22
Thu, Feb

  • 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 wind turbine, solar panels and a round door at the back. He lived in the “Hobbit Van” for two years, driving from country to country to attend races, sleeping in parking lots.

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  • New technology capable of converting waste into bio-energy coming to University of Alberta

    A shipping container-sized pilot plant that can process a variety of wastes into valuable biofuels will be shipped from Germany to Edmonton thanks to a new future energy research collaboration between the University of Alberta and Germany’s Fraunhofer Society.

    The plant, known as Biobattery, uses thermo-catalytic reforming (TCR) technology developed by Fraunhofer bioengineering researcher Andreas Hornung to process a variety of wastes into three valuable products––bio-oil, char and gases––at a rate of 30 kilograms per hour.

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  • MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic

    Discarded plastic bottles could one day be used to build stronger, more flexible concrete structures, from sidewalks and street barriers, to buildings and bridges, according to a new study.

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  • Rising Sea Levels Creating First Native American Climate Refugees

    Rising sea levels and human activities are fast creating a "worst case scenario" for Native Americans of the Mississippi Delta who stand to lose not just their homes, but their irreplaceable heritage, to climate change.

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  • Here's why your sustainable tuna is also unsustainable

    Tuna is one of the most ubiquitous seafoods. It can be eaten from a can or as high-end sashimi and in many forms in between. But some species are over-fished and some fishing methods are unsustainable. How do you know which type of tuna you’re eating?

    Some tuna is certified as sustainably caught by groups such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) that set standards for sustainable fishing. But these certifications are only good if they are credible.

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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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  • Food insecurity and quality a big concern for Atlantic region's First Nations

    Newly published results from a study on food security and quality in First Nations communities in the Atlantic provinces show that food insecurity is rampant and that many households would like more access to traditional foods. The study found that 31% of First Nations households in the Atlantic provinces are severely or moderately food insecure, compared to the national average of 8%.

    The First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study (FNFNES), led by the University of Ottawa in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations and the University of Montreal, is the first national study of its kind. The recently published report for the Atlantic provinces details the dietary patterns, lifestyle and general health status of over 1,000 adults in 11 randomly selected First Nations communities.

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  • Extreme weather puts focus on climate change adaptation for buildings

    Forest fires in British Columbia. Floods in Quebec. Hurricanes in Texas. While it’s difficult to say definitively that such events are caused by climate change, there’s little doubt that a warming world exacerbates such extreme weather—and that our society will need to be ready for more of them.

    These are the kinds of issues on Anika Bell’s mind as she prepares to pursue her master’s of applied science at the University of Victoria in the new year. Bell’s previous research was featured in an infographic at the Livable Cities Forum in Victoria in September, where planners, policymakers and other professionals across Canada discussed ways to build cities equipped for current and future climate change impacts.

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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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  • Toward efficient high-pressure desalination

    The desalination industry, a critical source of potable water in many arid regions, generated more than $13 billion last year and is expected to double within a decade. Most desalination plants today use a process called reverse osmosis (RO), which forces water through huge rolls of membranes, leaving the salt behind. One of the most expensive operational challenges for such plants is the fouling of these membranes by microorganisms.

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