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SA bioplastics forum launched

The South African Bioplastics Forum has been launched under PlasticsSA to focus on growing the bioplastics economy in South Africa.

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Biomass powered printing press

Renewable energy company Sustainable Heating has opened its third biomass steam plant in South Africa, this one at JSE-listed Novus Holdings’ Paarl Media Cape printing press. The plant is completely owned and operated by Sustainable Heating, which sells the steam to Paarl Media Cape for their manufacturing processes. Temperatures in the furnace reach up to 1000ºC.

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The Holcim Awards 2014

The Holcim Awards is the biggest international competition for sustainable construction. The fourth cycle of this competition is now open and the total prize money is US million.

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Small Scale Embedded Generation

Nelson Mandela Bay residents can now connect small scale renewable systems up to 100 kW to the national grid. This has been made possible through a partnership between the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

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Wind turbine in transit

The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm is expected to power 110 000 homes and avoid more than 420 000 tons of carbon emissions annually. The site spans 3 700 hectares and will accommodate 60 2.3 MW wind turbines. Its proximity to the Eskom grid line, the low environmental value and optimal wind conditions makes this site particularly suitable for housing this renewable energy project.

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OpenArchitecture: Online and on point

In a breakthrough for architecture, the South African Institute of Architects now offers an office-based and online regional-based alternative to full time study through OpenArchitecture. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is the first institution to collaborate with OpenArchitecture, offering a B.Tech Architectural Technology (Applied Design) programme part-time over two years from 2014. Lone Poulsen is the programme director and Jolanda Morkel serves as the CPUT co-ordinator.

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Head above water

The Makoko floating prototype can be customised to cater to a large range of community needs such as a hub, health clinic, market and public space. In this instance, however, the structure will be used as a primary school.

The triangular frame, measuring 10 m high and with a 100 m2 base, ensures the structure has a low centre of gravity. It is designed to use rooftop solar panels, recycled organic waste and harvested rainwater. It is also built to support 100 adults in precarious weather conditions, withstand tidal changes, varying water levels and remain stable in heavy winds.

The buoyancy system comprises 16 wooden modules and 16 empty, recycled plastic barrels, creating the platform for the structure. Construction continues with a 220 m A-frame made of locally-sourced and eco-friendly bamboo, and wood from a local sawmill.

There are three levels to this prototype. An open play area doubles as a community space after hours on the first level. An enclosed space on the second level serves as classrooms and is designed to accommodate 60 to 100 pupils. The third level connects to the first and second via a staircase and is a semi-enclosed workshop space.

 

The aquatic Makoko community lives in housing units on stilts and has been using the prototype regularly.

 

www.nleworks.com

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Retrofitted house wins Solar Decathlon

The Illawarra Flame fibro retrofit demonstration house has won the Solar Decathlon China 2013. It was the only entry to address the upgrading of the current housing stock and the reduction of its energy consumption to net-zero. The measures taken included increasing how airtight the house is, and installing vertical gardens, a rainwater harvester, and a PV thermal air system. The windows were replaced with large double glazed windows with the redesign incorporating advanced insulation, low-carbon cement and recycled glass.

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Medellin – Innovative city of 2013

Colombia’s second largest city was voted 2013’s Innovative City of the Year for implementing sustainable innovation and a unique budgeting system.

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RustMo1 – the first of many

The site for the first solar farm in North West has been announced. The location for RustMo1 Solar Farm in Buffelspoort, Rustenburg was chosen due to its proximity to the national grid connection, high isolation levels and suitable climate for solar technology. The low agricultural and commercial value of the land adds to the site’s suitability. RustMo1 is being developed by Momentous Energy as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

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