Episode 109: Coke and McDonald’s war on waste; Davos dispatch

January 26, 2018 by  
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In this week’s episode, the fast food industry’s war on waste, the end of natural gas and the sustainability scene in the Swiss Alps.

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Episode 109: Coke and McDonald’s war on waste; Davos dispatch

Subterranean hydropower plant hidden in the Swiss alps to power 1 million homes

June 9, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDlvjkfpX_o The Linthal hydropower plant is accessible only by cable car, after a scenic jaunt through winding mountain roads. The mouth of the tunnel that descends to the subterranean hydroplant is located at 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) above sea level. At the command of the plant’s operator, Swiss utility Axpo, massive steel valves are opened, allowing water to flow from Lake Mutt to Lake Limmern, which are separated by a 2,000-foot cliff. The pump is twice the height of the Eiffel Tower. Nearly 23 billion gallons of water stop behind a dam in the valley, creating a temporary reservoir that feeds the plant’s four variable speed hydro generators. Related: World’s longest, deepest rail tunnel opens after almost 20 years of construction When demand for power is low, the flow on the valve is simply reversed, pumping water from the lower reservoir back up to Lake Mutt, where it can be stored until it’s time to generate more electricity. In this way, General Electric touts the power plant as a kind of natural battery . “It’s the only grid-scale method of storing energy,” says Maryse François, the hydrotechnology leader at GE Renewable Energy, which developed the technology powering the site. The Linthal plant marks the first place GE has installed its variable-speed technology, which takes the common concept of pumped storage to a whole new level. Having this sort of control over a massive renewable energy power plant can make a world of difference to the local power grid. The valves controlling the water make it possible to change the plant’s net energy output, absorb spikes in demand, as well as help utilities stabilize the grid and reduce brown-outs. The system’s efficiency also makes it a big win, not only for clean energy but for the local economy as well. At its peak, the overall cycle efficiency can reach as high as 80 percent. When all four generators are in operation, the plant will churn out a whopping 1,450 megawatts of renewable electricity. That’s enough to power a million Swiss homes during peak consumption times, which accounts for nearly one-third of the country’s population. + GE Reports Images via General Electric

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Subterranean hydropower plant hidden in the Swiss alps to power 1 million homes

How the timber-clad Claude Bernard overpass supports Paris’ climate plan

June 9, 2016 by  
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The 100-meter (328 foot) wooden structure features broad-stepped stairways on the sides and landscaped ramps for easier access. Rest areas and panoramic viewpoints are placed at its middle, providing expansive views of the area. Related: Gateway Villetaneuse footbridge unfurls like a leaf over train tracks outside Paris As the curve of the walkway rises, the profile of the decking varies, creating a seamless transition from the streets. Designed for pedestrians and cyclists, the overpass enhances visual and spatial proximity and functions as a natural extension of both sides of the Boulevard Périphérique. In order to create a structure with a human scale in mind, the architects had to reduce its height, which they achieved by designing arches encased in a protective shell that serves as a safety barrier. This enhances the structural stability of the beams and reduces the weight of the entire structure. Timber cladding is placed over the metal framework, and patterns of double-sided timber fretwork provide visual connection between pedestrians and the drivers bellow. Taller planks are placed at the center with narrower spacing, creating a partially enclosed space that obstructs views of the traffic. + DVVD Via v2com Lead photo by Luc Boegly

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BioLite’s Energy Ecosystem provides off-grid cooking, charging, and lighting in one toolkit

June 9, 2016 by  
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“Energy sits at the center of our lives, keeping us safe, productive, and comfortable,” according to the BioLite team. “Energy improves health, combats climate change, enables communication and education, generates income, and empowers women. Creating access for a growing world population has become one of the biggest opportunities of our time.” The 2016 Energy Ecosystem comes with three cool gadgets – the solar panel, the cook stove, and a solar-powered light, the ultimate toolkit for outdoor enthusiasts or off-grid homes. The ultrathin 5-Watt panel comes with an integrated sundial that makes it possible to achieve optimum sun exposure and a 2200mAh onboard battery that stores energy for charging phones, tablets, and BioLite gear. It is also specifically designed for easy use regardless of the terrain. Related: BioLite Basecamp Stove turns fire into electricity The PowerLight Mini is a clippable lantern that’s really easy to cart around when hiking, cycling, or just hanging around camp. Its 350mAh USB rechargeable battery provides up to 52 hours of light or a backup boost to your phone. And the CookStove, arguably one of the company’s coolest products, provides 30 hours of clean wood cooking on a single charge of the USB-rechargeable airflow system. Literally turning fire into electricity, it comes with four fan speeds that control flame size, so you can cook your food at a pace that suits you. And the best part? No more wasteful gas canisters. “With every purchase of a BioLite product, you create lasting change for communities living in energy poverty,” according to BioLite. “The same technology in your outdoor gear provides cleaner daily cooking conditions for thousands, curbing climate change and saving lives worldwide.” + BioLite

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BioLite’s Energy Ecosystem provides off-grid cooking, charging, and lighting in one toolkit

Sleek and sustainable prefab home in the Swiss Alps was constructed in just a few days

November 25, 2015 by  
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Sleek and sustainable prefab home in the Swiss Alps was constructed in just a few days

One man’s race to save India’s last remaining living root bridges

November 25, 2015 by  
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Traditional Swiss ski chalet renovated into two modern flex-space units

June 8, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Traditional Swiss ski chalet renovated into two modern flex-space units Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Casa Sur Ual , christian muller , dutch architect , eco design , green design , pitched roof home , ski chalet , sustainable design , swiss alps , Swiss architecture , timber clad

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Traditional Swiss ski chalet renovated into two modern flex-space units

Taiwanese worm becomes internet sensation with proboscis-shooting talent

June 8, 2015 by  
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It doesn’t take much to become an internet star these days. A shakily shot YouTube video, a squishy green body, and a talent for shooting a pink tongue-like proboscis across the room are all it took for one Taiwanese worm. Hundreds of thousands of people have looked on in awe as this little green ribbon worm shoots a slithery pink proboscis-–like a worm-within-a-worm-–out of its mouth. The proboscis is a stunner used to paralyze prey. Usually ribbon worms, or nemerteans, are found under the ocean and several species grow to a horrifying three feet long. The longest one ever found was almost 200ft long and most of them are carnivores . Our advice? Stay on dry land until further notice. Via Neatomara  / Video via WebTV56 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: green worm , nemerteans , ocean worms , proboscis , strange animals , Taiwan , Taiwan ribbon worm , Taiwanese animals , worms

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Old barn hides a contemporary larch-lined holiday home in the Swiss Alps

April 6, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Old barn hides a contemporary larch-lined holiday home in the Swiss Alps Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: barn and stable , Boisset Hous transformation , Boisset House , Boisset House by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes , green renovation , holiday home , insulated glass , larch , larch-clad cabin , Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes , solar gain , swiss alps

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Old barn hides a contemporary larch-lined holiday home in the Swiss Alps

You’ll never believe what’s hiding inside this boulder

December 22, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of You’ll never believe what’s hiding inside this boulder Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , 3d foundation , antoine , Bureau A , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , micro house , micro shelter , mini home , mini house , rock shelter , sculpture park , shelter disguised as a rock , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , swiss alps , Switzerland

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