skyscrapers of the future could be built with the garbage of today

Conceptos-Plásticos-Building-Houses-889x652

Area: Sustainability

From Recycled Plastic Waste to Building Material

The buildings of the future can be built as net-zero buildings by 2050.  Buildings generate pollution in two significant ways. power use and generate waste. Residential and commercial buildings account for 70 percent of power consumed in the United States — electricity that largely comes from burning carbon-intensive coal and natural gas.  Building pollution is in the use of materials like steel and concrete, which have a sizable carbon footprint.

Conceptos Plasticos (a start up) works with local communities to  source plastics to create building blocks that are fire-resistant to construct home. The plastic building blocks will degrade around 500 years or more down the road, but for now they offer shelters for families who can’t afford other housing or are fleeing crises. During the last two years, the Conceptos Plásticos team melted and molded 300 tons of plastic into building blocks for the construction of eco-homes in rural areas impacted by the internal conflict, such as a temporary shelter in Guapí, Cauca, for 42 displaced families.

Conceptos-Plásticos-Plastic-889x501

Solutions:

  • Melts down plastics and create building molds
  • Builds homes in marginalized communities
  • Recycles plastics & rubber from garbage / landfills
  • Provides inexpensive housing option

Stakeholders

  • Conceptos Plasticos
  • Investors
  • Homeowners
  • Communities generate large garbage
  • Landfill owners
  • architects / engineers
  • low income families

Implementation

  • 2016 The Venture award winner
  • Increase financing (company is start up)
  • Continue to enter architecture building competitions win projects increase name recognition.
  • Funding for future projects

Sources: https://thecitypaperbogota.com/business/conceptos-plasticos-living-in-lego/14038

 

Comments:

 

 

Advertisements

50-Qubit Quantum Computer

IBM Raises the Bar with a 50-Qubit Quantum Computer

IBM has developed a quantum computer that can handle 50 qubits per second. The computer IBM developed is still unstable, only preserving its state for 90 microseconds.

Quantum-Computer-06-goog

 

Sustainability Issue:

Category: Energy

The world generates 2.5 exabytes of data every day [0]. With the explosion of data being generated and preserved combined with billions of devices connecting to the internet, an issue the world will face is the ability to power all the machines and devices on a modern world.  Rolf Landauer calculated and demonstrated that each bit operation of a computer requires a minimum amount of energy.  With the amount of data being generated and saved, researchers are predicting the world will encounter energy issues to power all of our devices by 2040[1]. The world’s fastest computer processes 33 Petaflops per second, which consumes 17.8 megawatts[2].

  • energy requirements of computers and devices will outpace ‘reasonable’ supply
  • volume of data requiring more processing time
Technology Solution:

Traditional computers store information in the form of a 1 or 0.  As a result, traditional computers require energy and generate vast amounts of heat to perform complex calculations and operations.  IBM’s development of a 50 -qubit quantum computer is 100 million times faster and consumes less energy than traditional computers.   Quantum computers are able to store information as 1 and 0 simultaneously, vis-a-vis a feature of quantum mechanics known as superposition. The key feature of quantum computers is they can perform complicated calculations beyond the reaches of today’s computer while consuming less energy.  Today’s computers can take days and weeks to calculate factors with hundreds and thousands of digits, which consumes vast amounts of energy.  With IBM’s 50- qubit quantum computer, factors with 555 digits can be calculated within seconds.

Qb_bits

  • Revolutionize  computer architecture
  • Development in new materials
  • Increase encryption for devices / communication networks / etc..
  • Improvement in artificial intelligence (particularly deep learning)
  • Climate models can be more complex

QbBits

 

 

qb_explain

Stakeholders:
  • Inventors: IBM, Google, Facebook, Intel, Rigetti, etc..
  • Consumers: change the world
  • Energy companies: utilities will see lower demand as servers and server farms consume less energy
  • Telecommunication / internet companies: cryptography will be improved dramatically.
  • Researchers / scientists / physicists / climate scientists / etc.. – complex calculations will be able to be performed faster
Next steps:
  • Ongoing research – develop a stable state system (companies listed below)
  • Continue funding – Intel, IBM, Google, Facebook, Rigetti, & universities
  • IBM QX – 20 qubit cloud computing system continue to beta testing.  March 2017 rolled out python API and SDK.
  • Once stable state system is developed then likely to be deployed in large institutions  (governments/ research centers / data farms/ etc.)

Sources: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609451/ibm-raises-the-bar-with-a-50-qubit-quantum-computer/

[0] https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/09/05/how-quantum-computers-will-revolutionize-artificial-intelligence-machine-learning-and-big-data/#6633a79e5609

[1] http://www.wired.co.uk/article/quantum-computing-explained

[2] https://www.theverge.com/2016/6/20/11975356/chinese-supercomputer-worlds-fastes-taihulight

Comments Other Posts:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/35950343/posts/1666372559

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/35950343/posts/1667215472

Smart Fabrics – no wires or batteries

 

Sustainability Problem: Real time data on workers, reduce injuries

For first responders information on victims and types of injuries are vital in order to determine the necessary procedures to perform.  As a result, speed is vital and decisions are made in seconds.  Information is not always readily available to first reconsiders  when they arrive to an emergency scene. Every year, thousand of people are misdiagnoses and/or treated incorrectly due to lack of information on the injury and/or the victim’s medical history.

Most smart fabrics are not sustainable because they require electronics and  batteries.

 

Sustainable Technology: Smart fabric

  • Researchers at the University of Washington developed a smart fabrics that holds magnetize text that can store small amounts of data readable by a magnetometer.
  • The fabric can interact with storage devices without the need for onboard electronics or batteries.
  • Individual’s emergency medical history can be stored on the fabric.
  • First responders can scan a victim’s clothing to gather vital statistics – e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, allergies, etc.
  • This fabric is more sustainable since it doesn’t require any electronics and / or batteries.
  • Fabric maintains magnetic field after washing, drying, and ironing.
  • Fabric can be encoded with security information to access secure locations (e.g., home, office building, etc.. )

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609264/your-next-password-may-be-stored-in-your-shirt-cuff/

Organizational Stakeholders that Will Use the Technology:

  • Researchers at U. of Washington (Justin Chan, graduate student)
  • Prof. Shyam Gollakota, U. of Washington
  • U. of Washington Networks and Mobile System Lab

First 3 Steps in Deploying the Technology:

  • Continue testing fabric and weather proof
  • Increase longevity of magnetic field (declines over the course of a week)
  • Increase data storage capacity.

 

Comments:

The technology mentioned below can be used in natural gas / oil pipelines to monitor leaks. Every year, there are thousand of leaks in gas / oil pipelines. The majority of the leaks go undiscovered for days and/or weeks before discovered.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/35950343/posts/1650267701

Beta.ray – Spherical Collector That Combines Photovoltaic and Thermal Power

beta-ray-generator

Problem:

  • Solar panels are generally fixed and their optimal collection is limited due to collection angle.
  • Cloudy days traditional solar panels are inefficient in collecting sunlight
  • Solar panels take up a large amount of space.

Solution:

  • Most solar panels are fixed direction, the beta.ray can rotate according to the sun direction, maintaining optimal collection angle – the small sphere, 75% smaller than a panel that collects the same amount of energy.
  • Cloudy days the beta.ray can improve efficiency by 50% due to concentration of sunlight.
  • The beta.ray is small and can be placed on any flat surface.
  • The spherical shape of the solar collector, together with an integrated solar tracking system, cover far smaller surface area than solar panels of equal efficiency, and allow a collection of energy, even if the light is very low
  • The transparent crystal lens that works as a concentrator of incoming light, Rawlemon’s design promises as much as 95% more energy conversion

Article: http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/spherical-sun-power-generator/

Stakeholder:

  • Rawlemon (company)
  • Home owner
  • Building owner
  • Energy companies
  • Green energy policy advocates

Deployment steps:

  • Certification in EU / US / Asia
  • Supply chain (manufacturing partners)
  • Retail distribution (commercial / retail)

Comments:

(1): https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/35950343/posts/1633388162

Machine learning has a big potential in the supply chain and distribution of food products in developing countries. Beyond just creating healither foods, the technology can be merged with weather data to improve distribution of non-perishable foods.

 

(2): https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/35950343/posts/1633349788

Beyond plastic bags the Avani Eco can use the technology to create pellets for packaging products.

(3): https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/35950343/posts/1633333032

The technology can be use in rural areas / pacific islands to provide electricity and food.

Blockchain Peer Peer Energy Microgrid

Infrastructure Problem: Renewable Energy From microgrid can be wasted due to inefficient data and demand

Solar panel owners get a small return for feeding excess power from their roof back into the grid, which power companies then on-sell at a much higher price.  Peer-to-peer trading overhauls the system by opening up the market to allow households to buy and sell solar energy without a power company, trading their energy for more than the feed-in tariff while still undercutting power providers for buyers.

Infrastructure Technology:

Power Ledger has developed software which reads the outputs of electricity meters and can therefore measure the amount of energy that is consumed or generated. Power Ledger is a blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy trading platform enabling consumers and businesses to sell their surplus solar power to their neighbours without a middleman.

Those two pieces of information are then recorded on the Blockchain and used to move energy from one person to another via a unit called ‘Sparkz’, which is a digital representation of energy. The buyer receives the energy and the seller banks payment for the electricity almost simultaneously

The Power Ledger system tracks the generation and consumption of all trading participants and settles energy trades on pre-determined terms and conditions in near real time. A user simply receives a registration email from their Application Host, they click on a link which takes them to the Power Ledger platform where they create a userid and password. That’s it, once logged in they can see their electricity usage and all their P2P trading transaction details.

blockchain

 

https://microgridknowledge.com/energy-blockchain-maas/

https://powerledger.io

Stakeholder:

  • Investors (start-up investors / VC / employees / etc.. )
  • Employees
  • Tech Mahindra (partner testing microgrid)
  • Technology partners
  • Energy companies
  • Governments / rural municipalities

Technology Implementation & Distribution:

  • start-up coming
  • testing software as part of a microgrid-as-a-service

Optimization Medical Staff Location

 

Sustainability Problem: Cities have an difficult time allocating resources to specific locations during large events.  Inefficiencies and dangers occur when assistance is not provided in a specific location to meet the demand. Moreover, the arrival of resources can be delayed due to traffic, crowd sizes, and routing issues.

About Technology

  • Team at Northwestern developed an algorithm to optimize, in real time, staffing locations and demand for medical medical volunteers and aid workers at Chicago’s marathon.
  • The team created a mobile data visualization dashboard that provides real time analysis.  The mobile dashboard also allow staff to enter real time data.
  • The machine learning algorithm uses historical observations to predict and determine optimal location for medical tents.  In addition, the algorithm predicts likely number of individuals seeking medical attention at specific tents base on historical and real time data.
  • Dashboard provides optimal routing for medical.

http://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/2017/10/engineers-optimize-marathon-volunteers.html

Stakeholders:

  • City Chicago
  • Marathon organizers
  • Marathon participants
  • Medical staff
  • City Chicago Police
  • Marathon onlookers
  • Northwestern University – School Engineering / Medical School

Next steps:

  • Improve the training dataset of the algorithm / algorithm itself
  • Provide service to marathon organizers and/ or any large event organizers
  • Provide algorithm to Chicago Police Department for future events.

Comments: 

 

 

 

 

Breath Brick (2015 R&D Award Innovative Architecture)

Break Brick

  • Sustainability Problem:

Effects of air pollution cause 3.3 million premature deaths each year[1] and majority of household pollutants are due to domestic fire for cooking and/or heating homes. The aforementioned are acquit in developing densely populated cities – Beijing, Manila, Nairobi, Cairo, etc.  Access to air filtration systems are limited to a variety of  issues, but the most common are socio-economic and infrastcture.

Category: Clean Air, Energy Efficiency, Energy Savings, Infrastructure, Innovative, Sustainability

Solution:

  • Breathe brick is a porous concrete module that forms an air-filtration façade. Pulls in air and separates heavy particles and drops them to collection bin at bottom of the façade. Filter can separate 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles.
  • Simple inexpensive framework, brick and coupler. Coupler are manufactured from recycled materials and can take on most structural forms.  
  • Breathe brick system can operate as active (integrated into existing HVAC system) or passive as independent system.
  • Breath brick is electric free.

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 2.17.04 PM Breathebrick03

breatheBrick02

Organizational Stakeholder:

  • California Polytechnic State University – School of Architecture
  • Homeowner (especially no access to electricity, densely populated cities developing countries, and governments interest in reducing air population)

 

Next steps for deployment:

  • Waiting for patent approval
  • Refining design to expand to alternative modular forms
  • Regulatory approval in several development nations as sustainable and clean technology product
  • Funding for production

 

 

[1] http://www.mpic.de/en/news/press-information/news/more-deaths-due-to-air-pollution.html