Circular, solar-powered beach house is a sustainable holiday retreat

February 6, 2019 by  
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A charming, circular escape from the city has popped up on an idyllic stretch of beach in New Zealand . Powered with solar energy and built with weather-resistant materials, the St Andrews Beach House is the work of Austin Maynard Architects , a Fitzroy-based design practice that prides itself on sustainable architecture. The “Euclidean form” of the dwelling was inspired by the beauty of the remote site and is designed to take advantage of views in all directions. Located on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula along secluded coastline near national parkland, the St Andrews Beach House is surrounded by stunning vistas of the water, wild bush, sand dunes and scrub. The simple two-story circular structure was a site-sensitive response to both the fragile environment and the client’s brief for a ‘bach’ — a New Zealand word commonly used for a very modest holiday home. The simplicity of the home’s design helps focus attention on the landscape, while its self-sustaining construction minimizes the building’s environmental footprint. “Less than five meters in radius, St Andrews Beach House is an object in the landscape,” the architects explained in a statement. “A Euclidean form set amongst the rough terrain. The plan of the house is generated using the rational and precise geometry, as the circle extrudes into a tube. The internal spaces are generated by a tightly controlled plan adhering to the rules of form, guiding and arranging segments that divide the space, with a spiral staircase as its central core, providing light and air but also snug spaces. This is not a slick beach house, but a relaxed and informal escape, designed with materials that will patina and weather, like an old coastal wharf.” Related: Swanky laneway house in Melbourne is built from recycled red brick The communal living areas are located on the ground floor while the bedroom and bathroom zone are upstairs. In addition to the home’s small footprint and use of durable materials, the beach house was built with rooftop solar panels as well as double-glazed windows. A large cylindrical concrete water tank harvests rainwater for reuse in the toilets and for irrigation. + Austin Maynard Architects Images by Derek Swalwell via Austin Maynard Architects

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Circular, solar-powered beach house is a sustainable holiday retreat

Bureau of Land Management moves forward with the sale of sacred land

February 6, 2019 by  
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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is moving forward with the sale of land in the vicinity of New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The land, which is considered sacred ground by Native Americans in the area, was approved amid heavy criticism from environmentalists and tribal leaders. The land is being purchased to pursue the development of oil and gas, with around 50 parcels of land up for grabs. One of the biggest issues surrounding the sale is that it was approved while the government was partially shutdown , which resulted in limited access of information. Related: Damage to Joshua Tree during the government shutdown could take centuries to repair According to AP News , critics claim that government officials failed to properly inform everyone on the sale of the property. They also asked if the BLM had enough staff members on hand to properly analyze the land and sale requests. In fact, Senator Tom Udall issued a scathing report on the land sale and called out the BLM for not being transparent throughout the process. “It’s a mistake that while critical public services were shuttered for 35 days during the government shutdown, BLM still moved forward with this opaque process,” Udall shared. Critics of the sacred land sale also wondered if the BLM will open a protest period, which is usually standard in these types of transactions. Fortunately, the agency has opted to delay the sale to give tribal leaders and environmentalists a few weeks to protest. The BLM is officially accepting protests beginning on February 11. The land sale is expected to go through at the end of March. If the protests are successful, a portion of the land that is up for sale will be withdrawn. Supporters are hoping that land within 10 miles around Chaco will be deemed off limits. This area, which would serve as a buffer zone, would help protect features that are sacred to local tribes, including kivas and stone structures. Chaco is currently inaccessible by paved roads. Local tribes hope to preserve the remoteness of the area, which has served as a religious and economic center for centuries. The BLM has not issued any comments about the land sale. Via AP News Image via Zenhaus

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Bureau of Land Management moves forward with the sale of sacred land

Circular home boasts 360-degree views so owners can watch their dogs

March 27, 2017 by  
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The biggest motivation behind this circular home’s 360-degree views isn’t the beautiful landscape—it’s the homeowners’ dogs. Dutch architecture firm 123DV designed 360 Villa, a contemporary dwelling in the Netherlands that shows how architecture can be inclusive of humans and animals. Commissioned by a couple who own a pair of beautiful Alaskan Malamutes, the custom home is wrapped in glazing to allow the couple to stay in constant contact with their dogs both in and outside the home. Surrounded by a sloped lawn, the 85-square-meter 360 Villa offers ample space for the homeowners’ two Alaskan Malamutes to play and release their high energy. To give the dogs space and the constant contact they need with their owners, 123DV designed the home with a circular plan and wrapped it in a “continuous window” to provide visual contact between the dogs and couple. The roof extends over the edge of the home to create a wraparound canopy that provides shelter from the rain and sun. Related: This house has a special staircase designed just for dogs To preserve privacy, the architects built up the land into a hill on the street-facing side of the villa so that the owners can see their dogs without needing a full-height window . Despite the small footprint, the 360 Villa feels spacious thanks to the large windows and the open floor plan. The open-plan kitchen, dining room, and living area take up around two-thirds of the interior and open to an outdoor deck. The bedroom and bathroom can be closed off from the living room by sliding doors. A large circular skylight in the middle of the home lets in additional natural light. + 123DV Via ArchDaily Images © Hannah Anthonysz

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Circular home boasts 360-degree views so owners can watch their dogs

Trump administration could open door to geoengineering

March 27, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump’s main stance on climate change is usually denial, but if he does take action it could be with the controversial approach of geoengineering . Large-scale climate engineering didn’t receive much support under President Barack Obama, but now environmental organizations are saying in the new administration interest may be building for solar geoengineering, or spraying sulphate particles in the air with the hope of reflecting the sun’s radiation back into outer space to lower Earth’s temperature. Harvard University scientists David Keith and Frank Keutsch, who started the largest solar geoengineering research program in the world, may find support in the new administration. The two engineers hope to test spraying in 2018 in Arizona via a high-altitude balloon to obtain information of the practice’s impacts at a large scale. At a geoengineering forum last week, Keith seemed to indicate now might be the time to carry the research forward, saying he is ready for field testing. A briefing paper for the form stated the context for talking about solar geoengineering research “has changed substantially since we planned and funded this forum nearly one year ago.” Related: US Congress could fund geoengineering research for the first time Rex Tillerson , current Secretary of State, might also support geoengineering. The Guardian reported ExxonMobil scientists worked on geoengineering techniques like carbon dioxide removal while Tillerson was CEO, and at a 2015 ExxonMobil shareholder meeting Tillerson said “plan B has always been grounded in our beliefs around the continued evolution of technology and engineered solutions.” And one of the Trump Environmental Protection Agency transition architects, David Schnare, has lobbied American lawmakers and testified to the Senate in support of the controversial approach to climate change. Silvia Riberio of watchdog organization ETC Group told The Guardian, “Clearly parts of the Trump administration are very willing to open the door to reckless schemes like David Keith’s, and may well have quietly given the nod to open-air experiments. Worryingly, geoengineering may emerge as this administration’s preferred approach to global warming . In their view, building a big beautiful wall of sulphate in the sky could be a perfect excuse to allow uncontrolled fossil fuel extraction. We need to be focusing on radical emissions cuts, not dangerous and unjust technofixes.” Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Trump administration could open door to geoengineering

Wheel House: Acrojou Circus Takes a Circular Home for a Rolling Adventure

May 29, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Wheel House: Acrojou Circus Takes a Circular Home for a Rolling Adventure Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: acrojou , adventure , audience , barney white , circus , Design , german wheel , jeni barnard , modular home , nautical , performance , roll , the wheel house , traveler , visual theater        

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Wheel House: Acrojou Circus Takes a Circular Home for a Rolling Adventure

Why Our Ancestors Built Round Houses – and Why it Still Makes Sense to Build Round Structures Today

August 10, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Why Our Ancestors Built Round Houses – and Why it Still Makes Sense to Build Round Structures Today Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “sustainable architecture” , acoustics in a round room , center skylight , circular home , compression ring , dome homes , earthquake resistant housing , eco design , engineered buildings , hogan , hurrican resistant housing , Indigenous Designs , intelligent buildings , interlocking building systems , long roof spans , mandala homes , natural building , nature’s design , open at the top architecture , open space , round home , round houses , small footprint home , tenemos , thermal dynamics , two-story round home , yurt designs

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Why Our Ancestors Built Round Houses – and Why it Still Makes Sense to Build Round Structures Today

Otto Ng’s Robotic Wallbot Walls Automatically Move to Adapt to Your Lifestyle

August 10, 2012 by  
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Wallbot mobile walls can communicate among themselves. By applying scientific research in collective intelligence to architectural design, artist and architect Otto Ng has created a kinetic wall system that pushes the housing envelope. Powered by electronic and kinetic systems , Wallbots can assume different positions within a dwelling without any interference from the inhabitants. Read the rest of Otto Ng’s Robotic Wallbot Walls Automatically Move to Adapt to Your Lifestyle Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: design prototype , interactive intelligent wall , interactive technology , kinetic architecture , mobile computing , otto ng , responsive architecture , Responsive Architecture at Daniels , self-guiding walls , wallbot wall system

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Yuken Teruya Transforms a McDonald’s Bag into a Delicate Tree

August 10, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Yuken Teruya Transforms a McDonald’s Bag into a Delicate Tree Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: David B. Smith Gallery , Denver art galleries , eco design , green design , McDonald’s art , mcdonalds , Notice-Forest: What Victory Tastes Like , paper art , paper bag art , recycle art , recycled art , sustainable design , Yuken Teruya

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Yuken Teruya Transforms a McDonald’s Bag into a Delicate Tree

Chalet K is a Wood-Wrapped Circular Home in the Austrian Mountains

August 18, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Chalet K is a Wood-Wrapped Circular Home in the Austrian Mountains Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chalet k , chaletk , circular home , eco design , green architecture , green design , Kleboth Lindinger , Kleboth Lindinger Partners , sustainable design , wooden architecture , wooden home , wooden structure

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Chalet K is a Wood-Wrapped Circular Home in the Austrian Mountains

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