Low-impact Abbotsford Eco House uses recycled materials wherever possible in Melbourne

January 9, 2018 by  
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Recycled and reclaimed materials are fitted throughout the Abbotsford Eco House, a sustainable residence that earned a 7.5+ Green Star rating for its energy-efficient features. Design and planning company First Angle completed the home for a client seeking a sustainable low-impact home in Melbourne. In addition to recycled construction material, the designers also turn to recycling in other parts of structure from recaptured heat to recycled rainwater and treated gray water. The Abbotsford Eco House was built largely from materials sourced from the original home on site as well as reclaimed materials taken from local second-hand shops. To minimize energy usage, First Angle placed the residence on a north-east orientation for optimized cross ventilation and solar access for natural heating. Concrete mass stone-clad walls and polished concrete floors throughout the home capture heat during the day and dissipate it at night. Hydronic heating installed in the insulated concrete floor slab complements the natural heating. The designers also take advantage of the stack effect to naturally cool the home in summer. Related: Beautiful Northcote Solar Home shows off modern energy-efficient family living High-performance woolen thermal insulation and double-glazed windows help lock in internal temperatures. Harvested rainwater is reused for flushing toilets and irrigation. A treatment system filters and recycles gray water throughout the home. The interior decorating also echoes the eco-friendly ethos with some of the pieces also salvaged and repaired. + First Angle Photos by Catherine Bailey

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Low-impact Abbotsford Eco House uses recycled materials wherever possible in Melbourne

Solar-powered school will teach children how to grow and cook their own food

January 9, 2018 by  
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C.F. Møller has unveiled new renderings for the New Islands Brygge School, an innovative lower-secondary school that takes a more hands-on and experimental approach to learning. Located in the heart of Copenhagen , the 9,819-square-meter school will teach children how to harvest and cook the food grown in the rooftop garden. In addition to a landscaped roof, the building will feature rooftop solar panels and an array of energy-saving technologies. C.F. Møller Architects won the bid to design New Islands Brygge School in a competition last year. The school combines physical, sensory, and experience-based learning, which informed the architects’ vision to create a building that blurs the line between indoors and out. The triangular-shaped school takes design and material inspiration from the city, port and commons. Since food is a major theme of the school, a double-height dining hall is placed at the heart of the school to serve as the focal point and main hub. Two kitchens flank the canteen area. Students also interact with food in other ways through greenhouses and urban gardens, and even in outdoor kitchens and a campfire for open-air cooking. Physical activity is also important in the curriculum and so the architects created multiple outdoor recreation areas on the roof that include a running track, parkour area, and enclosed ball pitch. Related: Nation’s first K-8 urban farm school teaches kids how to grow their own food “The school’s interior and outdoor spaces are designed to be in close contact with each other,” wrote the architects. “Each class has direct access to the roof landscape from their home area, while the school’s natural science area is linked to an outdoor area with a biology garden, greenhouse for physics and chemistry, and the gardens.” The building is built to follow the strictest Danish low-energy code 2020 and includes ventilation with heat recovery, natural ventilation , day-light-controlled lighting, and a highly insulated envelope. + C.F. Møller Images via C.F. Møller

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Solar-powered school will teach children how to grow and cook their own food

Dreamy cabin harvests rainwater and natural light for a minimal carbon footprint

January 8, 2018 by  
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Nevada-based INCLINEDESIGN proves sustainable design can be beautiful in this dreamy timber cabin on Lopez Island, Washington. Available in the summer as a vacation rental, the Barn Gallery guesthouse is a showcase of eco-friendly design – from its use of reclaimed timber and metal to its elegantly crafted rainwater catchment system. Surrounded by four acres of woodland and private meadow, the guesthouse faces southwest for views of a secluded waterfront bluff. The Barn Gallery project began as a “deconstruction” of a 1970s-era home, with the designers recycling materials where possible while retaining the original building footprint. The new home’s untreated timber siding was reclaimed from the original home’s floor joists, which were milled from trees felled on the property in 1970. Corten steel frames the single-pitched roof and walls and reclaimed metal components compliment the timber palette that will naturally develop a silvery patina over time. The light-filled interior is modern and minimalist with custom artistic touches like the unique sandblasted shower glass and the copper towel warmers plumbed inline with the in-floor hot water pipes. Reclaimed timber can also be seen indoors in the form of new custom furnishings. Per its name, Barn Gallery regularly hosts rotating art exhibits featuring local artists. Related: Rammed-charcoal home is a handsome oasis between the trees To keep energy use to a minimum, the designers installed smart energy monitoring, a structural insulated panel roof, and underfloor radiant heating with heat recovery ventilation and heat pump technologies. A solar array was omitted due to budget. Rainwater is captured and filtered on-site through a rain garden and is also harvested in a large timber-clad rain barrel. + INCLINEDESIGN Via Dwell Images by Steve Horn

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Dreamy cabin harvests rainwater and natural light for a minimal carbon footprint

Weathered steel and reclaimed materials blend a modern home into the woods

December 11, 2017 by  
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Raleigh-based Tonic Design completed a creative new home that plays with the contrasts between the old and new in their use of reclaimed and contemporary materials. Tucked into the forests of Durham, the Piedmont Retreat is a 3,800-square-foot single-family home that embraces the outdoors in its use of weathered materials and large cantilevered windows. Reclaimed materials , like the oak flooring and factory lights, help soften the modern steel and glass construction. Located on a corner of a cul-de-sac in Durham, Piedmont Retreat is a two-story home commissioned by clients who wanted a low-maintenance home with a direct visual connection to their beautiful wooded site. In response, the architects wrapped the street-facing side of the home in vertical strips of Corten steel that will continue to weather over time and blend the home into the surroundings. Abundant glazing was installed in the back of the home to frame views of the forest. The home’s upper level is split into two halves, one for the communal spaces and the other for the bedrooms. This division of space is realized as two separate volumes set slightly apart and linked via light-filled walkways. A protected exterior courtyard sits between the two parts. Related: Stunning Lake Michigan home is built from dying ash reclaimed onsite “While the steel provides an exterior barrier, of sorts, between the family and the street, interior spaces are open and fluid, shifting perspectives throughout the house as the inhabitants move from the “public” volume of living, dining, and kitchen areas to the private volume of bedrooms and baths, all on one floor,” wrote the architects. + Tonic Design Images by Tzu Chen Photography

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Weathered steel and reclaimed materials blend a modern home into the woods

Worlds tallest hybrid timber building to boast Vancouvers most expensive new apartments

December 11, 2017 by  
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New details and renderings have been released of Shigeru Ban’s Terrace House , a collection of luxury homes in what will become the world’s tallest hybrid timber building. Developed by PortLiving, Terrace House will be set at the center of Coal Harbor overlooking the waterfront with condos starting at $3 million—which makes them the most expensive new apartments in the city. The 20 homes will be constructed as “individual works of art” with energy-efficient systems and wood harvested from sustainably managed forests in southeastern B.C. Modern in appearance and in the materials used, Terrace House is poised to stand out as one of the most innovative residential buildings in the world. However, the 19-story building also relates to and complements the historic site context through triangular shapes, natural materials , and terraces that echo the design of Evergreen , a decades-old neighboring building. Landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander, who had also worked on the planting design of the Evergreen building, was hired to work on Terrace House for continuity. “Terrace House has been thoughtfully executed and planned, drawing on Shigeru Ban’s iconic design codes to ensure that each of the 20 homes are individual works of art,” said Macario (Tobi) Reyes, founder and CEO of PortLiving . “The residences each have a full suite of smart home technologies, museum-quality glazing that helps to control temperature and provides UV protection for art collections, and fully-integrated air conditioning and heating systems paired with in-floor radiant heating and cooling that extend onto enclosed balconies, creating comfort and maximizing use of indoor/outdoor living spaces all year-round.” Related: Shigeru Ban Architects unveil plans for the world’s tallest hybrid timber building Each home in the Terrace House will be optimized for views of the city, mountains, and inlet and open up to terraces through electronic-controlled glass-sliding panels. Custom fixtures and features designed by Shigeru Ban will be installed through the building. Smart home controls are equipped in every home as are 27-foot-tall ceilings, as well as in-floor radiant heating and cooling. Almost half of the units will take up entire floor plates, while others will be split over multiple levels. + Shigeru Ban Architects Via ArchDaily

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Worlds tallest hybrid timber building to boast Vancouvers most expensive new apartments

Stunning shipping container home can be yours for $125k

November 22, 2017 by  
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Architect and builder Ty Kelly wanted to disconnect from the stresses of city life in Seattle – so he built an incredible shipping container home deep in the picturesque Montana plains. The 720-square-foot home is made from plenty of reclaimed materials , and it’s currently on the market for $125,000 . The one-bedroom, one-bath home is a true example of shipping container design done right. The home design is a sophisticated blend of wood and glass. Partially clad in wooden planking on the exterior, the house has an all-glass wall that provides natural light into the interior as well as gorgeous views of the rugged Montana landscape. Further embedding the home into its stunning surroundings is the wooden flooring that extends the length of the home onto an open-air deck on the exterior. Related: You can now buy tiny shipping container homes on Amazon Although the design of the home is quite contemporary, Kelly used quite a bit of reclaimed materials in the construction. The redwood flooring and wall panels are made out of reclaimed wood, as well as the kitchen’s butcher block counters, which were made out of leftover lumber from another project. On the interior, the living space, although quite compact, is incredibly comfortable. The kitchen has a wood stove as well as the typical modern conveniences such as a dishwasher and washer and dryer. The home’s bathroom layout, however, is quite a different story. The home comes complete with an outdoor shower on the side deck that lets the homeowners truly get back to nature. Via Dwell Photos via Zillow  

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Stunning shipping container home can be yours for $125k

Massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of a Brazilian farming town

November 22, 2017 by  
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Watch your step! An enormous sinkhole has opened up in the tiny municipality of Coromandel, in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. As Forbes  reports, the 65-foot hole appeared overnight in the thick of a local soybean farm swallowing up earth, crops, and putting some 28,000 residents on alert. While some in the area had suspected a meteor was to blame for the cavernous hollow, geologists from the Federal University of Uberlândia have confirmed the sinkhole was in fact caused by the disintegration of the town’s underlying limestone bedrock. In addition to farming soy, coffee, and corn, the region is active in mining pure calcareous limestone, a sedimentary rock that spans much of the area. The town of Coromandel, in fact, sits atop a large stretch of limestone. While the sinkhole is the first to be recorded in the area’s modern history, geologist Trevor Nace is quick to point out that its occurrence is far from abnormal and should not be considered unexpected given the region’s limestone bedrock. Related: Japanese fix massive city sinkhole within 48 hours Nace says rain is slightly acidic. “As it percolates into the ground it can, over time, dissolve calcium carbonate into calcium, carbon dioxide, and water.” He adds, “As the limestone (calcium carbonate) dissolves it leaves voids underneath the ground and eventually the overlying weight of the sediment causes the area to collapse. This collapsed feature is a sinkhole.” Nace also cites “ Poço Verde/Green Well ,” a local tourist destination that professors surmise was once a sinkhole that over time evolved into a lake. Via Forbes Images via Coromandel’s press release and Google Earth

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Massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of a Brazilian farming town

This human-sized birdhouse for two is perched among the treetops

November 14, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever wished you could make like a bird and roost in the trees, you’ll love this charming birdhouse-shaped hideaway nestled in a British Columbia forest. Calgary-based design firm Studio North recently completed Birdhut, a cozy nest for people and birds alike. Built of reclaimed pine felled by a recent fire, the tiny 100-square-foot structure uses locally scavenged materials to mimic a bird’s nest-building process. Accessible via a bridge to the hillside, the cozy one-room Birdhut sleeps two (and a dog). Salvaged lodgepodge pines were used for the cross-braced structure, while planks reclaimed from a cabin deck are used for the platform and cladding. Western Red Cedar rounded shingles clad the facade and 8-millimeter clear polycarbonate panels top the roof, letting ample natural daylight into the cabin. Two circular windows let in natural ventilation. Related: Enchanting birdhouses inspired by famous architecture Twelve smaller circular holes punctuate the facade, each designed for different native birds . “The pileated woodpecker for instance, is a larger bird that seeks out a nesting space 15 to 25 feet above ground, with a 4” entry hole and an 8”x8”x24” cavity,” wrote the designers. “The warbler, on the other hand, is a smaller bird that typically nests 9 feet above ground with a 1 1/8” hole and a 4”x4”x6” cavity. Considering both the largest and smallest varieties of local birds, the hut sits 9 feet off the ground, with its peak at 20 feet above the ground and birdhouses scattered in between.” + Studio North Images by Mark Erickson

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This human-sized birdhouse for two is perched among the treetops

MAD Architects-designed residences rise like mountains in a UNESCO Heritage site

November 14, 2017 by  
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MAD Architects just completed the Huangshan Mountain Village, their latest nature-inspired project that mimics the curves of China’s most beautiful mountains in a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located on a ridge, the developments comprise ten unique buildings that rise like individual peaks overlooking Taiping Lake. The use of nature as inspiration creates, in the architects’ words, a new type of village landscape “where architecture becomes nature, and nature dissolves into architecture.” The Huangshan Mountain Village was created as part of a larger tourism masterplan for Huangshan Taiping Lake, a landscape rich in greenery, granite peaks, and historical significance. To respect the local topography , the architects designed each building with undulating lines that respond to the mountainous terrain and nearby terraced tea fields. Each structure juts out from the forest canopy like craggy granite mountains sculpted by the natural forces of wind and water. Spacious balconies and large strips of glazing bring the outdoors in. Related: MAD Architects Unveil Mountain-Shaped Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center “The impression we have of Taiping Lake in Huangshan is vague: each visit to this place yields different views, different impressions,” said Founder Ma Yansong . “It is a bit mysterious, like ancient Shanshui landscape paintings that are never based on realism, but rather, the imagination. This inexplicable feeling is always poetic; it is obscure and indistinct. This is the basic idea: we hope that residents will not just look at the scenery, but see themselves in relation to this environment, attention that is brought inward. In observing oneself, one perhaps begins to notice a different self than the one present in the city.” + MAD Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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MAD Architects-designed residences rise like mountains in a UNESCO Heritage site

Salvaged materials from devastating fire take new life in a British pier

July 26, 2017 by  
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A British seaside pier destroyed by a devastating fire in 2010 has made an incredible comeback in the hands of dRMM Architects . After a seven-year process, the century-old pier in Hastings, England was transformed from its decrepit and dangerous state to a vibrant new public space clad in reclaimed materials. Crafted in collaboration with the community, the Hastings Pier is an inspiring story of sustainable restoration and craft, earning it a place on the shortlist for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize , UK’s top architecture award. Originally constructed in 1872 and later topped with a pavilion that survived until the fire, the Hastings Pier enjoyed its heyday as an entertainment destination in the 1930s but later fell into disrepair and ultimately closed in recent decades due to neglect. Rather than restore the Victorian pier to its original design, drMM wanted to craft a pier better suited to the 21st century and focused on designing an attractive multipurpose space with few buildings. The architects not only redesigned the pier, but also wrote the brief and helped raise funds with the Heritage Lottery Fund that paid for structural repairs below deck and partially covered the costs of rebuilding the pier above deck. The most defining building on the new pier is the new visitor center , that’s not positioned at the end of the pier but rather on top of the damaged pier’s weakest section. The cross-laminated timber structure is clad in reclaimed timber salvaged from the fire and is topped with an accessible viewpoint rooftop that doubles as an events space. The only other structures are a pair of circular extensions that house a kitchen, staff facility, and toilet; a group of hut-like trading stalls; and deck furniture built from reclaimed materials as part of a local employment initiative. The 266-meter-long deck was rebuilt with sustainably sourced African Ekki hardwood. Related: Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature RIBA wrote: “From a conservation perspective, this project has reinvigorated a fire-damaged historic structure and facilitated a contemporary and appropriate new 21st century use. The project has been mindful to integrate material from the original pier in the new design, and the process of restoration was used to help train a new generation of craft specialists.” + dRMM Via Dezeen Images © Alex de Rijke

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