Solar-powered home slides open to the Australian bush and ocean

February 23, 2018 by  
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This lovely family home isn’t just minimalist in appearance—it also emphasizes minimal landscape impact. Australian firm teeland architects designed Tinbeerwah House as a glass pavilion wrapped in sliding hardwood screens to give homeowners control over access to daylight, breezes, privacy, and views. The site-sensitive dwelling also harnesses solar energy for power, collects rainwater for potable use, and even recycles wastewater for irrigation and bush regeneration. Located in the Noosa hinterland, Tinbeerwah House features a rectangular footprint stretching north to south across 2,800 square feet. The architects chose a long and thin footprint to maximize access to ocean views and cross ventilation in every room. A spacious open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area occupy the north end of the home while the master bedroom en suite placed at south side bookends the three bedrooms, the bathrooms, and laundry room in the middle. Related: Renovated 1970s brick beach house in Australia gets new life with an elegant timber screen Set atop black concrete retaining walls , the home’s low-lying timber-clad form blends into the landscape. Floor-to-ceiling glass blurs the boundary between inside and outside, and solar gain can be controlled with sliding screens. A small orchard and terraced vegetable garden are also on site. + teeland architects Via ArchDaily Images via teeland architects , © Jared Fowler

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Solar-powered home slides open to the Australian bush and ocean

Light-filled Indianapolis home is a base for Airstream adventurers

January 12, 2018 by  
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Architecture studio Haus completed a modern energy-efficient home with its very own Airstream port. Commissioned by clients with a love of traveling, the Copperwood House in Zionsville, Indianapolis boasts passive and active green-building strategies to achieve an HERS Performance Rating of 43, that the architects say is 60% better than a standard new energy code-compliant home. The geothermal -heated home is equipped with low-energy appliances; all lighting, security, and the HVAC can be remotely controlled via smartphone. Set on a 19-acre lot with natural habitat and wetlands , the Copperwood House was carefully sited to minimize landscape disturbance and interference with an abandoned on-site pipeline. The site constraints, views, and passive solar principles informed the home’s unusual Z-shaped layout. The low-lying home is clad in thermally treated timber ash that doubles as a rainscreen system and will develop a weathered patina over time. The timber facade is complemented by white cement panels and topped with a slanted metal roof with a deep overhang. Related: Geothermal-powered Lake Austin Home is tuned in to nature Natural light pours into the modern interior through full-height glazing, clerestory windows, and skylights, some of which are operable to take advantage of the stack effect. Full-height glazing creates the appearance of living outdoors, while natural materials like cork floors and clear Southern Pine stairs tie the interiors to the landscape. The master suite and two bedrooms are located in the east wing. An open-plan dining room, kitchen, and living room are placed at the heart of the home that’s wrapped in glazing. The client’s Airstream was integrated into the design and sheltered beneath the soaring metal roof. The Airstream is connected to power, sewer, and water, and is used as a guest room and office when docked at home. + Haus Images via Haus and The Home Aesthetic

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Cozy timber home embraces the Australian bush with a split form

December 28, 2017 by  
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Moloney Architects completed the Two Halves Home, a striking timber-clad home that takes its name from its two seemingly separated but interconnected pavilions. Located in the bushland of central Victoria, the modern residence was commissioned by owner-builder clients who sought a home that embraced the outdoors and social uses, while maintaining a sense of seclusion and privacy. The resulting light-filled home gives off a contemporary yet cozy feel with large windows that invite the outdoors in. Set on a sloping site, the Two Halves Home mitigated the topography with a split form. The private and public areas are also evenly divided between the home’s two connected pavilions . “The two pavilions essentially distinguish the functions of the house, splitting the public and private zones to give the main living spaces the best views and natural light access,” said Moloney Architects Principal, Mick Moloney. Overlooking south-facing views, the open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen are designed to foster casual conversation and intimate chats through the layout and furnishings, like the custom low-set bench seat that rings the room. Related: Contemporary Invermay House handsomely pairs spotted gum with concrete The bedrooms and bathrooms located upslope are smaller and more compartmentalized in comparison to the open-plan public area. The cozy light-filled interior features birch-faced plywood finish throughout. “It’s an important form gesture that expresses the sculptural nature of the interior architecture, and accentuates the warm heart of the space,” said Moloney, referring to the uniform use of plywood. + Moloney Architects Images by Christine Francis

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Modern black house juts out like a natural extension of Quebecs forest landscape

December 1, 2017 by  
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If you haven’t tired yet of the blackened timber trend, feast your eyes on this modern retreat that’s backed up on a forested hillside in Quebec, Canada. Montreal-based studio Atelier General designed The Rock, a boxy timber home that, like its name implies, is meant to evoke a natural extension of the mountainous terrain. Full-height glazing and extensive use of wood inside and out blur the line between indoor-outdoor living. Topped with a flat roof, the two-story home avoids a monolithic appearance thanks to its main living space that, supported by slender black columns, juts out towards the landscape, shielding a carport underneath. Black-painted timber clads the 2,300-square-foot home that’s contrasted by light-toned timber used in the interior and outdoor terrace that extends into the hillside. Related: Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact The entrance is located on the smaller ground floor, which contains two bedrooms and a bathroom. A large south-facing open-plan living area, dining room, and kitchen take up the majority of the L-shaped upper level. Full-height glazing wraps around the communal area that also opens up to a small triangle-shaped deck. The master ensuite is placed between the two decks. Polish concrete floors are used throughout the home. + Atelier General Via Dezeen Images via Atelier General , photos by Adrien Williams

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Modern black house juts out like a natural extension of Quebecs forest landscape

Luxury Tree Villa communes with breathtaking nature in India

August 16, 2017 by  
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A picture-perfect getaway roosts in the treetops of west India. Architecture BRIO completed the Tree Villa, a two-story luxury getaway on the cliff of a 160-acre “treesort.” Set within the rich river landscape of Tala near the Kuda caves, the treehouse -like glass dwelling offers an immersive experience within a forested tropical setting. Architecture BRIO built the Tree Villa around existing mature trees, which grow up and through the roof, deck, and fencing, and give the structure its treehouse-like appearance. The dwelling blends into its surroundings with its thatched roof , predominately timber palette, and clean modern design. The architects wrapped the elevated Tree Villa in full-height glazing to optimize views of Tala’s stunning scenery. Tie-dyed bordered sheer curtains filter harsh sunlight during the day. The Tree Villa accommodates four adults and two children. The elevated ground floor is surrounded by an expansive timber deck and comprises a large luxurious bedroom, bathroom with mirrored slats, and a spiral staircase to the upper floor. The larger upper level also features a large timber deck in addition to a second bedroom, loft bed for children, living area, kitchen, dining room, west-facing patio, and a semi-outdoor bathroom that’s dramatically pierced by the enormous brand of an old Garuga fruit tree. The modern and minimalist open-plan interior and lack of walls reinforces the immersive experience in nature. Related: Bamboo-Veiled Dormitory by Architecture BRIO The architects write: “The volumetric compositions of partly white, partly reflective and transparent surfaces within a wooden framework animate and lighten up the space. It questions conventional definitions of exterior and interior and reinterprets notions of privacy and exposure within a hospitality environment. The spatial composition in an otherwise traditional tropical roof structure lends a sense of softness, sensuality, intimacy and complexity, making it a perfect setting for a retreat into the wilderness of Tala.” + Architecture BRIO Via ArchDaily Images © Photographix

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LEED Gold house puts a modern twist on historic Aspen architecture

May 17, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm Rowland + Broughton designed Game On, a stunning modern home sensitive to historic context and the environment in Aspen, Colorado. Crafted as a contemporary take on the West End neighborhood’s late 19th century architecture, the elegant new home uses smart technology to achieve LEED Gold certification. Solar panels power over half of Game On’s energy needs and stormwater management is seamlessly integrated into the design. Since Game On is located in a historic neighborhood, the architects prioritized site context in the design process to achieve approval from the City of Aspen’s Historic Preservation Commission . The original site contained a historic miner’s cabin that the architects preserved but moved to the northwest corner. The relocation allowed the lot to be split in half with the new build located on the southern half. The architects designed the new home with white fiber-cement siding for a clean and contemporary appearance and also added a traditional front porch and gabled roof to reference the neighborhood’s historic context. The 4,291-square-foot home consists of the main dwelling and a detached garage. The home is optimized for entertaining thanks to its open-plan layout that can accommodate a large number of guests. “Pure in form and with modern articulation, it’s modern and efficient with no unused space,” wrote the architects. Related: Black Magic home sits lightly in a mountain oasis The LEED Gold-certified home is outfitted with home automation technology and powered by solar panels mounted on the garage roof. The interior features natural materials , energy-efficient fixtures, and eco-friendly finishes free of harmful chemicals. The house design minimized erosion and site impact during construction. Stormwater runoff is managed onsite and drained into the bocce ball court, which filters the water before it flows to the aquifer. + Rowland + Broughton Via Dezeen Images via Rowland + Broughton

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Barn ruins transformed into contemporary home with spa

April 27, 2017 by  
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Parisian architecture studio Antonin Ziegler converted an abandoned barn into a metal-clad home crafted to evoke a “contemporary ruin.” Located in France’s Regional Natural Park of Boucles de la Seine, the adaptive reuse project, called The Barn, sits between a wheat field and river and was formerly used to store fodder for horses. With the barn’s weatherboarding worn away, the architects encased the timber structure in a new shell of zinc to preserve the building’s monolithic and distinctly agricultural gabled shape. The metal cladding was left untreated and will develop a patina over time. The original timber framework, however, is still visible from the outside and peeks through along a window that runs along the home’s stone foundation base. “The framework is the fundamental element of the new residence,” write the architects. “From the outside, it remains partially visible, beneath the zinc envelope, thus conferring an incomplete aspect to the construction, as though eroded by the surrounding nature. The windows and doors are visually understated: the archetypal house is kept at bay to give rise to another kind of habitat, more in keeping with the surrounding wilderness. A lone crack that pierces the roof and walls thus gives the project the appearance of a contemporary ruin .” Related: Zinc-clad Midden Studio hides a cozy interior with a see-through floor The interior echoes the facade’s simple and rustic appearance with a material palette of breezeblocks, battens, and exposed concrete. Natural light pours into the home on all sides and the windows frame views of the river and landscape. The ground floor is mostly open plan with few partitions, with the double-height kitchen, dining room, living room on one end, a double-height swimming spa on the other, and a master bedroom and utility room located in the middle. Four bedrooms are tucked away on the upper floor in the former hay loft. + Antonin Ziegler Via ArchDaily Images via Antonin Ziegler

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Solar-powered Rotterdam home wraps around an olive tree

March 15, 2017 by  
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Don’t be fooled by this Rotterdam home’s deceptively plain street-facing facade—the backside of the property reveals a strikingly sculptural home with a glazed facade that wraps around an olive tree. MVRDV designed the contemporary home, called Casa Kwantes, for a client who valued privacy and seclusion but also wanted maximum access to daylight and open living spaces. To minimize its environmental footprint, the home includes several energy-efficient systems and aims for self-sufficiency. Tucked away on the corner plot of an old hospital, the 480-square-meter Casa Kwantes is entered through an indent on its windowless, mysterious street-facing facade built with white Celosia brickwork. Upon entering the curvaceous living spaces, visitors are bathed in natural light and views of the outdoors. The full-height south-facing windows wrap around the courtyard and the focal point of the house: the olive tree . The library and the open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen are located on the first floor, while the sleeping areas are placed on the second level. Curtains provide privacy and shade. The upper floor cantilevers slightly to provide solar shading to the living spaces. Extra storage is tucked away in a small basement and an outdoor suntrap patio at the bottom of the garden offers extra paved barbecue space. “When balancing municipality requirements for a retro style architecture, the home became a contemporary take on 1930s modernism with its long, cream, shallow brickwork, full-height glazing, and the contrasting integration of the flat and fluid, open and enclosed, flexible and defined,” wrote the architects. “As the newly built homes in the vicinity are more vernacular in their modernist approach, this variation on a more avant-garde architecture has the been subject of discussions with the municipality.” Related: MVRDV unveils futuristic Y-shaped house with a rooftop pool in Tainan In addition to ample access to natural light, Casa Kwantes minimizes its energy footprint with a ground-source heat pump , heat exchange system, and rooftop solar system. The solar panels generate enough energy for the home to run entirely on renewable energy. MVRDV expects to home to be entirely self-sufficient on energy and will monitor the home for testing over the next year. + MVRDV Images © Ossip van Duivenbode

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China approves massive new park for endangered leopards and tigers

March 15, 2017 by  
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China just approved a massive new national park to help protect endangered big cats . The 5,637 square mile park – which will be 60 percent bigger than America’s Yellowstone National Park – will serve as a sanctuary for Siberian tigers and Amur leopards. Big cats have struggled in northeast China, where the park will be built. Excessive logging deteriorated the ecosystem and caused the population of wild Siberian tigers to plummet dramatically. A field survey by scientists from the United States, Russia, and China found signs of just six to nine of the tigers in the area in 1998. A 2015 northeast China logging ban may have helped; now experts estimate there are around 27 Siberian tigers there. Meanwhile Amur leopards are critically endangered , according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which said there are only over 60 of these animals still alive in the world. Related: Russia built a critical wildlife corridor to help save endangered big cats Small habitat areas have prompted Siberian tigers and Amur leopards to roam into residential areas looking for food, according to EcoWatch, which quoted a Jilin Forestry Department spokesperson as saying to ease conflict between humans and the big cats, they will relocate some communities and factories currently inside the area for the park. China’s new national park will be in the provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang, bordering Russia . The park will include a monitoring and rescue center for wild big cats, along with research facilities. WWF Beijing’s Species Program Director Fan Zhiyong said the initiative could help improve cooperation between the two countries to conserve wildlife . Jilin Forestry Department Director Lan Hongliang also said they expected the national park to act as a channel for international interchange on protecting wild animals. The Jilin government said they will start preparing for national park management by the end of this year. According to Xinhua, a plan and pilot park could be finished before 2020. Via Xinhua and EcoWatch Images via Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr and PublicDomainPictures.net

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European firms eye artificial island for North Sea wind and solar farm

March 15, 2017 by  
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Of all the opponents of wind turbines , few are as vociferous as the loose collective that planners and developers deride as “Nimby,” a term that derives from the acronym for “not in my backyard.” Driven to stake out real estate further offshore, a group of European companies have devised a plan almost breathtaking in its audacity: create a vast artificial island in the middle of the tumultuous North Sea, populate the area around it with thousands of spinning pylons, and drum up enough renewable energy for millions of Europeans by 2050. The venture, born of the 2050 goals laid out by the Paris agreement on climate change , is a collaboration between Denmark’s Energinet and the German and Dutch arms of electricity firm TenneT . To solidify the partnership, the companies will be meeting with Maroš Šef?ovi?, the European Commissioner for Energy, at the North Seas Energy Forum in Brussels next week to sign a trilateral agreement. If greenlit, the proposed 2.5-square-mile Power Link Island, also known as the North Sea Wind Power Hub, will boast its own harbor, air strip, solar farm, and artificial lake, along with homes for in-residence staff. Early estimates place the price of construction in the ball park of $1.3 billion. Dogger Bank, a large sandbank about 62 miles off the east coast of England, is thought to be the ideal location for the island because it’s centrally located, has waters shallow enough for turbines, and is buffeted by constant wind. Related: China is building artificial islands in disputed South China Sea territory Underwater transmission lines, coursing with energy, could potentially power the homes of 80 million people in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Belgium. By linking the energy markets of those countries, Power Link Island could facilitate international trading in electricity. It could even consolidate energy by serving as a connective hub for other, scattered wind farms or bud off smaller but similar enclaves. “This project can significantly contribute to a completely renewable supply of electricity in Northwest Europe,” said Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT. There’s another upside: An island of significant scope could, through economies of scale, also whittle down costs. “Offshore wind has in recent years proved to be increasingly competitive and it is important to us to constantly focus on further reduction in prices of grid connections and interconnections,” said Peder Østermark Andreasen, CEO of Energinet. “We need innovative and large-scale projects so that offshore wind can play an even bigger part in our future energy supply.” + Energinet + TenneT Via The Next Web

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