A 1940s cottage is transformed into a solar-powered Hanok-inspired home

September 6, 2019 by  
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Portland-based collaborative design practice Woofter Architecture has recently completed the expansion and renovation of a 1940s cottage in Portland , Oregon. Redesigned to follow the design concepts of traditional Korean houses known as ‘hanoks’, the residential project — dubbed the Wilshire House — has been remade into a courtyard layout and includes a new south-facing garden space. The home has also been thoroughly modernized and outfitted with sustainable features, including rain chains and solar panels that top the roof. Spanning an area of 1,850 square feet, the Wilshire House largely maintains the majority of the existing single-story structure, while tacking on a sensitive extension that elongates the footprint of the house to the rear of the rectangular plot. While the front of the property maintains a traditional gabled appearance, new exterior cladding and roofing give the home a sleek and contemporary appearance.  Following principles of Hanok, a traditional Korean house typology that dates back to the 14th century and promotes site-specific design for both the positioning of the house and interior layout, the Wilshire House takes solar passive conditions into consideration. The best example of this can be seen in the orientation of the long and narrow addition towards the south to take advantage of natural light and warmth from the sun. Roof overhangs help deflect unwanted solar gain.  best example of this can be seen in the orientation of the long and narrow addition towards the south to take advantage of natural light and warmth from the sun. Roof overhangs help deflect unwanted solar gain.  Related: This green-roofed home for a master gardener embraces nature The architects have also dubbed the Wilshire House the “House of the Seven Skylights” for its inclusion of skylights that punctuate the new series of vaulted spaces — including bedrooms, an artist’s studio and a secret play room accessible via pull-down ladder — that flood the airy and modern interior with an abundance of natural light. Large windows and the glazed doors along the courtyard garden-facing porch also let in daylight to reduce dependence on artificial light. + Woofter Architecture Images by Pete Eckert

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A 1940s cottage is transformed into a solar-powered Hanok-inspired home

Scientists warn we are now entering the plastic age

September 6, 2019 by  
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A recent study reports plastic pollution has deposited itself into our fossil record. Water bottles, lunch bags and clothing laced with microfibers— welcome to what some are calling the “plastic age.” However, this didn’t occur overnight as contamination has been building since 1945. Related: Babylegs — the inexpensive, educational way to monitor ocean plastic pollution “Our love of plastic is being left behind in our fossil record ,” said lead researcher Jennifer Brandon at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. “We all learn in school about the stone age, the bronze age and iron age – is this going to be known as the plastic age?” she told The Guardian. “It is a scary thing that this is what our generations will be remembered for.” Experts think the findings could be used to calculate the onset of the Anthropocene, a proposed geological epoch said to be created by human actions taking over Mother Earth. The highly researched study shows the rise of plastic pollution in sediments and looked at yearly layers off California’s coast dating from 1834 and over the last 70 years. The plastic particles found were mostly fibers from synthetic fabrics indicating plastics move voluntarily on the ocean via wastewater. The journal Science Advances published the research and said microscopic plastics in the sediments has doubled about every 15 years since the 1940s. It’s not hard to see why as mass amounts of plastics are sent into the environment annually and broken down into small pieces, but fibers aren’t biodegradable. This could be worrisome as people consume at least 50,000 microplastic particles a year via food and water. While the impact on health is still a mystery — microplastics which are found everywhere from ocean floors to the tallest mountains — can release toxic substances and could penetrate tissues, experts said. Via The Guardian, Science Advances Image via Rey Perezoso

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Scientists warn we are now entering the plastic age

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