The Latest News – Sustainable Solutions

  • Tesla Solar Roof Testimonial Cost and Installation

    Tesla Solar RoofOne of the first known Tesla Solar Roof residential customers has shed some light on the process for installing the unique energy producing glass roof tiles, and its costs Read more…

  • Florida Earthship Build – Summer 2018 Workshop Images

    students bottle hallwayearthship workshop. June 18 - July 31, 2018. Florida, USA. Hurricane Resistant Earthship Build. Strong, Safe, Off-grid. Volunteer, Work, Learn, Participate.
    We are working on an incomplete owner-built Earthship, finishing the structural shell and systems. Read more…

  • Windows details to help keep buildings comfortable

    earthship comfort schematicWindows provide light, air and views. They also affect heating and cooling loads through several heat transfer mechanisms. When choosing windows to reduce cooling loads, the goal is to control conduction and solar heat gain. Conduction is the transfer of heat through materials (represented by the U- value). This is the rate of non-solar heat gain or loss from the entire window assembly. The lower the U-value, the… Read more…

  • End Drought: Remove Salt from Seawater

    Sundrop FarmsIn October 2017, Charlie Paton was driving across the parched plains of northwestern Somaliland when he passed a seemingly endless queue of rumbling trucks. Each was piled high with containers of grain – 47,000 tonnes in all – to be distributed as food aid across Somalia and Ethiopia. Paton was struck by the irony: it was the region’s harvest season, and yet here were trucks… Read more…

  • How To: Solar Greywater Recirculation Kit

    solar greywater recirculation kitA compact, powerful, and cost-effective mini power organizing module to supply enough energy to the DC recirculation pump so it can run 24/7 or manually via a switch.  To build the mini recirculation pump power organizing module, acquire and use the specific components listed below. Availability may vary over time.  Read more…

  • Stronger Storms are producing weaker building codes

    sustainable disaster reliefThe showdown in the Florida statehouse last year had all the drama of a knock-down political brawl: Powerful industries clashing. Warnings of death and destruction. And a surprise last-minute vote, delivering a sweeping reform bill to the governor’s desk.    The battle wasn’t about gun control, immigration or healthcare, but about making it easier to ignore national guidelines on building codes. To the surprise of… Read more…

  • Green buildings will have to go beyond conserving energy

    svart hotelBuildings designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta often look like the mountain peak for which the company is named. Snøhetta’s designs are simple, stark, and by all accounts breathtaking. But the company’s latest design, for a glowing ring-shaped hotel near the Arctic village of Glomfjord, Norway, is drawing attention for a slightly different reason. Inspired by the hotel’s climate-changed surroundings, including Norway’s second-largest, but rapidly… Read more…

  • The people of Cape Town are running out of water—and they’re not alone

    cape town nasaDay Zero: that’s the ominous label officials in Cape Town have bestowed on the day that water will run out. A three year drought in the region drained reservoirs faster than expected. They were full at the start of 2014, but estimates from the end of January 2018 show that water levels are now at 26 percent of capacity. When the level drops to 13.5… Read more…

  • Chernobyl Is Now the World’s Unlikeliest Green Energy Experiment

    Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Solar Energy Power PlantA hundred yards from the rusting ruins at the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, a gossamer array of almost 4,000 photovoltaic panels sits atop a thick concrete slab capping a grave of radioactive waste. When it comes to clean energy, it’s hard to think of a less likely place than Ukraine’s infamous Chernobyl nuclear plant. But final preparations are being made to generate… Read more…

  • Cape Town sports are hit hard by its water crisis

    capetown, south africaCape Town, South Africa is a sports-mad city. Rugby, soccer, cricket, cycling and more have passionate followings among many of the "Mother City’s" 3.7 million residents. But with June 4 expected to be the day the city runs out of clean, running water — considered to be the case when water levels in dams reach 13.5 percent — sports will find itself in an unfamiliar, yet… Read more…

  • This Easy-To-Use Beehive Is Bringing Honey To Backyards

    Backyard BeehiveThis Easy-To-Use Beehive Is Bringing Honey To Backyards. It took a decade for Stuart and Cedar Anderson, a father and son living in rural Australia, to find a solution to a challenge they’d experienced as beekeepers: how to harvest honey without donning an uncomfortable bee suit, smoking out the bees, and going through a series of cumbersome and messy steps that could kill bees in… Read more…

  • 5 Aspects of Zero Energy Buildings

    Converting your house to solar is now cheaper than a new carThe last year two years have been good for zero energy buildings, according to our latest list of certified and emerging zero energy buildings by the New Buildings Institute. This list, published every two years, inventories projects across North America, but more significantly reveals key market trends that signal the overall health and momentum of the zero-energy market. This year, the list includes nearly 500… Read more…

  • Residents in water-scarce areas need to adjust, says water department

    catchwater cistern interiorResidents in water-scarce areas of the country need to recognise and adjust to the watersupply limitations, especially those in drought-stricken areas, the water and sanitation department said on Sunday. The department was continuing its endeavours to ensure securityof the supply of water for the country, and more particularly for the currently drought-stricken Western Cape, spokesman Sputnik Ratau said. "The current drought being experienced in the… Read more…

  • Brilliant Ideas That Buy Us Time Before Cape Town Reaches Day Zero

    Drag an iceberg down to Western CapeIn just over 100 days, researchers expect Cape Town to run out of water. The South African megacity has traditionally enjoyed abundant rains during winter and a warm, pleasant climate during summer, but after three years of drought, experts now expect the city’s water system to collapse on June 4, 2018. Currently, Cape Town’s citizens have access to 13.2 gallons of water per day, about… Read more…

  • Filtering salt and metal ions from water is now a reality.

    With two billion people worldwide lacking access to clean and safe drinking water, joint research by Monash University, CSIRO and the University of Texas at Austin published today in Sciences Advances may offer a breakthrough new solution. It all comes down to metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), an amazing next generation material that have the largest internal surface area of any known substance. The sponge like crystals… Read more…

  • What happens when every roof in America has solar panels?

    solar rooftopWhen you’re scoping out possible futures, it’s useful to ask a lot of “what if?” questions. For example, what if we could install solar panels on every suitable roof in the United States? How much electricity would they generate? Read more…

  • Forgotten Victims of Hurricane Harvey

    hurricane harvey disaster reliefNearly six months after the storm, residents of a Texas town face red tape, long waits and ‘a gigantic housing crisis’ As Hurricane Harvey howled through the night and the roof and walls of their island home collapsed from the pressure of 130mph winds, the immediate task for Melani Zurawski and Tim Yoke was survival. The couple climbed to the attic of their rental home… Read more…

  • Green Concrete – An Update

    Green ConcreteConcrete that absorbs carbon dioxide has made slow progress but is finally hitting the market. In 2010, this publication cited more environmentally friendly concrete as one of its 10 Breakthrough Technologies of the year (see TR10: Green Concrete). Given that the world’s appetite for concrete contributes around 5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, the impact could be huge. But has the idea gone anywhere?… Read more…

  • Traditional buildings can teach architects about sustainability

    Long before foam insulation and concrete tower blocks, humans were finding ingenious ways to address their needs through architecture. Using local materials and inherited construction techniques, societies have ensured that buildings provide protection and comfort. In Tonga, traditional curved roofs offered aerodynamic protection against storms and cyclones. In the Uros islands of Lake Titicaca in the Andes, reeds were used in houses due to the… Read more…

  • Minneapolis Apartment Buildings: One is Green and One is Not, a Comparison.

    Minneapolis Green Apartment BuildingsLook-alike apartment buildings in northeast Minneapolis showcase new ideas in energy efficiency. Apartment project in Mpls. features two buildings: One built with an emphasis on going green, another more traditional. At first glance a pair of side-by-side apartment buildings slated to be built on an industrial site in northeast Minneapolis look nearly identical. They are not. One building will be built to conventional construction specifications. The… Read more…

 
 
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