Low-impact Thai home uses modular design to harmonize with nature

December 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Thai architectural firm TA-CHA Design has recently completed the Binary Wood House, a second home for a Bangkokian family of five that emphasizes environmentally friendly design. Located on a hill in Pak Chong in northeastern Thailand, the home was carefully sited to preserve existing Siamese Rosewood trees and is elevated to reduce site impact. To create a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience, the architects employed a modular design, designating each 3.4-meter module as either a “0 (unoccupied/open space)” or a “1 (occupied/close space)” in a binary system that also gave rise to the project’s name.  Spread out across 600 square meters, the Binary Wood House was initially meant to serve as an Airbnb or private resort but later morphed into a second home for the clients with room for their soon-to-retire parents. To lessen site impact, the architects opted to design the home with a metal structure clad in wood paneling instead of concrete. Approximately 80 percent of the wood used in construction was reclaimed . Local craftsmen were hired for the woodworking, which takes inspiration from the region’s traditional “Korat” houses. Related: Reclaimed materials star in this surf villa with ocean views in Bali “Throughout the entire design project of the house, there has been one and only core value on which the owner and the designers agree — to always hold the predecessors in high regard,” the architects said. “In other words, the house exists to respect those who came before, whether they be neighbors, local people, local animals and local trees.” In addition to elevating the home off the ground, the property reduces its environmental footprint by relying on natural cooling instead of air conditioning. Surrounded by covered terraces, the indoor-outdoor living areas feature operable shutters that let in cooling winds, while the preserved trees help mitigate unwanted solar gain. A reflecting pond was also added to increase moisture in the house. + TA-CHA Studio Photography by Beersingnoi via TA-CHA Studio

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Low-impact Thai home uses modular design to harmonize with nature

How to make zero-waste decorations for the holidays

December 9, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Sometimes in the whirlwind of family, friends and food, the eco-friendly habits we’ve refined throughout the year tend to slip through the cracks during the holidays. To combat some of this waste, try your hand at decking the halls with DIY, zero-waste decor from November all the way through the new year. According to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), Americans throw out about 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day compared to the rest of the year. This includes 38,000 miles of ribbon (more than enough to wrap around the planet) and $11 billion worth of packing material. To put it in perspective, that’s approximately 1 million extra tons of garbage each week. While most of this waste comes from gift packaging and shopping (if you haven’t already switched to reusable bags, now is the time to start!), plenty of consumers tend to overlook the wastefulness of holiday decorations as well. Often made out of unsustainable materials like plastic and polyester, decorations are just as important as gifts to plenty of American households. Related: Your guide to natural holiday decorations Inhabitat collected and tested five unique holiday decorations that are completely zero-waste , cost-effective and made with recyclable, reused or natural materials . Not to mention, they look great, too! Find out how to make these zero-waste decorations and create less trash during the holidays. Dried fruit decor Drying holiday fruits is a fun way to bring some festive color into your home without using artificial materials. We strung ours onto a garland with 100 percent cotton thread, but they can also be hung as ornaments in the tree, intertwined into a wreath, used as a table centerpiece or wrapped around cloth napkins for table settings. Dress them up with fresh cranberries or leaves to add some texture. To make your own dried fruits at home, you can use either an oven or a dehydrator. For the oven method, simply cut your oranges, apples or pears into slices about one to two centimeters thick. Pat the slices dry with a towel and set them onto a baking rack in an oven set to 160 °F for 4 to 6 hours, depending on thickness. Make sure to turn them every hour or so to ensure the slices are evenly dried out. Salt dough ornaments Sure, you might remember making salt dough ornaments as a kid, perhaps fashioning them into thick balls of unrecognizable shapes and finishing them with bright acrylic paint. These zero-waste decorations have been given a makeover with a more sophisticated look (we fell in love with these beautiful ornaments from Compost and Cava ). Not only are they zero-waste, they’re completely compostable as well. Related: 10 easy eco-friendly home decor tips To make the salt dough, you’ll need flour, salt and warm water. To decorate the ornaments, use dried flowers, herbs or spices. For a bit of color, we made two batches and swapped the water for some leftover turmeric tea and beet juice for natural food coloring. Combine 2 cups of flour and ½ cup of salt into a mixing bowl. Then, slowly add your warm water (about ¾ of a cup) and mix or knead until it takes the consistency of play dough. If you’re using flowers to decorate the ornaments, it’s easier to mix these into the dough before rolling it out to help them stick. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to ½-inch thick and cut it using cookie cutters. Don’t forget to use a kebab stick or a reusable straw to make a hole at the top. You can either air-dry these for a couple days or bake them in the oven to harden. For the oven, heat it to 300 °F and bake for 1 hour, checking regularly to make sure the dough hasn’t started to brown or crack. After they’re cooked and cooled, string the ornaments with compostable twine and hang them on the tree. Foraged wreath or garland For your next holiday decoration, look no further than your backyard or nearby park . Gather a bundle of pine cones to place into a basket or bowl for the table, fashion branches and fruits into a table runner as a centerpiece or string them into a wreath with twine and leaves. The possibilities are endless. Though foraging is a sustainable way to decorate your home, there are a few things to consider. Only forage in places where you have permission to do so, and know how to properly identify what you are bringing home (you wouldn’t want a wreath made of poison ivy!). Remember to forage sustainably, only taking what you need and considering the health of the tree or plant you’re taking from. Your local Christmas tree lot is a great resource as well; ask for the extra branches while they’re trimming the trees. They will be thankful for your taking the waste off their hands, and you’ll get some free evergreen foliage. Paper roll stars We got the idea for these pretty paper roll stars from zero-waste blogger Veraviglie . They are a perfect holiday activity for children and adults alike and use materials that you probably already have lying around your home. You’ll likely want to spend some time collecting finished paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls for this craft, depending on how many stars you want to make. We asked a few family and friends to hang onto theirs for us instead of tossing them in the recycling bin. Related: Simple DIY upcycled holiday decor Fold the tubes lengthwise and cut into equal 1-centimeter pieces along the shorter side, and use a water-based, eco-friendly glue (you can also make your own by boiling cornstarch and water on the stove) to make stars. Decorated candles Use a candle made of biodegradable wax, such as beeswax or soy, and materials such as coffee beans or herbs that can be reused or composted at the end of the season. For our decorated candles, we used compostable jute twine, cinnamon sticks and holly leaves. It added an extra touch of holiday cheer with the festive cinnamon smell as well. For coffee drinkers, fill up a mason jar with your favorite beans and add a tea candle on top. As the candle warms the beans, your house will be filled with the delicious scent of coffee. Images via Katherine Gallagher / Inhabitat

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How to make zero-waste decorations for the holidays

After Cyber Monday, here comes a new spotlight on e-commerce shipping

December 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

This article is adapted from GreenBiz’s newsletter, Transport Weekly, running Tuesdays. Subscribe here.How many Amazon packages were rapidly shipped to your home this week thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday?For many of us, plenty. And those big cardboard boxes with tiny items inside are just one of the more visceral problems associated with the rapid rise of on-demand online shopping. 

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After Cyber Monday, here comes a new spotlight on e-commerce shipping

What to expect from the UN’s COP25 climate change conference

December 4, 2019 by  
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This article originally appeared on Ensia.In 2015, 195 countries adopted an international treaty aiming to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsiuc (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above average preindustrial temperatures in order to avert the worst of Earth’s climate emergency.

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What to expect from the UN’s COP25 climate change conference

4 key tasks for countries at COP25 in Madrid

December 4, 2019 by  
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The conference provides an opportunity for countries to continue to build momentum ahead of 2020, which could lead to more ambitious climate commitments.

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4 key tasks for countries at COP25 in Madrid

Striking, sinuous home outside of So Paulo is inspired by the shape of native pine trees

December 3, 2019 by  
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Rio de Janeiro-based Mareines Arquitetura has unveiled a striking home tucked into the mountainous region near São Paulo. The Pinhão House boasts a unique, elliptical volume with various levels and a leaf-shaped roof that juts out over a covered swimming pool, which is also integrated into the home’s curved shape. Located in Campos do Jordão, the Pinhão House is a gorgeous design with a curvaceous volume surrounded by nature, and it was also built by local craftsmen using locally sourced, natural materials . The massive home spans four levels, with a garage and wine cellar on the ground floor and the main living area on the first floor. Related: Eco-friendly guesthouse in Brazil sports a green roof and rammed earth walls The main floor comprises a large social area that is enclosed by a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass panels to provide stunning views of the nature that surrounds the home. Various glass doors open up to a wrap-around, open-air porch. Below the main living space, a winding ramp leads to an indoor spa area with a massive swimming pool and sauna. Four bedroom suites and a home office with 180-degree views of the mountains and native Araucaria trees are located on the highest level. These trees were essential to the design , because they inspired the structure’s unique, curving volume. According to the architects, “The building shape sprouted like a fallen Pinhão, one of the many particles that form the fruit of the local Araucaria trees. An organic, sinuous form that seems to weave through the trees and winds. Instead of stairs, ramps. Instead of corridors, compressions and expansions of the internal sculptural contiguous spaces. This manipulation of the spaces together with the use of ramps enhances the importance of the sensorial experience of the architecture.” Bold curved walls, windows and cabinetry flow throughout the space, creating fluid connections between each level, which are joined via a long, winding ramp. Natural materials, such as wood walls and stone accents, create a cozy and warm atmosphere. These materials were all crafted by local artisans of Campos do Jordão. + Mareines Arquitetura Via ArchDaily Photography by Leonardo Finotti via Mareines Arquitectura

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Striking, sinuous home outside of So Paulo is inspired by the shape of native pine trees

Cedar Haven is a forest retreat made with reclaimed logs

December 3, 2019 by  
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Blending contemporary design with natural materials, Washington-based residential architecture firm Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture completed a stunning timber home that feels like an extension of its alpine forest environment. Created for a homeowner who wanted a residence that echoed the tranquility of its mountain surroundings, the aptly named Cedar Haven was built mainly from timber and stone — much of which was reclaimed from the site itself. Several salvaged logs and other found objects from the surroundings were deliberately left in their natural state to emphasize the organic beauty of the design. Located on a site where a previous log home once stood, Cedar Haven was created in response to the client’s desire for a more contemporary house that still exuded the warm, rustic feel of a traditional log cabin . The result is a stunning, custom home that features a dramatic, light-filled great room with a massive stone fireplace, a sculptural spiral staircase and custom, handcrafted details throughout. The natural materials palette and large windows — particularly those in the double-height great room — blur the boundary between indoors and out. Related: A traditional log cabin in Colorado is the perfect winter wonderland retreat “The Cedar Haven project draws inspiration from the surrounding natural beauty,” the architects explained in a project statement. “Inside, vertical lines and artful asymmetry mimic the forest outside the soaring great room window. A staircase of spiraling posts echoes a grove of trees , and a colorful petrified stump captures the attention of all who enter.” In addition to the petrified stump, reclaimed wood is used for statement design pieces in the home. Cedar trunks act as eye-catching pillars inside and outside of the house, while a twisted tree trunk frames one of the three stone fireplaces. Reclaimed stones were also used to build the fireplaces and chimneys. + Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture Photography by Benjamin Benschneider via Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture

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Cedar Haven is a forest retreat made with reclaimed logs

Cedar Haven is a forest retreat made with reclaimed logs

December 3, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Blending contemporary design with natural materials, Washington-based residential architecture firm Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture completed a stunning timber home that feels like an extension of its alpine forest environment. Created for a homeowner who wanted a residence that echoed the tranquility of its mountain surroundings, the aptly named Cedar Haven was built mainly from timber and stone — much of which was reclaimed from the site itself. Several salvaged logs and other found objects from the surroundings were deliberately left in their natural state to emphasize the organic beauty of the design. Located on a site where a previous log home once stood, Cedar Haven was created in response to the client’s desire for a more contemporary house that still exuded the warm, rustic feel of a traditional log cabin . The result is a stunning, custom home that features a dramatic, light-filled great room with a massive stone fireplace, a sculptural spiral staircase and custom, handcrafted details throughout. The natural materials palette and large windows — particularly those in the double-height great room — blur the boundary between indoors and out. Related: A traditional log cabin in Colorado is the perfect winter wonderland retreat “The Cedar Haven project draws inspiration from the surrounding natural beauty,” the architects explained in a project statement. “Inside, vertical lines and artful asymmetry mimic the forest outside the soaring great room window. A staircase of spiraling posts echoes a grove of trees , and a colorful petrified stump captures the attention of all who enter.” In addition to the petrified stump, reclaimed wood is used for statement design pieces in the home. Cedar trunks act as eye-catching pillars inside and outside of the house, while a twisted tree trunk frames one of the three stone fireplaces. Reclaimed stones were also used to build the fireplaces and chimneys. + Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture Photography by Benjamin Benschneider via Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture

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Cedar Haven is a forest retreat made with reclaimed logs

5 Tips to Heal Naturally

November 26, 2019 by  
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Nearly two-thirds of all Americans take prescription drugs, with the … The post 5 Tips to Heal Naturally appeared first on Earth911.com.

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5 Tips to Heal Naturally

A rundown 1960s structure is converted into a stunning home that operates almost entirely off the grid

November 22, 2019 by  
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Los Angeles-based AUX Architecture has unveiled an amazing transformation of a 1960s home in Calabasas, California. Once a tract home, the Saddle Peak Residence is now a contemporary, light-filled space that has been equipped with several energy-efficient features, such as solar power , that allow the home to largely function off the grid. Located on a one-acre property, the former home sat on a protected area of the Santa Monica Mountains. Local restrictions prohibit new construction, so the architectural firm was forced to work within the parameters of the existing house. Although modernizing the older home was challenging, the renovation process resulted in reduced construction costs, less landfill waste and a minimized carbon footprint. Related: Anderson Architecture revamps a dim heritage home into a modern sun-soaked abode Using the surrounding natural landscape as a guide, the home was clad in a sleek combination of dark standing seam metal siding and grain cedar panels . As a central theme of the design, the architects wanted to create a seamless connection between the interior and the exterior. Accordingly, they used cedar siding inside as well to bring a little warmth to the interior design. Large expanses of glass also create unobstructed views of the surrounding countryside. In addition to serving as a stunning living space for the owners, the home boasts several energy-efficient features. Because of frequent power outages in the area, it was important to provide the home with an off-grid system. Solar panels generate enough energy to power the home throughout the year. A hydronic heat-pump system utilizes water heated by the sun to heat the home in the winter months as well as to heat water for the adjacent swimming pool. + AUX Architecture Via Dwell Photography by Grant Mudford via AUX Architecture

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A rundown 1960s structure is converted into a stunning home that operates almost entirely off the grid

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