Bill Gates buys a huge chunk of land in Arizona to create a ‘smart city’

November 13, 2017 by  
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Bill Gates  is purchasing 25,000 acres of land in the West Valley area of Arizona, 45 minutes west of Phoenix, with the intent of building a high-tech “smart city” named Belmont. “Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs,” said Belmont Partners, the real estate firm involved in the purchase, in a press statement. The purchase, made by an investment firm run by Gates, cost $80 million and will be developed along the proposed freeway I-11, which would connect Belmont to Las Vegas and other major hubs of the region. Although Gates has given the project a new boost of funding and publicity, the planned community of Belmont, Arizona has been in the works since the 1990s. Although the housing crash put a damper on the city’s development, the regional real estate market has since recovered. The city also is banking on the parallel development of I-11, a proposed interstate highway that would run through Belmont to Las Vegas. The first section of I-11, near Boulder City, Arizona, was opened in August 2017. Related: Bill Gates launches $1 billion clean energy fund to fight climate change 3,800 acres of the proposed community will be used for office, retail and commercial space while an additional 470 acres will be set aside for public schools . The remaining space is enough land for 80,000 residential units. “Comparable in square miles and projected population to Tempe, Arizona, Belmont will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model,” said Belmont Properties in a statement. When completed, Belmont will join Arcosanti , an ecologically-inspired experimental town to the north of Phoenix, as one of the region’s most high-profile planned communities. Via Popular Mechanics and The Republic Images via Gisela Giardino/Flickr and  Depositphotos

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Bill Gates buys a huge chunk of land in Arizona to create a ‘smart city’

7.3-magnitude earthquake hits Iran and Iraq, killing hundreds

November 13, 2017 by  
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  More than 300 people are dead after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake yesterday. The quake, which struck the northern border region between Iran and Iraq , killed hundreds of people in Iran and at least six people in Iraq. The BBC said this is the world’s deadliest earthquake this year. The 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck 32 kilometers, or around 20 miles, south of Halabjah, Iraq, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), at 21:18 local time. Iranian media said at least 14 provinces in the country were impacted, but Kermanshah was hit the hardest. Thousands of people were injured – the BBC gave the number as over 7,000. The town of Sarpol-e-Zahab had the most victims – and it was hard for people to receive medical care as the town’s main hospital was severely damaged. Related: New super concrete makes buildings strong enough to withstand magnitude 9 earthquakes Many homes in the mountainous area were built with mud bricks , according to the BBC, putting them at risk of collapse during a strong earthquake such as this one. Rescuers worked to find survivors beneath collapsed buildings, and some teams were hindered by mudslides . Embed from Getty Images window.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’aLQg7guVSqpAXLNVtA0m7A’,sig:’hHuNL1AV0_nt58qsjJfq6zIN3hrLkz3TwevBjgcHOEc=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’873538724′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })}); Baghdad residents felt the earthquake; local Majida Ameer told Reuters, “I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air. I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming: ‘Earthquake!’” Reuters quoted the head of Iranian Red Crescent as saying over 70,000 people needed shelter following the quake. Many people left their homes to go outside in cold weather in fear of aftershocks – and so far there have been around 153, according to the Iranian seismological center, with more expected. Embed from Getty Images window.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’uFcvJSipSvVSR9z0J52gzw’,sig:’spq5txH69X6BtLZTpp28fC0ql-oXpfbpPsw-m9AZ1RE=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’873514006′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })}); According to Reuters, Iran rests across major fault lines , and is prone to tremors. This one hit at a depth of 23.2 kilometers, around 14.4 miles, and was reportedly felt in Kuwait, Israel, and Turkey. The BBC said it’s the deadliest quake Iran has experienced since 2012. It’s the sixth earthquake with a magnitude of seven or more this year – as opposed to 16 in 2016 and 19 in 2015. Via Reuters and the BBC Images via Reuters video and the United States Geological Survey

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7.3-magnitude earthquake hits Iran and Iraq, killing hundreds

This swanky desert guesthouse was fashioned out of a former horse barn

November 9, 2017 by  
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This stunning modernist guest home bears little similarity to its previous form: an old concrete barn for horses. Design-build firm The Construction Zone led the adaptive reuse project, the Barn Guest House, transforming the old horse stalls into room dividers. Full-height north-facing glass gives the guesthouse an indoor-outdoor character that embraces a desert garden In Phoenix. Topped with a flat overhanging roof, the 750-square-foot guest home contains a master suite, kitchen, and living area separated by concrete walls. Timber, seen in the Douglas fir -clad roof and furnishings and cabinetry, imbue the home with much needed warmth in a predominately cool-toned palette of concrete, glass, and black steel. Related: Atelier Data Transforms an Old Horse Stable into a Simple but Stunning Home in Portugal The interior decor is kept minimal to maintain the home’s sense of lightness in the landscape, while a few pops of red hues and natural timber tones break up the gray color scheme. The Barn Guest House looks out over an outdoor entertaining patio , bocce ball court, jacuzzi, and cacti-studded gardens. + The Construction Zone Via Dezeen Images by Bill Timmerman

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This swanky desert guesthouse was fashioned out of a former horse barn

Climate change art illustrates sea level rise in Venice during COP 23

November 9, 2017 by  
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Artist Andreco has unveiled his latest art installation, Climate 04-Sea Level Rise in Venice, to raise awareness of the climate change conference COP 23 currently underway in Bonn, Germany. Introduced as a project promoting dialogue between the arts and sciences, the climate change-inspired installation calls attention to the effects of potential sea level rise in Venice. The site-specific project consists of three parts: a wall mural, a sculpture, and an academic conference. Climate 04-Sea Level Rise is the fourth iteration of Andreco’s ongoing Climate project, started in Paris in November 2015 during COP 21 . For each conference since, the artist has realized various site-specific installations that take inspiration from recent scientific research and estimates in climate studies. From the introduction of the new installation: “Andreco’s aim for this project is to underline the weaknesses of the territory where his interventions will take place. While in Bari the main theme was the accelerating desertification caused by the rising temperatures, in Venice the artist’s focus is the sea level rise.” Related: Almost 200 countries gather at COP23 to accelerate climate action Andreco’s interventions in Venice begins with a giant mural , located next to Canal Grande in Fondamenta Santa Lucia, that represents his artistic interpretation about estimates and data regarding sea level rise in the Italian city. The mural is made of long curvaceous blue lines, punctuated by equations and mathematical symbols, mimicking waves that rise high above a person’s height. A crystalline steel sculpture to the side contains native coastal plants that speak to the importance of the landscape in combating storm surges. The last part of the intervention was a series of talks by international researchers held to stimulate public discussion about climate change. + Andreco

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Climate change art illustrates sea level rise in Venice during COP 23

Worlds most active volcano harbors a tiny off-grid homeand you can stay overnight

June 8, 2017 by  
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The Phoenix House is a tiny off-grid home that truly befits its name. Rising from the ashes of the world’s most active volcano, this solar-powered abode built of recycled materials boasts spectacular views of the Hawaiian landscape. Available for rent on AirBnB , the Phoenix House promises an unforgettable, off-the-beaten track experience and is just a bike ride away from a 100-foot lava waterfall. The eco-friendly Phoenix House is the newest creation by ArtisTree , a green design studio with an impressive portfolio of beautiful, low-impact treehouses and vacation homes. Located at the base of Mauna Loa volcano next to Kilauea, the tiny 450-square-foot Phoenix House is a shining beacon of sustainability and is part of a regenerative, off-grid community compound. Created to symbolize the temporal nature of life, the Phoenix House merges visual elements from a modern beach farmhouse with the stark volcanic landscape. The building is clad in charred Shou Sugi Ban timber to blend into the surroundings as well as recycled rusted corrugated metal that represents hot lava. “We built this house with deep respect for Mother Earth. For that reason, you will find the design minimalist, the development footprint light, and the result is one with its surroundings,” said Will Beilharz, the designer of Phoenix House, who also spoke of the difficulties of building on a lava field with 30-mile-per-hour winds. Related: Solar-powered cylindrical treehouse in Mexico is made with sustainable bamboo Sustainability is a major focus of the tiny house design. In addition to its use of solar power and recycled materials, the Phoenix House also collects and reuses rainwater . The modern home is equipped with all the comforts of home, including electricity, high-speed wifi and hot showers. The home, which accommodates two on a queen bed, is available for rent on Airbnb for $111 a night . Guests also have access to a fully equipped kitchenette with a propane stove top, living area with a couch and desk, and a small dinette table. + ArtisTree

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Worlds most active volcano harbors a tiny off-grid homeand you can stay overnight

Adorable mobile house shows off the beauty of untreated timber

June 8, 2017 by  
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Wood has a wonderful way of adding warmth and comfort to a home. Austrian design studio Innauer-Matt Architekten shows off the beauty of the building material in Exhibition House, a mobile pavilion commissioned as a showroom for timber construction company Kaspar Greber. The 30-square-meter building features a gabled roof inspired by the local vernacular. Despite its traditional gabled shape, the compact pavilion is decidedly modern in design with its clean lines, minimalist style, and playful circular windows and door. Innauer-Matt Architekten built the pavilion in the shape of a house in reference to the client company’s housing building services. Kaspar Greber’s in-house solid wood product “Nadelstreif/Pinstripe” is used in the exterior and interior. Different varieties of untreated, raw timber, which range from spruce to fir to oak , add texture and subtle gradients of color. “Doors and windows are round and invite visitors to take a closer look,” write the architects. “The protruding wooden dowels in the cut-out openings demonstrate the stiction-based construction. Moreover, the wall, ceiling and floor connections can be seen true to scale.” Related: Handsome Austrian house is clad in a latticed facade made from local spruce The Exhibition House is movable and spacious enough to be used for events, from trade fairs or the setting of corporate dinners and weddings. The building is designed as a mobile brand ambassador for wood. + Innauer-Matt Architekten Via ArchDaily Images © Dakro Todorovic

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Adorable mobile house shows off the beauty of untreated timber

George Bandy on the genius and courage of dreaming

May 22, 2017 by  
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“Why are you in this line of work?” George Bandy Jr., vice president of sustainability at the Mohawk Group, asked the audience of sustainability professionals gathered at GreenBiz 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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George Bandy on the genius and courage of dreaming

GM, Steelcase see a web of opportunity in the circular economy

February 21, 2017 by  
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The manufacturing giants talked creating jobs and cutting supply chain waste at the GreenBiz 17 conference in Phoenix.

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GM, Steelcase see a web of opportunity in the circular economy

Phoenix rising: Hand-in-hand, a city and a startup remap recycling

February 2, 2017 by  
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Recyclebank’s platform is using public engagement and incentives to bump Phoenix’s recycling rate to 40 percent by 2020.

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Phoenix rising: Hand-in-hand, a city and a startup remap recycling

Deutsche Bank vows to end new coal lending, in line with Paris Agreement

February 2, 2017 by  
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New coal financing guidelines promise to “not grant new financing for greenfield thermal coal mining and new coal-fired power plant construction.”

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Deutsche Bank vows to end new coal lending, in line with Paris Agreement

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