Zaha Hadid Architects renovate a derelict fire station into Antwerps new BREEAM-rated port headquarters

September 23, 2016 by  
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The new Port House in Antwerp was created as a “sustainable and future-proof workplace” replacement for the former 1990s offices scattered around the city that had housed the port’s 500 staff. The need for expansion and consolidation came as no surprise—Antwerp is Europe’s second largest shipping port, transporting more than 200 million tonnes of goods via the ocean-going vessels and providing direct employment for over 60,000 people. The City and Port authorities selected a historic disused fire station on Mexico Island in Antwerp’s Kattendijk dock on Quay 63, citing significant sustainable construction benefits due to the ability to transport building materials over water. ZHA won the city’s architecture competition for the new design thanks to its proposal that combined the modern design with detailed historical research and analysis. Instead of adding the extension as a neighboring volume, ZHA placed the new volume on top like a crown so as to preserve the building’s four elevations. “These three key principles define the design’s composition of new and old: a new volume that ‘floats’ above the old building, respecting each of the old facades and completing the verticality of the original design’s unrealised tower,” write the architects. “With constant references to the Scheldt, the city of Antwerp and the dynamics of its port, married with the successful renovation and reuse of a redundant fire station – integrating it as a fully-fledged part of its headquarters – the new Port House will serve the port well through its planned expansion over future generations.” Related: Zaha Hadid Architects’ Melbourne high-rise will use 50 percent less energy than the typical mixed-use tower The new extension is clad in triangular glazed panels that reflect different parts of the surrounding sky and water for a shimmering effect. Some of the triangular facets are transparent to allow sunlight to enter the building and to control solar load. The facade’s sparkling appearance is a nod to Antwerp’s moniker as the city of diamonds and changes its appearance depending on the time of day. Glass is also used for the new roof of the old fire station’s courtyard. The renovated building and extension prioritize energy efficiency and include a borehole energy system, chilled ceilings, building automation, and waterless lavatory fittings that helped the project reach a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM environmental rating. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Zaha Hadid Architects , by Hufton+Crow and Tim Fisher

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Zaha Hadid Architects renovate a derelict fire station into Antwerps new BREEAM-rated port headquarters

Innovative Water-Gen machine harvests up to 825 gallons of clean water from thin air in a day

September 23, 2016 by  
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You might remember from grade school science class that water vapor is all around us, taking part in a continuous cycle that fills the clouds, lakes, and oceans with moisture. The people at Water-Gen have found a way to draw this moisture out of the air to produce clean drinking water for those who have none. The device can yield up to 825 gallons of water per day, making it a necessity for inhabitants of a warming planet. Water-Gen ’s unique system is built to harvest condensation out of thin air. Three sizes of these water-generating machines use an array of plastic “leaves” that funnel warm and humid air through the device. The largest unit can produce 825 gallons of water per day at 80 degrees and 60 percent humidity, its medium device can yield 118 gallons, while its smallest device – for the home or office – can produce 4 gallons each day. All that is required is a connection to an energy source, yet it is estimated that each gallon will only cost 10 cents in energy usage. Related: 6 innovative, life-saving designs for clean drinking water “Places that do not have drinking water in pipes are usually hot and humid,” CEO and founder Arye Kohavi told Business Insider . Luckily, the system thrives on hot and humid environments, making it a perfect match for areas facing water scarcity . The company is already engaged in talks with several different governments about how the system can benefit those who need water-generating machines, instead of purification systems. “Water from air is for places that you don’t have any water to filter,” Kohavi explained. And, as climate change persists, the need for clean drinking water will surely increase. + Water-Gen Via Business Insider Images via Water-Gen

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Innovative Water-Gen machine harvests up to 825 gallons of clean water from thin air in a day

New Dutch housing model lets students stay at a senior living home for free

September 23, 2016 by  
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At Humanitas Deventer , an independent living home for seniors in the Netherlands , it’s not uncommon for an 80 or 90-year-old resident to have a 27-year-old neighbor. Students can live at Humanitas Deventer for free. All they have to do in return is spend 30 hours each month being a ” good neighbor .” 27-year-old Patrick Stoffer is a graduate student at Saxion University. He’s one of about five students who live at Humanitas Deventer. During their 30 volunteer hours, the students teach the retirees skills like how to send an email or Skype, or just share a meal and a conversation. Many of the students have formed profound relationships with their elderly neighbors. Related: This nature-filled community is a smart housing solution for Singapore’s aging population “At first I thought I’m just gonna help out a little bit, but you find out that these relationships are deeper than you would expect,” Stoffer said in a video . One of his roommates is 89-year-old Harry, a retiree, whom Stoffer describes as a “joker” who “knows how to handle the ladies.” They’ve become close friends. One new aspect of living at Humanitas Deventer for the students is the closeness to death . Stoffer described how one of his friends in his hall passed away. While he’s had to confront death, he’s learned death is “also part of life.” A lack of affordable housing in other university towns has inspired communities in other areas around the world to adopt intergenerational living models. One similar community is Judson Manor in Cleveland, Ohio, where music students live in a 1920’s luxury hotel converted into a senior home in exchange for playing music for the elderly residents. Urban design student Jurriën Mentink shared his experiences at Humanitas Deventer in this TEDx talk – where do I sign up? + Humanitas Deventer Via AJ+ Images via Humanitas Deventer and Humanitas Deventer Facebook

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New Dutch housing model lets students stay at a senior living home for free

Swap-in wheel converts any bike into an electric within 60 seconds

September 23, 2016 by  
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Interested in trying an electric bike , but too attached to your traditional frame to part with it? Now there’s a solution for you – the GeoOrbital bike wheel . It’s a battery-powered tire that can replace a regular wheel on your bicycle, making your bike electric in just 60 seconds. The wheel comes in two sizes which should fit 95 percent of all adult bicycles and allows bikes to travel 20 miles per hour for up to 50 miles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGdiIH8jODo&ab_channel=GeoOrbital The wheel consists of a durable flat-proof tire, an aerospace-grade aluminum motor controller, a brushless DC motor, and a lithium-ion battery. Installing the motorized wheel requires no tools and can be done in less than a minute. Everything needed to power the bike is included in the wheel itself. GeoOrbital has been tested with hundreds of bikes and is said to be compatible with nearly every model of bicycle . All that’s needed is a bike with a 26, 28, or 29-inch front wheel and rim brakes. The battery automatically recharges whenever the rider is moving but not using the battery – for instance, when you travel downhill, pedal, or slow to a stop. Related: The Elektron is the world’s most compact folding electric bike The wheel has been successfully funded on Kickstarter, raising over $1.2 million dollars in backing, and is now available for preorder through GeoOrbital’s site . The wheel will set you back just shy of $800, with an expected delivery of February 2017. + GeoOrbital Via Automotive Guide to Everything  

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Swap-in wheel converts any bike into an electric within 60 seconds

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