New study claims climate change could be linked to heart defects in newborns

February 5, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Climate change may be linked to heart defects in newborns. The Journal of the American Heart Association just released new research that shows how higher temperatures are related to congenital heart issues in babies born in warmer months. With climate change worsening, mothers in the U.S. are exposed to more heat than ever before. Scientists have previously shown that women who are exposed to heat during pregnancy have a higher chance of having a baby born with a congenital heart defect. Every year in the U.S., around 40,000 newborns have heart issues at birth. Related: Follow this diet for both personal and planetary health According to CNN , the number of babies born with heart defects is expected to rise between 2025 and 2035 as temperatures continue to heat up across the U.S. The study predicted that around 7,000 additional cases of heart defects will occur during the 10-year stretch, with the Midwest region seeing the biggest rise. “Our results highlight the dramatic ways in which climate change can affect human health and suggest that pediatric heart disease stemming from structural heart malformations may become an important consequence of rising temperatures,” Dr. Wangjian Zhang explained. Heart problems are among the most common issues doctors see in newborns. Babies who are born with heart defects have poor overall health and can experience issues in early development as well. It is unclear why excess heat contributes to heart problems in newborns. Previous studies conducted on animals have shown that heat is detrimental to fetal cells and can disrupt proteins that are important in development. This could be what is going on in human pregnancies, though more research is needed to confirm. With heat being linked to heart problems, doctors are now warning women to avoid excess heat exposure while pregnant. This is similar to what doctors have been telling people with pulmonary and cardiovascular disease for years. Unfortunately, climate change will continue to drive temperatures up all across the U.S. Locations that will be directly impacted include the Midwest, the South and southeastern states, like North Carolina and Georgia. In addition to heart issues, women exposed to heat are also at a greater risk of giving birth early. Via CNN Image via Shutterstock

View post:
New study claims climate change could be linked to heart defects in newborns

Reimagine a resilient future with this nature-based tool

January 30, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Reimagine a resilient future with this nature-based tool

Most Americans have personally experienced a federally declared, weather-related disaster in the last decade. In fact, the number is 96 percent of the population. Both science and personal testimonies indicate that extreme weather events are increasing in severity and frequency.  Naturally Resilient Communities  is an interactive website that allows users to explore successful examples of nature-based solutions to reduce risks and re-imagine a resilient and connected future for their own communities. The guide, launched in 2017, provides case studies and funding suggestions for urban planners interested in learning how to implement specific ecosystem-based strategies that address pervasive challenges such as flooding, sea level rise and coastal erosion. Naturally Resilient Communities is a partnership between the American Planning Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Association of State Floodplain Managers, the Environmental and Water Resources Institute, the National Association of Counties, The Nature Conservancy and Sasaki Associates, with funding from the Kresge Foundation. What are nature-based solutions? Nature-based solutions, according to the site, are strategies that “use natural systems, mimic natural processes or work in tandem with traditional approaches to address specific hazards.” Ideally less expensive and destructive than “over-engineered” infrastructure, such as concrete sea walls, natural solutions protect and restore ecosystems that effectively filter and redirect storm water while providing additional benefits to nearby communities. For example, a healthy coastal marsh can reduce storm waves by up to 50 percent, and therefore provides a protective buffer for homes, businesses and infrastructure along the coast. In addition, marshes are an important habitat for birds , fish and other wildlife and can be used for recreational biking and walking trails. In turn, access to urban parks increases property values. It’s a win-win-win for the community, nature and the economy. “Investing in nature is both a viable way to adapt to climate change and a good way for the community to create the kind of future they want to live in,” Nate Woiwode of The Nature Conservancy told Inhabitat in an interview. “It is smart investing across the board.” Related: Bronx community garden transformed with sustainable improvements Naturally Resilient Communities provides more than 20 suggestions of natural solutions and 30 case studies from cities and towns that successfully use them. The target audience is urban and rural planners or decision makers and the teams that support them. The guide has been utilized throughout North America and the world to engage residents and visualize smart climate action that takes nature and communities’ needs into account. Other examples of solutions include preserving floodplains and upstream watersheds, rather than paving and developing within feet of a river. Healthy river ecosystems allow space for natural, upstream flooding in times of heavy rain and reduce catastrophic flooding in urban areas downstream. The online tool allows users to specify and filter their searches based on hazard, region, type of community (eg. rural or urban) and implementation price range. Users can click on various solutions displayed on a visual coastal landscape graphic to learn more about the benefits. Nature-based solutions include: Parks and preserves Restoration of marsh, reef, sea grass, beach or mangroves Relocation of homes and businesses in flood-prone areas Flood bypass Horizontal levees Flood water detention basins Trees and vegetation throughout streets, parking lots or roofs Bioswales Rain gardens Horizontal levees , for example, integrate marsh land with a below-ground concrete wall. This alternate approach to a traditional concrete wall provides a natural buffer zone, reduces the size, cost and maintenance of the hard structure and provides natural habitat with recreational opportunities, such as birding trails. The partnership behind the online tool hopes that by making the benefits clear and accessible, municipalities will feel empowered and motivated to integrate nature into their adaptation and development plans. Green spaces build a sense of community, slow down and redirect storm water, improve water and air quality, sequester carbon and reduce heat radiating from concrete during hot summers. Natural habitats provide shelter for a variety of species, increasing biodiversity, ecotourism and commercially important fisheries. Related: Sean Parker’s wedding violations result in new app for California coastline Numerous studies also indicate a profoundly positive psychological impact of nature and access to green spaces, including increased physical activity and health. One study from California indicated that 90 percent of minor crimes occurred in places where residents had no access to vegetated areas. Facing both rising urgency and increasing public support, cities and towns are interested in implementing sustainability measures but almost always lack information and funding. In addition to case studies and links for more resources, the online tool also provides suggestions for different funding strategies. “Counties are on the front lines of emergency response and preparedness,” said Sally Clark, president of the National Association of Counties, in a press release . “And we’re pursuing forward-thinking measures to mitigate risk and foster local resiliency. The Naturally Resilient Communities project helps us leverage natural and other resources to make our neighborhoods safer and more secure.” + Naturally Resilient Communities Images via Robert Jones , Lubos Houska and Free Photos

Read the rest here:
Reimagine a resilient future with this nature-based tool

Iguanas reintroduced to island after 200 years

January 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Iguanas reintroduced to island after 200 years

In 1835, Charles Darwin was the last person to officially see a land iguana on Santiago Island in the Galapagos. After that encounter, predators like the feral pig wiped the lizard population out of that location. Now — nearly two centuries later —  an initiative by the Galapagos National Park authority has reintroduced more than 1,400 land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus) back to Santiago Island. Authorities said in a recent statement that on January 3 and 4, the land iguanas were taken from neighboring North Seymour Island and introduced to the coastal regions Puerto Nuevo and Bucanero, which have similar ecosystems to the iguanas’ former home. The Galapagos Conservation Trust says that the archipelago’s land iguana population suffered when species like cats, rats, dogs and pigs were introduced. Those species prey on baby iguanas and eggs, plus they compete for food. Some cats even target adult iguanas up to four years old. But, the last feral pig on Santiago Island was eradicated in 2000 as part of the Galapagos Conservancy’s Project Isabela, and the island became officially pig-free in 2004. Related: Endangered green and loggerhead turtles make Mediterranean comeback The Santiago Island iguana reintroduction initiative was in due to depleting vegetation on North Seymour Island, which was threatening also a main threat to the food source of more than 5,000 iguanas. However, some lizards did remain to avoid compromising the existing vegetation . “The land iguana is a herbivore that helps ecosystems by dispersing seeds and maintaining open areas free from vegetation,” says Galapagos ecosystems director Danny Rueda. Authorities will continue to monitor the iguanas that have been reintroduced to the Galapagos island in order to determine if the iguanas are properly adapting and creating nests, and also to see if they are finding necessary food. They will also keep a close eye on newer species found on the island, such as rodents and ants, to make sure they are not disturbing the iguanas’ nests. Galapagos National Park Director Jorge Carrión said on Twitter that reintroducing the iguanas to Santiago Island was “great news for #Galapagos, for #Ecuador, and the world.” Via CNN Image by 8moments

View original post here: 
Iguanas reintroduced to island after 200 years

Peek inside the tallest cross-laminated timber building in the US

January 2, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Peek inside the tallest cross-laminated timber building in the US

Portland, one of the leading cities for sustainability initiatives in the U.S., is now home to the nation’s tallest mass timber and cross-laminated timber (CLT) building. Designed by local design studio PATH Architecture , Carbon12 soars to a height of 85 feet and comprises eight stories of mixed-use programming along with 14 residential units. Resistant to earthquakes and other natural disasters, the building is also said to surpass the carbon sequestration attributes of LEED Platinum-certified structures. Carbon12 spans an area of 42,000 square feet and is set along the North Williams Corridor of North Portland . Cross-laminated timber was chosen as the primary building material, as opposed to concrete, because of the developer’s desire to create an environmentally friendly building constructed from locally sourced, renewable materials. Made from kiln-dried timber glued and pressed together, CLT is praised for its quick assembly, lightweight properties, strength and ability to sequester carbon. “In addition to its innovative structure, Carbon12 is one of the most well-prepared residential buildings in the country in regard to earthquakes and other natural disasters,” PATH Architecture said. “The Carbon12 team joined the inherent attributes of engineered timber structures, together with the innovative buckling-restrained brace frame core, to create a building that is extremely well equipped for any seismic event. With a thickened basement slab that rests on 41 steel pilings driven 45 feet deep into the ground, Carbon12 is built to protect its occupants.” Related: Architecture students build a tiny CLT classroom in just 3 weeks Built of Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified softwood timber, the CLT building is only about a quarter of the weight of a concrete structure but equally as strong. “This project truly pushes the envelope on tall mass timber and CLT buildings for Portland, Oregon, and the entire U.S.,” the firm added. “It opens barriers and presents a new era for mass timber in the U.S., where it is well-positioned to be the go-to construction method for this region.” + PATH Architecture Photography by Andrew Pogue via PATH Architecture

Continued here: 
Peek inside the tallest cross-laminated timber building in the US

10 species at risk of extinction under the Trump administration

January 2, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on 10 species at risk of extinction under the Trump administration

The Endangered Species Coalition has released a report titled  Extinction Plan: Ten Species Imperiled by the Trump Administration , which outlines the possible impact of the current administration’s anti-wildlife policy stances. The report highlighted the 10 species that are in the most danger because of proposed new regulations as well as the specific changes that put these animals at risk. California Condor The California Condor has a 10-foot wingspan, making it one of the largest land birds in North America. These birds can reach altitudes of 15,000 feet and speeds up to 55 miles per hour. They are a critically endangered species, with fewer than 500 left, after flying in the skies of the western U.S. and Mexico for thousands of years. Most California Condors die in the wild from lead poisoning, and when the population shrank to less than 30 back in 1982, survivors were captured and put in breeding facilities. By 2017, more than 290 were flying free in the wild, with another 173 in the breeding program. However, on his first day in office, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke rolled back legislation from the Obama administration that banned the use of lead ammunition in critical condor habitat. This could be a catastrophic action that might lead to the end of the California Condor. Leatherback and Loggerhead Sea Turtles Both of these sea turtles can swim for thousands of miles, and they help maintain balance in their ocean habitat while providing essential nutrients to the beaches where they nest. Both types are protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but they are also vulnerable to human activity. Each year, thousands are snared in fishing nets and die, and climate change is hitting their homes hard. Related: Study finds microplastics in sea turtles around the world The Trump Administration’s proposed new regulations give leeway when it comes to how a habitat is or isn’t protected. If those regulations do kick in, the Fish and Wildlife Service can ignore protections in that habitat altogether, and the leatherbacks and loggerheads could lose their fragile beach nesting grounds entirely. Red Wolf Red wolves were declared extinct in the wild back in 1980. But after a successful experimental breeding program, they were reintroduced in North Carolina in 1987. The red wolf is on the edge of extinction again, with fewer than 30 left in the wild. The only place in the world that you can find red wolves is in a five-county area in North Carolina. Under proposed regulations from the Trump Administration, the delisting of the red wolf could be justified, even though scientists are still investigating their genetics. This would be a fatal blow to the species. Hellbender This ancient salamander is slimy and mud-brown or speckled gray, like a river rock. It has flappy skinfolds on the entire length of its body, lidless eyes that keep it from seeing much of anything and chubby toes for clinging to the river bottom. It also has a superb sense of smell. Hellbenders live solitary lives under a single boulder, and they never relocate. They do not pose any threat to humans and are a vital indicator of water quality, because they thrive in clean streams but deteriorate when their habitat does. Because the Trump Administration’s proposed regulations include economic analysis in their listing decisions, it could mean the end for the hellbender. The economics of mining, logging and fossil fuel extraction could cloud a listing for this species, and those businesses could also damage the hellbender’s habitat beyond repair. Giraffe The world’s tallest animal with 6-foot-long legs and a 6-foot-long neck, the giraffe is a highly social animal that roams in groups called towers. Their patterned coats are unique, just like fingerprints, and the animal is emblematic of Africa’s savanna. Hunting and habitat encroachment have reduced the population by 30 percent in the last three decades, and the animal appears to have gone extinct in seven countries. The two biggest threats are a growing trade in giraffe parts and trophy hunting; however, this animal is not protected internationally or by the Endangered Species Act. Related: Trump administration wants to allow “extreme and cruel” hunting methods in Alaska To make matters worse, Zinke created an International Wildlife Conservation Council full of NRA members that is promoting and expanding international trophy hunting. President Trump has not responded to a request to add the giraffe to the Endangered Species list. At this point, fewer than 100,000 are left. Humboldt Marten Related to the mink, the Humboldt marten is the size of a kitten. It is a stealthy hunter that lives deep in the forests of Northern California and Southern Oregon. This animal is so secretive, there is only a handful of photos in existence, and they were taken by remote-sensing cameras. At one time, the species was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1996. But only four separated populations remain, and humans have put them at risk by trapping them for their fur and logging in their rainforest habitat. Fewer than 400 are left, but it is not on the endangered species list and receives no federal protection. The Trump Administration finally proposed to list the Humboldt marten under the ESA but only to classify it as threatened. Under the new proposed regulations, a species classified as threatened no longer receives the same protections as those classified as endangered. There is also a special rule that exempts logging operations, which means the Humboldt marten population could vanish entirely. Rusty Patched Bumble Bee This species was the first bee in the continental U.S. to be listed under the ESA. That was a challenge all its own, because the paperwork was delayed on President Trump’s first day in office when his administration put a hold on the protections just before the bee was supposed to be listed. It finally made the list in 2017, but the Trump Administration’s proposed regulations prioritize the protection of habitat currently occupied by the species. This is a problem, because the rusty patched bumble bee has vanished from nearly 90 percent of their historic range due to disease, habitat degradation and use of pesticides . The bee needs that historic habitat to recover. If there are no safeguards for the habitat these bees once called home, it could have deadly consequences. West Indian Manatee This fully-aquatic, plant-eating mammal has some interesting relatives. At one end there is the elephant, and at the other, there is the hyrax. Manatees weigh around a thousand pounds and can live up to 60 years old. They have no natural enemies … except for humans. Manatees get hacked by propellers, smashed in watercraft collisions, drowned in canal locks and tortured and killed when they eat fish hooks, litter and lines. The biggest threat to the manatee is habitat loss thanks to red tides, algae blooms and pollution . But this didn’t stop the Trump Administration from downlisting the West Indian Manatee from endangered to threatened. The new rules also ignore impacts to habitat unless those impacts occur across the entire habitat and affect the whole species. With the manatees having such a scattered population, their habitat won’t get necessary protections. San Bernardino Kangaroo Rat This little rodent has specialized fur-lined face pouches that allow them to cache seeds in their cheeks until their face almost bursts. The San Bernardino Kangaroo Rat is about four inches long, and its tail is longer than its body. Their survival depends on natural cycles of wet and dry, and they never have to take a drink. They get all of their moisture from food, which comes from plants that mature at the perfect time and produce seeds at the right rate. Green vegetation stimulates their reproduction, but it has to be in moderation. There is a fragile wet/dry balance that human activities have messed up with mining, dam building and residential and commercial development. The new regulations from the Trump Administration would require less consultation between agencies, which means they can ignore the impact of what they do to their surroundings. Something as simple as a new road can mess up the rat’s wet and dry life, leading to extinction. Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo This bird loves where the water meets the woods, and they often avoid detection even when they are out hunting caterpillars and other prey. One researcher once watched a Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo for an entire hour waiting for him to budge, but he didn’t. In addition to hiding in plain sight, this bird is disappearing altogether. There are only about 2,000 left, and the species was listed under the ESA in 2014. But the bird needs habitat protections. It is now being reviewed for delisting, and the new regulations from the Trump Administration could kill the recovery plan. This could end up being a fast-track to extinction . + Endangered Species Coalition Images via U.S. Department of State , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ), Red Wolf Recovery Program , Brian Gratwicke , Charles J. Sharp , Nbonzey and Mark Linnell / U.S. Forest Service

Original post:
10 species at risk of extinction under the Trump administration

Sasaki to transform Shanghais Hongkou Stadium with a High Line-esque park

December 26, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Sasaki to transform Shanghais Hongkou Stadium with a High Line-esque park

International disciplinary planning and design firm Sasaki has unveiled designs to transform China’s first professional soccer stadium into a sustainably minded mixed-use hub focused on health and wellness. Designed to stitch the Shanghai Hongkou Stadium back into the urban fabric, the proposal will reactivate the stadium as a destination even on non-game days while improving the expanded building’s energy efficiency. Key to the design intervention will be the addition of the Midline, an elevated park built along a light rail corridor, which will provide a green link between Hongkou’s university district in the north and the cultural and commercial districts to the south. Located on a major north-south green corridor, Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium is accessible via public transit yet suffers from lack of interest on non-game days and lack of connection to its urban surroundings. To reposition the stadium as the heart of a new mixed-use health and wellness hub, Sasaki plans to not only extend the lush landscape of the adjacent Luxun Park to the stadium grounds, but also add the elevated Midline, a recreational spine beneath the light rail tracks that provides pedestrian and bicycle access from the north and south to the stadium. In addition, new shops and restaurants on the street level will activate the stadium’s main plaza and podium. Moreover, the stadium, which was built in the 1990s, will be expanded to a total of 50,000 seats and nine levels to accommodate new programming such as a soccer museum, VIP clubs, community recreation facilities and a cantilevered restaurant with 360-degree views of the field. Rooftop gardens and outdoor concourses will be publicly accessible from the adjacent Luxun Park to attract the community year-round. Related: The 2018 Super Bowl stadium in Minnesota offsets 100% of its energy “By positioning the stadium as a community asset, its renovation reaches far beyond its original function,” reads Sasaki’s press release. “Many stadiums serve the single purpose of hosting sporting events, resulting in an empty building during non-game days and in the off-season. Hongkou Stadium reimagines the arena as a multi-functional complex that fulfills the demands of large events while also serving as a unique public space for all citizens.” The renovated stadium will also be optimized for energy efficiency and tap into passive ventilation strategies. Rainwater runoff will be harvested in underground cisterns and reused as irrigation. The stadium’s new smart glass facade can be digitally adjusted to minimize unwanted solar heat gain and used as a digital screen to broadcast events. + Sasaki Images via Sasaki

See the original post here: 
Sasaki to transform Shanghais Hongkou Stadium with a High Line-esque park

Invasive longhorned tick could spread disease across the U.S.

December 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Invasive longhorned tick could spread disease across the U.S.

The Asian longhorned tick used to be a species only found in China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Russia, plus parts of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. But last year, an established population was found in New Jersey, and since then, the ticks have been found in eight other states. Because the tick is parthenogenetic — which means the females can reproduce without needing male DNA — it is possible that it will soon occupy large parts of the Pacific Northwest and the eastern U.S. “There is a good chance for this tick to become widely distributed in North America,” said Ilia Rochlin, a researcher at the Rutgers University Center for Vector Biology. “Mosquito control has been very successful in this country, but we are losing the battle with tick-borne diseases.” Related: Winter ticks are responsible for New England’s moose massacres The Asian longhorned tick’s ability to clone makes it possible for them to cause “massive” infestations of hosts, and Rochlin said that researchers have already seen large numbers on livestock and dogs. He added that the ticks can bite humans, pets, farm animals and wildlife . The Journal of Medical Entomology published new research about the tick last week, and even though the tick can cause infectious disease, there have not been any reported illnesses in animals or humans in the U.S. One of the diseases the Asian longhorned tick can transmit is a hemorrhagic illness called thrombocytopenia syndrome. According to the CDC , the illness recently emerged in China, South Korea and Japan. The syndrome causes severe fever, nausea, diarrhea and muscle pain. Most patients must be hospitalized, and almost a third of infected people have died. The tick can also carry other illnesses like Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Rochlin said that all of these illnesses can lead to severe disabilities. Asian longhorned ticks can spread quickly in favorable habitats. If you add that to their aggressive biting behavior and potential for carrying pathogens, Rochlin said the tick is a significant public health concern. + Journal of Medical Entromology Via CNN Image via James Gathany / CDC

See the original post here:
Invasive longhorned tick could spread disease across the U.S.

Major utility company Xcel Energy commits to go carbon-free by 2050

December 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Major utility company Xcel Energy commits to go carbon-free by 2050

A major utility company is making history. Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest utility company, has pledged to go completely carbon-free by 2050. The company serves eight states, and its ambitious new carbon reduction goal far exceeds its current target of a 60 percent reduction in Colorado by 2026. “Our biggest energy source in a few short years is going to be renewable energy . We’re going to absolutely integrate as much of that as we can into the grid,” said Xcel CEO Ben Fowke. The company said that it will be 80 percent carbon-free by 2030 before reaching the goal of 100 percent carbon reduction in 2050. These changes should mean more solar and wind energy  along with a reduction of coal. Fowke said that there will also be other technologies needed to meet the 100 percent carbon goal, including battery storage technology and maybe even carbon sequestration. Related: Blue dye could be the next key to harnessing renewable energy Xcel serves 3.6 million people in Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. For years, those customers have been demanding that the company make some changes. The utility company said that it really does listen to its customers, and with citizens of cities all over Colorado deciding that they want 100 percent renewable energy, Xcel decided it would be in its best interest to give the customers what they have asked for. Xcel’s commitment is the latest in announcements by large utility companies regarding huge new carbon reduction goals. Indiana’s NIPSCO sped up the retirement of multiple coal plants in favor of renewable energy, and Midwestern Utility MidAmerican announced that it would reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2020. With companies turning away from fossil fuels in favor of renewables like wind and solar, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects America’s coal consumption to soon be at its lowest level in four decades. Via CPR Image via Laura Lee Dooley

Go here to see the original:
Major utility company Xcel Energy commits to go carbon-free by 2050

This tiny home on wheels has been turned into the ultimate Hogwarts experience

November 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This tiny home on wheels has been turned into the ultimate Hogwarts experience

Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a black and red 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000 . Stepping into the compact home , fans will be able to enjoy the carefully decorated space with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ¾ – the fictional train platform located in King’s Cross Train Station in London. Related: Amazing Replica of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Wizardry Made from 400,000 LEGO Bricks However, although the details put into the home is incredibly impressive, it’s not all witchcraft and wizardry at Hogwarts Inn. The tiny home is actually a fully functional home on wheels . The dark black and wood “Gryffindor” living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney is the perfect spot for reading or re-reading J.K. Rowling’s beloved books. There are two sleeping lofts , a master Ravenclaw loft that has enough space for a double mattress and a smaller loft over the bathroom that fits a small twin mattress. This cozy space is reached by “Cupboard Under the Stairs”, which adds plenty of storage space. The kitchen comes with a large sink, fridge, and portable cooktop and the large bathroom with standard shower and vanity. Built on a RV-compliant trailer, the Hogwarts Express is also ready to travel. Additionally, LP Smartside panel siding on the exterior, double pane windows, closed cell insulation , and a portable heat/air unit make the tiny home on wheels perfect for almost any climate. + Tiny Home Builders Via Tiny House Talk Images via Tiny Home Builders

Read the original post:
This tiny home on wheels has been turned into the ultimate Hogwarts experience

A modern, solar-powered home breathes new life into the Dutch countryside

November 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on A modern, solar-powered home breathes new life into the Dutch countryside

In the Twente countryside of Rijssen, the Netherlands, Dutch practice Reitsema & partners architects and landscape architecture firm Eelerwoude recently completed a new solar-powered dwelling that — despite its contemporary design — looks surprisingly at home with its bucolic surroundings. Taking inspiration from the rural vernacular, the designers styled the three-building project after farmhouse architecture with a modern twist. Dubbed Erve BE and powered by solar energy, the energy-efficient abode consists of a main building and two annexes, all with simple gabled forms and strong sight lines to the landscape. The long and slender volumes of the Erve BE country estate were created in reference to the traditional Twente barns distinguished by their low roof gutters; the new construction is also marked by an absence of gutters to create minimalist eaves. The architects gave the barn architecture more contemporary flair with modern roof trusses and walls of glass as well as with striking patinated zinc roofs over 200 feet in length. The cladding, window frames and roof trusses were built from pre-grayed wood to blend the structures in with the environment. In addition to the abundance of glass and slender floor plan, the main residence and both annexes are set up along two axes that reinforce sight lines toward the Regge River Valley and allow for views straight through the house. Related: A historic farmhouse is transformed into a modern home with a green roof “The buildings are characterized by their slender floor plans and calmly designed roof surfaces, which appear almost as natural parts of the landscape,” the architects explained. “The house is characterized by a strong relationship between the interior and exterior. A long hallway runs along the front, linking the various functions. Large windows frame the landscape. The facilities are grouped near the entrance, and the living room and kitchen are separated by a veranda , which provides access to a patio that extends into the meadow.” Sustainability was also a guiding principle in the design. To keep energy use to a minimum, the home was built with timber-frame construction with a high insulation value. A hidden solar photovoltaic system also helps offset the electricity footprint. + Reitsema & partners architects Photography by Ronald Tilleman via Reitsema & partners architects

See the original post here:
A modern, solar-powered home breathes new life into the Dutch countryside

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 3554 access attempts in the last 7 days.