Yara invests in green ammonia for renewable energy

March 2, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

One of the world’s biggest ammonia producers in the world is preparing to ramp up its so-called “green ammonia” production. By using hydropower with its existing ammonia plant, Norway’s Yara is about to manufacture green ammonia commercially. Last week, Yara announced its partnership with Aker Horizons and the Norwegian utility company Statkraft for producing green hydrogen at its plant in Porsgrunn, Norway . “Yara’s Porsgrunn plant is well set up for large-scale production and export, allowing Norway to quickly play a role in the hydrogen economy,” said Yara president and CEO Svein tore Holsether, as reported by Clean Technica. “Constructing a new ammonia plant and associated infrastructure is typically a capital-intensive process, but by utilizing Yara’s existing ammonia plant and associated infrastructure in Porsgrunn, valued at USD 450 million, the total capital requirement for the project is significantly reduced compared with alternative greenfield locations.” Related: Scotland to become first country to test 100% green hydrogen The colorless, noxious gas is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen and is used to manufacture many common products. Ammonia occurs naturally in air, soil, animals and humans. When living bodies break down protein-containing foods, the parts separate into amino acids and ammonia, which is then converted into urea. If you’ve ever had a cat’s litter box in your house, you’re familiar with the smell of naturally occurring ammonia. Its most common industrial use is, fittingly enough, as fertilizer, accounting for about 90% of ammonia production. Other uses include as a refrigerant gas, in water purification and wastewater treatment, as a stabilizer and neutralizer in food and beverage industries and as part of pesticides, dyes, plastics and explosives. Green ammonia is inextricably tied to the much-touted new green hydrogen economy. Because the availability of low-cost renewable energy has increased, the process of electrolysis — using an electric current in water to split off the hydrogen gas — has become more attainable. “Large-scale production will reduce cost of the electrolysis route,” Holsether explained. For hydrogen to be shipped worldwide, it first must be converted into ammonia. Yara has also been toying with the idea of building a ship that runs on ammonia fuel. + Yara Via Clean Technica and Chemical Safety Facts Image via Yara

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Yara invests in green ammonia for renewable energy

Green renovation to a ’50s California home features recycled denim insulation

March 2, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

A private residence in San Anselmo, California has received a  green renovation  with some unique features. Designers from Pfau Long Architecture expanded the space to 2,800 feet to help this project stick out from the rest, complete with sustainable solar power and recycled denim insulation. The home, which belongs to a local architect, traces its history back to the 1950s. According to project leaders, it may have been originally designed by the famed Bay Area modernist architect Henry Hill. The property sits on a 1.4 acre  Marin County  hillside, almost completely camouflaged by trees, some of which the architects decided to construct around to minimize land impact. Related: Energy-efficient villa in Portugal uses locally sourced cork for insulation Designers kept the existing main structure, which included floor-to-ceiling glass windows and ashlar masonry  stone walls, choosing to add a wing with two more bedrooms and an updated family room with a kitchen. The main living room is completely open and partially characterized by a kitchen island with new appliances and new masonry to match the existing system. The new renovations help make it a low energy use home, utilizing sustainable building elements such as  FSC-certified  vertical grain Douglas Fir wood and steel. The steel beams are exposed to give the home a simple, open layout. The team also replaced the floor-to-ceiling glass walls with low-E insulated glazed glass to save energy and included solar panels, solar and hydronic heating, solar pool heating and a graywater system. Likewise, the building itself is integrated perfectly into the hillside ridge to allow for low water usage and incorporation of native plants in the landscaping. Architects chose to add a special kind of insulation into the walls of the old home to save additional energy, which came in the form of used  natural cotton fiber . Specifically, strips of recycled blue jeans made from scraps and clippings from denim clothing manufacturing. + Pfau Long Architecture Via Design Milk Photography by Bruce Damonte  

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Green renovation to a ’50s California home features recycled denim insulation

An inside look at pricing in the forest carbon market

March 2, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

An inside look at pricing in the forest carbon market Wilder Person Tue, 03/02/2021 – 00:05 On June 23, Amazon commenced its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund to further endeavors to become net-zero by 2040. In January 2020, Microsoft committed to invest $1 billion over the next four years as part of their Climate Innovation Fund. And on July 21, Apple committed to become 100 percent carbon neutral across its entire business, supply chain and product life cycle by 2030.  These commitments and investments along with those of other corporations have created an important source of demand and funding for forest carbon. While much of this capital will be used and already has been used for other carbon removal strategies and technologies, a significant portion of it has been and should continue to be available for forest carbon.  But corporations do not just go directly to and pay landowners willing to conserve their forest. Instead, carbon project developers that act as the intermediaries between the two making everything happen.  There’s also a problem: Despite the billions of dollars put forth for carbon removal, the price per forest carbon credit is still not high enough to prompt a critical mass of owners to stop traditional harvesting and start the carbon-credit adventure. Currently, the average price per credit in the voluntary market is about $4 to $6 and in the compliance market it ranges between $12 and $14, according to two companies.  To better understand how forest carbon projects are conducted, the CFN interviewed three carbon project developers, EP Carbon (formerly Ecopartners), Bluesource and Finite Carbon. In spite of their respective success, all three developers have different business strategies. Finite Carbon specializes in forest carbon projects and puts emphasis on understanding landowners’ needs and how carbon strategies can fit into and be a part of forest management. EP Carbon uses innovation and creativity to make carbon projects and their accompanying standards work for an eclectic range of landowners. Bluesource takes on many project types beyond forest carbon and tailors their process not only to landowners but to corporations as well by making marketing a top priority.  At their core the developers use landowners’ property parameters — the diameter at breast height (DBH) of their trees, tree heights and tree species to derive carbon credit totals under different standards. If the landowners think the potential revenue generated by the credit totals is enough and they want to proceed with the project, then the developers will enact the project for them with a contract. Lastly, the developers market and sell the credits to corporations and then return the revenues to the landowners.  Nonetheless, there are various ways to go about doing this. For starters, geographies may vary for each carbon project developer. Central Appalachia and the old pulp and paper regions of Maine, the lake states, northern New England and upstate New York are hot project areas for Bluesource. However, most of Finite Carbon’s projects — 70 percent by volume — are west of the Mississippi River. EP Carbon on the other hand, takes a much more international approach. It has conducted projects in the United States as well as South America, Central America, Africa, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.  Domestically, landowners in the old pulp and paper regions want compensation for their pulp and paper wood without having to cut it. Thus, the price per credit problem is less of an issue in these areas and Bluesource has made a point to capitalize on them. Central Appalachia is also a popular spot for Bluesource because property on mountainous terrain is not heavily managed nor expected to generate tons of revenue, which helps to avoid the price per credit dilemma as well. There is also an abundance of hardwoods in this region, which have more carbon content than pines.  Despite the billions of dollars put forth for carbon removal, the price per forest carbon credit is still not high enough to prompt a critical mass of owners to stop traditional harvesting. EP Carbon’s focus on the international voluntary market has led it to using different standards and protocols from Bluesource and Finite Carbon. It tends to use Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), which is more geared for international and REDD+ projects, whereas Bluesource makes more use of the American Carbon Registry (ACR) Standard for their abundance of voluntary projects. And Finite Carbon leans more on the California Compliance Standard, as it conduct more compliance projects.  The VCS and many of EP Carbon’s projects are geared toward stopping deforestation threats and land conversion in the global south. While these projects present their own set of difficulties, focusing on them is an effective way to avoid the typical scenario in which a landowner finds that harvesting their trees is more profitable than a carbon project.  Finite Carbon has a different way of dealing with this problem. Unlike Bluesource and EP Carbon, Finite Carbon specializes in forestry carbon projects. This strategy is baked into Finite’s staff as well. Many worked in conservation or forestry before coming to Finite. “Having focused solely on forestry projects, Finite has a grasp on forest management, land use protection and conservation,” said Dylan Jenkins, vice president of portfolio development at Finite Carbon. Taking this approach has allowed Finite to really understand landowners and given them a knack for implementing carbon strategies into landowners’ pre-existing management regimes. This is something that developers struggle with, as many landowners do not want to change their preset regimes nor like the idea of having their trees or part of their property locked into a long-term agreement. Making carbon projects more convenient for landowners and figuring out how they can exist in harmony with their harvests has allowed Finite to overcome these problems and the price per credit dilemma on many properties.  In contrast, Bluesource has seen their own advantages by conducting additional carbon project types, such as Ag Methane, Acid Gas Injection, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Carbon Capture. “This has allowed Bluesource to not only expand their buyer network but to have more set-in-stone buyers as well,” said Aaron Paul, director of forest carbon origination at Bluesource. Taking on a range of carbon credit projects also gives Bluesource the ability to make entire footprint reports for their clients.  Similar to Bluesource, EP Carbon goes beyond forestry and includes grassland, shrubland, wetlands, mangroves, dry land savanna, and water or blue carbon projects. Some of these projects are done on their own but EP Carbon also combines them with forest carbon projects when appropriate. This allows EP Carbon to generate more revenue for landowners and to make the projects more attractive for them than just harvesting their trees.  EP Carbon also makes a point to be very flexible when it comes to standards. While it makes use of the VCS for international projects, it does not wed themselves to any one standard. It uses whichever standards are the best fit for their clients for each project even if the standards would not customarily be used for the given projects. Unlike many developers, EP Carbon pushes the standards to the limit and bends them to make them work for its projects, despite the standards’ strict constraints. “Our projects are more experimental and creative; they push the boundaries of the field,” said Zach Barbane, director of projects and operations at EP Carbon. This EP Carbon approach is effective for incorporating more landowners and is another way to overcome low prices per credit.  Bluesource and Finite take a very different and much more systematic approach. Nonetheless, Bluesource controls most of the United States’ voluntary market. Likewise, Finite has procured 45 percent of all California Compliance forestry offsets, which makes up 37 percent of all California Compliance offsets. (Both work in both forms of markets.) By sticking to the same standards and perfecting their compliance to them, both developers have become accustomed to applying standards to various properties. This has allowed Bluesource and Finite to make carbon projects work for a lot of landowners.  Unlike many developers, EP Carbon pushes the standards to the limit and bends them to make them work for its projects, despite the standards’ strict constraints. Yet the price per credit dilemma still keeps many landowners from implementing carbon projects. One of the main underlying problems that amplifies this dilemma is that small landowners with less than 5,000 acres typically cannot overcome the inventorying and verification costs associated with carbon projects.  To address this issue, EP Carbon developed an app and separate company, Forest Carbon Works (FCW). The app allows for the proper tree measurements for carbon projects to be taken on a smartphone. This has reduced the inventorying costs associated with the projects, making them more accessible for those with less land. As a company FCW also gives special attention to small landowners and tailors its process and services to their forest carbon needs. FCW has been verified by the California Air Resources Board and has enabled many landowners to pursue carbon projects. EP Carbon should feel good about using its innovative thinking to help bring small landowners to the carbon table. Finite Carbon has also made an effort to reach small landowners with its new small business and device, CORE Carbon. This digital platform estimates the amount of carbon that is in a given forested area with a general geospatial outline of the property and remotely sensed data.  Accordingly, with CORE Carbon boots on the ground inventorying is not required and forest carbon projects are much more affordable for small landowners. Unfortunately, even if both new technologies scale and inventorying becomes significantly cheaper, an average of about $10 per credit still will make harvesting more attractive for many both small and large landowners. Even large scale timberland investment management organizations (TIMOs) with millions of acres of land are not ready to implement carbon projects on their properties. Many TIMOs think at $10 a credit, harvesting is just the more economic decision.  Nonetheless, EP Carbon, Bluesource and Finite Carbon have all found unique ways to circumvent the low price per credit predicament and implement carbon projects despite it.  Bluesource has conserved more than 2.3 million acres of forested land and has generated over $182 million of revenue for landowners. EP Carbon has protected over 13 million acres of forested land and abated more than 260 million tons of carbon. And Finite Carbon has conserved more than 3.1 million acres of forested land and has produced over $720 million of revenue for landowners. But think about all of the tons of carbon that these three developers could abate and all of the acres of forest land they could conserve if the price per credit were higher.  Pull Quote Despite the billions of dollars put forth for carbon removal, the price per forest carbon credit is still not high enough to prompt a critical mass of owners to stop traditional harvesting. Unlike many developers, EP Carbon pushes the standards to the limit and bends them to make them work for its projects, despite the standards’ strict constraints. Topics Finance & Investing Carbon Removal Forestry Forestry Carbon Pricing Conservation Finance Network Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off To date the price for a ton of forest carbon has stayed stable, making growth tricky. //Image courtesy of Conservation Finance Network.

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An inside look at pricing in the forest carbon market

MAD unveils solar-powered "Train Station in the Forest"

February 26, 2021 by  
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This summer, the Chinese city of Jiaxing will welcome an innovative transportation hub that will be topped with a lush “borderless park” to bring nature back to the urban environment. Designed by international design firm  MAD Architects , the 35.4-hectare project will feature a new Jiaxing Train Station topped with solar panels, a pair of plazas, a commercial zone, a transit hub and a renovation of the adjacent People’s Park. The main transportation and commercial functions will be tucked underground while an expansive green roof surrounded by trees will grow atop to create a “train station in the forest.” Currently under construction with completion expected by July 2021, Jiaxing’s “Train Station in the Forest” will blend MAD Architects’ signature futuristic forms with designs rooted in the city’s historic and cultural contexts. In addition to  green-roofed , disc-shaped transit buildings located at the site’s transportation hub in the south, the project will feature a one-to-one scale rebuilding of the historic Jiaxing Train Station. This station was an early 20th-century building that served as an important junction for the Shanghai-Hangzhou Railway Line, but it was destroyed by war in 1937. The old station will be faithfully recreated at the heart of the site with the help of scholars, consultants and experts in heritage architecture; once complete, the single-story building will serve as the Jiaxing Railway History Museum.  Related: MAD’s ethereal Yiwu Grand Theater will “float” on Zhejiang waters To bring natural light deep into the underground train station, the architects have designed a system of skylights and glass curtain walls to flood the subterranean concourse, platforms and waiting halls with daylight. The station’s “floating” metal roof will be topped with  solar panels  and greenery to blend in with the surrounding trees. The train station is expected to accommodate 5.28 million people per year with a peak-time capacity of 2,300 people per hour. The train station will be connected to the mixed transit hub in the south via an underground commercial zone that will also include above-ground retail spaces.  “MAD believes that a city’s best  urban spaces  should belong to everybody,” the architects said. “Architecture, sunlight, nature, and fresh air should work in harmony to be shared by all; creating an environment where people can both live and travel with convenience, dignity, and comfort.” + MAD Architects Images via MAD Architects

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MAD unveils solar-powered "Train Station in the Forest"

Endangered black-footed ferret is successfully cloned

February 22, 2021 by  
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The birth of Elizabeth Ann, a black-footed ferret, on December 10, 2020, marked a major achievement in the recovery of the species. Elizabeth Ann is the first black-footed ferret to be cloned with the aim of increasing the genetic diversity of the species. The now 2-month-old ferret was created from frozen cells of a black-footed ferret that lived over three decades ago. Black-footed ferrets were once considered extinct , but a family of seven was discovered in 1981. The ferrets were captured to be protected by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Having been recovered from only seven ferrets, the current population of the species lacks genetic diversity. The recent cloning is important given that the clone parent, Willa, was recovered from the last wild black-footed ferrets and did not belong to the line of the recovered seven. Samples of the wild ferret were preserved at the San Diego Zoo Global’s Frozen Zoo from 1988. Related: San Diego Zoo successfully clones an endangered Przewalski’s horse To improve the species’ resilience to diseases, several organizations have come together. Among the partners involved in the process include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Revive & Restore, San Diego Zoo Global, ViaGen Pets & Equine and the Association of Zoos and Pets. “The Service sought the expertise of valued recovery partners to help us explore how we might overcome genetic limitations hampering recovery of the black-footed ferret, and we’re proud to make this announcement today,” said Noreen Walsh, director of USFWS, Mountain-Prairie Region. “Although this research is preliminary, it is the first cloning of a native endangered species in North America, and it provides a promising tool for continued efforts to conserve the black-footed ferret.” The journey to cloning has been long and with many obstacles, according to Ryan Phelan, executive director of Revive & Restore. “We’ve come a long way since 2013 when we began the funding, permitting, design, and development of this project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.” Phelan said. “Genomics revealed the genetic value that Willa could bring to her species .” According to Walsh, while cloning is one of the ways to improve the genetic diversity of the species, the organizations are also paying attention to habitat-based threats in their efforts to recover the black-footed ferret population. + U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Images via USFWS

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Endangered black-footed ferret is successfully cloned

You can make this 3D-printed, bioplastic face shield at home

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many issues of waste into the spotlight, starting with the sheer quantity of petroleum-based personal protective equipment (PPE) used in the medical field and by everyday users gearing up to go to the grocery store or park. Designer Alice Potts homed in on this problem early, countering it with face shields made from food waste and flowers. These face shields required more than just a little research and development. Potts wanted to tackle the issue of plastic-based PPE but approached it by also addressing food waste . Potts said the face shields are biodegradable , because they are a product of food and flowers collected from local markets, butchers and households in the surrounding London area. The variety of organic materials affect the final product, meaning that each mask varies in unique ways. Related: Engineering student turns food waste into renewable energy “Every colour is completely seasonal depending on what flowers are blooming, what vegetables and fruits are growing and earth that is in and around London,” the designer said. Potts was initially inspired by her brother, a paramedic who reported a lack of PPE for himself and other first responders and medical care workers. So Potts set out to create a more sustainable option intended for the public, because the shields likely don’t offer the same level of protection as required in a medical care setting. With the recipe for the face shield and a design for the 3D-printed top section, Potts plans to make the template available to everyone via an open-source design. “I want to combine the advantages of technology with sustainability to form a template of the top of a face shield that can be 3D-printed from recycled plastic with a bioplastic recipe for the shield for people to make at home,” she said. The Dance Biodegradable Personal Protective Equipment (DBPPE) Post COVID Facemasks, as Potts named them, will be on exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, an event that highlights art, design, and architecture and runs through April 2021. + Alice Potts  Via Dezeen   Images via James Stopforth and Sean Fennessy via Alice Potts

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You can make this 3D-printed, bioplastic face shield at home

Old military buildings converted into living spaces at The Hinge

February 15, 2021 by  
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In the spirit of making what’s old new again, Dutch architect Niels Olivier led a team to transform a disheveled military compound into modern, functional spaces. Located in Arnhem, The Netherlands , the project known as The Hinge, or De Scharnier, included a master plan drawn up by MVRDV and Buro Harro. Two interconnected buildings formerly housed a theater on one side and a restaurant on the other. Following the conversion, the same structure now houses a living space, workshop and office for a well-known artist and his family. Related: A clever, garden-filled facelift revives a derelict building in Denmark The buildings on the site date back to the 1960s and 70s and were in bad disrepair. Yet, rather than demolish them and build from the ground up, it was important to Olivier from a sustainability perspective to  salvage  as much of the original structures as possible.  On this topic, Olivier told Inhabitat, “My passion is to bring new life to outdated, abandoned buildings. Make something out of what is considered to be nothing! A fast route to sustainability is to re-use as much as possible, this should in particular count for the re-use of the main structure of buildings, saving tons of concrete, wood and steel.” Some portions were just too dilapidated to save, such as the entire facade, which fell apart and was replaced with aluminum frames and wooden cladding. During the same portion of the project, a large folding door was added to accommodate the transport of large art pieces or a van if needed. In another space, formerly a kitchen, office and technical room, the construction of a few walls and the removal of others created two apartments and an artist’s office. In addition to using natural materials and employing methods to salvage the original architecture, the team incorporated  energy-saving  systems into the plan. Pellet heating provides comfort for the entire complex. Additional energy needs are met using solar panels placed on the roof. Although there is a pool on-site, it is unheated for the sake of energy savings and is filtered using a natural system that includes  plants  and gravel. According to a press release, this makes the house “almost energy neutral.” + Niels Olivier Architect Via ArchDaily   Images via Arne Olivier Fotografie

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Old military buildings converted into living spaces at The Hinge

Midcentury-inspired Austin home oozes nostalgic vibes

February 8, 2021 by  
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Texas-based architecture firm Mark Odom Studio has recently completed the Inglewood Courtyard Residence, a 2,400-square-foot abode that celebrates the homeowner’s deep appreciation for midcentury modern architecture. Carefully designed to preserve existing trees and emphasize indoor/outdoor living, the light-filled abode features a natural materials palette and an abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows to frame views of the courtyard and landscape. The site-specific new build also features energy-efficient elements and targets a 5-star rating with the City of Austin Green Building Program. The client behind the Inglewood Courtyard Residence worked closely together with Mark Odom Studio — the homeowner served as the civil engineer on the project — to incorporate all the elements typical in a quintessential midcentury modern home, from terrazzo flooring to low-pitched roofs covered with a pebbled ballast. To further cultivate a feeling of nostalgia within the design, the team even weathered the finish of the flatwork to mimic the neighborhood’s original 1950s driveways. Related: A Seattle midcentury home is restored to its original brilliance with a modern twist Also key to the design was the inclusion of a continuous brick wall that serves as a north-south circulation spine and continues from the exterior to the interior. “The intended experience is to feel continuously connected with nature while moving through the house,” Mark Odom said. “The design inspiration was based on the ‘ courtyard house,’ centered around the existing trees as well as making sure natural light spilled into all interior spaces.” Vertical windows that frame views into the lush courtyard and the existing mature trees, a natural materials palette, indoor planters and slatted screen walls help to highlight the relationship between the indoors and out. Other notable features include wooden bookshelves in the primary corridor that were repurposed from the classroom of the client’s father, a former school teacher responsible for much of the current public-school math curriculum, as well as the stunning terrazzo floors made from 1,800 pounds of various colored glass hand-spread into a three-tiered concrete foundation. + Mark Odom Studio Photography by Casey Dunn via Mark Odom Studio

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Midcentury-inspired Austin home oozes nostalgic vibes

Wadden Sea World Heritage Center promises great views and research opportunities

February 8, 2021 by  
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The Wadden Sea, known for being the largest unbroken system of tidal flats and wetlands on Earth, stretches from Denmark and Germany through the Netherlands. Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these coastal wetlands merge with Lauwersmeer National Park to create a rare landscape met by the Dutch village of Lauwersoog. What started out as a favorite casting-off point for local fishermen has since become a popular tourist destination for visitors wanting to experience the iconic landscape. It is also where Danish firm Dorte Mandrup is rounding out its third project on the Wadden Sea, the Wadden Sea World Heritage Center. “The new Wadden Sea World Heritage Center pays homage to the historic maritime activity in Lauwersoog,” Dorte Mandrup explained. “At the same time, it presents a contemporary expression that enriches the diversity of the buildings in the area.” Along with this project located in the Netherlands , Dorte Mandrup is also the designer of the Wadden Sea Center in Denmark and the Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Center in Germany. Related: Flowing marine research center inspired by tsunami waves Home to more than 10,000 species of plants and animals , including a range of endangered migratory birds, the ecosystems found inside this region are completely unique. It is also one of the only natural habitats in the Netherlands for native seals. “Drawing inspiration from the endless cycle of the tide, the gradual spiral-like incline — like the continuous rising and falling of the water surface — offers a stunning 360-degree view of the sea, the Lauwersmeer and the surrounding landscape as visitors ascend through the building,” the firm said. “It almost gives you the feeling of being one with the sea.”  Visiting guests will have a chance to enjoy the views and learn about the Wadden Sea environment at the center, which will also serve as a research hub for students and scientists. One of the most important conservation projects that will take place at the center will be the study and rehabilitation of local rescued seals. The seals will have a home on the second floor of the building, where a large underwater tank gives visitors the chance to view the animals from above and below. Water-based research will culminate in an outdoor field station and water garden that also serves as a viewing platform and recreation area for both researchers and visitors. Part research base, part museum, the Wadden Sea World Heritage Center will provide an important and delicate intersection for understanding and appreciation between humans and nature. + Dorte Mandrup Via ArchDaily Images via The Wadden Sea World Heritage Center and Dorte Mandrup

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Wadden Sea World Heritage Center promises great views and research opportunities

Filmmaker designs and builds off-grid backcountry cabin for $50k

February 2, 2021 by  
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Tired of the work grind and eager to slow down and live a more sustainable lifestyle, a Canadian filmmaker decided to build an off-grid cabin from scratch — without any prior building experience. Fortunately, his friends and family helped him design and build his cozy micro-cabin in the remote Canadian forest for just CA$65,000 (approximately $50,000). Powered with solar energy and engineered to harvest and store 3,000 liters of rainwater, the  off-grid  abode is now the filmmaker and his girlfriend’s full-time home, where they embrace slow living and share their experiences on Instagram  @canadiancastaway .  Located atop a cliff in an untamed forest, the Canadian Castaway home took about three years to complete due to lack of road access and the difficulty of bringing building materials to the site. The micro- cabin  measures 18 feet by 22 feet and comprises a main floor with a combined living and dining area with a wood-burning stove, a kitchen with a propane two-burner cooktop and 110-volt fridge, and a bathroom with a sink and a bath (the composting toilet is located in a freestanding unit outside). The cabin also has two lofts, one for the bedroom and the other that serves as a workspace and secondary living space. To make the home operate off-grid and generate enough power for the filmmaker’s workstation and satellite internet service, a 1,300-watt  solar system  was installed and connected to four 550-amp-per-hour deep-cycle batteries. The home is also hooked up to a backup generator.  Related: Tiny House Sustainable Living blog documents life in an off-grid tiny home Since there is no well, three 1,000-liter tanks are used to store collected rainwater  from the roof. Potable water is sourced from a nearby spring. In addition to a wood-burning stove, the cabin stays cozy in winter thanks to thick insulation. The total cost of the project — including the price of land and the solar system — was CA$65,000. + Canadian Castaway Images via Canadian Castaway

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Filmmaker designs and builds off-grid backcountry cabin for $50k

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