Breezy addition keeps cool in Melbournes summers with smart passive design

March 16, 2017 by  
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Sustainability and a tight budget were the driving features for this bright and airy lean-to extension to a detached 1960s home. Designed by Warc Studio , the timber-and-glass addition houses a spacious open-plan living area, dining space, and kitchen that connect to a rear garden. To meet sustainability requirements, the architects used locally and sustainably sourced timber, stressed resource efficiency , and promoted natural cooling with operable window openings and solar shading fins. Located in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh, Australia, the new addition was inspired by the mono-pitched lean-to structures prevalent to the homes in the area. The architects put a modern twist on the seemingly ubiquitous building structure by combining two gabled roofs with differing gradients. “The design program was driven by resource efficiency which was essential to delivering both economic and sustainable objectives,” wrote the architects. “The resulting roof form provides a compact building envelope: the surface area of the additions are around 12% less than if a flat roof / flat ceiling solution had been employed with the same built volume. This in turn translates to increased efficiency of the thermal envelope and reduced capital material consumption.” Related: Old bungalow transformed into a light-filled dwelling with recycled brick Large windows open the new addition up to views and natural light , reducing reliance on artificial lighting. To mitigate solar heat gain, the architects strategically placed window openings and an automated operable roof window for cross-ventilation . Laminated timber fins jut out from the glass panes to provide shade. The roof is lined with white steel sheet lining to minimize solar heat gain. + Warc Studio Via ArchDaily Images © Aaron Pocock

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Breezy addition keeps cool in Melbournes summers with smart passive design

First fluorescent frog in the world found in South America

March 16, 2017 by  
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Scientists found the first fluorescent frog in the world – by accident – in South America . Researchers at Buenos Aires’ Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum stumbled across the discovery while studying pigment in polka dot tree frogs, which are common in the continent. Beneath an ultraviolet (UV) light , the otherwise dull-colored frog glows bright blue and green. Fluorescence – or the ability to take in light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths – is found in several ocean creatures but is incredibly rare on land. Only some scorpions and parrots were known to possess it until now, and this is the very first amphibian we’ve found that fluoresces. Scientists don’t really know why creatures are fluorescent; they could be communicating, attracting mates, or concealing themselves. Related: Biofluorescent sharks glow bright green in the depths of the sea The scientists initially thought the frog might glow a faint red because it contains the pigment biliverdin, which gives some some insects a slight red fluorescence. But when the researchers shone a UVA flashlight on polka dot tree frogs that came from the Santa Fe, Argentina area, they were amazed to see the brown-green frogs glow bright green and blue instead. The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published their research on March 13. Study co-author Maria Gabriella Lagoria told Chemistry World, “This is very different from fluorophores found in other vertebrates, which are usually proteins or polyenic chains.” And there could be even more fluorescent frogs that we haven’t discovered yet. Co-author Julián Faivovich told Nature, “I’m really hoping that other colleagues will be very interested in this phenomenon, and they will start carrying a UV flashlight to the field.” He plans to seek fluorescence in 250 other tree frog species that have translucent skin like the polka dot tree frog. Via Nature and The Guardian Images via Carlos Taboada et al

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First fluorescent frog in the world found in South America

Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views

March 15, 2017 by  
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Norway’s Lofoten archipelago is famous for its spectacular scenery with dramatic mountains and views of the northern lights—but its remote location up north also means a bitterly harsh climate in winter. Architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk was asked to create a summer retreat on a coastal Lofoten island that would be strong enough to withstand the harsh climate, particularly high-speed winds and rain. He and his team of architects completed the Summer House Gravråk, a renovated timber structure with a new addition and beautiful modern interior. The 25-square-meter Summer House Gravråk began with the rehabilitation of an old “Nordlandshus,” a kind of a traditional northern Norwegian home with a gabled roof and timber structure. The architects extended the building’s existing footprint with an addition towards the west that matched the original structure’s design. The exterior is clad in untreated spruce, which developed a gray patina after exposure to the elements. Standing seam zinc roofing tops the building. Related: Norwegian Mountain Cottage Stands on Stilts to Preserve Native Reindeer Moss The extension is constructed with prefabricated pine glulam and is wind-anchored to an encapsulating concrete slab that serves as a stabilizing counterweight, while the existing building is guy-wired to the ground. “The addition is a pure extension of the existing building, and re-uses the geometrical principle with asymmetrical dormer windows to let in light and give a view from the loft,” write the architects. The windows are constructed with aluminum frames on the exterior and wood on the interior to match the interior birch plywood cladding. The interior is minimally furnished and the abundance of windows keeps the focus on the landscape. The architects also constructed a small green-roofed annex separate from the main building. + Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk Images via Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk

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Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views

HOW TO: Make decadent and delightfully spicy Mexican hot chocolate

March 1, 2015 by  
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Looking for a way to stave off those winter chills? Try this delicious and comforting recipe for Mexican hot chocolate that’s sure to warm your insides and put an instant smile on your face. Made with vegan ingredients, this decadent hot chocolate is easy to whip up and has a delightfully spicy kick thanks to the addition of cayenne pepper. Read on to learn how you can whip up a delicious batch of vegan hot chocolate in less than 10 minutes. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chili pepper in hot chocolate , hot chocolate , hot chocolate recipe , Mexican hot chocolate , spicy hot chocolate , vegan hot chocolate , vegan hot chocolate recipe

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HOW TO: Make decadent and delightfully spicy Mexican hot chocolate

A Whole Lot of Sustainable Spruce Clads This Striking Museum Addition in Finland

October 29, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of A Whole Lot of Sustainable Spruce Clads This Striking Museum Addition in Finland Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , Finland , Finnish Architecture , green architecture , locally sourced materials , Mänttä museum , MX_SI studio , Spanish architects , Wood , wooden facade

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A Whole Lot of Sustainable Spruce Clads This Striking Museum Addition in Finland

Canada’s Sustainable Superkül Designs Modern COR-TEN Addition Near Niagara Falls

May 9, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Canada’s Sustainable Superkül Designs Modern COR-TEN Addition Near Niagara Falls Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: addition , canada , geothermal , low VOC , Mineral springs , niagra falls , Ontario , radiant flooring , residence , Superkül Inc , Sustainable , toronto

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Canada’s Sustainable Superkül Designs Modern COR-TEN Addition Near Niagara Falls

Actor Ed Begley Jr. Builds Massive Home Underground Rainwater Harvesting System in LA

May 9, 2014 by  
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“Six Feet Under” and “Arrested Development” fans may be surprised to know that well-known actor Ed Begley Jr. is also a staunch environmental campaigner. Together with his wife Rachelle Carson-Begley, he is building what will hopefully become a LEED Platinum-certified home in Los Angeles. In addition to a host of other great green features, the home will boast an incredible 10,000-gallon underwater rainwater catchment system . Read the rest of Actor Ed Begley Jr. Builds Massive Home Underground Rainwater Harvesting System in LA Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “leed” , california drought , Climate Change , Drought , drought-proof architecture , Ed Begley Jr. , green tech home , green technology , how to live in a drought , LEED Platinum homes in CA , national climate assessment , rainwater collection system , rainwater tanks

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Actor Ed Begley Jr. Builds Massive Home Underground Rainwater Harvesting System in LA

Nissan to Triple the Number of Electric Vehicle Fast-Chargers in the U.S.

February 1, 2013 by  
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Nissan has announced plans to triple the number of electric vehicle fast chargers in the U.S. with the addition of at least 500 quick-charging stations in the next 18 months. Nissan hopes that the addition of the new chargers will help to significantly increase the number of EVs on the road by giving current and potential EV drivers more charging options. Read the rest of Nissan to Triple the Number of Electric Vehicle Fast-Chargers in the U.S. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: electric vehicle , eVgo Freedom Station , fast charger , green car , green transportation , NISSAN , nissan ev , Nissan Leaf , NRG

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Nissan to Triple the Number of Electric Vehicle Fast-Chargers in the U.S.

Handcrafted OakBridge Timber Frame Addition Revitalizes 150-Year-Old Cabin

June 19, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Handcrafted OakBridge Timber Frame Addition Revitalizes 150-Year-Old Cabin Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sips” , Amish home , Green Building , log cabin , timber frame , traditional building

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Handcrafted OakBridge Timber Frame Addition Revitalizes 150-Year-Old Cabin

F1 Racing to Downsize from V8s to 4-Cylinder Engines in 2013

December 13, 2010 by  
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Photo: Flickr , CC A Smaller VRRRRRRRRRRROOOOMMMM The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has approved new specs for Formula One, and starting in 2013, F1s will see a huge engines downsizing (more details on this below) and the addition of new fuel-saving technologies.

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F1 Racing to Downsize from V8s to 4-Cylinder Engines in 2013

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