Derelict worker’s apartment in Amsterdam is unrecognizable after space-saving renovation

August 7, 2017 by  
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Design Studio Deirdre Renniers renovated this derelict 484-square-foot apartment in Amsterdam into a spacious, modern space dominated by natural materials and daylight. The designers gutted the entire interior and introduced space-saving solutions that utilize its every inch. In need of a complete renovation, this apartment in Amsterdam ‘s De Pijp neighborhood had an unpractical layout, housing a small bedroom and living area and a kitchen, with an enclosed toilet in the kitchen area. It remained in its original condition, as a typical worker’s apartment, for 30 years before the new owners commissioned Deirdre Renniers to transform it into a living space for the 21st century. Related: Sinato cleverly adds an L-shaped wood partition to expand a small apartment in Japan The architects gutted the entire space and placed a new staircase that leads to the loft, formerly used as a bathroom. A galley kitchen connects the main living space with the dining area. A sliding timber panel can separate the living room from the rest of the space in order to create a guest room when needed. In order to optimize the layout, the design team furnished the interior with practical furniture like a sofa that folds into a bed, foldable dining table and other minimalist, space-saving pieces. + Deirdre Renniers Interior Design Via A partment Therapy

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Derelict worker’s apartment in Amsterdam is unrecognizable after space-saving renovation

DIY: How to make your own natural deodorant at home

July 31, 2017 by  
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Did you know you can make your own deodorant? It’s not difficult, and you can save money over buying pricey natural deodorants. Best of all, you can mix and match essential oils to create a scent that you really love (or make it unscented). Whether you have sensitive skin or you’re just picky about body care products, making your own natural deodorant is a fun and easy DIY project  you can complete in under an hour. Step One: Gather your materials Most of the ingredients listed below are available in the bulk purchase area of natural food stores or co-ops, as well as online. There are a few ingredients below that can be swapped out, though doing so may slightly change the color, texture, or scent of your deodorant. The recipe listed below makes one batch of deodorant – simply double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch, create different scents, or to share. Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil 1 Tablespoon Shea Butter (or Cocoa Butter) 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder (or cornstarch) 1 Teaspoon Bentonite Cosmetic Clay (or kaolin) 6 Drops Essential Oil – we used Lavender and Tea Tree Tools: Measuring spoons Mixing spoons Small bowl Small jar or tub to store deodorant in Step Two: Measure coconut oil Measure out one tablespoon of coconut oil and, if it is hardened, mash it in the mixing bowl. RELATED: How to make a summery coconut-sea salt lip scrub Step Three: Measure shea butter Measure one tablespoon of room-temperature shea butter into the bowl and mix it well with the coconut oil. You may substitute room-temperature cocoa butter as well, but it will have a stronger scent. Shea and cocoa butters are a bit harder than coconut oil at room temperature and will help stabilize the deodorant mixture. Step Three: Add baking soda Measure out and add one tablespoon of baking soda. Step Four: Add arrowroot starch Measure out and add one tablespoon of arrowroot starch. This rather unusual ingredient can be found in some larger natural food stores or bulk co-ops, as well as online. If you can’t find any, you can also substitute cornstarch, though its absorptive properties may be slightly lower. RELATED: DIY homemade insect repellent sprays and lotions Step Five: Add clay powder Measure out and add one teaspoon of finely ground cosmetic clay (bentonite or kaolin – found in the bulk or body care section of a natural foods market). Thoroughly mix the deodorant into a thick paste, making sure there are no lumps. Step Six: Add essential oils Add six drops of your favorite essential oil . We used a blend of 3 drops of tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties and astringent odor, in addition to 3 drops of lavender oil for its soothing aroma. Step Seven: Jar it Use a spoon or butter knife to scrape the deodorant into a small jar or other container. You can leave it at room temperature in your bathroom. To apply, simply swipe two or three fingers across the surface of the deodorant and gently rub it into your armpits after a shower. You can put some into a smaller container for travel as well. If you’ve been using commercial aluminum deodorants, you may notice more wetness, but give it a week for your body to adjust. The essential oil blend serves as a deodorant, and the baking soda, arrowroot starch, and clay serve to prevent and absorb perspiration. All photos by Emily Peckenham for Inhabitat

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DIY: How to make your own natural deodorant at home

Chicago drinking fountains have been running non-stop for months, and the reason why is infuriating

July 31, 2017 by  
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For the past few months, drinking fountains in Chicago have been running non-stop because the water pipes there contains “dangerously high” lead levels. Ingesting excess levels of lead   (and just to be clear, health officials say no amount of lead exposure is safe ) can cause symptoms such as constipation, vomiting, developmental disabilities, hyperactivity, irritability, insomnia and memory loss. So to address the issue, the city has simply disabled the “push” buttons to let the fountains flow freely, reducing the hazardous levels of lead that actually make it into the water. In April of 2016, WBEZ began investigating the suspicious act of allowing the faucets to flow freely. This week, investigative journalists finally received answers. Reportedly, 450 Chicago park fountains contain “dangerously high” lead levels — with some spouting water with levels 80 times higher than the EPA limit. As a result of the action taken, 450 fountains met EPA standards. However, 107 were still contaminated with lead , which is why officials plan to keep them flowing until mid-fall. An additional 100 or so will be running round-the-clock for “spring flushing” to clear the pipes after winter. While a temporary solution has been found, one cannot ignore the environmental travesty which is occurring by allowing hundreds of faucets to flow freely for not just days, but months on end. For every spigot that is left on, nearly 600 gallons of drinking water are wasted each day. It’s exactly because of this expense that Chicago spent hundreds of thousands of dollars installing on-and-off buttons on the fountains in 2003. Unfortunately, city officials did not plan for lead contamination . Related: Abandoned fountain transformed into a pop-up urban spa in Mexico For now, district officials say they will continue testing and monitoring mountains throughout the summer with rapid detection tests. Fountains that are found to contain high levels of lead will have their samples followed up with additional lab analyses. All in all, plan on packing some purified, spring water if you intend on visiting a Chicago park in the near future. Via WBEZ Images via Pixabay and Deposit Photos

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Chicago drinking fountains have been running non-stop for months, and the reason why is infuriating

The world’s first all-electric sport utility truck is finally here – and it looks incredible

July 27, 2017 by  
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Electric vehicle buyers are spoiled for choice these days – there’s electric sports cars , sedans , SUVs , minivans , and motorcycles . So where’s the electric truck? New York-based Bollinger Motors just answered that question with the B1 – the world’s first all-electric, all-wheel drive sport utility truck. It’s remarkably refined with a strong, stealthy profile – and it’s rough and rugged enough to haul heavy loads and tackle challenging terrain. The B1 has better horsepower, torque, and ground clearance than any gas-powered truck in its class – plus a few features you simply won’t find in internal combustion engine vehicles. Read on for a first look – straight from Bollinger’s unveil tonight in New York City. Electric trucks make a lot of sense on paper, as EVs produce plenty of torque – which trucks need to cart heavy loads. However this power comes at a price – lithium ion cells are heavy, and automakers must carefully balance battery weight vs performance and cost when creating a new EV. Bollinger Motors found a winning formula by nesting the B1’s batteries in a remarkably strong aluminum chassis that weighs just 295 pounds. Two battery setups are available – a 60 kWh system with 120 miles of range, and a 100 kWh system with 200 miles of range. The longer range beats most electric cars on the road today – which is even more impressive given the B1’s powertrain specs. The Bollinger B1’s full-time, all-wheel drive powertrain features front and rear-mounted synchronous electric motors that produce 360 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of power – and it gives the B1 a 0-60 speed of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 127 miles per hour. The vehicle’s curb weight is 3,900 pounds, which translates to a 10.8 power to weight ratio – and it has a payload capacity of 6,100 pounds. The sport utility truck measures 150 inches long, 76.5 inches wide, and 73.5 inches tall. It has a 105-inch wheelbase and 15.5 inches of ground clearance, which can be adjusted by the vehicle’s hydro-pneumatic suspension within 10 inches of wheel travel. Since the batteries are sunk into the chassis, the B1 has an exceptionally low center of gravity, and the engineering team dialed in a perfect 50/50 weight balance. This all adds up to an extremely capable off-road vehicle that gets an estimated 67.4 MPGe. The B1’s design is sleek and spartan inside and out. Aluminum interior panels help keep the truck’s weight down, and the dash features an old school mechanical speedometer and tachometer in addition to gauges for battery level, range updates, charging status, and FMVSS warning signals. The vehicle seats four within a steel passenger safety cage, and the interior can be fully hosed down thanks to polyurethane floor pans and rubber seals and gaskets that protect the instruments. The B1’s electric powertrain frees up cargo space for a “frunk” that is accessible through the center console. This is a clever design decision, as a stack of 12-foot boards will fit handily within the enclosed vehicle. It also has another trick up its sleeve: “Since the B1 is an all-electric truck, it’s really a portable energy source,” says Bollinger Motors’ founder and CEO, Robert Bollinger. “So we put 100 volt plugs throughout the truck so you can use it to power any equipment and tools you might need out in the field. USB and 12 volt plugs are also integrated into the dash to cover all power needs.” The inspiration for the B1 is easy to trace – it looks a bit like the iconic Land Rover Defender, stripped of its curves and fitted with a powerful all-electric powertrain. It’s not designed to be a mainstream truck, but as a boutique vehicle it’s stunning with performance to match. “We are so thrilled to be able to finally take the wraps off of our Bollinger B1 SUT,” said Robert Bollinger. “This is the culmination of what has been a 40-year-long boyhood dream of mine and I couldn’t be more pleased with the vehicle and the incredible team who worked so hard to create it.” The B1 prototype was designed, engineered and manufactured in Hobart, New York – and Bollinger is planning to keep all operations within the US as production begins. They’re currently talking to independent vehicle manufacturers with the goal of launching a production run of 10,000-15,000 vehicles later this year and delivering the first vehicles within 19 months. Bollinger has yet to announce pricing, however they’re targeting “ranchers, builders, do-it-yourselfers” with a direct to consumer model and a price point comparable to a “nicely equipped sport utility vehicle.” Interested buyers can reserve a spot on Bollinger Motors’ website, which will enable them to place an order in early 2018 with a $1000 down payment. + Bollinger Motors  

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The world’s first all-electric sport utility truck is finally here – and it looks incredible

Sono Motors unveils the $18,000 SION solar-powered car

July 27, 2017 by  
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The dream of being able to commute to work in a solar-powered car is finally becoming a reality. Sono Motors just unveiled the SION solar-powered electric car that can travel up to 18 miles using nothing but energy from the sun. The best part is that the SION isn’t just for the wealthy, since it only costs 16,000 Euros (around $18,600) plus the cost of the battery, and it is packed with incredible features like built-in moss filtration, bi-directional charging and integrated solar panels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sMMhO5kbVg Last year, Sono Motors, a German startup raised over $200,000 to bring the SION to life. Using 300 photovoltaic panels, the SION can store enough energy from the sun to travel up to 18 miles, but if you need to travel further, the SION can also be recharged using a standard outlet, like a conventional electric car. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can rent the car battery monthly, or purchase outright. Related: Lightyear unveils solar-powered car with a 500-mile driving range The Extender model starts at $16,000 Euros and has a driving range of 110 – 120 miles and can be quick-charged up to 80% in 40 minutes. Charging it up with the power of the sun will take half a day, but since Sono Motors says you can drive it to work for an 8-hour shift, the battery will be fully recharged thanks to the solar cells when you get off. With room for five passengers, you can bring the whole family along. A unique moss liner is integrated into the ventilation system that acts as a natural air filter to filter fine particles of dust from the air. There are also six airbags to keep everyone safe. Everything is controlled through the cockpit – a smart screen that shows your speed, battery level and everything else you need to run things smoothly. Repairs should be affordable, since Sono is releasing a repair manual and affordable parts along with the car. Sono Motors has also announced the addition of a new mobility system, called “goSono”. With the Sono App and the function of the bi-directional charging, you can use the vehicle as a mobile storage to power external devices, like generators while heading off the grid. Additionally the app makes it easy to offer make money with the SION by either renting it out through car sharing or by giving rides to other passengers, like Uber or Lyft . Sono Motors has already received interest from over 1,200 pre-orders for the SION, but the company is hoping to get that number to at least 5,000 before they can start production. The next step to get to the SION on the road is to get people behind the wheel, which will include unique test drive tours that will take place all over Europe. The first deliveries are expected to arrive in 2018. Images @Sono Motors + Sono Motors

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Sono Motors unveils the $18,000 SION solar-powered car

Airstream unveils super compact, lightweight travel trailer for $30K

July 7, 2017 by  
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Light as a feather! Airstream has just unveiled the ultra-lightweight Nest, a 16-foot travel trailer that weighs just 2,500 pounds. The company has ditched its iconic polished aluminum for a molded fiberglass in order to create the ultimate in minimalist campervan design. Although the beloved trailer manufacturer has stayed true to its shiny silver aluminum cladding for almost a century, Nest’s molded fiberglass body makes the camper much lighter and more aerodynamic. At just 2,500 pounds, the compact, streamlined design makes for an extremely travel-friendly ride. Related: Airstream’s new Basecamp is a tiny house you can tow practically anywhere On the interior, travelers will enjoy a minimalist modern design with enough space for a queen bed and a small, but sufficient kitchen . According to the company, the new trailer was designed for those who “want the legendary design sense, quality, and sophistication of Airstream, in a fresh, new package.” The fiberglass Nest design is the brainchild of Nest Caravans, founded by Robert Johans. In 2016, Airstream purchased the Oregon-based company for an undisclosed amount. The Nest trailers are slated to hit the market in early 2018. + Airstream Nest Via Outside Online Images via Airstream and Roaming Times Save Save

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Airstream unveils super compact, lightweight travel trailer for $30K

Tesla makes good on South Australia promise with world’s largest Lithium ion battery

July 7, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk is a man of his word. In March the Tesla CEO tweeted a promise that he would help South Australia solve its energy woes in 100 days with a new power storage system – or give the whole thing away for free. Now he’s following up on that promise, having inked a deal with the State government to build the world’s largest Lithium ion battery. If he can’t finish in 100 days, the energy titan estimates he’ll lose a cool $50 million. “There is certainly some risk, because this will be the largest battery installation in the world by a significant margin … the next biggest battery in the world is 30 megawatts,” Musk said at a recent press conference. According to local news sites , Musk said that Tesla will make an effort to make the 100MW battery storage system aesthetically-pleasing so that it can double as a tourist attraction. This will be the highest power battery system in the world by a factor of 3. Australia rocks!! https://t.co/c1DD7xtC90 — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2017 He said it will look like a series of white obelisks. Tesla’s 129MWh battery system will store energy – produced by a nearby wind farm still under construction by the French company Neoen, providing greater stability and a backup power source when necessary. “You can essentially charge up the battery packs when you have excess power when the cost of production is very low,” Musk said, “…and then discharge it when the cost of power production is high, and this effectively lowers the average cost to the end customer.” Via ABC

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Tesla makes good on South Australia promise with world’s largest Lithium ion battery

Montana earthquake felt along line of over 500 miles

July 7, 2017 by  
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An earthquake that rocked Montana yesterday was felt by people across hundreds of miles. The 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the western part of the state close to northwest Helena at 12:30 AM local time, but was felt by people in multiple states and even Canada. The quake was large enough to wake people up. The recent Montana earthquake was shallow but was felt by people across a line over 500-miles-long from around Billings to Spokane, Washington. There weren’t any reports of injuries, according to Montana Public Radio, but people over a widespread area were awakened by the shaking. The earthquake was the strongest Montana has experienced in possibly over a decade – according to NPR a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck in 2005. Related: Oklahoma earthquake activity up 4000%, locals sue oil and gas companies Between 12:30 AM and 1:31 AM on July 6, a minimum of 10 measurable tremors struck Montana, and the last two had magnitudes of 3.9 and 4.4. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake “occurred as the result of shallow strike slip faulting along either a right-lateral, near vertical fault trending east-southeast, or on a left-lateral vertical fault striking north-northeast.” The earthquake hit around 230 miles away from Yellowstone National Park , and as it was felt over such a wide area some people wondered if the Yellowstone supervolcano had become active. But the park service said the area typically has over 1,000 earthquakes yearly, and experts have said it is very unlikely a large eruption will occur in the next 1,000 to 10,000 years. The earthquake may not have stemmed from the supervolcano but still rattled residents out of the routine of their daily lives. Volunteers pitched in to help clean up a local grocery store in Lincoln, the D&D Foodtown, which lost pickle jars and wine bottles – but assistant manager Ruth Baker said all of the eggs in the store survived. Via NPR and the United States Geological Survey ( 1 , 2 ) Images via Wikimedia Commons and screenshot Save

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Montana earthquake felt along line of over 500 miles

China breaks ground on 12-mile treetop walkway in Fuzhou forest

July 7, 2017 by  
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China’s magnificent new walkway is giving people a treetop experience of Fuzhou’s sub-tropical forests unlike any before. Singapore-based LOOK Architects recently completed the first phase of the Fuzhou Forest Walkway, a snaking treetop walkway that will span over 19 kilometers (nearly 12 miles) at completion. The elevated pedestrian pathway looks like a dragon’s back threading down the lush Jinniushan mountain and offers urban dwellers the chance to reconnect with nature and brings attention to one of the city’s quickly diminishing green lungs. Covered in greenery thanks to a sub-tropical climate, Fujian’s capital of Fuzhou is one of China’s greenest cities and is famous for its numerous banyan trees that line the streets. LOOK Architects’ Fuzhou Forest Walkway brings nature closer to the city with an elevated path that covers the full breadth of Jinniushan mountain and offers beautiful views of the canopy , the city, and mountains beyond. The architects described the project as “a signature urban connector network that provides public accessibility to indigenous hinterland stretching north- east of Minjiang. Fudao signifies an awakened consciousness to improve lives of city dwellers by bringing nature within closer reach.” The project also presented the opportunity to open up and redevelop many parts of Jinniushan that had been inaccessible to the general public due to proximity to military camps and burial sites. The new enhancements included a modern columbarium complex constructed to rehouse exhumed graves, the adaptive reuse of an abandoned quarry into a new visitor’s center, and the transformation of an old bus depot Xikezhan into the main entrance that doubles as a food and beverage enclave. The walkway can be accessed via 10 different entrances, each with unique and eye-catching features such as the grand 24-meter-wide spiral ramp at the entrance of the existing Jinniushan indoor sports hall. Built with a gentle gradient, the elevated walkway is punctuated with amenities that include rest shelters, viewing decks, observation towers, and teahouses with bathrooms. The structure is also equipped with WIFI connectivity, touch-screen information boards, and visitor traffic monitors, giving the project the potential to set a new bar for China’s eco-routes. Related: Spiraling treetop walkway gives visitors a bird’s eye view of a Danish forest Environmental conservation is a major priority of the project. The walkway is made up of eight modular components that can be combined in various permutations, each made up of steel grating to allow natural light to pass through. Carefully spaced supporting columns minimize site impact. The Fuzhou Forest Walkway is slated for completion in next year. + LOOK Architects Via ArchDaily Images by Zhou Yue Dong

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China breaks ground on 12-mile treetop walkway in Fuzhou forest

Three stacked spruce ‘shoeboxes’ reimagine a 1934 house in Ljubljana

June 22, 2017 by  
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This renovated house in Slovenia consists of three spruce-covered volumes stacked up like shoeboxes. Ofis Arhitekti renovated a house designed by architect Emil Navinsek in 1934 as a home for his two sisters. The new structure expands the existing floor plan with a stacked structure that creates pleasant overhangs and terraces. The house is located on a street with homes built mostly in the 1960s and 1970s. It is here where Slovenian architect Emil Navinsek (known for innovative school space concepts) built his own residence and a house for his two unmarried elderly sisters next to it. It is the latter one that underwent an extensive renovation. Related: Build your own tiny home or treehouse with these stackable wooden micro-units Ofis Architects introduced three stacked cubic volumes that combine a concrete base, metal frames and wooden substructure. Each shoebox volume was clad in dark spruce to soften the structured shape. While renovating the existing structure, the team added an extension that protrudes through the old walls and creates a living room on the ground floor, kids rooms and guest room on the first floor, and master bedroom housed on the top floor. A staircase attached to a main vertical concrete wall, located at the heart of the house, acts as an intersection of volumes and connector of old and new. The entire interior is inspired by Adolf Loos and features elevated podiums, niches and small sitting areas. + Ofis Arhitekti Photos by Tomaz Gregoric

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