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Two-Wheeled and Three-Wheeled Alternative Vehicles: Electric and Hybrid Motorcycles, Scooters, Trikes, etc.

The Green Spotlight - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:56

Many new electric vehicles have hit the marketplace in the past few years, and their popularity is growing fast. This post lists some of the non-car electric (or hybrid) vehicles that are now available or are expected to be available soon. These vehicles have a wide range of prices, from very affordable to pretty pricey.

The following vehicles are currently in production and are available to buy:

BMW
C Evolution electric maxi-scooter
(only manufactured and sold in Europe, so far)

Brammo
High-speed electric motorcycles: Empulse and Enertia models

KTM
Freeride E off-road electric motorcycle

Mission Motorcycles
Mission R model: High-performance, high-speed, high-priced electric motorcycle
(There’s also the Mission RS model: a limited-edition “superbike”)

Trikke
Three-wheeled, electric “carving” vehicles—essentially standing scooters
(Trikke also make non-electric, human-powered scooters)

ZAP Jonway
Various electric motorcycles, scooters, and foot scooters
(as well as electric cars, trucks, and a minivan)

Zero Motorcycles
4 models of high-performance electric motorcycles

 

The following are vehicles that are currently in development; they’re in the prototype phase, and they’re expected to be mass-produced in the near future. Some of these companies are currently taking reservations from people who want to be the first to buy these vehicles when they become available.

Elio Motors
Three-wheeled, enclosed electric vehicle

Green Lite Motors
Three-wheeled, two-passenger, 100MPG, enclosed, hybrid vehicle

Harley-Davidson
Livewire electric motorcycle

Lit Motors
Two-wheeled, enclosed electric vehicle: C-1 and Kubo (cargo) models

Sparrow Motors
Three-wheeled, enclosed electric vehicle

Toyota i-Road
Three-wheeled, enclosed electric vehicle
(currently in limited production in Japan and being used for a car-share fleet in Europe; not for sale to individuals at this point)

 

Have you tried riding/driving any of these yet? Do you know of other two- or three-wheeled electric or hybrid vehicles?

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Categories: Building Green

Cafeteria Mabillon by Architecture Patrick Mauger

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:49

Sixty years after it was first built, the CROUS Mabillon student restaurant has been restructured and renovated, and its façade cleverly utilised. The concrete frontage walls have been covered by split chestnut poles that allow the penetration of a filtered light that can be dimmed during the summer. This rough-finished material successfully provides a solution to thermal, economic and comfort problems.

The ground floor offers an open-plan café intended for students and their activities, with the space being usable for events, film screenings, conferences, etc.

On the upper floor, several dining rooms have been redesigned. The glazing stretching out around the building is retained, providing attractive views over the city. The installed mirrors reflect Paris.

The furniture has been completely revamped. Wood-shelled club armchairs, calling to mind the wooden frontage, and glass tables occupy the ground floor space. On the upper floor in the restaurant area, the furniture is quite diffe...

Categories: Design Feeds

Mintz Residence by Robert Maschke Architects

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:47

The Mintz Residence is an urban villa located on Cleveland’s near west side. Despite being situated within the urban context of the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, its “virgin” site is an idyllic enclave within a park-like setting. Uninterrupted views of Lake Erie and Cleveland’s downtown and industrial flats, as well as the site’s proximity to a busy vehicular thoroughfare, keep the project connected to its urban environment.

Designed for a couple, one of whom is a photographer, the program called for spaces to live, work, and play. These were distributed on four levels due to a limited footprint and a desire to take advantage of the spectacular views afforded by the site. This vertical organization gives the architecture a sense of urban density even in contrast to its residential scale.

The architecture of the Mintz Residence is articulated as a series of minimal and discrete volumes which continually stack and shift, both in plan and in section, generating the building’s massing. M...

Categories: Design Feeds

Wright State University Student Enrollment Center by Robert Maschke Architects

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:36

The Wright State University Student Enrollment Center consolidates two related yet distinct functions: a welcome and orientation center for new students and their families, and an advising center for currently enrolled students. While each center required distinct entries, spaces and amenities, certain functions such as conference, meeting rooms and reception areas are to be shared. Additionally, the University desired that the Student Enrollment Center be seen as a single environment that would enhance Wright State University’s brand, creating a unique and inviting space. As the project is located on the first floor of an existing building near the main entrance to the campus, the center informs the visitors’ first impression of the University.

The architecture of the Student Enrollment Center seeks to capitalize on the functional demands of the program while creating a distinct gateway to the campus. A bamboo-clad canopy extends into the main lobby of the building and seamlessly fo...

Categories: Design Feeds

Saint Corneille Library by Architecture Patrick Mauger

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:34

Restructured and enlarged, the Saint-Corneille library has undergone a complete renewal and been given new volumes. It is incorporated into the remains of the Saint-Corneille Abbey of which only the cloister, a cellar and the external envelope still exist. The archaeological cut-aways provide an understanding of the building’s historic complexity.

 

The entrance has been redefined through the addition of a contemporary glass volume. From the street, passers-by can see the vaults supporting the ground floor and the cellar, and discover the atmosphere of the setting.

The reading spaces have been rethought on each level. The ground floor is given over to current affairs and an arts and leisure sector, while the first floor is devoted to young people, languages and literature. The second floor groups together the social sciences. The basement is used to archive historic documents. A conference space has been laid out in the former chapter house.

Lighting is maximised through the creation of...

Categories: Design Feeds

Kickstart this! Archinect's Kickstarter picks for July 2014

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:14

Time for this month's Kickstarter picks! Potato salad-making aside, check out our latest selection of crowdsourced fundraisers right below for Archinect's curated Kickstarter page that are surely worth a look.

ClassAct: Active School

actLAB NYC's ClassAct: Active School is on a mission to rebuild low-cost classrooms in the rural Filipino communities still struggling to recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan and the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that devastated the region in October 2013. actLAB is looking to crowdsource funding to have their classroom prototypes built for the students to use.

Architecture Lobby presents San Precario Exhibition

Based in the repurposed Weigh Station venue in Callicoon, NY, North School Studio and The Architecture Lobby set a stretch goal to improve the San Precario exhibition's design and content. The exhibition is dedicated to San Precario, a faux "patron saint" figure created in Italy in 2004 to raise awareness of precarious worker issues and unstable architectur...

Categories: Design Feeds

New RTC Photo Gallery

Revit Technology Conference - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:08

Visit our new photo gallery to revisit the event or to see what RTC is all about if you haven’t made it to one yet. We invite you to sign in with your Facebook account to tag, comment and like the photos being posted. So far we’ve posted pictures from RTC Australasia and North America. Just note the links at the top of that Gallery.

RTC Australia 2014 Gallery
RTC North America 2014 Gallery

We also invite you to send us any pictures you took during the conference and social events, so you can share them with other delegates. For details on uploading photos to our ftp server, please SEND us an EMAIL.

Categories: Revit/BIM

Artemide’s Flat-Pack Copernico Pendant is a Heliocentric Starburst of LED Light

Inhabitat - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:00

Copernico, Copernico Pendant Lamp, Artemide, Carlotta de Bevilacqua, LED, led lighting, led lamp, green interiors, green lighting, sustainable design, green design, green lighting, energy-efficient lighting, light emitting diode, green products

Artemide’s Copernico Luminaire is an out-of-this-world pendant lamp that consists of nine concentric rings stamped from a single plate of lightweight aluminum. 384 white LEDs line the rings, which rotate independently on two different axes, enabling the light emission to be directed and numerous spatial configurations to be obtained. Corpernico was designed by Carlotta de Bevilacqua, who drew inspiration from the heliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus.

+ Artemide

+ Carlotta de Bevilacqua

Via Interior Deluxe

Copernico, Copernico Pendant Lamp, Artemide, Carlotta de Bevilacqua, LED, led lighting, led lamp, green interiors, green lighting, sustainable design, green design, green lighting, energy-efficient lighting, light emitting diode, green products Copernico, Copernico Pendant Lamp, Artemide, Carlotta de Bevilacqua, LED, led lighting, led lamp, green interiors, green lighting, sustainable design, green design, green lighting, energy-efficient lighting, light emitting diode, green products Copernico, Copernico Pendant Lamp, Artemide, Carlotta de Bevilacqua, LED, led lighting, led lamp, green interiors, green lighting, sustainable design, green design, green lighting, energy-efficient lighting, light emitting diode, green products

The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Categories: Building Green

Fannie Mae: Mortgage Serious Delinquency rate declined in June, Lowest since October 2008

Calculated Risk - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 13:51
Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in June to 2.05% from 2.08% in May. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.77% in June 2013, and this is the lowest level since October 2008.

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.

Last week, Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in June to 2.07% from 2.10% in May. Freddie's rate is down from 2.79% in June 2013, and is at the lowest level since January 2009. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.

Note: These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".

Fannie Freddie Seriously Delinquent RateClick on graph for larger image

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate has fallen 0.72 percentage points over the last year, and at that pace the serious delinquency rate will be under 1% in late 2015 or early 2016.

Note: The "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%.

Maybe serious delinquencies will be back to normal in 2016.

Batch Adding Shared Parameters to Revit Families

Ideate - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 13:00
I’ve given several presentations now on the topic of Revit data management and in particular on the use of shared parameters and one of the consistent questions that I get is, “how can I push lots of parameters to Revit family files (.RFA)?” For those of you that are on Autodesk subscription, there’s a tool that does just that, though it’s a little difficult to find and navigate through. Here’s a recent link from Autodesk that mentions the tools, though surprisingly it omits this particular feature from the list.

After you locate and install the Revit Extensions you will find the tool hidden on the Extensions Tab under the Tools button. It’s called “Shared/Project Parameters” from the pull-down, but when it’s launched it will open a dialog that says “Shared Parameter Converter”. 

This image shows that I am asking the tool to read all of the .RFA files found within my “11 Specialty Equip” folder and that I am going to read particular parameters from my Shared Parameter file and push them into these families. The modified families will then be copied into a new folder called “Updated Specialty Equip” and the results of this work will be included in my “!test” folder as a log file.

The Shared Parameters Converter Dialog From
Revit Extensions (2014/2015)
In this example my goal is to transfer two new shared parameters into these families. The Configuration dialog looks like this: 


Shared Parameters Configuration Settings
To confirm that this worked, I then loaded all families into a single blank project file (.RVT). Revit supports multi-select for this process. You can also drag-drop from Windows.

Using a blank template file, load the modified families for review.
The results confirm the existence of these new parameters, but now I want to fill out the values. I can use Ideate BIMLink to complete this task. 

Editing the parameter values with Ideate BIMLink
and then importing back into the test file. 
Once the families are cleaned up, you can right-click from Family Browser to export them back to the desired folder location. 

Pushing multiple parameters to multiple Revit family files is a powerful function that is made possible by the Revit Extensions tool. Before you alter your families in this way you should be sure to consult with your BIM team and also to review whether the parameters truly need to be specified within the families themselves. You can read more on that topic, here: I ♥ Revit Parameters Part 1: Should It Be Shared?
About the Author Glynnis Patterson, NCARB – Director of Software Development Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients across the nation, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for eclcofnj.org and growitgreenmorristown.org. @GVPinNJ
Categories: Revit/BIM

Commuter X4: Powerful Strap-on Fiber Optic Light Makes Cyclists Super Visible at Night

Inhabitat - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 12:00

Veglo, Commuter X4, strap on light, fiber optic light, clean tech, green design, reader submitted content, bicycle light, cycling safety, urban cycling, green transportation, city cycling

Cyclists don’t ever have to worry about riding at night again! Veglo’s award-winning safety light, the Commuter X4, is a fiber optic light worn over cyclists’ shoulders to create a unique illuminated shape aiding drivers to judge the distance and speed of cyclists and motorcyclists more quickly and accurately. The company was founded by passionate cyclist Ed Ward and Lucy Lynn-Evans after Ed was knocked off his bike from behind and thrown into a busy four-way junction in London. They have been on a mission to bring more powerful, practical and affordable lights to cyclists ever since. The Commuter X4 has certainly proven its popularity in the marketplace, having smashed its initial target to reach an incredible 120% funding on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in April, allowing it to roll out large scale production of the fiber optic light, which will be in stores this winter.

+ Veglo

Veglo, Commuter X4, strap on light, fiber optic light, clean tech, green design, reader submitted content, bicycle light, cycling safety, urban cycling, green transportation, city cycling Veglo, Commuter X4, strap on light, fiber optic light, clean tech, green design, reader submitted content, bicycle light, cycling safety, urban cycling, green transportation, city cycling Veglo, Commuter X4, strap on light, fiber optic light, clean tech, green design, reader submitted content, bicycle light, cycling safety, urban cycling, green transportation, city cycling Veglo, Commuter X4, strap on light, fiber optic light, clean tech, green design, reader submitted content, bicycle light, cycling safety, urban cycling, green transportation, city cycling

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Categories: Building Green

I Quant NY: Visualizing NYC's Open Data

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:54

Quantitative Analysis of NYC Open Data: Every data set that the city releases tells a story. This blog is all about telling those stories, one data set at a time.  



Ben Wellington's "I Quant NY" blog is a gem in data-driven journalism's crown. Featuring visualizations of data sets from New York City's remarkable Open Data Portal, the blog covers a wide-variety of civic topics, everything from mapping fire hydrant usage to rate of taxi complaints by borough. 

Wellington began using the Open Data Portal as coursework for his statistics class, teaching urban planning students at the Pratt Institute.

h/t to City Lab, who spoke with Wellington about his blog and teaching stats to city planners.

Categories: Design Feeds

Sharif El-Gamal Commissions Jean Nouvel to Design Islam Museum Next to WTC

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:50

Sharif El-Gamal, CEO of real estate developer Soho Properties, announced today that his company acquired 49-51 Park Place from Consolidated Edison for $10.7 million. He also revealed that none other than Pritzker Prize-winning starchitect Jean Nouvel will be designing the site’s three-story Islam museum and prayer space.



Categories: Design Feeds

Preview: Employment Report for July

Calculated Risk - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:31
Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for July. The consensus, according to Bloomberg, is for an increase of 233,000 non-farm payroll jobs in July (range of estimates between 200,000 and 280,000), and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 6.1%.

Note: The BLS reported 288,000 payroll jobs added in June with the unemployment rate at 6.1%.

Here is a summary of recent data:

• The ADP employment report showed an increase of 218,000 private sector payroll jobs in July. This was below expectations of 235,000 private sector payroll jobs added. The ADP report hasn't been very useful in predicting the BLS report for any one month, but in general, this suggests employment growth slightly below expectations.

• The ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing employment indexes for July will be released after the employment report this month. The ADP report indicated a 3,000 increase for manufacturing jobs in July.

Although the ISM reports are not available, the regional manufacturing surveys were all positive on employment for July (even the disappointing Chicago PMI improved on employment).

Initial weekly unemployment claims averaged close to 302,000 in July, down from 316,000 in June. For the BLS reference week (includes the 12th of the month), initial claims were at 303,000; this was down from 314,000 during the reference week in June.

The lower reference week reading suggests some upside to the consensus forecast.

• The final July Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index decreased to 81.3 from the June reading of 82.5. This is frequently coincident with changes in the labor market, but there are other factors too.

• On small business hiring: The small business index from Intuit showed a 15,000 increase in small business employment in July.  From Intuit:
U.S. small businesses added 15,000 jobs in July, bringing the number of new jobs added over the last six months to more than 90,000. While 610,000 jobs have been added since the small business recovery began in March 2010, small business employment remains 870,000 jobs below its peak in March 2007.
...
"This month's employment increase shows additional progress." said Susan Woodward, the economist who works with Intuit to create the indexes. "Things continue to get better, but slowly. The jobs added by small business over the most recent six months, including July, are more than double what we saw over the prior six months."
• A few comments from Merrill Lynch economists:
We look for nonfarm payrolls to increase 250,000 in July, a slight slowdown from the three-month average of 272,000. The unemployment rate will likely hold at 6.1% while average hourly earnings edge up a trend-like 0.2% mom. This will translate to a 2.2% yoy pace for wage growth. The wage data will be in focus – despite the continued notable drop in the unemployment rate, wage growth has remained lackluster. This suggests that there is indeed spare capacity in the labor market, which can be seen by the large number of discouraged and marginally attached workers. We should therefore continue to look at these broader measures of unemployment, which have improved but remain historically elevated.

The early indicators of the labor market look healthy: initial jobless claims continued to slide lower while the regional manufacturing surveys showed a pickup in hiring. Furthermore, the labor differential has been improving, falling to -17.1 in June — the best since the summer of 2008, when the recession was just getting underway. In particular, we look for private payrolls to be up 235,000 while government jobs expand by 15,000, driven by state and local hiring. Special focus will be construction and retail jobs — we think the risk is that construction hiring looks sluggish, in part due to seasonal adjustment issues. Retail job growth should improve, but may look soft relative to the recent trend.

Within the household survey, we look for some slowdown in household job growth after the strong 407,000 gain in June. However, we think job creation will still look strong in this more volatile survey. The labor force participation rate was little changed last month and we think the risk is that it inches up slightly; however, we have been surprised by the continued weak trend in participation. Hence, we wouldn’t be surprised if the unemployment rate fell by another tenth.
• Conclusion: The ADP report was lower in July than in June - and below forecasts - but still fairly solid.  Weekly unemployment claims were at the lowest level during the reference period in a number of years. However the Intuit small business index showed somewhat less hiring in July.

There is always some randomness to the employment report, but the I'll take the under on the consensus forecast of 233,000 nonfarm payrolls jobs added in July. 

How the US Crushed Youth Resistance?

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:25

Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination.



In the darkness of the passive and compliant society we are living in, the article by Bruce E. Levine offers some clues to why it is like this. Are we now "WHATEVER PEOPLE?"

Categories: Design Feeds

Requiem for a Nightmare

Archinect - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:09

This week came the news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is leaving its home in Washington, D.C. [...] Most importantly, from the perspective of thousands of D.C. residents, the District will finally be rid of the FBI's dark architecture. I will be sad to see the building go, as the city will almost certainly demand. Not only could it still potentially be put to good use, but whatever replaces the FBI Building will be regular, orderly, safe, and worse.



Categories: Design Feeds

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