Fully-furnished shipping containers form unique prefab hotel in Manchester

August 7, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm Chapman Taylor unveiled images of the recently completed Holiday Inn Express at Manchester’s Trafford City – the first hotel in the North West to be built using a special type of volumetric modular construction based on steel shipping containers . The hotel was built off-site, as separate modules, and assembled on-site in under a month. The architects worked with the main contractor, Bowmer & Kirkland, to develop a detailed design of the hotel with a focus on exploring modular options. Related: This shipping container hotel is so cool you’ll forget its a shipping container All 220 guest rooms were completed before off-site, and include interior furniture, fixtures and fittings, carpets, curtains, wallpaper and floor-to-ceiling windows . A team of workers then stacked the first 125 modules on a podium structure upon their arrival at Trafford City – in less than one month. The use of a comprehensive BIM model helped inform the detailed design and enable off-site fabrication. Every container features a vapor control layer and pre-finished rain-screen cladding that make them watertight. + Chapman Taylor Via World Architecture News

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Fully-furnished shipping containers form unique prefab hotel in Manchester

Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018

August 7, 2017 by  
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For those who are still giddy over the newly-released Tesla Model 3 , prepare for even more good news. By the end of 2018, Tesla will install three times more superchargers — the plug-in electricity pumps required to charge Tesla batteries — around the world. The news was announced during the Model 3 ’s unveiling. While debuting the Model 3 At the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, Musk announced that the company is hoping to achieve its first affordably-priced electric vehicle. He then acknowledged that more Superchargers will be required, as the factory will be producing a total of 500,000 Model 3s — an eventual rate of 10,000 cars a week — annually. “By the end of next year, there will be three times as many Superchargers as there are today. So that should really help out a lot,” said Musk. As Inverse reports, there are presently about 6,124 Superchargers around the world. By the end of next year, there will be over 18,000 worldwide. Tesla’s CEO said, “Eventually you’ll be able to go anywhere on Earth” using the Superchargers. Related: BMW to rival the Tesla Model 3 with an all-electric 3 Series Of course, one will still be able to charge their electric vehicle in other nations even if a Supercharger isn’t available. The stations make the task easier, however. This is because Superchargers add 170 miles of range in 30 minutes. Home wall chargers, on the other hand, only add about 26 miles in the same timeframe. Supercharger stations are presently located in North America , Europe, Asia and the Middle East. 889 are presently open for business but in no time at all, thousands more will dot roadways. + Tesla Via Inverse Images via Tesla

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Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018

Modular Cylinder House weaves its way through a forest in France

August 4, 2017 by  
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This remarkable Cylinder House designed for Lyon, France , takes modular architecture to the next level. Cyril Lancelin, French architect and founder of creative studio Town and Concrete , imagines the house as a large cluster of modular glass tubes. The building weaves in and out of existing trees, and it can be expanded without disrupting the wooded surroundings. The architects used a system of cylinder juxtaposition to allow future extensions of the house, but also meander around trees to preserve the existing state of the landscape. Cylinders were chosen for their malleability – they can be open, semi-open or closed, depending on the function and place within a larger configuration. Related: These wooden blocks can be stacked up to create cabins, treehouses, and wilderness shelters The interior spaces, delineated by differences in cylinder heights, are flexible and respond to the lifestyle of their occupants. It is an open plan , with the cylinder pieces acting as posts. There are no corridors or walls inside the structure, which makes it spatially economic and airy. Its undulating glass facade blurs the line between the inside and the outside, and offers beautiful views of the forest. + Town and Concrete Via Archdaily

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Modular Cylinder House weaves its way through a forest in France

Sustainable Konbit shelter replaces home destroyed by Haiti earthquake

August 4, 2017 by  
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Many Haitians are still trying to rebuild their lives seven years after a powerful earthquake devastated much of the country . Thankfully, organizations like Konbit Shelters are helping local communities build sustainable homes that are designed to be resilient against future natural disasters. The Konbit team has just finished work on House Louisana, a multi-family home built by locals with a variety of locally-sourced, sustainable materials . Located in the community of Cormiers, House Louisana was built in collaboration with the local community, along with Oficina Design and the Heliotrope Foundation . The home was built for Mama Louisana and her extended family, who lost everything in the deadly 2012 earthquake. The family has been living in a temporary shelter every since. Related: Konbit Super-Adobe Shelters are Helping a Rural Haitian Village Rebuild In order to rebuild a space secure enough for her and her extended family, the design team chose to go with locally-sourced materials with strong, resilient qualities. Local guadua bamboo was the main building material, and was used in the structure’s supports and roof. Earth and natural fibers were used to create the walls, implementing the local practice of “bahareque” or constructing with natural mud or earth . The design aesthetic was cultivated in accordance with the local Haitian vernacular, including a double-pitched roof, open-air front porch, and plenty of outdoor space surrounding the home for socializing. On the interior, a central patio is surrounded by the living room, bedrooms and a kitchen. Since there is no electricity, windows and open cutouts were placed around the home for optimal natural light and air circulation. The high, inverted ceiling also aids in air circulation. On the exterior, the roof’s eaves jut out over the home considerably in order to distribute rain away from the main living area and porch during tropical rain storms. The low-tech, but efficient features used in the project were taught to the crew of local builders who helped with the project so they can be implemented in future sustainable constructions in the area. The home was built in just four months and was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. + Konbit Shelters + Oficina Design Images via Oficina Design

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Sustainable Konbit shelter replaces home destroyed by Haiti earthquake

This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

August 4, 2017 by  
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The 25,000-square-meter school in Denmark is covered with a whopping 12,000 solar panels , which provide more than half of its electricity needs. Unlike most solar-powered buildings, the panels aren’t solely relegated to the school’s rooftop. In fact, more than 6,000 square meters of the facade is clad in sea-foam hued photovoltaics. The days of hiding unsightly solar arrays are fading into the past. C.F. Møller ‘s International School Nordhavn in Copenhagen uses solar panels to produce clean energy – and also as a part of the building’s aesthetic. Related: Solar-powered Colorado school houses a sun-soaked learning environment The solar panels were developed by Swiss research institute EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). The panels are actually clear; the beautiful sea green color is a result of technology that adds fine particles to the glass surface, giving the appearance of color. The result is a reflective green hue that varies with the light, providing the school with an attractive exterior that is beautiful, functional, and green. + C.F. Møller Via Azure Magazine

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This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

Lego-like LEDs snap together to transform your walls into light art

November 24, 2016 by  
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Designed by James Vanderpant and James Glover of Dyena , Helios Touch uses moveable hexagon LED modules to create light art. The slim modules measure 4.3 inches (11 centimeter) across and are 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) thick. Each 6.3-watt unit produces 400 lumens, which generates around the same brightness as a 40-watt incandescent bulb . After a central Helios Touch panel is rigidly mounted onto the wall (with nails or sticky pads), users can easily expand upon their tessellated lighting design. The modules snap together via magnets, located on the sides, which also allow electricity pass through from one piece to another. Related: Brilliant DiscoDisco LED sculpture comes alive to the sound of music A capacitive sensor is installed behind the Helios Touch surface to allow users to turn individual modules on and off with a simple touch of a finger or swipe of the hand. Currently up to 105 tiles can be joined on the same power circuit. The modular LED panels are powered by a mains power supply; a 120 / 220 v to 24v 2A adapter can power up to 35 panels. The Helios Touch modular lighting system is currently on Kickstarter , where a pledge of £49 (US$61) includes a pack of five panels and a power unit. + Helios Touch Kickstarter Via New Atlas Images via Helios Touch

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Lego-like LEDs snap together to transform your walls into light art

African giant rats tapped to sniff out environmental crimes

November 24, 2016 by  
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African Giant Pouched Rats have detected landmines for several years, and now they might be put to work stopping wildlife crimes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is allocating $100,000 to a trial project run by Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) in partnership with APOPO to see if giant rats can sniff out illegal shipments. The trial will determine if the rats can detect hardwood timber and pangolin scales and skin. The US government is funding 12 creative methods of stopping wildlife trafficking and poaching in 11 different countries, and the giant rats program is one of them. APOPO, which was founded almost two decades ago, has already demonstrated the rats’ sharp sense of smell is useful for detecting landmines and tuberculosis, and the new trial project will determine whether they can pick out the smells of illegally trafficked products. The first step of the program is to assess if the rats can distinguish between control substances and target substances in a laboratory. Related: U.S. gives South Africa millions of dollars to combat wildlife poaching According to EWT project head Kirsty Brebner and program manager Adam Pires , the giant rats are “relatively cheap to source, feed, train, breed, and maintain, and their small size makes them cheap and easy to transport.” A typical rat lives between one and two years, but giant rats can live for as much as eight years. Many illegal products are moved in shipping containers , and dogs have provided some help in sniffing out shipments in the past. But with superior agility and ability to reach container vents, giant rats might be able to detect illegal products more effectively than a dog can. EWT says if the program is successful, the giant rats may be trained to also detect other illegally trafficked products like rhino horns and elephant ivory. + APOPO + Endangered Wildlife Trust Via the Los Angeles Times Images via APOPO’s HeroRATS Facebook

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African giant rats tapped to sniff out environmental crimes

Affordable and compact Dinky Dub camper offers a modular twist to the vintage VW look

November 2, 2016 by  
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Weighing in at just 1,000 pounds, the Dinky Dub does come with some sacrifices when compared with its full-sized sibling. The smaller VW Type 2 tow-along loses a pair of windows, 3 feet in length, and the pop-top roof, which means the interior height is maxed out at 4.3 feet. In return for these tradeoffs, the Dinky Dub starts at just $12,800—a fraction of the cost of the larger models. Related: Airstream’s new Basecamp is a tiny house you can tow practically anywhere The Dinky Dub is centered on a convertible dinette set flanked by benches that transform into a two-person bed. A modular kitchenette is tucked into the rear hatch and can be customized to include a sink and portable stove. Since the Dinky Dub was created with a modular design, buyers are free to customize their trailer from the inclusion of solar panels to additional appliances. Dub Box is finalizing design details and plans to launch the Dinky Dub, which is available for reservations, in 2017. + Dinky Dub Via New Atlas Images via Dub Box

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Affordable and compact Dinky Dub camper offers a modular twist to the vintage VW look

Alite’s pop-up Sierra Shack tents connect to create multi-room shelters

June 22, 2016 by  
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The Sierra Shack weighs less than 7 pounds, and you can sling it over your shoulder for easy transport. Its three zip-up doors allow you to customize your privacy, or even zip together additional tents to make a larger space. This modular feature means you can have a big social space during the day and partition off tents for private bedrooms at night. Related: Top eco-friendly camping gear for conscientious outdoor enthusiasts Setting the tent up and breaking it down is a breeze, and campers can rest assured the waterproof design means a comfortable and dry respite. The Sierra Shack can be toted along the most difficult trails, where cars can’t go, for a remote and peaceful camping experience. Combine your tent with Alite’s selection of folding chairs, totes, cooking supplies, sleeping bags, and waterproof blankets and you have everything you need for the perfect camping trip. + Alite Images via Alite

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Alite’s pop-up Sierra Shack tents connect to create multi-room shelters

Giant multi-headed 3D printer can create massive objects in a single pass

March 29, 2016 by  
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If you’ve ever experimented with 3D printing , you’ve likely run into one major, frustrating problem : most 3D printers available to the average person are extremely slow, and they can only print relatively small objects. To create larger objects, designs typically needs to be broken down into smaller parts and then assembled. That’s why Autodesk is experimenting with a new 3D printing system that uses multiple printing heads to quickly fabricate large-scale objects in a single pass. Read the rest of Giant multi-headed 3D printer can create massive objects in a single pass

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Giant multi-headed 3D printer can create massive objects in a single pass

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