Staten Island neighborhood returning to nature for superstorm buffer zone

October 27, 2017 by  
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The Staten Island neighborhood of Oakwood Beach was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy five years ago. Since then, 80 percent of Oakwood Beach residents have sold their homes to the state of New York , which hopes to turn the area into a buffer zone to guard against future superstorms . Many homes have since been torn down, and the area is slowly returning to nature. Superstorms could hit the New York City region more frequently in the future. A recent Rutgers University study found storms flooding the city with at least 7.4-foot surges – an event which occurred every 500 years before 1800 – will hit once every five years by 2030, reports Reuters . Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery executive director Lisa Bova-Hiatt told Reuters the state pursued the home buyout program in large part because they expected more superstorms. She said, “To say that extreme weather is not our new normal would just be incredibly short-sighted.” Related: How to Prepare Your Home and Family for a Hurricane or Superstorm Many Oakwood Beach locals have taken the state up on their buyout program. The state has spent $255 million with money from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to purchase 654 properties, and most of those are in Staten Island. There are 83 more properties in the pipeline, according to the Office of Storm Recovery. Bova-Hiatt said the program is voluntary but “it would be fantastic to have the entire area as a buffer zone.” The state has torn down townhouses and bungalows, and planted grass on the sites of former homes. Out of 402 homes in Oakwood Beach eligible for the program, the state was unable to acquire 88. Reuters spoke with Gregory and Olga Epshteyn, locals who decided not to take the state up on their offer. Gregory said the city still provides services like street lights and trash pickup, and that the neighborhood is the best place to live in Staten Island. Olga told Reuters, “We love it here, but we miss our neighbors.” Via Reuters Images via Sunghwan Yoon on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Staten Island neighborhood returning to nature for superstorm buffer zone

New fractal concentrated solar power receivers absorb sunlight more efficiently

October 27, 2017 by  
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Concentrated solar power facilities are often large, sprawling across desert landscapes or the futuristic California of Blade Runner 2049. But smaller plants could offer a clean energy option for villages – if researchers could boost receiver efficiency. Sandia National Laboratories engineers have come closer to that goal with a fractal -like design for receivers that are as much as 20 percent better at absorbing light than today’s technology. India may want to develop concentrated solar power plants that are one megawatt or smaller to power villages, according to Sandia engineer Cliff Ho. Better receivers could make that goal more of a possibility. Sandia engineers tested out their new receivers for small- or medium-scale use at the National Solar Thermal Testing Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which they say is the only test facility of its kind in America. Related: Trump’s DOE invests $62 million in concentrated solar power Traditional receivers typically have “a flat panel of tubes or tubes arranged in a cylinder,” according to Sandia. They can absorb 80 to 90 percent of light directed towards them, but improving receiver efficiency could lower costs. Ho said in a statement, “When light is reflected off a flat surface, it’s gone. On a flat receiver design, five percent or more of the concentrated sunlight reflects away. So we configured the panels of tubes in a radial or louvered pattern that traps the light at different scales. We wanted the light to reflect, and then reflect again toward the interior of the receiver and get absorbed, sort of like the walls of a sound-proof room.” The engineers 3D-printed the receivers with a high-temperature nickel alloy, Iconel 718. They could test several fractal designs in an economical manner this way – Ho said it would have been difficult to create the complex geometries with casting, welding, or extrusion. Sandia will take their work and apply it to the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS) project, a five-year effort from the governments of both countries on cost-effective solar power technology. Via Sandia National Laboratories Images via Randy Montoya/Sandia National Laboratories and Depositphotos

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New fractal concentrated solar power receivers absorb sunlight more efficiently

De Stijl-inspired home in Kiev features massive pergola wall for privacy

January 27, 2017 by  
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RBN House stands out from its surroundings as a sleek, modern residence that makes use of wood in a variety of ways. The house, designed by Kiev-based Workshop Grynevich Dmitriy , features a series of trendy statements, including a wooden pergola that continues down the side of the home to act as a huge screen. The house is surrounded by a large garden which features wooden walkways , pebbled beds for shrubs and lush grass. The wooden deck on the ground floor offers the residents a partially sheltered space where they can relax and enjoy the outdoors. The slated wooden structure offers protection from the sun. Red and black-painted windows act as accents that remind of De Stijl and Gerit Rietveld’s designs. Related: YOD Design Lab’s modern cabins mirror the forest in Ukraine Inside, casual furniture pieces create a laid back atmosphere. Natural light floods the open-plan living room, where wood is also prominently featured. The customized wooden decorative panel above the modern fireplace and a similar piece that holds the TV provide warmth and make the space look more cozy. Space-saving design features such as the storage space underneath the staircase add functionality to the building. + Workshop Grynevich Dmitriy Via Homify

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De Stijl-inspired home in Kiev features massive pergola wall for privacy

HHD_FUN designs a sprawling green-roofed complex for Chinese horticulture show

May 8, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of HHD_FUN designs a sprawling green-roofed complex for Chinese horticulture show Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: china , chinese architects , green architecture , green roof , HHD_FUN , horticulture , International Horticultural Exposition 2014 , Landscape Architecture , rooftop garden , wooden walkways

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HHD_FUN designs a sprawling green-roofed complex for Chinese horticulture show

Chrysalis Childcare Centre uses existing trees as symbolic centerpieces

April 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Chrysalis Childcare Centre uses existing trees as symbolic centerpieces Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: childcare centers , chrysalis childcare centre , Collingridge and Smith Architects , daycare centers , maori tradition , modern architecture , modern design , natural light , trees in architecture , wooden walkways

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Latvian art students transform a single birch tree into energy for 70 people

April 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Latvian art students transform a single birch tree into energy for 70 people Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: AAL , birch , Design Department of the Art Academy of Latvia , feeding the planet energy for life , International Design Fair in Milan , skateboards , Welcome on Board , wooden skateboard

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Latvian art students transform a single birch tree into energy for 70 people

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