Uber inks deal to demonstrate on-demand flying taxis at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai

April 26, 2017 by  
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Getting from point A to point B in a car traveling on the ground is so 2017. Instead, Uber is working on a future where people will zip across cities in the sky. The company plans to test their on-demand flying car service, called Uber Elevate, in Dallas and Dubai by 2020. Uber wants customers to be able to press a button and summon a high-speed flying vehicle to transport them around a city through a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) network. They claim their zero-emissions vehicles will be electric and quiet, taking off and landing vertically – like a helicopter . Uber is developing the vehicles with five partners , including aviation companies like Bell Helicopter and Embraer . Related: Uber is working on flying electric cars to disrupt transportation again And they’ve already got a few cities on board. Uber has an agreement with Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, including a joint study into pricing, routes, and people movement. Uber aims to launch an Uber Elevate Network demonstration at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. They also aim to initiate a pilot program in Dallas the same year before full-scale operations in Texas in 2023. Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said, “What started as a simple question: ‘Why can’t I push a button and get a ride?’ has turned, for Uber, into a passionate pursuit of the pinnacle of urban mobility – the reduction of congestion and pollution from transportation, giving people their time back, freeing up real estate dedicated to parking and providing access to mobility in all corners of a city.” The BBC noted the technology isn’t proven yet, but Uber thinks their flying car service could cost around the same as their car transportation system. Regulation and safety are two other major hurdles Uber must leap before their technology can take to the skies. Via the BBC and Phys.org Images via Uber ( 1 , 2 )

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Uber inks deal to demonstrate on-demand flying taxis at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai

Is this massive folded skyscraper trolling New York City’s obsession with size?

March 29, 2017 by  
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New York City’s obsession with building ultra-tall, skinny skyscrapers should come as a surprise to no one. For decades, architects and developers have worked to “out-phallic” each other to seize prestige and obscene amounts of cash. New York-based Oiio Studio has had enough of the taller-is-better trend – and they’re now aiming to create the “longest skyscraper in the world” – aptly dubbed “The Big Bend” – to draw attention to the city’s absurd real estate situation. The proposed Big Bend aims to be the longest skyscraper on the globe – topping out even Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – by folding the tower in half in an inverted U-shape. Big Bend is a 4,000-foot-tall paperclip-shaped skyscraper that would loom over the towers along New York City’s Billionaire’s Row . The plans evoke an ultra-modern atmosphere with images of top-hatted rich men taking center stage in the renderings. According to the architects, the “bendy” design responds to the city’s uber-tall skyscrapers , which have been criticized for “bending” building codes and using their height to command exorbitant prices. Related: World’s tallest timber skyscraper proposed for London The building proposal for the Big Bend reads, “We usually learn about the latest tallest building and we are always impressed by its price per square foot. It seems that a property’s height operates as a license for it to be expensive. New York City’s zoning laws have created a peculiar set of tricks trough which developers try to maximize their property’s height in order to infuse it with the prestige of a high rise structure. But what if we substituted height with length? What if our buildings were long instead of tall? If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan.” In an interview with Quartz , Oiio’s Ioannis Oikonomou explains that the project aims “to raise awareness on the extreme law-bending that the emergence of such structures requires by proposing an even more extreme, yet achievable, scenario.” The fact that the design is feasible is what makes the Big Bend design even more intriguing. With current high-tech engineering and elevators that can move horizontally as well as vertically, the U-shaped tower could potentially be built – and it even complies with current NYC zoning laws. “There is nothing particularly demanding that has not been already tested within existing high-rise structures,” Oikonomou says. If fact, if the skyscraper design came to fruition, its size would overtake Dubai’s Burj Khalifa , which at 2,722 feet, is the world’s tallest (and longest) building. + Oiio Studio Via CNN Imags via Oiio Studio

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Is this massive folded skyscraper trolling New York City’s obsession with size?

Stickbulb is a revolutionary and gorgeous modular LED light

March 29, 2017 by  
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If you haven’t heard of Stickbulb yet, it’s time you did. Stickbulb is a collection of stunning, innovative and diverse modern LED lighting made locally in New York City out of wood reclaimed from within the Big Apple itself. Stickbulb’s latest revelation – the Custom Collection – is produced by the New York-based RUX Design Studio and it features interchangeable wooden LED stick lamps that you can combine into different configurations to suit your space. The original Stickbulb was, as the name suggests, a straight stick of wood affixed to a long, linear LED lamp. The geometric shapes of this latest Custom Collection build on the simple shape of the linear LED stickstulb. But the new pieces are modular and can be altered to fit almost any space. Stickbulb’s beautiful geometric designs range from free-standing formats to wall-mounted pendants that can be clustered to create statement pieces. They scale from the size of a table lamp to a 9-foot-tall chandelier that was displayed at last year’s New York City Design Week . This unique design was a collaboration between by RUX Design studio founder and Creative Director, Russell Greenberg, and Partner, Christopher Beardley. Both are architecture graduates with a passion for buildings, modular systems, and sustainable manufacturing. The sculptural pieces are assembled in Rux’s shop in Queens, New York, and are made from locally-sourced materials. Wood options include southern yellow pine reclaimed from buildings demolished in New York State. The pieces are designed with a minimal number of parts, so they’re easy to separate for maintenance, recycling, and reuse. RELATED: 24 Gorgeous Green Lamps That Look Great With Energy-Saving LED Bulbs Stickbulb celebrates New York City’s past and future, combining energy efficient LED lighting with sustainably sourced, reclaimed wood that is a part of the fabric of the past. + Stickbulb

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Stickbulb is a revolutionary and gorgeous modular LED light

A bird’s eye view of real estate risk disclosure

December 15, 2016 by  
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What does high-risk investor appetite mean for real estate sustainability disclosure and performance?

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A bird’s eye view of real estate risk disclosure

Harvest fresh veggies all year-round with the energy-efficient GrowBox mini farm

December 6, 2016 by  
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With headlines like ” Glyphosate found in Cheerios, Kashi cookies and other popular food items ” and ” Are you eating Monsanto weed killer for breakfast? ” plaguing the news, more and more of us are looking for ways keep our families healthy by growing our own food at home. GrowBox is a new hydroponic solution that lets you cultivate and harvest up to 50 edible plants in an indoor environment all year-round. There’s no need to worry about sunlight or water because the whole system is optimized and automated, and you never have to be concerned about carcinogenic pesticides because you control exactly what goes into your personal farm every day. Developed by Opcom Farm , GrowBox is a new indoor farming system that allows users to grow fresh veggies right in their own homes. Made up of four LED lamps, a water tank and pump, and a tray that holds up to 50 plants at a time, the robust kit comes with everything you need to start your own mini farm including seedling sponges, starter seeds, nutrition packs, pH capsules, a pH meter, and an insect net. Opcom is committed to using only non-GMO seeds and pesticide-free nutrients that come from a leading American manufacturer. In addition to being able to grow and harvest throughout the colder months, GrowBox gives even the blackest of thumbs an agricultural edge with an easy-to-use “Auto” mode that provides your plants with precisely the right amount of light, water and nutrients they need when they need it. The unit’s components are also flexible so that you can adjust the heights of the lamps and tubes to accommodate your flourishing crops. The unit also has an area that is specially designed to grow nutrient-rich sprouts. RELATED: Revolutionary Green Wheel hydroponic garden grows food faster with NASA technology For a large garden with such a high yield, the GrowBox ‘s energy and water usage stats are actually quite impressive. According to Opcom, the system uses less than $0.11 per day of electricity (based on $0.12 per KWH), or about the same as your cable box. That means that per week, it uses less electricity than drying two loads of laundry in an electric clothes dryer. Because the unit operates on a hydroponic gardening system, it also uses 90 percent less water than a traditional garden. While it’s actually quite space-efficient considering that it can grow so many plants simultaneously, the GrowBox isn’t exactly petite. Measuring in at about 4′ x 2’, the unit takes up a sizable chunk of real estate (that many urban dwellers simply can’t spare). For those looking for a more vertical solution, Opcom does offer the slender and tall GrowWall , which holds up to 75 plants while taking up less floor space. But we’d love to see an even more space-efficient model catering to urban apartment dwellers from Opcom in the future. At $499, the GrowBox certainly isn’t cheap, but if you consider that a bunch of spinach can cost about $3 in many urban areas, and that the GrowBox lets you grow 50 plants at a time ($3 x 50 = $150), you can see how quickly this investment begins to pay for itself. + Opcom Farm Note: Opcom supplied the author of this article with a sample GrowBox unit in exchange for an unbiased writeup.

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Harvest fresh veggies all year-round with the energy-efficient GrowBox mini farm

New study finds eco-assets boost property sale price

November 3, 2016 by  
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Assessing property for the endangered species it saves or wetlands it preserves could pay off for some California landowners.

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New study finds eco-assets boost property sale price

For $2.3 million, this breathtaking self-sufficent Scottish island could be yours

October 19, 2016 by  
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Looking for a new home away from home? How about a breathtaking Scottish island ? For just $2.3 million you can purchase the 760-acre isle along with nine traditional cottages, an old school house, and a post office. Compared to the cost of a condo in Manhattan or a house in San Francisco, the offer seems like a steal . Spectacular views aren’t the only perk: the entire island is self-sufficient and powered by a combination of wind turbines and generators for 24-hour electricity. Called Tanera Mor , the island is the largest of the Summer Isles located a mile and a half off the northwest coast of Scotland near Ullapool. The entire island is easily walkable at 1.6 miles long and 1.2 miles long, with 7 miles of cliffs, coves, and beaches to relax on. There’s also a freshwater treatment works included. (And, of course, broadband internet.) The ten structures on the island are built from stone in a traditional style, and have all been recently restored. The landscape has also had work done in the past 15 years, with more than 164,000 native trees planted to protect the landscape from harsh winds. The surrounding waters are perfect for sailing, fishing, and diving – according to the listing, it’s not unusual to spot porpoises, dolphins, basking sharks, and otters nearby. Related: This historic village in France is on sale for $175,000 – but there’s a catch If the price tag is too steep, parts of the island are also being offered in three separate lots. For $850,000, you can purchase the north end of Tanera Mor, along with three houses, a café, and the post office. For $523,00, you can have the central portion of the island, including two houses, a historic stone pier, and the largest beach . Finally, available at $937,000 is the southern end, including four houses and some incredible natural landscapes, including the island’s highest point, a variety of bays and inlets, a tidal pool, and the four neighboring small islands of Eilean Mor, Eilean Beag, and an unnamed tidal island. Interested in snapping up a part of this piece of history? RightMove has the rest of the details. + RightMove Listing Via Treehugger Images via RightMove and gordon.milligan

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For $2.3 million, this breathtaking self-sufficent Scottish island could be yours

Hear the sounds of space in StudioKCAs NASA Orbit Pavilion in Los Angeles

October 19, 2016 by  
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Created in collaboration with Shane Myrbeck of Arup and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, StudioKCA’s NASA Orbit Pavilion debuted at the World Science Festival at New York University in the summer of 2015. The Huntington invited StudioKCA to bring the pavilion to the west coast as the first exhibition of Five, an initiative to connect the research institution’s vast collections with five external organizations and contemporary artists over the next five years. The NASA Orbit Pavilion’s double-curved nautilus shape was constructed from 72 waterjet-cut aluminum panels perforated with over 100 “orbital paths.” A 30-foot-diameter inner sound chamber is outfitted with 28 speakers spatially arranged to mimic orbits. The structure’s curved aluminum framework minimizes external noise and is engineered to provide an immersive environment that surrounds visitors with sounds representing orbiting satellites in real-time. Related: NASA Orbit Pavilion plays the eerily beautiful music of satellites orbiting Earth “Like holding a shell to one’s ear to listen the ocean, what if you could walk into a massive shell and listen to the sounds of space, or rather, a symphony built out of the sounds of satellites in space?” Says Jason Klimoski, principal of StudioKCA. The NASA Orbit Pavilion will be on view at The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens from October 29, 2016 to February 27, 2017. + NASA Orbit Pavilion Images via StudioKCA

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Hear the sounds of space in StudioKCAs NASA Orbit Pavilion in Los Angeles

How to find energy-efficient commercial space

August 26, 2016 by  
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Rocky Mountain Institute and the Institute for Market Transformation create standards to help commercial renters understand what a green lease promises.

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How to find energy-efficient commercial space

The $65 billion real estate titan second only to Walmart on solar

August 17, 2016 by  
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Industrial warehouse giant Prologis controls close to 150 megawatts of capacity, most of which it sells back to the grid.

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The $65 billion real estate titan second only to Walmart on solar

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