Plus, an update on MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub,, and more design-tech news from this week.
After welcoming its first test passengers in December, the high-speed transportation company Virgin Hyperloop has unveiled its vision for an “end-to-end passenger experience,” according to a company press release. In its concept video, Hyperloop walks viewers through “a hyperloop journey,” starting with the Bjarke Ingels Group–designed portals, pods created by the Seattle-based design and technology company Teague, and a “sonic identity” by the New York– and Los Angeles–based Man Made Music. In addition to an “optimist and fresh” vision for public transportation, Hyperloop also emphasized accessibility, pointing to a recent feasibility study that suggested the cost of traveling via Hyperloop would be more comparable to that of traveling by car rather than by plane. “It’s simple. If it’s not affordable, people won’t use it,” said CEO Jay Walder in the same release. [Hyperloop]
Researchers from MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub are exploring the potential of concrete, a material with a high embodied energy, as a CO2 sink. Publishing their findings in Resources, Conservation and Recycling, the researchers investigated carbonation that occurs between water and CO2 in the pores at the exposed concrete surface. The reaction naturally produces the chalky chemical compound calcium carbonate; however, it also indicates that concrete is a potential carbon sink that “could offset 5 percent of the CO2 emissions generated from cement used in U.S. pavements,” according to an MIT press release. [MIT]
Also from Brownell: a dive into the biowaste revolution. By using natural, raw materials, including wood, leaves, and fruit peels, a growing group of designers is redefining traditional manufacturing processes in a search for ecologically sensitive materials. [ARCHITECT]
Researchers from the University of Louisville Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and the department of mechanical engineering have received a $350,000 grant from the United Soybean Board to transform soybean hulls into material composites suitable for 3D printing. By extracting xylose (a sugar) from the hulls, the researchers are left with a fiber that has potential applications in the engineering, aerospace, and automotive industries. [3D Printing Progress]
Read on >>>> Source: Week in Tech: Plant Prefab’s Passive Houses | Architect Magazine