Naturally cooled Otunba Offices has a small footprint but a large social impact

June 9, 2017 by  
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This low-cost sustainable office building in Lagos, Nigeria, can be easily and affordably replicated anywhere in the world. With its minimal footprint and ample public space, the design allows work productivity to flourish while nurturing a sense of community. The innovative space by Domaine Public Architects  features passive house principles including natural ventilation and the clever use of vegetation to minimize energy use. Affordability and replicability were the main ideas behind the Otunba Offices, a new low-cost office building prototype that can be built anywhere with minimal financial impact on project budget. The building lessens its impact on the environment by minimizing its footprint and expanding upper floors. This design approach allowed the architects to form communal areas that communicate with the neighborhood and the city and provide multi-purpose areas for social interaction. Related: WOHA revamps Singapore office with lush ‘pocket parks’ The project utilizes passive house principles to achieve a high energy performance. Its orientation provides natural shading, while a double layer of vegetation, flexible louvers and natural ventilation lower the reliance on mechanical cooling systems. The concept, currently under construction, has received commendation by the jury of AR Future Projects Awards, in the “Offices” category. + Domaine Public Architects Via v2com

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Naturally cooled Otunba Offices has a small footprint but a large social impact

Coca-Cola beverages are poisonous, Nigerian judge rules

April 3, 2017 by  
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Coca-Cola drinks clearly aren’t healthy – but one Nigerian judge recently ruled them poisonous. The lawsuit over Coca-Cola beverages made in a Nigerian factory said the sugary drinks had levels of sunset yellow food dye and benzoic acid, both carcinogens , that were too high and could be harmful when combined with vitamin C. Coca-Cola claims there’s no scientific basis for the ruling. European authorities flagged Coca-Cola products including Fanta Orange, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple, Sprite, Coca-Cola, and soda water for the two carcinogens, according to the lawsuit filed by businessman Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo against the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC). He says he was unable to sell Fanta and Sprite purchased from NBC due to the findings. Related: Artist boils down sugary drinks into sickly suckers that highlight the dangers of junk food Judge Adedayo Oyebanji said NBC must put written warnings on Sprite and Fanta bottles. The judge also said NAFDAC did not properly warn consumers of the perils of mixing vitamin C with benzoic acid and sunset yellow, and awarded them costs of two million Naira, or around $6,350. Coca-Cola, unsurprisingly, didn’t agree with the ruling. They told MUNCHIES, “Recent claims that The Coca-Cola Company’s Fanta and Sprite beverages are unfit for consumption when combined with vitamin C are inaccurate and unsupported by science . All our products are safe and strictly adhere to regulations in the countries where they are sold while complying with our Company’s stringent global safety and quality standards.” They mentioned a Medium post by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health addressing the issue. The post said Coca-Cola products made in Nigeria are safe to consume, and mentioned benzoic acid acts as a preservative to avoid growth of microorganisms which can thrive in the Nigerian climate. Via MUNCHIES Images via Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay

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Coca-Cola beverages are poisonous, Nigerian judge rules

Revealing map shows the distribution of all known ocean trash

April 3, 2017 by  
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There’s still a lot the average person doesn’t know about the trash clogging up our oceans . Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) scientists are tackling this public awareness crisis with LITTERBASE , a tool that makes it easy for the public to visualize the issue. They pulled together results from 1,237 scientific studies on two revealing maps to show exactly where known marine litter is distributed, and how it affects 1,249 marine species. AWI scientists realized there’s a large amount of research being done on the issue of marine litter, but since there are so many studies it’s hard for policymakers, authorities, and the public to reference the information they need to combat the issue. So they gathered the research in LITTERBASE in two maps. One combines 591 publications to show the distribution of garbage around the world. The other draws on 751 publications to show wildlife interactions with litter . According to LITTERBASE information cited by The Maritime Executive, 34 percent of species ingest trash, 31 percent colonize it, and 30 percent get tangled up or trapped in trash. Related: New report says plastic trash to exceed fish in the sea by 2050 AWI scientists also found in 10 years the concentration of garbage at an Arctic Ocean deep-sea station increased 20-fold. Plastic and glass were the worst offenders. It’s difficult to determine where the plastic trash came from, as it can often travel great distances before landing on the ocean floor. The maps could also help bring older studies back into public awareness. AWI scientist Melanie Bergmann said, “While compiling LITTERBASE, I discovered a cache of old data on litter in the Antarctic , which the signatory countries of the Antarctic Treaty gathered on a regular basis. In addition, the ingestion of microplastic at the beginning of the food chain was investigated for various groups of plankton and unicellular organisms as far back as the 1980s. As such, LITTERBASE will also help us rediscover old and in some cases forgotten findings.” You might notice the map has large blank swaths; the researchers note those aren’t necessarily clean areas. Rather, they just don’t yet have information for those spaces. You can check out the map of marine litter here and the map of wildlife interactions with trash here . + LITTERBASE Via The Maritime Executive Images via screenshot and Wikimedia Commons

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Revealing map shows the distribution of all known ocean trash

Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun’s Energy for Nighttime Fuel-Free Grilling

May 29, 2016 by  
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Many of us will be firing up our grills this weekend for some well-deserved barbecue time. After all, barbecuing is one of America’s greatest pastimes, but it certainly isn’t one of our most environmentally friendly. Whether you prefer charcoal, wood chips or propane, grilling releases emissions and contributes to poor air quality. Up until now, solar powered grilling has required, as you might expect, the sun, which means traditional fuel-fired grills are required after sunset. But new solar technology developed by MIT professor David Wilson could bring a nighttime solar-powered grill to the market very soon; an invention also of great benefit to those in developing nations who rely on wood to cook all their food. Wilson’s technology harnesses the sun and stores latent heat to allow cooking times for up to an amazing twenty five hours at temperatures above 450 degrees Fahrenheit . The technology uses a Fresnel lens to harness the sun’s energy to melt down a container of Lithium Nitrate. The Lithium Nitrate acts as a battery storing thermal energy for 25 hours at a time. The heat is then released as convection for outdoor cooking. “There are a lot of solar cookers out there,” says Wilson, “but surprisingly not many using latent-heat storage as an attribute to cook the food.” Wilson developed the idea after spending time in Nigeria, where wood is used for cooking, which causes a number of problems. Not only is cooking with firewood leading to respiratory illnesses , but is also increasing the rate of deforestation and women are being raped while searching for wood. A group of MIT students are working with the technology to develop a prototype solar grill. Derek Ham, Eric Uva, and Theodora Vardouli are conducting a study through their multi-disciplinary course “iTeams,” short for “Innovation Teams”, to determine the interest in such a concept and then hopefully launch a business to manufacture and distribute these grills. The goal is to develop a business model for distributing solar grills to developing nations as well as a grill for the American market. The American version is expected to be a hybrid propane/solar model that will allow for flame cooking as well as through thermal convection. If all goes well, in a couple years we just be giving solar grills as presents on Father’s Day and enjoying sun-kissed instead of char-broiled even after the sun goes down. + Solar Grill on Barbecue Lovers Via Treehugger Images ©Derek Ham

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Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun’s Energy for Nighttime Fuel-Free Grilling

Zappos redesigns its shoe boxes to be infinitely reusable

May 29, 2016 by  
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With more and more of us now ordering basic goods online, the average person’s life is starting to include more cardboard than ever before. Online shoe retailer Zappos has decided to do its part in cutting down on cardboard waste by redesigning its packaging in a truly innovative way. Instead of ending up in a landfill, each box is able to take on a second life as a fun or useful craft project.  

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Zappos redesigns its shoe boxes to be infinitely reusable

Huge Shell oil spill in Niger Delta is largest in six years

December 5, 2014 by  
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The Niger Delta has seen oil spills before, with leaky oil pipes being a regular event. However, local fisherman were shocked at the scale of the latest spill from Shell’s facility  at Bonny Island in Nigeria, which has poured into the delta’s swamps and nearby ocean. According to an investigation launched by Shell and the local government, oil equivalent to 3,800 barrels has been released, ranking it as the worst spill  in Nigeria for years. Read the rest of Huge Shell oil spill in Niger Delta is largest in six years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Africa , ecological damage , environmental disasters , fossil fuel , fossil fuels , Niger Delta oil , nigeria , oil , oil spills , Shell

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Huge Shell oil spill in Niger Delta is largest in six years

WHO: World’s Worst Ebola Outbreak Could Affect 20,000 People or More

August 29, 2014 by  
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The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that the recent Ebola outbreak that started in March of this year is accelerating at an alarming rate and could affect more than 20,000 people before it is contained. More than 40 percent of the total number of cases have occurred within the past 21 days, as the disease is being transmitted in busy city centers. In response, the WHO has come up with a roadmap that aims to stop transmission of the virus in the next eight to nine months, but warns that that timeline could be delayed due to various uncertainties. Read the rest of WHO: World’s Worst Ebola Outbreak Could Affect 20,000 People or More Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air france , bans on travel , British Airways , disease , Ebola , ebola containment , Ebola outbreak , ebola transmission , epidemic , guinea , health workers , liberia , nigeria , roadmap , sierra leone , West Africa , World Health Organization

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WHO: World’s Worst Ebola Outbreak Could Affect 20,000 People or More

The Mystery of the Death Valley Sailing Rocks Has Finally Been Solved

August 29, 2014 by  
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Remember those crazy rocks that were mysteriously sliding along the Death Valley floor when no one was watching? Someone finally caught the stones in action and we finally know what is making them move. Three scientists slapped 15 GPS-loaded rocks onto the Racetrack Playa and after a lot of patience, they discovered that a little bit of water, ice, wind, and a very precise set of circumstances is all it takes to get the stones moving. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of The Mystery of the Death Valley Sailing Rocks Has Finally Been Solved Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Death Valley moving rocks , Death Valley sailing rocks , mysterious moving rocks , mysterious sailing rocks , NASA Death Valley , NASA Racetrack Playa rocks , Racetrack Playa moving rocks , Racetrack Playa moving stones , Racetrack Playa sailing rocks , Racetrack Playa sailing stones , Roving Rocks , Sailing Rocks , sailing stones , self moving stones , solving the sailing rocks , solving the sailing stones

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The Mystery of the Death Valley Sailing Rocks Has Finally Been Solved

Sustainable Makokos Floating School in Nigeria is Finally Completed

August 12, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Sustainable Makokos Floating School in Nigeria is Finally Completed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , Architecture , bamboo , Floating Houses , Floating School , green materials , kunle adeyemi , Lagos , Makokos , nigeria , nle , pilot project , rainwater harvesting , solar panels , Solar Power , water issues , Wood        

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Sustainable Makokos Floating School in Nigeria is Finally Completed

School Propped up on Plastic Drums Floats on Nigerian Flood Waters

March 3, 2013 by  
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Lagos has long been plagued by periodic flooding that wreaks havoc on day-to-day life, so Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi conceived an idea that would allow local communities to live in harmony with nature. Eschewing the model of placing homes on stilts, Adeyemi proposes to build a floating community complete with modern sanitation, waste disposal and fresh water facilities for up to 250,000 residents. And since everything starts with a good, solid education, his first project involves building a three story school floated on plastic drums. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Design , Design for Education , eco design , flooding , green design , humanitarian design , kunle adeyemi , Lagos , nigeria , nigeria’s floating school , school floated on plastic drum , social design , sustainable design

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School Propped up on Plastic Drums Floats on Nigerian Flood Waters

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