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Tongji Lecture: From Sustainability to Regeneration in Architecture

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Hosted by Tongji University, GIGA's Raefer Wallis presented 'From Sustainability to Regeneration in Architecture' to Tongji's Sino-Finnish College. The lecture introduced the concepts of MNI (Minimize Negative Impact), RESET, Regeneration, and maximizing positive impact to challenge conventional understanding and approaches to green materials and buildings.

Current green design only slows the processes of deforestation, global warming, and pollution, though the problems still persist. To have...

GIGA Chemical Health Screen (Video)

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In 2004, GIGA developed Asia's first platform to rank building materials based on ecological and health impact. In 2011 - The International Year of Chemistry - GIGA founded the Chemistry department, which helps all manufacturers to identify health hazards within days. Once identified, chemicals are flagged according to their health hazards, like cancer or developmental toxicity. Health hazards are organized according to their level of concern using clear benchmarks. The results are extremely...

Benzene Series (Part B)

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Long-term exposure to benzene primarily impacts the bloodstream. Over time, benzene exposure depletes red blood cells (leading to anemia) and bone marrow weakens. Benzene exposure can cause excessive bleeding which weakens the immune system and increases the risk of infection. Long-term exposure to high levels of airborne benzene can cause leukemia, particularly acute myelogenous leukemia, often referred to as AML. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the United States...

Shanghai Air Part 4: The Dirty Story of Air Filters

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In China, selling air purifiers is good business - and its getting better everyday. One doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to relate the growth in sales to the growth in public awareness of air pollution.

However, the irony is that they pollute more than they clean. Like many green technologies today, no one has bothered to step back and look at the big picture.

Comparing air filters usually boils down to price vs. performance. However, the reality is that in the higher-end range most...

Call for Speakers: GIGA crit

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Trace your memory back to design school. Remember how useful design critiques were? A semester of work culminating with a feedback session with a jury of peers and experts aimed solely at improving your ideas. Why is it that when we leave school we also leave this culture of critique behind?

Discussing projects before they are built is far more valuable than discussing finished work. Why? In-progress projects can be improved or optimized when shared with peers and experts. In March, we...

【Daily Definition】Class I~V 水质分类

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China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) evaluates surface water using five grades; Class Ⅰ , Ⅱ, Ⅲ, Ⅳ and Ⅴ. Each grade includes limits for chemical content, metals and bacteria.RESET is harmonized with the MEP classification to measure the impact factory effluent has on surface water. These standards are also used as benchmarks to measure the quality of municipal water provided to factories. Using the same metric allows us to clearly measure the impact manufacturing has on water...

【Daily Definition】 Circular Economy 循环经济

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Circular economy is an economic management strategy used by manufacturers to eliminate production waste. Under this practice, all nutrients return to production following use. To build a circular economy, Manufacturers must first classify all nutrients as either biological or geological. Chemical changes must never combine biological nutrients with geological nutrients when producing material components. Biological components must be biodegrade and geological components must be managed to...

Greenwalk 1

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Greenwalk 1: Complete!


Organized by Shanghai Flaneur and the Ecodesignfair, the first Greenbuilding walk was given by our experts Scott Burroughs and Ashley Reta last week-end (April 7th, 2012). Focused on the Jing-An district, the walk included Central POD Office Complex designed by A_A&D, the LEED Gold skyscraper: Eco-City 1788 Nanjing Lu, The Haworth Showroom, a house renovation on Wanhangdu and the Carbon Neutral URBN Hotel, both by A00 Architecture. More green walks are planned in...

【Daily Definition】 Carbon Neutral 碳中性

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Carbon neutrality refers to a system which manages the negative impacts of carbon emissions from carbon dioxide. Carbon neutrality can be achieved in two ways:
1. Emissions are managed within the system. A simple example is a building which adds vegetation to absorb and offset generated emissions.
2. Carbon offsets are purchased to invest in management strategies.

The most Common sources of carbon emissions include: fossil fuel combustion, steel production, cement manufacturing, natural gas...

Carbon Offsets 碳补偿

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Credits which are purchased and traded to manage carbon emissions produced from human activity. Effective management strategies include using existing forests and vegetation, planting programs, and/or rehabilitating vegetation to absorb and utilize carbon. Though investment in clean renewable energy is critical to achieve low-carbon fuel sources, it does not directly improve current carbon management problems. RESET recognizes all accredited carbon offsets though those that invest in carbon...

Shanghai Air: Part 3: IKEA unit ruins test result?

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After having written about air quality and the conundrum of opening windows to control pollutants, the next step should normally be to talk about air filters.

Not quite. Air filters are like applying band-aids to a cancer: they only help on the surface of things.

Far more important is eliminating chemical pollutants at the source.

Here's an example. Imagine we install a fire hose that pumps clean water into the Huangpu River. Obviously, the area right next to the fire hose will have the...

Byproduct 副料

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Any material that is unusable or unintentionally produced during production is a byproduct. This includes, production wastewater, production air emissions and production scraps or overruns. It is crucial that byproducts be used in other production processes or are non-toxic and biodegraded.

在生产过程中,任何不是为了生产而产生的材料称为副料。这包括生产废水、废气以及固体废料。我们需要在其他生产过程中重复利用副料,或保证副料为无毒害或可生物降解。

Note: Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and assumptions. Both are listed...

Biomimetic 仿生

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Biomimetic refers to traits which mimic those found in nature (velcro, for example). For the past 3.8 billion years, nature has been fueling production with clean energy, non-toxic raw materials, all while increasing biodiversity with production byproducts.Our shared challenge is to create (and build a market for) biomimetic materials.

仿生是指模仿自然界已有的特性 (比如魔术贴的发明)。在过去的38亿年里,大自然一直利用清洁能源 (太阳能)、无毒害的原材料有条不紊地运作着,即使产生"废弃物"也成为其它生物的养分。大自然是我们最好的老师,我们共同面临的挑战就是创造更多的仿生材料。

Note: Our aim is for transparency and...

ADD a Project

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Nothing inspires green design better than a successful center-fold project. Each underscores what is possible, serving as a benchmark for others. The benefit of posting your projects is two-fold; precedents provide solutions and inspiration for others to build greener projects while highlighting your achievements as a driver of green design. The more you post, the more you showcase your expertise.


Who should post Projects?
Designers, Manufacturers, Service Providers, and Contractors

Why you...

Biosphere 生物圈

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Anything within the Earth and its atmosphere that is living or is capable of supporting life.
生物圈是指地球表层生物及其生存环境的总称。

Note:Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and assumptions. Both are listed below and are defined to support development towards restorative solutions. Chinese and English are listed together to avoid communication gaps.

Benzene 苯

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Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor, which is frequently found in paints and coatings. It evaporates quickly when exposed to air, thus the main route of exposure (47-80%) is through inhalation. Benzene can also be absorbed through the skin when in direct contact with a source, such as gasoline. Health hazards of benzene include leukemia, particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

苯是具有特殊芳香气味的油状液体,微溶于水,可溶于乙醇、汽油等有机溶剂。苯和苯的同系物多来源于油漆或涂料。苯的挥发速度很快,为乙醚的1/3,暴露于空气中很容易扩散。...

Biodiversity 生物多样性

Definition

Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and assumptions. Both are listed below and are defined to support development towards restorative solutions. Chinese and English are listed together to avoid communication gaps.


Biodiversity 生物多样性:


Biodiversity indicates both a richness of species within a given ecosystem and the health of this ecosystem in total. Human activities greatly influence biodiversity; factory effluent impacts soil quality and...

Daily Definition: Appropriate Durability 适当的耐久性

Definition

Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and assumptions. Both are listed below and are defined to support development towards restorative solutions. Chinese and English are listed together to avoid communication gaps.

Appropriate Durability 适当的耐久性

People usually assume that the longer a material lasts the better it is. Environmentally speaking, this is not an absolute. Every product is made by locking up raw materials and resources for the...

Chemistry is fun: Benzene Series (Part A)

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The opposite of nature is impossible. ——Richard Buckminster Fuller

Hexagonal structures are often used in large modern buildings because their natural shape properties (strong, efficient and beautiful) are ideal for mechanical systems, structural support systems, sound and thermal insulation, and design elements.
Hexagonal shapes can be optimized to efficiently use material to create lightweight high strength materials. Hexagonal structures are increasingly used in modern buildings. The below...

Daily Definition: Biodegradable 可生物降解

Definition

Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and assumptions. Both are listed below and are defined to support development towards restorative solutions. Chinese and English are listed together to avoid communication gaps.

Biodegradable 可生物降解:
In truth, everything biodegrades. Eventually, everything will break down into tiny particles. Though, the time each material takes to degrade differs greatly. Some materials break down over hundreds of thousands...

Daily Definition: benchmarking 改进基准

Definition

Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and assumptions. Both are listed below and are defined to support development towards restorative solutions. Chinese and English are listed together to avoid communication gaps.

Benchmarking 改进基准

GIGA refers to benchmarking as a system through which environmental, social, and economic goals are set and incremental progress and successes are measured and reported.

GIGA所指的改进基准是指根据记录的生态、经济以及社会的影响而得到的相应改进计划。...

Daily Definition: Air Pollution Index (API) 空气污染指数

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Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and assumptions. Both are listed below and are defined to support development towards restorative solutions. Chinese and English are listed together to avoid communication gaps.

Air Pollution Index (API) 空气污染指数

API (Air Pollution Index) describes the level of air pollution. It is typically used to measure ambient city air quality. The API calculation process considers the pollutant levels of SO2, NO2, PM10,...

Shanghai Air: Part 2: Windows... Open vs. Closed?

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A few years ago, i used to pause every time i opened the windows. I knew i'd be flushing out chemical pollutants, but i also knew i'd be bringing in particulates. Should i be opening the windows or keeping them closed? For most people, that question still lingers today.

Opening windows is good: it allows chemical pollutants to get out.

Opening windows is bad: it allows particulates to get in.

So, should we be keeping our windows open or closed?!

In theory, the math is easy. If you live or work in...

Daily Definition: Agricultural Waste 农作物废弃物

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The green world in confused with a myriad of changing terms and definitions. What does Sustainable mean? What about Carbon Neutral? Recyclable? Waste? A room full of people could spend hours arguing the meaning of each. This is exactly what we want to avoid. Instead of debating and defending the meaning of the words that define our work, we want to spend time developing work that has meaning and impact. .

Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and...

Shanghai Air: Part 1: Outdoor vs. Indoors

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Statistics are fun. However, they also tend to be fairly irrelevant by being overly general. For example, knowing that Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors is interesting, but not all that useful to us in China, and more specifically Shanghai. The same is true of the classic U.S. statistic of indoor air being 4 to 25 times worse than outdoor air. Interesting... but what about Shanghai and the rest of China.?

We've spent the past ten years collecting air quality data that is relevant...

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