Nissan unveils incredible solar-powered mobile workshop for woodworkers

February 15, 2019 by  
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Over the years, we’ve seen thousands of unique van conversions , but Nissan has taken the van-loving world by storm with its new NV300 concept van — a mobile workshop for woodworking professionals. The amazing design, which was a collaboration between Nissan and UK-based firm Studio Hardie , is fully-functioning mobile woodworking studio that can be taken off grid, letting wood-loving artisans find inspiration anywhere they choose. What’s more, the van runs on solar power and its tools are powered by an emissions-free, weatherproof power pack made out of recycled electric car batteries. Unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show in Belgium, the van’s incredible design was created to provide the average craftsperson with optimal flexibility to move regularly between jobs as needed, in a functional and sustainable way. Slated for a springtime launch in Europe, the van will come in various lengths and heights. Related: DIY kits help explorers transform Sprinter vans into rugged adventure vehicles By contrast to the dark exterior, the van’s bright interior space lit by LED lighting is a woodworker’s dream come true. Lined in “lightweight and strong” pale ash, peg boards, boxes, cabinets and cubbies were built into the walls, while the doors have been outfitted for optimal tool storage. A wheeled stool glides on on metal rails to keep it from sliding around. The open interior allows the woodworkers to use the portable workbench inside during inclement weather. As studio founder William Hardie explained to Dezeen , “We decided to create a grid which we could anchor desks, racks and boxes to; this gave the interior a strong and rational form. We then played with our three-dimensional lines, adding or taking away to create a functional Mondrian-esque grid,” he stated. “The designs for the tool storage came from years of site work, thinking about how we work, what tool you want where. We often work in far-flung parts of the country and having such a versatile refined workspace that you can use on site is the ideal solution.” As an energy source, the van conversion operates on solar power and can go completely off grid. All of the power tools run on an Energy Roam battery, an emissions-free, weatherproof power pack with a storage capacity of 700 watt-hours. The batteries are repurposed from Nissan’s Leaf electric vehicles. + Studio Hardy Via Dezeen Images via Nissan

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Nissan unveils incredible solar-powered mobile workshop for woodworkers

This Australian property was redesigned with a sustainable, lush garden

February 11, 2019 by  
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The Shoreham House in Victoria, Australia was designed in the early 2000’s, but was in need of an update to the overall structure and gardens. The new architects wanted to update the home with sustainability in mind while respecting the original designers and builders. According to Tim Spicer Architects, “The renovation and addition needed a sensitive, well considered approach to create unity between the old and the new, without the obvious signature of new Architects. The design intent was to update what was already a beautiful house, yet make it feel like it had been built at the same time.” The new landscape takes full advantage of the lush surroundings, something that went slightly overlooked in the original design. It utilizes a deep water bore to provide water to the gardens, rather than using the local town water to irrigate. The 50-meter bore has the power to provide the landscape with 20,000 liters of water in a day. In addition to the sustainable garden, the architects also replaced the old halogen lighting in the house with new LED lighting, which is more energy efficient and longer-lasting. The new hot water system is solar-powered, and the windows have new Low-E coating which works to minimize the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light without losing visibility. They also installed new eco-friendly high R-value insulation and a new ducted combustion fireplace to make the structure more energy efficient overall. Related: A midcentury warehouse becomes a vibrant office for creatives Designers faced the difficult task of connecting the new guest wing to the master area without compromising privacy. As a result, they created a whole new staircase leading from the dining room and past the master staircase. The project was a challenging feat for the builders who used hand tools to blast through the bedrock under the house in order to construct the second staircase. To connect the master and newly-designed guest wings, the architects created a glazed bridge walkway, make-shifting a courtyard garden area with new meandering paths and green spaces. The house now has new large windows and glazed doors that allow for beautiful, sweeping views of the gardens from the inside. In the original house, the master area deck already had views of the ocean . With the intent of making the view more accessible to guests, the architects installed a “slow stair” between the master deck and ground floor courtyard. Via Archdaily Images via Tim Spicer Architects

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This Australian property was redesigned with a sustainable, lush garden

The evolution of big auto and Silicon Valley

February 4, 2019 by  
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With legacy automakers expanding their R&D programs, Tesla isn’t the only car startup in the Valley.

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The evolution of big auto and Silicon Valley

Honda is looking for your energy or mobility startup

January 29, 2019 by  
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The Japanese automaker has a quiet Silicon Valley group that works with startups across transportation, mobility and energy.

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Honda is looking for your energy or mobility startup

This countertop dishwasher promises to wash your dishes in just 10 minutes

January 28, 2019 by  
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Living in a tiny apartment — or tiny home  — no longer needs to mean giving up the luxury of a dishwasher. Meet Tetra, an award-winning countertop dishwasher that’s not only compact and cute as a button, but is also easy to install (no plumbing needed) and affordable with a limited pre-order price of $299. Produced by Heatworks and designed by frog , the small-but-mighty Tetra is marketed with a 10-minute load cycle and was recently demoed at CES 2019 earlier this month. Winner of the CES 2019 Best of Innovation Award, the Tetra dishwasher is unlike its more traditional sibling in that it only requires an electrical outlet — no plumbing needed. As part of Charleston-based Heatworks’ commitment to energy-efficient and resource-saving products, this countertop dishwasher is also designed to save energy and comes with its own reservoir that allows control over the amount of water used, depending on the number of dishes inside. According to Heatworks, hand-washing dishes can use up to 10 times more water than dishwashers. The Tetra countertop dishwasher measures 18 inches in width, 16.75 inches in height and 14 inches deep, and it comes with an internal detergent compartment as well as colorful modular racks that can be swapped out depending on what items need to be washed. The appliance is powered with the Heatworks’ patented Ohmic Array Technology, which the firm said allows for “precise temperature control,” quick cycles and gentle cleaning or even sanitation of baby bottles. Related: Learn which appliances suck up the most energy in your home “Instead of having elements that get really hot and then transfer the heat to the water, we actually pass electrical currents through the water itself,” the firm explained of the technology’s tankless heating. “Using graphite electrodes and electronic controls, we increase the energy state of the water molecules, so they move faster. The faster they move, the more kinetic energy they have. This causes the molecules to begin to bounce off each other; that kinetic energy turns into heat. Through direct energy transfer, your water is heated instantly, within (+/-) 1 degree Fahrenheit of the temperature setpoint.” Pre-orders for the Tetra are slated to open in Q1 2019. + Tetra Images via Heatworks

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This countertop dishwasher promises to wash your dishes in just 10 minutes

Potato peels offer a sustainable alternative to traditional building materials

January 9, 2019 by  
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Many of the typical building materials used in construction — like medium-density fiberboard (MDF) — contain toxic materials and formaldehyde, plus they have a shockingly short lifespan and a negative environmental impact. But now there is a new option to these single-use materials — potato waste. London-based designers Rowan Minkley and Robert Nicoll as well as research scientist Greg Cooper have developed Chip[s] Board , which is a biodegradable alternative to MDF that is made from non-food-grade industrial potato waste . This innovative idea for a new building material is free of toxic resins and chemicals and is formaldehyde-free. If we throw it out the same way we do MDF, it doesn’t have the same negative impact on the environment. Related: This company wants to turn food waste into building materials — here’s how Minkley, Nicoll and Cooper wanted to combine the issue of material waste with the problem of food waste, and the result is a sustainable wood substitute made from potato peelings. They collected the peelings from manufacturers and then put them through different refinement processes to create a binding agent. This agent is then applied to fibers like potato skins, bamboo, beer hops and recycled wood . Then, the team forms the Chip[s] Board by heat pressing the composite into a sheet that can be processed into different products, like furniture and building materials. Once these products reach the end of their lifespan, they can be biodegraded into fertilizer. The actual details about the making of Chip[s] Board haven’t been disclosed, because Minkley and Nicoll have filed for a patent on their manufacturing process. However, they have revealed that that the pressing process mimics the conditions found in MDF manufacturing, but they replace formaldehyde-based resins with waste-derived, biodegradable binders. According to the design team, the development of Chip[s] Board involved a lot of trial and error, some hack chemistry and educated guesses, but all of this allowed them to develop strong and usable boards. They are also developing other sustainable materials, which have caught the attention of the fashion industry. + Chip[s] Board Via Archinect and Dezeen Images via Chip[s] Board

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Potato peels offer a sustainable alternative to traditional building materials

We tried the new Impossible Burger at CES heres what we thought

January 8, 2019 by  
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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 is in full swing in Las Vegas. While smart home technology, televisions and wearable tech takes center stage, many surprising innovations are grabbing media attention. Take, for instance, the latest iteration of an Inhabitat favorite — the Impossible Burger. We tried the newest recipe from Impossible at this year’s CES ; keep reading for our thoughts. Delicious in tacos or served as a classic burger, the Impossible Burger has become a favorite for vegetarians and vegans since its inception in 2016. Now, the company is debuting a new and improved recipe that boasts a flavor and texture identical to meat with a smaller impact on our planet than its animal-based counterpart. Related: Impossible Burgers to hit grocery stores in 2019 The new recipe is gluten-free and remains free of animal hormones or antibiotics. The kosher-and halal-certified “meat” will please a wide array of people with dietary restrictions. In addition to its striking resemblance in taste and texture to meat, a serving of the new Impossible Burger offers the same amount of bioavailable protein and iron as a serving of traditional ground beef. It also boasts 30 percent less sodium and 40 percent less saturated fat than the original recipe. The original recipe used wheat in its ingredients, while the new burger is made with soy. We tasted the first round of patties made with the new recipe at Las Vegas ’ Border Grill. Executive chef Mike Minor praised the meat substitute, mentioning the smell and flavor of the new Impossible Burger is “addicting” to himself and his fellow chefs. With this in mind, we couldn’t wait to dig in. Our burger was cooked medium well and looked shockingly identical to a real beef patty cooked the same way. We could already see the juiciness and charred bits before taking a bite, but we were still surprised with how delicious the burger was. It tasted like a high-end burger made from animal protein — it was juicy, tender and full of flavor. As we all know, meat has a huge carbon footprint . With a meat alternative that mimics real meat so closely, the Impossible Burger could transition hardcore meat eaters to a plant-based alternative that saves water, energy and animal lives without compromising the distinct flavor and texture that so many other alternatives miss the mark on. The new recipe is rolling out to select restaurants starting Jan. 8, 2019 and will hit grocery store shelves later this year . + Impossible Images via Impossible

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We tried the new Impossible Burger at CES heres what we thought

Heritage Melbourne home is reborn as a modern dwelling filled with light and views

January 8, 2019 by  
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Fitzroy-based design studio Field Office Architecture has given a small 19th-century Victorian terrace a contemporary facelift with walls of double-glazed glass and crisp, clean lines throughout. Dubbed the Clifton Hill House after the suburb in which it resides, the compact home sits at the end of a row of similar heritage houses and had been given many ad-hoc renovations over the years. The architects stripped back all of the additions to bring in light and views, while improving the home’s energy efficiency. Commissioned by clients seeking a contemporary light-filled home with a new dining area, kitchen and master bedroom, the Clifton Hill House has been updated to 180 square meters with three bedrooms and two baths. On the ground floor, the entrance opens up to a long hallway that branches off to two bedrooms and leads to an L-shaped, open-plan dining area, kitchen and living room that wrap around a north-facing courtyard and also open up to a spacious backyard. Stairs at the rear of the property lead up to the study and master suite. The light-filled home was also reinforced with high-performance insulation and features double glazing throughout. To minimize the use of air conditioning, the architects strategically placed operable windows to promote cross ventilation across both floors, while retractable insect screens protect against invasions of unwanted critters. Energy-efficiency is further achieved with in-slab hydronic heating in the living and dining areas. The landscaping, which was designed by the architects, is lined with seat-height recycled brick planters. Related: A gloomy house is revived as a modern solar home built of recycled materials “A combination of dark feature timber framing along with marine grade ply and rendered recycled brickwork make up the primary material palette externally, a simple, affordable and yet robust series of selections that juxtapose elegantly against the heritage nature of the existing part of the dwelling,” the architects explain. “Internally, the selections were similarly made to provide a soft understatedness that allows for the artwork and the natural light to take centre stage.” + Field Office Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Kristoffer Paulsen via Field Office Architecture

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Heritage Melbourne home is reborn as a modern dwelling filled with light and views

7 ways startups can collaborate more successfully with utilities and corporates

December 20, 2018 by  
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Entrepreneurs prize nimbleness. Established companies emphasize stability. Here’s how to harmonize those two agendas.

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7 ways startups can collaborate more successfully with utilities and corporates

Crafting your sustainability resume for success in 2019

December 20, 2018 by  
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Here’s how to make your sustainability team skill set transferable.

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Crafting your sustainability resume for success in 2019

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