Striking green-roofed house cantilevers over a cliff in Japan

November 30, 2017 by  
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This striking concrete house extends from a cliff above a river in Japan , providing spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The two-floor green-roofed structure, designed by architecture firm Planet Creations , establishes a delicate balance between rugged and warm materials, with raw wood contrasting against stark concrete walls. The villa is located in Tenkawa village, and it cantilevers over the Tenokawa River, 56 feet below. It’s built into flat bedrock, and the layout is split along the length of the structure. A bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom occupy one side, while the master bedroom, living room and deck area occupy the other. Related: Organic Japanese Shell Residence Wraps Around a Centenarian Fir Tree The steep slope dictated the design of the house and constrained the flatland space to only 64 square feet – enough to accommodate two cars and not much else. In order to ensure structural stability, the architect decided to “submerge the building near the rock so as to melt into this surrounding environment.” + Planet Creations Via Ignant Photos by Masato Sekiya

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Striking green-roofed house cantilevers over a cliff in Japan

Newly discovered property of graphene could lead to infinite clean energy

November 30, 2017 by  
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Physicists at the University of Arkansas have discovered a new property of graphene that could be exploited to generate endless, clean energy . While investigating the simple phenomenon of graphene’s ability to ripple and shake, physicist Paul Thibado and a group of graduate students uncovered a previously unknown behavior in which the wonder material buckles and twists in small, random fluctuations, potentially allowing graphene to be used as an ambient power source. When two electrodes are added on either side of a subtly shaking sheet of graphene, a small shifting voltage is produced, one that can could be magnified for practical use through layering. This new discovery was made over the course of a fairly mundane exploration of graphene’s known tendency to jiggle. It is this random movement of atoms that allows the nearly 2D graphene to function as a 3D material. To study this behavior, students laid sheets of graphene on a copper grid and observed the atomic movement through a scanning tunneling microscope . “The students felt we weren’t going to learn anything useful,” said Thibado , “but I wondered if we were asking too simple a question.” The students then searched for a pattern in graphene’s movement. “Looking at large-scale averages hid the different patterns. Each region of a single image, when viewed over time, produced a more meaningful pattern,” said Thibado. Related: New graphene sieve can remove even small salts from seawater This meaningful pattern of small, random fluctuations that result in dramatic shifts is known as a Lévy flight. Although the phenomenon had been previously observed in biology and climate studies , this marks the first instance in which it was observed on an atomic level. These movements allowed for the production of a small voltage within the graphene. Thibado estimates that a single ten micron by ten micron piece of graphene may produce ten microwatts of power. While this may not seem like much, graphene’s ability to be layered heavily even in a small space could result in a practical electrical charge, one that may be used to power bioimplants. Thibado is working with the US Naval Research Laboratory to further investigate and develop the concept. Via Futurism Images via Depositphotos   (1)

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Newly discovered property of graphene could lead to infinite clean energy

Man quits his job, travels 31,000 miles in a renovated van with his cat [video]

November 21, 2017 by  
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It turns out dogs aren’t the best travel companions, cats are! In 2015, a man named Rich East quit his corporate job, renovated a camper van and took off with his rescue cat, Willow. Since then, he and the friendly feline have traveled more than 50,000 kilometers (over 31,000 miles) across Australia’s six states and two territories, venturing down many of the country’s lesser-trekked paths. Rich explains on his blog Van Cat Meow , “In early 2014 I started making plans for a massive life change. Unhappy with my 10 years in the corporate world I started designing a new life for myself. I started designing a campervan that could provide me with shelter, a home, and comfort for this next stage of my life. Slowly I began to sell all my possessions such that what was left would fit in this van.” In 2015, he was ready to go. “I sold my house, all of my possessions, and quit my job so I could take the trip of a lifetime,” he  explained . “But one thing I couldn’t say goodbye [to] was this little cat so the obvious decision was to take her with me.” Their deep bond is evident in the travel photography East uploads to Instagram . Related: Amazing camper van maximizes space with clever boat design tricks According to East, there are some distinct advantages to traveling with a cat, rather than a dog. He said, “I may be biased but I believe travelling with a cat is easier than travelling with dogs. Cats are very independent and don’t require a huge amount of attention. Willow is quite nocturnal, sleeping throughout the day if we are driving and coming out in the afternoon for some food and a cuddle.” He added, “The only disadvantage to having a travelling cat is not being able to go into the occasional area where pets aren’t permitted. We avoid the National Parks to find our own hidden places that maybe we wouldn’t have found otherwise.” While most cats aren’t suited for nomadic living, Willow is the exception. “Some people think it’s odd that I’m traveling with a cat, but Willow is so chilled out and absolutely loves our new lifestyle,” East said. For her protection, the feline wears a special collar that tracks her location. “With the tracking collar, I have the peace of mind that if she decides to go for a hike I will be straight onto her,” he said. Though the pair’s trip concluded in early 2017, neither East or Willow have plans to stop traveling. East continues chronicling their adventures on Instagram and even compiled some of the best travel shots into a 2018 calendar that is now available for sale in the Van Cat meow online shop . + Van Cat Meow Via MyModernMet , TreeHugger Images via Van Cat Meow

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Man quits his job, travels 31,000 miles in a renovated van with his cat

Timber-clad stfold cabin embraces the Scandinavian coastline

November 21, 2017 by  
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Natural light and stunning coastal views fill the enviable Østfold cabin, a cedar-clad dwelling in southeastern Norway. Designed by Norwegian studio Lund+Slaatto Architects , the coast-hugging cabin is undoubtedly contemporary yet its pitched roof pays homage to the local traditional architecture and the former building onsite. Surrounded by pines and rocky terrain, the home features light-colored timber inside and out to help it blend into the landscape. The 60-square-meter Østfold cabin comprises two volumes: a main building and an annex connected via outdoor terrace that wraps around the larger structure. Glazed folding doors open up the southwest-facing open-plan living room, dining space, and kitchen to the terrace as well as views of the outdoors. Large windows and other glazed openings let in copious amounts of natural light, while the roof overhang and timber louvers help mitigate solar gain. Related: Meditative lakeside Prism Cabin reveals Bordeaux through stained-glass windows While the open-plan living area and its stunning vistas are the highlights of the home, the interior also steps up to a secondary sitting area, and leads up to a second-floor study tucked within an attic -like space. The annex contains a bedroom. “Inspired by the rocky coastal surroundings, different levels create natural divisions within the open interior space,” wrote the architects. “The timber cladding, alongside the slim pitched roof, gives the house an almost shelter-like appearance – a sensation of a light and sensible dwelling on the fragile coast.” + Lund+Slaatto Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Marte Garmann

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Timber-clad stfold cabin embraces the Scandinavian coastline

Larch-clad extension breathes new life into an old hunting lodge in Canada

November 15, 2017 by  
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This quaint hunting lodge in Canada  has had several different lives before being turned into a cozy family home nestled in the woods. The new owners commissioned architect Anik Péloquin to design an extension that would echo the architecture of the original building, while blending in with the stunning surroundings. The resulting two-volume structure is clad in larch wood fits in perfectly and breathes new life into the lodge. The small house, located on a secluded lakeside lot in La Malbaie, Canada, was used as a hunting lodge for the first three decades, before becoming the summer home for the Sisters of Charity. Instead of renovating the house, the new owners decided to build an additional space and use the existing structure as a guesthouse . Related: Extraordinary treehouse is a climber’s dream with its own indoor climbing wall The two volumes as referred to as siblings, with the new house–“the little sister”–housing two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and lounge areas. Modest in size, the structure keeps with the general look of its “big sister”. It is clad in larch and features a steep shed roof that harmonizes with the existing structure and the landscape. The roof overhang on the west and south sides keep the outside walls low and consistent with the scale of the old house. The steep roof pitch rises on the east and north side and reminds of a church steeple, thus evoking the history of the site. + Anik Péloquin architecte Via V2com Photos by Louis Prud’homme

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Larch-clad extension breathes new life into an old hunting lodge in Canada

Cards Against Humanity buys land on the US-Mexico border to block Trump’s wall

November 15, 2017 by  
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You may have gotten some laughs from the irreverent Cards Against Humanity game in the past, but now the people behind the “party game for horrible people” have a higher objective: stop Donald Trump’s border wall. The company bought land on the border and worked with a law firm to make it harder for the Trump administration to act on its plan – and they asked fans to chip in $15 for a piece of the land in their new Cards Against Humanity Saves America campaign. Cards Against Humanity doesn’t want to see a United States-Mexico border wall erected, so they’re working to thwart Trump with their recent land purchase. On their campaign page, they said, “Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans. He is so afraid that he wants to build a twenty-billion dollar wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing. So we’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.” Related: Provocative street art installation shows baby peering over US-Mexico border wall Those who gave Cards Against Humanity $15 earned “six America-saving surprises” during the holidays. The company has been quiet about most of the surprises, but they did say backers could expect an illustrated map of the land they purchased, new cards, and a certificate of their promise to battle Trump’s border wall. Other surprises are set to be delivered in December. The campaign seems to have resonated with Americans – The Washington Post reported it sold out in hours. This isn’t the first time Cards Against Humanity has gotten political , using humor to draw attention to current issues. For example, earlier this year they created a Weed Pack and donated proceeds to the Marijuana Public Policy Project to fight for legalization. They also sent potatoes to Republican Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson to persuade him to hold a town hall about the Affordable Care Act. + Cards Against Humanity Saves America Images via Cards Against Humanity Saves America and Anthony Albright on Flickr

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Cards Against Humanity buys land on the US-Mexico border to block Trump’s wall

High House lets you enjoy the outdoors even in the middle of winter in Quebec

October 31, 2017 by  
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As if built out of snow, this discrete house on stilts blends perfectly into the white winter landscape of Quebec, Canada . Parisian architecture studio Delordinaire raised the house above the ground to capture expansive views of Mont Saint Anne, soak up as much natural light as possible and form a heated outdoor space beneath the volume, all while blending in with the wintry landscape. The building, named High House, has painted white concrete panel cladding and corrugated steel roof panels in order to blend into the landscape during winter, and stand out against green hills in summer. A warming stove allows the underside to function as an outdoor space that can be used throughout the year. Related: This cozy cottage sits on stilts made out of recycled gas pipes This unusual space is where residents can be in direct contact with nature and the snowy exterior while still enjoying a level of protection from the elements. The volume above provides uninterrupted views of the Mont Saint Anne from the lounge room. Large windows allow natural light to directly enter the house at all hours of the day. + Delordinaire Via Fubiz

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High House lets you enjoy the outdoors even in the middle of winter in Quebec

Daylit retreat in Mexico fits perfectly into the surrounding walnut groves

October 27, 2017 by  
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This hidden retreat in Amacueca, México  is a daylit getaway surrounded by lush walnut groves and forests. CoA arquitectura and Departamento de Arquitectura designed Casa Amacueca using primarily stone and timber , to create a serene escape that fits perfectly into its natural setting. The layout of the house radiates from the central courtyard which allows more natural light to penetrate the interior. Slender timber columns frame a beautiful walkway that offers a visual connection between the living spaces and nature. Related: Eco Hotel Endemico is a Gorgeous Green Retreat in Baja, Mexico The columns support the wooden frames that comprise the roof, while concrete appears only as grafts in the supporting walls as elements that limit, support and confine windows and niches. A deck sheltered under a gable roof follows the outline of the building and its radial wooden “armor”. + CoA arquitectura + Departamento de Arquitectura Via Plataforma Arquitectura Lead photo by Francisco Gutiérrez Peregrin

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Daylit retreat in Mexico fits perfectly into the surrounding walnut groves

Daylit retreat in Mexico fits perfectly into the surrounding walnut groves

October 27, 2017 by  
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This hidden retreat in Amacueca, México  is a daylit getaway surrounded by lush walnut groves and forests. CoA arquitectura and Departamento de Arquitectura designed Casa Amacueca using primarily stone and timber , to create a serene escape that fits perfectly into its natural setting. The layout of the house radiates from the central courtyard which allows more natural light to penetrate the interior. Slender timber columns frame a beautiful walkway that offers a visual connection between the living spaces and nature. Related: Eco Hotel Endemico is a Gorgeous Green Retreat in Baja, Mexico The columns support the wooden frames that comprise the roof, while concrete appears only as grafts in the supporting walls as elements that limit, support and confine windows and niches. A deck sheltered under a gable roof follows the outline of the building and its radial wooden “armor”. + CoA arquitectura + Departamento de Arquitectura Via Plataforma Arquitectura Lead photo by Francisco Gutiérrez Peregrin

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Daylit retreat in Mexico fits perfectly into the surrounding walnut groves

Daylit retreat in Mexico fits perfectly into the surrounding walnut groves

October 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Daylit retreat in Mexico fits perfectly into the surrounding walnut groves

This hidden retreat in Amacueca, México  is a daylit getaway surrounded by lush walnut groves and forests. CoA arquitectura and Departamento de Arquitectura designed Casa Amacueca using primarily stone and timber , to create a serene escape that fits perfectly into its natural setting. The layout of the house radiates from the central courtyard which allows more natural light to penetrate the interior. Slender timber columns frame a beautiful walkway that offers a visual connection between the living spaces and nature. Related: Eco Hotel Endemico is a Gorgeous Green Retreat in Baja, Mexico The columns support the wooden frames that comprise the roof, while concrete appears only as grafts in the supporting walls as elements that limit, support and confine windows and niches. A deck sheltered under a gable roof follows the outline of the building and its radial wooden “armor”. + CoA arquitectura + Departamento de Arquitectura Via Plataforma Arquitectura Lead photo by Francisco Gutiérrez Peregrin

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Daylit retreat in Mexico fits perfectly into the surrounding walnut groves

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