Innovative Architecture and Infrastructure

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TollandRCR
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#51

Post by TollandRCR » Fri May 30, 2014 6:17 pm

Solar freakin roofs would do pretty much the same thing.About 28% of the surface area of American cities is devoted to the needs of the automobile from expressways to parking lots. That may exceed the amount of surface area devoted to roofs. That percentage does not include sidewalks, playgrounds, or other non-automobile surfaces. Of course, we need to take advantage of all solar exposures, including the neglected sides of buildings as well as their roofs. Our two newest buildings here (LEED Gold) have living roofs:


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#52

Post by Addie » Fri May 30, 2014 9:06 pm

Really, most cities now have acres of unused parking lots. For the few cars that actually park in them, what's the difference if a car's parked on productive solar panels or empty asphalt? None for the car, but it would be good for the empty space to be put to good use. Maintenance would be easier than on roofs, too.


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#53

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Fri May 30, 2014 9:51 pm

And some of us live in areas where the tree coverage is so thick they don't even try to sell us solar.



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#54

Post by TollandRCR » Sat May 31, 2014 9:20 am

And some of us live in areas where the tree coverage is so thick they don't even try to sell us solar.I sometimes describe Connecticut as the most densely inhabited forest on the East Coast. With leadership from the State and Town government, we have a program [link]to 'solarize' the Town,http://solarizect.com/our-towns/solarize-tolland/[/link].


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#55

Post by TollandRCR » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:05 pm

Solar roadways might not be such a good idea after all. National Report (about two weeks ago, but who's counting?) [link]"Solar Panels Drain the Sun’s Energy, Experts Say",http://nationalreport.net/solar-panels- ... perts-say/[/link]


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#56

Post by Joseph Robidoux III » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:11 pm

Who knew National Report is a satire site?



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#57

Post by TollandRCR » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:48 am

Who knew National Report is a satire site?Nit everybody. Comment:


Luis


May 30, 2014 at 11:07 am





You are not idiots. You are beyond idiot.





Signed:





A physicist.


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#58

Post by Whatever4 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:30 am

Innovative a couple of millennia ago maybe. But I'm definitely never staying in one. [link]Troglodyte Houses and Caves of Les Eyzies de Tayac,http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/06/tr ... .html#more[/link]http://lh4.ggpht.com/-N_3GUjpUaJA/U412_ ... max=800Les Eyzies de Taynac is a pretty town in the commune of Dordogne in southwestern France, that at first glance, appears to be crushed under the cliff. The town is littered with numerous grottos, caves and troglodyte dwellings whose history dates back to more than 28,000 years.


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#59

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:32 am

[link]EcoWatch,http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/25/solar-wa ... er-harbor/[/link]





How a Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Clean 50,000 Pounds of Trash Per Day From Baltimore’s Inner Harbor





A large wheel has been strolling the Baltimore Inner Harbor the past month, doing its best to clean the trash that has littered a city landmark and tourist attraction.





It’s called the Inner Harbor Water Wheel, and though it moves slow, it has the capability to collect 50,000 pounds of trash. The timing for John Kellett’s solar-powered creation is crucial—hands and crab nets simply can’t keep up with the growing amount of wrappers, cigarette butts, bottles and other debris carried from storm drains into the harbor. ...











The wheel has become an integral part of the Healthy Harbor Waterfront Partnership Initiative. It receives power from the Jones Falls river’s current near the harbor, which turns the wheel and lifts trash from the water into a dumpster barge. A solar panel array keeps it running when there water current isn’t enough.


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#60

Post by Foggy » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:46 am

And then what? A "dumpster barge"? Does it take the trash out to the ocean?


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#61

Post by SueDB » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:02 am

Since it seems to be "separating" stuff, the junk is a good candidate for recycle with a little bit more work.Having a separator unit to divvy the stuff up into separate barges would be the next step along with building the barges to receive the recycle. Then you could build a plant to do the recycling. (not enough of them)What was once old and broken will be new and useful again.Supposedly now all the lead used in the US is "recycled" - The old lead goes overseas for reprocessing and returns, but there isn't supposed to be any more lead added from ores either foreign or domestic. The last lead mine in the US (Missouri) closed down.


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#62

Post by Addie » Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:15 pm

[link]Inhabitat,http://inhabitat.com/amazing-pop-up-sol ... ts-needed/[/link]


Amazing Pop-Up Solar Power Station Delivers Energy Anywhere it's Needed





http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/ ... 37x358.jpg





http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/ ... Cube_2.jpg





According to the Ecosphere Technologies‘ website, the “Ecos PowerCube® is the world’s largest, mobile, solar-powered generator. It runs on high power photovoltaic panels that extend from its container combined with an easy to set up wind turbine. Energy is stored in onboard batteries.” The unit is designed to fit inside shipping containers for easy transportation, and it’s available in 10-foot, 20-foot and 40-foot ISO shipping container footprints. Once unloaded, its array of solar panels roll out from their protective drawers, increasing the size of the array to three times the footprint of the shipping containers and the power output to about 400 percent more than the footprint could generate alone. Power production can start immediately at up to 15kW.





There are also many other onboard features built into the unit – including communication systems and water treatment and distribution systems. These systems can provide internet connectivity to a range of 30 miles, satellite communications, and clean water, and the unit can power external systems such as hospitals or schools. The patented design is anticipated to have many applications, including humanitarian aid and disaster relief, military applications and power generation in remote locations.





Once the unit is opened up and operational, it provides a large covered area underneath that can be used for temporary classrooms or sleeping quarters. If the weather starts to turn nasty, the whole unit can be packed back up in a flash, and it can be monitored and operated remotely. According to Corey McGuire, director of marketing for the company, the design was developed after a suggestion from board member Jean-Michel Cousteau: “He asked us to figure out ways to bring energy, water, and communications to remote places – like a school in a village in the developing world – without the use of fossil fuels.” To for a 360 degree view of the unit, [link]see the video here,http://www.ecospheretech.com/water-recy ... deo?v=5524[/link].


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#63

Post by Addie » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:48 am

Long read.





[link]Politico Mag,http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... 08819.html[/link]: West Philadelphia, Reborn and Razed





Can a university step in where a city fell down?


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#64

Post by Addie » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:35 pm

[link]TIME,http://time.com/3031079/suburbs-will-di ... Stories%29[/link]: The Suburbs Will Die: One Man’s Fight to Fix the American Dream





Engineer Charles Marohn worked his whole life trying to make his community better—until the day he realized he was ruining it.


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#65

Post by Addie » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:59 pm

[link]New York Times,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/trave ... tects.html[/link]: Seeing Mexico City, Guided by Architects


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#66

Post by Addie » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:09 pm

Associated Press





Last stretch of New York's High Line to open







NEW YORK (AP) — The last stretch of New York's High Line opens Sunday, completing one of the nation's most distinctive urban transformations: an abandoned stretch of elevated rails that's been turned into a linear oasis of flowers, grasses and trees.



That last, half-mile section finishes the 22-block walkway that over five years has helped drive the hip gentrification of the Chelsea neighborhood on Manhattan's West Side. Luxury condos, galleries and boutiques have all but pushed out the industrial grime around the old freight route that once delivered goods to warehouses, meatpacking and manufacturing plants.



"The High Line has changed the dynamics of the city," says Laurance Rassin, an artist showcasing his paintings and sculptures to visitors along the three-story-high walkway. "If Picasso were alive, he'd be painting on the High Line."



As visitors stroll or relax on benches, actors read Shakespeare, musicians play violin and flute, and children gather for outdoor storytelling.






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#67

Post by Addie » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:28 am

Salon











Let’s all move to Medellín! How a once-terrifying drug city reinvented itself as a tech hub ...





As it turned out, the capacity was right there, waiting to be developed. San Javier’s geography made it nearly impossible to bring light rail or bus rapid transit to the neighborhood, but people were used to walking—it was just that the distances were too great. It could take a half hour to get off the hillside. If you held a job across the valley, it might take three hours by foot.



How can you still walk but cut your travel time, especially on a steep hill? Escalators. There are a number of versions of the story of how Medellin’s escalators came to be—there are always many parents to a successful idea. The narrative, at various points along the way, involves the efforts of neighborhood residents, city officials, outside agencies, and others. Local mothers’ groups and a team of engineers in the city’s planning department—with nearly ten years of evidence demonstrating that public transit had improved the lives of people in many other parts of the city—figure prominently in the story, as does then Mayor Sergio Fajardo.



The idea seemed audacious. Build an escalator system into the hillside of San Javier that would turn a thirty-minute hike into a five-minute glide. Escalators would provide the hillside residents greater mobility, give official agencies much better access to the neighborhood, and better connect the community with the rest of the city, creating new opportunities, economic and otherwise. Like the other transportation solutions the city had built, it would reduce a persistent vulnerability. ...



The San Javier escalators, now considered the crown jewel of Medellin’s transportation system (although not actually a part of the Metro system itself ), opened in 2012 in a public ceremony that received international press coverage. Today the tangle of footpaths and lanes has been augmented by a series of six gleaming escalators of the kind you might find in any suburban mall, that climb 1,260 feet up the hillside. They are open to the air on both sides, shielded from the elements by glass and orange-painted metal roofs.



The escalators, along with a network of elevated lateral walkways, have dramatically reduced the isolation of San Javier’s residents and thus addressed an important vulnerability of the city as a whole. The barrio is now open to the rest of Medellin so people can easily get to jobs in the valley. The barrio is less vulnerable to gang activity and less attractive to drug traffickers who needed seclusion and counted on being several steps ahead of the authorities. Representatives of social programs are more regular visitors to San Javier now that access has improved. Community organizations, including the Red Cross, whose staffers and volunteers avoided such places, have been able to safely work with the people of Comuna 13. “Without the escalators, these groups and government agencies wouldn’t come here to work because they had no way in,” said one San Javier resident. “Now, with these institutions playing a role, we can organize and coordinate better social programs, which have been one of the main drivers of change in this neighborhood.”








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#68

Post by Roboe » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:21 am

Photos of said escalators



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#69

Post by Addie » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:40 am

Thanks, Roboe. The photos are interesting.






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#70

Post by Addie » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:53 am

BuzzFeed











Home Petite Home



In the Pacific Northwest, people with nowhere else to go are forming micro-communities with communal kitchens and toilets but teeny, individual sleeping units. Could tiny homes, once the provenance of design blogs, help curb homelessness nationwide?








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#71

Post by TollandRCR » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:35 am

An earlier attempt, Los Angeles (closed after 13 years).


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#72

Post by SueDB » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:57 am

30 Unit Community in Olympia, WA







Quixote Village grew from the vision of a self-governing tent camp of homeless adults in Olympia, Washington. The Village consists of 30 tiny cottages, a large vegetable garden and a community building that contains showers, laundry facilities, a communal kitchen and living and dining space. Village residents moved from Camp Quixote to the Village on Christmas Eve, 2013.

The Village is supported by Panza, a non-profit organization that grew out of the many faith communities that hosted and sustained Camp Quixote during its 6+ years of existence.

We welcome your interest and support, and we hope you will explore our history, photos, news, blog and links. And of course we hope you will consider volunteering or donating to help sustain this sensible, affordable and innovative approach to helping people who have been homeless build better lives.






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#73

Post by Dolly » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:07 pm

World's first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China

A Chinese company has successfully 3D printed a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre villa from a special print material.

While architectural firms compete with their designs for 3D-printed dwellings, one company in China has quietly been setting about getting the job done. In March of last year, company WinSun claimed to have printed 10 houses in 24 hours, using a proprietary 3D printer that uses a mixture of ground construction and industrial waste, such as glass and tailings, around a base of quick-drying cement mixed with a special hardening agent.



Now, WinSun has further demonstrated the efficacy of its technology -- with a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre (11,840 square foot) villa, complete with decorative elements inside and out, on display at Suzhou Industrial Park.



The 3D printer array, developed by Ma Yihe, who has been inventing 3D printers for over a decade, stands 6.6 metres high, 10 metres wide and 40 metres long (20 by 33 by 132 feet). This fabricates the parts in large pieces at WinSun's facility. The structures are then assembled on-site, complete with steel reinforcements and insulation in order to comply with official building standards.



3D-PRINTED APARTMENT BUILDING AND MANSION... <SNIP....... photos at link>





http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/worlds-firs ... -in-china/


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#74

Post by Addie » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:54 am

Grist









New York’s new solar plan sets a high bar ...



The question of how to aggressively slash carbon emissions without completely undermining the power sector (and simultaneously raising the risk of blackouts and skyrocketing electric bills) is one of the big existential questions that climate-savvy lawmakers are now trying to figure out. And last week in New York, they took a huge step forward.



Under a new order from the state’s Public Service Commission, utility companies will soon be barred from owning “distributed” power systems — that means rooftop solar, small wind turbines, and basically anything else that isn’t a big power plant. (There are some rare exceptions built into the order, notably for giant low-income apartment buildings in New York City that small solar companies aren’t well-equipped to serve.)



“By restricting utilities from owning local power generation and other energy resources, customers will benefit from a more competitive market, with utilities working and partnering with other companies and service providers,” the commission said in a statement.



The move is part of a larger package of energy reforms in the state, aimed at setting up the kind of futuristic power system that experts think will be needed to combat global warming. The first step came in 2007, when the state adopted “decoupling,” a market design in which a utility’s revenue is based not on how much power it sells, but on how many customers it serves. (Remember that in most states utilities have their income stream heavily regulated by the state in exchange for having a monopoly.) That change removed the incentive for utilities to actively block rooftop solar and energy-saving technology, because lost sales no longer translate to lost income. But because utilities could still make money by recouping the cost of big infrastructure projects through increases to their customers’ bills, they had an incentive to build expensive stuff like power plants and big transmission hubs even if demand could be better met with efficiency and renewables.



Now, under New York’s most recent reform, a utility’s revenue will instead be based on how efficiently and effectively it distributes power, so-called “performance-based rates.” This, finally, provides the incentive utilities need to make decisions that jibe with the state’s climate goals, because it will be to their advantage to make use of distributed energy systems.



But there’s a catch, one that had clean energy advocates in the state worried. If utilities were allowed to buy their own solar systems, they would be able to leverage their government-granted monopoly to muscle-out smaller companies. This could limit consumer options, drive up prices, and stifle innovation. That, in turn, could put a freeze on consumers’ interest in solar and ultimately slow down the rate at which it is adopted. But if small companies are allowed in, then the energy market starts to look more like markets for normal goods, where customer choice drives technological advances and pushes down prices.








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#75

Post by Addie » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:35 am

What could go wrong? :batting:



Daily Mail









The 12,400 mile superhighway from Britain to America: Plans proposed for VERY ambitious road across Russia



Britain could be linked with America by road as part of an ambitious project to create the world's longest superhighway spanning half the circumference of the globe.



Proposals have been put forward to build the mega route stretching about 12,400 miles from the western edge of Russia to the Bering Strait where the country nudges Alaska.



Linking into existing road networks in Europe and Asia, for the first time it would allow travellers a proper highway to drive all way from the UK to the United States.



A Trans-Siberian rail link as well as oil and gas pipes would run alongside the highway, and plans have been mooted already for a rail tunnel connecting the far flung Russian region of Chukotka - where football tycoon Roman Abramovich once served as governor - and Alaska.







...



What is unclear is how a cash-strapped Russia could afford it. Giving a presentation on the scheme, Yakunin - a close friend of Putin - described it as 'an inter-state, inter-civilisation project'.



He also said it would lead to Russia becoming the new world centre for the creation and development of high-tech industries because of its central position in the new global transport network.








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