This Puget Sound eco cabin is made almost entirely from reclaimed materials

January 24, 2018 by  
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Activist and artist Anna Hoover collaborated with architect Les Eerkes from Olson Kundig Architects to build the Scavenger Hut – a beautiful, low-impact cabin hidden in the idyllic landscape of the Puget Sound. The design for the 693-square-foot compact cabin called for both affordability and sustainability. Accordingly, it was built using mostly reclaimed materials and leaves a minimal footprint thanks to a unique six-foot raised foundation. When artist and activist Anna Hoover was considering the cabin’s design , she was looking for something simple and rustic that would be a “thought refuge, a room with a view to sit and contemplate future projects and reflect on recent travels and interactions, plenty of ‘headspace’—tall ceilings—and the ability to host other artists for studio time,” she explained. Related: These minimalist prefab cabins are designed for human “recharging” Enter architect Les Eerkes, who designed the project while at Olson Kundig . Working with Hoover, Eerkes designed an eco-friendly timber cabin that would be a simple, but elegant space to encourage thoughtful contemplation. Even better, Eerkes came up with a plan to build the structure for less than $200 per square foot. To cut costs, the cabin was built with glued laminated timber . The exterior facade is clad in T1-11 plywood, which Hoover charred herself using a Weed Dragon Torch. Additionally, the six columns that support the cabin not only reduce the structure’s footprint, but also added an affordable way to avoid excavation and labor costs that come with laying a concrete foundation. The majority of the building materials – and even the plants – were reclaimed from homes and buildings slated for demolition. “The process of reclaiming these plants and items and giving them a new life and home is fulfilling on many levels,” Hoover says. “Easier on the pocketbook and the environment—and you receive the benefit of a good workout.” The interior is a light-filled space, flooded with natural light thanks to an abundance of windows. The kitchen and living room are on the ground floor topped with a sleeping loft. Along with the salvaged kitchen cabinets, the interior is a hodge-podge of reclaimed materials. A hot-rolled steel staircase leads to the loft where floor-to-ceiling windows give stunning views of the surrounding forest. The room even has a drop-down door that opens completely to further blend the space into its surroundings. + Les Eerkes Via Dwell

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This Puget Sound eco cabin is made almost entirely from reclaimed materials

Gorgeous live/work home in Melbourne is built with recycled materials

January 15, 2018 by  
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Austin Maynard Architects completed their latest project, a 12-month build that’s stunning, playful, and eco-friendly. Commissioned by a couple that works from home, the Kiah House is a live/work extension in North Fitzroy, Melbourne that comprises a master bedroom and a treehouse-like office stacked on top. The beautiful home draws inspiration from Japanese and Buddhist influences to create a modern sanctuary that embraces outdoor living and contemporary art. The Kiah House was constructed as an extension to an original 1927 Victorian-era house and to meet the clients’ desires for “a sanctuary” with a “strong and positive vibe.” The original weatherboard home was renovated with a new spacious kitchen and dining area that spills out to an outdoor deck. Two bedrooms, a lounge, and a bathroom are also located in the original cottage. The master bedroom en suite is placed in the extension’s ground floor and is screened with operable louvers from street view. “At Kiah House we were charged with the task of creating spaces, both private and shared, that spill out into the garden and yet adaptable enough to create solitude and privacy when needed,” wrote the architects. “The master bedroom ‘haven’ has a dedicated Buddhist prayer space and opens up to the garden and ponds via sliding double-glazed glass panels blurring the lines between inside and outside. The towering lemon scented gum tree is enclosed by a small deck area, a place for the owners to “sit and meditate”.” The bedroom roof is also covered in plants and edible vegetation that can be seen from the second-story office, which also overlooks the gum tree canopy. A colorful mural called ‘Awakened Flow’ by artist Seb Humphreys of Order 55 was painted on the office’s spotted gum cladding. Related: Swanky laneway house in Melbourne is built from recycled red brick The renovation of the home and the addition of an extension were completed with sustainability in mind. Timber salvaged and recycled from the CSR sugar mills in nearby Yarraville is used throughout the kitchen, while the red clay bricks that line the bathroom were all reclaimed and hand-cleaned from demolition sites around Victoria. The home is optimized for natural light, passive solar gain, and natural ventilation. All windows are double-glazed and high performance insulation is used throughout. Collected roof water is reused for irrigation and to flush toilets. A solar array has also been installed on the roof. + Austin Maynard Architects

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Smart Home targets affordability and eco-friendly design in Australia

January 10, 2018 by  
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Green Sheep Collective aimed to create an affordable and highly energy efficient home with the design of Smart Home, a renovation and extension in Melbourne , Australia. Built for approximately $200 per square foot, the home is by no means a low-cost home but the price is impressive given the inclusion of high-level environmentally sustainable principles and components. In contrast to Melbourne’s many McMansions, the Smart Home is a site-specific compact home that boasts low to zero emissions, recycled materials, and connection to the outdoors. Smart Home is an expansion and renovation of a two-bedroom single-fronted Victorian cottage in inner Melbourne. Passive solar design principles guided the design and the home’s openings and room layout are optimized for natural light and ventilation. Recycled materials were used wherever possible as was ethically sourced materials like the radially sawn timbers and Flexo recycled rubber flooring. Water saving impacts were addressed with EcoVerta water saving units. Careful design and clever storage solutions with built-in furniture created 20% more usable indoor space within the 140-square-foot addition. Related: Beautiful Northcote Solar Home shows off modern energy-efficient family living “This project faced a number of critical challenges that had to be overcome in order to meet these sustainability and design targets,” wrote the architects. “The constraints included overshadowing, poor orientation, and a small 7.5 metre wide east-west block built close to the boundary. The existing home was dark and leaky with a lean-to at the rear.” The architects demolished the lean-to and added a mezzanine . “Our response creates interesting volumes for architectural beauty, and minimises idle space by ensuring the floor plan is utilised to its full capacity through clever storage solutions and split level living. The single storey addition includes open plan living, dining and kitchen opening via large openable glazed doors to an outdoor deck.” + Green Sheep Collective Images by Shae Parker McCashen

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Smart Home targets affordability and eco-friendly design in Australia

OLIO launches revolutionary food sharing app to reduce waste

December 26, 2017 by  
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OLIO  is an online app designed to reduce food waste through social networking . After creating an account, OLIO users can upload photos and descriptions of foods, such as extra vegetables, surplus canned goods, or leftover meals, that they wish to share. Since launching in the United Kingdom in early 2016, OLIO has gained 322,000 users, with more than 400,000 food transactions made on the app. A third of OLIO’s regular users are from low-income households. “[The food system] is clearly absolutely bonkers and needs to be fixed,” said OLIO co-founder Tessa Cook, who was inspired to create the app to deal with what she describes as “one of the biggest problems facing humanity today,” according to the Independent . One-third of all food produced globally is wasted, while in the United Kingdom, the average family discards £700 worth of food each year. Cook was inspired by one incident in which she sought to share leftovers on the street, but could not find someone. “I thought, this is perfectly delicious food . I know there is someone within 100 meters who would love it. The problem is they don’t know about it,” she said. Related: France is the world’s most sustainable food country When Cook realized there was no food-sharing app, she and Saasha Celestial-One, an American former investment banker, co-founded OLIO after raising £1.65 million (~$2.2 million) in investor funding. OLIO is now collaborating with cafes and supermarkets to reduce food waste , while positively impacting business and consumer behavior. Sharing apps like OLIO have highlighted the positive possibilities of a networked society. “These have made visible the kind of opportunity within all this stuff around us, and they can be really powerful,” said Joe Iles, editor-in-chief of Circulate , a magazine which promotes the idea of a circular economy, in which materials and products are reused . Via the Independent Images via OLIO and Depositphotos

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Enchanting Christmas tree nursery is made from 16,000 recycled drink cartons

December 22, 2017 by  
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A glowing Christmas wonderland has popped up in Hong Kong with an inspiring environmental story. Local studio AaaM Architects transformed 16,000 recycled drink cartons into a festive Christmas tree nursery aimed at raising environmental awareness and promoting recycling. Named ‘Jungle All the Way’, the collection of 36 festive trees was created with the help of over 1,600 primary school students and is located in the courtyard of a revitalized heritage building. The 16,000 recycled drink cartons were collected by local primary schools over the past few years. With the help of the students, AaaM Architects flattened and refolded the cartons and, after combining them with plastic and aluminum, used them to create three-dimensional Christmas trees . Eight different “species” of trees of varying heights were made. Public visitors are also encouraged to participate and add their own recycled products to the installation. “The reality and necessity for public participation in order to bring true changes and awareness laid the root for the concept of a nursery forest, where it was spatialized for social interactions and engaging experience to take place,” wrote the architects. “[We] rethought the temporary installations not as a decorative end product, but as a catalytic instrument in both material and ideological terms among the waste recycling process and its education to achieve true sustainability .” Related: Top 10 crazy christmas trees made from bottles, bikes, shopping carts and more! The 36 trees are laid out into the shape of a giant Christmas tree visible from above. An experiential path leads visitors through the forest and is punctuated by key messages, benches, and public engagement areas. The trees are lit from within for a glowing effect. All materials will go back into the recycling process after the exhibition ends. + AaaM Architects

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Architecture students transform an old Alabama bank into a town library

December 14, 2017 by  
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A historic bank in a tiny Alabama town has been reborn into a surprisingly elegant library with looks rivaling a chic retail store. The project, called Newborn Library, was completed in 2013 as part of Rural Studio , an Auburn University student design-build program with a focus on community design. The adaptive reuse and expansion project preserves much of the historic architectural elements while using modern construction technologies, such as CNC techniques, to create a contemporary interior. Located in the historic downtown of Newbern, a town with fewer than 200 people, the Old Bank Building was donated to the community by a local family who wanted the building turned into a library . Rural Studio, which follows a philosophy of providing good design to both rich and poor, was a fitting choice for the adaptive reuse project. The vision was to transform the bank into a social center that provided “after-school programming, computer access, and the first public Internet point in the community.” Related: Students design beautiful homes for mass-production at just $20,000 each To this end, the architecture students gutted the interior and expanded the footprint of the building while leaving the bank’s white brick exterior and glazed front intact to preserve its historical context. Timber lines the interior, from the CNC-milled birch plywood shelves to the patterned ceiling panels also made of birch. The old pine floor was preserved and elements of the past punctuate the space like the bank vault door and original bricks repurposed as paving and low walls. A 700-square-foot boxy cypress -clad extension was added to the back of the building, while a small outdoor space to the north provides an outdoor reading space. + Rural Studio Via Dezeen Images via Timothy Hursley

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Architecture students transform an old Alabama bank into a town library

Flexible greenery-covered prefab pops up in just 3 months in Vietnam

December 14, 2017 by  
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Brick and concrete dominate Vietnam’s built landscape, but Module K is helping to usher in a new contemporary building type that’s prefabricated, flexible, and transportable. The Vietnamese design studio recently completed Serene House HCMC, a modular steel structure in Ho Chi Minh City that only took three months to realize from concept to completion. Located in the hipster district Thao Dien, this modern building mixes modernist style with Indochine influences. Nestled between classic and French-inspired villas, the three-story Serene House HCMC is a mixed-use building with built-in flexibility to cater to the changing needs of the tenants. “We chose a prefabricated steel structure solution, quite uncommon in Vietnam where the traditional construction is bricks and concrete,” said Jade Nguyê?n Kim Ngo?c, design director of Module K. “It’s cost effective, easy to erect and disassemble, extremely flexible and very light and airy. We can easily break it up when our ten-year lease ends and move it to a new location for another serene house of our own. It also helps preserve the initial capital investment.” Related: Giant bamboo planters protect a Ho Chi Minh City home from the sun and rain Described as a “three-dimensional puzzle,” the interior features both double-height ceilings and lower mezzanines and currently houses a coffee shop, furniture showroom, apartments, and office space, as well as a rooftop terrace. Glazing wraps around the operable facade to let in plenty of natural light and blur the line between inside and out. Tropical plants punctuate the interior and grow around the building from the climbing plants that drape down from the roof and window planters to the ground-floor garden. Locally produced LAVA -designed furnishings and lighting are featured in the rooms. + Module K Images by Hiroyuki Oki

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Flexible greenery-covered prefab pops up in just 3 months in Vietnam

Blackened timber cottage with solar replaces a decayed brick home

November 27, 2017 by  
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An old and decayed brick house north of Amsterdam has transformed into a modern solar-powered dwelling that stands out from its neighbors, while respecting the local vernacular. Dutch firm Chris Collaris Architects completed the renovated home, cladding the facade and asymmetric gabled roof entirely with blackened pinewood to achieve a minimalist look. Passive solar principles guided the redesign, called House MM, which features black solar panels, high-density insulation, recycled materials, double-sealed windows, and an emphasis on natural lighting. House MM offers a rather limited floor area of 60 square meters, but the redesign of the interior gives it a much more spacious feeling than its brick predecessor. Tall ceilings, white walls, and an abundance of natural light create the illusion of space. Materials salvaged from the old house punctuate the interior, like the repurposed roof tiles and timber flooring seen in the garden and the brick walls found throughout the new home. Related: Rusting 1950s cargo ship transformed into a stunning modern floating home Despite its two-story appearance, the home includes three floors thanks to the addition of a mezzanine . “The roof lines were bound to restricted heights. By cantilevering the lower parts outside the main building volume, the upper level of the house increases,” wrote the architects. “A house with a high ceiling on every floor level and an extra attic is the result of this design feature. The extra win is a dry walk along the North facade while walking underneath the cantilevering roof part towards the entrance.” + Chris Collaris Architects Via ArchDaily Images by Tim van de Velde

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Blackened timber cottage with solar replaces a decayed brick home

BMW reveals bike ‘Hyperloop’ with elevated climate-controlled tubes

November 27, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever tried to commute via bike, you know it can be fraught with danger: doors opening into the bike lane, pedestrians that jump out of nowhere, smog in your face and rain-slick streets. Now picture an elevated tube that lets cyclists move around the city in a safe, climate-controlled, enclosed bicycle superhighway . BMW wants to make it happen. Called the Vision E3 Way and designed in collaboration with Shanghai’s Tongji University , the idea is to create elevated tubes that connect to traffic hubs, shopping areas and underground stations, accessed by a ramp with barriers to control the amount of traffic in the tubes. Any zero-emissions, two-wheeled vehicle is welcome, and the climate would be controlled so you could comfortably commute all year-round. Related: Berlin plans at least 12 new bike superhighways Lighting and climate control would be powered by a rooftop array of solar panels . To encourage car owners to bike, rental stations would be placed throughout the network. The system could not only improve travel for cyclists, but the reduction in traffic congestion and air pollution could make life better for everyone. ‘It’s our Hyperloop ,’ said Markus Seidel, head of the BMW Technology Office China. Via Digital Trends

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Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father

November 17, 2017 by  
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Retiring to a cozy cabin in the woods is a dream of many, and one that Josh Wynne helped his father fulfill when he built and designed Mike’s Hammock, a compact dwelling located on his property in Nokomis, Florida. Designed for handicap accessibility, the modern one-room was crafted for aging in place and prioritizes sustainability in its use of recycled materials and low-energy footprint. Stylish and sustainable, the 604-square-meter cabin was constructed with mostly local and recycled materials , including the Southern yellow pine salvaged from a nearby construction site. The careful use of resources resulted in less than one dumpster of waste for the project. To minimize site impact , Josh cantilevered the home above its foundation and planted three trees in place of the one he needed to remove. A custom-made central cooling and heating system helps reduce energy costs to an average of only $25 per month, even in summer, Wynne told New Atlas. Related: This cozy off-grid cabin shows beauty on a budget in upstate New York The facade is clad in vertically oriented corrugated metal siding to match the neighboring barn, while the interior is lined with Southern Yellow Pine that runs horizontally through the structure. The timber’s seamless lines, coupled with the large glazed sliding doors that frame outdoor views, gives the illusion of spaciousness. The small size of the home, as well as the layout and wheel-chair accessible features, cater to his father’s limited mobility without compromising aesthetics. + Josh Wynne Construction Via New Atlas

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