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...
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...
The Digital Junkyard is an experiment in virtual salvage. It is a repository of donated digital information that is used to generate real physical and spatial objects...This project is an embodiment of the growing collective intelligence that technology affords us; and an experiment in ideas about digital ecology. It also honours the time and energy that designers put into testing and making mistakes. — digital junkyard
No, this isn't some snarky Craigslist ad. Recently launched by architecturally trained designer and artist Car Martin, the Digital Junkyard is a website with a mission to transform as much of your unwanted vector files into a new physical object or creative idea of sorts, in the real world. In...
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
an administrative judge recommended that the ride-sharing giant be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California. [...]
Uber has not complied with state laws designed to ensure that drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers, regardless of where they live or who they are. — latimes.com
According to the Los Angeles Times, the crux of this decision comes not from questions of the ride-sharing app's legality in general, but its ethical practices in actual transit. In 2013, "ride-hailing firms" were made legal in California, with the requirement that companies like Uber provide...
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...
The construction firm VolkerWessels unveiled plans on Friday for a surface made entirely from recycled plastic, which it said required less maintenance than asphalt and could withstand greater extremes of temperature– between -40C and 80C. Roads could be laid in a matter of weeks rather than months and last about three times as long, it claimed.
The company said the environmental argument was also strong as asphalt is responsible for 1.6m tons of CO2 emissions a year globally — theguardian.com
"There were many meetings when the Apple representative would pick up your [iPhone] and say: 'That's what we're building.' What that means is — if you look at the phone, there's the sheen on the phone, there's the bevel on the phone, there's how much shine they have ... every piece of that phone is engineered, and the building is the same way." [...]
The project is so extensive — and Apple is so demanding — that Apple Campus 2 has effectively "raised the bar for construction standards" — businessinsider.com
For more news on Apple's under-construction second campus in Cupertino:Apple under fire for not hiring construction workers with past felonies for their new campusDrone footage shows the latest construction status of the Foster-designed Apple campusApple CEO Tim Cook says new spaceship campus will...
RideWith is a spinoff of the Google-owned Israeli traffic app Waze, and is designed to help users meet up with a driver who has a similar commute. In the interest of time, money and potentially the environment, passengers can pay drivers who are already taking similar routes. [...]
Drivers using RideWith are only allowed to make two trips a day — intended to be the commute to and from work — and therefore wouldn’t be able to use the app for any notable revenue. — nextcity.org
In the first, “Ideation” phase of the initiative, those working in the building efficiency area are invited to submit problem statements describing challenges that need to be overcome in order to promote better engagement with building occupants and to improve the ability to balance energy and occupant comfort objectives in a building. In addition to submitting problem statements, participants are invited to vote and comment on ideas that have already been submitted. — U.S. Department of Energy
“Their manufacture is very accurate, there’s very little work that needs to be done on site,” said Green. “Because of this, construction will be very quick. Someday I’d like to make a building where all you need is a giant allen key to put it together.”
Baobab’s structure consists of a series of these solid timber walls that travel the full height of the tower, along with timber columns and a central timber “core” housing elevators and stairs. — theguardian.com
Unlike Waste Management and other garbage giants, Rubicon doesn’t operate its own trucks or own any landfills. Instead, it runs a tech platform that connects small, local haulers with major companies that want to cut down on their garbage costs and increase their recycling efforts. — wired.com
Rubicon Global, which previously helped Fortune 500 companies save money with their own garbage management, is now bringing their services to the regular folks. The app for on-demand waste pick-up was largely devised by Uber's founding CTO, Oscar Salazar, who is now working as Rubicon's CTO...
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