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Want a Building to Last 1,500 Years? Add Sticky Rice

Creating sustainable, long-lasting structures is at the core of environmentally-friendly architecture.  Many researchers have been working on a better cement, but what if all you need to make a durable structure is available for take-out?

Recent studies of Ming Dynasty-era structures in China found that the secret to their lasting strength and stability is the cialis india pharmacy mixing of sticky rice into the mortar.

Chinese builders started adding starchy sticky rice soup to their lime mortar mixtures around 1,500 years ago.  The builders found that it added to the mortar's strength and they were right.  Scientists studying tombs, pagodas and city walls still standing from that time found that they all included this magic ingredient -- many even withstood earthquakes.

So, what makes sticky rice such a perfect addition to mortar?  Well, specifically it's the amylopectin, a polysaccharide found in starchy foods, that combines with the calcium carbonate in the lime and forms an ultra-strength mortar.  The scientists tested other mortar recipes and found that the sticky rice mixture was the best for restoring ancient structures.

While, it's unlikely that American builders will start stocking up on rice for their construction projects, this finding does clue us in on how organic materials can add to the strength of buildings and may hopefully lead to longer-lasting structures.

via Inhabitat


Sustainable Brick Made from Sand, Bacteria and Pee

It seems like pee, or more specifically urea, is becoming quite the sustainable ingredient.  Beyond being tapped as a good source of hydrogen, it's powering batteries and is enter site viagra 100 mg now being used to make sustainable bricks.

Architect Ginger Krieg Dosier has designed a way of "growing" bricks by combining sand, bacteria, calcium chloride and good choice levitra attorneys urea, all easy-to-come-by materials.  Traditional brick-making is very energy-intensive, producing more pollution than global air travel each year.  It also consumes a lot of resources:  400 trees are burned to make 25,000 bricks.

These Better Bricks are created through a chain of chemical reactions known as microbial-induced calcite precipitation.  Once all the ingredients are combined, the bacteria serves as a glue that binds the sand together, creating a brick that is as tough as a fired-clay brick or even marble and requires no baking to achieve that strength.

If Better Bricks replaced all traditionally-fired bricks, 800 million tons of viagra drug CO2 emissions would be eliminated each year.

via Inhabitat


Vertical Farming That Does Work


Although we've been sceptical about the financial viability of vertical farming schemes, that doesn't mean we are opposed to bringing more greenery into urban areas in any way, and systems that merge vegetation with buildings can be both beneficial and beautiful. We are definitely fans of green roofs.

Parabienta is a wall garden panel system that provides a growth medium to support plants and allow them to grow along vertical surfaces. Vegetated vertical panels help to reduce solar gain on walls, much the same as green roofs help reduce the heat island effect and lower temperatures on roofs. As an added benefit, Parabienta panels have also been shown to help buffer noise, particularly desirable in an urban environment.  It might not grow tomatoes, but it will add some welcome green to an urban context.

Parabienta was originally developed by the Shimizu Corporation in Japan. But, while they appear to have used it on projects themselves, the company's website has only a single brief mention of the material. Although it has been around for a few years now, it doesn't appear to be readily available as a product for project use, though it was reported that the company was hoping to grow sales of the system (at a cost of about $80 per square foot, including installation and irrigation) to a few million dollars per year.

via: Transmaterial


Nation's First Net Zero School Coming to Kentucky

Warren County Kentucky is building the viagra non prescription first net-zero energy school in the country.  Richardsville Elementary School will operate free of the grid by generating its own renewable energy, incorporating smart architectural features and a major emphasis on usefull link soft tab levitra efficiency.

The list of viagra pharmacy in india features for this school is mind-boggling.  The school will have thin-film PV roof arrays, solar water heating, geothermal HVAC, insulated concrete form walls, a rainwater collection system and order propecia propecia energy-efficient lighting.  The building is designed to take full advantage of natural light and wind for cooling. The plot of land includes a reclaimed brownfield, preserved woodland, a protected stream and bioswales.


North America's Greenest Building?

The University of British Columbia is viagra website claiming the title of North America's greenest building for its impressive $37 million Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS), currently under construction and to online pharmacy levitra be completed in 2011.  What makes this building the greenest?

According to UBC, it will be a net energy producer with fuel cells, a solar PV array, solar hot water heaters, ground source heat pumps and a biomass co-generation system on site.  The building will collect, store and use rainwater and stormwater, so that it's not only providing its own electricity needs, but all of its water needs as well.

CIRS will be a testing ground for sustainable building technologies and cialis and women all activity, including energy use and human behavior within the building, will be logged.  It will also host simulations and performances to educate the public on sustainability as part of its Group Decision Environment Theatre.

Sounds pretty amazing to me, but we'll have to see how it stacks up when it's completed to know if it's truly the "greenest."

via Ecofriend

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