The drought in California has gone on so long, and is so severe, that it's beginning to change the way people are designing residential communities — in unexpected ways, and unexpected places. [...]
There will also be a system for treating and sending wastewater back into the aquifer underneath the city. [...]
Not everyone is convinced it will use less water. Phil Desatoff is with a local water district that is suing Reedley over the development's environmental review. — npr.org
Got some design solutions up your sleeve that could help alleviate California's ongoing historic drought? Check out Archinect's recently launched Dry Futures ideas competition, and submit your entry by September 1st.
Inspired by the human body, Jonkers, who works at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, created self-healing concrete. He embeds the concrete with capsules of limestone-producing bacteria, either Bacillus pseudofirmus or Sporosarcina pasteurii, along with calcium lactate. When the concrete cracks, air and moisture trigger the bacteria to begin munching on the calcium lactate. They convert the calcium lactate to calcite, an ingredient in limestone, thus sealing off the cracks. — smithsonianmag.com
More concrete news:Celebrating concrete architecture in a mini "block party"Getty awards over $1.75 million to fix crappy concrete in "Important Modern Buildings"Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Concrete" Pinterest BoardCould this revolutionary new material replace concrete?China used more cement in...
The Golden State's nickname has taken on a grave new meaning. The agricultural and economic powerhouse of the country is in the midst of a historic drought pervading the whole U.S. Southwest, at once turning sprawling front lawns into golden-brown scratch pads and inciting Chinatown-style...
These days, while the almond orchards are kept a perfect green, the surrounding landscape is a dull brown, and the yards in front of most of the houses are little more than dirt and weeds. At least 25 families have seen their wells go dry in recent months. Many others are rationing what little water remains. Those lucky enough to be on the city’s system still have to strictly conserve to keep the town’s only well from going dry. — thenation.com
The Nation paints Fairmead – an agricultural town where many personal wells have dried up, pitting indigent residents further into poverty – as a cautionary tale for all those living in historic drought conditions.More on California's historic drought:Fog catchers: squeezing water out of...
Simply look up into the sky at a single cloud, on average that white pouf holds 8 million gallons of water — enough to sustain 100,000 people for a day. Yet the water we harvest has become so scarce, its cost is greater than the devices invented to catch and deliver it. [...]
How might we imagine new ways to collect water? How do we get it off my socks and into my coffee cup?
Fog catchers – contraptions that gather the moisture in our atmosphere for drinking water – have been used by humans and animals alike to survive in some of the driest places on earth. In Chile's Atacama desert, fog catchers have been in use for over half a century, and even are used to...
Santa Barbara City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $55 million to reactivate a mothballed desalination plant that could provide the city with nearly a third of its drinking water. [...]
“Desalination has been a last resort,” Mayor Helene Schneider told The Times Tuesday night after the vote. “The way the drought has continued these last four years, we are really getting at that last resort.”
More on the historic drought in the U.S. southwest:Gov. Brown issues order to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissionsCalifornia has about one year of water left30% of the US in DroughtRelocation or Adaptation: "We may have to migrate people out of California"Drought may force California to...
Completed in March of 2014, Kusukusu [...] is a marvelous feat of architecture, engineering and technology. Working with Hiroshi Nakamura of NAP Architects, the team came in and 3D-scanned hundreds of points on the tree. Based on that 3D data they then created a steel trellis that threaded through the tree, interlocking perfectly [...]. What’s amazing is that the treehouse in its entirety, never touches the tree. It’s completely self-standing so as to not harm the tree. — spoon-tamago.com
Here are a few more images of the stunner of a treehouse in Atami, Japan designed by master treehouse builder Takashi Kobayashi in collaboration with NAP Architects.To learn more and see the complete set of photos, head over to Spoon & Tamago.Photos by Koji Fujii/Nacasa & Partners...
Japan has been hungry for alternative energy ever since the 2011 Fukushima disaster made nuclear power an unattractive option in the country, and golf courses just happen to be perfectly suited for solar power — they're large open spaces that often get lots of sunlight.
Kyocera's first project, now under construction, is a 23 megawatt solar plant on a golf course in Kyoto prefecture. When it goes live in 2017, the plant will produce enough power for about 8,100 households. — businessinsider.com
The California Water Commission, responding to a fourth year of drought, approved sharp new limits on the amount of water that can be used on landscapes surrounding newly constructed buildings, such as houses, businesses and schools.
The revised ordinance will limit grass to about 25% of a home's combined front, back and side yards in all new construction. [...]
Additionally, grass will be all but banned in landscapes of new commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. — latimes.com
More on California's historic drought:The sudden drought gold rush for California landscapers may be overThe best lawn for California's drought may still be greenAs Californians let their lawns turn golden, water conservation targets were exceeded in MayCalifornia's desert resorts struggle to...
These have been boom times for companies that rip out lawns and replace them with drought-tolerant landscaping, but now their business might be drying up.
The Metropolitan Water District said Thursday it would no longer offer rebates to entice homeowners to get rid of their lawns because the agency ran out of money much sooner than it expected.
That is bad news for [...] landscape contractor in Los Angeles. Grass removal has become about 40 percent of his business, driven by the rebates. — scpr.org
As a result of the sudden end of the government incentives, some Los Angeles landscape contractors, that had made turf removal their main business in the past months, began laying off staff. The LA Times reports: "Turf Terminators, which ballooned from a staff of three to more than 450 over the...
While a golden brown lawn is seen as a badge of honor to some residents of drought-stricken California, in fact, they are doing more harm to the environment than good, says UC Agriculture and Natural Resources turf expert Jim Baird. [...]
maintaining lawns rather than letting them die or replacing the grass with synthetic turf, concrete or so-called drought-tolerant plants offers important ecological services. [...]
“The more we let our grass lawns die or go away, the hotter it's going to get” — ucanr.edu
For more on the ongoing struggle through California's historic drought:As Californians let their lawns turn golden, water conservation targets were exceeded in MayEnlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic droughtCalifornia Water Crisis? Now there's a board game for...
The city of Melbourne assigned trees email addresses so citizens could report problems. Instead, people wrote thousands of love letters to their favorite trees. — theatlantic.com
One tree letter excerpt reads: "My dearest Ulmus," the message began. “As I was leaving St. Mary’s College today I was struck, not by a branch, but by your radiant beauty. You must get these messages all the time. You’re such an attractive tree.”Related...
In a new paper published Thursday, a team of researchers present a compelling case for why urban neighborhoods filled with trees are better for your physical health.
[...] they found that “having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.” — washingtonpost.com
"We focused on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two domains by combining high-resolution satellite imagery and individual tree data from Toronto with questionnaire-based self-reports of general health perception, cardio-metabolic conditions and mental illnesses...
Most Egyptians have always lived in the fertile stretch along the Nile, the nation’s breadbasket which accounts for less than 10 per cent of Egypt’s territory. But urban growth has become the chief threat to agricultural land as farmers haphazardly – and illegally – build new houses to make room for the next generation.
Construction surged even more amid a security vacuum that followed the 2011 popular uprising that ousted the country’s long-time autocrat, Hosni Mubarak. — thenational.ae
The first public parklet in downtown Portland, the installation is intended to help revitalize this stretch of SW Fourth Avenue in the heart of the SoMa EcoDistrict (for “South of Market Street”), giving students, faculty, and workers from surrounding offices a place to sit and enjoy their food-cart lunches in the sunshine, rather than racing back to their desks to eat. — pdx.edu
Downtown Portland is no stranger to green public spaces, but the recently opened Fourth Avenue Parklet has that ideal recipe for a do-good-feel-good collaborative project. Twenty-six architecture students from Portland State University spent 18 months to design and construct the parklet, which...
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