This rammed earth home in India uses recycled materials throughout

October 26, 2018 by  
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When a family of six approached Indian architectural practice Wallmakers for a low-cost home, the architects saw the limited budget as an opportunity to innovate and experiment rather than as a drawback. To keep costs low, recycled and natural materials were prioritized in the design of the Debris House, an approximately 2,000-square-foot dwelling that makes the most of its compact site. In addition to locally sourced materials, the environmentally sensitive home includes a rainwater harvesting and recycling system as well as passive air circulation. Located in Pathanamthitta of Kerala in the south of India, the Debris House derives its name from the site that was peppered with the remnants of many demolished buildings, elements of which were recycled into the new construction. Although smaller towns like Pathanamthitta have increasingly looked to building homes out of glass, concrete and steel in an attempt to mirror their urban neighbors, the architects resisted those trends in hopes that their site-specific design could inspire “the towns to find their own language.” As a result, the architects built the home’s rammed earth walls using soil that was excavated onsite. Recycled materials, also salvaged from the immediate area, were used to form a spiraled wall — dubbed the Debris Wall — that serves as a focal point defining the central courtyard, which allows cooling cross-winds into the home. Furniture was also built from reclaimed wood, specifically from the client’s storage boxes. To protect against unwanted solar gain, the windows are protected with meter boxes sourced from a local scrapyard. The concrete roof and slab were mixed with coconut shells, thus reducing the amount of cement used. Related: Rammed earth walls tie this modern home to the Arizona desert landscape “While the house uses numerous alternate technologies, there is a certain whimsy and playfulness in its design,” the architects said. “Looking at the local context, the project strikes out, humbly maintaining its commitment to the society and the environment .” + Wallmakers Photography by Anand Jaju via Wallmakers

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This rammed earth home in India uses recycled materials throughout

Amazing transformation of a decrepit cave into a beautiful modern home

February 7, 2017 by  
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Cave homes may conjure up thoughts of primitive living, but that’s not so for one lucky man who received the cave makeover of his dreams in China’s Shanxi Province. As part of a home renovation TV series called “Wow New Home,” architect Shi Yang of hyperSity Architects renovated a decrepit cave house into a stunning modern home. Despite the dramatic transformation, the new home still preserves elements of the traditional cave design. Read on to see the first episode of Wow New Home (in Chinese, starts at 4:00) and how a ramshackle cave was turned into an incredible new abode for five. Located in the Loess Plateau, the former house was one of many cave homes, called yaodong, typical of the area. These traditional dwellings have long been used for their energy-efficient properties; the earth naturally keeps the cave warm in winters and cool in summer. The house in question belonged to a family of five who lived in a series of dark and damp caves that were in a serious state of disrepair, with tilting and crumbling walls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9ty_VyiGg The architects wanted to retain the traditional elements of the cave house while providing a modern refresh. To that end, they preserved the shape of the arched walls and mainly used rammed earth for construction. The interior layout of the home was redesigned in the style of a Chinese courtyard house to open the interior up to natural light and ventilation with space for bamboo gardens. The cave space to the north was mostly left intact, whereas the spaces to the south and west were torn down and reconstructed to make space for five small courtyards connected via a zigzag path. Related: More Than 30 Million People in China Live in Eco-Friendly Caves The renovated home matches the original building height but is strikingly contemporary in appearance. A mix of clay and sand from the nearby mountains were used for the reddish rammed earth walls, creating a visual departure from the original brownish gray earthern walls. The home is entered through the arched doorway that connects to the first courtyard. A path weaves through the new southern-oriented courtyards and cave rooms—which house a kitchen, bedrooms, storage room, dining room, and bathroom—and finally ends at the northernmost space in the rear that’s divided into the grandmother’s bedroom and living room. A skylight punctuates the northernmost space to let in extra light and ventilation. + Wow?? Via ArchDaily

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Mexican winery built from recycled wood and rammed earth blends into the valley landscape

December 28, 2016 by  
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Mexico’s booming wine country of Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California recently welcomed the chic BRUMA winery , a large complex constructed with a natural materials palette to blend beautifully into its surroundings. TAC Taller de Arquitectura Contextual designed the BRUMA winery as part of a 75-acre masterplan that includes a bed and breakfast, pool, spa, event space, and restaurant. Rammed earth and recycled wood feature prominently in the rustic winery building. Despite its 22,000-square-meter size, the BRUMA winery visually disappears in the dusty red and green landscape of Valle de Guadalupe. Part of the winery is tucked underground to take advantage of the earth’s thermal mass that protects against volatile temperature changes. A large reflecting pool nearby also serves as a natural heat insulator. Related: Rammed earth house blends traditional materials with modern techniques in Vietnam’s last frontier Recycled wood and steel are the primary materials used to construct the winery. The timber slats are naturally weathered and are of varying shades to give the building an interesting and earthy texture and parts of the wooden walls are punctuated by small glass openings for beautiful effect. Pieces of natural unmilled wood are used as seating or decorative objects. Native plants cover the roof of the winery. Curving rammed earth walls also make up part of the complex, further integrating the building into the landscape. + TAC Taller de Arquitectura Contextual Via ArchDaily Images © Humberto Romero

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Mexican winery built from recycled wood and rammed earth blends into the valley landscape

An old Swiss farmhouse gets a striking wooden extension that juxtaposes past and present

December 28, 2016 by  
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Studio Marazzi Reinhardt recently updated an old farmhouse in the quiet Swiss village of Löhningen  with a striking wooden extension that seamlessly melds modern and classic architecture. ‘Haus Zur Blume’ ads extra living space to an existing home while juxtaposing the past against the present. The modern structure is wrapped in a wooden slat facade that filters natural light.

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An old Swiss farmhouse gets a striking wooden extension that juxtaposes past and present

Did Uber flub its chance to expand self-driving ride-hailing service to San Francisco?

December 28, 2016 by  
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A few weeks ago, Uber quietly expanded its self-driving ride-hailing service to its hometown of San Francisco. The launch marked a triumphant leap forward just three short months after the company initially began offering riders in Pittsburgh the option of hailing a self-driving car. Unfortunately, the California Department of Motor Vehicles swiftly shut down the San Francisco operation by revoking the registrations on Uber’s 16 self-driving vehicles, citing the company’s failure to obtain the proper permits. That decision prompted Uber to announce it would look for another city to roll out its self-driving pilot program, but many questions remain about whether they will ever be able to pull it off in their home state.

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Vineyard House uses rammed earth to stay cool in the Portuguese heat

March 30, 2016 by  
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Think Thick: Thermal Mass Construction Produces Energy-Efficient Homes that Resist Fire and Decay

July 17, 2012 by  
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Most of us know that a full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one, because anything’s that denser than air will better store the cold. Opening the door of an empty fridge causes cold air (weighing less than an ounce) to rush out and fall to the floor. Warm air enters. When the door closes, the unit cycles on, and the process repeats. That’s sort of how thermal mass construction works. Beefy Styrofoam and concrete walls on an insulated foundation cut both heating and cooling loads. It’s vastly more efficient to keep a relatively massive structure at a steady temperature than it is to manipulate the air with energy-intensive HVAC systems. Read on for a closer look at this green building strategy ! Read the rest of Think Thick: Thermal Mass Construction Produces Energy-Efficient Homes that Resist Fire and Decay Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Earth Walled Home , energy efficient design , green architecture , Green Building , Kendle Design Collaborative , rammed earth walls , Sustainable Building , thermal mass

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Think Thick: Thermal Mass Construction Produces Energy-Efficient Homes that Resist Fire and Decay

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