This student housing is the largest Passive House-certified building in the Southern Hemisphere

November 19, 2019 by  
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At nearly 70,000 square feet, Gillies Hall at Monash University in Australia has become the country’s largest Passive House-certified building. The school has a population of about 4,000 students, most of whom are studying subjects of early childhood education, physiotherapy and nursing. Since the building was opened, modeling has maintained indoor temperatures between 22 °C (71 °F) and 24 °C (75 °F) throughout the year. At the forefront of the project was the usage of cross-laminated timber (or CLT), which inspired much of the design for the building’s interior. CLT is a type of prefabricated , solid wood paneling that is both lightweight and strong and is widely considered to have a low environmental impact in construction projects. Aside from providing superior thermal insulation, its simple and quick installation generates minimal waste onsite. Related: LEED Platinum UCSB student housing harnesses California’s coastal climate According to Simon Topliss, project director for Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, “CLT was a wonderful, low-carbon solution and is a robust, structural product with a warmth that concrete doesn’t have.” Close to 50 percent of the entire building’s internal walls and the partition walls in each apartment were made using CLT . There are two wings of apartments on each residential floor, each joined by a connective “knuckle,” allowing the building’s circulation to integrate with the communal kitchen, lounge and study. There are glazed, open stairs with outside views connecting to other floors as well. In Australia, Passive House -certified projects typically cost 6 to 10 percent extra to construct but use about 70 percent less energy than conventional buildings. The region where Gillies Hall was built often sees a large number of extremely hot summer days, so plenty of shading and cross-ventilation methods were implemented in order to keep the building within the temperature standards of Passive House certification. The project was completed in 19 months, just in time for students to move in for the 2019 school year. Topliss said that the university’s commitment to fostering community was one of the main focuses for the design of the building. “So we wanted to take every design opportunity to create spaces for students to socialize, play and study together,” Topliss explained. “There is one resident adviser per 30 students, and floor planning was developed around this model.” + Jackson Clements Burrows Architects Via Dwell Photography by Peter Clarke via Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

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This student housing is the largest Passive House-certified building in the Southern Hemisphere

A rare ‘Bambi’ Airstream trailer becomes a stunning mobile office

February 14, 2019 by  
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When a busy tech entrepreneur contacted San Francisco-based firm Edmonds + Lee Architects to create a mobile office that could keep him on the road, they turned to an American classic, a shimmery Airstream. After searching for a year for just the right trailer, they found a 1960s Airstream Bambi II and converted it into a brilliant 80-square-foot office on wheels, lovingly renamed Kugelschiff (German for “Bullet Ship”). The architects worked closely with the client Jeff as well as his daughter Alaina, an industrial designer who is a proponent of sustainable design, to meet his specific needs. The first step was finding a trailer that would be a good fit with Jeff’s active lifestyle. To make his working time as convenient as possible, the mobile office had to be fully connected so he could be in touch from any location, no matter how remote. Related: Airstream launches its first-ever fiberglass camper for under $50K After a year of searching, the team came upon a surprising find, an incredibly rare Airstream Bambi II. Airstream produced only one of these models a year during the 1960s, making it one of the rarest trailers in the world. Once in Jeff’s hands, the architects got to work renovating the old model . Still in good shape structurally, they set about creating a space that would work as both an office and a retreat. Clad in all-white walls, ash wood floors and oak cabinetry, the interior living space is bright and minimalist. The furniture in the Airstream is flexible to add space to the compact interior. Using a puzzle method, the designers custom-made furniture with dual uses. For example, one end of the interior is outfitted with a wrap-around sofa that goes from dining space to meeting space in the blink of an eye. The kitchen is equipped with a hidden sink and refrigerator that can be concealed into the wall. Even the main working desk gets pushed down into a bed, which sits next to a large window that allows natural light to filter into the trailer. Additionally, the Airstream conversion included a number of energy sources, such as solar power. However, with Jeff’s need to be connected at all times, the power also runs on traditional DC batteries. It has both a Wi-Fi repeater and a cellular booster, so he’s always connected, no matter where he may be parked. The home device company Nest help set up the rest of the trailer’s smart home products, which are all controlled by Google Home. + Edmonds + Lee Architects Via Dezeen Photography by Joe Fletcher via Edmonds + Lee Architects

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A rare ‘Bambi’ Airstream trailer becomes a stunning mobile office

ESCAPE offers free tiny home rentals that could earn you money

September 11, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever wanted to earn some side cash with a tiny home rental but never had the means or time to invest in one, here’s your chance. After having long wowed us with its luxurious tiny house builds, Wisconsin-based ESCAPE Homes has launched the “Free ESCAPE Tiny House Program,” and it is looking to partner with anyone with a qualifying property. If you’re approved, ESCAPE will deliver and set up one of its award-winning homes as a rental unit on your site, completely free of charge. Outfitted with all the comforts of home, plus a luxurious touch, ESCAPE’s tiny homes allow guests and homeowners to live large in small spaces. Their popularity has taken them throughout the U.S. from New York’s Hudson Valley to as far as the Hawaiian Islands. The units are well insulated to stand up to extreme weather conditions and to minimize energy use. While many units have been used as travel RVs, others have also been adapted into stationary weekend retreats, in-law suites and even lucrative Airbnb vacation rentals. “We’ve seen the interest in tiny home vacations soar,” said ESCAPE founder Dan Dobrowolski. “Launching this new program allows us to introduce the vacation experience to more people across the country, while offering our partners a chance to build a tiny (bad pun intended) business along the way.” Anyone with an acceptable site and good credit is welcome to apply to the ESCAPE Rental Program, which is actively looking to recruit partners with property in urban and rural settings within 100 miles of the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. A suitable site needs a flat and solid pad — the ESCAPE homes do not require a foundation — and preferably access to utilities including power, water and septic. Related: This tiny home on wheels lets you change your Vista on a whim Qualifying partners would manage the tiny house vocational rental in a one-year contract and receive 40 percent of the total revenue after any booking, credit card or other rental-associated fees on Airbnb or equivalent. As long as ESCAPE retains ownership of the unit, partners are not allowed to use the rental for personal means unless they book through the rental service. However, partners do have the option to purchase the tiny homes with advance notice. Interested in getting into the tiny house gig economy? Learn more on ESCAPE’s website . + ESCAPE Homes Images via ESCAPE RV/Steve Niedorf

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ESCAPE offers free tiny home rentals that could earn you money

French architect designs unique solar-powered gym with a rooftop garden

November 9, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Sustainable gymnasium powered by renewable solar energy. In an effort to allow fitness freaks to exercise in an utmost green environment, French architect Jean Marc Rivet has designed a sustainable gymnasium in France, which might actually convince you to exercise a bit more. The unique structure is highly functional and saves a lot of grid electricity

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