Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Buildings

In an effort to promote sustainable development the Kingdom of Jordan has announced that all of their mosques will soon run on solar energy.  Jordan currently imports 96% of the energy they use.  Since around 300 of Jordan’s days are sunny, solar power is one great solution to their energy constraints.  The photovoltaic solar systems for power generation project will start by covering 120 mosques and installation will continue at other mosques across the country.

blog JordanThe country’s mosques are expected to see huge savings and even solar revenues from the project.  Check out more detail about this expansive solar project here.

 

 

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April 3rd, 2015
5:26
 

Population growth and over-reliance on resources that have ‘given us all they’ve got’ has caused overcrowding and problems the world over that have created shortages of many kinds – lack of materials, poor nutrition, healthcare & medicine being unavailable – you name it!  Here is a story concerning the Asian sector of the globe about the need for better methods that will serve to help people and the environment!

Asian countries urged

 

to plan for sustainable

 

urbanization

 

Urbanization drives Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse, but for this growth to be sustainable, careful planning is being urged to create more resilient cities that are not only resource-efficient, but also promote quality of life.”

 

Shell brought around 300 leading thinkers together for its 2015 Powering Progress Together Asia forum in Manila, Philippines, on February 26 to discuss how each sector of society can help cities become more resilient and liveable in the face of rapid urbanisation and resource pressures.  Click the pic to visit the site and learn about the forum!

Crowded street

Here are a couple of sites for the companies mentioned in the article posted on Inquirer.net that you should visit if you are interested in getting involved with Smarter Planet Planning for better urban life around the world:

Xyntéo: “Xyntéo’s mission is to reinvent growth.”

The Manila Observatory: “At the turn of the 21st century, the Observatory finds itself at the nexus of global concerns for environment and development.”

Shell Corporation: “At Shell, we use human ingenuity, innovation and technology to unlock the energy our customers need to power their lives in the years ahead, while aiming to limit our impact on the environment.”

Is there work that you’re doing along these lines?  Will you propose the next great system or technology that pushes urbanization to the new levels needed to keep our planet humming along?  There’s much to do – be a part of it!

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One may look to their orange tree to find the source of a new technology that employs orange tree trimmings to produce acoustic insulation.  The new material is more environmentally friendly to produce and an improvement in terms of acoustic insulation compared to conventional laminated gypsum boards.

blog orange tree

The Universitat Politècnica de València has teamed up with researchers at the Universitat de Girona and created acoustic insulation from orange tree trimmings by a defibration (or “digestion”) process which is then combined with polypropylene, a common plastic found in a wide variety of products, including toys and automobile parts.

The new insulation boards meet the objectives of the European research programme Horizon 2020, which focuses on replacing materials that can damage the environment with natural or recycled raw materials.

The team is working on improving the compositions to further increase their insulation properties, and is also working with ground olive stones in a similar way to the orange trimmings, having achieved very promising preliminary results.

I wonder what other unconventional materials can be used to produce insulation – there must be thousands once the technology to transform them is identified.  This really gets one thinking….. hmmmm…

 

 

 

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Amusement park rides have traditionally been for… well… amusement.  They draw in flocks of families with children, those of a certain age seeking to recapture the fun they had as youngsters, and tourists visiting a particular locale seeking something other than the quiet of a museum to put a spark into their vacation travel.

Here is a concept that’s being explored by the Netherlands to turn an icon of the amusement park into an energy-producing vehicle with a multiplicty of purposes.  Besides producing electricity, the circular construction will also house apartments and a hotel, as well as other possible businesses!

Take a spin inside The Dutch Windwheel

Read more about it here:  Windwheel Roller Coaster Generates  Electricity

The bladeless wind turbine would rely on technology called an electrostatic wind energy convertor, which was developed at Delft Technical University.

 

How utterly wild would it be to actually LIVE inside this structure?  Since the turbine is bladeless, you’d be surrounded by comfort and quiet…a pretty nice combo for an apartment dweller.  What ‘unusual’ architecture will you contribute to the new look for the Smart Cities of tomorrow?  (Click the pic above if you want to see more about the future of building)

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There are new tiny dwellings that are called microhomes.  The QB2 is an example of one such home that can be built in 4 hours.

QB2 is a practical, modern microhome, in which one person or a couple can live a comfortable low-carbon life.

blog qb2

Take your guided tour of this ingenious house now

Some very practical applications for these microhomes include:

  • For “boomerang kids” or others seeking independent housing
  • For leisure/holiday purposes, usable all year round
  • For emergency accommodation, e.g. in post-disaster situations
  • For construction workers or other workers in remote locations

Later developments of this model have been produced are even more versatile – with moving walls to better utilize the interior space.  These later models are called QB-Move and can be moved around when you move around.

I don’t know if I could live in such small quarters, but for those who can, what a wonderful way to reduce your footprint!

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