Self-shaping Urbach Tower twists itself into a unique, curvaceous shape

May 29, 2019 by  
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Wood warping typically creates unwanted and undesirable effects, yet the creators behind a unique new landmark in Urbach, Germany have found a way to harness the naturally occurring deformity into an unexpected architectural possibility. The University of Stuttgart completed a nearly 47-foot-tall timber structure that gets its curvaceous form from the “self-shaping process” of its curved wood components. Constructed from spruce wood cross-laminated panels, the Urbach Tower is the first wood structure made from self-shaped components and offers a more sustainable alternative to energy-intensive, mechanically formed structures. Created as one of 16 architecture-designed installations for the Remstal Gartenschau 2019, the Urbach Tower offers high performance and strength with low environmental impact . The landmark building’s prefabricated, self-shaping components are made from spruce wood CLT sourced regionally from Switzerland and CNC cut into 12 flat panels that deform autonomously into predicted curved shapes when dried. Computational models were developed to design, predict and optimize the material arrangement that would achieve the desired look through moisture-induced swelling and shrinking. “The Urbach Tower is the very first implementation of this technology on building-scale, load-bearing timber parts,” the designers said in a press release. “The distinctive form of the tower constitutes a truly contemporary architectural expression of the traditional construction material wood. It celebrates the innate and natural characteristics of self-shaped wood in its upward spiraling shape.” Related: Playful gable-roofed home in Atlanta champions the power of CLT The design team also clad the tower in a custom-made protective layer of glue-laminated larch with a titanium oxide surface treatment to protect the wood from UV radiation and pests. Four craftsmen assembled the tower in a single working day without the need for extensive scaffolding or formwork. The Urbach Tower, which is a permanent installation, serves as shelter, a landscape overlook and a showcase for efficient, economical and expressive wood architecture. + University of Stuttgart Images via University of Stuttgart

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Self-shaping Urbach Tower twists itself into a unique, curvaceous shape

Zebra Mussels (and Lots of Other Species) Invading Great Lakes and No One Can Decide What to Do About It

November 9, 2009 by  
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Photo via benimoto Out of the 185 invasive species in and around the Great Lakes, zebra mussels are posing a painful problem.

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Zebra Mussels (and Lots of Other Species) Invading Great Lakes and No One Can Decide What to Do About It

Inkjet Printer + Paper + Science = Cheap & Easy Pesticide Detection

November 9, 2009 by  
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Wabash River PH Test Back in the chemistry class days, we had pH strips that changed colour according to whether a liquid was an acid or base. Now scientists at Hamilton, Ontario’s McMaster University have come up with a cheap and fast way of finding out if there are pesticides in your food and drinks, by using an inkjet printer to build up layers of “bio-ink”. You just dip the strip and in minutes, the paper changes colour according to which pesticide is causing the contamination

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Inkjet Printer + Paper + Science = Cheap & Easy Pesticide Detection

How the Bushmen of Africa Can Save Us from the Global Water Crisis (Video)

November 9, 2009 by  
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Images via YouTube and Amazon I started in on a book about a month ago titled Heart of Dryness , which discusses how the bushmen of the Kalahari can teach us what we need to know about how to live in dry climates, something we’re all increasingly finding ourselves in as we drill ourselves further into a global water crisis. However, due to political turmoil, the bushm..

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How the Bushmen of Africa Can Save Us from the Global Water Crisis (Video)

Climate Justice Fast Begins – Hunger Strike Continues Through End of COP15 Conference

November 9, 2009 by  
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Calling it a “moral response to an immoral situation” and drawing inspiration from social justice luminaries like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., the organizers of Climate Justice Fast , and a growing list of 150+ supporters fr…

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Climate Justice Fast Begins – Hunger Strike Continues Through End of COP15 Conference

Green Eyes On: Stone Soup – Making Something Out of Nothing

November 9, 2009 by  
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Image via Sara Snow . It’s happened to me a thousand times or more so I’m sure it’s happened to you as well.

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Green Eyes On: Stone Soup – Making Something Out of Nothing

Take Up Less Space With A Vertical Bed

November 9, 2009 by  
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image from Office for the Development of Substitute Materials TreeHugger always promotes ideas that let you live in less space, as well as transformer furniture that goes away when you don’t need it. Jamie O’Shea of the Office for the Development of Substitute Materials has developed a vertical bed that lets you sleep almost anywhere in a lot less space. …

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Take Up Less Space With A Vertical Bed

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