ArchiWEB Explorer: Environment

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Civitas Designs Water Resiliency into Denver North Stapleton Open Space Plan

With the catastrophic storm flooding in Houston and Florida again sounding the alarm about development patterns and ever-expanding impermeable urban surfaces in cities across the U.S., the sustainable design strategies for one Denver neighborhood stand out. Denver-based urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas has been instrumental in the design of Stapleton, a 4000-acre mixed-use brownfield redevelopment on the former Stapleton Airport site, since the community’s inception in 1988, particularly in the articulation of its beloved parks and greenways. Now as final developable acreage in Stapleton is being graded for construction, most of the parks system has opened, even as the North Stapleton Open Space Plan for the newest neighborhoods north of I-70 has won Civitas an ASLA Colorado merit award. A final centerpiece of the plan—Prairie Meadows Park—is scheduled to open spring of 2018.

Elegant Energy-Free Air Conditioner Can Drop Temperatures by 26 Degrees

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

At a glance, the honeycomb structure of terracotta tubes looks more like large-scale work of handmade sculpture than a highly designed air conditioner. Developed for an electronics factory in New Delhi, this evaporative cooling device requires no power to lower interior temperatures by as much as 26 degrees Fahrenheit.

Designed by Ant Studio for DEKI Electronics in New Delhi, the low-tech strategy taps into a long history of passive cooling systems that employ water rather than power. Water passing through the clay pipes and falling into the basin below looks and sounds soothing, but it also lower air temperatures as it evaporates.

Vegan Antlers: Mount Wall Trophy Plants Instead of Animals

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

wall mounted deer

Combining a Japanese floral arrangement tradition (ikebana) with the hunting convention of mounted trophies, these plant holders allow for clever, colorful and ever-changing organic displays.

wall mounted flower pink

The Elkebana consists of a pair of glass flower holders set into a familiar wooden wall plaque, designed by Fabio Milito & Paula Studio and hand-crafted in Italy.

wall flower horns design

Radiation from Fukushima took more than two years to reach North America’s West Coast


Have you been downing iodine like mad to protect your body against all that nuclear radiation emitted from the Fukushima meltdown? If so, it looks like your precautions might have been a bit premature, as recent research shows it took more than two years for the cesium 134 and 137 particles to journey from Japan across the Pacific to the West Coast of North America. And even since then, radiation levels in the waters remain at levels considered safe.

Fairy Pools

Al sur de la Isla de Skye, en Escocia, se encuentra uno de lugares que alberga más fantasía y más belleza natural del planeta: las Fairy Pools, o albercas de hadas.
Las piscinas naturales se forman debido al trazado del río Brittle, que erosiona la roca. Es esta misma roca, la que filtra el agua provocando que ésta sea cristalina y libre de impurezas. A ambos lados del río crece una vegetación peculiar de tono violáceo, creando un paisaje muy especial.

India’s “Water Gandhi” harvests rainwater to transform dust bowls into lush agricultural areas

Singh Tarun Bharat Sangh

By using an ancient method of rainwater harvesting, Rajendra Singh is bringing about massive change to drought-stricken areas of India. 30 years ago, Singh visited Rajasthan—one of the most poverty-striken regions in the country—with the hope of establishing some health clinics there. Upon his arrival, the villagers made it known that water was of far greater urgency, as their wells had dried up, and their crops were dying. So, Singh taught the people there how to build johads, which are traditional earthen dams that can catch the annual monsoon rains. Since his arrival, over 8,500 dams have been built, and they now collect water for over a thousand villages in Rajasthan. Last week, Singh received the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize, which is also referred to as “the Nobel Prize for water”, in honor of the incredible work he has done.

RV There Yet? Abandoned Trailers Of The Salton Sea Shore

[ By Steve in Culture & History & Travel. ]

California’s Salton Sea was once a sparkling desert oasis, attracting vacationers in mobile homes and RVs. The people have gone but their trailers remain.


Bill Gates drinks water made from shit


In his quest to help save the planet, Bill Gates has literally tasted the next evolution in waste water technology—drinking water recycled from human waste. Gates visited the Omniprocessor, a new machine that can turn sewage into drinking water, and posted a video of his first sip on his blog GatesNotes. Check it out below:

Read the rest of Bill Gates drinks water made from sewer sludge via the Omniprocessor

Industrial Scars: Aerial Photos of Humankind’s Harrowing Impact on Earth

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Photography & Video. ]

In strikingly well-composed, vividly colored scenes resembling abstract paintings, J. Henry Fair’s aerial photographs of toxic waste and industrial activity on Earth give us an uncomfortable look at the cost of human progress. In fact, the images seem unreal: how could the damage caused by industrial pollution be so strangely beautiful? Tar sands, mountaintop removal mining, fertilizer runoff, coal ash, factory farming and devastating oil spills aren’t exactly the stuff that stunning art is usually made of, but Fair is no ordinary artist, forcing us to face the duality of what we’ve created.

Japan is building a 250-mile concrete sea wall to keep tsunamis at bay

japan, tsunami, sea wall, seawall, construct, build, concrete, barrier, marine, sea life, ocean, fukushima

It’s an age-old philosophy: if you want to keep something out, just build a big wall. That’s exactly how Japan is approaching future tsunamis in the wake of the 2011 disaster that wiped out much of its northeastern coast and incited the Fukushima meltdown. The country is in the process of building a roughly 250-mile-long chain of cement sea walls along its coastline—some of which are five stories high in places—with the aim of keeping future giant waves at bay.