Archivi categoria: Science

Pioneering a new frontier for healthy buildings.

The WELL Faculty™ Program is a network of educators – authorized by the International WELL Building Institute™ (ILFI) – who are highly experienced and knowledgeable on the topic of the WELL Building Standard™ and who have demonstrated and maintain well-honed presentation and facilitation skills.

After becoming in 2016 the first in Italy to earn the WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP™) credential, Carlo Battisti has just entered – first in EU – the WELL Faculty family, placing him among a group of leading professionals who are dedicated to supporting human health and well-being in the built environment. There are currently 32 WELL Faculty educators under the Program (11 of them are outside US).

Our buildings have a profound impact on our health, well-being and productivity.

WELL is an independently verified, performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of buildings that impact human health and well-being. WELL is also the first building standard to focus exclusively on the human health and wellness in our buildings and communities.

WELL combines best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research – harnessing buildings as vehicles to support human health and well-being.

WELL Certified™ spaces can help create buildings that improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, productivity and performance of its occupants.

WELL is composed of over 100 features that are applied to each building project. Each WELL feature is designed to address issues that impact the health, comfort or knowledge of occupants through design, operations and behavior.

Our buildings can shape our habits and choices, regulate our sleep-wake cycle, drive us toward healthy and unhealthy choices, and passively influence our health through the quality of our surroundings.

WELL provides a framework for project teams to incorporate a variety of strategies to integrate human health and well-being at the heart of building design, construction and operations. WELL also allows project teams to innovate and transform the way humans can interact with the buildings and spaces they live in. WELL allows people to connect with buildings. [Sources: WELL Brochure. Copyright© 2016 by Delos Living LLC]

Carlo Battisti is WELL AP™ and WELL Faculty™. Interested in hosting a WELL presentation or conducting a WELL pre-assessment of your project? Contact and information here.

Urban complexity. The case of Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy.

Introduction

Bolzano, capital of South Tyrol in northern Italy, has around 106,000 inhabitants. During the gradual decline of the Romans’ influence in the 7th century, Bavarian immigration took place and so the German populations have been present in this region since that time. Until the 1st World War, South Tyrol was part of the Austrian-Hungaric Empire, with around 29,000 German inhabitants and 1,300 Italian.

After the war, this region became Italian, and the fascist regime built new factories promoting the settlement of a lot of Italian families from other regions. Therefore, there is a clear difference between the XIII° century German nucleus and the development of the ’20s-’30s. Today, the language groups are 74% Italian, while 26% German.

Over the decades the centre has maintained its character, with shops, offices, restaurants. In the new districts, born as residential, communities have emerged, with local markets, traditional celebrations and neighbourhood shops.

2016_10_28-01-bolzano

Cohesion

There is a great cohesion between the historical German town center and the Italian surrounding area and this cohesion may be found within two huge urban projects currently under development: the new technology park, on a former aluminium plant, hosting a network of research centres, institutions and companies; the Kaufhaus project, revitalizing a large part of the centre with new shopping malls, offices, residences, and a green park.

Compatibility

In the 12th century the Bishop of Trento, at the time political and religious authority of Bolzano, erected under the arcades (“Lauben”) of Bolzano a market hall as a center of growing trade between the north and south. The goods were stowed behind the arcades on the ground floor, while the dwellings were located in the clerestory courtyard. This structure has remained intact until today, even if global brands have taken the place of the traditional local shops.

2016_10_28-02-lauben

Competitiveness

Bolzano clearly reflects the exchange between different cultures. Giotto’s school paintings and Gothic school works coexist, while in architecture you may notice the unique contrast between the historic city and the new one. Bolzano has artistic and cultural treasures: churches, monuments, streets and historic squares, museums and castles. Thus, the city has a strong tourist connotation that leads her to compete with other cities and the natural beauty of the region.

Complementarity

The functions in the old centre and in the new districts are very different: public offices in the centre, while new districts are mainly residential, with neighbourhood shops, schools, and parks. The two parts are narrowly connected; each day a swarm of people commutes by bike in the same direction. Over the years, four different mobility systems have overlaid: pedestrian (the old centre), a massively used cycle network, public transportations, and cars.

2016_10_28-03-bici-bz

Conclusions

The evolution of Bolzano is for me an example of nonlinear development, explaining a radical and sudden change due to historical reasons. It is also possible to recognize in its evolution the four connectors, which rule its internal and external relationships, i.e. cohesion, compatibility, competitiveness, and complementarity (the four concepts of urban complexity developed by prof. dr. Gert de Roo).

Key-concepts: complexity, self-organisation, evolutionary dynamics, non-linearity.

2016_10_28-04-futurelearnThis post is an assignment of the “Decisions Making in a Complex and Uncertain World” course of the University of Groningen, provided on-line by FutureLearn.

It’s LUNA day :-)

2016_09_30-09-lunaOne city. 16 locations. More than 120 activities.
During the European Researchers‘ Night the researchers and scientists of Bolzano will show you how they keep an eye on the big picture while working on the details.

Lunga Notte della Ricerca (LUNA)
Bolzano | Venerdì 30.09.2016 ore 17-24
1 città. 16 location. 120+ stazioni.

The Big Picture

Tenere d’occhio il quadro generale pur avendo cura dei dettagli: questa è la sfida quotidiana degli scienziati. La ricerca spacca il capello con indagini minuziosissime, ma deve poi anche fornire un’immagine a 360° dei cambiamenti che stanno avvenendo e di cosa ci aspetterà in futuro. Sotto il motto “The Big Picture” torna quest’anno la Lunga Notte della Ricerca – giunta alla quinta edizione – con oltre 120 stazioni interattive per sperimentare, costruire, chiacchierare, incontrarsi e divertirsi. Tutto ovviamente a ingresso libero!

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EURAC, unibz e IDM si prendono una notte intera – il 30 settembre 2016 dalle ore 17 alle 24 – per accompagnarvi nella città di Bolzano, tra scienza e divertimento. Dal piccolo al grande, dal dettaglio al contesto, dal presente al futuro… e ritorno!

2016_09_30-01-mylunamyLUNA – il Tuo programma personalizzato

La Lunga Notte della Ricerca è lunga, ma probabilmente non abbastanza per poter visitare ogni stazione. Per questo puoi personalizzare il tuo programma per la LUNA 2016 e avere sempre la panoramica delle tue stazioni preferite! Scopri qui come funziona e prova anche tu!

Al programma partecipano tra gli altri i partner del Gruppo di Lavoro Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) di IDM Südtirol – Alto Adige, il gruppo di aziende, centri di ricerca, enti pubblici e professionisti focalizzato sul comfort all’interno degli edifici. Vi segnalo:

Agenzia CasaClima
2016_09_30-02-lunaL’ Agenzia CasaClima, nata nel 2006 e al 100 per cento società di proprietà della Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano, è un ente pubblico non coinvolto nel processo edilizio, che si occupa della certificazione energetica e ambientale di edifici e prodotti. Ad oggi l’Agenzia ha certificato più di 6000 edifici, distribuiti su tutto il territorio nazionale. La trovate alla tappa
Sotto la pelle degli edifici
Dove: Piazza Fiera, Bolzano

Eco-Research
2016_09_30-03-lunaEco-Research è un laboratorio di analisi, che nel tempo ha maturato una solida esperienza nella ricerca ambientale.  Il suo team di chimici, biologi, ingegneri e tecnici di laboratorio si è specializzato nello studio dei microinquinanti inorganici e organici.
Segnalo in particolare le due tappe di Eco-Research su
Cosa c’è nel respiro?
Allarme polveri sottili!
Dove: Eco-Research, Via Luigi Negrelli 13, Bolzano

EURAC Research
2016_09_30-05-lunaL’Accademia Europea di Bolzano – EURAC  è un centro di ricerca privato. Nel cuore delle Alpi studiosi da ogni parte del mondo elaborano strategie sui temi più sensibili del nostro tempo e in particolare per il benessere dei territori di montagna. In particolare l’Istituto per le Energie Rinnovabili conduce attività di ricerca applicata nel campo di sistemi energetici avanzati che prevedono l’utilizzo di fonti energetiche sostenibili. Tra le numerose tappe di EURAC segnalo
La casa del futuro
Pareti a sorpresa
Dove: EURAC, Viale Druso 1, Bolzano

Thimus
2016_09_30-04-luna
Thimus studia i meccanismi del cervello che determinano la preferenza nella scelta di un prodotto o di una esperienza, per poi soddisfare i desideri degli utenti anticipandone le risposte. Thimus sarà presente presso IDM con la tappa
Viaggio dentro la mente
Dove: IDM Südtirol – Alto Adige, Via Siemens 19, Bolzano

2016_09_30-08-luna

Lange Nacht der Forschung
Bozen | Freitag, 30.09.2016 | 17-24 Uhr
1 Stadt. 16 Forschungseinrichtungen. 120+ Stationen.

Das große Ganze im Blick haben und dennoch die Liebe zum Detail pflegen – eine alltägliche Herausforderung in der Welt der Wissenschaft. Den Schwenk vom kleinen Detail zu den großen Zusammenhängen und wieder zurück unternimmt heuer die fünfte Ausgabe der LUNA unter dem Motto „The Big Picture“. Sie bietet eine Nacht lang Wissenschaft und Forschung für alle Sinne und Altersstufen an über 120 Stationen in ganz Bozen. Eintritt frei!

EURAC, unibz und IDM begleiten die Besucher am 30. September von 17 bis 24 Uhr durch die Bozner Nacht zwischen Wissenschaft und Unterhaltung: Vom Detail zu den großen Zusammenhängen, von der Gegenwart in die Zukunft und wieder zurück!

Il radon. Se sai come evitarlo, lo eviti.

Risanare edifici dal radon.
Il corso specialistico per professionisti delle costruzioni, 24-25 settembre 2015 al TIS di Bolzano (2^ edizione).

2015_09_09-04 radonForse non tutti sanno che il radon è la seconda causa di tumore ai polmoni (fonti: Ufficio Federale della Sanità pubblica di Berna – CH, Environmental Protection Agency, USA, etc.). E forse non tutti sanno che il problema del radon nelle case interessa molte zone di diverse regioni italiane: Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardia, Val d’Aosta, Piemonte, Toscana, Lazio, Puglia (vedi la mappa dell’Istituto Superiore di Sanità). In Alto Adige la situazione radon è tenuta sotto controllo da anni, grazie al lavoro delle istituzioni, che hanno maturato una esperienza rilevante su questo tema delicato ed importante per la salute. Tuttavia, sono molti i casi che si presentano, sia localmente che fuori provincia, dove è necessario intervenire su edifici ed abitazioni in cui si è rilevato un superamento dei limiti. Talvolta il superamento è addirittura provocato dall‘intervento di efficientamento energetico dell‘edificio, che grazie alla migliore tenuta all‘aria, trattiene anche maggiori quantità di radon.

Mettere in atto misure efficaci per la bonifica non è una operazione banale, e sono diversi i casi di intervento inefficaci o addirittura peggiorativi.
L‘obiettivo del corso (2^ edizione, vale anche come aggiornamento per i partecipanti del 2014) è fornire nozioni, metodi ed esperienze utili al progettista, tecnico, utente o impresa incaricata di condurre interventi di bonifica. C’è necessità di esperti a livello locale, nell’ambito delle nuove costruzioni, sia pubbliche che private, ma soprattutto nei risanamenti energetici. Una domanda che potrebbe provocare la nascita di nuovi “green jobs”.
Il corso di due giorni è organizzato con il Laboratorio Provinciale di Chimica-Fisica, il Centro competenza radon della Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI, CH) e gli esperti del Gruppo di Lavoro “Qualità dell‘aria e dell‘ambiente indoor“.

I trainer sono specialisti riconosciuti del settore:

2015_09_09-02 Luca Verdi

Luca Verdi – Direttore del Laboratorio di Chimica Fisica presso l’Agenzia Provinciale per l’ambiente di Bolzano. Laurea e PhD in fisica. Attività: radiazioni ionizzanti e non ionizzanti, misure di acustica, rete di monitoraggio della qualità dell’aria, misurazioni dell’inquinamento dell’aria in immissione ed emissione.

2015_09_09-03 Luca Pampuri

Luca Pampuri – Ricercatore al Centro competenza radon della SUPSI. Maturità federale a Bellizona, ha studiato a Losanna ed a Zurigo dove ha conseguito rispettivamente il Bachelor in scienze ed ingegneria abientale e il Master in scienze ambientali. Attività: Politica energetica, efficienza energetica, energie rinnovabili, clima, ambiente, radon, qualità dell’aria indoor.

Programma
Iscrizioni entro il 18.09.2015.

2015_09_09-01 Radon

Radon-Sanierung von Gebäuden.
24-25. September 2015, TIS innovation park, Bozen

Radon gilt als die zweithäufigste Ursache für Lungenkrebs. Dank den Bemühungen der lokalen Institutionen, die über einschlägige Erfahrungen zu diesem sensiblen und gesundheitsrelevanten Thema verfügen, ist die Gefahr in Südtirol seit Jahren unter Kontrolle. Allerdings gibt es, sowohl lokal als auch außerhalb der Provinz, viele Fälle mit Handlungsbedarf weil die Grenzwerte in Gebäuden und Wohnungen überschritten wurden. Es kommt sogar vor, dass diese Überschreitung erst durch Maßnahmen zur Verbesserung der Energieeffizienz hervorgerufen wurden, weil mit der erhöhten Luftdichtheit auch größere Mengen an Radon im Gebäude verbleiben.

Die Durchführung einer wirksamen Sanierung ist keine einfache Aufgabe und in mehreren Fällen waren die Ergebnisse wirkungslos oder sogar verschlechternd. In diesem Kurs werden daher sinnvolle Konzepte, Methoden und Erfahrungen für die Durchführung von Radon-Sanierungen vorgestellt, die sich an die verantwortlichen Planer, Techniker, Nutzer oder die ausführenden Firmen richten. Der zweitägige Kurs wurde zusammen mit dem Labor für physikalische Chemie der Provinz, der Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI) und den Mitgliedern der Arbeitsgruppe „Qualità dell‘aria e dell‘ambiente indoor“ organisiert.

Programm
Anmeldung: bis 18. September 2015

Articoli collegati:
Caccia al radon (04.06.2014)

The tree of life.

2015_04_17 tree of life

Source: David M. Hillis, Derrick Zwickl, Robin Gutell; University of Texas (thanks to Matteo Castellini for highlighting it).

About this Tree: This tree is from an analysis of small subunit rRNA sequences sampled from about 3,000 species from throughout the Tree of Life. The species were chosen based on their availability, but we attempted to include most of the major groups, sampled very roughly in proportion to the number of known species in each group (although many groups remain over- or under-represented). The number of species represented is approximately the square-root of the number of species thought to exist on Earth (i.e., three thousand out of an estimated nine million species), or about 0.18% of the 1.7 million species that have been formally described and named.

This is the .pdf version: Tree of Life

You don’t know how? Ask Nature!

«Biomimicry is the conscious emulation of life’s genius. Innovation inspired by nature» – Janine M. Benuys, “Biomimicry“, 1997

2015_04_15-03 king fisherBiomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival. [from AskNature.org web site]

2015_04_15-04 AskNatureAskNature is the world’s most comprehensive catalog of nature’s solutions to human design challenges. This curated online library features free information on more than 1,800 (and growing!) natural phenomena and hundreds of bio-inspired applications. Think of AskNature as your home habitat. Whether you’re a designer, architect, engineer, or chemist looking for life-friendly solutions to a design challenge or a biologist who wants to share what you know about an amazing organism, AskNature is where biology and design cross-pollinate, so bio-inspired breakthroughs can be born. AskNature helps innovators understand how nature’s adaptations work, empowering them to mimic ideas that have evolved to thrive in balance with Earth’s complex systems.

2015_04_15-01 taxonomy

The Biomimicry Taxonomy [Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License. Version 6.0 © 2012 Biomimicry Institute]

Using the Biomimicry Taxonomy, it aligns natural inspiration with human challenges. A taxonomy is a system of classification. The Biomimicry Taxonomy is a classification system developed by the Biomimicry Institute to organize biological content on the website AskNature. The taxonomy categorizes the different ways that organisms and natural systems meet functional challenges.The Biomimicry Taxonomy organizes biology by function. In AskNature, the ways that organisms and systems have adapted in response to challenges are called strategies. Put another way, a strategy is how an organism does something and a function is why it does it. The Biomimicry Taxonomy is useful not just because it will help you navigate better on AskNature, but because it provides a framework that may help you understand your challenge differently.

2015_04_15-05 Biomimicry InstituteAskNature is built by and for the community. It is an initiative of the Biomimicry Institute, whose goal is to make the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing. Isn’t AskNature simply one of the best web site in the world ?!? 🙂

2015_04_15-02 frog with umbrella

A brief history of failure.

Irresistible article by Ryan Bradley on The New York Times Magazine of 12 Nov 2014 (thanks to Cynthia K. Fioretti for highlighting it) on a gallery of 19 technologies we lost. Good ideas never disappear forever; the Stirling engine didn’t pan out in the Industrial Revolution, for example, but it can keep the lights on for a small village. Here is my selection of the most interesting five of them (here is the complete article).

Pneumatic rail

2015_02_27-01 pneumatic railThe pneumatic railway began as a 150-foot-long tube, built by John Vallance on the grounds of his home in Brighton, England, using atmospheric pressure to carry a passenger car at 2 m.p.h. In 1844, London and Croydon Railway built a 7.5-mile pneumatic rail line. A trial run the following year achieved a top speed of 70 m.p.h. A pneumatic tube was underneath the car, between the rails. It closed in 1847, unable to connect to more traditional rails. The idea was revived a few decades later by Alfred Ely Beach, the editor and co-owner of Scientific American, who built a 294-foot line in Manhattan shown here. Rides cost a quarter, and ticket sales brought in $2,805 the first two weeks. But corrupt politicians, a stock-market crash and the construction of the cheaper elevated lines foiled Beach’s dreams.

Stirling engine

2015_02_27-02 stirling engineIn 1816, the same year that he became a minister in the Church of Scotland, Robert Stirling patented the Heat Economiser, which could take heat from anything — a fire, say, or the palm of your hand — and turn it into dynamic energy through the use of two pistons. Stirling and his brother, James, spent decades improving the engine before it was able to power a whole iron foundry in Dundee. But steam, which was an inefficient and dangerous power source when Stirling started, had improved and would provide the power and scale to drive the Industrial Revolution. Stirling’s idea would be confined to use as a backup generator (like the Philips model, shown here) for a century or so until Dean Kamen, who invented the Segway, brought the Stirling back as the basis of his Beacon generator, a 1,500-pound, washing-machine-size system that can be tied to solar panels or natural gas to power a small business, a rural village or, in his case, a very large eco-friendly home.

Direct current

2015_02_27-03 direct currentEdison lost. People forget that. Yes, he had stray dogs, cats and a circus elephant electrocuted using alternating current, to demonstrate its dangers and promote his own direct current. But it didn’t matter. Alternating current could send out a large voltage from a single power plant on small wires across great distances and, with the help of transformers, be converted to higher or lower levels of voltage for homes and businesses. Direct current couldn’t travel like AC; it suffered significant power losses over long distances. AC, which G.E. adapted in 1892, largely triumphed. But today, with the rise of smaller, alternative-energy sources (solar especially), a distributed DC-based grid could again challenge AC.

Personal helicopter

2015_02_27-05 personal helicopterThe aerocycle was intended for beginners. It was supposed to be possible to steer it simply by shifting your weight, as on a surfboard, riding a wave of air, a few feet above two contra-rotating propellers. A de Lackner aerocycle, shown here, was favored by the United States military and took test flights out of the Brooklyn Army Terminal in the 1950s. But the blades would wobble, then crash together. Close to the ground, they would kick up all manner of dust and rocks. The core idea, however, of an easy-to-operate, low-flying aircraft held the military’s interest for decades, and it eventually brought us to the drone age.

The time machine

2015_02_27-04 time machineGordon Earl Adams was a London-based engineer, scientist and seeker. In the late 1920s, he built a machine with dozens of flywheels, some perhaps weighing several tons and looking as if they could spin so fast that they would set off powerful electrical charges into the atmosphere. His goal was to control time and space. Adams worked for years in his basement in Shepherd’s Bush and died in 1933, at 68, his machine lost to history. Eight decades later, notes from his project (shown here), along with photographs, were unearthed, highlighting its technical wizardry and spectacle. It was deemed conceptual art far ahead of its time.