New Arizona highrise takes sustainable luxury to another level

September 7, 2020 by  
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This 12-story residential tower doesn’t just boast an impressive luxury highrise  condominium  design, but also an award-winning green building design. The luxurious 7180 Optima Kierland is located in one of North Scottsdale’s most desirable areas, with lavish amenities throughout and a vertical landscape system with self-containing irrigation. The building debuted a new  green  design created by David Hovey Jr., Optima’s president and head architect. The architectural firm has already earned a reputation for its unique buildings that marry design with innovation and sustainability. Related: A massive green wall grows up the side of this luxury Italian hotel Both the rooftop and ground level feature  luxury  amenities. The 12th floor Sky Deck includes a cutting edge design that utilizes railings just beyond the skyline to create a negative-edge view, giving residents the sensation of floating above the city. The top floor Sky Deck also contains the state’s first rooftop running track, a heated lap pool, various seating areas and a spa complete with cold plunge pools, a steam room, a sauna and hydrotherapy capabilities. There is also an outdoor theater, indoor screening area, a fire pit area and an indoor/outdoor fitness studio. On the ground floor, residents enjoy an additional gym and spa, a covered dog park and dog wash, a game room, a catering room and more. Sustainable elements include perforated panels on the facade along with sun-screening louvers to create textured shadows. During construction, builders used post-tension concrete and aluminum. A variety of energy-efficient and carbon-reducing design aspects, combined with water-conserving plumbing fixtures, give the building added eco-friendly elements. The building’s most impressive  sustainable  feature has to be the innovative vertical landscape system; built-in self-containing irrigation and drainage allow for vibrant, colorful plants that start at the edge of each floor and grow up and over the building. A six-acre park accented by a water feature and landscaped with  drought-resistant , desert climate plants surrounds the building. This green space helps reduce ambient temperature, creating a microclimate that lowers the temperature by between five and nine degrees. + Optima Kierland Images via Optima Kierland

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New Arizona highrise takes sustainable luxury to another level

This dad built a backyard coffee shop with repurposed materials

July 28, 2020 by  
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When Julianna Astrid posted about the DIY coffee shop that her dad, Ed, built in his  backyard , her social media blew up with supportive comments. The impressive backyard cafe uses only repurposed construction materials, combined with various pieces from swap meets, antique stores and thrift stores. Ed works full time as a contractor in Orange County and took unused  building materials  from past projects to build the structure. He finished the job in just three months, working on the weekends and after his regular work hours to complete the passion project. Related: San Francisco superdad builds homemade roller coaster in his backyard As daughter Julianna explained to  Newsweek , “My dad is a contractor and has been on so many job sites where he has to throw old materials away to make room for the new remodels ; but he saved some of the ‘trash’ from numerous jobs and repurposed it to create his coffee shop; these things included materials to build the structure, the coffee shops doors and the front window!” The mini coffee shop, or “La Vida” as Ed has named it, serves as a place to relax and enjoy a brew with friends and family. The design features a painted wooden exterior and interior, a bar area under one of the glass windows and a dedicated outside patio with string lights and seating. A cute pastry case and a mini-fridge filled with cold  coffee  beverages fill out the space. From the chalk menu board to the cozy chess table in the corner, you’d never know that you were in someone’s private backyard rather than an actual cafe. Julianna originally posted about La Vida on her TikTok in March before  tweeting  about it in June. Since then, the Twitter post has received over 37,000 retweets and 302,000 likes. According to Julianna, her dad has always loved coffee and building, so this project came naturally for the hardworking contractor. The space is still a work in progress, with Ed keeping an eye out for different types of coffee beans from around the world and unique pieces from second-hand stores to stock his shop. In the future, he plans on making  YouTube  videos teaching people to build things for their homes. + ELS Builds Via Twitter Images via Julianna Astrid

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This dad built a backyard coffee shop with repurposed materials

Work from home in this minimalist, modular 15-sided cabin

July 6, 2020 by  
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As the newest member of the Hello Wood cabin family, the Workstation Cabin offers the perfect tranquil retreat designed specifically to inspire creativity. Described as “the future of meeting rooms,” this unique workspace has a modern interior made of Scots pine wood and complemented by large windows. Prefabricated using state-of-the-art technology, this  modular  cabin was designed on the computer and built using a computer numerical control machine. With 15 sides, the structure looks different from every angle. Insulation  protects the compact structure’s occupants from harsh weather and helps the cabin adapt to the changing seasons. The home also features designated spaces for built-in air conditioning, electrical outlets and wifi capabilities. While the unique cabin primarily functions as an  office space , it can also transform into a meeting area, children’s playroom or even a guest room. Related: Hello Wood unveils a tiny cabin that sleeps up to 8 people While each  minimalist  cabin is delivered turn-key and includes a built-in workbench and electrical outlet, Hello Wood also offers several customizable add-ons and services. Usual features include heating and air conditioning, but customers can also choose to incorporate mood lighting, a sound system or television inside. Outside the cabin, customers can even add landscaping and a terrace. The gross floor area measures about 107 square feet with an interior area of about 86 square feet, and the total height, including legs, measures in at just under 12 feet.  Thanks to the modular  prefab  design, installation only takes a few days. Potential owners need only have about 14.2 x 11.1 x 11.8 feet of space. Even better, any module can be easily replaced if necessary, meaning if one portion gets damaged, repairs can take place without demolition work affecting the rest of the structure. The cabin achieves its low environmental footprint through its small size and low energy consumption, as well as its use of renewable materials. + Hello Wood Photography by Zsuzsa Darab

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Work from home in this minimalist, modular 15-sided cabin

Villa in Vietnam prioritizes natural light and green space

July 1, 2020 by  
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Step into K-Villa+, located in C?n Th?, Vietnam. Finished in 2020, this villa maximizes open spaces for natural light and prioritizes environmentally-inclusive design with a  green roof  and tropical-style garden. The villa is located near the Mekong River in the center of H?ng Phú, a newly-established residential area close to public transportation. Designed by Space + Architecture, the roughly 19,375-square-foot villa boasts a low building density, a green roof and a rainwater collection system. K-Villa+ is one of few private residences in the country to be certified by the Vietnam Green Building Council. The garden space incorporates a variety of  trees  native to the local area, including mango, palm, milkfruit, bougainvillea and plumeria. An ecological fish pond on the property features aquatic plants such as lotus, water lily and centella. Related: A rich vegetable garden grows atop a unique home in Vietnam Going with the overall eco-friendly theme, the designers paid specific attention to  natural ventilation  for the project. This area of Vietnam experiences a typical monsoon season with natural circulating air, which the designers worked with, using wide-open spaces, breeze block walls and a specific door layout to maximize airflow. Controlled air flows into the building to help keep the interior cool, and the green roof helps reduce thermal radiation. Additionally, the tropical weather in the region presents excellent opportunities for  natural light . Large windows and openings work harmoniously for regulated airflow and light, along with an indoor garden and skylight. An artfully-designed spiral staircase exposes the interior to even more light, while the property fence is made of a combination of cut out steel and glass. At nighttime, occupants can switch to an automatic lighting system and energy-efficient LED lights. The villa employs a  rain reuse system  to help irrigate its many plants, with plans to turn the system into a drinking water source. The gardens are landscaped with grasscrete brick to reduce concrete surfaces, increase natural plant composition and help to drain rainwater. Eco-friendly materials such as un-baked brick and certified-sustainable wood were painted with non-VOC paint to avoid harmful emissions. + Space + Architecture Via Archdaily Images via Space + Architecture

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Villa in Vietnam prioritizes natural light and green space

The Denali XL is a spacious, rustic tiny home on wheels

June 18, 2020 by  
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Offered by Alabama-based Timbercraft Tiny Homes, the spacious and rustic Denali XL tiny home is based on the popular, smaller Denali model. Denali XL features 399 square feet of floor space, not including the 65-square-foot loft above the bathroom. The company has stretched the standard Denali from 37 feet long to 42 feet long on a wide trailer with wheels to help get this luxurious tiny home from point A to point B. Tall ceilings and window-filled walls give this house an airy feel. Powered skylights  in the living room open automatically via timers or rain sensors, or manually with a wall switch. Thoughtfully-designed shiplap walls, stained wood ceilings, hardwood floors and Sierra Pacific wood-clad windows fill the space. Related: This tiny home on wheels features white shiplap walls In the kitchen, a 24-inch four-burner gas range with a full oven makes it easy to cook an entire meal. The kitchen also features a summit refrigerator with a roomy freezer on the bottom, a trash compactor and dishwasher. Quartz countertops and under-cabinet lighting add a touch of class, and a farm sink with spray nozzle faucet adds to the functional, rustic-chic style of the entire home. Kitchen cabinets are built in-house at Timbercraft and include soft close hinges and a wide range of options for colors and finish. The house is heated and cooled with two internal 9,000 BTU mini-split units located in both the kitchen and bedroom. Spray foam  insulation  adds to the heating and cooling efficiency. The bathroom is located behind a sliding stained wood door, complete with a luxurious steam shower with subway tile and sealed glass, an incinerating toilet and a ventilation fan that controls the humidity inside. Additionally, a hidden compartment in the bathroom stores a washer-dryer combo. A loft-style bedroom sits atop a set of storage stairs. The bedroom includes space for a king bed and storage underneath, additional controlled skylights above the bed and a large walk-in closet. The model shown here also has a secondary loft for another bedroom above the living room. + Timbercraft Tiny Homes Images via Timbercraft Tiny Homes

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The Denali XL is a spacious, rustic tiny home on wheels

This tiny home on wheels features white shiplap walls

June 11, 2020 by  
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The Heritage  tiny home  by Summit doesn’t sacrifice style for convenience. It features a spacious loft bedroom, a bay window bump out of the living room and a galley kitchen with white shiplap walls. This tiny house is designed for full-time living and comes in two sizes, the 24-foot Heritage and the 28-foot Heritage. Each model comes move-in ready with $6,000 to $8,000 worth of built-in upgrades, coming to a total of $69,999 and $78,500 respectively. The models are built on a trailer with a two-foot bay window that extends over the edge, two large  skylights  over the bedroom loft and a living room filled with windows to allow ample natural light. Related: A tiny home on wheels with brilliant interiors and two lofts can be yours for $56K The kitchen comes with a 24″  farmhouse  sink, gas stove, quartz counters, a full-size refrigerator, shelving units for a pantry and an off-grid 20″ propane range hood. Since the tiny homes are made-to-order, buyers can customize everything from the exterior color and storage options to updated kitchen appliances and washer/dryer combinations. The 24-foot Heritage provides 220 square feet of living space, while the 28-foot Heritage offers 250 square feet. Designers offer upgraded premium options for sustainability features as well, such as  solar panels , rainwater collection and a composting toilet. Stylistically, the Heritage features a modern-meets-rustic aesthetic, with its bright white shiplap and numerous windows that capture the feel of a larger family home on a smaller scale. The kitchen’s butcher block countertops, soft close shaker cabinets, 24″ fridge-freezer combination and the potential for a washer/dryer combo provide modern creature comforts with all the convenience of a  home on wheels . For storage, the staircase comes with built-in compartments, and there is a 28″ storage closet with rod and shelf (34″ in the larger model). The bathroom has a built-in vanity and shelving, with either a 48″ shower with glass door for the smaller model, or a 60″ tub and shower combo in the larger model. There is also a standard flushing toilet below the bathroom window and upgraded black fixtures throughout. + Summit Tiny Homes

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This tiny home on wheels features white shiplap walls

3XNs green-roofed offices to sport an elevated cycling path in Stockholm

June 11, 2020 by  
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Danish architecture firm 3XN has won a design competition for Kvarter 15 (District 15), a new office that will revitalize Stockholm’s Östra Hagastaden neighborhood with eye-catching architecture, public spaces and an elevated pedestrian and cyclist pathway that will connect the city with the nature-rich Hagaparken and Brunnsviken. Conceived as both a destination and an experience for the surrounding community, the mixed-use building will offer flexible office spaces for tenants and new attractions and amenities for the public. Moreover, the building will be engineered to protect the adjacent park from the noise and environmental pollution from the nearby highway. Green roofs will help retain rainwater as well. Developed for Swedish real estate company Atrium Ljungberg, Kvarter 15 will occupy a long, wedge-shaped plot and provide a new connection to Stockholm’s northern city gate from the old “quarry” to the public Hagaparken park and lake Brunnsviken. The adjacent Hagaparken shaped the design of the building, which features an undulating profile and terraced levels along its east facade for a smooth visual transition between the building and the park. The lower terraces will connect to the elevated pathway for pedestrians and cyclists, and portions of the roof will be landscaped and possibly topped with solar panels. In contrast, its western facade that faces the city more strongly resembles its urban neighbors. Related: 3XN unveils LEED Platinum-seeking Forskaren innovation center in Stockholm The undulating facade has also been engineered to allow for numerous flexible office spaces optimized for natural light and views of Hagaparken and Brunnsviken. Ground-level retail, restaurants, cafes, new urban spaces and landscaped plazas will activate the streetscape to aid in the urban revitalization of Östra Hagastaden. The offices will be designed to encourage “social synergies” and collaboration between the building tenants. ”There is a need to create spaces that stimulate people’s imagination and creativity,” said Jan Ammundsen, 3XN’s senior partner in charge of the project. “In a complex building with many tenants, it’s crucial to provide options for knowledge sharing and inspiration across the various organizations and people.” + 3XN Images via 3XN

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3XNs green-roofed offices to sport an elevated cycling path in Stockholm

This dreamy eco villa runs on solar and wind energy

June 8, 2020 by  
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Located inside the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in the municipality of Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Casa Bautista is a private oasis hidden in the coastal rainforest and completely powered by  solar  and wind energy. The  reserve  area can be found less than 40 miles from the center of tourist-friendly Tulum. It was established as a natural reserve in 1986 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site shortly after. This region is known for its natural limestone cenotes, archaeological ruins and, thanks to the healthy coral reef just off the coast, incredible snorkeling. Related: Prefab eco-pods offer luxury lodging in any environment One of the most unique aspects of this  eco resort’s architectural design is the color. To build the main structure, designers used an organic blue cast concrete that reacts to sun exposure throughout the day. Depending on the time of day and sun exposure, the color tones of the house range from various shades of blue to light pink and orange. Aimed at providing sustainable luxury, Casa Bautista is built on raised cross-shaped columns to reduce environmental impact on-site and to provide undisturbed views over the dunes between the property and the Caribbean sea. Terraces and pergolas situated throughout the house are made of locally-sourced wood, and an extended L-shaped floor plan provides natural cross  ventilation . The L-shape protects much of the interior from gaining too much sun exposure, while simultaneously providing adequate natural light during the day. Thanks to the cross breeze generated from the open design, only the bedrooms need air conditioning. A spiral staircase made with the same color-changing blue concrete connects all three levels of the structure. The middle floor and large roof terrace house much of the interior living space, while a pool and outdoor dining room are located on the top floor. A small tower off the master bedroom can be used as an additional space for work or meditation. Terraces also include a folding mechanism that can be raised and lowered to turn the residence into a “robust closed box” in the event of a hurricane. + PRODUCTORA Images via Onnis Luque

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This dreamy eco villa runs on solar and wind energy

Heimplanet celebrates 9 years of innovative inflatable tents

June 5, 2020 by  
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For almost a decade, Heimplanet has offered adventure-seekers an option for quick and easy tent set up in a variety of environments. The company first released a line of inflatable tents in 2011; now, with summer 2020 approaching, Heimplanet is reminding  outdoor  enthusiasts that there has never been a better time to go camping. Founders Stefan Clauss and Stefan Schulze Dieckhoff got the idea for the inflatable tents while on a trip to Portugal in 2003. Traveling along the coast to surf, the two often found themselves setting up their  camp  late at night and experiencing the inconveniences of conventional tents, such as fussing with poles in the dark and the rain. Related: The North Face unveils a geodesic tent that can withstand 60 mph winds The company offers four regular tent models that sleep one to six people and are built to tolerate 80 mph winds. The four models include Fistral, The Cave, Backdoor and Nias. Those seeking a  tent  developed for more extreme use can also splurge for the Maverick, which features room for up to 10 people and the capacity to handle wind speeds up to roughly 111 mph. The inflatable tents incorporate an “Inflatable Diamond Grid” consisting of an inflatable,  modular  cage-like structure that works as a geodesic dome and says goodbye to traditional tent poles. This design allows for high stability even in volatile weather conditions — the company’s Maverick model has even protected researchers and equipment in Antarctica. Thanks to the patented multi-chamber system, the tent’s entire frame is inflated and divided into separate chambers with one easy step that takes under one minute. This multi-chamber system gives the tent its stability, while also ensuring that if one air chamber is damaged the other chambers will keep the rest of the tent erect. Separate chambers can also be replaced or repaired individually, prolonging the life of the whole structure. Resistant double-layer construction combining an airtight thermoplastic polyurethane bladder on the inside and strong polyester fabric on the outside keeps the tent  insulated  and protected. Heimplanet is also part of the 1% For the Planet community, pledging 1% of sales to environmental preservation and restoration. The company has also recently implemented a “re-store” program that  restores  and repairs used models. + Heimplanet Images via Heimplanet, Luca Jaenichen, Sondre Forsell, Kevin Ellison, and Thibault Bevilacqua

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Heimplanet celebrates 9 years of innovative inflatable tents

Heimplanet celebrates 9 years of innovative inflatable tents

June 5, 2020 by  
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For almost a decade, Heimplanet has offered adventure-seekers an option for quick and easy tent set up in a variety of environments. The company first released a line of inflatable tents in 2011; now, with summer 2020 approaching, Heimplanet is reminding  outdoor  enthusiasts that there has never been a better time to go camping. Founders Stefan Clauss and Stefan Schulze Dieckhoff got the idea for the inflatable tents while on a trip to Portugal in 2003. Traveling along the coast to surf, the two often found themselves setting up their  camp  late at night and experiencing the inconveniences of conventional tents, such as fussing with poles in the dark and the rain. Related: The North Face unveils a geodesic tent that can withstand 60 mph winds The company offers four regular tent models that sleep one to six people and are built to tolerate 80 mph winds. The four models include Fistral, The Cave, Backdoor and Nias. Those seeking a  tent  developed for more extreme use can also splurge for the Maverick, which features room for up to 10 people and the capacity to handle wind speeds up to roughly 111 mph. The inflatable tents incorporate an “Inflatable Diamond Grid” consisting of an inflatable,  modular  cage-like structure that works as a geodesic dome and says goodbye to traditional tent poles. This design allows for high stability even in volatile weather conditions — the company’s Maverick model has even protected researchers and equipment in Antarctica. Thanks to the patented multi-chamber system, the tent’s entire frame is inflated and divided into separate chambers with one easy step that takes under one minute. This multi-chamber system gives the tent its stability, while also ensuring that if one air chamber is damaged the other chambers will keep the rest of the tent erect. Separate chambers can also be replaced or repaired individually, prolonging the life of the whole structure. Resistant double-layer construction combining an airtight thermoplastic polyurethane bladder on the inside and strong polyester fabric on the outside keeps the tent  insulated  and protected. Heimplanet is also part of the 1% For the Planet community, pledging 1% of sales to environmental preservation and restoration. The company has also recently implemented a “re-store” program that  restores  and repairs used models. + Heimplanet Images via Heimplanet, Luca Jaenichen, Sondre Forsell, Kevin Ellison, and Thibault Bevilacqua

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Heimplanet celebrates 9 years of innovative inflatable tents

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