Green-roofed Czech cabin is built with recyclable hempcrete

April 5, 2021 by  
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After living as a modern nomad for years, Ond?ej Koní?ek finally decided to settle down by realizing his dream cabin on a 20,000-square-meter wooded property in southeast Czech Republic. Fueled by his love for the nature, Koní?ek tapped Czech architecture firm Ateliér Lina Bellovi?ová to design House LO, an eco-friendly, green-roofed home that not only embraces landscape views but is also built with hempcrete — a bio-composite building material seldom used in the country. When architect Lina Koní?ek Bellovi?ová was asked by Koní?ek to build with hempcrete — a composite of hemp hurds and lime with insulating properties typically used to construct non-weight-bearing infill walls — she knew it would be a challenge. The architect had never seen it used as a building material in the Czech Republic. “First struggles evolved in a valuable experience and fascination with its features and its history,” said Bellovi?ova, who used hempcrete for House LO’s walls. “Building with hempcrete is easy and allows the builder to build their house on their own.”  Related: “Cannabis walls” add warmth to this eco-friendly home in Israel In addition to ease of construction, hempcrete also has carbon-sequestering and insulation benefits; it can be recycled and is resistant to pests, fire and mold. The architect topped the home with a green roof for additional insulation. Completed over the course of a year, the timber-framed cabin features a simple, modern design to blend in with the landscape. The single-story dwelling includes a concrete basement that houses technical equipment, storage, a lounge and a special chamber where the client develops his photographs. The ground floor above is a light-filled space centered on an open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen flanked by two bedrooms and a bathroom. A large terrace that is sheltered by deep roof overhangs wraps around the entire cabin and can be accessed by sliding glass doors that bookend the main living space. + Ateliér Lina Bellovi?ová Images by BoysPlayNice

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Green-roofed Czech cabin is built with recyclable hempcrete

This quarantine cabin made of hyper-local CLT was built in just 5 months

March 22, 2021 by  
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An eco-friendly architectural solution to quarantining during the pandemic has popped up in Barcelona’s Collserola park. A team of students and researchers from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) Valldaura Labs recently completed The Voxel, a solar-powered “quarantine” cabin built entirely of hyper-local structural CLT in just 5 months. The cabin accommodates a single occupant in a space that not only offers comfortable self-confinement but also showcases the potential of a circular bio-economy in construction. The Voxel, short for volumetric pixel, was designed and built from April to August 2020 as part of the IAAC’s immersive Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Bio-cities (MAEBB) program. A team of 17 students and five volunteers from 15 countries built the cabin using 40 Aleppo Pine trees felled within a radius of less than a kilometer from the construction site and processed at the nearby Valldaura Labs carpentry facility. The hundreds of resulting pine lamellas were individually catalogued to allow for accurate tracing back to the original source tree before they were pressed into over 30 CLT panels used for the cabin’s 12-square-meter structure. Related: Prefab Danish home was built from CLT and weathered steel in just 3 days Instead of metal connections, the design team used lap joints and wooden dowels to fasten together the CLT panels to further reduce the project’s carbon footprint. A layer of cork insulation is sandwiched between the structural frame and rain-screen panels made from waste material produced during the CLT production process. The exterior panels were also charred with the Japanese shou sugi ban technique for increased durability. “These off-cuts were turned into a facade that showcases the organic complexity of the tree that is usually hidden in most wooden constructions,” the design team said.  The “quarantine” cabin is equipped with three solar panels, independent battery storage as well as a sustainable water system that collects rainwater, recycles gray water and treats black water within a self-contained biogas system. + IAAC Valldaura Labs Photography by Adria? Goula via IAAC Valldaura Labs

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This quarantine cabin made of hyper-local CLT was built in just 5 months

Flexible prefab cabin wins Volume Zeros 2020 Tiny House competition

March 8, 2021 by  
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Mumbai-based architecture competition platform Volume Zero has announced the winners of the 2020 Tiny House Architecture Competition, a call for entries that celebrate sustainability and individuality through innovative design. A jury of international architects — including jurors from U.S.-based Desai Chia Architecture and Norway’s Saunders Architecture — awarded three flexible tiny house concepts with $4,000 in total prize money and also selected 10 entries as honorable mentions.  Spanish designer Jorge Cobo won first place in the competition with his entry, A Forest for Rest, a flexible prefab cabin with a tubular steel frame that can be suspended from trees or set on light foundations. Lined with timber slats, the 19.3-square-meter tiny house fits an open-plan living space with a separated bathroom on the ground floor along with an adaptable sleeping space that accommodates up to three people on the upper floor. The prefabricated and customizable home can also be equipped with a variety of sustainable technologies, from solar panels and rainwater reuse systems to green roofs and a ground-coupled heat exchanger. Related: The top 7 amazing tiny homes we’ve seen this year French duo Dylan Morel and Dorian Bernard took second place with the Ecottage, a charming, gabled, prefab tiny home designed to operate off of the grid . Topped with solar panels and equipped with a domestic rainwater harvesting system, the adaptable unit was created to operate independently in both urban and rural settings. Plywood was selected as the main construction material for its carbon-sequestering benefits, low cost and availability. The multifunctional interior includes a ground-floor living space and a mezzanine sleeping area. American designer Tak Ying Chan won third place with Off the Walls, a concept for sheltering people experiencing homelessness in New York City’s Bushwick neighborhood. Designed with recycled materials and a painted timber structural frame, the low-cost build integrates multifunctional furnishings to make the most of its small footprint. The modular, shed-roofed units can also be decorated with street art and murals. + 2020 Tiny House Architecture Competition Images via Volume Zero

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Flexible prefab cabin wins Volume Zeros 2020 Tiny House competition

A modern cabin in rural Washington celebrates indoor/outdoor living

February 23, 2021 by  
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Eager to relax and unwind from city living, a retired aerospace engineer reached out to Seattle-based David Coleman Architecture to design a modern, energy-efficient cabin on a 10-acre rural site in Sultan, Washington. Located about an hour outside of Seattle in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, the idyllic meadow property inspired the client’s vision for a playful home deeply connected to the land with an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living. As a result, the architects created a dynamic, single-story dwelling — dubbed Field House — that embraces nature from multiple directions and sits lightly on the land with a small energy footprint. In addition to sweeping panoramic views, the client had a long list of design features he wanted for his new home. One of the more unusual requests was the organization of the cabin on an offset grid with acute angles to create “dynamic spatial experiences” enjoyed both inside and out of the home. To strengthen its relationship to the surroundings, the cabin features an exposed wood structure that pays homage to the region’s timber heritage as well as an indoor courtyard surrounded by glazing that blurs the line between indoors and out. Three sheltered porches extend the footprint of the 1,500-square-foot Field House to the outdoors, with the most dramatic of the three topped by a triangular roof punctuated with a large, open oculus.  Related: ÖÖD prefab glass cabin immerses you in nature while you work To meet high-performance energy standards, the home features well- insulated glazing and walls, an on-demand water system and a mini-split heat pump system. “The resulting building is essentially a platform for viewing the rise and fall of the sun, the change of the seasons , and the natural beauty that flows by and through the site,” the architects explained in a project statement. Approximately 50 horses and 20 ponies roam the open pasture lands surrounding the home. + David Coleman Architecture Photography by Lara Swimmer via David Coleman Architecture

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A modern cabin in rural Washington celebrates indoor/outdoor living

Water-powered shower head speaker made from recycled plastic wins honors at CES

February 23, 2021 by  
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Whether it’s podcasts,  music  or audiobooks, humans are streaming audio content now more than ever. Now, thanks to wireless tech company Ampere, the sound doesn’t have to stop when it’s time for a shower. Audiophiles, meet Shower Power, the water-powered showerhead made from recycled plastic. This hydropower speaker syncs with  Bluetooth  to deliver high-quality sound straight to your showerhead, automatically turning on and off with the water. Skip tracks, play or pause with the touch of a button on the showerhead itself, or use the waterproof remote control. The device’s design features a cylindrical shape with a South Wave amplifier to provide excellent listening quality, despite its small size. Related: 8 ways to make your bathroom more eco-friendly If the 360-degree sound wave diffuser isn’t enough, Ampere has also designed a “Droplet” mini Bluetooth speaker that connects to the Shower Power so you can fill your entire  bathroom  with music. The company also has plans to develop a LED light edition of the speaker that syncs music with a light show inside the shower. So how does it work exactly? The patent-pending proprietary hydropower system turns water flow into energy as the water spins an impeller housed inside the device, like a watermill. That system is connected to a small generator that charges an internal  battery , turning the Shower Power on as the water turns on and storing power even after the shower turns off — enough for 20 hours of listening time on a full charge. The device is made to fit onto any showerhead, resulting in an easy one-minute installation and the ability to take it with you while traveling. Energy  isn’t the only thing Shower Power saves. The speaker is made out of a compound using 100% recycled ocean plastic developed specifically for shower use. Each device reuses 15 ocean-bound plastic water bottles. With all these unique features, it’s no surprise that Shower Power was named as an honoree for the 2021 CES Innovation Awards. The suggested retail price is $99, but it is still available for preorder through Indiegogo or Kickstarter at a limited discounted price. + Ampere Images via Ampere

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Water-powered shower head speaker made from recycled plastic wins honors at CES

This green-roofed cabin is made from local cedar and glass

January 18, 2021 by  
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A year-round retreat for a young family in British Columbia, this contemporary cabin is found nestled along the north shore of stunning Bowen Island. Made from sustainable building materials such as cedar and glass, the Bowen Island House maintains deep connections to nature while minimizing environmental impact with a design that touches lightly on the ground. The Bowen Island House is set on a rugged, 8-acre site on a secluded side of the island, characterized by a lush, lichen-covered rainforest and some of the best views in the Canadian province. While the island itself is somewhat isolated and requires a ferry ride to access it from the closest city, the landscape here has become increasingly vulnerable to development over the years. In a place where over-scaled homes have become the norm, the Bowen Island House by the Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers (OMB) presents a sustainable alternative with a small environmental footprint. Related: Cedar Haven is a forest retreat made with reclaimed logs A simple, two-level volume is clad in locally sourced cedar and insulated glass , with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-plan kitchen, a dining room and a living area. This modest scale, along with off-grid functionality and independent sources for heat and electricity, helps minimize the home’s footprint. Additionally, the project prioritized simple details in its design to ensure minimal disruption to the natural surroundings during construction. The home’s position perpendicular to the rocky coastline hides it within the landscape and captures the sun from east to west, while the cedar cladding is stained black to help it visually recede into the forest. There is also a green roof to reinstate the absorptive qualities of the forest floor below. Mediation between architecture and nature is achieved through cast-in-place concrete walls that connect the constructed elements to the natural elements as well as large areas of outdoor decks that look out over the water. + Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers Via Dwell Photography by Ema Peter via OMB

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This green-roofed cabin is made from local cedar and glass

Den’s DIY flat-pack cabin kit takes just 3 days to build

January 6, 2021 by  
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DIY cabin company Den recently released its newest flat-pack cabin kit. The Den Complete A-Frame Cabin kit costs just $21,000 and can be built by two to three people in about three days thanks to the company’s signature joinery system and custom guide. The best part? Because the pieces come with pre-drilled holes, there’s no heavy equipment required, so the whole project can be carried out by hand using simple tools. What’s more, the building kit includes everything down to the door hardware, and the materials are packed on the shipping pallet in construction order. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Related: Hello Wood launches flat-pack kits for DIY tiny cabins “From an aesthetics and functional standpoint, this kit brings to bear all our knowledge and experience in cabin design,” said Mike Romanowicz of Den. “The Den Cabin Kit builds upon our learnings from launching a portfolio of other cabin designs that have garnered worldwide acclaim. We’ve included the features and materials we know our audience, customers, and the folks who sometimes rent these cabins love.” Unlike similar cabin kits that only provide pre-cut dimensional lumber and basic construction materials, Den cabins are cut with CNC precision and feature designs that slot together intuitively. Another important aspect to these cabins is their versatility. Because there are no nails used in construction, customers can easily take their cabins down and move them if they need to. Despite this semi-permanent nature, the cabins can still withstand the elements, as they are rated for four-season compatibility with thermally insulated floor and walls. Airbnb hosts and hospitality entrepreneurs can stand to benefit from the cabin kit, as well, due to its low labor costs, permit-friendliness and positive ROI impact. Currently, there are three exterior packages available: the dark blue Forest cabin with metal roof cladding, the off-white Coast cabin with cedar shingles and the snow-white Alpine cabin with a metal roof. Each Den Complete A-Frame Cabin has a 115-square-foot footprint with 110 square feet of usable space. The cabin stands 12 feet high. The 11-foot tall windows are thermally insulated with double-pane glass, and the kit also comes with a fresh air exchanger with an optional heat recovery ventilator. + Den Outdoors Via Dwell Photography by Brandon Schulman and rendering by Reyaz Alankandy via Den Outdoors

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Den’s DIY flat-pack cabin kit takes just 3 days to build

The top 7 amazing tiny homes weve seen this year

December 24, 2020 by  
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2020 was certainly one for the history books. But among all of the negativity in the news throughout this past year, there were also plenty of innovative and creative design solutions to the world’s problems shining through. While a large portion of Americans adjusted to life working remotely and others faced economic struggles due to the pandemic, tiny homes and inventive office spaces have never been so relevant. True to form, tiny luxury also flourished, with some of the best designs of the year combining space-saving minimalism with luxurious creature comforts despite small square footage. Read on to learn more about the top seven tiny homes we’ve seen this year here at Inhabitat. Canada Goose Brought to us by Mint Tiny Homes, the Canada Goose is a gorgeous, rustic tiny home on wheels that will make you feel like you’ve walked into a minimalist’s sustainable farmhouse . With a spacious kitchen and bathroom, an entire area dedicated to a living room, and a full-sized bedroom on the gooseneck hitch, it is clear that the designers at Mint put a lot of thought into space utilization. Plus, we can’t get enough of the reclaimed barn doors and the dark wood accents to complement the bright white interior. Available in 38 and 41 feet, the Canada Goose fits three beds and can house six to eight people comfortably. Related: Tiny House Sustainable Living blog documents life in an off-grid tiny home LaLa’s Seaesta This quirky tiny house located only blocks from the beach has a design that’s just as clever as its name. Texas-based Plum Construction uses every inch of the property’s small square footage with a cute dining nook that converts into a sleeping area and a secret, hidden patio underneath. Just 410 square feet of space with an additional 80-square-foot loft inside, the home’s gable decoration is constructed from reclaimed cypress wood from a local house dating back 120 years. We think the best part of this property is the hidden patio, which takes advantage of the space left clear from the home’s stilts and features a hammock, a bar and an outdoor shower. The patio’s ventilated, slatted walls allows the ocean breeze to flow in. The Natura It might be enough for some sustainable design companies that the Natura tiny house is powered by 1000W-2000W rooftop solar panels, but not for U.K.-based The Tiny Housing Company. The firm goes several steps further by using natural materials such as cork and wood for the construction, as well as adding a wood-burning stove connected to underfloor heating, clean water filtration from an under-sink system, energy-efficient appliances and rockwool insulation (a rock-based mineral fiber composed of volcanic basalt rock and recycled steel or copper byproduct). The Kirimoko Looking at the interior of the Kirimoko in New Zealand, one would never guess that Condon Scott Architects would be able to fit all those amenities into a 322-square-foot footprint. This passive house boasts high-efficiency structural insulated panels paired with larch weatherboards to help keep out moisture as well as asphalt shingles and natural ventilation. This means the tiny home requires virtually no additional energy to keep temperatures comfortable in an unforgiving Central Otago climate. Characterized by a gable form, a black rain screen and massive windows, there is an abundance of natural light that makes this home look exceptionally bright and airy. Denali XL Denali XL, which is a larger version of Alabama-based Timbercraft Tiny Homes’ popular Denali model, features 399 square feet of floor space and a 65-square-foot loft. This tiny home may look like a rustic cabin from the outside, but once you cross the threshold, you’ll find a king-sized loft bedroom with powered skylights that open automatically on a timer or rain sensor, a large walk in closet, a luxurious steam shower and quartz countertops. Additional sustainable elements such as a trash compactor, high efficiency insulation and an incinerating toilet help earn this tiny home a spot on the list. Oasis Tiny House It’s easy to see how the Oasis Tiny House got its name. This 260-square-foot tiny home is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and features several luxurious touches that highlight the tropical ambiance of the space. An outdoor bar, for example, can be found directly below the curly mango wood kitchen window, designed to allow food and drinks to be passed through with ease. There is also a skylight in the bathroom to give the feel of an outdoor shower thanks to the home’s verdant jungle surroundings. The Oasis Tiny House is the creation of the sister-brother duo at Paradise Tiny Homes. The Culp A spa-like, walk-in hot tub is not something you’d expect to see inside of a 500-square-foot tiny home, but that didn’t stop Florida-based Movable Roots tiny home design company. When the client requested room for a soaking tub, the designers rose to the occasion and even added an incinerating toilet for good measure. The tiny home also has a galley kitchen and a primary bedroom with storage stairs leading up to dual loft spaces, which are naturally lit and spacious enough to be used as guest rooms, offices or storage. Another feature we love inside The Culp is its low-maintenance, two-tone metal exterior and the cork plank flooring.

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The top 7 amazing tiny homes weve seen this year

Twin cabins in Washington make use of reclaimed and natural materials

December 1, 2020 by  
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If there’s anything better than a cabin in the woods, it’s two cabins in the woods. For Kathleen Glossa of Swivel Interiors, in a collaboration with fellow Seattle-based integrated design firm Board & Vellum, a project for a family in Eastern Washington offered double the reward. The high-energy, outdoorsy clients wanted to create personal space on their property for family and other guests. They requested simple dwellings that didn’t overwhelm the surrounding landscape of rolling hills.  The design for the two matching cabins is inspired by an old barn on the property that was heavily leaning and in danger of collapsing. Dating back to the 1890s, the barn may have outlived its usefulness as a shelter, but the team was able to reclaim the lumber as a central component to the cabins’ construction. Craftsmen used the barn wood to meticulously create a dividing wall down the middle of each cabin. Dowbuilt , the builder for the project, skillfully mitered each corner, continuing with the same board around each bend. Related: These elevated wooden cabins can only be accessed via hiking trail In addition to the salvaged wood, natural materials for each 900-square-foot cabin were locally sourced with nature in mind. Exposed plywood walls connect the interior to the nearby trees while concrete flooring, metal siding and tin roofs offer durability and a classically rustic vibe. The interior color palette of browns, greens and oranges further celebrates nature, and the wood-burning stove in each cabin connects the living area to the surrounding landscape. The interiors were designed with equal consideration for sourcing products locally. Many businesses of all sizes provided products for the cozy and authentic cabin atmosphere. New items were combined with pieces pulled from the client’s storage unit. Other décor was salvaged from vintage stores within the state. Handcrafted selections from Old Hickory, a company in business for over 120 years, were intermingled with bright powder-coated metal furniture from Room & Board. Black Dog Forge out of Seattle customized the cabinet hardware, bathroom accessories and drapery hardware. The project supported other artisans with the purchase of shower curtains from Etsy vendors and pendant lighting crafted by Barn Light Electric. Each cabin features Dekton countertops, Pratt and Larson tile, under-counter refrigerators and a coffee pot, but kitchen function is limited to keep the focus on outdoor grilling and enjoying meals at the main house. + Swivel Interiors   + Board and Vellum Photography John Granen & Tina Witherspoon via Cameron Macallister Group

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Twin cabins in Washington make use of reclaimed and natural materials

This timber-clad cabin appears to hover over an idyllic lake landscape

September 3, 2020 by  
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Rye-based architectural practice RX Architects has completed a charming cabin at the edge of a lake in Brabourne, an English village within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty about a two-hour drive from London. Dubbed the Lake Cabin, the gabled nature retreat is wrapped in natural wood that will develop a patina over time to help blend the building into the landscape. The remote cabin can only be accessed by a woodland trail, which is inaccessible by vehicles and enjoys uninterrupted views across the lake and to the countryside beyond. Positioned to face north, the Lake Cabin sits at the southern edge of the lake against a backdrop of dense forest. Connection with nature was paramount in the design, which features a natural materials palette, large walls of glazing and a wooden deck that cantilevers over the water. The gabled building is clad in a combination of rough sawn, wide English oak planks as well as thin, narrow-planed English oak planks. “This is combined with a concrete datum line to the base of the building, which steps up to create a concrete bench and log store,” the architects added. Related: A homey, floating cabin makes for the ultimate romantic getaway in South Australia The pared-back design approach continues to the interior of the exposed timber-framed structure, which is covered in limed Douglas fir boards. A bronze seamed roof tops the building for a visual contrast with the timber cladding. The roof extends over the southern and western elevations to provide the L-shaped, cantilevered deck some protection from the elements and unwanted solar gain. Two walls of sliding glass along the south and west sides of the home open up to the deck and create a seamless indoor/outdoor experience with the lake. Like the architectural design, the interior layout is also restrained and centers on a large, open-plan living area, dining space and kitchen that connects with the outdoor deck. A wet room is tucked away near the main entrance, and stairs and a ladder lead up to a lofted sleeping area above.  + RX Architects Photography by Ashley Gendek via RX Architects

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This timber-clad cabin appears to hover over an idyllic lake landscape

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