TransCanada natural gas pipeline explodes in West Virginia

June 8, 2018 by  
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An explosion rocked a TransCanada pipeline in Moundsville, West Virginia and the surrounding community yesterday. Locals said it felt like a tornado and sounded like a freight train, and they could see flames from around 20 miles away, EcoWatch reported. TransCanada said in a statement they do not yet know the cause of the explosion. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v3.0’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Early alarm this morningOn trebble run on fish creek Posted by Ruby Mason on Thursday, June 7, 2018 A natural gas pipeline exploded in West Virginia’s Marshall County, located right in the midst of the huge Utica and Marcellus shale formations, Reuters said . No employees were at the site when the pipeline ruptured around 4:15 a.m. EST, and the fire was at least a mile away from the closest home, Marshall County director of emergency management Tom Hart told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . BREAKING: More pictures from a viewer of the explosion. Viewers are calling in and telling us it felt like a tornado hit their house when this happened @WTRF7News pic.twitter.com/akYwSgED7j — Tessa DiTirro (@TDiTirroWTRF) June 7, 2018 Related: The Keystone Pipeline leak was nearly twice as big as we thought The pipeline, called Leach XPress, was placed into service at the start of this year . At that time, TransCanada CEO Russ Girling referred to it as “truly a best-in-class pipeline” and said the company looked forward “to many years to safe, reliable and efficient operation on behalf of our customers.” @MarshallCoWVOEM sent me this picture. This is the site of the pipeline rupture as it was burning off @WTRF7News pic.twitter.com/VINnMiq44G — Tessa DiTirro (@TDiTirroWTRF) June 7, 2018 TransCanada said after the event, which they referred to as the Nixon Ridge Pipeline Incident, “emergency response procedures were enacted and the segment of impacted pipeline was isolated. The fire was fully extinguished by approximately 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. There were no injuries involved with this incident.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said officials from the U.S. Forestry Service and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection were on the site. This picture sent to me from a viewer in Short Creek, WV. Perspective: this is 20 MILES or more away, over a half hour drive! @WTRF7News pic.twitter.com/yAmFJUnKmO — Tessa DiTirro (@TDiTirroWTRF) June 7, 2018 Hart told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette other companies were on the scene too — some operate pipelines just a few hundred feet away from the ruptured pipeline. He said some of those companies turned off the flow in their own pipelines, and that natural gas well operators shut down wells close by. This is drone footage from @MarshallCoWVOEM Director Tom Hart says this is at the end of Nixon Ridge near Fish Creek. The explosion left a crater. The DEP estimates 10 acres are affected @WTRF7News pic.twitter.com/QXTOsWBvNg — Tessa DiTirro (@TDiTirroWTRF) June 7, 2018 The event could impact around 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of gas service — Reuters reported that one billion cubic feet of gas could power around five million American homes. Via EcoWatch , the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  and Reuters Image via Depositphotos

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TransCanada natural gas pipeline explodes in West Virginia

Light-filled Lake Cottage with a zigzagging roof is embedded into the hillside

June 1, 2018 by  
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Architecture firm artek created a site-specific holiday home lodged into the hillside by a lake in El Peñol, a Colombian town renowned for its massive 650-foot-tall monolith. In a nod to the hilly environment (and perhaps the town’s famous monolith), the Lake Cottage is topped with a series of steep gables joined together to create a dramatic zigzagging roofline. Large sliding doors and windows as well as an outdoor stone patio blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living. Completed in 2016, the Lake Cottage covers two floors with an area of 1,076 square feet. The home is oriented northeast to face the Guatape Reservoir and the fjords, peninsulas and islands beyond. The cottage consists of five interconnected gabled structures, with the rightmost structure serving as the entrance. The entrance is marked by a fully glazed gabled end wall, however only the left halves of the four other end walls are glazed. The zigzagging roofline extends slightly outward to shade the home from unwanted solar heat gain. “The composition of the construction elements (Tekton) are arranged in an ideal order, the stereotomic constraints make up the platforms, the interior walls are emptied monolithic concrete with EPS soul that allow achieving the asymmetric trapezoidal silhouettes in a rhythm of full and empty,” the architects wrote. “This as a cloak protects the house from the ‘natural antagonist phenomenon.’” Related: Kengo Kuma’s new community center hides a hilly indoor landscape under its zigzag-roof The interior is finished in light-colored wood. The large glazed openings, in addition to the row of clerestory windows in the rear, let in natural light. The home comprises an open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen to the north and also includes three ensuite bathrooms, one of which is located on the smaller lower level. The upper level opens up to an outdoor terrace that connects to the boat dock and rear parking pad via a stepping-stone path. + artek Via ArchDaily Images by Sergio Gómez

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Light-filled Lake Cottage with a zigzagging roof is embedded into the hillside

Charred timber cladding and a green roof connect this Victorian-era home to nature

May 31, 2018 by  
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To embrace indoor/outdoor living, this Victoria-era house in London is outfitted with a handsome new extension wrapped in Shou Sugi Ban cladding. Designed by Neil Dusheiko Architects , the Black Ridge House provides a modern contrast to the original home’s Victorian brickwork. Inspired by biophilic design principles, the new-build was constructed with several energy-saving features — such as a green roof and underfloor heating — and sustainably sourced timbers to connect the home to nature. Inspired by the rooflines of the area’s early Warner houses, the Black Ridge House features gabled volumes clad in Kebony , a sustainable and durable alternative to tropical hardwood. The engineered wood was charred using the Shou Sugi Ban technique to create a beautifully blackened finish that’s also weatherproof. “The extension forms a contrast to the Victorian brickwork so that the two elements of the house are distinct and a separate visual language is used,” the architects wrote. “Our design embraces the philosophy of Biophilic design principles, addressing our innate attraction to nature and natural processes. By constructing the extension out of a natural product [timber] whose surface is formed by a natural process [fire] — we celebrate nature. The design also includes ideas of wabi-sabi — a world view that is based on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Beauty is seen as being ‘imperfect, impermanent and incomplete’.” Related: Norway farmstead receives a gorgeous modern renovation with Kebony wood The extension includes an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area on the ground floor, while a new master bedroom and skylit bathroom are located on the upper floor. The building opens up to the garden through large double-glazed metal windows. Airtight detailing, underfloor heating, ample access to natural light and an insulating green roof keep energy demands to a minimum. From the sliding door made with reclaimed timber panels to the oak worktop and cupboard doors, the light-filled interior utilizes natural materials. + Neil Dusheiko Architects Images © Tim Crocker

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Charred timber cladding and a green roof connect this Victorian-era home to nature

This luxury Miami home brings the tropical landscape indoors

May 30, 2018 by  
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Cape Town-based architecture firm SAOTA has completed a luxury waterfront home in Miami that boasts envious views toward the Atlantic Ocean and Miami Beach. Sandwiched between the Indian Creek Canal and Pine Tree Drive in the city’s historic Collins Waterfront district, the expansive home—called the Pine Tree Residence—prioritizes an indoor-outdoor living environment. The home also derives inspiration from the firm’s South African roots with its emphasis on the outdoors and “easy-living.” Completed as SAOTA’s first project in Miami, the Pine Tree family home is punctuated with palm trees and continuous views of water throughout. To take advantage of the site’s strong linear proportions, the architects installed large windows that allow for views straight through the home. The porosity of the home and the layout allow homeowners to enjoy views of the outdoors from almost any vantage point in the home. The Pine Tree home also overlooks the activity of the canal ; however, punched anodized aluminum screens can be used to ensure privacy when needed. “The design is as much about containment as it is about the views through the many living spaces, towards the Atlantic Ocean and world-renowned Miami Beach,” says SAOTA director, Philip Olmesdahl. “While the overall contemporary architectural design is a key focus of the SAOTA design team, the use and connectivity of the spaces is the primary driver – how the house lives.” The pool dominates the home’s footprint and the amount of water on the site is about half of the six-bedroom house. The large pool courtyard offers a buffet of entertaining options and includes a hot tub, barbecue area, bar, and even a two-story waterslide that serves as a focal point at the pool pavilion. Related: Foster + Partners unveil plans for a pair of hurricane-resistant high rises in Miami The interior is awash in natural light and the spaces were designed in collaboration with Nils Sanderson. The contemporary and harmonious finishes and furnishings establish the home as a calm retreat from stressful city life. Warm tones are achieved through a mixture of timber and other materials such as callacatta and limestone.  Raymond Jungles designed the landscape. + SAOTA Images via SAOTA

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This luxury Miami home brings the tropical landscape indoors

This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario

May 25, 2018 by  
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The boundary between indoors and out are blurred to beautiful effect in the Bear Stand Residence, a family retreat located approximately three hours northeast of Toronto, Ontario. Designed by Bohlin Grauman Miller in association with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson , the 3,300-square-foot holiday home is wrapped in glazing and natural materials in order to feel like an airy extension of the surrounding forest. Sitting along the shores of Contau Lake, the Bear Stand serves as an escape from city life for residents Sharon Leece and Joe Migrath. The couple lives and work in Shanghai but sought a forested retreat that they could share with their young daughter as well as family and friends. When in Shanghai, the family also offers the house as a vacation rental. “We wanted to build a West Coast-style property, as we love the open, airy, inside-outside connectivity of the modernist design approach there,” Leece said. “We felt the land was the perfect place to envision an authentic cabin aesthetic, visually connected with the environment.” Before Bohlin Cywinski Jackson principal Robert Miller started the design process, he joined the clients in a multi-day camping trip on the property to get a feel of the land. The time he spent with the couple was critical to shaping the vision for the house, which is designed to embrace the surrounding lake and forest at every turn. Related: The net-zero Frick Environmental Center is officially one of the world’s greenest buildings In addition to the master suite, the Bear Stand can accommodate a minimum of 12 guests in three guest suites, a bunk room with four beds and a den. The two-story home is oriented on an east-west axis to parallel the lake and an adjacent granite rock-face that rises up to the south. A double-height living room and dining area forms the heart of the home, while nearly all of the bedrooms — save for one guest bedroom — are located upstairs. The material palette echoes the wooded environment, from the black fiber-cement panels and stained cedar siding to the indoor fir windows and walnut flooring. Large windows open the home up to the outdoors. The house also includes a private sauna, ofuro soaking tub, hot tub and a screened porch. The American Institute of Architects  recently recognized the home’s excellence with a 2018 Housing Award. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Images by Nic Lehoux

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This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario

This striking concrete home uses mesh walls to connect with nature

May 24, 2018 by  
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When it comes to home design, architects around the world are forgoing the conventional for the experimental – all in the name of passive design . For a brilliant example, look no further than Ma of Wind, a unique concrete home from Japanese firm  Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects  with north and south facades made out of steel mesh. Over time, the mesh will be covered with plants to help shade the interior during the hot summer months. Located on Japan’s Okinawa Island, the Ma of Wind home is a daring attempt to bring outdoor elements into the interior as much as possible. Using the island’s traditional vernacular for inspiration, the architects explain that the design concept was “characterized by a respect towards the natural environment, and maintaining harmony between man and nature.” Related: A Minimalist Steel “Green Box” Home that Puts Nature First in Vietnam The structure is made out of a reinforced concrete shell chosen for its resilience against typhoons, a fairly common occurrence in the area. Additionally, the home uses several passive design features to cool the interior during the hot and humid summer months. The open walls on either side of the home open the space to optimal ventilation and natural lighting on the interior. Additionally, extra-large eaves were placed over the terraces to provide extra shade during the summer months. Without a doubt, however, the home’s most striking feature is its steel mesh facade . The architects hung two mesh walls on the north and south facades of the home; these walls will serve as trellises for climbing plants over the years, providing a natural shade system for the building. During the winter when some of the plants lose their leaves, daylight will stream through the interior. “Depending on the season, vegetation engulfs the house, fusing architecture with nature,” the studio explained. The architects based the interior layout on that of traditional Japanese homes . An open living space and kitchen make up the heart of the house, which is flanked by large terraces on either side. The bedrooms are laid out perpendicular to the main living area and have sliding glass doors that open up the rooms to the exterior. The home creates as much of a connection with the island’s natural climate as possible, no matter how harsh. “Sun, wind, water, and the unique climatic features of Okinawa Island together modeled the design as a space exposed to the prevailing winds, looking to south and north for enhancing natural ventilation,” the architects said. + Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects Via Dezeen Images via Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects

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This striking concrete home uses mesh walls to connect with nature

Escape the everyday in this Geodesic Dome House in Palm Springs

May 19, 2018 by  
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Inspired by 20th-century architect R. Buckminster Fuller , architect Pavlina Williams transformed a decrepit dome house in Palm Springs into a dreamy retreat that channels bohemian and mid-century modern vibes. Now available as a vacation rental on Boutique Homes , the Geodesic Dome House offers stunning desert views on a private five-acre lot. Keep reading for a peek inside. Pavlina  and her husband Carter worked on their passion project on weekends and completed the renovation in a year. The key to the redesign was opening up the interior to natural light; Pavlina ordered custom windows from Home Depot to create a band of glazing for panoramic views . For a more modern appearance, Pavlina and Carter ripped up the existing flooring to expose the structural slab, which they then polished. Related: Couple spent seven years handcrafting their dream geodesic home In contrast to its bohemian exterior, the interior is bright and airy with a mid-century modern aesthetic in homage to the movement’s impact on Palm Springs . When asked by Boutique Homes about her favorite part of the home, Pavlina replied, “The location and the views. It’s five acres — and you hardly see the neighbors. You’re in the middle of nowhere. I mean that in a good way. You have the windmills all around you, so it feels like this is the end of the road, like you are here on your own. I love the desert, I love the mountains. In my mind, it’s really all about what’s around it.” The three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home accommodates up to six guests with rates starting at $245 a night . + Geodesic Dome House Images via Boutique Homes

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Escape the everyday in this Geodesic Dome House in Palm Springs

This super-insulated concrete "cabin" hides a surprisingly cozy interior

May 15, 2018 by  
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Brutalist-inspired architecture is usually not the first thing that comes to mind when imagining cozy countryside cabins, but two daring designers have created a 900-square-foot house — made primarily of concrete blocks — in the Catskills. The homeowners, architect Jason Shannon and designer Paola Yañez of J_spy Architecture , created the contemporary home with a cluster of three cubic volumes and a white metal box for the roof. The result is a high-end, modern and eco-friendly retreat that sits on six acres of beautiful grassy landscape. The house was designed to be a serene getaway, a place to escape the city and return to nature. While many people choose to “nestle” their country homes into natural surroundings, this design stands out among the expansive fields thanks to its modern, bold aesthetic. The three cubist volumes made of concrete blocks and large white top floor create a fun juxtaposition to the flourishing, organic background. Related: Prefab Pyrenees cabin minimizes site impact and building costs The interior of the home is contemporary with a welcoming feel. Large windows and doors framed in mahogany provide an abundance of natural light and stunning views. Although the concrete walls were left unfinished on the exterior, the interior blocks feature a polished facade. The main living space has a beautiful 14′ ceiling clad in birch plywood that is interlaced with fabric to help absorb noise. With concrete as the primary building material, the home is extremely energy efficient . A geothermal heat pump is connected to the home’s concrete radiant floor, which emits both hot and cool air. The upper floor, which is clad in white metal, hangs over the dimension of the house for two reasons: to provide passive solar heating and to create high ceilings. In addition to the concrete blocks and radiant heating, the home also has a tankless hot water system and a condenser clothes dryer. To create a tight envelope that reduces energy loss, the house was insulated with a spray foam in the walls and ceilings. According to the architects, the efficient home is not only a reflection of how they live their personal lives, but also depicts their work ethos. Shannon explained, “This was our chance to say, ‘Let’s design the house as modern as we think we would like to be in the rest of our work.’” + J_spy Architecture Via Dwell Photography by Amanda Kirkpatrick

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This super-insulated concrete "cabin" hides a surprisingly cozy interior

The Jackson House floats at the base of a canyon in Big Sur

May 9, 2018 by  
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This beautiful home located at the base of a canyon in Big Sur is made from an array of materials, including copper and concrete. Fougeron Architecture designed the Jackson House as a modern holiday house on stilts that appears to float over the site. The house was designed as a place where the inhabitants can enjoy their weekends and reconnect with nature. Fougeron Architecture worked for three and a half years with several consultants to build the modern family retreat . Related: Gorgeous staggered timber home offers panoramic views of Idaho’s wilderness The main design challenge was to create a building that would blend into the steep canyon walls, while resting gently on the land so as not to disturb the fragile environment. The home is composed of four main volumes nestled under an over-sized butterfly roof that extends out to create covered terraces . The retreat balances the relationship between communal living and privacy. + Fougeron Architecture Via Uncrate Photos by Richard Barnes

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The Jackson House floats at the base of a canyon in Big Sur

Daylit studio and courtyard breathe new life into a 1940s house in Seattle

April 30, 2018 by  
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A new studio and  courtyard inspired by ancient Chinese housing design maximize the potential of this 1940s residence in Seattle . Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard, designed by Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape , encourages flexibility, and exhibits a beautiful outdoor space filled with greenery. The project sits on a rectangular lot with an existing house, which was built in the 1940s. The design includes a multi-functional studio space toward the back of the lot, and a sunken courtyard that provides privacy and a strong connection to nature. The architects wanted to redefine traditional single-family housing and create a space that offers an alternative to the boxy structures taking over the city. Related: Exquisite Japanese house wraps around a generations-old tree “Normative new housing demolishes existing small buildings and replaces them with Seattle Modern Boxes that maximize building size and density within zoning setbacks,” the firm said. “Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard offers an alternative density called courtyard urbanism.” The 360-square-foot  open-plan studio features a glass wall on the side facing the house. The façade that faces an alley is clad in corrugated metal sheets. An overhang extends beyond the south wall and forms a carport. The studio opens onto a sunken patio inspired by ancient Chinese courtyards. Here, the family can dine, relax and entertain guests. In the center of the courtyard, a silk tree provides shade during hot summers. + Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape Via Dezeen Photos by Nic Lehoux

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Daylit studio and courtyard breathe new life into a 1940s house in Seattle

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