The beach might not be a turtle egg-laying site for much longer (Image: Patricio Robles Gil/Sierra Madre)

The beach might not be a turtle egg-laying site for much longer

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by Catherine Brahic, La Escobilla, Mexico

THE egg is exactly the same shape, size and colour as a ping-pong ball, but soft and covered in a thin, glistening fluid. Just seconds ago it was dumped into a hole in the sand by a female olive ridley sea turtle.

It’s midnight on La Escobilla beach on Mexico’s Pacific coast, where two biologists and I squat near the solitary turtle. She’s one of the stragglers; last week, some 50,000 females swam in to lay their eggs, a phenomenon known as an arribada. The beach plays host to several arribadas each year. In 2007, 1.4 million nests were dug in this 15-kilometre stretch of sand, making it a contender for the largest sea-turtle nesting site in the world. (more…)

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By Bethany Halford

TEMPLE OF NANOSCIENCE Rome’s Dio Padre Misericordioso Church, also known as the Jubilee Church, retains its bright white color because of nanostructured titanium dioxide. Liao Yusheng 

TEMPLE OF NANOSCIENCE Rome’s Dio  Padre Misericordioso Church, also known as the Jubilee Church, retains  its bright white color because of nanostructured titanium dioxide.

With its soaring concrete sails reaching high into the sky, the Dio Padre Misericordioso Church, just east of central Rome, beckons religious and architectural devotees alike. The structure is also something of a temple to nanoscience—for it retains its bright white hue thanks to the presence of nanostructured titanium dioxide particles embedded within the cement binder that was used to make its concrete walls.

Completed in 2003, the church, also known as the Jubilee Church, is a flagship when it comes to the use of nanotechnology in construction. But there are more humble examples, too. Whether it’s in steel, concrete, or windows, nanotechnology is finding a growing number of applications in the construction industry, where it promises to make structures that last for centuries and look as clean as the day they were built.

One only has to look at the Jubilee Church to see why it is the foremost example of what nanotechnology has to offer the construction industry. It was designed by Richard Meier, an American architect with a reputation for creating bright white structures that he wants to stay that way. So far, the concrete shows no signs of darkening. Italcementi, the company that supplied the material for the church, checks it each year for signs that its white color is still as bright as the day it was cast.

Nanostructured TiO2 particles theoretically will keep the concrete white forever, even in smoggy Rome, says Luigi Cassar, one of the material’s inventors. Titanium dioxide, known for its snowy white hue, is used as a pigment in paint and food coloring. But it has self-cleaning properties as well. When ultraviolet light strikes the anatase form of TiO2, it excites the material so that it becomes a catalyst for oxidizing organic grime. (more…)

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by Timon Singh

pakistan solar energy, pakistan solar power, solar power, on-grid solar electrical system, pakistan engineering council, pakistan solar plant, solar energy, bangladesh solar power, bangladesh solar panels, bangladesh idcol, idcol solar power

Although roof-mounted photovoltaic panels may not be a common sight yet in the West, the technology is really heating up in Asia – specifically in Bangladesh. According to local officials, the number of solar-powered households in the Asian nation now amounts to over one million. Under-investment in the country’s infrastructure means that the country’s power plants only generate around 4,700 megawatts of electricity a day against a demand of 6,000 megawatts, so some 60 percent of Bangladesh’s 150 million people have no access to mains electricity. As a result, the power-hungry, fair-weathered country has exhibited the fastest expansion of solar technology in the world. (more…)

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Press release: New Paper Lays Out Smart Policies for Renewable Energy Growth

Offers six principles of smart energy policy for developing countries

Renewable Energy

A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that 77 percent of the world’s energy could come from renewable sources by 2050, as long as governments adopt the right policies. A new working paper, Grounding Green Power, outlines the key components of smart renewable energy policy in developing countries, focusing on the electrical power sector. The paper, from the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, suggests priorities for international donors looking to make the most efficient investments in clean energy. (more…)

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Multilingual sustainable construction glossary

The beginning of this year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) was marked by the launch conference of the multilingual version of the Common Language ‘sustainable construction glossary’. The multilingual version of this project was formally introduced on 11 April, at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in partnership with the Architects Council of Europe (ACE) and the European Concrete Platform (ECP).

EESC President Staffan Nilsson launched the glossary. The conference was also attended by the director of the ACE, Adrian Joyce and Bernd Wolschner, president of the ECP. Vice President of the EESC Anna Maria Darmanin also participated in the conference, and the event was hosted by EESC TEN Section President Stéphane Buffetaut. There were discussions involving contributions from many experts in the field of sustainable construction, including non-governmental and national representatives, supplemented by senior officials from the European Commission. (more…)

Press releases

The Passive House: Cost efficient and proven 32,000 times
More than 50 countries at the 15th International Passive House Conference





Picture sources: NHT and LANG consulting
Pictures: Passive Houses of every size are included in the framework of the excursions at the 15th Int. Passive House Conference in Innsbruck
Picture 1: O3 Olympic Village with 444 apartments by the Neuen Heimat Tirol, Reitter – Eck & Reiter Architects ZT GmbH and din a4
Picture 2: Lodenareal housing complex with 354 apartments by the Neuen Heimat Tirol, Architectsn teamk2
Picture 3: Energiepark Innsbruck with a selection of Passive House properties for every taste. Picture sources: NHT and LANG consulting

Darmstadt/Innsbruck/Vienna, 12.05.2011 – The Passive House saves 80-95% energy as well as CO2 emissions, and its construction is hardly more expensive than that of conventional buildings. It is therefore not surprising that there are already 32,000 buildings in Europe that have been built to the Passive House Standard, which has already established itself as a trend-setter for energy-efficient construction and also forms the basis for the “Nearly Zero Energy Building”. The world’s largest convention for energy-efficient construction will be held in Innsbruck from 27th-28th May 2011 where more than 1,200 participants will discuss solutions for sustainable construction.
Read entire press release ( PDF 224 KB)

Energy efficiency – a real alternative!


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Secure your position in Europe’s third largest wind market aiming for 16GW of wind capacity by 2020

Green Renewable Energy

4-15 June, Rome Don’t miss out on attending Wind Power Italia to hear from Roberta Benedetti (EON Climate and Renewables), Pio Forte (UniCredit Leasing), Carl Durante (Maestrale) and Paolo Grossi (RWE Innogy) along with other senior practitioners shaping the Italian wind industry.

Discover how they intend to maintain the momentum of the Italian market by delivering a packed agenda that will ensure your project remains profitable and arm you with the information and contacts you need.

Wind Power Italia will provide you the opportunity to meet with wind project developers, utilities, financiers, banks, technology developers and the all important policy-makers, to set the agenda for the development of the Italian wind market. The wind power industry is poised to emerge from a brief lull caused by regulatory ambiguity. With the government’s delayed renewable energy decree due in March, it is critical to move quickly to secure your position in a growing marketplace. (more…)

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