According to a team of researchers at MIT, both scenarios may be possible before long, thanks to a new material that can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat, whenever it’s needed. This transparent polymer film could be applied to many different surfaces, such as window glass or clothing.
[...] the new finding could provide a highly efficient method for storing the sun’s energy through a chemical reaction and releasing it later as heat. — news.mit.edu
Related stories in the Archinect news:MIT's new "Kinetic Blocks" enhances ability to build using Microsoft KinectMIT presents 3D printer that can print 10 materials simultaneously without breaking the bankZoom In, Zoom Out: Hashim Sarkis, Dean of MIT's School of Architecture + Planning, on...
The rainy season coincides with summer in Dakar, which means it’s the power-cut days. The heat goes up, A/Cs kick into gear and the power utility, Senelec, cannot cope. [...]
Enter solar. This potential renewable savior is a latecomer to Dakar because until recently solar power was banned in cities, as it was considered what the French pointedly call “compétition déloyale” – unfair competition.
But under pressure from Dakar’s own citizens, the ban was lifted under the last government [...]. — nextcity.org
China has announced plans to ban the use of coal in its smog-plagued capital by the end of 2020, as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities.
Beijing's Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website on Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating.
The Chinese central government recently listed environmental protection as one of the top criteria by which leaders will be judged. — Al Jazeera
There are more than 3,000 active oil and gas wells in Los Angeles County. Almost 4,680 new wells were drilled in 2012 across the state, bringing the total number to 210,000, according to the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources of the California Department of Conservation [...] Oil industry officials argue that drilling in California provides many economic benefits, and they downplay any potential health hazards. — LA Daily News
The world will face “insurmountable” water crises in less than three decades, researchers said Tuesday, if it does not move away from water-intensive power production.
A clash of competing necessities — drinking water and energy demand — will cause widespread drought unless action is taken soon [...]
“There will be no water by 2040 if we keep doing what we’re doing today,” researcher Benjamin Sovacool, director of the Center for Energy Technology at Aarhus University said... Tuesday. — Al Jazeera
Modernist houses from Asheville to Wilmington received top honors last week in the third annual George Matsumoto Prize for Modernist residential design across the state, sponsored by the award-winning non-profit organization North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH).The houses submitted had to be...
For a kid, a lifesize light-up spinning top that you can play in right in your neighborhood sounds like a dream come true -- and such is the case in Dordrecht, The Netherlands.The Energy Carousel by Madrid-based firm Ecosistema Urbano is a play structure that is both engaging and educational. As...
Rather than using cranes to take the building apart from the outside, they start from the inside, taking the structure apart floor by floor from the top down. A crane inside the building lowers materials harvested from each floor to ground level, generating electricity to power other equipment in the process. So with Tecorep, higher buildings are actually an advantage, since the crane can generate more electricity lowering materials over longer distances. — popsci.com
Oyster Creek, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Atlantic City, generates 630 megawatts (MW), or enough electricity to power 600,000 households. Situated about a mile inland from the brackish inlet of the Atlantic Ocean known as Barnegat Bay, it shares the same design as Japan's tsunami-crippled coastal nuclear plant, Fukushima Daiichi. — news.nationalgeographic.com
... a cache of biological samples appeared through the criminal networks of Mumbai, in the vain hope that it might provide new marketable narcotic opportunities. The collective drive and expertise of the refugees managed to turn theses genetically-engineered fungal samples into a new type of infrastructure - providing heat, light and building material for the refugees. Dharavi rapidly evolved it's own micro-economy based around the mushrooms. — tobiasrevell.com
Urban planning has focused on identifying many important questions about the formation and functioning of our cities. However, there is a lack of understanding about the spatial patterns related to material and energy use in cities. This work attempts to address this knowledge gap. — urbmet.org
urbmet.org is a web-map that illustrates data on material and energy use in cities. The goal is to provide an intuitive way of understanding this complex problem using an interactive interface. We have analyzed 42 cities and estimated material and energy intensities. To make this work as useful...
If you designed or built a home that met energy code just a few years ago, that same home will probably not be legal to build just a few years from now. Some might say it’s about time, while others may think it’s not a good idea to increase code requirements during a depressed housing economy. — blog.rmi.org
OriginOil, a start-up based in Los Angeles, CA., has begun a pilot of its urban algae farm concept at the La Défense complex near Paris. Wastewater from buildings nourishes algae growth; algae is processed to make heat. The company is attempting to prove that integrating algae production into large building complexes will help bring them closer to net zero. — smartplanet.com
It is no design flaw: encapsulated within the walls and ceiling panels is a gel that solidifies at night and melts with the warmth of the day. Known as a phase change material (PCM), the gel will help reduce the amount of energy needed to cool office space in the building - scheduled to house the molecular engineering department when completed this month - by a whopping 98 per cent. — newscientist.com
On Wednesday Lord Foster announced a plan so big that even Burnham would have been impressed. The Thames Hub, a £50bn project devised by architects Foster and Partners, planners and builders Halcrow and Volterra, a consultancy group of British economists, aims to revolutionise Britain's often creaking and largely inadequate national transport and energy infrastructure. — guardian.co.uk
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