Raising a king-sized roof in Queens

As Serena Williams‘ bid for her historic Grand Slam continues at 7 p.m. tonight at the U.S. Open, the super structure of Arthur Ashe Stadium’s new retractable dome will hang overhead. The lightweight-fabric roof won’t be complete until next year, but we wanted to take a moment to share the backstory of the innovative thinking behind this unique construction project.

The largest tennis stadium in the world is sinking into a mound of coal ash decomposing at a rate of about a half an inch per year. So putting a retractable roof on the 23,771-seat structure that can’t support more weight was a particularly gnawing conundrum that kept countless architects up at night.

In fact, the Detroit-based international architecture firm, ROSSETTI, felt compelled to continue working on the riddle of covering Arthur Ashe Stadium even after initially losing the bid for the $150 million dome in 2009. ROSSETTI couldn’t resist the challenge of solving what other firms and four architectural studies couldn’t — even at the risk of taking a loss on a design that wouldn’t see the light of day.

“This is probably the first and only time we have done something like this,” Jon Disbrow, ROSSETTI’s lead architect for the project told us. Continue Reading ›

New Tesla battery has game-changing potential for energy consumption

We’re more than a little excited about Elon Musk’s big unveil late last week of Tesla’s new battery.

We’re hoping that one of the most progressive innovators of this century is doing for commercial batteries what Steve Jobs did for laptops, music and mobile phones. This launch means we’re one step closer to lessening our dependence on fossil fuels by making solar, and wind power, more practical for residential and commercial properties.

Go Elon! Go!

Do you share our excitement?  Let us know in the comments below.

For more information on Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack click here.