Mark+Vivi convert a tire shop into an artsy, energy-efficient live/work studio

December 9, 2016 by  
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Look inside Mark+Vivi’s live/work studio and it’s hard to imagine that this beautiful light-filled space used to be a 1920s tire shop. The dramatic transformation from industrial roots to a new chic appearance is a testament to the skills of Mark+Vivi, an interdisciplinary design/build studio based on Montreal, Canada. Located in the transitioning city of Verdun, Quebec, the studio, named the Tire Shop Project, consumes 35 to 50% less energy than similar sized homes in the city thanks to energy-efficient retrofits like double-glazed windows and an inverter ducted heating and cooling system. The Tire Shop was Mark+Vivi’s inaugural project that functioned as the designers’ live/work studio and the home to La Façade Art + Architecture, a storefront gallery dedicated to the exhibition of local contemporary art and experimental architecture. Sustainability was at the heart of the 800-square-foot renovation , from the reuse of the building to the designers’ focus on passive energy design. “One of the greatest sustainable aspects of our building is not what was used to revitalise it but rather how we live because of it,” said designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera. Related: JZA+D transforms a defunct Princeton gas station into a pumping pizza joint Mark+Vivi preserved the original building footprint but replaced all of the windows with double-glazed, low-E units. A shop window with commercial-grade storefront glazing was added in the front to show off the art on the display. All the internal floors, shelving, and cabinetry were built from locally sourced Canadian plywood , and the painted and exposed surfaces were finished in low-VOC treatments. An energy-efficient 12,000-btu interior wall-mounted inverter ducted system provides all the heating and cooling. Natural light floods the interior, which further minimized energy use. The Tire Shop project was completed at a cost of $150 per square foot, a considerable savings from the typical $200-$350 per square foot for new construction of projects of comparable size in Montreal. + Mark+Vivi Via v2com Images by Adrien Williams

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Mark+Vivi convert a tire shop into an artsy, energy-efficient live/work studio

Check out the world’s first lights powered by micro-sphere solar cells

December 9, 2016 by  
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Sphelar Power , makers of the world’s first “micro-sphere” solar cell, have declared “flatness is over” when it comes to solar power generation. The Japan-based company is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to back two products : the Sphelar Lantern and the Sphelar Stick. Both are powered by onboard solar cells that integrated right into the product and generate electricity passively when exposed to sunlight. Although the campaign is lagging behind on its fundraising goal, there is still time left to see this project advance to the next phase of production. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_ATpCFKvIY When Inhabitat first covered Sphelar’s spherical solar cell in 2012, the product was still in its infancy but showed enormous promise. At that time, the rounded solar cells challenged solar industry standards with their unique ability to capture sunlight from all angles simultaneously. Traditional flat solar panels must be angled directly toward the sun for maximum efficiency, but Sphelar’s design eliminates that fussiness. Related: Revolutionary Sphelar spherical solar cells capture sunlight from all directions Sphelar’s new products—a stylish modern lantern and a pocket-sized flashlight—incorporate the multi-directional solar cells and LEDs in new, portable lighting products. The Sphelar Lantern promises a 4-6 hour charging time for full battery capacity, which can power the light source for up to four hours. The Sphelar Stick provides up to four hours of light when fully charged, and can be recharged before the battery is fully drained. As of the time of this report, Sphelar has raised just over $7,000 of its $20,000 goal with six days remaining in the Kickstarter campaign . If the goal is met, the company aims to expand its production. Currently, the Lantern and Stick are only available inside Japan, but Sphelar hopes to broaden its reach and share its multi-directional solar technology with the world, one light at a time. + Sphelar Power on Kickstarter Images via Sphelar Power

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Check out the world’s first lights powered by micro-sphere solar cells

$10 million project to test universal basic income in the US

December 9, 2016 by  
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Could a universal basic income (UBI) be the answer to income inequality in an increasingly automated world? One US group is investing $10 million to find out. The Economic Security Project is a coalition of investors, activists, and technology companies committed to spending the next two years exploring the feasibility of a UBI for US citizens. The work will follow up on previous trials of the UBI , which have shown promising but inconsistent results. (Advocates of the idea claim the programs were under-funded and too short-lived to prove the concept one way or another .) Research has generally shown direct cash transfers to be more helpful than other forms of aid in poor nations, but it’s unclear exactly how matters will play out in a more developed country. Related: Ontario is rolling out a basic income test for citizens living under the poverty line The ESP funds will be used in a variety of ways over the next two years: while there will be some unconditional cash stipends delivered to US citizens, it appears that work will mainly be done through state and local basic income campaigns rather than the organization itself. Some of the funds will also be donated to fund nonprofit research into the best ways to implement UBI and on advocacy efforts to influence political policy. While a universal income may sound like a handout, proponents of the idea believe it will become increasingly necessary as technology advances. One high-profile backer is Elon Musk , who recently told CNBC he believes in the near future, there simply won’t be enough jobs to keep the economy afloat otherwise. But his vision of the future isn’t completely grim: he believes we’ll simply adapt and use our newfound leisure time on more interesting hobbies instead of work. Via The Independent Images via Steven Depolo and Tracy O

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$10 million project to test universal basic income in the US

Gorgeous Grotto Sauna Boasts Stunning Lakeside Views and a Wooden, Dream-like Interior

November 26, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous Grotto Sauna Boasts Stunning Lakeside Views and a Wooden, Dream-like Interior Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cedar , doubled glazed glass , energy efficient architecture , energy efficient sauna , Grotto Sauna , insulation , lake huron , Leica 3D scanner , PARTISANS , San Souci Island , sauna , toronto , triple glazed glass

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Gorgeous Grotto Sauna Boasts Stunning Lakeside Views and a Wooden, Dream-like Interior

Skanska and Foster + Partners are Creating the World’s First 3D Printing Robot

November 26, 2014 by  
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Swedish concrete manufacturer Skansa and architecture firm Foster + Partners  have teamed up to create the first 3D-printing concrete robot in the history of construction. The team is using 3D printing technology to print high-performance concrete which could someday be used to construct buildings, not only saving time and money, but unlocking the potential to create almost any structure an architect can imagine. Read the rest of Skanska and Foster + Partners are Creating the World’s First 3D Printing Robot Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printer , 3D printing , 3D printing architecture , 3D printing concrete , 3D Printing Robot , Foster + Partners , Foster + Partners 3D printing robot , Norman + Foster 3D Printing , Norman Foster , printing concrete , Skanksa 3D robot , Skanska , Skanska 3D printing , Skanska concret

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Skanska and Foster + Partners are Creating the World’s First 3D Printing Robot

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