BIG weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami

August 16, 2018 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled designs for a massive mixed-use development that is elevated into the air on thin stilts. Located in the central Miami neighborhood of Allapattah, an industrial, working-class district mainly comprised of produce suppliers, the major complex will serve as a new landmark destination in the city. Dubbed Miami Produce, the project will activate the site with urban farming, restaurants, storefronts, co-working offices, co-living apartments and educational programming. Covering an area of 125,000 square meters, the Miami Produce development takes cues from its industrial surroundings, which can be seen in the buildings’ large industrial-sized floor plates that the architects say “provide maximum programmatic flexibility.” The first phase of the project will see the restoration of the existing produce warehouses, linear buildings that run the length of the site and will be renovated to house educational and commercial programs. A series of passages will be cut through the buildings to improve circulation and provide better access to the nearby metro station. The spaces between the buildings will be landscaped to create three different public spaces: campus, street and garden. To increase site density, the architects plan to add four linear warehouse -like buildings elevated on slim pillars and arranged on the perimeter of the site, creating a large open courtyard in the center. The structures will include two volumes for residential, one for offices and another for hotel. Each building will be topped with unique green roofs that offer recreational opportunities. Related: Foster + Partners unveil plans for a pair of hurricane-resistant high rises in Miami Four more buildings will be stacked in a staggered formation atop the elevated structures. “[These] buildings float above the roofs’ capes and span over the openings below, creating gateways that open up to the surrounding neighborhood while providing light and air to the rooftops,” Bjarke Ingels Group said. “The buildings function as a three dimensional urban framework designed to activate the neighborhood with varying programs and environments.” + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via BIG

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BIG weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami

This solar-powered, off-grid California guesthouse is 100% self-sustaining

August 16, 2018 by  
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Set in one of the last remaining undeveloped coastal areas in California, the Off-Grid Guest House, designed by architect Dan Weber of Anacapa and designer Steven Willson of Willson Design , is a stunning showcase of sustainable and low-impact design. The contemporary home is nestled into a steep hillside in a wildlife preserve and perfectly perched to offer breathtaking, nearly 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding landscape of rolling hills and rocky outcroppings. Due to its remote location, the guest house—and the owner’s nearby main residence—are completely self-sufficient by necessity and powered with a rooftop solar panel system. Topped with a lush green roof planted with native grasses, the Off-Grid Guest House is built from durable and resilient materials including steel, concrete and glass. Full-height glazing surrounds the home, as does a wraparound outdoor balcony that’s cantilevered over the landscape and is partly sheltered by overhanging eaves. The abundance of glazing—including the glass balustrades—blurs the boundaries between inside and out and welcomes sweeping panoramic landscape views into the living spaces. “At the heart of the Owner’s objectives for this project, is preservation and protection of the natural environment,” reads the project statement on Anacapa’s website. “As such, this modern guest house is nestled into the hillside and situated on a spectacular site with ocean views. This healthy home is the pinnacle of environmentally-conscious, low-impact design and construction.” Related: A net-zero modern farmhouse kicks off a sustainable community in Texas The home operates off the grid with a photovoltaic energy system, on-site water supply and sewage treatment system that directs wastewater to a septic tank and dry well. The interior is fitted out with LEDs and low-energy appliances. Jessica Helgerson Interior Design furnished the interior with rich walnut accents and custom fixtures and furnishings. The house also includes a detached garage discreetly built into the hillside. + Anacapa + Willson Design Images via Erin Feinblatt

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This solar-powered, off-grid California guesthouse is 100% self-sustaining

The largest solar farm apiary in the US opens this week

June 20, 2018 by  
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An important feature of permaculture is the concept of stacking functions, or finding multiple uses for the same space or resource. North Carolina-based PineGate Renewables is taking this principle to a new level with the opening of the largest solar farm apiary in the U.S.  Starting this week, the Eagle Point solar farm in Jackson County, Oregon will host 48 hives of honey bees underneath and between the solar panels. John Jacob of Old Sol Apiaries helped to determine the site’s suitability and will serve as the caretaker of the bees. “In 2016/17, Oregon beekeepers reported losing nearly one-third of all honey bee colonies statewide,” Jacob said. “The pollinator-friendly solar sites Pine Gate Renewables is developing can play an important role in helping address the population crisis among our managed and native pollinators.” Studies conducted on solar farm apiaries in the U.K.  suggest these kinds of hybrid projects can increase the bee and insect pollinator population in a region, thus benefiting the natural environment and agricultural farms. A new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that there are more than 16,000 acres of pollinator-dependent crops near 204 megawatts of solar energy facilities in Oregon alone. Related: Bee Saving Paper “works like an energy drink for bees” PineGate Renewables’ SolarCulture sites are planted with low-ground native flowers and grasses, which boost soil health, store storm water and support a healthy ecology. The specific vegetation plan for the Oregon site was designed by Colorado -based ecological services firm Regenerate, and by spring 2019, this site is expected to provide pollinator habitat equivalent to about 24,800 homes with 6’ x 12’ pollinator gardens maintained for 25 years. In the future, the buzz about PineGate Renewables’ pollinator project may inspire others to join forces to serve the public and the environment with solar farm apiaries. + PineGate Renewables + Old Sol Apiaries Images via PineGateRenewables

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The largest solar farm apiary in the US opens this week

A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat

June 20, 2018 by  
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A city-dwelling family in need of rural respite reached out to Von Weise Associates to make their country escape a reality. In response, the Chicago-based architecture firm delivered a stunning modern getaway that fully embraces the rural vernacular with a sensitive renovation of an existing farmhouse and barn. Located in the southeast Michigan township of Sawyer near Lake Michigan, the Retreat House consists of a new single-family house and adjacent studio for the artistic couple. In designing the home’s layout, Von Weise Associates took cues from the layouts of traditional farms , where the different functions were typically located in different buildings. In much the same way, the retreat conceptually places the different living spaces — including the sleeping, cooking and work areas — into separate volumes. Anchoring the home is the kitchen , dining area and living space housed within the refurbished old barn with a striking gambrel roof and soaring arched ceilings. The light-filled great room opens up to an adjacent screened porch. The original farmhouse was gut- renovated into an artist’s painting studio and sleeping loft. Large windows and skylights flood the interiors with natural light, while the reflective whitewashed walls emphasize a bright and airy feel throughout. Modern and unfussy furnishings, natural timber and a rusty-red painted exterior help tie the building to its rustic past. Related: Solar-powered forever home is a modern take on the rustic farmhouse “All portions of the house have a close relationship to the ground, making the landscape a vital part of the program,” Von Weise Architects said. “The orientation of the house creates multiple outdoor living spaces, plus a gardening area. The landscape and the orientation of the structures set up layers of space that moves from the public way to privacy of the house. The most private space beyond the house embraces the expansive wooded site on three sides.” + Von Weise Associates Images by Steve Hall

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A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat

Does Being An Environmentalist Require A Certain Look?

September 21, 2016 by  
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I once wrote an article about sustainable living that generated a great deal of controversy. In addition to a rousing debate in the comments section, it also inspired a rather, erm, energetic rebuttal on another site. This post vehemently opposed…

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Does Being An Environmentalist Require A Certain Look?

Archaeologists find 2,150-year-old Petra monument ‘hiding in plain sight’

June 10, 2016 by  
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The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is known for its fascinating ruins built into surrounding rocky cliffs, and now archaeologists have made an exciting new discovery. Using satellite images , they recently discovered a massive subterranean monument that remained hidden for years. The monument is about the length and double the width of an Olympic swimming pool . The archaeologists used satellite imagery to find the platform, which is 184 feet by 161 feet. An interior platform had columns along one end and a huge staircase. Based on pottery studies, the researchers think the platform could be at least 2,150 years old . Related: Family accidentally discovers “extraordinarily well-preserved” Roman villa in England Given the colossal size, it’s surprising no one has yet discovered the monument, but the researchers said it was difficult to get to and “hidden.”Even though the monument is close to the center of Petra – just around half a mile south, prior surveys didn’t find it. The paper the archaeologists published is titled ” Hiding in Plain Sight .” Co-author of the paper Christopher Tuttle told National Geographic, “I’m sure that over the course of two centuries of research [in Petra], someone had to know [this site] was there, but it’s never been systematically studied or written up. I’ve worked in Petra for 20 years, and I knew that something was there, but it’s certainly legitimate to call this a discovery.” Tuttle told The Guardian the platform could have been used for “some kind of massive display function.” Throughout the rest of Petra, there are several shrines and sites used for “various cultic displays or political activities.” However, one reason the new monument stands apart is because the massive staircase doesn’t face Petra’s city center. “We don’t understand what the purpose [of visible shrines], because the Nabateans didn’t leave any written documents to tell us,” Tuttle said. “But I find it interesting that such a monumental feature doesn’t have a visible relationship to the city.” As of now the researchers don’t have a plan for excavation , but they hope to work at the site at some point. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Archaeologists find 2,150-year-old Petra monument ‘hiding in plain sight’

IKEA is launching a whole range of "no waste" products made from recycled materials

June 10, 2016 by  
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IKEA wants to make sustainable living accessible for the masses, and they just announced a new line of “no waste” products that will make your wallet and the planet happy. Their new line includes seating, vases and kitchen cabinets, all made out of recycled materials . These new products close the material loop and help make your home not only earth-friendlier, but oh-so-stylish, too. It can be hard to find affordable, sustainable supplies that look stylish when constructing a kitchen. IKEA is changing that with their new KUNGSBACKA kitchen. The cabinet doors are made using recycled plastic bottles and recycled wood, and the entire thing is “99.9 percent recycled,” according to the designer. IKEA hopes that the design will help people see waste not as garbage, but as just another material that can be used in creating new and beautiful things. The KUNGSBACKA kitchen door launches February, 2017. Related: IKEA announces new Tom Dixon collaboration that could redefine how we use our homes The new ODGER chair, which will also hit the market in 2017, is made out of 70% recycled plastic and 30% renewable wood. The design is the result of a collaboration with Swedish designers Form Us With Love , and the chairs have that sleek Scandinavian look without the environment-harming plastics that other chairs have. The chairs will come in a range of colors and wood finishes to suit any space. These no waste IKEA vases came about while IKEA was visiting one of their suppliers in China. There, they realized that imperfect or damaged products were being thrown out. So the company decided to melt that glass back down and turn it into beautiful vases. Each mouth-blown vase is totally unique, thanks to the materials. According to designer Iina Vuorivirta, “Despite all vases being mouth-blown in the same mould, they get a unique look because the melted glass is made of various shades of leftover material from the glassworks. The result is due to chance, and unique each time. Just like us humans.” The vase is part of the PS 2017 collection and will be on shelves in February. + IKEA Images via Kristine Lofgren for Inhabitat and IKEA

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IKEA is launching a whole range of "no waste" products made from recycled materials

How to Carpool with Strangers

June 28, 2013 by  
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Written by Ben Jervey, Shareable Magazine Since 1999, Steven Schoeffler has run the site eRideShare.com, which helps connect fellow commuters into car pools and rid the roads of single occupancy vehicles. Schoeffler gave us some tips on how to…

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How to Carpool with Strangers

British Airways’ biofuel plant cleared for takeoff in London

December 6, 2012 by  
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When complete, the site should be capable of turning around 500,000 tons of waste a year that would otherwise go to landfill.

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British Airways’ biofuel plant cleared for takeoff in London

Impact of advertising on Recycle This – and my promises to you

December 12, 2011 by  
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Recycle This turns six in April 2012 and from day one, it has included advertising. I started the site when I was in the process of quitting my job for a “career break”, which turned into self-employment. The idea was that I’d have advertising on the site for as long as I needed the money from it. In the first couple of years, it wasn’t much at all but every little helped. Now after other ventures sadly tanked, I still need the (meagre) advertising revenue to supplement my (even more meagre) income. But I don’t think it has impacted the nature of Recycle This that much. Yes, I spend time tweaking text to trying to bring more visitors to the site but not at the cost of readability (the lack of readability is usually to do with my tendency to waffle and/or put extra comments in brackets, you know, like this 😉 ). I try to ensure pages are linked to other relevant pages to keep people interested – but I never split articles over many different pages to force people to click through after every paragraph to drive up ad impressions*. And I publish the full text of the article in the RSS feed (and email feed) so if you subscribe to either of those, you never have to visit the site and see adverts (unless you want to see comments, although you can subscribe to the RSS feed of comments too, if you’re interested). Yes, I need to generate some money but not at the cost of producing a worthwhile site or engaging in habits I find infuriating when I see them elsewhere . When I do link posts (such as Christmas craft round-ups ), I get ideas from a range of sources — reading the people’s blogs directly, via other curating blogs, through requests for suggestions on Twitter, Pinterest and from stuff people have emailed me — but no one ever pays (either directly or indirectly through products or links back) to be included in those, and I would never ask them to. I only feature stuff that I personally like/want to make or think are worthwhile – info that I generally want to pass on to as many people as possible. Ditto anything used for giveaways . As for the actual adverts, I can quite confidently say that I have never changed any editorial content on the site because an advertiser wants me to. My main advertising network for most of the past six years has been Google Adsense. I have tried other networks, affiliate schemes and had some direct advertising but I’ve mostly stuck with Google’s context sensitive ads because in general they are more relevant in terms of both subject and geography. The downside is that I don’t control exactly which adverts appear on the site – the upside of that though is that I’m never under any conscious or unconscious pressure to bend my subject to not offend an advertiser — I don’t know who they are. The only concessions I make under the Adsense program is not swearing every other *&%ing word or displaying hate speech/pornography on the site – which, to be frank, isn’t exactly something I was planning to do anyway 😉 Anyway, long story short, I want to make six promises – six things I’ve stuck to over the last six years and hope to stick to for as long as the site exists in the future: I will not change anything I’ve written or anything anyone has written in a comment because an advertiser wants me to I will not post any “sponsored posts”, any (unpaid) guest posts or product reviews that are simply adverts in disguise I will not post accept any direct advertising in any form that promotes products that generate, rather than reduce, waste I will not post any adverts in our site’s Twitter feed (or any other social media platforms that might crop up in the future!) I will not put money generation above creating a useful site to help people reduce, reuse, recycle more I will remove all advertising from the site as soon as I can do without the money Sorry this has been a bit of a departure from the normal How can I recycle this…? posts , I just wanted to get a few things off my chest! Normal programming will resume tomorrow 🙂 -louisa 🙂 * The only exception to this is adding a “read more” link so really long articles don’t display in their entirety on the front page. Anyone visiting the article directly will see it all on one page, and people would have to click off the main page to read comments anyway.

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Impact of advertising on Recycle This – and my promises to you

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