Former scrapyard is now a site for sustainable, solar-powered homes

January 28, 2020 by  
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Unit One Architects has turned a disused London lot into a row of dwellings with energy-saving features to meet the Level 4 Code for Sustainable Homes . Located behind a historic neighborhood of terraced Victorian houses in northern London’s Harringay Ladder district, the Cozens Place properties include solar panels , energy-efficient insulation and semi-permeable drainage to sustainably manage rainwater. Originally a residential area, this spot was hit by a V1 bomb strike during World War II. In the years following, the neglected commercial site sat unoccupied, morphing from a back-land plot into garages and eventually a working scrapyard . The disused site became a hot-spot for criminal activity because of its lack of safeguarding and general isolation. In 2013, the land was purchased through auction by Reve Developments, and planning permission was gained to transform the site back into its initial purpose. Unit One Architects designed the set of row-style homes so that the site couldn’t continue to be cut through on foot, therefore dissuading criminals and improving security for the surrounding area as well. Related: War ruins are reborn as a sustainable home in Lebanon Cozens Place consists of three two-bedroom homes with thoughtfully landscaped, private front and back gardens, off-street parking and split-level open-floor plans. The included solar panels are concealed with a 45-degree roof pitch on the top of the second house, which can be accessed by the operable skylight. Apart from the high-quality insulation, the buildings also feature a high level of air-tightness and built-in underfloor heating. Bricks were used in the profile to match the Victorian buildings located behind the new homes. The houses were also positioned on an east-west axis to connect internal and external spaces. This allowed optimal light to shine into the habitable rooms, no matter what time of day, while making the homes feel more expansive, regardless of the narrow width of the building plot. + Unit One Architects Photography by Charlie Birchmore Photography via Unit One Architects

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Former scrapyard is now a site for sustainable, solar-powered homes

Trail use by outdoor enthusiasts is driving out an elk herd in Colorado

August 27, 2019 by  
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Home, home on the range? Not so much for an elk herd near Vail, Colorado. Unfortunately, the number of elk among this group has dropped off dramatically, and it could worsen if outdoor enthusiasts continue scaring them away. In February, researchers flew over unit 45 where the elk reside and counted just 53; at one time there were more than 1,000. The herd makes its home between 7,000 and 11,000 feet on hills and at the top of the Colorado Rockies. Related: Glenwood Springs, Colorado set to run on 100% renewable energy “Very few elk, not even many tracks,” the researchers noted . “Lots of backcountry skiing tracks.” Wildlife managers say growing numbers of hikers , mountain bikers, skiers, ATV and motorcyclists are among those causing the herd population to shrink. Visiting U.S. parks and wilderness areas for recreation has become a popular pastime; Yosemite , for instance, reports around 5 million people visit annually. Bill Alldredge, a retired wildlife professor at Colorado State University, believes the reason the elk and their calves have died off is because of the increase in outdoor recreational enthusiasts hitting the trails near unit 45. In Colorado , a hot-spot for outdoor fun and trail use, visitation to the elk area has more than doubled since 2009; reports say about 170,000 people visit per year. According to Bill Andree, a wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Vail district, unit 45 is busy 24-7, 365 days a year. Even night trail use in some sections has increased by 30 percent in the past 10 years. Andree began studying unit 45 in the 1980s because of the rise in ski resorts and trails systems. He researched how humans impacted the elk calves by sending hikers into the calves’ area. About 30 percent of the elk calves died when their mothers were disturbed, but when the outdoor enthusiasts stopped, the number of calves returned. Why calves die after being disturbed by human activity isn’t crystal clear, but some researchers say it could be because the mothers get scared by people and dogs passing. If mothers run too far for their babies to catch up, this may result in starvation and possible attacks by other animals . Signs have been posted to prevent explorers from disturbing elk habitats, but while a majority of nature-lovers obey, the fraction of people who cross those lines continue to cause stress to elk populations. Via The Guardian Images via Bob Denaro and Mark Byzewski

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Trail use by outdoor enthusiasts is driving out an elk herd in Colorado

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