Colorful Peoples Pavilion in Eindhoven is made from 100% borrowed materials

November 3, 2017 by  
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All the materials needed to build this temporary pavilion in the Netherlands are borrowed. bureau SLA and Overtreders W built the People’s Pavilion – a centerpiece of the Dutch Design Week (DDW) taking place in Eindhoven – using materials from suppliers and Eindhoven residents which will be returned after the event closes. The only exception is the faceted upper façade, which is made of plastic household waste materials collected by Eindhoven residents. The People’s Pavilion will function as the main pavilion of the World Design Event in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which provides a platform for future makers from all over the world. It will also be used as a meeting place and hang-out for visitors and serves as a venue for music and theater. Related: Spectacular origami pavilion made of recycled plastic pops up in Columbus, Indiana The 269-square-foot (25-square-meter) building can accommodate 200 seated or 600 standing people. Its structure is based on 12 concrete foundation piles and 19 wooden frames, designed in collaboration with Arup. Steel straps hold together wooden beams , while concrete piles and frames are connected with 350 tensioning straps. The glass roof resembles those used in the greenhouse industry. Related: The Folkets House is an inclusive space where refugees can learn skills and find jobs Colorful plastic tiles cover the upper façade of the building and are made from recycled plastic household waste . Leftovers from a refurbishment of BOL.com’s headquarters were used for the glass portion of the façade on the ground floor and will be reused for a new office space after the Dutch Design Week concludes. All the materials, including concrete slabs used for the podium, lighting, heating and bar are borrowed. + bureau SLA + Overtreders W + Dutch Design Week 

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Colorful Peoples Pavilion in Eindhoven is made from 100% borrowed materials

New smart grid solution heals itself amid central grid outages

November 1, 2017 by  
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Renewable energy may offer emissions-free electricity , but it isn’t always easy for electrical grids to integrate that energy. Dutch company Alfen is launching their answer to the dilemma. The Cellular Smart Grid Platform (CSGriP) allows a central grid to be divided into smaller cells that can operate independently, if necessary, and even self-heal . CSGriP provides energy from sources like biogas , solar power , or wind power for local consumers. It includes “a 0.5 megawatt energy storage system and complex algorithm used for local energy management.” Should the central grid go out, local cells would take over to restore power for local customers. According to Alfen, “Once the grid balance within a cell is restored, it automatically reconnects to other cells, and, as such, quickly rebuilds the larger power grid” to reduce the duration of central grid outages. Related: INFOGRAPHIC: How a smart electric grid could reduce emissions by 58 percent in the US Alfen energy storage specialist Evert Raaijen said in a statement, “Unique about this solution is that the local cells are intrinsically stable through self-adjustment of supply and demand based on the frequency of the electricity grid. This makes the grid truly self-healing in cases of central grid outages. The self-healing mechanism based on frequencies sets it apart from many IT-related smart grids that require relatively vulnerable data and ICT connections for balancing local grids.” In developed countries, the point of the platform is to decentralize the grid and make it more ready for renewables. But the platform could also be deployed in developing countries that still need to be electrified, allowing them to avoid constructing central grids obtaining power from large fossil fuel -burning plants in favor of these local cells with storage systems for renewable sources. Alfen has worked in countries from the United Kingdom to the Czech Republic to Nigeria, on projects for electric vehicle charging , transformer substations, energy storage, smart grids, and grid automation. They are currently field testing CSGriP at the Application Center for Renewable Resources in Lelystad, the Netherlands . + Alfen Via Alfen Images via Alfen on Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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New smart grid solution heals itself amid central grid outages

This pop-up prefab cocoon can immerse you in the heart of nature

November 1, 2017 by  
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Immersing yourself in nature without leaving the comfort of the hotel room may sound too good to be true, but that’s exactly what French architect and civil engineer Christophe Benichou sets out to achieve in LUMISHELL . Created in the shape of a cocoon, this prefabricated curved dwelling blurs the distinction between indoor and outdoor space with LUMICENEs, a patented reversible window concept. The LUMISHELL is designed for placement in a variety of exotic environments—even in Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat that experiences below freezing temperatures. Clad in a protective aluminum skin, the 40-square-meter LUMISHELL comprises all the needs for a comfortable, long-term stay including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room. The bedroom and living room are located at opposite ends of the curved dwelling and wrapped by LUMICENE , a curved glass sliding door that opens up to transform the room into an outdoor space. Curtains attached to the LUMICENE rails allow for privacy and protection from solar gain, while the shape of the structure is optimized for natural cross ventilation. Related: Cover installs its first prefab dwelling “for the masses” in L.A. “Both rooms provide unique panoramic views and can be occasionally transformed into outdoor spaces to enhance the feeling of being transplanted in the middle of vast scapes,” wrote the architect. “Various mirrors also create reflections that diffuse the landscape in the heart of the dwelling.” The self-supporting and prefabricated LUMISHELL can be assembled on site in as little as four days—not including hookups—and does not require foundations. The LUMISHELL is currently available for pre-orders and is expected to ship out for first installations in 2018. + LUMISHELL

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This pop-up prefab cocoon can immerse you in the heart of nature

Bicycle highway in the Netherlands built using recycled toilet paper

October 3, 2017 by  
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People in the Netherlands use an estimated 180,000 tons of toilet paper every year. Because this amounts to a lot of trees, last Fall the Dutch province of Friesland repurposed the product to make a bicycle highway . The stretch of roadway, about 0.6-miles-long, connects the Frisian capital of Leeuwarden to the town of Stiens. It is the first bicycle lane in the world to be paved with toilet paper — but few can tell the difference. In the Netherlands , roads are typically paved with blacktop. Specifically, open-graded asphalt friction course (OGFC) is used because it is porous and water permeable. “When roads get wet, [they get] slippery, so we use this asphalt because it takes water away from the road surface quicker,” said Ernst Worrell, Professor of energy, resources, and technological change at Utrecht University. The country sees an annual rainfall of 27 to 35 inches per year, so this safety measure is important. While the method is effective, it isn’t the only way to build safe asphalt-type roads, as the province of Friesland recently proved. Last fall, a bicycle highway was built using tertiary cellulose extracted from waste streams. CirTec and KNN Cellulose developed the technology for extracting and cleaning the cellulose fibers. The process entailed sifting paper fibers out of wastewater with a 0.35-millimeter industrial sieve. The fibers were then run through a series of machines, which cleaned, sterilized, bleached and dried them. This produced a fluffy, grayish material. According to Chris Reijken, wastewater treatment advisor at Waternet, “If you look at it, you would not expect it to have originated from wastewater.” Technically, the uses for the reclaimed cellulose are endless. The product could be used in building insulation, biofuel , textiles, pulp and paper, filters — and more. But due to sanitization concerns, it cannot legally be used in products that come into direct contact with people. Related: London Unveils $1.51 Billion Bicycle Master Plan With 15-Mile Bike Highway As a result, the recycled toilet paper was used to construct a bike highway. And so far, officials are reportedly pleased with the investment said to have held up well so far. The success of the project resulted in the same mixture being used to reinforce a dyke on the West Frisian Island of Ameland and to repave a parking lot of a children’s petting zoo in Groningen. CityLab says the city of Amsterdam is now interested in using cellulose from wastewater in its roadways. “It’s a strange idea for people that there’s [toilet paper] in the road,” says Michiel Schrier, provincial governor of Friesland. “But when they cycle on it or feel it, they can see that it’s normal asphalt.” It’s still too early to say whether products from recycled toilet paper will become mainstream, but, in the Netherlands, at least, they’re off to a good start. To repair all roadways in the Netherlands, 15,000 tons of fiber would be needed. From toilet paper alone, this wouldn’t be possible. But using tertiary cellulose from other waste sources, such as diapers and beverage cartons, two million tons could be created. Greener roads are just around the bend. Via CityLab Images via Pixabay , KNN Cellulose

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Bicycle highway in the Netherlands built using recycled toilet paper

Hollands first Vertical Forest to rise with 10,000 air-purifying plants

July 6, 2017 by  
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Hot on the heels of the world’s first Forest City in China , Stefano Boeri Architetti has announced their winning bid for the first Vertical Forest in the Netherlands. Set to rise in Utrecht, the Hawthorn Tower will, like its Milanese predecessor , be blanketed in greenery and is expected to absorb over 5.4 tons of carbon dioxide. The equivalent of one hectare of woods will be installed on the tower to create a real urban ecosystem with over 30 different vegetal species. Slated to begin construction in 2019, the Hawthorn Tower will infuse greenery into the heart of Jaarbeursboulevard area close to Utrecht Station. The tower is one of two tall buildings in the development, the other designed by Amsterdam-based MVSA studio. “The 90 meters in height tower designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti attempts to create, in Utrecht city center, an innovative experience of cohabitation between city and nature,” said the architects. Around 10,000 plants of different species—360 trees, 9,640 shrubs and flower—will be installed on all sides of the facade. The mixed-use building is positioned as the “new healthy center of Utrecht” and will comprise offices, fitness and yoga areas, bike parking, and public leisure space. Its scale and design will thoughtfully react and complement the surrounding urban fabric. The tower will also host the Vertical Forest Hub, a research center on worldwide urban forestation that’s open to the public on the ground floor and directly connected to the sixth-floor roof garden. The research center will showcase the different technical and botanic solutions chosen for the tower and track the progress of Vertical Forests under construction around the world. Related: China breaks ground on first “Forest City” that fights air pollution The Hawthorn Tower is the latest Vertical Forest of its kind to be unveiled, this time in the heart of Europe, and follows in the steps of other urban forestation projects designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti. Other projects include soon-to-be-completed Vertical Forests in Nanjing and Lausanne, a greenery-covered Mountain Hotel in Guizhou , and other green buildings planned in Paris, Tirana, and Shanghai. Construction on Hawthorn Tower is expected to finish in 2022. + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images by Imaginary A2 / Stefano Boeri Architetti

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Hollands first Vertical Forest to rise with 10,000 air-purifying plants

Incredibly rare two-headed porpoise found in the North Sea

June 15, 2017 by  
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An unsuspecting fisherman recently stumbled across an incredibly rare two-headed dolphin. Only nine examples of conjoined twins have ever been found among cetaceans , according to Erwin Kompanje, curator of mammals for the Natural History Museum Rotterdam in the Netherlands . So he jumped at the chance to study a rare specimen of conjoined harbor porpoises caught the end of May by Dutch fisherman. But when he reached out to the fisherman, what happened next was a scientist’s nightmare. It’s not unheard of for trawlers to accidentally catch a porpoise. There are hundreds of thousands of the cetaceans near the coast of the Netherlands. But no one has ever caught conjoined twin harbor porpoises. The fisherman snapped photos, which made their way to Kompanje. He couldn’t wait to study the creature in the laboratory. Related: Fish with “human-like teeth” spotted in Michigan lakes Kompanje could tell the twins were male, and had likely recently been born – and he thinks they were born alive. They probably didn’t live for long; either they had two brains which might have told them to swim in different directions, or a single heart may have failed to pump enough blood to keep them alive. Conjoined twins are an extremely rare find. And these looked to be in good condition. Others that have been discovered were undeveloped fetuses – such as one found near Japan in 1970 in a dolphin’s womb – or have started to decompose, such as a dolphin with two beaks found in 2001. Kompanje reached out to the fisherman to try and obtain the specimen for study. But this story doesn’t have a happy ending for science. The fisherman thought it was illegal to catch the conjoined twins, so after the photographs, they tossed the creature back into the sea. Kompanje told The Washington Post, “For a cetologist, this is a real horror.” Based on the photographs he was still able to publish a paper in DEINSEA, the online journal of the natural history museum, joined by one scientist of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and one from Wageningen Marine Research . Sadly, we may never know more about the rare twins. Via The Washington Post Images via Kompanje, E.J.O.; Camphuysen, C.J.; and Leopold, M.F.

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Incredibly rare two-headed porpoise found in the North Sea

Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands

May 25, 2017 by  
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Fair trade fruits and vegetables aren’t the only things coming and going at Nature’s Pride—buzzing bees and birds are also flocking to the sustainable distribution hub. Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the giant green-roofed facility in Maasdijk, where it serves as one of the largest Dutch importers of exotic fruits and vegetables. As a recipient of a BREEAM Excellent certificate, Nature’s Pride is also one of the top five most sustainable distribution centers in Western Europe. The design of the 37,000-square-meter Nature’s Pride facility is guided by the company’s philosophy for openness and transparency. The energy-neutral building features a flexible structure that can be modified with minimal interventions. “Recesses in the floor can easily be closed, emergency staircases can be moved and the floor at the packaging department can be loaded more heavily,” write the architects. “All together it enables to building to fulfill a completely different function if required in the future.” Related: Former museum in Rotterdam is transformed into a luxury energy-saving villa Produce enters the distribution center via the north side’s fourteen loading docks and is transported out on the east side. Glazing wraps around the building to let in natural light. The large roof contains room for parking and electric vehicle charging stations. The building also includes a 2,000-square-meter green roof with a bee hotel and a butterfly roof garden. Stormwater runoff is collected and reused for flushing the toilets and cleaning operations. + Paul de Ruiter Architects Images by Jeroen Musch

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Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands

Architects transform barns into solar-powered workspaces for Dutch daredevil

April 10, 2017 by  
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Rotterdam-based architecture studio Instability We Trust transformed two barns into a set of contemporary workspaces for the famous Dutch daredevil, Wim Hof . Nicknamed “The Iceman” for his ability to withstand extreme cold, Hof commissioned the adaptive reuse project to house his training seminars on the health benefits of cold exposure and breathing techniques. Located in Barneveld in the eastern Netherlands, the solar-powered building juxtaposes two visually contrasting volumes: an “extraverted” glass house and an “introverted” wooden cave-like structure. The L-shaped building comprises two interconnected gabled structures with open and flexible interiors. The gabled glass house is almost entirely transparent with an “outward atmosphere which relates to the air,” whereas the gabled timber-clad structure has a “grounded atmosphere which relates to the earth.” Though the timber volume is without windows, its connection with the glass structure allows access to natural light . Large sliding doors open the volumes up the outdoors and permits natural ventilation. Related: Historic Dutch nursery transformed into stunning solar-powered home Vertical planks of larch sourced from the sawmill next door clad the enclosed cave-like volume. The two gabled end walls were custom-made from clay plaster to create a warm and earthy environment that, combined with the suspended light sculpture, makes the space ideal for meditation. Photovoltaic cells and thermal cells generate renewable energy on site. “A visually clean and calm appearance is accomplished by combining an array of different elements such as insulation, gutters, drainage pipes, sliding door rails, glass panels and structural beams into one carefully detailed wooden slatted element, almost like a click-on facade,” write the architects. + Instability We Trust Via ArchDaily Images via Instability We Trust , © Pim Top

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Architects transform barns into solar-powered workspaces for Dutch daredevil

Calming views of the garden alleviate patient anxiety at this modern dental clinic

January 13, 2017 by  
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Imagine staring out at a bucolic scene with birds bouncing around in a field of waving grasses while sitting in the dentist’s chair. It might make the whole experience a little less awful, right? This dental clinic in the Netherlands was designed to make patients feel more relaxed by providing calming views of the garden outside. The light-filled building with a neutral material palette and open-plan layout, designed by Studio Prototype , is part of a cluster of healthcare facilities in the new Huurlingse Dam urban plan in Wichen, in The Netherlands. The building’s sculptural form promises to become a keystone for the neighborhood and provide vistas of the surrounding landscapes. Its clutter-free interior is lit via large openings and a skylights intalled in the central area of the building, above a hallway. Light-stained birch wood furniture and glass dominate both the exterior and interior of the project. Related: Light-filled dentist clinic shows how good design can calm patient fears “The distinctiveness of the sculpture in combination with its freestanding position and sight lines, enhances the open and accessible character of the practice,” said architect Steven Otten. “The open setup of the plan and the large panoramic view towards the garden create a light and spacious place in which the patient feels comfortable,” he added. + Studio Prototype Via Dezeen Photos by Jeroen Musch

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Calming views of the garden alleviate patient anxiety at this modern dental clinic

$70 DIY acoustic tractor beam moves objects with sound

January 13, 2017 by  
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Tractor beams may soon be no longer fictional tools under the command of starship captains, as a team of researchers at the UK’s University of Bristol has managed to create a simple tractor beam out of easily obtainable parts. Check out the video above to learn how you can build your own for just over $70. https://youtu.be/6YV0lou4L4c According to the University of Bristol , the concept for this tractor beam is much simpler than a recent sonic tractor beam that uses sound waves to trap and manipulate tiny objects. According to the recent paper published in Applied Physics Letters, this tractor beam design uses just one electric signal and a passive wave modulator. As the University of Bristol notes: “The passive wave modulator is a type of acoustic lens that can alter the transmitted or reflected waves. The research team’s passive wave modulator can be made in various different ways. In one example it’s a collection of tubes with different lengths and in another it’s a carefully contoured surface. In both cases it can be 3D-printed using an off–the-shelf printer. Using a single waveform a static tractor beam can be created. If two waveforms are used then up and down manipulation of objects can be achieved.” Related: This revolutionary new paper battery is powered by bacteria According to research assistant and lead author of the paper, Asier Marzo, “The technique can generate an acoustic tractor beam using only a single electrical signal, this will reduce the cost and complexity of tractor beams making them a more affordable technology for manipulating and analyzing levitated samples. With our new research now everyone can have an acoustic tractor beam.” The device is so simple, the university has released a YouTube video showing people how they can build their own tractor beam at home for just over $70. That’s a far cry from previous tractor beam technologies, which required phased arrays of more than 50 sound channels, with each made up of a signal generator and an amplifier. Via University of Bristol Video and image via University of Bristol , YouTube

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$70 DIY acoustic tractor beam moves objects with sound

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