Solar Ivy: Photovoltaic Leaves


Energy:  Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, but solar energy is a readily accessible source of electricity generation. Solar panels, depending on the design and context of a structure, may not always be an option for curbing energy consumption from fossil fuels.

Technology Summary

Article – ‘Solar Ivy’ Photovoltaic Leaves Climb to New Heights

  • Designed by Brooklyn based SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology)
  • Thin-film material on top of polyethylene with a piezoelectric generator attached to each leaf.
  • Wind and solar power generating photovoltaic leaves can be easily integrated on the side of a building to produce energy
  • When the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, energy is being generated via Solar Ivy.
  • Easily mounted on a vertical wall due to its light weight.

Light-sourcing leaves move around and catch the sun from many directions


Organizational Stakeholders

Potential Stakeholders include:

  • Architect/Designers
  • Product Manufacturers
  • Building Operators/Owners
  • Energy Industry



The next three stages in deploying this technology could be:

  • Coordinate installations displaying viability of technology to investors/shareholders.
  • Forge partnerships with institutions, agencies, and building companies to secure funding
  • Expand scope and application of technology to maximize relevancy in marketplace.


See also: Building Energy Consumption Photovoltaic Leaves



Video Game for Sustainable City Design

Sustainable Problem: Climate change

Technology: Block’hood

  • Video game that involves designing and constructing smart cities so that users become more familiar with the social and ecological issues that are involved
  • The game will allow users to look at problems from different perspectives and apply them to real world applications
  • The video game takes into account the systems approach
  • Users will become a community that can strategize and propose alternatives



  • Architect, programmer and game designer Jose Sanchez
  • Employees
  • Users
  • Smart Cities
  • Investors


  • Present prototype at the Games for Change Climate Challenge for a chance to win $10,000 to support game development (Block’hood is currently one of four finalists)
  • Gain additional grant funding and sponsorship
  • Create version that could apply to real world situations

Sustainable Brands Article – June 22, 2016

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

BIM How BIM is changing the construction industry By Peter Ray Allison Source: Sustainability Problem: The sustainability goal is to modernize the construction industry, with the aim of reducing costs in the construction and operation of new buildings. The employment of BIM is to create a more efficient construction sector. Technology Stakeholders: Construction value chain: […]

CO2NCRETE – Researchers turn carbon dioxide into sustainable concrete

Sustainability Problem:

Over 30 billions tons of concrete are produced every year. Cement, main component of concrete, emits 0.8 tons of CO2 per ton of cement produced. This is about 7% of total global CO2 emissions. First source comes from CO2 released from limestone to produce lime. The second source is from lime and clay being heated to 1450 degrees celsius to make cement. UCLA research is trying to create a close loop process.


  • CO2 released from limestone to produce lime gets captured
  • CO2 is then separated from gas stream by membrane
  • CO2 is integrated into building material


  • Citizens
  • Government
  • Construction Companies

Steps to Deploy Technology:

  1. Develop scalable technique for 3D-printing
  2. Integrate all processes into a pilot facility
  3. Optimize process parameters





Turning smog into diamonds can be realistic



Smog Free Project consists of a 7m tower that sucks in the pollution from the air and converts it into diamonds. The Smog Free Tower cleans 30.000m3 per hour without ozon, runs on green wind energy and uses no more electricity than a waterboiler (1400 watts). The prototype was successfully implemented in Rotterdam, and is soon being implemented by the government in China.



Sustainability challenge:

For most developing nations the cost of achieving development has to be paid by the environment. Using different technologies to offset or manage this cost is a good balance between the much needed development and the environmental sustainability. Doing this requires a different way of thinking and approaching the problem.

We already know about the smog problem in China. Smog is a problem for most other nations. The Smog Free Project uses technology to convert the problem to a product of great value.


  • Governments
  • Project developers (designers, architects and engineers)
  • Marketers and sellers
  • Citizens on that region/nation
  • Businesses
  • International NGO’s (like the World Economic Forum)

Process of implementation:

The process of implementation will take a while. The pilot project was successful in Rotterdam. To take this forward will require multiple partnerships to work in tandem with successful implementation of technology. The article (and the videos) elaborate on the complexity of this problem in great detail.

The process in brief would include: Deploying these towers in strategic locations -> Converting the smog into diamonds -> Implementing other policy and technology initiatives that won’t hinder economic growth and would still help reduce pollution -> Create a market for these diamonds and jewelry (possibly use De Beers marketing tactics).


Designing for Disaster: The DH1 Disaster House


Sustainability Problem

Health and Safety:  Natural disasters are occurring nearly five times as often as they were in the 1970s. Flooding and mega-storms were the leading cause of disaster from 2000-2010, and there is growing evidence that warming temperatures are increasing the destructive force of hurricanes. With increased likelihood and destruction of these super storms, there comes a need for better temporary housing.

Technology Summary

Article – DH1: Instant Housing and Designing for Disaster

  • Designed by Architect Gregg Fleishman
  • The DH1 Disaster House is constructed with slotted exterior grade plywood
  • Uses tabs to fit together without fasteners or other hardware.
  • Small pieces: can be transported without cranes, forklifts or other industrial equipment, which are often scarce during disasters.
  • Unit sits 30 inches off the ground to avoid water damage in areas that have been flooded.
  • Materials used allow DH1 modules to  be integrated and used as a permanent solution for neighborhoods.


Organizational Stakeholders

Potential Stakeholders include:

  • Architect/Designers
  • Product Manufacturers
  • Lumber Industry
  • Members of at-risk regions/neighborhoods
  • Representatives of transportation measures
  • Government Agencies



The next three stages in deploying this technology could be:

  • Assess drawbacks and fine-tune product for use; research alternative material options
  • Forge partnerships with institutions to demonstrate technology to at-risk regions and their local governments
  • Develop a funding mechanism to provide structures to at-risk regions, focusing first on developing countries


See also: Climate Change  Gregg Fleishman Structures


Conceptos Plasticos (Plastic Concepts)

Sustainability Problem:

This technology is addressing plastic waste pollution, by transforming used plastic into bricks. Plastic can take up to 500 years to biodegrade and 75% of plastic produced globally is in a landfill or not formally disposed of.


  • The industrial process is called extrusion
  • Uses a multilayered plastics, mixtures of different plastics and rubber to make a quality construction material
  • The bricks are shaped into pieces that interlock with each other making the pieces connect like a puzzle.


  • Government
  • Waste Management Facilities
  • People without homes

How to deploy this technology:

  • Estimate cost of extrusion process
  • Estimate amount of plastic needed
  • Involve Waste Management Facilities


Oscar Mendes The man who  provides decent housing for the homeless while reducing waste plastic.