Architect crafts a new work studio from an old shipping container

September 27, 2018 by  
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When it came to expanding his practice after years of working from home, Canadian architect Randy Bens knew that he didn’t want to venture too far away. Instead, the architect and his team decided that his own backyard would be perfect for a new office space and set about transforming an industrial shipping container into a contemporary and cozy 350-square-foot work studio. Bens worked from home for over a decade for his New Westminster-based architecture firm, RB Architect . When the practice began to grow, it became obvious that the team needed more space. After looking into several building options and locations, the team decided to keep the practice close to home. More specifically, in the architect’s backyard. Related: Beautiful, light-filled home slots into a skinny lot in Vancouver The architect considered many ways to increase his office space, but finally decided on using a large weathered steel shipping container , previously used as a mining container. At 40 feet long, 11.5 feet wide and 9.5 feet high, the container offered the necessary space with the added benefit of the inherent durability that comes from its steel shell. Additionally, using a shipping container would allow the team to transport it to another location if they decide to relocate in the future. The first step was to trim the container from 40 feet to 28 feet in order to easily fit it into the backyard space, where it was lowered into place by crane. The steel facade of the structure, which cantilevers over the concrete foundation by 7 feet, is clad in yellow cedar planks, which were also used on the windows and doors. The cedar will weather over time, giving the steel container a rustic, cabin-in-the-woods aesthetic. The interior of the building was laid out to create a highly space-efficient office . There is an open studio space with a “floating” Douglas Fir desk that spans almost the entire length of the main wall, which is clad in birch plywood. There is also a kitchenette, washroom and network cabinet. The open layout allows for flexibility in creating small meeting spaces or areas for model making. The front end has a large glazed facade that floods the interior space with natural light. + Randy Bens Architect Via Archdaily Photography by Ema Peter via RB Architect

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Architect crafts a new work studio from an old shipping container

How Interface realized that the carpet business as usual wasn’t sustainable

September 1, 2018 by  
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The transformation of the CEO and the company created the practice of strategic corporate biomimicry.

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How Interface realized that the carpet business as usual wasn’t sustainable

What Facebook and Apple can teach other tech titans

September 1, 2018 by  
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Both are using their clout to bring renewables to companies and communities that today have limited access to these resources.

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What Facebook and Apple can teach other tech titans

Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled

January 11, 2018 by  
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Lobsters may not really scream when you boil them – they don’t possess vocal cords – but research shows they can feel pain, and Switzerland’s government decided to do something about the common culinary practice of boiling lobsters alive. According to the government order, the crustaceans “will now have to be stunned before they are put to death.” Lobsters in Switzerland now have to be stunned before chefs plunge them into hot water to cook them. The government banned the practice of boiling live lobsters amid concerns the creatures might be able to experience pain. Research from Queen’s University Belfast seems to back them up – a 2013 study on crabs discovered they’re likely to feel pain. Since then, researchers have called upon the food industry to reconsider the treatment of crabs and other live crustaceans like prawns and lobsters. Related: 132-year-old lobster returned to ocean after living in tank for 20 years Switzerland’s new rule is part of an overhaul of animal protection laws that goes into effect on March 1. Swiss public broadcaster RTS said the accepted stunning methods are electric shock or mechanical destruction of the creature’s brain. The government is also outlawing the practice of transporting live crustaceans like lobsters in icy water or on ice, saying they must “always be held in their natural environment.” Some people have contended crustaceans like lobsters can’t feel pain, since they only possess nociception, or “a reflex response to move away from a noxious stimulus,” according to Nature ‘s news blog . Animal behavior researcher Robert Elwood doesn’t agree. He said there’s strong evidence crustaceans do feel pain. Via The Guardian and Nature News Blog Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Switzerland rules lobsters must be stunned before they are boiled

Making Solar Sweeter: Pollinator-Friendly Arrays

October 2, 2017 by  
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Introduced at VERGE 2015, and highlighted recently in training by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, the practice of using the land under and around U.S. solar arrays to benefit pollinators is on the cusp of becoming a standard practice — as it is in Europe. Benefitting pollinators at scale, and producing “Solar Honey,” are new ways to increase support for large-scale solar.

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Making Solar Sweeter: Pollinator-Friendly Arrays

Mediterranean hunters trap, glue and otherwise illegally kill 25 million birds every year

August 27, 2015 by  
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Wild birds are being hunted by the millions throughout Mediterranean Europe with impunity, despite strong laws against the practice. It is estimated that 25 million birds are hunted annually, using cruel trapping methods, such as tangled nets, metal traps, and glue-covered tree branches. Egypt, Italy, and Syria are the biggest offenders, yet several nations engage in the practice. Why are people getting away with this? Read the rest of Mediterranean hunters trap, glue and otherwise illegally kill 25 million birds every year

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Mediterranean hunters trap, glue and otherwise illegally kill 25 million birds every year

UNStudio to Relaunch as Open-Source Knowledge Sharing Practice

April 10, 2013 by  
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Dutch architecture firm UNStudio — a longtime Inhabitat favorite — made a surprise announcement this week , revealing that it will shift away from being a traditional design firm and relaunch itself as an open-source knowledge sharing practice. The firm will launch a new online platform that will facilitate the open exchange of ideas, replacing the monolithic structure of most architecture firms. The reboot will encourage new collaborations and it aims to fundamentally change the way we think about architecture. Read the rest of UNStudio to Relaunch as Open-Source Knowledge Sharing Practice Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , co-creative design , collaboration , dutch design firm , Knowledge sharing , open-source architecture , sustainable design , UNStudio , UNStudio architecture        

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UNStudio to Relaunch as Open-Source Knowledge Sharing Practice

Why ongoing commissioning can lead to better-performing buildings

December 6, 2012 by  
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Improved energy efficiency and updating the structure's operations to current standards are two benefits of implementing this practice.

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Why ongoing commissioning can lead to better-performing buildings

Why ongoing commissioning can lead to better-performing buildings

December 6, 2012 by  
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Improved energy efficiency and updating the structure's operations to current standards are two benefits of implementing this practice.

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Why ongoing commissioning can lead to better-performing buildings

4 lessons Walmart taught one student about sustainability

November 2, 2012 by  
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Be radical: Practice what you know. That's one MBA student's insight from an internship at Walmart, where she found her classroom lessons coming to life.

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4 lessons Walmart taught one student about sustainability

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