World’s first solar-powered hot air balloon visits UK school

July 18, 2017 by  
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Schoolchildren living in the coolest city in the UK just got a glimpse of one of the coolest energy sources in action with the arrival of the world’s first solar -powered hot air balloon. The balloon actually took its maiden voyage back in 2015 , but on Monday youngsters from the Hannah More Primary School got to learn about how renewable energy can power global transport — even a hot air balloon. The balloon is made of lightweight polyurethane coated nylon. The air inside the balloon is heated by the sun instead of a propane burner, causing it to rise. The black side of the balloon faces the sun, collecting heat, while the silver side prevents the heat from escaping. The balloon is technically a hybrid because it is fitted with propane burners as a back up in case the sun hides behind the clouds when the balloon is up in the air. Related: The world’s most efficient 5-seater car is powered entirely by the sun The balloon is owned by Bristol Energy and developed by Cameron Balloons . “It’s this kind of very simple science that gets people, young and old, excited about green energy,” said Simon Proctor, Bristol Energy’s Origination Manager. “We have incredibly powerful natural resources that can heat our homes, power our cars, and fly hot air balloons too! It’s now crucial that we support renewable energy, so we can create a sustainable energy future for the next generation.” Via Bristol Post Images via YouTube ,  Bristol Energy  and  Balloon Fiesta 2015

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World’s first solar-powered hot air balloon visits UK school

LEED Silver-seeking Perry World House marries new and old at Penn

May 26, 2017 by  
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The newest building at the University of Pennsylvania also happens to be the oldest. This curious marriage of new and old is the Perry World House, the university’s new hub for international affairs. Designed by 1100 Architect , the academic building merges a historic 19th century structure with a modern new-build into a LEED Silver-seeking research center with open and flexible spaces. Completed in 2016, the Perry World House is a 17,400-square-foot academic center that combines a historic house built in 1851 with a new limestone -clad structure. As a center for global and multidisciplinary engagement, the building offers a wide range of spaces including classrooms, meeting rooms, 14 offices, a 50-person conference room, and common rooms open to affiliates from the university’s 12 schools. A glass-enclosed atrium called the World Forum occupies the building’s heart and is used as a multipurpose events space. The historic house was salvaged and its fake limestone stucco referenced in the new addition clad in real limestone. Merging old and new architectural styles has the added benefit of matching both the pedestrian scale of Locust Walk on one side and the busy, urban scale of 38th Street on the other. In addition the project’s adaptive reuse, the Perry World House is on track to achieve LEED Silver certification with its many sustainable design features, such as the maximization of daylighting , stormwater management with a 90% capture rate of the average annual rainfall, energy-efficient fixtures, and use of recycled materials. Related: University of Pennsylvania’s green-roofed New College House targets LEED Silver “With its open and flexible spaces, Perry World House reflects and supports the aims of the institution it houses,” says 1100 Architect founding principal David Piscuskas, FAIA. “We have created an environment, filled with natural light , where different points of view can be discussed in different types of settings. Transparency between spaces reinforces an emphasis on cooperation between academic disciplines and different world views, while the dialogue of a 19th-century cottage and a 21st-century building gives form to the timelessness of these pursuits.” + 1100 Architect Via ArchDaily Images © Greg Benson

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LEED Silver-seeking Perry World House marries new and old at Penn

Giant animal faces take over Mexico Citys forest for environmental awareness

May 26, 2017 by  
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Thousands of visitors to a Mexico City park were treated to an eerie sight in the treetops last weekend. Giant ghostly animals heads peered down from the canopy, fixing their intense gaze on the public in an environmental video installation for Marvin Festival 2017 . Designed by studio Maizz Visual , the ephemeral intervention, called Animal Watching, was created to raise awareness about the destruction of ecosystems and animal species. According to the WWF , almost half of the world’s wild animals have disappeared due to habitat destruction since 1975. In a bid to raise awareness about animal habitat loss , Maizz Visual transformed the forest into a canvas for art. The team, which has created similar interventions in the past, used a video projector of 15,000 lumens and tele zoom optics to project 3D animations of animals onto the canopy. The animals’ giant 3D images appear startlingly lifelike with their animated movements and the depth experience of 3D created through the mix of light and tree leaves. A total of eight different animal faces appeared and disappeared in a continuous seven-minute loop put on between the evening hours of 8:30 and 11. Related: Pre-Hispanic Corn Gods Protest Genetically Modified Maize in Mexico City “The animals had intense eyes that watched and followed the public passing by,” wrote the designers. “Animal Watching positively surprised thousands of viewers while, at least, for a brief moment, made the public thinking about animals with respect and admiration.” + Maizz Visual Images by Revista Marvin

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Giant animal faces take over Mexico Citys forest for environmental awareness

This 7-year-old from Maryland might be the next Einstein

February 6, 2017 by  
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Romanieo Golphin, Jr. may only be 7, but already there are whispers that he could be the Albert Einstein of his generation. The home-schooled boy from Silver Spring, Maryland, showed signs of precociousness at age 2, when he was able to tackle questions about particle physics between spoonfuls of Cheerios. Although Romanieo digs art and music and loves LEGO and candy, his real passions lie with science, a subject where he gets to articulate “big words” like “cyclohexanecarboxylic acid” that would trip the tongues of most grownups. “They’re not a mouthful for me,” he told the Washington Post . People started to take notice. Steven Goldfarb, an experimental physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which runs the Large Hadron Collider, invited the pint-size prodigy and his family to tour the facilities in Switzerland, whereupon he dubbed Romanieo a CERN “ambassador” to the Washington region. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of National Geographic’s Cosmos , is said to be a fan. The elder Golphin, an adviser for the music department at the University of North Carolina , regularly takes Romanieo to to university classes to observe. “When he looked in my classroom, all I saw was his hair, his forehead and his eyeballs,” said Brian Hogan, a professor of chemistry at UNC. “And his eyeballs, they looked like hard-boiled eggs, they were open so wide.” Related: 7-year-old California boy saves 10K for college with his own recycling company Hogan was a skeptic at the beginning, but little Romanieo quickly won him over. “He could be the next Einstein,” he said. “He’s got a mind that is built to solve problems.” Romanieo’s parents hope that their son’s aptitude for science will lead him change people’s lives for the better. But they also acknowledge that his interests could just as easily lead him to a career in the arts. “Let the boy free, and he’s going to create his world,” Golphin said. Via the Washington Post Photos from Facebook

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This 7-year-old from Maryland might be the next Einstein

6 reasons the clean energy revolution doesn’t need Trumps blessing

February 6, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump ’s anti-environment blitzkrieg is leaving many of us struggling to catch up to and understand the dramatic changes being made to long-standing federal policy. Most recently it is being reported that Trump will “definitely” pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement, and that Republicans are gunning for the Environmental Protection Agency. There is no sugar coating it, these are dark times for those of us who are concerned about ensuring a livable climate and habitable planet for future generations. But, as much as Trump and his oil-soaked administration want to make fossil fuels great again, the global clean energy revolution is gaining speed to the point of being unstoppable. Here are a few reasons the renewables revolution will continue without Trump’s blessing. Congress is unlikely to reverse renewable tax credit extensions Congress gave a big boost to solar and wind at the end of 2015 with the passage of a bill that extended the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar. The 30 percent solar ITC was extended through 2019 before falling to 26 percent in 2020, 22 percent in 2021 and 10 percent in 2022. The 2.3 percent wind PTC was extended through 2016 before dropping 20 percent each year through 2020. Related: U.S. extends solar and wind tax credits to boost clean energy by $73 billion over 5 years As many solar and wind jobs are located in red states, it is unlikely that Republican lawmakers will reverse the renewable tax credit extensions when they work with Trump on his expected tax reform push. Texas leads the nation in total installed wind power capacity with 18,531 megawatts while wind supplied more than 31 percent of Iowa’s in-state electricity generation in 2015, according to the American Wind Energy Association. On the solar front, Arizona (2,303 MW) ranks second for installed capacity and North Carolina (2,087 MW) is right behind in third place, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. A new report from the Department of Energy finds that solar employs more Americans than oil, gas and coal combined — 43 percent of electricity generation sector workforce in solar last year versus only 22 percent in fossil fuels. Global market forces exist Market forces are pushing the United States and the world toward renewable energy and energy efficiency regardless of politics and policy. The reality is that, as former President Barack Obama wrote recently in the journal Science, the momentum of clean energy is “irreversible.” Big companies like Google and Apple are aggressively transitioning operations to sustainable energy — Google says it will run entirely on clean energy at some point this year, Apple has committed to run off 100 percent renewable energy, and various other high-profile corporations have similar targets. A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds that global investment in renewables increased from under $50 billion in 2004 to a record $348 billion in 2015. Related: Bill Gates launches $1 billion clean energy fund to fight climate change Cost of renewables has dropped Even without a carbon pricing mechanism in place in many countries and governments continuing to prop up fossil fuels with massive subsidies, the cost of solar and wind continues to fall — and fast. The costs of utility-scale solar power fell 85 percent and wind power fell 66 percent in the past seven years. A record low solar power project bid recently took place in Abu Dhabi — the government-owned Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority received a bid of 2.42 cents a kilowatt-hour for a 350-megawatt solar plant. The reason solar and wind will continue to beat oil, coal and gas is because of the simple fact that they are technologies, not fuels. Solar and wind technologies will keep improving, becoming more efficient and cost effective, while digging up what’s left of fossil fuels will become increasingly complicated and expensive. The rest of the world still cares about climate change The United States is an extreme outlier when it comes to caring about climate change. The Republican Party is the only major political party in the advanced world that denies climate change and Trump is the only world leader who denies climate change. Thankfully the rest of the world is more in line with the scientific consensus of man-made global warming, as exemplified by the Paris climate agreement that Trump is about to withdraw the US from. A total of 194 nations have signed the landmark deal to curb carbon emissions, with 127 ratifying it so far. The agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016. As the US goes rogue on climate action, don’t expect the rest of the world to follow. Even countries already ruled by right-wing populists such as Russia, Hungary and Poland signed the Paris accord. China is taking a leadership role, investing in renewables As Trump commits to dirty energy, China is moving away from fossil fuels toward renewables as the country’s growing middle class demands cleaner air in some of the most polluted cities in the world. China’s energy agency recently announced that the country will invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020. “Renewable energy will be the pillar for China’s energy structure transition,” said Li Yangzhe, deputy head of the National Energy Administration, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Last year China invested a record $32 billion in foreign countries, according to research by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. While the US withdraws from the world, China is already taking a leadership role by increasing domestic renewables and spreading clean energy abroad. Related: China set to invest $174 billion in clean energy over next four years U.S. states are going towards renewables with or without federal help As Trump prepares to kill the Clean Power Plan , states such as New York and California are aggressively pursuing their own renewable energy mandates without federal guidance. In Virginia, the governor just announced plans for the state’s largest solar farm — a 100 MW facility that will power Amazon’s cloud computing division. Iowa recently approved the biggest wind farm in US history that when completed in 2019 will include 1,000 turbines generating 2,000 MW of electricity — enough to power 800,000 homes in the state. Republican governors of Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio and Vermont have recently either announced clean energy initiatives or signed legislation to increase renewables. Related: New York approves nation’s largest offshore wind farm Don’t count on the Trump Administration to realize fossil fuels belong to the past, but since the renewables revolution is unstoppable, it doesn’t matter what Trump decides. Images via Shutterstock , Pexels , Wikimedia  ( 1 , 2 ), Flickr

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6 reasons the clean energy revolution doesn’t need Trumps blessing

LEGO Music lets you turn bricks into tunes

June 1, 2016 by  
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The maker movement is king. To bring LEGO into the maker conversation, we introduce LEGO Music. With the idea, LEGO stores will carry Beatboards, a modified LEGO baseplate. By using capacitive sensing, kids are able to build their own interactive music pad using LEGO bricks. The bricks and baseplate are coated in conductive ink, making it possible to change the resistance in a circuit by simply adding and removing LEGO bricks. It’s simple: change the shape, change the sound. The Beatboard’s underlying technology is simple, consisting of a basic circuit board, a speaker , and enough wires for each note. So, the Beatboard can be adapted to any size from individual platforms to large-scale installations. ‘LEGO music’, invented by Esteban Cardona, along with Benson Rong and Andrew Kim, was awarded winner of the silver pencil at The One Show’s advertising competition and was shortlisted for Future Lions 2016 (part of the Cannes Lion Festival). + Esteban Cardona

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LEGO Music lets you turn bricks into tunes

Parabosol is a portable solar-powered water treatment system for remote areas

April 11, 2016 by  
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Over 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water globally. Although clean water is a basic human right, it continues to be a growing epidemic in the developing world, predominantly in remote communities. Hakan Gürsu of Designnobis devised the Parabosol , a portable solar-powered water purification system for use in remote areas. The system filters and purifies drinking water using a parabolic mirror that boils contaminated water at up to 400 degrees celsius. After boiling, a set of sand and carbon filters catch sand particles and remove odor dissolved gases. Parabosol can clean up to 170 liters of water in a single use. The project was honored with the silver award at the 2014-2015 A’ Design Awards, and it was also a nominee in Design Index 2015. + Parabosol The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Parabosol is a portable solar-powered water treatment system for remote areas

NYC’s New Tavern on the Green Restaurant Will Seek LEED Silver Certification

April 18, 2014 by  
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When it finally opens its doors on April 24th, NYC’s famed Tavern on the Green restaurant will boast a slew of sustainable features that will help it live up to its verdant name. Inhabitat recently had a chance to tour the newly renovated space – click here to sneak a peek for yourself! READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: central park , david salama , eco design , emerald green group , farm fresh , green design , jim caiola , katy sparks , LED lighting , local food , local food nyc , nyc local food restaurants , nyc organic restaurants , nyc restaurants , nyc seasonal food restaurant , seasonal food , sustainable design , sustainable food , Swanke Hayden Connell Architects , Tavern on the Green , tavern on the green closing , tavern on the green menu , tavern on the green reopening , tavern on the green revival

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NYC’s New Tavern on the Green Restaurant Will Seek LEED Silver Certification

Google enters $103 million solar deal with Silver Ridge Power

October 15, 2013 by  
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The search giant's new green power investment ploughs more than $100 million in Mt. Signal Solar project in California.

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Google enters $103 million solar deal with Silver Ridge Power

San Francisco’s AT&T Park To Feature Massive Edible Garden Behind Center Field

August 6, 2013 by  
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San Francisco’s AT&T Park is already a green leader in the sports community with its LEED Silver ranking . But the home of the San Francisco Giants will soon delve into another kind of green, with a 3,000 square foot on-site organic garden. The edible garden will be the first of its kind at a professional sports venue. Read the rest of San Francisco’s AT&T Park To Feature Massive Edible Garden Behind Center Field Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: att park , Blasen Landscape Architecutre , Centerfield to table , eco design , EDG Interior Architecture & Design , Edible garen AT&T Park , green design , LEED Silver stadiums , san francisco giants , sustainable design        

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San Francisco’s AT&T Park To Feature Massive Edible Garden Behind Center Field

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