Spend the night among the trees in southern Denmark

September 21, 2020 by  
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Before one ventures into the wilderness, where to shelter is always part of the initial planning process. While a tent or a lean-to might come to mind, if you find yourself in a particular section of the landscape near Genner, Denmark, a nest hanging from the treetops could be your chosen sleeping spot. The Hanging Shelter, called Hængende Ly in Danish, is much more than a hammock amidst the tree branches. In fact, it features a one-of-a-kind custom design constructed using traditional shipbuilding techniques. The end result is an enclosed structure perched 2.5 meters above the ground that offers 360-degree views of the surrounding nature. Related: Prefab eco-pods offer luxury lodging in any environment A basic ladder is the only access point to the Hanging Shelter, where visitors will immediately notice the steam bent oak that forms the curved walls and floor. In the vertical direction, eight additional arched wood frames shape the rounded walls. A thin, clear membrane covers the entire shelter, offering protection without disrupting the all-encompassing views. This unique structure was designed and produced in Genner, Denmark, by a team of skilled boat builders and engineers in collaboration with Stedse Architects. The Hanging Shelter’s location inspired the project after the architects and design partners were hiking around the Genner area. With equal passions for nature and wood, the team came together to highlight nature, design and skilled woodworking in a single overnight accommodation with minimal site impact . The architects enlisted the help of a local boat builder, who used traditional techniques to construct the finished product. Stedse Architects has a history of creating architecture centered around “sustainable construction, including climate adaptation, energy-efficient buildings, energy calculations and environmental consulting.” As an overall company goal, Stedse Architects focuses on wood architecture and rethinking traditional woodworking. Using the Hanging Shelter as an example, the company hopes that the project will “show the potential of using wood as a natural, sustainable and adaptable building material .” + Stedse Architects Photography by Thomas Illemann via Stedse Architects

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Spend the night among the trees in southern Denmark

Asia’s largest organic rooftop farm can grow 20 tons of food annually

September 15, 2020 by  
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Organic urban agriculture, renewable energy and beautiful landscaping come together at the Thammasat University Rooftop Farm (TURF), Asia’s largest organic rooftop farm that spans 236,806 square feet. Bangkok-based landscape architecture and urban design firm  LANDPROCESS  designed the productive landscape in response to both the Thai capital’s sprawling urbanization and rising food and water scarcity concerns amid the climate crisis. Equipped with solar panels that produce up to 500,000 watts per hour and rainwater harvesting systems for irrigation, TURF grows more than 40 edible species of crops, including rice, indigenous vegetables, fruit trees and herbs. Located in the  Bangkok  subdistrict Bowon Niwet, TURF’s zigzagging terraced design that merges the earthwork of rice terraces with modern green roof technology takes inspiration from traditional agricultural practices found across Southeast Asia. The cascading terraces not only help organize the different crop areas but are also engineered to absorb, filter and slow down rainwater runoff 20 times more effectively than conventional concrete rooftops. The runoff collects at the bottom of the landscape in four retention ponds capable of holding over 3 million gallons of water total. TURF can provide up to 80,000 meals — 20 tons of organic food — each year for the 40,000 campus residents. The campus canteen collects food waste and uses it for  compost  on the urban farm. TURF also serves as an educational resource for the university and hosts year-round workshops on sustainable agriculture for students and the surrounding community. Social spaces are also built into the landscape, from intimate seating areas to a terraced amphitheater with universal outdoor access to the second-floor auditorium. Related: Eco-friendly Everlasting Forest Pavilion champions circular living in Bangkok “As lush green turns to dry brown, TURF is a realistic, but hopeful solution, putting urban dwellers back in tune with  agricultural  practices,” a press release states. “Lessons on Thai agriculture, landscape and native soil are embedded into TURF, educating future leaders to adapt and embrace climate challenges, by building sustainable cities for generations to come.” + LANDPROCESS Photo credit: Panoramic Studio / LANDPROCESS

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Advanced Recycling: What, When and How to Scale?

September 14, 2020 by  
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Advanced Recycling: What, When and How to Scale?   What is the state of the advanced recycling industry, and what will it take to get it to scale? There’s been a noticeable uptick lately in buzz around advanced recycling (also known as chemical recycling) and the promise of technologies that can fix the broken recycling system. However, the technologies, terminology and applications can be confusing and are not widely understood. This discussion explores the landscape of transformational technologies that stop plastic waste, keep materials in play and grow markets. Speakers discuss the state of the market and highlight the potential for transformational technologies to turn waste plastics back into new materials, decrease reliance on fossil fuels and curb the flow of plastics into marine environments. Speakers Paula Luu, Director, Center for the Circular Economy, Closed Loop Partners Jodie Morgan, CEO, Green Mantra Techologies Mitchell Toomey, Director of Sustainability, BASF Corporation Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 11:05 Featured Off

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Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library to honor conservation and community

September 14, 2020 by  
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After the passing of his wife and mother, Theodore Roosevelt traveled to the Badlands of North Dakota. Journeying through the United States, he took the same route that The Henning Larsen + Nelson Byrd Woltz design team would make more than 135 years later to visit the future site of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library . The team’s vision? To honor the landscape and community that the past president came to love all those years ago. “There is a unique and awe-inspiring beauty to everything about the Badlands that you simply cannot experience anywhere else,” said Michael Sørensen, design lead and partner at Henning Larsen. “The landscape only fully unfolds once you are already within it; once you are, the hills, buttes, fields, and streams stretch as far as you can see.” Related: San Francisco library boasts a green roof and LEED Gold status That persistent landscape is what inspired the team to design a property that will pay homage to the important cultural and ecological history of the Badlands that was so important to Roosevelt in his time of need. “The design fuses the landscape and building into one living system emerging from the site’s geology,” said Thomas Woltz, principal and founder of Nelson Byrd Woltz. “The buildings frame powerful landscape views to the surrounding buttes and the visitor experience is seamlessly connected to the rivers, trails, and grazing lands surrounding the Library.” The design will also serve to educate a national and international audience as well as hopefully create a new generation of those who would work to conserve the Badlands, according to Woltz. The building itself is made up of four sections. A large tower (the Legacy Beacon), will become a formal landmark visible from throughout the area to bring the community together, create a hub and help guide the way for visitors. The lobby follows a spiral path to the main exhibition level meant to mimic the way Roosevelt would have gathered around the hearth. Each phase of the exhibition contains a space that overlooks a specific part of the surrounding landscape. + Henning Larsen + Nelson Byrd Woltz Images via Henning Larsen

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LAVA designs a cyclist bridge to make Heidelberg bike-friendly

September 7, 2020 by  
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LAVA , schlaich bergermann partner and Latz + Partner have been awarded first prize in an international competition for their design of a cycle and pedestrian bridge in the German university town of Heidelberg. The winning proposal weaves together functionality with beautiful, minimalist design that is visually appealing both up-close and from afar. The 700-meter-long bridge will cross over the Neckar River and connect urban developments from north to south. Commissioned by the City of Heidelberg and the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Heidelberg, the winning proposal was praised by the jury for its “large, curved gesture.” The bridge will be built with seven spans measuring 60 meters each and a steel superstructure connected to slender prefabricated supports of ultra-high-strength, fiber-proven concrete. The steel-and-concrete construction with LEDs embedded in slender steel handrails will be elegant, minimalist and restrained in appearance. Related: LAVA designs carbon-neutral LIFE Hamburg with an edible green roof The inner-city bridge also responds to the different neighborhoods it traverses. For example, the bridge widens above the Neckar River — 105 meters of the bridge will be above water — to form a seating landscape with viewing balconies of the water. When crossing Genisenau Park, the bridge’s curved and column-free form is designed to frame the landscape and shield it from traffic. Earth ramps and stairs will make the bridge fully accessible to all users, while pedestrian and cyclists can enjoy fast transit thanks to the intersection-free design. “It’s LAVA’s first major bridge project and continues our efforts to make infrastructure of high public value contributing both to liveability and sustainability,” said Tobias Wallisser, director of LAVA. “Anything that contributes to the reduction of car traffic and provides pedestrian promenades increases the quality of life.” The new bridge will connect the train station and districts to the south with the Neuenheimer Feld and the express bike path in the north. + LAVA Images via LAVA, schlaich bergermann partner and Latz + Partner

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LAVA designs a cyclist bridge to make Heidelberg bike-friendly

This timber-clad cabin appears to hover over an idyllic lake landscape

September 3, 2020 by  
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Rye-based architectural practice RX Architects has completed a charming cabin at the edge of a lake in Brabourne, an English village within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty about a two-hour drive from London. Dubbed the Lake Cabin, the gabled nature retreat is wrapped in natural wood that will develop a patina over time to help blend the building into the landscape. The remote cabin can only be accessed by a woodland trail, which is inaccessible by vehicles and enjoys uninterrupted views across the lake and to the countryside beyond. Positioned to face north, the Lake Cabin sits at the southern edge of the lake against a backdrop of dense forest. Connection with nature was paramount in the design, which features a natural materials palette, large walls of glazing and a wooden deck that cantilevers over the water. The gabled building is clad in a combination of rough sawn, wide English oak planks as well as thin, narrow-planed English oak planks. “This is combined with a concrete datum line to the base of the building, which steps up to create a concrete bench and log store,” the architects added. Related: A homey, floating cabin makes for the ultimate romantic getaway in South Australia The pared-back design approach continues to the interior of the exposed timber-framed structure, which is covered in limed Douglas fir boards. A bronze seamed roof tops the building for a visual contrast with the timber cladding. The roof extends over the southern and western elevations to provide the L-shaped, cantilevered deck some protection from the elements and unwanted solar gain. Two walls of sliding glass along the south and west sides of the home open up to the deck and create a seamless indoor/outdoor experience with the lake. Like the architectural design, the interior layout is also restrained and centers on a large, open-plan living area, dining space and kitchen that connects with the outdoor deck. A wet room is tucked away near the main entrance, and stairs and a ladder lead up to a lofted sleeping area above.  + RX Architects Photography by Ashley Gendek via RX Architects

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This timber-clad cabin appears to hover over an idyllic lake landscape

The Ray integrates plants and pollinators along I-85

September 1, 2020 by  
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Along The Ray, an 18-mile stretch of I-85 that starts at the Georgia and Alabama state line, cars and trucks race by roadside meadows, where pollinators are buzzing along the vibrant wildflowers. A new University of Georgia thesis documents two efforts to better integrate grasses and wildflowers into a transit ecosystem. Matthew Quirey, the thesis’ author, recently earned his Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Georgia College of Environment & Design. His ongoing work focuses on the country’s first attempt to cultivate Kernza, a perennial wheatgrass, on an interstate roadway. He also studied the cultivation of meadows full of tall native grasses and wildflowers that bloom all year. His data is from 2018-2019. Related: This all-weather bicycle highway could fulfill the dreams of bike commuters everywhere “Most people think that the purpose of these wildflowers is just for beauty,” Quirey said. “But we’re seeing that they create some real roadside management benefits, if we can help them establish good root systems and strength. Erosion can be a big problem along Georgia’s interstates and highways, and wildflower meadows could help stabilize the soils in the right-of-way.” Quirey also sees potential for the wildflowers to benefit bees and other pollinators. In recognition of his valuable work, Quirey has been named The Ray’s landscape design and research fellow. Researchers are also studying the potential of wildflower meadows as carbon offsets . The right-of-way meadows are efficient and cost-effective, because perennials don’t require annual replanting. “We always envisioned more wildflowers on the roadsides of The Ray,” said Harriet Langford, founder and president of The Ray. “What we have actually been able to do with Georgia DOT and UGA is so much more. Higher-growing meadows planted on roadsides can work harder for us. They can provide food and habitat for pollinators and meadows can control storm water that rushes off the highway during heavy rain. Our work will help Georgia DOT and all state DOTs cultivate native wildflower and grass meadows across the state.” The Ray has also installed or experimented with many new technologies, including a roll-over tire check station that sends inflation information to drivers, a section of pavement that generates solar power when heavy vehicles drive over it, reusing scrap tires as road material and creating a vehicle-to-vehicle data ecosystem. The highway is named after Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), a Georgia native and green business pioneer, in 2014. + The Ray Images via The Ray

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Green-roofed California winery will blend into a beautiful valley landscape

August 17, 2020 by  
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Along the slopes of the Santa Rosa Hills in California’s Santa Barbara County, Texas-based architecture firm Clayton & Little has unveiled designs to skillfully embed the Alma Rosa Winery into the valley floor. Designed to preserve the natural beauty of the El Jabali Ranch, the Alma Rosa Winery, along with its tasting room and vineyard equipment barn, will be mostly tucked into the hillsides or underground and layered with a green roof of native grasses to blend in with the landscape. Sustainability drove the design of the winery. Alma Rosa Winery uses eco-friendly farming practices on its vineyards and features an array of energy-saving techniques as part of a plan to take the winery and vineyard barn off the grid. Dedicated to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, the Alma Rosa Winery has become a destination for visitors interested in tasting the vibrant wines and immersing themselves in the beautiful ranch. As a result, the architects plan to let the landscape take center stage by blanketing the nearly 25,000-square-foot complex in a vegetated roof. Ventilated subterranean caves that house the barrel storage spaces take advantage of the natural soil temperature to minimize mechanical cooling. The solar-powered winery also features integrated night cooling to further reduce energy demands. Related: A historic farm is thoughtfully repurposed into an organic winery A steel frame, native stone walls, cast-in-place concrete, reclaimed redwood and weathering steel will make up the simple materials palette, which was selected for regional availability and resiliency. “The intention was to design a space to reflect how a farmer would have built the necessities to run their operations — with both simplicity and flexibility in mind,” the architects explained. The native stone walls that define the buildings above-ground are also brought into the interiors of the Fermentation Hall, a large, two-level space with 64-ton capacity fermentation tanks, administration offices, flex offices, a meeting room and a break room. All spaces are open to natural light and views of the hillside and vineyard. The project also includes a new 3,569-square-foot Vineyard Equipment Barn, an open-air space built with reclaimed materials that houses heavy farming equipment, tools, picking bins and a closed workspace. + Clayton & Little Images via Clayton & Little

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Green-roofed California winery will blend into a beautiful valley landscape

The Lookout House celebrates site’s volcanic history

August 12, 2020 by  
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When  Faulkner Architects  was asked to design a house on a spectacular site in Truckee, California, the Placer County-based design practice allowed the beautiful landscape to dictate the design. The contemporary home, aptly named Lookout House for its views, emphasizes indoor/outdoor living with its full-height glazing and natural material palette. The home design also focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency, as seen in its mass-heavy concrete walls, radiant heated stone floors, R80 insulated roof and high-efficiency mechanical and lighting equipment.  Located at the base of a 3-million-year-old  volcano , the Lookout House is set on a north-facing 20-degree slope perched 6,300 feet above sea level, on a clearing surrounded by second-growth Jeffrey Pine and White Fir trees. In addition to contributing to the forest’s growth, the region’s volcanic history further defines the land with volcanic sediment and boulders as large as 15 feet in diameter.  To center views of the landscape, the architects partially inserted the building into the slope — a narrow slot in the home’s massing mirrors a cleared ski access near the site — and wrapped the home with insulated 20-inch  concrete  walls made from local sand and aggregate. Full-height openings and glazed sliding doors that open up the house to prevailing southwesterly winds punctuate the thick fire-resistant and low-maintenance steel-and-concrete facade. The minimalist palette continues inside, with parts of the entry and central staircase bathed in warm light from red-orange glass symbolic of cooling magma. Related: Weathering steel wraps around a solar-powered California home “Produced by layer upon layer of sketches and study that first seek to discover the existing attributes and characteristics of the place, this architecture does not reflect a singular concept or idea,” the architects explained. “The built place, including its appearance, is the product of the making of a series of experiences that together set the stage for life to unfold. The process is about an approach to problem-solving on a difficult but epic  alpine  site. The completed place envelopes the continuous space of the slope up to the south sun and mountain top that has existed for millions of years.” + Faulkner Architects Images via Joe Fletcher

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The Lookout House celebrates site’s volcanic history

Apple Hotel gains a green-roofed wellness center in South Tyrol

August 11, 2020 by  
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Bolzano-based architecture practice noa* (network of architecture) has recently completed the latest stage of expansion for Apfelhotel (Apple Hotel), a nature-focused retreat tucked away in the village of Saltaus in northern Italy. The recently completed phase includes 18 new guest suites and a green-roofed wellness facility that serves as the hotel’s centerpiece. Covered with a layer of earth and plants, the curved spa appears to blend seamlessly into a grassy hillside on one side and opens up to views of the landscape and apple fields on the other. In 2014, noa* won a design competition to expand on Apfelhotel’s historic structure and, in 2016, completed the expansion of the grounds, a renovation of the main building and restaurant as well as the addition of the Apfelsauna (Apple Sauna). Earlier this year, the architects added a wellness facility and 18 new suites on the hotel’s east-facing side that have been carefully crafted to complement the rural landscape and the existing renovated farmhouse . The guest rooms are spread out across three floors in three independent buildings, each wrapped in a wooden rhombus-pattered facade that pays homage to the traditional vernacular while appearing distinctively contemporary.  Related: A historic hotel is sustainably revamped into a charming “alpine village” getaway The new wellness facility — known as the Brunnenhaus (Water Well House) — forms the “green heart” of the hotel campus. The entrance to the green-roofed spa was built from a curved, semi-exposed concrete shell embedded into a grassy hill and punctuated with a door fabricated from old timber. The interior houses an adults-only upper level with a sauna , lounge, relaxation room, Finnish spa with panoramic outdoor views, a cave-like steam bath and an adjacent terrace fitted with an outdoor shower.  “The entire Apfelhotel project reflects the nature and passion of its family-owners, whose aim is to make people feel truly at home, rather than like a hotel guest,” the architects explained. “Together with noa*, the architecture was created with a great sense of integrity towards this special place, which becomes a unit with nature, ties in with its history, and maintains its own identity through applied design — where occasionally, glimpses of the apple can be seen in the surrounding nature and design.” + noa* Photography by Alex Filz via noa*

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