New rooftop cooling tech beams excess heat into outer space

September 5, 2017 by  
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Heat rises, and, with a little help from scientists, can soar as high as outer space. A team at Stanford University has created a roof-mounted system which cools buildings, without the need for electricity, by incorporating solar panel-like machines that beam heat into the cold expanse of space. This system, known as radiative sky cooling, is seen as an early step to developing a full strength system to cool buildings without the need for an external energy source. This could prove enormously beneficial in dealing with the impacts of climate change (a warmer planet) while reducing its causes (lowering emissions). Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, and his team have been working on radiative sky cooling since 2013. Their recent research has demonstrated that the radiative sky cooling system is capable of lowering the temperature of flowing water to below that of the air around it. While Fan and his team have specifically harnessed radiative sky cooling for air conditioning purposes, this process is something that occurs naturally. “If you have something that is very cold – like space – and you can dissipate heat into it, then you can do cooling without any electricity or work. The heat just flows,” explained Fan. “For this reason, the amount of heat flow off the Earth that goes to the universe is enormous.” Related: Massive new data center to be built in chilly Norway to offset energy use The primary obstacle to achieving a net-temperature decrease through radiative sky cooling is the heat received from the sunlight. To solve this problem, the radiative sky cooling system at Stanford incorporates panels that are coated with a multilayer optical film, which has the ability to reflect up to 97 percent of the incoming sunlight . Using data gathered from small-scale testing, the Stanford team projected that a full-scale radiative sky cooling system would result in an 18 to 50 percent reduction in the amount of energy needed to cool a building. To further develop the concept, the team has started a company called SkyCool Systems and plans to incorporate their system into refrigeration and air conditioning models, with a particular focus on cooling massive data centers . Via New Atlas Images via  Norbert von der Groeben and Aaswath Raman

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New rooftop cooling tech beams excess heat into outer space

China plans to build nearly 300 new eco-cities

September 5, 2017 by  
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China broke ground on a 40,000-tree-filled Forest City earlier this summer – but apparently one isn’t enough. The country, infamous for their environmental pollution , plans to construct 285 eco-cities , according to Forbes. But what exactly an eco-city constitutes – and the standards to which it will be held – is still in question. Individual buildings can be held up against LEED standards, or even China’s Three Star system. But Forbes pointed out there’s no such criteria for entire cities . The publication quoted Austin Williams, Jiaotong-Liverpool University professor and author of a book on eco-cities, who said, “There is no definition of an eco-city, which makes them incredibly easy to invent.” Related: China plans its first “Forest City” to fight air pollution The country has urbanized more rapidly than any other country in history. In the last 30 years, more people than America’s entire population have moved to urban areas of China. The country has prioritized development over the environment in many cases, with dangerous air quality found in 90 percent of cities. According to Forbes, as the public has become educated about the pollution, environmental conditions in the country could pose the largest destabilizing force to the Communist Party. Will China’s eco-cities recycle , be powered by renewable energy , produce less carbon emissions , and be built with energy-efficient structures – a few hallmarks we might expect in an eco-city? Williams said, “In the West, eco-cities are supposed to save the world; in China they are simply meant to provide a decent quality of urban environment…China’s eco-cities are simply intended to be much-needed urban improvements and infrastructural development with an eco-prefix.” 80 percent of prefectural-level cities are estimated to have at least one eco-city in the works. One estimate suggests in the near future, more than 50 percent of new urban developments in China will be labeled green, smart, low-carbon, or eco. It remains to be seen whether these eco-cities will genuinely benefit China’s environment – and the people who live in them. Via Forbes Images via Stefano Boeri Architetti

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Zipline drones deliver life-saving medical supplies in under an hour

September 5, 2017 by  
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83% of rural Africans lack access to critical healthcare services – and delivering emergency supplies is often difficult or impossible due to ailing infrastructure. Zipline is changing that with the world’s first commercial medical delivery drones . A single drone can deliver up to 500 life-saving packages of medical supplies to remote areas in 24 hours. The project, which was just awarded a 2017 INDEX: Award , is a collaboration between Zipline and the Rwandan Government. The service is designed to deliver medical products to any area of Rwanda within 15-35 minutes – no matter how remote. Related: 5 brilliant designs that will change the world in 2017 To activate the system, health workers only need to text an order, which goes to a centralized distribution center. Once the order is put in motion, a drone is dispatched to the area, dropping the ordered items by parachute with a high degree of precision. According to the startup’s website, a single Zipline drone can carry up to 1.5 kilos (3.3 pounds) for up to 150 kilometers (93 miles), making up to 500 deliveries in one day – even in extreme weather conditions. In early 2017 Zipline began delivering blood to over 20 blood transfusion facilities in western Rwanda, and the project is set to begin service in Tanzania with 120 drones and more than 1,000 clinics. + Fly Zipline + INDEX: AWARD 2017

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Solar-powered recreational center in LA boasts a 7,800 square foot planted roof

June 24, 2016 by  
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The building is broken up into public and private areas by a large corridor that runs diagonally through the structure. This route forms the building’s spine and links the residential buildings of the Playa Vista community to the new Runway development to the east. Related: Solar-powered Hotel at Oberlin is first in US to be heated and cooled with geothermal energy The site is populated with palm trees, while the 7,800 square foot planted roof featuring drought-tolerant plant species helps maintain stable indoor temperatures. Parts of the roof surface not covered in vegetation are equipped with solar panels and a recyclable light-colored PVC membrane. Internal courtyards facilitate natural ventilation, with passive cooling systems harnessing coastal breezes to ventilate 75 percent of the building. + Rios Clementi Hale Studios Photos by Tom Bonner

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Net-zero Spring Ranch boasts enviable views of California’s Central Valley

March 17, 2016 by  
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Passively cooled Walls and Vaults House in India brings lush tropical vegetation inside

January 29, 2016 by  
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Solar-powered STILE house is constructed from recycled steel shipping containers

October 12, 2015 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects unveil a honeycomb-like design for their first project in Mexico

May 19, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Zaha Hadid Architects unveil a honeycomb-like design for their first project in Mexico Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: CPTED , Esfera City Center , green buildings , honeycomb , mexico , passive cooling , public park , public spaces , residential architecture , solar gain , Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects unveil a honeycomb-like design for their first project in Mexico

Energy Harvesting Eco-leaf Shade Doubles as a Light Source at Night

April 11, 2015 by  
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The Eco-leaf is a solar shade concept that will lower your carbon footprint and brighten your living room. Eco-leaf’s unique energy harvesting design integrates proven-technologies like solar, E ink, and OLEDs , making it an attractive alternative to heavy drapes or curtains with an eco edge! Read the rest of Energy Harvesting Eco-leaf Shade Doubles as a Light Source at Night Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , ambient light , backlit , Climate Change , climate control , curtain , display screen , e-ink , eco interior , eco lighting , eco-leaf , eco-shade , energy loss , energy recovery , flexible technology , green design , green infrastructure , harvest energy , interior design , LED , Lim Wan Xuan , Lite-on , liteon , natural light , OLED , passive cooling , pv , recycled energy , renewable energy , solar , Solar cells , solar screen , Tang Xueling Jane , window shade

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Energy Harvesting Eco-leaf Shade Doubles as a Light Source at Night

This summer, vacation at a farm instead of a boring hotel

April 11, 2015 by  
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Looking for a different kind of family vacation this summer? Consider spending some time at one of these idyllic farms from around the world. It’s less disruptive than hotel hopping and it will give your children an appreciation for farming and food supply. Read on for 13 farm escapes for the whole family. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: farm tourism , farm vacation , farming , farmstays , green family travel , green family vacation , green tourism , green travel , green vacations , Inhabitots , Travel , traveling , vacation at a farm

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