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New nanowood insulation is more environmentally friendly than Styrofoam

Scientists have created a new insulating material from wood that bests Styrofoam: it’s “stronger and much more environmentally friendly,” according to the University of Maryland (UMD). Their material, called nanowood, can come in thin, flexible pieces or in blocks — take a closer look after the jump. The UMD-led team created nanowood by removing lignin, a substance in wood that keeps ....

Scientists just created a new “super wood” that’s stronger than steel

Spider silk has long held the record for being the strongest biomaterial on Earth — but that just changed. Scientists at KTH Royal Institute of Technology used wood nanofibers to create a new biomaterial that is even stronger than spider silk. Researchers “densified” wood to turn an already sturdy material into a “super wood” that is as strong as steel. To accomplish this, researche....

IKEA and Little Sun team up to design sustainable, off-grid tools

Little Sun, a social business from artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, creates products to put “the power of the sun in the palm of your hand” — think portable solar lamps and solar chargers. Now, the company is teaming up with furniture giant IKEA to raise awareness for people living without electricity by creating a series of sustainable, off-grid tools for everyday liv....

Flussbad Berlin Wants to Build an Enormous Natural Swimming Pool in the City’s River

Nonprofit Flussbad Berlin has proposed a remarkable brownfield rejuvenation project for the center of Berlin: transforming an underutilized canal into an enormous outdoor natural swimming pool for summer recreation. And in winter, the pool would serve double duty as a skate rink. The canal, which flows along one side of the city’s UNESCO heritage-listed Museum Island, would be filtered by grav....

New self-healing concrete uses fungus to fix cracks

Scientists at Binghamton University have developed self-healing concrete that repairs cracks with fungi. In a paper recently published in the journal Construction and Building Materials, Binghamton University assistant professor Congrui Jin and her team outline the ways in which a special species of fungi, Trichoderma reesei, may act as a sealing agent when mixed with concrete. “This idea was ....

The Science Place is Australia’s first new LEED Gold educational building

The Science Place at James Cook University recently became Australia’s first educational building to achieve a prestigious LEED Gold rating. Designed by HASSELL, the sustainable building with state-of-the-art facilities brings together the university’s chemistry, biochemistry and biology research cohorts under one roof. The Science Place also recovered and recycled 96% of all the previous bu....

Beautiful bamboo arches breathe new life into a bland concrete building

Vietnamese architecture firm Vo Trong Nghia has unveiled their latest example of bamboo brilliance at Nocenco cafe, a renovated rooftop restaurant in the city center of Vinh in central Vietnam. The client asked the firm to insert a unique and eye-catching addition to the top of a seven-story concrete building using local materials. After studying several options, including brick and stone, the a....

EXHIBITOR INTERVIEW: ALDEGHI LUIGI SPA

60 seconds with Varvara Parfenii, Head of Communication & PR In your opinion, what is most important about Egypt’s construction industry today? Over the past 4 years, Egypt’s construction industry was able to achieve an annual growth of 5.3%. This increase can be attributed to public and private sector investments in infrastructure and residential construction projects, that are leading....