The solar power industry is about to get a big boost in San Francisco. On April 19, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to become the first major US metropolitan area requiring that new buildings install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs.
California already mandates that new buildings with 10 floors or less designate at least 15% of their rooftop area (pdf, p8) as being ready for solar panel installation. — Quartz
"The city of San Francisco now requires that builders actually install solar panels in these areas (at a minimum) starting in 2017. Larger buildings are exempt for now."Curious about other efforts to make American cities reduce their carbon footprint through harvesting solar energy?...
Electric car company Faraday Future held a groundbreaking ceremony for its $1 billion manufacturing facility outside Las Vegas this afternoon, attended by Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, North Las Vegas mayor John Lee, and a host of other officials. There wasn't any actual "ground" broken, though, really — Faraday still needs to grade the land, which it says it will do "soon." — the Verge
[...]"Faraday's VP of Global Manufacturing Dag Reckhorn says that they are "moving extremely quickly for a project of this size" — a 3 million square-foot factory on 900 acres that the company claims will bring 4,300 jobs to the region over a decade — with plans to build in just two years...
Renewable energy like solar and wind is booming across the country as the costs of production have come down. But the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't blow when we need it to. [...]
A company called SolarReserve may have found a solution: It built a large solar plant in the Nevada desert that can store heat from the sun and generate electricity for up to 10 hours even after sundown. — npr.org
Related stories in the Archinect news:Denver selected to host the 2017 Solar DecathlonA river of solar power: a scheme for the Tijuana riverHow this new gigafactory may popularize residential solar power technology
In collaboration with Laisné Roussel and developer Pitch Promotion, Sou Fujimoto's proposed 50-meter tall mixed-use timber-frame structure Canopia would be the tallest of its kind if built. Riffing a bit off the swirling form of Fujimoto's Abre Blanc apartment building, the proposed structure...
For four decades, the problem of how to create an economically viable business producing power from waves has fascinated a specialized group of engineers, many of whom are concentrated around the sea-beaten coast of Scotland. Inventors have created all sorts of strange and wonderful devices to coax energy out of the water; investors have poured millions of pounds into the effort. — Quartz
"The problem is arguably one of the most perplexing in energy production. And maybe, just maybe, the answer is getting closer."Interested in other articles on the renewable energy? Take a look at these links:A river of solar power: a scheme for the Tijuana riverUS government agency develops new...
Dr. Orr revealed that Denver won the bid to host this biennial event, in which student teams compete to design, build, and operate cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar-powered houses. [...]
The competition is planned to be staged near a new development close to Denver International Airport. The area around the 61st and Peña Commuter Rail Station is positioned to become a national model for sustainable, transit-oriented, greenfield development [...]. — solardecathlon.gov
Archinect coverage of previous Solar Decathlons:2015 Solar Decathlon winner Stevens Institute of Technology addresses post-Sandy resiliency with the SURE HOUSEStudents endure the final home stretch at the U.S. Solar Decathlon 2015Archinect Field Trip: Solar Decathlon 2013, Basking in Arrays of...
A US government agency says it has attained the “holy grail” of energy – the next-generation system of battery storage, that has has been hotly pursued by the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) – a branch of the Department of Energy – says it achieved its breakthrough technology in seven years. — The Guardian
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) was founded back in 2009 as part of President Obama's economic recovery plan. So-called "moonshot projects" are often too risky for private investors, but this state-run initiative may have unlocked a new technology that others, from Elon Musk...
With over half of the world's population currently living in cities, and seventy percent of it predicted to be urban by 2050, Nissan and Foster + Partners have undertaken the design problem of creating a refuelling network that, among other things, allows electric cars to recharge wirelessly while...
Masdar City, when it was first conceived a decade ago, was intended to revolutionise thinking about cities and the built environment.
Now the world’s first planned sustainable city – the marquee project of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) plan to diversify the economy from fossil fuels - could well be the world’s first green ghost town.
As of this year [...] managers have given up on the original goal of building the world’s first planned zero-carbon city. — theguardian.com
A handful of scientists and policy makers are...grappling with the long-term environmental effect of an economy that runs increasingly on gotta-have-it-now gratification [...]
The environmental cost can include the additional cardboard — 35.4 million tons of containerboard were produced in 2014 in the United States, with e-commerce companies among the fastest-growing users — and the emissions from increasingly personalized freight services. — NY Times
As internet retailers compete to provide as-close-to-instant services to satiate our increasing desire for rapid gratification, our collective ecological footprint grows. The problem isn't just the cardboard boxes piling up on your doorstep, but also the carbon emissions required to get that...
The appetite of western consumers for home furnishings has reached its peak – according to Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer.
The Swedish company’s head of sustainability told a Guardian conference that consumption of many familiar goods was at its limit.
“If we look on a global basis, in the west we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff … peak home furnishings,” Steve Howard said [...] — the Guardian
Related:Ikea and Airbnb: a match made in globalized heaven?Get a glimpse of these hacked IKEA kitchens by BIG, Henning Larsen, and NORM ArchitectsUN Refugee Agency Commissions 10k Ikea-designed Better SheltersWhy is Ikea a Non-profit?
Congratulations are due to Olafur Eliasson who's just been given a Crystal Award for his "exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world".
Ahead of the World Economic Forum, which takes place later this week in Davos, Eliasson was singled out for particular praise major works including The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, The Weather Project, and Riverbed. — phaidon.com
"Eliasson who joins fellow winners Leonardo DiCaprio (for his work publicising climate change) actress Yao Chen (for her work raising awareness of the refugee crisis) and will.i.am (for his leadership in creating educational opportunities for the underserved)."More of Eliasson in the Archinect...
In this rush to urbanize, China also has an enormous opportunity to move toward a “new pattern of urbanization.” Chinese cities could fulfill their potential to be the most energy-efficient human habitat rather than stoking energy consumption. — NextCity.org
With a projected urban population of one billion by 2030, China needs a few more cities—but it needs them to be sustainable, a challenge that could be met if smart growth and planning is instituted now. According to this article, no perfect eco-city model exists yet, but certain practices could...
It is well established that white roofs can mitigate the urban heat island effect, reflecting the sun's energy back into space and reducing a city's temperature. In a new study of Guangzhou, China, researchers found that during a heat wave, the effect is significantly more pronounced. Reflective roofs, also called cool roofs, save energy by keeping buildings cooler, thus reducing the need for air conditioning. — Science Daily
According to a new study by Berkeley lab researchers Dev Millstein, Ronnen Levinson, and Pablo Rosado, alongside Meichun Cao and Zhaohui Lin of the Institute of Atmospheric Physic in Beijing, so-called "cool roofs," or roofs painted white, substantially reduce the urban heat island effect during...
The last deep-pit coal mine in the U.K. plans to shut its doors here next week, heralding the end of a centuries-old industry that helped fuel the industrial revolution and build the British Empire.
The shutdown [...] represents a victory for advocates of reducing carbon emissions after world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss how to combat global warming, with coal in the cross hairs. It also reflects a glut of energy on world markets, from crude oil to natural gas and coal itself. — wsj.com
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