25 jul. 2019

Global Warming of 1.5 ºC and Greta Thunberg

“Just for quoting or acting on these numbers, these scientific facts,
we receive unimaginable amounts of hate and threats. 
We are being mocked and lied about by members 
of parliament and journalists,” 

“You don’t have to listen to us, 
but you do have to listen to the science,” 

“That is all we ask, to unite behind the science.”

The IPCC prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports about knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response options. 
An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C  above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. Read Chapter 2 hereMitigation Pathways Compatible with 1.5°C in the Context of Sustainable Development.

29 dic. 2018

A problem cannot be effectively solved without understanding it fully in the first place [basic carbon vocabulary - MUST READ]

Climate change is the result of breakdowns in the carbon cycle caused by us:
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Anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere make airborne carbon a material in the wrong place, at the wrong dose and wrong duration

It is WE who have made carbon a toxin—like lead in our drinking water. In the right place, carbon is a resource and tool.

The world’s current carbon strategy aims to promote a goal of zero. Predominant language currently includes words such as “low carbon,” “zero carbon,” “negative carbon,” and even a “war on carbon.”

The design world needs values-based language that reflects a safe, healthy and just world. In this new paradigm, by building urban food systems and cultivating closed-loop flows of carbon nutrients, carbon can be recognized as an asset rather than a toxin, and the life-giving carbon cycle can become a model for human designs.

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The new language signals positive intentions, leading us to do more good rather than simply less bad. It identifies three categories of carbon:

  • *** Living carbon: organic, flowing in biological cycles, providing fresh food, healthy forests and fertile soil; something we want to cultivate and grow
  • *** Durable carbon: locked in stable solids such as coal and limestone or recyclable polymers that are used and reused; ranges from reusable fibers like paper and cloth, to building and infrastructure elements that can last for generations and then be reused
  • *** Fugitive carbon: has ended up somewhere unwanted and can be toxic; includes carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, ‘waste to energy’ plants, methane leaks, deforestation, much industrial agriculture and urban development
Working carbon is a subset of all three categories and defined as a material being put to human use. For example, working living carbon is cultivated in agricultural systems. Working durable carbon is recycled, reused and reprocessed in circular technical systems; and working fugitive carbon includes fossil fuels used for power.

The new language also identifies three strategies for carbon management and climate change:

  • *** Carbon positive: actions converting atmospheric carbon to forms that enhance soil nutrition or to durable forms such as polymers and solid aggregates; also recycling of carbon into nutrients from organic materials, food waste, compostable polymers and sewers
  • *** Carbon neutral: actions that transform or maintain carbon in durable Earth-bound forms and cycles across generations; or renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydropower that do not release carbon
  • *** Carbon negative: actions that pollute the land, water and atmosphere with various forms of carbon, for example, CO2 and methane into the atmosphere or plastics in the ocean
Offering an inspiring model for climate action begins with changing the way we talk about carbon. 

Our goal is for all to embrace this new language and work toward a Carbon Positive design framework; and in doing so we may together support a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world—with clean air, soil, water and energy—that is economical, equitable, ecological, and elegantly enjoyed.

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Awarded naturally smart low-cost breathable Hospital in Kaedi [Mauritania]



Location: Kaedi, Mauritania
Architect/Planner: Fabrizio Carola
Architecture Firm: A.D.A.U.A.
Client: Ministry of Health - Mauritania
Date: 1989

Kaedi is located in a remote sector of Mauritania, near the border of Senegal. Its hospital serves a rural population. The extension adds 120 beds to the hospital, an operating theater complex, pediatric, surgical and ophthalmic departments, a maternity and general medical unit, a laundry, kitchens, storerooms, a garage, and a workshop.

The architects were not to replicate the earlier hospital's conventional concrete-frame buildings; their brief was to house the planned facilities by developing new LOW COST TECHNIQUES of construction employing LOCAL MATERIALS AND SKILLS, that would be applicable to other building types within the region.

All workmen were local, TRAINED on the site to perform the new techniques. Although the use of brick is not a part of the local vernacular, the architects chose to develop a structural vocabulary of HAND MADE BRICK, fired in kilns built near the source of clay. The structural repertoire that emerged, after on-site experimentation with a number of domes and vaults, included simple domes, complex domes, conventional half-domes, pod-shaped spaces, and self-supporting pointed arches which form winding circulation corridors. The overall plan for the hospital extension was derived from these forms.

Adequate natural light enters the complex through glass blocks set into the brickwork and from interstices left between the brick arches. The response of both doctors and patients has been positive, and the COMMUNITY takes pride in the fact that the medical facility was built by their own people.

Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1995
The jury believes that the innovative construction techniques introduced may have wide significance, particularly since the successful functioning of the hospital should encourage similar initiatives elsewhere.

(Source: AKTC)