Barrel-shaped wooden pod retreat in France inspired by real life ‘bird charmer’

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Barrel-shaped wooden pod retreat in France inspired by real life ‘bird charmer’

Mr Plocq’s Caballon is a beautiful 160-square-foot wooden pod located on the banks of the Loire river estuary. The pod’s unique design was inspired by the life of real-life bird charmer Émile Plocq, who supposedly built his own boat to follow migrating birds to Africa. Architects Aurélie Poirrier, Igor-Vassili Pouchkarevtch-Dragoche, and Vincent O’Connor created the barrel-shaped retreat by combining techniques used in naval and airplane carpentry, resulting in a fun boat-like hull topped with a transparent “cockpit” shell. The architectural team designed the pod for the local “Imaginary Nights” celebration, an annual event hosted by tourism board, Loirestu . Every year, the festival chooses a fun movable housing concept to be used as a guest retreat located along the Loire estuary in the west of France. This year, Mr Plocq’s Caballon’s inventive backstory, along with its great compact design , earned the pod its place in the event. Related: Egg-shaped GreenPod office lets you work from almost anywhere The tiny pod ‘s barrel shape was strategic to optimize the interior space despite its compact volume . The design basically comprises a ship-like wooden hull on the bottom, topped by a transparent cockpit partially covered by white canvas. Access to the interior is by a double swing door that opens up vertically as the steps fold out to the ground. There are two private areas in the interior, the bedroom and the bathroom, which are separated by a wooden door. The bedroom is located in the cockpit area, whose transparent glazing allows guests to sleep under the stars. The remaining hull space is the small bathroom with a sink and dry toilet , which is reached by a hollow 360° rotating door inserted into double wall behind the bed. The innovative “shower airlock” door allows guests ultimate privacy when turned inwards towards the bathroom. + Aurélie Poirrier + Igor-Vassili Pouchkarevtch-Dragoche + Vincent O’Connor Via Archdaily Photography by Corentin Schieb , Aurélie Poirrier

Read the original here: 
Barrel-shaped wooden pod retreat in France inspired by real life ‘bird charmer’

Rocks in Canada hold oldest evidence of life we’ve found

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Rocks in Canada hold oldest evidence of life we’ve found

3.95 billion-year-old rocks could offer the oldest evidence we’ve found for life on Earth . A team led by the University of Tokyo found graphite in Labrador, Canada that they think is biogenic, or produced by living organisms. They contend this is the oldest evidence of life, as opposed to microfossils found earlier in Quebec , saying the dating process used in the latter was highly controversial. In March, the journal Nature published the findings of an international team of researchers who’d found fossils in Quebec that they said could be between 3.77 and 4.28 billion years old. Now, nine scientists at institutions in Japan say they’ve actually found the oldest evidence of life on this planet, and it’s in 3.95 billion-year-old rocks. Related: World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion years old These researchers found graphite in sedimentary rocks. Tsuyoshi Komiya of the University of Tokyo said, “Our samples are also the oldest supracrustal rocks preserved on Earth.” Phys.org pointed out the Quebec fossils were found in a similar formation. The Japan team measured the isotope composition of the graphite to find it was biogenic, although the identity of the organisms that produced the graphite or their appearance are mysteries. Komiya said the team could work to identify the organisms by scrutinizing “other isotopes such as nitrogen, sulphur, and iron of the organic matter and accompanied materials.” They can also analyze the rock’s chemical composition to try and figure out the organisms’ environment . Other researchers, like geochemist Daniele Pinti of the University of Quebec at Montreal, seem impressed by the new team’s findings and process. He told CBC News, “For the moment, it looks very convincing.” Phys.org said that should the discovery be accurate, it would mean life sprung up on Earth a geological second after the planet formed around 4.5 billion years ago. Nature published the new study this week. Via Phys.org and CBC News Images via Wikimedia Commons and Tashiro, Takayuki, et al.

Excerpt from: 
Rocks in Canada hold oldest evidence of life we’ve found

This twisting tower is made out of 2,000 3D-printed terracotta bricks

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This twisting tower is made out of 2,000 3D-printed terracotta bricks

A team of researchers and students from the HKU Faculty of Architecture worked with Holger Kehne of Plasma Studio to create a beautiful twisted tower out of 2,000 3D-printed terracotta bricks. Each clay brick used to create the Ceramic Constellation Pavilion was individually printed in a unique shape or size using innovative robotic technology, which prints at a faster pace than most 3D printing machines and provides incredible versatility in the building process. The 12-foot pavilion was part of the inaugural “Robotic Architecture Series” workshop hosted by international property developer, Sino Group . All of the materials used in the project were made in the Robotics Lab at HKU’s Faculty of Architecture. By building the 3D tower the team sought to test the feasibility of robotically printed terracotta bricks. The printing process means that the clay bricks can be configured into distinct shapes and densities, adding an invaluable versatility to the design process. Related: Perforated screens made from reused terracotta tiles wrap around this house in Malaysia The team began with about 1,500 pounds of raw terracotta clay . Using the university’s innovative robotic technology with a rapid print time of 2 or 3 minutes for each brick, it took about three weeks to print the materials. After firing the bricks in an oven at 1,877 degrees Fahrenheit, students from the HKU Department of Architecture assembled the beautiful pavilion during the ten day workshop. + HKU Faculty of Architecture + Sino Group + Plasma Studio

Original post: 
This twisting tower is made out of 2,000 3D-printed terracotta bricks

Puerto Rico electricity crisis sparks interest in renewable energy

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Puerto Rico electricity crisis sparks interest in renewable energy

Hurricane Maria has left swaths of Puerto Rico without power – and millions of people could have to go without electricity for months . The storm’s devastation has stirred new interest in obtaining more energy from clean sources like solar or wind . Energy experts say increasing renewables and transitioning from centralized grids to microgrids could boost resilience as Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands weather storms. CARICOM, a Caribbean nation consortium, already hoped to hit 47 percent renewable energy by 2027. The recent hurricanes could act as a motivation to work for that goal. Caribbean countries in the past have relied mostly on imported fossil fuels , which are expensive both for the islands and for the environment . And storms can cripple power lines. Related: Puerto Rico could be without electricity for months due to Hurricane Maria There is an alternative, according to The Washington Post. Renewable sources, coupled with battery storage , powering small grids could offer more resiliency. Fossil fuels would offer backup—at least initially until battery storage becomes more affordable. The microgrids could be connected to a main grid but could also be isolated. With this new setup, the Caribbean could benefit from trade winds and solar panels. According to renewable energy expert Tom Rogers, who works at Britain’s Coventry University, solar systems in the tropics can “generate over one and a half times more than exactly the same PV system” installed in a location with a higher latitude like Europe. Rogers told The Washington Post, “You look at islands like Dominica, Anguilla, and other islands affected by the recent hurricanes, I’ve spoken to a couple of the utilities, and they say they would prefer to rebuild using distributed generation with storage, and just trying to reduce the amount of transmission lines. Because that’s where their energy systems fail. It’s having these overhead cables.” Via The Washington Post Images via Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos/Puerto Rico National Guard and NOAA Satellites Twitter

More here:
Puerto Rico electricity crisis sparks interest in renewable energy

Solar-powered Villa H is a modern glass-fronted home in the Dutch dunes

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Solar-powered Villa H is a modern glass-fronted home in the Dutch dunes

Natural materials converge in the beautiful, tailor-made Villa H (Villa Hupkes) tucked into Rotterdam’s dune landscape. Architecture firm BERG + KLEIN designed this modern home for a client who wanted a warm and minimalist dwelling that embraced the landscape. Fronted with floor-to-ceiling glass, Villa H opens up to the garden and maintains a relatively low environment footprint with its use of solar energy, green roof, and air-driven heat pump. Built primarily of concrete, stained Western Red Cedar , and natural stone, Villa H features a muted materials palette that helps blend the structure into the surroundings. The low-lying building is spread across three levels: the basement level with a garage, the main living spaces on the ground floor, and the accessible landscaped roof. The ground-floor living area features an open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining area on one end and the bedroom and study on the opposite. A staircase between two concrete walls is located at the center of the home. Related: Unique asymmetrical home in the Netherlands takes a novel approach to sustainability The ground floor opens out via sliding glass doors to a terrace that doubles as an outdoor living space. These sliding glass openings and other windows promote natural ventilation . Timber brise-soleils slide along a track in front of the glazed sections to deflect sunlight, reducing solar heat gain while providing privacy. The inhabitat.com/tag/cantilever/ cantilevered roof also helps provide shade. Electricity is partially provided through rooftop solar cells. + BERG + KLEIN Via ArchDaily Images © Christian Richters

Original post: 
Solar-powered Villa H is a modern glass-fronted home in the Dutch dunes

Bad Behavior has blocked 1358 access attempts in the last 7 days.