This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

August 4, 2017 by  
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The 25,000-square-meter school in Denmark is covered with a whopping 12,000 solar panels , which provide more than half of its electricity needs. Unlike most solar-powered buildings, the panels aren’t solely relegated to the school’s rooftop. In fact, more than 6,000 square meters of the facade is clad in sea-foam hued photovoltaics. The days of hiding unsightly solar arrays are fading into the past. C.F. Møller ‘s International School Nordhavn in Copenhagen uses solar panels to produce clean energy – and also as a part of the building’s aesthetic. Related: Solar-powered Colorado school houses a sun-soaked learning environment The solar panels were developed by Swiss research institute EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). The panels are actually clear; the beautiful sea green color is a result of technology that adds fine particles to the glass surface, giving the appearance of color. The result is a reflective green hue that varies with the light, providing the school with an attractive exterior that is beautiful, functional, and green. + C.F. Møller Via Azure Magazine

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This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

Airbnb will let you rent your own off-the-grid Caribbean island

August 4, 2017 by  
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Why settle for a beachfront cabana when you can rent the whole island? For $595 per night, Bird Island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean could be yours. The listing comes courtesy of Airbnb , which plies such unique retreats as a treehouse in a 150-year-old oak , a replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles , and a “floating” house on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. “Stay on your own in a truly private island on a beautiful atoll, with excellent swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and exploring—with all the comforts,” Airbnb promises. “It is a perfect setting for either a romantic get-away for a couple, a family gathering/reunion or for a small group of friends.” The spot, which is 20 minutes by boat from Placencia Village on the mainland, includes a private three-bedroom home that can accommodate up to six guests, a brand-new propane refrigerator and freezer, and a rainwater filtration system. Although Bird Island is off the grid—power is generated through solar and wind—you don’t have to be cut off from the world if you don’t want to. The locale boasts a phone for local numbers, plus “good and reliable” WiFi. Related: Washington Hobbit Hole is the first of three in an off-grid Shire Self-sufficiency is key, however. You’ll have to supply—or fish for—your own food. Snorkling or angling equipment is also strictly BYO. “The central theme of Bird Island is a self-catering, Robinson Crusoe type of adventure, yet with all the comforts, where one could get to do their own thing in total privacy,” Airbnb says. “We offer Bird Island at an exceptional price for an experience best-suited for the adventurous who are totally self-sufficient.” + Airbnb Photos via Airbnb Via Thrillist

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Airbnb will let you rent your own off-the-grid Caribbean island

LAVA breaks ground on sustainable energy tower in Heidelberg

August 4, 2017 by  
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A dynamic new icon of sustainable energy is rising in Heidelberg, Germany. Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) just broke ground on a new energy storage tower for Stadtwerke Heidelberg (SWH) that will be the Heidelberg’s tallest building and symbolize the city’s transition towards renewables . Designed to replace an existing gas tank, the new tower will be wrapped in a dynamic multi-layered facade made up of “energy loops” to render renewable energy visible to the public. The 56-meter-tall energy storage center with 19,500-cubic-meter capacity will be accompanied with a 10,000-square-meter park, both of which are slated for completion in mid-2019. Solar and wind energy will be harnessed and used to heat up the water and sold as heat energy. “This ‘knowledge store’ will replace a previous gas tank, a symbol of energy policy in the 1950s,” said Tobias Wallisser, director of LAVA. “Formally and geometrically the new water tank will not be much different from its predecessor. So this raised the challenge for us: How can the parameters of energy regeneration, decentrality, networking, flexibility and adaptivity be made visible in the design of the outer shell? How can an adaptive, dynamic system be produced without extreme technical control? Our task was to transform a big heavy industrial tank into a dynamic object.” Related: Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia The renovated tower is made up of a multi-layered facade with a spiral helix staircase that wraps around an insulating inner layer of mineral wool panels painted varying shades of blue. A cable network fitted between the annular supports creates the outer facade. Around 11,000 diamond-shaped stainless steel plates—the same number of households supplied with energy by the network—also clad the structure and can rotate up to 45 degrees horizontally in the wind. At night, the tower’s inner envelope is illuminated by LEDs that glow blue, green, and white that signify the filling up or emptying of the water storage tank. The publicly accessible tower features two elevators and roof-level event spaces, bistro, and viewing terraces. + Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

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LAVA breaks ground on sustainable energy tower in Heidelberg

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