Dozens of Japanese cities and towns quietly go off-grid

September 19, 2017 by  
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Dozens of cities and towns in Japan have quietly shifted from traditional utility-based grid power system to a more local, resilient model of generating and storing energy where it is used. After significant damage caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, many Japanese municipalities rebuilt to be more equipped for the 21st century through the country’s National Resilience Program. The Program offers 3.72 trillion yen ($33.32 billion) in funding each fiscal year to be distributed to local communities seeking to become more self-reliant and locally empowered. “Since Fukushima , there has been a gradual elaboration of policies to realize that kind of local autonomy, local consumption paradigm,” said Andrew Dewit, a professor of energy policy at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. Although the Resilience Program was designed for recovering from and adapting to natural disasters, it has blossomed into a powerful tool in the fight against climate change . “At the time of the Great East Japan earthquake, we couldn’t secure power and had to go through incredible hardships,” said Yusuke Atsumi, a manager at HOPE, a utility created to service this new localized energy model. Under the old system, a “blackout at one area would lead to wide-scale power outages. But the independent distributed micro-grid can sustain power even if the surrounding area is having a blackout.” Related: Japan’s new mushroom solar farms produce sustainable energy and food In its recovery from the earthquake , which destroyed 75 percent of its homes and killed 1,100 of its residents, the city of Higashi Matsushima constructed micro-grids and decentralized renewable power generation that currently allows the city to produce 25 percent of its power needs without tapping into the main grid . Additionally, the city has installed batteries capable of storing enough energy to run the city for three days without access to the grid. “We are moving towards a day when we won’t be building large-scale power plants,” said Takao Kashiwagi, renewable energy luminary who serves as head of the New Energy Promotion Council and designed Japan’s first smart city . “Instead, we will have distributed power systems, where small power supply systems are in place near the consumption areas.” In light of the program’s success, the Japanese government seeks to increase funding for the Resilience Program by 24 percent in the next fiscal year. Via Reuters Images via Save the Children Canada/Wikimedia ,  DepositPhotos , and Pavel Ahmed/Flickr

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Unique temporary shelter in Greece offers an elevated camping experience

September 19, 2017 by  
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Well, this is different. Studio Genua and hiboux  ARCHITECTURE designed this contemporary wooden shelter , which acts as a short-term residence for farmers and harvesters—or a summer beach lodge. Called Tragata, the elevated lodgings provide a place for people to relax and enjoy panoramic views of the natural surroundings. Located in Cephalonia, Greece , the structure functions as a transformable space raised from the ground. Its permanent timber frame and detachable panels are made from locally-sourced materials and were assembled on site. Related: Temporary Wooden ‘Hangout’ Provides Shelter for Festival-goers in Eindhoven Parts of the roof can be folded open to offer views of the night sky and provide shading during the day. A hidden storage space sits underneath the floor plane and can be used to store mattresses and other equipment that is not easy to transport. A hammock is placed between the ground and the deck. Related: 14 amazing timber structures explore the future of wood as a building material The modular structure is easy to construct, opening up the opportunity to build similar structures that offer such elevated camping experiences. Tragatas are designed to combine the feeling of isolation and openness while adapting to the needs of their temporary inhabitants. + hiboux ARCHITECTURE + Studio Genua Via Archdaily Lead photo by Marianna Xyntaraki

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Unique temporary shelter in Greece offers an elevated camping experience

Magnitude 7.8 Sumatra earthquake results in loss of life, but minimal damage

March 2, 2016 by  
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Indonesia and Australia have both issued tsunami warnings following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake off the island of Sumatra. Indonesia’s warning has since been lifted and no substantial damage has been reported, although there were an unknown number of casualties. The offshore quake was a shallow one, which tend to be associated with more devastation. The U.S. Geological Survey first reported the quake rated 8.2 before lowering the magnitude three times to settle at 7.8. Read the rest of Magnitude 7.8 Sumatra earthquake results in loss of life, but minimal damage

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Magnitude 7.8 Sumatra earthquake results in loss of life, but minimal damage

Crazy all-glass slide will be suspended 1,000 feet high off LA’s tallest tower

March 2, 2016 by  
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Ecologist editor warns of nuclear “Fukuzilla” on China’s seismic coast

October 29, 2015 by  
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We recently reported the first nuclear reactor in 20 years will be fired up in the United States, but that pales in comparison to the 400 nuclear reactors coming to China by 2050. And 300 of them will be built along the country’s seismically-active coast, notes Oliver Tickell, editor of the UK environmental news site the Ecologist . Forbes recently celebrated China’s capacity to build a lot of nuclear reactors quickly and cheaply, but Tickell warns the country’s safety and environmental record combined with an earthquake and tsunami would result in “a Fukushima on steroids”. Read the rest of Ecologist editor warns of nuclear “Fukuzilla” on China’s seismic coast

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Observation House commands stunning 360-degree views atop a verdant green roof

October 29, 2015 by  
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Pod-like Survival Capsule protects those who can’t flee a tsunami

July 7, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Pod-like Survival Capsule protects those who can’t flee a tsunami Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: disaster capsule , disaster shelter , natural disasters , Survival Capsule , Survival Capsules protect against tsunamis , survival pods , tornado shelter , tsunami , tsunami proof design

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Pod-like Survival Capsule protects those who can’t flee a tsunami

Fomm’s Concept One Electric Car Floats Like a Boat in Emergencies

March 31, 2014 by  
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Following the devastating 2011 tsunami , Japan’s Fomm designed an electric vehicle that can protect people in areas susceptible to flash floods or tsunamis. The Concept One electric car is not only the “world’s smallest class four-seater electric vehicle,” but it can also can float like a boat. Read the rest of Fomm’s Concept One Electric Car Floats Like a Boat in Emergencies Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: amphibious vehicle , electric floating car , electric motor , floating car , fomm , fomm concept one , green car , green transportation , Japan , tsunami        

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Super Resilient Tsunami House Can Withstand Fierce 85 mph Winds in Washington State

January 28, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Super Resilient Tsunami House Can Withstand Fierce 85 mph Winds in Washington State Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: above ground sand filter drain , breakaway storm walls , Camano Island architecture , Designs Northwest Architects , exposed concrete columns , flood resistant houses , foundations able to withstand tidal waves , The Tsunami House        

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Super Resilient Tsunami House Can Withstand Fierce 85 mph Winds in Washington State

Tsunami House by Designs Northwest Architects Stands Strong in the Face of Tidal Waves

December 31, 2013 by  
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