LEED Gold-targeted Ottawa library will honor local history

February 13, 2020 by  
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After nearly a year of public input by Canadians from coast to coast, Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects has finally revealed renderings for the new Ottawa library and archives. Designed in collaboration with KWC Architects , the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility will be an innovative landmark representative of all Canadians. The building will target, at minimum, LEED Gold certification and will reflect the region’s rich history and natural beauty with its organic and dynamic design oriented for unparalleled views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills in Quebec. The recently unveiled designs for the Ottawa library are the result of an unprecedented public co-design process called the “Inspire555 Series” after the building’s address at 555 Albert Street, on the western edge of downtown Ottawa . The process, which began in February last year, asked residents, indigenous communities and Canadians from across the country to participate in a series of design workshops, pop-up events, expert lectures and online activities to shape the design and direction of the public institution. More than 4,000 people contributed to the library’s major design themes, which include accessibility, a sense of welcoming for diverse groups and needs, site-specific elements and a connection to nature.  Related: Henning Larsen’s energy-efficient Kiruna Town Hall opens to the public As a result, the final design takes cues from Ottawa’s environment with an undulating form that references the nearby Ottawa River. The stone and wood exterior grounds the building into the nearby escarpment landscape, while the top floors, rooftop and abundance of glazing frame views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills. The five-story building will be organized around a large town hall at its heart and will include exhibition and collections spaces, reading rooms, a creative center, a children’s area, a genealogy center and a cafe. “The location at a cultural crossroads of a route that traces the three founding peoples — French, English and Indigenous — underscores the spirit of confluence in the building’s design and the possibilities for these memory institutions in a modern facility to advance the Canadian story,” said Donald Schmitt, principal of Diamond Schmitt Architects. The joint facility has a CA $193 million ($145 million) budget and is scheduled to open in 2024. + Diamond Schmitt Architects Images via Diamond Schmitt Architects

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LEED Gold-targeted Ottawa library will honor local history

Get cozy this season with these 7 hot vegan drinks for winter

January 8, 2019 by  
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Thoughts of snowy winter days bring to mind a toasty fire, slippers, sweaters, blankets and warm drinks. It makes sense, because they all equate to the perfect combination of coziness. While traditional tea or coffee is a lovely choice, it’s fun to explore new flavors. For those that are vegan by choice or by circumstance, traditional drinks can be limiting. We’ve conjured up a varied blend of hot drink options to fit your vegan lifestyle. Note that most of these options can also be adapted for the over-21 crowd. Cider Apple cider quickly comes to mind in any discussion of hot drinks, and it is undisputed as a sweet, delicious option. But cider encompasses a host of other possibilities as well. Because fruits and herbs are naturally vegan, there are endless combinations to suit your preferences. How about some apple-berry cider? Cranberry makes a colorful, flavorful and delightful cider that you can drink as-is or use as a base for any number of warm drinks. Take advantage of mint, basil and lavender for tasty spins on the classic ciders, too. Related: 12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas Coffee Another age-old vegan option is coffee . However, contemporary methods have turned this once black-only option into dairy-filled whipped, stirred and frothy concoctions. The advantage of modern inventions is that they’ve also come up with an assortment of creamy options that don’t come from an animal source. Replace the cow’s milk and heavy cream with rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk or the sturdy oat milk. From there, you can embellish with a dash of almond or peppermint extract and top with vegan whipped cream and chocolate shavings. There’s no reason to miss out on the seasonal peppermint mocha or cinnamon-spice latte you see everywhere when you can recreate it at home. Hot cocoa Cocoa is a childhood favorite with its sweet flavor and creamy texture. It became a classic for a reason — it’s delicious! But even the classics are due for an upgrade at some point, so take cues from the coffee suggestions above with the addition of extracts, vegan chocolate , milks and whipped cream. You can even mix it up with white chocolate or dark chocolate, too. In the family of cocoa is a vegan Mexican favorite called champurrado, made from masa and either water or milk. You can enhance the flavor with anise, cinnamon or nutmeg for a yummy twist. Gingerbread coconut milk hot cocoa is another delectable option to consider. Simply combine a can of coconut milk with cocoa powder and season with maple syrup, ginger, allspice and vanilla. Top with vegan whipped cream if desired. Tea Tea might be the oldest hot beverage on the planet. For thousands of years, native communities around the world have infused leaves into water to create a calming brew. While English breakfast and peppermint varieties are divine on their own, jazz them up a bit for an extra special treat. London Fog tea  latte is one such treat. To make it vegan, substitute your favorite milk product. Steep a cup of earl grey tea with some fresh lavender. Meanwhile, steam some alternative milk . Combine the two and use a milk frother if you desire. Top with sweetener and a dash of vanilla. Chai tea latte is another notable culinary combination. Make the tea and steam the milk separately. Then, froth the milk and combine with the tea. Add honey or another sweetener to taste and top with cinnamon or nutmeg. Related: 10 tasty and easy vegan dinner ideas Mulled wine Mulled wine is an alcoholic beverage made from wine infused with fruit. Cinnamon, cloves and orange are the typical options, but star anise, clementines and other citrus or sweeteners can be added too. To make mulled wine, simmer a bottle of inexpensive red wine on the stove with the added ingredients. You can alternately let the mulled wine simmer in a slow cooker. Eggnog Did you know you can make eggnog from scratch? Yep, you can. The great part of that news is that it means you can make it from your favorite vegan milk , too. Try coconut or cashew milk. The following recipe is from the Tasty Yummies website : 2 cups homemade cashew milk or other non-dairy milk of your choice ½ cup full fat coconut milk ? cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 30 minutes (optional) 4-6 Medjool dates 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg pinch of ground cinnamon pinch of ground cloves pinch of sea salt Add all of the ingredients to your high-speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately as-is or add spiced rum, bourbon, brandy or whiskey for a spirited version. Add a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg on top. Wassail If you’ve never had wassail, you’re in for a treat. It’s kind of a combination of apple and cranberry cider with an extra kick of spices. It’s fabulous warmed, and you can even throw in a shot of rum or vodka for an extra warming affect. Winter is the perfect time to cozy up to a warm cup of goodness. Enjoy! Images via Shutterstock

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Get cozy this season with these 7 hot vegan drinks for winter

Mirrors, pods, printed panels: Solar innovation heats up

July 8, 2015 by  
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As the market for solar energy grows, so, too, do the possibilities for generating that power.

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Mirrors, pods, printed panels: Solar innovation heats up

Un-Shopping, reCommerce & Building a Business on Buying Less

January 27, 2012 by  
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Gadget junkies: It's time to explore the possibilities and benefits of stepping off the treadmill of constantly upgrading to the latest and greatest gear, and setting your unwanted electronics free to find second lives.

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Un-Shopping, reCommerce & Building a Business on Buying Less

6 Prototypes With Interesting Uses For Bamboo and Silk From Buenos Aires

October 25, 2011 by  
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© Paula Alvarado The Buenos Aires Metropolitan Design Center recently organized a workshop to encourage local designers to explore the possibilities of bamboo and artisan silk as materials…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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6 Prototypes With Interesting Uses For Bamboo and Silk From Buenos Aires

Disadvantages of Aviation Biofuels

October 14, 2011 by  
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In the past couple of years, we’ve seen many, many tests being carried out by numerous different airlines and agencies to study the possibilities of using biofuel as an entire replacement for or as a blend with conventional jet fuel. But biofuels as a replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel may not be the ideal solution. Biofuels are better than straight petroleum-based products, but there are drawbacks to biofuels , as well. Dedicating cropland to grow fuel crops can cut down on the available land and farming resources for food production. There are arguments against algae-based fuels, as well. They don’t compete with food for farmland, but the industrial infrastructure needed to produce algae-based fuel at scale is a daunting prospect. Of course, conversion to any new material is a daunting prospect. The development of new technologies will eventually be necessary, one way or another. To continue to research alternatives and to find the best mix of feedstock for alternative fuels is importatnt not only for aviation, but for all energy technologies. Virgin Atlantic, which is one of the many airlines to have tested biofuels , is now exploring a jet fuel replacement that, rather than using bio materials as feedstock, is derrived from waste industrial gas from steel production.  But if that relies on petroleum fuels as the original feedstock, then the long term viability of that process is also questionable. via: Treehugger and Guardian

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Disadvantages of Aviation Biofuels

Five things to know about biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil

October 4, 2011 by  
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Ravi Kumar: Biodiesel Things to know about biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil Unbelievable but true! One liter of waste cooking oil can contaminate as much as one million liter of water. So, to reduce this fear and to use the cooking oil to the fullest, it can now be recycled and used to produce soap and biodiesel. Once we pour the oil in our vessel, the trash is subjected to throw either in dustbins or drain. But nobody knows this is not only clogging the sewerage and creating wreck havoc on local drains but also affecting wildlife some other way. If you are willing to know about recycling of cooking oil please continue reading this article. In Kilmarnock, Scotland and some other countries, the government has taken a good unique initiative wherein you can now pay for your bus fare by taking used oil to a recycling plant. This will not only help the denizens to play vital role in environment conservation but also keeps encouraging the proper recycling process. 1. How it works According to chemical scientists, “Cooking oil is purified fat of plant origin. It is usually found in liquid form at room temperature.” Proper disposal of used cooking oil is an important waste management concern. It hinders the oxygenation of water as oil is always lighter than water tends to spread into thin and broad membranes. 2. Recycling or Transesterification The chemical process under which cooking oil and kitchen grease goes for recycling is called Transesterification. Later it is converted into biodiesel. It is suggested to not to straight pour cooking oil into gas tank. Scientists have also been doing a lot of research to create some filters to control its evil effects. 3. Choose not to dump in sink Cooking oil should never be dumped into kitchen sink or in toilet bowl. The proper way to dispose of oil is to put it in a sealed non recyclable contained and discard it with regular garbage. Placing the container of oil in the refrigerator to harden also makes disposal easier and less messy. 4. Plumbing clogs sewer First and foremost reason for stooped up sewer pipes is excessive release of cooking oil and kitchen grease. Grease sticks to pipes and it badly chokes the sewerage and disrupted proper sewage flow. One should always keep in mind that it is not a temporary clogging but it is also somewhere affecting our ecology. 5. Can’t mix with motor oil It seems when oil is recycled, be it cooking oil or motor oil, it can be mixed further. But, it is not more than a misconception. You can recycle them separately but never mix recycled cooking oil and motor oil. They are different in nature and substances go through different recycling process and important thing is you will be disabled to extract them again. Use cold water Sometimes it becomes very difficult the kitchen grease to go down the drain. If it is small in amount or little more than that one should immediately shower cold water on it so that it solidifies and the possibilities of sticking in the pipeline decreases. Or else it can cause water contamination and obstruct smooth flow. Drop off points Some specific drop off points to dump cooking oil waste should be made at different points to avoid its disadvantages. Private agencies and some local communities should seriously think over recycling of cooking oil as how it can be provoked. Place it in front position and label it so that everyone can easily access it at home. Key points: Cooking oil may produce biodiesel if not disposed properly. As far as a lay man knows the cooking oil is used in the kitchen to cook the food, and if dieticians are to be believed, the cooking oil and grease harm one’s health too. But, don’t get surprised to know that improper disposal of the fats from our cooking oil can degrade our environment also. If you are somewhere damaging environment or causing ecological imbalance, it amounts to felony of different acts of environment protection and wildlife conservation. To safeguard our surroundings, there are various acts which have been made across most of the countries. Some of those common in almost many countries are: Environment Protection Act Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act Wild Life Act Forest Conservation Act

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Five things to know about biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil

Carrot City Exhibit on Urban Farming Comes To New York

October 19, 2010 by  
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Pig City, MVRDV- each tower can feed 500,000 people, Credit Carrot City Carrot City is a fabulous display of the possibilities of urban agriculture, both vertical and horizontal, that shows “a mix of realized projects and speculative design proposals that illustrate the potential for future design that focuses on food issues.” It was put together by Mark Gorgolewski and June Komisar of Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science and Dr. Joe Nasr of the Centre for Food Security at Ryerson. It was a hit in Toronto last year, and is now on display at Parsons The New School For Des…

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Carrot City Exhibit on Urban Farming Comes To New York

Zerotracer Superbike to Circle Globe in 80 Days on Renewable Energy

June 17, 2010 by  
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Swiss group Design Werk recently unveiled their sleek Zerotracer electric motorcycle, which will attempt to travel around the world in eighty days using only renewable energy in the upcoming Zero Emissions Race .

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Zerotracer Superbike to Circle Globe in 80 Days on Renewable Energy

countdown to earth day: make a toast.

April 21, 2010 by  
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Looking for a great way to cheers Earth Day?  Look no further than your local Green Drinks event.  Set up in nearly 500 cities around the world, Green Drinks is a monthly gathering where people of all shades of green can connect over all things environmental.

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countdown to earth day: make a toast.

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