This minimalist, solar-powered home stands strong against earthquakes

January 14, 2020 by  
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Located in the Swiss municipality of Grimisuat in the district of Sion, House ROFR was created with the future in mind. The modern, solar-powered home is situated on a hilly slope with the help of a protective and stabilizing wall along a surrounding orchard. In addition to its impressive green design features, the house also frames breathtaking views of its mountainous setting. The area here in the canton of Valais is known for its seismic activity. The Swiss Seismological Service has recorded about 270 earthquakes per year over the past 10 years, making it the most quake-prone region in the country. This, of course, has influenced the design decisions made by architects completing projects in the potentially hazardous part of Switzerland — and House ROFR is no exception. The entire structure of the building is made of strong concrete. Related: Experimental prefab home eschews fossil fuels in Geneva Per the client’s request, the 200-square-meter flat roof was equipped with as many solar modules as possible. Excess energy from the solar panels is stored in batteries, supplying both the house and electric cars with electricity. The home also uses geothermal heating to keep the interiors warm when the temperatures drop. The design provides for plenty of functional spaces with luxurious additions, such as a wine cave and cheese cellar on the ground floor along with a laundry room, changing room and bathroom. There are two areas making up the property — a larger, 220-square-meter house with the entire living space distributed on the upper floor as well as a smaller, two-level flat. The upper floor holds a patio terrace, the kitchen, a large fireplace and a concrete corridor connecting the different rooms. Occupants must go through the open garage to enter the house, though it is separated from the landscaped garden by larch wooden slats for added aesthetics. Rather than building a traditional garage, the designer wanted to give the owner the opportunity to turn the garage into an additional living area in the future. + Ralph Germann Architectes Photography by Lionel Henriod via Ralph Germann Architectes

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This minimalist, solar-powered home stands strong against earthquakes

Wearable garden vest is nourished by wearer’s own urine

January 14, 2020 by  
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Are you looking to spruce up your wardrobe this spring? Well, we’ve got the season’s eco-fashion garment for you — a wearable garden vest that thrives on your urine. Created by designer Aroussiak Gabrielian , the lush “garden cloak” concept was inspired as a potential solution to crop scarcity around the globe. With the potential to grow up to 40 crops, the green vest is irrigated by urine filtered through reverse osmosis. According to Gabrielian, the living garments are supposed to reconnect the food producer and consumer in order to foster a more self-reliant and resilient food production system .”The habitats are essentially cloaks of plant life that are intended to provide sustenance to the wearer, as well as flourish as expanding ecosystems that attract and integrate other animal and insect life,” Gabrielian said. Related: New biofabricated clothing made from algae goes through photosynthesis just like plants Recently unveiled at the Rome Sustainable Food Project, each cloak is an individual microhabitat made up of several layers. The multi-layered system is made up of moisture-retention felt and a drip and capillary irrigation layer, followed by the sprouting plant system . The living ecosystem layer is made up of plants, including herbs, greens, fruits, vegetables, legumes and fungi, that require sun and water as inputs. Another layer is made up of pollinators , which are essential to creating a fully sustainable crop output. The garden vests are outfitted with an integral system that recycles human waste, primarily urine. Collected via a built-in catheter, urine is stored, filtered and used to irrigate the plants. An innovative osmosis system, originally developed by NASA, converts urine into water by draining it through a semi-permeable membrane that filters out salt and ammonia. Working with a team made up of microgreens researcher Grant Calderwood, fashion designer Irene Tortora, Chris Behr from the Rome Sustainable Food Project and collaborator Alison Hirsh, Gabrielian’s  innovative project was made possible thanks to funding from the American Academy in Rome. Additionally, the grow lights were donated by PHILIPS. + Aroussiak Gabrielian Images via Aroussiak Gabrielian

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Wearable garden vest is nourished by wearer’s own urine

How next-gen geothermal could boost the future of energy

December 20, 2013 by  
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By juicing geothermal with CO2, a team of scientists hope to overcome limitations to this potentially powerful form of renewable electricity. 

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How next-gen geothermal could boost the future of energy

Three Mile Island Meltdown Led to Rise in Miscarriages, Still Births, Down Syndrome Children

March 22, 2011 by  
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Photo: National Archives and Records Administration During the nuclear crisis at Japana’s Fukushima plant , there have been endless comparisons to both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

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Three Mile Island Meltdown Led to Rise in Miscarriages, Still Births, Down Syndrome Children

Malignant Malaria Found in Primates

January 18, 2010 by  
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As the human population around the world focuses on clear-cutting, logging, and the general destruction and deforestation of natural habitats globally; there’s a greater risk that humans will start to come in contact with wildlife that have been displaced from the ecosystems that they call home. The potential for closer contact has lead scientists to study the potentially harmful effects, with a particular focus on disease transmission. Read more of this story »

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Malignant Malaria Found in Primates

Wyoming Voters Snap Up $10,000 Renewable Energy Grants Their Senators Opposed

January 18, 2010 by  
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In just the first ten days, Wyoming voters used up their share in the funds from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act designed to end dependence on dirty energy. They voted with their feet against the Senators they sent to vote for dirty energy. Wyoming voters chose Senators whose party policy as Republicans is to put up persistent obstruction to climate and renewable energy legislation, and both its Republican Senators voted against The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Wyoming Voters Snap Up $10,000 Renewable Energy Grants Their Senators Opposed

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