This gorgeous greenhouse-like home in the Netherlands soaks up daylight

April 21, 2017 by  
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From beneath this traditional thatched roof in the Netherlands emerges a stunning glass greenhouse. Lochem-based Maas Architecten conceived the Modern Countryside Villa as two contrasting volumes: an opaque, timber-clad space, and a transparent glass structure that lets the outside in. The Modern Countryside Villa, located on the edge of the town of Berlicum in North Brabant, has an H-shaped plan with contrasting wings that house different amenities. The timber-clad volume accommodates a garage and storage space , while a greenhouse-like structure protruding out from underneath the thatched roof functions as a studio space. The second wing houses the main living areas. The wooden volume in front of the living area houses a kitchen, pantry and toilet, while the master bedroom has direct access to the sheltered courtyard with a swimming pool and terrace. Related: DAPstockholm’s Energy-Efficient Villa Midgard is Nestled Into the Swedish Countryside The transparent parts of the house are sheltered by a grove of trees that lines the plot towards the nearby road. Large glazed surfaces provide an abundance of natural light and expansive views of the picturesque surroundings. + Maas Architecten Via Dezeen Photos by Edith Verhoeven Save

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This gorgeous greenhouse-like home in the Netherlands soaks up daylight

MIT’s "food computers produce reliable crops anywhere

December 27, 2016 by  
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Hunger is an ugly social menace we would love to see resolved. It looks like MIT researchers may be getting close with their new ” Food Computers ”. Advanced greenhouses that use software to control for climate, energy, and nutrients, MIT’s new system is designed to produce reliable crops just about anywhere. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI56tVuDGcY Caleb Harper is the director of MIT’s Open Agricultural Initiative , a program he began after witnessing the agricultural devastation surrounding the Fukushima , Japan nuclear disaster. A food crisis impacted both the locals supply and their economic potential, due to fear of radioactive contamination. He spoke to Motherboard about developing the Food Computer, super-advanced greenhouse hardware and software that uses data analysis to create the perfect environment to grow preferred foods. Related: Beautiful, odorless tabletop ecosystem is powered with food waste The system is equipped with climate controls, grow lights, and humidifiers to encourage the growth of plants through hydroponic and aeroponic systems. Specialized “climate recipes” can be used for specific plants and unique traits, such as colors or sizes, so even the most temperamental crops can be grown anywhere in the world. “The biggest problem [in agriculture] is that we became way too centralized,” said Harper. When food must travel long distances and sit in warehouses before reaching the stores, and then the consumers, not only are nutrients lost in the process, but a lot of fossil fuels are burned along the way. Harper argues that food computers put the power of growing food in individuals’ and smaller communities’ hands, increasing food security and decreasing food waste. MIT’s food computers are all open source, so anyone can build one for themselves. They come in three different sizes: a tabletop model, a larger unit about the size of a shipping container , and the largest unit, which is as big as a warehouse. The newest generation of personal food computer costs about $2000. “The reality is most of us don’t have to come into contact with how food is being grown,” argues Harper. With a food computer in every home, that could change. +MIT Open Agricultural Initiative Via  Motherboard Images via MIT

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MIT’s "food computers produce reliable crops anywhere

The Picnic Project regenerates an industrial mining site into a bucolic mixed-use space

December 9, 2016 by  
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This pastoral vision of the northwest lignite mining area of Ptolemaida in Greece transforms the former industrial site into a sustainable, mixed-use development that combines agriculture, recreation and tourism. Architects Leonidas Papalampropoulos and Georgia Syriopoulou designed and presented the regeneration project in the style reminiscent of the early 20th century Garden City movement, pioneered by Ebenezer Howard, which is based on a radial network of patterns with open spaces, public parks and agricultural estates.   The project aims to deal with the industrial heritage of the site by introducing new management procedures and “re-instating [a] romantic” vision in order to create a new relationship between the user and the landscape. The team proposes the formation of a new archaeological site with exhibitions of industrial artifacts inside the former quarry. Three dams would be constructed along the stream in order to control its flow, form three water reservoirs for swimming during summer, and facilitate the development of a hydro-biotope. Related: Sugarhouse Studios Pop-Up Cinema & Workshop Encourages Community Interaction in London In attempting to re-appropriate the natural environment, three techniques would be used along the water path. The first would focus on exploiting the existing remote heating infrastructure to create a greenhouse -swimming pool. The second focuses of establishing botanical rooms, while the third would introduce urban residential environments. + Papalampropoulos Syriopoulou Architecture Bureau

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The Picnic Project regenerates an industrial mining site into a bucolic mixed-use space

The best indoor gardens to gift this year

December 6, 2016 by  
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It may be difficult to imagine gardening in the dead of winter, but thanks to modern technology it’s more possible than ever before. With holiday shopping in full swing, our eyes have been peeled for the brightest innovations in home agriculture. From full-on self-watering vegetable gardens , to mushrooms that grow from a log and a bonsai version of the redwoods , we were thoroughly impressed. Here are some of the finest indoor gardens to give your green-thumbed (and even black-thumbed) loved ones this year. Veritable Smart Garden – $142 Even those with the blackest of thumbs can grow a full vegetable garden from the comfort of their own home. The Veritable garden runs on a fully functioning autonomous system that provides water, light and nutrients to itself. It’s the perfect gift for wannabe gardeners with no outdoor space. Plantini Mini Plant House – $38 This stunning metal structure contains everything you need to grow magnificent violas housed in a luxurious sanctuary. The Plantini is a timeless and easily-assembled flat-packed plant house. Artisan Moss Preserved Green Wall – $45 to $650 These gorgeously preserved moss “plant paintings” require no light or watering at all. Handcrafted with 100 percent sustainably harvested moss, green plants and branches, these pieces are carefully preserved with non-toxic food-grade methods and pigments. As long as they aren’t exposed to too much sunlight, they will serve as beautifully verdant wall art for decades. IKEA Greenhouse – $30 Good design and affordability are baked into  IKEA’s PS 2014 Greenhouse . The lightweight hot house can be attached to a wall or rested on a tabletop. Fill it with herbs or flowers and it will instantly brighten any room. Its compact, one-door design allows for greens to flourish on a wall or next to a window, even in winter. Swiss designer Nicolas Cortolezzis conceptualized the piece for IKEA as a take on the “traditional Swiss chalet” and a “symbol of simplicity and harmony with nature, values that seem more important than ever.” Oyster Mushroom Log – $30 No need to forage for mushrooms when you have this. Anyone can enjoy freshly picked oyster mushrooms all-year-round with this clever kit. Watch these mushrooms sprout right out a beautiful, rustic log every two months. Bonsai Redwood Forest – $75 Invite one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders indoors. The Bonsai Dawn Redwood Forest kit comes with everything the real place contains — redwood tree and moss seeds, soil, river stones, as well as bonsai scissors, a mini rake, a growing box, and step-by-step directions. Succulent Wall Planter – $110 Succulents are a divine gift, since they are bright, sculptural and also quite easy to maintain. This fantastic DIY kit beautifully showcases living succulents nested within a rustic wooden frame. It can be displayed as verdant wall art or as a chic centerpiece. Edible Flowers Seed Kit – $45 This flowering garden doubles as decor and cooking ingredients. The kit includes four varieties of edible flower seeds that, once planted, sprout from stunning glass vials nested in wooden blocks. + Inhabitat’s 2016 Green Holiday Gift Guide + Inspiring Gifts for the Green Thumb

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Beautiful Greenhouse from Bangkok is a miniature garden you can bring inside

November 18, 2016 by  
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“Greenhouse is a product of our stay in Sweden,” Worapong Manupipatpong told Design House Stockholm . “When we were living in Sweden we felt the need to get closer to nature and to make room inside our dwelling for the nature that surrounds us.” Worapong told Inhabitat that the design is related to the studio’s previous work and interests, which straddles the line between art and design. They wanted to create something that people would be required to cherish. Unlike similar indoor gardens, Greenhouse requires a tender touch, a green thumb, and loving care. Related: IKEA’s miniature greenhouse lets anyone create their own garden inside MoMA has exclusive rights to sell the design for the rest of 2016. It can either be placed on a countertop or on custom legs that are sold separately. The frame is comprised of lacquered solid ash timber , and the garden is cultivated inside a galvanized steel tray. Panes of glass protect the entire Greenhouse, which can be accessed from either side with double hatches. Measuring 38h x 24w x 16″d, Greenhouse is small enough for even tiny apartments , but large enough to create some serious botanical magic. It’s not cheap, but bear in mind that two trained artists crafted the design by hand, and they deserve to be fairly compensated for their work. It’s still a bit early to talk about the holidays, but this would make a great gift if you’re looking. Just sayin’. + Atelier 2+ + Design House Stockholm

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This massive farm grows 15% of Australia’s tomatoes without soil, fresh water or fossil fuels

October 24, 2016 by  
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Did you know there is a way to grow tons of fresh fruits and vegetables with saltwater and solar energy ? The good people at SunDrop Farms are doing just that with their Australian operation, where they grow 15 percent of the nation’s tomatoes. Seawater is piped in from a nearby gulf, desalinated using the reflected heat of the sun , and sprinkled on hydroponically grown produce in a revolutionary, renewable cycle of production. SunDrop Farms’ operation is fossil fuel -free, freshwater-free, and soil-free, eliminating the need for some of the most financially and environmentally costly elements in the agriculture business. The company told Aljazeera their sustainable method of growing produce slashes “26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide ” and 180 Olympic-sized swimming pools of fresh water each year, which is just what a rapidly growing population needs to offset human demand on Mother Earth. Related: Solar-powered Ring Garden marries desalination and agriculture for drought-stricken California A field of mirrors surround a massive solar tower, which reflect the sun onto this central point. The tower heats up to provide a steady temperature for the greenhouses and to desalinate one million liters of seawater per day. The tomatoes on their Australian farm are grown hydroponically in coconut coir and 15,000 tonnes are sold exclusively to the local Coles grocery chain every year. SunDrop Farms has locations in Australia, the UK, and the US and hopes to expand “cutting-edge, sustainable technology” to other locales in the near future. +SunDrop Farms Via Aljazeera Images via SunDrop Farms

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Create your own backyard geodesign dome with these super affordable DIY kits

August 3, 2016 by  
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F.Domes currently offers two lines, Glamping and Classic. The Glamping domes include a “panoramic bay window” and can even be insulated so they can be inhabited in colder weather. F.Domes offers four sizes, and the smallest size at 20 square meters (215 square feet) can be popped up in four to five hours. The Glamping domes can go off the grid and can have wood-burning stoves. F. Domes says they can withstand extreme weather including “coastal winds and heavy snowfalls.” Related: 5 great reasons to build a geodesic dome home The Glamping domes are targeted towards hotels looking for a fun alternative, and clients like Harriniva and Skeena Heliskiing have already taken F.Domes up on the offer, popping up beautiful domes in Finland and British Colombia. Then there are the Classic domes, which F.Domes recommends for uses such as a winter garden, playground, or yoga dome. There are four Classic sizes. The company says the self-assembled domes are made of “durable materials” that can resist weather like wind, snow, and “even earthquakes.” They say the domes “do not cost the Earth, but still perform great.” One notable Classic dome client is Google . They used the F.Domes Classic 75 (about 807 square feet) for the Google for Education program in the UK. The dome acted as a traveling classroom as Google showed how technology could change education. Another client was the Das Stue hotel in Germany, who used a F.Domes Classic 30 (around 322 square feet) for a cool ” chill-out lounge ” for guests. In terms of pricing, both the Glamping and Classic domes start at around $3,690. + F.Domes Images courtesy of Freedomes

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Create your own backyard geodesign dome with these super affordable DIY kits

World’s largest motorcycle manufacturer brings a lush solar-powered oasis to India

March 22, 2016 by  
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How mimicking marine mollusks flooded this circular home with natural light

March 4, 2016 by  
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Damage report reveals LA methane leak is one of the worst disasters in US history

February 25, 2016 by  
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A week after the ruptured natural gas well in Aliso Canyon was finally declared sealed , we have a full account of the environmental damage — and it doesn’t look good. A new paper published in the journal Science declared it to be one of the largest environmental disasters in US history. In total, 97,100 metric tons of methane were released into the atmosphere over the course of 112 days, equal to the greenhouse gas emissions of over half a million cars. Read the rest of Damage report reveals LA methane leak is one of the worst disasters in US history

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