U.S. Wood Design Awards

This call for wood design nominations is for all lovers of wood! The due date is fast approaching (September 30 deadline) to nominate work for the Wood Design awards. Here is pertinent information from the website: Wood Design Awards celebrate excellence in wood design, engineering and construction, as well as innovative projects that showcase attributes of wood such as strength, beauty, versatility, cost effectiveness and sustainability. The Wood Design Awards program is intended to recognize architectural designers with the exception of…

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Origami Robot Folds Itself Up, Crawls Away

Think 3D printing and origami robots. Very interesting technology here from an MIT and Harvard team. For years, a team of researchers at MIT and Harvard University has been working on origami robots — reconfigurable robots that would be able to fold themselves into arbitrary shapes. In the August 7 issue of Science, they report their latest milestone: a robot, made almost entirely from parts produced by a laser cutter, that folds itself up and crawls away as soon as batteries…

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LEDs Shine in Bedding Plant Production Study

LEDs shine brightly in a new study. Growers of annual bedding plant seedlings or plugs work to produce compact, fully rooted transplants with a large stem diameter and high root dry mass–qualities that make seedlings less susceptible to damage during shipping and transplant. To achieve these desirable qualities, greenhouse growers in northern latitudes must rely on supplemental lighting from high-pressure sodium lamps during winter months. A new study shows that light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can give greenhouse growers other lighting options…

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Strength Tests & Simulated Earthquakes in Reno

 Meet the Earthquake Engineering Lab at University of Nevada, Reno. Engineers report a concrete bridge spanning 70 feet has survived an ongoing series of simulated earthquakes. We salute this kind of research. Structural tests like these should provide fundamentals in the design and development of new buildings and infrastructure worldwide. Take a look at this VIDEO. 70-foot-long, 52-ton concrete bridge survives series of simulated earthquakes University of Nevada, Reno’s new Earthquake Engineering Lab hosts multiple-shake-table experiments A 70-foot-long, 52-ton concrete…

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Renewable energy from solar and wind power

How Green Is Renewable Energy?

Thanks to ClimateWire for their interesting article on research into the environmental impact of manufacturing the equipment used to create renewable energy, something we don’t often discuss.  An excerpt is below: When it comes to energy, you have to invest some in order to get some. Whether drilling for oil or baking silicon for photovoltaic panels, there is an energy price for the energy we produce, researchers say. However, these considerations are often in a policy blind spot, and most…

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Green Discoveries: Magnetic Refrigeration

Refrigeration, a critical technology that supports, among other things, food and medicine sustenance in the 21st century, has no claim to having left behind it the greenest footprint. Without it, however, modern civilization would be nowhere near the same. Now a new discovery concerning magnetic refrigeration may open new paths for better environmental tools. Read this press release from AAAS concerning the work of Canadian and Bulgarian researchers. Magnetic cooling enables efficient, ‘green’ refrigeration WASHINGTON D.C., June 10, 2014 –…

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Design of the Farmery

Farmery Brings Urban Farms to Town

The Farmery, a combined grocery store and urban farm where grocery shoppers not only get a glimpse of how their food is grown, but also get to harvest some of their own ingredients, is the dream of Ben Greene and a team of eight others. With many urban areas suffering from a lack of options when it comes to fresh produce, The Farmery seems to offer a glimmer of hope.  Mini-Farmeries are already up and running in places like Durham, NC,  where fans…

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