The world’s population is rising and with it are food demands. Policymakers are targeting Africa’s wet savannas as expendable areas easily converted into cropland. A study out from Princeton University finds that such a conversion to farmland would come at a high environmental cost.
Constructed in 2006, just outside Kadonowaki, Japan, the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital stands as a monument to civil engineering. The five-story, 402-bed hospital operated at full capacity during and immediately after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the east coast of Japan in 2011. Surrounding the building like a moat, the hospital’s base isolation system enabled its survival without even a broken window. The steel springs and rubber dampers of the isolation system, that support the hospital, reduced the horizontal displacement of the building to just 26 centimeters. Engineers, also, estimate that several more earthquakes of similar magnitude can be sustained before the base isolation springs need replacement. Japan’s long history with earthquakes has fostered a significant culture of seismic design and much of its infrastructure is useable after an event.
The two storey home in a Thai neighborhood for factory workers has a special feature that is not directly visible to the average eye. Hidden in the home's foundation is a system that allows it to float in case of extreme flooding events. This innovative floating system, developed in Thailand is a promising response to Thailand's high flooding frequency.
At 270-feet and €60M plans for the world’s tallest wooden structure, to be built next year, have been unveiled. Designed by Rudiger Lainer and Partner the wooden skyscraper will be built in the Seestadt Aspern area of Vienna, Austria and will house apartments, a hotel, restaurants and offices. It is expected that 76% of the building will be made from wood, which will save roughly 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions when compared to an equivalent concrete structure.
The Indian capital can be now considered, on a global scale, as one the cities where the largest tunneling project has ever been undertaken. According to the Delhi Metro officials this is not an understatement considering the 19 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) that are simultaneously working underneath the city. Phase III of the metro expansion is expected to complete by the end of the year.
NASA's Curiosity Mars team has recently obtained a second soil sample from an outcrop of the Murray formation, the geological unit of Mount Sharp on Mars. Through analysis of the soil samples, scientists hope to understand the formation of the mountain and investigate its mineralogical structure.