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Found 14 results

  1. Il faut le souligner quand des compagnies d'ici font des acquisitions à l'étranger, comme quoi tout ne va pas d'un seul bord! Boralex boosts France operations with proposed takeover Montreal-based renewable energy producer Boralex Inc. has sharply boosted its presence in France with a $400-million proposed takeover of wind power company Enel Green Power France. The acquisition of the Enel wind portfolio will boost the generating capacity of Boralex’s existing operations by about 25 per cent, with the addition of 12 operating wind farms generating about 186 megawatts of power. Currently, Boralex has wind farms, solar projects, hydroelectric and thermal operations in France, Canada and the United States, that have a total capacity of about 754 MW. The company said this deal will make it the biggest independent wind power producer in France. Adding a large proportion to the French porfolio is a “truly company-transforming move,” said Boralex chief executive officer Patrick Lemaire. Currently, France makes up about 37 per cent of the Boralex portfolio, but that will expand to almost half after this transaction closes in January. Mr. Lemaire said in an interview that growth in the renewable sector is “clearer” in Europe than in North America, at the moment. Changes in Ontario’s renewable energy procurement program that make it less attractive, and limits to Quebec’s plans to acquire clean energy, have made those two core Canadian markets less attractive, he said. “France still has nice objectives,” he said. Boralex is also less interested in expanding in the United States, Mr. Lemaire said, because most jurisdictions there operate with a spot market for electricity, and thus there are fewer long-term contracts that secure a power price over the long term. The wind farms being purchased in this deal have long-term contracts in place averaging about 11 years. Privately owned Enel also has a pipeline of about 310 MW of new wind projects that are not yet built, and that will add further to the Boralex total in the next few years, Mr. Lemaire said. “Our main goals are to operate what we have acquired in the past, build new projects … and add growth for the next few years.” Boralex will finance the Enel purchase through bank loans, an existing revolving credit facility, and a bridge credit facility. It will also sell about $110-million in subscription receipts through a bought-deal transaction arranged by National Bank Financial. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/boralex-boosts-france-operations-with-proposed-takeover/article22095267/
  2. Excess wind energy to be stored underground for future use Posted Oct 5th 2007 8:57PM by Darren Murph Filed under: Misc. Gadgets We've seen some fairly impressive uses of wind power, but a group in Iowa is looking to actually capture and preserve excess wind energy for use when demand peaks. At the Iowa Stored Energy Park, a number of local utilities is "building a system that will steer surplus electricity generated by a nearby wind farm to a big air compressor," which will be held deep below the ground for future use. The project is being backed by the Energy Department, but more than a hundred municipal utilities in surrounding states are shelling out $200 million to construct the 268-megawatt system. As it stands, Iowa's compressed air energy storage (CAES) installation will be the first of its kind when it's completed in 2011, but there's already work being done in Texas to build a similar unit.
  3. Offshore Wind Power Line Wins Praise, and Backing By MATTHEW L. WALD Correction Appended WASHINGTON — Google and a New York financial firm have each agreed to invest heavily in a proposed $5 billion transmission backbone for future offshore wind farms along the Atlantic Seaboard that could ultimately transform the region’s electrical map. The 350-mile underwater spine, which could remove some critical obstacles to wind power development, has stirred excitement among investors, government officials and environmentalists who have been briefed on it. Google and Good Energies, an investment firm specializing in renewable energy, have each agreed to take 37.5 percent of the equity portion of the project. They are likely to bring in additional investors, which would reduce their stakes. If they hold on to their stakes, that would come to an initial investment of about $200 million apiece in the first phase of construction alone, said Robert L. Mitchell, the chief executive of Trans-Elect, the Maryland-based transmission-line company that proposed the venture. Marubeni, a Japanese trading company, has taken a 15 percent stake. Trans-Elect said it hoped to begin construction in 2013. Several government officials praised the idea underlying the project as ingenious, while cautioning that they could not prejudge the specifics. “Conceptually it looks to me to be one of the most interesting transmission projects that I’ve ever seen walk through the door,” said Jon Wellinghoff, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees interstate electricity transmission. “It provides a gathering point for offshore wind for multiple projects up and down the coast.” Industry experts called the plan promising, but warned that as a first-of-a-kind effort, it was bound to face bureaucratic delays and could run into unforeseen challenges, from technology problems to cost overruns. While several undersea electrical cables exist off the Atlantic Coast already, none has ever picked up power from generators along the way. The system’s backbone cable, with a capacity of 6,000 megawatts, equal to the output of five large nuclear reactors, would run in shallow trenches on the seabed in federal waters 15 to 20 miles offshore, from northern New Jersey to Norfolk, Va. The notion would be to harvest energy from turbines in an area where the wind is strong but the hulking towers would barely be visible. Trans-Elect estimated that construction would cost $5 billion, plus financing and permit fees. The $1.8 billion first phase, a 150-mile stretch from northern New Jersey to Rehoboth Beach, Del., could go into service by early 2016, it said. The rest would not be completed until 2021 at the earliest. Richard L. Needham, the director of Google’s green business operations group, called the plan “innovative and audacious.” “It is an opportunity to kick-start this industry and, long term, provide a way for the mid-Atlantic states to meet their renewable energy goals,” he said. Yet even before any wind farms were built, the cable would channel existing supplies of electricity from southern Virginia, where it is cheap, to northern New Jersey, where it is costly, bypassing one of the most congested parts of the North American electric grid while lowering energy costs for northern customers. Generating electricity from offshore wind is far more expensive than relying on coal, natural gas or even onshore wind. But energy experts anticipate a growing demand for the offshore turbines to meet state requirements for greater reliance on local renewable energy as a clean alternative to fossil fuels. Four connection points — in southern Virginia, Delaware, southern New Jersey and northern New Jersey — would simplify the job of bringing the energy onshore, involving fewer permit hurdles. In contrast to transmission lines on land, where a builder may have to deal with hundreds of property owners, this project would have to deal with a maximum of just four, and fewer than that in its first phase. Ultimately the system, known as the Atlantic Wind Connection, could make building a wind farm offshore far simpler and cheaper than it looks today, experts said. Environmentalists who have been briefed on the plan were enthusiastic. Melinda Pierce, the deputy director for national campaigns at the Sierra Club, said she had campaigned against proposed transmission lines that would carry coal-fired energy around the country, but would favor this one, with its promise of tapping the potential of offshore wind. “These kinds of audacious ideas might just be what we need to break through the wretched logjam,” she said. Projects like Cape Wind, proposed for shallow waters just off Cape Cod in Massachusetts, met with fierce objections from residents who felt it would mar the ocean vista. But sponsors of the Trans-Elect project insist that the mid-Atlantic turbines would have less of a visual impact. The hurdles facing the project have more to do with administrative procedures than with engineering problems or its economic merit, several experts said. By the time the Interior Department could issue permits for such a line, for example, the federal subsidy program for wind will have expired in 2012, said Willett M. Kempton, a professor at the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware and the author of several papers on offshore wind. Another is that PJM Interconnection, the regional electricity group that would have to approve the project and assess its member utilities for the cost, has no integrated procedure for calculating the value of all three tasks the line would accomplish — hooking up new power generation, reducing congestion on the grid and improving reliability. And elected officials in Virginia have in the past opposed transmission proposals that would tend to average out pricing across the mid-Atlantic states, possibly raising their constituents’ costs. But the lure of Atlantic wind is very strong. The Atlantic Ocean is relatively shallow even tens of miles from shore, unlike the Pacific, where the sea floor drops away steeply. Construction is also difficult on the Great Lakes because their waters are deep and they freeze, raising the prospect of moving ice sheets that could damage a tower. Nearly all of the East Coast governors, Republican and Democratic, have spoken enthusiastically about coastal wind and have fought proposals for transmission lines from the other likely wind source, the Great Plains. “From Massachusetts down to Virginia, the governors have signed appeals to the Senate not to do anything that would lead to a high-voltage grid that would blanket the country and bring in wind from the Dakotas,” said James J. Hoecker, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who now is part of a nonprofit group that represents transmission owners. He described an Atlantic transmission backbone as “a necessary piece of what the Eastern governors have been talking about in terms of taking advantage of offshore wind.” So far only one offshore wind project, Bluewater Wind off Delaware, has sought permission to build in federal waters. The company is seeking federal loan guarantees to build 293 to 450 megawatts of capacity, but the timing of construction remains uncertain. Executives with that project said the Atlantic backbone was an interesting idea, in part because it would foster development of a supply chain for the specialized parts needed for offshore wind. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose agency would have to sign off on the project, has spoken approvingly of wind energy and talked about the possibility of an offshore “backbone.” In a speech this month, he emphasized that the federal waters were “controlled by the secretary,” meaning him. Within three miles of the shore, control is wielded by the state. Nonetheless, if the offshore wind farms are built on a vast scale, the project’s sponsors say, a backbone with just four connection points could expedite the approval process. In fact, if successful, the transmission spine would reduce the regulatory burden on subsequent projects, said Mr. Mitchell, the Trans-Elect chief executive. Mr. Kempton of the University of Delaware and Mr. Wellinghoff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the backbone would offer another plus: reducing one of wind power’s big problems, variability of output. “Along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard, we tend to have storm tracks that move along the coast and somewhat offshore,” Mr. Kempton said. If storm winds were blowing on Friday off Virginia, they might be off Delaware by Saturday and off New Jersey by Sunday, he noted. Yet the long spine would ensure that the amount of energy coming ashore held roughly constant. Wind energy becomes more valuable when it is more predictable; if predictable enough, it could replace some land-based generation altogether, Mr. Kempton said. But the economics remain uncertain, he warned, For now, he said, the biggest impediment may be that the market price of offshore wind energy is about 50 percent higher than that of energy generated on land. With a change in market conditions — an increase in the price of natural gas, for example, or the adoption of a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide from coal- or gas-generated electricity — that could change, he said. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/science/earth/12wind.html?hp
  4. SolarBotanic is a company which researches and specializes in an emerging tech dubbed biomimicry -- which seeks to mimic nature, and use nature-inspired methods to solve human problems. SolarBotanic is focusing on energy production, and, to that end, they've developed what they call Energy Harvesting Trees. The trees aren't "real," (they're just modeled on real ones); these are composed of Nanoleafs, which use nanotechnology designed to capture the "sun's energy in photovoltaic and thermovoltaic cells, then convert the radiation into electricity." They also have stems and twigs which house nano-piezovoltaic material which act as generators producing electricity from movement or kinetic energy caused by wind or rain. The company has several patents on the technology already, and are currently seeking partners for funding and development. We don't really have any details about what these fake trees look like -- but Thom Yorke's probably going to write a song about them. Press release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/02/prweb2133164.htm
  5. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Hydro+Qu%c3%a9bec+accepts+bids+wind+farms/4004578/story.html#ixzz18l8doftP
  6. Jury for the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” choose Coop Himmelb(l)au design The jury for the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” Competition chaired by Mr. Arata Isozaki, selected Coop Himmelb(l)au's design for Tower C, the new “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” as the winning scheme. Other participants include Morphosis, Steven Holl Architects, Hans Hollein, MVRDV and FCJZ Atelier. The new “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” will be part of a lively business quarter in the heart of the Central District of Shenzhen made up of a carefully composed ensemble of unique, individual towers creating a landmark silhouette. The project is a high-rise structure with a height of approximately 200 m with 49 storeys. The footprint area has the size of 40 by 40 m. The required program is distributed vertically. A clear separation of public and private functions is given. All public functions are organized in the base building while the office program is situated in the tower. Semi public program like meeting rooms, conference center, recreation areas and gardens are concentrated in the middle of the building. This zone is designed to create a pattern of meeting facilities, gardens and recreation areas for all employees and become spaces for an exchange of knowledge and creativity and a synergy of form and function. The “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” is not only recognizable by its significant form but also by its façade. The design of the façade is driven by generation of energy. The second skin of the façade is shaped by climate conditions and inner functions. This skin includes photovoltaic cells to generate electricity and also cells to reduce excessive wind pressure, shade the sun and create multi media displays. Strategies employing the form of the building to assist natural ventilation together with the use of renewable energy sources (wind and solar power) assure an energy efficient design and reduce energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuel energy sources. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11098
  7. March 15, 2009 OP-ED COLUMNIST By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN San Francisco If you hang around the renewable-energy business for long, you’ll hear a lot of tall tales. You’ll hear about someone who’s invented a process to convert coal into vegetable oil in his garage and someone else who has a duck in his basement that paddles a wheel, blows up a balloon, turns a turbine and creates enough electricity to power his doghouse. Hang around long enough and you’ll even hear that in another 10 or 20 years hydrogen-powered cars or fusion energy will be a commercial reality. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard one of those stories, I could buy my own space shuttle. No wonder cynics often say that viable fusion energy or hydrogen-powered cars are “20 years away and always will be.” But what if this time is different? What if a laser-powered fusion energy power plant that would have all the reliability of coal, without the carbon dioxide, all the cleanliness of wind and solar, without having to worry about the sun not shining or the wind not blowing, and all the scale of nuclear, without all the waste, was indeed just 10 years away or less? That would be a holy cow game-changer. Are we there? That is the tantalizing question I was left with after visiting the recently completed National Ignition Facility, or N.I.F., at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 50 miles east of San Francisco. The government-funded N.I.F. consists of 192 giant lasers — which can deliver 50 times more energy than any previous fusion laser system. They’re all housed in a 10-story building the size of three football fields — the rather dull cover to a vast internal steel forest of laser beams that must be what the engine room of Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise space ship looked like. I began my tour there with the N.I.F. director, Edward Moses. He was holding up a tiny gold can the size of a Tylenol tablet, and inside it was plastic pellet, the size of a single peppercorn, that would be filled with frozen hydrogen. The way the N.I.F. works is that all 192 lasers pour their energy into a target chamber, which looks like a giant, spherical, steel bathysphere that you would normally use for deep-sea exploration. At the center of this target chamber is that gold can with its frozen hydrogen pellet. Once one of those pellets is heated and compressed by the lasers, it reaches temperatures over 800 million degrees Fahrenheit, “far greater than exists at the center of our sun,” said Moses. More importantly, each crushed pellet gives off a burst of energy that can then be harnessed to heat up liquid salt and produce massive amounts of steam to drive a turbine and create electricity for your home — just like coal does today. Only this energy would be carbon-free, globally available, safe and secure and could be integrated seamlessly into our current electric grid. Last Monday at 3 a.m., for the first time, all 192 lasers were fired at high energy precisely at once — no small feat — at the target chamber’s empty core. That was a major step toward “ignition” — turning that hydrogen pellet into a miniature sun on earth. The next step — which the N.I.F. expects to achieve some time in the next two to three years — is to prove that it can, under lab conditions, repeatedly fire its 192 lasers at multiple hydrogen pellets and produce more energy from the pellets than the laser energy that is injected. That’s called “energy gain.” “That,” explained Moses, “is what Einstein meant when he declared that E=mc2. By using lasers, we can unleash tremendous amounts of energy from tiny amounts of mass.” Once the lab proves that it can get energy gain from this laser-driven process, the next step (if it can secure government and private funding) would be to set up a pilot fusion energy power plant that would prove that any local power utility could have its own miniature sun — on a commercial basis. A pilot would cost about $10 billion — the same as a new nuclear power plant. I don’t know if they can pull this off; some scientists are skeptical. Laboratory-scale nuclear fusion and energy gain is really hard. But here’s what I do know: President Obama’s stimulus package has given a terrific boost to renewable energy. It will pay lasting benefits. And we need to keep working on all forms of solar, geothermal and wind power. They work. And the more they get deployed, the more their costs will go down. But, in addition, we need to make a few big bets on potential game-changers. I am talking about systems that could give us abundant, clean, reliable electrons and drive massive innovation in big lasers, materials science, nuclear physics and chemistry that would benefit, energize and renew many U.S. industries. At the pace we’re going with the technologies we have, without some game-changers, climate change is going to have its way with us. Yes, we’ll still need coal for some time. But let’s make sure that we aren’t just chasing the fantasy that we can “clean up” coal, when our real future depends on birthing new technologies that can replace it. Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company Privacy Policy Search Corrections RSS First Look Help Contact Us Work for Us Site Map http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/opinion/15friedman.html?pagewanted=print
  8. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the completion of the Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, China, according to CTBUH tall building criteria. At 599 meters (1965 feet), it is now officially the second tallest building in China and the fourth tallest in the world, behind only the Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower and Makkah Royal Clock Tower. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), the Ping An Finance Center is located in the heart of Shenzhen’s Fuitan District. The building contains over 100 floors of office space located above a large public podium, with a multi-story atrium providing retail, restaurants and transit options to the city and greater Pearl River delta region. The CTBUH describe the form of the tower as a “taught steel cable, outstretched by the sky and the ground at once. At the top of the tower, the façade tapers to form a pyramid, giving the tower a prismatic aesthetic.” The form is further emphasized by eight composite “megacolumns” along the building envelope that streamline the building for improved structural and wind performance, reducing baseline wind loads by 35 percent. The facade of the building is one the project most innovative features; its use of 1,700 tons of 316L stainless steel make the envelope the largest stainless steel facade system in the world. The specific material was chosen for its corrosion-resistance, which will allow the building to maintain its appearance for decades even in the city’s salty coastal atmosphere. http://www.archdaily.com/868015/ctbuh-crowns-ping-an-finance-center-as-worlds-4th-tallest-building
  9. http://www.archdaily.com/631845/4-techniques-cold-climate-cities-can-use-to-make-the-most-of-their-waterfronts/ 4 Ways Cold-Climate Cities Can Make The Most Of Their Waterfronts Chaudière Island project in Ottawa. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Urban waterfronts have historically been the center of activity for many cities. They began as economic, transportation and manufacturing hubs, but as most industries changed their shipping patterns and consolidated port facilities, many industrial waterfronts became obsolete. In Europe, smaller historic ports were easily converted to be reused for leisure activities. However, in North America, where the ports were larger, it was more difficult to convert the waterfronts due to logistical and contamination issues. Over the past 40 years or so, architects and urban planners have started to recognize the redevelopment potential for waterfronts across the United States and Canada, and the impact they can have on the financial and social success of cities. Though cold-climate cities pose a unique challenge for waterfront development, with effective planning waterfront cities with freezing winter months can still take advantage of the spaces year-round. Treasure Island project in San Francisco. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Many cities in the northeastern United States and Canada are applying “California design principles” – design tactics that allow individuals to spend time outside 365 days a year – to redevelop their waterfronts and make them accessible to the public all year long. At Perkins+Will we have been active in this change, applying lessons learned in San Francisco and the Bay Area to colder cities such as Toronto, Ottawa and Buffalo. Here are four design principles that can help cold-weather cities make the most of their waterfronts: Treasure Island project in San Francisco. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will 1. Planning for winter sun Areas with sun are easily the most well-loved places in any city, but in dark, winter months, they can be especially hard to find. City spaces should find ways to plan for winter sun from the beginning of new development because individuals need, and are drawn to, the warmth that sunlight provides. Maximizing available sun in the winter is key to creating spaces where people love to be. Solar study for Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will San Francisco is a good example of this. In 1984, San Francisco voters passed Proposition K, a historic “Sunlight Ordinance,” specifically to protect the city’s parks from the shadows of new buildings. When Perkins+Will worked on the Treasure Island project—an urban design project to transform the island into a vibrant new San Francisco neighborhood—we implemented that same design principle. We wanted to ensure on chilly days visitors to the small island, opposite the city on the San Francisco Bay, would have access to the sun. However, many cold-climate cities do not have these same regulations, so when we work on projects outside the Bay Area, like the Lower Yonge project in Toronto, we have to bring with us the sentiment that buildings should be designed to protect access to winter sun in public spaces. Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Our Lower Yonge project was the last piece of undeveloped waterfront near Toronto’s downtown area. Before beginning the project, we analyzed not only the existing buildings and transit systems, but also the site’s winter sun patterns. This helped us identify a patch of winter sun in the middle of the site from 10 am to 2 pm on December 21, the shortest day of the year, when the least amount of sun is available. To protect this important asset, we located a public park there—a major open space the site was lacking before—to encourage pickup football or soccer games and winter activity. We then used 3D digital design tools to shape the urban form of this new development ensuring that we would always have that same patch of winter sun. Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will 2. Creating plazas that block wind In winter months, wind can make cold climates feel 10 to 20 degrees colder than they really are. For people to feel comfortable outside during winter months they have to be protected from cold winter winds. Cities can provide that protection with street patterns and structures that break up and block the wind. Chaudière Island project in Ottawa. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Over one hundred years ago the U.S. Army implemented this design principle at San Francisco’s Presidio. The Army strategically planted more than 300 acres of large trees that helped block the harsh prevailing winds to protect the officers who resided there. When we recognized the brilliance behind this design principle, we carried it over to Treasure Island, where we planted trees and methodically placed buildings to help block the wind. Similarly, we took this California design principle and applied it to Chaudière Island in Ottawa. Solar diagram for Chaudière Island project in Ottawa. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Like the work we did in Toronto, we surveyed Chaudière Island before we designed anything. In addition to identifying several plazas that receive winter sun, we analyzed the prevailing wind patterns that were acting on the island. To protect those plazas from the harsh winter winds, we designed the streets that led to the plazas so they were oriented away from the prevailing wind. We designed streets that were not straight, but instead meandered to prevent the wind from channeling down the streets. This helped create calm, sunny plazas on the island, even in the harsh months of winter. 3. Breaking up outdoor spaces with comfort stations In freezing winter conditions, people typically only feel comfortable walking outside for about 60 seconds. Providing a small destination for them every minute helps break up the cold and encourages individuals to use the waterfront space in the winter. Crissy Field in San Francisco is a large stretch of public park and beach on the northern side of the city. When the fog rolls in and prevailing winds pick up, the beach can be quite chilly. As a result, the city has created small destinations along the beach to break up the stretch. Wind-protected benches are located every few hundred feet and “warming huts” along the beach provide relief from the elements for visitors while offering a chance to learn more about the area, purchase a cup of coffee and warm themselves. We found this same technique to be successful when planning Treasure Island and implemented it again in our Outer Harbor project with the City of Buffalo. Outer Harbor project in Buffalo. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will The Outer Harbor project area spans a total of 200 acres, which can take people 30 minutes or longer to cross. To break up the space and make it more bearable during the freezing months, we provided some sort of visual or physical destination every minute, like benches, public art and other landscape elements. Every five minutes we designed comfort stations with heaters and restrooms. We used these small destinations as a way to incorporate unique artwork and make the area more exciting. 4. Designing for active winter programming Many cities have outdoor spaces that are perfect for summer recreation, but when it comes to the winter months, those spaces go largely unused. Cities looking to make the most of their waterfronts year-round should plan for winter activities from the beginning. San Francisco has large stretches of beach and paved outdoor areas along its waterfront, which makes it an optimal location for walking, cycling and running. On Treasure Island, we planned for similar open spaces with large recreational fields, shoreline promenades and artificial wetlands. While snow is not a factor in the Bay Area, other cities that have harsh winters can still use their spaces all year if they plan accordingly. Through our work with the Outer Harbor project in Buffalo, we created a space along the city’s waterfront we wanted residents to enjoy year-round. The space has an abundant network of walking and running trails, which were designed with wind protection, comfort stations and winter sun in mind. We looked at the site with an eye for specific hills that could be transformed into sledding hills in the winter, or bike paths that could be used for snowshoeing or dog sledding. Now, the space can be used for skating, ice sculptures and winter festivals and is a popular place in both summer and winter months. "Human Comfort Diagram" for the Outer Harbor project in Buffalo. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will The most valuable asset that a waterfront city has is the waterfront itself. Waterfronts provide locations of growth and commerce within urban areas. For cities where there was previously no activity around their waterfronts, waterfront redevelopment is a great way to breathe life into areas that were once bustling hubs of activity. Activating cold weather waterfronts for year-round use presents serious challenges; however, urban design and planning offers solutions to these challenges and an opportunity for those cities to establish unique destinations that draw people to their waterfronts all year long. Noah Friedman is Senior Urban Designer in Perkins+Will’s San Francisco office. Cite: Noah Friedman. "4 Ways Cold-Climate Cities Can Make The Most Of Their Waterfronts" 15 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed 15 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=631845> sent via Tapatalk
  10. Le projet de luminothératpie de cette année à la Place des festivals via The Gazette Luminothérapie's field of swaying stems Place des festivals will be filled with glinting lights and moving melodies for this year’s Luminothérapie installation BY SUSAN SEMENAK, THE GAZETTE NOVEMBER 22, 2013 The designers of Entre les rangs, led by the Montreal architecture firm KANVA, were inspired by the long narrow parcels of land set out in New France. The installation at Luminothérapie features music to give the impression of wind in a wheat field. MONTREAL - For all its summertime verve, Place des festivals can be downright desolate come winter. Without late sunsets, lingering festival crowds or lineups for food trucks, the concrete quadrangle adjacent to Place des Arts is cold and windswept. In a few weeks, though, it will become a twinkling, swaying wheat field. On Dec. 11, the interactive multimedia show called Entre les rangs, which means “between the rows,” opens as part of the fourth annual Luminothérapie design competition organized by the people who run the Quartier des spectacles as an antidote to Montreal’s long grey winters and a way to showcase the creativity of Montreal designers. It was an idea that came to Montreal architect Rami Bebawi and his team at Kanva Architecture one frigid end-of-winter day last March when they bundled up and headed over to take stock of the site. To find the “soul” of the place, he says, they listened to the wind. And then they enlisted designers in a host of other fields, among them the indie musician Patrick Watson and the local landscape design firm Côté Jardin, to help create magic using light and sound. “The space is just so big. It’s like an open lot surrounded by buildings in the middle of a dense urban environment,” Bebawi said, pouring espresso in the firm’s sunny St-Laurent Blvd. loft while taking a break from the preparations for the show’s opening. “Stand back, though, or look at it from above, and what you see is a long narrow parcel of land with Mount Royal to the north and the St. Lawrence River to the south, a site that rises and then dips, with many levels in between.” Its rectangular shape, the designers noticed, is reminiscent of the long, narrow tracts of farmland that have characterized rural Quebec ever since the seigneurial system of New France. “We started to play around with this shape, and with the idea of history and weather and the natural cycle of the seasons,” Bebawi said, doodling his vision on a notepad as he spoke. Before they knew it, the team had conjured a large-scale urban metaphor for a wheat field in rural Quebec, one made of more than 28,000 plastic rods topped with simple white bicycle reflectors. In the winter wind, bathed in reflected light, the stylized stems will sway as they would in a blustery wheat field. The stems vary in height from 3½- to 5-feet-tall, set tightly together and anchored in recycled plastic posts. Each of them is topped with a simple old-fashioned bicycle reflector that will catch the light emitted from overhead coloured lamps, the colours moving with the wind as music plays. With the sound emanating from speakers hidden at street level all around the site that is louder when the wind picks up, it gives the impression of a moving melody. The most successful public art installations, Bebawi says, create a collective experience. The Entre les rangs field is laid out in a series of slightly curved lines with breaks every now and then for people to cross through. Entre les rangs’ 6-foot-wide aisles are perfect for strolling side by side or for walking through alone. The Entre les rangs exhibition is one of two installations chosen from among 44 submissions for this year’s Luminothérapie competition, which promotes new ways of using public spaces as open-air galleries. The competition runs from Dec. 11 to Feb. 2, 2014. The other exhibit is a playful series of projections called Trouve Bob, a kind of high-tech version of Where’s Waldo that will be projected on the façades of the buildings surrounding Place des Festivals. It invites visitors to play a game in which the character Bob hides in a psychedelic world of unusual characters, all of them hiding out in the architecture of the projection surfaces. It was designed by a Montreal multimedia collective called Champlagne Club Sandwich. For more information: http://www.quartierdesspectacles.com [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  11. Read More There are currently no phones on the market that use the 700 MHz band. It will be interesting to see if Videotron puts together an agreement with a US mobile provider to reduce roaming fees, just like WIND did for an extra $15/month* unlimited roaming in the US. If Videotron does come out with an interesting plan to compete against Rogers/Fido, Telus and Bell. I might as well switch. It would be nice if Videotron would have a plan that would match WIND or Mobilicity. Another thing that I suspected years ago, Videotron would buy WIND and Mobilicity to also increase their footprint (it might still happen but who knows). * $65/month - Unlimited calls within Canada/US, Unlimited Data within Canada/US, Unlimited SMS within Canada/US + Voicemail / Caller ID Videotron has a similar plan but you can't roam in the US/Canada but it is $72/month with 6GB of data. I did find something online talking about the 700 MHz upper and lower band.
  12. Fickle Gods of Global Warming REX MURPHY May 9, 2009 Commentator with The National and host of CBC Radio's Cross-Country Checkup I believe there's a God, and while it is legendarily difficult to pronounce on such questions, I believe he lives in Texas or Fort McMurray. It's one or the other. I'm driven often to the Bible, both for its wisdom and its prose. Strange that the only text that seriously can be said to rival Shakespeare in trenchancy and power of expression should be a work primarily of religion, not literature, a compound book by many authors and, for English readers, a work of translation as well. The King James Bible is the only - as we say these days, though perhaps with some impiety considering my subject - standalone creation that can claim equal status, for its literary excellence, with the otherwise unmatchable harmonies of Shakespeare. Apocalypse and end days are naturally powerful themes in biblical literature as they are in the traditions of most religious movements. The end of terrestrial or earthly history, the great summoning to judgment are urgent concerns of all religious minds as, for example, the quickest reference to modern-day environmentalism will very easily confirm. Not surprisingly, dramatic material produces the most vivid, electric prose. There is the Book of Revelation, with its many arresting images and surreal visions, but also other moments in the Bible, perhaps referencing post-apocalypse, the New Jerusalem, which address the end of all disharmonies, the mutual embrace of all that before was in conflict. These passages almost always speak of a bringing together in harmony of prior opposites, conjure scenes of exemplary reconciliation. Perhaps the most famous is from Isaiah: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." It is hauntingly arresting stuff: hunted and hunter, prey and predator, their differences resolved, the carnivorous lion going vegetarian, all with innocence their guide - the "little child." Well, there are signs, for "those who have eyes to see them" that these days may be upon us. On April 19, an expedition team set out from Plymouth, England on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free roundtrip to the Greenland ice cap. It was planned by an organization called Carbon Neutral Expeditions, one of whose founders explained the journey's focus, and very endearing it was: "The expedition will hopefully show how it is possible to explore some of the most beautiful places on Earth without contributing to their destruction." Their boat, the Fleur, was a 40-foot yacht fitted with solar panels and a wind turbine. On arrival, they planned to trek to the highest point of the ice cap, then return to their boat and make the journey home, by sail. The return, they noted, was the most significant part: "Return journeys are in the true spirit of expeditions, and essential if this is to be carbon neutral." Unfortunately even the most glassy-eyed idealism can be confronted by reality, and such was the case with Carbon Neutral's expedition. They hit a bad patch of weather. Their poor boat was thrice capsized. And the fickle Gods of Global Warming must have been taking a siesta, for in one of those incidents one of the team "hit his head and the wind generator and solar panels were ripped from the yacht." I can only imagine them at this moment, staring soulfully into the hurricane-whipped sky, and pleadingly imploring: "Al Gore, Al Gore, why has thou forsaken us? " They were in a powerless pickle. Solar and sail had failed them and green intentions will not float your boat - they were not so much "carbon neutral" as carbon deprived. Bobbing around the North Atlantic in a gale without motor power of any kind is not the most soothing experience. Fortunately, Providence, in one of its most artful facsimiles, was on hand in the shape of the Overseas Yellowstone - a ship that was, to put it mildly, not relying on solar power or a wind turbine. It was a 113,000-ton oil tanker, carrying 680,000 barrels of crude oil. We may reach for many adjectives to describe the Overseas Yellowstone but "carbon neutral" will not be among them. Indeed, the Overseas Yellowstone, looked at from a carbon-neutral perspective, is the Life Raft from Hell. Nonetheless the oil tanker picked up the eco-people. They are now being taken to Maine, from whence presumably they will fly home. By jet. Not kite. And verily, it is written, the carbon-spewing wolf shall lie down with the global-warming lamb ... the petroleum-devouring lion shall eat straw like the carbon-neutral ox, or something like that. And the Overseas Yellowstone shall lead them. The voyage was followed by up to 40 schools across Britain to promote climate-change awareness. And how.