Low-impact summer retreat boasts solar panels and a green roof

March 9, 2020 by  
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Seattle-based firm Heliotrope Architects has just completed work on a gorgeous summer home located on Orcas Island, off the coast of Washington state. Not only does the North Beach house boast a stunning aesthetic, but it is low-impact and uses several sustainable features, such as solar power and a green roof , to enable the home to be almost completely self-sustaining. The stunning, 2,400-square-foot North Beach home is located on the island’s stunning waterfront, tucked between a natural forest of fir trees on one side and an open meadow on the other. Framed in wide steel columns, the single-story house sits quietly in the landscape, clad in walls of glass that open the residence up to amazing views. Related: Green-roofed beachfront home fully embraces its coastal surroundings The house features a contemporary but cozy interior design. White walls and wooden flooring run throughout the dwelling. Walls comprised of sliding glass doors bring in natural light while also enabling the homeowners to truly feel connected with the outdoors. Several outdoor spaces, such as an open-air deck with a large dining table, further embed the home into its surroundings and promote indoor-outdoor living. Intended to be a summer home used from May through October, the design uses several sustainable features to make it self-sustaining for those months. A solar array was installed above the adjacent vegetable garden shed in order to provide energy to the home, while solar collectors on the roof are used to heat hot water and provide hydronic heating. Additionally, a lush green roof was installed with a rain harvesting system that collects rainwater to be used for irrigation. According to the architects, these systems have been designed to “zero-out” electricity use over the course of a full year. + Heliotrope Architects Photography via Sean Airhart via Heliotrope Architects

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Low-impact summer retreat boasts solar panels and a green roof

LEED Platinum high-rise in Toronto promotes sustainable living

March 9, 2020 by  
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Aqualina at Bayside, a new multistory residence in Toronto, has just earned LEED Platinum certification — a first for a high-rise condo in Toronto and the second designation for a building of its kind in all of Canada. Developed by Hines Canada and Tridel, Aqualina was created as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the city’s waterfront with sustainable design. As the flagship condominium residence in the masterplanned Bayside Toronto Community, Aqualina is the first of four residential projects onsite and was completed in 2019. Designed as an example for sustainable residential living across Canada , Aqualina incorporates a range of energy-saving systems that result in energy efficiencies of 45% compared to the model national energy code. Energy-saving technologies include high-efficiency lighting throughout as well as a rooftop photovoltaic array that produces up to 30 kW of electricity and doubles as a shade structure for an outdoor barbecue area for residents. Aqualina also includes a NetZED suite specially engineered to produce as much electricity as it consumes. Related: Canada’s first net-zero carbon, mass-timber college building to rise in Toronto Most importantly, the building design encourages sustainable lifestyles. Aqualina is accessible by all forms of transportation and is connected to the Bayside Village community through an interactive laneway. A community garden located on the sixth-floor terrace offers residents the opportunity to grow their own produce while interacting with their neighbors. The surrounding community has also benefited from the construction, which emphasized local job generation and local material sourcing. In contrast to the site’s post-industrial origins, the redeveloped site makes human health a priority. In addition to the remediation of contaminated soils, the building is outfitted with low-VOC materials and finishes while the majority of waste materials were diverted from landfills and recycled wherever possible. Fresh air is continuously brought into the building through a high-efficiency Energy Recovery Ventilator. + Aqualina Images via Aqualina

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LEED Platinum high-rise in Toronto promotes sustainable living

This series of modular wood cabins form a rustic retreat in the Catskills

June 20, 2018 by  
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Paris-based firm  Corpus Studio  has created a rustic retreat tucked into the Catskills. A Craggy Cabin is a 2,200-square-foot haven made out of five smaller wooden cabins all connected with large sliding doors. The wooden exterior pays homage to the nature that surrounds the cabin, while the oak-clad interior offers an elegant and contemporary feel. Five interconnected modular cabins — all clad in wood siding and featuring roofs of distinct sizes and heights — create a unique layout. The asymmetrical volume on the exterior is reflected in the interior, as each of the individual cabins is equipped with extra-high ceilings. At the heart of the cross-shaped floor plan is the large kitchen, and the remaining four wings jut out from there to a bedroom, bathroom, dining room and a large living space. Related: 20-foot shipping container converted into off-grid oasis deep in the Catskills According to Corpus Studio’s co-founder Konrad Steffensen, the design was meant to create a serene nature retreat in the Catskills that could withstand the test of time. Steffensen said, “In the same way the space oscillates between a contemporary, open-plan and traditional, closed-format interior, the materials and textures chosen for the finishes and furniture intentionally juxtapose the old against the new; the rough against the smooth; the comfortable against the austere.” Inside, a tall suspended smoke canopy hangs over a fire pit built into the floor, giving the modern feature a bucolic look. Large floor-to-ceiling windows flood the central living spaces with natural light . The home is decorated with designer furnishings that, although quite contemporary, were chosen for their nature-inspired appearance. Aside from its uniquely sophisticated design, the architects designed the cabin with optimal flexibility for the years to come. Large sliding doors between the cabins can be closed to shut off access to the rest of the structures. Each cabin can be converted into an individual living space, which enables guests the option to stay in a tiny cabin space or a large family-style retreat. + Corpus Studio Via Dwell Images via Corpus Studio

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This series of modular wood cabins form a rustic retreat in the Catskills

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