All-in-one Humanihut emergency shelters set up in five fast minutes

June 10, 2016 by  
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South Australian startup Humanihut has developed an all-in-one emergency shelter for refugees and disaster victims that can be set up in only five minutes. Unlike some temporary shelters, the Humanihut provides more than a roof over refugees’ heads and walls for protect them from the elements — showers, toilets, electricity, and laundry facilities are also integrated into the system. A standard shipping container can hold 16 of the shelters, allowing them to be easily transported and deployed. A “village” of the huts can be built in a matter of hours. https://youtu.be/VBz-zPCNZ18 Each hut is 7.3 meters long and 2.4 meters high, including solar panels on the roof and wiring for 110V outlets throughout. Heating and water purification equipment are built into the hut, and the units include a built in table, bench, and sink. The steel walls and roof of each unit contains insulated panels to help keep the temperature comfortable in hot or cold weather. The hope is that access to these facilities will help cut down on the rates of water-borne diseases like malaria that kill thousands of refugees per year. Related: 6 designs to help refugees live a better life The shelters aren’t just portable and quick to set up, they’re also incredibly durable. Each unit is expected to last for up to 20 years, a vast improvement over the tent shelters that many refugees find themselves living in. This both helps provide a more comfortable and stable living situation for the refugees or disaster victims, and helps cut down on costs for aid organizations . An investment in the Humanihut is expected to break even after about 3.5 years, and could potentially save millions of dollars thereafter. In a camp with 50,000 people, the huts could cut costs by $70 million per year. + Humanihut Via Treehugger

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All-in-one Humanihut emergency shelters set up in five fast minutes

President Obama and Prime Minister Modi talk renewable energy

June 10, 2016 by  
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This week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with President Barack Obama to discuss ways for India to scale up its use of renewable energy . The White House released a statement about “the deepening strategic relationship” between the two countries, which will result, in part, in the $20 million U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative expected to mobilize up to $400 million to provide clean energy for up to 1 million households by 2020. Industry observers think the prime minister is eager to finish deals in case Donald Trump takes office. Trump has said he would withdraw from the Paris agreement . While the New York Times reports he hasn’t focused on India much, his comments regarding topics like climate change and immigration worry Indian leaders . One associate from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said Prime Minister Modi “wants to get as much as he can out of Obama’s last months in office.” Related: India announces plans to boost its solar power five times to 100GW by 2022 According to a panel hosted by the World Resources Institute, if India is to meet their climate goals, they’ll likely need American investment. Ajay Mathur, India’s chief spokesperson at the Paris talks, said U.S. investment with reasonable interest rates is crucial so India can reach their goal of 100 gigawatts in solar power by 2022 and Indian citizens can access that clean energy. Around 240 million people in India still lack electricity, making such a partnership all the more important. According to a joint statment , “The United States and India share common climate change and clean energy interests and are close partners in the fight against climate change…India and the United States recognize the urgency of climate change and share the goal of enabling entry into force of the Paris Agreement as early as possible.” For the Paris agreement to take effect, 55 countries emitting a minimum of 55 percent of global emissions must ratify the agreement. So far, 34 countries, which account for 49 percent of emissions, have formally joined. Via New Scientist Images via American Center Mumbai on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Young filmmaker transforms boring Chevy van into a slick solar-powered mobile home

June 10, 2016 by  
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Zach bought his used 2003 Chevy Express van for $4,000 in August 2014 and spent a total of $15,000 to convert the van into his mobile dream home . While he concedes that the cost was high (and more than he initially anticipated), it allowed him to achieve a stunning custom build that maximizes every square inch of space and is tailored to his exact specifications. The exterior was kept white to stay as inconspicuous as possible, however, the interior sports a stylish timber-lined living space inspired by minimalist Scandinavian design principles. The converted van comprises a futon bed on one end and a L-shaped desk space with an integrated kitchen on the other. His kitchen features an ARB 50-quart Fridge/Freezer combo as well as an Origo two-burner alcohol stove stored beneath a desktop. The van roof is topped by two Boulder 90 solar panels paired with a Goal Zero Yeti Solar Generator that powers all his electronics. Rather than install a full sink and water pump , Zach opted for the low-tech solution of a five-gallon water jug. With no water hookup and limited space, there’s also no shower or toilet. The young filmmaker makes use of gym showers and public restrooms. Related: 6 fab mobile offices let you ditch the cubicle for the open road “Filmmaking by nature is a nomadic pursuit. It’s a constant migration to and from different locations based on what the storytelling requires,” said Zach Both. “With this van, I now have complete freedom to write a script surrounded by mountains, direct a shoot in a remote desert town and then collaborate with an editor or composer in Los Angeles—all within the same month. That would be impossible any other way.” For more information on how Zach was able to realize his mobile lifestyle, head over to The Vanual for his step-by-step conversion guide and digital nomad tips and tricks. + The Vanual Images via The Vanual

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Young filmmaker transforms boring Chevy van into a slick solar-powered mobile home

Apple is launching a new company to sell surplus solar energy

June 10, 2016 by  
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For years, Apple has been generating solar power at a number of enormous solar farms around the world, helping offset the energy used by its many manufacturing and distribution facilities. Although the company isn’t completely powering its global operations by solar energy , there is enough excess solar power being generated by Apple’s California headquarters and Nevada solar farm to warrant a new venture: Apple Energy LLC . The energy spin off company could begin selling surplus solar power as early as August. Apple has a long track record of green investments, with solar farms in multiple countries, including China . The company generates enough solar power to meet 93 percent of its global energy needs, according to Apple’s latest environmental responsibility report . Last year, Greenpeace even named the California-based company the ‘ world’s greenest tech company ’ for its efforts in sustainable business practices, so it’s not surprising that Apple is taking its commitment one step further. Related: Apple unveils nature-filled, solar-powered future for its retail stores worldwide News of Apple’s foray into the field of energy sales was scooped by 9to5Mac , which reported that the company’s June 6 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filing claims it can legally sell energy at market rates, since the new venture isn’t big enough to influence prices. The target audience for Apple Energy is a little unclear at this stage in the game, though. Most companies sell excess solar energy to corporate clients, but some suspect Apple could sell the surplus energy generated by the rooftop solar array at its Cupertino, California headquarters to local residents. Apple asked the FERC to grant permission to begin operations 60 days after its application, so we expect to report back with answers in early August. Via Engadget Images via Foster + Partners and Apple

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Eco-friendly youth center is built from bamboo, earth bricks, and recycled plastic bottles in Phnom Penh

February 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Eco-friendly youth center is built from bamboo, earth bricks, and recycled plastic bottles in Phnom Penh Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Art Council of Finland , bamboo , Cambodia , Cambodian Volunteers for Society , earth bricks , Finnish Cultural Fund , Khmer Kampuchea Krom Human Rights and Development Organization , Komitu Architects , Kouk Khleang youth center , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland , NGOs , Phnom Penh , recycled plastic bottles , youth center

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Eco-friendly youth center is built from bamboo, earth bricks, and recycled plastic bottles in Phnom Penh

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