Adorable owl cabins let you camp inside for free and off the grid in France

July 7, 2017 by  
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A giant trio of adorable timber owls has popped up in rural France—and you can sleep inside them for free! Perfect for summer camping in Bourdeaux, these beautiful cabins are the work of Bruit du Frigo partner Zebra3/Buy-Sellf and built as part of the Refuges Périurbains (Peri-urban shelters) in the Bordeaux region. Named “Les Guetteurs” (The Watchers), this sixth unique cabin of the series is located off the grid along the edge of the city and is designed to encourage urban hiking and exploration of lesser-known sites. Zebra3/Buy-Sellf designed and built “Les Guetteurs” in the likeness of Bourdeaux’s ground-dwelling owls that live in open landscapes. The three enchanting owls are huddled together as a single mass, creating a large cabin with three floors. The building features a circular plywood frame clad in strips of curved wood. Shingles cut to look like feathers top the roof, while giant circular windows are installed for the owl’s “eyes.” The shelter is built atop a boardwalk elevated over a wetlands area. Related: MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design A forest-inspired glazed door opens up to a light-filled interior with faceted timber walls. Operating off-grid without running water or electricity, the cabin is fairly bare bones yet its timber palette creates a cozy environment. Circular white beds built to look like nests are located on the different levels connected via ladders. Like all of the shelters in the Refuges Périurbains project, “Les Guetteurs” can host up to nine people and helps encourage locals and visitors to reconnect with Bourdeaux’s landscape and environment. Bookings for the free lodging can be made on the Refuges Périurbains website. + Zebra3/Buy-Sellf Via Tiny House Blog

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Adorable owl cabins let you camp inside for free and off the grid in France

Minimalist wine-tasting pavilions sustainably embrace Napa Valley

July 7, 2017 by  
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There are few places better to enjoy fantastic wines and views than Napa Valley , and Walker Warner Architects has elevated that experience with a series of elegant wine tasting pavilions. Crafted with environmental sustainability in mind, the pavilions were built for Quintessa Estate Winery, a Napa Valley estate also designed by Walker Warner Architects in 2003. The minimalist structures harmonize with nature with locally sourced and reclaimed materials, as well as prefabricated construction to minimize site impact. Winner of a recent American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIA SF) Citation Award , the Quintessa Pavilions is commended for exemplifying “the ideal fusion of architecture and nature” on the ridgeline of a beautiful 280-acre winery estate. Carefully placed amongst existing oak trees and surrounded by drought-resistant native grasses , each 250-square-foot pavilion was crafted to provide an immersive, privately hosted wine-tasting experience. The pavilions’ industrial materials palette references the winery’s architecture and will age elegantly over time. Related: The Bardessono is Napa Valley’s Newest Eco Resort and Spa The architects carefully sited each pavilion to shade visitors beneath tree canopies, optimize views, and protect existing mature oaks. Visitors access the pavilion through a doorway carved into a concrete wall, built of fly ash, that runs along the ridgeline. Once inside the prefabricated steel structure, the visitors enjoy plenty of natural light, cross winds, and panoramic views through full-height glazed operable doors. Custom furnishings are built of FSC-certified Afromosia. Reclaimed Sinker cypress was used for casework and ceilings, while locally prefabricated concrete pavers cover the terrace surface and Napa syar stone retaining walls hold back earth. + Walker Warner Architects Photo credit: © Matthew Millman

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Minimalist wine-tasting pavilions sustainably embrace Napa Valley

Elon Musk says first segment of LA tunnel complete

June 30, 2017 by  
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If you ever want to take on a crazy project and see results in under a year, call Elon Musk . He’s already making progress on his stuck-in-traffic daydream of tunnels beneath Los Angeles . This week he tweeted The Boring Company’s tunnel boring machine, cheekily named Godot, completed the first tunnel portion. According to Musk, we’re “no longer waiting for Godot.” Musk seems to be having a lot of fun with his side project he somehow fits into his free time. And he’s making strides towards the dream of clearing out Los Angeles’ notorious congestion by moving vehicles underground. The Boring Company’s new machine has started operating and already finished the first segment of a tunnel. Related: Elon Musk says LA mayor is open to The Boring Company’s traffic tunnels No longer waiting for Godot. It has begun boring and just completed the first segment of tunnel in LA. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 28, 2017 Godot is around 400 feet long, with a diameter of 26 feet, and weighs 1,200 tons. Musk hinted on Twitter they still hope the machine will bore faster in the future. He said they have a long way to go before they beat Gary, a snail from SpongeBob SquarePants whom Musk referenced in April in a TED talk , saying “Victory is beating the snail.” The project started near the SpaceX parking lot in Hawthorne. And according to Electrek, it appears this first segment simply connects the parking lot to the company’s buildings. But Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has indicated his interest in Musk’s venture – he name-dropped the tech entrepreneur in an ABC7 interview and Musk said they’d had promising conversations. Electrek also quoted Musk as saying the full length of the first tunnel “will run from LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks. Future tunnels will cover all of greater LA.” It seems this pipe dream might become reality after all. + The Boring Company Via The Verge and Electrek Images via The Boring Company

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Elon Musk says first segment of LA tunnel complete

Green-roofed desalination plant is world’s first to treat both fresh and saltwater

June 30, 2017 by  
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Desalination is an important component of Singapore’s water supply, and the island country has a new desalination plant in the works decked out with green features. The large-scale facility can treat both freshwater and saltwater, and according to Today Online and other local news outlets , it’s thought to be the first one of its kind in the world. The Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant will be the first of its kind in Singapore, and some publications say in the world. It will be the country’s fourth desalination plant, but the first large-scale dual-mode one. It will treat water from the sea or the Marina Reservoir, depending on whether the weather is dry or wet. Keppel Infrastructure is constructing the plant under a 25-year Water Purchase Agreement with Singapore’s national water agency, PUB . Related: Self-sustaining island eco-lodge in Florida has its own desalination system And this plant doesn’t look like your typical industrial facility. It will be topped with a 215,278 square foot green roof and equipped to harvest rainwater for irrigating plants . According to Keppel Infrastructure CEO Ong Tiong Guan, “…the plant’s design also blends seamlessly into the environment , allowing the public to enjoy the green space above the plant along with the surrounding greenery.” Treatment facilities will be underground in the plant PUB described as sleek and modern. According to PUB Chief Executive Ng Joo Hee, desalination plants boost Singapore’s water security. He said in a statement, “As a source independent of weather , desalinated water is capable of strengthening our water supply resilience, especially against prolonged dry spells and droughts . We aim to triple its capacity to meet up to 30 percent of our water needs by 2060.” The Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant is slated to be finished in 2020. The plant will produce around 30 million gallons of drinking water every single day. Via PUB Images via PUB

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Green-roofed desalination plant is world’s first to treat both fresh and saltwater

Indian man creates a free school under a bridge to educate New Delhis poorest children

August 21, 2016 by  
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Indian grocery store-owner Rajesh Kumar Sharma has an unusual but inspiring side gig—providing free lessons for hundreds of New Delhi’s poorest children in an open-air school beneath a Metro bridge. Sharma, whose philanthropic story went viral on the Internet in 2012 , founded the “Free School: Under the Bridge” where he teaches basic Hindi and English. Volunteer teachers Laxmi Chandra and Shyam Mehto who teach mathematics assist him. As many as 200 students attend the free school on a regular basis.

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Indian man creates a free school under a bridge to educate New Delhis poorest children

Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena releases free housing designs to fight homelessness

April 7, 2016 by  
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The world faces a staggering housing crisis . Three billion people live in cities, but over one billion live below the poverty line in inferior housing, and an estimated 100 million people are homeless . Fortunately, this year’s Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena just released four free low-income housing designs as a resource for governments and organizations working to combat these problems. Read the rest of Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena releases free housing designs to fight homelessness

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Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena releases free housing designs to fight homelessness

This charming home in Portugal is insulated with soil

April 7, 2016 by  
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Tigers declared extinct in Cambodia

April 7, 2016 by  
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Wild tigers have not been found in Cambodia since 2007, leading conservationists to declare the animals “ functionally extinct .” The Cambodian government recently approved a $20 to $50 million Tiger Action Plan to try and save the majestic wild cats Read the rest of Tigers declared extinct in Cambodia

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This Star Wars retrofitted Volkswagen van is just the droid you’re looking for

May 14, 2015 by  
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The classic Volkswagen Camper Van has been given custom paint jobs for almost as long as it’s been around. Admittedly, the vast majority of those alterations done by the free-loving, tie-dyed and Deadhead crowds. But mimaki cg60 —an Instructables user in Brazil—had slightly different plans for his family’s beaten up VW; as he puts it, after a marathon viewing of Star Wars he found exactly the droid he was looking for. About 50 hours of Photoshop work went into recreating all of R2-D2 ‘s various components, which were then printed onto vinyl to provide a modular custom car wrap. The project isn’t quite finished yet—so if you have thoughts on hubcaps, or whether or not a Millennium Falcon should be added atop the bus, head over to mimaki cg60′s Instructables page! Via CNET Image via mimaki cg60 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: custom car design , instructables star wars , r2-d2 , r2-vw , r2-vwvw camper van , r2d2 van , star wars , star wars tribute , vinyl wrap car , volkswagen camper , volkswagen van , vw camper van

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This Star Wars retrofitted Volkswagen van is just the droid you’re looking for

INFOGRAPHIC: Top 18 houseplants for purifying the air you breathe, according to NASA

May 14, 2015 by  
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Houseplants do wonders for a house: they breathe new life to a room, add a bright pop of color, and purify the air . Not all plants are equally effective, however, when it comes to filtering harmful air-borne toxins and pollutants . NASA conducted a Clean Air Study to identify the best air-filtering indoor plants, all of which commonly found at local flower shops, to help guide us in our purchasing decisions. Even better, Love The Garden created an infographic that lists 18 NASA-recommended plants for improving air quality as well as the common toxins that each plant can treat. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: Top 18 houseplants for purifying the air you breathe, according to NASA Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air filtering houseplants , Clean Air Study , houseplants , houseplants improve air quality , infographic , nasa , reader submitted content

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