Green-roofed campus brings a sustainable social nexus to Toronto

April 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Community building recently received a boost in Toronto’s bustling downtown core with the completion of the new $65 million Canoe Landing Campus, a social nexus that combines a community recreation center, public and Catholic elementary schools and a childcare center under a massive shared green roof. Designed by local firm  ZAS Architects , the new campus provides a much-needed social infrastructure to CityPlace, one of the city’s most populated residential developments with over 20,000 residents. In addition to its expansive green roof and surrounding landscaping, the project includes solar panels that renewably generate 10% of the building’s energy needs.  Completed last year, the roughly 158,000-square-foot Canoe Landing Campus was designed to maximize open space and seamlessly merge with the existing Canoe Landing Park. Shared community spaces and programming for all ages include sports facilities, a community kitchen, gardening plots and more. A pedestrian corridor separates the two-story community center from the three-story  schools  on the ground level, while an elevated east-west bridge connects the buildings above. The schools — which share common areas that include imaginative indoor play spaces with a climbing wall and roller coaster track — are organized with the younger students on the lower level and the older students on the upper two floors.  “The building’s design welcomes neighbours to take part in community activities allowing for a synergistic sharing of spaces between the  community centre , schools, and childcare,” said Peter Duckworth-Pilkington, Principal, ZAS Architects. “Ultimately, the way the world approaches community space is forever changed. Now, more than ever, physical space must foster meaningful human connection while also remaining flexible to support communities with evolving hybrid and virtual needs for years to come.” Related: Canada’s first net-zero carbon, mass-timber college building to rise in Toronto An active roof tops the campus and features a running track, sheltered outdoor space for yoga and a full-sized basketball court. A series of passive zones and gardening plots surround the “active roof.” The project also commissioned Anishinaabe artist Que Rock and artist Alexander Bacon to create a 90-meter-long mural on the south walls of the schools to celebrate the land’s  Indigenous  culture.  + ZAS Architects Photography by Michael Muraz

Read the original here: 
Green-roofed campus brings a sustainable social nexus to Toronto

An urban farm tops a LEED Gold-targeted health education tower in Toronto

March 11, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on An urban farm tops a LEED Gold-targeted health education tower in Toronto

Global design practice Perkins and Will has raised the bar for sustainable campus design with the award-winning Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, a Ryerson University facility designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. As an example of “vertical campus typology,” the 28-story tower combines academic departments, residences, labs, administrative offices and even a rooftop urban farm in Toronto’s dense downtown core. Completed in 2019 for $104 million CAD, the health education tower was crowned the 2021 Best Tall Building Award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Located on the east side of Ryerson’s campus near Yonge–Dundas Square, the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex offers nearly 300,000 square feet of state-of-the-art living and learning space and serves as a new gateway into campus. The striking high-rise is wrapped in expansive glazing along with white aluminum panels punctuated by vibrant orange accents. As part of Ryerson University’s goal of shaping the future of Toronto , the eye-catching tower features public spaces woven throughout the building. An atrium at the street level also activates the public realm with a café and study spaces. The café kitchen uses fresh produce sourced from the urban farm on the roof. Related: Canada’s first net-zero carbon, mass-timber college building to rise in Toronto The first eight stories of the building house four academic departments — the Schools of Nursing, Midwifery, Nutrition and Occupational and Public Health — with classrooms , teaching kitchens and labs. The tower also includes a digital fabrication lab that is visible from the outside, flexible research facilities and university administration offices. Residence dorms occupy the upper levels of the tower and house up to 330 students. Accessibility is made seamless throughout to encourage inclusivity, collaboration and community. In addition to a productive green roof , the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex integrates a variety of environmentally friendly features including low-impact materials; a graywater recycling system for the faucets, toilets and showers; and a metering and monitoring system that allows residence students to see their energy and water consumption online. The architects expect that the building will use 32% less energy and consume 35% less potable water compared to traditional construction. + Perkins and Will Photography by Tom Arban via Perkins and Will

Excerpt from:
An urban farm tops a LEED Gold-targeted health education tower in Toronto

Tesla is building a 100MW battery in Texas

March 11, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Tesla is building a 100MW battery in Texas

Under the guise of Gambit Energy Storage LLC, a secretive subsidiary of Tesla, a new, 100-megawatt battery is coming to Angleton, Texas. Angleton is located approximately 40 miles south of Houston and has a population of about 20,000. The project follows a massive winter storm that rendered the Texas power grid useless. The new battery is expected to work as a backup to the grid, as climate change has made it clear that relying on the grid may not be tenable for the future. The battery is expected to power up to 20,000 homes. When the project is complete, the residents of the town may no longer have to worry about power outages, even in the most extreme weather events. The project is slated to start operating in June 2021. Related: Tesla — the real environmental impact The Gambit project has drawn a lot of attention nationally, not because of its type but due to the secretive manner in which it is being conducted. The locals say that the workers on the site appear to be under strict instructions not to draw attention or respond to public questions. Reporters had to dig deep to link Gambit to Tesla. Elon Musk’s Telsa has been investing in energy quietly but rapidly. “Tesla’s energy storage business on a percentage basis is growing faster than their car business, and it’s only going to accelerate,” said Daniel Finn-Foley, head of energy storage at Wood MacKenzie Power and Renewables. “They are absolutely respected as a player, and they are competing aggressively on price.” In 2015, Tesla introduced its first Powerwall home batteries . Later, it expanded to larger grid offerings with the Megapack. The company has multiple battery projects, including a 100 megawatt project in South Australia, a 20 megawatt Southern California Edison Mira Loma substation just east of Los Angeles and an upcoming 182.5 megawatt system in the San Francisco Bay Area that is expected to begin operations in August 2021. These projects offer clear indications of Telsa’s fight for a space in the green energy market. Musk himself has been quoted saying that the energy business is bigger than the automotive industry, an indication that the company will focus more on clean energy in the future. + Gambit Energy Storage Park Via EcoWatch and Bloomberg Image via Tesla

Read the original post: 
Tesla is building a 100MW battery in Texas

Study shows denim microfibers are polluting our waters

September 9, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Study shows denim microfibers are polluting our waters

A new study shows that jeans are releasing up to 56,000 denim microfibers per wash into lakes and oceans. The study, which was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters found that denim microfibers have infiltrated waters all the way from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean. The study was conducted to show the extent of human-caused pollution . “It’s not an indictment of jeans — I want to be really clear that we’re not coming down on jeans,” said Miriam Diamond, environmental scientist at the University of Toronto and one of the authors of the study. Related: Wear jeans on your eyes with these funky sunglasses made of upcycled denim Scientists and environmentalists have known for some time that microplastics from synthetic clothing find their way into the oceans. One study estimates that about two trucks’ worth of microplastics drain into waters around Europe via wastewater from washing machines every day. Scientists have found microfibers in the stomachs of marine creatures, although the impact of these tiny plastic particles is still unknown. Much of the world is wearing denim at any given moment. To determine the effect of this popular garment, scientists carried out research on lake and ocean waters. The research looked at samples of water collected from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, suburban lakes around Toronto and the Great Lakes. According to the American Chemical Society, the samples tested revealed that the lakes near Toronto had the lowest percentage of denim microfibers at 12%. The Arctic waters had 20% denim microfiber pollution, while the Great Lakes had 23%. The researchers also found that new jeans release more microfibers — up to 56,000 denim microfibers — per wash than used jeans. “They’re called ‘natural’ textile fibers,” Sam Athey, coauthor of the study, explained. “I’m doing air quotes around ‘natural’ because they contain these chemical additives. They also pick up chemicals from the environment, when you’re wearing your clothes, when they’re in the closet.” The impact of denim microfibers on the environment requires more research, but the study authors recommend buying used jeans, installing a filter on your washer and washing denim less frequently to cut back on the amount of microfibers released into waterways. + Environmental Science and Technology Letters Via EcoWatch Image via Stux

View original here: 
Study shows denim microfibers are polluting our waters

Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge winners want to bring a forest to NYC

September 9, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge winners want to bring a forest to NYC

The Van Alen Institute and the New York City Council have announced the winners of Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge . The international design competition intended to spark public dialogue about the Brooklyn Bridge, which has become one of New York’s most recognizable landmarks since its opening in 1883. However, the bridge’s iconic status has also led to major pedestrian and cyclist traffic jams on the promenade as commuters and tourists jostle for space. Participants in the competition were asked to rethink the walkway by redesigning for greater accessibility, sustainability and safety for both New Yorkers and visitors alike. The Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition had two finalists categories: a Professionals category for participants 22 years of age and older and a Young Adults category for those 21 years of age and younger. An interdisciplinary jury with a wide-ranging set of perspectives evaluated proposals based on team composition, accessibility, safety, environmental benefit, security, respect for the bridge’s landmark status, feasibility and potential for sparking delight and wonder for users. The competition garnered over 200 submissions from 37 countries; each winner was chosen by a combination of public vote and scores from the competition’s jury. Related: Architects want to transform an old Dutch bridge into zero-energy apartments Pilot Projects Design Collective along with Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society and Grimshaw Silman were crowned the winners of the Professional category with their ‘ Brooklyn Bridge Forest ’ proposal, a design that reimagines the bridge as “an icon of climate action and social equity.” To make the bridge safer and to accommodate higher flows of traffic, the multidisciplinary team proposes expanding the historic walkway with planks sustainably sourced from a forest community partner in Guatemala. A separated and dedicated bike lane would be installed as well to avoid cyclist-pedestrian conflicts on the bridge. “Microforests” would bookend the bridge to provide additional green space while boosting biodiversity.  The winning proposal in the Young Adult category was created by Shannon Hui, Hwans Kim and Yujim Kim. Titled ‘Do Look Down,’ the design envisions a glass surface floor above the bridge’s girders to create a new pedestrian space activated by seasonal programming and art installations. Kinetic paving would power an LED and projection system that depicts the city’s cultures, histories and identities. + Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge Images via Van Alen Institute

More here: 
Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge winners want to bring a forest to NYC

Celebrate National Pollinator Week from June 22-28

June 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Celebrate National Pollinator Week from June 22-28

Thirteen years ago, Pollinator Partnership initiated the annual designation of a week in June to help address the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Backed by unanimous approval from the U.S. Senate, Pollinator Week has grown into an international celebration of the fragile ecosystem of bees , birds, butterflies, bats and beetles that help contribute to about 75% of all flowering plant species that require animal pollinators for reproduction. So, what are some of the best ways to help out our planet’s little pollinators? If you have access to a backyard, a window box, a garden or some kind of green space, plant some flowers that are pollinator-friendly. The types of plants that attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators vary by region, so use an Ecoregional Planting Guide to learn which ones will make the pollinators in your area the happiest. Knowing your soil type, planting flowers in clusters for pollinators to target and planting for continuous bloom will help. Related: The best plants for attracting pollinators to your yard Try to reduce or eliminate your use of pesticides whenever possible. Pollinator Partnership offers a digitized training module for farmers and certified pesticide applicators to help increase awareness and skill in minimizing the effects of pesticide applications. Register as part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge to connect with other gardeners and pollinator-enthusiasts for free, and upload photos or videos of your pollinator site, view profiles of pollinator-friendly plants, measure pollinator progress and highlight areas in need of pollinator action. If you don’t have a green thumb, support your local bees and beekeepers by buying local honey (buying locally sourced products keeps transportation-based carbon emissions low, as well). Because bees, butterflies and other pollinators are drastically affected by climate change , any effort to conserve resources, use less and reduce your carbon footprint is a huge win for everyone. Check out the Pollinator Partnership’s online toolkit for resources and activity ideas for all ages, from webinars on monarch butterfly habitat restoration and pollinator-themed crossword puzzles to school gardening kits and instructions for building a bee box. Each year, local establishments and buildings light up yellow and orange in support of pollinators during Pollinator Week. Participating destinations have included the Empire State Building in New York City, CN Tower in Toronto, City Hall in San Francisco and Niagara Falls in the past. Add lightings, activities and “My Pollinators, My Story” registered gardens to the website’s map . You can also check for local public events in your own neighborhood to participate in and view governor proclamations from all 50 states. + Pollinator Partnership Images via Cole Keister , Mpho Hlakudi and John Duncan

See original here: 
Celebrate National Pollinator Week from June 22-28

Story book of timber designed for University of Arkansas

April 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Story book of timber designed for University of Arkansas

Dublin-based Grafton Architects and Fayetteville-based Modus Studio have won an international design competition for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation at the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. Developed to bolster the university’s role as a leader in mass timber advocacy, the $16 million applied research center will be a “story book of timber ” promoting timber and wood design initiatives. The architecture of the Anthony Timberlands Center will also be used as a teaching tool and showcase the versatility and beauty of various timbers to the public. Crowned the competition winner after a months-long process that included a total of 69 firms, Grafton Architects also made recent headlines when its co-founders, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, were named the 2020 recipients of the Pritzker Architecture Prize . The Anthony Timberlands Center will be the firm’s first building in the United States and will be located in Fayetteville, Arkansas on the northeast corner of the University of Arkansas’ Windgate Art and Design District. The new applied research center will house the Fay Jones School’s existing and expanding design/build program and fabrication technologies labs as well as the school’s emerging graduate program in timber and wood design. Created with the public in mind, the Anthony Timberlands Center will draw the eye of passersby with its dramatic cascading roof that responds to the local climate while capturing natural light . Inside, soaring ceiling heights and rhythmical open spaces evoke a forest setting. Related: Canada’s first net-zero carbon, mass-timber college building to rise in Toronto “The basic idea of this new Anthony Timberlands Center is that the building itself is a Story Book of Timber,” said Farrell in a University of Arkansas press release. “We want people to experience the versatility of timber , both as the structural ‘bones’ and the enclosing ‘skin’ of this new building. The building itself is a teaching tool, displaying the strength, color, grain, texture and beauty of the various timbers used.” + Grafton Architects Images via Grafton Architects

View original here:
Story book of timber designed for University of Arkansas

These adorable fish lamps raise awareness of plastic pollution

April 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on These adorable fish lamps raise awareness of plastic pollution

Single-use plastics are everywhere. No matter how small they are, these plastics often end up in either landfills or the oceans , taking hundreds of years to decompose. When Heliograf designers Jeffrey Simpson and Angus Ware realized just how many single-use soy sauce packets went into a single sushi meal, the idea for Light Soy lamps was born. In Japan, a packet containing one single serving of soy sauce often comes in the shape of a small fish made of polyethylene. Similar to plastic straws and other single-use plastics, the packets are too small to be easily recycled . The irony that these single-use plastic containers created to look like fish would later become ocean pollution with the potential to harm marine life was not lost on the designers. Related: This lamp is a work of art that cleans the air Heliograf decided to find a fun way to highlight this issue, creating something both beautiful and functional. The resulting design took about three years to develop, including two years that the designers spent learning how to perfect the glass-blowing technique. Light Soy is a borosilicate glass lamp in the same shape as the iconic, fish-shaped soy sauce packets that have been used in Japan since the 1950s. It features an energy-efficient LED light and powder-coated aluminium accessories, with a frosted glass design that creates a soft glow when illuminated. There are two models available: The Light Soy Table Lamp and the Light Soy Pendant Light. The table lamp is portable and USB-C rechargeable with an aluminum base and a touch-controlled dimming feature, and the pendant version comes with a bespoke aluminium ceiling canopy. The modular components in the lamp make it simple to either repair or replace individual parts as needed.  The lamp packaging is free of plastics; it is made using a recyclable and biodegradable bagasse sugarcane pulp and cardboard. To negate the need for a plastic carrying bag, the packaging also comes equipped with a cotton cord as a handle. Heliograf is a member of 1% For the Planet, with 1% of the Sydney-based design studio’s revenue going toward nonprofits aimed at preventing plastic pollution from entering our oceans. + Heliograf Photography by Daniel Hermann-Zoll via Heliograf

See more here:
These adorable fish lamps raise awareness of plastic pollution

York Universitys new green-roofed student center celebrates inclusivity

March 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on York Universitys new green-roofed student center celebrates inclusivity

After overwhelmingly voting in favor of a second campus building devoted solely to student space, students at Toronto’s York University have welcomed a new student center with an inspiring emphasis on inclusivity and sustainability. Designed by global architecture firm CannonDesign , the student center was created not only as a hub of student life but to also improve mental health by creating a welcoming and safe space for students of all backgrounds. Centrally located at the north end of a major campus green space, the new student center is easily accessible to the university’s 50,000 students. The architects took cues from safety design principles to create a building with an abundance of natural light and maximized sight lines. The high-performance glazing that wraps around the building gives the student center a level of transparency reflective of its objective to be open and welcoming to all. Related: New BU academic tower will be 100% free from fossil fuels In addition to serving as a “living room” for student life, the 126,000-square-foot student center also includes a large multi-faith prayer space on the top floor; a food pantry on the lower level to serve students facing food insecurity; a wellness clinic that provides mental health counseling recommendations and more; bustling club spaces; and gender-neutral bathrooms. As part of the school’s commitment to sustainability, the new building also features bicycle parking, showers, green roofs and extensive use of natural lighting to minimize energy use. “This project excels at creating a campus destination where all students can feel welcome, safe, engaged and motivated to excel,” said Brad Lukanic, CEO of CannonDesign and a member of the York U Student Centre project team. “York University made an inclusive design part of this project’s mission from day one. The Second Student Centre stands as a paragon of how design can make measurable positive differences in both campus culture and students’ lives.” + CannonDesign Photography by Tom Arban, Connie Tsang and Lisa Logan via CannonDesign

Original post:
York Universitys new green-roofed student center celebrates inclusivity

The best plants for attracting pollinators to your yard

March 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on The best plants for attracting pollinators to your yard

Pollination occurs when pollinators, like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, feed on the sweet nectar from flowers. While they enjoy the buffet, powdery pollen sticks to them. As they move down the buffet line to other plants in the area, the pollen drops off into those plants, which then use it to create seeds, fruit and more plants. The process is essential to our food supply, with some estimates giving pollination credit for up to one-third of what we eat. Whether you want a robust garden full of produce, to help boost pollinator populations or both, focusing on the best plants for pollinators will help you reach your goal. Ideally, you will want to select native plants for your region. Talk to your local extension office, do some research online or grab a book from the library. Your local nursery or other garden supply store will likely have a great selection of the best plants for attracting pollinators to get you started. In the meantime, here are plenty of tips to help you know where to start when it comes to creating a beautiful, bountiful pollinator garden. Related: EU approves complete ban on bee-killing insecticides Best plants for every kind of pollinator and climate Many plants are forgiving enough to succeed in a variety of climates and are commonly used for attracting pollinators in just about any area. Herbs such as lavender, rosemary, sage, mint and oregano are great options. Other plants provide aesthetic appeal for your yard while also creating a feast for pollinators. Look into whether coneflower (purple is a favorite for butterflies), sunflower, redbud, catnip, penstemon, lab’s ears, verbena, aster, black-eyed Susan or yarrow are a good fit for your space. Butterfly gardens If your main draw is butterflies, try alyssum, aster, butterfly bush, cosmos, delphinium, and the easy-to-grow daylily. A few other butterfly favorites include fennel, globe thistle, goldenrod and liatris. Hollyhock makes butterflies happy, but be careful where you plant it, because hollyhock can become invasive after the first season. Plants to attract hummingbirds Hummingbirds like big, bright blooms they can stick their extraordinarily long tongues into for a drink. Test out bee balm, begonias, bleeding heart, canna, cardinal flower, columbine and coral bells (heuchera). Vary your plantings by season, and choose plants of different heights and colors. Include cleome, dahlia, foxglove, fuchsia, gladiolus, iris and lupine. Other plants known to draw in the fluttery birds include lantana, paintbrush, nicotiana, phlox and yucca. Bee-friendly plants As you probably know, bees are critical to the survival of our planet, but colony collapse has put them in crisis. Do your part with some bee-friendly plants like bee plant, bergamot, borage, cosmos, flax, giant hyssop, marjoram and poppies. Bees are usually satisfied feeding at any nectar-rich banquet, so most herbs, berries or flowers in your garden will likely make them happy. If you plan to try beekeeping, note that the resulting honey will pick up the key notes from what they feed on, so experiment with wildflowers, wild rose, thyme, verbena and blackberries for different flavors. Pollinators by region Weather trends in your area will affect the types of plants that will thrive, so again, it’s important to research plants native to your locale. However, here are some general ideas for the more extreme climates you might be dealing with. Arid mountains  If you live in a semi-desert region, try out catnip, clover, milkwort, morning glory, passion flowers and phacelia in your pollinator garden. Some other options that should thrive in arid regions include rose, potentilla, sorrel, violet and wild mustard. Coastal areas For areas that receive more rain, such as the misty coasts, add catalpa, cow parsley, goldenrod, impatiens, morning glory and willow catkins to your garden. Although we’ve mentioned a lot of flowers, remember that crops bloom too, providing an opportunity to feed the pollinators and yourself. Plant some almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, eggplants, gooseberries, legumes, watermelons, squash, pumpkins and tomatoes along with herbs to satisfy the pollinators and fill your plate. Additional pollinator garden tips There are a few more components to creating the perfect pollinator garden, where bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and more will all flock to for nectar. Proper plant care In addition to selecting the best plants for pollinators, you’ll want to make sure those plants and the pollinators are thriving. Follow watering guidelines for the plants you select and fertilize them when needed, but be sure to use only organic materials. Avoid chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides that can harm bees, moths and other pollinators. Especially during the hot, summer months, scatter water sources around your garden for pollinators to enjoy while they work. Also cluster plants together so pollinators have some protection. This gives them a place to hide from predators, heat and rain as well as to rear their young. If you grow crops on a large or small scale, consider throwing some seeds in the ground during the off season. You may not want the plants that are not at their peak, but pollinators will appreciate them nonetheless — your soil will likely thank you for some variety, too. You can also put wildflowers in unused areas for your pollinators to enjoy. Pollinators’ favorite colors Map out your garden with a variety of colors for attracting pollinators of all types.  Birds are naturally drawn to warm tones, like scarlet, red and orange. They also respond well to white blooms. Butterflies like bright colors and the deeper tones of red and purple. On the other end of the spectrum, moths prefer dull red, purple, pink and white. By planting a variety of colors that bloom throughout the seasons, you will provide the best environment to attract all types of pollinators. Images via Shutterstock

Continued here: 
The best plants for attracting pollinators to your yard

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2148 access attempts in the last 7 days.