Eco-resort in Tulum features luxury beach huts made of natural materials

October 5, 2018 by  
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Getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life is much easier thanks to gorgeous boutique hotels in stunning locations all over the world. For a Mexican getaway, Habitas Tulum offers guests a truly serene experience with thatched-roof luxury huts located just steps away from the Caribbean Sea. The eco-resort was built with locally-sourced traditional building materials such as wood, reeds and grass, and a modern glass tower was installed at the heart of the complex to house the resort’s lounge and dining areas. The hotel, which offers five ocean-front rooms and 27 jungle rooms, integrates its natural surroundings into the design and was built to be as eco-friendly as possible. The structures were ecologically built with indigenous materials such as palapa roofs made out of dried palm leaves. Many of the structures are raised on platforms to reduce the impact on the landscape. The design of the eco-hotel was inspired by the serene nature of its surroundings. The luxury suites are decorated with handmade furniture made from locally-sourced wood. In fact, local artisan traditions, craftsmanship and textiles are found throughout the property. Related: Mexico’s thatched-roof CocoCabañas Resort is powered entirely by solar energy Guest rooms come with private outdoor rain showers, along with plush robes and bathroom products made from all-natural ingredients. Private open-air decks with ample seating offer the perfect setting to enjoy the stunning scenery. For a bit of exploration, there are various winding paths that lead to the jungle-like surroundings of the complex. For pure relaxation, there is an outdoor swimming pool and a wellness center with spa services. At the center of the beautiful resort is a three-story glass tower framed in black steel, which serves as a hub for socializing. A Moorish-style restaurant serves delicious meals that guests can enjoy from a rooftop deck. The “yoga mezzanine” is scattered with seating areas, hammocks and colorful pillows. Multiple long tables made out of reclaimed wood are perfect for dining, card games or just reading a good book. + Habitas Tulum Via Dezeen Photography by Adrian Gaut via Habitas Tulum

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This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

October 5, 2018 by  
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The Ojai-based tiny home builders of  Humble Hand Craft  have unveiled a beautiful off-grid tiny home made almost entirely of reclaimed wood. The Shark Arch, also called Los Padres, is a wonderful example of a sustainable tiny house that exudes a charming, rustic design. Running completely on solar power, the eco-friendly home on wheels has a cozy cabin feel. The Shark Arch tiny home is 28-feet long, which is rather large for a tiny home on wheels . However, by fitting the home on a gooseneck trailer, a truck bed fits about 8 feet under the structure. Additionally, the team designed the home to be aerodynamic on the road. The front end has a V-nose shape that breaks the wind, and the roof has a “shark fin” that adds stability to the building when it is mobile. A welcoming wooden deck that leads to the entrance can be folded up when the residents are on the go. The strategic, sustainable design carries through the the interior of the tiny home. According to the designers, they do whatever they can to create eco-friendly homes using reclaimed materials. “Given the exploitation of resources in the world today, we are partaking in the new wave of conscious building and business practices,” the team said. “By salvaging reclaimed materials and harnessing solar energy, we minimize our carbon footprint while still providing artisan homes of the highest quality.” Related: These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect Accordingly, the Shark Arch is made with reclaimed wood inside and out. The exterior cladding and trim is made with western red cedar finished with an eco-friendly hemp shield. Walking through the double redwood door with dual pane glass, visitors are met with an all-wood interior that resembles the feel — and smell — of a cabin. The team used reclaimed redwood from old water tank staves to clad the walls. The western cedar boards on the ceiling were left untreated, giving off a woodsy cedar smell that connects the tiny home to nature. The compact living space is divided into a living room and adjacent kitchen, which is installed with electric appliances that run on solar power . The bathroom, which is actually quite large for a tiny home, was outfitted with a repurposed copper tub and composting toilet. Storage was placed wherever possible throughout the living space: under the sofa, behind the stairs and so on. Located just under the “shark fin,” a sleeping loft is surprisingly spacious and well lit by a large skylight. On the other side of the trailer, another loft is hidden above the kitchen and can be used as an office, a guest room or extra storage. + Humble Hand Craft Photography by Luke Williams via Humble Hand Craft

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This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

Historic warehouses transformed into a swanky boutique hotel in New Orleans

July 12, 2018 by  
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New York City-based architecture and interior design firm Stonehill Taylor tapped into New Orleans’ storied past for its design of The Eliza Jane , a new boutique hotel a few blocks west from the city’s iconic French Quarter. The unique hotel was created from seven centuries-old warehouses that were combined and renovated to form a variety of elegantly dressed spaces including 196 guest rooms with 50 suites, a fitness center, garden courtyard, lounge, restaurant, and lobby. Created as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, the Eliza Jane hotel was named after Eliza Jane Nicholson, the first woman publisher of a major metropolitan newspaper in the United States. In the late 1800s, Eliza Jane had worked as the publisher of ‘The Daily Picayune,’ which was one of the original warehouse occupants. Moreover, Stonehill Taylor wove references to ‘The Daily Picayune’ and the buildings’ other original occupants—like the Gulf Baking Soda company and the Peychaud Bitters Factory—throughout the adaptive reuse design. The ‘Press Room’ lounge on the ground floor, for instance, is decorated with typewriters and other antiques referencing a 19th-century newsroom. “The intent was to create a quintessentially New Orleans setting, a sophisticated blend of old and new, that pays homage to the building’s past,” says Stonehill Taylor in a statement. “The hotel is built within seven historic warehouses that stand distinct on the outside but have been internally conjoined to create the luxury accommodations with a 2,000-square-foot open-air interior courtyard .” Related: Abandoned NYC warehouse is reinvented as LEED Gold-certified apartments The arrival sequence is anchored by a 60-foot-tall light-filled atrium surrounded by lush greenery and the original exposed brick and slate-colored plaster walls. Repurposed materials can also be found throughout the interior, while new custom wall coverings reference the different historic uses in each building. The opulent material palette is combined with vibrant patterns and rich colors to create a setting that feels luxurious and uniquely New Orleans. + Stonehill Taylor Images via The Eliza Jane

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The Truck Surf Hotel is a traveling retreat that hits the best surf spots in Europe and Africa

May 3, 2018 by  
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Good news, surfers! The surf is always up at the ultra-cool Truck Surf Hotel – a converted Mercedes Actros truck that has been revamped into an expandable two-story retreat. The hotel on wheels has an innovative hydraulic system that enables the walls and sealing to expand upwards and outwards once parked, offering surfers a front-row accommodation to hit the waves in some of the best surf spots in Portugal and Morocco. The Truck Surf Hotel offers a unique accommodation for active travelers who want a little flexibility in their vacation plans. When fully expanded, the truck hotel has two stories. The living space on the first floor has a kitchen, social room, and bathroom with shower. On the upper floor, there are five bedrooms – four shared double rooms with bunk beds, and one private double room. Related: This dreamy boutique hotel in California is made up of 11 refurbished Airstreams Large windows flood the interior with natural light. There’s also a long, outdoor terrace with plenty of bean bags where guests can sit and take in beautiful views of the sea. Guests will also enjoy a buffet breakfast every morning, along with a variety of packages to choose from, all geared towards making the most out of the truck’s roaming capabilities. After years of traveling to the best surf locations in Europe and Africa, the truck’s owners – Daniela Careiro and Eduardo Ribeiro – were inspired to create a retreat on wheels that would help other surfers explore uncrowded surf spots with the best waves. The hotel’s many packages on offer include options for new surfers or expert wave riders. According to Ribeiro and Careiro, “Every morning we wake up with the best view, serve the buffet breakfast on board, surrounded by nature in rural tourism farms and natural camping parks. We take you to amazing places in Algarve and Alentejo, according to the experience you’ve chosen, either…surfing on different beaches along the coast or explor[ing] the spectacular nature with different outdoor activities.” + Truck Surf Hotel Via Uncrate Images via Truck Surf Hotel

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The Truck Surf Hotel is a traveling retreat that hits the best surf spots in Europe and Africa

Portable 3D skin printer can form skin tissue to heal deep wounds in minutes

May 3, 2018 by  
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Need medical assistance after a blaster fight on a spaceship? This new handheld, portable 3D printer could help. Scientists at the University of Toronto created the 3D skin printer that feels like it came straight from a science fiction movie. The device, according to the university , “forms tissue in situ, depositing and setting in place, within two minutes or less.” This new portable 3D skin printer looks like a white-out tape dispenser, in the description of the university, but instead of a tape roll, the printer includes “a microdevice that forms tissue sheets.” Bio ink comprised of protein-based biomaterials like collagen and fibrin runs along the tissue sheets in vertical stripes. Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the dermis, and fibrin, another protein, is part of wound healing. Navid Hakimi, study lead author and PhD student, said in the statement, “Our skin printer promises to tailor tissues to specific patients and wound characteristics.” Related: New 3D-printed algae could revolutionize the way we make things Many current 3D bioprinters are “bulky, work at low speeds, are expensive, and are incompatible with clinical application,” according to associate professor Axel Guenther. In contrast, this handheld printer is about as big as a small shoe box and weighs under one kilogram. The university said the device “also requires minimal operator training and eliminates the washing and incubation stages required by many conventional bioprinters.” The journal Lab on a Chip published the research last month; researchers from the Ross Tilley Burn Center at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center contributed. The team’s work isn’t finished — they aim to add multiple capabilities to the skin printer such as “expanding the size of the coverable wound areas.” They’re also planning further in vivo studies with the Sunnybrook team, and are shooting for clinical trials in humans in the future. + University of Toronto + Lab on a Chip Images via Liz Do and courtesy of Navid Hakimi via GIPHY

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Portable 3D skin printer can form skin tissue to heal deep wounds in minutes

This amazing underwater hotel room lets you sleep while surrounded by marine life

April 19, 2018 by  
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Putting a positive new spin on the expression “sleeping with the fishes,” a new hotel suite at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in the Maldives lets guests sleep underwater. The first-of-its-kind hotel suite – called the Muraka – is a two-level residence that has an underwater living and sleeping area. Guests can experience being surrounded by the beautiful ocean waters and get a firsthand glimpse of the marine wildlife. However if the thought of sharks floating around you while you sleep doesn’t give you a heart attack, the price tag might: the Muraka starts at $50,000 a night. The undersea villas – which are expected to open in November 2018 – will be the first of their kind in the world. While other hotels have underwater suites , the Muraka (which means “coral” in Dhivehi, the local language in the Maldives) will be the first one to be set in real ocean waters instead of man-made aquariums. The luxury suite spans two floors, with the upper floor floating on the waters and the ground floor submerged more than 16 feet below the ocean surface. Related: Underwater Hotel Gets Green Light to be Constructed in the Maldives The suite was designed by the same team behind the resort’s underwater restaurant, Ithaa . Crown Company director Ahmed Saleem and engineer Mike Murphy thought of everything on their latest hotel venture , including open air decks on either side of the suite to offer a chance to enjoy both the sunrise and the sunset. The dual-level suite can sleep up to nine guests and includes a gym, butler’s quarters, and a bar. There are two bedrooms and large living areas on the top floor, and a large bathtub in the master bedroom faces the ocean. On the lower level, guests can marvel at the surrounding ocean world from their undersea bedroom , living area and bathroom. “Driven by our inspiration to deliver innovative and transformative experiences to our global travelers, the world’s first undersea residence encourages guests to explore the Maldives from an entirely new perspective below the surface of the sea,” said Saleem in a press statement. + Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Via Architectural Digest Images via Conrad Maldives Rangali Island  

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This amazing underwater hotel room lets you sleep while surrounded by marine life

This new green-roofed hotel with mirrored walls blends into Uruguay’s mountains

April 18, 2018 by  
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Visitors to Uruguay’s Maldonado region can soon stay in a stunning new hotel, which is tucked into 250 acres of gorgeous natural landscape. The Sacromonte Landscape Hotel  — designed by local firm MAPA Architects — is a green-roofed mountain retreat that uses mirrored exteriors to strategically blend into its surroundings. The sustainable hotel complex, which is comprised of 13 individual cabins, a winery and a farm-to-table restaurant, was completely prefabricated off site to reduce the project’s footprint. MAPA Architects utilized a variety of strategies to enable the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel to blend into the environment. The buildings’ sizes and height were kept subtle as to not disrupt the amazing landscape. The cabins have a mirrored facade on one side that camouflages the buildings into the grassy meadows. The rear side of the cabins feature locally-sourced timber trunks and local stones, creating a rustic look. Related: This modern hiking hotel blends into the dark alpine forests of Italy To keep the project’s footprint at a minimum, the structures were prefabricated off site in 10 weeks in a factory in Montevideo. In fact, the overall design focused on implementing various sustainable construction techniques. In addition to using prefab manufacturing, the structures were built with low-E glass and built on bases made from locally-sourced stone. Eco-friendly wastewater treatment systems were also installed to make the project as green as possible. The eco-resort  just recently opened for business and is expected to be fully operational by September, 2018. Visitors will be able to reserve individual cabins, which come with private decks and circular pools for enjoying the spectacular views. Inside, guests can enjoy the modern design, including dark stone floors and oak-paneled walls. For dining, the hotel restaurant offers dishes made with vegetables and fruits grown onsite in an organic garden. And of course, wine tastings are offered daily. + MAPA Architects + Sacromonte Landscape Hotel Via Dwell Photography by Leonardo Finotti

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This new green-roofed hotel with mirrored walls blends into Uruguay’s mountains

Organic spa was renovated with all-natural materials to capture the essence of the nearby Alps

January 23, 2018 by  
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Those seeking a bit of serenity from the chaos of everyday life should head straight to the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in northern Slovenia. Local Enota Architects have recently renovated a beautiful wellness center for the boutique Hotel Plesnik . Located in a verdant valley, surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery, the spa was built with organic materials and includes a natural swimming pool , which is filtered by aquatic plants. Located in arguably one of the most beautiful valleys in Europe, the Logarska Valley is an idyllic center for anyone looking to seek refuge from the daily hustle and bustle of life. According to the architects, the views of the alps in the distance was a strong inspiration for the renovation of the wellness center, propelling the team to exclusively use natural building materials in the renovation. Related: Red Mountain Retreat captures the essence of the rugged Icelandic landscape The center is divided into three sections: the sauna, the wellness space, and the entrance portal. On the interior, undulating pebble-lined walls lead guests to the sauna cabins. From the sauna area, guests can relax in the indoor/outdoor lounge area centered around a large fireplace. However, the heart of the spa can be found in the exterior spaces. To revamp the old space, which included an existing pool, the architects extended the amount of outdoor space. The former whirlpool was converted into a sunken circular resting area, surrounded by water and featuring a fire ring. The new sun deck was then installed with a new natural swimming pool , which is naturally filtered by aquatic plants, and offers jaw-dropping views of the mountain range in the background. + ENOTA Architects Images via ENOTA Architects

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Organic spa was renovated with all-natural materials to capture the essence of the nearby Alps

Trump’s 30% solar tariffs could kill thousands of jobs and harm industry growth

January 23, 2018 by  
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The solar industry has been booming. In some states, solar threatens to upend fossil fuel profits , massive corporations are investing heavily and even oil giants are getting into solar . But Trump’s recent move to put 30% tariffs on solar panels could change that, killing up to 23,000 jobs and slowing down – or even stopping – the rapid industry growth. Embed from Getty Images window.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’t5MIqytJS5NXEvTSm7y-rQ’,sig:’n4unO-lpiCZMlgG8YdNTqxetJabmbD4NGv7Nw-WrTtA=’,w:’514px’,h:’594px’,items:’886433502′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })}); Yesterday, Trump announced that there would be a 30% tariff placed on all imported solar panels, and all components used to create them. While no one can say for sure what impact this will have on the industry, many experts agree that the move will make solar much less attractive to investors and could cost thousands of jobs. The economic impacts will be felt not only by panel manufacturers but across the entire chain, including installers and companies that manufacture solar supplies. Related: The US solar market grew by a record-breaking 95% last year ICYMI: The Trump administration's decision in the Section 201 solar trade case will cause 23,000 Americans to lose their jobs this year. #SaveSolarJobs https://t.co/7Ssa6CJ2j5 pic.twitter.com/CgxnJEfJhi — Solar Industry (@SEIA) January 23, 2018 Solar has grown at 20% annually and employs over 260,000 people, with an average hourly wage for engineers, electricians and installers of $25 – $29. Obama placed similar tariffs on solar panels, but a loophole allowed Chinese manufacturers to move production to nearby countries. Trump’s move comes at a time when his administration has been working hard to bolster the fossil fuel industry, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement , opening national parks to mining , and paying lip service to coal miners (without actually improving things for miners themselves ). Via CNBC and Engadget Image via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 ) The proposed tariffs are a direct attack on American workers and the booming solar industry in this country, Via @CNNMoney #SaveSolarJobs https://t.co/eXXHEGxDlM — David Bywater (@DavidBywaterCEO) January 19, 2018 Trump just approved tariffs on imported solar products. Our statement on the misguided move which puts jobs and consumer savings at risk: https://t.co/mOrup52PL5 #SaveSolarJobs pic.twitter.com/v9bhDbMHcw — votesolar (@votesolar) January 22, 2018

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Trump’s 30% solar tariffs could kill thousands of jobs and harm industry growth

Beijing’s five-star, LEED-certified Hotel clat is a green as it is swanky

October 13, 2017 by  
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Sustainability and luxury haven’t always gone hand in hand, but Beijing’s new Hotel Éclat is a stellar example of the two worlds colliding in the most wonderful way. As part of the city’s new LEED Platinum certified Parkview Green complex located in the bustling Chaoyang district, the energy-efficient five-star hotel is a landmark of green design for the city that features louvers that funnel out hot air, a grey water system and oodles of natural light. Although undeniably swanky, the hotel’s sustainable profile is as equally impressive, and has been recognized with Asia Pacific’s first LEED Dynamic Plaque . Various engineering techniques integrated into the building by ARUP have created a sustainable shell around the building. To be as efficient as possible, special ventilation louvers channel hot air out of the building while letting in cooler air flow throughout. This feature, along with multiple energy saving features, allows the building to use 44% less energy than conventional hotels. The hotel has 100 rooms, with 20 themed suites that have their own terrace with swimming pool. Water taken from the pools is filtered through the hotel’s innovative grey water system . Related: Stunning Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Will Rise Like the Morning Sun in Beijing The hotel is housed inside a large glass pyramid that comprises the two-million-square-feet Parkview Green complex, which includes two nine-story and two 18-story towers on the inside. The massive pyramid shape was not only used to create a landmark for the city, but was also used in the project’s green design. The building’s glass exterior and unique shape were chosen to block as little natural light from the adjacent residential area as possible as well as to allow natural light to flood the interior of the complex. The all-glass facade and thermal insulation creates an individual microclimate for the complex itself, providing protection from the harsh exterior weather as well as reducing the building’s energy consumption . According to its project description, Parkview Green is a “neighhorhood within a neighborhood, a controlled and highly efficient year-round green space to live, work, and play.” + Hotel Éclat + Integrated Design Associates Via GDB Magazine Images via Hotel Éclat

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