1903 New York house gets an eco-friendly makeover

October 7, 2021 by  
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Although originally built in 1903, the home at 45-12 11th Street in Queens, New York now stands as an example of modern sustainable housing . Known as the Climate Change Row House, its renovation was completed in 2014 by owner and architect Thomas Paino. It is currently on the market with an asking price of $3.6 million. Paino spent three years on the comprehensive rebuild in an effort to meet environmental standards that counter the impact of climate change. As a result, Climate Change Row House meets energy-efficient passive house specifications.  Related: Nation’s first triple net-zero housing development to rise in New York The reconstruction started from the ground up, lifting the entire house 3.5 feet to raise it above the floodplain. Although only 19.5 feet wide, the home features a three-bedroom unit with an additional two-bedroom apartment on a different level. Throughout the space, large windows bring in natural light and the interior design elements add to the bright, open feel. A kitchen is positioned with two exterior accesses for cross ventilation and the dining room extends outdoors with a south-facing terrace.  A solarium on the top floor provides space for gathering, relaxing or growing plants. While the backyard garden is irrigated with the use of a rainwater collection system. Coupled with the green roof and 13 large planters placed on the terraces, a multi-season urban garden is supported. The green spaces not only naturally capture carbon for cleaner air, but also provide bird habitat. To date, 60 species of visiting birds have been identified. The entire house is equipped with a hospital-grade passive air exchange system for fresh air. The water is solar-heated for energy and cost savings. Additional savings and sound insulation is offered through the triple-paned windows. All of this combines to offer a healthy and quiet indoor living space with adjacent outdoor enjoyment.   + The Corcoran Group Images via Jesse Winter Photographer for Corcoran and Lifestyle Production Group for Corcoran

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1903 New York house gets an eco-friendly makeover

This lake house shows how nature inspires seamless design

September 13, 2021 by  
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Organic Shelter sits in the middle of a forest, with a lake transitioning smoothly away from it. Nature is all around, creating stunning views for everyone inside. This beautiful modern home is the latest project from Studio Organic’s Aga Kobus and Grzegorz Goworek. Kobus and Goworek decided to make the lake and the landscape part of the home design itself. Nature surrounds the house, unspoiled, wild and pure. The house is not an intruder into this natural world; it’s made to be a part of it. Related: This house by the lake erases the barrier between inside and outside The house is made from natural materials such as stone and wood. Polish limestone gives the home its distinct look, alongside burned larch wood that creates black planks. These elements combine for a simple, elegant and modern design with clean lines. Inside, the minimalist style continues. Japanese design influenced the flow of the interior spaces. Glass surfaces allow plenty of natural light, and the rooms have light colors to keep the spaces feeling airy and open. The walls and floor are oak, with matching oak boards on the ceiling. Upholstery and fabrics in the space are made of natural linen and cotton. Lamps woven with wooden strips hang over the table. Soft edges and simple lines define the space. Organic Shelter’s minimalist, beautiful design takes nothing away from the amazing natural views outside. The living area is full of curving sofas that look out over the lake and the trees . This creates a continuous effect, bringing the home and lake into a seamless flow. As Studio Organic explained in a press release, “The house flows smoothly into the surface of the lake, surrounded by a forest , with the southern exposition. It sounds like a dream of every nature lover. This is what the latest project of the Studio Organic looks like.” + Studio Organic Images via Studio Organic

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This lake house shows how nature inspires seamless design

A sustainable design response to Australia’s housing crisis

September 7, 2021 by  
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Designed by Jiri Lev of Atelier Jiri Lev, the Tasmanian House combines traditional and innovative approaches to architecture with local Tasmanian elements as a response to some of the area’s most pressing social issues. Lev is an architect focused on  community  values. Based in Tasmania and New South Wales, he highlights building design that is both sustainable and regionally appropriate. His expertise in education, heritage advising and legal proceedings add an important layer to his work with sacred and public architecture. Related: Off Grid House takes remote sustainability to new heights As such, Atelier Jiri Lev dedicates a significant portion of its work to pro bono and community building projects, often delivered via workshops and student engagement. Many of these projects are related to disaster recovery,  homelessness , community building and Australia’s housing crisis. The Tasmanian House is no exception — the building itself is a response to the country’s housing and environmental crisis to be sure, but with some impressive sustainable elements as well. For one, it uses sustainably sourced native timber and  sheep wool insulation , left raw, untreated and free from any paints or chemical treatments. Except for the metal components (and any furniture the owners decide to install inside), the Tasmanian House is designed to decompose and eventually become a certifiable organic garden at the end of its life thanks to the omission of synthetic materials during construction.  With unpainted plywood and a  corrugated steel  roof to match the building foundation and adjoining water tank, the design is modest without sacrificing convenience. The large bay windows bring ample light into the interior space, while the wood accents give off a minimalist, natural vibe. According to the designer, the private residence represents a contemporary interpretation of the Georgian period style, while maintaining the typical Tasmanian ability to “make the most out of quite little.” This is the first phase of a larger pavilion house meant to exist as either one or two independent residential units (a  studio  and a two-bedroom home) each with a private garden. The design helps demonstrate the state’s ability to become entirely self-sufficient when it comes to bulk construction materials. It also serves as a prototype for affordable and debt-free housing in Tasmania. The Phase I prototype home was completed in July 2021 and became open for public viewings in August 2021. + Atelier Jiri Lev Images courtesy of Atelier Jiri Lev

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A sustainable design response to Australia’s housing crisis

This giant green wall is a show-stopper at Warsaw skyscraper

September 2, 2021 by  
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Generation Park Y tower by Stockholm -based project development and construction group Skanska features roughly 49 feet of a gorgeous green wall. Stretching to about 72 feet long, this green wall has more than 6,000 plants of several dozen species stretching up along a huge wall of green. You can find the Generation Park Y office building in Warsaw , where its glass facade lets in light for the flourishing greenery. According to Skanska, this tower is its largest office building yet in Poland. The Generation Park Y tower is an enormous office building. It’s also the greenest skyscraper in the city, currently in the process of LEED Platinum and Building without Barriers certifications. The green wall is a reminder of the tower’s commitment to sustainability. Standing 140 meters (about 450 feet) tall, Generation Park makes it home at Warsaw’s Daszy?ski Roundabout. Related: French offices receive a green update with Benetti MOSS walls The wall is mainly comprised of ferns, philodendrons, monsteras, peace lilies, laceleafs and aglaonemas. These plants purify the air and produce enough oxygen to provide breathable air for 150 people for 24 hours.The arrangement is crafted with a great deal of care. Every plant has its own place in the overall design. The plants are arranged in sections, and the entire design is completely automated so they receive the right amount of nutrients, light and water. Three rows of about 150 “feeding” lights provide for the thousands of plants. Together, the plants create a microclimate that Skanska labels the “ forest effect.” As Skanska said in a project statement, “These types of green solutions create a calming and relaxing effect, draw attention to nature , but also have a positive effect on acoustics, reducing noise levels.” Rafa? Stoparczyk, Skanska’s CEE commercial development business unit’s project manager, added, “At Skanska, we like to focus on unique and original solutions. The idea of ??such a huge wall filled with vegetation sounded like a challenge we wanted to take on. The final effect exceeded our wildest expectations. The wall makes an extraordinary impression both when we are inside the building and when looking from the outside.” + Skanska Images courtesy of Radoslaw NAWROCKI /dla SKANSKA POLSKA

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Ariake Gymnastics Centre resembles a floating ship

September 2, 2021 by  
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The Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo Japan was designed for dual uses to provide for both a significant short-term competition and ongoing events. The architectural design, presented by Nikken Sekkei and Shimizu Corporation, relies heavily on  natural materials  for both a sustainable finish and a reflection of the area’s history.  Dubbed, “A Wooden Vessel Floating in the Bay Area,” the Ariake Gymnastics Centre was equipped with a layout meant to house a temporary international sports competition in response to a request by the client, The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. After the event, the spectator stands were made removable for easy conversion into a permanent exhibition hall. Related: ZHA designs sustainable expansion to China’s largest international exhibition center Nearly every surface is constructed from  wood  — a nod to the district that previously housed a log pond. Timber is used extensively throughout the building, including the roof frame structure, facade, spectator seats and exterior walls. Lightweight, durable and fireproof steel was used for the framing. The finished building looks like a floating wooden vessel from across the waterway.  The wood also caters to the acoustic and thermal needs of the arena and serves to achieve a light overall site impact in an area that may have poor soil conditions. Glued laminate timber has a high capacity for heat, making it fire resistant. The overall simple design honors the essence of traditional Japanese architecture.  The Ariake Gymnastics Centre is located along a canal, allowing for an expansive public space. Although surrounded by nearby residential condominiums , the arena puts a focus on a low design rather than competing with the height of other buildings in the vicinity.  Developers also emphasized taking advantage of outdoor space, with expansive boardwalks along the  water’s  edge. The entryway is kept outside the building instead of being included in the interior space. This allows for a smaller footprint from building materials as well as physical space.  + Nikken Sekkei Ltd. Via ArchDaily Images via Nikken Sekkei Ltd. 

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Ariake Gymnastics Centre resembles a floating ship

Passive design keeps House Under Shadows cool and near net-zero

August 30, 2021 by  
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House Under Shadows is actually two houses, connected through  passive design  elements to provide efficient space for two families in a sustainable way. The structure is located in Karnal, Haryana, India, and was designed by Zero Energy Design Lab. The two separate houses each feature all the elements of comfortable housing with attention to net-zero features while honoring the culture of the area. In a press release, the architects reported, “the design was inspired by the proximity and architectural elements of a palatial hotel in Karnal – Noor Mahal’s ‘chowk’ and ‘chhatris’ which are elements derived from the traditional Indian ‘havelis.’” Related: The Cantilever House combats a hot climate with sustainable design The homes are oriented north to south to take advantage of natural sun and cooling in the North Indian climate. Glazed windows minimize heat and glare while allowing  natural light  and views. They also facilitate natural ventilation. A central courtyard between the two homes is clad in stone, taking advantage of its strong thermal attributes. Meanwhile,  vertical gardens  filter the air while helping to cool the space. The pool, central to each home, acts as a heat sink, collecting heat during the day and releasing it at night. Cantilevers throughout the design shade and shelter vertical walls for further heat reduction. The most strikingly innovative feature of House Under Shadows is the additional roof that spans the courtyard and residences, bringing the separate units under a singular roof while maintaining privacy for the residents. According to the architects, this pergola reduces solar exposure by 50%, adding to the  energy-efficient  aspects of the space. The Voronoi pattern throws light and shade throughout the interior space for an intriguing visual appeal. The shadow pattern is essentially part of the  interior design , an element that is combined with the art and furnishings centered around natural colors and textures.  The team relied on a material palette of locally sourced materials with low and neutral carbon footprints that reflect heat and minimize the need for artificial cooling and lighting. This includes stone cladding and natural  wood  ceilings. + Zero Energy Design Lab   Via ArchDaily   Images via Zero Energy Design Lab

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Apply to live in a 3D-printed Mars dwelling right here on Earth

August 30, 2021 by  
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Do you want to live on Mars? There have been books and movies about what it might be like, but now there’s a Mars replication right on Earth, and it needs inhabitants to test out the environment. Advanced 3D-printing technology company ICON, known for delivering the first permitted 3D-printed home in the U.S. and providing the world’s first 3D-printed community of homes in Mexico, has now turned its efforts towards the Red Planet. Well, technically Mars Dune Alpha will sit at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. But it will be inhabited by everyday citizens in order to measure  food  requirements, physical reactions and mental performance in a trial run for the future of Mars living. Related: Nüwa, the design for a self-sustaining city on Mars   “This is the highest-fidelity simulated habitat ever constructed by humans. Mars Dune Alpha is intended to serve a very specific purpose–to prepare humans to live on another planet for a long, long time. We wanted to develop the most faithful analog possible to aid in humanity’s mission to expand into the stars,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO, ICON. The 1,700-square-foot Mars habitat designed by architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group ( BIG ) includes separate quarters for four crew members, a kitchen, recreation area, two bathrooms, a treatment room, fitness space, and even an indoor garden to grow food. In total, the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog, or CHAPEA, program will run three one-year simulations. The program is accepting applications through mid-September 2021 for 2022 occupancy. Candidates must hold a master’s degree in a branch of STEM studies, be between the ages of 30-55, and have at least two years of related work experience. Applicants must also pass psych, medical and physical evaluations. A day in the life will include eating a space diet and providing the necessary biological samples when requested, for research purposes.   “The data gained from this habitat research will directly inform NASA’s standards for long-duration exploration missions, and as such will potentially lay the foundation for a new Martian vernacular. Mars Dune Alpha will take us one step closer to becoming a multiplanetary species,” said Bjarke Ingles, Founder and Creative Director, BIG. To learn more or to apply, visit www.nasa.gov/chapea/participate .  + BIG Via ICON Build and Core 77 Images via BIG

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Mexico City oasis features terrace gardens on every floor

August 25, 2021 by  
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In a city otherwise characterized by dense populations, high altitudes and metropolitan buildings, Chiapas 168 Building represents a refreshing respite from the hustle and bustle. Located in the Roma district of Mexico City,  Mexico’s  largest and most populous city, this home has an exceptionally tropical feel to it thanks to bamboo wood materials and a grouping of terrace gardens on each level. The Mexico City oasis comes from the minds at Vertebral, a local architecture and  landscaping  studio that highlights designs to bring forested ambiance into the city. Rather than concentrating on the buildings themselves with landscaping as an afterthought, the company says they design gardens and build around them. Related: Aztec-inspired eco home sits lightly on the land in Mexico Chiapas 168 is made up of four residential apartments positioned adjacent to an ancient jacaranda tree, a subtropical plant native to south-central South America and brought to Mexico at the beginning of the 20th century. The building features steel planters that run along the balconies, disappearing between purple and jasmine flowers. The architects considered native organisms while designing the layout of the roof and terrace gardens to increase  biodiversity  within the city environment. The exterior of the building uses unpolished concrete and dark stained wood that is translated into the interior, invoking the design’s overall theme of integrating nature into the urban landscape. A core system of vertical circulations helps divide the apartment building’s communal areas from the private residences, connected by a stairwell made of bright pine wood. Unlike other apartment buildings where the stairwells are associated with dark, musty environments, the stairwell here is bathed in bright  natural light . A curtain of  bamboo  to the south protects the back garden from view while also filtering light and wind. Inside, wooden floor-to-ceiling shelving and paneled walls help create privacy without jeopardizing the apartment’s open planned layout in the communal area, complete with a kitchen, dining room and living room.   + Vertebral Via ArchDaily Images courtesy of Onnis Luke

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Court blocks Alaskan drilling project

August 20, 2021 by  
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During his administration, President Trump approved a massive oil drilling project in  Alaska . Now a federal judge has reversed his move. Judge Sharon Gleason of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska ruled that the Interior Department did not fully consider the project’s environmental impact. President Biden had gone along with the ConocoPhillips’ Willow project, located in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. The federal government specifically set aside this area to produce  oil  and gas. The plan was to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day and provide thousands of jobs for Alaskans. About 600 million barrels of oil are contained in Willow. Related: Trump administration furthers Arctic drilling plan But then it was discovered that Willow excluded greenhouse gas emission levels from its environmental impact report. Gleason called this omission “arbitrary and capricious.” And what about  polar bears ? They were left out of the environmental impact report, too. Instead, Gleason said that the Bureau of Land Management acted like “ConocoPhillips had the right to extract all possible oil and gas from its leases.” Despite lots of noise from environmentalists, the  Trump administration  finalized its Willow plans last October. The deal was to allow ConocoPhillips to produce 590 million barrels over 30 years. While people who had been counting on an influx of jobs and oil profits are bummed out today,  environmentalists  are cheering. Bridget Psarianos, a staff attorney with Trustees for Alaska, represented six plaintiffs who brought the case to court. Her clients were “just celebrating that there’s not going to be any Willow construction this winter,” Psarianos told the Washington Post. “The project can’t move forward without a significant amount of redoing,” she said. She hopes that the Biden administration will look at Wednesday’s verdict as an “opportunity to actually engage in a process that complies with the law and honors the campaign promises of making science-based decisions and protecting biodiversity and taking the concerns of  Indigenous  populations seriously.” Via The Hill , Reuters Lead image via Pixabay

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A modern desert retreat for the eco-conscious cowboy

August 16, 2021 by  
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It’s the kind of thing movies are made of, but Hollywood isn’t the only one to get inspiration from this region of the vast and open Mojave Desert . Dubbed the Cowboy Modern Desert Eco-Retreat, this home pairs old west inspiration with modern eco-friendly features. Jeremy Levine Design was in charge of the project, a 1,200-square-foot family vacation home on a plot of protected desert between Joshua Tree National Park and Pioneertown, CA. The home includes two bedrooms, two baths, a great room with a kitchen, living and dining space, porches on three sides and a well-developed outdoor space where decks expand the living area and a path leads to a hot spa and cold cowboy tub. Related: Self-sufficient Sail House by David Hertz Architects looks like a ship The property came with limited access and no infrastructure, so Levine drew on his experience in  green design  to connect the indoor living space with expansive views and sustainable features. The Cowboy Modern Desert Eco-Retreat relies exclusively on locally reclaimed lumber for the interior and exterior wood surfaces. Steel, prefabricated offsite, was used to frame the home. Levine chose these materials in response to the area’s harsh weather conditions and a desire for quick, low-impact construction.  Copious large windows frame the Black Hills and Sawtooth Mountains in the distance while allowing in  natural light . Concrete floors and an open floor plan aid in keeping the home cool. The structure is situated to capture breezes as they are channeled through the canyon, and porch overhangs provide temperature control through shading. The orientation also minimizes solar heat gain.  During construction, the team took special care to avoid unnecessary grading for minimal site impact with respect to the fact that the project sits in a zone with Resource Conservation Protection. This not only minimized soil and plant disruption but required an inspection from a biologist to ensure no desert  tortoises or owls  would be affected by construction. All Joshua Trees were also preserved.  To further minimize the environmental footprint, the home uses a zero-waste system. All water from sinks, showers and washing is recycled and used for irrigation.  Solar panels  are scheduled to be installed soon. The interior design includes western-inspired leather, a fire table made from leftover construction materials and a vanity made from reclaimed lumber .  + Jeremy Levine Design Images via Lance Gerber and Tali Mackay

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A modern desert retreat for the eco-conscious cowboy

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