Solar-powered prefab cabins keep naturally cool in Portugal

June 11, 2019 by  
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When a client approached Lisbon-based architectural practice Studio 3A for a small residential project in the seaside village of Comporta, the architects knew that a major challenge would be keeping the house naturally cool during the oppressively hot summers. In keeping with their commitment to sustainable architecture, the architects used passive solar strategies and efficient insulation to mitigate solar heat gain. The firm also teamed up with design studio Mima Housing to prefabricate the buildings, named Cabanas in Comporta, which were topped with solar panels and sheathed in charred timber for a durable and maintenance-free finish. The architecture of Cabanas in Comporta follows a modular design of three types: the “intimate module” that houses the bedroom and bathroom; the “social module” for the living spaces with room for an outdoor pool; and the “service module” that also serves as storage for items such as the client’s car collection. Together with Mima Housing, Studio 3A prefabricated the modular buildings with oriented strand board sandwich panels and wooden joints. The facades are clad in timber charred black using the Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban. Related: The elegant MIMA Light prefab home ‘floats’ on thin air “As local connoisseurs, we based our construction method on the traditional fishermen huts/cabanas as an inspiration for our project,” explain the architects. These huts have been built in this area for years and are very functional and quick to build which were another important point of our brief. With this construction type we had a couple of challenges to face which was the hot-summer Mediterranean climate and the mosquitos which are well known to bug you in the area. We implemented various sustainable strategies to reduce the heat sensation such as the calculated overhangs in front of the main windows, low emissivity window panes and a tensioned solar shading system in between the cabana modules.” Heat gain is further controlled with a double blind system installed in both the interior and exterior. The external blind also zips down to protect the home from mosquito invasions. Strategic placement of the buildings optimizes solar orientation and access to cooling breezes. Dark cement flooring is used to take advantage of thermal mass, while photovoltaic panels and heat pumps help heat the buildings in winter. + Studio 3A Images by Nelson Garrido

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Solar-powered prefab cabins keep naturally cool in Portugal

Solar-powered prefab cabins keep naturally cool in Portugal

June 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Solar-powered prefab cabins keep naturally cool in Portugal

When a client approached Lisbon-based architectural practice Studio 3A for a small residential project in the seaside village of Comporta, the architects knew that a major challenge would be keeping the house naturally cool during the oppressively hot summers. In keeping with their commitment to sustainable architecture, the architects used passive solar strategies and efficient insulation to mitigate solar heat gain. The firm also teamed up with design studio Mima Housing to prefabricate the buildings, named Cabanas in Comporta, which were topped with solar panels and sheathed in charred timber for a durable and maintenance-free finish. The architecture of Cabanas in Comporta follows a modular design of three types: the “intimate module” that houses the bedroom and bathroom; the “social module” for the living spaces with room for an outdoor pool; and the “service module” that also serves as storage for items such as the client’s car collection. Together with Mima Housing, Studio 3A prefabricated the modular buildings with oriented strand board sandwich panels and wooden joints. The facades are clad in timber charred black using the Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban. Related: The elegant MIMA Light prefab home ‘floats’ on thin air “As local connoisseurs, we based our construction method on the traditional fishermen huts/cabanas as an inspiration for our project,” explain the architects. These huts have been built in this area for years and are very functional and quick to build which were another important point of our brief. With this construction type we had a couple of challenges to face which was the hot-summer Mediterranean climate and the mosquitos which are well known to bug you in the area. We implemented various sustainable strategies to reduce the heat sensation such as the calculated overhangs in front of the main windows, low emissivity window panes and a tensioned solar shading system in between the cabana modules.” Heat gain is further controlled with a double blind system installed in both the interior and exterior. The external blind also zips down to protect the home from mosquito invasions. Strategic placement of the buildings optimizes solar orientation and access to cooling breezes. Dark cement flooring is used to take advantage of thermal mass, while photovoltaic panels and heat pumps help heat the buildings in winter. + Studio 3A Images by Nelson Garrido

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Solar-powered prefab cabins keep naturally cool in Portugal

This Norwegian alpine cabin fits together like a 3D timber puzzle

February 7, 2019 by  
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A new treat awaits hikers in Hammerfest, Norway — perched high on a mountain is a contemporary hiking cabin engineered to provide comfort, views and architectural beauty above the Arctic Circle. Designed by Norwegian design studio SPINN Arkitekter and U.K.-based FORMAT Engineers , the recently completed cabin on the mountain Storfjellet is one of two Hammerfest Hiking Cabins—the second will be built on Tyven in 2019 — created to promote hiking in the mountains around the region. The wooden structure features a cross-laminated timber shell comprising 77 panels that the architects say “fit together like a 3D puzzle.” Commissioned by the Hammerfest chapter of The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) and brought to life by crowdfunding and community support, the Hammerfest Hiking Cabins were designed to not only provide a warm and weather-resistant rest stop, but also a beautiful wooden structure that could serve as an attraction in itself. SPINN also wanted the cabin to blend in with the local terrain and based the building’s appearance off of a large boulder, hence the double-curved shape. Computer modeling and mapping technology were used throughout the design and construction of the project, from the 3D site mapping carried out with a drone and photogrammetry software to the assembly of the prefabricated CLT panels in a controlled warehouse environment. The design team also used Sketchup, Rhino and customized scripting tools to optimize the cabin’s shape. Snow and extreme wind simulations were performed to test the resiliency of the design, while 3D printing was used to test assembly and cladding options. Related: Snøhetta designs healing forest cabins for patients at Norway’s largest hospitals Volunteers built the first Hammerfest Hiking Cabin in 2018, with the 15-square-meter  prefabricated CLT cabin structure assembled in over four workdays. After prefabrication, the cabin was split into two pieces and transported on a flat bed lorry to Storfjellet, where it was then lifted into place and winched together. The full-height window, fireplace, ramp and interior furnishings were fitted into place on site. The estimated budget per cabin is 100,000 Euros. + SPINN Arkitekter + FORMAT Engineers Images by Tor Even Mathisen

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This Norwegian alpine cabin fits together like a 3D timber puzzle

Snhettas ready-made cabin can fit into any landscape

May 4, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a Snøhetta -designed home, this may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for. The renowned Norwegian design firm just unveiled a beautiful prefabricated cabin designed to pop up in and complement any landscape. Created in collaboration with Rindalshytter , Norway’s leading producer of leisure homes, the Gapahuk cabin features an environmentally friendly footprint with off-grid capabilities. Designed for adaptability, Gapahuk can suit an array of climates and terrains from high mountaintops to lakesides. The cabin is built primarily from wood and uses a twisting roof that protects the interior from the elements. “Focus has been put on using high quality and low maintenance materials that can be locally sourced and are environmentally friendly,” writes Snøhetta. Related: Gorgeous forest home will fulfill your tiny cabin dreams Natural light pours into the Gapahuk through the cabin’s large windows that also frame views of the surrounding landscape. Created with an emphasis on social design, the compact cabin interior prioritizes common areas with its large open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room. In contrast, the cabin’s three bedrooms are moderately sized. The building also features an outdoor patio space to emphasize connection with the outdoors. + Snøhetta

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Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance

February 20, 2017 by  
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BIO Architects recently completed a modern modular cabin, proving yet again how beautiful homes can be affordable with the help of prefabrication . Commissioned by a young couple that desired a cost-effective home on the lake, the prefabricated cabin is the latest iteration in the Russian firm’s line of modular Dubldom homes. The dwelling, located at Pirogovo Lake in the suburbs of Moscow, was installed in roughly ten days with minimal site impact. The lakeside cabin, named DublDom 2.110, is the client’s second Dubldom commission following BIO Architects’ completion of a compact 40-square-meter Dubldom house in 2015. Since none of the firm’s standard prefabricated models were suitable for the site, the architects created a custom design that still retained the Dubldom’s iconic gabled shape and full-height glazing . To keep costs at a minimum, the new 185-square-meter build was constructed with natural and affordable materials that help blend the home into the forested environment. “Most of the individual decisions are based on a simple technology and inexpensive materials, so we managed to follow one of the basic principles of DublDom company—quality of architecture at an affordable pricing,” wrote BIO Architects. “The front facade with the maximum number of glazing was dictated by location of the house on the site. All the technical and utility rooms are located along the rear facade, and the children’s room, office, main entrance and the living room with fireplace look at the site with a wonderful view on the water.” Related: Affordable DublDom prefab home pops up in just one week The modules were prefabricated in Kazan and were delivered with the interior trim, utilities, furniture, and electrical equipment pre-installed. Installation on-site took roughly ten days to complete. + BIO Architects

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Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance

Rugged eco-friendly cabins offer off-grid lodging in Norways wilderness

September 13, 2016 by  
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Stavanger Turistforening , an association with 25,000 members that provides active and eco-friendly nature activities for the young and old, commissioned the Skåpet Mountain Lodges. In keeping with the association’s ethos, these contemporary alpine huts operate on a system based on trust: visitors leave money for their stay in a box inside the lodge or fill out an invoice form with their personal information. Visitors are also expected to replenish the food and materials supplies and clean the lodge before they leave. Thus, the organization stipulated that the design of these “self-catering” huts be easy to maintain and encourage interaction between the different trekking parties so as to foster a sense of camaraderie and collaboration. Related: Self-sustaining Cradle to Cradle mountain hut is designed to generate its own energy In response, KOKO architects created a series of prefabricated structures clad in rolled zinc , a weatherproof and low-maintenance material. The interiors are lined with wood to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere and are punctuated with a large panoramic window to overlook views of the landscape. The main building comprises a kitchen, living area, and sleeping quarters to house 30 to 35 trekkers. Smaller lodges accommodate five each. The huts also include a storage and sauna. Water can be taken from the lake. The mountain lodges opened in August 2016. + KOKO architects Via ArchDaily Images via KOKO architects , © Tonu Tunnel

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Rugged eco-friendly cabins offer off-grid lodging in Norways wilderness

Tetris developer designs 8.4 kWh home battery with more energy storage than Tesla’s Powerwall

September 13, 2016 by  
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One of the co-founders of The Tetris Company, Henk Rogers has launched a new battery that stores more solar energy than Tesla’s Powerwall . After reading about the destruction of coral , Rogers, who helped turn Tetris into a worldwide phenomenon, started Blue Planet Energy to help end dependency on fossil fuels . The company’s Blue Ion Continuum battery produces more energy than the Powerwall, and it is reportedly made of sturdier stuff. A heart attack changed the focus of Rogers’ life. A successful video game entrepreneur, he read about the devastating effects of carbon dioxide-fueled ocean acidification on coral while recovering in the hospital. The article inspired his mission ” to end the use of carbon-based fuel .” Frustrated by the government’s slow movement on the issue, he realized better energy storage could help things along. He said, “Wind and solar have become commodities, they’re so cheap, and yet battery is still a luxury.” Related: New plug-and-play home battery system saves money by avoiding high energy rates The eight kilowatt-hour Blue Ion Continuum battery is a potential game-changer. Not only does it allow for more energy storage than the 6.4 kilowatt-hour Powerwall, it’s made of better materials, according to Rogers. Blue Ion Continuum batteries run on Sony’s lithium ferrous phosphate batteries. The Powerwall runs on lithium cobalt manganese batteries. According to Rogers, phosphate and iron are “cheap and benign” while cobalt and manganese are “expensive and dangerous.” Blue Ion Continuum’s warranty is better too. After 15 years, the warranty says the Blue Ion Continuum will still have 75 percent capacity. The Powerwall warranty is 10 years. The Blue Ion Continuum is more expensive than the Powerwall – it will run homeowners $12,950, not including installation – but because the battery’s warranty is longer, Blue Energy Planet says overall ” lifecycle costs ” for their battery will end up being less than the Powerwall. The eight kilowatt-hour battery will provide storage for a three-person family, but families can purchase more units that fit together almost like Tetris blocks from Blue Planet Energy. Their Power Up unit offers 12 kilowatt-hours, and their Power All unit offers 24 kilowatt-hours. The units stack together to easily provide more power. Homeowners can preorder the Blue Ion Continuum now, and should receive the battery in early 2017. Via Greentech Media Images via Blue Planet Energy Facebook

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Tetris developer designs 8.4 kWh home battery with more energy storage than Tesla’s Powerwall

Dozens of diseased birds fall from the sky in Boston

September 13, 2016 by  
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In Boston, 47 grackles rained down from the sky above the Dorchester neighborhood last Thursday. 32 of the birds died at the scene or shortly after, and two cats that may have had contact with the birds also died. So far, the cause is unknown. Witnesses describe a chaotic scene, with birds attempting to fly from tree to tree and then weakly falling to the ground. The grackles, a type of songbird that travel in flocks, have been sent to Tufts University in order to determine the cause of death. Some potential possibilities include poisoning, a virus, or environmental pollution . Results are expected next week, but in the meantime, pet owners have been advised to keep their animals indoors. Related: Study shows mass die-offs of birds, fish and marine invertebrates increasing This isn’t the first time a mass bird die-off has spooked scientists. Earlier this year, thousands of dead birds washed up on Alaska’s coast – the birds were thought to have starved to death due to climate change disrupting their food supplies. In fact, a 2015 study found that mass die-off events involving birds, fish, and marine invertebrates had increased in number and magnitude over the past 70 years . Via The Guardian Images via  Phillip Cowan and  Ken Gibson

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Dozens of diseased birds fall from the sky in Boston

Solaris is the $33M solar-powered super yacht of the future

September 13, 2016 by  
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Duffy London ‘s solar-powered luxury yacht , which is expected to be completed in 2020, will measure 144 feet in length and feature five separate cabins that can together house up to 10 guests. The Solaris cruiser is designed to be extremely strong and durable, while also lightweight. It sports cutting-edge battery and solar energy technology, which together translate to a super yacht capable of traveling to any port in the world without the need to refuel. Related: Lose yourself inside the Abyss Table’s mesmerizing ocean depths The Solaris yacht will make the most of the typical ‘rest periods’ yachts spend at a dock by topping off its batteries with electricity generated by the onboard solar panels . On the open sea, the yacht can travel at speeds up to 45 knots, with a cruising speed of a very respectable 28 knots. The firm that created the gorgeous Abyss Table applies a similar aesthetic to the first vehicle the team has undertaken. The Solaris is comprised of long, sleek lines and an integrated solar array that gleams in the sun as it generates electricity. Duffy London anticipates the Solaris yacht will sell for $33.33 million. + Duffy London

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Escape city life in a lux off-grid cabin that can pop up almost anywhere

July 15, 2016 by  
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? Designed and produced by a team of architecture students-turned-entrepreneurs, the Ark Shelter was created to bring back people “back to basics” and into nature. Clad in durable timber for a cozy feel, each cabin is prefabricated off-site in a factory and then craned into place on raised, mobile foundations. Its modular architecture can be easily customized and expanded from its basic 9-square-meter workspace module to a fully livable space with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and a living room. Related: Stunning Moon Dragon is a fairytale-like tiny house that goes off-grid ? The self-sufficient structure is equipped with wind turbines and rainwater collection systems, while natural light streams through folding glazed doors to minimize dependence on artificial light and embrace panoramic views of the outdoors. There’s no word on price on the website; interested parties will have to contact the design team directly. All Ark Shelters are delivered fully furnished, from custom timber furnishings to the bed linens. + Ark Shelter Via Architizer Images via Ark Shelter

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