Sweden and Austria close their last coal plants

April 29, 2020 by  
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Europe just gained its second and third coal-free countries. Sweden and Austria have both shut their last coal-fired plants in late April, joining Belgium in going coal-free in favor of renewable energy sources. “With Sweden going coal-free in the same week as Austria, the downward trajectory of coal in Europe is clear,” Kathrin Gutmann, campaign director for Europe Beyond Coal, told PV Magazine . “Against the backdrop of the serious health challenges we are currently facing, leaving coal behind in exchange for renewables is the right decision and will repay us in kind with improved health, climate protection and more resilient economies.” Related: Britain celebrates first week without coal power since 1882 Sweden had originally planned on going coal-free in 2022, but it was able to achieve this goal two years early. A mild Swedish winter meant that energy utility Stockholm Exergi’s last coal-fired plant, located in Hjorthagen, eastern Stockholm, didn’t need to be used this year. The plant opened in 1989. In addition to environmental awareness that decreased the popularity of coal, market forces have driven the operational costs up. Statistics from the U.K.-based think-tank Carbon Tracker show that 40% of EU coal plants ran at a loss in 2017. In 2019, it cost almost 100% more to run a coal plant than to rely on renewable options. More European countries plan to join the coal-free future: France is aiming to be coal-free by 2022; Slovakia and Portugal by 2023; the U.K. by 2024; and Ireland and Italy by 2025. Stockholm Exergi CEO Anders Egelrud told PV Magazine he hopes the utility will eventually go carbon-negative. “Today we know that we must stop using all fossil fuels , therefore the coal needs to be phased out and we do so several years before the original plan,” Egelrud said, according to TheMayor.eu . “Since Stockholm was almost totally fossil-dependent 30-40 years ago, we have made enormous changes and now we are taking the step away from carbon dependence and continuing the journey towards an energy system entirely based on renewable and recycled energy.” Image via Steve Buissinne

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Sweden and Austria close their last coal plants

A young couple creates a dreamy Scandinavian-inspired yurt home in Oregon

November 11, 2019 by  
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When filmmaker Zach Both decided to hit pause on his itinerant lifestyle after three years on the road in a self-converted camper van, he and his girlfriend, Nicole Lopez, tapped into their DIY roots to assemble their new home — a contemporary yurt 20 minutes outside of downtown Portland, Oregon. Prefabricated by Rainier Outdoor, the couple’s modified yurt offers 930 square feet of light-filled living space furnished to ooze hygge vibes. To share the knowledge they learned during the build, Both created a website, DoItYurtself.com , a free step-by-step guide to show others how to build a modern yurt. Built over the course of six months, the prefabricated Eagle Yurt that Both and Lopez purchased from Rainier Outdoor measures just over 30 feet in diameter with 730 square feet of living space; the couple added a bedroom loft to squeeze in an additional 200 square feet of space. While the exterior of the yurt only took a single weekend to erect with the help of friends and family, finishing the interiors was a much more involved process. As stalwart DIYers, the duo took on all parts of the project from running electrical lines and plumbing to framing the walls and furnishing the greenery-filled contemporary interior. Related: This yurt-inspired modern cabin is a holiday getaway in Slovakia The modern yurt serves as a functional home for the couple and as a home office where Both can work on his filmmaking and writing. At the heart of the circular residence is a service core housing the bathroom with a composting toilet , service equipment and kitchen. This core is wrapped by the living room with a wood-burning stove, dining space and office. The home is hooked up to electricity and draws water from a well. A round bedroom loft is elevated atop the service core and features a circular planter with more than 45 plants. “It’s been incredible to adapt a structure with a history that stretches back thousands of years,” Both said. “It was our attempt at building a modern yurt for the 21st century.” To help others, Both’s online yurt guide offers photos and videos of his entire build process as well as a comprehensive collection of information about American yurt companies on the internet. + Do It Yurtself Photography by Bryan Aulick via Do It Yurtself

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A young couple creates a dreamy Scandinavian-inspired yurt home in Oregon

This light-filled home and office in Portugal blurs indoors and out

February 5, 2019 by  
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On the outskirts of Ílhavo, Portugal, architect Maria Fradinho of the firm FRARI – architecture network recently designed and built her own industrial-inspired home and office using a modern and playful house-within-a-house concept. Sandwiched between two red-shingled homes, the contemporary abode stands in stark contrast to its more traditional neighbors. Dubbed the Arch House, the dwelling was named after the “theatricality” of its facade, a simple gabled shape with strong geometric lines and massive walls of glass. The Vista Alegre Porcelain Factory, one of the region’s most important industries, inspired the Arch House design. As a result, the home features a sleek, black, metal-clad exterior. In contrast, the interior is dominated by white surfaces and filled with natural light and strategic views that give the rooms a sense of expansiveness without sacrificing privacy. Full-height glazing also pulls the outdoors in, while indoor-outdoor living is emphasized with a covered patio that spills out to the backyard. A house-within-a-house concept is explored with the insertion of shipping container-inspired stacked volumes, each faced with windows, which overlook the indoor living room on the ground floor. “It was important for the architect to guarantee this process of transition from the public to the private, as well as ensuring adequate privacy in the interior, because of the maximum exposure desired,” according to the a project statement. “Inspired by ship containers , the volume set with which the interior is developed, creates a total height in some areas, recreating the great industrial environment of a main ship. This set of different roof heights widens the spaces and makes them more comprehensive, providing a visual relation between the various places in the house.” Related: A house within a house in Slovakia unfolds in layers Spanning an area of 300 square meters, the Arch House occupies a little less than a third of its long and narrow lot. The home is spread out across three floors and includes a basement. The open-plan ground floor houses the primary communal spaces, including the living room, kitchen and dining space, while the private areas are located above. + FRARI – architecture network Via ArchDaily Images by ITS – Ivo Tavares Studio via FRARI – architecture network

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This light-filled home and office in Portugal blurs indoors and out

This yurt-inspired modern cabin is a holiday getaway in Slovakia

July 17, 2018 by  
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Bratislava-based architect Peter Jurkovi? of  JRKVC has designed a contemporary cabin by the lake that takes inspiration from traditional yurts . Created for a young married couple who own a creative studio in Bratislava, the holiday retreat — called ‘Attila’ as a nod to the nomadic tribes that used yurts in Central Asia — is located in the village of Vojka nad Dunajom, approximately 12 miles away from Slovakia’s capital city. In addition to serving as a cozy getaway, Attila also includes a meeting space where the couple can get together with clients. Set on the north bank of the Voj?ian Lake, the 775-square-foot Attila was designed to take up no more than 20 percent of the site area, which was left largely in its natural condition. A circular space forms the heart of the cabin and serves as the primary living and meeting area. Like a yurt, the round tent-like room is punctuated by a large round skylight and finished in light-colored natural materials to give it a bright and airy appearance. A large rectangular volume encloses the circular space, around which two bedrooms, a bathroom, storage and a kitchen have been inserted. The cabin can comfortably accommodate up to four people. The home is oriented toward the south to face the lake and features a 161-square-foot covered terrace . The exterior is wrapped in standard black plastic film, typically used for insulation, as well as timber lattice panels that let in light while providing some shade from the sun. Related: Yurt-inspired visitor’s center in China blends into its exceptional surroundings To create a modern and minimalist interior, the architects used light-colored timber for the walls, ceiling, flooring and furnishings. The small kitchen and bunk beds — on the right and left sides of the house upon entering — are hidden behind wooden folding doors. Flush with natural light, the yurt-like living space is anchored by a black wood-burning stove and a low round table surrounded by squat chairs. Built-in wall seating helps minimize visual clutter. The bedroom and the bathroom are set back from the main living space with a curved corridor, which obscures the rooms from view. + JRKVC Via Wallpaper Images via Peter Jurkovi?

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Dreamy holiday home by the lake makes the most of a small footprint

May 30, 2016 by  
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Commissioned by a family of five who sought a simple country getaway from Bratislava , the holiday home is sited on an island in the Danube River overlooking beautiful lakeside views. With only 65 square meters to work with, the architects organized the home around a large open-plan central living room and exposes a tall vaulted ceiling to create a sense of spaciousness. Natural light pours into the building through large glazed folding doors that open up to the adjacent lake and extend the footprint of the home to the outdoors. Whereas the building facade is mostly painted white, the timber-lined interior features a playful and eye-catching pop of color in the wall and shelving partition painted vibrant green. The partition opposite the green-painted wall is made from masonry blocks that absorb thermal energy from the fireplace and gradually release the heat over time. Both partition walls hide the sleeping areas and bathrooms, which include a master bedroom on one end and two sets of bunk beds on the other. Loft space beneath the rafters on both ends of the home can be used to accommodate extra guests or as play area for children. Related: JRKVC’s IST House Uses Traditional Slovakian Building Techniques to Reduce its Footprint “Outside the cabin is almost monochrome, just natural wood and white painted cladding,” says architect Peter Jurkovi?. “No details. All attention is paid to the essential part of the house, which is inside. There we find the beauty, colors and textures.” + JRKVC Via Dezeen Images via Peter Jurkovi?

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Dreamy holiday home by the lake makes the most of a small footprint

Statue of Liberty, Venice among world heritage sites at risk from climate change

May 30, 2016 by  
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The Statue of Liberty, Venice, Stonehenge, Galápagos islands and Easter Island are among the 31 natural and cultural world heritage sites in 29 countries that are threatened by climate change , according to a new report . Titled “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate,” the study was launched by UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) at the the UN Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. “Globally, we need to better understand, monitor and address climate change threats to World Heritage sites,” said Mechtild Rössler, director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Center. “As the report’s findings underscore, achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to a level well below 2°C is vitally important to protecting our World Heritage for current and future generations.” Related: Five Pacific Ocean islands have already disappeared because of climate change The report finds that the iconic tourism sites are vulnerable to increasing temperatures, melting glaciers, rising seas, intensifying weather events, worsening droughts and longer wildfire seasons. Scientists involved in the study stressed the importance of global warming mitigation, stating that reducing greenhouse gases and restoring ecosystems in line with the Paris Agreement is “vital for the future of World Heritage.” According to the study, climate resilience will be important to protecting the sites. Venice is taking action on climate change adaptation with the building of the Mose flood barrier project . Related: Venice’s $7 Billion Moses Flood-Protection System Passes its First Test The report is not without controversy. It was revealed that the government of Australia pressured UNESCO to remove any mention of Australia in relation to the country’s wold heritage sites, including the Great Barrier Reef. The scrubbing of any references to Australia comes at a time when 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef has been hit by coral bleaching. While Australia claimed it would impact tourism, Will Steffen, a scientific reviewer of the report, called the tactics reminiscent of “the old Soviet Union.” + Report: World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate Via The Guardian Images via Flickr and Wikipedia

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Statue of Liberty, Venice among world heritage sites at risk from climate change

Modern barn-inspired house in Slovakia is filled with natural light and passive solar power

October 26, 2015 by  
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Modern barn-inspired house in Slovakia is filled with natural light and passive solar power

This Crazy Solar-Powered Cabin Looks Like a Giant Ice Cube

October 14, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of This Crazy Solar-Powered Cabin Looks Like a Giant Ice Cube Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , aluminium facade , Atelier 8000 , energy efficient house , extreme weather , facade design , harsh climate , Kežmarská Chata , Kežmarská Hut , passive house , photovoltaics , ski resort , ski retreat , Slovakia architecture

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This Crazy Solar-Powered Cabin Looks Like a Giant Ice Cube

Lush Vertical Garden Brings Life and Fresh Air to Lisbon’s Espaço Espelho ?d’Água

October 13, 2014 by  
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The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of Lush Vertical Garden Brings Life and Fresh Air to Lisbon’s Espaço Espelho ?d’Água Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green wall” , Belem , Espaco Espelho ?d'Agua , Gardening , Green Building , green design , green interiors , indoor air quality , Lisbon , sustainable design , Sustainable Interiors , vertical garden , Vertical Garden Design

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Lush Vertical Garden Brings Life and Fresh Air to Lisbon’s Espaço Espelho ?d’Água

1×1 Pavilion Made from Wood Pallets is an Upside-Down Temporary Installation in Bratislava

October 2, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of 1×1 Pavilion Made from Wood Pallets is an Upside-Down Temporary Installation in Bratislava Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 1×1 Pavilion , Bohus , Bratislava architecture , Bratislava pavilion , Faculty of Architecture STU , Katarina Bohacova , pallet architecture , pallet pavilion Bratislava , Pavilion Architecture , slovakia , Slovakian architecture , temporary installations , wooden architecture        

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1×1 Pavilion Made from Wood Pallets is an Upside-Down Temporary Installation in Bratislava

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