Stunning mountain passive house uses burnt cedar cladding

March 20, 2017 by  
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Tucked into the sloping mountainside near historic Park City, Utah sits a modern, passive solar dream home marked by a plunging roof that slices through its middle. The 2100 square foot residence designed by Salt Lake City-based Axis Architects features a bevy of environmentally-friendly features, including charred cedar cladding that is weather, insect and fire-proof and keeps the home comfortable while helping it blend into the rugged surroundings. The home was built by Benchmark Modern, fitting seamlessly into a challenging lot sloped and limited by Park City’s land use requirements. To help it blend in, the architect’s used shou sugi ban cedar to clad the home. The sloping roof cuts through the interior of the space, dividing public and private areas. Red cedar soffits line the underside of the roof and help extend the home horizontally into the environment. This cedar also extends to the interior, blurring the line between inside and out. Related: Seattle’s Palatine Passive House consumes 90% less energy than a conventional home The architects incorporated passive solar design with 95 percent efficiency, solar power generation, LED lighting, radiant heating and smart features controlled through the owner’s phone. The owners worked with the designers to create an open space on the interior that had as few doors and storage spaces as possible. Custom cabinets in the kitchen and open cubbies in the bedroom turn storage into beautiful displays. The extended roofline and positioning help block the hot summer sun while allowing winter light to reach the interior. Large windows on the rear and sides allow for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. This beautiful home is currently for sale by Sotheby’s International Realty for $2.4 million. + Benchmark Modern + Axis Architecture images via Sotheby’s International Realty

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Stunning mountain passive house uses burnt cedar cladding

New biofuel from wastewater slashes vehicle CO2 emissions by 80%

March 20, 2017 by  
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An innovative new project called LIFE+ Methamorphosis is pioneering a new sustainable biofuel for cars . Car company SEAT and water management company Aqualia have transformed wastewater into the alternative fuel . Powered with this biofuel produced during one year at a treatment plant in Spain, a vehicle could circumnavigate the globe 100 times. SEAT and Aqualia came up with a creative answer to the issues of pollution from traditional car fuels – which have led to traffic restrictions in cities like Madrid – and reusing water , a scarce resource. To make their biomethane , wastewater is separated from sludge in treatment plants, and then becomes gas after a fermentation treatment. Following a purification and enrichment process, the biogas can be utilized as fuel. Compared against petrol, production and consumption of the biofuel releases 80 percent less carbon dioxide, according to SEAT . The new biofuel works in compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled cars. Related: Africa’s newest sustainable biofuel grows on trees The project aims to show feasibility at industrial scales through two waste treatment systems. The UMBRELLA prototype will be set up in a municipal waste treatment plant serving Barcelona. The METHARGO prototype will create biomethane at a plant handling animal manure. The biogas made with the second prototype can be utilized directly in cars or could be added to the natural gas distribution network, according to the project’s website . A mid-sized treatment plant can handle around 353,000 cubic feet of wastewater every day, which could yield 35,000 cubic feet of biomethane, according to companies involved with the project. All that biomethane could power 150 vehicles driving around 62 miles a day. SEAT will supply vehicles to test the biofuel over around 74,500 miles. The European Commission is funding the project. Other companies participating include Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas , Gas Natural , the Catalan Institute for Energy , and the Barcelona Metropolitan Area . Via New Atlas Images via SEAT and LIFE+ Methamorphosis

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New biofuel from wastewater slashes vehicle CO2 emissions by 80%

Rammed earth school in Vietnam blooms like a colorful jungle flower

March 20, 2017 by  
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The far reaches of northern Vietnam are beautiful but heartbreakingly poor. Children of the Hmong ethnic minority who live in the villages routinely suffer from lack of access to healthcare and education. Vietnamese architecture firm 1+1> 2 has provided a ray of hope for those in Lung Luong village in the remote Thai Nguyen Province with the construction of a beautiful new school made from local materials including rammed earth and bamboo. The school’s beautiful swooping and colorful form is an inspiration to the village and serves as a welcoming haven protected from the harsh elements. The Lung Luong elementary school is sited on a mountain peak and constructed to replace a poorly insulated structure that was piercingly cold in days of heavy rain and draught. Under the leadership of architect Hoang Thuc Hao, the villagers excavated part of the peak to create an even foundation. The excavated soil was recycled into rammed earth bricks used to build the school’s structure. The soil bricks’ thermal properties help maintain a temperate indoor climate year round. Locally sourced timber and bamboo were also used in construction and existing trees were protected during the building process. The elementary school is spread out across the mountaintop, covering an area of over 1,400 square meters. The orientation and placement of the buildings and the swooping colorful bamboo canopy above optimize natural lighting, ventilation, and sound insulation. The school comprises classrooms, playgrounds, gardens, multipurpose rooms, a medical room, library, kitchen, toilets, and dormitory. Related: Rammed earth house blends traditional materials with modern techniques in Vietnam’s last frontier “The goal of this project is to create a school with conveniences striving against the harsh nature,” write the architects. “The classrooms are compatible with the mountain, spaces between them are slots which makes everything appears like an architectural picture pasted on the terrain. The corridor connects all functional areas. The foundation of the buildings respects the natural terrain which means that they wind up and down as the mountain path.” + 1+1> 2 Via ArchDaily Images © Son Vu

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Rammed earth school in Vietnam blooms like a colorful jungle flower

How to nail the rustic modern aesthetic with barn lights

March 6, 2017 by  
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We love the promises of modern design here at Inhabitat. The elegance and efficiency of modernism provides ease and comfort, clearing clutter and solving life’s little problems. However, overly minimalist interiors are often criticized for a lack of personality, warmth and comfort. Happily, we’ve found that you can have your modern cake and eat it too, by combining the best elements of modernism with tried-and-true vintage design classics that bring a necessary dose of familiarity, practicality and comfort into the home. A shining paragon of what we’d call Rustic Modern design is the humble and charming LED barn light . It’s the perfect marriage of the latest energy-efficient LED technology with the vintage aesthetic of the old-fashioned industrial lamp. It evokes a simpler time of family farms and Victory Gardens , and can bring warmth to an overly sterile space. From outdoor walkways to kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, here are ten inspiring examples of how homeowners have used LED barn lights to add a dose of warmth and humanity to modern residential spaces, while lowering their energy bill. There’s a reason that the iconic ‘ barn light ‘ was the shape of almost every inexpensive utilitarian lamp for such a long time – the simple metal design makes for an extremely practical and durable task lamp. The funnel shape of the metal baffle blocks ambient light from escaping in all directions, reduces glare, and focuses the light downward toward a task. The gooseneck that is familiar element of wall-mounted barn lamps allows the light to be positioned where needed. And in outdoor settings the barn lighting prevents light pollution, making it easier to see a path at night. A company called Cocoweb has taken the increasingly sought after barn light aesthetic and merged it with the latest LED technology, providing a futuristic, energy-saving lamp in a charming vintage package. Cocoweb’s Barn Lights are eco-friendly, fully dimmable, low-energy and last for over 20 years without ever needing a bulb change. Energy-saving lighting has thankfully become less expensive and widely available everywhere over the years, but many LED lamps on the market tend to be futuristic. When designers are looking for an old-fashioned aesthetic, through vintage lamps or Edison Bulbs, that charming vibe often comes paired with a doozy of an energy hog. Edison lightbulbs, a.k.a incandescent bulbs and halogen lamps, are extremely inefficient and consume tons of energy, wasting most of their energy input in the form of heat instead of visible light. LED light bulbs are extremely energy efficient, but for the early part of their public career they’ve been mostly associated with futuristic, bluish, 2001-A-Space-Odyssey style lighting. But LEDs can certainly provide a warm glow and work with a more classic aesthetic as well, as exemplified in the above photo. (Yes, those cute vintage lamps are LED lamps). Barn lights in brass or cherry red put a bolder, more vibrant spin on rustic modern design, proving that ‘rustic’ need not be limited to a neutral color palette. These jade pendants add retro flare and stand out as a statement piece in this apartment’s dining room. As shown in the photo above, vintage-looking LED lamps can achieve a distinctly intimate and cozy feeling. These jade LED barn lights shine 1600 lumens for over 50,000 hours (or 20 years), and offer a delightful pop of color and a timeless feel when paired with wide plank flooring, wooden cabinetry and natural stone. This warm meeting room epitomizes modern rustic style. With clean lines, midcentury modern furniture and white walls, this space would feel ultra modern if not for the softening touches of these classic matte black oldage pendants and the vibrantly patterned throw rug underneath the coffee table. These outdoor vintage green gooseneck barn lights were combined with a white washed exterior and farmhouse furnishings, turning a modern patio into a more pastoral setting. The entryway in the above photo maintains a decidedly contemporary vibe, but the subtle matte black LED sconces add a more welcoming feeling. The durable weather-proof coating and MET-listed safety rating make these LED lights equipped for both indoor and outdoor use. These matte black barn light sconces work just as well in the indoors as they do in the outdoors. The barn lights from Cocoweb have over 5,000 combinations of arms, colors and shades to choose from, making it easy to customize for any style space. Especially when combined with a bit of wood, these subtle Blackspot pendants can upgrade even the most modern spaces to exude rustic charm. This bright country interior is quite minimalist and white, but is warmed with the curves and light of the barn light sconce, along with the light wood and plaid patterned furnishings. ABOUT COCOWEB Cocoweb has been operating out of Irvine, California for over 50 years. If you’re itching to start a renovation, the company’s fast and free shipping will deliver to your doorstep as quickly as one business day. And each fixture has a 30 day satisfaction guaranteed return policy and a 2-year warranty. Their Design Corner will connect you with a variety of recommended interior designers and contractors in your area, should you choose not go the DIY route. If want more inspiration and eye candy, check out the Cocoweb blog . + Cocoweb

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How to nail the rustic modern aesthetic with barn lights

Italian woman restores old van to travel the world with her rescue dog

January 17, 2017 by  
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Marina Piro is a woman on a mission to travel the world, but she wouldn’t dream of leaving her precious rescue dog, Odie, behind. So, the Italian world traveler took matters into her own hands by completely restoring a 2001 Renault Kangoo Van into the lovingly named Pam the Van , a roaming tiny home on wheels, fully equipped to take her and beloved furry fido on plenty of worldly adventures. Piro’s adventures started early in life when she realized she wanted to be a “self sufficient forest fairy.” Her second goal? To travel the world with Odie. So the Italian-born traveler mixed her two goals and bought the 15-year-old van in order to convert it (completely on her own) into a compact, but comfy home on wheels . Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel Piro’s first step in the renovation process was to completely gut the old vehicle from top to bottom. She then began to create her living quarters by replacing the floor and building a kitchenette and her bed. For lighting, she installed LED lights . After adding a few homey touches like curtains and house plants, the old van was reborn as Pam the Van. Although she is enjoying her nomadic lifestyle , she does admit that van life with a dog has its disadvantages, including restrictions on her own freedom, inability to leave Odie “at home”, and the overall messiness that comes with living in close quarters with a furry dog. She explains that, “Despite being the most practical solution, van life with a dog can be difficult at times and you must consider various aspects of it before throwing yourself into it.” Despite the drawbacks, she and Odie are loving their adventures, which she posts on her Instagram account. + Pam the Van Via My Modern Met Images via Pam the Van

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Italian woman restores old van to travel the world with her rescue dog

Can we master the pot industry’s energy appetite?

December 23, 2016 by  
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How utilities can smartly managing legal marijuana’s energy demand, and how it could help integrate more renewables.

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Can we master the pot industry’s energy appetite?

Climate change is coming for your Christmas favorites

December 23, 2016 by  
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Like the Grinch who stole Christmas, the changing climate is putting cloves, cinnamon, cocoa, champagne, perfume and other festive treats at risk.

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Climate change is coming for your Christmas favorites

Minim Workspace is an affordable office that can be parked like a car

December 9, 2016 by  
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Why work in a cubicle when you can park your office in a new place every day? The mobile Minim Workspace can be parked anywhere that’s legal to park a car for an extended time period. The trailer, which can be used as a studio and home office, is cousin to Minim House , an award-winning mobile micro home that received three American Institute of Architects awards for design. The 80-square-foot Minim Workspace is cost effective, flexible and provides a private, quiet office space. The full office model includes a keyless entry, a five-foot electric sit or standing desk with a conference table, six-foot sofa, noiseless AC system, LED lighting , a microwave, sink, and a fridge. Related: Tiny workplace on wheels can make each day at the office different! The company also offers an off-grid option that includes a 1.5kW solar array , one battery bank, and all electronics necessary to fully power the Workspace, including lighting, outlets, heat, and air-conditioning. The off-grid system is not designed for continual full overnight use since it requires some sun exposure, and must be switched off when the Workspace is unoccupied. Minim is currently accepting deposits for leased units within 75 miles of Washington DC, with delivery expected March 2017. + Minimwork

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Minim Workspace is an affordable office that can be parked like a car

Longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa lit up with Philips LEDs

July 21, 2016 by  
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The Mohammed VI Bridge was inaugurated just two weeks ago by its namesake. The bridge spans a section of desert connecting Rabat to the city of Salé with 3,116 feet (950 meters) of roadway, making it the longest bridge of its kind on the African continent. The bridge carries six lanes of vehicle traffic and spans between two 650-foot (200-meter) tall towers. Some 160 cables lend strength to the bridge as well, and provide the perfect support for the Philips LED lighting system that illuminates the bridge’s cables and pillars high above the roadway. Related: Philips announces the most affordable LED light bulb ever, yours for under $5 The futuristic lighting system employs Philips Color Kinetics technology. It allows bridge officials to change up to 16 million colors and can be programmed to display elaborate light shows. In addition to the wow factor of the sight of the illuminated bridge, the LED lighting system can keep costs under control, operating at a level up to 75 percent more energy efficient other existing lighting systems. + Philips Lighting Images via Philips Lighting

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Longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa lit up with Philips LEDs

Towable Riverside tiny house packs every conventional amenity into 246 square feet

July 8, 2016 by  
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The small building includes a living room, dining space, sleeping and storage areas , a small porch, and an external storage box. The kitchen features a stainless steel sink, custom cabinets, a two-burner movable cooktop, a small freezer and fridge. The bathroom features a composting toilet and a stainless steel shower cubicle. Related: Luxurious tiny home lets owner live off-grid and rent-free One would think this tiny home couldn’t fit more functions, but thanks to a smart, space-efficient design strategy, the designers managed to incorporate a sleeping loft with a double bed, accessible via a ladder. Water is heated by a tankless propane hot water heater, LED lighting is used throughout, while the indoor temperatures are controlled by a Mini Split HVAC. The house, complete with cutlery, furniture and all the appliances is on sale for $79,000. + New Frontier Tiny Homes Via Gizmag

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Towable Riverside tiny house packs every conventional amenity into 246 square feet

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