Energy-efficient Guitar House embraces indoor-outdoor living in Calgary

August 15, 2018 by  
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Near downtown Calgary , the Guitar House is a compact modern home that celebrates music, family and the natural environment. Designed by local architecture practice Alloy Homes , the family residence emphasizes indoor-outdoor living with a natural materials palette and ample triple-glazed windows and doors that provide a seamless connection with the landscape. Its small footprint on a tight, urban site was also informed by the clients’ desires to preserve the property’s existing wild hops, which are regularly harvested by a local brewery. Completed in 2015, the Guitar House takes its name from the clients’ collection of guitars displayed in a custom storage wall. Since music is an important aspect of the owners’ lives, the house was designed around a family-oriented performance space at the heart of the property that takes the form of a light-filled open plan living room, kitchen and dining area. This dramatic great room opens up to the outdoors at both ends with a covered porch in the front and backyard terrace in the rear — these outdoor spaces help make the home inviting for neighbors to stop by and chat. A key element of the open-concept great room is a full-width custom entertainment unit with custom built-in storage . “It’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle and can be reconfigured many ways depending upon the family’s requirements,” the architects wrote. The firm also made sure to meet the family’s need for plenty of outdoor gear storage. Related: An old, battered Calgary garage is transformed into a greenhouse To minimize the home’s energy footprint, the architects installed a high-efficiency HVAC system, large overhanging eaves, triple-glazed windows  and a highly efficient insulation. Natural light and cross ventilation are considered throughout the design. Moreover, the floor plan is highly flexible and can adapt to the family’s needs. + Alloy Homes Images via Alloy Homes Incorporated

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Energy-efficient Guitar House embraces indoor-outdoor living in Calgary

Survey Results: Have You Switched to Plant Proteins?

August 15, 2018 by  
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Thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s … The post Survey Results: Have You Switched to Plant Proteins? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Survey Results: Have You Switched to Plant Proteins?

Earthling Survey: How Much Time Do You Spend Recycling?

August 15, 2018 by  
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Express your opinion and help drive environmental change. Every week, … The post Earthling Survey: How Much Time Do You Spend Recycling? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earthling Survey: How Much Time Do You Spend Recycling?

Scaling plastic waste solutions, even imperfect ones

August 15, 2018 by  
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Getting from here to a circular economy will take a lot of interim steps. In parallel, we must build the foundations for a new material reality.

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Scaling plastic waste solutions, even imperfect ones

France plans to make recycled plastic bottles less expensive

August 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Take that, plastic! France has announced that it plans to make bottles made with recycled plastic less expensive than those made from new plastic, part of a larger plan to intensify regulations on plastic use. Other aspects of the plan include increasing taxes on landfill and lowering the value-added tax on recycling activities. Related: Coca-Cola rewards recycling in the UK with half-priced theme park tickets According to Junior Environment Minister Brune Poirson, the French government will introduce further specific measures to address the problem of plastic pollution . “We need to transform the French economy,” she said. “We are launching a movement that will be scrutinized and followed by our European partners.” Part of this movement is a plan to reduce the price of products packaged in recycled containers by up to 10 percent. The discount-premium system encourages its consumers to recycle by making sustainability the more affordable option. “Tomorrow, when there is a choice between two bottles, one made with recycled plastic, the other not, the first one will be cheaper,” Poiron stated. Related: Dominica makes historic pledge to combat plastic pollution Currently, France has the second-worst recycling rate in Europe, with just 25.5 percent of its plastic packaging waste recycled. By comparison, Germany and the Netherlands recycle about 50 percent of their plastic waste. Nevertheless, the French government plans to change its plastic recycling rate to 100% by the year 2025, with the recent announcement marking the first steps toward this goal. Veolia and Suez, recycling powerhouses in the French market, have long been calling for the regulation changes, which would provide a boost for business. Retailers have also joined the cause; for example, French company E.Leclerc has pledged to eliminate the sale of throwaway plastics and replace them with more eco-friendly alternatives, such as bamboo , and is testing a loyalty point system for customers who deposit plastic and glass bottles in some store outlets. + Eurostat + Le Journal de Dimanche Via Reuters

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France plans to make recycled plastic bottles less expensive

Dominica makes historic pledge to combat plastic pollution

August 13, 2018 by  
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Many countries are fighting plastic pollution by enforcing harsher regulations such as special labels and plastic taxes, but the island nation of Dominica is now leading the pack by announcing that it will ban plastic foam and common plastics by 2019. With less than five months left to go, the heroic stand involves the elimination of single-use items such as plastic straws, plates, forks and knives as well as plastic foam cups and containers. “Dominica prides itself as the ‘Nature Isle,’” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in his July 2018  budget address . “We must in every way deserve and reflect that designation. The issue of solid waste management affects that perception and we continue to grapple with it.” His hopes are to inspire not just a more environmentally prominent Dominica through successful sustainability measures , but to also create the world’s first-ever climate-resilient nation. Related: Shocking Caribbean photos reveal a “sea of plastic and Styrofoam” This undertaking to fight plastic pollution and become climate-resilient complements the country’s aim to better protect itself from natural disasters. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, which is still grappling with the humanitarian and economic effects of the disaster. “Extreme weather events are now more frequent and intense, brought on by climate change impacts that are real, visible, devastating and unrelenting,” Skerrit said. “We must rebuild and reset our society and economy and protect our environment in order to achieve a new, more resilient Dominica.” Dominica follows in the footsteps of countries such as the U.K., New Zealand and Australia, which have seen a significant reduction in plastic pollution after taking measures against single-use plastic bags. Major companies such as Starbucks and Disney have also gained traction in their battles against plastic straws. Dominica will be the first nation to launch such a strict initiative against the major pollutants of plastic and plastic foam, and hopefully many countries will look to the nation’s progress when adopting their own action plans. + Dominica Via CNN Image via JD Lasica

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Dominica makes historic pledge to combat plastic pollution

Century-old Iowa warehouse is transformed into LEED Platinum offices

August 13, 2018 by  
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Des Moines-based Neumann Monson Architects has breathed new life into a historic industrial warehouse in Iowa by transforming the 117-year-old building into LEED Platinum multi-tenant offices. Commissioned by Blackbird Investments, this eco-friendly renovation not only involved salvaging and reusing original elements in the century-old building, but also inserting energy efficient systems including a combination of geothermal and solar that have helped the project achieve net-zero energy certification. Dubbed Market One, the thoughtfully restored structure has sparked greater revitalization in the surrounding industrial neighborhood and is the state’s first commercial building to produce more energy than it consumes. Completed in 2015, Market One comprises 55,000 square feet of renovated warehouse space in addition to 1,887 square feet of added construction. Originally built in 1901 as the offices and manufacturing center for the Advance-Rumely Thresher Company, the warehouse comprises three main floors as well as a basement. While renovating the building, Neumann Monson Architects also added a rooftop office and deck. The block immediately east of the building was converted into a surface parking lot with an overhead photovoltaic canopy. Related: LEED Platinum housing for the homeless takes over a formerly vacant L.A. lot “The project achieves a rich, nuanced dialogue between new and old,” Neumann Monson Architects said. “In some locations, the two are carefully delineated. In others, modern interventions blend in and take a backseat to historic character. Throughout the building, transparency and compatible finishes allow space to flow freely. To maintain the large volumes’ spatial continuity, the design locates new enclosed areas at the building’s core and terminates their walls well below the ceiling plane. Extensive glass and polycarbonate interior partitions allow light penetration deep into the building and maintain open visual connection throughout each floor level.” Local, sustainable and durable materials were used throughout Market One. A planned green belt and pedestrian trail will soon be added to the north of the building and a new Amtrak station will also be added in the future. + Neumann Monson Architects Via Dezeen Images via Cameron Campbell

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Century-old Iowa warehouse is transformed into LEED Platinum offices

Zaha Hadid Architects unveils designs for sculptural Maltese tower

August 13, 2018 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects is bringing its modern, sinuous designs to Malta, a nation renowned for its historic sites. Set to become the tallest building in the country, the Mercury Tower will soar to 31 stories and a height of 112 meters in Paceville on the main island’s northeastern coast. The mixed-use tower will twist to separate the programmatic functions and optimize views of the sea. Zaha Hadid Architects’ Mercury Tower will take over a 9,405-square-meter site that had sat unoccupied for more than 20 years. The site is also home to the old Mercury House that dates back to the early 20th century. In addition to designing the strikingly modern Mercury Tower, the architects have been working with Malta’s leading conservation architect to renovate the area’s heritage structures, including the old Mercury House facades, and reuse the existing historic interiors for gathering spaces and as an entrance for the new apartments and hotel. Related: Chris Briffa Architects’ Sustainable Hanging Home Features a Green Roof in Malta The Mercury Tower’s new public amenities — such as cafes, shops and a large piazza with interactive water features — will be set alongside the refurbished Mercury House. The tower comprises nine stories of apartments below and a 19-story hotel volume above. The residences will be aligned with the street while the larger volume stacked above is rotated to position hotel rooms toward the Mediterranean Sea for better views of the water. This rotation — located at the 10th, 11th and 12th floors — also helps reduce solar gain. The insulated facade and carefully positioned glazing also improve the building’s thermal performance and ensure comfort for residents, workers and guests. Zaha Hadid Architects concluded in a statement, “Marrying a variety of public, residential and commercial functions together with the creation of a vibrant new civic space, the redevelopment of Mercury House includes the renovation of derelict heritage structures and responds to the demands of the island’s future socio-economic development.” + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Zaha Hadid Architects, by VA

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Zaha Hadid Architects unveils designs for sculptural Maltese tower

Earth911 Podcast, August 13, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear

August 13, 2018 by  
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Join the Earth911 team to hear about the rapidly changing … The post Earth911 Podcast, August 13, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Podcast, August 13, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear

Earth911 Podcast, August 13, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear

August 13, 2018 by  
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Join the Earth911 team to hear about the rapidly changing … The post Earth911 Podcast, August 13, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Podcast, August 13, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear

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