China subverts pollution with contained vertical farms – and boosts yield

May 26, 2017 by  
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Around one fifth of arable land in China is contaminated with levels of toxins greater than government standards, according to 2014 data. That’s around half the size of California, and it’s a growing problem for a country that faces such levels of pollution they had to import $31.2 billion of soybeans in 2015 – a 43 percent increase since 2008. Scientists and entrepreneurs are working to come up with answers to growing edible food in a polluted environment, and shipping container farms or vertical gardening could offer answers. The toxins in China’s environment have made their way into the country’s food supply. In 2013, the Guangdong province government said 44 percent of rice sampled in their region contained excessive cadmium. Around 14 percent of domestic grain contains heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium, according to research from scientists in 2015. Related: Arctic town grows fresh produce in shipping container vertical garden Could shipping container farms offer a way around this contamination? Beijing startup Alesca Life Technologies is testing them out. They turn retrofitted shipping containers into gardens filled to the brim with arugula, peas, kale, and mustard greens, and monitor conditions remotely via an app. They’ve already been able to sell smaller portable versions of the gardens to a division of a group managing luxury hotels in Beijing and the Dubai royal family. Alesca Life co-founder Stuart Oda told Bloomberg, “ Agriculture has not really innovated materially in the past 10,000 years. The future of farming – to us – is urban .” And they’re not alone in their innovation. Scientist Yang Qichang of the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences is experimenting with a crop laboratory, testing which light from the visible light spectrum both helps plants flourish and uses little energy . His self-contained, vertical system already yields between 40 and 100 times more produce than an open field of similar size. He told Bloomberg, “Using vertical agriculture, we don’t need to use pesticides and we can use less chemical fertilizers – and produce safe food.” Via Bloomberg Images via Alesca Life Technologies

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Shanghai is planning a massive 100-hectare vertical farm to feed 24 million people

April 12, 2017 by  
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International architecture firm Sasaki just unveiled plans for a spectacular 100-hectare urban farm set amidst the soaring skyscapers of Shanghai. The project is a mega farming laboratory that will meet the food needs of almost 24 million people while serving as a center for innovation, interaction, and education within the world of urban agriculture. The Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District is composed of vertical farms that fit in nicely between the city’s many towers, adding a welcomed green counterpart to the shiny metal and glass cityscape. In a city like Shanghai, where real estate prices make vertical building more affordable, the urban farm layout counts on a number of separate buildings that will have various growing platforms such as algae farms , floating greenhouses, vertical walls and even seed libraries. The project incorporates several different farming methods including hydroponic and aquaponic systems. Related:Sasaki Architecture convert a former disco club into an office space with floating walls The masterplan was designed to provide large-scale food production as well as education. Sunqiao will focus on sustainable agriculture as a key component for urban growth. “This approach actively supports a more sustainable food network while increasing the quality of life in the city through a community program of restaurants, markets, a culinary academy, and pick-your-own experience” explained Sasaki. “As cities continue to expand, we must continue to challenge the dichotomy between what is urban and what is rural. Sunqiao seeks to prove that you can have your kale and eat it too.” Visitors to the complex will be able to tour the interactive greenhouses, a science museum, and aquaponics systems, all of which are geared to showcase the various technologies which can help keep a large urban population healthy. Additionally, there will be family-friendly events and workshops to educate children about various agricultural techniques . + Sasaki Via Archdaily

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Shanghai is planning a massive 100-hectare vertical farm to feed 24 million people

Parasitic wooden cubes slash Parisian building’s energy consumption by 75%

March 3, 2017 by  
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Stéphane Malka has designed a clever way of optimizing the energy efficiency of older urban structures while working within the restrictions of Parisian building codes. Malka’s Plug-in City 75 design envisions attaching parasitic wooden cubes to the facade of a 1970s-era building, extending the living space and significantly reducing the building’s annual energy consumption by approximately 75 percent. The innovative design is slated for a 1970s-era building in the French capital’s 16th arrondissement. Like similar buildings in the city, this one is burdened with low energy performance due to thermal bridges, poor insulation, and permeable windows. However, current building laws are quite restrictive and do not allow for the structures to be raised to make way for better, more efficient space. Related: Parasitic prefabs mounted atop buildings create affordable green housing in Paris Malka’s solution is to incorporate a type of parasitic architecture to improve the building’s energy envelope. According to the design, a series of bio-sourced wooden cubes would be mounted onto the facade, extending the apartments horizontally through openings in the exterior. Extending the apartments outwards would divide the total energy consumption of the building by four. This would significantly reduce the rehabilitated building’s annual energy consumption from its current 190KWh per square meter to 45KWh per square meter. The modular boxes , made from wood particles and chips are quite lightweight, which allows for easy transport and on-site assembly. Once mounted onto the building, the cubed extensions would not only add more living space and light to the interior, but would also create an inner garden courtyard on the first floor. The new facade would be draped in hanging greenery, greatly improving the structure’s overall aesthetic. + Malka Architecture

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Row house in Vietnam is wrapped in vertical gardens and a lace-like brick skin

February 17, 2016 by  
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Biber Architects Breaks Ground on USA Pavilion With Edible Vertical Garden for the Milan Expo 2015

April 28, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Biber Architects Breaks Ground on USA Pavilion With Edible Vertical Garden for the Milan Expo 2015 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2015 world expo , Architecture , Biber Architects , edible gardens , green events , Landscape Architecture , milan 2015 , photochromatic glass , recyclable steel framing , Recycled Materials , solar panels , sustainable design , US Pavilion for Milan 2015 , usa pavilion , vertical gardens

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Biber Architects Breaks Ground on USA Pavilion With Edible Vertical Garden for the Milan Expo 2015

World’s Largest Vertical Garden Sets Guinness Record at Singapore’s Tree House

June 18, 2014 by  
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CDL ’s Tree House in Singapore just set a new Guinness World Record with the world’s largest vertical garden . The building’s green wall measures 24,638.59 square feet and is expected to save more than $500,000 in energy and water costs annually. It’s slated for completion in December, 2017. Read the rest of World’s Largest Vertical Garden Sets Guinness Record at Singapore’s Tree House Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , CDL Tree House , condominium Tree House , green architecture , green skyscrapers , Guinness World Record , Guinness World Record architecture , lower carbon footprint buildings , Tree House Singapore , vertical gardens , world’s largest vertical garden

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Donate to Suck Millions of Tons of Plastic Out of the World’s Oceans!

June 18, 2014 by  
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Plastic waste in the ocean is no joke – there are millions of tons of it out there, wreaking all kinds of havoc on sea life and the ocean’s ecology. It’s easy to feel helpless, especially since the problem has become so enormous, but there is a way that even the most land-locked citizens can help clean things up. The Ocean Cleanup Array , invented by 19-year old Boyan Slat, has proven to be a viable solution for cleaning the oceans – and that’s where you come in. Right now the Ocean Cleanup team is looking for funding to launch the project so that we can finally start removing a significant amount of plastic from the ocean, and your donation could make all the difference . DONATE TO FUND THE OCEAN CLEANUP > Read the rest of Donate to Suck Millions of Tons of Plastic Out of the World’s Oceans! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , Boyan Slat array , cleaning plastic , cleaning trash , crowd sourcing ocean array , Crowdfunding , crowdfunding ocean array , garbage patch , Ocean Array , ocean cleaning , ocean cleanup , Ocean Cleanup Array , Ocean Plastic , Ocean plastic cleanup , ocean trash cleanup , pacific garbage patch , sea patch , sea plastic

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American Food 2.0 Pavilion to Showcase an Edible Vertical Wall of U.S. Crops at Milan 2015 Expo

April 30, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of American Food 2.0 Pavilion to Showcase an Edible Vertical Wall of U.S. Crops at Milan 2015 Expo Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Biber Architects , edible gardens , green events , Landscape Architecture , milan 2015 , photochromatic glass , recyclable steel framing , Recycled Materials , solar panels , sustainable design , US Pavilion for Milan 2015 , vertical gardens

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American Food 2.0 Pavilion to Showcase an Edible Vertical Wall of U.S. Crops at Milan 2015 Expo

Knafo Klimor Architects Unveil Living ‘Fields of Tomorrow’ Wall for 2015 Milan Expo

February 27, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Knafo Klimor Architects Unveil Living ‘Fields of Tomorrow’ Wall for 2015 Milan Expo Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2015 Milan Expo , design expo , Fields of Tomorrow’ Pavilion , Israeli agriculture , Israeli pavilion 2015 , Knafo Klimor Architects , living crop wall , Living Walls , Milan green events , vertical gardens        

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Zaha Hadid Deflects Responsibility for Over 500 Qatar World Cup Worker Deaths

February 27, 2014 by  
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Zaha Hadid’s Al Wakrah stadium for the Qatar 2022 World Cup has raised eyebrows since it was first revealed, but a shockingly high number of construction deaths are threatening to cast a sinister shadow over the yonic structure. According to The Guardian, more than 500 Indian migrant workers have reportedly died in construction preparations for the World Cup. When The Guardian asked for her thoughts, Hadid replied that it is “not my duty as an architect to look at it.” Read the rest of Zaha Hadid Deflects Responsibility for Over 500 Qatar World Cup Worker Deaths Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: al wakrah stadium , architect liability , construction deaths , indian migrant workers , migrant worker deaths , migrant workers , qatar 2022 world cup stadium , qatar labor laws , Qatar World Cup , world cup construction , world cup stadium , yonic architecture , zaha hadid        

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