Award-winning B-Austin Community Project champions communal and sustainable living

August 9, 2019 by  
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Solar collection, EV charging and gray water recycling are just a few of the environmentally features offered at B-Austin Community Project , an innovative mixed-use development designed by local design practice Clark | Richardson Architects . Created with the goal of becoming one of Austin’s greenest buildings, the co-housing project considers more than just energy-efficiency—the health and wellness of its occupants have also been prioritized in the design. The mixed-use complex was awarded with a 2018 Austin Green Award and is in the process of receiving a 4-star Austin Energy Green Building Rating. Located in South Austin, the B-Austin Community Project spans 22,000 square feet across three stories. The timber-framed building comprises 14 modern apartment units as well as amenity spaces—such as community gardens, an on-site gym and a community center—and leasable white box office suites marketed towards heath and wellness businesses, such as those in the massage and physical therapy industry. As part of the City of Austin SMART building program, the development also reserves a fraction of the apartments for low-income occupants earning less than 80 percent of the median income. “B-AUSTIN was conceived as a place to foster community in a sustainable , environmentally friendly setting,” says a B-Austin statement on their website. “In this spirit, we offer residents easy access to a wide variety of professional wellness resources and programs to encourage in-reach among community members.” Related: Austin passes law banning restaurants from throwing out food waste In addition its emphasis on healthy and communal lifestyles, the mixed-use development reduces its environmental footprint with sustainable systems such as a solar array that offsets a quarter of the facility’s electricity needs, LED interior lighting, electric car charging stations, an Integrated Landfill Diversion Plan to make it easier to recycle and compost, a rainwater harvesting system and an adaptive greywater harvesting program to conserve potable water. According to the architects, B-Austin is set to become “the first mixed-use multifamily community in Austin, and possibly the first in the state, to use greywater recycling.” + Clark Richardson Architects Images via Clark Richardson Architects

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Award-winning B-Austin Community Project champions communal and sustainable living

How shared space makes four micro apartments in Japan seem much larger

November 30, 2016 by  
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Sometimes, size really doesn’t matter. Designed by Osamu Nishida and Erika Nakagawa from ON Design & Partners , the Yokohama Apartment complex features four micro residential units measuring around 215 square feet each. Despite such reduced dimensions, clever design ensures the small spaces feel expansive and livable. Magic especially resides in a shared open-air courtyard conceived as a living-room and a kitchen that doubles as an art gallery for the four artists living upstairs. With 1636 square feet of total floor area, the Yokohama Apartment building is subdivided into two levels. The common space on the ground level is canopied by the private residential floor, which is cut into four parts, and each unit has its own access coming up from the ground floor. Twisted stairs provide access without compromising tenants’ privacy. The ground floor is a covered open air piazza that provides common and private storage rooms, a micro kitchen unit and a dining room. This area is used for exhibitions, workshops, presentations, debates and other art activities. Related: Slice of the City home in Japan uses bold angles to solve tricky space restrictions Yokohama Apartment comprises brilliant Japanese design that maximizes every single inch. Unfortunately, this great invention mirrors a turning point in Japanese society, whereby poverty and unemployment, particularly among young people, forces innovation. Sharing space offers a bright alternative to the small and introverted dwellings common in Japan today. This societal concern was raised by Yoshiyuki Yamana, the curator of the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture earlier this year ; he chose the Yokohama Apartment project as an example of how to successfully adapt to the country’s new social condition . + ON Design & Partners + Venice Biennale Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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How shared space makes four micro apartments in Japan seem much larger

Thriving student village allows fauna and flora to flourish

July 13, 2016 by  
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The built environment ensures that fauna and flora can flourish uninhibited by human presence, embracing the traditional modes of communal living and shared resources. But instead of only benefitting rural communities, this project translates traditional modes of living for modern urbanites, allowing families to live in an affordable community with lush outdoor space and a good school for their children. RELATED: Israel’s greenest building produces more energy than it consumes Comprised of 215 housing units connected by seven walking paths, the village is located near the main entrance of Technion University and includes a community center, preschool classrooms and a multipurpose hall that serves as a social hub. Graduate students’ families and small children can safely walk to these facilities without the danger of crossing the street. The ecologically-built facades were oriented on a north–south facing slope, providing optimal climate conditions and verdant views. The buildings were constructed with inexpensive and natural materials including stone, concrete, wood and plaster. As for the surrounding topography, it was left to grow as wild as can be – just the way it should be. + Schwartz Besnosoff Architects + Bar Orian Architects All images by Laura Mordas-Schenkein for Inhabitat

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Thriving student village allows fauna and flora to flourish

ESA-funded SABRE aircraft to travel 5x faster than the speed of sound

July 13, 2016 by  
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Flights on Earth and beyond are about to get really fast. UK company Reaction Engines just signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop their revolutionary SABRE engine, which uses cutting-edge technology to speed up travel. The 10 million Euro ($11 million) deal could not only help change the way astronauts reach space , but could also transform the way we get from place to place on our own planet. SABRE, which stands for Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, utilizes ” atmospheric air ” to propel it at first before switching to “rocket mode” to reach space. According to the ESA, “The end result of this made-in-Europe technology would be low-cost, reliable, and reusable engines, potentially enabling future vehicles that could perform the equivalent job of today’s rockets while operating like an aircraft – revolutionizing access to space.” Related: Air-Breathing SABRE Rocket Could Allow Aircrafts to Cruise at Five Times the Speed of Sound SABRE would also allow aircrafts on Earth to jet around at five times the speed of sound . According to Reaction Engines, that means a trip from Brussels to Sydney with 300 passengers would take only 4.6 hours instead of 21. The new ESA funding will allow Reaction Engines to continue developing a ” ground demonstrator ” SABRE engine, which they hope to have ready by the close of this decade. Reaction Engines CEO Mark Thomas said in a press release, “We’ve had valuable support from ESA and UKSA to date, and today’s agreement is a further vote of confidence not only in the revolutionary potential of this technology , but our ability to deliver it. We are now entering an exciting phase where we can accelerate the pace of development to get SABRE up and running.” In total, Reaction Engines received 60 million pounds of grant funding from the British government (that’s close to $80 million). Money came from ESA and the UK Space Agency . UK Space Agency Acting CEO Katherine Courtney said, “We want the UK to be the best place in Europe to innovate and the SABRE engine program has the potential to change air and space travel forever.” + Reaction Engines Images via Reaction Engines

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ESA-funded SABRE aircraft to travel 5x faster than the speed of sound

Refugees Welcome is the sharing economy’s response to the crisis in Europe

September 17, 2015 by  
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The sharing economy has brought innovative responses to everything from reducing food waste to getting around town , so what could it do in the face of the unfolding European migrant crisis, now regularly described as the worst migration crisis since World War Two? Seeing the negativity facing migrants and feeling compassion for their plight, four young Germans have established Refugees Welcome , a service placing refugees into share accommodation with locals to help them integrate into their new environment. After successfully matching 134 refugees with housemates, Refugees Welcome have been overwhelmed with offers of support and accommodation, as well as inquiries about setting up similar systems in other countries. Read on for details about how it all works. Read the rest of Refugees Welcome is the sharing economy’s response to the crisis in Europe

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Incredible Napmobile lets you test drive a cozy mattress on the road

September 17, 2015 by  
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Cell phone warning system keeps Chile safe through 8.3 magnitude earthquake

September 17, 2015 by  
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Just before 8PM local time yesterday evening, a massive earthquake rocked Chile . The 8.3 magnitude quake caused buildings to bend and sway, grocery store shelves to spill goods into aisles, and waves over 3.5 meters (more than 11 feet) high to smash against the coastline. Over one million people have been evacuated, but luckily, thanks to a successful cell phone warning system, the death toll is very low. Read the rest of Cell phone warning system keeps Chile safe through 8.3 magnitude earthquake

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Cell phone warning system keeps Chile safe through 8.3 magnitude earthquake

Pedro Barata flipped a shipping container in Brazil to create the world’s largest periscope

September 17, 2015 by  
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Two supermassive black holes are heading for a cosmic mega-collision

September 17, 2015 by  
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If you’re weary, feelin’ small, remember that somewhere out there, two supermassive black holes are heading for a cosmic mega-collision. Earlier this year, astronomers at Caltech identified a cosmic event that is occurring 3.5 billion light years from Earth: two supermassive black holes spiraling helplessly towards each other. Recent work by researchers at Columbia University adds further evidence that indeed the black holes are on a collision course. The consequences are not yet completely clear, but this meeting will certainly be cataclysmic for nearby stars and planets. Read the rest of Two supermassive black holes are heading for a cosmic mega-collision

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Four couples create a rustic cabin compound on a communal plot in Texas

April 16, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Four couples create a rustic cabin compound on a communal plot in Texas Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , collecting rainwater , communal living , communal spaces , Green Building , low impact architecture , low impact housing , Matt Garcia , natural light , rainwater capture , texas , tiny homes

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Four couples create a rustic cabin compound on a communal plot in Texas

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