Sapphire Hq

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How It Works: The Highest-Efficiency Solar Cell

I'm going to soak up the sun.<p>Solar cells typically convert no more than 20 percent of incoming energy into electricity, in part because they capture only certain wavelengths of light. Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems have developed a solar cell that converts …

Clean Energy

A Moss From King Arthur’s Court and the New Science of Resurrection Ecology

Over the past year, I’ve been writing a lot about scientists bringing back life from the distant past–including viruses, water fleas, and–theoretically–mammoths. For my “Matter” column this week in the <i>New York Times</i>, I report on another revival: moss that has started growing after spending 1500 …

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How skyscrapers forever changed our sense of scale

We don't know what the next tallest building in the world will be and by just how much it will beat its predecessor, but here is a good bet: a …

SOM's Soaring 99 Story Pertamina Skyscraper to Harness Wind Energy in Indonesia

Skidmore, Owings & Mills just unveiled their centerpiece design for Pertamina’s new headquarters: a futuristic “energy beacon” that dramatically …

Renewable Energy

A concrete record for tallest building in western USA

82 million pounds of concrete poured overnight to set world record<p>LOS ANGELES – Workers building what is to become the largest skyscraper in the western USA completed pouring the massive concrete foundation Sunday and established a world record in the process.<p>More than 2,100 truckloads of concrete …

Futuristic Zayed National Museum Cooled with Wing-Shaped Steel Towers

With Masdar City, Foster & Partners was the first international architecture firm to design buildings in Abu Dhabi that borrow from the region’s …

Plant-Based Cellulose Super Material is as Stiff as Steel

Recent scientific findings that unveil the remarkable structural performance of plants could completely change what we think of as “green …

ZA Architects Propose an Underground Colony on Mars

With the advent of technologies such as 3D printers that can operate in space and genetically engineered brick-forming bacteria, the idea of building …

Breakthroughs

Super Efficient Transparent Solar Cells Could Turn Windows into Clean Energy Generators

Imagine windows powering homes, office buildings, and even airplanes. That fantasy might not be far from reality thanks to the latest breakthroughs …

Dazzling STARPATH Pavement Lights Up the Night With Stored Solar Energy

UK-based company Pro-Teq has developed a glow-in-the-dark product called “STARPATH” that can be applied to virtually any pavement surface to provide …

The Astronomical Hijinks of the Shortest Day of the Year

The solstice isn't for more than a week, but the earliest sunset of the year is already upon us. How's that possible?<p>If you live around latitude 42N—a well-populated latitude in North America and Europe, taking in Boston, Rome, and Vladivostok—today is the day you'll experience the earliest sunset …