Prefab DublDom home delivered via helicopter as a gift to a remote Russian town

June 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Moscow-based design studio BIO Architects has installed its latest prefab DublDom in the snowy mountains of Kandalaksha, a ski town in northeastern Russia. The DublDom was installed as a gift for the town after resident Alexander Trunkovkiy won the competition “Find Your Place 2016,” which asked participants to submit location proposals for a DublDom and explain how a prefab home would benefit the area. Lifted into place by helicopter, this new tiny cabin in Kandalaksha serves as a shelter for tourists who flock to the mountainous region for outdoor recreation. Alexander Trunkovkiy’s winning competition entry was selected from more than 500 submissions. Trunkovkiy made a persuasive case when he implored BIO Architects to install a DublDom as a replacement for a mountain shelter that had burned down. The DublDom, he said, would serve as a place where townspeople and visitors could rest while enjoying skiing in winter, hiking in summer and views of the mountains year-round. Clad in bright red panels, the tiny cabin in Kandalaksha uses the standard DublDom modules but with a reconfigured interior optimized for high-altitude use. The lightweight,  prefab structure was constructed to the highest standards of durability and energy efficiency and then dropped into place by helicopter. “Due to combining high-tech materials, we managed to halve the weight of the modules,” the architects said. “The materials and the coating are calculated to be used at the low temperatures and high wind loads.” Related: Tiny and Affordable Russian DublDom Home Can Be Assembled in Just One Day Elevated on six pillars, the metal-framed mountain shelter comfortably accommodates up to eight people. The interior is minimally furnished with a warming stove and table in the center flanked by rack-beds on the perimeter of the large central room. The space beneath the beds is used for storage. A glazed, gabled end wall provides passive heating and panoramic views of the southern Kandalaksha gulf and islands. + BIO Architects Via ArchDaily Images by Art Lasovsky

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Prefab DublDom home delivered via helicopter as a gift to a remote Russian town

This passive-energy lake house unites multiple generations under one roof

June 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Located on a peninsula on Ossippee Lake, New Hampshire, the Anker Jordan Residence is a lakeside cottage that offers multi-generational living with a spectacular view. Designed by New York City-based Scalar Architecture , the New England home was created with passive energy performance, privacy, and aging in mind. The dwelling’s relatively compact footprint and its unusual geometric form were informed by passive solar studies as well as surrounding views of the lake, forests, and White Mountains range beyond. Although one of the undeniable charms of the Anker Jordan Residence is the beautiful view, the site also proved one of the project’s most challenging aspects. The property’s main views lie to the north and it receives little southern solar exposure; neighbors on the south and east also posed privacy concerns. In addition to site considerations, Scalar Architecture had to develop a design that allowed for comfortable intermingling between three generations and protected the building against the region’s harsh winter weather. Through adaptive computation design, the 3,000-square-foot Anker Jordan Residence takes on the shape of two conjoined prisms clad in Everest roofing standing seam metal siding and insulated with high-density spray foam insulation. The folded roof mitigates southern exposure, northern views, and snow shed. The orientation of the building allows for the summer westerly winds but deflects northwestern winter winds. Large KasKel windows punctuate the metal-clad envelope to let in views and natural light from all directions. The home also opens up to a 700-square-foot deck. Related: Atmospheric 1950s home renovated as a school facilitates self-guided education “The interior of the prism is articulated as interconnected cells that afford a complex landscape of social interaction,” explain the architects. “The process is then reiterated in a fractal fashion to address a multi-generational dwelling program: A conjoined second prism – evolved from the first one, provides a discreet yet connected realm for the young adults occupying the middle level. Below it, the ground floor is given over to the grandparents’ quarters.” + Scalar Architecture Images by Miguel de Guzman, Imagen Subliminal

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This passive-energy lake house unites multiple generations under one roof

Find your zen in this tiny cabin tucked into New Zealand’s idyllic landscape

June 13, 2018 by  
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Located just outside Kawarau Falls near Queenstown, New Zealand, a tiny, off-grid  cabin conceals a truly luxurious and light-filled interior with a striking, jet-black facade. Designed by local architect Anna-Marie Chin, Tom’s Cabin, which can be rented through Airbnb , is strategically built to provide amazing views of the idyllic landscape while fitting in with the local vernacular. The 1,291-square-foot off-grid  cabin , which was voted New Zealand’s best small home in 2016, offers a serene retreat tucked into the natural landscape around Kawarau Falls. The low-lying volume with a “tilted” sloped roof mimics the landscape of the rolling hills, and the jet black exterior gives the cabin a contemporary, sophisticated feel. The simple gable form of the rooftop also provides an ultra-tall entryway, which is clad almost entirely in glass to provide stunning views from the small wooden deck. Related: Disconnect in these A-frame tiny cabins in the Catskills The interior space is surprisingly well-lit by natural light . Using a simple color and material palette, the interior walls of the cabin are clad in plywood paneling, punctuated with large windows. Concrete floors and black accents create a seamless cohesion with the exterior. Various space-saving features and custom-made furniture provide the interior with plenty of storage . The cabin has three bedrooms and can accommodate up to six adults, with additional bedding available for small children. A large fireplace and underfloor heating keep the interior temperatures warm and cozy year round. For additional amenities, guests can enjoy the outdoor cedar hot tub after a long day of hiking or biking. In case of inclement weather, the cabin comes equipped with high-speed internet and a projector for movie night. + Tom’s Cabin Airbnb + Anna-Marie Chin Via Dwell Photography by David Straight

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Find your zen in this tiny cabin tucked into New Zealand’s idyllic landscape

A 1920 Swiss barn is reborn as a modern home for a family of five

June 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Swiss design studio Ralph Germann architectes  has overhauled an old drafty barn into a beautiful contemporary home with a new timber annex. Located in the rural village of Orsières in southeast Switzerland, the barn renovation and expansion project was commissioned by a family of five who sought a modern and light-filled abode. The adaptive reuse project—named the House EKC—was built with locally sourced materials and is equipped with an air-water heat pump, solar thermal panels, and dimmable LEDs. The House EKC covers an area of 2,153 square feet and includes a 108-square-feet outdoor terrace . The old barn had originally been used for hay storage in the upper loft while the lower volume was used as a stable for goats or sheep. Ralph Germann completely gutted the barn and rebuilt a reinforced concrete structure, including the walls and slabs, to meet seismic code. Thermal insulation was applied in the interior in order to preserve the barn’s “‘vernacular’ aesthetics.” “The insertion of large windows into the masonry respected “the principle of origin”,” said the architects. “The glass simply took the place where wood has originally been and supplies light and passive heat. A balcony-loggia made out of concrete and wood took the place of the old balcony which was used to sun-dry the hay.” The new wooden annex mimics the proportions and low gabled roofline of the historic barn. The timber, which includes larch and spruce wood, were sourced locally from the Val Ferret region. Related: The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all The light-filled interior features plaster walls and ceilings finished in mineral paint “white RAL 9010” that reflect light and helps create the illusion of more space. Oiled-brush larch wood lines the floors. The main staircase is built of solid larch and serves as the backbone of the house. The solid larch furniture was designed by Ralph Germann to ensure a cohesive interior design. The custom design also presented the opportunity to create a high-back bench in the dining area that doubles as a guardrail for the staircase. The kitchen features white laminate with “Dekton gray concrete” countertops. + Ralph Germann architectes Images by Lionel Henriod

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A 1920 Swiss barn is reborn as a modern home for a family of five

20-foot shipping container converted into off-grid oasis deep in the Catskills

June 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The beautiful Contanium shipping container cabin , just a two-hour drive from NYC, is proving that going off-grid doesn’t have to mean going bare bones. Available for rent on Airbnb, the solar-powered container cabin offers peaceful solitude with all of the comforts of a luxury cabin, including a comfy sofa bed, kitchenette, writing desk, wood-burning stove, and outdoor hot tub. The 20-foot shipping container is perfect for a summer weekend away or even a winter wonderland experience. The container is highly insulated for the cold New York winters, and a wood-burning stove helps the interior stay warm and cozy at all hours of the day and night. The solar-powered cabin comes installed with a composting toilet and a gravity-feed water system. Low-energy windows also provide natural light while reducing heat loss in the wintertime. Large sliding glass doors open onto the patio in the warmer months, letting guests enjoy nature right outside their living space. Related: This amazing shipping container hotel can pop up anywhere in the world Inside the cabin’s beautiful woodsy interior, guests can enjoy the comforts of home. The lights are controlled by a touch-activated LED lighting system . A small but sufficient sofa bed can be folded up for seating space. The kitchenette, although compact, is fully stocked with top-of-the-line appliances. The bathroom is just 40 feet away and is a modern, sophisticated take on the traditional outhouse, with lots of natural light, pine paneling and an open shower stall. The outdoor patio has a large seating area positioned around a fire ring. Additionally, a yoga platform and hammock all but guarantee a rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit. Outside, guests will enjoy a wood-fired hot tub made out of a 120-gallon galvanized metal tub, which can be filled up with stream water. Besides staying in a beautiful eco-friendly cabin , guests will have a breathtaking natural forest to explore. The cabin sits on 20 acres of woodland with various trails to choose from, including one that leads to a 30-foot waterfall just 100 yards north. + Contanium Cabin Via 6 Sq Ft Photographs via Airbnb

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20-foot shipping container converted into off-grid oasis deep in the Catskills

Students compete to design energy-efficient, battery-powered rail vehicles

June 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Students in Sweden showed off creative designs for energy efficient , battery-powered rail vehicles at the Delsbo Electric competition in late May. One team set a new record, for the “lowest energy consumption per person-kilometer ever for a man-made engine driven vehicle.” According to an emailed statement, the winning vehicle could transport a person around 1,640 feet with the energy of a single Google search. Dalarna University students won the Delsbo Electric 2018 competition with the Eximus III, which transported six people from Delsbo to Fredriksfors and back on a track around two miles long. The average weight of the passengers was over 110 pounds, and the vehicle speed was more than six miles per hour. Eximus III’s energy consumption was 0.63 watt-hours (Wh) per person-kilometer, the lowest ever recorded for a man-made vehicle powered by an engine. Related: Swedish students design one of the world’s most energy-efficient rail-bound vehicles Students also competed for the HHK Innovation Award, given by experts from company Hudiksvalls Hydraulikkluster (HHK). Linköping University students nabbed that prize for Helios, which boasted a vehicle body and wheels comprised almost entirely of wood  and a windshield made from recycled plastic . Solar panels atop the roof provided clean power. Emil Fernlund, a member of the team, said in a video , “Our whole approach is based on sustainable design . We want to show that you can build energy efficiently and use renewable materials .” Chairman of the HHK Innovation Award jury and HHK Cluster Manager Paul Bogatir said in a statement, “Helios is a beautiful concept and it inspires the industry and the world to think about energy efficiency during the whole product life cycle — not just when the product is in use.” One team, from the Chalmers University of Technology , showed off a prototype for a Maglev train that could travel on existing tracks. While it’s not ready to be implemented yet, the students hope people will be able to ride it in a few years. + Delsbo Electric + Linköping University Images courtesy of Hudiksvalls Hydraulikkluster / Delsbo Electric

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Students compete to design energy-efficient, battery-powered rail vehicles

Trump’s nuclear bailout could cost consumers up to $17 billion each year

June 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The Trump Administration is taking unprecedented steps to bail out failing nuclear and coal power plants, effectively nationalizing the American energy market with potentially drastic consequences for the renewable energy industry and the American consumer. According to an updated report from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), the Trump Administration’s plan could result in artificially high electricity prices. The planned subsidies for nuclear power plants alone could increase the overall cost of electricity in the U.S. by up to $17 billion each year; the subsidies for coal plants would add even more. This skewing of the American energy market, which has recently seen significant progress made by wind and solar energy, could also result in the decline of renewable energy in the U.S. “By pushing for a nationwide bailout for nuclear power and coal, the Trump administration is rushing headlong into an energy buzz saw, and they don’t even seem to know it,” NIRS executive director Tim Judson said in a statement. It should come as no surprise to those who have followed President Trump that he would take steps to support coal and nuclear power at the expense of renewable energy. What is surprising is the heavy-handedness with which his administration is attempting to directly subsidize failing businesses, thereby ignoring the Republican Party’s long-held belief in the supremacy of a market free from government intrusion. By doing so, Trump could decimate the renewable energy industry, which employs more American workers than coal and nuclear combined. Related: Trump orders Perry to take steps to curb coal plant shutdowns The administration claims that it must act to save failing coal and nuclear plants in the interest of national security. Not everyone is buying that excuse. “The Administration’s warnings of dire effects from power shortages caused by shortages of reliable and resilient generation are contradicted by all of the bodies with actual responsibility for assuring adequate supplies,” said former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Peter A. Bradford. “There are no state or federal energy regulators petitioning DOE for these measures. Indeed, those who have spoken clearly have said that such steps are unnecessary. … As was said in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq , the facts are being fixed around the desired end result.” In order to enact its bailout policies, the Trump Administration has three options: Congressional action, review and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or a formal National Security Council assessment. While the bailouts are likely to be delayed for the foreseeable future, if they even occur, the Trump Administration’s decision to subsidize failing power plants at the expense of American industry and consumer well-being makes its priorities quite clear. + Nuclear Information & Resource Service Images via GorissM and Ron Reiring

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Trump’s nuclear bailout could cost consumers up to $17 billion each year

Tudor-inspired tiny house blends old-world charm with minimalist functionality

June 6, 2018 by  
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From climbing walls  to movable walls , the prolific tiny house team from Tiny Heirloom is well known for creating unique tiny homes , but they’ve outdone themselves with their latest design, bringing a touch of old-world charm to the modern movement. The house, which was built for a private client, draws inspiration from Tudor-style architecture and comes complete with a timber-accented facade, dual gables and dark hardwood floors. The client came to the tiny house builders with an idea to create a small home that would be timeless; “The exterior of [owner] Jenn’s house was very important to her,” according to Tiny Heirloom. “She wanted it to look and feel like you were back in time whenever you laid eyes on it. So together, we drew inspiration from…different architecture but decided Tudor was the best fit. It’s such a unique style but it really finished off the design quite perfectly.” Related: Tiny Heirloom’s luxury micro homes let you live large in small spaces The home has an interior layout of just 220 square feet, but its sophisticated design creates a comfortable and spacious interior. The classic Tudor-inspired theme is reflected in the dark hardwood flooring, all-white shiplap walls and curved windows that flood the interior with natural light . The living room is compact but inviting, with a charming mosaic-clad fireplace and reading chair. The interior living space was equipped with plenty of shelving and storage to avoid clutter. The kitchen, which is just steps away from the living space, features a beautiful hammered copper sink, a propane three-burner hob and oven, and a matching mosaic backsplash. A gorgeous steel spiral staircase next to the kitchen leads up to the sleeping loft , which has a decorative railing that overlooks the bottom floor. The space fits a double bed and is also well-lit thanks to arched windows and a skylight. + Tiny Heirloom Via New Atlas Images via Tiny Heirloom

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Tudor-inspired tiny house blends old-world charm with minimalist functionality

Go stargazing in this galaxy-inspired cluster of tea rooms in Japan

June 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

With a name that translates to “beautiful stars,” Bisei is a town in the Okayama Prefecture of West Japan that has long boasted a reputation as a popular stargazing destination. Now, a newly-added cluster of tea rooms in the Bisei countryside is making the nighttime activity even more enjoyable. Designed by Japanese architecture firm Moriyuki Ochiai , the sculptural Constellation of Stargazing Tea Rooms was completed earlier this year and offers stunning sky views. Extended across the rolling hills of Bisei, the Constellation of Stargazing Tea Rooms draws inspiration from the region’s status as a stargazing destination and as the birthplace of Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist priest who is believed to have introduced green tea to Japan. Commissioned by Pasona Group and irbisei, the open-air structures are painted a variety of striking colors and provide shelter and connection with the outdoors. “The Japanese tea room was developed as an enclosed microcosm called a “enclosure,” and as such, each unit is designed as a spatial installation where one can perceive minute changes in its natural surroundings and experience the wonder and mystery of natural phenomena,” wrote the architects at Moriyuki Ochiai. “Painted with stellar colors, each volume presents polygonal openings from which can be taken in the beautiful offerings of nature such as light, rain and the starry night sky. Moreover, mirrors placed on the exterior walls reflect the ever-changing outdoor environment like the water surface of rice paddies scattered across Bisei, thus modifying the look and perception of the constructions throughout the day.” Related: ARCHSTUDIO inserts a modern teahouse into an ancient Chinese structure The open arrangement of the “galaxy of tea rooms” is also conducive for a variety of events. The site is expected to host gatherings and performances hosted by the Astronomy Club, the Tea Ceremony Club, as well as other groups throughout the year. The layout also responds to the undulating terrain and is crafted to look like an extension of the landscape. + Moriyuki Ochiai Images by Fumio Araki

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Go stargazing in this galaxy-inspired cluster of tea rooms in Japan

Century-old Japanese townhouse reborn as Blue Bottle Coffees first Kyoto location

June 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Japanese architecture firm Schemata Architects has unveiled Blue Bottle Coffee’s first outpost in Kyoto  – and it’s housed in a century-old building. Following the aesthetic of the previous Schemata-designed Blue Bottle cafes in Tokyo, the newest location features a minimalist and modern design that takes inspiration from the surrounding urban fabric. The two-story structure was carefully overhauled to allow for new functionality while preserving and exposing historic elements. Completed in March this year, the Blue Bottle Coffee Kyoto Cafe is located near the base of Kyoto’s forested Higashiyama mountains and along the approach to Nanzen-ji Temple, a Zen Buddhist temple and one of the historic city’s top tourist attractions. The cafe was built inside a traditional Japanese townhouse (known as ‘machiya’) consisting of two separate buildings. Schemata Architects renovated the buildings into a ‘Merchandise building’ and a ‘Cafe building’ with a total floor area of nearly 3,500 square feet. As was typical of traditional Japanese architecture at the turn of the 20th century, the original floors of the machiya were raised nearly 20 inches off the ground. To create a seamless appearance and to accommodate patrons with special mobility needs, the Blue Bottle Cafe’s architects demolished the raised wooden floors and made them level with the ground. The new floors feature terrazzo containing the same type of pebbles used outside. The same terrazzo material was also used in the counters and benches. Related: Tokyo capsule hotel gets a Finnish-inspired refresh and sauna “The floor inside the counter is also level with the customer area to maintain the same eye level between customers and staff following the same concept as the other shops, while integrating Japanese and American cultures at the same time,” said the architects. “The continuous white floor is stripped of all unnecessary things and the structure is stripped of existing finishes to expose the original roof structure and clay walls, and one can see traces of its 100-year old history throughout the large, medium and small spaces in the structure originally composed of two separate buildings.” The second floor has been converted into an open-plan office with glass frontage. + Schemata Architects Images by Takumi Ota

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Century-old Japanese townhouse reborn as Blue Bottle Coffees first Kyoto location

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