Off-grid bamboo bungalow embraces nature in Thailand

May 25, 2020 by  
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When Mr. Phol asked Bangkok-based architecture studio  TOUCH  to design for him a private home in Thailand’s north-central province of Petchabun, the brief came with a challenge — the home would have to operate entirely off the grid . Set approximately 1,200 meters above sea level in a rural area, the remote property has no electricity, water supply or even other buildings nearby. As a result, the architects created TREE Sukkasem VILLA, a self-sustaining home that combines traditional Thai design and contemporary elements. Completed in 2013, the TREE Sukkasem VILLA is a one-story  bungalow -style home that spans 450 square meters with a wraparound deck. The three-bedroom, two-bath home also includes an L-shaped open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen oriented toward the south. Each room opens directly to the deck and views of the lush surroundings. The home’s open design takes advantage of cool mountain winds so that no air conditioning is needed.  As the architects explained in a project statement, the “concept of this house is to live without public electricity and water but with the house itself  sustainable . In order to create a “green” architecture, simple functions with clear design and easy to construct are the main point to design this villa, yet it still comfortable because of tropical-design was added into the process.” Related: Low-impact Thai home uses modular design to harmonize with nature To take advantage of passive solar conditions, the architects elevated the building off the ground to promote passive cooling and as a preventative measure against snakes and other wild animals from entering the home. The reinforced concrete roof was also designed with deep overhangs to mitigate solar heat gain and is integrated with a rainwater collection system as well as solar panels. A diesel generator provides supplementary electricity. Locally sourced materials, such as wood and  bamboo , were used throughout the home.  + TOUCH Images by Chalermwat Wongchompoo

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Off-grid bamboo bungalow embraces nature in Thailand

The low-impact Bridge House hovers over a stream in Los Angeles

January 15, 2020 by  
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Architecture is often heavily influenced by the existing landscape surrounding a structure, but architect Dan Brunn didn’t let the weaving waterways on his Los Angeles property limit the options for his home. Dubbed the Bridge House, this 4,500-square-foot home straddles 65 feet of natural stream without harming the landscape. The long, narrow home nestles into the forested background with limited street exposure. The focus on nature is evident with natural light streaming in from expansive windows throughout, a living wall in the living room and an outdoor terrace. In fact, the 210-foot-long home provides a wide expanse of northern exposure for more natural light and less energy consumption. Related: The Garden House features greenery and bee-friendly landscapes While the overall theme is sleek and minimalist, the pool area — complete with a full pool house, an outdoor shower, space for grilling and a Yamaha music room — aims to create an oasis for entertaining. But don’t let the luxuries and size fool you. In addition to the layout and physical situation of the home, each space was designed with low impact in mind. Starting with the foundation, the bridge design suspends a large portion of the structure, minimizing the impact on the landscape. For the structure itself, a BONE steel modular system was incorporated to ease on-site construction with sustainable materials. Plus, the system’s precision leaves little to no cutoff waste, and the steel itself comes from up to 89% recycled material . Although there was waste from the removal of the previous home, all usable parts were donated to the local Habitat for Humanity for reuse. The air quality inside the home is enhanced by the living wall of plants and superior insulation. A water filtration system eliminates the desire for bottled water, and solar power provides for much of the home’s energy needs. + Dan Brunn Architecture Via Dezeen Photography by Brandon Shigeta via Dann Brunn Architecture

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The low-impact Bridge House hovers over a stream in Los Angeles

Cozy pop-up Seedpods let you escape into nature with a minimal footprint

April 24, 2019 by  
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Reconnecting with Mother Nature has been elevated to new heights with Nomadic Resorts ‘ latest treehouse initiative — the Seedpod. Shaped like a human nest, these lightweight sleeping pods are designed for minimal landscape impact and can pop up in remote locations in just one day. The pop-up hotel rooms were recently installed in Mauritius’ Bel Ombre Nature Reserve, where they were hung from trees and made to “float” above the forest floor. Founded in 2011 as a reaction against the environmental footprint of traditional hotel development, Nomadic Resorts is an interdisciplinary design and project development company that services the hospitality industry with sustainable and contemporary projects. The Seedpod, developed after years of research, builds on the company’s commitment to low-impact design. Drawing inspiration from the shape of a seed and a bird’s nest, Nomadic Resorts crafted an aerodynamic structure that is not only capable of resisting wind speeds of 120 kilometers per hour, but can also be quickly installed in remote locations without using heavy machinery or power tools. “Our goal was to take inspiration from the humble seed to create a floating hotel room that was both ephemeral and robust — comfortable but exciting to sleep in,” said Louis Thompson, the CEO of Nomadic Resorts. “The idea is that sleeping in the pod is a transformative experience in its own right — a chance to spend a night in a human nest where you can see the movement of the wildlife below and hear the gurgling of the stream. Our team has been striving to find a symbiotic, harmonious relationship with the sites we develop. To achieve that, we need to find a compromise between durability and sustainability, environmental integrity and guest comfort — size was an important consideration in that discussion — it is the place, not the space, that is true luxury.” Related: Nomadic Resorts’ tiny prefab pod homes can pop up anywhere The Seedpod debut at the Heritage Nature Reserve consists of two units set up for a unique picnic experience where visitors can learn about the endemic forest, swim in the natural pools and enjoy a mosquito-free lunch inside each room. The pods, which were attached to trees at the reserve, can also be erected on their own with an optional tripod and equipped with lighting, solar panels , a ceiling fan, a cool box and a charging station for devices. Each unit measures nearly 12.5 feet in height (nearly 7.5 feet for internal height) and slightly over 7 feet in diameter. + Nomadic Resorts Images via Nomadic Resorts and The Heritage Nature Reserve

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Cozy pop-up Seedpods let you escape into nature with a minimal footprint

Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

October 16, 2018 by  
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While the meat industry’s negative impacts on the environment have proved troublesome for some time, an assembly of scientists from various European research institutes have released a thorough analysis of the Earth’s food system that shows if farming practices and food trends continue unchecked, the planet’s capabilities of feeding the global population will be decimated within the coming decades, and global warming will not be able to stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius. Greenhouse gas emissions, land and water consumption, deforestation , biodiversity loss and aquatic dead zones are the central burdens of agriculture evaluated by experts. However, this year’s research study determined a new problem — food supply — to be the most concerning of all. With a booming population that is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the environmental damages are enough that widespread food insecurity is knocking on our door. Related: Look out, meat industry – flexitarianism is on the rise “It is pretty shocking,” said Marco Springmann, lead researcher from the University of Oxford. “We are really risking the sustainability of the whole system.” The team examined precise data from every country to assemble the most comprehensive assessment of food production and global environment to date. Their diagnosis? Surviving within environmental limits requires a drastic reduction in meat consumption. “Feeding a world population of 10 billion is possible, but only if we change the way we eat and the way we produce food,” explained Professor Johan Rockström from Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Greening the food sector or eating up our planet: this is what is on the menu today.” While the problem requires multi-dimensional confrontation from technological , governmental and social standpoints, the experts are encouraging dietary changes on an individual level. The study recommends an astounding 90 percent reduction in meat consumption and a 60 percent cut in milk consumption for people in countries such as the U.S. and U.K., as well as the adoption of more sustainable farming practices, in order to keep temperature rise under control. “There is no magic bullet, but dietary and technological [farming] change are the two essential things, and hopefully they can be complemented by reduction in food loss and waste,” Springmann said. Calling it the “flexitarian” diet, the researchers recommended a surge in bean , pulse, nut and seed consumption to replace the standard meat intake. Taking the average world citizen, the diet stresses a 75 percent cut in beef, a 90 percent cut in pork and a 50 percent cut in egg consumption to halve livestock emissions and help the planet return to sustainable levels. “Ultimately, we live on a finite planet, with finite resources,” said University of Leeds professor Tim Benton on the study, in which he did not take part. “It is a fiction to imagine there is a technological solution allowing us to produce as much food as we might ever want, allowing us to overeat and throw food away.” + Nature Via The Guardian Images via Andrik Langfield and Deryn Macey

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Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

100% recyclable materials make up these low-impact monastery huts in Italy

June 16, 2017 by  
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Edoardo Milesi & Archos designed a series of minimalist monastery guesthouses that reflect the monastics’ ascetic lifestyle in the Siloe community. Located in the province of Grosseto in central Italy, these huts are built entirely of recyclable materials and are elevated off the ground to ensure low impact on the beautiful rural landscape. The Monastery Complex of Siloe comprises five guesthouse units set outside monastery grounds against a hilly backdrop crisscrossed with trails. Each guesthouse was carefully sited on the landscape to minimize site disturbance . The buildings are elevated on stilts to mitigate uneven terrain. Only recyclable materials were used in construction, including timber used for the roofs, lofts, and walls, to the ventilated covering made of zinc and titanium. External cladding, floors, doors, and window trim are built of naturally oxidized larch. Related: Plastic waste pop-up pavilion rethinks recycling in the Netherlands Approximately 33 square meters in size, each guesthouse comprises a bedroom; bathroom; open-plan living room with a dining area and kitchenette; a north-facing balcony; and a south-facing loggia . The windows are located on the north and west sides to create diffused lighting indoors, while the south side is mostly closed off and equipped with eaves to protect against solar heat gain. + Edoardo Milesi & Archos Via domus Images by Aurelio Candido

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100% recyclable materials make up these low-impact monastery huts in Italy

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

Zip, Zip, Hooray! 5 Zip-line Courses to Try

August 29, 2013 by  
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Many zip-line courses have a low impact on the environment — and a high impact as far as memorable activities go. Here are 5 to try.

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Zip, Zip, Hooray! 5 Zip-line Courses to Try

Libya’s Stunning Tripoli Congress Center is Protected by a Tree-Inspired Mesh Facade

January 20, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Libya’s Stunning Tripoli Congress Center is Protected by a Tree-Inspired Mesh Facade Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: congress center , Convention Center , eco convention center , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , libya , low impact design , mesh facade , metal facade , passive design , perforated facade , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , tabanlioglu architects , tripoli , tripoli congress center

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Libya’s Stunning Tripoli Congress Center is Protected by a Tree-Inspired Mesh Facade

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