‘Provocative’ RIG eco-lodge designed to conserve Louisiana’s vanishing marshes

July 25, 2017 by  
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The Louisiana Coastal Marsh loses a football-field-size of land every hour. Architect Robert Obier, who was raised in Louisiana, designed an eco-lodge for volunteers who want to help with restoration efforts as local groups – and even oil and gas companies – scramble to save this disappearing ecosystem . His design for The RIG, which stands for Restoration Initiative in the Gulf , caught our attention, and Inhabitat spoke with Obier to get the story behind its distinctive shape – which is reminiscent of an offshore oil rig . If nothing is done to preserve the Louisiana Coastal Marsh – Earth’s fastest disappearing landmass – it will be gone by 2050. Capitalizing on the growing trend of volunteerism, The RIG would offer accommodations for 26 volunteers, who would work on wetland restoration led by community facilitators. Related: Louisiana Flood Board Sues 97 Oil and Gas Companies Over Damage to Coastal Wetlands Obier is seeking LEED Platinum certification for The RIG, which will be comprised mainly of steel . Wind and solar power will help energize the building, which will also have its own water and sewer treatment facilities. Part boutique hotel , part research operations launching point, The RIG will be raised 25 feet above the ground, offering views of the Gulf of Mexico . The hotel will feature local Louisiana cuisine and will offer activities like kayaking and fishing excursions. On one hand, the industrial oil rig-like design is practical. Obier told Inhabitat, “Here the indigenous architecture that survives are the oil platforms. They’ve made it through the storms. And it’s a harsh salt environment down here that’s very hard on structures over time. From an architectural standpoint, if you ask, ‘What is the contextual architecture?’ That’s it.” But the symbol of the oil platform is one Obier hopes to reclaim through The RIG as well. He said, “As we try to figure out ways to save the marsh, oil companies are going to have to play a very important role because they are the landowners. They’ve had a lot to do with the problem, but they’re also doing a lot to try and save it as well. So it’s complex. I think the symbol begins that dialogue, and the answer to the question, ‘Why is it designed resembling an oil rig?’ begins to explain to people who are not familiar with our region what it’s really like, and how it really is an area where industry and environment are integrated for good or bad. The solution is going to be one that does not negate the fact that there is this interaction between the industry and the marshes.” Obier explains the marshes are disappearing in part because of the channels oil and gas companies dug to bring equipment in and out, but that’s not the whole story. The levee system, built in the 1920’s, has played a role as well. The wetlands used to be able to rebuild themselves, but now the Mississippi River prevents sediments from being redeposited, and the land is subsiding . Sea level rise from climate change has had some effect, but Obier said his understanding is if levels rise slowly enough, the area would still be able to rebuild itself if it were restored. Volunteers will be able to help with the work by planting marsh grass or trees. Obier said, “Marshes are not pristine wilderness. So it’s a very different kind of location for something you would call an eco-lodge, but at the same time, it’s still one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. It’s in big trouble, and we’re having to make a massive effort to try to save it, but it’s an extremely important ecosystem.” The RIG is crowdfunding on Kickstarter . You can contribute here . + Restoration Initiative in the Gulf + The RIG Kickstarter Images courtesy of The Restoration Initiative in the Gulf and via Wikimedia Commons

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‘Provocative’ RIG eco-lodge designed to conserve Louisiana’s vanishing marshes

Conservative billionaire to build America’s largest wind farm

July 25, 2017 by  
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Carbon County, Wyoming could soon be home to the United States’ biggest wind farm , complete with 1,000 turbines . Conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz, who got his start in his father’s oil business, is behind the massive wind farm, which will be large enough to power every single home in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. But wind power in Wyoming could face an uphill battle as legislators angle to increase the tax on the renewable energy . Wyoming is currently the only state in America to tax wind energy , but some lawmakers have attempted to raise that tax even higher – from $1 per megawatt hour to $3 or $5. So far, neither tax increase made it past committee – Anschutz’s business helped fight the hikes – but legislators are trying to fill out the state budget as the state lacks income tax and used to make money off coal , which is in its downward spiral. Related: The wind turbine manufacturer putting unemployed coal miners to work In 2015, the state produced more coal than West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Pennsylvania combined, but coal consumption is declining. Meanwhile the state sees some of the continent’s strongest winds, which rival strong ocean gales. According to NexusMedia, wind power comprises a multi-billion opportunity for the state – Anschutz’s massive wind farm and a new 700-mile transmission line are priced at $8 billion, and there are two other $3 billion wind projects in the works. Experts say it might be a bad idea to raise the tax right as the state is trying to drum up new jobs. Economist Robert Godby at the University of Wyoming told NexusMedia, “Wyoming is perceived by many wind developers to be kind of anti-wind. Suddenly the state is suggesting that we might raise the tax by four or five times? That’s not conducive to economic development. Tax uncertainty is almost as bad as having high taxes.” Instead, Godby suggested a tax break for developers who will manufacture components and build wind farms in the state to attract projects, creating jobs and generating tax revenue. He described wind energy as “the biggest opportunity presenting itself to the state.” Via NexusMedia Images via Penny Higgins on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Self-sustaining island eco-lodge in Florida has its own desalination system

February 21, 2017 by  
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For those looking to get away from the chaos of modern life, a stunning luxury eco-lodge is currently on the market. The solar-powered Melody Key Lodge is a timber home located on 5.24 acres of secluded island paradise, just 25 miles from Key West, Florida. But if you’re on a tight budget, you might not want to read on. The breathtaking lodge previously owned by an undisclosed rockstar comprises a three-story timber structure with three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. The top open floor, which houses the gourmet kitchen, dining area, living and lounge space, offers beautiful 360-degree views of the ocean. Lucky guests will be able to choose between a dip in the pristine beaches or the adjacent freshwater pool. Related: For $2.3 million, this breathtaking self-sufficient Scottish island could be yours The home, which is listed for $6,900,000, is perfect for wealthy folks looking to go off grid . In addition to its integrated solar system and backup generator, there’s also a desalination water system. Add in all-you-can-eat seafood, and off-grid living has never been so luxurious. + Engel & Völkers Florida Keys Via Uncrate  

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Self-sustaining island eco-lodge in Florida has its own desalination system

5 exotic, eco-friendly Homestay locations to satisfy your wanderlust

September 8, 2016 by  
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Traveling the world and keeping a sensible budget may seem like contradictory missions, but new options in the hospitality sharing industry make global exploration much more practical. Homestay is one site which allows travelers to live with hosts in their unique corners of the world. As they say, you can live like, and with, a local in one of their 50,000 featured homestays, spanning 150 different countries and sporting surprisingly eco-friendly details. Spending your vacation at an eco-lodge in South Africa or a “peace home” in Nepal without breaking the bank is entirely possible, thanks to growing home-sharing networks. Here are some environmentally-conscious options to consider during your next spell of wanderlust. 18th Century rural house in Florence, Italy Hostess Francesca invites guests into her rural, but renovated, home in the hills just 27 kilometers from Florence. Visitors have free range of her extensive organic garden and ample kitchen space in each of her four available apartments to cook a delicious meal. Restaurants and chianti tastings abound in the nearby towns and a hot tub is available for sunset soaks amongst the grunts of wild boars, songs of crickets, and glittering starlight. Francesca invites people to “Bring with you the people you love, is there anything better that is worth living for?” Chilekatessen house built on the hills of Valparaíso, Chile Set in the hills of Valparaíso lies Chilekatessen house, a six bedroom abode with a gorgeous view of the bay and close proximity to public transportation and all the luxuries of city life. Hostess Maria Teresa shares her home and her passion for gardening and cooking with guests, as well as with her young son, Uwe. Private terraces, gardens, and ample daylight brighten the unassuming rooms. Maria Teresa says eco-tourism is her forte, after having traveled and lived across Europe, making this homestay perfect for the conscientious traveler. Charming bungalow in Jatiluwih, Bali Staying at Adiana’s eco-lodge in Bali drops you right in the middle of paradise. Visitors will find themselves mesmerized by the location on the slope of Mount Batukaru, the second highest mountain in Bali. This bungalow home is just minutes away from the Pura Luhur Batukaru Temple, a space for reverence, meditation, and blessings. Each of the four available rooms carry their own flair; some provide views of lush, tropical gardens and spring water ponds, while others face a spellbinding nearby rice terrace. “Peace home” eco-resort in Chitwan, Nepal The Shanta Ghar “peace home” is found in the grasslands of Madi, in the Chitwan District of Nepal. Surrounded by lush jungle, visitors can opt to lounge in the garden with the mango and lemon trees or venture into the wild on birdwatching tours or jungle camp excursions. The eco-resort is proudly constructed from local Sal wood, using traditional Nepali carpentry. Guests can choose between rooms in the main house, deluxe suites with private balconies, or round rooms in the “stone house.” A shared living room allows for mingling while you chow down on vegetarian fare made during Nepalese cooking courses. Swell Eco-Lodge on Wild Coast, South Africa The Wild Coast region of South Africa ’s Eastern Cape offers beauty, relaxation, and adventure. Hostess Lee-Ann invites families visiting her Swell Eco-Lodge to share in the view of rolling hills and the sounds of the sea. Wildlife aficionados will enjoy the sights of whales jumping, others the sight of cattle roaming a landscape steeped in history. The lodge features modern Rondavel structures with bright and artistic interior decorating. Both sea-facing and garden-facing rooms offer a place to relax in between outdoor adventures and enjoying a “green way of life.” + Homestay.com Images via Homestay.com

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5 exotic, eco-friendly Homestay locations to satisfy your wanderlust

Assisted living home replicates a friendly American neighborhood to help treat patient memory loss

September 8, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKljUt642-g The Lantern operates three locations in the towns of Madison, South Russell, and Saybrook in the Chagrin Valley area of Ohio , near Cleveland. Each is fashioned with an interior that looks more like a movie set than an assisted living facility. Some halls of the Lantern look like a 1940s neighborhood (where residents now in their nineties might have lived when they were 20-somethings), while other areas were designed to mimic a downtown shopping district, with street lamps and cafe tables. Related: Self-contained ‘Dementia Village’ protects people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s CEO Jean Makesh had a vision for a different type of elderly care while he was working as an occupational therapist at large chain of assisted living facilities. True to his dream, the Lantern offers the same wide array of therapeutic care patients and their families expect in an assisted living facility, but its physical design widely differs from other residential care programs. Using biophilic design , the Lantern facilities were created specifically to support a normal, active lifestyle with minimal disruption to patients’ habits and routines. Environments like these are scientifically linked to repair some memory loss in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s . The Lantern takes their elder care even further, by offering services that are not found in many assisted living facilities, such as a full-service salon with spa treatments, massage therapy, aerobics, as well as support for residents to maintain as much autonomy as possible related to daily tasks, like personal care. The facilities also feature a 24-hour bistro onsite serving drinks and snacks, a movie theater, fitness center, library, and more. Via MyModernMet Images via The Lantern

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Assisted living home replicates a friendly American neighborhood to help treat patient memory loss

New strain of algae produces five times more hydrogen fuel

September 8, 2016 by  
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Scientists have long known that Algae releases hydrogen during photosynthesis – but only minute quantities for small amounts of time. Now a team of scientists at Tel Aviv University has developed a new strain of super algae that emits five times more hydrogen than normal. The development could have huge implications for the shift to clean energy , as automotive giants like Hyundai and Toyota release hydrogen-powered vehicles . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIftwhtMd-Y&feature=youtu.be Iftach Yacoby ‘s team showed that micro-algae actually releases hydrogen during the day. Algae creates hydrogen with the assistance of the enzyme hydrogenase, which is broken down when oxygen is present. The scientists found three effective mechanisms that remove oxygen so hydrogenase can keep producing hydrogen. According to Yacoby, the discovery of the mechanisms “makes it clear that algae have a huge underutilized potential for the production of hydrogen fuel.” Related: Scientists Convert Algae into Crude Oil in Less than One Hour The team didn’t stop there. To make the algae even more efficient, Yacoby and his team genetically altered algae with the goal of making the organism produce more hydrogenase. They were able to engineer a micro-algae that generates 400 percent more of the enzyme than regular algae. What’s next? Yacoby said their goal is to domesticate wild species of micro-algae that could be cultivated to create hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cells in cars. He said someday the energy produced via the algae could even be used to “drive the wheels of industry.” Yacoby told The Jerusalem Post , “Twenty thousand years ago, the agricultural revolution took place. Man ceased being a hunter-gatherer. He domesticated plant species from nature and began to grow his own food. But when it comes to energy, we are still collecting from what nature gives us – so far mainly polluting fossil fuels, whose supplies are dwindling rapidly.” + Iftach Yacoby Lab Via The Jerusalem Post Images via Tel Aviv University and PublicDomainPictures.net

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New strain of algae produces five times more hydrogen fuel

Solar-powered Eagle View safari eco-lodge overlooks Kenya’s beautiful landscapes

August 24, 2015 by  
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Africa is well-known for its breathtakingly beautiful and pristine landscapes, which makes the country a popular destination with travelers who want to experience nature at its unspoiled finest. The solar-powered Eagle View eco-lodge lets visitors enjoy the best of the Kenya safari. Located in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, the safari lodge is built from durable Kebony wood and recycled steel. The lodge provides a base from which guests can enjoy bush activities such as safari walks and drives, night time excursions, and engage with the local Masai community . This eco-lodge is a prime example of a burgeoning ethical travel culture; those seeking adventure off the beaten track in the African bush need no longer choose between high-end accommodation and a guilt-free conscience. + Eagle View 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!

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Solar-powered Eagle View safari eco-lodge overlooks Kenya’s beautiful landscapes

Gorgeous Eco-Lodge Built on Flathead Lake in Montana

October 7, 2010 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous Eco-Lodge Built on Flathead Lake in Montana http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , anderson wise architects , eco design , eco lodge , eco resort , eco-tourism , energy efficient design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green roof , montana , sod roof , stacked wood facade , stone creek camp , sustaianble design

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