This week, we’re highlighting these four top stories: watch Peruvians fix an ancient bridge with just wild grass and ancient Inca skill, see how NASA is improving life on Earth, learn how a movie snack is being turned into packaging and catch the latest technology making our world a more sustainable place.
So-called green bonds have become more popular in recent years, and this fast-growing segment of the $128.3 trillion global bond market could grow even more. When an issuer sells a green bond, they’re making a nonbinding commitment to earmark the sale’s proceeds for environmentally friendly projects. That could include renewable energy projects, constructing energy efficient buildings or making investments in clean water or transportation. Green bonds fall under the wider umbrella of sustainable bonds, which include fixed-income instruments whose proceeds are set aside for social or sustainability projects. Big household names such as Apple and PepsiCo are diving into this space. A handful of massive banks and governments around the world are also issuing sustainable bonds, including China, Russia and the European Union. This may be contributing to the space’s rapid growth. A report from Moody’s said new sustainable bond issuance may top $650 billion in 2021. That would represent a 32% jump from 2020.
Monocle’s optimistic March issue challenges us to do it better, whether that be by growing your own forest or running a cleaner, leaner business. We visit the cities bringing the wilderness back to urban life and find out why you can mend almost anything. Plus: nature’s fluffiest film stars.
Available now at The Monocle Shop: https://monocle.com/shop/product/1916…
Harvard’s much-anticipated Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) in Allston is complete. The SEC is home to a portion of Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Labs are setting up (some are already operational), furniture has been moved in, and offices are being transitioned. Assuming continued progress in controlling the virus, it will be open to students in the Fall of 2021. Join us for a look inside the new SEC – one of the most innovative, healthiest and energy-efficient buildings in the world!
Norrbotten in Sweden is blessed with natural resources but more recently has been turning heads because of its growing roster of innovative start-ups. We bear witness to the region’s effort to change heavy industries into clean businesses.
Norrbotten County is the northernmost county or län of Sweden. It is also the largest county by land area, almost a quarter of Sweden’s total area.
This video produced by Dezeen for TP Bennett reveals how the architecture practice has transformed an old building in Manchester into an “ultra sustainable” mixed-use office building.
Called Windmill Green, the office building is a conversion of an unused 1970s structure in the heart of the city that was due to be demolished. The site has been transformed into a mixed-use co-working space fitted with several sustainable additions geared towards carbon reduction and biodiversity, such as solar panels, beehives, and “Manchester’s largest living wall”.
“Sustainability was a key driver with this scheme and we transferred a derelict and vacant building into an ultra sustainable and high-spec workplace” said Yvette Hanson, the principal director of TP Bennett, in the video. “At TP Bennett, we bring a deep commitment to carbon reduction to deliver buildings that better reflect the way people live, work and interact, while at the same time fostering a positive social impact,” she added.
Developed in collaboration with real estate investment boutique FORE Partnership, the building features a ground level dedicated to retail and a facade covered with the green terracotta tiles that are typical of buildings in Manchester.
Inside a warehouse in an industrial zone in Copenhagen vast stacks of plants soar almost to the ceiling. In time, this newly opened vertical farm will be one of the largest in Europe, while power from Denmark’s windfarms will ensure it is carbon-neutral, according to the company behind it.
This week, world leaders are announcing a series of pledges to protect and sustainably use the world’s oceans. The pledges form the crowning achievement of the ‘High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy’ a multinational group formed back in 2018.
The panel has sought to bring together research, published in a number of so-called ‘blue papers’ and special reports by scientists, policy- and legal-experts from around the world – all with the ear of 14 participating world leaders.
Erna Solberg, the prime minister of Norway, co-led the Panel. In this podcast, she speaks with Springer Nature’s editor-in-chief Philip Campbell about the panel’s work.
Woodnest – Up in the air
The steep forested hillsides around the Hardangerfjord above Odda, is the location of two Woodnest treehouses. The architecture is a specific response to the topography and conditions of the site itself. Inextricably crafted from nature, each treehouse is suspended 5-6m above the forest floor and fastened with a steel collar to the individual trunk of a living pine tree.
The journey to the site begins with the 20minute walk from the town of Odda, on the edge of the fjord and up through the forest via a steep winding path. Each treehouse is accessed via a small timber bridge, leading the visitor off the ground, into the structure and up in to the tree.
At just 15m2, carefully organized inside around the central tree trunk itself are four sleeping places, a bathroom, a kitchen area and a living space. From here one can lookout and experience the vast view out through the trees, down to the fjord below and across towards the mountains beyond.
At the very core of the project is the appreciation of timber as a building material. Inspired by the Norwegian cultural traditions of vernacular timber architecture, together with a desire to experiment with the material potential of wood, the architecture is structurally supported by the tree trunk itself, and formed from a series of radial glu-laminated timber ribs. The untreated natural timber shingles encase the volume creating a protective skin around the building, which will weather over time to merge and blend with the natural patina of the surrounding forest.