A tremendous translucent ‘forest’ pops up in a French courtyard

July 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

The courtyard of Fondation Martell in Cognac, France has been transformed into a translucent forest made of glass fiber-reinforced polyester sheets. Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano designed the Pavillon Martell as a temporary, mobile multipurpose space for concerts, workshops, and relaxation. The pavilion covers a 25,000-square-foot space situated behind the Foundation. Its main material, developed by French brand Onduline, is translucent and watertight and shelters a huge area where various activities can take place. Soft, changing light permeates this undulating membrane, creating an interesting and visually engaging rainbow effect. The architects typically work with off-the-shelf structural solutions. Related: German Students Create a Cloud-Like Retreat High Up in the Treetops “We started to look for the lightest and most cost-effective materials on the market. We found what we were looking for hidden away in the catalogue of Onduline, a leading French construction company with a worldwide presence,” said SelgasCano. Inflatable seats installed in the structure are attached by straps and provide visitors with places to sit, relax and organize workshops, concerts and various other events. The structure is easy to dismantle and transport to any location thanks to its modular nature and light weight. + SelgasCano Via World Architecture Photos by Iwan Baan  

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A tremendous translucent ‘forest’ pops up in a French courtyard

Australian company lands $12M to print batteries on printed solar panels

July 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Solar energy appeals to a lot of people concerned about the environment and reducing electricity costs, but the cost of installing the energy-generating panels remains prohibitively high for a lot of people – even though prices are gradually falling . Printed Energy has proposed a solution. The Australian company is on a mission to print out ultra-thin, flexible screen-printed batteries, which can then be applied on top of super-thin flexible screen-printed solar panels, considerably cutting installation costs. Earlier this week, the company signed a deal with UNSW and the University of Queensland — and received backing from the federal government —  to produce the printed batteries and offer them on the market. The $12 million project also received a $2 million grant from the Cooperate Research Centres Projects scheme. Having obtained funding, Printed Energy now seeks to produce “solid state” batteries that are thin and can be printed in a “roll-to-roll” process — similar to a newspaper. The printed batteries will also be adaptable to any shape. The idea isn’t to pair the printed batteries with existing solar technology but to match it with printed solar panels, and other devices the batteries could power. According to Rodger Whitby, CEO of Printed Energy and of the  St Baker Energy Innovation Fund , the printed battery technology is ideal for powering sensors, devices for the internet, disposable healthcare devices and, of course, renewable energy. While the invention could revolutionize the renewable energy industry, the company’s main priority is developing the batteries for “disposable devices.” Battery storage for solar will follow. Said Whitby, “We are really thinking of this type of battery in a different paradigm. We have also got IP for printed PV – so the idea is to have a sub-strata plastic sheet, and print solar on one side and battery on the other.” The printed batteries stand apart from other battery chemistries because the company is using commonly available metals, such as zinc and manganese oxides along with inorganic matrix structures, to produce the invention. This makes them low-cost, non-toxic and very low in flammability. However, challenges persist. For instance, the printed batteries, which are expected to cost next to nothing, still need to have enough efficiency to produce suitable amounts of power, store it, and to make it worthwhile in areas where competition exists. When asked if the vision can be achieved, the CEO of Printed Energy replied: “We don’t know. We have got a lot of research to undertake before we answer that question.” Related: Rocket Lab’s new rocket is 3D-printed and powered by batteries As Renew Economy  reports , the project is being backed by Sunset Energy  which has a hypocritical relationship with the clean energy industry. For instance, the company’s principal, Trevor St Baker, invested in a Tesla , put solar on his roof and has created an “energy innovation fund,” yet has argued against renewable energy targets and even recently said that “baseloading of intermittent renewables to replace coal in the foreseeable future … will just drive business out of the country.” Nonetheless, it’s backing by Sunset Energy and other companies that will ensure the product comes to market. + Printed Energy Via Renew Economy Images via Printed Energy , Gigaom

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Australian company lands $12M to print batteries on printed solar panels

Beautiful bamboo building withstands floods and storms in Vietnam

July 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Architecture firm RÂU ARCH created this beautiful thatched roof building burrowed deep into the lush rainforests of Vietnam. The MOOC Spring building is designed to accommodate the many visitors that come to the nearby natural springs. Due to the reoccurring storms and floods in the area, the architects chose to use a combination of locally-sourced stone, timber and bamboo , along with traditional building techniques in order to create a resilient structure able to withstand the harsh climate. The building was designed as an addition for an adjacent resort and houses a restaurant and lounge area. In addition to using locally-sourced materials in its construction, the Mooc Spring building was also built using traditional methods. The circular shape was chosen to withstand harsh winds and the building sits on a base made out of local stone. The first floor contains utility rooms as well as the kitchen and bathrooms. Related: Luxurious bamboo beach bar and restaurant bolsters spa in Vietnam The upper level, which houses the reception area and restaurant, was constructed using timber and bamboo . Although concrete pillars were used for optimal strength, they were wrapped with honey-hued nulgar bamboo for added resilience and of course, for its beautiful aesthetic. The local material was woven throughout the building in various intricate patterns and details to create an atmosphere that would blend in with the natural surroundings. The interior space is exceptionally well-lit thanks to the large glass skylight in the thatched roof that floods the interior with natural light . + RÂU ARCH Via Archdaily Photography by Hùng Râu Kts

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Beautiful bamboo building withstands floods and storms in Vietnam

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