News / 7.15.16

Fri’d Greens – Transforming the Built Environment, Biomimicry, Efficient A/C’s & Trees as Lights

Links to recent articles showcasing new trends and ideas in the sustainable design world

This week's sustainable design 'Fri'd Green' discoveries by Epstein's principal designer Darren Hoppa, NCARB, LEED AP include links to articles on transforming the built environment, biomimicry, efficient A/C's and trees as lights, yes, glowing trees serving as form of street lighting. Enjoy…

Can we transform the built environment by 2030?


Energy independence, climate change and community resilience are among important issues that the clean energy revolution aims to resolve through increased uptake of energy efficient technologies, development of sustainable communities, and strategic operation and maintenance of buildings. American cities are emerging as an integral piece to the sustainability puzzle with major metropolitan areas setting ambitious energy efficiency targets and regulatory requirements, ultimately serving as hubs for strategic solutions and innovation.

Six technological breakthroughs inspired by nature


Biomimicry is an incredible field that seeks to unlock nature's deepest, darkest secrets and then use them to solve human problems. Many of the scientific breakthroughs in biomimicry have far-reaching applications ranging from new medical technologies, to methods of space exploration, advancements in renewable energy and better, cleaner and stronger building materials. Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places, including long-extinct dinosaurs, sticky-footed geckos, deep sea creatures and even the structure of the tiniest green leaf.

Is It Better To Leave Your A/C On All Day Or Turn It Off?


It may seem like a waste of energy to turn your air conditioner on and off, but doing so actually saves you a fair amount of money and helps your air conditioner work more efficiently, says Amann. While it may seem like your unit has to work hard to cool a space down from 80 to 75 degrees, "air-conditioning systems run most efficiently when they're running at full speed," rather than running for shorter periods at a less powerful speed to maintain a constant temperature all day, Amman says.

How research into glowing fungi could lead to trees lighting our streets

The Guardian

Bioluminescence has been "invented" dozens of times in evolutionary history and serves a variety of purposes, from attracting mates and luring prey to warding off predators. Its existence in fungi – a rare if not unique case of bioluminescence outside the animal and microbial worlds – has posed more of a mystery. But scientists may now be able to explain not only why certain mushrooms glow in the dark, but how – and in doing so they could be nearer to creating glowing trees as a novel form of street lighting