Monthly science column

A concrete solution to making greener building materials

Karen Scrivener - The National (UAE) - 08.12.2013

For every 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide that enter the atmosphere due to human activity, one comes from the kilns of cement factories. It is a paradox – concrete is arguably the most sustainable building material known to man, yet...

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Monthly science column

Venetian archives could turn into the oldest social network

Frederic Kaplan - The National (UAE) - 10.11.2013

Venice was home to the Google of the Middle Ages. The city was run by information hoarders, who for the sake of accountability compiled one of the most extensive archives of the pre-digital age. 

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Monthly science column

Traffic planners should not get bogged down in simulators

Nikolas Geroliminis - The National (UAE) - 20.10.2013

When cities grow, traffic often becomes the default excuse for almost anything. Late for a meeting? Blame traffic. Don’t want to go out? Blame traffic. City planners have several ways out of this problem. They can build their way out, by widening roads or adding alternative routes around... Read

Monthly science column

Power refugee camps and you empower their refugees

Hamed Ziadé - The National (UAE) - 15.09.2013

To refugees living in camps, the importance of light and electricity goes well beyond comfort – it stands for security, health, education and an improved quality of life. Yet nights are often dark in refugee camps around the world, which provide homes to millions…

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Monthly science column

Insight into coral food sources

Anders Meibom - The National (UAE) - 11.08.2013

Coral reefs are the jungles of our oceans. They are hot spots of biodiversity, breeding grounds for thousands of species and, as divers will attest, some of nature's most fascinating spectacles. They form the backbone of some of the world's most productive fishing grounds and attract... Read

Monthly science column

An international flight that leaves from a train station

Michel Bierlaire - The National (UAE) - 07.07.2013

Could aviation change so radically from the way we know it? History suggests that in the future it will look very much like it does today, with ever larger, faster, and stronger airplanes. While improvements in engines and materials have led to a steady increase in performance… ... Read

Monthly science column

Ancient Arabic architecture may be answer to coping with hot climate

Marilyne Andersen - The National (UAE) - 09.06.2013

When we think of mashrabiya, the elaborately designed screens used in traditional Arabic architecture, modernity is not the first thing that springs to mind. But like other traditional architectural solutions, mashrabiya could help us develop more sustainable ways of dealing with age-old challenges... Read

Monthly science column

Smart plugs will ease risk of blackouts from power surges

Maher Kayal - The National (UAE) - 12.05.2013

What if your home were smart? If it knew what room temperature you liked to wake up to, which lights you dimmed when you watched television, and told you how much power you consumed every day? Technology has permeated our lives via our smartphones, but the buildings we inhabit still feel like... Read

Monthly science column

A solar sandwich for 21st century buildings

Thomas Keller - The National (UAE) - 14.04.2013

Imagine a building that, like a plant, uses its entire surface to capture sunlight and convert it into energy. It’s not an average rectangular building with black solar panels jutting out from the roof; instead, picture an aesthetic, organic structure with solar cells built right into its... Read

Monthly science column

Can rooftop solar power make a difference to the UAE?

Ralf Dyllick-Brenzinger - The National (UAE) - 10.03.2013

Europe has become a world leader in solar-power production, with often-cloudy Germany leading the pack. Essential to that progress have been feed-in tariffs, a mechanism that obliges local utilities to buy locally produced renewable electricity at a predetermined price…

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