Desert Rain House in Oregon is one of the greenest homes in the world

February 10, 2017 by  
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There’s a new contender for the world’s greenest home: Desert Rain House in Bend, Oregon . Designed by Tozer Design , the LEED Platinum home recycles all its water, produces more power than it can use, and it is the first residential compound to be certified by the Living Building Challenge . Solar panels and a rainwater collection cistern help this super green home pioneer a new paradigm for sustainable family living. The five-building Desert Rain House boasts seriously environmentally friendly features. Human waste is composted thanks to a central composting system, and greywater is reused for irrigation via a constructed wetland. Natural and local materials comprise the elegant dwellings; reclaimed lumber and plaster made with local clay, sand, and straw are among the sustainable building materials utilized. Related: Kansas University students build net-zero home with LEED Platinum and Passive House certification Materials from old buildings that once occupied the site were repurposed for Desert Rain House, such as old stone salvaged from old foundations and used in concrete for patios. The team that built the home looked for ways to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. For example, instead of having a manufacturer ship them roofing panels, the team assembled roofing onsite from a large roll of steel. Red List-compliant sealants and finishes also make for a non-toxic environment. Indoors the air is clear: not only can the owners open large windows for air circulation, but a waste heat-capturing energy recovery ventilator also means fresh air continually wafts through the main residence. Three homes and two out-buildings add up to 4,810 square feet situated on 0.7 acres. Elliott Scott, who owns the home with his wife Barbara, said in a statement, “We can’t continue thinking we are building a better world by making a ‘less bad’ version of the world we have created. The Living Building Challenge forces us to think in terms of a new paradigm.” + Tozer Design + Desert Rain House Via International Living Future Institute and Curbed Images via Desert Rain House Facebook and Desert Rain House

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Desert Rain House in Oregon is one of the greenest homes in the world

Researchers invent paper that can be printed with light and reused 80 times

February 6, 2017 by  
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In an effort to fight the detrimental environmental impact of inkjet printing, researchers have invented a new type of “paper” that can be printed with light and re-written up to 80 times. Their invention employs the color-changing chemistry of nanoparticles, which can be applied via a thin coating to a variety of surfaces – including conventional paper . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnCyTb6bgJA Researchers from Shandong University in China, the University of California, Riverside and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently published a study detailing the invention of light-printable, rewritable paper. “The greatest significance of our work is the development of a new class of solid-state photo-reversible color-switching system to produce an ink-free light-printable rewritable paper that has the same feel and appearance as conventional paper, but can be printed and erased repeatedly without the need for additional ink,” explains Yadong Yin, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside. “Our work is believed to have enormous economic and environmental merits to modern society.” Why not just use recycled paper, you might ask? As Phys.org explains, the chemicals used in paper production are a leading source of industrial pollution, and abandoned paper makes up about 40 percent of the contents of landfills. Recycled paper contributes to the pollution problem through the process of ink removal. Add to that problems around deforestation, and the case for minimizing paper usage is a strong one. Related: Should your family give up paper towels? The new light-printable paper lends itself perfectly to applications where printed information is only needed for a short time, and it could be applied to any medium used for this purpose. “We believe the rewritable paper has many practical applications involving temporary information recording and reading, such as newspapers, magazines, posters, notepads, writing easels, product life indicators, oxygen sensors, and rewritable labels for various applications,” Yin said Via Phys.org Images via UC Riverside and Aidenvironment , Wikimedia Commons

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Researchers invent paper that can be printed with light and reused 80 times

Phoenix rising: Hand-in-hand, a city and a startup remap recycling

February 2, 2017 by  
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Recyclebank’s platform is using public engagement and incentives to bump Phoenix’s recycling rate to 40 percent by 2020.

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Phoenix rising: Hand-in-hand, a city and a startup remap recycling

CargoTek taps shipping containers for affordable UK homes and offices

January 27, 2017 by  
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Shipping containers can be a great solution for creating temporary, easily transportable spaces. London-based company CargoTek has recognized the versatility of modular, prefabricated structures with several cost-effective, rapidly deployable designs that require minimal infrastructure. Among their developments made from shipping containers is the Cobbler’s Thumb Development in Brighton and an emergency housing scheme for London ‘s Ealing borough. CargoTek’s plug-and-play innovative space solutions work across many sectors and applications, for both semi-permanent and temporary developments. All of their projects are designed to the same standard as regular buildings and are fully compliant with local building regulations. Related: Nha Trang’s first hostel built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Vietnam The Cobblers Thumb Development in Brighton comprises eight small business units, which range from five to 28 square meters. It took just 10 weeks to complete by local sub-contractors. The emergency housing scheme for Ealing in London addresses a housing shortage for vulnerable populations, offering accommodation for people who would have otherwise had to relocate away from their families and jobs. + CargoTek

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CargoTek taps shipping containers for affordable UK homes and offices

How Head & Shoulders, Unilever are washing beaches clean of plastic

January 23, 2017 by  
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Forty companies from Amcor to Veolia have pledged to recycle 70 percent of plastics. What’s good for the oceans is also good for business.

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How Head & Shoulders, Unilever are washing beaches clean of plastic

Minimalist Urban Nomad Kit lets travelers carry traces of home in a small wooden basket

January 17, 2017 by  
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Living a nomadic lifestyle just got a little more Zen thanks to the Japanese-inspired Nomad Life Kit. Mexican designer Geraldo Osio has created a minimalist wooden basket that carries a handful of basic necessities inside so travelers can have a sense of a home anywhere they go. All of the items in the kit are all manufactured by Japanese craftsmen and made of natural materials. Although the tiny wooden box may seem like a simple picnic basket, the idea behind the design is much more sentimental. Osio wanted to provide wanderers with a true sense of belonging while on the road. As the designer explains on his website , “This kind of lifestyle creates a tendency of losing a sense of belonging to a place.” Related: Tiny Helix Shelter made of laster-cut recycled cardboard is a temporary habitat for one Inside the box, nomads will find items that age as they use them. The leather straps on the box will soften and darken over time and the copper tableware set found on the inside will patina. The stone candle and incense holder are included in the set to offer the owner a familiar sense of smell and light wherever they may go. And if they ever find themselves without a place to rest or sleep, a simple straw mat and cushion will provide comfort for a quick rest or overnight stay . + Gerardo Osio Via Fast Codesign Images via Gerardo Osio

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Minimalist Urban Nomad Kit lets travelers carry traces of home in a small wooden basket

IKEA introduces Sladda, a chainless bike built for urban mobility

January 13, 2017 by  
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The next time you walk into an IKEA store , you might just be able to leave with a new bicycle. While it may seem to be a strange direction for a furniture company to take, the expansion into transportation connects with the company’s larger vision of sustainability . With more and more people moving to dense urban areas, car ownership is becoming increasingly impractical for many. As part of its push toward sustainability and elegant, everyday solutions, IKEA has designed an innovative new chainless bike that can be adapted for just about any need.

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IKEA introduces Sladda, a chainless bike built for urban mobility

6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

January 12, 2017 by  
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Building in a flood zone sounds like asking for trouble, but that doesn’t have to be the case if you use the right construction techniques. The most basic strategy to avoid rising waters is to raise the buildings above the flood level, but we’re more impressed by the houses that actually float off the ground when waters rush in. While this type of automated flood defense isn’t as common as elevated homes , we may see it pop up in more houses as flooding threatens to become a regular occurrence around the world. To take a closer look at these adaptive structures, we’ve rounded up six amphibious houses that float above the floodwaters—keep reading to see them all. Amphibious House by Baca Architects Baca Architects designed the Amphibious House, a flood-resistant home that enjoys gorgeous waterfront views without risk of water damage. Sited on the coveted banks of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire’s town of Marlow, the luxury home, which is described as the UK’s first amphibious house, rests on separated foundations that let the structure float upwards on extended guideposts when the River Thames overflows. The buoyant home has a 2.5-meter-high floodwater clearance. FLOAT House by Morphosis The LEED Platinum -certified FLOAT House is one of our favorite amphibious homes due to its small environmental footprint. Designed by Morphosis for Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, the net-zero 945-square-foot home offers a solution for floodwater-prone regions around the globe. The house is built on a prefabricated chassis made of polystyrene foam coated in glass fiber-reinforced concrete that’s lightweight enough to serve as a raft when floodwaters buoy the home up. Bamboo homes by H&P Architects Amphibious homes can also be affordable, as evidenced in H&P Architects’ designs for these bamboo homes in Southeast Asia. Made from locally-sourced bamboo , the thatched homes are built on platforms constructed from reused oil drums anchored in place. The recycled oil drums serve as a float and allow floodwater to buoy the home upwards. Maasbommel’s Amphibious Homes by Waterstudio and Dura Vermeer It should come as no surprise that the Netherlands is home to amphibious architecture given their low-lying landscapes. Dutch firms Waterstudio and Dura Vermeer completed a famous example of amphibious housing in Maasbommel, an area near the Maas River. Though the homes there sit on the river bottom, the architecture is engineered so that the house and foundation will float upwards in the event of a flood. Electrical and sewer lines are kept intact thanks to flexible pipes. Amphibious Container by Green Container International Aid When heavy monsoon rains caused major flooding in Pakistan in 2010, approximately one-fifth of the country’s total land area was affected and 20 million people were directly affected. In a bid to provide relief, Green Container International Aid designed the Amphibious Container, an emergency shelter made from reclaimed shipping containers , shipping pallets, and inner tire tubes that can break away from the ground and float in case of flooding. The Greenhouse That Grows Legs by Between Art and Technology Studio While the above amphibious house examples explore buoyancy, Between Art and Technology (BAT) Studio decided to take a different approach in their design of a flood-resistant structure. Instead of letting the waters push the structure up, the Greenhouse That Grows Legs uses a hydraulic lifting system that can raise the building 800 millimeters off the ground. The homeowners can move the building via remote control .

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6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

January 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on 6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

Building in a flood zone sounds like asking for trouble, but that doesn’t have to be the case if you use the right construction techniques. The most basic strategy to avoid rising waters is to raise the buildings above the flood level, but we’re more impressed by the houses that actually float off the ground when waters rush in. While this type of automated flood defense isn’t as common as elevated homes , we may see it pop up in more houses as flooding threatens to become a regular occurrence around the world. To take a closer look at these adaptive structures, we’ve rounded up six amphibious houses that float above the floodwaters—keep reading to see them all. Amphibious House by Baca Architects Baca Architects designed the Amphibious House, a flood-resistant home that enjoys gorgeous waterfront views without risk of water damage. Sited on the coveted banks of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire’s town of Marlow, the luxury home, which is described as the UK’s first amphibious house, rests on separated foundations that let the structure float upwards on extended guideposts when the River Thames overflows. The buoyant home has a 2.5-meter-high floodwater clearance. FLOAT House by Morphosis The LEED Platinum -certified FLOAT House is one of our favorite amphibious homes due to its small environmental footprint. Designed by Morphosis for Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, the net-zero 945-square-foot home offers a solution for floodwater-prone regions around the globe. The house is built on a prefabricated chassis made of polystyrene foam coated in glass fiber-reinforced concrete that’s lightweight enough to serve as a raft when floodwaters buoy the home up. Bamboo homes by H&P Architects Amphibious homes can also be affordable, as evidenced in H&P Architects’ designs for these bamboo homes in Southeast Asia. Made from locally-sourced bamboo , the thatched homes are built on platforms constructed from reused oil drums anchored in place. The recycled oil drums serve as a float and allow floodwater to buoy the home upwards. Maasbommel’s Amphibious Homes by Waterstudio and Dura Vermeer It should come as no surprise that the Netherlands is home to amphibious architecture given their low-lying landscapes. Dutch firms Waterstudio and Dura Vermeer completed a famous example of amphibious housing in Maasbommel, an area near the Maas River. Though the homes there sit on the river bottom, the architecture is engineered so that the house and foundation will float upwards in the event of a flood. Electrical and sewer lines are kept intact thanks to flexible pipes. Amphibious Container by Green Container International Aid When heavy monsoon rains caused major flooding in Pakistan in 2010, approximately one-fifth of the country’s total land area was affected and 20 million people were directly affected. In a bid to provide relief, Green Container International Aid designed the Amphibious Container, an emergency shelter made from reclaimed shipping containers , shipping pallets, and inner tire tubes that can break away from the ground and float in case of flooding. The Greenhouse That Grows Legs by Between Art and Technology Studio While the above amphibious house examples explore buoyancy, Between Art and Technology (BAT) Studio decided to take a different approach in their design of a flood-resistant structure. Instead of letting the waters push the structure up, the Greenhouse That Grows Legs uses a hydraulic lifting system that can raise the building 800 millimeters off the ground. The homeowners can move the building via remote control .

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6 amphibious houses that float to escape flooding

Prefab ‘Bank in a Can’ delivers banking services to remote areas of Africa

January 12, 2017 by  
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People who live in rural areas of Africa in particular don’t always have access to reliable ATMs or other banking services. To help alleviate this issue, Johannesburg’s A4AC designed new prefabricated banking units called BANK IN A CAN that can be delivered to remote, rural areas. The Bank in a Can project was realized in collaboration between A4AC and FNB (First National Bank) as a banking solution for rural areas where people don’t have access to quality banking and financial services. Each prefabricated container is branded with graphics inspired by different local contexts. Related: World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes The units are designed to be deployed in any rural or urban community and can be made operational within a few weeks. The foundations and structural infrastructure are prepared on site prior to the arrival of mobile units. The roof structure is then installed over the units. + A4AC

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Prefab ‘Bank in a Can’ delivers banking services to remote areas of Africa

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