Geotectura Studio completes an ecological building on a former brownfield in Israel

December 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

A former brownfield has been transformed into the remediated site for ECO-TUBES, the Azriel Faculty of Design’s Workshop Building that boasts sustainable construction materials and energy-efficient systems. Designed by architect Joseph Cory of the Israeli architecture studio Geotectura Studio , the recently completed building was developed as part of the planned renovation of Shenkar College’s campus in Ramat Gan, Israel and features recycled and local materials along with non-toxic finishes. Selected as the winner of a competition, the Azriel Faculty of Design’s Workshops Building (ECO-TUBES) design was favored over other proposals due to its ability to be implemented in phases without disrupting student activity. Installed in two phases, the 6,600-square-meter Azriel Faculty of Design’s Workshops Building houses several workshop rooms—among them woodworking, metalworking, painting, foam manipulation and more—in addition to classrooms , offices, gallery spaces and the Gottesman Department of Jewelry Design. The building has also been engineered to allow for future growth through the addition of extra floors. In a nod to the city’s heritage as a major citrus producer, the landscaping features a variety of citrus trees (including orange, pomelo, lime, pomelit and grapefruit) to mimic an urban orchard. The roof has also been transformed into a mini orchard with container plants. The abundance of greenery, along with the vertical louvers, made from bamboo fiber and recycled plastic, helps to combat the urban heat island effect and create a pleasant microclimate. Related: Energy-plus home is a beacon of sustainability in Tel Aviv Designed with Buidling Information Modeling (BIM) to optimize energy efficiency , the U-Glass-clad building was constructed with a compact, well-insulated envelope and follows passive solar principles. “The conception of a compact shape led to minimal use of material, while maximizing natural light until late afternoon,” explains Geotectura Studio. “The building’s unique shape is based on polygonal segments with ecological glass and excellent insulation along the sides. The polygons extend the length of the southern façade, making it possible to place more workshop tools that require optimal natural light. The arched design creates optimization of maximal workstations receiving natural soft lighting.” + Geotectura Studio Images by Lior Avitan

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Geotectura Studio completes an ecological building on a former brownfield in Israel

A guide to the best holiday gifts for an eco-friendly home

December 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

As adults, receiving gifts to adorn a home or apartment is one of the greatest joys in life. Whether you’re searching for a unique furniture piece for your parents, adorable trinkets for a friend or something extra special for yourself, these gifts top our list of favorite presents for a green home this year. Natural Escape Mattress This holiday season, give the best gift of all: the gift of a good night’s sleep. Free from the toxic VOCs and chemical flame retardants that lurk in most traditional mattresses, the Natural Escape mattress from My Green Mattress is organic and USA-made, making it the perfect gift for just about anyone on your list. We certainly won’t judge you for purchasing it for yourself — once you’ve slept on the contouring, supportive layers of organic cotton and latex as well as natural wool, it will be even harder to leave your bed each morning. Smart thermostats This green technology will allow its recipient to keep their home cozy and comfortable year-round while saving energy and lowering utility bills. Check out the high-tech options by Nest or ecobee . Related: 4 things you need to know about smart thermostats Cork and bamboo coffee press Made from cork, bamboo and glass, this eco-friendly French press is a stylish gift that will look beautiful on any kitchen counter. The wood is left unstained for food safety, and the simple device is just as quick and easy to use as any other coffee maker but without throwaway filters or electricity. Best of all, each purchase helps the company, GROSCHE, provide more than 50 days of safe, clean drinking water for those in need. Bidet Is a bidet attachment for a toilet the most romantic or exciting gift? Maybe not. But it is incredibly useful and better for the environment, considering people around the world flush the equivalent of about 27,000 trees daily . Nomadix Many people have towels for different purposes: bathing, camping, swimming, yoga. But  one towel from Nomadix  can do it all, and these brightly patterned towels are even made from post-consumer  plastic  bottles. It’s a win-win. Terra Klay If you really want to take someone’s breath away, snag some impressive dishware from Terra Klay . From bowls and mugs to teapots and casserole dishes, this pottery is handcrafted with care by women artisans in Manipur, India. They make a striking addition to any kitchen. Fan-folded paper lights Really wow someone you love with these luxurious (but budget-friendly) pendant lights . The fixture of each light is made from upcycled vinyl records, while the intricately folded shade is made from scrap cardboard paper. It also includes LED bulbs and comes in four colors, from neutral to flashy. Rio sofa from Stem At first glance, this is a simple couch that can blend into any living room. But this sofa also features eco-friendly and customizable materials from colors and fabrics to fillings and legs. The sofas are made with FSC-certified timber frames and avoid harsh chemicals. Inmod Azara dresser This stylish dresser is made from 100 percent Moso bamboo and features six soft-close drawers to hold plenty of clothing, accessories or extra blankets. The finish is distinct enough to stand out, but subtle enough to match the recipient’s existing furnishings. Wool comforter We spend a lot of time sleeping or snuggling in bed. Make that time count with these warm, snuggly wool comforters that are made with 100 percent organic wool and cotton. This is also a durable comforter that will last and last. Melrose furnishings from Urban Woods You can’t go wrong with the Melrose set from Urban Woods . Each piece uses reclaimed wood as well as low-VOC and non-toxic materials. These furnishings are also made in L.A., reducing the environmental impact of shipping (compared to ordering items shipped from outside the country). This collection is bold and modern, but you can also find many other sets or make a custom order to suit your gift recipient’s style. Teak wood bowls and salad servers Made from reclaimed teak wood, these bowls and salad servers are a must-have for anyone who loves to entertain. Each is hand-formed with distinct graining, leaving no two items the same. From salads to fresh fruits, anything served in these bowls will be the star of the show. Recycled pouf The incredibly relaxed lounge chair, or the pouf, is becoming a staple for modern living rooms. Choose a unique, sustainable option like this eye-catching black pouf made from recycled textiles like leather and cotton. Each pouf uses a different blend of materials, making each one an original. Organic crinkled percale sheets It’s no secret that well-loved (read: old) sheets are the most comfortable to sleep in, so imagine the joy of opening a set of brand new, organic sheets that already have that worn-in softness from the start. These sheets come in soothing neutral shades to match any bedroom, and the soft, slightly crinkled cotton will make your bed even cozier than normal. Images via My Green Mattress , Nest , GROSCHE , Amazon , Terra Klay , Nomadix , ABCD , Stem , Inmod , Haiku Designs , Urban Woods , CB2 ( 1 , 2 ), Coyuchi and Amira Hegazy

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A guide to the best holiday gifts for an eco-friendly home

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