While wind may be one of the most economical power sources out there, photovoltaic solar energy has a big advantage: it can go small.
While wind gets cheaper as turbines grow larger, the PV hardware scales down to fit wherever we have infrastructure. In fact, simply throwing solar on our existing building stock could generate a very large amount of carbon-free electricity. — Ars Technica
But, as many homeowners already know, installing solar panels can be quite cost-prohibitive. New research might just have solved that problem by incorporating solar hardware into the most basic light filter used in architecture: the window.According to a study, solar windows could filter out a...
Canadian space and defense company Thoth Technology is attempting to make reaching the stratosphere as simple as riding an elevator up a tower about 23 times taller than the world’s tallest building.
The Thoth space elevator patent, approved by the US patent office on July 21, specifies that the tower could be built on any “planetary surface,” (i.e. not just Earth), a sign that Thoth is thinking pretty far ahead. [...] the top of the tower will serve as a rocket launch site. — qz.com
In slightly more recent-technology elevator news:ThyssenKrupp's cable-free elevator test tower tops out in less than 10 monthsJapan's simple logic for putting toilets in elevatorsInstallation of UltraRope elevators begins at Kingdom Tower
Like all supertall skyscrapers, Tapei 101 has a mechanism inside to help stabilize itself in high winds. [...]
At 6:59 am, in the winds of Typhoon Soudelor, the damper moved by a full meter from its center position, farther than it has ever moved in the building's decade history. [...]
Soudelor brought sustained winds of 100 mph, with at least one confirmed gust of 145 mph . — popularmechanics.com
[...] the drought is a gusher for a growing number of tech startups in the emerging world of the Internet of Things, the buzzy term for the trend of connecting devices and data in the physical realm to the Internet. Getting more sensors into the environment will help thousands of farms, businesses and cities figure out where water is going and how it can be diverted for the most efficient use. Agriculture is the area most ripe for collecting more and higher-quality data. — forbes.com
A microdevice called Human Organs-on-Chips is engineered with the astounding ability to mimic the complex structures, functions, and mechanical motions of whole human organs. Fabricated by scientists Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University's Wyss Institute, Human Organs-on-Chips...
MX3D, a research and development startup company, will use robots to 3D print a pedestrian bridge across one of Amsterdam’s canals. The versatile six-axis robotic arms will ‘draw’ steel structures in 3D, starting from one side of the canal and building across until it reaches the other end. The robot will also print its own support, which allows it to work autonomously. The location of the bridge will be announced soon and construction is set to commence in 2017. — iflscience.com
More on Archinect:New Googleplex will be built by robotsLiquid metal discovery paves way for shape-shifting robotsRobot gives a helping hand as Taubman College breaks ground on new school additionSelf-Folding Robot Based on OrigamiGensler LA wants to use drones to alleviate the scale limits of 3D...
The L.A.-Waze partnership is, at least in theory, an initial step toward allowing the city’s planners and engineers to regain a healthier role in mediating the kinds of longstanding cross-town conflicts that Waze has renewed and amplified. Whether the deal will help to resolve fundamental long-term issues related to the city’s growth and inadequate infrastructure is another matter. — newyorker.com
A vibration control device to dramatically reduce shaking caused by long-period earthquake ground motion — a phenomenon in which major earthquakes shake skyscrapers slowly but severely — was shown to the media on Monday after being installed in a 55-story building in central Tokyo. [...]
The companies said it is the nation’s first rooftop vibration control device against earthquakes. — the-japan-news.com
This post is brought to you by BQE ArchiOffice. Architecture firm principals are the Chief Financial Officers of their firm, whether they want to be or not. Sure, they may delegate that authority to someone who knows more than they do about balance sheets, income statements and financing, but a...
The downside of giant banks of windows or glass walls, though, becomes obvious when the relentless afternoon sun makes the heat and stuffiness inside intolerable [...].
The makers of “smart glass” say they can address this problem. Smart-glass windows transform from transparent to opaque, and every shade in between, in seconds. They often rely on electrochromic thin films embedded in the glass.
The upshot: Less energy is needed to heat or cool a building. Shades and blinds become optional. — qz.com
In the 1990s, Frank Gehry pioneered... “smart” digital design in architecture, by using software to optimize designs and translate them directly into a process of fabrication and construction.
Now known in the industry as parametric design and building information modeling, this approach has ushered in a new era of architecture, according to art historian Irene Nero: the era of “technological construction” [...]
How did an architect who doesn’t use computers start a technology company? — Priceonomics
In an article for Priceonomics, Lian Chang looks at the role Frank Gehry and his team had on the development of parametric design, aka building information modeling. Beginning with Gehry's fish-inspired pavilion for Barcelona’s 1992 Olympics, Chang traces the various construction impasses and...
Open data, and the interactive mapping and data visualization that can come of it, has become a de facto engagement and storytelling tool among contemporary journalists, social justice activists, and civic-minded technologists. But despite its allure, open data’s potential for fostering civic engagement and creating transparency and dialogue is plagued by issues of usability, access, and quality control. — urbanomnibus.net
[Mark Herrema] and Kenton Kimmel, a high school classmate, founded the Irvine, California-based company Newlight Technologies in 2003. After years of research, the team unveiled a way to produce plastic from carbon emissions that is actually more affordably priced than oil-based plastics.
The "secret sauce" is a biocatalyst that combines air and methane, and reassembles all of the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules into a thermoplastic the makers call AirCarbon. — Smithsonian
Newlight's work appears really interesting, addressing two separate but related issues: "first, oil dependency, by replacing oil with captured carbon emissions, and second, climate change, by creating a market-driven carbon capture platform." Basically, the technology comprises using a biocatalyst...
It’s a Thursday morning in Beijing, and the world’s most famous living artist, Ai Weiwei, is sitting with one of the world’s most controversial technologists, Jacob Appelbaum, in the second-floor lobby of the East Hotel. [...]
On a whim, Ai suggests that they call Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living for the last two years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. [...]
Ai and Assange talk for several minutes about the mundanities of the dissident life. — fusion.net
This post is brought to you by BQE ArchiOffice. Learn how this small architectural firm increased efficiency and improved cash flowWilliam Duff Architects is passionate about serving clients through the creation of innovative, sustainable architecture delivered through exceptional project...
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