Africa: compressed earth water towers
Author and architect, Ronald Rael, says, “Currently it is estimated that one half of the world’s population—approximately three billion people on six continents—lives or works in buildings constructed of earth. And while the vast legacy of traditional and vernacular earthen construction has been widely discussed, little attention has been paid to the contemporary tradition of earth architecture. “
As a result, Ronald Rael, an assistant professor of architecture at The University of California, Berkeley, founded Eartharchitecture.org as a web clearinghouse of information on the subject. He also published a book on the subject.
Both the website and book provide the kind of information any sustainable architect or builder should have on hand.
Specifically, both the website and book provide visitors with a history of building with earth in the modern era. It focuses on projects constructed in the last few decades that use rammed earth, mud brick, compressed earth, cob, and other techniques.
Read more of this >>
Auto farm graveyard in Nebraska Photo: GR Meyers
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have unveiled the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. The new proposed standards are for three categories of heavy trucks: combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and vocational vehicles.
“The EPA and DOT sent draft rules to the White House in August.
“The program, proposed by EPA and DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is projected to reduce GHG emissions by about 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years.
“For combination tractors, the agencies propose engine and vehicle standards that begin in the 2014 model year and achieve up to a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption by 2018 model year.
“For heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, the proposal calls for separate gasoline and diesel truck standards, which phase in starting with 2014 model year and cut emissions and fuel consumption 10 percent for gasoline vehicles and 15 percent for diesel vehicles by 2018 model year (12 and 17 percent respectively if accounting for air conditioning leakage).
“For vocational vehicles, the agencies propose engine and vehicle standards starting in 2014 model year, which would reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption 10 percent by 2018 model year.
“Overall, the heavy-duty national program would provide $41 billion in net benefits over the lifetime of model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles, together with the potential for fuel efficiency gains, ranging from seven to 20 percent.”
This is a good story to read from Simone Preuss. It starts:
“The Great Mosque in Djenné, Mali is not only the world’s largest mud brick building but also a model of ecofriendly and sustainable architecture. Though the current mosque was ordered to be built by the French colonial administration in 1906, its style follows African ones of the region. In fact, the mosque is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of the architectural style found in the very dry Sahel and Sudanian regions south of the Sahara, where Islamic influences are abundant. Other examples include the Agadez Grand Mosque in Niger and the Larabanga Mosque in Ghana.”
Thanks for this story, Simone!
Blog Action Day is today, and focuses on the issue of water.
What is Blog Action Day?
Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. This year’s topic is water. For facts, figures, and post ideas, click here.
These clips come from Business Fights Poverty.
Read the post by Andy Wales, Head of Sustainable Development at SABMiller: “Could a floating brewery provide a business solution to water scarcity?”
Add your own post here, and join the other 33 million bloggers participating in Blog Action Day 2010: http://www.businessfightspoverty.org
Visit Business Fights Poverty at: http://businessfightspoverty.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
Almost 1 billion people on this planet live without enough water.
Mark October 15 and participate!
That is when bloggers across more than 100 countries participate in Change.org’s Blog Action Day for clean water. The purpose of this event is to debate, brainstorm and raise global awareness around clean water. Participating bloggers will take this single day to write about this very important and ill-understood issue.
“Why Water?” asks the Blog Action Day website. Many people just take water for granted, like the photo on the left. But there are one billion people on this planet without enough water.
Read more of this >>