Researchers successfully made a battery out of trash

June 14, 2017 by  
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If there’s one thing that abounds on planet Earth , it is man-made trash . Fortunately, researchers have developed a method of using discarded goods to create sodium-ion batteries. Made from recycled materials and safer than lithium variants, the battery is the latest step in renewable energy storage. To create batteries out of trash, the scientists accumulated rusty, recycled stainless steel mesh. Then, they used a potassium ferrocyanide solution — the same solution used in fertilizers and in wine production — to dissolve the ions out of the rust layer. Ions such as nickel and iron then bonded with other ions in the solution. This created a salt that clung to the mesh as scaffolded nanotubes that store and release potassium ions. As Engadget reports , “The movement of potassium ions allows for conductivity, which was boosted with an added coating of oxidized graphite.” Related: ‘Instantly rechargeable’ battery spells bad news for gas-guzzling cars More often than not, lithium batteries are used for renewable energy storage. However, the type of battery is expensive and exists in limited amounts. Additionally, lithium batteries have been known to explode. Not only are the new sodium-ion batteries safer, they boast a high capacity, discharge voltage, and cycle stability. Developing the battery was step one of testing the concept. Now that scientists have successfully created renewable energy from trash, the battery can be improved upon to maximize its potential. Via Engadget Images via Pixabay

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Researchers successfully made a battery out of trash

Mirrored shipping container building reflects its natural surroundings in Taipei

June 5, 2017 by  
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We use mirrors to reflect on ourselves – but this mirrored building in Taipei asks us to reflect on how we interact with our environment. B+P Architects transformed an old shipping container into a shining art annex in New Taipei City that blends in with its surroundings while challenging viewers to question their relationship to nature. The project, titled “Within The Reflection : THE ARK of ART” establishes diversified environments for creativity using mirror-polished stainless steel. Its aim is to create a space where neighboring communities can learn about aesthetics. The architects chose to put the container at the far end of a boulevard in order to preserve the serenity and peace as integral parts of the project. Related: “Reflect London” conceals Covent Garden construction with a dazzling mirror display Mirrored buildings like Doug Aitken’s Mirage House and this beautiful reflective cafe in Japan by Bandesign are captivating examples of architecture blending into its surroundings and accentuating the beauty of nature. Mirror-polished stainless steel boards that cover the building allow the large box-shaped volume to be concealed in the reflections of the surrounding environment. Another aspect of the use of mirror-like surfaces is to stimulate students to rethink the relationship between themselves and their environments. + B+P Architects Via Archinect Photos by Hung-Yu Lin, WENYA Studio

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Mirrored shipping container building reflects its natural surroundings in Taipei

The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family

May 3, 2017 by  
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Saunas at resorts are great – but having a personal one in your own backyard is even better! This barrel-shaped wooden sauna by Almost Heaven Saunas is easy to assemble with just a few hand tools, and it can hold up to eight people. That makes it perfect for families to enjoy in the privacy of their own garden or backyard. The Grandview Barrel Sauna is crafted from western red cedar , hemlock fir, or Nordic spruce , depending on your own choice, and it can include a front canopy. Its spacious interior features an electric heater–with an option to upgrade to a wood-burning stove –a bucket, a ladle, and a thermometer/hygrometer. Because it’s larger than the firm’s other classic barrel saunas, the Grandview Barrel allows for wider benches and a flat duckboard flooring section. Related: Giant AT-AT-like recycled tin structure hides an unexpected sauna in Sweden The timber used to build the sauna is naturally resistant to the effects of the elements and is combined with thick tempered glass and stainless steel hardware and fasteners. Soft LED lighting and opposite-facing benches create a relaxing atmosphere. + Almost Heaven Sauna Via Uncrate

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The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family

Green-roofed Cantilever House floats above the Malaysian rainforest

May 2, 2017 by  
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This green-roofed house juts out over the lush rainforest of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Architecture firm Design Unit Sdn Bhd envisioned the Cantilever House as a “forest” of industrial steel columns that create a weightless-looking volume. Passive House design features – including an adjustable envelope – minimize the building’s impact on the environment. The house consists of two independent structures constructed of exposed structural steel and concrete, framing a large courtyard with a swimming pool . A long ramp connects the “steel box” to the ground. The opaque appearance disappears once inside– the double glazed full height sliding glass screens and adjustable glass louvers bathe the interior in natural light. This operable envelope wrapped in external sunscreens made from perforated stainless steel provides optimal natural ventilation and allows views of the surrounding rainforest . Related: Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia The two structures of the house serve different functions– one with living areas and bedrooms, and the lower one accommodating an art gallery and cinema. The grass-covered roof establishes different micro-climates and creates gardens for relaxation. These spaces allow occupants to enjoy an indoor-outdoor lifestyle which maximizes contact with nature while minimizes disturbance to the site. + Design Unit Sdn Bhd Via Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by Lin Ho Photography

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Green-roofed Cantilever House floats above the Malaysian rainforest

Glowing LED "cloud" hovers over a social housing estate in Copenhagen

October 14, 2016 by  
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The main element of this site-specific installation is a distorted sphere made from polycarbonate sheets sewn together with stainless steel wire. The team developed the sewing technique from their previous projects, which featured only two sewing lines. This time, the sphere has three points where the sewing lines meet, allowing the team to experiment with more complex forms. Related: SHJWORKS’ Pop-Up Greenhouses Add a Splash of Summer to Cold Climates The organically-shaped sculpture was installed in a recreational space surrounded by a road, trees and the housing estate. A paved path leads through the area, where the structure creates a semi-public space. The concrete feet act as seating structures. + Shjworks Photos by Simon Hjermind Jensen

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Glowing LED "cloud" hovers over a social housing estate in Copenhagen

Bill Nye the Science Guy backs revolutionary solar company

October 14, 2016 by  
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One of the coolest guys in science, Bill Nye is turning his attention to new solar technology that could cut the cost of panels by 60 percent. Rayton Solar has devised a system that cuts Float Zone Silicon, a crucial component of solar panels, with a particle accelerator. Their groundbreaking technique results in less waste and lower costs, making solar power more financially competitive than fossil fuels . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA8fKlfcA7E Solar panels are largely made with silicon , but the typical process to cut silicon results in a lot of waste. By utilizing a particle accelerator, Rayton Solar uses 50 to 100 times less silicon than other industry processes. As silicon is the most expensive component of a solar panel, Rayton Solar’s process allows them to make solar panels 60 percent cheaper. The type of silicon they cut makes a difference too: Float Zone Silicon is the highest grade and is the type NASA uses. Related: Rayton’s new super-efficient, affordable solar panels could trump fossil fuels Solar power has benefited from subsidies in the past, but Rayton Solar CEO and founder Andrew Yakub wants to make the renewable energy cost effective without subsidies. With their process, “subsidies are not needed for solar energy to be the cheapest source of energy,” according to the company . In his video discussing Rayton Solar, Bill Nye compared the current pivotal moment in history to that of when oil overtook coal as the primary energy source around 100 years ago. He said, “We stand on the cusp on a new era, in which the paradigm for energy is changing…An opportunity to back a disruptive solar technology represents a path to enabling change to a renewable future, and an investment with very bright economic prospects. Join us as we begin the solar age.” Rayton Solar is currently “testing the waters” on Start Engine ; those interested in their technology can reserve shares so the company can gauge interest. So far the reservations have amounted to over $4 million. + Rayton Solar + Rayton Solar Start Engine Campaign Images via screenshot and Rayton Solar

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Stunning Tournesol swimming pool in France opens up like a futuristic flower

August 1, 2016 by  
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The swimming pool is one among several dome-shaped swimming pools, named Tournesol, built in France during the 1970s and 1980s. Designed by architect Bernard Schoeller, the column-free dome structures resemble sunflowers and can be partially opened in the summer. Their compact form makes it difficult to introduce new auxiliary spaces without significantly compromising the integrity of the original design. Related: Shell House provides unlimited peace and tranquility in Kazahkstan Urbane Kultur and Hi-Macs demolished the extensions built over time and moved the changing rooms to allow three stainless steel basins to take place under the dome. The extension, independent from the original structure, houses the entrance hall, changing rooms, office spaces and technical rooms. Several transparent parts offer a stronger connection between the halls, pools and locker rooms. + Urbane Kultur + Hi-Macs Via Yanko Design Photos by Jean Baptiste Dorner

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Stunning Tournesol swimming pool in France opens up like a futuristic flower

ZAC Chandon Rpublique housing development emphasizes the contrast between dark and light

June 1, 2016 by  
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The project comprises a cluster of simple volumes made more interesting by breaking them up visually through the use of two different materials. Concrete was used for the structure left visible along the sides, with stainless steel sheets help dematerialize the buildings. Each building was oriented to provide optimal sunlight and shade, further emphasizing the contrast between light and dark. Related: [BP] Architectures’ M9-C is an Integrated, Energy-Efficient Mixed-Use Housing Development in Paris The shading screens protrude slightly from the facades, introducing planar elements to the strong volumes. They provide partial shading to the multi-oriented living units organized to get optimal amounts of natural light . + Christophe Rousselle Architecte

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ZAC Chandon Rpublique housing development emphasizes the contrast between dark and light

From Professional to Paint Master

July 23, 2015 by  
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Brought to you by Purdy The art of painting requires excellent tools. And Purdy’s paintbrushes are handcrafted and made with the highest level of quality by skilled brush makers. That’s why professional painters trust a Purdy — it’s dependable, and it’s here to help you paint like a master paint ninja. From solid alder wood handles to stainless steel ferrules, these quality brushes and rollers are designed and formulated for a maximum painting performance. For more information visit: www.purdyhouseofpaint.com .

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World’s first hotel run entirely by robots opens in Japan

July 23, 2015 by  
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