Naturalis Biodiversity Center reopens with a sustainable, future-proof renovation

September 6, 2019 by  
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After nearly a year of renovations, the Netherlands’ prized Naturalis Biodiversity Center — a museum and research center with one of the largest natural history collections in the world — has just reopened to the public. The redesign was led by Rotterdam-based architectural firm Neutelings Riedijk Architects , which expanded and renovated the facility to “future-proof” standards that include 100 percent LED lighting , solar panels, green roofs and an energy-efficient climate control system. The complex also better accommodates more than 200 researchers who aim to contribute solutions to global issues such as climate change, the decline of biodiversity and food supply challenges. Located in Leiden, the Netherlands, the Naturalis Biodiversity Center was originally founded in 1820 by King Willem as a museum for natural artifacts. Subsequent mergers with other museum collections over the years has led the museum to amass approximately 42 million specimens that range from insects and fossils to a wide variety of books and photographs. To better serve the public and researchers, the Naturalis Biodiversity Center appointed Neutelings Riedijk Architects with the task of renovating approximately 18,000 square meters of the existing center and adding 20,000 square meters of new construction.  Related: Carbon-neutral science museum in Sweden will be powered by bicycles The renovated Naturalis Biodiversity Center now combines all departments — including the research activities, the collection and the museum — under one roof. The existing buildings and new extensions are connected with a new central hall with an eye-catching, honeycomb-like, white concrete facade inspired by the museum’s collections. Designed by the famous Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen, the curvaceous exterior is fitted with glass to create a sunny atrium that connects the existing offices and depots with the newly built museum and laboratories. In addition to the addition of sustainable features, such as solar panels and geothermal heat pump system, the renovated Natural Biodiversity Center was constructed with a robust natural materials palette to ensure longevity. The highly textured materials — that include natural stone, oak, concrete, glass and steel — will develop a patina over time to show the passage of time. + Neutelings Riedijk Architects Photography by Scagliola Brakkee Fotografie via Neutelings Riedijk Architects

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Naturalis Biodiversity Center reopens with a sustainable, future-proof renovation

A massive urban vineyard will envelop a new research center in Milan

June 7, 2019 by  
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International design and innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has won first place in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group’s international competition with VITAE, a new research center in Milan that will be covered in a 650-foot-long urban vineyard. The vegetation is remarkable not only for its sheer size, but also for its use in a publicly accessible footpath that will link the street level to the rooftop. The building was developed for real estate group Convivio and was created in a team with the consortium Habitech as environmental experts. Once complete, VITAE will transform a formerly vacant, post-industrial lot in via Serio in the south of Milan into a mixed-use development that includes a farm-to-table restaurant, high-tech offices, facilities for the leading molecular and oncology research center ICOM, guest rooms for international researchers and more than 5,000 square meters of public space. Inspired by biophilic design, the architects created a vegetated pedestrian path with a vine-covered pergola that will ascend the side of the building and provide visitors the chance to see terraces and greenhouses for urban farming and hydroponic cultivation. This “green spiral” inspired the project’s name, VITAE, which means “life” in Latin and “vine” in Italian. “VITAE tries to address humankind’s innate ‘ biophilia ,’ as formulated by the great American biologist Edward O. Wilson,” said Saverio Panata, partner at CRA and project manager of VITAE. “We are talking about the natural tendency of our species to seek our happiness through immersion in nature. Thanks to new technologies, it is now possible to achieve this goal even in the heart of the city — this is particularly relevant in a building that is devoted to scientific research.” Related: CRA grows a sustainable pavilion out of mushrooms in just 6 weeks C40’s Reinventing Cities competition recognized VITAE as the winner for its promotion of carbon-neutral and resilient urban regeneration as well as for its adaptive reuse aspect. Construction on CRA’s project is slated to begin construction in late 2019. + Carlo Ratti Associati Images via Carlo Ratti Associati

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A massive urban vineyard will envelop a new research center in Milan

IBM chemists have found a faster way to recycle plastics, even stuff coated with residue

February 27, 2019 by  
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The technology was born at the company’s research center in California.

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IBM chemists have found a faster way to recycle plastics, even stuff coated with residue

New risks, new tangibles and new business

February 27, 2019 by  
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Environmental, social and governance risks pose the greatest potential impacts to companies.

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New risks, new tangibles and new business

With clock ticking on 2020 deforestation pledges, 5 ideas for sourcing palm oil sustainably

February 27, 2019 by  
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Time-bound commitments and better ways to monitor suppliers will play a central role

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With clock ticking on 2020 deforestation pledges, 5 ideas for sourcing palm oil sustainably

HyperloopTT is building the world’s third Hyperloop test track in France

April 16, 2018 by  
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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies just began construction on the world’s third Hyperloop test track. According to its latest announcement, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies ‘ full-scale tubes just reached a research and development facility in Toulouse, France , and a test track is under construction. The two other Hyperloop test tracks are Virgin Hyperloop One in the desert near Las Vegas and Elon Musk’s near the SpaceX headquarters in California. The race toward a functioning, real-world Hyperloop system continues as more test tracks pop up , governments sign deals , and billionaires get in on the action. Construction of Hyperloop TT’s test track will happen in two phases. The first phase is the building of a closed system around 1,050 feet long, which the company says will be operational in 2018. In 2019, the company plans to finish a 0.6-mile system elevated by pylons at around 20 feet for the second phase. HyperloopTT’s passenger and freight tubes have an interior diameter of about 13 feet. A full-scale passenger capsule is scheduled to arrive in France this summer “for assembly and integration” — it’s almost finished being built at a facility in Spain. Related: Hyperloop One exhibits exciting first images of full-scale test track In the company’s statement, HyperloopTT chairman Bibop Gresta said, “We’ve pioneered the technology , proved feasible and insurable by the world’s largest reinsurance company, Munich RE. We have agreements in place in nine countries where we’re working on feasibility and regulations. We have a research center for freight and logistics in Brazil and a facility in Toulouse where we’ll deliver the first full-scale passenger capsule. Hyperloop is no longer a concept, it has become a commercial industry.” Stay tuned — HyperloopTT said they’ll soon reveal details for a public unveiling of their France facility this year. + Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Via The Verge Images via Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

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HyperloopTT is building the world’s third Hyperloop test track in France

5D glass discs can store data for as long as the universe has existed

February 17, 2016 by  
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Take everything you know about data storage and set it aside, because a breakthrough from a research team at the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Center (ORC) could change everything. The scientists have developed a totally new type of data storage , in the form of glass discs close to the size of a quarter. Data is encoded into tiny nanostructures embedded within the glass, and the team believes their invention could be used to store data for up to 13.8 billion years. Read the rest of 5D glass discs can store data for as long as the universe has existed

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5D glass discs can store data for as long as the universe has existed

What scares you more? Climate change or ISIS?

July 20, 2015 by  
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When you lie awake at night worrying about the world, what grips your intestines with fear? Lack of money? California’s drought and food shortages ? Or do you have nightmares filled with orange suits and gory ISIS reports? Well, here’s something we found interesting: for a new survey, the Pew Research Center asked this very same thing of 45,435 people in 40 different countries between March 25 and May 27, 2015. And the results are fairly predictable. Americans, who are among the least threatened by ISIS, are more afraid of the group than any other critical global issue. By the end of October last year, ISIS killed an estimated 24,000, according to the UN . That number has to be significantly higher now, but to put it in perspective, consider that climate change is expected to kill up to 600,000 each year by 2030 . Read the rest of What scares you more? Climate change or ISIS?

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What scares you more? Climate change or ISIS?

Cut new national parks, says group backed by Koch brothers

July 8, 2015 by  
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The National Park Service operations budget has been cut 80 percent in the last 4 years, but not enough for a group backed by the Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation. In a recent New York Times Op-Ed , Reed Watson, executive director of the Property and Environment Research Center, lambasted existing provisions to protect national parks and efforts to set aside new land for preservation. PERC, which has received over $90,000 from the Koch brother’s foundation, advocates cutting all taxpayer support for national parks and switching to a 100 percent fee-based funding structure instead. Read the rest of Cut new national parks, says group backed by Koch brothers Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: conservation , environmental law , environmental policy , fossil fuel industries , fossil fuels , Koch Brothers , Koch charitable foundation , Koch Industries , Land and Water Conservation Fund , National Park Service , New York Times Op Ed , PERC , Property and Environment Research Center , Public Relations , Reed Watson

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NASA sending probe to Europa in search of ancient sub-glacial life

February 26, 2015 by  
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With past life on Mars already likely , NASA is making plans to venture farther into the solar system by sending a probe to Europa to search for life. One of Jupiter’s many moons, about the size of Earth’s moon, Europa has been the subject of much interest by astronomers for years. The Hubble space telescope first captured images of water vapor there in 2012, causing some scientists to suspect a salty ocean that lies beneath its glacial crust might contain evidence of life. Read the rest of NASA sending probe to Europa in search of ancient sub-glacial life Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Ames Research Center , europa , europa clipper , hubble telescope , jupiter , Life , moon , nasa , probe , vapor plume

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NASA sending probe to Europa in search of ancient sub-glacial life

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