Solar screen brings beauty and heat relief to a Vietnam home

December 27, 2018 by  
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When a client approached Vietnamese architecture firm Duc Vien LE for the design of their house in Da Nang, Vietnam, the architects knew early on that the region’s intense summers would prove a major challenge. Rather than rely on energy-intensive air conditioning, the architects mitigated the region’s extreme solar radiation with the addition of a west-facing solar screen that not only brings in cooling breezes, but also adds visual interest to the front of the house. Named the Filtered Wall House after the decorative screen, the dwelling also follows passive solar principles to optimize thermal comfort. Located in the central Vietnamese city of Hòa Quý, the Filtered Wall House spans a footprint of 125 square meters on a long and narrow site stretching east to west. Due to the limitations of the shape of the site, the architects made access to natural light and ventilation—particularly in the middle of the house—a design priority. To this end, the firm inserted a skylight above the stairwell, as well as a small atrium in the front of the house behind the west-facing “filtered wall”. “Creating a buffer space on the west side of the house is the main means of the design,” explains Duc Vien LE. “The west facade of the building is a wall with filtering function. It can block most of the sunlight while allowing cool wind to enter the inner space. The existence of the filtered wall and the buffer space greatly reduces the influence of solar radiation on the main space. In the facade design, the change from densely to sparely was designed according to different shading requirements. Different brick types, colors and compound mode are integrated to create a transitional and presentable architectural appearance.”   Related: Lego-like kindergarten sparks creativity with a playful brick facade Inside, the contemporary home features crisp white walls and an open-plan floor plan to maximize sight lines and a sense of spaciousness. The communal living areas are located on the ground floor, which comprises a living room in the front of the house that transitions to a reading room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and a rear garden. Two bedrooms, a family room and a prayer room are located upstairs. + Duc Vien LE Via ArchDaily Images via Duc Vien LE

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Solar screen brings beauty and heat relief to a Vietnam home

12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas

December 27, 2018 by  
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Believe it or not, you don’t need eggs or bacon to put together an amazing brunch. If you follow a plant-based diet and are looking for some delicious brunch entrees for a late-morning get-together this weekend, there are plenty of vegan brunch ideas that you can easily make and customize to your tastes. Here are some of our favorite vegan brunch recipes. Pancakes Yes, you can make pancakes from scratch without milk and eggs. Just ask Alex at Delish Knowledge. Her recipe for vegan chia pancakes with peanut syrup capitalizes on the amazing taste combination of peanut butter and bananas. When you add maple syrup to the mix, the flavor combo goes to the next level. The chia seeds in the recipe hold the pancakes together while giving them some texture and crunch. If you don’t want to get that fancy with your vegan pancakes, there are several other recipes you can find online, and many of them are super easy yet delicious. Tofu scramble When you crumble firm tofu , it has the same look and texture of scrambled eggs. The downside is that it doesn’t taste the same. But  this recipe from Abby Langer Nutrition has fixed that problem with the addition of Himalayan black salt. This type of salt has a sulfuric smell and taste. That sulfur smell and taste equals an egg-like smell and taste. This tiny little ingredient will boost the flavor of your tofu once you add it to the pan with veggies and other spices. You might not be able to find black salt in your grocery store, but you can easily find it online. Vegan donuts If you have some serious kitchen skills , you can try making these grain-free vegan blueberry lime cake donuts from Gretchen at Kumquat. These sweet, light and delicious treats are made with flax meal, almond flour, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, blueberries and lime juice and rinds. If you aren’t into fruity donuts or would like to have a variety at your brunch, there are also recipes for other options like baked apple cider, baked chocolate and maple bacon donuts. Avocado toast No matter if you are vegan or not, avocado toast is a must at any brunch. It’s been popping up on menus all over the country. Luckily, you don’t have to pay 10 bucks for it a restaurant, because you can easily put it together at home for much less. Waffles There are so many vegan waffle options to choose from, and they each have a different flavor. You can try vegan French toast waffles, banana bread waffles, mashed potato waffles or maybe even chili cornbread waffles. The possibilities are endless, but no matter which one you choose, waffles will be a hit at your vegan brunch. Fruit buffet This idea is pretty obvious, but at a vegan brunch, you will want to have plenty of fruit options available. You can’t go wrong with berries, bananas and citrus. Stick with local, seasonal produce for the freshest flavors. Baked goods The options are endless when it comes to vegan baked goods at your brunch. Some recipes to consider are strawberries and cream scones , banana gingerbread muffins , zucchini bread  or morning glory breakfast cookies . French toast You don’t have to pass on French toast when you are vegan. All you need is some chickpea flour and non-dairy milk to make the vegan version of the dish. When you stuff it with a delicious filling like caramelized apples tossed in date-based caramel sauce, this option is even more amazing. Breakfast tacos Breakfast tacos are a warm and savory addition to your brunch. We especially enjoy these sweet potato and tofu tacos from Veganosity. The best part about serving vegan tacos at brunch is that each guest can customize the tacos to their liking with whatever veggies and other fillings are available. Breakfast sandwiches You don’t have to make your biscuits from scratch (unless you really want to!). Instead, you can get ready-made organic options at the grocery store, and then make breakfast sandwiches with whatever ingredients you desire. You can have a lot of fun with this recipe for vegan biscuit and gravy sandwiches from Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen, or you can choose English muffins for your sandwich like Sam at It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Quiche Recipes for vegan quiche are extremely flexible , and they make good use of vegan bacon. It’s easy to add a variety of organic veggies to this dish, and it pairs well with a side of leafy greens. No matter which recipe you decide to use, this dish will be a popular one at your brunch. Omelettes Can you make an omelette without eggs ? The answer is yes. Chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, olive oil and a few spices will help you make a delicious vegan omelette. Plus, you can fill it up with whatever veggies you like — we recommend mushrooms and spinach. Images via Ina Burkardt , Bart Everson , Vegan Baking , Anna Pelzer , Lindsay Moe , Silvia , Pexels , Joseph Gonzalez , Stephanie , Miroro , Melissa Walker Horn , Igor Miske and Shutterstock

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12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas

Modscape installs a prefab school building that stays comfortable year-round

December 27, 2018 by  
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Cheap trailers and portable classrooms can be a quick fix for schools strapped for space, but the trade-off often comes at the expense of student comfort. Aware of the “crazy hot in summer and freezing cold in winter” conditions of these temporary trailers, Australian custom home builder Modscape wanted to create a more pleasant solution to the Keilor Primary School’s need for additional space without compromising on speed and efficiency. The result is a new permanent modular building that was constructed off-site, installed in just a day and built with high-performing paneling to ensure comfortable classroom conditions year-round. Created in collaboration with Victorian project management firm Sensum Group, the new prefabricated building for Keilor Primary School in Melbourne consists of four teaching spaces, a library, an arts space and associated amenities for students and the staff. Modscape designed and constructed the structure as part of the Victorian Government’s Permanent Modular School Buildings Program, an integral part of a multibillion school construction process to precede the government’s Victorian School Asbestos Removal Program that will oversee the largest ever removal of asbestos from Victorian schools. “The new permanent modular building offered a fast and efficient solution for the school,” the firm said. “With less time needed for planning and construction, the replacement of the older buildings containing asbestos could occur quickly — reducing disruption to students, staff and teaching programs. … Gone are the days of the crazy-hot-in-summer/freezing-cold-in-winter ‘portables’ of previous generations. … High-performing acoustic paneling and double-glazed windows are used in forward-thinking volumetric modules, creating a comfortable learning environment for the students of today and for generations to come.” Related: This highly insulated modular home is completely self-sustaining The building was constructed offsite in Modscape’s modular construction hub in Brooklyn in just 10 weeks — approximately half the time required when compared to a traditional build process. The modules were then installed in a day over the weekend, after which onsite and landscaping was carried out. + Modscape Photography by John Madden via Modscape

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Modscape installs a prefab school building that stays comfortable year-round

Danish home champions wood over concrete for lower carbon emissions

December 21, 2018 by  
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Danish architecture firm Tegnestuen LOKAL recently completed TK-33, a modern and energy-efficient home that promotes building materials considered more sustainable than those typically used in Danish residential construction. To reduce the carbon footprint of the project, the architects designed the home with a timber structure rather than the more commonly used load-bearing concrete walls. Triple-glazed windows and a flexible floor plan also add to the home’s environmentally friendly cachet. Designed for an older couple, the TK-33 home is located on the outskirts of a small town north of Copenhagen . The single-story home spans 130 square meters with two bedrooms and a centrally located, open-plan living area that connects to a spacious L-shaped deck. The flexible layout allows the homeowners to easily adapt rooms to new uses without the need for renovation. Full-height glazing pulls the outdoors in while a natural materials palette ties the home to the rural landscape. Driven by a desire to reduce carbon emissions in Denmark, the architects focused on replacing the most emission-heavy elements of typical Danish construction with more eco-friendly alternatives. In place of brick-clad concrete — commonly used for outer walls that the firm said account for nearly 30 percent of the total emissions associated with the construction of a typical home — the architects used a wooden frame clad in a thin layer of brick shingling. The slim brick facade is Cradle-to-Cradle certified and highly durable to ensure longevity. Related: Copper-clad Copenhagen landmark boasts Denmark’s most energy-efficient laboratories “Eliminating emissions during construction, allowing for flexibility in the use of the house and facilitating reuse of the entire envelope makes for a house and a building technique that could decrease the emissions from the single-family house industry in Denmark greatly,” the architects said. “The house can be naturally ventilated and installations are pragmatically limited to the central core containing two bathrooms and a laundry room, lowering overall costs during construction.” + Tegnestuen LOKAL Photography by Jan Ove Christensen and Peter Jørgensen via Tegnestuen LOKAL

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MVRDV completes massive, mountain-like vertical village for 5,000 residents in India

December 10, 2018 by  
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A mountain-like residential development has risen in Pune  — India’s eighth largest city and one of the fastest-growing cities in the country — and brought with it 1,068 apartments to house approximately 5,000 people in a single building. Completed as MVRDV’s first project in India, the Future Towers bucks the local standard for cookie-cutter freestanding buildings in favor of a singular mountainous structure with peaks and valleys. The mixture of unit types is meant to encourage interaction among the diverse residents who come from different backgrounds and income levels while keeping housing prices competitively low. Created as part of Amanora Park Town on the outskirts of Pune, Future Towers consists of apartments that range from 45 square meters to 450 square meters. Despite its striking mountain-like appearance, the design of the enormous building was mainly informed by research into Indian housing standards and cultural expectations. For instance, the building floor plans incorporate the principles of Vastu Shastra, a traditional system of architecture that has been likened to Feng Shui. The natural ventilation system that helps extract air from kitchens and aids in natural cooling found in typical housing developments has also been used in Future Towers. “In Asia, cities are growing so fast, and uniform repetitive residential towers are the norm,” said Jacob van Rijs, principal and co-founder of MVRDV. “With our design, we are making an effort to offer more variety and bring people from more different backgrounds together. In the original master plan, 16 separate towers were planned, all of which would have more or less the same type of apartments. The MVRDV team thoroughly researched modern Indian housing and came up with a system to create a mix of different types of apartment inside one building. This project will attract residents with a variety of incomes, something that will benefit the diversity of Amanora Park Town. Thanks to the client’s willingness to try something new, the efficiency needed for mass housing has been achieved without cutting back on residents’ comfort.” Related: Striking Heritage School with stone walls and curved roofs mimics the rolling green hills of India Since construction costs are low in India, but elevators are comparatively expensive, Future Towers comprises just four circulation cores around which the nine wings — each ranging from 17 to 30 stories — are clustered. Large social spaces, known as ‘scoops,’ are scattered throughout the building and are designed for different activities or purposes, such as mini golf or child care. Each one is brightly painted to create a sense of a “neighborhood identity” in different parts of the building. Outdoor courtyards accessed via four-story-tall triangular gates provide additional gathering space. + MVRDV Photography by © Ossip van Duivenbode via MVRDV

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MVRDV completes massive, mountain-like vertical village for 5,000 residents in India

Zaha Hadid Architects completes highly complex Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre

December 6, 2018 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects  completed the Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre, a striking mixed-use facility that blends the firm’s iconic sinuous architecture with elements from traditional Chinese culture. Billed as China’s first completely top-down/ bottom-up tower construction, the entire center was constructed in just 34 months and is the largest glass-reinforced concrete development in the country. Sustainability is woven into the highly complex design from the optimization of natural ventilation and lighting to the use of a self-cleaning facade system. With gross floor area totaling over five million square feet, the Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre boasts two tapering towers—Zaha Hadid Architects’ tallest completed towers to date—linked by a five-story mixed-use podium that contains the Cultural Centre. At 315 meters in height, the taller tower houses offices and the new Jumeirah Nanjing Hotel, while the shorter 255-meter tower includes a four-star hotel. The Cultural Center is divided into four main programs: a 2,100-seat Conference Hall, a 500-seat Auditorium, a Multifunctional Hall and Guest Zone; the independent volumes are organized around a central courtyard. Optimized for riverfront views, the development is located along the river in Hexi New Town as part of Nanjing’s new central business district. “The Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre harnessed the energy of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games to create a project with a lasting legacy that has enhanced and also regenerated its setting—acting as both an anchor and a catalyst for future investment in Nanjing’s Hexi New Town,” says Zaha Hadid Architects in a press release. “The cultural centre’s design is a three dimensional calligraphic composition that resonates with Nanjing’s 1,600-year-old tradition of Yunjin— the name given to the intricate brocade threading used by local craftsmen to weave the region’s acclaimed gold and silver fabrics. Like Yunjin thread, a continuous line interweaves throughout the cultural centre connecting it with its earthquake-resistant towers and beyond to the new central business district, riverside park and Jiangxinzhou Island.” Related: Zaha Hadid unveils futuristic designs for “New Moscow” To reduce the development’s energy footprint, the architects optimized the layout to funnel natural light deep into the buildings. Passive design strategies were used, as were efficient cooling and heating systems and a flexible floor plan to maximize the project’s design life. + Zaha Hadid Architects Photography by © Hufton+Crow via Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects completes highly complex Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre

A modern home in India stays naturally cool without AC

October 31, 2018 by  
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When Surat-based architect Ankit Parekh of Parekh Collaborative was asked to design a family home in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, one of the prerequisites was for a comfortably cool residence without air conditioning. In response, Parekh turned to ancient, low-tech methods for natural cooling, from decorative yet functional jali screens to stack ventilation. As a result, the house, named Rambaugh, maintains a temperature variation of 6 to 8 degrees year-round. Crafted with a contemporary appearance rooted in traditional techniques, Rambaugh was designed to house a family of six in Burhanpur. Slightly over 20,000 square feet in size, the residence includes ample space for large gatherings — the client’s extended family lives in the same precinct — and celebrates indoor-outdoor living. Shared communal areas flanked by green space form the heart of the two-story home, from the open-plan living room and dining area bookended by courtyards on the ground floor to the lounge that opens up to a lower terrace on the first floor. The formal living room and kitchen are cordoned off in opposite corners of the home. The master bedroom and two other bedrooms are located on the ground floor, while two additional bedrooms can be found upstairs. A solar site study informed the orientation of the building and the placement of openings that, combined with mechanically operated turbulators, take advantage of stack ventilation . The stone jali (a traditional, perforated, decorative screen) was hand-cut on site and installed on the southwest side of the home to deflect unwanted solar gain. A large existing Tamarind tree on the southeast of the site provides additional shade. The layout of the house also promotes natural ventilation and access to ample daylight. Moreover, rainwater is harvested and reused in the home. Related: A beautiful perforated facade shields this office from India’s harsh sun “The house is picturesque from all the sides because of ample appreciation space around it,” Parekh Collaborative noted. “This space is well designed with landscape elements and complements the house exteriors. A textured crimson block abutting a white mass on the side adds to iconic imagery of the house in abstraction. A dialogue between the house and landscape is generated using Mughal garden patterns.” + Parekh Collaborative Images by Nachiket Gujar

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A modern home in India stays naturally cool without AC

Garden-facing timber home uses highly efficient SIPs to minimize waste

October 31, 2018 by  
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When asked by a long-time friend to build a garden-facing retirement home in Hobart, Australia, Brunswick-based architectural practice Archier created the Five Yards House, a timber-clad abode that takes its name from the numerous “yards,” or gardens, integrated into the design. To minimize onsite waste and to ensure rapid installation, the design firm turned to SIP (structural insulated panel) construction, a high-performing methodology that “provides structural, insulative and aesthetic solutions in one,” according the the architects. High performance and environmentally friendly materials were also specified for the rest of the design, from operable double glazing to recycled timber to  LEDs . Strong connections with the garden were a priority in the 131-square-meter Five Yards House’s project brief. Rather than design a simple glass house for enjoying views of one garden, the architects designed the home around a series of unique gardens, each with its own distinct appearance and framed by full-height walls of double glazing. The entrance on the east side is flanked by two gardens, or “yards,” and opens up to a mud room, a library and a long hallway that extends to the far west end of the home. At the heart of the building is an  open-plan living room, dining space and kitchen that connects to the outdoors on both ends; a smaller garden is to the south, and a more spacious yard is to the north. The bedroom is located at the far end of the house and overlooks a small garden as well. Related: Industrial modern Sawmill House is built from recycled concrete blocks Because the house was constructed with SIPs, the building boasts high thermal performance, and the operable walls of glass allow for natural ventilation in summer to negate the need for mechanical cooling. A restrained palette of natural materials helps strengthen the indoor-outdoor connection. Recycled Tasmanian Oak timber was used to line the interior, and the exterior is painted matte black. + Archier Photography by Adam Gibson via Archier

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Garden-facing timber home uses highly efficient SIPs to minimize waste

Zigzagging green terraces make up a luxury residential block in Mexico City

October 24, 2018 by  
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A challenging hillside site in Mexico City has given rise to Alcázar de Toledo, a luxury residential development designed by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos to look like an extension of its lush landscape. Embedded into the rugged terrain, the five-unit apartment block is made up of a series of green terraces that zigzag up the slope and provide deep roof overhangs to the bands of glass that wrap around the residences. In addition to its striking and sculptural form, the 5,471-square-meter building also affords spectacular panoramic views of the city. Completed in 2018, Alcázar de Toledo consists of four levels. The parking spaces are located on the topmost floor that descends via ramp down 5 meters to the reception and lobby with views of a large wooded area as well a water focal point with fountains. The five apartment units are spread out across the remaining floors, with two 500-square-meter properties on the level below parking; a 700-square-meter unit on the floor below; and two more 500-square-meter apartments placed on the lowest level. The different sizes of each unit translate to different programming and range from two to four bedrooms. A pool , spa, gym, terrace, dressing rooms and bathrooms are located on the second level from the bottom. “The architectural concept is based on a linear element, which folds itself over the topography in a right-angled zigzag shape,” the architects explained. “Each fold responds to different needs and contains the spaces for the five departments, with large terraces , amenities and parking. This resulting piece of four levels, as it adapts to the ground, is transformed into a structure element (like a wall or slab) or an open plaza or terrace. A solution that creates an elegant and subtle shape with a clear horizontality between the native vegetation of the context.” Related: A lush rooftop oasis flourishes on this renovated Art Deco townhouse in Mexico City Natural light and ventilation are maximized through the interiors, which all feature tall ceilings, open-plan common areas and full-height glazing shaded by the overhanging green roofs. Rainwater is also harvested, treated and reused on site for irrigation. The rainwater cistern is located beneath the building. + Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos Photography by Jaime Navarro via Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos

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Sculptural Sunset Houses mimic waves with rainwater-collecting roofs

October 9, 2018 by  
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Named after their spectacular sunset views, the Sunset Houses are two seaside homes set into a slope in the idyllic beach town of Tibau do Sul in northeastern Brazil. Architects Mariana Vilela and Daniel F. Florez of the local architecture firm Vilela Florez designed the sculptural pair of homes, which feature bright blue and grounded brown tones to reference the landscape. To reduce the buildings’ environmental footprint, the architects used locally sourced stone and bamboo and engineered the roof to not only collect rainwater but to also promote natural ventilation. Covering a built area of 430 square meters, the recently completed Sunset Houses were sited for stunning vistas of the Guaraíras Lagoon and the dunes of Malemba Beach. Connected by a large pergola , the two homes comprise two floors each with floor plans that mirror each other. On the ground floor is the open-plan living room, kitchen and dining area that opens up to a covered outdoor seating space overlooking a pool. The outdoor living space also branches off to a small bathroom and utility room. Three bedrooms are placed on the upper level of each home, along with two bathrooms. The upper floor is cantilevered to create shade and protection for the lower spaces. Timber features prominently in the project, and treated bamboo sliding panels provide relief from the hot sun. Locally sourced stone was used for the dividing partition and basement walls; volcanic stones were placed atop the concrete-beamed pergola. The double-layered roof was treated as a “fifth facade” that comprises rainwater-collecting, thermoacoustic panels on the first layer and wood shingles for the second layer. Related: Budget-friendly bamboo house completed in just 10 months “The colors are used in a conceptual and sociological way, inspired by the vivid colors of the facades of the local houses and their expression of joy and acceptance,” the architects said. “The tones chosen are mainly bluish tonalities that, due to the condition of being between two bodies of water , seek to reproduce the many variants of tones coming from the sea and the lagoon.” + Vilela Florez Images by Maira Acayaba

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