Industrial building is reimagined as a zero-carbon paragon for Paris 2024 Olympics

June 19, 2019 by  
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In anticipation of the upcoming Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, French architectural firm Jakob + MacFarlane has set its sights on reinventing a large, post-industrial facility into an innovative beacon for carbon-neutral design. Located directly adjacent to the planned site for the Olympics in Quartier Pleyel, the existing building is a towering relic of Saint-Denis’ industrial past that now lies at the intersection of major metropolitan projects. The zero-carbon, adaptive reuse proposal, dubbed Odyssee Pleyel, is one of the winning proposals in Reinventing Cities , a competition created by C40 Cities that asked architects to sustainably transform vacant and abandoned spaces in cities around the world. Spanning an area of over 15,000 square feet and rising to a height of nearly 79 feet, the Hall de décuvage Pleyel was previously used to remove electric transformer windings. Rather than tear down the building, Jakob + MacFarlane suggests retrofitting the structure into a carbon-neutral landmark for the city, as it is prominently located on the perimeter of the 2024 Olympics site. In addition to renovating the existing structure, the architects suggest adding a modular wood construction structure and renewable energy systems to ensure energy self-sufficiency. Related: Eiffel Tower site to become a pedestrian-friendly garden “Reflecting the historical industrial heritage of Saint-Denis, the Odyssee Pleyel project showcases thought-leadership in the global clean energy transition in a quest to become a carbon-neutral development,” the architects said. “The Odyssee Pleyel bears witness to the human, technological and cultural achievements of this area. The Energy Plug building is an excellent example of reinventing a former industrial site into a reflexive building of the future.” Topped with hybrid photovoltaic and thermal solar cells, the Odyssee Pleyel would also tap into rainwater collection and reuse to minimize resource demands. Excavated soil from the Grand Paris Express — the Pleyel district is to host one of 72 stations for the 2023 transport project — would be reused and integrated into the Odyssee Pleyel construction site. Most importantly, the zero-carbon building would encourage ecological innovation and awareness by hosting workshops, clean energy start-ups and educational programs on topics of sustainability. + Jakob + MacFarlane Images via Jakob + MacFarlane

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Industrial building is reimagined as a zero-carbon paragon for Paris 2024 Olympics

Rag pasta sauce pulled from shelves for possible plastic contamination

June 19, 2019 by  
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This week, “America’s favorite pasta sauce” was pulled from shelves and home kitchens across the country for fear that it contains plastic fragments. Mizkan American, the corporation that owns Ragú, announced a recall over the weekend for its Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion (45 ounce and 66 ounce jars), Old World Style Traditional (66 ounce jar) and Old World Style Meat (66 ounce jar). Grocery stores and retail outlets have pulled the items from the shelves, and customers are encouraged to check their kitchens and dispose of any of the above-mentioned jars if they were produced between June 4 and June 8. Related: Have your plastic and eat it, too — The average American ingests 50,000 microplastic particles a year “Mizkan America also asks consumers to examine their refrigerator and pantry inventory for the specific jars affected by this recall,” the company said in a press release. “Any recalled sauce should be discarded and not consumed.” Customers can also call the Ragú hotline at 1-800-328-7248 for a replacement. According to Mizkan American, no customers have been hurt, sick or reported any injuries; however, the recall is “out of an abundance of caution.” The company also wrote, “This recall is at the retail level, and all impacted retailer customers have been notified of this voluntary recall prior to this press release.” The Ragú recall comes after a string of similar recalls by major processed food corporations. Last week, Tyson Foods also recalled more than 190,000 pounds of chicken as a precaution for potential plastic contamination. In April, Tyson recalled beef patties for similar issues. Many health inspectors and worried consumers believe that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are not strict enough on food recalls. In fact, as mentioned in the Ragú press release, the pasta sauce recall is voluntary. In 2015, there were 12 cases of food recalled for foreign particles. In 2018, that number rose to 23 recalls, the majority of which were plastic fragments. Via EcoWatch Image via Mike Mozart

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Rag pasta sauce pulled from shelves for possible plastic contamination

Architects transform barns into solar-powered workspaces for Dutch daredevil

April 10, 2017 by  
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Rotterdam-based architecture studio Instability We Trust transformed two barns into a set of contemporary workspaces for the famous Dutch daredevil, Wim Hof . Nicknamed “The Iceman” for his ability to withstand extreme cold, Hof commissioned the adaptive reuse project to house his training seminars on the health benefits of cold exposure and breathing techniques. Located in Barneveld in the eastern Netherlands, the solar-powered building juxtaposes two visually contrasting volumes: an “extraverted” glass house and an “introverted” wooden cave-like structure. The L-shaped building comprises two interconnected gabled structures with open and flexible interiors. The gabled glass house is almost entirely transparent with an “outward atmosphere which relates to the air,” whereas the gabled timber-clad structure has a “grounded atmosphere which relates to the earth.” Though the timber volume is without windows, its connection with the glass structure allows access to natural light . Large sliding doors open the volumes up the outdoors and permits natural ventilation. Related: Historic Dutch nursery transformed into stunning solar-powered home Vertical planks of larch sourced from the sawmill next door clad the enclosed cave-like volume. The two gabled end walls were custom-made from clay plaster to create a warm and earthy environment that, combined with the suspended light sculpture, makes the space ideal for meditation. Photovoltaic cells and thermal cells generate renewable energy on site. “A visually clean and calm appearance is accomplished by combining an array of different elements such as insulation, gutters, drainage pipes, sliding door rails, glass panels and structural beams into one carefully detailed wooden slatted element, almost like a click-on facade,” write the architects. + Instability We Trust Via ArchDaily Images via Instability We Trust , © Pim Top

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Architects transform barns into solar-powered workspaces for Dutch daredevil

Unique solar-powered home in Scotland functions like a Rubik’s cube

January 6, 2017 by  
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This unusual corner house that architect Richard Murphy designed for himself combines sustainable technology with modernist design. Located at the junction of two Edinburgh estates developed in the 1820’s, the design creatively responds to the area’s planning contradictions with an multi-functional residence with a rich material palette. Ten years after the architect first contacted the owner of this lot in the eastern Edinburgh New Town, he finally received planning permission in 2007, but soon had to halt the development again due to the recession. The laborious process has finally resulted in a spacious, three-bedroom residence Glenn Murcutt called “A Rubik’s cube”, referring to its complexity and mechanical features. The front façade continues the stonework pattern of the street façade, with the entire structure featuring a combination of glass blocks, steel, burnt timber and lead. This introduction of bespoke design solutions and materiality reference Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre in Paris that featured an abundance of custom-made steel elements and moving mechanisms. Related: Architect Miguel Rivera’s Daylit Residence in Austin is a Renovated 1917 Bungalow Photovoltaic cells are installed on the south facing monopitch roof, while two giant mechanized shutters in the living room and the master bedroom allow the glass to generate heat for the house when open, but prevent it radiating heat when closed. Most of the windows have insulated shutters which slide or pivot. An automated internal air circulation system takes warm air from the top of the house to the basement to counteract the stack effect. Rainwater is funneled to grey-water storage tanks in the basement and used to flush toilets and supply the sprinkler system . + Richard Murphy Architects Via World Architecture News

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Unique solar-powered home in Scotland functions like a Rubik’s cube

Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

December 29, 2016 by  
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Following Tesla ’s recent acquisition of SolarCity, the California-based company just scored another big win. Panasonic will invest more than $256 million in Tesla’s New York solar cell factory. The Japan-based electronics company is already partnering with Tesla to build electric car batteries at its Nevada Gigafactory, and this investment, announced December 27, positions Panasonic more firmly in the automotive industry than ever before, marking the fulfillment of the company’s’s gradual shift away from consumer electronics. Tesla’s production facility in Buffalo is expected to be up and running within just a few months. According to Tuesday’s announcement, production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules will begin in the summer of 2017. By 2019, the two companies expect to be churning out the equivalent of one gigawatt of solar power modules each year. Related: Tesla taps Panasonic to build solar panels for their Powerwall and Powerpack systems The news of Panasonic ’s hefty investment in the Buffalo manufacturing plant is the first development since Tesla first named the electronics company as its partner in mid-October, which was contingent on the completion of Tesla’s merger with SolarCity . While that initial announcement came with very few details (in part because the merger wouldn’t be finalized for another month), this update illustrates the enormous scope of Panasonic’s commitment to the solar power market. The PV modules Panasonic produces at Tesla’s facility will be used primarily in the Powerwall and Powerpack systems, Tesla’s off-grid power solutions. While Tesla’s “solar roof” is still on deck, there is no word on when production on that line might begin. SolarCity previously promised the creation of over 1,400 jobs at the Buffalo facility and Tesla’s announcement Tuesday reaffirms that commitment and elaborates that the figure includes more than 500 manufacturing jobs—an important footnote for a city that once relied heavily on blue collar industries like steel and automotive manufacturing. Via Reuters Images via SolarCity and Panasonic

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Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

Naval camouflage enlivens the bioclimatic solar-powered Southern Outlet House

September 28, 2015 by  
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Naval camouflage enlivens the bioclimatic solar-powered Southern Outlet House

Eddie Bauer’s Power Katabatic Solar Tent Will Keep Your Gadgets Charged in the Wilderness

July 30, 2013 by  
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If there’s one place technophiles fear, it’s the great outdoors . But with this new solar charging tent by Eddie Bauer , gadget geeks will be able to charge their devices even in the depths of a forest. Called the  Power Katabatic , this 92-inch tall tent was designed for “roughing it” though all four seasons within an ample 36-square-feet space. However, beyond its generous quarters, the real star of the Power Katabatic  is the small triangular solar panel, called Goal Zero solar charger, which sits atop the tent, drawing in energy for powering devices. Read the rest of Eddie Bauer’s Power Katabatic Solar Tent Will Keep Your Gadgets Charged in the Wilderness Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Eddie Bauer , goal zero , green gadgets , green technology , photovoltaic cells , Power Katabatic , renewable energy , Solar Power        

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Eddie Bauer’s Power Katabatic Solar Tent Will Keep Your Gadgets Charged in the Wilderness

Green-Roofed Villa L Floats Upon a Daylit Glass Volume in the Netherlands

April 3, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Green-Roofed Villa L Floats Upon a Daylit Glass Volume in the Netherlands Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: energy efficient building , energy efficient house , green buildings utrecht , green roofed house , green roofs , natural light , photovoltaic cells , powerhouse company , pv cells , RAU , residential architecture , Sustainable Building , utrecht architecture , Villa L Netherlands , water storage

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Green-Roofed Villa L Floats Upon a Daylit Glass Volume in the Netherlands

NREL’s Silicon Wafer Screening System Could Save Solar Industry Billions of Dollars

January 16, 2013 by  
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Used in the manufacturing of solar cells , silicon wafers are an integral component that also create a sizable financial loss for the solar industry. About 5-10 percent of wafers get damaged during the production process, increasing the final cost of installed solar systems by billions of dollars each year. In an attempt to improve the efficiency of solar manufacturing, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a device that detects weak or defective wafers before they reach the solar cell production stage—and hopes are that this invention could lower the price of solar systems. Read the rest of NREL’s Silicon Wafer Screening System Could Save Solar Industry Billions of Dollars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells , green technology , National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) , NREL wafer device , photovoltaic cells , scientific research , Solar cells , solar cells manufacturing , solar panel costs , Solar Wafer Screening System , solar wafers , us solar industry

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NREL’s Silicon Wafer Screening System Could Save Solar Industry Billions of Dollars

New Flexible Fiber-Based Solar Cells Could Revolutionize Renewable Energy Production

December 7, 2012 by  
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Thanks to an international team of chemists, physicists and engineers, we may soon see the creation of flexible silicon solar cell fabrics. Led by John Badding, a professor of chemistry at Penn State University , the team has developed the new type of lightweight, fiber-based, flexible solar cells that could revolutionize the way we produce renewable energy . Read the rest of New Flexible Fiber-Based Solar Cells Could Revolutionize Renewable Energy Production Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , fiber-based solar cells , flexible solar cells , Penn State University , photovoltaic cells , scientific research , silicon solar-cell fabrics , Solar Power , solar power collection

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