Thursday, December 1, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
From BBC News...
"It began as a sketch on the back of a napkin in a Berlin restaurant in 2000. Ten years on, Shard London Bridge is the tallest building in the UK, at more than 235m (771ft).
Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the south London skyscraper is planned to rise to 87 storeys, 310m (1,016ft) by 2012, becoming the tallest building in the European Union.
Mr Piano has a clear vision of the positive impact he thinks the tower will have on the city.
'The building will be atmospheric. It will play with the city. It will be a symbol of lightness,' he said.
But the skyscraper, better known as the Shard of Glass, also has its critics.
'I would have liked to see something more materially interesting and elegant,' said Philippa Grantham, 31, who has watched the tower rise on the capital's skyline each day on her commute into London Bridge station.
'In my opinion, a tower doesn't have a particular front or a back but this building certainly has a back side and it's fairly crude.'"
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
From The Wall Street Journal...
"Vornado Realty Trust, the largest owner of office property in the Pennsylvania Station area, is set to cut the ribbon this week on the city's largest power cogeneration plant.
Three yellow engines the size of small locomotives have been installed in the building. For the past month, they have been pumping out 6.2 megawatts of energy an hour, or enough to fulfill half of the energy needs of Vornado Realty Trust's 57-story skyscraper at One Penn Plaza.
The new plower plant, on the skyscraper's 12th-floor setback, consumes natural gas to produce electricity, and then uses the byproduct of that process—heat—to fuel the building's boilers. It allows One Penn to be relatively energy efficient, and far less dependent on the city's sometimes unreliable power grid. Vornado executives also hope it will help attract tenants interested in burnishing their corporate images by locating in "green" earth-friendly buildings."
Monday, November 15, 2010
From Bloomberg Businessweek...
"If hemlines tell which way the stock market is headed, maybe city skylines do the same for the economy. Tall stories often have unhappy endings.
That thesis certainly holds up in London, where new towers are sprouting. British Land, the U.K.'s second-largest real estate investment trust, has revived plans for a 47-story tower in the City of London dubbed the "Cheese Grater." Land Securities Group, its bigger rival, has found backers for its "Walkie-Talkie" building, which will be 10 floors shorter. Next to London Bridge, cranes are attaching glass panels to the soaring frame of the "Shard of Glass." Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the 1,017-foot (305-meter) pyramid will dwarf the other buildings north of the Thames to become Britain's tallest.
The history of this global capital suggests vertical ambitions often presage a southerly direction for the economy. In mid-2004, Britain was enjoying its 48th consecutive quarter of gross-domestic-product growth, while Swiss Reinsurance was moving into a 40-story edifice in central London nicknamed the "Erotic Gherkin" for its resemblance to a swollen pickle. Four years after the Gherkin opened for business, the British economy was in recession, and continued to shrink for five quarters."
Friday, October 22, 2010
"A minimum speed of 4,000 kilometers, less energy consumption airliner 1 / 10, noise and air pollution and accident rates close to zero, a new type of transport - Evacuated Tube maglev train is very obvious - Evacuated Tube train, will Beijing and Washington into a two-hour traffic circle, with several hours to complete trip around the world has become a goal of scientists in recent efforts, and China in this study have been walking in the world."
Read more here
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
"As if airlines needed any more reason to reduce fleet emissions, MIT reports this week that pollution from airplanes flying at cruise altitude (approximately 35,000 feet) cause 8,000 deaths globally each year.
Current emissions regulations only target planes flying up to 3,000 feet. In the past, regulators assumed that emissions above the 3,000 foot mark would be dumped into a part of the atmosphere with smooth air that couldn't send pollutants drifting toward the ground (the air is more turbulent at lower altitudes). But MIT has found that that's not true--and unfortunately for those of us on the ground, 90% of aircraft fuel is burned at cruise altitudes."
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
"Marsh grasses matted by oil are still a common sight on the gulf coast here, but so are green shoots springing up beneath them.
In nearby bird colonies, carcasses are still being discovered, but they number in the thousands, not the tens of thousands that have died in other oil spills.
And at the mouth of the Mississippi River, the zone of severely oxygen-depleted water that forms every summer has reappeared, but its size does not seem to have been affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill.
How much damage resulted from almost five million barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico is still being toted up in laboratories and government offices. It will be some time before the government releases its formal assessment of the effects — one that will define the scope of environmental restoration required by BP, Deepwater Horizon’s operator, and other companies."
Read more here
Friday, September 10, 2010
"Most Dallas buildings could not withstand a direct hit by a tornado packing 115 mile per hour winds.
We checked the city's building codes, and they don't require construction to that degree. The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Mockingbird Lane Wednesday had 115 MPH winds.
In April 1957, a tornado headed for Downtown Dallas carved a path killing 10 people and destroying hundreds of buildings. Larry Holmes was just a kid, but he says Wednesday's tornado was a eerie reminder of the one he saw more than 50 years ago.
"As I watched this tornado, those thoughts were going through my mind," Holmes said. "Was this going to turn into that bad and that massive of a tornado?"
Today Holmes works for the City of Dallas Building Inspection Department and helps enforce codes that should prevent this damage. In recent years, the City has beefed up wind speed requirements by adopting the International Building Code which requires that all buildings constructed from Dallas to the Canadian Border can sustain 90 mile per hour winds."
Read more here