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Environmental

The Ocean Cleanup Project hopes to utilize the oceans' gyres as a means to collect plastic...

Boyan Slat, an aerospace engineering student at the Delft University of Technology, is working to combine environmentalism, technology, and his creative outlook to rid our oceans of plastic debris. His Ocean Cleanup Project aims to utilize the oceans’ natural gyres (five circular currents in the oceans around the world – two in the Atlantic, two in the Pacific, and one in the Indian) to collect plastic waste.  Read More

Zeoform promises a recyclable, low carbon-footprint building material that's as strong as ...

Australian company Zeo has developed and patented a glue-free process that creates a strong, versatile new building material out of just cellulose and water. The resulting hardwood-like material known as Zeoform can then be sprayed, molded or shaped into a range of products. And it's not just trees that stand to benefit – Zeoform also promises an eco-friendly alternative to the use of plastics and resins.  Read More

A prototype window design that lets air pass through, but attenuates outside sounds by 30-...

There are few things better than lazing around the house on a warm summer day, whose fragrant zephyrs speak of spicy isles and heaven-breathing groves.* At least, until the neighbors start their leaf-blowers and the city needs to tear up the sidewalks. Noise pollution is one of the scourges of urban and suburban life, which can drown out nature's melodies to cause annoyance, stress, and hearing loss. Now, however, a team of South Korean engineers has invented a remarkable window that lets air in while keeping a great deal of noise out.  Read More

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

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