Plasma Rock is a new material made from 100% recycled landfill waste

September 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Could our overflowing landfills be converted into gold mines? Designer Inge Sluijs has found an way to turn landfill waste into “Plasma Rock” – an innovative material that can be used to create eco-friendly consumer goods. The durable rock is the result of plasma gasification – a process that heats landfill materials at extremely high temperatures. Although plasma gasification technology is not necessarily new, Sluijs’ process of using Plasma Rock to create usable products is unique. The rock is quite durable and completely non-toxic – and Sluijs imagines that a worldwide circular economy could turn landfill junk into environmentally-friendly consumer goods. According to the designer, 20 kg of Plasma Rock can be created out of 100 kg of landfill waste. Related: Artist recycles leaf waste into biodegradable Beleaf chair Sluijs has focused her efforts on coastal landfill sites, starting at the East Tilbury landfill located in Essex, England. Scientists consider coastal landfills to be ticking time bombs, considering that the land is being quickly eroded by rising sea levels . Transforming waste into Plasma Rock would reduce landfill volume while diverting dangerous materials that would otherwise pollute the water. Plasma Rock starts as a powder, which can be formed and sculpted into different objects. Sluijs recently used the material to create Tilbury Tiles, which are distinctively decorated and marketed as souvenirs from the East Tilbury area. She has also developed glass vases decorated with specks of the rock. Through her designs, Luijs hopes to demonstrate not only the potential of Plasma Rock, but also the possibility of using landfill waste to the benefit of the environment. + Inge Suijs

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Plasma Rock is a new material made from 100% recycled landfill waste

Geothermal-powered Lake Austin Home is tuned in to nature

September 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Local studio A Parallel Architecture designed the award-winning Lake Austin Residence, a beautiful luxury home that derives inspiration from nature. Despite its large 6,750-square-foot size and horizontal footprint, the contemporary house achieves a sense of lightness thanks to ample full-height glazing and limestone massing. The energy-efficient dwelling offers geothermal climate control, as well as onsite waste treatment and water collection. Spread out across two stories, the Lake Austin Residence comprises a series of stacked and staggered rectangular volumes clad in limestone brickwork and white stucco. Nearly flat roofs top the volumes, which are punctuated by large sections of glazing to let in natural light and views of the landscape. “Like a butterfly specimen pinned to its mounting, this sinuous lake-front home’s light floating roofs are anchored to its site by heavy rusticated limestone masses, while its horizontal footprint is spread out and sewn through the vertical punctuation of mature sycamore, cypress and pecan trees,” wrote the architects. Related: Dreamy summer retreat built of salvaged materials sends eclectic vibes in Austin To lend a sense of warmth to the glass and stone palette, the architects added a warm interior palette of oak, mahogany, and cedar as well as splashes of turquoise to reference the lake. The heart of the light-filled interior is a nearly double-height living room separated from the dining room and kitchen by a fireplace. The master suite is located on the right side of the house, while the three bedrooms are placed in the left wing. Sliding glass doors open the back of the property up to the outdoor stone patio, infinity pool, and Lake Austin . + A Parallel Architecture Via Dezeen Images via A Parallel Architecture

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Geothermal-powered Lake Austin Home is tuned in to nature

Solar-powered Cottage in the Vineyard puts a modern spin on rural architecture

September 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Ramón Esteve Estudio completed a minimalist mono-pitched dwelling that blends into its agricultural backdrop yet still catches the eye with its modern design. Located in the rural outskirts of Valencia, Spain, the Cottage in the Vineyard was designed to perfectly integrate into the landscape and features full-height glazing to blur the lines of indoor/outdoor living. The home also sits lightly on the landscape with its use of solar panels, natural insulation, energy-efficient lighting, and rainwater harvesting systems. Located between pine forests and grapevine fields, Cottage in the Vineyard marks a threshold between the cultivated and wild landscape. The house takes on a long linear shape made with a white concrete shell intersected by boxy thermally modified pine containers. Each pine structure features large glazed end-walls to frame views of the landscape. The structure is topped with a pitched roof in the image of a standard traditional rural house. Related: Vineyard House uses rammed earth to stay cool in Portugal’s hot summers “Environmentally, it follows the guidelines for a passive house ,” said Ramón Esteve. “Appropriate means are available to take advantage of renewable energy through the use of panels of solar energy, energy supply from biomass or collecting and storing drinkable rain water.” The Cottage in the Vineyard uses rock wool for thermal insulation. Cross ventilation is optimized through the home’s concrete spine. + Ramón Esteve Estudio Via Gessato Images by Mariela Apollonio

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Solar-powered Cottage in the Vineyard puts a modern spin on rural architecture

Off-grid Lake House escapes the Texan heat with minimal landscape impact

September 21, 2017 by  
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There’s nothing quite like taking a cool dip in a lake on a hot summer’s day. The lucky owners of the Lake House get to escape the brutal Texan heat with laps in Lake Austin thanks to their off-grid boathouse. American studio Andersson-Wise Architects designed the two-story boathouse that operates off the grid and exerts minimal impact on the environment. Created as part of a residential estate, the Lake House in Austin is a boathouse set a half-mile away from the main residence across a deep ravine. The modern building is anchored atop a rock in the lake and elevated on slender steel columns. The steel-framed structure is divided into two sections: a sheltered space for a sculling dock and boat storage below, and living quarters with a grill and operable windows above. “The simple, elegant building rises above the water, resting on the surface like a water skater,” said the architects, according to https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/19/andersson-wise-off-the-grid-boathouse-lake-austin-texas/ Dezeen . “And like the surface-skimming insect, this off-the-grid domicile exerts a minimal impact on its surroundings.” Related: Dreamy summer retreat built of salvaged materials sends eclectic vibes in Austin A natural materials palette helps blend the Lake House into its forested surroundings. Dark-stained wood clad the structure inside and out. Operable screen windows on the north and east facades swing open to let in cooling winds, natural light , and views of the lake. The screen windows can also be removed so that visitors can dive directly out of the living room into the lake. + Andersson-Wise Architects Via Dezeen Images via Andersson-Wise Architects

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Off-grid Lake House escapes the Texan heat with minimal landscape impact

Could France-sized ocean garbage patch become 196th nation?

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Plastic trash is polluting our oceans , and now there’s a garbage patch near Hawaii that is about as large as the entire country of France. The charity Plastic Oceans Foundation and publication LADbible want to have the patch acknowledged as a country called Trash Isles . Why? Two main reasons: to raise awareness of the pollution problem, and to get the area cleaned up. LADbible and Plastic Oceans want to set up the world’s 196th nation: Trash Isles, currently a giant garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean . They’re working to raise awareness, but they also submitted a Declaration of Independence to the United Nations (UN) on World Oceans Day back in June. They’re now collecting signatures of ‘citizens’ on Change.org to submit a petition to UN Secretary General António Guterres. Related: A garbage patch bigger than Texas was just discovered in the Pacific Ocean Trash Isles actually could meet country criteria. LADbible says under Article 1 of the 1993 Montevido Convention on the rights and duties of States, a country must define a territory, form a government, have a permanent population – they say that one’s open for interpretation – and be able to interact with other states. Quartz said they can roughly draw borders around the garbage patch and it wouldn’t be hard to create a government and organizations for interacting. Trash Isles can already count former United States vice president Al Gore as their first citizen, and over 107,750 people have signed the Change.org petition. What’s the point of all this effort, besides awareness of an environmental issue? If accepted as a country and UN member, Trash Isles will be protected under the UN’s Environmental Charters. LADbible pointed to a specific line which reads, “All members shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect, and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem .” They interpret that to mean the world’s countries will have to work to clean up Trash Isles. LADbible said people can help out by signing the Change.org petition to become a Trash Isles citizen, or by donating to Plastic Oceans . Trash Isles already has an official flag, currency, and passports created with recycled materials . LADbible Group Head of Marketing Stephen Mai said, “We are just getting started. There may well be a national anthem, general elections, and even a national football team.” + Trash Isles + Plastic Oceans Foundation Via LADbible ( 1 , 2 ) and Quartz Images via LADbible and Mario Kerkstra ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 )

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Could France-sized ocean garbage patch become 196th nation?

Unique temporary shelter in Greece offers an elevated camping experience

September 19, 2017 by  
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Well, this is different. Studio Genua and hiboux  ARCHITECTURE designed this contemporary wooden shelter , which acts as a short-term residence for farmers and harvesters—or a summer beach lodge. Called Tragata, the elevated lodgings provide a place for people to relax and enjoy panoramic views of the natural surroundings. Located in Cephalonia, Greece , the structure functions as a transformable space raised from the ground. Its permanent timber frame and detachable panels are made from locally-sourced materials and were assembled on site. Related: Temporary Wooden ‘Hangout’ Provides Shelter for Festival-goers in Eindhoven Parts of the roof can be folded open to offer views of the night sky and provide shading during the day. A hidden storage space sits underneath the floor plane and can be used to store mattresses and other equipment that is not easy to transport. A hammock is placed between the ground and the deck. Related: 14 amazing timber structures explore the future of wood as a building material The modular structure is easy to construct, opening up the opportunity to build similar structures that offer such elevated camping experiences. Tragatas are designed to combine the feeling of isolation and openness while adapting to the needs of their temporary inhabitants. + hiboux ARCHITECTURE + Studio Genua Via Archdaily Lead photo by Marianna Xyntaraki

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Unique temporary shelter in Greece offers an elevated camping experience

Surf artist battles massive tides to paint powerful mural in the Bay of Fundy

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Sean Yoro  has a passion for creating art on precarious surfaces , but this time the intrepid street artist – who paints on a surfboard in the water – had to contend with 28-foot tide changes to create his latest piece. Yoro (known as Hula ) has just unveiled a mural of a woman that disappears underwater when the tide rises (about one foot every 15 minutes) in Canada’s Bay of Fundy. Most of Yoro’s work is usually done in undisclosed locations for legal reasons, but this time, the artist was invited by the team behind Discover Saint John to create the mural on Minas Basin, an inlet in the Bay of Fundy. The task was not easy, however, considering the area can have 28-foot tide changes in a single day. Related: Andreco paints climate change mural ahead of COP21 in Paris Needless to say, even though he didn’t have to skirt authorities this time around, it wasn’t easy painting the 30 by 45 feet mural. “It was really challenging to adapt to the tide changes, from the dangerous rip currents to the quick rate of rising and dropping water levels, averaging 1 foot every 15 minutes,” Yoro told CNN . “I had to use several calculated formulas to know the rate of the tides coming in or out every day, and use this information to know what speed I could paint for that tide change, which helped (me) pace myself in order to get the proper details finished in the figure.” Another major challenge was finding paint that would adhere to the concrete wall in such damp conditions. He was determined to use nontoxic paint for environmental reasons, but had to experiment with various types mixed with sealers to come up with a special formula that would dry quickly and withstand the water levels as he worked. Unfortunately, Yoro’s beautiful artwork is sure wash away. The mix of sun, saltwater, and algae will most likely eat away at the paint over time, but Yoro hopes his work will last at least two or three months. + Sean Yoro Via CNN

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Surf artist battles massive tides to paint powerful mural in the Bay of Fundy

Raindrop makes rainwater harvesting at home beautiful and easy

September 19, 2017 by  
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Traditional rain barrels are often clunky eyesores, which is why Studio Bas van der Veer designed a beautiful modern alternative that we love. Meet Raindrop, a stylish drop-shaped rain barrel with a built-in watering can. The award-winning design was recently unveiled during the three-day spoga+gafa 2017 fair in Cologne and will be ready for sale by 2018. Eight years ago, Van der Veer introduced his stylish drop-shaped design as ‘A Drop of Water’ as part of his thesis for the Design Academy Eindhoven . Several iterations and awards later, Raindrop was created. This sleek and polished design complements a wide variety of homes and comes in a variety of sizes and functionalities. His current collection includes the Raindrop Mini, a smaller rain barrel for limited spaces like balconies, as well as the larger Pure Rain model that even includes a birdbath. Raindrop is expected to be available for sale early next year and will be produced by pottery label Elho . Related: 3 ways to capture water for your backyard garden (that won’t break the bank) Since Van der Veer traded size for style, Raindrop won’t hold as much as a traditional rain barrel of the same height. The modern drop shape is “a symbolical reference to what the design contains: water ,” says Van der Veer. The Raindrop models can be easily attached to drainpipes with diameters up to 50 to 80 millimeters. A convenient watering can integrated into the design collects water directly from the pipe. There is also a faucet at the bottom of the barrel. + Studio Bas van der Veer Via ArchDaily

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Raindrop makes rainwater harvesting at home beautiful and easy

Thomas Heatherwick unveils massive museum carved out of a historic grain silo

September 18, 2017 by  
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Prolific architect Thomas Heatherwick just finished transforming an old grain silo in Cape Town into South Africa’s largest art museum – the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. The team spent years carefully renovating the silo’s 42 massive cylindrical concrete tubes into 6,000 square feet of gallery space, which will hold the world’s premier collection of African art. The grain silo has held court over Cape Town’s Table Bay harbor since 1924. Some of the building’s rough concrete walls were kept intact, while others were carved into shapes and finished with polished concrete. An 88-foot-high cathedral-like atrium sits at the heart of the museum and leads to the expansive network of 80 individual galleries. The design team preserved the silo’s bold concrete exterior while updating it with bulging glass windows that flood the interior with natural light . The renovation of the historic building was quite complicated, considering the tubular shape of the silos . Heatherwick told Dezeen, “It became like archaeology, like excavating out gallery spaces, but not wanting to obliterate the tubularity completely. We realized we needed to do something that your eye couldn’t instantly predict,” he explained. “Our role was destructing rather than constructing, but trying to destruct with a confidence and an energy, and not treating the building as a shrine.” The Zeitz Museum is just one part of the large waterfront complex that will eventually include bars and restaurants. The swanky Royal Portfolio Hotel , which was built into the silo’s grain elevators, opened earlier this year. + Thomas Heatherwick Studio Via Dezeen

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Thomas Heatherwick unveils massive museum carved out of a historic grain silo

Dimension Plus turned Oreo cookies into edible records that play music

September 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

As if they weren’t sweet enough, now Oreo cookies have been converted into edible records that play music! Designed by the creative minds at Dimension Plus , Oreo Vinyl embosses actual Oreo cookies with tiny grooves, just like vinyl records – except they’re edible. The musical treats even come in cardboard packaging that can be transformed into a mini record player. The musical cookie was designed as part of a campaign aimed at marketing the iconic treat to teenagers, converting the sweet treat into a music playing record by employing the same concept of manufacturing a vinyl record . Local musicians were even brought on board to recreate the original Oreo theme music in their own individual styles. Related: And Vinyly Turns Your Remains Into a Vinyl Record When You Die The music was transformed into a pattern and converted into a format compatible with laser-engraving and then embossed on the cookie surface thanks to innovative laser cutting and engraving techniques. The Oreo Vinyl was recently awarded the Visual Communication Design Award in the annual Golden Pin Design Awards in Taiwan. + Dimension Plus Images via Taiwan Design Center and Dimension Plus

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Dimension Plus turned Oreo cookies into edible records that play music

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