ACPV designs Building D, an office focused on employee health

July 14, 2021 by  
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A previously industrial area in the southern part of Milan has a long-term plan for renewed development. Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) is putting the finishing touches on a building in the area that not only honors sustainable practices but aims to create a uniquely healthy environment for employees, too. Dubbed Building D, the office building is the second to be completed in the Symbiosis business district in Milan , Italy. Investment real estate firm Covivio is the client behind the project and works under the mission to “Build sustainable relationships and wellbeing.” With this in mind, the design team at ACPV has redefined what the company’s workspaces look like. Related: A LEED Gold-targeted office will enhance worker wellbeing Encompassing 20,000 square meters, Building D features a four-story section with a roof garden and cantilevered design along with a nine-story volume that includes a rooftop outdoor space for employees to stroll or exercise. Inside, the building features flexible workspaces to accommodate the changing and varied needs of employees, including areas to collaborate and easily connect with remote workers. It also includes a kitchenette, gym and resting spaces that emphasize healthy lifestyles for employees. “As business increasingly moves online and a growing number of people choose to work remotely, the culture of work is changing fast and in various ways,” said architect Patricia Viel. “Building D addresses this shift by transforming the traditional office into an attractive and welcoming meeting place where people want to work precisely because they can find spaces and services they may need throughout the day.” Building D is being built to WELL core (Bronze minimum) certification and LEED core and shell Platinum certifications. This means it not only caters to high energy-efficiency standards but also places attention on air and water quality, water management, ergonomic design and even cleaning products used in the space. The project is part of a larger urban development plan with several structural elements that mirror the completed Fastweb Headquarters next door. Public pathways invite visitors into and between the buildings, both designed by ACPV. + ACPV Images via ACPV 

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ACPV designs Building D, an office focused on employee health

The Uni Villa is a tiny eco-resort that can thrive anywhere

July 13, 2021 by  
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How many people wish they had their own little retreat? Studio Puisto has developed a new, modular accommodation that it believes would make it easier for people to open a small, sustainable resort anywhere. The Helsinki -based architecture firm designed its new, prefab units in collaboration with nature tourism entrepreneur Kari Vainio and installed the first prototype in the forest of Hyvinkää, Finland. One U-shaped, 1,205-square-foot Uni Villa, as the design is called, consists of two studio units along with a larger suite. Each unit comes with a keyless check-in system and readymade furniture. Uni means “dream” in Finnish; as such, Studio Puisto wants other aspiring hospitality entrepreneurs to be able to realize their dreams of running their own micro-resorts. Related: Modular, prefab cabins immerse guests in a Slovakian forest This first Uni Villa is tucked into Kytäjä Golf, which won the title of Best in Finland in 2020. Two courses designed by Canadian golf course architect Thomas McBroom are set in an unusual natural forest and lake environment. Kytäjä Golf is only 45 minutes from the Helsinki airport. The prefabricated , U-shaped blocks can be delivered via standard truck and are designed to sit on a compact foundation. The dark exteriors feature cross-laminated timber to blend into the forested areas. “The cladding is treated with a breathable and ecological dark oil stain that creates uniformity with the environment,” architect Sami Logren told Dwell . The designers created distinctly different looks for the suite versus the studios. The suites are furnished in dark wood and earthy textiles, while studio décor is much lighter in color. Both borrow their palettes from the natural world, with neutral furniture and gray, stone-like bathroom tiles. Indeed, the architects strove for comfort and accessibility to nature while blending in with the forested surroundings. “Sustainability and a low environmental impact are key values in our design process,” Logren said. “These values correlate with the current state of how people want to connect with nature to gain calm.” + Studio Puisto Via Dwell Photography by DECOPIC, Marc Goodwin / Archmospheres and Riikka Kantinkoski via Studio Puisto

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The Uni Villa is a tiny eco-resort that can thrive anywhere

UN outlines biodiversity plan to reverse climate change

July 13, 2021 by  
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The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (U.N. CBD) has set out a plan to reverse ecological destruction, cut down extinction rates and promote human coexistence with nature. The plan will also protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans and land to achieve significant climate crisis mitigation by 2030.  The latest draft arrived after extensive financial and  scientific negotiations  in May and June. The draft considers science, financial implications and nature conservation . However, it is still subject to scrutiny by governments and decision-makers before the U.N. summit to be held in Kunming China. The summit has been postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic and is expected to be rescheduled a third time for early 2022.  Related: UN launches program to reverse “triple environmental emergency” Besides the 2030 targets, the U.N. also aims to reduce the current rate of extinctions by 90%. The plan seeks to enhance the overall integrity of ecosystems and provide financial resources to achieve the vision. The U.N. also aims to reverse $500 billion (£360 billion) in government subsidies that support harmful environmental practices.  Basile van Havre, co-chair of the CBD working group that drafted the agreement, says that the set goals are based on the latest scientific data. He adds that the draft aims to introduce a significant shift in agriculture and other land use purposes that affect the ecosystem. “Change is coming,” van Havre said. “There will be a lot more of us in 10 years and they will need to be fed so it’s not about decreasing the level of activity. It’s about increasing the output and doing better for nature .” One of the targets is to cut the use of harmful pesticides and reduce the effects of such harmful chemicals in the ecosystem. “Cutting nutrient runoff in half, reducing pesticide use by two-thirds and eliminating plastic discharge: those are big. I’m sure they’re going to raise some eyebrows as they present significant change, particularly in the agriculture.” Scientists warn that human activities are driving the current mass extinction of species, making it the sixth mass extinction in the planet’s history. However, scientists also say that humans still have a chance to save the earth and promote an ecosystem that supports the coexistence of humans and other species.  “We don’t control what is happening on the climate change agenda but science is telling us this is what we can bring to the issues,” van Havre said. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

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UN outlines biodiversity plan to reverse climate change

Dragonflies are losing their color due to climate change

July 13, 2021 by  
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A  new study  published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science shows that dragonflies are losing key features due to climate change . The study has established that global warming is causing male dragonflies to lose their color, a feature used to attract mates. The study was lead and co-authored by Michael Moore, an evolutionary biologist at Washington University in St. Louis. In the study, researchers analyzed over 300 dragonfly species from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. They also cross-referenced wing colors between about 2,700 individual dragonflies from different locations and climates. It was found that male dragonflies were losing their wing colors due to increasing global temperatures.  Related: Global warming driving mass migration of marine life “Our research shows that males and females of these dragonfly species are going to shift in pretty different ways as the climate changes,” Moore said in an interview. “These changes are going to happen likely on a much faster timescale than the evolutionary changes in these species have ever occurred before.” A  different study  done in 2019 found that male dragonflies with darker wing patterns thrive in colder conditions. The darker pigmentation absorbs more heat and is likely to increase their body temperature by 2 degrees Celsius. In contrast, they tend to give away their color to adapt to higher temperatures.  “Evolutionary changes and wing coloration are a really consistent way that dragonflies adapt to their climates ,” Moore said. “This got us wondering what the role of evolutionary changes in wing coloration might be as dragonflies respond to the rise in global temperatures.” While the study raises serious concerns about the future of dragonflies and mating, the researchers are unable to explain the changes experienced in female dragonflies. According to Moore, female dragonflies usually do not show drastic changes to climate change, and when they do, it is the opposite of what happens to male dragonflies. In other words, female dragonflies may get darker as temperatures rise. “We don’t yet know what’s driving these evolutionary changes in female wing coloration,” Moore said. “But one of the very important things that this indicates is that we shouldn’t assume that males and females are going to respond to climatic conditions in exactly the same way.” Via CNN Lead image via Pixabay

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Dragonflies are losing their color due to climate change

Artist Monsieur Plant created this incredible Batman suit out of bark

July 11, 2015 by  
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From the artist who brought you the Nike Just Grow It! topiary sneaker comes this crazy Batman suit made  out of moss, bark and fungi. Christophe Guinet , or Monsieur Plant as he is known, created the amazingly-detailed suit as a way to examine “the balance that exists between the symbiosis of nature and that of this mythical character.” READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bark Batman , bark moss fungi suit , Batman plant suit , Batman suit , Christophe Guinet , Christophe Guinet plant suit , Monsieur Plant , Monsieur Plant Batman suit

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Artist Monsieur Plant created this incredible Batman suit out of bark

Scientists Discover Freshwater Reserves Under Ocean Floor 100 Times Greater Than All Water Used in the 20th Century

July 11, 2015 by  
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Humanity just found an incredibly valuable resource hidden under the ocean floor, and it’s more precious than fossil fuels or minerals. Scientists discovered vast aquifers of fresh water underneath the sea. A study published in the December 5th edition of the journal  Nature reveals the existence of nearly 120,000 cubic miles of low-salinity water beneath South Africa, North America, Australia, and China. This figure amounts to a volume 100 times greater than all of the fresh water used since the beginning of the twentieth century. Read the rest of Scientists Discover Freshwater Reserves Under Ocean Floor 100 Times Greater Than All Water Used in the 20th Century Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: australia , china , Climate Change , fresh water , fresh water aquifer , Nature , north america , Polar Ice Cap Melting , saltwater , saltwater contamination , sea level rise , south america , United Nations , water scarcity

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Scientists Discover Freshwater Reserves Under Ocean Floor 100 Times Greater Than All Water Used in the 20th Century

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency?

September 13, 2013 by  
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It’s a scientific fact that there’s nothing cuter than a baby sloth in a bucket. But even if Facebook ‘likes’ turn out not to correlate with biological fitness, sloths are a runaway success by any measure. Well, maybe not so much ‘runaway.’ But it’s certainly true they’re not going anywhere. Sloths have an outstanding survival strategy, as their unexpectedly high density in South and Central American tropical forests attests. In some areas, sloths consume half the energy and make up two-thirds of mammalian biomass. That’s a lot of sloths. But it’s hard to see them because they hardly move—their leafy diets just don’t provide enough energy for them to monkey around. How do they succeed on such meager rations? Simple. They are consummate energy misers. Can humans learn something about conserving energy from the sloth? Read today’s entry of  The Biomimicry Manual to find out! Read the rest of The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , bio-inspiration , biomimicry , design by nature , design inspiration , hanging gardens , hanging lamps , hanging plants , industrial ecology , inspiration from nature , kalundborg , sloth in a bucket , sloth moth , sloths , symbiosis , The Biomimicry Manual        

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency?

Algaerium Bioprinter 3D-Prints Nutrient-Rich Algae Superfood at Home!

September 13, 2013 by  
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In just a short time, 3D printing has revolutionized the industries of medicine , tech , and design – and the technology’s next breakthrough application could revolutionize our food system. PhD researcher Marin Sawa has developed an “Algaerium Bioprinter” that can produce nutrient-rich microalgae to alleviate food security issues in the future. Read the rest of Algaerium Bioprinter 3D-Prints Nutrient-Rich Algae Superfood at Home! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printed algae , Algaerium Bioprinter , eco design , green design , Marin Sawa , sustainable design        

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Algaerium Bioprinter 3D-Prints Nutrient-Rich Algae Superfood at Home!

INTERVIEW: Eric Maundu on Turning Aquaponic Gardens into an Internet Connected Resource

September 11, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of INTERVIEW: Eric Maundu on Turning Aquaponic Gardens into an Internet Connected Resource Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: American Steel , aquaponics , biomimicry , education , Environment , environmental science , Eric Maundu , fish , Interviews , Kijani Grows , oxygen , plants , schools , symbiosis , Urban Farming , West Oakland        

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INTERVIEW: Eric Maundu on Turning Aquaponic Gardens into an Internet Connected Resource

“Domestic Ponds” are Tabletop Ecosystems for Your Home

November 9, 2010 by  
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Duende Studio has unveiled a series of “Domestic Ponds” that explore the potential for incorporating living ecosystems within our homes. The limited-edition ponds re-envision everyday aquariums as delicately-balanced eco systems that have been adapted to our contemporary interiors.

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