Daan Roosegaarde install a Smog-Eating Billboard in Monterrey

Remote tiny house in the Netherlands has a design inspired by foliage

December 18, 2019 by  
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When a client tasked the team behind Liberté Tiny Houses to create a mobile, minimalist home where she could reconnect with nature, they responded by building the Makatita — a 182-square-foot tiny home with a shape that was inspired by the organic form of a leaf. Located in a remote area of the Netherlands, the Makatita was specifically designed to let the owner enjoy her favorite passions of walking, camping and bushcraft. Accordingly, the architects behind Liberté began their design process by looking directly to Mother Nature for inspiration . Related: This gorgeous tiny home features a greenhouse and wooden pergola The tiny home was built with various organic shapes and materials found in nature, such as foliage, in mind. In fact, according to the designers, Gijsbert Schutten and Gijs Coumou, the home’s angular volume was inspired by the shape of a leaf. “The shape of the house was inspired by the lines that appear when you carefully fold a leaf,” Schutten explained. “The window shutters give the effect of the way light scatters through the forest.” Not just a nod to nature, the tiny home’s severely angled roofline enabled the structure to have ample space for a massive glass facade. Further embedding the home into its environment, the floor-to-ceiling glass panels nearly erase all boundaries between the indoors and outdoors. Inside and out, the structure is clad in pine , creating a warm, cabin setting. Although compact and minimalist, the living space feels open and welcoming. Throughout the interior, the unfinished wood walls, gray vinyl flooring and angular ceiling lend to the industrial design aesthetic. At the request of the homeowner, who prefers to sit on the open-air deck, there are minimal furnishings inside the house. The living space is comprised of a custom bench, which also holds the fireplace with firewood storage underneath, and a single stool made out of a salvaged tree stump. Next to the kitchen, a bespoke table folds out of the wall and can be used for dining or working. A simple wall ladder leads to a sleeping loft with a twin mattress. + Liberté Tiny Houses Via Dwell Images via Liberté Tiny Houses

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Remote tiny house in the Netherlands has a design inspired by foliage

Modular Aquatecture panels can harvest rainwater from the sides of buildings

December 16, 2019 by  
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In response to the severe water shortage that recently gripped Cape Town, South African-born designer Shaakira Jassat of Studio Sway has developed Aquatecture, a building facade panel designed to harvest rainwater runoff as well as moisture from the atmosphere. Developed with modern, urban settings in mind, the modular panels feature a compact profile and stainless steel construction with attractive perforations made for optimal rainwater collection. Jassat’s focus on innovative, water-conserving design are in part inspired by the fears of Day Zero — a reference to the day when severe water shortage would force municipal water supplies to be switched off — and threats of reoccurring droughts throughout South Africa . “As the threat to earth’s natural resources rises exponentially, our ‘available-on-demand’ mentality needs to change,” the designer said. Jassat’s recent projects “reconsider the value of water” and range from a small-scale tea machine that condenses water vapor from the air to the large-scale Aquatecture rain-catching panels. Related: TREDJE NATUR develops sidewalk tiles to capture and reuse water runoff To combat potential drought, Jassat proposes equipping buildings with Aquatecture panels to collect falling rainwater that is then funneled into a tank and pumped back into the building’s gray water system for later use. The panel’s perforated pattern not only takes aesthetics into account, but it is also designed to optimize rainwater collection. The slim profile of the panels would also make it easy to insert into dense urban environments. Research models of the Aquatecture panels and Jassat’s other works were recently presented at Dutch Design Week. Jassat, who is presently based in the Netherlands, was also selected to participate in the Bio Art Laboratories in Eindhoven and has been studying the water-harvesting characteristics of air plants as part of an ongoing ‘Embracing Water’ project in urban environments. + Studio Sway Photography by Ronald Smits, Angeline Swinkels and Alexandra Hsu via Studio Sway

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Modular Aquatecture panels can harvest rainwater from the sides of buildings

30,000 recycled water bottles make up this 3D-printed pavilion

December 16, 2019 by  
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Dubai-based design studio MEAN Design has unveiled an eye-catching pavilion in the front esplanade of the Dubai International Financial Center. Not only is the bulbous structure with multicolored “teeth” visibly stunning, but the unique pavilion, called Deciduous, was constructed entirely with 3D printing technology that turned 30,000 discarded water bottles into a plastic polymer to use as the base material. The Deciduous pavilion is a stunning example of how 3D printing is not only a viable and affordable construction method of the future but also a revolutionary system that can help reduce plastic waste . According to MEAN Design, the structure was printed using a polymer filament that was made from 30,000 recycled water bottles. The bottles were recycled into the filament and then used to print interlocking parts. The base is also made from 3D-printed concrete, hybridized with the polymer parts. Related: Croatia Pavilion’s Cloud Pergola is one of the world’s largest 3D-printed structures Unveiled at this year’s ‘Art Nights’ event at the Dubai International Financial Center, the pavilion ‘s concept was inspired by autumn. Its name, Deciduous, refers to trees that seasonally shed leaves in the autumn months. The innovative, 3D printing system, which was conceived using computer modeling, allowed the parts to be easily prefabricated off-site and then assembled onsite with little construction materials. In fact, all of the parts of the pavilion were mechanically joined without the need for heavy machinery. As for the design itself, the unique pavilion is a labyrinth-like, white volume with multicolored spokes rising out of the base, resulting in a bulbous, organic figure. The designers invite visitors to enter into the pavilion’s “abstracted botanical form” to explore their relationship with nature . + MEAN Design Photography by NAARO via MEAN Design

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30,000 recycled water bottles make up this 3D-printed pavilion

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