German cities get green light from court to ban diesel vehicles

February 28, 2018 by  
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The Federal Administrative Court ruled this week that German cities can legally ban diesel vehicles. German states sought to appeal local bans by Stuttgart and Duesseldorf, but the federal ruling paves the way for cities to impose bans as they see fit to help improve air quality. Germany is known for its passion for cars, and while Stuttgart is home to Porsche , Mercedes-Benz, it is also home to some of the worst air pollution in Germany. To help tackle the problem, the city banned older diesel vehicles on days when pollution is heavy. But the country’s powerful auto industry lobby worked to push against the ban. Related: German government votes to ban new combustion engine cars by 2030 The court ruling doesn’t impose any bans itself. Instead, it opens the doors for localities to decide how to manage their own air quality. A ban potentially leaves some car owners and the auto industry lobby in a difficult position, but it is also being hailed as a huge win for the environment. Via CNET Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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German cities get green light from court to ban diesel vehicles

First plastic-free supermarket aisle opens in Amsterdam

February 28, 2018 by  
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The world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle opened on February 28 at the Amsterdam location of the Netherlands -based supermarket chain Ekoplaza. Within this aisle, customers will be able to choose from more than 700 plastic-free products. Eventually, the company hopes to roll out plastic-free aisles at all of its 74 locations. The aisle arrives at a time when global concern over plastic pollution is on the rise and campaigns are being waged to urge companies and governments to change their plastic policies. “For decades shoppers have been sold the lie that we can’t live without plastic in food and drink,” Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, told the Guardian . “A plastic-free aisle dispels all that. Finally we can see a future where the public have a choice about whether to buy plastic or plastic-free. Right now we have no choice.” Ekoplaza is proud to offer an environmentally friendly alternative to its customers. “We know that our customers are sick to death of products laden in layer after layer of thick plastic packaging,” Ekoplaza chief executive Erik Does told the Guardian . “Plastic-free aisles are a really innovative way of testing the compostable biomaterials that offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging.” The plastic-free items, which incorporate biodegradable materials whenever possible, will not be any more expensive than those wrapped with plastic. According to anti-plastic campaigners, the aisle will serve as a “testbed for innovative new compostable bio-materials as well as traditional materials such as glass, metal and cardboard.” Related: Iceland supermarket commits to eliminating plastic within five years According to activists, the grocery store sector accounts for 40 percent of all plastic packaging. “There is absolutely no logic in wrapping something as fleeting as food in something as indestructible as plastic,” Sutherland said. “Plastic food and drink packaging remains useful for a matter of days yet remains a destructive presence on the Earth for centuries afterwards.” Ekoplaza’s first step into a plastic-free world should be emulated by others. “Europe’s biggest supermarkets must follow Ekoplaza’s lead and introduce a plastic-free aisle at the earliest opportunity to help turn off the plastic tap,” added Sutherland. Via The Guardian Images via Ekoplaza

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This whimsical houseboat in Seattle is straight out of a fairy tale

February 28, 2018 by  
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Floating on Seattle’s East Lake, this fairy-tale houseboat – which is on the market for $850,000 – has more storybook features than you can shake a magic wand at. The shingled roof is topped with a turret, and the interior features playful geometric archways, secret nooks, and stained-glass windows. And even the pickiest of princesses will love bathing in the wooden bathtub carved from a 200-year-old cedar log. The design of the 830-square-foot home is quite unique, but the living space in the floating home is surprisingly comfy and inviting. With multiple skylights, floor-to-ceiling windows and stained glass accents, natural light streams throughout the interior. The wooden paneling that covers the flooring and the walls gives the space a cabin-like feel, enhanced by a beautifully hand-carved banister. Vaulted ceilings and geometric archways open up the space. Related: Two photographers are sailing through Europe in amazing handbuilt houseboats The sweet home is filled with lots of character, including hand-carved wooden railings and doors. The living space on the ground floor opens up through two french doors to a large wooden deck that wraps around the home. Two bedrooms and a bath are on the second floor, which is filled with little nooks and reading spaces. For a little bit of solitude, a cozy sitting area has been nestled into the structure’s fairytale turret. Via Apartment Therapy Images via Windermere

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This whimsical houseboat in Seattle is straight out of a fairy tale

Drones weave moth-inspired pavilion from carbon fiber threads

April 12, 2017 by  
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The buildings of the future could be built with the help of drones . The unmanned aerial vehicles were put to the test in the University of Stuttgart’s latest robotically constructed pavilion, the cantilevering ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2016-17. Inspired by leaf miner moths, the biomimetic pavilion is lightweight yet incredibly strong and is made from 184 kilometers of resin-impregnated glass and carbon fiber. Created as part of a series of digitally fabricated pavilions, the ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2016-17 explores the potential of fiber composite materials in architecture and scalable fabrication processes. Spanning twelve meters in length, the cantilevering research pavilion has a surface area of approximately 40 square meters that weighs 1,000 kilograms. Its woven design draws inspiration from the silk “hammocks” spun by the larvae of leaf miner moths. The pavilion was constructed with two different types of robots : flying drones and stationary machines. Two stationary machines were set up on the far points of the pavilion and were equipped with industrial robotic arms strong enough to wind the carbon fiber threads. The drones were used to pass the fiber between the two stationary machines. The two types of robots communicated without the need for human intervention using an integrated sensor interface that collected real-time data. Related: Robots weave an insect-inspired carbon-fiber forest in London “The pavilion’s overall geometry demonstrates the possibilities for fabricating structural morphologies through multi-stage volumetric fibre winding, reducing unnecessary formwork through an integrated bending-active composite frame, and increasing the possible scale and span of construction through integrating robotic and autonomous lightweight UAV fabrication processes,” wrote the interdisciplinary team. “The prototypical pavilion is a proof-of-concept for a scalable fabrication processes of long-span, fibre composite structural elements, suitable for architectural applications.” + University of Stuttgart ICD Photographs by Burggraf / Reichert

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Plant-covered Mobile Green Living Room travels through Europe

September 7, 2016 by  
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The Mobile Green Living Room is constructed from living wall modules (WABA-system) attached to an Abroll-Container platform. A wide variety of plants are grown on the wire-cube modules to show off the versatility and beauty of living walls. These freestanding 3D living walls provide shade, create a cooling microclimate , and help purify the air. Each semi-autonomous Mobile Green Living Room can be easily transported via truck and is equipped with an onboard water tank with a weeklong capacity and irrigation system. Related: Solar-powered Elevate Structure is wrapped in a living, breathing wall of green “Green Living Rooms are an example of how one of the green comfort zone solutions can be realised in high-density urban areas on heavily sealed surfaces where competition for usable space is at a premium,” says TURAS. “The Green Living Room represents an example of a new hybrid type of project. Rather than tackling climate change on a city-wide strategic level, they provide oases for communities at the heart of the most in-need areas.” The Mobile Green Living Room is currently touring Europe and is headed to Frankfurt after a brief stint in London. + TURAS Images via TURAS

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Innovative geothermal office nabs Germany’s highest environmental certification

August 21, 2015 by  
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Staggered timber-clad Haus am Hang by MVRDV climbs a Stuttgart slope like stairs

August 7, 2015 by  
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ICD and ITKE’s lightweight pavilion mimics the structure of water spider’s underwater nests

July 14, 2015 by  
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Sobek’s Activhaus produces enough green power to light up the house next door

February 5, 2015 by  
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At first glance the B10 Aktivhaus stands out by virtue of it’s simplicity. The white-walled 914 square-foot box with glass frontage hides impressive technology that allows the house to learn and adapt. The intelligent energy management system is controlled via smartphone or tablet and only heats as necessary—responding to movement and adapting to the residents habits. At night, insulating panels roll down to cover the glass to prevent energy escaping. Related: Superkul designs Canada’s First Active House The photovoltaic system on the roof of B10 produces around 8,300 kilowatt hours of solar energy per year, roughly twice as much as required for building operation and to run the two electric smart cars donated to the project by Daimler. The excess energy is used to power the listed building next door, a house built by Corbusier now home to the Weissenhof Museum. The house, named after it’s location at Bruckmannweg 10, is a part of the research project e-mobility showcase funded by the German government. Throughout the entire life of the project, a large spectrum of data relevant to building research will be measured continuously and scientifically evaluated at the University of Stuttgart . Werner Sobek architects has cleverly registered the term ‘ Aktivhaus ‘ as a European Trademark. At the end of the research project, the building may be deconstructed and reconstructed elsewhere. Or in the unlikely event that no-one lays claim to the groundbreaking home, it can also be fully recycled. + Werner Sobek + Aktivhaus B10 Images copyright Zooey Braun via Werner Sobek Related: Ultra Efficient Danish Home Produces More Energy Than It Needs Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “solar energy” , “sustainable architecture” , active house , Active House Germany , Aktivhaus b10 , German Active House , green architecture , Green Building , Le Corbusier , mies van der rohe , modernism , Musterhaus Weißenhofsiedlung , Stuttgart Architecture , Weissenhof Estate , Werner Sobek Design

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Sobek’s Activhaus produces enough green power to light up the house next door

Germany’s Allianz Insurance Company Wins the Country’s 2014 Green Roof Prize

September 30, 2014 by  
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The oldest green roof Association in the world, FBB (Fachvereiningung für Bauwerksbegruenung e.V.), has awarded a prize for Green Roof of the Year 2014 to a 30-year-old green roof atop the Allianz Insurance Company in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1981, Allianz decided to build their local headquarters in the heart of Stuttgart, and its green roof was designed and created by a team consisting of Jörg Breuning, CEO at Green Roof Service LLC/Green Roof Technology , architecture firm Brümmendorf, Müller, Murr, Reichmann, and landscape architect Prof. Hans Luz. The team worked together to lower the environmental footprint of the building by utilizing porous pavements for the  green roofs . 30 years later, the greenery is still growing strong , and is a model inspiration for similar buildings around the world. + Green Roof  Service LLC 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! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Allianz Insurance Company , germany , Germany green roof , Germany green roofs , green roof , green roof of the year , Green Roof of the Year 2014 , Green Roof Service , green roofs , living roof , stuttgart

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