This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways

May 12, 2017 by  
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This beautiful prefab house by Antony Gibbon Designs is made up of six modules that can be configured in an endless number of ways. Each unit has one or more open sides that can be attached together, providing the opportunity to build an incredible variety of layouts. The closed sides of each module are clad in charred wood siding for an elegant, low-maintenance facade. Called the Moduu House, it is comprised of six different variations of a single staggered form. Each module measures 2.5 x 2.5 meters with one or more sides ‘open’ to allow each unit to be connected onto another increasing the interior space. The structures can be connected in a wide variety of spatial sequences to create the house you want. Related: These gorgeous glass homes can pop up in 8 hours for under $50k Traditional Japanese charred wood cladding known as Shou Sugi Ban cover the exterior of the house, giving it a natural appearance. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow ample natural light into each structure, with the option of adding sliding doors for direct access to the terraces, also available as modules. + Antony Gibbon Designs

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This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways

This incredible urban oasis cafe is filled with living trees and vintage cars

May 12, 2017 by  
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Vintage cars may be popular collector’s items, but rarely do you see them used as restaurant decor. That, didn’t stop New York and Guatemala-based architecture firm Taller Ken from parking a couple of repurposed vehicles inside the incredible Madero Cafe. The ambitious team also filled the 4,844-square-foot space with an array of vibrant colors and soaring 15-foot-high trees to create a playful culinary greenhouse. Related: Upcycled urban cafe in India modeled after communal “chawls” Located on one of the busiest streets in Guatemala City, the Madero Cafe holds court from the exterior as an odd monolithic red block with four cars protruding out of its exterior walls. We’ll never know if the design is a sarcastic nod to the speedy drivers that whiz by or the city’s chaotic urban design , but we do know that the interior design is just as irreverent. The quirky interior is a light-filled oasis of color with a forest of soaring palm trees that create a playful greenhouse ambiance. The massive amount of greenery is irrigated thanks to an integrated rainwater collection system installed on the roof. The plants are also kept healthy thanks to the natural light that floods the interior through multiple sawtooth skylights. The rest of the interior is a hodgepodge of colors and textures, supported by a dizzying multi-colored floor. Although at first glance, the vibrant concrete mosaics on the floor may seem random, they actually follow a pattern that leads to the kitchen and bathrooms, and a few other unique areas in the restaurant. Taller KEN refers to the project’s eclectic appearance as locally-inspired: “this project mines local patterns, materials and textures and collects them to make a fresh tropical atmosphere”. + Taller Ken Photography by Leonardo Izaguirre via Taller Ken

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This incredible urban oasis cafe is filled with living trees and vintage cars

INFOGRAPHIC: How to protect your garden with organic pest control methods

May 19, 2015 by  
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What’s the best way to protect your garden from hungry pests without resorting to toxic chemicals? First Choice Environmental has some good ideas. In the infographic ‘DIY Pest Control for the Savvy Gardener,’ the environmental consultant company explores a wide variety of natural pest control approaches, from the use of natural predators to row covers. Click through to learn more about these organic methods, their benefits, and implementation. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: How to protect your garden with organic pest control methods Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: diy pest control , First Choice environmental , infographic , organic gardening , organic pest control , pest control , reader submitted content

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INFOGRAPHIC: How to protect your garden with organic pest control methods

Anchors away! Airbnb floats a house down the Thames to celebrate London’s new rental laws

May 19, 2015 by  
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Up until now, a Londoners haven’t been able to rent their homes on a short-term basis without the fear of being fined. Now, the law will be updated to allow homeowners in the capital to use sites like Airbnb to rent their houses, apartments, or spare rooms for up to three months a year. To celebrate the new law, Airbnb has set sail on the Thames, in a fully functional two-bedroom house. The house, which is bigger than many Londoner’s land-locked residences, also includes a bathroom, living room, and a garden complete with doghouse and an apple tree. For those who’d like to be welcomed aboard, the housing rental company is running a competition for a one-night stay on May 22, 2015 . Entries are due by May 20. + Enter to win a night in the floating house! Via HUH Magazine Image by Mikael Buck for  Airbnb Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Airbnb , England , letting laws , London , rental laws , thames , Travel , vacation rentals

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Anchors away! Airbnb floats a house down the Thames to celebrate London’s new rental laws

Clever modular mobility aid helps those with disabilities in the developing world

January 28, 2015 by  
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A modular kit of interchangeable mobility aid parts for everything from crutches to walking frames is set to change the lives of some of the world’s poorest people with disabilities , thanks to a design engineering student from Brunel University London .  Cara O’Sullivan, 21, from Battle, East Sussex, realized the opportunity after a year’s placement with the Medical Engineering Resource Unit (MERU), a unique charity in Epsom, Surrey. Cara explains:  “Whilst visiting Kiya Survivor’s physiotherapy center in Peru, I realized that while the developed world can be generous in donating unwanted walkers and crutches, they come from a wide variety of different manufacturers and so perfectly good parts from one walking aid can’t be used to repair another one.  Back at Brunel, when it came to developing a project for my final year, it was clear that I could use my design and engineering skills to help not only the youngsters I had met in Peru, but those in similar circumstances around the world.  The key element is to simplify everything – walking sticks, crutches and walkers – to design core interchangeable components which work together like Meccano and, just like the toy, can be easily and quickly disassembled and re-used.  By being so adaptable, the walking aid will be able to meet the user’s exact needs and provide the required support throughout changes in their condition. The system is more sustainable and cost effective because the walking aid will gradually evolve with the user rather than having to get an entirely new aid each time their condition changes.” + Brunel University London The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Brunel University , Cara O’Sullivan , developing word designs , humanitarian design , Kiya Survivors , Mecanno , Mecanno mobility aid , MERU , mobility aid , mobility aid design , mobility aid developing world

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Clever modular mobility aid helps those with disabilities in the developing world

Sustainable photoluminescent architecture has the potential to light up the night

December 29, 2014 by  
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Architect Eleonora Nicoletti has a rather bright idea: she’s proposing the use of photoluminescent architecture that glows in the dark without electric power. These structures could be used for everything from theatrical sets to living spaces, and work by absorbing invisible ultraviolet radiation from ambient light and then re-emitting that energy as visible light once the sun sets, illuminating the nighttime world in a sustainable way. Available in a wide variety of colors and shapes, they provide visually stunning experience, and also help people save energy and money while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. + Eleanora Nicoletti Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Eleonora Nicoletti , Glow-in-the-dark , glow-in-the-dark architecture , glow-in-the-dark buildings , glowing architecture , glowing buildings , photoluminescent , photoluminescent architecture , theater , theater sets , theatre sets

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Sustainable photoluminescent architecture has the potential to light up the night

Barn Light Electric’s New LED Light Collection Blends Rustic Styles with Modern Chic

June 3, 2014 by  
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Lighting company Barn Light Electric recently launched their new line of environmentally friendly lights called the LED Guard & Glass Collection. The designs, which blend rustic styles with modern chic, include a wide variety of fixtures from ceiling pendants to chandeliers. Each light features an energy-efficient LED light encased in a jelly jar glass and a cast guard. By investing in LED, these vintage-style lights use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and are more environmentally friendly since they contain no mercury. + Barn Light Electric The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: barn light electric , cast guard , energy efficient lighting , green lighting , incandescent bulbs , jelly jar glass , LED bulbs , led guard & glass collection , LED lights , reader submitted content

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Barn Light Electric’s New LED Light Collection Blends Rustic Styles with Modern Chic

Is this thing called "Energy Efficiency" actually making us consume more energy?

August 4, 2011 by  
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Shanu Athiparambath: Energy Efficiency Cheap energy increases energy consumption Why we are asking this now The rebound effect is a much discussed theory. According to the rebound effect, energy efficient technology cheapens energy and in turn encourages the maximum use of energy. The end result would be more energy consumption. There are two aspects of this scenario. Some argue that the energy efficiency saves energy, while the others claim that the rebound effect cancels out the effects of energy efficiency. In a study done by the Breakthrough Institute , it was found that the rebound effect happens in certain cases, while in other cases, energy efficient technology was found to be much effective. The rebound effect was the strongest in the most productive sectors of the economy. The counter intuitive, outlandish nature of the theory gives it much appeal, but we should always look into the evidence before making any conclusions . The energy consumption in the world has risen partly due to the fact that the economies are rising from the woes of the economic crisis and partly because of the rising economic activity in emerging economies which use less efficient energy resources. The rising energy consumption is a good sign as it indicates economic growth. Is it really that serious? We have to use our energy resources carefully, if we do not want to run out of resources. This is especially true for the nonrenewable sources of energy, especially fossil fuels. Moreover, carbon emissions from the fossil fuels often pollute the environment and contribute to global warming. What others are saying: 1) William Stanley Jevons: Jevons states – “It is a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to diminished consumption. The very contrary is the truth.” 2) Economist Harry Saunders: Saunders states – ” In the absence of efficiency gains, energy use will grow in lock step with economic growth (energy intensity will stay fixed) when energy prices are fixed. Energy efficiency gains can increase energy consumption by two means: by making energy appear effectively cheaper than other inputs; and by increasing economic growth, which pulls up energy use.These results, while by no means proving the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, call for prudent energy analysts and policy makers to pause a long moment before dismissing it.” 3) The New Yprker Magazine: The Newyorker Magazine has expressed its doubts on the effectiveness of energy efficient technology because of the rebound effect, which is also known as the Jevons Paradox, after the 19th Century economist William Stanley Jevons. One important drawback of energy efficiency is that it focuses on the small battles and ignores the larger ones. The main hurdles: The International Energy Agency claims that energy efficient technology can bring down the energy requirements of the world by one third and have a significant reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases like CO2. Energy efficiency is also said to have a significant benefit on national security as it reduces imports from abroad. It also prevents the depletion of energy resources. One of the main hurdles is the nature of the appliance. An energy efficient dish washer, may have little effect on peak demand as more energy is used when people wash dishes in the night. It would require extreme commitment to stick to energy efficiency and such commitment would be hard to find. The most important threat is that cheaper energy will lead to more energy use. People might often find it difficult to stick to energy efficiency as certain energy inefficient devices are quite cheap. We would need emission caps and carbon taxes to save energy, which find a lot of opposition from the free market camp. What can be done? An improved energy efficiency system is the requirement of the day for a wide variety of reasons. In many cases, an analysis of cost and benefits would suffice. If buying an energy efficient appliance would save energy which offsets the higher price of the device, it would be a motivating factor for most people who are aware of their rightful interests. Many of us would love the comfort provided by energy efficient technology. It could even be possible to save money by adopting the energy efficiency technique. Energy efficient technology also helps to reduce the carbon footprint. The Government can do a lot to encourage people to take the necessary steps to save the natural resources and in turn our planet and ourselves, but besides that individual co-operation is also required.

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Is this thing called "Energy Efficiency" actually making us consume more energy?

Caterpillar Robot Rolls Away at Lightening Speed (Video)

April 28, 2011 by  
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Image via YouTube video Biomimicry is a perfect area of study for researchers building robots, since animals, particularly insects, have such a wide variety of ways to get around.

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Caterpillar Robot Rolls Away at Lightening Speed (Video)

7 shelters to save you if 2012 calls doom

April 17, 2010 by  
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Self-protection is something that we all take seriously. Nostradamus’s 2012 predictions and similar prophesies by the Mayan calendar are making people believe that the world is about to end just a couple of years from now. While there are some who blatantly reject these predictions, there are some who’re too seriously about them and as an answer have designed several vaults or shelters that will save life on earth.

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7 shelters to save you if 2012 calls doom

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