Renovated 1960s bungalow in Belgium is more energy-efficient than ever

January 18, 2017 by  
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A few simple steps can turn an average home into a modern marvel. Architecture firm Urbain Architectencollectief gave this 1960s bungalow in Belgium a contemporary renovation , transforming it into a daylit family house that maximizes the use of its garden. The team introduced an extension, repurposed the garage into a kids’ playroom, and vastly improved the home’s overall energy-efficiency. The new plan blurs the line between interior spaces and the garden, accentuating the connection through the use of large windows and offering direct access to terraces . The existing rooms on the northern side of the house now function as the entrance hall, bathroom, storage rooms and a private office space. The living room was placed facing the south, benefiting from large windows and sliding doors also connected to the garden. Ensuring an abundance of natural light also helps to reduce energy use. Related: Rescued 1927 Austin bungalow gets new life as a sweet new solar-powered home Exposed wooden beams and timber cladding give warmth to the renovated bungalow, while a steel profile, resting on two steel columns, helps support the new flat roof. A new layer of insulation ensures superior energy efficiency. + Urbain Architectencollectief Via Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by Filip Dujardin

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Renovated 1960s bungalow in Belgium is more energy-efficient than ever

Sierra Nevada brewery installs 1 MWh Tesla Powerpack system

January 18, 2017 by  
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Sierra Nevada Brewing company just installed 500 kilowatts/1 megawatt-hour of Tesla Powerpack batteries at its Chico, California brewery. The Powerpack energy storage system is being used by the craft beer maker for peak shaving (reducing energy purchased from the utility company during peak demand hours) during the energy-intensive brewing process. Sierra Nevada can brew 1.4 million gallons of beer onsite at a time. The beer company is powered by solar energy — 10,751 solar panels on rooftops and the parking lot generating 2.6 megawatts of solar electricity, the largest onsite solar installation of any US brewery. The facility also includes two megawatts of Capstone microturbines. The battery storage system, solar array and microturbines allow the company to offset 20 percent of its annual electricity usage. Related: Tesla to power Gigafactory with world’s largest solar rooftop installation The Powerpacks are designed for utilities and businesses while the Powerwalls are made for residential usage. Both the Powerpack and the Powerwall is assembled at the Tesla Gigafactory near Sparks, Nevada. Tesla recently began large-scale battery production at the Gigafactory. Tesla is also building a massive 20 megawatt/80 megawatt-hour Powerpack system at Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation in Ontario, California — the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is upbeat on the energy storage industry, saying recently that the commercial and residential stationary battery storage market will “have a growth rate probably several times that of what the car business is per year,” calling it a “super-exponential growth rate.” + Sierra Nevada + Tesla Via The Verge Images via Sierra Nevada

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MIT and Google design a temporary office meeting space that drops down from the ceiling

September 30, 2016 by  
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MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and Google teamed up to design this innovative system called Transformable Meeting Spaces. The structure can be pulled down from the ceiling to enclose a 10-feet-wide and 8-feet-tall space that can fit up to eight people. Users can simply push the structure up once the  meeting ends. Related: Stacked timber beams act as multi-use office furniture in this renovated barn in Belgium https://vimeo.com/183045783 The retractable shell is fixed to the ceiling and constructed from 36 interconnected fiberglass rods. Felt lines its interior in order to muffle the outside noise, while plywood sheets envelop the structure as an exoskeleton. + Self-Assembly Lab Via ZDNet

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21 unarmed Dakota Access Pipeline protestors arrested during prayer ceremony

September 30, 2016 by  
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Protesters demanding the end of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline had another run-in with police this week when the Morton County Sheriff’s Department interrupted a peaceful prayer ceremony at two sites on the reservation. About 40 law enforcement officers arrived in armored vehicles and arrested 21 protestors total. The ceremony apparently involved the planting of willow and corn – hardly actions that could be mistaken by law enforcement as violent or threatening. In a press release , the police department alleges that a protester on horseback charged at an officer. However, video of at least three riders on horseback doesn’t seem to match the description made by the officers. According to the Indian Country news site, Kyle Kirchmeier, the sheriff of Morton County, has come under fire in the past for spreading false information about the protests – including allegations that the protesters had pipe bombs. (As it turns out, the objects he claimed were bombs were actually sacred pipes used in ceremonies.) Related: What is the Dakota Access Pipeline project? We explain… The arrests follow multiple standoffs between the police the peaceful protestors who have gathered to air their concerns over the proposed oil pipeline , which could destroy sacred Sioux sites and poses a danger to the soil and groundwater that the Standing Rock tribe depends on. In early September, the oil company backing the project, Energy Transfer Partners, unleashed security dogs on the protesters, resulting in several injuries. In the past month, there have been dozens of arrests for trespassing on construction sites and blocking equipment. While the US government has attempted to block the pipeline , the continued conflict shows that the battle is far from over. Via EcoWatch Images via Tomas Alejo and Tony Webster

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Temporary pavilion by Frank Havermans references traditional Dutch farmhouses

September 22, 2016 by  
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Overlooking a newly built channel in The Netherlands, the pavilion stands out from the tranquil, pastoral surroundings as a rib cage-like structure with sharp angles. It combines corrugated steel , plywood and plastic that make up its shell, roof and siding, referencing traditional wooden-truss frames and gabled roofs of the old local residences. Related: Floating timber pavilion transforms a Swiss lake into an exciting new public square “By charging this construction with several elements from classic farmhouse typology in combination with simple low budget materials I created an experimental hybrid construction,” said Havermans. “This pavilion references the architectural heritage and also has a futuristic appearance in the landscape,” he added. Related: Dutch studios RAAAF and Studio Frank Havermans build ominous futuristic mobile shelter in the name of peace The platform is made from rough-sawn douglas wood boards, while the corrugated metal frames and plastic wrap around the base and shelter a seating structure. Another bench is formed along the exterior of the pavilion. The architect coated the plywood trusses with black rubber to protect it from the elements. + Frank Havermans + Stichting Fabrikaat Via Dezeen Photos by René de Wit

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Temporary pavilion by Frank Havermans references traditional Dutch farmhouses

17th Century Parisian apartment with a hidden slurry pit transformed into an open plan studio

January 12, 2016 by  
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Outdoor living classroom constantly evolves to bring children closer to nature

November 9, 2015 by  
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This tiny “e-mailable” solar house snaps together like a 3D puzzle without a single nail

October 8, 2015 by  
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World’s tiniest snail fits inside the eye of a needle

October 8, 2015 by  
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Tiny living has taken on a whole new meaning with the discovery of a new mollusk in China . The world’s tiniest land snail, also known as Angustopila dominikae , was found in Guangxi Province, China. The little guy takes residence in a spiral shell smaller than one millimeter. That’s so tiny that it fits snugly inside the eye of a needle. Read the rest of World’s tiniest snail fits inside the eye of a needle

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Henry Island Residence is an off-the-grid family retreat for a Grammy-winning music producer

April 9, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Henry Island Residence is an off-the-grid family retreat for a Grammy-winning music producer Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , Bohlin Cywinski Jackson , cedar , green architecture , green roof , green roofed house , Henry Island residence , house on stilts , pavilion , plywood , washington architecture

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