A modern, energy-efficient home is built around a beloved madrone tree

October 3, 2018 by  
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Many people design homes to be surrounded by nature, but Seattle-based PRDG Architects decided to take it a step further by building a modern home around a family’s beloved madrone tree. Located in a woody lot outside of Seattle, the ultra energy-efficient Farwell is a two story structure made from weathered steel. Plenty of windows and natural light blend the family home into its natural environment, but it’s the sculptural tree that is spotlighted by the design. Surrounded by trees and greenery, the 3,800-square-foot home was designed to be a serene oasis where the family can reconnect with nature. Using the madrone tree as a focal point, the architects strategically designed the home to both preserve the tree and make it visible from nearly every room. An expansive deck wraps around the house, further providing a constant connection with the tree and the surrounding environment. Related: Charming home uses local, natural materials to pay homage to a chestnut tree In addition to saving the tree, the architects set out to build a home with minimal impact on the landscape. All of the trees on site were preserved and maintained without harm, and the existing green space was left in its natural state. To add resilience to the landscape around the home, the team installed a bioretention garden with a cistern that collects rainwater and controls stormwater run-off. Beyond the reverence for the landscape, the design for the Farwell home also focused on energy conservation. The building has a high-tech, energy-efficient building envelope and generates its own power thanks to the solar roof tiles . Additionally, the home was installed with smart appliances and LED lighting fixtures. The stunning design is not only efficient, but boasts a modern, light-filled interior with a fresh aesthetic. An abundance of sliding glass doors and large windows open up the space — in fact, extra-large square windows were installed throughout the home to frame the madrone tree as if it were a piece of artwork. + PRDG Architects Via Dwell Photography by Lara Swimmer via PRDG Architects

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A modern, energy-efficient home is built around a beloved madrone tree

3XN unveils competition-winning designs for Denmarks Climatorium

October 3, 2018 by  
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Danish architectural practice 3XN Architects recently won a competition for the Climatorium, Denmark’s new international climate center that will be located in Lemvig. Created in collaboration with urban development consultancy SLA and technical advisory company Orbicon, the winning entry will help establish Lemvig as a center for climate change adaptation and support the country’s role as an exporter of climate solutions. Slated for completion in 2020, the sculptural waterfront building will serve as a public forum for knowledge, education, innovation and development projects that can promote climate-related growth and job opportunities. Inspired by the coastal location, the architects have integrated a wave motif to the entrance section of the two-story structure. The surrounding landscape, named the Climate Wedge, also mimics the local environment with its undulating shape structured with meteorological isobar lines in reference to the city’s wind conditions. The outdoor space is planted with native , low-maintenance vegetation and includes sheltered spaces where the public can gather and reconnect with the harbor front. A site-specific approach was taken to the building design as well. The Climatorium is carefully sized to match the existing scale of the other waterfront buildings and is clad in a simple material palette of wood, concrete and steel in a nod to the nearby boat halls. A ground-floor glass facade helps activate the building on the ground level and attracts passersby to come and visit exhibitions about climate change or enjoy food in the cafe. The lower floor can also be used for conferences, concerts and other events. Related: This dreamy Malibu beach house is designed to withstand climate change “We have aimed to create a building that tells the story about climate ,” said Jan Ammundsen, Senior Partner and Head of Design at 3XN. “The building has a rectilinear, stringent expression but forms a wave shape that lends it a distinct and easily decoded identity. The wave tells the story of the site and also refers to the serious challenges we face as a result of climate change.” + 3XN Architects Images via 3XN Architects

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3XN unveils competition-winning designs for Denmarks Climatorium

A tiny, rustic, off-grid cabin sits on vast 300 acres in Australia

October 3, 2018 by  
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When clients tasked Melbourne-based firm MRTN Architects with designing a new home for their whopping 300 acres of natural landscape, the architects could have created a massive structure. Instead, the design team, inspired by the local vernacular, chose to implement a modern take on a simple shed. The 500-square-foot Nulla Vale House and adjacent shed, both of which are 100 percent off-grid , were designed to foster a strong harmony with nature. Located in Victoria, Australia, the home is set on an idyllic and rather remote area of untouched landscape. When the architects were contacted by the clients, the main request was that they design a structure that could be incorporated into another “more permanent home” that may be built on the same site in the future. Other than that, the clients also requested something that would stand out among the landscape from a distance. While exploring the area, the architects saw a lot of old sheds tucked into the rolling hills and decided to use these traditional forms as inspiration for the new home. “Nostalgia for this connection between land and building was the guiding principle for the Nulla Vale House and Shed,” the team explained. Related: Off-grid rainforest cabin built from scratch has minimal site impact The home and the adjacent shed are 100 percent off the grid and installed with water, sewer and electrical systems that not only support the existing buildings, but are capable of supporting any future buildings as well. The shed, which is covered with solar panels , is used for storage and houses the main PV battery. In addition to its energy efficiency, various recycled or repurposed materials such as salvaged brick were used in the home’s construction. Radial sawn timber was used to frame the home, which was then topped with a roof made from galvanized sheeting. The roof’s deep eaves shield the interior from the hot summer sun and optimize solar gains in the winter as part of a passive, energy-efficient strategy. The rustic aesthetic of the exterior continues throughout the interior living space. The salvaged brick walls were left unfinished, and wooden beams run the length of the vaulted ceiling. Even the insulation in the ceiling was left intentionally exposed in order to reflect the light from the concealed LED fixtures , which were installed in the beams. The main living room and small kitchen sit at the heart of the home. Farther back, there is a simple bedroom and bathroom. Throughout the space, there are various windows that flood the home with natural light. + MRTN Architects Via Dwell Photography by Peter Bennetts via MRTN Architects

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A tiny, rustic, off-grid cabin sits on vast 300 acres in Australia

Gleaming, recyclable facade clads a solar-powered Dutch house

July 9, 2018 by  
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Move over, brick and mortar — a new house in Amsterdam is eschewing the traditional facade for a striking alternative that gleams golden in the sun. Local architecture practice MOPET architecten designed the contemporary home, named the Brass House Amsterdam, for a family who sought sustainable features. In addition to its fully recyclable facade, the house is equipped with solar panels, LED lighting and triple-insulated glazing. Sandwiched between two brick buildings in the city’s IJburg district, the Brass House Amsterdam catches the eye with its shiny, multifaceted facade that clads the front and rear of the property. Triple-glazed aluminum sliding doors punctuate the angled exterior on both sides and open up to a series of balconies. The fully recyclable facade changes color from brown to gold in the sunlight. The 2,260-square-foot house is split into three levels and includes a green roof . The modern interior is dressed in a basic palette comprising oak , concrete, black steel and white stucco, which establishes a spacious feel. An open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area are located on the first floor and open up to a garden in the rear. A flight of stairs on the south side of the home leads up to two bedrooms, a shared bathroom, a service room and storage space. The second floor houses an en suite bedroom with a walk-in closet and a spacious lounge. Related: Sustainable ‘circular economy’ principles inform Amsterdam’s flexible Circl pavilion “Integrated solutions are designed for maximum openness in the house: The entrance hall, toilet, staircase, doors and kitchen are combined in a long wall cabinet that runs from the front to the rear,” the architects explained. “It narrows and widens, creating places with a variation in atmosphere and perspective. A split-level offers overview from the kitchen. At the same time, it creates an intimate seat pit with a fireplace in the backyard.” + MOPET architecten Via ArchDaily Images by Stijn Poelstra

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Gleaming, recyclable facade clads a solar-powered Dutch house

A couple turns a Mercedes Sprinter into a solar-powered home on wheels

July 9, 2018 by  
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Traveling road warriors Andre and Marissa converted a 2017 Mercedes Sprinter van into a beautiful, chic home on wheels  named the Bluebird for their on-the-go adventures. The solar-powered van’s interior was revamped with reclaimed wood and is now equipped with all of the comforts of home including a queen-sized bed, kitchenette, ample seating space and plenty of storage. The High Top Mercedes Sprinter was strategically retrofitted into an efficient tiny home on wheels. The couple made a space-efficient kitchenette using refurbished wood for cabinets and added a touch of color with a fun mosaic backsplash. The kitchen comes with running water, a propane stove and a 45-quart refrigerator. For extra seating and dining space, the front driver and passenger seats swivel around from the driver’s area. A queen-sized bed is located in the back of the van and surrounded by storage. Related: San Francisco is too expensive – so this couple hit the road in an amazing renovated van Best of all, the Bluebird is outfitted to go off the grid . The couple installed two solar panels that are connected to a Yeti 1250 generator. The van runs almost entirely on solar energy . The tiny home’s energy use is also reduced thanks to LED lights and a set of Thinsulate curtains that help maintain a warm, toasty interior on colder days. In addition to creating an off-grid residence, the couple focused on designing the ultimate adventure home on wheels. The “garage” area under the bed is 36 inches high, so it fits quite a bit of gear for kayaking, rafting, skiing and climbing — there is even a bay for bike storage. There are also various cabinets and cubbies for small equipment like climbing ropes, helmets and shoes. After exploring in the van for a while, Andre and Marissa are now selling their beloved Bluebird for $108k in order to start a new transformation project. + Joyful Vans Via Tiny House Talk Images via Joyful Vans

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A couple turns a Mercedes Sprinter into a solar-powered home on wheels

Dutch town helps out rare bat species by installing "bat-friendly" streetlights

June 7, 2018 by  
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Street lighting can impact bats’ feeding patterns and internal compasses, as well as the activity of their insect prey, but a town in the Netherlands is taking steps to help the bats out. Zuidhoek Nieuwkoop , a housing development of around 90 sustainable homes near the Nieuwkoopse Plassen nature reserve, has installed what are thought to be the world’s first bat-friendly streetlights. The red LED  lights from Signify , formerly Philips Lighting, brighten the road for humans, but the the bats still perceive the light as darkness. The town and surrounding area are part of the Natura 2000 , a network of nesting and breeding sites for rare and threatened species across the European Union. These sites don’t all exclude human activities; in fact, most of the land is privately owned. The approach to conservation on these sites revolves around “people working with nature rather than against it,” according to the European Commission. Related: Bat bridge provides shelter for our winged friends in the Dutch town of Monster Bat-friendly lighting could fit that bill. Zuidhoek Nieuwkoop , according to Signify, is a key feeding ground “for some rare bat species.” The energy-efficient streetlights emit red with a wavelength that won’t interfere with the flying mammals’ internal compasses. The lighting is based on 2017 research from Wageningen University , the Netherlands Institute of Ecology , and Philips Lighting. Nieuwkoop city council member Guus Elkhuizen said, “Nieuwkoop is the first town in the world to use smart LED street lights that are designed to be friendly to bats. When developing our unique housing program, our goal was to make the project as sustainable as possible, while preserving our local bat species with minimal impact to their habitat and activities. We’ve managed to do this and also keep our carbon footprint and energy consumption to a minimum.” + Signify + Zuidhoek Nieuwkoop Images courtesy of Signify

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Dutch town helps out rare bat species by installing "bat-friendly" streetlights

For every action: how cities are using new tools to drive climate action

June 4, 2018 by  
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Where there’s political will, there’s a way.

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For every action: how cities are using new tools to drive climate action

This charming old-fashioned caravan tiny house is 100% self sustaining

April 27, 2018 by  
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This caravan tiny house is a blast from the past. Designed and constructed by father-and-son builders Nick and Aaron Troisi ( The Unknown Craftsmen ), the tiny home on wheels is 100 percent self-sufficient. The wandering caravan includes a curved roof, custom woodwork and round windows. The home also has LED lighting, and it’s designed to operate completely off-grid . The home’s exterior is clad in pine panels painted red. A deck, built with raw-cut wooden logs, leads to the charming curved door. The father-son duo strategically designed a double-height roof to create a sleeping loft. The curved roof greatly enhances the tiny home’s interior and has three circular windows to bring in natural light . Related: Steve Areen’s incredible DIY wagon home built with mostly recycled materials Inside, the home resembles a hobbit-esque cavern. Lined with wooden beams, the high ceiling allowed the builders to add a quaint sleeping loft, accessible by stairs. The living area includes a curved reading nook with a small sofa, bright throw pillows and a cute window that lets in light. The designers incorporated a number of repurposed items into the home, including a brass bucket used as the kitchen sink. The round windows are actually repurposed theater light lenses — a feature that pays homage to the owner’s long career in the performing arts. Custom woodwork abounds — from the panels on the walls to the kitchen counter top, which was made from an apricot tree. The home was crafted with several types of wood cut from the owner’s own yard: pine, apricot, cherry and more. Aaron Troisi explained that the inspiration behind the wood-heavy design came from a desire to “explore the natural beauty of the organic world.” + The Unknown Craftsmen Via Tiny Living Images via The Unknown Craftsmen

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This charming old-fashioned caravan tiny house is 100% self sustaining

How to get suppliers to act on climate

January 30, 2018 by  
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Suppliers of the world’s biggest companies are taking more action on climate, but they have further to go, according to a CDP report.

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How to get suppliers to act on climate

How to get suppliers to act on climate

January 30, 2018 by  
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Suppliers of the world’s biggest companies are taking more action on climate, but they have further to go, according to a CDP report.

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How to get suppliers to act on climate

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