Daniel Libeskind's Vanke Pavilion cleans the air with pollution-scrubbing tiles

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City Library Bruges' new rusty facade gets more beautiful over time

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INFOGRAPHIC: Top 10 mobile apps for the building and construction industry

by , 05/05/15

Window and Door Guys, reader submitted content, infographic, mobile apps, construction industry, building industry apps, construction apps

Whether you work in the building industry or are a backyard hobbyist, chances are that you’d rather spend more time building and less time on calculations and estimates. Luckily, many mobile apps are now available to do those tasks for you. Window and Door Guys compiled a list of the top 10 apps for the building and construction industry that can do everything from completing layouts to calculating conduit bends and fills. Click through to see all the recommended apps.

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Yellow is the new green: researchers investigate 'peecycling'

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Pee is powerful stuff. It has been used to make false teeth, drinking water, brain cells, electricity, and yes, even whiskey and beer. Talk about a closed system! Urine is also great for growing plants, due to its rich nitrogen and phosphorus content. Researchers at University of Michigan are investigating best practices for application of urine as fertilizer on a large scale. In order for urine to be applied to crops safely, the team aims to identify pathogens and determine ways in which they may be eliminated. “A few questions we have are: What contaminants are applied onto the fields with the fertilizer, where do they go, and how can we get rid of the concerning contaminants before they are applied?” says Rebecca Lahr, one of the researchers in the Environmental and Civil Engineering Department at University of Michigan. The mass disposal of liquid waste down the drain is not only a missed opportunity for sustainable agriculture, it is damaging to the environment. Algae also love nitrogen and phosphorus and the resulting algal blooms often cause mass marine mortality events and shellfish poisoning. By implementing peecycling on a large scale, we will gain a powerful agricultural tool while eliminating a major source of water pollution.

Via Treehugger and University of Michigan Engineering

Image via Michigan Engineering

 

Solar Impulse is gearing up for five-day solar-powered flight across the Pacific Ocean

solar impulse cockpit

Solar Impulse, the experimental solar-powered aircraft with just enough room for a pilot, is still on its way around the world, despite a number of delays due to poor weather conditions. The project has been grounded in Nanjing, China, since April 21 where they landed after a one-day flight following a three-week weather delay. The sun-powered plane was originally planned to embark on the five-day trans-Pacific journey on May 5, now delayed to at least May 9. André Borschberg, co-founder of Solar Impulse, will pilot the record-setting Pacific Ocean crossing as soon as conditions are favorable. Borschberg has been gearing up for the challenge by fine tuning his yoga and meditation techniques and become more comfortable in the cramped cockpit of the solar-powered aircraft. He’s also used his time on the ground to comb over the aircraft, making sure that everything is in tip-top condition for the five-day flight to Hawaii. Solar Impulse is traveling around the world, powered entirely by the sun, as an ambassador of the #FutureIsClean movement, a global effort to raise awareness for clean energy.

+ Solar Impulse

Images via Solar Impulse

 

Watch Oregon's Lost Lake disappear down a bizarre hole

by , 05/05/15
filed under: News, Water Issues
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Located in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest, the Lost Lake presents a highly unusual natural phenomenon; each winter the lake bed fills with water from nearby streams, and every spring it drains—rather like a bathtub—down a large hole. Jude McHugh, spokeswoman for the Willamette National Forest, told The Bulletin that the hole has been there for as long as anyone remembers, and that the mysterious phenomenon is most likely the result of the regions porous volcanic landscape—the hole itself is believed to be an open lava tube. As for exactly where the Lost Lake’s waters go each spring, no one is entirely sure, but it’s thought that it seeps into the subsurface where it recharges nearby aquifers.

Via Treehugger

Image screengrab via YouTube

 

Modular organic farming commune is topped with a green roof in Argentina

by , 05/05/15

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See five of Brooklyn's most interesting modern homes on Dwell's Home Tour this Saturday

by , 05/05/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

bklyn designs, dwell, dwell home tours, nyc architecture, nyc homes, nyc apartments, dwell magazine, nycxdesign

Don’t miss your chance to step inside some of NYC’s most interesting modern homes this Saturday on Dwell magazine‘s 2015 Brooklyn Home Tour. This year’s self-guided tour will provide ticketholders with access to five different homes including a LEED Gold multi-family building in Bushwick, a thoughtful townhouse renovation in Williamsburg, and an open and airy Park Slope row house redesign. Get your tickets to the tour here (tickets also include complimentary admission to Meet the Architects Night on Thursday, May 7).

+ Dwell 2015 Brooklyn Home Tour

 

Elegant Zero-Energy Furniture can store heat and regulate indoor temperatures

Raphaël Ménard, Jean-Sébastien Lagrange, Zero Energy Furniture, green furniture, energy-efficient table, green table, table design, Milan Design Week, Milan furniture fair, wooden furniture, heating and cooling

Heating and cooling are no longer exclusively an architectural issue, but one that can be tackled with smart furniture design. This elegant-looking Climatic Table can regulate indoor temperatures by storing heat and increases energy savings by up to 60% for heating and 30% for cooling . Designers Raphaël Ménard and Jean-Sébastien Lagrange created an entire series called Zero Energy Furniture that can “store a large quantity of thermal energy within a small volume.”

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Architect Todd Saunders' family home cantilevers with a swing set hanging underneath

by , 05/05/15

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Win $5,000 in the 2015 NXT City Prize public space competition

by , 05/05/15
filed under: Design Competitions

public space competition, 2015 NXT City Prize, studio Distl, Oxford Properties, urban design competition, Toronto, Toronto competition, public space, urban design

Have a brilliant idea to improve Toronto’s urban fabric? Submit your ideas to studio Distl and Oxford Properties’ 2015 NXT City Prize and you could win $5,000 to implement your plans. This year’s competition explores the theme of “Opportunity” and how urban design and public space can create new economic, social, and environmental opportunities. In addition to the $5,000 grand prize, category winners will each receive a $1,000 cash prize. You must be under the age of 35 to participate. Entries are due July 31, 2015.

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Kengo Kuma's new community center hides a hilly indoor landscape under its zigzag-roof

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Monaco brings repurposed freight containers and vertical gardens to Expo Milan 2015

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Ikea imagines a refrigerator-free kitchen for 2025

concept kitchen 2025, ikea, ideo, ikea kitchen, refrigerator kitchen, natural refrigeration, refrigerator alternative, energy efficient kitchen

From bio-refrigerators that cool food with gel to zero-energy clay alternatives, we see a lot of designs that look to make one of the home’s most energy-hungry appliances more efficient. But in Ikea’s Concept Kitchen 2025 installation at the Milan Design Fair, the Swedish furniture giant goes one step further, and suggests that 10 years from now we might forgo fridges entirely in favor of a “modern pantry” that keeps food cool using a combination of smart technology and traditional methods, with an open display to cut down on waste.

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In Milan, New Holland’s Earth Screening pavilion raises skepticism about big-ag and sustainable farming

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Dwell on Design 2015: America's largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

Dwell on Design 2015: America's largest design event is coming to Los…

Dwell on Design, America’s largest design event, will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 29-31, 2015! Curated by the talented editors of Dwell magazine, this…

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Anti-Expo protests in Milan erupt in violence, clashes with riot police

Anti-Expo protests in Milan erupt in violence, clashes with riot…

The May 1 opening of the Milan Expo 2015 architectural show has been marred by violent clashes between a group of protestors and Italian riot police. Reuters reports that "thick clouds…

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BottleCloths are modern, stylish table cloths made out of recycled plastic bottles

BottleCloths are modern, stylish table cloths made out of recycled…

Designed by Southern California based Brenda Sacks, this eco-chic line of contemporary table coverings is made from 100% woven fiber sources entirely from recycled plastic bottles.  A…

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Japan's Milan Expo pavilion is an earthquake resistant wooden 'bowl of diversity'

Japan's Milan Expo pavilion is an earthquake resistant wooden 'bowl of…

Japan has taken an almost literal approach to the Milan Expo 2015 theme "Feeding the planet, energy for life" with a three dimensional wooden pavilion that models a traditional Japanese…

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Biber Architects exhibit incredible 7200-square-foot vertical farm at World Expo with US Pavillon

Biber Architects exhibit incredible 7200-square-foot vertical farm at…

Biber Architects, USA Pavilion, milan expo, world expo,

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