Reclaimed timber makes up this tranquil nature retreat in Vietnam

April 16, 2021 by  
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Vietnamese architecture firm  SILAA  has recently completed the Hachi Lily House, a nature-inspired retreat tucked into a pomelo tree-filled village near the city of Hue. The clients are a family who, after leaving the hustle and bustle of city living in search of a more peaceful lifestyle, asked the architects to design the home as the “base” for a future homestay project that will also be located on the property. The simple gable-roofed dwelling prioritizes indoor/outdoor connections and is primarily built of  reclaimed  timber salvaged from the structures of old demolished buildings.  Completed earlier this year, the 115-square-meter Hachi Lily House features a rectangular footprint set on the northeast corner of the property planted with pomelo trees. To highlight the landscape, the architects oriented the home towards views of the pomelo trees and fitted it with vast glazing, a timber  mezzanine  with views of the garden, and an outdoor veranda that spans the length of the front facade and faces a water lily pond with a small wooden bridge.  Inside, the light-filled home separates the main common areas on the south side of the home near the front entrance from the sleeping areas on the north side with two centrally located restrooms. The open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen connect seamlessly to the outdoor  veranda  via timber-framed sliding glass doors. In contrast, a natural stone wall wraps around the two bedrooms in the rear to provide privacy and to frame a hidden inner garden that includes two outdoor showers near the bathrooms.  Related: Dramatic arches usher nature inside an alley home in Vietnam A ladder in the living room leads up to a small mezzanine where the family’s library and storage are located. A  skylight  and small operable windows let in natural light and promote air circulation in the elevated space, while extended roof overhangs protect the home from unwanted solar gain in summer and the prolonged rains in winter. “Different types of stone, wood, concrete, glass, terracotta, textile, water, greenery… create a good color palette,” note the architects. “The children and their grandmother can have a good sleep in this cozy and calming atmosphere.” + SILAA Images by Hoang Le

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Reclaimed timber makes up this tranquil nature retreat in Vietnam

The Netherlands to ban carbon-emitting delivery vehicles

April 16, 2021 by  
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The Netherlands has launched a plan that will ban all carbon-emitting delivery vehicles in urban areas. The country has started by allowing only zero-emission delivery vehicles in 14 cities so far and has authorized all cities in the country to come up with zero-emission zones and logistics plans. The full ban is expected to go into effect by 2025. The  environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven  said that the plan comes after a noticeable increase in online shopping deliveries. If the government hopes to reach its zero-emission road traffic target by 2050, it is important to cut these increasing delivery emissions. Related: Do we really need to mine the deep seas to power EVs? “Now that we are spending more time at home, we are noticing the large number of delivery vans and lorries driving through cities,” the environment minister said. “The agreements we are setting down will ensure that it will be a matter of course that within a few years, supermarket shelves will be stocked, waste will be collected, and packages will arrive on time, yet without any exhaust fumes and CO2 emissions .” Research done by the World Economic Forum in 2020  projected  that e-commerce would lead to a 36% rise in delivery vehicles in the world’s 100 largest cities by 2030. According to the report, if all these vehicles were to be on the roads, they would increase emissions by 32%. However, the report also indicates that switching to electric vehicles would cut emissions by 30%. The Netherlands is encouraging the transport sector to go carbon-free by offering $5,900 USD worth of grants to businesses to help buy and lease electric vehicles. Although the Netherlands claims to be the first country to give its cities the freedom to go carbon-free, other cities seem to have made the move already. Research by  Renault  shows that many European cities are already moving toward zero emissions. In Germany, cities have designated low-emission zones, while in Italy, over 100 communities have introduced zones with limited traffic. Madrid, Barcelona and London all have similar measures in place to curb emissions. Via EcoWatch Image via Biontologist

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6 Green DIY Projects for Home and Garden

April 15, 2021 by  
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With Earth Day just around the corner, you may be thinking about how to make… The post 6 Green DIY Projects for Home and Garden appeared first on Earth911.

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Dismountable dojo in Vietnam is topped with a rice husk roof

April 9, 2021 by  
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Energy efficiency, Japanese design and an emphasis on low site impact are combined at DOJO Saigon, a new light-filled judo training hall in Ho Chi Minh City . Designed by Southeast Asian design firm T3 Architects , the building has a unique, international character thanks to its design modeled after traditional Japanese dojos and its location in the garden of an old French-style villa in Vietnam’s largest and most populous city. Sustainable principles guided the design from the start, from the careful building placement informed by passive solar considerations and preservation of existing trees to the use of double glazing and a rice husk-insulated roof for low energy consumption. Completed this year, the DOJO Saigon is an extension of an existing villa that houses new changing rooms, office space and co-working areas for judo practitioners. Oriented to follow the main circulation through the existing building, the new dojo is also carefully placed to minimize site impact and to optimize access to natural light. All existing trees were kept intact; the preserved mature trees not only provide shade to the building but also help with managing stormwater runoff, a major problem in the flood-prone area. Related: Sustainable Central Park with energy-producing trees unveiled for Ho Chi Minh City To keep cool air from leaking out of the air-conditioned building, the architects installed fully insulated walls as well as double glazing for all openings. The roof is insulated with rice husk, an ecological and affordable material that can be locally sourced. “For the last but not least, taking in consideration the dynamic and changeable times we all live, the project has been designed to be dismountable (main structure, flooring, walls, tatami …) to provide the client with the option to move the whole building to another plot in case it is needed,” the architects added. “Putting together the sustainable principles comments above, the beauty of the practice of Judo, and the creative and functional design makes finally a meaningful project with a very competitive budget.” + T3 Architects Photography by Hiroyuki Oki via T3 Architects

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Dismountable dojo in Vietnam is topped with a rice husk roof

Solar-powered Zamasport HQ produces over half of its energy needs

April 9, 2021 by  
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After 3 years of development, Italian architecture firm Frigerio Design Group has completed fabrication engineering company Zamasport’s new headquarters, a fabric-inspired building that is mostly powered with solar energy. Designed to follow the architecture firm’s philosophy of “slow architecture,” the sustainably minded headquarters prioritizes energy efficiency and worker wellness with the use of natural light, acoustic comfort and greenery incorporated throughout the building. The use of renewable energy systems, passive design principles and energy-efficient technologies has helped the Zamasport headquarters meet NZEB (Near Zero Energy Building) standards. Located at the center of Zamasport’s industrial complex, the new 3,700-square-meter headquarters serves as a “hinge” between the existing buildings and is connected to neighboring departments via glazed corridors. The 10-meter-tall multifunctional building houses offices, workshops and meeting rooms in the front with warehouse facilities in the rear. The ground floor is dedicated to production facilities, such as the cutting department, while the first floor, which frames views of two internal suspended gardens, comprises the main office spaces with meeting rooms and break areas. Related: Eco-conscious Birkenstock HQ in Melbourne targets carbon-neutral status Taking inspiration from Zamasport’s work in the fashion industry, the architects created a facade evocative of fabric. Three sides of the building are enclosed in prefabricated , colored concrete panels — engineered with thermal breaks and ventilation — that mimic the pleats and folds of clothing. The main facade is completely glazed with vertical, curvilinear sunshades meant to evoke strips of hanging fabric. To meet NZEB standards, the architects equipped the Zamasport HQ with a photovoltaic system capable of producing up to 50,000 kWh per year as well as a radiant heating and cooling system. Passive design principles and energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lights and sensors, help reduce the building’s energy usage. A Building Automation system monitors the mechanical and electrical systems at all times. + Frigerio Design Group Photography by Mario Frusca via Frigerio Design Group

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Solar-powered Zamasport HQ produces over half of its energy needs

Planting a Garden for the Birds

March 17, 2021 by  
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Birds are the most welcome wildlife in the landscape garden. They are beautiful, musical, interesting… The post Planting a Garden for the Birds appeared first on Earth911.

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Planting a Garden for the Birds

Earth911 Podcast: Meat Alternatives With Before the Butcher’s Danny O’Malley

March 17, 2021 by  
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Danny O’Malley, founder and CEO of plant-based meat alternative company Before the Butcher joins Earth911’s… The post Earth911 Podcast: Meat Alternatives With Before the Butcher’s Danny O’Malley appeared first on Earth911.

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How To Grow Vegetables With Aquaponics

March 17, 2021 by  
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If you’re interested in starting a small garden with a minimal carbon footprint, aquaponics is… The post How To Grow Vegetables With Aquaponics appeared first on Earth911.

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Companion plants to consider for your spring garden

March 11, 2021 by  
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Like humans, good plant companions bring out the best in each other. Throughout the forest, certain plants need the same resources and will cause competition between plants. In contrast, companion planting ensures plants are good neighbors, supporting each other instead of clashing. As an example, look to nature, where smaller plants take shelter from taller trees. In the gardening realm, this means equitably sharing nutrients and upholding each other, in a very literal way. It also means improving the health and overall yield of individual plants. When it comes to your garden, think about partnering up some classics that will benefit your landscape and your favorite garden-fresh recipe . Benefits to companion planting Choosing the right plants to combine in a space means being able to use every square foot. Intercropping results in lower plants growing upward by using taller plants as support. It also means different plants aren’t fighting for the same resources, so while carrots grow underground, an adjacent and shallow-rooted lettuce won’t infringe. Related: Top gardening trends of 2020 and what to watch for 2021 In addition, appropriately matched companion plants will provide insect control for the entire space. Similarly, many flowers attract desirable insects (like bees !) that can help out in the garden, naturally. For example, carrots, dill, parsley and parsnip attract beneficial insects like praying mantises, ladybugs and spiders that dine on problem insects on other garden plants. Other benefits of one plant to another include natural shade protection, weed suppression and healthier soil. The famous trio — The Three Sisters Any book on companion planting will mention a Native American discovery known as “ Three Sister Planting .” This trio brings together corn, beans and squash and serves as a perfect example of the power of companion plants. The corn, tall and sturdy, supports the beans below that naturally climb the stalk. The beans, like all legumes, balance nitrogen in the soil, which feeds the corn. Meanwhile, the squash, often in the form of pumpkins, quickly develops large leaves that provide shade and natural weed-blocking for both the beans and the corn. Companions to popular spring crops Here are some excellent suggestions for what to pair with the most popular plants going in the ground this spring. Tomatoes When you get the tomatoes in the ground, surround them with dill and basil to protect them from invasive hornworms. Lots of crops partner well with tomatoes, including asparagus, beans, carrots, celery, lettuce, melons, mint, onions, parsley, peppers, radishes, spinach and thyme. As you move through the seasons, replace the cool weather, early season options with those that perform better during the summer heat. Cabbage Although you don’t want to put cabbage next to tomatoes, they do have several companions in common. Intermingle sage to deter cabbage moths. Also add in beans, celery, cucumbers, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, onions, potatoes, spinach and thyme as the weather and seasons allow. Radishes Radishes are quick-growing, cool weather veggies perfect for spring planting. Radish is also a great partner for other garden inhabitants, because it grows underground. Common radish companion plants include basil, beans, carrots, cucumber, coriander, lettuce, melons, onions, peas, spinach and tomatoes. Keep radishes away from kohlrabi and hyssop. Lettuce All leafy greens appreciate the cool days of spring and start to struggle with the heat that summer brings. The many varieties of lettuce partner well with just about anything else you’re able to plant, and some plants will even keep lettuce shaded and cool enough to extend its season a bit. Good garden neighbors for lettuce include asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, strawberries, sunflowers and tomatoes. Just keep lettuce away from broccoli. Peas Snow, snap and string peas also excel in a spring garden, especially when paired with beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, radishes and turnips. Do not allow peas to share garden space with onions and garlic. Onions and garlic Like co-workers after a garlicky lunch, these plants deter a wide range of pests. Even with their notoriously strong statement as a vegetable, the plants are mild and friendly with most garden neighbors. The exception is beans and peas, which are stunted when paired with onions and garlic. Potatoes Avoid putting potatoes next to sunflowers. Otherwise, they are fairly happy in any neighborhood. They do especially well when coupled with beans, cabbage, corn, eggplant and peas. Overall good neighbors There are some plants that are generally seen as good neighbors to everyone. As pest control, marigolds are universally acknowledged for the ability to repel nematodes, a particularly aggressive little bugger. Nasturtiums, in contrast, draw aphids toward them, keeping the insects from munching down nearby tomatoes, lettuce, kale and cabbage. Related: Companion planting for beginners Although toxic to livestock, tansy can be a welcome addition to the garden as a repellent for cutworm , which can decimate asparagus, bean, cabbage, carrot, celery, corn, lettuce, pea, pepper, potato and tomato plants.  Many herbs including catnip, hyssop, rosemary and sage will scare off the cabbage moth, an enemy of crops like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnip and radish. Also note that you can improve your pest control by avoiding planting large groupings or rows of the same type of vegetable, which can serve as a bullseye for problematic pests. Space considerations In addition to balancing out each other’s needs, companion plants work together to provide the greatest yield in the smallest space. Efficiency and organization in your garden means placing quick-growing spring selections like lettuce, spinach, radishes, swiss chard and carrots in between the early buds of long-season crops like melon, pumpkin and squash. With this technique, the quick crops will be ready for harvest before the sprawling plants need more real estate to grow. Images via Adobe Stock

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Biodiverse green roof wins Grands Prix du Design award for MYTO Design

February 18, 2021 by  
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Atop a luxury home in Westmount, Montréal, MYTO Design d’espaces vivants created a biodiverse green rooftop dedicated to wellness. It’s easy to see why the elegant Clarke Terrace has just been named a winner in the Residential Patio and Landscaping category for Grands Prix du Design 2020. Designer Martine Brisson and landscape architect Roxanne Miller named their practice MYTO Design after the essential units of human life. Life-giving mitochondria are part of the energy production apparatus found in nearly every living cell. Just as plant and animal cells intelligently integrate with their environment, this project seamlessly harmonizes an outdoor living space with the surrounding landscape . Related: Modular home in Delft boasts low-carbon timber build and a green roof Lucky visitors to this sensory green roof can relax on custom ipe wood planters and comfortable seating to enjoy a spectacular view of Montreal’s downtown, framed by local wildflowers in pinks, purples and blues. In the sturdy planters and within the green terrace, Miller opted for perennials and indigenous species to cut down on garden maintenance. The planters, built by Atelier Papineau, are even insulated to protect the plants . Miller carefully chose an array of suitable species to create a biodiverse roof with a harmonious palette and long flowering season. “Wild grasses are very important and present, Miscanthus, Calamagrostis, Hordeum jubatum and so on,” Miller told Inhabitat. “One of my favorites in the green roof section is the creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis). The Sempervivum are always beautiful.” Often known as liveforever or houseleeks, these striking, succulent rosettes store plenty of water in their leaves and are extremely hardy. The 1,965-square-foot living roof was completed in summer 2018. Miller spoke of the benefits of such spaces for all. “Greening beautiful spaces is always meaningful and brings added benefits like water retention, biodiversity or becoming an accessible green space for urban residents. They should be on every building!” A streamlined glass parapet encloses the perimeter to ensure safe enjoyment of the garden and uninterrupted access to the views. Brisson and Miller achieved subtle lighting for the roof with fixtures from Jardin d’ombre et lumière. As the evening turns the sky from sunset to deep blue, the space takes on a warm, intimate and relaxing ambiance. The Clarke Terrace refines our expectations for underused roof space with a truly enjoyable green roof . + MYTO design d’espaces vivants inc. Photography by Pierre Béland via v2com

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Biodiverse green roof wins Grands Prix du Design award for MYTO Design

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