French Law Requires All New Roofs To Be Green

France just wrote a new page in their law book that other countries would be keen to follow. As of this past March, they require any new commercial building to have a green “living” roof or be equipped with solar panels. The aim is to reduce the amount of energy consumed, as green roofs provide better insulation, keeping the building cool in the summer and warmer in the winter months.

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In addition, green roofs help promote biodiversity in urban environments, attracting birds and other animals that might otherwise become displaced. An added benefit is the plants retain water, thus reducing runoff and lessening the use of drainage systems.

The push for this change came from environmentalist groups in the country, and was backed by the socialist government. Initially they hoped to require all new buildings to have green roofs, but that seemed like burden on businesses and they opted to require only commercial spaces in the law, with a caveat that solar panels could also be used. As green and “living” roofs become more popular around the world we hope to see this sort of thing grow on people.

Japan Unveils The World’s Largest Floating Solar Farms

Japan recently unveiled its most ambitious solar energy project consisting of two massive floating solar “farms” in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture. The completed project came about from a partnership between Kyocer and Century Tokyo Leasing and was finished in record time, having begun only last September.

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The farm is split between two locations, one on Nichihira Pond and another on Higashihira Pond. It consists of 225-watt Kyocera modules, and includes 11,256 total panels with a capacity of 1.7MW and 1.2MW respectively. The power generated from this project will supply enough energy to keep 920 homes lit.

The project represents an ambitious new step in Japan’s solar energy infrastructure, which has doubled since 2011, the same year as the Fukushima reactor disaster, putting them in a position alongside China and the U.S. as a leading contender in the renewable energy sector.

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In case you’re wondering what the advantage is of building the system on a floating surface instead of on land, it has to do with the cooling effect of water, which results in more energy generated. Additionally, the extra shading of the water helps promote algae growth and prevents water evaporation.

The Most Adorable Chicken Coop Ever? We Think So.

Today I wanted to share a seriously inspiring chicken coop design with our readers. This design comes courtesy Tilly’s Nest, and while it looks adorable enough to serve as a playhouse for your kids, it’s actually designed with chickens in mind, with edible gardens, linoleum floor for easy cleaning, and even some decorative chicken art for aesthetics.

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If you’re a fan of raising backyard chickens, then you already know how important it is for them to have some cozy and safe digs to hang out in and part of the fun comes from designing and building your own coop. A coop like this is certainly nothing to flap your beaks at. After all, happy chickens equals more eggs for you and your friends!

For more information about the design, and a huge amount of great resources for raising chickens, check out http://www.tillysnest.com/p/chicken-care-resourcesguide.html