Thousands of folding glass panels cover the southern facade of the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi (above). Reacting to sunlight, they form a protective skin to decrease interior solar gain. It’s a modern riff on the best known element of Arabic architecture, in play since the Middle Ages. Meet the modern mashrabiya.
Picture what happens when the world’s only independent, chartered organization dedicated to achieving a sustainable world teams up with one of the oldest environmental engineering companies to underwrite an environmental photo contest. The eye-popping images of this year’s Atkins CIWEM “environmental photographer of the year” shortlist tell it all.
Despite the turbulence tearing through the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have solidified their commitment to clean energy with the newly formed Framework Agreement on Strategic Cooperation between Masdar and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE.) It’s leadership we desperately need.
Some projects that cross my desk are blatantly not as “green” as their investors want us to believe, yet have many redeeming qualities. Take Al Hamra Real Estate’s breakout mega-development, Falcon Island. It’s slated for construction in Ras-al-Khaimah, the emirate north of Dubai, and it’s going gangbusters with solar energy.
Tesla’s Elon Musk has made serious inroads to implement widespread use of electric vehicles, but he’s also got a hand in one of the most important solar energy deals of the century. Last week SolarCity purchased Silevo in New York in order to significantly scale up production of super efficient, high quality solar panels.
Researchers from Duke University in the United States warned that planet Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction event comparable to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
What’s the best way to get a nation of increasingly obese residents to embrace a healthier life? Host a World Cup and build a bunch of awesome sports clubs. Having secured 2022, the Qatar Olympic Committee has now commissioned Grimshaw Architects to install green recreational facilities throughout the emirate.
Dream of fresh organic food? Have little land in your town or city but plenty of patience? There is a new city gardening movement called aquaponics or AP. The movement is creating missionaries, new converts and maybe even some gurus, but there are also real people doing it in backyards, parks, basements or a garage near […]
Ocean acidification has reached record levels, so the deep-pocketed Board of XPRIZE are at it again – using “incentivization” to spark technological breakthroughs to “benefit humanity”. They’re holding out a pair of $1 million carrots to tempt everyone to conjure up a better sensor to measure ocean acidification – a malady caused by our continual […]
In the middle of the summer with no shade, the Sahelian region of Mali is hot. Blistering hot. So how did F8 Architecture build an A/C-free orphanage 50km south of Bamako without endangering the children? It’s all in the design.
Starbucks recently announced a plan to rollout access to wireless charging technology developed by Israel’s Powermat — in all stores across the United States.
As part of an effort to rescue certain Israeli cities from urban decay, the Ayalim Association has built a series of ‘student villages’ throughout the country. The latest in the hard-scrabble city of Lod, not far from Israel’s interntional airport, has been constructed out of recycled shipping containers, and will be inaugurated on 8 July, 2014.
How green are Israeli cities, really? This question might be asked by many; especially in light of its largest city, Tel Aviv (see photo), becoming so polluted that a tiny electric vehicle rental program is being tried out in an effort to reduce air pollution. Ground water in Tel Aviv and other parts of the […]
A local Iranian activist group Tavana is reporting that 40 notorious hunters from Iran have publicly given up the hunt. The stunning display of “gun bashing” Middle East style was caught on TV.
Theo Jansen transforms plastic bottles and conduit into skeletal frames – complete with movable joints, wings, and bellies – that are able to walk powered only by wind.
Israel’s dubious meat industry gets more sickening: we’ve already covered exposes of poultry fed with feces and pumped with toxic contaminants. Now it’s all about beef and how it’s frozen, treated laundry style and then resold as fresh.
Qatar Solar Energy has unveiled a massive factory that will produce high quality solar panels that make the most of the desert sun, a boon not just for the emirate, but potentially for the entire Middle East.
An important business community in Bnei Brak (Ramat Gan) outside of Tel Aviv has been made toxic by an asbestos fire that broke out last Wednesday. The asbestos fire, which ended up smouldering for days, took place in a one-story building with an asbestos roof that was used to store tires, clothing and electric bicycles.
Listen up class. There’s a mind-blowing biological anomaly called bilateral gynandromorphism, a condition where an animal or insect contains both male and female characteristics, evenly split smack down the middle. The end result is a creature that is literally half male and half female. It’s rare and most frequently spotted in birds, insects and crustaceans.
BITBOX will launch the Middle East’s first bitcoin ATM tomorrow evening local time in Tel Aviv. The specialized vending machine allows even novice bitcoin users to both purchase and sell bitcoins in a very secure manner.
The Castielfabib community of Valencia put on an especially exciting show during this year’s Las Fallas festival in Spain. An annual celebration that culminates on St. Joseph’s Day – (the patron saint of carpenters, of course), “The Fires” involves an entire community working together. And fire. Check out the geodesic dome that went up in flames.
In 1895, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky proposed to build a space elevator that could reach from Earth into space; it never got off the ground, but in 1957 another Russian – Yuri Artsutanov – came up with a more plausible idea. It wasn’t built either, but now he has a chance to judge a team of Israeli students who are tackling the concept […]
Is there anything that communicates more effectively than music? It transcends language, with a power unmatched among the Fine Arts to cross boundaries, express and evoke emotion, and unite disparate people.
Food insecurity is daunting, particularly in cities. And while industrial vertical farming offers a solution, the absence of chickens and may and other signs of farm life casts suspicion on this method of tech-based food production. Plantagon aims to bridge that divide with a solution that can be implemented on just about any building, anywhere.
Today Redeyef, Tunisia, is quite a scene: it’s a decrepit French colonial houses are surrounded by mountains of black phosphate sand, radioactive water lakes and its inhabitants, the vast majority unemployed, walk around with yellowish brown toothy smiles.