A contemporary German home celebrates energy-saving, seasonal living

April 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on A contemporary German home celebrates energy-saving, seasonal living

Architecture firms Jurek Brüggen and KOSA architekten teamed up to design Haus am See — German for “House by the Lake” — a minimalist home crafted for seasonal living. Located on the highest point of Werder Island near the border of Germany and Poland, the contemporary residence has been deliberately stripped down to a restrained palette of exposed concrete and wood in striking contrast to its more ornate neighbors. The Haus am See is located among four other houses with very different architectural styles, including Neo-Gothic Belvedere, Art Deco, Neo Classical and a bungalow design from the German Democratic Republic era. In contrast, the new residence has no ornamentation; the building consists of a lower, bunker-like concrete volume and a wooden pavilion on the roof that looks out over views of the Havel River. All the construction materials are left exposed and unpainted. Related: Green-roofed Stonecrop home rises from rural English landscape The interior is likewise minimalist ; however, it feels much warmer thanks to the use of light-colored timber surfaces throughout. The wooden staircase that leads from the ground floor to the roof doubles as a bookshelf. Large windows and sliding doors provide a constant connection to the outdoors, including the garden with a stone outdoor pool. To reduce energy costs, the architects designed the home to follow the concept of seasonal living. In winter, the residents can close off the pavilion using folding doors and a sliding window, thus condensing their living area to the ground floor, which is partly buried into the slope to take advantage of the earth’s thermal mass . In summer, the home’s living space is doubled with the use of the pavilion and terrace. “The seasonal living concept brings a millennia-old cultural technique into the present day,” the architects explained. “In contrast to conventional energy-saving houses, which isolate themselves from their surroundings, it shows how we can effectively conserve resources while living sustainably in connection with the environment. The seasonal concept is a strategy for sustainable living in a time of excessive insulation regulations.” + Jurek Brüggen + KOSA Images via Jurek Brüggen

See more here:
A contemporary German home celebrates energy-saving, seasonal living

3-wheeled electric truck doubles as a sweet tiny camper

February 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 3-wheeled electric truck doubles as a sweet tiny camper

The worlds of electric vehicles and tiny campers have collided to bring us the Elektro Frosch — a tiny, three-wheeled electric pickup truck that has a fold-out camper. The cute little “Electric Frog” campers have everything you need to enjoy a minimalist outdoor excursion, including a camper that sleeps two and a large tarp that pulls out from the vehicle to cover the cooking and dining space. Designed by the German company Elektro Frosch, the electric truck comes in two sizes: the Big and the Pro. Although the designs are slightly different, each three-wheeled, fire-engine red vehicle is equipped with 2,500 watts of energy that enable the electric truck to travel up to 37 miles on one charge. Granted, that’s not much power, but for a quick weekend in the wilderness, it should do the trick. Related: Tiny TigerMoth Camper generates power while being towed The electric trucks come with custom camping modules that fit snugly in the flatbed area but can also be easily removed. Completely street-legal, these tiny trucks are incredibly lightweight at just 529 pounds, yet they are strong enough to hold up to 1,157 pounds. The camping setup has everything needed for an off-grid adventure. The bright orange tent, which sleeps two, folds up and out and is accessible by a ladder. The functional electric vehicle also includes a pull-out tarp that can be staked into the landscape for support. This space can be used as a covered kitchen and dining area or just general lounge space with some protection from the elements. The dining table comes with plenty of storage and a slide-out shelf that can be used for extra preparation space. The tiny camper also comes with several fold-out stools, creating the perfect setting for owners to enjoy the fresh air. The entire set-up, electric truck and all, is 4,900 euros (about $5,300). + Elektro Frosch Via Treehugger Images via Elektro Frosh

Original post: 
3-wheeled electric truck doubles as a sweet tiny camper

A long weekend in nature at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

February 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on A long weekend in nature at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

Twenty-five people walk through the hemlock forest on snowshoes. We’re close together, but move quietly in a line, going fast enough that we’re sweating on a 32-degree January morning. Eventually, we come to a brook, and Katie Hagel, an outdoor leader for the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, tells us to find our own quiet contemplation spot. We disperse, leaning against trees, sitting on logs or sprawling in patches of snow, snowshoes splayed at ungainly angles. We breathe the cold air and listen to water moving beneath the brook’s layer of ice. After a few minutes, Hagel gently hoots like an owl to let us know it’s time to reassemble. Our mindful time in nature is part of a snowshoeing and yoga program at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Kripalu sits on ancestral Stockbridge Munsee Mohican land overlooking Lake Mahkeenac, with views stretching across the southern Berkshires. Black bears, eastern coyotes, fishers, deer, porcupines, bobcats and bald eagles all call this land home. Related: Truly get away from it all at this gorgeous eco-resort and yoga retreat In 1893, banker Anson Phelps Stokes built Shadowbrook, his 100-room mansion, on this land. Later, it was home to a Jesuit monastery. But in 1983, the property’s purpose turned to yoga . Devotees of Swami Kripalu, an Indian yoga master who spent the last years of his life in the U.S., bought the property as an ashram. Since then, it’s evolved into one of the country’s largest yoga centers, with more than 40,000 guests per year and nearly 500 workers on staff. People come for professional training in yoga and Ayurveda as well as for short programs, like my snowshoeing and yoga weekend, and personal retreats. A weekend at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health When I arrived at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health at 10 p.m. on a Friday, I wasn’t expecting to have to wait in line to check into my room. But such is people’s desire for retreat from big city life. Many of the folks I met were from New York City , although some came as far as Texas or Arizona and others lived within 50 miles of the property. Many were repeat visitors seeking a tranquil getaway. Despite there being so many people onsite, Kripalu does a good job of letting people be sociable or quiet, as needed. The meals are all served buffet-style in the enormous dining room. Breakfast is a silent meal, but lunch and dinner can get raucous. Fortunately, a separate, small, silent dining room provides refuge for those seeking quiet. While Kripalu’s rooms are comfortable, this is not a luxury resort. My top-of-the-line private room included two single beds, good reading lights and a lovely bathtub. It was overwhelmingly plain; only two pillows decorated with hot pink flowers perked up the interior. No art on the wall underlined the contemplation-over-decoration philosophy. My room was in the Annex , an award-winning green building designed by Peter Rose + Partners. The Annex features hydronic radiant heating and cooling, a green roof and an overall smaller footprint due to clever design. Kripalu helps people take a break from technology by banning electronics in most areas. There’s an area for silent use and a Wi-Fi Lounge for those talking on the phone or otherwise making noise. You can also use electronics in your room — but only if you have a private room. Many people of all ages take advantage of the more affordable option of sharing a dorm. Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health connects nature and wellness Kripalu makes the most of its location by offering programs that combine yoga with hiking, kayaking , snowshoeing and wilderness survival. A yoga summer camp for adults includes paddling, hiking, nature observation and art. Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership In 2018, Kripalu founded the School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership to train guides to incorporate mindfulness techniques into outdoor activities. People who want to become mindful outdoor leaders can take two nine-day training modules combining yoga, Ayurveda, forest bathing , outdoor skills and the study of nature’s benefits for health. Level one focuses on basics, including leading a storytelling and sharing circle called Council. Level two delves deeper into survival skills, building fires and studying geology, flora, fauna and navigation with Mass Audubon. Participants also forage for wild teas. Related: Doctor’s orders — 2 hours in nature boosts mental health, study says As my snowshoeing leader Hagel explained, “Students in the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership spend the entirety of the training immersed in nature, deepening their connection with land, place and the more-than-human world. My hope is that graduates of this program will return home with a personal practice of deep nature connection and the skills necessary to safely guide others to get outside, receive the many healing benefits of nature and support the health of the planet through mindful engagement with the living earth.” If people feel more connected to nature, she said, they are likelier to act as caretakers of the Earth. Guides learn to share the natural world with guests while inviting group reflection and participation through open-ended questions. “An effective mindful outdoor guide is someone who has a practice of paying close attention to their surroundings and is able to share their own curiosity and passion for life with others,” said Micah Mortali , founder of Kripalu’s outdoor leadership program and author of Rewilding: Meditations, Practices and Skills for Awakening in Nature.  “This means that while remaining present, they are able to manage time, safety and group process while out in the field.” During my visit, we had a snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures. So we bundled up when leaving the building but practiced yoga inside. In warmer months, leaders like to take yoga outside. “Yoga was traditionally an outdoor activity,” Mortali said. “It is only in recent decades that yoga has become an indoor pursuit. Like most aspects of modern society, yoga has migrated indoors as modern people have become divorced from the life forces moving on their local lands.” He pointed out that yoga shapes depict animal forms, trees and mountains, things we see in nature. “The Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership seeks to find the source of yoga, the place where the original inspiration came from, and we have found that to be out there.” + Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health Photography by Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

Excerpt from: 
A long weekend in nature at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

German cities get green light from court to ban diesel vehicles

February 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on German cities get green light from court to ban diesel vehicles

The Federal Administrative Court ruled this week that German cities can legally ban diesel vehicles. German states sought to appeal local bans by Stuttgart and Duesseldorf, but the federal ruling paves the way for cities to impose bans as they see fit to help improve air quality. Germany is known for its passion for cars, and while Stuttgart is home to Porsche , Mercedes-Benz, it is also home to some of the worst air pollution in Germany. To help tackle the problem, the city banned older diesel vehicles on days when pollution is heavy. But the country’s powerful auto industry lobby worked to push against the ban. Related: German government votes to ban new combustion engine cars by 2030 The court ruling doesn’t impose any bans itself. Instead, it opens the doors for localities to decide how to manage their own air quality. A ban potentially leaves some car owners and the auto industry lobby in a difficult position, but it is also being hailed as a huge win for the environment. Via CNET Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

Original post: 
German cities get green light from court to ban diesel vehicles

ESA 3D prints extraterrestrial bricks with concentrated sunlight and moondust

May 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on ESA 3D prints extraterrestrial bricks with concentrated sunlight and moondust

The European Space Agency (ESA) is getting in on the 3D-printing fun with extraterrestrial materials. They used simulated lunar material and the sun’s heat to print bricks that are as strong as gypsum . Their project demonstrates how lunar explorers could one day use a similar method to construct Moon colonies. Future travelers to both the Moon and Mars could use locally-sourced materials to build habitats. Recently University of California, San Diego engineers funded by NASA were able to create super-strong bricks with simulated Mars dirt, and now ESA scientists have been able to use dust with similar composition and grain size as the material on the moon to 3D print bricks. Related: Scientists create super-strong bricks from Mars-like soil Materials engineer Advenit Makaya said they cooked successive layers of moondust 0.1 millimeters thick in a solar furnace at temperatures of 1,000 degrees Celsius – or 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit. The team can finish a 7.9 by 3.9 by 1.1 inch brick in about five hours. The solar furnace is located at the DLR German Aerospace Center , a place you may be familiar with because they recently built the world’s largest artificial sun . The bricks will now go through extensive mechanical testing. They’re not perfect yet; for example, some have warped at their edges because the center cools slower than the edges. Advenit said they’re looking into ways to manage the warping, “but for now this project is a proof of concept, showing that such a lunar construction method is indeed feasible.” The European Union’s Horizon 2020 program will back a follow-up project, RegoLight , which aims to develop 3D printing technology to shape lunar regolith, or the “loose layer of dust, soil, and broken rocks on the Moon surface.” Advenit said the recent ESA project occurred in normal atmospheric conditions, but RegoLight will attempt to 3D print with moondust in the high temperature extremes and vacuum conditions you’d find on the Moon. Via the European Space Agency Images via ESA – G. Porter and ESA/Foster + Partners

Original post: 
ESA 3D prints extraterrestrial bricks with concentrated sunlight and moondust

Volkswagen diesel apology tour spurs big new EV push

June 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Volkswagen diesel apology tour spurs big new EV push

The German automaker plans to launch 30 all-electric models by 2025 in wake of last year’s emissions scandal.

Here is the original:
Volkswagen diesel apology tour spurs big new EV push

How Audi merged biomimicry and urban mobility

November 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on How Audi merged biomimicry and urban mobility

A transportation design challenge by the German automaker borrowed inspiration from the organizational structure of biological cells.

Read the original:
How Audi merged biomimicry and urban mobility

How business can participate in Paris

November 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on How business can participate in Paris

Step-by-step instructions for a business to effectively engage at COP21.

Original post:
How business can participate in Paris

J Mayer H. Architects unveil modern Sonnenhof complex in Jena, Germany

July 10, 2015 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on J Mayer H. Architects unveil modern Sonnenhof complex in Jena, Germany

Read the rest of J Mayer H. Architects unveil modern Sonnenhof complex in Jena, Germany Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , building natural light , j mayer h architecture , j mayer h studio , natural light , Sustainable Building , Urban design

Read more here:
J Mayer H. Architects unveil modern Sonnenhof complex in Jena, Germany

Step into the fairytale world of the Brothers Grimm with these amazing landscape photos

January 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Step into the fairytale world of the Brothers Grimm with these amazing landscape photos

Read the rest of Step into the fairytale world of the Brothers Grimm with these amazing landscape photos Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beautiful , Brothers Grimm , ethereal , fairytale , german , Kilian Schönberger , landscapes , magical , Nature , photographs , Photography

View original here: 
Step into the fairytale world of the Brothers Grimm with these amazing landscape photos

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 5569 access attempts in the last 7 days.