A micro home with a green roof sits atop a granite wine cellar in rural Portugal

March 21, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Porto-based firm  Diogo Aguiar Studio has breathed new life into a granite wine cellar by topping it with a minimalist holiday home complete with a natural green roof planted with native vegetation. Located in Guimarães, Portugal, the brilliant Pavilion House is a timber-clad micro home  with large windows that connects the residence with its bucolic surroundings. Working in collaboration with Andreia Garcia Architectural Affairs , the architects placed the unique micro home on an existing granite wine cellar that sits on a small hill. Although the minimal building size certainly restricted the floor plan, the elevated structure allowed the architects to maximize the home’s stunning views, which are comprised of expansive vineyards to the front and a dense forest backdrop. Related: A dilapidated garage transforms into an industrial-chic micro home The home is clad in thin timber panels to create a modern log cabin feel. The cube-like volume is punctuated by four large windows that look out onto the surrounding landscape. The house was also installed with a green roof planted with native vegetation to blend it into its natural setting. The architects outfitted the micro home with just the basics: a small living space, kitchenette and bath. Keeping true to its minimalist roots , the beautiful design features a living room that doubles as a sleeping area with a fold-out bed. Both the kitchen and small bathroom with a skylight can also be completely concealed behind bi-fold doors. Plenty of storage is also incorporated into the walls. According to the architects, the inspiration for the  design came from its idyllic setting . “Pavilion House is a guesthouse. The only true requirement was to emphasize the sense of recollection in the forest, a refuge from urbanity,” lead architect Diogo Aguiar told  Dezeen . “The idea of creating ??a log cabin was behind all the project decisions — it is a wooden minimal house in the mountain.” + Diogo Aguiar Studio + Andreia Garcia Architectural Affairs  Via Dezeen Images via Fernando Guerra

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A micro home with a green roof sits atop a granite wine cellar in rural Portugal

Drones are the new cost-effective way to monitor the environment

March 21, 2019 by  
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Conservationists, researchers and volunteers have spent countless hours on the ground keeping tabs on water quality in rivers across the country. Their work has been instrumental over the years, and new technology in the form of  drones  is making their jobs a whole lot easier. These unmanned aircraft, referred to as drones or UAVs, are easy to control and have become cost-effective in recent years. Environmentalists are using them to monitor ecosystems from the skies and are able to carry out their goals with more efficiency than ever before. Related: Drones — the future of ocean conservation “The technology has come along to the point where everyday people can put a camera up in the air and see beyond the tree line or their property line,” Ben Cunningham, a coordinator working in the field for the Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative, explained. According to Maryland Reporter , Cunningham’s team is keeping an eye on the construction of controversial pipeline projects in Virginia. The drones enable them to see a wider field of view without investing a lot of money or time. The new technology is even superior to what many government officials have in their inventory. Based on numbers from the Federal Aviation Administration, there will be close to seven million drones sold in 2020. That is almost three times the number of unmanned crafts purchased in 2016. These drones range from small quadcopters to more sophisticated airplanes, and many of them are as simple to use as a remote-controlled car . Most drones are also able to take photographs and feature auto-pilot once they are in the air. When it comes to pipeline construction, environmentalists are using drones to take snapshots of the construction progress. They then use the photos to measure how the construction is affecting local environments, including Bay grasses and algal blooms along riversides. Without the drones, these types of large-scale efforts would not be possible without considerable funding and volunteer forces. Because drones are relatively new to the scene, researchers are hoping that they can expand their capabilities and achieve even greater results in the near future. Via Maryland Reporter Image via Paul Henri

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Drones are the new cost-effective way to monitor the environment

MVRDV-designed market in Taiwan will grow food on a massive green roof

March 21, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Hot on the heels of its bold “ Times Square” proposal for Taiwan’s capital, MVRDV has broken ground on another project — this time for the island’s southern city of Tainan. Created in collaboration with local architectural firm LLJ Architects, the Tainan Xinhua Fruit and Vegetable Market is a wholesale, open-air market that will not only serve as an important hub for the city’s food supply chain, but will also serve as a new public destination. The landmark building will be topped with an undulating green roof that will be accessible to the public and used for growing crops. Because of its large size, the Tainan Xinhua Fruit and Vegetable Market will be located in a suburban district to the far east of the city center yet strategically placed near Highway 3 and public transportation links for the convenience of traders, buyers and visitors. Spanning an area of nearly 20 acres, the market will include space for auctions, logistics, freezer storage, service facilities, a restaurant, administrative offices and more. “Tainan, in my opinion, is one of those towns which is so beautiful to me because maybe most of its nature, agriculture fields, farms, sea and mountains,” said Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “Tainan Market can become a building that symbolizes this beauty as it compliments both landscape and its surrounding environment. It is completely functional and caters to the needs for auctioning, selling and buying goods, but its terraced roof with its collection of growing products will allow visitors to take in the landscape while escaping from bustle below.’’ Related: MVRDV to transform an Amsterdam office complex into a green residential zone The first phase of the development will be an open-air structure topped with an undulating, terraced green roof accessible from the eastern corner. The terraces of the roof will each be dedicated to growing a different crop — such as pineapples, rice, roses and tea — and will be furnished with benches and picnic tables for visitors to enjoy the surrounding views. The market is slated for completion in late 2020. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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MVRDV-designed market in Taiwan will grow food on a massive green roof

Hen Harriers on the verge of extinction due to gamekeepers killing illegally

March 21, 2019 by  
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A new study reveals that hen harriers are being killed at an alarming rate on U.K. grouse moors. Scientists found that gamekeepers are eliminating these birds , which are on the verge of extinction in England because they hunt red grouse. Conservationists have been tagging hen harriers in the U.K. for several years and discovered that 72 percent of the birds involved in studies have come up missing. The researchers believe the majority of these birds were killed illegally. Related: Don’t forget to fight for these “less glamorous” endangered species Sadly, 83 percent of juvenile hen harriers in this region do not make it through their first year. In comparison, 65 percent of juveniles do not survive in other areas of the country. In areas completely devoid of grouse moors, those numbers drop to less than 50 percent. According to The Guardian , hen harrier numbers have dropped dangerously low in the U.K., despite the fact that there are acceptable habitats for large numbers to survive with ease. Not only is there plenty of food for the birds of prey, but there are also few predators with which to compete. Even still, only seven of the 58 birds in the study were alive by the end of 2017. Five of the deceased birds uncovered in the study, which spanned a decade, died naturally. Four others sustained injuries consistent with hunting and were considered to be illegally killed. The great majority of the missing birds, however, vanished without a trace. Only a small percentage of these disappearances can be attributed to malfunctioning tags; the rest are believed to be victims of hunting . “Carcasses were rarely recovered, presumably due to suspected illegal killing and carcass disposal,” the study revealed. In order to boost population numbers, a new program was just passed to rear juvenile hen harriers in captivity. Researchers with Natural England plan to find juvenile birds in the wild, raise them in captivity and later release them far from grouse moors. The new hen harrier plan has been met with some resistance by conservationists , though a court just ruled in favor of its legality. Via The Guardian Image via Rob Zweers

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Hen Harriers on the verge of extinction due to gamekeepers killing illegally

Earth911 Quiz #54: Are You a Mobile Phone Recycling Expert?

March 21, 2019 by  
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The mobile phone has become an indispensable tool of modern … The post Earth911 Quiz #54: Are You a Mobile Phone Recycling Expert? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Quiz #54: Are You a Mobile Phone Recycling Expert?

Proposed $1 billion underwater pipeline will send fracked gas to NYC

March 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

There is a war brewing over the development of a new underwater pipeline in New York City. The proposed project would send fracked gas to the city, a move environmentalists claim would greatly contribute to global warming . An Oklahoma company called Williams has proposed an ambitious plan to construct a 23-mile pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York . The project, which will cost around $1 billion, will connect with an existing pipeline underneath New Jersey, carrying gas all the way to Queens. Related: UN predicts dire future for planet unless people change their ways NOW Supporters of the plan say it will help New Yorkers use gas instead of oil for energy, but several environmental groups argue that the project is a step backwards in the battle against carbon emissions. In fact, environmentalists are urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto the pipeline development altogether. “This pipeline would incentivize reliance on gas, which is way more carbon-intensive than renewables,” Robert Wood, who works with the environmental group, 350Brooklyn, explained. “It would be a nightmare happening, not in a rural area, but right here in New York City.” Advocacy groups believe New York City is already on the right path in becoming more energy efficient as it has already gotten rid of the most carbon-heavy oils used for heating. Environmentalists argue that New York City will witness a decrease in energy use as a result of current efforts to improve efficiency standards. Over the past decade, the city has removed old boilers, invested in heat pumps, and increased energy efficiency in buildings. Opponents of the billion-dollar pipeline also worry that the project could harm marine life in New York City’s harbor, including the humpback whale, which have started to resurface in the area. Environmentalists are concerned that the construction will introduce toxins to the water that will be detrimental to the habitat. Fortunately, Cuomo has a history of supporting eco-friendly initiatives in New York. Since becoming the governor, Cuomo has blocked fracking in the state and vowed to decrease carbon emissions by 80 percent over the next three decades. It is unclear where Cuomo stands on the new underwater pipeline, but environmentalists are hopeful he will side with them. Via The Guardian Image via Shutterstock 

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Proposed $1 billion underwater pipeline will send fracked gas to NYC

This gorgeous LEED Platinum winery is made of reclaimed wood

March 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

San Francisco-based firm Piechota Architecture has designed what is being called the most sustainable winery in Sonoma Valley. Tucked into the rolling hills of Alexander Valley, the solar-powered Silver Oak winery design, which was made with repurposed materials, has already earned a LEED-Platinum certification  and is on track to become the one of the world’s most sustainable wineries. The family-owned Silver Oak Cellars winery was established in 1972 and has since become world-renowned for its award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery’s first location is located in the Napa Valley town of Oakville. The company’s second winery, designed by Daniel Piechota , is located on an expansive 113-acre estate and 75 acres of prime Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in Alexander Valley. Related: LEED-seeking winery in Uruguay is built almost entirely of locally sourced materials With its low-lying gabled farmhouse silhouette, the winery appears low-key from afar; however, behind the clean lines, charred timber cladding and minimalist forms lies a powerhouse of sustainability. According to the architects, the design of the winery applies the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle” through various sustainable features. For energy generation, the winery has an extended roof installed with more than  2,500 solar panels , which generate 100 percent of the building’s energy needs. The design uses plenty of recycled materials, but the reclaimed wood was specifically chosen to pay homage to the area’s wine-making industry. The winery’s exterior is clad in wood panels taken from 1930s wine tanks from Cherokee Winery, one of the valley’s pioneers of wine-making. Additionally, the design incorporated charred panels recovered from Middletown trees that were naturally felled during a fire in the valley in 2015. Now, the blacked trunks and panels have been given new life as a modern, sleek facade for the  winery . Inside, visitors are met with a large entry staircase, also built out of reclaimed wood from oak wine barrels with red wine stains that were intentionally left visible. The rest of the welcoming interior is a light-filled space filled with steel and wood features. Visitors will be able to take part in wine tasting in the winery’s tasting room, which is nearly net-zero water. With a calming reflective pool, native vegetation and open-air seating, this area is the heart of the design. Created to mimic the local barn vernacular, the gabled roof and large cutouts provide beautiful framed views of the rolling hillside that surrounds the estate. Of course, as with every winery, water plays an essential role in Silver Oak’s production. To reduce waste, the winery was installed with a state-of-the-art water reclamation system, including a membrane bioreactor that treats and filters water from the cellar to provide potable water. Rainwater is harvested and collected to be used in the vineyard’s irrigation. + Daniel Piechota Via Dezeen Photography by Joe Fletcher via Daniel Piechota

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This gorgeous LEED Platinum winery is made of reclaimed wood

Planting trees only works if the restored forests stand for more than 10 or 20 years

March 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Ecological resoration is supposed to help damaged and deforested ecosystems recover — but early-stage forests aren’t the same as mature ones.

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Planting trees only works if the restored forests stand for more than 10 or 20 years

Planting trees only works if the restored forests stand for more than 10 or 20 years

March 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Ecological resoration is supposed to help damaged and deforested ecosystems recover — but early-stage forests aren’t the same as mature ones.

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Planting trees only works if the restored forests stand for more than 10 or 20 years

Solar-powered home takes advantage of cooling ocean breezes in Los Angeles

March 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Crafted to embrace spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the Ziering Residence is defined by its dramatically curved architecture and walls of glass. Local practice SPF: architects designed the contemporary house that’s perched high in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles and engineered to take advantage of passive systems, including cooling ocean breezes and the thermal mass of concrete floors. The home also reduces its energy footprint with rooftop solar panels and solar hot water heaters. With Pacific Ocean views on one side and the backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains on the other, the solar powered  Ziering Residence was designed to embrace panoramic views on both sides while maintaining a deliberately low-slung profile so as not to obstruct views for neighboring residences. For privacy, the street-facing facade of the dwelling is clad in an ipe wood rainscreen. In contrast, the courtyard side is wrapped in sliding floor-to-ceiling glazing that seamlessly connects the interiors to the outdoors. The spacious 9,000-square-foot home is marked by an open-floor plan. The main living areas are housed in the curved section of the building, along with a guest suite, and overlook views of the ocean as well as the outdoor pool, courtyard  and long wood deck. A large kitchen and parlor connects the curved wing with the bedroom wing that juts out towards the ocean and contains the master bedroom. The lower level, which is partly submerged underground, contains an office, two additional bedrooms, a study, technical rooms, a sauna and a gym. Related: Wave-inspired Rainbow Bridge in Long Beach is covered in mini gardens and twinkling LED lights In addition to rooftop solar panels and passive solar principles , the Ziering Residence reduces its energy footprint by limiting the mechanical AC to only the kitchen, master suite and study. “A patented ‘Climate Right System’ designed and fabricated by the project engineer coordinates and controls all the systems, and a heat recovery ventilation program provides for the continuous cycling of fresh outside air,” the architects add. “Resulting utility costs are kept to a minimum, and like the rest of the home’s design and intent energy use is dictated, maintained, and heavily influenced by the natural climate.” + SPF: architects Images by Bruce Damonte

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Solar-powered home takes advantage of cooling ocean breezes in Los Angeles

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