Swedens tallest timber building could save 550 tons of CO2

February 28, 2020 by  
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Scandinavian-based architecture firm C.F. Møller Architects has raised the bar for sustainable architecture with the recent completion of the Kajstaden Tower, Sweden’s tallest timber building. Located in Västerås, about an hour outside of Stockholm, the landmark building rises 8.5 stories in height and was built almost entirely from cross-laminated timber. The architects estimate that the use of solid timber instead of concrete for construction translates to 550 tons of carbon dioxide savings over the building’s lifetime.  Commissioned by Slättö Förvaltning, the Kajstaden Tower was constructed as part of a new central residential neighborhood near the waterfront of Öster Mälarstrand. Along with the record-breaking, solid-timber landmark, the new sustainably minded neighborhood includes an electric boat sharing system in the marina. Related: C.F. Møller’s Storkeengen tackles climate challenges in a Danish town In addition to reducing the building’s carbon footprint, the use of CNC-milled solid timber and glulam for all parts of the building — including the walls, joists, balconies, lift and stairwell shafts — results in an airtight and energy-efficient building envelope without added insulation. The timber frame was also fast to raise; each floor, which contains four apartments, took four craftsmen an average of three days to put together. Mechanical joints and screws were used so that the building can be later taken apart, and the materials can be reused.  “The building in Kajstaden constitutes a new chapter in the history of construction, as it is currently Sweden’s tallest solid-timber building,” said Ola Jonsson, associate partner at C.F. Møller Architects, which is also part of the Nordic Network for Tall Wood Buildings. “Through research projects and our other timber projects, we have focused on innovation and contributed toward developing ways of realizing high-rise buildings made of timber. Industrial timber technology also provides architects with better tools for designing beautiful houses that boast a high degree of detail.” + C.F. Møller Architects Photography by Nikolaj Jakobsen via C.F. Møller Architects

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Swedens tallest timber building could save 550 tons of CO2

This lamp is a work of art that cleans the air

February 28, 2020 by  
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The Guilin Lamp-scape by SUGO uses photocatalysis technology to clean and circulate the air you breathe, eliminating 99.9% of all bacteria, such as salmonella and E. Coli, as well as impurities including carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, formaldehyde, mold and odor particles. This lamp-meets-air purifier also gives off an artsy, ambient glow that can be altered to the user’s preferences. To top it all off, the Guilin Lamp-scape is made from recyclable materials. Low-voltage LED light shines through the rectangular, structural steel base of the lamp, bouncing off acrylic mountains made from 40% recycled plastic. The mountains are fashioned out of 5mm thick, glass fiber-reinforced photocatalytic panels placed inside three slots in the base. Switch the light on, and the acrylic mountains will absorb the illumination into laser-engraved lines. While it is designed to last, the entire lamp is 100% recyclable, and the paint covering the base is VOC-free . Related: This lovely lampshade is made from cabbage Consumers can shift the mountains to create unique landscapes that reflect their personal styles. More mountains can also be added to create different brightening effects, making the lamp both functional and customizable. The company suggests placing the “lamp-scape” on a reflective surface, so it resembles the feeling of looking at a mountain range behind a glossy lake. In addition to the classic Guilin, the company has also unveiled an upgraded model called the Guilin Dawn, which uses Italian nano-tech material to transition the lamp from a lit sunset palette to near-transparency when it is turned off. SUGO founders Kevin Chu and Giulia DiBonaventura got the idea for the lamp on a trip to the Guilin Mountains in northeastern China, where they became mesmerized by the scenery and felt compelled to pay tribute to the experience in some way. Their products are exclusively made in factories with low quantity production that follow international environmental regulation and worker’s rights unions. The Guilin Lamp-scape recently moved to INDIEGOGO In-Demand crowdfunding as well as a Shopify store for its remaining items and future purchases. + Guilin Lamp-scape Via Yanko Design Images via SUGO

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This lamp is a work of art that cleans the air

3 Lessons Brands Can Learn From Greta Thunberg

November 21, 2019 by  
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While the world watched a tough, passionate 16-year-old from Sweden … The post 3 Lessons Brands Can Learn From Greta Thunberg appeared first on Earth911.com.

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3 Lessons Brands Can Learn From Greta Thunberg

Mountain in Sweden loses highest peak title as global warming shrinks it

September 9, 2019 by  
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Kebnekaise, the highest mountain peak in Sweden, has fallen victim to global heating. Scientists reported that the glacier at the iconic mountain’s summit is shrinking because of rising Arctic temperatures. Now, the peak is no longer considered the highest in the country. “This is quite a symbol,” said Gunhild Ninis Rosqvist, a geography professor at Stockholm University who has been measuring the glacier for years. “A very obvious, very clear signal to everyone in Sweden that things are changing.” Related: Global warming will melt over 1/3 of the Himalayan ice cap by 2100 Located in northern Sweden and about 95 miles inside the Arctic Circle, Kebnekaise has two peaks, each of which has been measured regularly since 1880. The southern peak has always been higher, but after scientists measured in early September of this year, they found the northern peak was now the highest by 1.2 meters. “We suspected this was probably the case last year,” Rosqvist said. “But unfortunately, our measurements were not precise enough. Now we can say with certainty: we are accurate to within a couple of centimeters.” In fact, the most recent measurements showed that the southern peak was the lowest it has ever been. “Almost all the shrinkage has been in the past two decades when the glacier has lost an average of one meter a year,” Rosqvist said. But all may not be lost; the glacier could reach its status as the tallest peak once again with winter snow and ice. “It will keep changing for a while,” Rosqvist said. “But the trend is now firmly established and very clear.” This is not the first time there has been trouble atop Kebnekaise. Sweden reached unprecedented high temperatures at more than 10 degrees Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, above average in May and July 2018. The Kebnekaise glacier also shrunk by about 4 meters because of the Arctic wildfires . Although scientists expected this would happen, the official title loss for the southern peak was emotional for the research team. Rosqvist said, “We can see the climate changing before our eyes up here, and we need to do something about it.” Via The Guardian Image via Kaj Schmidt

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Mountain in Sweden loses highest peak title as global warming shrinks it

This biodegradable T-shirt is made from trees and algae

September 9, 2019 by  
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When it comes to your typical t-shirt, most people think of cotton, or perhaps a synthetic blend. But they probably don’t think about the all-natural Vollebak tee, made from wood and algae. The Vollebak Plant and Algae T-Shirt is an example of clothing that is produced with a vision for the end of the product life cycle when the shirt can be thrown in a landfill where it will biodegrade within a few months.  Beginning at the source, the Algae T uses eucalyptus, spruce, and beech wood from sustainably-harvested forested that are certified by both the Forestry Sustainability Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The wood is converted into pulp and then thread, and then fabric. Related: SAOLA offers sustainable sneakers sourced from algae and recycled plastic Beginning at the source, the Algae T uses eucalyptus, spruce, and beech wood from sustainably-harvested forested that are certified by both the Forestry Sustainability Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The wood is converted into pulp and then thread, and then fabric. Separately, the algae is grown in bioreactors. To process the algae, water and algae are pressed through a filter, separating out a pasty component of the algae. The paste is then placed in the sun until it dries into a powder. Mixed with a water binder, the dried algae powder becomes ink used on the front of the tee. The natural components of the algae ink mean it varies in depth of color from one shirt to the next and changes color with washings.  Because the ingredients are all natural , the Algae t-shirt can be composted after consumer use. The materials will break down organically, much faster than cotton and other materials, without adding chemicals to the soil and water. “The only thing different about this t shirt is that it grew in soil and water, and that’s where it’s designed to end up too. All you need to do is remember to compost it at the end of its life. Here it will biodegrade with them, turn into soil, and help new plants to grow,” explains Vollebak co-founder, Steve Tidball. We say that’s a much better way to think about fast fashion. <big>+ Vollebak</big> Via Core 77 <em>Images via Vollebak </em> 

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This biodegradable T-shirt is made from trees and algae

New sensor precisely measures air pollution

June 21, 2019 by  
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Scientists agree that air pollution shortens the lives of many Europeans every year, but they have a hard time accurately measuring it. Now, thanks to new sensor technology developed at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology , pinpointing air pollution and calculating its effects may become much easier. This new optical nano-sensor detects nitrogen dioxide concentrations down to the parts-per-billion level. The underlying concept is an optimal phenomenon called a plasmon, which has to do with plasma oscillation in physics. Scientists use the sensors to detect illuminated metal nanoparticles absorbing certain wavelengths of light— by which they can measure pollution. Related: Earliest human air pollution detected in glaciers The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution causes 550,000 premature deaths in Europe annually and 7 million worldwide. “Air pollution is a global health problem,” says Chalmers researcher Irem Tanyeli, who helped develop the sensors. “To be able to contribute to increased knowledge and a better environment feels great. With the help of these small, portable sensors, it can become both simpler and cheaper to measure dangerous emissions extremely accurately.” The university research team worked with the Gothenburg-based company Insplorion— co-founded by Christoph Langhammer, a Chalmers physics professor— to bring the sensors out of the lab and onto the streets of Gothenburg. “This is a great example of how a university and a company can collaborate. Both parties contribute with their expertise to create a new product, contributing to a more sustainable society,” said Langhammer. Sensors are already installed on the roof of a huge Gothenburg shopping mall and will soon be placed along a local railway tunnel construction project. The sensors can also be calibrated to measure other gases. “Nitrogen dioxide is just one of the many substances which can be detected with the help of optical nanosensors. There are great opportunities for this type of technology ,” said Langhammer. Companies and universities inside and outside Sweden have already been in contact to see if the nano-sensors could help their aims. Via mynewsdesk Images via Chalmers University of Technology

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McDonalds creates McHives to raise awareness of the world’s decreasing bee populations

May 28, 2019 by  
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Although McDonald’s restaurants are ubiquitous around the world, the popular fast food eateries in Sweden are currently expanding to meet the needs of tiny little clients that have an immeasurable impact on our world — honey bees. As part of a country-wide initiative to raise awareness about the world’s dwindling bee population , various franchises in Sweden are installing fully-functional beehives, known as McHives, on their rooftops. Brainchild of creative agency NORD DDB , the McHive initiative started last year when one McDonald’s franchise owner, Christina Richter, decided to place a small beehive on the restaurant’s rooftop. Now, in collaboration with McDonald’s sustainability office in Sweden, additional franchise owners have decided to follow Richter’s lead and install the 16-inch hives on their own roofs. Related: IKEA teams up with London artists to upcycle old furniture into funky abodes for birds, bees and bats The innovative beehives were designed and built by award winning set designer Nicklas Nilsson. Built to scale, the beekeeping box hives are remarkable in their realistic appearance, complete with the restaurant’s signature Golden Arches. Bees enter the structure through the main entrance and can even enjoy outdoor seating, or if they’re really in a hurry, they can swing by the mini drive-thru. Although there are currently five franchises with McHives on their roofs throughout the country, the first hive was recently auctioned for charity , raising more than $10,000 dollars for the Ronald McDonald House. Christoffer Rönnblad, Marketing director of McDonald’s Sweden, explained that the company was thrilled to join forces with the individual franchises in the name of sustainability . “We have a lot of really devoted franchisees who contribute to our sustainability work, and it feels good that we can use our size to amplify such a great idea as beehives on the rooftops,” Rönnblad said. “This miniature McDonald’s is a tribute to franchisee Christina Richter’s initiative.” + Nord DDB Via Adweek Images via McDonald’s

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McDonalds creates McHives to raise awareness of the world’s decreasing bee populations

Contemporary A-frame home soaks up lakeside views in Mexico

April 8, 2019 by  
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On the edge of Lake Avándaro in the Mexican town of Valle de Bravo is House A, a beautiful, contemporary home that’s designed by Mexico City-based architectural firm Metodo in collaboration with Ingeniería Orca to embrace views of the lake. Named after its sharply pitched A-frame construction, the three-story home is built with walls of glass and folding glazed doors to create a seamless connection with the outdoors. A palette of natural materials complement steel and glass elements to create a modern and warm ambiance. Spread out over three floors with an area of 3,523 square feet, House A was created with large gatherings and entertaining in mind. The ground level, which opens up through folding glazed doors to an outdoor patio and lawn, comprises an open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen; a TV room; service rooms; and a guest suite. The main entrance and parking pad are located on the second floor, where the first master suite and children’s room can be found. The small third floor features a second master suite, a yoga terrace and a secondary children’s room. “The intention of House A is precisely to be able to appropriate its surroundings and give its inhabitants a way to ‘live’ the lake,” the architects said in a project statement.” The ‘ A-frame ’ shape is used to its fullest potential to make this possible. Therefore, it was very important that the structure was present in every space of the house. Additionally, we wanted the structure to be a coherent element with the house’s functionality.” Related: Ruins of Sweden’s oldest church sheltered by a new A-frame building The architects built the dwelling with a contemporary steel structure along with local construction techniques and materials . The house is oriented toward the north for views of the lake while lateral balconies, inspired by boat decks, let in solar radiation in mornings and evenings. + Metodo + Ingeniería Orca Photography by Tatiana Mestre via Metodo

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Old Swedish farm is reborn as a cozy woodland cabin holiday home

March 19, 2019 by  
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Swedish architectural practice Wingårdh Arkitektkontor converted a large old farm in the south of Sweden into a holiday home with a cozy woodland cabin atmosphere. Commissioned by a family who reside in the nearby city of Malmö, the countryside retreat was fashioned as a luxurious escape into nature built predominately with timber and designed to embrace views of the lush forest through floor-to-ceiling glazing. The adaptive reuse project—dubbed Kvarnhuset (The Mill House)—has respected the farm’s traditional gabled forms, while imbuing the interiors with new contemporary flourish. The original farm buildings included a cowshed, stables, hayloft and barn. Wingårdh Arkitektkontor transformed those structures into sleeping quarters, a kitchen, a gym and other additional rooms, while adding a new freestanding wing to the late 19th-century house. The annex consists of a guest bedroom as well as a sauna with a dressing room and bathroom. Since the existing creek onsite was too small for bathing, the architects also built a small bathing pool next to the sauna so that the family can engage in the “Swedish ritual of sauna and bathing.” “The detailing of the annex surpasses all of Wingårdh’s prior work,” the architects explain in their project statement. “The entire building is crafted with the precision of fine cabinetry and the craftsmanship and materials – oak and limestone – infuse the atmosphere with warmth and authenticity. The heavily detailed architecture of the interior is more than a mere background for its contents. By contrast, the simple exterior gives no indication of the care lavished on the inside, particularly the façade towards the courtyard.” Related: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter designs Swedish “vertical village” built from CLT The architects also reference Japan’s traditional teahouse architecture as a major inspiration. However, unlike the straightforward simplicity and austerity of those teahouses, the Mill House offers a more luxurious experience. + Wingårdh Arkitektkontor Images by Åke Eson Lindman

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Old Swedish farm is reborn as a cozy woodland cabin holiday home

Global warming makes 2018 the 4th hottest year ever

February 13, 2019 by  
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U.S. officials have confirmed that 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA just revealed that temperatures were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the worldwide average, which includes temperatures between 1951 and 1980. Temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest of any year since 1880. That places 2018 slightly behind the top three average temperatures on record: 2016, 2017 and 2015, respectively. According to The Guardian , the rise in temperatures affects more than just the heat index. Global warming also raises sea levels and spawns increasingly extreme weather patterns. In 2018, for example, the U.S. witnessed two of the worst hurricanes on record, while wildfires devastated California. Elsewhere around the globe, India experienced massive flooding, while a disastrous typhoon hit the Philippines. Greece and Sweden also suffered deadly wildfires , and the Arctic had one of the warmest years ever. In fact, scientists warn that the Arctic is experiencing double the warming rate of any other region on Earth. Related: Global warming will melt over 1/3 of the Himalayan ice cap by 2100 “2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” NASA’s Gavin Schmidt explained. “The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt — in coastal flooding , heatwaves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change.” With global warming not showing any signs of slowing down, scientists believe hotter temperatures are the new norm. This year has already begun with El Niño in the forecast, which means it could be even hotter than last year. Unless carbon emissions are drastically cut within the next decade, it is possible that we see another record setting year between now and 2023. Even if governments around the world exceed expectations in cutting  carbon emissions, slowing global warming will be difficult. Even more disturbing is the fact that we have seen 18 of the 19 hottest years since 2001. For reference, children who are now graduating from high school have only experienced record-setting temperatures. Last year was the fourth hottest year on record, but it may turn out to be a mild one for future generations. Via The Guardian Image via Pixel2013

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