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artecoop.net : art . technology . ecology . cooperation

Models of Transition

September 20th, 2009

models of transition

Research & Development

Models of Transition is a program of activities that drives the development, testing and certifying of new energy technologies, eco-sustainable construction materials, and design practices that are an integral part of the emerging decentralized energy economy (DE).

The program makes the case for a whole-systems approach with regard to distributive utility infrastructures, identifying that no one component can be optimized in terms of its efficiency, if it is not considered within the larger context of its implementation.

The Artecoop approach puts new emphasis on the design processes prevalent in industrial design, architecture and urban design, specifically with regard to energy efficiency, energy self-reliance and the ability to function within a decentralized context.

The aesthetics of this ‘new energy economy’ is an important factor in making the implementation of these solutions and designs widespread, attractive and strategically viable.

Models of Transition

Implementation

With regard to the implementation of the technologies, Artecoop operates as a consortium builder, bringing together the proper parties in terms of expertise to take on direct commissions or to participate in competitions, bidding and tenders.

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ISOform Hexome : Modular Shelter and Housing Solution

November 12th, 2007

ISOphonix in cooperation with ArteCOOP present the ISOform Hexome sustainable shelter and modular housing solution, using an new emission free Structural Insulated Panel (SIP).

 

ISOform Hexome : 4 Unit Tetra plus Stack

 

The ISOform Hexome is modular format for housing and shelter using a natural honeycomb design principal. The basic building material is the ISOphonix SIP, built into ISOform Hex units. These units are then combined and stacked in any number of ways to form shelters, houses, communal buildings, even entire communities and towns.

 

ISOform Hex: Exploded

 

The ISOform Hex unit has been designed specifically for application within third world countries to enhance general living standards, and to provide a mechanism for fast deployment in times of emergency, war and natural disasters; lightweight flat-pack design, modular implementation, ease of construction, cost, re-use and re-location are of primary concern.

ISOforms are earthquake-proof, bullet-proof, water-proof, and heat-proof (i.e. reflects the suns heat during the day, and retains heat during the night). The expected life-span is anticipated to be in excess of 60 years depending on treatment, utlisation and environmental conditions.

 

ISOform Hexome : Plan

 

ISOphonix SIPs meet all current international standards and ecological initiatives, including the the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols; no Ozone Depleting Potential, no Global Warming Potential. They are pre-fabricated and factory engineered prior to distribution and can be constructed in a matter of hours or days (depending on scale) by easily trained construction workers. The lightweight design, and modular construction allows for easy re-use and re-location, ideal for temporary and semi-permanent encampments.

The modular Hex format promotes re-use and community living, whilst providing significant economies through shared walling and resources (water + electricity) when grouped into small communities and village configurations.

 

ISOform Hexome: Village Plan

 

The basic ISOform Hex unit has a 7.2m diameter footprint, with options for access doorways and various window configurations. The modular design allows the ISOform to be increased in size by addition of more SIP panels, or by grouping into larger complex structures. ISOforms can also be stacked upto four stories high where real estate is at a premium.

The roof design acts as a water collection reservoir that feeds into an optional bio-water purification system and storage tank. Electricity can be provided with solar/wind systems providing a completely autonomous solution.

 

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ISOphonix present the modular ISOform Shelter

October 7th, 2007

ISOphonix Logo + tagline

 

ISOphonix in cooperation with tSUBO Design and the ArteCOOP present the ISOform Shelter using its eco-sustainable Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) technology.

 

ISOform Shelter : Exploded View + Logo

 

ISOphonix SIPs are an in-expensive, eco-sustainable, and durable building technology, utlising a sandwich of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and a Polyurothane core (PUR).

The ISOform Shelter is earthquake-proof, bullet-proof, water-proof, and heat-proof (i.e. reflects the suns heat during the day, and retains heat during the night). The expected life-span is anticipated to be around 15 years depending on re-utlisation and weather conditions.

ISOform Shelters are pre-fabricated and factory engineered prior to distribution, and can be constructed in a matter of hours by easily trained construction workers. The lightweight design, and modular construction allows for easy re-use and re-location, ideal for temporary and semi-permanent encampments.

 

ISOform Shelter : Exploded ViewISOform Shelter : Basic ConstructionISOform Shelter : With WaterproofingISOform Shelter : ISOphonix Branded

 

The ISOform Shelter has been produced by the ArteCOOP in collaboration with ISOphonix, specifically in response to requests from the British Embassy in Israel to devise an inexpensive housing and shelter solution for the Palestinian refugees in the Gaza and the West Bank. Subsequent to initial talks the ISOform Shelter will be presented to UNRWA as a potential solution for mass production and distribution.

UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) is a relief and human development agency, providing education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid to over 4.4 million refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab republic.

 

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Cultural Engineering: Cultural Consciousness in its final analysis

April 13th, 2006

images-1.jpg

Steps Toward an Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Middle East

Rene Wadlow*

Jean Monnet, one of the fathers of the European Union, had said “Men take great decisions only when crisis stares them in the face.” Crises have dragged on in the Middle East, in particular Iraq and Israel-Palestine without any great decisions being taken that could lead to peace. As the Ambassador of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva had said at an earlier Special Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights devoted to Israel-Palestine
(October 2000) “In the wake of recent tragic events, the mutual trust amongst the parties has been virtually destroyed. It is difficult to suggest the policy of forgive and forget in a situation when emotions are charged. Never-the-less, a path to peace cannot be paved with provocation, violence, hatred and armed actions…There is no other path to peace but mutual coexistence. We appreciate all those who have worked to curtail the events from developing into more menacing situations.”

The summer of 2006 has highlighted these crises: the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the five-week war in Lebanon, the ongoing violence in Iraq, the mounting tensions around the nuclear policies of Iran and the continuing conflict in Darfur, Sudan.

We need a global approach to the Middle East as the conflicts and tensions in each country have an influence on the neighbours. Currently there is no permanent regional body for discussion and action in the Middle East. There is the United Nations which, as a universal body does deal with the Middle East but not on a permanent basis – rather in fits and starts, often as a reaction to events. In the past, the United Nations was often sidelined by national initiatives, especially those of the United States. Now, no single state, especially not the USA, is a position to play a dominant role for mediation. There have also been ad hoc conferences, but these have no secretariat nor real follow up. It is important to have regional bodies with an independent secretariat which can facilitate different elements of the needed confidence-building and peace process. Conflicts and tensions exist at many levels: political, social, economic, ideological and strategic. These levels interact and reinforce each other. Therefore, they must be approached in a multi-level and interrelated way.

The prime example of a multi-purpose regional security organization is what is today the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The creation of such an organization arose from proposals and discussions in the late 1960s as an effort to find ways for structured discussions between NATO, Warsaw Pact, and neutral countries of Europe. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was a small number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who were first calling for a pan-European agreement. Then governments began the negotiations which led to the creation of the OSCE in Helsinki in 1975. Likewise, it may be that there is such great suspicion of the motives of states in the Middle East, that NGOs must again take the lead. The aim of active public opinion organized through NGOs should be to accelerate this process. As the OSCE was a framework for cooperation among the enemies of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, as well as the neutral states of Europe, so an Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Middle East (OSCME) must have both Israel as well as its Arab neighbours, and Iran and Turkey which are non-Arab states but have important interests in the area.

Once created, the OSCE took the lead in military confidence-building measures and arms control, economic cooperation, human rights, and cultural development. Today, the OSCE has a decentralized secretariat and a host of conflict-reduction missions as well as technical assistance programmes for strengthening civil society institutions and an independent press.

While the OSCE has not lived up fully to its security aims as the conflicts in former Yugoslavia, Chechenya, and Central Asia have shown, the over-all record is good. Important precedents have been taken, including the creation of a Parliamentary Assembly where elected members of national parliaments meet to discuss policy and cooperation.

The Middle East needs such a security and cooperation framework for action. Beyond the conflicts which make the headlines of the world’s press and which are fundamental crises of the world political-security system, there are other tensions in the Middle East, currently overshadowed, concerning water, minorities, natural resources, and relations with Afghanistan and states of Central Asia, which could grow if not discussed openly and creatively.

The wider Middle East has not only problems but also potentials. If a security framework can be established, the currently submerged talents will come to the surface, and the area will again play an important role not just with its natural resources but also with its human energies in the world community.

The times call for leadership and concerted action. Most historical progress is achieved by leaders who can discern the main currents of their time and give a new sense of direction and ascent to a community. Today, the crises and opportunities of the Middle East call for the creation of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Middle East.

*Rene Wadlow is the editor of the online journal of world politics
www.transnational-perspectives.org – and the representative to the
United Nations, Geneva, of the Association of World Citizens.

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What is a Sustainable City?

April 7th, 2006

The term sustainable development goes beyond the boundaries of science, business development and trade, to include human development, values, and differences in cultures. In fact, many organizations are referring to sustainable human development as opposed to sustainable development in order to emphasize issues such as the importance of gender equality, participation in decision-making processes, and access to education and health.

Cities have become the focal points of these components as major consumers and distributors of goods and services. However, many cities tend to be large consumers of goods and services, while draining resources out of external regions that they depend on. As a result of increasing consumption of resources, and growing dependencies on trade, the ecological impact of cities extends beyond their geographic locations. It has been recognized that the concept of sustainable development is an evolving, debatable term. This article gives you an overview of how sustainable (urban) development is defined by the Artecoop and how it is defined by different organizations in different geographical regions.

The most widely known definition of sustainable development comes from the Brundtland Commission, which defined sustainable development as

“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Rees, William E. and Roseland, Mark. 1991. Sustainable Communities: Planning for the 21st Century. Plan Canada. 31: 3. 15.

During the preparatory meetings for the URBAN21 Conference (Berlin, July 2000) the following definition was developed to define sustainable urban development:

“Improving the quality of life in a city, including ecological, cultural, political, institutional, social and economic components without leaving a burden on the future generations. A burden which is the result of a reduced natural capital and an excessive local debt. Our aim is that the flow principle, that is based on an equilibrium of material and energy and also financial input/output, plays a crucial role in all future decisions upon the development of urban areas.”

However, there are many more definitions out there. Let’s look at a few:

“Sustainable community development is the ability to make development choices which respect the relationship between the three “E’s”-economy, ecology, and equity:

* Economy - Economic activity should serve the common good, be self-renewing, and build local assets and self-reliance.
* Ecology - Human are part of nature, nature has limits, and communities are responsible for protecting and building natural assets.
* Equity - The opportunity for full participation in all activities, benefits, and decision-making of a society.”

Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED): Hart Environmental Data

“A sustainable community is one in which improvement in the quality of human life is achieved in harmony with improving and maintaining the health of ecological systems; and where a healthy economy’s industrial base supports the quality of both human and ecological systems.”
Indigo development

“A sustainable community uses its resources to meet current needs while ensuring that adequate resources are available for future generations. It seeks improved public health and a better quality of life for all its residents by limiting waste, preventing pollution, maximizing conservation and promoting efficiency, and developing local resources to revitalize the local economy.”
Concern, Inc. (1993)

“Sustainable communities are defined as towns and cities that have taken steps to remain healthy over the long term. Sustainable communities have a strong sense of place. They have a vision that is embraced and actively promoted by all of the key sectors of society, including businesses, disadvantaged groups, environmentalists, civic associations, government agencies, and religious organizations. They are places that build on their assets and dare to be innovative. These communities value healthy ecosystems, use resources efficiently, and actively seek to retain and enhance a locally based economy. There is a pervasive volunteer spirit that is rewarded by concrete results. Partnerships between and among government, the business sector, and nonprofit organizations are common. Public debate in these communities is engaging, inclusive, and constructive. Unlike traditional community development approaches, sustainability strategies emphasize: the whole community (instead of just disadvantaged neighborhoods); ecosystem protection; meaningful and broad-based citizen participation; and economic self-reliance.”
Institute for Sustainable Communities

“A community that believes today’s growth must not be achieved at tomorrow’s expense.”
Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, initial report, October 1995

“… the deliberate effort to ensure that community development not only enhances the local economy, but also the local environment and quality of life.”
Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development
Florida Sustainable Communities Center

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