MAD: Al Rostamini HQ

from AMNP

mad-al_rostamini_hq-1.jpg

For starters – I think we can all agree that this project warrants a resounding “My ninja, please“. I mean, look at it…

Located in Dubai [I’m sure you’re shocked, as am I], the Al Rostamini Headquarters by MAD appears at first glance [from the water] to appear to be a fairly standard, boxy tower – with some elliptical holes in the facade. That is, until you notice that this ‘box’ appears to be floating at the waters edge, suspended above open public space along the coast. 9 large diagonal tubes are used to achieve this affect – pushing up and out of a tree-filled park space to hang the tower out towards the waterfront. Pretty siiick.

Report: Climate Change Already Killing 300,000 People Annually

from Green Options by Timothy B. Hurst

dry, cracked earth in draught-stricked Africa

The first-ever report exclusively focused on the global human impact of climate change indicates that more than 300 million people are seriously affected by climate change at a total economic cost of $125 billion per year.

Earlier today, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, President of the Global Humanitarian Forum, announced the results of a report on the human impact of climate change. The study, Human Impact Report: Climate Change – The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis, emphasizes the present impacts of a changing climate, pulling the debate away from a focus on “future generations.”

Speaking at a press conference in London, Mr. Annan said, “Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time, causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. As this report shows, the first hit and worst affected are the world’s poorest groups, and yet they have done least to cause the problem.”

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RMJM architects: ‘capital gate’ tower, abu dhabi


‘capital gate’ by RMJM architects
image courtesy RMJM architects

construction has reached the half way point for ‘capital gate’ tower designed by new york
firm RMJM architects. located in abu dhabi the slanted tower will consist of a large internal
atrium including a tea lounge and swimming pool suspended 263 feet above the ground. due
to its posture, the 35-story capital gate is being constructed on top of a 7-foot-deep concrete
base with a dense mesh of reinforced steel. the steel exoskeleton known as the diagrid sits
above an extensive distribution of 490 piles that have been drilled 100 feet underground to
accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic pressures caused by the lean of the building.

the iconic tower will be the centerpiece of the capital centre development, an 2.2 billion USD
business and residential micro city being constructed around the thriving abu dhabi national
exhibition centre.

lara calder architecture: ‘eco house’


‘eco house’ by lara calder architecture
image courtesy lara calder architecture

australian firm lara calder architecture designed ‘eco house’ which was awarded first
prize last year in the future competition 2008 held by australian green.

Air New Zealand’s Biofuel Flight Cuts Emissions By 65%

from Green Options by Jerry James Stone

At the Eco-Aviation Conference in Washington, Air New Zealand’s Chief Pilot Captain David Morgan announcedthe company’s findings on a test flight from last December. Powered by a combination of biofuel and jet fuel, the test resulted in a fuel savings of 1.2%. It also cut CO2 emissions by over 60%!

While a 1.2% fuel savings doesn’t seem like much, that is over 1 ton of fuel!

The test was conducted using a commercial 747-400 fitted with Rolls Royce engines. Rolls Royce had certified the fuel — a 50:50 blend of standard Jet A1 fuel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene derived from jatropha oil.

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The Creo House: Zero-carbon and affordable – 24dash


24dash

The Creo House: Zerocarbon and affordable
24dash, UK
The aim of the building is to highlight ways in which zero carbon buildings can be affordable, not just in terms of the materials used, but equally in terms of reduced energy consumption. The Creo House will have a space-saving, air source heat pump 


One Container Ship Pollutes As Much As 50 Million Cars

from Green Options by Christopher DeMorro

Much ado and attention has been paid to the pollutants emmitted from the tail pipes of cars and trucks in recent years, both here in the U.S. and across the pond in Europe. With an estimated 250 million passenger vehicles in the U.S. alone, it would seem that cars would be a major contributor to pollution and air quality issues here and abroad. But newly released data from Europe suggests that a single container ship may cause as much pollution as 50 million cars and release as much as 5,000 tons of sulfur oxide into the air annually. And there are 90,000 such ships of varying sizes across the world at any one time.

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160 Syrian villages deserted due to climate change: study

Damascus (AFP) June 3, 2009 – Some 160 villages in northern Syria were deserted by their residents in 2007 and 2008 because of climate change, according to a study released on Tuesday.

flynn talbot: ‘horizon’


‘horizon’ interactive light wall installation by flynn talbot
image courtesy flynn talbot

australian designer flynn talbot designed ‘horizon’, an interactive light wall installation,
as part of the smart light sydney festival 09.

‘horizon’ is a mix of sky inspired patterns and contemporary lighting effects. instead
of purely programmed effects, visitors are invited to interact and modify the patterns
of light. the installation is double sided so it affects both the street scene and the whole
interior of the gallery. it explores light vs. space and the effect that colour has on people
and their surroundings.

Energy cost of various construction materials

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Energy cost of various construction materials
CO2 emissions are not directly deducible from energy costs. Concrete for instance is a very CO2-intensive material due to the emissions from chemical processes involved in its production, despite the relatively low energy costs per cubic metre.

Hurry Up and LEED

from AMNP

http://archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=3524

The number of scheduled LEED exams has gone through the roof, as people are trying to pass the test before the new system goes into effect. Ninjas still think LEED is a money game, making it about the wrong kind of green [click the title of this post for more, via the Architects’ Newspaper].

yasuhiro yamashita / atelier tekuto: ‘village of beauty and health’


‘village of beauty and health’ by tekuto yasuhiro yamashita
image courtesy atelier tekuto

many precious, old japanese traditional wooden houses sit abandoned and neglected
all over japan. atelier tekuto, working together with keio university took notice of these
old traditional wooden houses in shimane, a prefecture famous for izumo taisha, japan’s
oldest shrine and the iwami ginzan silver mine, which has been designated a world
heritage site. these houses were transported and relocated to fujisawa city, a commuter
located in a suburb of tokyo, where they are in high demand. in doing so, this project
hopes to boost the value of these old houses, cut back on carbon dioxide emissions
and revitalize these two areas through this mutually beneficial arrangement. those who
move into and live in these transplanted villages will be blessed with ‘beauty’ and health.
the focus is on agriculture and how to incorporate it into one’s lifestyle, allowing one to
achieve beauty in a healthy  way. in a sense, this project is a kind of environmental village
that is not zoned according to function. instead, the location of each building is determined
by an algorithm based method that ensures the use of natural energy and the optimization
of vegetation for agricultural purposes. they believe that this represents one possible method
of urban planning for the 21st century.


concept of ‘village of beauty and health’
image courtesy atelier tekuto

a settlement based around medical facilities, food and shelter
each village is equipped with medical facilities, food and shelter, which is comprised
of 30 to 40 units. the total number of family units would be about 100. the diameter of
the entire village should be less than 200m, encouraging residents to walk around
the three villages, enabling villagers to interact and complement each other.

stefano merlo: ‘blade of grass’


‘blade of grass’ by stefano merlo
image courtesy stefano merlo

italian designer stefano merlo has created ‘blade of grass’ an outdoor lighting solution,
that imitates the form of blades of grass. the aim was to design a lighting source that
could be easily integrated in any natural environment  and become part of it.

how green is ‘green’? – 24dash


24dash

how green is ‘green’?
24dash, UK
The company, which has in the past few months attained the ISO14001 environmental standard, maintains that domestic ventilation solutions which seem ‘green’ on paper often are not when embodied energy is factored into the equation, particularly for 

Green contractors more likely to win work

Construction firms who can prove their green credentials are more likely to win work

$100 Trillion Dollar Wallpaper

from AMNP

the_zimbabwean_newspaper_faaa5_22619.gif

I hate to say that this is ‘cool’, as it reflects some very serious issues caused by Robert Mugabe and his [essentially] terrible leadership of Zimbabwe – but, this is a great idea for protesting/speaking out. We’ve all heard some thing or another about currency so worthless it’s only good for wallpaper – but where have you seen itactually used for wallpaper? And as a political statement?

trillion_dollar_campaign_zimbabwean_newspaper_yatzer_1.jpg

Zero Energy Houses Creating a New Design Vernacular:

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer

The deep Butterfly Roof

The traditional gabled roof that we are all familiar with was engineered to slough off snowfall. But in an uncertain post peak oil future of possible energy shortages and water shortages, more and more houses are showing up with roof-shapes engineered to harvest their own rainwater, and support solar power generation.

Google Opens New Aussie Headquarters

google hq.jpgYesterday, while I was soaring on my way to Computex, Google decided to throw a little party to celebrate the opening of their new Australian Headquarters in Pyrmont. I hope they had a drink for Gizmodo..

Strategic options for climate change mitigation Global cost curve for greenhouse gas abatement measures

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Strategic options for climate change mitigation Global cost curve for greenhouse gas abatement measures
This graphic attempts to show ‘all in one’: the various measures for greenhouse gas reduction with both reduction (in CO2 equivalent) and cost (in Euros) quantified. Read from left to right it gives the whole range of strategic options ranging from low hanging fruit, such as building insulation, in green (coming with economic savings) to the increasingly higher hanging ones, such as afforestation, wind energy, in red. * Carbone Capture and Storage

DARPA HEDLight Program Saves Up to 87% with New Lights for U.S. Navy

from Green Options by Tina Casey

U.S. Navey to junk old light bulbs for high-efficiency HEDLight systems.After a year-long demonstration project, the U.S. Navy is poised add its own contribution to reducing the military’s carbon bootprint – or carbon wake, as the case may be.  The Navy stands to gain up to 87% in savings for shipboard lighting, by switching from conventional light bulbs to high efficiency LED and HID systems developed throughDARPA under the HEDLight (High Efficiency Distributed Lighting) program.  One recent retrofit has been accomplished by Ohio-based Energy Focus, Inc. Saving energy is just part of the picture: the quantum leap to HEDLight is also expected to yield significant gains in the Navy’s strategic efficiency.

Faucet Fail

fail owned pwned pictures

Submitted by Jessy R

Hilarious Infrastructure

from AMNP

inescapable-interchange.png

[original comic via xkcd]

I mean, who doesn’t like infrastructure jokes?

A few more of these over at The Infrastructurist: America Under Construction – a site that I just visited for the first time today that’s definitely worth checking out.

I also enjoyed this comic by xkcd.

Risk Management Fail

fail owned pwned pictures

Submitted by Anthony G

Recycled Paper is a Good Start, But This is Even Better

via Green Options by Paul Smith on 4/2/09

These days it seems everybody has some sort of recycled/eco friendly paper offering. So what’s the big deal about a Swedish offering making it’s US debut on Earth Day this year?

White Lines Carbon Neutral Swedish Paper

White Lines factory reuses their carbon emissions in a closed loop, making for zero CO2 emissions, for one. Then they offset what they can’t reuse (transportation, etc) via planting trees in Africa, as coordinated by environmental consultancy U&W (interestingly pronounced “You & We” in Swedish) The wood used for the paper comes from locally sourced, sustainably managed forests, and woodchip waste from sawmills. And every package tells you the precise carbon footprint, the materials traced back to the source.

And then it gets interesting.

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Living Walls and Green Roofs Pave Way for Biodiversity in New Building

via Green Options by The Guardian Environment Network on 4/2/09

Living wall at the Musée du Quai Branly

Under recommendations from the UK Green Building Council, otters could return to urban rivers, bats could roost under bridges, swifts could flock to office blocks and peregrine falcons soar above cathedrals. Written by Felicity Carus and shared via the Guardian Environment Network.

What do the Westfield shopping centre, Canary Wharf and a Victorian museum have in common? They are all at the vanguard of a move to encourage biodiversity in buildings that could take on an unprecedented scale if guidelines published today are adopted.

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Formaldehyde in New Home Is 10 Times the Safe Level

via Green Options by Linda Kincaid, MPH, CIH on 3/28/09

RespiratorWe recently tested several new homes for formaldehyde in the air. The newest home, advertised as a “green” home, had 300 ppb of formaldehyde. Children in homes with only 30 ppb can have decreased lung function. Between 60 ppb and 120 ppb, children are more likely to have asthma and chronic bronchitis. At 100 ppb, most adults experience eye, nose, and throat irritation.

Of homes that were less than 2 years old, every home we tested had at least 100 ppb of formaldehyde. The newer homes had 200 – 300 ppb.

The 300 ppb concentration we found in the newest home is equal to the 15-minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL) for occupational exposures. A worker in that home should wear a respirator to remain inside the building for more than 15 minutes. An employer that exposes workers to 300 ppb of formaldehyde should have a Hazard Communication Program to inform workers about chemical hazards and ways to avoid illness.

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Quality Fail

via FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments by failblog on 3/28/09

fail owned pwned pictures

Dear Guests,
Our tap-water is filtered and checked directly at the hotel.  Regular monthly checks by and independent company guarantee the utmost quality.  We don’t recommend to drink it.

Submitted by Meg Y

Black Cars Won’t Be Banned in California

via Green Options by Stephen Boles on 3/28/09

//www.flickr.com/photos/artchick2004/235353805/)After a frenzied week of mayhem in the blogosphere about a potential ban of black cars in California, the LA Times is reporting that this issue has been laid to rest by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Red flags were raised when CARB released their “Cool Cars” initiative that outlined a number of methods to reduce automotive greenhouse gas emissions. One such method was to mandate that all automotive paints had to contain a reflective coating that would reduce the amount of absorbed solar radiation. Less absorbed solar radiation would reduce the temperature inside the vehicle, requiring less use of fuel-hungry air conditioners.

The CARB report specifically stated that ‘jet black remains an issue’ because dark colors absorb far more radiation than light colors. This statement generated outrage amongst a range of right-wingers, libertarians, and probably a lot of people who just like the color black.

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