• Climate-Friendly Architecture Thanks to Natural Folding Mechanisms

    Active components on buildings such as blinds whose design was copied from naturally occurring solutions — that is the subject of the research conducted by a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the University of Freiburg, and the University of Stuttgart. The aim is to equip them with drive elements that can move without any electrical energy input. Serving as a model here are conifer pine cones, which utilize the varying swelling behaviors of their tissue to open when

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  • Stanford researchers test public receptiveness to different wind energy turbines

    With global carbon emissions on the rise, wind power continues to be an attractive option for states and countries looking to limit fossil fuel use and increase renewable energy. Wind already accounts for over 5 percent of electricity generation in the United States. However, a number of issues plague the low-carbon energy source, such as complaints from nearby residents about noise and the killing of hundreds of thousands of birds and bats each year that collide with turbine blades.

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  • A Tiny House Big on Style

    Three years ago, when Carleton architecture student and national team whitewater kayaker, Ben Hayward, took time off from his studies to train and compete in Europe in a bid to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the cost of accommodation and travel was tough to manage on his amateur athlete’s budget.

    So Hayward bought a used flatbed truck for just over $2,000 and, with $7,500 in materials and help from a Welsh mechanic friend, built a 72-square-foot wooden camper with a small

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  • Cool Roofs Have Water Saving Benefits Too

    The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun’s energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that cool roofs can also save water by reducing how much is needed for urban irrigation.

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  • New biomass plant to cut Simon Fraser University's greenhouse gases by two-thirds

    A new project at Simon Fraser University (SFU) will soon divert wood waste from the landfill and help reduce greenhouse gasses at the University.

    SFU and SFU Community Trust are collaborating with Corix Multi-Utility Services Inc., on a $33-million community-based biomass project called the Burnaby Mountain District Energy Utility (BMDEU).

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  • AIM to Grow Conference held on the Agricultural Campus

    The Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture, the Government of the Netherlands and a group of Dutch agri-food companies, Greenhouse industries and organizations, are teaming up to explore the possibilities of supporting more local food production and related R&D using innovative Controlled Environment Agriculture in Atlantic Canada.

    Controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) is a technology-based approach toward food production. The aim is to provide protection and maintain

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  • Sustainable Engineering Solutions for Water and Energy

    Onita Basu still vividly remembers the exact moment she decided to devote her career to sustainable water solutions and practices.

    “I was in a second-year Chemical Engineering lab working with a solution of water that looked relatively clean,” she recalls. “When I passed the water through a treatment process I was shocked to see an incredible amount of dissolved copper emerge from the solution and begin coating onto various surfaces. It was an eye-opening experience

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  • Biomimicry = Return on Inspiration

    It seems so obvious now: innovators are turning to nature for inspiration in building, chemistry, agriculture, energy, health, transportation, computing–even the design of organizations and cities. Biomimicry is taught from kindergarten to university and practiced in all scales of enterprise.

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  • Sustainable food startup looks north through non-profit partnership

    A University of Toronto startup that sells vertical hydroponic growing systems has joined forces with a Ryerson University-linked non-profit to bring down the stratospheric cost of fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada’s northernmost communities.

    The unique partnership was forged at this year’s OCE innovation conference after Conner Tidd, a co-founder of U of T’s Just Vertical, ran into the founders of Ryerson’s Growing North. Tidd knew Growing North had built

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  • New USGS Filter Removes Phosphorus from Waste Water

    A tabletop water filter demo designed to remove phosphorus from waste water has in five-years grown into a fully functional water treatment system capable of filtering more than 100-thousand gallons per day.

    Designed by a small U.S. Geological Survey team, this cost-effective and environmentally friendly water filter system uses discarded mining byproducts, called mine drainage ochre, as the primary filtering agent to remove phosphorus from municipal and agricultural waste waters.

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