Trump hotel in Chicago guilty of environmental law violations

February 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Trump hotel in Chicago guilty of environmental law violations

This probably won’t shock anybody familiar with former President Trump’s disdain for eco-friendly policies, but Judge Sophia H. Hall ruled last Friday that the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago violated Illinois’ environmental laws. The hotel’s heating and cooling systems sucked almost 20 million gallons a day from the Chicago River with no concern for the 30 types of fish that call the river home. The case started in 2018, when it came to public attention that the Trump hotel was the only downtown Chicago high-rise that had failed to follow regulations to protect fish in the waterway. All large facilities that draw water directly from lakes and rivers are required to follow both state and federal regulations that limit fish killed by changes in temperature or pressure as well as deaths of fish that become pinned to intake screens. The speed at which Trump International Hotel & Tower was siphoning out water could fill an Olympic-sized pool in under an hour. To make matters even more dire for river life, the hotel later pumped the water back into the river 35°F hotter. Related: Local communities want Trump’s border wall torn down At an upcoming hearing on March 11, officials will debate how the hotel will be penalized. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office is going for $50,000-a-day fines, plus an extra $10,000 for every day the hotel continued to violate the law. This could add up to a whopping $12 million. Unfortunately, defendants usually manage to settle with the state for a lot less. “No one is exempt from compliance with the laws that protect Illinois’ environment and most valuable natural resources, and we will continue to seek to hold the defendants accountable for violations of state environmental laws that jeopardized the quality of the Chicago River ,” Raoul said in a statement. In the past, Trump Towers’ representatives have dismissed the lawsuit as politically motivated. The bluegill , white perch, walleye and largemouth bass were unable to comment, as they were busy fighting for their lives against the hotel’s filtration system. Via Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post Image via Ashleigh Nushawg

Original post: 
Trump hotel in Chicago guilty of environmental law violations

This long-standing natural soap company started by accident

February 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on This long-standing natural soap company started by accident

Throughout each day, we are exposed to a variety of potential toxins in our home, office and outdoor environments. Making the choice to commit to natural materials and product ingredients within the home is a powerful tool in ensuring minimal chemical exposure. Starting with your morning shower, you have the option to choose fragrant, all-natural and plastic-free soaps while supporting a small business at the same time. April Showers Soaps is a soap line that started by accident. In 1999, owner April Spehar became interested in soap-making as a hobby and gift-giving opportunity. Then the creativity took over, motivating her to experiment with a variety of scent combinations. When it became clear her family of four couldn’t possibly use all of the soap she was producing, she decided to try her hand at selling it. Related: Pela offers biodegradable phone cases and other zero-waste products It’s difficult to simply fast forward 22 years, but in the time between then and now, the business has fed Spehar’s passion and helped support her family as she and her husband, Chaum, raised two children. The 35 or so different soaps are now sold in several retail locations in and around the surrounding community of small university town Corvallis, Oregon, where they live and run their business. Natural ingredients The consistent growth of April Showers Soaps is a result of Spehar’s connection with her customer base early on. While natural ingredients and a concern for the environment are hot topics now, neither were highly en vogue a few decades ago. Regardless, it was important to Spehar to develop products that are good for the health of humans and the planet. With this goal in mind, all April Showers Soaps are scented with pure essential oils instead of fragrance oils. A variety of natural and plant materials such as clays, charcoal, grains, seeds, spices, pumice, coffee , cocoa and herbs add texture, color and skin benefits to the soap. To round out the ingredient list, “The only animal products we use are beeswax and honey. We use sustainably harvested, fair trade , organic palm fruit shortening,” Spehar told Inhabitat. The company also incorporates olive oil, coconut oil and apricot kernel oil. Because experimentation is central to the business, finding the right scent, feel and texture means exploring many options. “Patchouli soap has added hemp oil, our Shaving soap and Shampu bar have added castor oil, and our Vanilla soap has added cocoa butter,” the company’s Etsy site states.  Preparing the soaps for sale Even after 22 years, April Showers Soaps are handmade the old-fashioned way using a cold-process recipe . The soap mixture is stirred and poured into a mold, where it sits for several days. The resulting block is then hand-cut into individual bars and is allowed to cure for three to six weeks before being packaged for sale. The company partners with local suppliers within the state of Oregon , although ingredients come from around the globe. This streamlines material transport and aligns with the company’s goal to minimize driving for supply pickups and product shipments. Special consideration is also given to sustainable packaging. Labels are made from recyclable and compostable paper. Online and in-person sales are packaged using paper bags or tissue paper before going into a cardboard box or bubble mailer. April Showers Soaps reuses clean packing materials whenever possible. The full natural skincare lineup In addition to bar soap, April Showers Soaps offers a salve , soap balls, body butter, bath salts and a custom-made metal soap dish. It’s always fun to anticipate what will come next from the company. Spehar told Inhabitat, “We have a new soap, Bandit Blend, which is inspired by the medieval tale of the four thieves with clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils, comfrey root, and French pink & yellow clay.” Overcoming challenges With a lifelong desire to own her own business, Spehar has enjoyed building up her customer base and interacting with customers at community craft fairs throughout the state and in nearby states. The COVID-19 pandemic has added challenges for the business, with nearly every show canceled for vendors. While Spehar reports that sales on her Etsy store have increased, it hasn’t been enough growth to counterbalance the loss from selling directly to the customer. Spehar said, “I miss chatting with customers in person and getting immediate feedback on new soaps.” Even without immediate feedback, it’s clear that customers love these soaps. The store has over 500 reviews and a 5-star average on Etsy. In a rarely-seen American small business success story, the Spehar household is actually supported by two small businesses. While Chaum helps with photography and other aspects of April Showers Soaps, he spends most of his time making jewelry for a second business the duo runs together, Northwest Goods . As a second generation metal worker, Chaum curates ornaments, jewelry, key chains, the custom soap dish and more — all equally focused on quality materials and craftsmanship. Review of April Showers Soaps I discovered April Showers Soaps around 10 years ago, and it instantly became my go-to brand. Like many Inhabitat readers, I enjoy supporting local and small businesses, especially when the products bring me joy. Over the years, I’ve sampled different combinations and spent many hours sniffing the options at April Showers Soaps. I typically go back to one of several mint options, simply because I’m drawn to it. These products are made using Willamette Valley Peppermint essential oil, another local (to me) company. Recently, I’ve really enjoyed some of the oatmeal and spice combinations for both the feel and the scent. Maybe it’s psychological that the oatmeal is soothing to the skin, but I’ve enjoyed using it as a hand and body soap during harsh, dry winter weather. I also really like the bright citrus options such as lemon-lime and geranium-grapefruit. Lemongrass is another traditional option with a pleasant finish. Then, there are some options that will transport you to the forest, the café or the garden, like licorice, spiced mocha, cinnamon-clove (another favorite of mine) and eucalyptus tea tree. I’m a scent-sensitive person, so standing in front of a display smelling soap after soap can be overwhelming for me. But individually, each soap offers a unique interaction with the ingredients. I’m forced to avoid the ever-popular lavender and rosemary combinations due to sensitivity, but I have no doubt they are as lovely as every other meticulously contoured soap that April and Chaum produce. + April Shower Soaps Images via April Shower Soaps and Dawn Hammon / Inhabitat Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by April Showers Soaps. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

More here: 
This long-standing natural soap company started by accident

Modern wood cabin embraces daylight and landscape views in Norway

February 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Modern wood cabin embraces daylight and landscape views in Norway

On a steep hillside perched high above the Norwegian city of Molde, Oslo-based architecture firm Rever & Drage Architects has completed the Zieglers Nest, a modern wood cabin punctuated with large glazing to take in sweeping panoramic views of the Moldefjord and mountains beyond. Commissioned for a family of five, the home makes the most of its small plot and minimizes concrete foundations with its tall, slender build comprising four stories. Views of nature and access to natural light largely informed the design, which is kept deliberately minimalist with unpainted timber surfaces throughout so as not to detract from the region’s natural beauty. Completed last year, Zieglers Nest is set atop an uninsulated concrete basement level used for parking and storage in the front with a 5-meter-tall multipurpose room in the rear for a trampoline and ball games. The sheltered outdoor space is well-ventilated — gaps along the building’s west and east facades let in natural light and air — and equipped with flood lights to give the children a safe, comfortable play space outside of the main floors. Related: This rustic Norwegian cabin looks like four different buildings all joined together Above the concrete ground level, the architects constructed a timber-framed structure with the top two floors built using log cabin construction. The first floor consists of two bedrooms, a shared bathroom and a wardrobe. Stairs lead up to the light-filled main living area comprising a kitchen with a conservatory , a spacious, double-height living room and a library. The topmost floor has a bedroom, a bathroom and a gallery space with a “Romeo and Juliet balcony” that overlooks the living room for home performances. The roof terrace is also accessible and perfectly positioned for views of the evening sun and northern lights. Designed to make the outdoors the primary focus, Zieglers Nest features a series of large, insulated windows. The timber cladding is vertically oriented on the south side and horizontally oriented on the east and west side to differentiate the facades. The northern facade in the rear is highlighted with a window shutter and dovetail notch corner. The architects explained, “What one attempts to achieve in differentiating the facades in this way is, first, that the building can be read as four volumes rather than one, thus softening the otherwise rigid rectangular prism effect, and secondly the fronts gives an external indication of the inside rooms’ directions.” + Rever & Drage Architects Photography by Tom Auger via Rever & Drage Architects

Original post:
Modern wood cabin embraces daylight and landscape views in Norway

Dolmen Shelter renderings imagine stone-shaped guest rooms

January 18, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Dolmen Shelter renderings imagine stone-shaped guest rooms

Sibling team Davit and Mary Jilavyan have imagined a boutique  hotel  with stone-shaped guest rooms partially inspired by their housing complex in Moscow. The project, known as Dolmen Shelter, is a fictional rendering that the duo hopes to someday see brought to fruition by their friends in the building industry. The hotel measures from 35 square meters to 55 square meters on 100-120 square meters of site area. According to Davit and Mary, they came up with the idea while walking near their house and seeing a landscape design made up of three  stones . The structures are reminiscent of single-chamber megalithic tombs known as dolmens, which date from the early Neolithic age. Related: Marc Thorpe designs live/work buildings built from earth bricks The project imagines a mini-hotel with at least three small stone-shaped guest suites, a design that the team chose instead of buildings made from different blocks to keep the project unique. The idea is to move away from modern house designs that prioritize contemporary shapes and glass, and instead focus on more organic shapes. Each stone-shaped suite is made of reinforced concrete and faced with plaster to imitate natural stone. A few very small windows help mimic a  cave’s  atmosphere. Red lighting evokes the same mystery that characterizes  ancient  dolmens; archaeologists still debate the reasons behind their presence and methods of construction. The team says this choice intentionally alludes to the mesmerizing estrangement and overall characteristics that attract people to these ominous stone structures.  Simple, minimalist furniture provides enough to live comfortably without excess, while a rectangular black volume with an entrance space is built into each suite to indicate the doorway. Overall, the hotel renderings remind one of the ancestral caves of early humans, a feature the Jilavyans believe will distract guests from their busy lifestyles and allow them to concentrate on themselves and their inner voices.  + Dolmen Shelter Via Dezeen Images via Davit and Mary Jilavyan

Read more:
Dolmen Shelter renderings imagine stone-shaped guest rooms

Green-roofed yna hotel blends into a spectacular Nordic landscape

December 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Green-roofed yna hotel blends into a spectacular Nordic landscape

Earlier this year, Norwegian architects Green Advisers AS completed the Øyna hotel — Norway’s “first cultural landscape hotel” with stunning views of the Trondheim fjord. To give deference to the breathtaking landscape, the architects inserted the hotel’s 18 rooms partly into an existing slope and then covered them with green roofs for a seamless connection with the verdant surroundings. The hotel suites follow a radial layout to allow for panoramic views from every room. Located in Øynaparken near Straumen in central Norway , the Øyna cultural landscape hotel is set above the old Sakshaug Church on a natural hill that affords panoramic views over the Trondheim Fjord, the Fosen Alps and “The Golden Road.” Owned and operated by the Sakshaug family, the Øynaparken facility originally served as a restaurant and events venue; however, increasing demand for overnight accommodation prompted expansion into a hotel. The new hotel includes 16 double rooms and two suites that are primarily crafted from timber in a nod to the landscape and the regional raw materials used in the restaurant at the top of the hill. Related: Snøhetta completes stunning Norwegian cabins for glacier hikers To preserve panoramic landscape views from the restaurant, reception and conference area at the top of the site, the hotel rooms were placed on a lower level of the slope and are accessed via an elevator and underground corridor that conforms to the shape of the hill. The hotel rooms are topped with green roofs that join seamlessly with the existing lawn in front of the restaurant and conference center. Dark exterior wood cladding also helps blend the new hotel rooms into the landscape. Inside, dark and light timber paneling wraps the contemporary interiors for a cozy and welcoming feel. The architects noted, “Although the extension of the facility was carefully adapted to the topography, it creates new landscape accents through its formal language and fits in well with the owner’s overall concept.” + Green Advisers AS Images via Interiørfoto AS by Håvard Nyeggen Løberg and Green Advisers AS

See original here:
Green-roofed yna hotel blends into a spectacular Nordic landscape

An old farmhouse becomes a hotel focused on indoor-outdoor living

December 11, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on An old farmhouse becomes a hotel focused on indoor-outdoor living

Spanish architecture firm GANA Arquitectura has rehabilitated a historic cortijo — a type of traditional rural dwelling common in southern Spain — into a beautiful new hotel in the town of Villanueva del Rosario of Andalusia. The intervention pays homage to the local vernacular with its emphasis on indoor-outdoor living and preservation of the cortijo’s traditional materials while adding new life to the property with contemporary interiors. The boutique hotel, which was completed this year, had been created to take part in a growing tourist interest in Andalusia.  Located in the heart of a site filled with olive trees, the original cortijo was a large, whitewashed building topped with red, ceramic roof tiles. The architects kept the building’s structure and materials palette intact and added a simpler, gabled addition to the side — formerly a storage facility — to house 10 individual hotel suites that connect to a timber-lined outdoor patio with a pool. A new courtyard links the two buildings and was thoughtfully designed to protect the root systems of existing trees. Related: Niraamaya Retreat honors traditional design with local materials The old farmhouse spans two floors with common areas located on the ground floor and most of the hotel rooms placed on the second floor. The hotel rooms and shared spaces are designed to highlight the historic architecture. In contrast, the remaining hotel rooms in the new addition feature a deliberately contemporary style. A restrained palette of white walls, timber surfaces and concrete floors is used throughout to tie both buildings together and to keep the focus on the olive tree-studded landscape. Large windows, glazed doors and natural materials help achieve an indoor-outdoor connection. According to the architects, “The result of the intervention is nothing but the perfect harmony between traditional and contemporary architecture , over the amazing influence of nature in its purest form.” + GANA Arquitectura Images via Francisco Torreblanca Herrero and GANA Arquitectura

See more here:
An old farmhouse becomes a hotel focused on indoor-outdoor living

3XN unveils Denmarks first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island

December 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on 3XN unveils Denmarks first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island

On the tiny Danish island of Bornholm, Hotel Green Solution House (GSH) will raise its eco-friendly charms with a new climate-positive wing designed by Copenhagen-based firm 3XN and its green think-tank, GXN. Slated for completion in summer 2021, the new extension will be entirely built, clad and insulated with timber materials for a carbon-neutral footprint. The hotel wing will incorporate upcycled materials from construction offcuts for the furnishings and surfaces. Opened in 2015, Hotel GSH was designed by 3XN and GXN to serve as an inspiring leader in green hospitality. An all-timber build was selected for the new wing for a reduced carbon footprint ; according to the International Environment Agency, approximately 40% of the world’s carbon emissions are attributed to the construction industry, with steel and concrete responsible for a total of 16%. Related: Low-impact geodesic dome hotel immerses guests in Patagonian nature “It is a privilege to work with a developer who is completely uncompromising in her approach to sustainability and the circular economy . In this way, the project is making the impossible a reality,” said Kasper Guldager Jensen, architect and partner at 3XN and founder of GXN. “In addition to creating the foundation for a successful business, I hope that the new project can help to show others the potential of wood construction. If we in Denmark want to be able to achieve our climate goals, the construction industry needs to think and act differently, and there is therefore a great need for lighthouse projects like this.” The new hotel wing at Hotel GSH will feature 24 rooms, a conference room and a rooftop spa. In addition to the use of upcycled materials, debris from local granite quarries in Bornholm will be repurposed as temperature-regulating décor in the conference room. The timber building will reduce its energy footprint with operable windows that let in natural daylight and ventilation. All components of the building are designed with reversible joints so that they can be reused in the future rather than end up as demolition waste. Construction of the new hotel wing is expected to begin this fall. + 3XN Images via 3XN

See the original post here:
3XN unveils Denmarks first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island

Niraamaya Retreat honors traditional design with local materials

November 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Niraamaya Retreat honors traditional design with local materials

Located in Vayitharamattom, Kumarakom in the lakefront region of Southern India, the Niraamaya Retreat is a haven for wellness and rejuvenation with sustainable design elements throughout. A product of Edifice Consultants Pvt. Ltd, an award-winning architectural practice based in India, the 65,000-square-foot retreat offers a contemporary feel while still honoring the traditional style of the region with locally sourced building materials. The boutique resort is spread across seven acres facing Lake Vembanad and includes 27 independent luxury villas, two restaurants, a health club, a wellness center and a spa. The spa features multiple treatment rooms, a pool and yoga pavilions, while the business center contains meeting rooms and an amphitheater. Related: These charming timber cabins in South India are a retreat for nature lovers What sets this stunning coastal escape apart from the rest are the nods to classical Kerala architecture, a design style that incorporates traditional elements like sloping roofs, Mogappus and Charupadi, a type of built-in, ventilated porch bench. Locally sourced materials such as clay tiles for the roofing, granite pavilions and dados, laterite and wood are featured in the construction work. According to the designers, one of the biggest challenges for the project came in the form of high rainfall and water stagnation due to the site’s unique contours. To combat this, they enabled a network of natural bodies of water to allow for smooth surface runoff , even in the event of heavy monsoon showers. The landscape can only be described as tropical yet well-groomed, with native trees and plants leading to the onsite river. The intimate villas are scattered thoughtfully about the property, connected with peaceful pathways that wind through the lush surroundings. Each villa is about 100 square meters in size and includes a private moot pond, an open shower, a portico and bed facing the lake as well as a semi-open private landscaped area. + Edifice Consultants Pvt. Ltd Images via Edifice Consultants Pvt. Ltd

See the original post here: 
Niraamaya Retreat honors traditional design with local materials

Smart home with AI sits above a nature reserve in Prague

November 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Smart home with AI sits above a nature reserve in Prague

Villa Sophia by COLL COLL celebrates the connection between technology and nature. A  smart home  with artificial intelligence, the house sits on the Trója hillside above a nature reserve with stunning views of Prague. The villa’s technological aspects feature blue light eliminating house lights and self-moving doors to aid in natural ventilation, while the green roof contributes to the building’s energetic balance. According to the architects, many of the structural and material construction choices are inspired by sustainability and durability. Samples of materials were tested for strength, elasticity stability, chemical stability and permanence before use. The house includes a  green roof  that is exposed from above, contributing to colorful blooms of plants and flowers throughout the seasons. This roof helps balance the building both energetically and aesthetically. Terraces around the house follow an unfolding star design that dissolves into the overgrown garden, which routinely sees a wide variety of wild animals. Related: Architecture students design and build a LEED Platinum smart home in Kansas The smart home comes completely connected, integrated with a Sysloop system platform and EMPYREUM Information Technologies  artificial intelligence . To aid healthy sleep cycles, all of the house lights operate in the full spectrum of light (RGBW) to slowly eliminate harsh blue light components. For natural air ventilation, the doors operate on linear magnets. One wing of the house is dedicated to music, with a concert room that uses A.I. to play musical pieces or unique melodies to accompany the residents’ musical performances. Apart from the house’s environmental and technological features, the property also enjoys panoramic views of  Prague’s  Dejvice Hotel International. The office looks out on the Libe? Gasholder, while the living room hosts views of the garden, and the bedroom offers a look into the treetops thanks to a descending terrain. To ensure that surrounding homes can also enjoy the panoramic city views, Villa Sophia sits at the shortest possible height. + COLL COLL Photography by BoysPlayNice

More here: 
Smart home with AI sits above a nature reserve in Prague

Prefab holiday cabins appear to float among misty tea fields in China

October 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Prefab holiday cabins appear to float among misty tea fields in China

Chinese architecture firms Wiki World and Advanced Architecture Lab have designed and built the Mountain & Cloud Cabins, a boutique hotel hidden in the mountains of Yichang in China’s Hubei province. Commissioned by the local cultural and tourism development agency, the nature-focused hospitality project features 18 timber cabins that are prefabricated and strategically sited for reduced site impact and optimized landscape views. The cabins are also engineered for energy efficiency and include a floor heating system and a fresh air exchange system. Completed earlier this year, the Mountain & Cloud Cabins project takes cues from the lead architect Mu Wei’s experiences living in Norway. The mountainous site in Hubei reminded Wei of the Norwegian landscape, so he channeled Scandinavian minimalism for the design of the modern cabins. The project includes hotel rooms, a cafe and a swimming pool. There are five different types of cabins that range from 35 square meters to 65 square meters in size. Each cabin’s main structure can be assembled in one day thanks to the use of prefabricated, cross-laminated timber panels. Related: Sophisticated, sustainable lakeside cabin showcases the best of Nordic minimalism “You can never order nature, besides you become part of it,” explained the architects, who endeavored to blend the buildings into the landscape. “We try to design and build as nature: cabins seem to come from the future, but disappear in the nature. They are the viewfinders of nature and breathe freely in the forest.” While the structure of the buildings are built of timber, the exterior of the cabins vary depending on the location. A bridge-like cabin that spans the tea valley, for instance, takes the form of an elevated, 14-meter-long wooden bridge with a courtyard terrace, while the angular, spacecraft-like LOFT cabins perched higher up on the mountain are clad in mirrored metal plates that reflect the surrounding environment. The unusual shapes of the various cabins lend the project an extra layer of mystique in the foggy tea field landscape. + Wiki World Photography by ?????? via Wiki World

More here: 
Prefab holiday cabins appear to float among misty tea fields in China

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2131 access attempts in the last 7 days.