Archive for Architecture

Clean Up After Yourself

When you were a child, you most likely heard your parents talk to you alot about cleaning up after yourself when you eat, play, or do anything that may be messy. Alot of officials haven’t been listening to their parents. In the age of rapid modernization and “Empire”, the aim of most countries is to gain hegemony or global influence through economical means. They choose to go about their goals by building more to strengthen their economies, but they find it unnecessary to analyze their methods and the effects of them. This is exact problem that Dubai finds itself in at the moment. While their skyline is one of the most beautiful of the middle eastern area, the ground is a whole different story. The challenge of water is evolving to much more than just a problem: due to the recent growth much of their water has been tainted by waste and unfortunately the water treatments plants in the area don’t have the energy to clean all of it up. To respond to this problem, Dubai has decided to increase its erudition in nuclear energy. This venture seeks to solve the problem of desalination, and the lack of energy for the new buildings. It’s necessary to clean up after yourself, and, in fact, plan out clean up before you begin your endeavor.

Jesse Anyalebechi

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Want A Box?

Have you ever made fun of someone by saying that they live in a box? Hopefully after reading this blog, you’ll change your opinion about that. Green( environmental friendly) architects has been designing and building houses out of old shipping containers. Not only is environmentally friendly because these shipping containers because instead of having these shipping containers laying around and collecting dust, architects are recycling them and turning them into houses. These container houses is like regular houses, it’s just as comfortable and it has no drawbacks. The only difference between a container house and a regular house is that a container house a bit small but estimated to be 150,00 cheaper and WAY more environment friendly. But houses aren’t the only things being built from these shipping containers; some architects are even planning to make stores and other facilities out of these shipping containers. But shipping containers is just the beginning, architects and scientist are looking for more alternative ways to build houses and hoping that one day everyone will have a green house to live in.

~Phil Pham

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Fab Tree Hab

No, this is not an alien dwelling on Mars or a robot on Earth 50 years from now. This is a model home designed by three scientists from MIT’s Team H.E.D. (Human Ecology Design): Mitchell Joachim Ph.D., Lara Greden Ph.D., and Javier Arbona, M.S. It was intended to replace old and outdated Habitat for Humanity homes by proposing to grow homes out of native trees.

The idea behind this is for plants to grow manually over a plywood scaffold. Once they interweave with one another, the plywood can be removed and used again to build another “Fab Tree Hab”. Each one is expected to make effective contributions to its ecosystem by significantly removing human impact. The house is heated by solar energy and cooled by special soy based plastic windows that draw in cold air. A rain trough harvests water for human use and works together with the habitat’s plumbing system. What makes the plumbing system interesting is that thought the use of gravity it irrigates the garden, gets filtered by pond organisms, and manages to provide water for household appliances. This house gives nutrients to the environment through its exteriors and walls along with a composting system which treats human waste. Each part of the house gives something back to the environment!

However, this house is still only an experiment and a work in progress and many issues still have to be worked out such as water flow and longevity. Despite the little kinks in its planning, the Fab Tree Hab is undoubtedly a product of innovation. After its completion, people will finally get to say: “I’m going to go water my house”.

~Mohit Argarwal

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Printing Buildings

Straying away from search engines now, we move onto other interesting topics. One in particular that is both cool as a concept, and even cooler when you realize the environmental implications, is a huge printer which could potentially print out entire buildings.

On top of being able to print out rather sturdy structures very cheaply and at a faster rate then conventional methods, the printer also gives out little waste in comparison to standard buildings, which means that less resources are necessary to produce more efficient buildings. The buildings it produces are like the fluroscent lightbulbs of architecture!

However, as it is still emerging technology, not an awful lot should be expected yet. The printer is currently only set to create structures on the moon with no immediate plans for earth-based used. Still, the point is that if this kind of technology could be expanded upon, researched, and used on Earth, there would be one more ‘green’ thing done that would also bolster expansion into new fields of design and technology which have never been explored before. If used right, this could be revolutionary and work on a scale unseen since the last great innovation!

~Jay Meza

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Discovering Houston’s Discovery Green

After all the turkey is done, members of the Green Debate Team and the NAHS Green squad plan to spend the day at Houston’s very own Discovery Green in Downtown Houston. As a part of their Fall TPS project, sponsored by the United Nation’s Foundation, our kids will take time out of their busy Thanksgiving weekend to get to know more about the great offerings of our very own Green Park, and share their knowledge of climate change issues with fellow Houstonians.

The team hopes to have a booth available where they can do green face painting, share information about climate change that they have researched and our green activities, and help others discover the beauty of Discovery Green. Besides all the other great permanent features that the park has to offer, they also have approximately 50 Art Globes erected around the park, each highlighting important issues of climate change, energy issues, and other environmental concerns. The team will design a scavenger hunt type game around these globes and all members will take pictures of these great pieces of art to share them on our blogs in the months to come. It is our hope to help promote the power of art, words, and action in protecting our environment.

More definite details will follow, but currently, we plan to begin the day by promoting our very own online Alief TPS Climate debates by inviting elected officials to log on

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The process of going Green!!

After Ike, Galveston is on their process healing.  And out of all the bad things a good thing came out of all of this. Moody Garden resort is taking this opportunity to go green.

Moody-GardensHaving to fix and replace a lot of their systems, Moody Garden is replacing it to be more environmental friendly. They’ve added a generator that uses steam to create the electricity they use; with no pollution, clean energy is truly clean.

 Moody Gardens is also using the debri from hurricane Ike had left behind as mulch from their garden. It helps preserve water and Also help recycle at the same time.

Moody Garden’s colorful garden has only Native plants, it’s easier to take and they use a lot less water. Beautiful and easy to take care of, how cool is that?

Moody Garden is also taking a lot of effort in their recycling program; from plastic bottles to cans and paper and even electronics like cell phones.

-Lisa Le

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Thanks to all

Thanks to all the people who contributed to the blog in order to make it a success. All these posts help keep us high up inside of the competition this was made for, and so now we have made it to the top 10 because of it. The team is now able to send some students to New York to the United Nations Headquarters in order to learn more about helping out the environment.

As such, this is most likely the last update until late into the next school year, when we continue to all work together on these green activities. Until then, thanks once more to all the people that have contributed. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you guys.

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