This gorgeous ‘Tree House Tower’ was built using repurposed timber and old ship materials

August 29, 2017 by  
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When architect Jason McLennan isn’t busying working on Leonardo DiCaprio’s new eco resort off the coast of Belize, the talented designer is enjoying some amazing views from his five-story “tree house tower” on Seattle’s beautiful Bainbridge Island. The home, which was built in 1978, was constructed out of reclaimed timber and outfitted with various repurposed ship materials. The three-bedroom, four-bathroom house is located on a secluded lot surrounded by a wall of 200-foot cedar trees on one side and the Puget Sound on the other. The home was built in 1978 by an unknown architect, who used salvaged wooden posts – which reportedly date back more than 100 years – in the construction. Related: Delightful treehouse residence weaves through a forest in Thailand The bohemian-inspired interior, which is well-lit by an abundance of large windows and skylights, is filled with repurposed trinkets taken from an old ship. Many of the windows were made out of old portholes and the home’s various brass doorknobs were repurposed from an old sailing boat. McLennan’s architectural studio is on the top floor where he has used the lush natural setting of the island as inspiration for his building designs, “It’s just nature’s paradise,” he said. “Everything is nestled in the trees, so the trees are intact and the ecosystem is intact. You do feel like you’re in a special place when you’re there.” Although the interior of the house is undeniably incredible, the outdoor space is definitely the heart of the home. Perennial gardens surround the outdoor areas, which include a massive outdoor chimney, covered dining area and lounge, Koi pond, fruit orchard, and even a basketball court. Of course, there are plenty of secluded nooks located on the grounds for solitude amongst the beautiful lush foliage. + Jason McLennan Via Dwell Photography by Eric Hecht  

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This gorgeous ‘Tree House Tower’ was built using repurposed timber and old ship materials

Dwell Development’s net-zero home in Seattle is packed with sustainable goodness

June 29, 2017 by  
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This 5-Star Built Green home in Mount Baker, Seattle is packed with sustainable elements – including locally and sustainably-sourced materials and net-zero building strategies. The house was designed by JT Architecture for Dwell Development , and it’s perched on a peaceful hilltop in one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods with expansive views of the city. The design of the Mount Baker house is in line with the philosophy of Dwell Development and its net zero strategy rooted in the idea of remaining local. Each home by the firm occupies an urban site in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, where homeowners can live within blocks of all essential services and social activities. This new home was built on an urban infill lot steps away from Hunter Boulevard which includes an Olmsted designed center median park and dense retail and commercial areas on Rainier and McClellan. Related: Dwell Development’s outstanding zero-energy Emerald Star home in Seattle is almost entirely reclaimed The floors throughout the building are covered in sustainably harvested walnut from Montana, while the exterior polished concrete pavers were sourced locally. The exterior facade of the house is clad with reclaimed barn wood and reclaimed standing seam metal sourced from Oregon, while the interior features posts wrapped in over 100-year-old hand-hewn beam skins from Montana. The house is prepped for solar panels and electric vehicle charging, uses 100% LED lighting and is 100% electric. An exterior barrier system and a heat recover ventilation system regulate indoor temperatures 24/7. + JT Architecture + Dwell Development Photos by Tucker English

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Dwell Development’s net-zero home in Seattle is packed with sustainable goodness

Pollution cuts solar energy production by up to 35%

June 29, 2017 by  
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We may be sabotaging our efforts to generate clean energy . New research from a team led by Duke University found polluted air may be reducing our solar energy output – by 25 percent. And areas with some of the highest investment in solar power are those impacted the most: China , the Arabian Peninsula, and India . Dust and airborne particles may be harming our ability to generate as much solar energy as we can. Duke University engineering professor Michael Bergin said, “My colleagues in India were showing off some of their rooftop solar installations, and I was blown away by how dirty the panels were. I thought the dirt had to affect their efficiencies, but there weren’t any studies out there estimating the losses. So we put together a comprehensive model to do just that.” Related: Students Create Award-Winning Robot That Cleans Solar Panels Joined by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) and the University of Wisconsin at Madison , Duke University scientists found pollution accumulation is indeed impacting solar energy output. They measured the decrease in energy from IITGN’s solar panels as they got dirtier. Each time the panels were cleaned after several weeks, the researchers noted a 50 percent boost in efficiency. China, India, and the Arabian Peninsula are the areas of the world impacted the most. Even if their panels are cleaned monthly, they still could be losing 17 to 25 percent of solar energy production. And if the cleanings happen every two months, the losses are 25 or 35 percent. Reduced output costs countries not just in electricity but money as well. Bergin said China could lose tens of billions of dollars yearly, “with more than 80 percent of that coming from losses due to pollution.” He pointed out we’ve known air pollution is bad for health and climate change , but now we know it’s bad for solar energy as well – all the more reason for politicians to adopt emissions controls. The research was published online this month by the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters . Via Duke University Images via Duke Engineering on Twitter and Pexels

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Pollution cuts solar energy production by up to 35%

9 eco-friendly ‘man caves’ for dudes and dads to get away from it all

June 29, 2017 by  
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Ah, the “man cave” – a place for dudes and dads to find solitude, tinker, build or read. Although the term may conjure up images of dank basements and wood-paneled rec rooms, the modern man cave has much more to offer. From prefabricated backyard pods and minimalist A-framed cabins to a futuristic voice-activated sphere in the sky, we’ve rounded up 9 inspiring ideas for men looking to get away from it all and recharge their batteries. 1. Prefabricated, versatile backyard getaway The Backyard Room is only available in Australia at the moment, but, logistics aside, it’s the perfect solution for creating a separate space without the need for moving or funding a pricey (and intrusive) home renovation. The prefabricated structure is built from renewable materials with high standards including LEDs and insulated roof and walls. It only takes a week to install this space-maximizer; calculate another few days to add on a green roof for the ultimate backyard eco-haven. 2. Man cave for a man-in-training For the young at heart, this man cave features pinball machines, a pool table, and a skateboarding bowl as well as a fully loaded tv and movie-viewing area. Designed and built for a very fortunate Cape Town teen, this space is a dream for men who want to go from shredding on their skateboard to playing video games to lounging with friends. There’s no need to leave the premises, especially when Mom and Dad’s stocked kitchen is just a few feet away. 3. Solar-powered, voice-activated Skysphere Image via Jono Williams Because having a regular, old man cave isn’t sufficient, Jono Williams concocted one of the craziest ones we’ve ever seen: a solar-powered sphere in the sky with electronics that operate on voice command. Williams designed and built the Skysphere himself (with a little help from friends), taking classes and learning a variety of topics to ensure that the Skysphere would be safe and structurally sound. While it’s awesome that he can say the word and custom LED lights change color or motorized doors open to cool the space down, it’s even more impressive that these awesome features are a result of educating himself and working until he had the dream space he wanted. 4. Cabin by the lake with a 55-year history This lakeside retreat isn’t truly tiny, but it began that way 55 years ago when an 18-year-old commenced construction on a 14-square-foot bunk house. That teen with a vision grew up to be Jim Olson, an accomplished architect . Over more than five decades, the cabin grew too, continually and gradually transforming into the picturesque getaway that it now is. Olson took care to build his outdoor deck around three trees to allow for their continued growth; a palette of woods used in the cabin’s interior as well as floor-to-ceiling windows make the space appear integrated into its gorgeous surroundings. Related|Build your own tiny home or treehouse with these stackable wooden micro-units 5. Modern micro-cabin made from recycled parts We love this 3-D printed micro-cabin , and we hope you will too. Dutch architects created the “Urban Cabin” using mostly recycled components and a sustainably produced and sturdy bioplastic frame. There’s enough room for a bed, which can also be folded into seating to leave room for Dad to tinker with other projects (or even set up a little table to serve as a mini office). A 3-D printed tub doesn’t fit inside the structure itself, but can be placed just outside. 6. Book nook nestled in nature For bibliophiles, this timber cabin is a green dream come to life. Felled oak trees that were left over from a separate construction project were repurposed into the bones of this tiny retreat, which was crafted using a Lincoln log-like method that created natural internal bookshelves and window spaces. This sublime upstate New York space is perfect for every season, although the wood-burning stove makes it the ideal place to snuggle up for a long winter’s nap. Image via Rok Pezdirc 7. Cabin among the trees This cozy cabin on stilts reminds us of a kiddie treehouse all grown up and elevated (literally). Inside there’s everything one would need for some R & R including a chair, storage units that double as a bed foundation, and a table. An outdoor deck offers optimal views, but between the skylights and numerous windows, the divide between inside and outside is minimal. Untreated timber forms the interior and exterior, but the space is surprisingly refined and could even serve as an office space. Image via Carolyn L. Bates 8. Wheelchair accessible tiny home with a mobile base Wheelchair accessibility is unfortunately not typically high on the list of specifics when designing tiny homes; the struggle to use every nook , cranny, and spare inch often supersedes an effort to make the space friendly to persons with mobility issues. Wheel Pad , designed with input from home health nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and doctors, aims to change that precedent. The home maximizes the available 200 square feet with a spacious and accessible bathroom, a wheelchair-level desk set-up and fixtures, and large windows to fill the home with natural light. 9. A-frame eco hut with a tiny footprint A-frame cabins by Lushna are reminiscent of human-sized bird houses, and they even come ready for some up-close-and-personal nesting: each has a king-sized mattress and was designed with four season living in mind. The prefab cabins are comprised of locally sourced larchwood and can be customized to include an outdoor wooden hot tub , curtains, or even a luxurious suite version with bathroom facilities and a mini kitchen.

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9 eco-friendly ‘man caves’ for dudes and dads to get away from it all

Dilapidated 1800s dairy barn resurrected into a stunning home in Wyoming

June 8, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm JLF Design Build has breathed new life into a dilapidated 1800s dairy barn by transforming it into a stunning new home. “The Creamery” was built using materials salvaged from an abandoned dairy farm in Montana and reconstructed just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. According to the architects, the ambitious project focused on retaining the same “authentic craftsmanship and rugged austerity” of the original stone building, while converting it into a contemporary living space. According to the creamery’s history, the original structure was built by anonymous Scottish stonemasons who laid two-foot-thick walls that lasted centuries. However, left empty and and unprotected for decades, the structure fell into severe disrepair. After convincing their antique-loving clients to acquire the original barn as “the ultimate antique”, the team used painstaking care to gather and transport as much of the old building’s materials as possible to Wyoming where they rebuilt a stunning new home in an idyllic setting. Related: 6 barns converted into beautiful new homes The home’s stone structure pays a beautiful homage to its original design, both on the outside as well as the inside. The interior decoration is pure rustic sophistication, with beautiful stone walls, exposed wooden trusses on the ceiling and large reclaimed wood planks as flooring. The structure is now home to a family who appreciates the timeless architecture of the design, “The relic itself inspired a sense of responsibility to its origins,” says JLF Design Build principal Paul Bertelli. “This building in its existing form, with its scale and proportion, was much purer than any contemporary architectural solution we could have applied. Ultimately doing nothing at all was the genius of the architecture in this project.” + JLF Design Build Photography by Audrey Hall

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Dilapidated 1800s dairy barn resurrected into a stunning home in Wyoming

Architects transform 18th century barn with seamless contemporary extension

January 20, 2017 by  
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Bringing historic structures back to life is a challenge for any architect, but when the building goes back to 1792, the task is incredibly delicate. Adam Knibb Architects were recently charged with adding a contemporary extension to a protected and locally-adored historic barn in Alresford, Hampshire, UK. Working with local preservation organizations, the architects managed to maintain the original structure while seamlessly incorporating a new luminous living space within the aptly-named Hurdle House. Having been used for the original sheep fairs as far back as 1792, the structure is a beloved landmark for the small town and considered “a gem of Industrial Archaeology”. As such, the renovation process would be a delicate one of finding a secure way of adding contemporary additions without harming the original barn structure . Related: 6 barns converted into beautiful new homes The home is set into a large detached barn with a front and back garden, affording incredible views of the surrounding greenery. To blend the new extension into the original barn structure, a pre-fabricated CLT timber frame was chosen for the exterior cladding. This decision was also key in cutting down construction time. As for the design itself, the architects focused on the home’s natural-setting as a key element in the renovation process . Working with the Winchester Conservation department, they were granted permission to remove a rear bay window to connect the home to a new extension, which would become the primary living space of the home. To open the connection, but create a sense of boundary, a frameless glass partition was used to connect the old structure to the new. The new extension houses the large kitchen and dining area, along with a small living space and study. To separate the distinctive uses of the public areas from the private spaces, the designers used a series of visual barriers in lieu of doors or other physical obstacles. Large glass windows and doors flood the interior with natural light. + Adam Knibb Architects Via Archdaily Images via James Morris

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Wyoming architects convert former hayloft into light-filled guest home

January 17, 2017 by  
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Nothing tugs at our country-loving hearts quite like a good barn conversion . With this minimalist renovation in Wyoming, Carney Logan Burke Architects transformed a weathered farm building into a refined, light-filled guest house. Using reclaimed materials to help offset the project’s environmental impact, the firm deftly retains the original structure’s unique character. The Barn in Wilson is set into a lush green meadow. Extra large windows on one side of the loft flood the interior with natural light , offering unobstructed views of the surrounding greenery and majestic Teton Range in the distance. Related:Beautiful converted barn hides a secret library in Oxfordshire The natural setting and historic nature of the structure guided the renovation process. Reclaimed barnwood and cedar shake shingles give the exterior the appearance of a long-weathered barn without the maintenance headaches. The project’s most compelling feature can be found inside on the second floor. Originally a hayloft, the open space was outfitted as a sophisticated guest room, kitchenette, and gym. The living space is flooded with natural light, which enhances the reclaimed oak floors and plank ceiling with exposed trusses. The bottom level is used as a garage and workspace, resulting in an elegant, multipurpose guesthouse we’d be more than happy to live in. + Carney Logan Burke Architects Via Uncrate Photography by Audrey Hall / Carney Logan Burke Architects

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Wyoming architects convert former hayloft into light-filled guest home

Wyoming lawmakers launch bill that would ban selling renewable energy

January 17, 2017 by  
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In a move that puts the “R” in regressive, a group of Republican lawmakers in Wyoming just launched a bill that would effectively ban selling wind and solar power in the state. The measure proposes to fine utilities for purchasing energy produced by large-scale renewable power projects. According to Inside Climate News , the bill is chiefly sponsored by representatives from the state’s main coal-producing counties. If enacted, it would force utilities to use power from only approved energy sources like natural gas, nuclear power, hydroelectric, oil – and of course coal. Your average homeowner could still install a rooftop solar, backyard wind or other renewable energy setup, but the state’s utilities would get slapped with big fines for buying power from renewable projects. According to Inside Climate News, the move is confusing some locals who know the lay of the land. “I haven’t seen anything like this before,” said Shannon Anderson, director of local organizing group, Powder River Basin Resource Council . “This is essentially a reverse renewable energy standard.” But Inside Climate News adds that Republican Senator David Miller, the bill’s sponsor, says the goal of the legislation is to make sure Wyoming residents have access to inexpensive power. Related: Judge orders Exxon-Mobil to disclose 40 years of climate change documents “Wyoming is a great wind state and we produce a lot of wind energy,” Miller said. “We also produce a lot of conventional energy, many times our needs. The electricity generated by coal is amongst the least expensive in the country. We want Wyoming residences to benefit from this inexpensive electrical generation. “He added that he doesn’t want to see Wyoming “averaged into” other states that require utilities to supply “more expensive” renewable energy. The proposed bill would allow renewable energy producers in the state to sell power to customers outside Wyoming without a penalty. The cost of selling power in their own state would be $10 per megawatt hour of energy sold. Republicans significantly outnumber Democrats in both the state’s House and Senate, but Miller still puts his chances of passing the bill at “50 percent or less.” Via Inside Climate News Images via Flickr Creative Commons, Jeremy Buckingham and CGP Grey , Wikimedia Commons

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Wyoming lawmakers launch bill that would ban selling renewable energy

Enchanting LED mushrooms can transform any room into a glowing forest

November 2, 2016 by  
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We previously featured Takano’s work in 2010, and the artist has since produced hundreds more of his handcrafted mushroom lamps. According to at home vox , Takano can produce an average of 15 lamps every two months. His unique creations sell out incredibly quick (as noted by Tokyobling ) and, due to their delicate nature, are only sold locally and are not shipped abroad. Related: Amazing Chandelier Transforms Any Room Into a Fairytale Forest Takano crafts the mushrooms out of dyed resin clay. The LED and wiring are skillfully hidden inside the tiny mushroom sculpture and inside the reclaimed driftwood base. Some of the lamps come with a plastic on/off dial for a playful retro touch. + Yukio Takano Via Colossal Images via Tokyobling , Silver Shell

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Enchanting LED mushrooms can transform any room into a glowing forest

Vernacular-inspired Delaware home built with recycled barn wood

August 31, 2016 by  
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The house, called Rural Loft, is located in an area of Delaware dominated by agriculture . It channels the local vernacular and references the form and materiality of barns. In fact, its exterior cladding was made using wood reclaimed from an agricultural structure planned to be demolished. Related: Old Belgian barn is transformed into a gorgeous contemporary home The interior spaces are organized around a central core with bathrooms, storage spaces and utilities. Sliding doors open onto two exterior decks and blur the line between inside and outside. A rain screen made from reclaimed barn wood siding facilitates air circulation and keeps the house well ventilated. + DIGSAU Via Dezeen Photos by Todd Mason

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Vernacular-inspired Delaware home built with recycled barn wood

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