This caf in Vietnam is a modern-day Hanging Gardens of Babylon

March 22, 2018 by  
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This glass and steel building in Vietnam –a present for the owner’s wife- is filled with beautiful hanging plants that bring life into the interior. Architecture studio Le House designed An’garden Café as a mix of industrial design inspired by Vietnam’s traditional coffee shops and a dream-like interior landscape. With its verdant interior, the building reminds of Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Providing a serene environment amidst the noisy streets of Ha Noi, the project is an exclusive space that brings visitors enjoyment from both coffee fragrance and picturesque surroundings. Related: Beijing cafe shaped like a greenhouse is filled with air-purifying plants The glass-and-steel structure, along with simple cement walls, are placed in an almost decorative and seemingly random way. Plants were introduced to soften the rough industrial look of the place and harmonize the indoor environment. An’garden Café has two floors with a mezzanine suitable for those who want to focus on their work. A wooden-framed curtain on the ceiling partly blocks natural light , with the top floor receiving the most sunlight during the day. A small pond with aquatic plants is placed right under the staircase, on the ground floor. + Le House Via Archdaily Photos by Hyroyuki Oki

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This caf in Vietnam is a modern-day Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Herzog & de Meuron designs a Horizontal Skyscraper for Moscow

March 22, 2018 by  
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Building on an urban waterfront often means compromised views for existing structures, but that’s not the case for the “Horizontal Skyscraper” in Moscow . As part of an urban revitalization plan for an abandoned historic brewery, Herzog & de Meuron unveiled designs for two new residential blocks that will be elevated 115 feet into the air and supported by slender white stilts. By raising the contemporary additions, the Swiss architects guarantee coveted panoramic views for residents and a preserved visual connection between the historic buildings and the Moscow River. Founded in 1875, the brick-clad Badaevskiy Brewery buildings that fell in disrepair after in the 2000s will be restored and renovated for new retail and community ventures such as a food market, clothing shops, a co-working space, gym, and childcare facilities. Herzog & de Meuron will lead the six-hectare heritage building restoration effort in addition to the new “Horizontal Skyscraper” envisioned as “a piece of city lifted up in the air.” Related: Herzog & de Meuron are upcycling a historic gasometer into a stunning residential tower The glazed and raised residences will comprise approximately 1.1 million square feet of apartments with glazed facades and private balconies. Eight “sky villas” on the upper level will also have private roof access. The architects have also planned for a new pedestrian-only public park that sits beneath the apartments and around the supporting stilts that the designers likened to “trunks of trees.” + Herzog & de Meuron Via ArchDaily Images via Herzog & de Meuron

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Herzog & de Meuron designs a Horizontal Skyscraper for Moscow

The world’s first subsidy-free offshore wind farm is being built in the Netherlands

March 21, 2018 by  
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The world’s first unsubsidized offshore wind farms are currently under construction in the Netherlands . The underlying economics of offshore wind energy have become so favorable in the country that the projects will require no public funds to be completed. “Thanks to drastically lower costs, offshore wind farms are now being constructed without subsidy,” Dutch Economic Affairs and Climate Minister Eric Wiebes told Climate Action . “This allows us to keep the energy transition affordable. Innovation and competition are making sustainable energy cheaper and cheaper, and much faster than expected too.” Scheduled to begin operations in 2022, the two wind farms are being built by Swedish energy firm Vattenfall. The electricity created by the wind farms will be sold on the open market, competing with fossil fuels. The wind farms will be located 14 miles off the coast of the Netherlands and will fill an area of 137 square miles. Once operational, the farms will produce enough energy to power 1.5 million homes. While the wind farms are being billed as subsidy-free, their construction benefited from the Dutch government accepting some risks involved in the project, such as covering the cost of grid connection. Related: World’s first floating wind farm performing better than anticipated The Netherlands has taken swift action to develop its clean energy capabilities. In 2017, the 600-megawatt, 150-turbine Gemini wind park off the Dutch coast opened as one of the largest wind farms in the world. “As a country we were heavily dependent on fossil fuels , and our way to renewables has been bumpy,” Dutch minister for the environment Sharon Dijksma told MIT Technology Review . “So this government decided that we needed to step up the pace.” The low-lying European country has much at stake in how the world deals with climate change . If the Netherlands were to face a powerful flood, “we would have a massive breakdown, it would tear the country into pieces and the economy would collapse,” Dijksma said. “So this Armageddon scenario has to be fought against.” Via MIT Technology Review Images via Depositphotos (1)

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The world’s first subsidy-free offshore wind farm is being built in the Netherlands

New pay-what-you-can restaurant opens in Fort Worth, Texas

March 21, 2018 by  
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A Texas couple have opened a new restaurant that offers a pay-what-you-can model. Taste Community Restaurant targets middle class people struggling to get by who still deserve excellent food at a price they can afford. “Specifically,” Taste Community chef and co-founder Julie Williams told Dallas Morning News , “the missing middle 90 percent of the hungry who are not homeless and don’t qualify for government assistance. They might be choosing between food and medical bills or medication, be a single parent trying to make ends meet, be between jobs.” To serve this community, Julie and her husband Jeff founded the Taste Project , the 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports the restaurant. Guests at the Taste Community Restaurant are greeted with a warmly lit space, a friendly staff, 80 percent of whom are volunteers, and a menu that has no prices listed. Guests are not given a check at the conclusion of the meal and are instead encouraged to donate what they can to support the restaurant ‘s mission. Julie and Jeff Williams were inspired and informed in their work by  One World Everybody Eats , which helped pioneer the community cafe model in the United States .  While it is still early in the restaurant’s history, the staff are encouraged. “We measure success in number of patrons who come through the door, percentage of folks in need, number of volunteer hours served, and program revenue,” explained Julie Williams. “We need to increase the number of folks who can pay what they typically pay or a little more in order to reach those in need.” Related: The free grocery store fighting food waste and hunger Taste is particularly appreciated for its shrimp and cheese grits, rib-eye steak chili and butternut squash risotto. There are exciting options for vegetarians and vegans as well. A celery root-green apple vegan soup is popular, as is a farro dish with cauliflower, snow peas and broccolini, all covered with a poached egg and lemon vinaigrette. The menu is seasonal, with winter’s pimento cheese bruschetta giving way to spring’s sweet pea bruschetta. Taste Community Restaurant is currently serving lunch from Tuesday through Sunday. Via Dallas Morning News Images via Taste Project

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New pay-what-you-can restaurant opens in Fort Worth, Texas

Just before he died, Stephen Hawking predicted the ‘end of the universe’

March 19, 2018 by  
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Just before he died, Stephen Hawking was working on a groundbreaking study that predicted the end of the world and sought to prove the multiverse theory. His co-author Professor Thomas Hertog, of KU Leuven University in Belgium, says that the work is so important that Hawking could have received a Nobel Prize had he not passed away last week . Hawking’s paper, titled “A Smooth Exit From Eternal Inflation,” looks at ways in which humans could identify parallel universes – known as the multiverse theory – using probes on spaceships. It also theorizes about the end of the universe, saying that it will end as the stars run out of energy. Related: Beloved physicist Stephen Hawking passes away at 76 The paper is currently being reviewed by a leading scientific journal, and while it will no doubt contribute to our understanding of the world around us, sadly, Hawking can’t win a Nobel Prize for his work. “He has often been nominated for the Nobel and should have won it. Now he never can,” Prof Hertog told The Sunday Times . Via The Independent an CNBC Images via Wikimedia and Flickr  under CC license

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Just before he died, Stephen Hawking predicted the ‘end of the universe’

Agtech start-up Plenty plans to grow hydroponic peaches

March 19, 2018 by  
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San Francisco -based start-up Plenty is expanding the possibilities of what can be grown on indoor farms, with its sights set on peaches. Plenty uses a hydroponic growing system, which feeds crops through a steady flow of nutrient-rich water, to grow high-quality, local produce. This kind of system is typically used to grow annual crops, not perennial trees like peaches. Nonetheless, Plenty’s success has the company confident that it can break new ground. “[Plenty’s kale] is nothing like the tough, bitter leaf we’re used to,” Plenty CEO  Matt Barnard proudly stated to Wired . “It’s sweet and velvety. People say we should find another name for it.” Plenty grows its crops indoors thanks to light supplies by LEDs and vertically-aligned growing spaces. This allows for greater crop density, which best serves the urban environment in which Plenty farms. In addition to its environmental benefits, Plenty’s local harvest tastes better too. “Right now, produce often has to travel 3,000 miles from the farm to consumer,” said Barnard, “which is why so many farms grow iceberg lettuce , which tastes of nothing. Our salads are spicy and citrusy and sweet at the same time. People are amazed they can eat it without salad dressing.” Related: 6 places where soil-less farming is revolutionizing how we grow food The primary obstacle to greater success for operations like Plenty is cost. “Anyone can buy some shelves, some lights, irrigation,” said Barnard. “The challenge is to get your produce down from $40 per pound to $1. At the moment, for example, we have an expensive peach.” Plenty plans to incorporate data and machine learning capabilities into the system, so as to allow for algorithmic alterations based on plant needs. “Now we are having what I like to [call] a ‘Google moment,’” explained Barnard. “Just like Google benefited from the simultaneous combination of improved technology, better algorithms and masses of data, we are seeing the same.” Via Wired Images via Plenty and Depositphotos

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Airbus wants to harpoon a satellite and bring it back to Earth

March 19, 2018 by  
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The aeronautics company Airbus is currently testing a three-foot harpoon they hope will catch the nonfunctional satellite Envisat and pull it back to Earth. This particular proposal may also address the rising problem of space debris. “If we can design a harpoon that can cope with Envisat, then it should be able to cope with all other types of spacecraft including the many rocket upper-stages that remain in orbit,” project engineer Alastair Wayman told the BBC . Prior to launch, the harpoons are being tested by being shot at high speeds into various materials that are used to build satellites. “The harpoon goes through these panels like a hot knife through butter ,” said Wayman. “Once the tip is inside, it has a set of barbs that open up and stop the harpoon from coming back out. We’d then de-tumble the satellite with a tether on the other end.” In the end, the ancient technology of the harpoon may prove more effective than robotic arms in space. “Many of these targets will be tumbling and if you were to use a robotic arm, say, that involves a lot of quite complex motions to follow your target,” explained Wayman.”Whereas, with the harpoon, all you have to do is sit a distance away, wait for the target to rotate underneath you, and at the right moment fire your harpoon. And because it’s a really quick event, it takes out a lot of the complexity.” Related: Space Scientists Develop Harpoon System to Capture Rogue Satellites and Clean up Space Junk Prior to its sudden death in 2012, Envisat, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), was the world’s largest civilian Earth observation satellite. The ESA hopes to bring it back home, starting with a scaled-down harpoon expedition known as the RemoveDEBRIS Mission. The RemoveDEBRIS demo satellite will bring its own debris into space, then attempt to catch it. This experiment will also test a net-based system. Via BBC Images via European Space Agency and  RemoveDEBRIS Mission

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Airbus wants to harpoon a satellite and bring it back to Earth

What could have prevented the Cape Town water crisis

February 28, 2018 by  
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It’s better than your usual cost-benefit analysis, and other water-stressed parts of the world should pay attention before they also near Day Zero.

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What could have prevented the Cape Town water crisis

What’s the Greenest Way to Travel the World?

February 22, 2018 by  
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If you’re like most eco-conscious people, the idea of travel … The post What’s the Greenest Way to Travel the World? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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What’s the Greenest Way to Travel the World?

Customer obsessed: Customer demand for sustainability and engagement to maximize impact

February 15, 2018 by  
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The future of corporate sustainability leadership involves finding ways to engage the public to think and act sustainably. This is a task that companies can’t do alone and is best achieved by creating partnerships with NGOs and others to connect with the public and spread the word about companies that are trying to make a difference. As one of the world’s largest restaurant companies, McDonald’s has the responsibility and opportunity use our Scale for Good.

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Customer obsessed: Customer demand for sustainability and engagement to maximize impact

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