The affordable, carbon-positive CORE 9 house generates more energy than it uses

April 3, 2018 by  
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With its CORE 9 home, architecture firm Beaumont Concepts aims to redefine how affordable sustainable housing is designed and built. The compact, low-maintenance house can be adapted for energy ratings from 6 to 10-star, which allows it to accommodate a range of budgets. The architects collaborated with a team of building designers and thermal performance professionals in order to develop affordable homes that respond to Australia’s climate. The resulting design, named CORE, is a carbon-positive home that relies on renewable energy sources and feeds surplus energy back to the grid. Related: Passive Erpingham House in Australia is affordable, light-filled and easily replicable The team used a selection of recycled and sustainable materials with a low embodied energy . These materials themselves can be up-cycled or re-processed after use. Cross-ventilation and maximum use of northern light help to reduce heating and cooling loads. In order to keep costs as low as possible, the designers also incorporated an inverted roof truss, which allows more light into the building but doesn’t require any specialist construction methods or additional costs. + Beaumont Concepts Via Archdaily Photos by Warren Reed and Leo Edwards

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The affordable, carbon-positive CORE 9 house generates more energy than it uses

This tiny timber cabin was built from construction waste for under $30K

April 2, 2018 by  
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Transportable, versatile, and low-cost, this tiny timber cabin shows how crafty use of local and recycled materials can lead to impressive results. UK architecture firm Invisible Studio designed and built this mobile prototype using a combination of construction waste and locally grown unseasoned timber for just £20,000 ($28,105 USD). Called Trailer, the multifunctional structure follows in the footsteps of Invisible Studio’s previous projects, such as the Ghost Barn and their own studio space , both of which were built from timber sustainably grown and managed on site. Located in the woods near Invisible Studio’s workspace, the 430-square-foot Trailer project gets its name from the trailer the built structure sits on. The architects designed the building so that it can be legally transported on a public highway and added a removable wheeled “bogey” beneath the steel chassis for ease of use. “The project aims to provide a super low cost, versatile, useable space that could act as a kit of parts for any self builder to improvise around or easily adapt,” wrote Invisible Studio. “While conceived as a domestic space, it could easily function as a workspace or something else.” Related: Ghost Barn built of locally felled timber glows like a lantern at night Corrugated fiberglass and steel clad the building, while high-performance interlocking polycarbonate panels cover the two gabled ends to allow an ample amount of natural light indoors. The interior is lined in used shuttering plywood and all the joinery, including the two staircases, is crafted from plywood offcuts. Leftover blue rope, sourced from a previous project, is used for the handrails. The doors and insulation were also reclaimed and the roof lights were purchased as factory seconds. To reduce milling costs, the architects used timber of the “same section,” meaning timber was cut into 125 millimeter-by-50-millimeter pieces and then laminated up into the structural sections for the cross frames. + Invisible Studio Via Dezeen Images by Piers Taylor

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This tiny timber cabin was built from construction waste for under $30K

Elon Musk’s Boring Company to sell life-size ‘LEGO-like’ bricks dug from the earth

March 27, 2018 by  
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People signed up in droves to buy hats and flamethrowers from The Boring Company , and founder Elon Musk isn’t stopping there. He just announced his latest idea on Twitter : kits of massive interlocking bricks made from tunneling rock . The first kit will be inspired by ancient Egypt — think pyramids or a Sphinx. New Boring Company merch coming soon. Lifesize LEGO-like interlocking bricks made from tunneling rock that you can use to create sculptures & buildings. Rated for California seismic loads, so super strong, but bored in the middle, like an aircraft wing spar, so not heavy. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2018 LEGO -like bricks could be the next merchandise out of The Boring Company . Musk said the life-size building materials would be strong enough to stand up to a California earthquake, but not heavy, as they’ll be “bored in the middle.” Ever wanted a Temple of Horus in your backyard? Maybe The Boring Company’s kits could make that possible. First kit set will be ancient Egypt — pyramids, Sphinx, temple of Horus, etc — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2018 Related: You can now buy your own Elon Musk ‘Boring Company’ flamethrower Musk didn’t specify the dimensions of the bricks or structures created with the kits on Twitter. But when asked if these bricks could be utilized for affordable housing , he said the bricks feature “a precise surface finish” and two people could erect a small house’s outer walls in around one day with the materials. When asked about environmental impact, Musk said , “Uhh, it’s literally made of rock.” Further details are still thin — like price or when the kits might be available for purchase — but Musk did say they plan to ship them around the world. And they said I’d never be a rock star … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2018 The Verge pointed out The Boring Company has been considering what do to with excavated dirt for a while — the company’s Frequently Asked Questions page said they are “investigating technologies that will recycle the earth into useful bricks to be used to build structures.” They even cited the pyramids as inspiration. Musk has raked in millions of dollars from Boring Company merchandise already. If the flamethrowers and hats were any indication, he could sell thousands of these kit sets as well. + Elon Musk Twitter Via The Verge Images via The Boring Company and Wikimedia Commons

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Elon Musk’s Boring Company to sell life-size ‘LEGO-like’ bricks dug from the earth

Top 5 Green Gadgets from CES 2011

March 26, 2018 by  
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Each year the Consumer Electronics Show lights up Las Vegas with an exhilarating showcase of cutting-edge technology . Although the Nevada desert may not be the first place you’d look for energy-efficient tech, this year we spotted an array of green gems that exhibit trends towards more efficient, versatile, and sustainable gadgets. From universal eco chargers to multi-tasking sunglass cameras and kinetic-energy harvesting gizmos, read on for our top 5 green gadgets from CES 2011 ! Lady Gaga’s Polaroid Camera Sunglasses Lady Gaga teamed up with Polaroid to create this pair of high-tech stunner shades that conceal a secret surprise – a 12 megapixel camera that captures the world as you see it. The multi-tasking GL20 Camera Glasses also boast twin 1.5 inch OLED screens that can play back photos and videos for whoever you’re looking at. nPower PEG Kinetic Energy Charger Add a spring to your step and some watts to you walk with the nPower PEG – the world’s first handheld gadget charger that captures and stores your kinetic energy. Simply toss this pint-sized power charger into your backpack or briefcase and it will capture kinetic energy from your daily activities and transform it into electricity to juice your gadgets on the go. eCoupled Wireless Tesla Charger Wireless charging is a hot topic for tech enthusiasts, so we were thrilled to see eCoupled roll out a new system capable of charging a Tesla at this year’s CES! Simply park your EV over the PowerSpot ‘s halo of blue light and it will transmit electricity via an induction pad at distances up to 4″. The technology isn’t quite ready to hit shelves and no charging times were available, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye out for. IDAPT Universal Gadget Charger With today’s prevalence of handheld gadgets it seems everyone has a shoebox filled with bulky wall wart chargers collecting dust. The IDAPT i1 Eco is a universal charger that can power nearly any gadget, and it’s made from recycled materials to boot. Ford Focus Electric Perhaps the biggest news from this year’s CES came from Ford as they unveiled their first all-electric car. The Ford Focus EV is an electrified version of their popular small car that will get a better mile-per-gallon equivalent than the Chevy Volt and will recharge in half the time it takes to juice up a Nissan Leaf .

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Top 5 Green Gadgets from CES 2011

Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs BREEAM-seeking brewery renovation in Riga

March 23, 2018 by  
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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has beaten the likes of Henning Larsen and Zaha Hadid Architects in a competition to design Kimmel Quarter, a major urban revitalization project in Riga, Latvia . Located in the capital’s Central District, the project will be centered on the redevelopment of Brewery Kimmel, a 19th century beer brewery rich in history. The adaptive reuse scheme will preserve the site’s historical roots while adding new mixed-use programming that follow sustainable design principles. The 11,500-square-meter Kimmel Quarter will become Riga’s new destination for working, shopping, and recreation. The abandoned industrial buildings that occupy nearly an entire city block will be restored and transformed into a 30,000-square-meter office building, a hotel, a public gym, a child care center, a cafe, a spa, a food court, and a convenience store. Inviting courtyards and plazas will tie the various spaces together. “We wanted to create a new composition of building volumes as pragmatic and straight forward as the old industrial complex with a dynamic façade that pushes back and forth and up and down,” said Rasmus Kierkegaard, Associate Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. “The resulting architecture is distinctly modern, but in a rewarding dialogue with the old restored buildings. We have designed a new Kimmel Quarter in which history and the future are bound by timeless architecture.” Related: Lookout Loop bird observatory in Latvia doubles as a temporary shelter Sensitive adaptive reuse, passive solar orientation, and use of recycled materials and rainwater are part of the design’s focus on sustainability. Kimmel Quarter will follow BREEAM standards and is expected to serve as one of Riga’s model project for meeting the European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package goals. + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs BREEAM-seeking brewery renovation in Riga

The ‘Dutch Mountains’ will be the world’s largest wooden building

March 16, 2018 by  
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The Netherlands is famously flat—but a massive green mountain is rising up in the Dutch city of Veldhoven. The Dutch Mountains project will be the world’s largest wooden building, combining natural materials with high-tech design to create a state-of-the-art, self-sustaining development. The ambitious project will include several offices and work spaces, as well as various conference centers. It will also feature a hotel located on site and short-stay facilities for out-of-town visitors. The main building will be constructed of solid wood and, once completed, will be the largest wooden building in the world. Related: Eindhoven unveils plans for a solar-powered city block with living roofs and urban farms The Dutch Mountains master plan envisions an entirely self-sufficient complex, with closed cycles for energy, water, waste and materials. The architects chose timber as the principal building material in order to create system that reduces CO2 emissions. Additionally, they plan to integrate the building’s facade with a smart technology that reduces energy usage. The project envisions a future where the building can be updated with greener materials that help improve the building’s sustainability. For example, the building’s temperature-regulating facade will be one of the most innovative on the market, but if a smarter facade is created in the future that produces more energy, it can easily replace the old version, which will be recycled or repurposed. Built with optimal flexibility in mind, the structure’s individual spaces will be adaptable to future uses. For example, if more office space is needed, the conference spaces can be converted, or vice versa. The complex will not only use sustainable building materials, but also provide an abundance of green space to create a vibrant, healthy atmosphere. From green roofs and a large park to an artificial marshland, the complex will be virtually covered in vegetation. + Dutch Mountains project + Studio Marco Vermeulen Images via Studio Marco Vermeulen

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The ‘Dutch Mountains’ will be the world’s largest wooden building

PUP Architects disguises a tiny house as a rooftop air duct

March 14, 2018 by  
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PUP Architects disguised a dwelling as a rooftop air duct to bring attention to London’s housing crisis . The “guerrilla habitation” project playfully exploits development loopholes by fashioning a habitable rooftop space atop a canal-side warehouse in east London. PUP Architects based their design off a loophole that allows development of rooftop service structures without planning permission. PUP Architect’s H-VAC structure beat out 128 proposals to win property developer Shiva’s annual Antepavilion program, a competition that calls attention to problems with the local planning department and the city’s housing shortage .  Disguised as an HVAC exhaust, this hidden two-story dwelling starts from within the brick warehouse and pops up onto the roof in a snaking linear form clad in silver waterproof shingles made from recycled Tetra-Pak offcuts. The timber-framed structure winds its way up and culminates into a periscope-like shape with small room with two comfortable benches accommodating up to six. Related: This tiny prefab solution to Finland’s housing shortage can pop up in 24 hours “The pavilion invites discussion about the occupation of the city’s rooftops by highlighting relaxed permitted development rights,” says the Antepavilion press release. “It suggests that if dwellings could be disguised as air conditioning equipment, thousands of micro houses could be built across the city providing new homes.” The unusual pop-up pavilion won 2017’s Architecture Foundation Antepavilion competition for sustainable housing alternatives. + PUP Architects Images by Jim Stephenson and Phineas Harper

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PUP Architects disguises a tiny house as a rooftop air duct

China is winning the war on air pollution

March 14, 2018 by  
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China is notorious for having some of the worst air pollution on the planet. In 2014 the country declared war on smog, and the results are in: China is killing it. In just four years, pollution is down 32 percent on average. Now, it’s fair to say that the country is leading the way in proving to the world that meaningful change is possible. Getting to this point wasn’t easy. The Chinese government has been very aggressive in controlling pollution by prohibiting new coal plants and forcing existing ones to reduce emissions, closing some steel and coal mines, and reducing automobile traffic. It has also invested heavily in renewable energy. And it’s working; Beijing has seen air pollution fall by 35 percent and Shijiazhuang has realized a drop of 39 percent. China’s most polluted city of Baoding had a reduction of 38 percent. Related: China calls America selfish amid Trump attempt to revive coal Almost every region in China has beat its targets, and the results go beyond allowing people to breathe easier – experts believe that Chinese citizens could live 2.4 years longer on average if these declines persist. Via Popular Mechanics and The New York Times Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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China is winning the war on air pollution

How to Recycle Hoverboards

February 27, 2018 by  
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Hoverboards took the U.S. by storm in late 2015 and … The post How to Recycle Hoverboards appeared first on Earth911.com.

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3 stacked shipping containers create a diving tower in Denmark

February 26, 2018 by  
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Sweco Architects just transformed an old ferry port in Denmark into a fantastic water recreation spot. To keep the Water Sports Center Halsskov green, the architects recycled “as many materials as possible from the former port, either directly or through upcycling .” Perhaps the most distinctive element of the sports center is a jumping tower comprised of three stacked, bright yellow shipping containers . People can jump off a shipping container diving tower into the waves at the Water Sports Center Halsskov at heights of around 13, 26, and 36 feet. The stacked containers are rotated “to generate an interesting interaction between activity, shadows, and volumes,” according to Sweco Architects . Related: Abandoned Torpedo Station Transformed Into the Coolest Water Sports Venue in the Baltic Sea The shipping container diving tower isn’t the only fun visitors can have at the Water Sports Center Halsskov. People don’t have to jump in to get wet; they can also access the water via ramps, ladders, and floating platforms. There are three beach volleyball courts, trampolines, an outdoor swimming pool , and a climbing wall , according to the firm. Facility buildings, also comprised of containers, offer bathrooms and changing rooms, and they’re covered with heat-treated wood from sustainable forests for easy maintenance. LED lighting is present throughout the site to minimize energy consumption. The project “emphasizes the special raw character of the site,” according to Sweco Architects. They exposed concrete piers and preserved pieces of bulwarks and harbor fittings. They said in their design statement that benches and boundaries “consist of the former bulwarks from the ferry port.” The Water Sports Center Halsskov was completed in 2017. + Sweco Architects + Water Sports Center Halsskov by Sweco Architects Images courtesy of Mads Fredrik/Sweco Architects and Mie Marie Reindahl Clausen/Sweco Architects

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