This family-friendly home is a beacon of modern energy-efficient design in Calgary

September 26, 2018 by  
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Located in one of the most coveted lots in Calgary’s inner-city neighborhood of Rosedale, this modern single-family home crafted by local design/build firm Alloy Homes was, as the firm puts it, “designed to lead by example.” Created with an undeniable contemporary aesthetic, the Rosedale House also pays homage to the local neighborhood vernacular with a large front porch, subdued color palette and other details that match the nearby homes. The home also emphasizes energy efficiency with its incorporation of triple-glazed windows, in-slab radiant heat, a solar-ready electrical system and highly efficient insulation. Covering an area of 3,300 square feet, the Rosedale House is spread across two floors with the communal levels on the ground floor and the private areas on the upper level. Crafting a home that embraced indoor-outdoor living was of particular importance to the clients, not least because the house is sited next to parkland. As a result, giant triple-glazed windows and doors were installed to facilitate a seamless flow between indoors and out, while a natural material palette with neutral, earth-tone colors help ground the home into the site. A rooftop patio at the front of the home also extends the living spaces and overlooks views of the cityscape and mountains beyond. Privacy was maintained with strategically placed planting and a carefully designed layout that adheres to the clients’ lifestyle and places the “public” areas near the front of the home while the rear is reserved for private living. Despite the floor plan’s open feel, the layout can also be adapted as the needs of the family evolve using walls that can be added with no demolition required. Related: Energy-efficient Guitar House embraces indoor-outdoor living in Calgary “The key challenge with this project was to reconcile a number of contradictory programmatic requirements: Create a home that was simultaneously modern and family friendly; open to the adjacent green space yet private; modern yet timeless,” explained Alloy Homes. + Alloy Homes Images via Alloy Homes

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This family-friendly home is a beacon of modern energy-efficient design in Calgary

Passive House-inspired home ushers in spectacular Grand Tetons views

September 17, 2018 by  
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The sublime beauty of the Grand Tetons is fully embraced in the stunning House of Fir, a forever home that boasts sustainable and durable elements throughout. Designed by Wyoming-based architecture firm kt814 for a pair of retirees who actively volunteer for the National Park Service, this Jackson Hole abode was crafted to prioritize low-maintenance comfort with passive house design principles and universal design for aging in place. In fact, the home’s energy-efficient construction was put to the test this past winter, when the homeowners lost power — the home was able to stay comfortably snug for four consecutive days despite below-zero temperatures outside. The House of Fir comprises three connected pavilion-like units clad in Douglas fir and cedar that span a total area of 2,500 square feet, plus a 685-square-foot garage. Sloped rooflines help the structures shed snow in winter. Architects Rich Assenberg and Nathan Gray of kt814 carefully positioned the home to follow passive solar principles and to maximize privacy as well as unobstructed views of the spectacular Teton Range. The key to success was the installation of FSC-certified Thermo Clad Pine, triple-glazed windows that usher in landscape views; the strategic placement of the full-height glazing also blocks views of the homes to the east and west. Related: Modern open-plan home in Jackson Hole reduces construction waste with six prefab units In addition to triple-glazed windows, the House of Fir incorporates an airtight double wall system with superior insulation and hydronic radiant-floor heating . Local designer Jacque Jenkins-Stireman dressed the clean and modern interiors in a natural material palette that matches the architecture to keep the focus on the outdoors. For instance, many of the furnishings, like the kitchen cabinet doors, dining table and master bedroom furniture were constructed from a mixture of walnut. Alex Everett, the homeowner’s son-in-law, also handcrafted custom pieces for the house, giving it a personal touch. + kt814 Images by David Agnello

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Passive House-inspired home ushers in spectacular Grand Tetons views

ESCAPE offers free tiny home rentals that could earn you money

September 11, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever wanted to earn some side cash with a tiny home rental but never had the means or time to invest in one, here’s your chance. After having long wowed us with its luxurious tiny house builds, Wisconsin-based ESCAPE Homes has launched the “Free ESCAPE Tiny House Program,” and it is looking to partner with anyone with a qualifying property. If you’re approved, ESCAPE will deliver and set up one of its award-winning homes as a rental unit on your site, completely free of charge. Outfitted with all the comforts of home, plus a luxurious touch, ESCAPE’s tiny homes allow guests and homeowners to live large in small spaces. Their popularity has taken them throughout the U.S. from New York’s Hudson Valley to as far as the Hawaiian Islands. The units are well insulated to stand up to extreme weather conditions and to minimize energy use. While many units have been used as travel RVs, others have also been adapted into stationary weekend retreats, in-law suites and even lucrative Airbnb vacation rentals. “We’ve seen the interest in tiny home vacations soar,” said ESCAPE founder Dan Dobrowolski. “Launching this new program allows us to introduce the vacation experience to more people across the country, while offering our partners a chance to build a tiny (bad pun intended) business along the way.” Anyone with an acceptable site and good credit is welcome to apply to the ESCAPE Rental Program, which is actively looking to recruit partners with property in urban and rural settings within 100 miles of the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. A suitable site needs a flat and solid pad — the ESCAPE homes do not require a foundation — and preferably access to utilities including power, water and septic. Related: This tiny home on wheels lets you change your Vista on a whim Qualifying partners would manage the tiny house vocational rental in a one-year contract and receive 40 percent of the total revenue after any booking, credit card or other rental-associated fees on Airbnb or equivalent. As long as ESCAPE retains ownership of the unit, partners are not allowed to use the rental for personal means unless they book through the rental service. However, partners do have the option to purchase the tiny homes with advance notice. Interested in getting into the tiny house gig economy? Learn more on ESCAPE’s website . + ESCAPE Homes Images via ESCAPE RV/Steve Niedorf

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This custom tiny home features a surprisingly spacious interior

June 13, 2018 by  
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Creating a comfortable living space is the always first challenge of tiny home design . Although many people decide to forgo a spacious sleeping area for a larger living room, the savvy tiny home builders from Alabama Tiny Homes have created the ultra-sophisticated Journey tiny house, which includes a gorgeous loft space with high ceilings guaranteed to not bump heads. The Journey was specifically crafted for a client who was looking for a micro-dwelling on wheels with a relatively spacious interior. The result is a beautiful tiny home with an interior that rivals any contemporary home twice its size. Related: These solar-powered tiny homes are designed just for millennials Clad in 6-inch cedar planks with aqua blue accents, the exterior of the structure is rustic, but sophisticated. This luxury cabin feel continues into the 324-square-foot interior, which is strategically comfortable, functional and stylish. The kitchen is large, with plenty of counter space. Along with a stainless steel fridge, stove top oven and dishwasher, the kitchen offers a six-bottle wine stand. The living area, designed in a parlor layout, is extremely inviting. Well lit with an abundance of natural light , this space is a homey lounge with various seats configured to encourage conversation. When guests stay, the room can be easily cleared out for a trundle bed, which is stored in the bathroom when not in use. Although the first floor’s design is stunning to say the least, at the very core of the Journey’s design is its ultra-high ceiling. This enabled the designers to go vertical and add a second level. Starting at the kitchen, a stairwell with built-in drawers leads up to the sleeping loft , which is big enough for a queen-sized bed. The tiny home includes several energy-efficient features in order to withstand various climates. A closed cell spray foam insulation and double-pane windows help the residents save money on utilities.  LED lighting throughout the home, along with an electric hot water heater, also reduces energy usage. + Alabama Tiny Homes Via New Atlas Images via Alabama Tiny Homes

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This custom tiny home features a surprisingly spacious interior

Ben & Jerry’s backs onshore wind farms with gusty ice cream names

June 13, 2018 by  
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Cherry Gale-cia, anyone? How about some Strawberry Breeze-cake or Caramel Blew Blew? Ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s  has tweaked the names of some popular flavors with a gusty twist to rally support for onshore wind power in the United Kingdom, The Guardian reported . The company isn’t just changing flavor names, though; it’s also promoting a petition requesting that the government reconsider its opposition to onshore wind. Would you be surprised to hear that the vast majority of Brits support onshore wind? New government figures show 76% of us love it! Find out more & join us by signing the petition! https://t.co/5oANc1YOrL #windpower pic.twitter.com/5UtCUpyEg4 — Ben & Jerry's UK (@benandjerrysUK) June 13, 2018 76 percent of Brits support onshore wind farms , according to the findings of a UK government poll released in April. Despite that, construction on the farms has mostly ceased since the government stopped subsidies and put planning reforms in place. Ben & Jerry’s is supporting 10:10 Climate Action ‘s Blown Away campaign; the group’s petition calls on Minister for Housing, Communities, and Local Government James Brokenshire to remove additional planning requirements introduced in 2015, with the ultimate goal of unlocking onshore wind power in England. Over 26,000 people have signed the petition — you can sign it on 10:10’s website . The #UK needs onshore #windpower ! 25965 people have already signed the petition. Join us! https://t.co/Wf98ZlujDF pic.twitter.com/u1qPWviyhV — Ben & Jerry's UK (@benandjerrysUK) June 9, 2018 Related: Ben & Jerry’s launches vegan ice cream flavors Ben & Jerry’s, owned by Unilever, will sell renamed flavors at half price on what they’re calling windy Wednesdays. UK social mission manager Rebecca Baron told The Guardian, “If we want to move away from polluting fossil fuels and build a future based on clean energy , then wind power is a vital ingredient.” People could save around £1.6 billion, or $2.1 billion, on household power bills between 2019 and 2025 with new onshore wind, according to a report  from renewable energy consultants BVG Associates . This isn’t the first time Ben & Jerry’s has gotten involved in environmental or social issues; they launched a new flavor for climate action in 2015. They describe backing 10:10’s Blown Away campaign as the latest installment in their ongoing climate activism . + 10:10 Blown Away + 10:10 Climate Action Petition Via The Guardian Images courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s

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Ben & Jerry’s backs onshore wind farms with gusty ice cream names

New ‘agrihood’ coming to the Island of Hawaii

June 13, 2018 by  
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In a first for the Big Island of Hawaii, a new sustainable “ agrihood ” known as Kuwili Lani, Hawaiian for “to embrace the heavens,” has received final subdivision approval and properties in this new neighborhood are now available to the public. An agrihood is an organized sustainable community that, rather than being built around a pool or a golf course, is centered on spaces designed for community food production. Backed by Big Island Sustainable Homes, LLP, the Kuwili Lani project is the result of over ten years of research and organizing which are now bearing fruit. Now that the infrastructure in the gated community is complete, lots are available for purchase from mid-$200k to mid-$300k. Located on the Hamakua Coast in Laupahoehoe, Kuwili Lani is designed with sustainability in mind across the board. From the community’s independence from the energy grid, made possible by on-site wind and solar power generation, to each of the eleven one-acre lots being zoned for agricultural use, Kuwili Lani intends to offer its residents a unique, sustainable lifestyle only 25 miles from the nearby city of Hilo. The community’s careful use of natural resources is also reflected in its sustainable rain harvesting for outdoor, agricultural use; the potable county water supply will be piped into the community. Related: Hawaii just set the most ambitious climate goal of any US state: carbon neutral by 2045 Although there may be communal food production plots, individual plot owners are encouraged to grow their own food on their own lots. Neighbors may coordinate to determine what the community needs and then delegate, so that Kuwili Lani may be able to provide its own fruit, vegetables, and even seafood right on site. Overall, the new sustainable community is aimed at those who want to be good stewards of the Earth while also taking charge of their own lives. “Kuwili Lani is based on the principle of being independent and in charge of one’s own destiny,” Michael Whelan, managing partner for Big Island Sustainable Homes, LLP, said in a statement. “We wanted to create a path for people to follow who are aware of the way their lifestyle impacts our environment.” Via Kuwili Lani Images via Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers

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Multi-family timber home perches atop a Norwegian slope

April 25, 2018 by  
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Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter recently completed their latest residence: a multi-family dwelling set atop a steep slope in Oslo , Norway. As with the Norwegian architecture firm’s many other projects, the home is primarily clad in vertical planks of natural timber which helps tie the building into its wooded surroundings. Named the Two-in-One House, the residence houses two families as well as an independent apartment. When the client came to Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter with the project, the brief asked for a house that could comfortably accommodate two families while appearing as a single, unified home. In response, the architects crafted a slender and rectangular cedar -clad volume that emerges from a concrete base. To give the monolithic building a sense of lightness and to take advantage of surrounding views, the building is wrapped in glazing on the lower and top-most levels. Related: Norwegian-inspired timber cabins unveiled for a landscape hotel in France “The main task was for the project to appear as a unify house despite its duality, and still ensure the privacy of both units,” wrote the architects. “The ground floor integrates the main public functions of the homes and elegant windows frame the landscape scenery and invite nature into the building. On the contrary, the first floor protects the intimacy of the families and provides a more introvert area, with windows subtly appearing behind the cedar cladding.” The contemporary home also connects to a series of outdoor terraces on the east. + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Images by Ivar Kvaal

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Multi-family timber home perches atop a Norwegian slope

How millennials are changing home design

March 16, 2018 by  
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You won’t be hard-pressed to find an article about the next industry Millennials are killing. As more of them become homeowners, it’s no surprise that their tastes are starting to impact home design as well. As a group, Millennials have huge buying power, and the design world is taking notice of their preferences. Take a look at several home design trends that appeal to this generation, including green-focused fashions, small-space living, and dual-purpose furniture trends. 1. Urban and Size-Conscious It’s true; Millennials haven’t been queuing up to buy large suburban houses. They are more concerned with reasonable energy use, efficiency and of course, saving on the dollars. The importance of being within close proximity to necessary social and professional networks and city resources means this generation is generally found in urban areas , and naturally, this goes hand in hand with smaller properties, too. However, just because they choose to live in smaller quarters, doesn’t mean they’ll be cramped. 2. Open Plan Floor plans are more open and efficient than ever before. Simply put: Millennials just don’t have time for hallways! A big kitchen still remains a prerequisite, but it should flow into the other rooms for easy entertaining. For this reason, almost half of Millennials are keen on luxury kitchens with a preference for lounge furniture that serves more than one purpose. Who says a couch can’t have built-in storage or an end table can’t double as a coffee table during parties? 3. Sleek and Simple Baby boomers preferred rustic décor and plenty of accessories. Luckily for us, Millennials are keen on functionality and minimalistic design to keep a clutter -free home. That’s not to say that rustic and natural materials aren’t found in their homes, they are just limited in number. Part of this is due to the smaller spaces they are occupying , but it’s also because the increased use of technology means many accessories that were once physically found in the home can now be condensed into the palms of their hands. 4. Natural Materials and Features There is a hangover of the baby boomer rustic interior, but the youngest generation of homeowners are switching it up. We’re seeing more natural tones in today’s millennial homes such as reclaimed wood, neutral palates and barn doors. Scandinavian design is contributing to the pro-wood feel, but so is the tendency to bring the outdoors inside. 5. Tiles are Back One of the biggest changes identified as Millennial interior décor is a preference for tiles. Subway tiles are dominating the market ; whether they’re used as backsplashes or flooring, it’s the ultimate trend. Since Millennials have now occupied smaller homes , the financially savvy are more likely to have more room in the budget for the designs they want. That means more money is going into kitchen design and spa-like bathrooms. Tiles on floors will tend to be in natural stones or wood effect patterns, while low maintenance backsplashes dominate the kitchen. 6. Statement Appliances Diner-type restaurants with open plan kitchens and cookery shows may have had an impact here. This generation loves fancy kitchen appliances and probably also benefits from saving the cents with home-cooked meals instead of splashing out on dinner. 7. Green Building Materials Millennials are choosing eco-friendly materials such as non-toxic paint, Energy Star appliances and LEED-compliant light fixtures in and around the home. The EPA recently estimated that homeowners save up to $501 every year with eco-friendly windows, for example, so the trend is fitting in well with this cost-conscious generation. Related: These solar-powered tiny homes are designed just for millennials 8. Low Maintenance Since when could this ever be a bad thing? This generation is more and more conscious of the time, energy and expense that goes into the upkeep of living spaces. This means that Millennials are championing the move to high design at low cost which doesn’t require regular maintenance. 9. Smart Technology It’s reported that Millennials today are more inclined to boast about a home with integrated smart-technology than they are about a brand new kitchen. It’s clear that Wi-Fi-connected technology throughout homes is key for more reasons than one. Lighting, heating, smoke detectors, TVs and speakers can all be monitored from phones or tablets. This removes safety hazards as well as inconveniences such as needing to walk into a room to turn on the music. They also are demanding “technology friendly” spaces which mean lots of outlets and charging stations. 10. Sustainability This generation is the most sustainability-focused generation ever. They’re looking for renewable energy sources within apartment blocks, sharing resources, supporting surrounding independent businesses and using green materials. Almost half of Millennials are interested in solar panels for their homes, and show a keen interest in growing their own food. Gardening is good for the environment and works well with recent healthy living trends. Expect to see more small gardens, window-box gardens, or community gardens where this generation takes up residence. Millennials currently account for 83.1 million people in the United States alone. Their influence on demand and popular trends knows no bounds. The home design of today and tomorrow is all about flexibility, sustainability, minimalism and natural effect interiors – easy to live in, yet stylish and unobtrusive. Most importantly, awareness of environmental challenges we face globally is translating into eco-friendly lifestyles. It’s a change worth celebrating.

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These solar-powered tiny homes are designed just for millennials

March 13, 2018 by  
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The tiny home movement is meeting the needs of all kinds of demographics – including veterans , retirees and homeless populations . Now, one savvy collaboration has launched a line of tiny homes specifically for millennials. Custom tiny home company Timbercraft is teaming up with travel company Everywhere Travel Co to provide smart living options for millennials looking for a quality home without outrageously high mortgage rates – or for young nomads looking to travel before putting down roots. With a long history of creating tiny homes for renting or buying, Timbercraft offers six beautiful tiny home models, each more stunning than the last. With many of the same features you’d find in a contemporary home, Timbercraft has managed to minimize space, without sacrificing on aesthetic or quality. Most of the tiny homes are on wheels , placed on 16′ to 32′ long trailers in order to be mobile, but can be delivered to specific locations for permanent installations as well. Related: Custom ordered tiny homes provide compact living options without sacrificing on comfort The homes also come with impressive sustainable features such as solar-power connections . They can also be installed with composting toilets and grey-water systems. Especially attractive for the millennial sector is the fact that all of the homes can be custom-built to meet individual needs. Buyers can choose from a variety of building materials to be used on the exterior cladding or interior features. As far as living space, the designs incorporate many unique features rarely seen in tiny homes such as fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, large skylights etc. Most come furnished with space-saving, yet comfortable furnishings like comfy couches and large beds that fit into the sleeping lofts. With Everywhere Travel Co now in the picture, millennials interested in living in a tiny home can test out the Timbercraft tiny homes in different settings. As part of the collaboration, the travel company will work with interested clients in order to organize temporary stays or vacations in tiny home rentals . The team also has plans to collaborate with Airbnb for those who want to rent for longer periods of time in beautiful settings around the country. + Everywhere Co + Timbercraft Via Inside Hook Images via Timbercraft

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VIDEO: Man saves rabbit from raging California fire

December 8, 2017 by  
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Fires continue to ravage Southern California . While the Thomas Fire rages in Ventura County, one man was captured on video rescuing a wild rabbit hopping near Highway 1 in La Conchita. As the animal jumped near the flames, the man followed until he was able to pick it up and carry it away. Local outlet KABC reported a news photographer captured the scene on video on Wednesday. A man pulled over and appeared to be panicking as a wild rabbit hopped near flames. The man managed to catch the animal and held it in his arms as the blaze burned close to the freeway. The man declined an interview, but KABC reported he risked his life to save the rabbit. Related: Out of control wildfires force thousands to flee their homes in Southern California The unnamed man has been hailed as a hero, but some people are questioning whether or not he made the right choice. California Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Peter Tira told SFGate , “Fire is something animals have to deal with constantly. If you encounter a wild animal in your neighborhood, leave it alone. Fire or no fire, just let the animals be.” Small animals are generally good at handling fires, according to Live Science . A rabbit that hasn’t fled a blaze might have a good reason for being there – like saving its young, according to researcher E.V. Komarek, who once observed a cotton rat run to the edge of the flames of a controlled burn to herd juveniles away. It doesn’t appear there are similar direct reports of rabbits behaving similarly, but researchers have noted cottontail rabbits are good at surviving wildfires with their young. Desert cottontail rabbits are common in Southern California, although we don’t know the species of the rabbit in the video. We also don’t know for sure why the rabbit was in the area. Live Science staff writer Rafi Letzter suggests “if you see a wild animal moving around near a fire, the best thing you can do is leave the creature to its business.” On Friday President Donald Trump declared an emergency and ordered federal aid following a request from Governor Jerry Brown. Via KABC , Live Science , SFGate , and The Washington Post Images via ABC7 on YouTube

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