This bold, sustainable home will age gracefully near an Indiana wetland

October 16, 2018 by  
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Compact, energy-efficient and built with locally sourced materials, this hillside home takes a low-impact approach to its wetland surroundings in the city of Valparaiso in northern Indiana. Local design firm Bamesberger Architecture completed the home for a client who wanted a relatively small dwelling overlooking a pristine 400,000-square-foot wetland site. Named The Box after its boxy appearance, the home boasts low-energy needs and does not rely on air conditioning, even in the summer Completed in 2013, The Box spans an area of 960 square feet and consists of a main house, a screened porch and a small storage building. All three structures are slightly offset from one another to offer varied views of the landscape and are connected with two square timber decks. In response to the client’s wishes for a “very affordable” house with wetland views, the architects selected a budget-friendly yet attractive natural materials palette — including blackened steel, stone, concrete and birch plywood — to complement the property’s native trees and grasslands. “To set the house into the site, the main living space was built into the hillside,” the architecture firm explained. “Excavated rocks were reused as a base for the steel encased fireplace as well as a stepping stone inside the front door. The front door was built from a walnut tree found dead on the site.” Related: Charming home uses local, natural materials to pay homage to a chestnut tree The main dwelling includes an open-plan kitchen, dining area and living area on the ground floor. Above, a small loft offers space for sleeping and a home office. A two-story shower takes advantage of the double-height volume, adding what the architects call “a spatial surprise in the otherwise small space.” To minimize energy needs, The Box is wrapped in high-performance insulation and built into the side of the north-facing hill. Radiant underfloor heating and natural ventilation also help keep the home at comfortable temperatures year-round with minimal utility bills. + Bamesberger Architecture Images via Fred Bamesberger

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This bold, sustainable home will age gracefully near an Indiana wetland

Solar-powered cork house pursues healthy, sustainable living

October 10, 2018 by  
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Berlin-based architecture office rundzwei Architekten recently completed a light-filled home that showcases the many material benefits of cork . Named the Cork Screw House, the sustainably minded abode boasts a facade and roof clad in natural cork, a material that not only gives the building a highly textured appearance, but also contributes significantly to the home’s energy efficiency thanks to high insulation values. The cork home is set on a base of rammed concrete and comprises a series of split-levels for flexibility. The decision to clad the home in cork emerged from the client’s desire for a house with good acoustic performance. Initially drawn by the acoustic insulation properties of cork, the architects were ultimately convinced by the sustainable benefits of the material, which is made from granulated cork waste that has been pressed into naturally weather- and mold-resistant panels without any artificial additives. In addition to insulating cork panels, the architects carefully chose a natural materials palette and steered clear of chemical adhesives. Wood fiber and cellulose were used as additional insulation, while timber and gypsum fiberboards were selected for their ability to absorb humidity and create a comfortable indoor environment. Created for a family of three, the Cork Screw House is organized around a central, atrium -like staircase illuminated by a skylight. To side-step planning regulations that mandated a maximum floor size of 100 square meters, the architects lowered the base floors and designed the timber-framed upper floors as a series of split-levels, bringing the gross floor area to over 320 square meters. On the ground floor, full-height glazing floods the interior with natural light. The home also includes an exterior sunken pool that’s surrounded by rammed concrete walls for privacy. Related: Elegant cork-clad artists’ studio slots into a bijou London garden Due to the selection of natural materials and ample daylighting, the building “doesn’t need an active ventilation system despite the very low energy standard,” the architects explained in a project statement. “Through a stratified heat storage system supplemented by roof integrated solar panels, the heating supply is almost self-sufficient adding to the efficiency of the building’s overall performance.” + rundzwei Architekten Photography by Gui Rebelo

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Solar-powered cork house pursues healthy, sustainable living

This gorgeous converted bus hotel in Scotland pulls out all the stops

October 10, 2018 by  
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The world is full of cookie-cutter lodgings, but for those looking for a bit of character on their next vacation, The Bus Stop is now taking reservations. Located on a working farm in northeast Scotland, this old,  converted bus has been renovated to provide a peaceful retreat where guests can enjoy the beautiful, panoramic views of the rolling green hills for which the country is famous. There are two restored old buses tucked into the East Lothian countryside. Both have been renovated with everything needed for a glamping-style getaway . The interiors sleep up to four, with a king-size bed in the back as well as two bunk beds. The large bedroom has a glass skylight on the ceiling to allow guests to enjoy a bit of stargazing as they drift off to sleep. Related: Vintage red double decker bus is converted into a cool, retro hotel The living room is light and airy with a wood-burning stove to keep guests warm and toasty on chilly evenings. Natural light brightens the interior thanks to an abundance of windows. Guests can enjoy a fully-functional kitchen with a small refrigerator, a stovetop, a microwave and all of the essential utensils. The bathroom has a rainfall shower and is stocked with complimentary luxury toiletries. Of course, the best part of the bus hotel is its peaceful surroundings. Guests can enjoy the expansive views from open-air decks with ample seating for dining, socializing or simply taking in the landscape. The outdoor space is the heart of the hotel and comes complete with a charcoal barbecue and fire pit. As an extra bonus, there is also a wood-fired hot tub for relaxing with a nice glass of wine. When they are not soaking in the warm suds, guests can enjoy a stroll around the working farm, which is home to alpacas, horses, sheep and chickens. + The Bus Stop Via Tiny House Talk Images via The Bus Stop

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This gorgeous converted bus hotel in Scotland pulls out all the stops

Energy-efficient Guitar House embraces indoor-outdoor living in Calgary

August 15, 2018 by  
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Near downtown Calgary , the Guitar House is a compact modern home that celebrates music, family and the natural environment. Designed by local architecture practice Alloy Homes , the family residence emphasizes indoor-outdoor living with a natural materials palette and ample triple-glazed windows and doors that provide a seamless connection with the landscape. Its small footprint on a tight, urban site was also informed by the clients’ desires to preserve the property’s existing wild hops, which are regularly harvested by a local brewery. Completed in 2015, the Guitar House takes its name from the clients’ collection of guitars displayed in a custom storage wall. Since music is an important aspect of the owners’ lives, the house was designed around a family-oriented performance space at the heart of the property that takes the form of a light-filled open plan living room, kitchen and dining area. This dramatic great room opens up to the outdoors at both ends with a covered porch in the front and backyard terrace in the rear — these outdoor spaces help make the home inviting for neighbors to stop by and chat. A key element of the open-concept great room is a full-width custom entertainment unit with custom built-in storage . “It’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle and can be reconfigured many ways depending upon the family’s requirements,” the architects wrote. The firm also made sure to meet the family’s need for plenty of outdoor gear storage. Related: An old, battered Calgary garage is transformed into a greenhouse To minimize the home’s energy footprint, the architects installed a high-efficiency HVAC system, large overhanging eaves, triple-glazed windows  and a highly efficient insulation. Natural light and cross ventilation are considered throughout the design. Moreover, the floor plan is highly flexible and can adapt to the family’s needs. + Alloy Homes Images via Alloy Homes Incorporated

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Energy-efficient Guitar House embraces indoor-outdoor living in Calgary

The origami-like monocoque pavilion in London is shaped by its environment

July 25, 2018 by  
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A striking prefabricated  monocoque pavilion has popped up in London, bringing with it a social-enterprise cafe and multifunctional community space. Developed as part of the City of London Corporation’s transformation of the Aldgate gyrator into one of the largest public spaces in London’s Square Mile, the Portsoken Pavilion is a striking sculptural landmark that’s distinctive in its contemporary form yet sensitive to its heritage surroundings. Local architecture practice Make Architects designed the sculptural structure with a Corten canopy featuring large overhangs to provide solar shading and channel rainwater runoff. Spanning an area of nearly 3,500 square feet, the Portsoken Pavilion comprises a single light-filled level above ground as well as a basement area — reclaimed from former underground subway space — that houses plant, back-of-house facilities, kitchens and toilets. Local social enterprise Kahaila will run the pavilion’s cafe and multifunctional community space, which opens up to a new landscaped and pedestrian-friendly area. The origami-like roof is built from Corten cladding panels and folds down to touch the ground at three triangular support points; full-height glazing wraps around the exposed sides. Weathered steel was chosen as a nod to the brown brick of the Grade I-listed St. Botolph Without Aldgate church and the red brick Grade II-listed Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary school that sit on either side of the new square. “The final scheme is beautiful — distinctive, yet respectful of the heritage architecture surrounding it,” said project architect Sarah Shuttleworth. “It provides a bespoke civic amenity and the ambition and determination of the City of London Corporation to persist and deliver the square and the pavilion  — despite the challenges — in order to transform this parcel of London for the benefit of the local community, should be applauded.” Related: Make Architects unveil igloo-shaped cinema made from reclaimed cardboard in London The three glazed elevations of the parametrically designed pavilion face the three key pedestrian approaches to the square. The structure was prefabricated and weathered off site before it was reassembled and welded in situ. The underside of the steelwork was sprayed with 150 millimeters of insulation to minimize heat loss, while the constant temperature of the concrete tunnels that run below the structure help regulate the temperature in the cafe year-round. + Make Architects Images via Make Architects

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The origami-like monocoque pavilion in London is shaped by its environment

Modular Lego Lunch restaurant built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Lithuania

September 12, 2017 by  
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A modular fast food restaurant popped up in Siauliai, Lithuania, to provide a healthy communal space that can be easily replicated anywhere. Architecture firm Hermann Kamte & Associates designed the restaurant, named Lego Lunch, as an affordable, reconfigurable space built from recycled shipping containers. Lego Lunch is a replicable structure that combines affordability and a low carbon footprint . The architects used recycled 20-foot shipping containers and combined them into a space where locals in Siauliai, Lithuania, can have a meal and relax during workdays. Small design interventions enhance the energy performance of the new building and give with warmth. LED lighting and additional insulation were also introduced to improve efficiency. Related: Nation’s largest shipping container restaurant was installed in just 3 days The architects conducted extensive programmatic analyses to achieve an optimal organization of the space. The purpose of the first analysis was to understand connections and interactions between owners, designers and customers. The second focused on the food preparation process, while the last phase combined the preceding two to create an optimal layout. + Hermann Kamte & Associates

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Modular Lego Lunch restaurant built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Lithuania

Modular Lego Lunch restaurant built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Lithuania

September 12, 2017 by  
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A modular fast food restaurant popped up in Siauliai, Lithuania, to provide a healthy communal space that can be easily replicated anywhere. Architecture firm Hermann Kamte & Associates designed the restaurant, named Lego Lunch, as an affordable, reconfigurable space built from recycled shipping containers. Lego Lunch is a replicable structure that combines affordability and a low carbon footprint . The architects used recycled 20-foot shipping containers and combined them into a space where locals in Siauliai, Lithuania, can have a meal and relax during workdays. Small design interventions enhance the energy performance of the new building and give with warmth. LED lighting and additional insulation were also introduced to improve efficiency. Related: Nation’s largest shipping container restaurant was installed in just 3 days The architects conducted extensive programmatic analyses to achieve an optimal organization of the space. The purpose of the first analysis was to understand connections and interactions between owners, designers and customers. The second focused on the food preparation process, while the last phase combined the preceding two to create an optimal layout. + Hermann Kamte & Associates

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Modular Lego Lunch restaurant built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Lithuania

Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

May 26, 2017 by  
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Smart adaptive reuse can do wonders with old, abandoned and disused buildings. Dutch firm Atelier Space breathed new life into this 1925 nursery in Leiden, the Netherlands by converting it into a beautiful, daylit residence with amenities, technology and polish worthy of a modern urban home. The architects preserved much of the original 1925 nursery, turned the former gym into an airy, open-plan living, dining, and kitchen area. They also divided a large classroom into three separate bedrooms. Related: Patalab Architects transform dank mechanics garage into light-filled London home The entire residence features 13-foot-high ceilings with restored skylights and windows that bring natural light into the interior. A guesthouse occupies the floor above the living room, and the toilet, technical area, and storage room are all placed on one side. The converted schoolhouse also includes sustainable design features such as rooftop solar panels , improved building insulation, and centrally controlled lighting, climate, shading and security systems that allow occupants to control every aspect the interior environment. To top it all off, a heat pump heats and cools the house. + Atelier Space Via Curbed Photos by Brigitte Kroone

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Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

Seoul’s multi-tiered Deep House slopes into a gorgeous grassy roof

April 26, 2017 by  
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This house in South Korea’s capital utilizes negative space to create various micro-environments that boost the building’s energy efficiency. Architecture firm poly.m.ur designed the Deep House as a single volume featuring a slanted roof and walls where one room flows into another. The tilted roof provides ample storage inside and gives each residential unit expansive views of the surroundings. The house features a slanted roof and stone louvers along the sloping sides of the building. Taking inspiration from a design philosophy based on the idea of dispersing the main volume through the use of shallow depth, the architects created hollow spaces that improve the energy efficiency of the building and provide ample storage space . Related: Angular residence by Moon Hoon maximizes privacy and a tiny plot Box-type corner windows are strategically laid out to provide optimal views of the surrounding landscape while minimizing the effects of cold winter winds. Instead of treating windows as two-dimensional elements, the architects conceived them as “micro-spaces” or “rooms inside rooms”. + poly.m.ur Via Archdaily Photos by Kyungsub Shin

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Seoul’s multi-tiered Deep House slopes into a gorgeous grassy roof

Prefab smartdome homes can pop up in degraded, hard-to-reach areas

October 21, 2016 by  
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Smartdome constructions developed four types of domes: skydome for elevated applications; aquadome for water landscapes; treedome that incorporates vegetation; and snowdome for wintry environments. The company’s goal is to become the “leading producer of thematic villages,” such as a ski village in the Alps or a Hobbit village in the countryside. The domes are raised on galvanized steel stilts and can be placed on degraded areas, from steep slopes to swamps. Related: Create your own backyard geodesic dome with these super affordable DIY kits “Our aim is to develop new method of living in the country, combining technical efficiency with careful treatment of resources and nature alike,” writes the firm. Each dome is constructed from welded galvanized steel and moisture-resistant plywood. Buyers have the choice between transparent modules with 3D thermoformed polycarbonate or full non-transparent modules filled with 150-millimeter-thick insulating mineral wool. The insulating materials help reduce energy consumption . There is no available price quote on their website , but interested buyers can contact the company for more information. + smartdome constructions Images via smartdome constructions

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Prefab smartdome homes can pop up in degraded, hard-to-reach areas

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