World’s first "living coffin" made of mycelium is used in a burial

September 17, 2020 by  
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A “living coffin” has been used in a burial for the first time in the Netherlands. The coffin is made out of mycelium , a complex system of thread-like fibers that form the vegetative part of fungi. The coffin, called Living Cocoon, was developed by a Netherlands-based startup known as Loop to serve as a more sustainable option for burials. Speaking to Metro Newspaper , Bob Hendrikx, the founder of Loop, confirmed the successful burial. “I didn’t actually go, but I talked to a relative beforehand — it was a moving moment, we discussed the cycle of life,” Hendrikx said. “He had lost his mother, but he was happy because thanks to this box, she will return to nature and will soon be living like a tree. It was a hopeful conversation.” Related: The many ways fungi are saving our planet Hendrikx explained that mycelium neutralizes toxins and provides nutrients for plants growing above-ground. But mycelium’s natural properties have made it popular in many applications. “Mycelium is constantly looking for waste products — oil, plastic, metals, other pollutants — and converting them into nutrients for the environment,” Hendrikx said. “For example, mycelium was used in Chernobyl, is utilised in Rotterdam to clean up soil and some farmers also apply it to make the land healthy again.” The coffin presents an opportunity for human bodies to feed the earth after their life span. Wooden caskets can take longer than a decade to decompose . Varnished wood or metal components further slow the process. However, by using caskets made out of mycelium, we can speed up decomposition. The mycelium coffin is absorbed in the soil within 4 to 6 weeks. Further, the coffin contributes effectively to the full decomposition of the body, which then enriches the surrounding soil. The entire process can be completed in less than three years. Currently, Loop is working with researchers to determine the effect of human bodies on the quality of the soil . According to Hendrix, the company hopes the research can persuade policymakers to convert polluted areas into forests by burying bodies in such areas. + Loop Via TU Delft and The Guardian Images via Loop

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World’s first "living coffin" made of mycelium is used in a burial

This villa in India is made up of cascading floating terraces

September 17, 2020 by  
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Currently under construction in Hyderabad, India and designed by Studio Symbiosis, the Floating Terraces Villa will measure 11,840 square feet on one acre of natural landscape. One of the property’s most unique features is its cascading terraces , which appear to float from the indoor living space to the outside in order to protect residents from the region’s harsh climate. According to the architects, the nature-focused villa is designed to create an intimate relationship between the building and the surrounding landscape, with the terraces and a series of outdoor courtyards fostering this connection. The city of Hyderabad in South India is known for its iconic monuments that attract visitors from around the world. The area’s arid climate includes extremely hot, dry days with slightly cooler temperatures at night, limiting most people indoors for the majority of daylight hours. This is the main hurdle that the villa addresses through its build. The designers extended the series of cascading terraces from indoor to outdoor, creating a barrier for occupants during the hotter parts of the day and allowing for circulating ventilation with the cooler evening winds. Additionally, the terraces serve to create varied levels of privacy between rooms. Related: BIG’s LEED Gold-seeking school in Arlington features a cascade of green terraces The center of the Floating Terraces Villa is defined by its double-height living space, which spills into a kitchen, library and formal drawing room. Bedrooms, each with its own dedicated outdoor courtyard and views into the main gardens, are flanked along the central living space as well. A double-height family room is accessed through a semi-covered green space , providing views of four separate courtyards while serving as a supplemental connection to nature. The starting point of the design was originally derived from a traditional Indian system of architecture called Vastu Shastra, modified to create alternating periphery grids that favor outdoor courtyards. Exposed concrete and natural wood are prioritized as construction elements. + Studio Symbiosis Images via Studio Symbiosis

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This villa in India is made up of cascading floating terraces

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