Inhabitat’s Week in Inexperienced: oil rig oasis, bio-pyramids and Fb’s new house

Every week our associates at Inhabitat recap the week’s most fascinating inexperienced developments and clear tech information for us — it is the Week in Inexperienced.

Inhabitat's Week in Green: oil rig oasis, bio-pyramids and Facebook's new home

Tesla, the Silicon Valley-based mostly electrical carmaker, is unequalled with regards to automotive innovation, and now the corporate is shifting past the storage and into the house. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed earlier this yr that the corporate is creating a home battery that would assist householders go off the grid. However Musk is not achieved: He additionally introduced that Tesla would launch a brand new product — one that it is not a automotive — on the finish of April. Will it’s the home battery? We’ll simply have to attend and see.

The New York Auto Present kicked off final week, with press reveals of a few of hottest new hybrids and EVs, and Inhabitat was on the scene to get an early look. For the second yr in a row, BMW took the Inexperienced Automotive Award for the BMW i8, a modern hybrid that has an all-electrical vary of 23 miles and may go from zero to 60 in simply four.four seconds. Chevrolet made an enormous splash with two separate reveals on the present: the quicker and extra environment friendly 2016 Spark and the 2016 Malibu Hybrid, which is extra environment friendly because of know-how borrowed from the 2016 Chevy Volt. On the posh aspect of issues, Lexus took the wraps off the 2016 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid, which includes a sportier exterior than earlier fashions and is obtainable with a V6 hybrid powertrain. And within the city class, Sensible unveiled the brand new 2016 Fortwo, which is simply eight.eight ft lengthy, however options more room than older fashions. And on the opposite aspect of the nation, Inhabitat check-drove the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electrical Drive and the BMW i3 on the streets of Los Angeles for a head-to-head comparability. Click on by means of to seek out out which excessive-finish EV is best.

The winners of eVolo Journal‘s annual skyscraper competitors have been introduced final week, and Polish agency BOMP took prime honors for its Essence Skyscraper challenge. Amongst this yr’s honorable mentions was an unlimited bio-pyramid that might enclose the Egyptian pyramids inside a greenhouse-like biosphere. Designing buildings that assist to regenerate biodiversity was a serious theme of this yr’s competitors. The mobile Re-Generator Skyscraper, designed by Gabriel Munoz Moreno, would develop like a dwelling organism and assist China’s Hangzhou wetlands to get well. The Noah Oasis undertaking proposed reworking offshore oil rigs into bio-habitats that might clear up oil spills and restore broken marine ecosystems. In a proposal that seems like pure sci-fi, Chinese language designer Qidan Chen drew up plans for a skyscraper complicated that may facilitate the bogus copy of animal and plant species. A staff from China proposed constructing a radiant skyscraper that may purify the air and water in Chernobyl, absorbing radiation and giving off mushy- or excessive-depth mild. And a workforce of Malaysian designers produced plans for changing former mining websites into housing.

Inexperienced design is necessary, however inexperienced design that addresses a social want is even higher. Paul Lukez Structure has finished the latter by designing a small, “power plus” residence for a schoolteacher who needed to remain within the Boston space regardless of the ever-rising value of housing. Fb formally moved into its new Frank Gehry-designed, LEED-licensed headquarters in Menlo Park final week. The constructing encompasses a sprawling inexperienced roof and a vibrantly adorned inside. Italian structure agency Piuarch unveiled designs for the ENEL Pavilion on the upcoming Milan World Expo. The construction can be a bodily illustration of a sensible power grid utilizing 650 vertically oriented polycarbonate vectors. And on the furnishings design entrance, Christian Sjöström rolled out a brand new line of modular furnishings impressed by molecular buildings.

The Photo voltaic Impulse 2 landed in China final week, persevering with its quest to turn out to be the primary photo voltaic-powered airplane to fly all over the world. The aircraft, which is piloted by a pair of Swiss aviators, will make another cease in China earlier than heading to Hawaii. In different inexperienced power information, Fb could be dipping its toe within the photo voltaic-powered drone market. Their in-the-works drone, which is the dimensions of a business jet, would beam web alerts to communities that lack knowledge networks. Scientists on the College of Texas at Dallas are working to develop a brand new type of plastic utilized in tubing that may produce electrical energy when stretched. The fabric might have revolutionary results on each inexperienced power and medical purposes. Staff just lately broke floor on the UK’s first zero-carbon group, North West Bicester, and the primary residents are anticipated to maneuver into 393 zero-carbon houses later this yr. And one city in Texas — the guts of America’s oil nation — is anticipated to run on one hundred pc clear power by 2017. Georgetown, a city of about 50,000, is situated close to Austin (in fact). Israel put in 1,500 photo voltaic panels on the nation’s nationwide meeting in Jerusalem, making it the most important photo voltaic area of any parliament on the earth. And for renewable power on the go, there is no higher choice than the Pulse, the world’s first hybrid moveable charger, which may draw power both from a wall outlet or from a photo voltaic panel.

 Cover Feedback zeroFeedback

Featured Tales Sponsored Content material

Examine Your Devices

Inhabitat's Week in Green: oil rig oasis, bio-pyramids and Facebook's new home

Immediately examine merchandise aspect by aspect and see which one is greatest for you!

Attempt it now →