Dash Linear turns cardboard into high-performance lighting

September 6, 2021 by  
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As part of  interior design , lighting serves a greater purpose than illumination alone. Fixtures set the tone of a room and work as a central element in the theme. Graypants Studio, with offices in Seattle and Amsterdam, takes the look of its lighting products seriously while placing a focus on producing them sustainably. The studio’s newest release, Dash Linear, is a high-performance lighting option for newly-created home-work spaces, home additions or upgraded kitchens. Dash Linear is the latest installment in Graypants’ Scraplight series, an appropriate name considering they are made out of recycled and virgin cardboard. Related: Serif + Sero modular furniture is made of 100% upcycled cardboard It may seem counterintuitive to make lighting out of paper, but the team at Graypants is dedicated to marrying modern and  minimalist  designs with technical function while maintaining a low carbon footprint. To this end, Dash Linear is handmade using a low-impact manufacturing process that includes zero-VOC adhesive and limited material waste.  Dash Linear is currently available across North America and offered in three finishes — natural, white and blonde.  Recycled  cardboard is used for the natural Dash, while virgin corrugated cardboard is used for the white and blonde options. There are height and length options, as well as differing brightness levels for a custom feel over a desk or other workstation. Available lengths are 48 or 93 inches. Height options range from 4 to 12 inches. While lit, Dash Linear relies on  energy-efficient  LED modules and can offer direct or uniform lighting. The flagship Scraplight line also includes table lamp options made from recycled materials and mounted on a brass base. Graypants Studio also creates pendant lamps in a variety of shapes and finishes.  Graypants explains that the studio “was founded as an opportunity to apply an architectural mindset to product design and art —enhancing space and enriching experiences. Graypants’ work, rooted in light-minded design, includes architecture, product design, art installation and exhibition, and fixture design.”  + Graypants Images via Graypants

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Dash Linear turns cardboard into high-performance lighting

Off Grid House takes remote sustainability to new heights

September 6, 2021 by  
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Nestled in the forests of Australia’s Blue Mountains, Anderson Architecture’s Off Grid House is an experimental dwelling that pushes the limits of sustainable living in remote regions. The house is split into two cabins with steep skillion roofs, slanting in opposite directions to feed 30,000-liter water tanks. The first volume houses the sleeping quarters and is oriented towards the sun to maximize comfort at night through passive solar performance during the day. The other volume contains the open plan kitchen, living space and dining area. Its roof is angled towards the north, ideal for supporting the solar panels that power the house. The solar system is so robust that it provides enough energy for the home without needing a backup generator. Related: Cottage Rock tiny home nurtures healthy living and nature The living space’s glass doors open to blur the boundary between the interior and the veranda overlooking the cliff’s edge. The porch decking is made from low carbon magnesium oxide board and clad with 60% post-consumer recycled content. The site was a pivotal factor in determining the design of several details. Stringybark timber sourced from the site is used for the internal structure, as well as for furniture and joinery. The fireproof cement shell and low carbon cement decking can withstand bushfire attacks and are pest-resistant. Motorized screens over the windows also serve as fire protection, and the large metal screen above the porch can act as both a shading device and flame zone barrier when pulled down to vertically seal off the house. Thermal comfort was another factor that drove the implementation of eco-friendly systems. The house employs double glazing , a black oxide concrete floor with hydronic in-slab heating, and high levels of insulation. Stale exhaust air heats fresh air, which the heat recovery system ducts to the home’s public and private zones. These are all supplemented by a small fireplace with wood sourced from the site for additional heating. The home’s impressive thermal performance has earned it an 8.2 out of 10-star rating on Australia’s Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). With its enticing modern style and sustainable systems, the Off Grid House has also been shortlisted for several awards, including the 2021 Houses Awards under the New House and Sustainability categories. + Anderson Architecture Photography by Nick Bowers

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Loom House is a first of its kind green home renovation

August 18, 2021 by  
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The 1960s-era Loom House has been extensively renovated. This sustainable, highly modern design pays homage to the home’s decades-old roots. The project was designed by the Miller Hull Partnership, a Seattle -based firm that has made a reputation for itself through green building achievement and sustainable design. Showing off the firm’s sustainability skills, this is the first renovated home in the world to achieve Living Building Challenge Certification. Related: This backyard cottage in Seattle is only 800 square feet The house sits on a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound. It’s 3,200 square feet in size with a detached carport. The property features Japanese maples, rhododendrons, flowering trees , edible berries and many other plants. An entry bridge into the house is flanked by tall evergreens that lead right into the open great room. A staircase leads to the primary suite. The windows are triple-glazed, and there are skylights throughout the house. Net positive energy and water were integrated into the design. The city of Bainbridge even changed the city code to allow gray and black water to be treated on-site. The property now has a cistern and a restored garden with on-site water treatment. All gray and black water is treated and reused for non-potable demands. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in the enormous 10,000-gallon cistern. This water is treated in the mechanical room and distributed to the main house. A photovoltaic array provides power, generating 105% of the power usage for the site. There’s also a backup battery system in the event of power failure. The building was renovated to improve the entire building envelope while maintaining the original architecture of the structure. The interiors were all updated while staying true to the original design. Loom House can serve as a prototype to other designers and homeowners, providing a model for how renovation and retrofitting can be used to convert buildings into new, sustainable residences. + Miller Hull Photography by Rafael Soldi

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Fine particulate air pollution linked to increased dementia risk

August 9, 2021 by  
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Researchers at the University of Washington have found a relationship between increased levels of fine particle pollution and the risk of dementia. In a  study  that borrowed data from two long-running studies in the Seattle area, researchers established that high levels of particulate matter in the environment corresponded with a greater risk of dementia. The data used was borrowed from a study that has measured air pollution in the Puget Sound region since the 1970s and a study researching risk factors for dementia since 1994. While analyzing the data, the researchers found a link between dementia and increased rates of pollution. Related: Air pollution from US meat production causes 16,000 deaths annually “We found that an increase of 1 microgram per cubic meter of exposure corresponded to a 16% greater hazard of all-cause dementia. There was a similar association for Alzheimer’s-type dementia,” said lead author Rachel Shaffer. More than 4,000 Seattle area residents were enrolled for the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Study run by the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in conjunction with the University of Washington. Of the 4,000 participants, 1,000 were diagnosed with dementia at some point since the ACT study began in 1994. “The ACT Study is committed to advancing dementia research by sharing its data and resources, and we’re grateful to the ACT volunteers who have devoted years of their lives to supporting our efforts, including their enthusiastic participation in this important research on air pollution ,” said Dr. Eric Larson, ACT’s founding principal investigator. In their analysis, the researchers found that just one microgram per cubic meter difference in PM2.5 pollution (particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or smaller) between residences correlates to a 16% higher incidence of dementia. While the research shows a relationship between rates of dementia and particulate matter pollution, the researchers say that many other factors have to be factored in, given the long time it takes for dementia to develop. “We know dementia develops over a long period of time. It takes years – eve ndecades – for these pathologies to develop in the brain , and so we needed to look at exposures that covered that extended period,” Shaffer said. Via NewsWise Lead image via Pixabay

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This backyard cottage in Seattle is only 800 square feet

July 16, 2021 by  
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Everyone has their idea for the perfect home. For this couple, it’s a comfortable crash pad with natural eleme nts that provides them a simple yet functional space for downtime in between outdoor adventures. Located in the Central Area neighborhood in Seattle , Washington, this 800-square-foot home is a backyard cottage with a lot to offer. Not only does it feature enviable sleek lines and built-in storage, but the entire design intermingles indoors with outdoors to match the clients’ active lifestyle. Designed by Seattle-based firm Fivedot in collaboration with contractor Hanson Construction and Equlibria Engineering, this urban oasis is L-shaped to take advantage of a central courtyard, which is accessible from both the main living area and the bedroom. Related: Orchard House honors the past while building a brighter future The home is a single-story to accommodate needs as the couple ages, but also so they can enjoy high ceilings. Exposed wood beams draw the eye to the ceiling and provide a spacious feel for the small place.Expansive windows and a wall-to-wall retractable door flood the interior with natural light. The door opens to the courtyard , blurring the line between inside and out. Once outside, the courtyard features a sitting area, fire pit, a separate dining area and plenty of room for guests or additional seating. The garage provides additional storage for outdoor gear and a workshop space. On the exterior wall, designers included a mini climbing wall, which also serves as roof access, as a nod to the couple’s passion for the sport. Entering from the alley, a landscaped courtyard welcomes guests with plants and a wooden walkway. The front door, otherwise completely hidden against the dark Yakisugi (burnt Japanese cypress) siding, entices with a colorful welcome mat and striking accent colors around the frame. For the nature-loving couple, the space features natural materials such as Oregon white oak casework and milestone walls for the shower. The project reflects the values of a simple life and provides the added benefit of low maintenance requirements. + Fivedot Photography by Mark Woods

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This backyard cottage in Seattle is only 800 square feet

This giant Cup Monster wants Starbucks to use recyclable cups

October 12, 2017 by  
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A monster created with over 500 old Starbucks cups prowled outside a Seattle hotel this week. Advocacy group Stand.earth created the Cup Monster to pressure the company to deliver a better, recyclable cup. Although Starbucks has trialed recyclable cups , when you order that pumpkin spice latte or mocha today, the paper cup you hold still can’t be recycled in many regions. Stand.earth says Starbucks serves four billion disposable paper cups every single year – but many facilities can’t recycle them “because the inside plastic lining clogs the equipment,” according to the group . So they showed up at the Seattle Sheraton hotel this week, where Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson was speaking at the 2017 GeekWire Summit, with the Cup Monster in tow. Related: Starbucks trials recyclable paper coffee cups for potential global use Ah the Cup Monster is out of control! Every @Starbucks unrecyclable cup that gets trashed only makes it stronger! Kevin Johnson, be a hero! pic.twitter.com/V0c8KNsq9L — Stand.earth (@standearth) October 10, 2017 According to Stand.earth United States campaign director Ross Hammond, over 8,000 cups go to landfills every minute. He said in a statement, “We hope Seattle’s tech leaders will join us in calling on Starbucks to stop serving 21st century coffee in a 20th century cup.” GeekWire reported although activists wore Starbucks uniforms, they aren’t affiliated with the coffee company. Starbucks vice president of communications Linda Mills told GeekWire the company’s cups can be recycled in some markets like Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. She said they are also working with municipalities so the cups can be recycled in more areas. Reusable cups are also an option; the company has offered a discount since 1985 for customers when they bring in cups that can be used over and over. On Starbucks’ webpage on recycling , they say, “We will continue to explore new ways to reduce our cup waste but ultimately it will be our customers who control whether or not we achieve continued growth in the number of beverages served in reusable cups.” You can sign Stand.earth’s letter to Johnson asking for a better cup here . + Stand.earth Via GeekWire Images via Stand.earth Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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Incredible green dreamscape made of recycled threads takes over a Taipei lecture hall

October 12, 2017 by  
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Taipei’s lush jungle landscape has crept indoors in the form of a “green dreamscape.” MVRDV and Argentinian textile artist Alexandra Kehayoglou transformed a 180-person lecture hall into an incredible sight with wall-to-wall carpets woven out of recycled threads that mimic natural textures like moss, water, trees, and pastures. Located at JUT Group’s head office, this public wall-covering artwork references Taiwan’s sub-tropical environment while providing acoustic control and an unforgettable lecture backdrop. Sprawled out across a 240-square-meter lecture hall, the massive installation looks surprisingly lifelike from afar. The variety of textures, shapes, and patterns evoke a diverse plants palette ranging from delicate flowers on the carpet floor to thick mosses clinging on the far back wall. Alexandra Kehayoglou created the site-specific textile work using discarded threads from her family’s carpet factory in Buenos Aires. The unique artwork was made with a laborious hand-tufting technique and took over a year to complete. Related: Amazing landscape carpets transform your living room into a lush, grassy meadow “The interior is literally a green dream,” says Winy Maas , MVRDV co-founder. “Together with the artwork, it represents the natural landscape of Taiwan and at the same time, acts as an acoustic intervention. In the midst of the hyper-urban condition of Taipei, audiences will be surrounded by this green dreamscape.” The interior design builds on the research of MVRDV and their think tank, The Why Factory , into the potential of future transformable elements. + MVRDV + Alexandra Kehayoglou Images via MVRDV

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Incredible green dreamscape made of recycled threads takes over a Taipei lecture hall

Sleep among the treetops in a nomadic hotel design with minimal impact

October 12, 2017 by  
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Reconnection with nature doesn’t always mean roughing it on a campsite. Environmental consulting firm EoA Inc created Living the Till, a unique treetop hotel resort concept that rescues guests from the stresses of everyday life by elevating them into the tree canopy. Conceived as a nomadic resort, the Till can be easily assembled in a variety of environments and then disassembled and moved without impacting the environment. Described by the team as a camping on a “hovering, transparent magic carpet,” Living the Till comprises a series of conical tents suspended on ropes tied to nearby trees. A large net stretched taut and secured to trees is placed beneath the tents. Bridges between the trees provide access between campsites. “Living the Till allows for seasonal inhabitation in remote areas, such as the stunning and perfectly preserved forests of Ecuador, Malaysia, Borneo, the Amazon, California, Australia, or Japan,” wrote the designers. “The concept was inspired by the air plant Tillandsia, which lives in harmony with a host tree. Conceived as a temporary nomadic structure, the Till can be assembled and taken down in pristine, coveted areas by a small team of climbers with simple tools without impacting the environment during the process or duration of a guest’s stay.” Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature Living the Till was recently honored as this year’s Radical Innovation Award winner. The design team was awarded a $10,000 reward at the New Museum last week. Founder of Radical Innovation John Hardy commended the project as “the perfect antidote to city dwelling.” Play Design Hotel , located in Taipei, received the second place prize of $5,000. + Radical Innovation Award Images via EoA Inc

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Sleep among the treetops in a nomadic hotel design with minimal impact

Net-zero Genesee Park residence in Seattle is built out of recycled materials

October 9, 2017 by  
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This high-performance home in Columbia City, Washington is a perfect example of sustainable design. It features responsibly-harvested and recycled materials, solar power on the roof and a well-insulated, air-tight envelope – all surrounded by native plants in the garden. The Genesee Park residence, designed by First Lamp Architecture and built by Seattle-based contractor Dwell Development , is net zero energy and achieved 5-Star Built Green certification. The 3,700-square-foot home is located across from Genesee Park in Seattle , near the shores of Lake Washington and a broad open meadow that stretches five blocks north to Stan Sayres Memorial Park on Lake Washington Boulevard. The building sits on a large 8,000-square-foot lot and is surrounded by native plants and ample space for gardening. Related: Dwell Development’s net-zero home in Seattle is packed with sustainable goodness It offers an open-plan living room bathed in natural light , four bedrooms and bathrooms, guest rooms and indoor-outdoor entertainment areas, including a spacious rooftop terrace that offers expansive views of Lake Washington. Related: NBBJ Unveils Striking Biosphere Greenhouses for Amazon’s Seattle HQ The architects layered materials to create a dynamic exterior. Concrete, oak, metal and fiber cement are combined with an array of reclaimed , locally sourced and recycled materials . A large rooftop solar array , airtight envelope, energy-efficient windows and thick, well-insulated walls all contribute to the high performance of the building. + First Lamp Architecture + Dwell Development Photos by Tucker English

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Net-zero Genesee Park residence in Seattle is built out of recycled materials

Japanese mutant chickens are laying eggs with cancer-fighting drugs

October 9, 2017 by  
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Most people eat chicken eggs for their high protein content and healthy fats – but in the future eggs could ward off diseases, such as cancer and hepatitis. That’s because researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have genetically engineered chickens to lay eggs that contain drugs capable of boosting the immune system. The controversial technique was developed to make pharmaceutical drugs more affordable and, as a result, more accessible. The researchers used gene editing technology to make chickens produce “interferon beta.” This protein is a “powerful tool” for treating skin cancer and hepatitis, reports Phys.org . The team produced cells that were used to fertilize eggs and breed hens that inherited the genes. A few rounds of cross-breeding yielded chickens capable of laying eggs containing the disease-fighting drugs. As soon as next year, a joint research company will sell the drug to pharmaceutical companies so they can perform research on it at a reduced cost. “This is a result that we hope leads to the development of cheap drugs,” said Professor Hironobu Hojo, from Osaka . “In the future, it will be necessary to closely examine the characteristics of the agents contained in the eggs and determine their safety as pharmaceutical products.” If the scientists are able to safely produce interferon beta, the price of the price of the drug (currently up to $888 for a few micrograms) is expected to fall significantly. According to The Japan News , the eventual goal is to lower the cost of the drug to 10 percent of its current price. Related: Scientists develop tiny robots that drill into cancer cells to kill them At present, three females are presently laying eggs every one or two days. It will be a while before the eggs are on the market, as Japan has strict regulation concerning the “introduction of new and foreign pharmaceutical products,” reports Phys.org . Sometimes, screening processes take years to complete. Considering the long-term effects of consuming genetically-modified foods are relatively unknown, extensive testing will be needed. Via Phys , The Japan News Images via Pixabay , Cosmo Bio Co.

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Japanese mutant chickens are laying eggs with cancer-fighting drugs

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