This new Berlin apartment building literally purifies the city’s air

August 30, 2017 by  
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Daniel Libeskind ‘s first residential project in Berlin is a spectacular faceted building that literally purifies the air. Sapphire is clad in geometric stoneware tiles coated in a layer of titanium dioxide that breaks down dirt and grime when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. The crystalline facade of the building is dominated by angular windows and canted walls that create balconies and intimate outdoor nooks that enhance the quality of the units. Each of the apartments has a unique plan with high-performance triple-glazed windows and external louvers. Related: Daniel Libeskind’s funky metallic apartments will purify the Berlin air The team made some of the windows fixed to adapt to the irregular shape of the volume, while the operable ones all conform to a standard dimension. While the upper floors house living units, retail shops occupy the ground floor of the building, along with underground parking and common outdoor area. The remarkable facade is clad in 3,600 Casalgrande Padana tiles, 500 of which are standard-sized while the other 3,100 tiles have been custom shaped. Each tile is specifically positioned to fit the architect’s vision, and the installation of the tiles took four months to complete. The titanium dioxide coating , produced by TOTO, allows the facade to clean itself and the air when it is exposed to natural light. + Studio Libeskind + Sapphire Berlin Via The Architect’s Newspaper Lead photo via Sapphire Berlin and Jan Bitter

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This new Berlin apartment building literally purifies the city’s air

MINI re-envisions the Cooper hatchback as an EV

August 30, 2017 by  
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MINI is adding an exciting new car to its lineup sometime during 2019 – and it’s totally electric . The MINI Electric Concept offers a futuristic interpretation of the MINI Cooper hatchback with a slew of special details, including unique wheels, a new hexagonal grille and restyled lighting. The MINI Electric Concept will have its official debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show next month, where the company will test the public’s reception to a new electrified MINI. It’s been nearly 10 years since MINI released the MINI E electric car in 2018, which was the first fully electric car from the BMW Group. Related: Volkswagen confirms when the Microbus is coming back as an EV MINI’s next electric car will reach beyond the potential of the MINI E. For starters, its electric motor won’t have the same cooling needs as a traditional gas-powered car, so the grille and air intakes have been closed off to improve airflow. And the headlights have a new LED design. As you move to the back, the MINI Electric Concept’s taillights each form one half of the Union Jack as an LED dot matrix. “The MINI Electric Concept is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the ideal companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. + MINI Images @MINI

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MINI re-envisions the Cooper hatchback as an EV

Are algae-powered oxygen bars on the horizon?

October 18, 2016 by  
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While the idea may seem strange at first, these pods could actually be the answer to the increasing problem of urban pollution and carbon emissions . The World Health Organization predicts that by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in big cities, and a recent study from WHO found that a staggering 92% of the human beings on the planet are already being exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution . That’s a lot of people who could benefit from a quick daily dose of purified air. The design of the structure does more than simply purify the air. It also uses semi-transparent Teflon membranes to reduce noise and visual stimulation – creating a quiet, isolated escape for tired visitors who want to relax and recharge. The algae fountain in the center consists of a series of photobioreactors filled with five cubic meters of water and algae. Surrounding the core photobioreactor would be ten rail-bound relaxation chairs placed in a circle, to allow quiet time for study and reflection – it’s sort of an oxygen bar meets library. The chairs can be shifted individually in order to facilitate social gatherings or to create a more private personal space. This innovative design impressed us so much that it took both the Grand Prize and the Healing Spaces Prize in Inhabitat’s recent Biodesign Competition . Related: Biodesign Competition winners announced – algae takes center stage An urban escape from pollution wouldn’t be the only benefit to this design. We could also harness elements of this design to help reduce overall atmospheric CO2 – a pressing issue at a time when existing carbon sinks worldwide are disappearing. Deforestation could potentially lead to a massive increase in unabsorbed carbon dioxide pollution. Researchers predict that deforestation in the Amazon, has already led to a 12% increase in carbon emissions worldwide since the 1960s, and that will only increase as farming and logging continue in the region. Environmental changes such as drought have severely impacted the ability of trees to store carbon and have even caused them to release it into the atmosphere instead. + Ádám Miklósi

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8 inexpensive earth homes almost anyone can afford

October 18, 2016 by  
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1. Dome-shaped earth bag house keeps residents cool in Colombia La Casa Vergara’s uncommon dome shapes may captivate the eye, but what’s underneath is most impressive. The Bogota home, built by architect Jose Andres Vallejo , is made from “ earth bags ,” or tubular bags stuffed with – you guessed it – earth. These bags are stacked atop each other and encased in concrete on both sides, which work together to prevent both earthquake and water damage. Exposed timber beams and plentiful daylighting make everyday living a bit greener and the $28 per square foot price tag puts the home within many buyers’ price range. 2. A green-roofed Hobbit home anyone can build in just 3 days These charming hobbit-like dwellings are prefabricated by Magic Green Homes and can be constructed in just three days. Sized at 400-square-feet, the green-roofed living spaces are so easy to assemble, practically anyone can do it. They require no heavy equipment to build, instead utilizing perforated flaps that are screwed and sealed together. Magic Green Homes adapt to any topography around the world, making this a dream come true for nearly anyone. 3. Build your own disaster-proof earth home using materials of war For anyone who is interested in building their own earth home, yet doesn’t know where to start, the guidance of Cal-Earth might come in handy. The California-based group teaches others DIY methods for creating your own dwelling using sustainable and disaster-proof materials. The group specializes in reusing materials of war and fortifying homes located in areas at risk of natural disasters. Sandbags packed with earth, barbed wire for tension, and stabilizing materials such as cement, lime, or asphalt emulsion all come together in a comfortable home that can withstand the elements. 4. Passive solar orphanage constructed with earth bags Orkidstudio , an organization that specializes in humanitarian design, opened up an orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya that is made entirely out of earth bags. The passive solar structure absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night, creating a comfortable space for the children and staff inside. The orphanage is clad in recycled timber and features running water sourced from an on-site rainwater collection system. Not only did the project come together to produce an inviting and efficient facility, but it was put together in only eight weeks by a team of UK architecture students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=522&v=U9b-h_cCdO8 5. Earth Home Builder machine “3D prints” entire homes from bags of earth Building low-cost, environmentally friendly homes is a sign of moving in the right direction and the Earth Home Builder makes the process amazingly efficient. Working similarly to a 3D printer , the skid-operated machine can fill bags of earth at a rate of 400 bags per hour. Given that only 30 bags can be filled at the hands of humans, the machine could revolutionize access to affordable and responsible housing. United Earth Builders , who developed the technology, are working to find non-profit partners to help bring earth homes to the masses. 6. Budget-minded rammed Earth home in Mexico One family in Mexico opted to create a multi-colored home on a budget with the help of architect Tatiana Bilbao ’s expertise. The rammed earth dwelling is mesmerizing inside and out, thanks to the clever practice of adding pigment to the material before layering the walls from the ground up. The distinct effect only adds to the temperature control qualities of the home, which is essential during the hot Mexican summers. Ajijic House features floor-to-ceiling windows and two open terraces to take advantage of the breathtaking coastal views. Indoors, the use of locally-sourced pine wood flooring allows the family to enjoy beautiful details in their home without breaking the bank. 7. Luxurious Triksa Villa combines rammed earth, bamboo and recycled wood When building using earthen materials, it is possible to create a home that would rival the most luxurious of vacation spots. Chiangmai Life Construction has built the Triksa Villa in northern Thailand, a stunning structure made from part rammed earth, and part mixture of clay and concrete for the foundation. Adobe brick walls keep the space a comfortable temperature while the bamboo roof gives the company sustainable material bragging rights. Recycled hardwood and a lavish outdoor pool setting shatter any preconceived notion that green building materials cannot produce an eye-catching slice of paradise. 8. Rural Ghana home built from rammed earth and recycled plastic In the countryside of Ghana lies this unique home made from rammed earth , recycled plastic, and fortified against the elements using natural materials. The home was constructed from student Anna Webster’s winning design through a Nka Foundation building competition. She states, “We aimed to overcome the negative associations of these materials and move away from the primitive image of building with earth by applying a modern design aesthetic.” Plastic waste is repurposed into window screens and roof materials and the sturdy rammed earth walls are covered in a cassava starch sealant to prevent exterior water damage. The home cost just $7865 to construct and serves as an example of what can be done with found materials and a little creativity. Images via Nka Foundation , Chiangmai Life Construction ,  United Earth Builders ,  Jose Andres Vallejo ,  Cal-Earth ,  Tatiana Bilbao ,  Orkidstudio , Green Magic Homes

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Ron Arad designs the modular Armadillo Tea Pavilion for indoor and outdoor use

October 18, 2016 by  
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As a modular structure, the Armadillo Tea Pavilion can be expanded as needed and reconfigured to suit a variety of needs. The base model measures 18 square meters and comprises five molded shells connected together with fixings crafted from hand-patinated brass and bronze. Made from timber , the shells can be completed using the buyer’s choice in a set range of finishes depending on the pavilion’s intended use. Durable PVDF-coated timber composite is offered for outdoor applications, while oiled hardwood-veneered plywood is suggested for internal use. Related: The Nest Pod is futuristic prefab home that can pop up anywhere in the world “The Armadillo Tea Pavilion is designed as an independent shell structure, for use indoors and outdoors, which provides an intimate enclosure, shelter or place of reflection within a garden, landscape, or large internal space,” says the description on Revolution Precrafted. Interested buyers can submit a form on Revolution Precrafted’s website to inquire about availability and price. + Armadillo Tea Pavilion Via Fubiz Images via Revolution Precrafted

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A lush indoor jungle purifies air and encourages relaxation at Pudong Airport in Shanghai

October 10, 2016 by  
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At this airport, instead of stress, pollution and rushing, you can relax in a nature-filled lounge while breathing fresh, clean air. The new lounge for the Pudong Airport in Shanghai is a jungle-like environment filled with a mix of trees, bushes and flowers. Italian firm Stefano Boeri Architects, the designers behind “the world’s first vertical forest” , envisioned the space as an air-purifying device and a multi-functional area where passengers can relax and spend time while waiting for their flights. The two-part project, named Sky Jungle and Underground Jungle, will be located in two airport terminals. As a space densely populated with vegetation, the design brings nature to the sleek, technology-dominated architecture of airports. Related: Green Walled Skyscraper Complex Makes Waves in Kazahkistan The design is expected to help mitigate  congestion and regulate the influx of travelers. It will comprise several distinct spaces such as rest areas, several private rooms, and exhibition spaces . We are looking forward to seeing this project built and seeing photos of the first passengers strolling through this lush indoor jungle. + Stefano Boeri Architects

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A lush indoor jungle purifies air and encourages relaxation at Pudong Airport in Shanghai

Dyson is releasing a combination air purifier, bladeless fan, and space heater for $599

August 26, 2016 by  
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Thanks to Dyson ’s newest innovation, you will only need one outlet to run an air purifier , cooling fan, and space heater. The Pure Hot + Cool Link combines all three devices into one , saving space and money. Dyson integrated its Cool bladeless fan, Hot heater, and Pure Cool Link air purifier into one multipurpose, climate-controlling product. The Pure Hot + Cool Link uses the same revered HEPA filter used in other products, which is said to remove 99.97 percent of bothersome air particles. Nasty smells, pet dander, pollen, mold, and other forms of pollution are safely filtered away. Related: Dyson has developed an LED lamp that lasts for 37 years Hot or cool air can be dispersed throughout an entire room or in a targeted blast toward your reading corner. Auto mode can be enabled to take the guess work out of creating a comfortable environment and the whole system can be controlled with a smartphone app. The app also monitors air quality and can turn on its sleep function for quiet filtering. The $599 device will be available online starting September 8 and will hit stores on September 18, 2016. + Dyson Via  Gizmodo Images via  Dyson

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Dyson is releasing a combination air purifier, bladeless fan, and space heater for $599

Molekule air filter annihilates pollutants at a molecular level

May 27, 2016 by  
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The new molecular air filtration system by Molekule is making big waves with its attention to the tiniest details. Not only does the filter trap nasty pollutants , it completely destroys them at a molecular level, including elements 1000 times smaller than what a HEPA filter can handle. It just might produce the purest air one can hope to have in their home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_xXHAyYfqk Using an innovative technology dubbed Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO), the Molekule system eliminates bigger particles, such as dust, pollen, and dander, as well as most forms of bacteria , mold, allergens, viruses, and VOCs (airborne chemicals). The company, funded by the EPA and Department of Defense , states that 90 percent of the air we breathe is indoors, which is up to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. The aforementioned pollutants are trapped and allowed to flourish, that is, until they are filtered through the Molekule. Related: Living air filter: Bel-Air mini mobile greenhouse Much like disassembling a puzzle, the purifier breaks down harmful pollutants into their most basic molecular elements. Once in this state, they are safe to be released back into the air, as nature intended. This includes VOCs, which even the most advanced HEPA filters release back into the air. The company gladly shares its scientific research on its website, including results from a study of people with asthma and allergies experiencing a drastic reduction in symptoms after using the purifier. Pre-sales are being taken now for $499. +Molekule Via  Treehugger Images via  YouTube

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Molekule air filter annihilates pollutants at a molecular level

Innovative ceramic cladding scrubs the air clean in Montreal

April 14, 2016 by  
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Smog-containing jewelry supports the world’s largest air purifier

August 14, 2015 by  
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