Nigeria’s Cost & Energy-Efficient Floating Schools (by NLÉ)
The Makoko Floating School is an ambitious project that is currently under construction in the water community of Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria by NLÉ, a collaborative agency whose mission is to provide architectural change for developing cities. The project seeks to create floating buildings that are designed to serve as educational classrooms for neighborhood children.
The three-story architectural structure, built as a triangular prism, is intended to float on water with a base made of 256 plastic drums. The floating construct is built with locally sourced wood, electrically powered with solar panels, and designed to house about 100 students.
While this first generation of floating buildings is being designated solely as educational center, the project is opening a new chapter in architectural design that can be applied to a variety of facilities for poor communities like Makoko to urbanize efficiently. Because of the project’s green initiatives, each building is more affordable and cost-effective. Additionally, they accommodate for the climate changes that are resulting in the rise of sea levels.
- The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
- If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3 percent less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12 percent.
- One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen.
- A number of studies have shown that real estate agents and home buyers assign between 10 and 23 percent of the value of a residence to the trees on the property.
- Surgery patients who could see a grove of deciduous trees recuperated faster and required less pain-killing medicine than matched patients who viewed only brick walls.
Read more. [Image: Colorbox]
“A recent report by As You Sow, a non-profit focusing on promoting “environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies”, shows that Americans are throwing cash in the trash, almost literally. At least 11.4 billion dollars in recyclables - steel, plastics, glass, paper, etc - are not recycled and thus wasted. The report argues for “extended producer responsibility” (EPR), which would shift the responsibility for post-consumer waste from taxpayers and municipal governments to the companies that produce the packaging, creating incentives for producers to reduce the amount of packaging they create, increasing packaging recycling rates, providing revenue to improve recycling systems, and reducing carbon and energy use.”
The Keystone XL Pipeline route will separate thousands of miles of animal habitat, destroy fragile forests, put thousands of farms at risk, and threaten drinking water aquifers used by dozens of cities where millions of Americans work and live - all for Canadian oil that will primarily be sold on the international market.
Above: South of Fort McMurray, swaths of trees were removed to make way for an underground oil pipeline that carries product from the oil sands mines to processing facilities. Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post
Dubai 2000 and 2010:
One of the best examples of the instant megacity, Dubai has changed dramatically since oil was discovered there in the 1960s. The change over just the past decade has been incredible.
Istanbul 1975 and 2011:
As Istanbul goes from blood red to grayish-beige in these images, the population grows from about 2.5 million in 1975 to 13 million in 2011.
See more. [Images: NASA and USGS]
Speaking of food consumption…here’s a quick primer on how drought will affect food prices.
Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. In the image, the areas classified as “probable melt” (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as “melt” (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting. The satellites are measuring different physical properties at different scales and are passing over Greenland at different times. As a whole, they provide a picture of an extreme melt event about which scientists are very confident. Credit: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory
› Hi-res of left image
› Hi-res of right image
Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Landsat satellite program — now the longest-running continuous acquisition of satellite images of the Earth’s surface. Over the years, Landsat has collected petabytes of images offering an historic perspective on planetary change that can help scientists, independent researchers, and nations make informed economic and environmental policy decisions.
We’re working with the USGS and Carnegie Mellon University, to make parts of this enormous collection of imagery available to the public in timelapse videos of the Earth’s surface. With them you can travel through time, from 1999-2011, to see the transformation of our planet. Whether it’s deforestation in the Amazon, urban growth in Las Vegas or the difference in snow coverage between the seasons. Here are a few highlights.
All right, chalk this one up to creative advertising at its best. I’m as much of a cynic as any when it comes to clever marketing ploys, but being able to totter into my back yard and plant my beer coaster at the end of the night is admittedly a pretty cool idea.
As part of Molson’s “Red Leaf Project,” the beer company is urging its fellow Canadians to get involved with restoring the country’s green spaces, distributing biodegradable coasters seeded with…well, seeds. Black Spruce seeds, specifically. Just plant them in a place legal to do so, and wait several years to see the fruits of your besotted labors.
Sadly, most Americans will miss out on this one, even if they do manage to get their hands on a Canadian seed coaster. Northern New York is about as far south as these trees will grow. But wherever you end up trying this, be sure you’re not mistakenly picked up for littering with lager on your breath. I don’t know that any police officer’s going to believe you’re actually planting trees. —MN