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Environmental

Could Berg C.F. Møller's vision prove a blueprint for getting the wooden skyscraper right?...

Skyscrapers dominate the skylines of our major cities, offering more urban density and greater flexibility than smaller buildings. However, concrete- and steel-based tall structures require huge amounts of energy for their construction, which comes at a significant environmental cost. This can be mitigated by incorporating technologies such as solar power, passive cooling systems and efficient lighting into the design, but what if we could go even further and build skyscrapers using sustainable materials? Herein lies the impetus behind recent research into the efficacy of wooden skyscrapers.  Read More

Designed by Charles Wright Architects, the Stamp House in Queensland, Australia, is a self...

Thanks to its tropical climate, Far North Queensland (FNQ), Australia, is a place where residents regularly have to deal with threats from the environment in the form of cyclones, while being mindful of their impact on the environment. One architectural firm has constructed a building that attempts to address both concerns simultaneously. Designed by Charles Wright Architects, the Stamp House in FNQ is a self-sustaining home that's sturdy enough to withstand a Category 5 cyclone.  Read More

PUMA says all of the items in its new InCycle collection are either biodegradable or recyc...

Sportswear giant PUMA is pushing its sustainability credentials with a new range of products that are either recyclable or biodegradable. Called InCycle, the "closed-loop" collection includes footwear, apparel and accessories that, rather than being tossed in the garbage at the end of their life-cycle, can be returned under the company's "Bring Me Back Program."  Read More

The entire  5.8 hectare development site aims to deliver 1900 residences available for occ...

A major urban redevelopment is taking place in Sydney, Australia, as it attempts to become one of the word’s most liveable green cities within a 20-year time-frame as part of the “Sustainable Sydney 2030” vision. One remarkable inner city project passed a major milestone this month as part of its contribution to the eco plan. The development, named “One Central Park,” had its 110-tonne steel heliostat frame hoisted into place during the early hours of February 1st.  Read More

A new test sheet developed in Spain reveals the presence of mercury in water (Photo: J. M....

Researchers at the University of Burgos in Spain have developed a portable and inexpensive new method of detecting levels of mercury in water. The simple test uses a sheet that changes color when inserted into mercury-contaminated water, with results visible to the naked eye.  Read More

Biological concrete panels

An ivy covered building is a lovely thing, but ivy roots can rip into brickwork and the vines are a highway for vermin looking for a way inside. Modern vertical gardens try for the same aesthetic effect with some added environmental advantages, but they’re often complicated things full of hydroponics gear and difficult to maintain. An alternative is being developed at the Structural Technology Group, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, where a team led by Antonio Aguado has come up with a “biological concrete” designed to act as a substrate for vertical gardens that is simple, low maintenance and requires little or no attention.  Read More

Researchers have used a dye extracted from the root of the madder plant to develop a new '...

Researchers have found an eco-friendly alternative to the metal ores currently favored in the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries. The new non-toxic and sustainable battery uses purpurin, a red/yellow dye extracted from the root of the madder plant that has been used for dying cloth for at least 3,500 years – meaning the substance can simply be grown rather than mined.  Read More

Edmonton International Airports Living Wall

Edmonton International Airports Living Wall has been greeting passengers now since May of this year and continues the success of Vancouver based design company Green over Grey in the trend of living vertical installations. The 1,420 square feet (132 sq m) vertical canvas consists of over 8000 plants and includes several species identified by NASA as being more efficient than mechanical filters at purifying the air of toxins.  Read More

The ecoATM lets people get some extra cash for their old phone or MP3 player

As the old adage says, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” And in an age when technology is changing at an unprecedented rate, that old saying is truer than ever. Looking to give consumers an easy way to recycle their unwanted mobile phones and MP3 players while also providing a cash incentive, ecoATM has developed an automated kiosk that can differentiate between various devices and provide monetary compensation on the spot.  Read More

Netatmo's Urban Weather Station consists of Wi-Fi-connected indoor and outdoor modules

There is no shortage of smartphone apps that compile information from official weather monitoring sources, but if you’re looking to get some info on conditions closer to home – or inside it – then the Urban Weather Station from Netatmo could fit the bill. Designed specifically for iOS devices, (but also supporting Android devices), the cylindrical units monitor a range of environmental elements inside and out. Netatmo also hopes to use the Wi-Fi-connected devices to create “the largest weather and air quality monitoring network ever established.”  Read More

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