UNStudio installs new energy-generating facade for solar producer Hanwhas HQ

May 4, 2020 by  
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UNStudio has completed renovations of the Hanwha headquarters in Seoul — all without disrupting the building’s normal business operations. The impressive feat was achieved thanks to efficient and low-impact construction methods that the international design firm dubs “remodeling in place.” In addition to renovated interior spaces and a redesigned landscape , the Hanwha headquarters is now home to a completely new, energy-generating facade with integrated solar panels to express the company’s identity as an ambitious global leader in the solar panel industry.  Located along the Cheonggyecheon in Seoul , the 57,696-square-meter Hanwha headquarters building had been suffering from a disconnect between its dated appearance and the company’s desire to be seen as a leading environmental technology provider. UNStudio won a competition to lead the redesign along with sustainability and facade consultant Arup and landscape design firm Loos van Vilet. Critical to the redesign was the replacement of the original facade, which included horizontal bands of opaque paneling and single-paneled dark glass. The new facade features clear, insulated glass with aluminum framing and integrated solar panels. Related: MVRDV to transform Seoul’s concrete-dominated waterfront into a vibrant, green oasis The renovation takes inspiration from nature and the surrounding environment. For example, the facade opens up along the north side to enable daylighting while the southern facade is more opaque to mitigate unwanted solar gain. The openings in the facade and the placement of facade panels also respond to views and the programs within the rooms. The solar panels are placed on the opaque panels on the south and southeastern facade and are angled for optimal solar harvesting. Glazing has also been positioned to reduce direct solar impact. “By means of a reductive, integrated gesture, the facade design for the Hanwha HQ implements fully inclusive systems, which significantly impact the interior climate of the building, improve user comfort and ensure high levels of sustainability and affordability,” Ben van Berkel, founder of UNStudio, said. “Through fully integrated design strategies, today’s facades can provide responsive and performative envelopes that both contextually and conceptually react to their local surroundings, whilst simultaneously determining interior conditions.” + UNStudio Photography by Rohspace via UNStudio

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UNStudio installs new energy-generating facade for solar producer Hanwhas HQ

Relax and unwind in this tiny home with a walk-in hot tub

May 4, 2020 by  
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From climbing walls to a roaming music studio , we’ve seen a lot of ingenious tiny house features over the years. But this tiny home on wheels from Movable Roots has a distinct feature we never thought was possible — a walk-in hot tub! The Culp is a 500-square-foot home that, in addition to its accessible, spa-like bathroom, boasts unique cork flooring and an incinerating toilet. Based in Melbourne, Florida, Movable Roots has already made a name for itself as a leading builder of tiny homes. But The Culp is sure to rocket the company to sheer tiny home stardom. The 500-square-foot tiny home on wheels features a two-tone metal exterior that was chosen for its low-maintenance properties. The entrance is through a screened-in porch, which is a relaxing outdoor space to take in some fresh air while sipping a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or a refreshing mint julep. Related: This tiny home on wheels features a cool laundry chute Inside, the interior design is modern and fresh. Comprised of white walls with plank-style cork flooring throughout, the living space has subtle gold and aqua accents that add character. The living room has enough space for a couch, which sits across from a low-lying gas fireplace and a flat-screen television mounted on the wall. A galley kitchen with standard-sized appliances is on one end, while the master bedroom is on the back end of the tiny home . Across from the kitchen, there is a set of stairs along the wall. These stairs lead up to dual loft spaces and double as storage. Spacious and naturally lit, the two lofts can be customized as guest rooms, offices or additional storage areas. In between the living room and the bedroom is the impressive bathroom. At the request of the client, the designers were able to make room for a walk-in hot tub — a feature not often seen in tiny homes. In addition to this soaking tub, the bathroom was also installed with an incinerating toilet, which eliminates the need for blackwater plumbing. + Movable Roots Via Tiny House Talk Images via Movable Roots

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Relax and unwind in this tiny home with a walk-in hot tub

6 places to find the best recycled building materials

February 19, 2019 by  
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If construction is in your future — either with a new home build or a remodel — using recycled  building materials for the project is definitely the way to go. Not only is using recycled materials good for the environment , but it is often much cheaper. Sometimes, you can even find recycled materials for free! To help you with your upcoming construction or  DIY  project, here is a list of some of the best places to find recycled items and materials. Pawn shops You can find some pretty amazing brand name power tools at your local pawn shop. So, it doesn’t hurt to stop by one near you and see what they have. You can even tell them what you are looking for and they could call you when the right item comes into the store. The most important thing to remember when you want to use recycled building materials for your construction project is to tell people — don’t keep it a secret! Write posts about what you are looking for on social media, post an online classified, talk to your friends and family, make some calls to local contractors or post a flyer around a town. You don’t know if you don’t ask. When you do, you will most likely find some pretty amazing deals that can help your construction project be eco-friendly . Habitat for Humanity Restore Outlets that accept building material donations are a gold mine, especially when you are planning a construction project. Habitat for Humanity Restore sells donated items to the general public. You can find things like furniture, appliances, building materials and housewares, and they will cost you just pennies compared to what you would find at a regular home store. If you can’t find a Habitat for Humanity Restore in your area, there are other non-profits located throughout the country that also sell recycled building materials. All it takes is a quick Google search. Related: Green-roofed home is built of waste bricks and wood in Poland Wood recycling stores There are places all over the United States where you can find recycled and reclaimed wood for things like flooring, paneling and furniture. Not only does using recycled and reclaimed wood have environmental benefits, but it can give your home character. The Building Materials Reuse Association has an online directory that you can use to find a location near you where you can find recycled and reclaimed wood for your next construction project. Scratch and dent stores If you have never heard of a scratch and dent store, they are outlets that sell items that have been damaged, refurbished, are out of the box or have been discontinued. Scratch and dent items can be a lot cheaper than retail, they sometimes have a manufacturer warranty and the damage is usually just cosmetic. However, you will be responsible for getting rid of your old appliances and installing the new ones. There is also a risk that you could buy a lemon. So, make sure that you can swap your appliance out if you end up with one that is causing problems. You can find slightly imperfect appliances at the Sears Outlet website or at one of their outlet stores. You can also buy scratch and dent furniture online at Goedeker’s. Again, a quick Google search will help you find the scratch and dent stores in your area. Tear-down sites When a contractor is tearing down a building or remodeling a residential or commercial site they usually have to get rid of a few things. This means that you can get your hands on items like building materials, cabinets, sinks and toilets, and help the contractor dispose of their waste . Contact local contractors and tell them what you are looking for, then ask if you can take a look at one of their sites. Be prepared for some resistance because there could be safety and liability concerns. But, you just might find a contractor who wants to avoid waste just as much as you do and will be more than willing to set some things aside. Freecycle and Planet Reuse This non-profit website is all about exchanging things for free . It has millions of members from around the globe and the goal is to keep things from ending up in landfills . Membership is free and you can find items like tools, tiles and wood. Related: Eco-friendly options for decluttering waste Another great online option is PlanetReuse , which is a marketplace where you can buy recycled materials from both residential and commercial buildings. They also offer a consulting service if you need help with using recycled materials for your construction or DIY projects. Not to mention, they will also make sure to stay within your budget. Also, don’t be afraid to post an online classified ad on Craigslist, in a Facebook group or your general social media network. You might just be surprised who has something you could use just hanging out in their backyard. Images via Shutterstock

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6 places to find the best recycled building materials

3 Sneaky Ways Your Bathroom Is Hurting the Earth

May 1, 2017 by  
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You use organic cleaners to scrub the tub, buy all-natural shampoo and always recycle your lotion bottles, but you may still have some environmental dangers lurking in your bathroom. Here’s what to be on the lookout for: 1. Low-Quality…

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3 Sneaky Ways Your Bathroom Is Hurting the Earth

5 Sink Designs That Waste Water

October 5, 2016 by  
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Kitchen and bathroom sink faucets account for 19 percent of total water usage of an average home, according to Conserve H2O. Fortunately, new kitchen faucet sink designs curb water consumption by using no more than 2.5 gallons per minute, per…

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Bach Architecture literally brought a breath of fresh air into an aging house in San Francisco

August 20, 2015 by  
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You can help feed millions of malnourished children in war-torn Yemen

August 20, 2015 by  
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The UN’s World Food Programme has warned that Yemen is on the brink of famine as a result of the ongoing fighting in the country . “Right now, the conflict-driven convergence between the lack of staple food, access to clean water, and a diminished fuel supply create the dawn of a perfect storm for the most vulnerable Yemeni people,” said Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director, who has just returned from the country. Urgent help is needed by an estimated 13 million people, mostly women and children who are already hungry, the organization warned. Read the rest of You can help feed millions of malnourished children in war-torn Yemen

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You can help feed millions of malnourished children in war-torn Yemen

Stylists convert retro trailer into chic and funky HairStream studio

August 20, 2015 by  
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Want $500? Make Energy Improvements Before Dec. 31

November 7, 2013 by  
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A $500 tax credit for energy-efficiency upgrades is set to expire on Dec. 31, so now is a good time to start thinking about a few simple remodeling tasks around the house.

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Want $500? Make Energy Improvements Before Dec. 31

Couple Reuses Cans, Tires to Make Sustainable B&B

November 4, 2013 by  
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High atop a 100-foot hill overlooking the gorgeous Rio Grande Gorge, the Dobson House is surrounded by the kind of stark natural beauty that only the desert can offer. Surrounded by mountains and close to scenic rivers and natural hot …

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Couple Reuses Cans, Tires to Make Sustainable B&B

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