Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

​NOAA: Labled for reuse

The best designs can also be the most surprising. A promising new concept for tsunami resistant buildings features breakaway walls and floors on lower levels that, when removed by forceful waves, strengthen the structure and better protect occupants seeking safety on higher floors.

Thanks to a $1 million National Science Foundation Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation grant, CEE faculty will be developing a new structural system to better protect communities during tsunamis. The...

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Earthquakes are inevitable but catastrophe is not

Written by University of Washington Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Marc Eberherd, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering associate professor Jeffery Berman, and Department of Human-Centered Design senior scientist Scott Miles.

Many older buildings provide vital, low-cost housing. But we must find a way to make these structures safer. It should not be acceptable to us to subject our fellow citizens to such hazardous conditions.

ONCE again we...

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One-third of Seattle drivers ‘cruising’ for parking, rides, study finds

More than one-third of drivers in Seattle are either searching for parking or are ridesharing drivers waiting for ride assignments. That’s according to a study by a group of University of Washington students looking at traffic sensor data. The four students involved called this practice of searching for parking or rides “cruising.” The project used 63 sensors that already scattered through downtown Seattle. Student Orysya Stus said the team used a complicated...

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Opportunity abounds as Washington builds the modern electricity grid

The Horn Rapids Solar, Storage, and Training Project—which would be the largest solar installation in Washington, and one of a relative few anywhere with a significant amount of energy storage incorporated—embodies a long chain of public and private sector efforts that have positioned the state, and the broader Pacific Northwest, as a leader in the grid modernization and energy storage industries.

Grid modernization—a broader term for what is also...

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Partnership with CMMB launches new center on smart, connected communities

China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting - Vision (CMMB) has awarded the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering (UW EE) a $1.5 million gift to establish a new research center. The CMMB Vision-UW Center on Satellite Multimedia and Connected Vehicles will focus on the development of the next generation of smart cars and ubiquitous connectivity.

“UW EE is dedicated to the advancement of smart cities,” UW Department of Electrical Engineering Professor and...

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Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which creates less carbon pollution?

Delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries, a new study from University of Washington transportation engineers finds. In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Transportation Research Part D, researchers found that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions advantages over trucks when the drones don’t have to fly very far to their destinations or when a delivery route has...

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Cities Seek Deliverance From the E-Commerce Boom

With a major increase in residential deliveries, new urban delivery challenges have also arrived. That’s due in part to the failures of urban planning and the nature of the trucking business. While matters of public policy like public transit, bike lanes, and walkability fall within the purview of planning boards and municipal departments of transportation, freight has always been a purely private-sector enterprise. That means cities don’t even have reliable data on...

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Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

​digifly840: pixabay: CC-0 Public Domain

A University of Washington-led research group has taken an important step toward measuring — and ultimately reducing — the global carbon footprint of building construction and long-term maintenance.

The Carbon Leadership Forum is a collaborative effort among academics and industry professionals based in the UW’s College of Built Environments that studies reducing carbon emissions over a building’s entire period of use, or life cycle.

There is...

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In the smart cities of the future, posters, signs and clothing may talk back

In the smart cities of the future, posters, signs and clothing may talk back

Image Credit: University of Washington

New research from University of Washington has shown for the first time that ambient FM radio signals can be used as a signal source for wireless communication. The technology, developed by engineers in the Networks & Mobile Systems Lab and Sensor Systems Lab, creates backscatter transmissions that can be decoded on any FM receiver, including those in cars and smartphones. This enabled the researchers, led by students in the two...

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Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

credit: Jessica Hamilton

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.

Leadership:

Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture

Executive Committee:

Margaret O’Mara, Department of History

Susan P. Kemp, School of Social Work<...

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New route-finding map lets Seattle pedestrians avoid hills, construction, accessibility barriers

New route-finding map lets Seattle pedestrians avoid hills, construction, accessibility barriers

​CC 3.0 by T413 on Wikimedia

Transportation routing services primarily designed for people in cars don’t give pedestrians, parents pushing bulky strollers or people in wheelchairs much information about how to easily navigate a neighborhood using sidewalks.

On Wednesday AccessMap – a University of Washington project spearheaded by the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology — launched a new online travel planner offering customizable suggestions for people who need accessible or pedestrian-friendly routes when getting from point A...

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To Californians: The Hours You Spend in Traffic May Soon Be Used to Generate Electricity

To Californians: The Hours You Spend in Traffic May Soon Be Used to Generate Electricity

WikiMedia Commons and Clashmaker

LOS ANGELES, CA - If you’re a Los Angeles native, resident or even visitor, you will probably cringe at the combination of “LA” and “rush hour.” Sitting in LA traffic is an excruciatingly painful task, and not just because of the hours you spend putting pressure on your lower back. If your brakes aren’t screeching because of the driver who just cut you off, then you’re probably yelling...

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October Recap: Urban Transporation, Health, and Justice

October Recap: Urban Transporation, Health, and Justice

Compiled by Urban@UW.

October has seen a lot of research and engagement surrounding urban design, health, and transportation from University of Washington’s urban scholars and practitioners. Here at Urban@UW we’ve kicked off our Livable City Year program, reflected on our first full year of work and collaborations, and are planning for our symposium on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (November 7-8).The Livable City Year Program is in its first year...

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UW EE Faculty to Tackle Urban Mobility

UW EE Faculty to Tackle Urban Mobility

Flickr and Benson Kua

For urban roadways, traffic-choked streets have become synonymous with the weekday commute. Over the decades, strategic conversations between city officials, engineers and policy makers have sought to lessen congestion and provide increased transportation options. However, as cities continue to develop and populations increase, the results of years of conversation cannot materialize fast enough. On the thrumming streets of Seattle and Nashville, the consumer becomes a key player on urban transportation initiatives.

The...

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New Seattle freight lab tackles urban delivery congestion

New Seattle freight lab tackles urban delivery congestion

Wikimedia Commons and Axisadman

SEATTLE (AP) — In this city where residents can get practically anything delivered to their doorsteps — often within hours — trucks, bikes, cars and buses regularly jostle for space on Seattle’s streets.

The rise in e-commerce and on-demand delivery has put increasing pressure on fast-growing cities like Seattle to rethink how they manage traffic congestion, as well as curbs, sidewalks, parking and other infrastructure.

On Wednesday, the city...

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