Solar-powered smart home puts a modern spin on rural Italian architecture

December 28, 2018 by  
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Montebelluna-based architecture firm Reisarchitettura, has put a contemporary twist on the traditional countryside vernacular of Southern Italy with the BS House— a modern energy-efficient dwelling in the rural outskirts of Ostuni. Defined by large stone walls and muted natural material palette, the seemingly rustic home boasts a modern interior and energy-efficient systems including home automation technology that allows the homeowners to remotely control the home with their smartphones. To maximize energy savings, the BS House is powered with solar energy as well as an integrated heat pump. Commissioned by a German executive and his journalist wife, the BS House serves as a live-work house rather than a holiday getaway. The clients selected an elevated site with beautiful olive trees and stellar views of the landscape. The design of the house also pays homage to nature through its natural material palette that comprises dry stone and lime plaster for the walls, minimal window frames made of oak wood, and Apricena stone paving; architectural detailing gave these traditional materials a contemporary twist. “The project started from the idea of a central patio, used since antiquity in the hot climate of the southern Mediterranean as passive protection from the sun,” explains the architecture firm of the 170-square-meter home. “The house shaped as a C around the patio facing north to protect the large windows from the hot Apulian sun and enjoy the best view. To the east are the living area and the studio of the owner, in the center the dining area with kitchen and to the west the master bedroom with a second studio for his wife. At the west end is a guest room with separated entrance and services. North of the House, in front of the patio, the swimming pool, with gazebo, services and sauna, overlooks the countryside.” Related: Solar-powered home embraces sustainable design in Chihuahua In anticipation of future business trips, the clients requested that their home be equipped with a KNX home automation system that allows for the remote control of everything from the safety and alarm systems to the air conditioning and lighting. Solar panels power the house as well as the recharging station for the clients’ electric vehicle . + Reisarchitettura Via ArchDaily Images by Alessandra Bello

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Solar-powered smart home puts a modern spin on rural Italian architecture

How environmental policies changed in 2018 under Trump

December 28, 2018 by  
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There is no doubt that President Trump has significantly changed environmental policy since taking office that have caused a great deal of public outcry. The current administration’s decisions have affected everything from rolling back on policies enacted by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to cutting funding for different environmental and scientific programs. With so much to keep up with, here is a rundown of the Trump Administration’s environmental action in 2018 and how it has impacted the planet. EPA loosens toxic air pollution regulations A Clinton-era policy known as “once in, always in” or OIAI was an effort to permanently reduce the hazardous air pollution from industrial sources. The law required major sources of pollution to retool their processes and reduce their emissions to lower levels set by industry peers. This was known as Maximum Achievable Control Technology, or MACT, standards. Industry lawyers have long argued that eliminating OIAI would give businesses a stronger incentive to reduce emissions , and in a brief legal memo, Trump’s EPA abruptly dropped OIAI at the beginning of 2018. NASA climate monitoring program cut Back in May, the Trump administration ended NASA’s carbon monitoring system (CMS), which was an effort to improve the monitoring of global carbon emissions. The program cost $10 million a year, but a March 2018 spending deal did not include funding for the program. CMS supported work was relevant to the Paris Agreement because it verified if other nations were meeting their pledges to reduce carbon emissions. But the Trump administration has rejected that agreement and is downsizing the NASA climate science program. Rollbacks proposed for Endangered Species Act rules This summer, the Trump administration proposed to make several key changes to the 1973 Endangered Species Act, including eliminating a rule that forbids referring to the economic impact of listing a threatened species. The changes would still allow for determinations to be based on biological considerations, and they also would give regulators more freedom, so they can avoid designating critical habitat for endangered species . Fuel economy rule change One of the signature climate change policies from President Obama was a plan to increase vehicle mileage standards for cars made during the next decade. However, the Trump administration is dismantling the plan, but not nixing it entirely. President Obama’s plan required light cars made after 2012 to average almost 54 miles per gallon by 2025, with hopes that the new efficiency standards would save billions of barrels of oil . However, President Trump has mileage targets of 34 miles per gallon because some automakers believe anything more than that would be too difficult to reach. Methane rules repealed Another rollback to Obama’s climate change policy, Trump’s EPA reduced the requirements on oil and gas companies to monitor the releases of methane from wells. Some in the industry had complained that the Obama rules were too much of a burden and a “record-keeping nightmare” that was impossible to execute. However, when the EPA announced this new rule, the attorneys general in California and New Mexico filed a lawsuit to challenge the change. EPA air pollution review panel disbanded The Particulate Matter Review Panel – made of scientists who are experts in the health dangers of soot – has advised the EPA over the years about safe levels of air pollution. However, they will no longer meet starting in 2019, but they didn’t reveal why. Conservation groups believe that eliminating the panel will make it easier to roll back pollution standards, but they had also complained that the panel wasn’t robust enough to protect public health. Ocean plastic cleanup bill In October, President Trump signed legislation to improve efforts to clean up plastic trash from the world’s oceans. He also called out nations like China and Japan for using the oceans as landfills and said that he will do everything he can during his Presidency to stop them. The law passed with bipartisan support, and it amended the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Act. It also funded the program through 2022. Arctic offshore drilling approved Earlier this year, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued Hilcorp a conditional use permit for its Liberty Project, and they will begin drilling from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea. The federally controlled waters of the U.S. arctic have been cleared for oil and gas production wells after years of debate about the risks and rewards. Coal power plant rollback In 2015, the Obama Administration adopted a rule restricting carbon dioxide pollution from future power plants. The energy industry criticized the rule, saying the technology was unproven and the required equipment was extremely expensive. So, earlier this month, the Trump administration rolled back the climate rule by lifting some of the restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants. The goal is to spur construction of new coal plants and to relieve America’s energy providers of excessive burdens. Via National Geographic Image via Sam Jotham Sutharson

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Tommaso Guerra unveils whimsical interior for cat cafe in Rome

January 19, 2015 by  
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We love Italian designer Tommaso Guerra’s upcycled lamps , and he’s applied those same creative principles to his design of the Romeow Cat Bistrot’s playful interior in Rome, Italy. Part cat cafe and part vegan bistro, the light-filled Romeow Cat Bistrot features a cozy and modern interior that feels like home. Guerra added high ledges, floating bookshelves and a small tree installation to give the cafe’s six cats a variety of climbing surfaces. + Tommaso Guerra The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bistro , cat cafe , cats , interior design , modern interior , reader submitted content , tommaso guerra , vegan bistro , whimsical interior

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Tommaso Guerra unveils whimsical interior for cat cafe in Rome

Dodo Lab’s Prototype Series Turns Unwanted Furniture Into Modern Interior Treasures

January 23, 2012 by  
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Dodo Lab is a research project set up by Michaela Robinson and Karen Smart that experiments with different ways of regenerating old and unwanted pieces of furniture anew. In a series they dub simply as “Prototype”, each piece comes with a QR (Quick Response) Code that unites the Prototype’s past and present. By scanning the barcode with a smartphone, information about its former life is unlocked, adding a unique human history to the once neglected object, making it valuable and special once more. The Prototypes can only be bought by swapping services or by doing a good deed, much like designers helping each other within their working environment, therefore the only currency used is the swap or deed itself. Each prototype also comes with a product tag that has instructions on the back explaining how the new owner can contribute to its ongoing narrative by generating a QR Code of their own. + Dodo Lab The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Dodo Lab , eco-materials , green materials , interactive furniture , Karen Smart , Michaela Robinson , prototype furniture , QR (Quick Response) Code , recycled furniture. Prototype , Recycled Materials , smart phone furniture

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Dodo Lab’s Prototype Series Turns Unwanted Furniture Into Modern Interior Treasures

14 Ton Failed Russian Space Probe Is Now Littered Somewhere in Earth’s Oceans

January 23, 2012 by  
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News that an unmanned failed Russian space probe — the Phobos-Grunt, or Phobos-Ground in English — was about to smack into Earth shot like wildfire through the airwaves last week as the truth emerged that the Russians had little idea of where it was going to land. Now that it has most definitely crashed somewhere on the planet, they are saying they have no idea where it actually did land or whether the toxic heap of metal sufficiently burned up in the atmosphere. Though the trajectory of spacecraft falling to Earth has always been a difficult thing to predict , the missing Phobos-Grunt is especially worrisome as it is the largest and most toxic piece of space junk to ever plummet to land. Read the rest of 14 Ton Failed Russian Space Probe Is Now Littered Somewhere in Earth’s Oceans Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: mission to mars , mission to phobos , phobos ground , phobos grunt , roscosmos , russian space mission , russian space organization , russian space probe , Satellite , satellite orbit , space debris , space trash

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14 Ton Failed Russian Space Probe Is Now Littered Somewhere in Earth’s Oceans

Andrea von Chrismar Weaves Giant Structures Out of Wicker

January 23, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Andrea von Chrismar Weaves Giant Structures Out of Wicker Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , “sustainable architecture” , Andrea von Chrismar , Chile , eco design , green design , green materials , natural light , shelter from the sun , sustainable design , Sustainable Materials , weaving , wicker , willow

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Andrea von Chrismar Weaves Giant Structures Out of Wicker

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