Couple restores an old Airstream into a chic tiny home on wheels

April 24, 2018 by  
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Embracing an on-the-road lifestyle and downsizing your belongings doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing style. Kate Oliver and Ellen Prasse renovated an old Airstream into a chic and sophisticated living space. The ambitious couple, who run renovation company Modern Caravan , had their work cut out for them from the beginning. The camper needed a massive structural renovation including waterproofing, restoring windows, and creating an entirely new interior. Once the stage was set, the couple got to work on a gorgeous interior design for the 200-square-foot home . The couple started the Airstream renovation by gutting the interior and reinforcing the camper’s overall structure. They fixed and waterproofed the rotted windows and gaps to properly insulate the home, and they installed new axles and a solar-powered electrical system on the caravan. Related: 7 retro-chic Airstream renovations From there, Kate and Ellen began to design custom furniture to make the interior space as efficient as possible. Every piece of furniture has its place, resulting in a clutter-free living area. A beautiful rose-colored sofa with hidden storage compartments is at the heart of the living room, which is well-lit by natural light . Although it is fairly compact, the kitchen rivals that of any contemporary home. To make the most out of the space, Ellen cut and fitted the cabinets herself . Nine feet of counter space, a deep sink and plenty of storage make the area extremely functional. After their first Airstream renovation , the couple realized that they had a special talent for designing custom spaces in caravans, and have since turned that design savvy into a business. “We were completely self-taught, and we realized through the process of building that first Airstream that when we work together, we create something exceptional,” Kate said. “Now, four years later, we live in our renovated Airstream that serves as our mobile home and office, and renovate Airstreams on a client-by-client basis all across the country.” + The Modern Caravan Via Dwell Photography by Kate Oliver

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Couple restores an old Airstream into a chic tiny home on wheels

Zaha Hadid Architects designs robot-assisted vaulted classrooms for China

April 19, 2018 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled designs for Lushan Primary School that blends forward-thinking construction techniques with deference to ancient Chinese culture. Located in the remote and beautiful countryside 160 kilometers northwest of Jiangxi’s capital Nanchang, Lushan Primary School will serve 12 local villages and offer a curriculum that focuses on the creative arts and STEM subjects. To reduce construction time and demands, the campus buildings will be housed in a series of modular vaulted spaces built with local in-situ concrete techniques and formwork prepared by an industrial robot on site. Created for children aged 3 to 12 years, the Lushan Primary School is expected to accommodate approximately 120 students within 9 classrooms. In addition to teaching spaces, the campus will also include a dormitory and utility buildings, all of which will be housed within a series of barrel and parabolic vaults optimized for landscape views and natural light. The cantilevered roofs help mitigate the solar gain of Jiangxi’s sub-tropical climate and provide a covered space for outdoor teaching. A long central courtyard between the classrooms serves as the school’s main circulation space and play area. “The barrel and parabolic vaults act as the school’s primary structure and enclosure, with each vault performing as an individual structural element,” wrote the architects. “To minimise construction time and also reduce the number of separate building elements required to be transported to the school’s remote location, ZHA proposes to combine the local skills of in-situ concrete construction with new advancements in hot-wire cut foam formwork that can be prepared on site by an industrial robot to create the barrel and parabolic shaped moulds. The modularity of the vaults enables moulds to be used multiple times, further accelerating the construction process and reducing costs.” Related: New images capture Zaha Hadid’s luxury High Line condos in NYC In a nod to the region’s long history with high-quality ceramics dating back to the Ming Dynasty, the vaulted buildings will feature a ceramic external finish laid in a dark gradient of tones that contrasts with the whitewashed interiors. The school is situated on a peninsula and will be elevated five meters above the 50-year flood level. A natural water catchment area surrounds the school for protection and also offers space for outdoor teaching spaces and sports facilities. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images by Zaha Hadid Architects and VA

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Zaha Hadid Architects designs robot-assisted vaulted classrooms for China

Norwegian-inspired timber cabins unveiled for a landscape hotel in France

April 19, 2018 by  
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Visitors to Breitenbach will soon have the chance to stay one of several tiny timber cabins scattered across the idyllic French countryside. Built of new and recycled timber, the 14 Norwegian-inspired cabins form the proposed Breitenbach Landscape Hotel designed by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter . The 17,000-square-meter hotel will immerse guests in the French landscape with lodgings that offer luxury, privacy, and stunning views of the outdoors. Located on a hillside in northeastern France, Breitenbach Landscape Hotel will be spread out across the slope and include 14 cabins, a main reception building, sauna , and director housing. The project features a natural material palette dominated by new and recycled wood; some of the cabins will also be topped with green roofs. Large glazed sections open the cabins—of which there are four types—to views of the landscape. Related: RRA’s Mandal Slipway offers a contemporary twist on the local Norwegian vernacular Though the minimalist cabins exude a Scandinavian character, the hotel also celebrates the local culture and traditions. “Breitenbach Landscape hotel will have a prominent role linking the hotel activity to the site and local traditions,” wrote the architects. “Breitenbach landscape hotel will also look at art and culture as a part of strategy to enhance the region cultural practices. Visitors will have the possibility to take part of the local culture and art through some areas dedicated to exhibition and local knowledge.” + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Images by reiulf ramstad arkitekter, WsBY, tejo

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Norwegian-inspired timber cabins unveiled for a landscape hotel in France

Stunning ash staircase ties together an eco-conscious home in Mexico City

April 16, 2018 by  
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Located on a brownfield , the Cuernavaca House has an impressive eye for both sustainability and beauty—so much so that the project was long-listed earlier this year for the 2018 RIBA International Prize . Architectural practice Tapia McMahon designed the light-filled residence that fills out the entire plot, making room for light wells, greenery, and spacious rooms within. Repurposed materials and energy-saving solutions are present throughout the family home that’s beautifully tied together by a winding ash staircase. An aggregate of recycled materials and concrete form the Cuernavaca House’s structural walls. The walls’ high thermal mass keep the city’s heat at bay during the day. For a warmer touch indoors, exposed concrete is paired with an abundance of timber from wooden floors and large timber bookshelves to the twisting central ash staircase lit from above. Floor-to-ceiling windows open up to take advantage of cross breezes, views, and natural light. Related: This Mexico City home is built around a gorgeous vertical garden The open-plan layout helps promote the flow of natural light and breezes. The office and guest bedroom are located on the ground floor and an expansive living area occupies the first floor above, while the main bedrooms are placed on the upper levels, as is a large roof terrace with a daybed. Greenery punctuates the home, from the roof terraces to the balconies, and is irrigated with collected rainwater . + Tapia McMahon Via Dezeen Images via Rafael Gamo

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Stunning ash staircase ties together an eco-conscious home in Mexico City

Stellar views and a small footprint defines this Tasmanian timber cabin

April 12, 2018 by  
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A small abode perched high on the eastern slopes of Tasmania’s Mount Wellington offers spectacular landscape views. Room11 Architects designed the boxy dwelling with a deliberately compact footprint as an “intensely private” retreat that keeps the focus on outdoor views framed by large windows. In addition to enviable views, natural cross ventilation and a wood-burning stove help keep the home, called Little Big House, attuned to nature. Located high above Hobart, Little Big House is an escape from the city set in a forested landscape. The simple residence is clad in vertical unfinished timber in a nod to the local vernacular construction styles of Southern Tasmania. “A small home with big volumes, the house is a bespoke building in a cool climate,” wrote the architects. “Eschewing many of the traditions of Australian architecture , this house is distinctly Tasmanian.” Related: Historic train shed transformed into Tasmanian School for Architecture Polycarbonate cladding on the east and west facades bring additional light to the minimalist interior without compromising privacy. White walls and tall ceilings create a bright and airy atmosphere indoors; the entry, kitchen, and bathroom spaces are finished in black to provide visual contrast. The focus is kept on the double-height living room set next to a long strip of glazing, while the bedroom is tucked above on the mezzanine level. + Room11 Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Ben Hosking

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Stellar views and a small footprint defines this Tasmanian timber cabin

LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

April 11, 2018 by  
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A striking aquatics center on the University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus melds elite-level swimming facilities with impressive eco-credentials. Designed by Canadian architecture firm MJMA , in collaboration with Acton Ostry Architects , to achieve LEED Gold certification, the UBC Aquatic Center is awash in high water demands with its three pools, hot tub, steam and sauna, drinking fountains, and 34 showers. To meet water efficiency regulations set out by UBC and LEED Gold, the architects employed an innovative water management system that includes water recycling and an underground cistern tank that can store 1.3 million liters of rainwater at a time. The 85,000-square-foot UBC Aquatic Center is more than just a recreational facility for UBC staff and students. Envisioned as a community resource, the swimming center was also created to provide a high-performance training and competition venue for Olympians and includes separated sections for Community Aquatics and Competition Aquatics. In a fitting response to the demanding brief, the architects topped the mostly glazed building with a white angular roof for that gives the facility a sense of eye-catching drama and helps facilitate rainwater collection. Combined with a long skylight that bisects the building, the continuous ceramic fritted glazing that wraps around three elevations brings in copious amounts of natural light . Sensors for zoned lighting control help reduce electricity demands. Healthy indoor air quality is promoted with an air flow system that replaces chloromine-contaminated air from the top of the water surface with fresh air. Related: Flussbad Berlin Wants to Build an Enormous Natural Swimming Pool in the City’s River Water is captured from the roof and reused for plumbing, landscape irrigation and pool top up. Rainwater collection provides the facility with around 2.7 million liters of water each year—an amount equivalent to an Olympic-sized pool. Renewable materials were also used throughout the build with approximately 30% of materials sourced from British Columbia and Washington State. + MJMA Via Architect Magazine Images by Ema Peter

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LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

Anaheim’s elegant new Performing Arts Center was inspired by the city’s former orange groves

March 12, 2018 by  
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Recently unveiled plans for the new Anaheim Performing Arts Center envision an 11-acre complex with a series of cylindrical buildings whose shapes were inspired by the city’s former orange groves. Designed by local firm, SPF Architects, the sprawling APAC campus will have a 2,000-seat concert hall, a 1,700-seat opera hall, and a 600-seat black box theater, all covered in a brilliant perforated copper cladding reminiscent of orange peels. The new complex will replace the existing Anaheim’s City National Grove venue in order to bring a contemporary, world-class arts complex to the city. Along with the concert and opera halls, the sprawling complex will also have a soaring museum tower with a 24-foot observatory, an outdoor amphitheater, two restaurants, office space, a convention hall and lecture auditoriums. The outdoor area will include various open spaces that include fountains, a large reflecting pool and various walking paths that lead between the buildings. The landscaping scheme will use native plants chosen for their resiliency and ability to provide shade. Related: Renderings unveiled for World Trade Center Performing Arts Center show a glowing, lantern-like cube Each of the main buildings on site will be clad in a perforated copper-anodized aluminum. The particular cladding style was chosen not only for its environmental properties, allowing for light and air circulation in the interiors but also as a nod to the city’s agricultural history. Anaheim city was once covered in vineyards, with the local economy based almost entirely on wine production until the vineyards were wiped out by disease in the late 19th century. Later, an investment in citriculture revived the city’s agricultural strength, spurring what is commonly referred to as California’s “second gold rush.” “Anaheim’s socioeconomic driver quickly became the orange, so naturally our design for the center was influenced by it,” says SPF:a design principal, Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA. “We imagined that if we were to roll up the pavement of the parking lot we would find the old spirits of old citrus trees.” To create the circular buildings, the architects studied the design of orange trees, from the trunks to the leaves and even the skin of the oranges. The tiny circular elements found in orange skin inspired the design team to mirror not only the circular shape of the trees but also the porous nature of the fruit’s skin. Even the layout of the complex was designed in a grid system, similar to the common orchard. + SPF:Architects

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Anaheim’s elegant new Performing Arts Center was inspired by the city’s former orange groves

Crimson Bluffs Home uses passive solar and cooling to weather the extreme Montana seasons

March 5, 2018 by  
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  The environmentally friendly Crimson Bluffs House in Montana offers stunning 360 views of the Missouri River and the surrounding mountain ranges. Conceived by Greenovision , the house stays naturally warm in the harsh winters and cool in the sweltering summers thanks to its passive solar and passive cooling design. The house combines heating approach of passive solar and radiant hydronic floor heating – a strategy Greenovision calls Sun Smart Radiant Heating. Other green strategies include passive cooling design, ample amounts of natural light , high insulation values, and advanced framing. This home was constructed using locally sourced and recycled materials which are durable, long-lasting, and low maintenance . Large façade openings offer amazing views of the surrounding landscape. Related: Couple builds tiny A-frame cabin in three weeks for only $700 The Sun Smart Radiant Heating captures the sun’s energy on sunny days and has two added benefits. The radiant system distributes the sun’s heat uniformly throughout the home and also produces heat during long stretches of cloudy days or extreme cold. This dual heating method is not only incredibly energy efficient , it relieves any worries homeowners may have about living in a home that is heated with passive solar alone. + Greenovision

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Crimson Bluffs Home uses passive solar and cooling to weather the extreme Montana seasons

New technology could slow down biological time to save injured soldiers’ lives

March 5, 2018 by  
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Sometimes the difference between life and death is a matter of time. For injured soldiers in the field, the minutes that pass before a medic can treat them can make all the difference. That’s why DARPA is looking into ways to slow biological time in order to give medics an extra advantage in the battle to save lives. We can learn a lot from life around us. For instance, some organisms like tardigrades can essentially suspend animation when conditions are hostile to life. DARPA wants to tap into that ability to do something similar for soldiers. The trick is to figure out how to slow down every cellular process concurrently, and how to return everything back to normal without doing any damage. Related: US govt developing brain implants that give humans the ability to never forget According to DARPA, “When a Service member suffers a traumatic injury or acute infection, the time from event to first medical treatment is usually the single most significant factor in determining the outcome between saving a life or not.” To tackle that problem, DARPA just launched a 5-year Biostasis program that is developing biochemicals that can help slow down cellular activity so that medics can provide help before vital systems start shutting down. It’s still in the early stages, but if they can develop a viable technology, it could not only save soldiers’ lives, but it could have massive implications for medical science as a whole. “Nature is a source of inspiration,” program manager Dr. Tristan McClure-Begley said. “If we can figure out the best ways to bolster other biological systems and make them less likely to enter a runaway downward spiral after being damaged, then we will have made a significant addition to the biology toolbox.” Via Engadget Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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New technology could slow down biological time to save injured soldiers’ lives

Renovated Adobe headquarters channels design giants creative energy

March 5, 2018 by  
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When it came time to renovate creative software powerhouse Adobe’s headquarters in San Jose, it was abundantly clear that creativity and color would be central to the renovation. The firm tapped Gensler for the artful 143,000-square-foot redesign that’s sensitive to the environment and pays homage to the San Jose community. An artistic approach was applied throughout the building that’s furnished with locally made decor, emphasizes open and collaborative working environments, and offers a dazzling array of perks. Completed last year, Adobe’s newly renovated headquarters features new open workspaces, gathering areas, outdoor work areas, creative conference rooms, and amenities. The building houses 2,500 employees who have access to impressive perks that include a free onsite wellness center with fitness classes, meditation room, massage area, numerous and diverse eating options, on-site auto maintenance, dry cleaning, bicycle repair and rental, and open workspaces that embrace the indoor-outdoor experience. Natural light, outdoor access, and indoor greenery like the community garden and green wall highlight healthy working environments. Related: Adobe’s 410 Townsend is a Collaborative LEED Silver Office in San Francisco Adobe, which moved its headquarters to San Jose in 1994, is now the largest tech firm in the downtown core. To celebrate the community and the city’s agricultural past, the Adobe headquarters is decorated with locally made rugs, furniture, and decor. The building’s Palettes cafe takes inspiration from the region’s orchard history with its green design and A-shaped art installation built of locally sourced orchard crates. Bright splashes of color and art installation point to the firm’s creative and innovative spirit. + Gensler Via ArchDaily Images © Emily Hagopian Photography

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Renovated Adobe headquarters channels design giants creative energy

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