Fallingwater Institute adds four timber ‘portals’ to Frank Lloyd Wright landmark

February 15, 2017 by  
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Students participating in the Fallingwater Institute’s summer residence program will now have a beautiful new home-base from which to study the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright design and national monument. Architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed four “modest wood portals” to provide updated lodging to the rustic 1960s teaching facilities. Wright completed work on the iconic Fallingwater home in 1939. The stunning design, which was built for the Kaufmann family, sits over a waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania. Today, the home is a National Historic Landmark run by the Fallingwater Institute, which has been offering summer residency programs to architecture lovers of all ages for over 20 years. Related: Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt Trinity Chapel brought to life in vivid renderings Now, students will be able to live a bit more comfortably as they study thanks to four new cabin-like structures built on the High Meadow farm next to the main home. The new residences are made up of four wooden cabins clad in a cedar stained shale gray. On the interior, built-in shelves and most of the furniture were constructed out of simple plywood, and cork flooring is used throughout the cabins. A horizontal pine screen, which was harvested and milled on site , connects the four cabins, which all have stunning views of the surroundinga. The angled nature of the design was strategic to provide shade in the summertime while also optimizing air ventilation throughout the cabins. Bill James, project architect from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Pittsburgh office, explains that the four new cabins were designed to be subtle, but comfortable additions for summer tenants: “The building’s main entry welcomes visitors into a central screened porch, which joins the new architecture to an existing cabin and serves as the outdoor gathering and dining space,” he said. “A horizontal screen, made of Norway Spruce harvested and milled on site, extends from the main cabin and continues along the walkway leading to the dwellings.” + Fallingwater Institute + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Via Archinet Photography by Nic Lehoux

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Fallingwater Institute adds four timber ‘portals’ to Frank Lloyd Wright landmark

Bill Nye is back with new (real) science show

February 15, 2017 by  
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Scientist and television personality Bill Nye the Science Guy is returning to television with a new show, Bill Nye Saves the World . With bombastic claims about alternative facts and fake news threatening to distract us from issues that matter, Nye plans to inject a little reality into the mix with his new series. According to Netflix , where the show will air on April 21, the program will refute “antiscientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders, or titans of industry.” Nye , known for his Emmy-winning children’s program Bill Nye the Science Guy , will target a different audience through his Netflix series. Bill Nye Saves the World will feature a talk show format with what Nye referred to as essentially a monologue, guests, expert panels, and comedy pieces. He’ll approach topics as diverse as climate change , sex, and technology from a point of view that is both entertaining and scientific. Related: Bill Nye the Science Guy backs revolutionary solar company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-_HKOcYBK8 Some of Nye’s topics, specifically climate change, could be considered political, especially under a president who’s tweeted his denial of global warming . But The New York Times notes the program isn’t a reaction to the November election, as filming finished in October. And according to Nye it wasn’t the climate science community but people in fossil fuel industries that politicized the issue. He pointed out no one has to watch his show, but he does hope it will influence some people. Nye told The New York Times, “You have to be optimistic. You’re not going to solve global problems or address global issues without being optimistic. If you don’t think you can do anything about it, you won’t.” The show will feature 13 30-minute long episodes, released all at the same time. Although Nye doesn’t yet know if the new show will be renewed for a second season, he plans to continue injecting science and critical thinking into political dialogue. Via The New York Times Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and screenshot

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Bill Nye is back with new (real) science show

New net-zero Solar Farmhouse from Deltec generates all its own energy

January 24, 2017 by  
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In these uncertain times of erratic weather and changing climate patterns, net-zero energy (or NZE) is quickly becoming the gold standard in green building. If you can generate all of your own energy on site, you never need to rely on the grid or worry about energy bills. The North Carolina prefab builders at Deltec launched a line of affordable net-zero energy homes last year to great fanfare from off-grid buffs around the U.S. Now we’re thrilled to see them introduce a brand new design to this collection; a charming, classically-styled Solar Farmhouse with all of the old-fashioned curb appeal, plus the futuristic technology that makes this home achieve net-zero energy.

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New net-zero Solar Farmhouse from Deltec generates all its own energy

French schools create extra classrooms with Lego-style PopUp Houses

January 11, 2017 by  
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Two savvy private schools have just upped their learning space by almost 4,000 square feet with Multipod Studio ‘s incredible prefab Pop-Up Houses that snap together like LEGO bricks. Located in Indre-et-Loire, France, both schools went with the low-cost option not only due to budget restrictions, but also because of the structures’ sustainable materials and optimal energy performance. Low-cost and energy efficient pop ups are becoming the go-to solution for those with limited budgets in need of additional space. The PopUp House system is easy to assemble, lightweight and made with breathable materials. Constructed with insulating blocks and wooden panels, the design is a very practical system that provides optimal thermal insulation, reducing dependence on additional heating and cooling. Related: Multipod Studio’s Affordable Pop-Up House Snaps Together Like LEGO Bricks The staff at Rollinat High School and Alfred de Vigny High School worked with Multipod Studio to design the most efficient version of the structures to meet their needs. The popup building for Rollinat High School is 1614 square feet and includes two connected classrooms, while the three classrooms at Alfred de Vigny total about 2422 square feet. Once the materials were on site, the actual construction process happened (with just a screwdriver as the only required tool) in about two weeks. The final building was completed in December, 2016 and students began using their new classrooms in early January, 2017. + Multipod Studio + Arc A3 Sud Touraine Via Business Insider

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French schools create extra classrooms with Lego-style PopUp Houses

Nissan seeks zero emissions and zero fatalities with snazzy new Vmotion 2.0

January 11, 2017 by  
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The automotive industry is on fire with several new concepts unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show . Joining Chevy, Volkswagen, and others with progressive new designs, Nissan unveiled the new Vmotion 2.0 concept, which is not only a preview of Nissan’s future design language, but also a look at the autonomous Intelligent Mobility technology the company is pioneering. The Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept features Nissan Intelligent Driving, one of three core elements of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – Nissan’s roadmap to achieve zero emissions and zero fatalities. Nissan Intelligent Driving helps provide a safer driving experience through technology such as ProPILOT, which is envisioned to ultimately allow the vehicle to drive in autonomous mode – not just on the highway and in heavy traffic conditions, but also on urban roads with intersections. Related: The new Nissan Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway The overall design of the Vmotion 2.0 concept is an evolution of the design that is currently used on many of Nissan’s models, like the Maxima. While it has been reworked with crisper lines, what we’re more interested in is how the design incorporates unique details that are connected to the autonomous self driving technology . For example, the lighting around the front Nissan emblem and rear diffuser glow to indicate when the vehicle is in the autonomous ProPILOT mode. We won’t have to wait too long for the ProPILOT system to be offered in a production vehicle, since an early form of the technology has already been confirmed for the next-generation Nissan Leaf . + Nissan All images @ Nissan

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Austrian residential building relies entirely on nature for heating, cooling, and ventilation

January 3, 2017 by  
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Good design really does make all the difference when it comes to energy conservation. This residential building in Lustenau, Austria, has no active, energy-intensive heating, ventilation , or cooling systems . Instead, baumschlager eberle architects opted for passive design features that allow users to regulate indoor temperatures and ventilation themselves. The building relies on natural principles to provide optimal environmental conditions within its well-insulated stone envelope. The inner layer of this shell ensures high compressive strength, while the other layer guarantees efficient thermal insulation . Recessed windows reduce heat gains, while sensor-controlled vents fastened on the inside provide fresh air. Related: Japanese box house uses passive design to slash energy bills In cold winter weather, waste heat ensures a high energy input and the window vents only open if the volume of carbon dioxide in the room increases. During summer nights, the vents open to induce a draft for natural cooling . + baumschlager eberle Via Architizer Photos by Arch Photo, Inc.

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Austrian residential building relies entirely on nature for heating, cooling, and ventilation

Hairy house stays cool in So Paulo with a palm fiber facade

July 22, 2016 by  
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This “hairy” house in Sao Paulo is covered in palm fiber to protect the interior from excessive sunlight. Brazilian brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana designed the house for Zunino and Solange Ricoy. The house takes cues from the country’s indigenous architecture and uses piassava palm fiber to regulate indoor temperatures and provide shelter from the tropical heat. The four-story house is located in Sao Paulo’s Jardim Paulista neighborhood. According to the architects, the structure was designed as “a vegetable that invades the house”. The interior continues the theme of organic materials , featuring leather and wood that brings warmth to the living spaces. The floor was built using reclaimed hardwood , while tall cacti and climbing figs cover parts of the exterior walls. A glass roof and terrace draw additional natural light into the volume of the house. Related: Gorgeous Green-Roofed Black Sheep House Looks Out to Sea “The house is very clean, so we created those elements to bring strong, organic emotion into the house and the facade,” said the architects. “We wanted to create something like a vegetable that goes from outside of the house to the inside.” + Campana Via Dezeen Photos by Leonardo Finotti

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Hairy house stays cool in So Paulo with a palm fiber facade

Sweden’s first round Passive House boasts an innovative solar-powered balcony

April 15, 2016 by  
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Round ECOHAUS in Oman uses compressed earth bricks for a naturally cool home

March 7, 2016 by  
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Automated battery parasols modulate temperature at Argentina’s divine Hotel Casa de Uco

January 15, 2016 by  
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