Strategically slanted walls squeeze extra space out of a small guesthouse

November 9, 2018 by  
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Strict building restrictions often dictate the design of home additions, but in certain cases, savvy architects know just how to work around them. Case in point is architect Nicole Blair, head of Austin-based Studio 512 , who has just unveiled The Hive guesthouse, a tiny home that expands as it rises upward, evoking the shape of a beehive. Built as a guest house for a residence in Austin, The Hive’s unusual shape is a solution to local building codes that required that the footprint of structure be confined to a maximum of 320 square feet. Not one to be limited by such regulations, architect Nicole Blair found a smart way to abide by the rules while still creating a gorgeous extension. Inspired by the shape of a beehive, Blair simply added a second story using walls that slant upward and outward from the base. This way, the walls expand as they rise, providing extra space to the second floor. Related: This swanky desert guesthouse was fashioned out of a former horse barn Clad in large cedar shake siding  repurposed from old roofing material, the charming tiny home with a very unusual shape is certainly eye-catching. The dramatically slanted walls and large windows framed in white add a touch of fairytale whimsy to the dynamic design. From the tilted kitchen walls to the spacious, angular bathroom to the sloping bedroom, the structure’s geometric character — and quirky personality — is evident. The small, covered entrance features an outdoor shower installed adjacent to the front door. Inside, the living space and kitchen are found on the first floor, where an open layout seamlessly connects the two spaces. In the kitchen, the angled walls also provide more counter space. Between the kitchen and living room, a wall of multiple glass panels bring in  natural light . A set of dark wooden stairs leads up to the second level, which houses the bedroom, bathroom and a small work space. Throughout the tiny home, bright white walls and ample natural light lend to the vibrant, modern aesthetic. The neutral color palette is contrasted nicely with a smart collection of modern furnishings and a mix of unique features such exposed copper pipes, blackened wood flooring and kitchen cabinetry made from  reclaimed longleaf pine . + Studio 512 Via Dezeen Photography by Casey Dunn and Whit Preston via Studio 512

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Strategically slanted walls squeeze extra space out of a small guesthouse

8 Green Wardrobe & Fashion Tips

September 6, 2018 by  
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It is said that the fashion industry is the second … The post 8 Green Wardrobe & Fashion Tips appeared first on Earth911.com.

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8 Green Wardrobe & Fashion Tips

Earth Day Quiz #2: Hone Your Sustainability Decision-Making Skills

April 17, 2018 by  
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Test your sustainability knowledge in the second of our Earth Day … The post Earth Day Quiz #2: Hone Your Sustainability Decision-Making Skills appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth Day Quiz #2: Hone Your Sustainability Decision-Making Skills

A president confronts the existential threat of climate change

January 20, 2018 by  
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Towards the end of his second term, former president Barack Obama toured the Arctic with a Rolling Stone journalist. There, they faced our uncertain future.

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A president confronts the existential threat of climate change

Chicago may be getting solar-powered floating bike paths

November 14, 2016 by  
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According to reports, a large majority of citizens are hesitant to ride a bicycle on roads with cars. In 2014, there has been an increase in cyclist fatalities and auto-related cyclist injuries. The mayor, however, is determined to see his city become the most bike-friendly city in the United States. His plan is to place bicycle racks and hubs within a half-mile of every Chicagoan, construct more bikeways where more people live and commute, and build infrastructure to match need and stimulate growth. Related: Poland unveils glowing bright blue bike lane that’s charged by the sun The River Ride alongside the Chicago River will be composed of steel-reinforced concrete pontoon segments developed by Marinetek, a global leader in floating structures . The parts will be produced off-site, floated into place and secured with pilings driven in riverbed. Solar panels above each segment will power lighting, precipitation-activated awnings and heating conduit embedded in the segment surface to prevent icing and snow build-up. Guardrails will be also installed in order to minimize injury during a fall and snow plowing into river. + Second Shore + Marinetek Via FastCoExist

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Chicago may be getting solar-powered floating bike paths

Judge greenlights kids’ climate change lawsuit against US govt

November 14, 2016 by  
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Kids may not be able to vote, but they are finding other ways to hold government leaders accountable for their action (or inaction) on climate change . A federal judge in Oregon announced Thursday that an earlier lawsuit filed by 21 youth plaintiffs would be considered valid and proceed in court. The suit names President Barack Obama, the fossil fuel industry, and other federal agencies as defendants, charging that decision makers are violating the constitutional rights of future generations by failing to take adequate action to prevent worsening climate change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNbEhLwSKw4 The lawsuit’s plaintiffs, whose ages range from nine to 20, are organized under the name Our Children’s Trust , an Oregon nonprofit, and are partnered with Earth Guardians to fight for their future. The group filed their initial complaint over a year ago, in an historic milestone for youth environmental activism. Renowned climate scientist James Hansen is also backing the lawsuit, helping lend validity to the suit. Since the suit was filed in September 2015, many have questioned whether minors can defend their constitutional rights in the same way an adult might, plaintiffs named in the lawsuit have tried numerous tactics to talk their way out of responsibility, including denying that climate change is a man-made problem. Related: Meet the 16-year-old who sued the US government over climate change US District Judge Ann Aiken saw past their efforts and ruled Thursday, November 10, that the lawsuit was valid, affirming the rights of children to demand attention from government and business leaders. “Federal courts too often have been cautious and overly deferential in the arena of environmental law, and the world has suffered for it,” she wrote in the ruling. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is one of the young leaders of a growing movement that gives kids a voice concerning environmental destruction, and he has been the face of this lawsuit as well. “My generation is rewriting history. We’re doing what so many people told us we were incapable of doing: holding our leaders accountable for their disastrous and dangerous actions,” he said in a statement about the judge’s affirmative ruling. “This is going to be the trial of our lifetimes.” Via Motherboard Images via Earth Guardians

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Judge greenlights kids’ climate change lawsuit against US govt

The world’s fastest elevator is quicker than track legend Usain Bolt

October 6, 2016 by  
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The fastest elevator in the world was recently installed in China’s Shanghai Tower , the second-tallest building in the world, and it is faster than Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. Designed by Mitsubishi Electric , the elevator shoots visitors to a viewing tower at a dizzying rate of 67-feet-per-second. The speedy ride is made worthwhile at the top with sweeping views of Shanghai. Mitsubishi Electric was able to shatter records with their new elevator through a control panel that can ” maximize the traction machine’s performance ” and improvements to safety features like the buffer, brake device, and speed governor. The company says based on passenger traffic, the elevator can switch between 1,080 meters per minute or 1,230 meters per minute, which is around 40 miles per hour to nearly 46 miles per hour. The elevator can zoom from “the second-level basement to the 119th floor in just 53 seconds.” Related: This Italian elevator transports passengers vertically and horizontally The company said in a release, “While Mitsubishi Electric’s cutting-edge technologies drastically increase the speed, the elevator also delivers enhanced safety, top-level riding comfort, silence, and power saving.” The Shanghai Tower elevator makes elevators in iconic, modern buildings like One World Trade Center and the Burj Khalifa seem sluggish. Visitors to One World Trade Center can climb through the building at around 33-feet-per-second, and in the Burj Khalifa visitors travel at about 32 feet per second. Another Chinese skyscraper, Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, held the record for world’s quickest elevator briefly at 65-feet-per-second. Unveiled this summer, the elevator was overtaken rapidly by the new Shanghai Tower elevator. Elevator engineering expert Albert So told CNN there is likely a limit to how fast an elevator can rocket through a building. He said, “I predict the maximum speed of a vertical lift cabin cannot be more than 79-feet-per-second. This is not because we can’t make lifts that go faster than this, but because of the air pressure.” Via CNN Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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The world’s fastest elevator is quicker than track legend Usain Bolt

New green-roofed office building in Chicago is stacked for optimal solar absorption

October 6, 2016 by  
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The building comprises three bars stacked and arranged to maximize views of the surrounding landscape and optimize solar orientation. Its form and programmatic flexibility is rarely found in typical office buildings . Related: Digitas Decks Out Its Inspiring Chicago Office with Salvaged Factory Materials and Urban Graffiti Thornton Tomasetti analyzed and developed several sustainable strategies which were incorporated into the design of the building. Greywater reuse and rainwater harvesting systems were combined with detailed daylighting studies to reduce solar gains in the summer. The team used Honeybee software to evaluate the effects of automated interior blinds and calculate the efficiency of exterior shading devices. Other sustainable features include multiple green roofs , accommodation for low-emitting vehicles and native landscaping . + Goettsch Partners + Thornton Tomasetti Photos by James Steinkamp

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New green-roofed office building in Chicago is stacked for optimal solar absorption

Residential installations of solar panels jump to a new record high for the second quarter in a row

September 11, 2015 by  
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Solar power is having a banner year in the United States. We’ve already seen the price of solar power capacity hit one record low and then another . The latest record relates to the number of solar panels installed on American homes, which reached a new high in the second quarter of this year. This means there are now more solar panels on homes than ever before, and that the rate at which they were added is the fastest yet. Read the rest of Residential installations of solar panels jump to a new record high for the second quarter in a row

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Residential installations of solar panels jump to a new record high for the second quarter in a row

Sustainable Development Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security

July 24, 2015 by  
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The United Nations has 17 ambitious dreams. This second includes improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.

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Sustainable Development Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security

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