Angular cedar-clad home in New Zealand is designed to go completely off-grid

October 17, 2017 by  
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New Zealand firm Herriot Melhuish Oneill has created a beautiful eco-friendly home deep in the rolling farmland just outside of Wellington. The Peka Peka House is comprised of three cedar boxes with glazed walls that provide views of the breathtaking landscape – and it’s set to be 100% off-grid. The home’s volume is comprised of three connected boxes. The living and dining area are located in the larger box and the bedrooms are in the second cube. These two structures are both clad in a beautiful black-stained cedar with large windows that connect the living spaces with the exterior environment. The third box, which houses the garage and workshop, was built out of profiled-polycarbonate, and “glows” from within at night. Related:See how the “Kiss-Kiss House” snaps in half like a branch to embrace the landscape The home’s orientation was strategic to benefit from the area’s harsh climate. Thanks to the home’s many openings, the interior is naturally ventilated by the afternoon sea breezes. Additionally, the interior courtyard faces north in order protect the space from any strong winds. The home is surrounded by a timber deck that connects the home to its natural surroundings and lets the homeowners enjoy the outdoors comfortably. The Peka Peka house was designed to eventually go 100% off grid . Installed with PV and solar hot water panels, the home produces a lot of its own energy. To conserve that energy, the insulation in the home is above-code insulation, and an exposed, insulated concrete slab under the home helps retain heat. LED lighting is also used throughout the space. + Herriot Melhuish Oneill Via Archdaily Photography by Jason Mann

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Angular cedar-clad home in New Zealand is designed to go completely off-grid

This house made of drought-felled wood is a water-saving wonder

October 5, 2017 by  
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California’s extreme droughts are so dire that students at UC Davis have designed an impressive solar-powered home built out of drought-felled timber and installed with various state-of-the-art water conservation features geared towards California residents. The design of the team’s Our H2Ouse (pronounced “our house”) not only implements various grey water systems to use 50% less potable water than a typical residence, but smart technology with real-time LED displays enables homeowners to monitor and control water flow at every single water line. According to the students from UC Davis, who are currently exhibiting their solar home in this year’s Solar Decathlon event in Denver, they based the design on three main pillars: drought resilience, education, and inclusiveness. Using California-specific strategies in the prototype, the resulting Our H2Ouse is a highly-efficient, net-zero-energy design that is equipped to drastically reduce potable water use. Related: 8 amazing homes that are 100% powered by the sun Geared for the state’s inevitable future droughts, the home was installed with various greywater systems , including a cutting-edge sanitization technology developed at the university. All of the home’s water faucets are equipped with light-up feedback displays to help occupants monitor and control water flow rates at every step. For example, the shower has LED lights that change from blue to red, depending on water use. At the front of the house is a wooden water tank with a gauge that rises and falls to display the daily water usage of the home. According to the team, this smart monitoring system was geared towards overcoming the most unpredictable factor in energy and water conservation : human behavior. By installing smart technologies with real-time displays, the team hopes to bridge the gap between potential and realized water and energy savings. Interestingly, a unique feature of the home’s digitized system allows for sharing usage numbers within a network of users, meaning that eco-minded homeowners can actively participate in not only their own water conservation efforts, but that of the surrounding community. While the heart of the home may be geared to address the state’s water issues, the aesthetic is also a nod to California style. The simple, modern-rustic design reflects the two side of Cali life, urban and rural. To efficiently and sufficiently insulate the home, the team chose to use a 12” thick, bamboo-based , panelized exterior wall system and structural insulated panels (SIPs). This system reduces the home’s carbon footprint to a fraction of a standard residence. All of the wood used in the home was sourced from salvaged California trees  that died due to the state’s severe drought. Because this felled wood is dry and prone to burning, using it in the home design actively helps prevent forest fires. On the interior, the home is well-lit with natural light thanks to large glass doors that lead to the open-air deck. As for the interior furnishings, there are plenty of multi-functional items that were handcrafted by the students themselves, including hollow stools that can be used for storage, and that can be combined to be used as beds or tables. Motion-triggered recessed circadian LED lighting was installed into the flooring to create a modern, but efficient ambience throughout the home. + UC Davis Solar Decathlon Photography by Mike Chino

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This house made of drought-felled wood is a water-saving wonder

Off-grid camping just got so much better with these solar-powered teardrop trailers

October 5, 2017 by  
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Explorers could venture way off the grid thanks to a new collaboration between teardrop trailer maker Vistabule and solar power company Sunflare . Sunflare makes bendy solar panels a few micrometers thick that can be taped to any surface – so they’re the perfect solution to adorn the top of the Vistable camper , conforming to its unique shape. The lightweight solar panels add virtually no weight to the trailer. Vistabule trailers, manufactured by Minnesota Teardrop Trailers, can now be lined with flexible solar panels on their rooftops. Solar energy allows users to turn on lights, charge phones, and cook in the trailer’s full kitchen off-grid . Sunflare CEO Philip Gao said the solar panels can be installed on a new trailer or retrofitted to ones people already own. Related: Sunflare’s new ultra-thin solar “wallpaper” can stick to any surface The trailers feature 1950’s-inspired design, with plenty of space inside for adventurers to store gear, cook dinner, or snuggle up. There’s a full-size sofa bed, collapsible coffee table, and drop-down nightstands inside. A two-burner stovetop and sink with running water allows users to prepare food. Several large windows offer grand views inside the trailer that can be towed by just about any car. With Sunflare solar panels atop the Vistabule trailer can fully charge two smartphones, charge a laptop up to 30 percent, allow campers to switch on the lights and a fan, enable the refrigerator to keep running all day for two and a half days, and run the heater for three hours per day. Sunflare says after that users will probably need to recharge the battery . Minnesota Teardrop Trailers CEO Bert Taylor said in a statement, “When we first started our business, we wanted to make a camping trailer that was beautiful, energy efficient, and would easily blend technology with human comfort. Adding Sunflare solar collection panels to our Vistabule trailers substantially lengthens the time campers can be off the grid, and greatly enhances the entire camping experience.” + Sunflare + Vistabule Images courtesy of Sunflare and Vistabule Facebook

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Off-grid camping just got so much better with these solar-powered teardrop trailers

World’s first solar-powered, indoor vertical farm sprouts in Philadelphia

October 5, 2017 by  
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Future-farming experts Metropolis Farms have opened the world’s first solar powered, indoor vertical farm in the heart of Philadelphia . Although the City of Brotherly Love currently hosts only about eight acres of urban farming due to lack of traditional agricultural land, Metropolis Farms seeks to take advantage of the urban jungle to provide a new model for local agriculture in the city. Rather than receiving sunlight from the open air, the crops will receive concentrated full-spectrum light in a controlled indoor environment. In its latest undertaking, Metropolis Farms has installed a 500 kilowatt solar array composed of over 2,000 solar panels, which will be used to power the indoor vertical operation. The company plans to produce the equivalent of 660 acres of traditional farmland on less than 100,000 square feet. While it may not always be sunny in Philadelphia, the solar panels atop Metropolis Farms are an innovative way to capture energy and redirect it towards an efficient, controlled environment for growing vegetables. “By bringing the growing process indoors, in line with our mission of social responsibility, we are revitalizing abandoned spaces and are using them for local food production,” said Metropolis Farms in a statement. Their technological design is applicable for urban environments regardless of climate , making local, fresh, sustainable food accessible for the billions of people that live in cities across the globe. Related: This brilliant floating farm actually heals the world’s oceans The primary challenge to an efficient indoor growing operation is the high cost of electricity to power the lighting and pumps necessary to keep the plants healthy. Through its use of on-site solar power and further innovations, Metropolis Farms seeks to eventually achieve a zero-carbon farming operation. The company hopes to reveal its latest innovative practices and technology at the 2017 Indoor Ag-Con, which will be hosted by Philadelphia for the first time. Via Clean Technica Images via Metropolis Farms  and Jonas Ingold/Flickr

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World’s first solar-powered, indoor vertical farm sprouts in Philadelphia

EcoCasa Suyana is an sustainable, open-source home project in Argentina

April 27, 2015 by  
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EcoCasa Suyana is a project lead by a couple of young engineers and travelers that is the first ecological, economical and 100% open-source home in Argentina. Suyana means “hope” in Quechua language and idea of EcoCasa Suyana project is to build a green, sustainable, affordable home, that can be a model for the construction of community housing . The concept was created by Noa and Cristian, a couple who decided to change their life nine months ago. They sold their few possessions in Buenos Aires and began a trip in Latin America. During their trip, they discovered social and environmental problems that appeared to have an easy solution given the right materials and know-how. Noa and Cristian realized that “in order to improve the quality of life and reduce the impact on the environment, we need to bring together various sustainable technologies and practices into one place: in a house that can be visited and serve as an inspiration for better housing.” Each stage will be documented and the project will be 100% open source in order to share the information with people in need. The design can be adapted depending on the climate, population and the materials available in order to adapt the model to other locations. + Fund EcoCasa Suyana + Follow Cristian and Noa The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco building , eco homes , EcoCasa Suyana , Green Building , green homes , IndieGoGo , open source construction , open source home building , reader submission , Sustainable Building , Sustainable Homes

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EcoCasa Suyana is an sustainable, open-source home project in Argentina

EcoCasa Suyana is an sustainable, open-source home project in Argentina

April 27, 2015 by  
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EcoCasa Suyana is a project lead by a couple of young engineers and travelers that is the first ecological, economical and 100% open-source home in Argentina. Suyana means “hope” in Quechua language and idea of EcoCasa Suyana project is to build a green, sustainable, affordable home, that can be a model for the construction of community housing . The concept was created by Noa and Cristian, a couple who decided to change their life nine months ago. They sold their few possessions in Buenos Aires and began a trip in Latin America. During their trip, they discovered social and environmental problems that appeared to have an easy solution given the right materials and know-how. Noa and Cristian realized that “in order to improve the quality of life and reduce the impact on the environment, we need to bring together various sustainable technologies and practices into one place: in a house that can be visited and serve as an inspiration for better housing.” Each stage will be documented and the project will be 100% open source in order to share the information with people in need. The design can be adapted depending on the climate, population and the materials available in order to adapt the model to other locations. + Fund EcoCasa Suyana + Follow Cristian and Noa The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco building , eco homes , EcoCasa Suyana , Green Building , green homes , IndieGoGo , open source construction , open source home building , reader submission , Sustainable Building , Sustainable Homes

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EcoCasa Suyana is an sustainable, open-source home project in Argentina

An Inhabitat Writer Shares Her Experience Building Her Own Sustainable Yurt In the Woods!

July 19, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of An Inhabitat Writer Shares Her Experience Building Her Own Sustainable Yurt In the Woods! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: build your own green home , building green , diy yurt , Eco Architecture , eco homes , eco yurts , energy star homes , green design , green homes , how to build a yurt , low energy homes , mandala homes , round homes , sustainable yurts , yurts

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An Inhabitat Writer Shares Her Experience Building Her Own Sustainable Yurt In the Woods!

16-Year-Old Egyptian Scientist Finds Way to Turn Plastic Waste Into $78 Million of Biofuel!

July 19, 2012 by  
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Plastic waste photo from Shutterstock Egyptian teenagers are on a roll lately – if they’re not proposing the next-generation of space propulsion systems , then they’re figuring out how to use the country’s plastic waste for fuel! Sixteen-year-old Azza Abdel Hamid Falad has found that an inexpensive catalyst could be used to create $78 million worth of biofuel each year. Egypt’s plastic consumption is estimated to total one million tons per year , so Azza’s proposal could transform the country’s economy, allowing it to make money from recycled plastic. Read the rest of 16-Year-Old Egyptian Scientist Finds Way to Turn Plastic Waste Into $78 Million of Biofuel! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aluminosilicate , Azza Abdel Hamid Falad , biodiesel , biofuel , catalyst , egypt , egyptian teenager , plastic recycling

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16-Year-Old Egyptian Scientist Finds Way to Turn Plastic Waste Into $78 Million of Biofuel!

Artist Damien Hirst Unveils Plans to Build 500 Eco-Homes in UK

February 17, 2012 by  
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Damien Hirst is perhaps best known as an extraordinarily provocative, sometimes playful artist who makes an incredible amount of money from his conceptual art — in a surprising shift, he now aims to channel some of that wealth into a new role as a pioneer in eco-housing development . Hirst, who is purported to have a horror of “anonymous, lifeless buildings,” has unveiled plans to construct over 500 eco-homes in an effort to revitalize his adopted hometown of Ifracombe in Devon, UK. The proposed homes include renewable energy solutions such as concealed wind turbines in their roofs and photovoltaic solar panels . Read the rest of Artist Damien Hirst Unveils Plans to Build 500 Eco-Homes in UK Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: community development , community revitalization , Damien Hirst , Eco Architecture , eco design , eco homes , green development , green housing , ilfracombe devon , Mike Rundell , photovoltaic solar panels

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Artist Damien Hirst Unveils Plans to Build 500 Eco-Homes in UK

Oregon’s Out’n’About Treehouse ‘Treesort’ has the World’s Highest Concentration of Treehouses

January 23, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Oregon’s Out’n’About Treehouse ‘Treesort’ has the World’s Highest Concentration of Treehouses Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bed & breakfast , eco homes , green architecture , green design , green resorts , hotel , Michael Garnier , Oregon , Out’n’About Treesort , tree houses , treehouse

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Oregon’s Out’n’About Treehouse ‘Treesort’ has the World’s Highest Concentration of Treehouses

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