The Science Place becomes Australias first new LEED Gold-rated educational building

April 24, 2018 by  
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James Cook University’s The Science Place recently earned the distinction of becoming Australia’s first educational building to achieve a prestigious LEED Gold rating. Designed by HASSELL , the sustainable building with state-of-the-art facilities brings together the university’s chemistry, biochemistry and biology research cohorts under one roof. The Science Place also recovered and recycled 96% of all the previous building materials—a new record for a Townsville development of its size. The nearly 130,000-square-foot The Science Place building serves as the iconic “home of science” and central hub on the university campus. The four-story structure stacks two floors of dedicated scientific research areas atop research-led learning spaces on the lower two floors, all linked by light-filled atrium spaces and a central open stair. “We’ve seen a surge in the desire to house STEM activities under the one roof as a way to increase cross-disciplinary education and knowledge sharing, and The Science Place is a prime example of achieving this goal,” said HASSELL Principal Mark Roehrs. “This not only makes sense from a building and asset point of view, but also for student experience as it increases interaction.” Related: The Global Change Institute Operates in a Net Zero, Carbon Neutral Research Center in Brisbane In addition to the recovery and recycling of previous building materials, the LEED Gold -certified university building keeps power consumption to a minimum thanks to natural daylight, daylight-sensitive lighting, water-saving taps, and a light-colored reflective roof that reduces solar heat gain. A 25kW solar rooftop area also generates 125kWh of renewable energy a day. For improved health and comfort, the building is also equipped with superior indoor air quality management and testing, multiple low-emitting materials, and performance-optimized smart metering. + HASSELL Images © Andrew Rankin

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The Science Place becomes Australias first new LEED Gold-rated educational building

Giant glowing bottle walls light up Singapore for plastic binge awareness

April 24, 2018 by  
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Design collective Luzinterruptus worked their artistic plastic magic last month with an illuminated plastic bottle installation at Singapore’s I Light Marina Bay , dubbed “Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival.” The massive glowing artwork, called Transitable Plastic, comprised seven movable walls hung beneath the Esplanade Bridge, one of the busiest transit areas in the bay. Designed to raise awareness about the “plastic binge,” the interactive artwork required visitors to physically move the plastic walls out of the way in order to get to the other side. Installed for approximately four weeks, Transitable Plastic was created with over 20,000 recycled plastic units collected from the community and local businesses including hotels, restaurants and shopping malls over the span of a month. Luzinterruptus vacuum packed the plastic bottles to create larger panels that were then strung together to form seven large walls. These makeshift walls were hung from metal scaffolding. The installation took 10 days to complete. Related: Historic French building stuffed with plastic bags looks ready to explode “We [lit] the piece with a cold, neutral light which enhanced the glint of the plastic material and brought out the color of the labels allowing to easily guess which are the city’s most popular beverage brands,” wrote the designers. “As visitors entered the piece, landmarks disappeared so they had to get the plastic out of the way in order to avoid getting stuck in the corridors and to get to the other side, a healthier, more open place where they could breathe fresh air. A more-than-a-minute-long walk among plastics which could bring about a bit of asphyxia and inevitably the thought of plastic and its related problems.” Transitable Plastic was fully disassembled at the end of the event and the materials were sorted and recycled. + Luzinterruptus Images by Colossal Pro

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Giant glowing bottle walls light up Singapore for plastic binge awareness

Apple’s new recycling robot can disassemble 200 iPhones in a single hour

April 20, 2018 by  
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Just in time for Earth Day , Apple has unveiled a new recycling robot — and it can disassemble 200 iPhones in a single hour. Daisy can successfully extract parts from nine types of iPhones — and for every 100,000 devices it can salvage 1,900 kg of aluminum, 770 kg of cobalt, 710 kg of copper and 11 kg of rare earth elements. The robot represents a major step forward in Apple ’s mission to someday build its devices entirely from recycled materials. “We created Daisy to have a smaller footprint and the capability to disassemble multiple models of iPhones with higher variation compared to Liam ” — an earlier iteration of the company’s recycling robotics — Apple said in its 2018 Environmental Responsibility Report . Ultimately, Apple hopes to develop a closed-loop production system in which every reusable part of older devices is utilized in new ones. “To meet our goal, we must use 100 percent, responsibly sourced, recycled or renewable materials and ensure the equivalent amount is returned to market,” Apple said in its report. “Recognizing that this goal could take many years to reach, we remain committed to responsible sourcing of primary materials as we make the transition.” Though Apple has yet to release a timeline for its full transition, it has started active projects to recycle rare earth metals , paper products and more common metals from its supply chain. Related: Apple is now “globally powered by 100% renewable energy” Apple plans to add Daisy robots to several locations throughout the United States and Europe. Because the company is currently only able to incorporate used devices that it receives directly, Apple will emphasize its GiveBack program, in part by offering company credit for returned devices. Thanks to its recycling initiatives, Apple has already reduced its primary aluminum consumption by 23 to 25 percent since 2015. Despite the company’s initial success, some observers have advocated for more fundamental changes in Apple’s model. Greenpeace USA senior IT sector analyst Gary Cook said , “Rather than another recycling robot, what is most needed from Apple is an indication that the company is embracing one of the greatest opportunities to reduce its environmental impact: repairable and upgradeable product design.” Via Business Green Images via Apple

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Apple’s new recycling robot can disassemble 200 iPhones in a single hour

Whimsical park built of recycled materials pops up in Shanghai

April 5, 2018 by  
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Shanghai’s hip Anfu Road recently found itself home to a whimsical urban intervention showing how one man’s trash could be turned into public space treasure. AIM Architecture and URBAN MATTERS designed the temporary urban park, called Urban Bloom, as an experimental exercise pairing reclaimed pallets with glowing tree-like sculptures. “Transformed into an ideal urban garden, and constructed entirely from artificial means, it is a project for a city that emphasizes people,” wrote the designers. Open to the public, Urban Bloom is nestled in a quiet courtyard with popular eateries and boutiques within striking distance. Recycled timber pallets are used as modular building blocks stacked to form seating and visual interest. The installation undulates on one side to resemble hilly topography. Related: Shanghai’s sponge districts fight flooding with green space Potted plants are placed around part of the park’s perimeter to create a garden aesthetic. Plastic spheres tied to poles are filled with foliage in a sculptural take on trees. Repurposed materials were predominately used as part of the designers’ desire to promote sustainable concepts. “At the same time, cities are huge producers of waste and trash,” wrote the designers. “We wanted this new space to be low-impact, and interact with natural elements in an artificial way – in short, proving it’s possible to make something new from nothing new at all.” + AIM Architecture + URBAN MATTERS Via ArchDaily Images © URBAN MATTERS by MINI, CreatAR Images

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This tiny timber cabin was built from construction waste for under $30K

April 2, 2018 by  
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Transportable, versatile, and low-cost, this tiny timber cabin shows how crafty use of local and recycled materials can lead to impressive results. UK architecture firm Invisible Studio designed and built this mobile prototype using a combination of construction waste and locally grown unseasoned timber for just £20,000 ($28,105 USD). Called Trailer, the multifunctional structure follows in the footsteps of Invisible Studio’s previous projects, such as the Ghost Barn and their own studio space , both of which were built from timber sustainably grown and managed on site. Located in the woods near Invisible Studio’s workspace, the 430-square-foot Trailer project gets its name from the trailer the built structure sits on. The architects designed the building so that it can be legally transported on a public highway and added a removable wheeled “bogey” beneath the steel chassis for ease of use. “The project aims to provide a super low cost, versatile, useable space that could act as a kit of parts for any self builder to improvise around or easily adapt,” wrote Invisible Studio. “While conceived as a domestic space, it could easily function as a workspace or something else.” Related: Ghost Barn built of locally felled timber glows like a lantern at night Corrugated fiberglass and steel clad the building, while high-performance interlocking polycarbonate panels cover the two gabled ends to allow an ample amount of natural light indoors. The interior is lined in used shuttering plywood and all the joinery, including the two staircases, is crafted from plywood offcuts. Leftover blue rope, sourced from a previous project, is used for the handrails. The doors and insulation were also reclaimed and the roof lights were purchased as factory seconds. To reduce milling costs, the architects used timber of the “same section,” meaning timber was cut into 125 millimeter-by-50-millimeter pieces and then laminated up into the structural sections for the cross frames. + Invisible Studio Via Dezeen Images by Piers Taylor

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This tiny timber cabin was built from construction waste for under $30K

Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs BREEAM-seeking brewery renovation in Riga

March 23, 2018 by  
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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has beaten the likes of Henning Larsen and Zaha Hadid Architects in a competition to design Kimmel Quarter, a major urban revitalization project in Riga, Latvia . Located in the capital’s Central District, the project will be centered on the redevelopment of Brewery Kimmel, a 19th century beer brewery rich in history. The adaptive reuse scheme will preserve the site’s historical roots while adding new mixed-use programming that follow sustainable design principles. The 11,500-square-meter Kimmel Quarter will become Riga’s new destination for working, shopping, and recreation. The abandoned industrial buildings that occupy nearly an entire city block will be restored and transformed into a 30,000-square-meter office building, a hotel, a public gym, a child care center, a cafe, a spa, a food court, and a convenience store. Inviting courtyards and plazas will tie the various spaces together. “We wanted to create a new composition of building volumes as pragmatic and straight forward as the old industrial complex with a dynamic façade that pushes back and forth and up and down,” said Rasmus Kierkegaard, Associate Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. “The resulting architecture is distinctly modern, but in a rewarding dialogue with the old restored buildings. We have designed a new Kimmel Quarter in which history and the future are bound by timeless architecture.” Related: Lookout Loop bird observatory in Latvia doubles as a temporary shelter Sensitive adaptive reuse, passive solar orientation, and use of recycled materials and rainwater are part of the design’s focus on sustainability. Kimmel Quarter will follow BREEAM standards and is expected to serve as one of Riga’s model project for meeting the European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package goals. + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs BREEAM-seeking brewery renovation in Riga

Media lab built from recycled shipping containers pops up in half a day

March 22, 2018 by  
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Four recycled shipping containers have found a new lease on life as Bard College’s new media lab in upstate New York. Quick, affordable, and modern, MB Architecture’s speedy lab solution for the Bard College Department of Experimental Humanities has the added benefit of a folding glass door that blurs the boundary between indoors and out. Prefabricated offsite, the Bard College Media Lab was installed in just half a day and fully operational within a few weeks. Located in the middle of campus near a Frank Gehry concert hall, the 960-square-foot media lab cost slightly over $200,000 for prefabrication , delivery, and installation. The four shipping containers were stacked into a single blocky monolith with the exterior painted matte black. While the corrugated sides were retained—perhaps as a reminder of the building’s industrial past—large glazed panels punctuate the building to bring in views of the outdoors and create the illusion of spaciousness inside. Related: The Coolest Bar in Texas is Built With Seven Stacked Shipping Containers Flexibility was built into the design of the lab, which will be shared by different college departments. The first floor comprises multiple entrances, a bathroom, and a double-height meeting room that opens up to the quad through a large pivoting garage door. By opening up the interior to the outdoors, the room can be used as a stage for performances, concerts, and theatrical events. An office is located on the second floor. + MB Architecture Via ArchDaily Images © Matthew Carbone

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Media lab built from recycled shipping containers pops up in half a day

Check out this Amsterdam house created with trash and items from eBay

March 21, 2018 by  
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Garbage doesn’t need to simply be garbage; it can be used to build new things. At least, that’s what Frank Alsema has done. Profiled by Gizmodo, Alsema is a retired TV producer in the Netherlands who’s been fashioning his home out of garbage and other items he discovered on eBay. He calls the house Palais Récup, or Palace Recover, and he’s turned it into a laboratory for sustainable living. Alsema began his project in 2013, gathering materials he thought were beautiful and then asking an architect, John Zondag , to design a home around them. Over the years, Palais Récup has become a testing ground for urban green living. Alsema not only employs recycled materials  to construct the house, but also works to reuse energy , food scraps, and rainwater . (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Posted by Palais Récup on  Monday, May 15, 2017 Related: Colorful People’s Pavilion in Eindhoven is made from 100% borrowed materials According to Gizmodo, Alsema estimates around 60 percent of the items in Palais Récup are from eBay, including a 19th-century cupboard. A large spiral staircase originally came from a secondhand car shop. Zondag’s website says the house also contains slate from a church roof, a curtain wall comprised of natural stone via a bankrupt estate, and antique interior doors. Solar panels , a central heating pellet stove, green roofs , a heat sink, and “very high insulation values” are also among the home’s features. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Posted by Palais Récup on  Thursday, February 2, 2017 Palais Récup is a work in progress: some rooms have yet to be finished. But this project is just one of Alsema’s and the nearby community’s efforts to foster circular living. Alsema is helping to create a complex of houses on a lot close by for people who aim to live sustainably. About a mile away, another community of people resides in an old shipyard, attempting to clean polluted soil in the area with plants. Alsema believes that “as we want to change the world…we have to do something, and we have to do it quick…And for that we need a lot of citizens who are going to hack the system, play with the system…If I can do it in Amsterdam North, you can do it. And we can do it together. And we need this system change to create a circular city and create a better world.” + Palais Récup Via Gizmodo Image via Palais Récup Facebook

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Check out this Amsterdam house created with trash and items from eBay

PUP Architects disguises a tiny house as a rooftop air duct

March 14, 2018 by  
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PUP Architects disguised a dwelling as a rooftop air duct to bring attention to London’s housing crisis . The “guerrilla habitation” project playfully exploits development loopholes by fashioning a habitable rooftop space atop a canal-side warehouse in east London. PUP Architects based their design off a loophole that allows development of rooftop service structures without planning permission. PUP Architect’s H-VAC structure beat out 128 proposals to win property developer Shiva’s annual Antepavilion program, a competition that calls attention to problems with the local planning department and the city’s housing shortage .  Disguised as an HVAC exhaust, this hidden two-story dwelling starts from within the brick warehouse and pops up onto the roof in a snaking linear form clad in silver waterproof shingles made from recycled Tetra-Pak offcuts. The timber-framed structure winds its way up and culminates into a periscope-like shape with small room with two comfortable benches accommodating up to six. Related: This tiny prefab solution to Finland’s housing shortage can pop up in 24 hours “The pavilion invites discussion about the occupation of the city’s rooftops by highlighting relaxed permitted development rights,” says the Antepavilion press release. “It suggests that if dwellings could be disguised as air conditioning equipment, thousands of micro houses could be built across the city providing new homes.” The unusual pop-up pavilion won 2017’s Architecture Foundation Antepavilion competition for sustainable housing alternatives. + PUP Architects Images by Jim Stephenson and Phineas Harper

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PUP Architects disguises a tiny house as a rooftop air duct

Plastic-fishing group in Amsterdam turns trash into contemporary furniture

March 12, 2018 by  
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If we remove plastic from the world’s waterways, what happens to it next? Amsterdam -based Plastic Whale , the “first professional plastic-fishing company in the world” according to founder Marius Smit , came up with a creative answer: circular furniture . They teamed up with LAMA Concept and Vepa to design the Plastic Whale Circular Furniture collection, all of which is made with trash fished from the city’s canals. Plastic Whale takes thousands of people plastic fishing in Amsterdam’s canals every year, removing tons of plastic trash, according to their video. They’ve created fishing boats out of plastic collected and then decided to make something new with the garbage: office furniture. They enlisted the help of design firm LAMA Concept to design the pieces, and furniture manufacturer Vepa to produce and sell them. Related: Pentatonic launches new brand of modern furniture made with nothing but trash They’ve created a boardroom table , chairs , a lamp , and an acoustic panel. Vepa director Janwillem de Kam said in a statement , “For the manufacture of the furniture we use PET bottles that have been collected by Plastic Whale. We also melt steel waste into the base of the chair. We are fast moving towards a waste-free factory and even ensure that we process the waste from others in this collection.” Plastic Whale said they also utilize residual fabrics for the chair. LAMA Concept co-owner Yvonne Laurysen said they were inspired by whales for the furniture’s designs : “Think, for example, of the look and feel of the characteristic skin, the adipose tissue, and the impressive skeleton.” Surfacing whales inspired the boardroom table’s appearance, the chairs got their look from the shape of a whale’s tail, barnacles provided inspiration for the lamp, and a whale’s bellow offered the spark for the acoustic panels. When a customer is done with the furniture, they can return it to Vepa, which will create new pieces and even return a deposit. The furniture can be ordered via exclusive dealers with prices available on request; you can email Vepa for more information. Some of the proceeds will go to organizations fighting the plastic problem like SweepSmart in India. You can find out more about Plastic Whale’s collection here . + Plastic Whale + Vepa + LAMA Concept Images via LAMA Concept and courtesy of Vepa

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