Local, natural materials make up this eco-friendly jungle refuge in Tulum

March 28, 2019 by  
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Mexican architectural firm Jaquestudio recently completed a new boutique hotel nestled in a leafy paradise within Tulum, Mexico. Carefully sited to preserve nearly three-quarters of the existing jungle vegetation, the Jungle Keva is an environmentally friendly retreat that minimizes site impact and the use of plastics. Moreover, the hotel is built of locally sourced, natural materials that tie the building to the landscape. Designed to mirror the Tulum environment, Jungle Keva features five beautiful lodges with expansive walls of glass that pull views of the trees into the interiors. Each lodge includes double-height , open-plan spaces flooded with natural light. The communal areas and shared amenities are located in a building at the north of the property. The hotel draws water from an on-site well and includes a newly built, state-of-the-art septic treatment system. The five lodges vary in size, from 505 square feet to 600 square feet, and accommodate three to four guests. All accommodations include a private terrace with a hammock overlooking the jungle and an indoor-outdoor bathroom as well as Wi-Fi, natural bamboo sheets and organic toiletries. Guests also have access to on-site yoga classes, a pool, a restaurant and excursion activities. Related: This breathtaking Tulum art gallery was created by Peggy Guggenheim’s great-grandson The structures are built with low-maintenance and natural finishes that lend the buildings a sense of warmth. The distinctive earthy color found throughout the hotel is achieved with the “chum” finish, a Mayan stucco local to the region that’s made from tree resin. “The objective was to use materials that age with dignity, so that with the passing of time, the architecture acquires character and a deeper sense of belonging,” the architects explained. “The different volumes of the complex are scattered along the lot, between the trees and stone paths, which provide a sensation of being in a small village in the Mayan jungle.” + Jaquestudio Via ArchDaily Photography by César Béjar via Jaquestudio

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Local, natural materials make up this eco-friendly jungle refuge in Tulum

This home gently wraps around towering 80-year-old coconut trees

November 27, 2018 by  
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Bombay-based firm  Abraham John Architects deftly crafted a beautiful home to carefully sit near 19 80-year-old coconut trees. The massive, 6,500-square-foot private residence is broken up into various fragmented volumes, taking on a small village feel that gives the home its name, Villa in the Palms. According to the architects, the unique layout was essential in ensuring that not a single tree was felled during the building process. To build the home around the trees, the architects created a unique, fragmented layout, reminiscent of a traditional Goan Village. Additionally, the team used traditional Goan building techniques and materials in the project. The exterior walls are clad in resilient laterite stone, giving the home an earthy aspect that blends it into the natural surroundings while providing a strong thermal envelope. Also climate-inspired are the pitched roofs that slope at different angles to harvest rainwater and withstand strong winds during monsoon season. Related: A modern, energy-efficient home is built around a beloved madrone tree The home is broken up into several individual spaces, which are connected by various outdoor decks, passages and bridges that wind through the trees, pools and gardens. The main living area provides stunning views of the gardens. The room is flooded with natural light through a large skylight that also provides sun for the interior garden. To blend the home further into its natural setting, the outer frame was installed with large screens made out of 100-year-old reclaimed teak wood . The living space, kitchen and dining room all look out over the pool, which is comprised of three distinct bodies of water covered with teak-wood bridges and little islands that were built to protect the existing trees .  This area also opens up to the natural gardens of lush greenery and, of course, the towering palm trees. + Abraham John Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Alan Abraham via Abraham John Architects

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This home gently wraps around towering 80-year-old coconut trees

Eco friendly German village produces 321% more energy than it uses

August 22, 2011 by  
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Amit Singh: Solar Panels Renewable Energy A forward thinking politician, a resolve against debt, a commitment to environment and a hard working society bring about a revolutionary change in a society. This is quite evident in the success story of Wildpoldsried, a small village in Bavaria in Germany. This village is the most energy-efficient village of the world. For the record, it produces 321 percent more energy than its uses. And the best part is that the energy is produced through renewable and natural resources. Fourteen years ago, Mayor Arno Zengerle came to office with massive gaps to fill and goals to achieve, without creating any kind of debt. The goals included building schools, sports halls, theaters and retirement houses. At first, it looked as if this would take decades to achieve. Also, the commitment to remaining debt-free only aggravated the challenge. But effective leadership, investments in renewable and green sources of energy and an overall thrust towards environment-friendly policies led to remarkable success in just half the time. The astounding success of this previously small farming community can be attributed to many things but the one that stands out is the revolutionary mission statement released by the village council in 1999 by the name of ‘WIR 2020’ (Wildpoldsried Innovative Leadership). It became the benchmark of how the village should consider its citizens’ demands, community projects and future developments for growth. The statement focused on three main points: 1) Continued efforts towards finding new sources of renewable energy 2) Insistence on using ecological material for construction of buildings 3) Working towards eco-friendly ways of water disposal while simultaneously protecting water resources. Another landmark step was the creation of civic society by Wendelin Einsiedler. Till date, Einsiedler and the civic society have come up with three companies that has constructed several windmills producing intotal 3.5 MWH of power. The number of investors too have grown up to 94. Several future projects are lined up including project IRENE (Integration of Renewable Energy and Electric Vehicles). Systematic expansion of district heating system and increase in the usage of LED street lights is also in the pipeline. This amalgamation of political will and civic society participation has made this village a role model for the entire world. Via: Treehugger

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Eco friendly German village produces 321% more energy than it uses

Ocean Film Fest 2010: The Battle Over Beaches in Puerto Rico (Video)

February 8, 2010 by  
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Photo via Flickr Creative Commons In Puerto Rico, it is illegal for developers to create projects that close off public access to the ocean. Yet, well-connected developers are still able to do just this. The Edge of the Sea is a 26-minute documentary that explores the issues of how privatization of public marine areas affect the social and environmental fabric of Puerto Rico

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Ocean Film Fest 2010: The Battle Over Beaches in Puerto Rico (Video)

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