Nature-inspired housing mimics the curvature of the landscape in Chongqing

October 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Nature-inspired housing mimics the curvature of the landscape in Chongqing

International design practice Safdie Architects recently completed the Eling Residences, a nature-inspired housing development built to look like an extension of the highest plateau of Eling Hill in Chongqing , China. Elevated high above the Yangtze River, the residences are nestled in a densely forested environment yet enjoy close proximity to the city. In addition to optimizing residents’ access to natural light, ventilation and greenery, each unit is also equipped with a private balcony for indoor-outdoor living. Completed this year in the city’s Yuzhong District, the Eling Residences cover an area of 460,000 square feet with 126 apartments. The architects took cues from the existing slope to develop the various building designs, which change from terraced structures at the bottom of the hill to a pair of freestanding dome-shaped villas near the top. The stepped configuration and layout also helps ensure that every apartment enjoys uninterrupted views of the landscape. In addition to the apartment units, the Eling Residences also features a four-story clubhouse, multiple pools and additional recreational areas. According to the architects, these amenities not only help build a sense of community but are also reflective of the firm’s commitment to design spaces with humanizing scale and vibrant social atmospheres. Unlike the concrete jungle that defines much of Chongqing, the Eling Residences feels like a retreat into nature thanks to ample landscaping, organic curved forms and the use of a natural materials palette . Related: A sprawling green roof fuses this community center with Chongqing’s mountainous landscape “Complementing the sloped low-rise buildings is an intricate landscape system, which interweaves terraces , gardens, trellises, overlooks, stairs and promenades throughout the site,” the architects said. “The combination of landscape and architecture works together to evoke the character of lush, hanging gardens, integrating the project site with the green oasis of Eling Park. The terraced levels maximize residents’ access to light, air and greenery, while architectural screens partially shade individual apartments, extending living spaces outward into the garden landscape.” + Safdie Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Safdie Architects, by ArchExist

Original post:
Nature-inspired housing mimics the curvature of the landscape in Chongqing

This eco-friendly wooden laptop is designed to curb e-waste

September 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This eco-friendly wooden laptop is designed to curb e-waste

The innovators at iameco (“I Am Eco”) have created a new sustainable laptop to accompany their lineup of eco-friendly tech, including a desktop model and computer accessories. The Dublin group took a look at computers on the market and became frustrated with the e-waste , the earth-damaging materials and the toxic chemicals used in mainstream technology. So, the team decided to do something about it by first creating an eco-friendly, touchscreen PC and then a new wooden laptop with the same environmental principles as their original product. The sustainability of iameco products starts with the design, which focuses on longevity. The company claims that its computers run about three times longer than other products on the market. With systems that last up to 10 years, this green technology creates quite a reduction in the stream of e-waste. We know what you might be thinking — the world of technology moves too fast for any computer to be useful for 10 years. Well, iameco has that covered, too. The engineers created a modular design, meaning that individual components of the laptops can be updated as they wear out or upgrades become available. Related: Wooden-framed “iameco” computer reduces environmental impacts In addition to making interchangeable parts to reduce waste, the company also eliminated the toxic chemicals used in common manufacturing, such as lead, cadmium, mercury, PVCs and brominated flame retardants. That means a healthier user as well as a healthier planet. Plus, the laptops use one-third less energy than other models available and have ditched the petroleum-based plastics found in standard computers. Instead, the team uses natural ash, maple and beech harvested from sustainable forests for the laptops’ construction. The d4r laptop model cuts 75 percent off the required water consumption during production and achieves a 70 percent reuse and recycling rate. Meanwhile, the company’s v.3 touchscreen computer is the first to ever receive the EU Eco Flower certification, which enforces stringent environmental standards. The company didn’t stop with computers — iameco also designs durable accessories, like keyboards and computer mice, made out of sustainable wood. In an industry with few accolades in the earth-friendly category, iameco comes out a clear winner for smart design, durability, interchangeability and e-waste reduction. + iameco Images via iameco

See the rest here: 
This eco-friendly wooden laptop is designed to curb e-waste

Valuable wetlands are disappearing 3 times faster than forests, new study warns

September 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Valuable wetlands are disappearing 3 times faster than forests, new study warns

Wetlands around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. New research shows that these valuable ecosystems are vanishing at a rate three times that of forests . Unless significant changes are made, the disappearance of wetlands could cause severe damage around the globe. The Global Wetland Outlook , which was completed by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, found that more than a third of the wetlands on Earth have disappeared over a 45-year period. The pace that wetlands are vanishing jumped significantly after the year 2000, and regions all over the planet were impacted equally. Unfortunately, there is a handful of reasons why wetlands are diminishing around the world. This includes climate change , urbanization, human population growth and variable consumption patterns, all of which have contributed to the way land is used. Related: Natural wetland in India filters 198 million gallons of wastewater a day with zero chemicals There are several different types of wetlands found on Earth, including marshes, lakes, peatlands and rivers. Lagoons, coral reefs , mangroves and estuaries also fall into the wetland category. In total, wetlands take up more than 12.1 million square kilometers, an area larger than Greenland. Wetlands are crucial, because they provide almost all of the world’s access to freshwater — something that is key to survival. Humans also use wetlands for hydropower and medicines. From an environmental perspective, wetlands help retain carbon and regulate global warming . They also serve as the ecosystems for 40 percent of living species on Earth, providing food, water, breeding spaces and raw materials for these animals to live. If the wetlands keep vanishing at the current rate, many species will go as well. “The Global Wetland Outlook is a wake-up call — not only on the steep rate of loss of the world’s wetlands but also on the critical services they provide. Without them, the global agenda on sustainable development will not be achieved,” said Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. “We need urgent collective action to reverse trends on wetland loss and degradation and secure both the future of wetlands and our own survival at the same time.” With wetlands in danger of disappearing, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has pledged to make saving these regions a top priority. The parties involved with the group have targeted 2,300 sites for protection and hope to expand that to include more wetlands around the globe. + Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Image via Jeanethe Falvey / EPA

Here is the original post: 
Valuable wetlands are disappearing 3 times faster than forests, new study warns

MIT develops a sustainable, mass timber-building prototype modeled after the longhouse

September 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on MIT develops a sustainable, mass timber-building prototype modeled after the longhouse

As sustainability measures become increasingly important in new construction, architects around the world are turning toward mass timber — even for large-scale projects. A workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to exploring the design and engineering potential of wood-based technologies and recently unveiled one such example that can even be turned into an energy producer. Dubbed the Longhouse, the mass timber -building prototype is modeled after the traditional building type of the same name that has been historically used as a place for community gatherings. Led by research scientist John Klein, the cross-disciplinary team at the MIT Mass Timber Design workshop that developed the Longhouse prototype studied how mass timber products can be used to create modern buildings. Research has shown that mass timber structures have a lower carbon footprint than their conventional building counterparts and can be engineered for substantial strength and fire resistance. Moreover, greater use of mass timber technology could lead to improved forest management and restoration. The MIT Longhouse prototype would serve as a multifunctional building that could accommodate a variety of events, from co-working, exercise classes, social gatherings, exhibitions, lectures and more. To create a flexible and open-plan interior, the building would be engineered with a series of timber laminated veneer lumber (LVL) arches that are 40 feet tall at the central peak and span 50 feet across. Each arch uses a thin-walled triangular profile and would be prefabricated in sections and then assembled on site for a fast and efficient construction process. Related: The nation’s largest timber office building is coming to Newark The building is also designed to follow passive solar principles while its sawtooth roof would allow for ample natural daylighting and could accommodate solar panels. The MIT Mass Timber Design workshop will present its Longhouse design at the Maine Mass Timber Conference this October. + MIT Mass Timber Design workshop Images via MIT Mass Timber Design

Original post: 
MIT develops a sustainable, mass timber-building prototype modeled after the longhouse

The Clifftop House is dramatically perched atop a challenging cliff edge

September 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on The Clifftop House is dramatically perched atop a challenging cliff edge

When Brisbane design studio Joe Adsett Architects was asked to redevelop a “poorly constructed ‘character house’” in Teneriffe into a modern abode for a family of seven, the team faced several challenges. One was the existing property, which could not be raised or lifted, meaning that the only buildable land left was a small sliver that lay between the existing home and clifftop. Fortunately, the clients were amenable to the idea of building a three-story cliff-edge extension on the challenging site, which led to the creation of the Clifftop House, an energy-efficient home with dramatic views of the river to the northeast. In spite of a landslide that occurred during the design process, the architects said the clients held fast to the idea of a clifftop home, “recognizing the advantages outweighed the risks.” To accommodate the family of seven, the architects began with the floor plan of the existing home and divided it into quadrants — the rear quadrant connects to the extension — and split the bedrooms between the original house and the extension while placing the main communal areas on the ground floor. An additional family room and accessible green roof are located on the third floor. The extension was mainly built of concrete and set on a very thin slab — a feat accomplished thanks to close collaboration with the engineer and 3D modeling software. The concrete facade was deliberately exposed with a weathered finish, while timber window frames and cladding help soften the Brutalist expression. The use of thick concrete also has the advantage of thermal mass. “Clifftop House makes a meaningful contribution to innovation and excellence in environmental sustainability through the concrete structure being used in a manner similar to ‘reverse brick veneer construction’,” the architects said. Related: Modscape’s Cliff House hangs perilously over a cliff’s edge in Australia To minimize unwanted external heat gain, the cladding is isolated from the walls with timber battens and wall wrap. Recessed windows are fitted with low-E glass and solid timber louvers are also shaded with deep concrete eaves. Natural light penetrates deep into the home thanks to central voids, which also allow for cross ventilation. A 22-meter-long swimming pool placed along the cliff edge also promotes cooling breezes. + Joe Adsett Architects Images by Scott Burrows

View post:
The Clifftop House is dramatically perched atop a challenging cliff edge

The off-grid Eucalyptus tiny home radiates cool, Californian vibes

September 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on The off-grid Eucalyptus tiny home radiates cool, Californian vibes

Canada-based  Minimaliste Houses knows a thing or two about building tiny homes that stand up to harsh winters, but even when charged with building a home for the California coast, the designers used many of the same principles to create an energy-efficient and durable structure. The 28 foot-long Eucalyptus tiny home is completely off-grid , relying on roof-top solar panels, tight thermal insulation and natural light to make the home completely self-sustaining. When the builders were approached by a client who wanted a tiny home to live on the California coast, there’s no doubt that they felt it would be an easy project. However, the client also requested a structure that would have a strong resell value years down the line for potential buyers looking to live in a colder climate. This meant that the tiny house had to be durable to withstand various climates for years to come. The result is a gorgeous, custom tiny home that boasts a timeless design for virtually any location. Completely off the grid, the structure generates its own power thanks to a large grid of 260-watt solar panels on the roof. The energy hub of the home is comprised of eight batteries and a 4,000-watt inverter to power the home’s electrical needs, including all of the kitchen appliances. Related: 8 tiny homes built tough for off-grid living In addition to its energy efficiency, the tiny home has a fresh, modern aesthetic. The exterior is clad in white cedar panels, creating a contemporary cabin-like feel that continues through the interior. Inside, ultra high-ceilings add more space for the dual sleeping lofts and create room for people of above-average heigh t. The floors and ceiling are also clad in wood panels that contrast nicely with the all-white walls. The design is open and airy, with an abundance of natural light thanks to various large windows around the home. From the living room, a stairwell with hidden storage leads up to the main bedroom. A unique hand rail made of steel pipes adds an industrial touch to the design. On the other side of the living room is a loft area, which can be used as a reading space or guest room. The bathroom is compact, but there’s enough space for a large stand-up shower, combo washer and dryer and composting toilet . At the heart of the home is the kitchen. Typically an area that is cramped and dark, the Eucalyptus’ kitchen is anything but. The U-shaped kitchen is lined with bamboo countertops that add extra space for the client, who loves to cook. There’s a large sink, propane oven and even a floor-to-ceiling pantry that slides out to provide plenty of storage for culinary staples. + Minimaliste Houses Photography by JP Marquis via Minimaliste

Read more: 
The off-grid Eucalyptus tiny home radiates cool, Californian vibes

Plastic-eating mushrooms are the new superheroes in combating the growing waste crisis

September 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Plastic-eating mushrooms are the new superheroes in combating the growing waste crisis

A new study from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London says that fungi are capable of expediting the breakdown of plastic waste. The aspergillus tubingensis fungus was featured in the  State of the World’s Fungi 2018 report , which also documented that fungi are optimal in producing sustainable building materials and capable of removing pollutants from soil and wastewater. Whereas plastic generally takes years to degrade, the mushroom, first discovered growing in a Pakistani dump in 2017, could make it possible to break down the pollutants in weeks. The 2018 report is the first release of its kind, marking its debut with the monumental discovery that mushrooms could provide a solution to the growing plastic waste crisis. The global concern has spurred research and innovation in the design and tech industries, but U.K. botanists say that nature might have already provided an answer by arming itself with a biological defense against the plastic plague with which it is overwhelmed. Related: Scientists reveal new technique to make biofuel from mushroom waste Because its properties catalyze the deterioration of plastic molecules, the report announced that aspergillus tubingensis “has potential to be developed into one of the tools desperately needed to address the growing environmental problem of plastic waste .” According to the scientists, the mushroom has the ability to grow directly on the surface of plastics, where it breaks down the chemical bonds between the plastic molecules. Armed with a unique enzyme that is secreted by the sprout, aspergillus tubingensis is one of the most interesting fungi featured in the team’s research paper. The report also confirmed that white rot varieties of fungus like pleurotus ostratus and trametes versicolor have a beneficial effect on soil and wastewater, removing pesticides, dyes and explosive remnants. The trichoderma species has been identified as a stimulant for producing biofuels through its conversion of agricultural waste into ethanol sugars. Fungal mycelium is also notable, especially for designers and architects interested in finding sustainable replacements for polystyrene foam, leather and several building materials. Tom Prescott, senior researcher at Kew Gardens,  told Dezeen , “The State of the World’s Fungi report has been a fascinating look into the fungal kingdom, revealing how little we know and the huge potential for fungi in areas as diverse as biofuels, pharmaceuticals and novel materials.” The State of the World’s Fungi report documents more than 2,000 new species found in 2017, identifying useful characteristics for both natural and industrial purposes as well as citing the obstacles they encounter as a result of climate change . More than 100 scientists from 18 countries collaborated on the study and cataloged the new mushrooms for the Kew Gardens “fungarium,” which houses over 1.25 million dried specimens of fungi from all over the planet. + State of the World’s Fungi 2018   Via Dezeen Image via Pree Bissessur

See the original post here:
Plastic-eating mushrooms are the new superheroes in combating the growing waste crisis

A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan

September 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan

Taipei-based design practice BIAS Architects recently completed “Greenhouse as a Home,” an experimental installation that reinterprets the living areas of a traditional house as five climatic zones. Created for the 2018 Taoyuan Green Expo, the project invited the public to experience the buildings with all five senses, from feeling the climatic differences to eating fresh vegetables hydroponically grown in the installation. Greenhouse as a Home consists of five independent yet interconnected steel grid structures with varying heights and climates ranging from 16 to 29 degrees Celsius (61 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit). Greenhouse as a Home was developed to promote a “culture of sustainability” with its interactive programmatic zones conducive to education. “Here, the human living space is intertwined with that of the plants and organized according to climatic zones, rather than traditional architectural areas,” the architects explained. “ Greenhouses building materials and structures are arranged to separate climatic areas, while the distribution of water and energy flows is technologically managed. The roof is covered with various combinations of agricultural gauzes and plastic films to control lighting and solar radiation.” The experimental project is divided into five structures: the Fern Living Room, Farm Dining, Photosynthesis Kitchen, Sun Garden and Theater of Mushroom. A defined walking path links the different volumes. The first zone visitors experience is the Fern Living Room, a shadowy and humid space dressed with potted ferns hung from the ceiling. The next room, Farm Dining, is slightly hotter and less humid and serves as the main activity zone organized around a large table. Related: 6 places where soil-less farming is revolutionizing how we grow food A vertical hydroponic farm is located in the Photosynthesis Kitchen, the middle zone where fresh vegetables are picked daily and cooked in the demonstration kitchen. The fourth zone, the Sun Garden, is the hottest and driest room of all and is used to desiccate vegetables. The fifth and final zone, the Theater of Mushroom, immerses visitors into a dark, highly humid environment with the coolest temperatures in the entire installation; the multisensory space is complemented by light and sound performances. + BIAS Architects Images by Rockburger

Originally posted here:
A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan

A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan

September 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan

Taipei-based design practice BIAS Architects recently completed “Greenhouse as a Home,” an experimental installation that reinterprets the living areas of a traditional house as five climatic zones. Created for the 2018 Taoyuan Green Expo, the project invited the public to experience the buildings with all five senses, from feeling the climatic differences to eating fresh vegetables hydroponically grown in the installation. Greenhouse as a Home consists of five independent yet interconnected steel grid structures with varying heights and climates ranging from 16 to 29 degrees Celsius (61 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit). Greenhouse as a Home was developed to promote a “culture of sustainability” with its interactive programmatic zones conducive to education. “Here, the human living space is intertwined with that of the plants and organized according to climatic zones, rather than traditional architectural areas,” the architects explained. “ Greenhouses building materials and structures are arranged to separate climatic areas, while the distribution of water and energy flows is technologically managed. The roof is covered with various combinations of agricultural gauzes and plastic films to control lighting and solar radiation.” The experimental project is divided into five structures: the Fern Living Room, Farm Dining, Photosynthesis Kitchen, Sun Garden and Theater of Mushroom. A defined walking path links the different volumes. The first zone visitors experience is the Fern Living Room, a shadowy and humid space dressed with potted ferns hung from the ceiling. The next room, Farm Dining, is slightly hotter and less humid and serves as the main activity zone organized around a large table. Related: 6 places where soil-less farming is revolutionizing how we grow food A vertical hydroponic farm is located in the Photosynthesis Kitchen, the middle zone where fresh vegetables are picked daily and cooked in the demonstration kitchen. The fourth zone, the Sun Garden, is the hottest and driest room of all and is used to desiccate vegetables. The fifth and final zone, the Theater of Mushroom, immerses visitors into a dark, highly humid environment with the coolest temperatures in the entire installation; the multisensory space is complemented by light and sound performances. + BIAS Architects Images by Rockburger

View post:
A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan

This tiny home is afforded extra space thanks to a large deck

September 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on This tiny home is afforded extra space thanks to a large deck

Barlo Smith and Shona Macpherson are putting a unique twist on the tiny house revolution. The Australian couple has spent the last 20 years in the carpentry world and recently put their expertise to the test building the first  tiny home for their company, Sowelo Tiny Houses. Smith and Macpherson’s new tiny house, called Sowelo, accommodates six people and features dual loft rooms (complete with skylights), a downstairs lounge and 26 square feet of outdoor deck space. According to New Atlas , the structure meets every legal housing standard in Australia . The tiny home is only 26 feet long, 8 feet wide and 14 feet high, but it feels quite spacious. Related: This gorgeous tiny home is perfect for entertaining guests For the couple, maximizing the amount of space and keeping everything environmentally friendly was the top goal in the design. The Sowelo tiny home is powered by solar energy and is made from FSC-certified plywood. The insulation is made out of recycled polyester, and the house is completely free of any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in building materials such as glues and paints. The couple tested the model in a range of climates in Australia, including the sweltering heat and bitter cold. So far, the home has stood up to whatever Mother Nature can throw its way. It also features an outdoor deck that substantially increases the size of the home. Not only does the deck provide more space for entertaining guests, but it also boasts a grow-wall feature complete with its own watering setup. Inside, the Sowelo house includes a living room, two sleeping lofts , a kitchen and a sweet little reading nook. The kitchen has a stainless steel oven, gas stove, fridge and sink. The home also features a pull-out dining table and plenty of storage space. Following the success of this first model, the couple are selling the Sowelo units for about $87,000. If you need a little more space, additional modules are available starting at $22,000 apiece. + Sowelo Tiny Houses Images via Sowelo Tiny Houses

See more here:
This tiny home is afforded extra space thanks to a large deck

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1049 access attempts in the last 7 days.