A sustainable campus is built from 22 recycled shipping containers

September 20, 2018 by  
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The International Sustainable Development Studies Institute in Thailand is taking its own teachings to heart with the an eco-friendly campus crafted from 22 recycled shipping containers. Now, the institute has a clear example when teaching students about the importance of upcycling and sustainability, plus plenty of space for educating on tree conservation, urban farming, waste management and more. As an institution aimed at teaching others about sustainability, the ISDSI made every effort to minimize any impact throughout the building process. Starting with a bare lot full of trees , the final design saved all but two of the acacia wood grove by using a skilled crane operator to maneuver the shipping containers into place around the existing landscape. They also scrutinized the amount of concrete that was necessary and took steps to avoid greenhouse gas emissions. Related: 13 shipping containers are reborn as a new restaurant on Treasure Island The  shipping containers were hand-selected with the end design in mind, so when each showed up on site, it had a specific purpose. Once the containers were properly stacked, builders began to cut out portions of the massive metal boxes in order to create windows, doors, decks and connecting open-air walkways. To take the sustainable design one step further, none of the cut metal went to waste, as it was turned into interior walls, doors, sinks, bathroom stalls and a kiosk and welcome counter in the cafe and gym. The complex also includes classrooms, conference rooms, a kitchen and plenty of outdoor spaces. The entire project took about nine months to complete. In addition to reusing containers slotted for melt-down recycling on the front end of the project, careful thought went into long-term energy savings from daily operations. For example, the entire campus uses low-energy LED lighting for areas not already lit through copious natural lighting. Proper insulation keeps the campus temperate, but when air conditioning is necessary, each pod has its own unit for efficiency, and most of the units were recycled from old buildings. Outside areas also received a sustainability upgrade with the use of composting , an on-campus garden, plants and green spaces, all intended to help support the soil and provide fresh air. + The International Sustainable Development Studies Institute Images via ISDSI

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A sustainable campus is built from 22 recycled shipping containers

Worlds largest Victorian glasshouse receives a glorious restoration

September 20, 2018 by  
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After five years of restoration work, the iconic Temperate House recently reopened to the public, bringing with it an astounding 10,000 plants — many of which are rare and threatened. Designed by Decimus Burton and completed in 1899, the Temperate House is the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse and the iconic landmark of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew . To restore the building back to its full glory, Donald Insall Associates was called upon to sensitively renovate the greenhouse and insert modern technology for improved plant cultivation and care. Appointed as the conservation architects in 2012, Donald Insall Associates was tasked with improving the Temperate House for the enjoyment of the public and creating the “best possible conditions for plants.” This included optimizing air flow standards and lighting levels. During the renovation process — the largest in Kew’s history — all botanical specimens were removed save for nine trees considered too significant to risk moving. The structure was then thoroughly cleaned and then fastidiously repainted, while advancements such as new glazing and mechanical ventilation systems were put in place. The Temperate House reopened to the public on May 5, 2018. The massive greenhouse consists of 1,500 species spanning different temperate regions around the world from the Mediterranean and Africa to Asia and island floras. Meanwhile, both the internal and external landscaping have been improved with interpretation facilities and a new dedicated education space on site. Related: Wolfgang Buttress’ Hive is brought back to life in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew “The restoration of the Temperate House has been a complex and immensely rewarding project, recalibrating contemporary understanding of Victorian architecture and the development of past innovations,” said Aimée Felton, lead architect on the project. “New glazing, mechanical ventilation systems, path and bedding arrangements all took their founding principles from Decimus Burton’s own drawings, held within Kew’s archives.” + Donald Insall Associates Via ArchDaily Images by Gareth Gardner, Thomas Erskine

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This sustainable dog house has a green roof and solar-powered fan to keep cool

September 7, 2018 by  
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Green design has touched every aspect of our world, and now even our little furry friends can play their part in living a sustainable lifestyle. Californian firm  Studio Schicketanz has designed a sustainable dog house made with eco-friendly materials that boasts some pretty incredible features. The timber canine cottage has a side green-carpeted ramp that leads up to the green roof , which is installed with a motion-activated water faucet and irrigation system. The architects created the dreamy dog house to be both functional and sustainable. The design was inspired by the firm’s focus on creating “landscape, architecture and interior design with a focused emphasis on livability.” Related: Y-town recycled old refrigerator into a dog house for adopted pup The main volume of the dog house is a traditional box shape with a slightly slanted roof. Inside, the sleeping space is equipped with a built-in floor drain for easy cleaning. Additionally, there is a solar-powered fan that keeps the canines cool during the day. Doggies can also keep an eye on any visitors thanks to tiny peekaboo windows on either side of the home. On the exterior, a hidden compartment stores toys, treats and additional accessories. A green-covered ramp leads up to the green roof, which was integrated into the design to encourage dogs to enjoy some fresh air from the comfort of their own personal space. Adding to the dog’s comfort is a motion-activated water spout on the roof to keep the precious pooches well-hydrated while they people watch from above. To reduce water waste , the drinking fountain is connected to an irrigation system. Related: How to build a green dog house The eco-friendly dog shelter will be on display at the Carmel Canine Cottages Competition from September 11 through September 15. After the event, the structure will be auctioned off, with all funds going to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). + Studio Schicketanz Via Apartment Therapy Images via Studio Schicketanz

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This sustainable dog house has a green roof and solar-powered fan to keep cool

Solar-powered autonomous car could revolutionize travel

September 5, 2018 by  
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There’s finally hope for those tired of waiting on mile-long taxi stands at the airport. Developed by architect Steve Lee of Los Angeles-based Aprilli Design Studio , the Autonomous Travel Suite is a solar-powered electric vehicle that could revolutionize the future of travel and urban design. Lee was inspired to create the driverless  mobile suites to provide travelers with a comfortable door-to-door transportation service, complete with a memory foam mattress, kitchen and mini bar, a washroom and work space. Recently chosen as a finalist in the Radical Innovation Awards , the self-driving hotel suite would be part of an Autonomous Hotel Chain. Conceptualized as a personal rental car and hotel room, the self-driving cars are meant to be an extension of what Lee calls a “parent suite,” offering all of the comforts of a luxury suite while on the road. Related: GM unveils new self-driving car with no pedals and no steering wheel When not in use, the solar-powered cars would charge in a docking facility at the main hotel, of which the mobile unit would serve as an extension. Guests would be able to choose between different room types and sizes at different prices, and they could order custom features, such as a televisions or extra beds. The futuristic design was created with the busy traveler in mind, offering a driverless, door-to-door car service  that would allow guests to work or rest while on the go. The car interiors would include a foam mattress, a wash room and a working space, along with ample storage for luggage. In addition to the comfy living area, the suites would be built with smart glass, which can be dimmed for privacy. At the moment, the driverless hotel suite on wheels is just a concept, but Lee maintains that its real-world cost would be beneficial to travelers. Pricing would be cost-effective, because the solar-powered cars would bundle both transportation and lodging. + Aprilli Design Suite Via Curbed Images via Radical Innovation Awards

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Solar-powered autonomous car could revolutionize travel

Vintage red double decker bus is converted into a cool, retro hotel

September 4, 2018 by  
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For those looking to enjoy a bit of retro flair on their U.K. vacation, this vintage red double decker bus that has been converted into a hotel is just the ticket. Inspired by Agatha Christie’s book  At Bertram’s Hotel , this tour bus evokes a fun 1950s design.  Bertram’s Hotel ‘s two-story interior includes a plush purple lounge area, a classic cocktail bar and even a retro record player. The quirky Bertram’s Hotel is located in the village of Hartland, Devon, just a four-hour drive from London. The bright red double-decker bus is located on a two-acre field surrounded by forest and various farm animals . Related: Berlin’s Hektikfood is a two-story restaurant in an a vintage British double-decker bus The interior of the bus is a vintage playground with furnishings straight out of the 1950s. The ground floor of the bus houses a swanky lounge area with a purple velvet mini settee that shares space with a cool cocktail bar. Guests can enjoy a selection of 1950s hits from the record player while enjoying their classic martinis. In the back of the first floor is the first bedroom, which holds two single beds and a bathroom. Going up to the second level through the stairway, guests will find another peaceful,  light-filled place to enjoy the local scenery. The second floor houses the master bedroom as well as a retro kitchen and small dinette that offers stunning views of the surroundings. When visitors are not in the mood to cook, there is a family-owned bar and restaurant located nearby. Hotel  visitors can enjoy sharing their environment with a host of farm animals on site, including alpacas, pygmy goats, donkeys, chickens and ducks. Nearby, guests can also stroll along the two fishing lakes and head to the British Isles of Hartland Point, which offers incredible coastal views. + Bertram’s Hotel Via Apartment Therapy Photography via Sykes Holiday Cottages

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Vintage red double decker bus is converted into a cool, retro hotel

Beautiful, light-filled home slots into a skinny lot in Vancouver

September 3, 2018 by  
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Faced with a unique lot size of 20 by 200 feet, Canadian design studio Randy Bens Architect was challenged to create a home with a sense of expansiveness despite the property’s back lane-like dimensions. Tapped by boutique builder Moosehead Contracting, the architects teamed up with Falken Reynolds Interiors to complete the Saint George House, a project that proves that beautiful and innovative design is possible even on challenging sites. Interested buyers and design lovers will get the chance to tour the modern home next month during Vancouver’s Interior Design Show. Spanning an area of 2,200 square feet, the Saint George House is split into two volumes, both of which are clad in standing-seam metal and topped with a slanted roof. The lower level houses an open-plan living room, dining area and kitchen and also spills out to a sunny deck with ample entertaining space through massive sliding glass doors. The larger upper volume cantilevers over the deck and contains the private areas, including three bedrooms. Bringing natural light indoors was key to making the home feel spacious, as was the minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired palette of white walls and light-colored timber. Boasting a style that Falken Reynolds Interiors calls “Canadian Nordic,” the bright and airy home is furnished with Bocci lighting, Corian Solid Surface and Quartz, and Bensen furniture with exclusive Raf Simons fabrics. Pops of color, warm textures and connection with the outdoors help establish the home’s cozy character. Related: Couple builds dream solar-powered home on an awkward lot in Rotterdam “The unique site of the 2,200-square-foot (204-square-meter) Saint George Street house inspired us to get creative with our design process and visually create more space,” said Chad Falkenberg, principal of Falken Reynolds. “For example, natural light was a big focus, so we strategically placed 11 skylights to wash walls with natural light and draw the eye into the room, amplifying spaciousness using the technique of Atmospheric Perspective.” + Randy Bens Architect Images by Ema Peters

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Natural stone and an expansive green roof blend the stunning Gozu House into the Andes Mountains

August 30, 2018 by  
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When it comes to creating a serene living space, Medellín-based firm Opus Studio put nature first in their design for the gorgeous Gozu House. Located in the small Colombian province of Antioquia, which sits in the Andes mountains, the home blends into its stunning natural environment with help from its natural stone cladding and expansive green roofs . Sitting at an altitude of 7,200 feet, the 5,000-square-foot family home sits nested into a lush, green valley within the Andes Mountain range. The structure is comprised of three main modules, topped with two undulating green roofs meeting at the center module. The home’s jagged silhouette is designed to mimic the the mountains in the background. Related: A striking timber home with a green roof disappears into a Mexican forest The Gozu House has a subtle presence thanks to its low, elongated volume, which, along with the natural pine wood and stone cladding , virtually camouflages the structure into its natural environment. The entrance of the home sits between the two “wings” of the design. Once inside, the entryway extends into a winding corridor that wraps around the interior, leading to the central living area and the exterior. Large glass panels and sliding doors provide a seamless connection with the outdoor space throughout the home’s layout. At the heart of the design is an open-air courtyard with a swimming pool surrounded by a large wooden deck –  a fun entertainment area for socializing. To create a home that was energy-efficient, the architects relied on a number of passive strategies. For instance, the main living space is oriented to the east to take advantage of the day’s sunlight while the bedrooms face the West to provide shade and privacy. Although the dual green roofs certainly play a part in connecting the home to its surroundings, they also provide an insulative thermal inertia for the living space, reducing the home’s energy needs. + Opus Studio Photography and video by Isaac Ramírez Marín via Opus Studio

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Natural stone and an expansive green roof blend the stunning Gozu House into the Andes Mountains

Reebok develops plant-based sneakers made of cotton and corn

August 24, 2018 by  
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In an act focused on sustainability in an industry known for its heavy environmental impact, Reebok has created its first sneaker made from plant-based materials. The Cotton + Corn initiative, announced in 2017 by the sporting-goods giant, touted the company’s decision to move to plant-based materials as a way to clean up both production and post-consumer use in an industry that typically relies on petroleum in manufacturing. In addition to using 100 percent organic cotton for the shoe’s upper, avoiding the pesticides and herbicides used on traditional cotton, Reebok’s new sneakers use a corn product to create the bioplastic sole. To round out the grown-from-the-earth ingredients, the insole is designed from castor bean oil. The first product from this line to hit the market, the NPC UK Cotton + Corn sneaker, is the first shoe to be certified by the USDA as containing 75 percent bio-based materials. These products are sourced in partnership with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products, a company known for creating bio-based solutions for a variety of markets. Related: The Agraloop turns food waste into sustainable clothing fibers While using these plant-based ingredients is innovative, the overarching work toward sustainable shoes doesn’t stop there. Reebok has a three-part, fully sustainable cycle envisioned for the Cotton + Corn product line that considers production, wear and post-use. It is well on its way to achieving that goal, because the sneakers are completely compostable at the end of their wear cycle. The life cycle continues from there, when that compost is then used for the next generation of shoes. This is in deep contrast to the estimated 20 billion shoes produced annually, nearly all of which eventually end up in the landfill, where they take hundreds of years to decompose. Plus, Reebok has taken the added steps of removing toxic dyes from the production process and shipping the shoes in 100 percent recycled packaging. Related: Biotech company Nanollose could offer plant-free alternatives for the textile industry Following a successful launch, the first run of the new NPC UK Cotton + Corn sneaker is currently sold out. Company representative Lizzy Manno reports that Reebok does not yet have a date for when the shoes will be in stock again, but we certainly can’t wait until these plant-based sneakers are back on the market. + Reebok Images via Reebok Media

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Reebok develops plant-based sneakers made of cotton and corn

Lume Traveler offers panoramic sky views from an open roof

August 23, 2018 by  
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Just when you thought campers couldn’t offer any more incredible features, along comes Lume Traveler , an inconspicuous aluminum trailer with a simple 6-foot-long retractable roof that lets you gaze at the sky while lying in bed. It’s the icing on the cake for a camper that already offers many modern amenities, including an outdoor kitchen and solar panels . Imagine lying on your back in a comfy double bed and simply retracting a 6-foot by 3.6-foot fabric panel that covers most of the camper’s roof, revealing a sweeping view of the sky, day or night. Gaze at constellations, count falling stars or soak up some rays as you get lost in the reverberating orchestra of nature’s sounds. It even has a built-in screen to keep out bugs and other unwanted creatures. When you’re ready to come down to earth, Lume Traveler is just as comfortable and stimulating. The enhanced interior boasts a leather wall, teak floors and a place specially designed to house an optional audio system and 32-inch flat screen TV. Upscale trims include oak, linen, convenient roll-up curtains and gray wool felt wall coverings that repel dirt. Related to: Sleep beneath the Milky Way in these amazing Bubble Domes in Ireland Cooking al fresco is another feature that adds an adventurous aspect to Lume Traveler’s charm. Just open the trailer’s rear hatch to reveal two gas burners perched atop a stainless steel counter. For larger meals, fire up the grill with the extra gas connection. Under the kitchen counter is a 40-liter fridge that slides out for easy access. Meal preparation is a snap with a sink and cutting board combo, and there is ample lower and upper cabinet space for dishes, pots, pans and dry goods. All indoor power is generated by a 100-watt solar panel . All in all, the Lume Traveler combines the joy of the great outdoors, the security of a sound shelter and the basic amenities of home. This innovative trailer is a development inspired by campers who long to convene with nature while still enjoying some modern conveniences. + Lume Traveler Via Curbed Images via Lume Traveler

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Lume Traveler offers panoramic sky views from an open roof

Unusual ellipse-shaped home celebrates a return to nature in Vietnam

August 22, 2018 by  
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There’s no question that the healing powers of nature can do wonders for our well-being, which is why the client behind the V4 House asked Hanoi-based design studio TNT Architects to create a home that felt peaceful and rural despite its suburban setting. In response, the architects created a dwelling that celebrates a return to nature with an immersive garden, swimming pool and unusual pavilion-like form. Located in Vietnam’s Nghe An province in the Nghi Loc district, the V4 House offers a strong connection with the outdoors as well as plenty of gathering spaces for visiting friends and family. Located on a spacious 2,000-square-meter lot in a quiet suburb, the V4 House’s built area only takes up about a quarter of the site with 900 square meters. The majority of the property is landscaped with gardens, including a fruit and vegetable garden. The living spaces are housed in a breezy, pavilion -like structure. Inspired by the traditional northern house vernacular, the main house features an elliptical roof supported by pillars and walls that delineate the interior rooms. The living room, dining room and kitchen are located on the west side of the home while the master suite, three bedrooms, bathrooms and storage are located on the other side; the wine cellar is tucked away underground. A spiral staircase leads up to the accessible landscaped roof that the architects liken to a “garden of Eden.” The roof offers plenty of entertaining space with outdoor furnishings and landscape views. Immediately south of the main house is the indoor swimming pool. Related: Beautiful bamboo arches breathe new life into a bland concrete building “Nowadays, most…people have gone too far away from the villages, so when we wake up in [a] noisy city, our original human ego desires a peaceful green countryside, tranquil forests and blue sky,” note the architects. “It’s the reason for us to create a new house based on the “Old man – new coat” spirit. This design is not only a home for man return to nature but also a place where people connect together.” + TNT Architects Images by Tri?u Chi?n

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