The net-zero Frick Environmental Center is officially one of the worlds greenest buildings

May 14, 2018 by  
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The Frick Environmental Center (FEC) in Pittsburgh just became the first municipally owned building in the U.S. to achieve Living Building certification — arguably the most rigorous proven performance green building standard in the world. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson , the FEC is among the world’s greenest certified buildings and it earned LEED Platinum certification last year. The 15,600-square-foot building produces as much energy and water as its consumes annually and it incorporates a wide array of other sustainable features including geothermal heating and cooling, locally sourced non-toxic building materials and daylight dimming controls and sensors. Conceived as the gateway to Frick Park, the city’s largest public park, the FEC serves as an experiential environmental education center. Locally and sustainably harvested black locust clads the building and — combined with the native landscaping on its nearly four-acre site — helps blend the project into its surroundings. The FEC comprises a public living room and gallery; K-12 classrooms for environmental education programs; and offices and facilities for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Education staff. Related: Man builds ultra-efficient green home as a love letter to the environment The FEC is one of only 21 buildings in the world to achieve Living Building certification and is the world’s first Living Building in the U.S. that’s municipally owned and open to the public. Designed as a “living laboratory,” the building makes its many sustainable technologies – such as its 650-kilowatt photovoltaic array and reclaimed water system – as visible as possible to the public as part of their commitment to hands-on environmental education. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Interior images by Alexander Denmarsh, outdoor walkway image by Elliott Cramer for Denmarsh Studios

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The net-zero Frick Environmental Center is officially one of the worlds greenest buildings

Uber confirms rumors they are testing a self-driving car

May 19, 2016 by  
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For the past year, rumors have been swirling that Uber is getting into the game of self-driving cars . The company opened the Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, where journalists spotted a vehicle that looked suspiciously like a driverless one marked with the Uber logo. This week, the company officially announced in a press release they are testing a self-driving car on the streets of Pittsburgh . The car is a hybrid Ford Fusion, and while it has “self-driving capabilities,” a driver will be present to take over if needed. Along with testing its autonomous function, the car will collect data for maps . According to Uber, the vehicle has been equipped with “a variety of sensors including radars, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras to map details of the environment.” Related: The self-driving car didn’t start with Google, or Tesla Uber allowed Pittsburgh Tribune-Review journalist Aaron Aupperlee to take a ride. He said , “The car’s sensors detected parked cars sticking out into traffic, jaywalkers, bicyclists, and a goose crossing River Avenue.” The transportation networking giant claims they still have a long way to go, but that they’ve received support from Pittsburgh city leaders including the mayor, who expressed excitement that Uber is pursuing innovative technology in his city. Uber said the city environment in Pittsburgh is the perfect place to test out their self-driving car, since it has to face challenges such as snow, hills, and narrow roads . While many have focused on the developments coming out of leaders like Google and Tesla in the self-driving car sphere, The Verge reports many experts are actually following Uber’s progress as they stand to benefit more as a company from autonomous technology. In their press release heralding the Pittsburgh test car, Uber said self-driving vehicles could save millions of lives, claiming, “1.3 million people die every year in car accidents – 94 percent of those accidents involve human error.” Via The Verge Images via Uber and Wikimedia Commons

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Google patents sticky "fly paper" car hood to protect pedestrians in self-driving car crashes

May 19, 2016 by  
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Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Google . Imagine the amazing ping pong games and impromptu office jam sessions you would witness. Chances are you would also catch a whiff of Google’s latest innovations , some in their primordial brainstorming phase. One such idea took one step further into reality when Google was awarded a patent for a strong adhesive automobile hood, designed to catch pedestrians that have been hit by cars before they reach the ground and are potentially run over. Is Google preparing to launch some sticky self driving cars ? The adhesive hood patent was filed in 2014 and awarded to Google earlier this week, though the company has no immediate plans to bring it to life. In the patent, Google frames its idea as a potential safeguard for self-driving cars as the technology is developed. “While such systems are being developed,” reads the patent, “it must be acknowledged that, on occasion, collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian still occur Such safety mechanisms may become unnecessary as accident-avoidance technology is being further developed, but at present it is desirable to provide vehicles with pedestrian safety mechanisms.” Related: Google’s driverless car causes an accident for the first time To avoid endlessly trapping small objects like actual insects and debris, Google’s automotive “fly paper” would be covered with an “eggshell” layer that breaks upon impact. As crazy it sounds, the idea may have some scientific merit. “Getting hit by a car once is much preferable to getting hit by a car and then the ground and then another car,” says Rebecca Thompson, head of public outreach for the American Physical Society. “Cyclists wear helmets not as much to prevent their head’s impact with the car as much as their head’s impact with the ground when they fall.” There are some drawbacks for the design, such as the potential for trapping a victim in a dangerous position on the hood. However, Thompson believes that such a design could decrease the number of hit-and-run incidents. After all, it’s hard to flee when a human fly is stuck to your vehicle. Via Gizmodo Images via Becky Stern/Flickr and Travis Wise/Flickr  

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Google patents sticky "fly paper" car hood to protect pedestrians in self-driving car crashes

BIG unveils green-roofed master plan for Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill district

November 19, 2015 by  
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Contest Inspires Creatives to Put Old Items to Good (re)Use

November 22, 2013 by  
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The Reuse Inspiration Contest, sponsored by Construction Junction and publicized by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, pits contestants against each other in using reclaimed items for home-renovation and art projects.

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Contest Inspires Creatives to Put Old Items to Good (re)Use

Gensler’s Super Sustainable Tower at PNC Plaza Breaks Ground in Pittsburgh

November 26, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Gensler’s Super Sustainable Tower at PNC Plaza Breaks Ground in Pittsburgh Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , building update , Buro Happold , eco design , eco skyscraper , eco tower , Gensler , green architecture , Green Building , green design , Paladino & Company , pittsburgh , PNC , PNC Financial Services , skyscraper , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , sustainable tower , tower at pnc plaza

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Mak3D: World’s First 3D Printing Co-Working Space Opens in London

November 26, 2012 by  
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What do you do if you’re a designer with an amazing idea for a product, but no way to make it? There might a huge buzz around 3D printing , but we’re still a long way off from everyone having a machine at home. If you’re in London, you can head to Mak3d, the world’s first 3D printing co-working environment! Launched in August this year, Mak3d occupies a 1,000 square foot space on East London’s buzzing Brick Lane. Founded by Nick Allen of 3D printing bureau 3dprintuk, the Mak3d coworking space’s in-house equipment includes a 3D scanner and an Objet30 high definition 3D printer, which produces models from a resin called Vero White Plus. Allen noticed that though there were co-working spaces in London, most catered to individuals in the technology industry or computer-based designers, and there weren’t many spaces for makers that needed to make noise, and a maybe a bit of a mess. Individuals with ideas can come to the Mak3d space, and working from CAD files, sketches or even just a description, the concept can be turned into a physical model, either with the help of 3dprintuk’s designers, or if the person has the skills, they can do it themselves. 3D designers who rent desk space get access to the 3D scanner and reduced rates for printing. Current residents include a toy designer and jewelry designer Rob Elford , with room for more. Desk space for 3D designers starts at £200 a month, but there’s also the option of free workspace for designers skilled at 3D modelling who are willing to contribute 2 hours a week in work.

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Google’s New Pittsburgh Office is Located in a 100-Year-Old Nabisco Factory

July 20, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Google’s New Pittsburgh Office is Located in a 100-Year-Old Nabisco Factory Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptive reuse , Google , Google Pittsburgh , office space , pennsylvania , pittsburgh , pittsburgh sustainable , Strada architecture

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Google’s New Pittsburgh Office is Located in a 100-Year-Old Nabisco Factory

Google’s New Pittsburgh Office is Located in a 100-Year-Old Nabisco Factory

July 20, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Google’s New Pittsburgh Office is Located in a 100-Year-Old Nabisco Factory Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptive reuse , Google , Google Pittsburgh , office space , pennsylvania , pittsburgh , pittsburgh sustainable , Strada architecture

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Average Chinese Citizen’s Carbon Footprint is Now Equal to the Average European’s

July 20, 2012 by  
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China’s industrial growth has really taken off in the last decade – and new research shows that the per capita emissions of the world’s most populated country are now almost on a par with the European average. While the title of the world’s large emitter has fluctuated between the US and China over the past few years, China’s emissions per person have always been lower than those in other developed countries – however it now looks like that is about to change. Read the rest of Average Chinese Citizen’s Carbon Footprint is Now Equal to the Average European’s Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: airline emissions , carbon footprint , china emissions , china industrial growth , Climate Change , CO2 emissions , emission goals , emission reduction , European emissions

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