Low-budget, bioclimatic home boasts a minimal energy footprint in Costa Rica

December 12, 2018 by  
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When clients Luis and Marce approached design collective YUSO proyectos for their new home in Costa Rica, they already had a very clear idea of what they wanted. First and foremost, the clients wanted the concept of “honesty” to define not only the design and construction process, but also the final appearance and function of the bioclimatic home. As a result, the site-specific project — dubbed the Esparza House — is primarily built from natural materials with minimal and natural finishes. Located on a rural plot in San Rafael, Costa Rica , the Esparza House was completed for a cost of roughly $84,300 USD and spans a footprint of 1,345 square feet. To keep costs within budget, the architects decided against a concrete slab foundation in favor of elevated footings. The architects also worked with the commercial sizing of the building materials to minimize construction waste and costs. Excess materials were used for decorative purposes. “The project is characterized by the word ‘HONESTY’, a concept that was present in all stages of design and construction,” said the architects, who cite honesty with the environment, honesty with materials, and honesty with clients. “The construction project was designed to adapt to the environment through the setting of the building within the surrounding landscape; bioclimatic housing design to ensure the residents’ comfort in an environment characterized by humid tropical forests with high temperatures and humidity; use of materials with low carbon footprint such as wood; implementation of a rainwater harvesting system for domestic use; as well as a wastewater treatment system to separate organic and inorganic waste.” Related: This sustainable bioclimatic home is made of volcanic ash and prickly pear fibers Filled with natural light and oriented to follow passive design principles, the three-bedroom home maintains a low-energy footprint and stays naturally cool. A digital three-dimensional model was used through the design process as a helpful aid in communicating with the clients and mocking up all proposed modifications. The model was ultimately a “faithful copy of the finished house.” + YUSO proyectos Via ArchDaily Photography by Roberto D´Ambrosio via YUSO proyectos

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Low-budget, bioclimatic home boasts a minimal energy footprint in Costa Rica

Study finds microplastics in sea turtles around the world

December 12, 2018 by  
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The microplastics problem in the oceans has made its way to sea turtles in a big way. A new study from researchers at the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory along with Greenpeace Research Laboratories has found microplastics in the guts of every single turtle they tested — a total of 102 sea turtles. The researchers tested more than 100 sea turtles from all seven species and three different oceans , and they were looking for synthetic particles less than 5 mm in length. The most common thing the team found were fibers, which most likely came from clothing, tires, cigarette filters and fishing equipment. Related: Microplastics have made their way into human poop “The effect of these particles on turtles is unknown,” said lead author Emily Duncan from the University of Exeter’s Center for Ecology and Conservation. “Their small size means they can pass through the gut without causing a blockage, as is frequently reported with larger plastic fragments.” Duncan added that future work should focus on the effects of microplastics in aquatic organisms , and researchers should look for possible contaminants, bacteria or viruses as well as how the microplastics affect turtles on a cellular level. The researchers found more than 800 synthetic particles in the turtles , but since they only tested part of the gut, they believe the total number of particles could be 20 times higher. They don’t know how the turtles ingest the particles, but they think the sources are polluted seawater and the digestion of polluted prey or plants. Professor Brendan Godley, the senior author of the study, said that the ingestion of microplastics isn’t the biggest threat to sea turtles at the moment, but it is a clear sign that we need to do a better job governing global waste . Penelope Lindeque from Plymouth Marine Laboratory said that during their work over the years, researchers have found microplastics in all of the marine animals they have studied. This turtle study is just more evidence that we need to reduce the amount of plastic waste, so we can maintain clean and healthy oceans for future generations. + University of Exeter Image via Jeremy Bishop

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Study finds microplastics in sea turtles around the world

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