Australias first carbon-positive and zero-waste home is built of non-toxic materials

September 14, 2017 by  
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Australia’s first carbon positive and zero waste home to achieve a “10 Star” energy rating has popped up in Cape Paterson, Victoria. Designed in collaboration with Clare Cousin Architects , this impressive dwelling is one of the latest projects produced by The Sociable Weaver , an innovative design and build company that creates affordable, beautiful, and sustainable architect-designed homes for the masses. The coastal home, called the ’10 Star Home’ after its energy rating, is naturally heated and cooled thanks to passive solar strategies and maintains comfortable indoor temperatures year-round, even in mid-winter. Built in the green coastal development The Cape, the 10 Star Home is permanently open to the public as a display home to educate architects, builders, and students on sustainable architecture . The Sociable Weaver and Clare Cousin Architects considered all aspects of the home, from the building materials to the bedsheets, to achieve their stringent requirements for sustainability, affordability, and social responsibility. The architects even worked with suppliers to reduce packaging delivered to the construction site, and recycled and reused material wherever possible, such as composting plasterboard off-cuts in the garden. A five-kilowatt rooftop solar panel powers the home, which experiences minimal energy loss thanks to superior under-slab insulation, industrial concrete floors that improve thermal mass, and double-glazed windows. The hardwood used is FSC-certified . Non-toxic materials line the interiors, from natural sealants and paints for the floors, walls, and ceilings, to organic and sustainable furnishings like the organic cotton bedding. The display home is fully furnished and decorated with hand-selected products that are stylish and beautiful, yet meet high environmental standards. Related: A Tiny Timber Box in a Tiny Urban Flat Makes Room for a Couple’s First Child In addition to environmentally conscious building practices, the 10 Star Home is designed to inspire a more sustainable lifestyle. The architects followed Building Biology principles to create an edible garden where occupants are encouraged to compost and grow their own food. To keep the home healthy and non-toxic, the 10 Star Home is also equipped with a “green switch” that turns off all power to the home, except for the fridge, so that occupants can reduce the impact of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) at night. “Through Life Cycle Analysis by eTool, modelling shows that over the lifetime of the home, the 10 Star Home will not only negate its carbon footprint but will positively exceed it,” said The Sociable Weaver, according to Dezeen . “This equates to 203 kilograms of carbon emissions saved per year per occupant, equivalent to planting 9.55 million trees or removing 48 million balloons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” + The Sociable Weaver + Clare Cousin Architects Via Dezeen Images via The Sociable Weaver

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Australias first carbon-positive and zero-waste home is built of non-toxic materials

Solar-powered safari lodge is a gorgeous green retreat in Botswana

April 12, 2017 by  
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Elevated on stilts, the sustainable and cocoon-like lodge takes its inspiration from the pangolin, an endangered scaly animal native to the African bush. The architects clad the curvaceous facade with natural and locally sourced shingles and woven saplings in a bid to minimize the building’s environmental footprint. The building is entirely concrete-free and a solar panel farm powers the electricity. Related: Photographer Zack Seckler Snaps Rare and Beautiful Aerial Photographs of Botswana Wildlife Curved shapes find their way into the interior of the lodge as well, where the 12 suites take on the appearance of suspended weaverbird nests and large timber arches evoke a cathedral-like character. The building opens up towards the river to allow for natural ventilation and lighting, as well as wildlife views. The interior has minimalist décor to keep the focus on the landscape. + Sandibe Okavango + Michaelis Boyd + Nick Plewman Via Contemporist

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Solar-powered safari lodge is a gorgeous green retreat in Botswana

Portable solar unit fits into a steel drum for off-grid events

February 24, 2017 by  
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The Solar Charging Can fills the gap between large-scale residential photovoltaics and portable solar chargers for your smartphone. The unit unpacks quickly for camping, outdoor events, and other off-grid functions and is ready to use after just a half hour of assembly. In addition to recreational use, the unit can provide crucial power to mobile medical clinics, disaster relief areas, and refugee camps. Mobile Solar Chargers Ltd developed the Solar Charging Can to be an impressively versatile unit that is easy to put together in a pinch. The basic model includes a 180W/18v 5.5A solar panel , which is both flexible and waterproof, on a retractable telescoping pole, as well as two batteries, a voltage regulator, and all other necessary equipment for the unit to run smoothly. An included anchor secures the can to the ground, but the added sand bags provide an extra dose of security. Upgraded versions can be purchased to include a WiFi router, additional panels, a remote CCTV camera, and LED lighting . Related: Portable smartflower POP solar system produces 40% more energy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8yoDfVzWfU The entire unit can be assembled in a half hour by two people, according to the website. And they can be custom ordered to meet the needs of the event it will serve. This is especially helpful for organizations that provide disaster relief support or intend to power housing for refugees for an extended amount of time. One Solar Charging Can starts at about $2,235 (£1,795). + Mobile Solar Chargers Ltd Via Treehugger Images via Mobile Solar Chargers Ltd, YouTube (screenshot)

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Portable solar unit fits into a steel drum for off-grid events

Solar-powered Embassy of Australia designs unveiled for Washington, D.C.

November 16, 2016 by  
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Designed by Bates Smart’s Sir Osbourne McCutcheon in 1964, the existing Embassy of Australia is an austere monolith located at 1601 Massachusetts Avenue with views of the White House. The new replacement eschews the stiff and boxy form in favor of a multifaceted structure that engages the public realm through a mostly glazed envelope promoting transparency and natural light . “The environmentally sensitive design embodies the spirit of Australia through direct references to the distinctive Australian landscape: its bright and clear natural light and open skies, its warm materiality and its vast scale,” said the architects in a press release. “The use of these associations will create a civic building and symbol of Australia that is both enduring and welcoming.” Related: National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in Washington, DC In addition to the full-height glazing on all floors, a large glass atrium also funnels natural light deep into the building. Public spaces, including an exhibition gallery and event spaces, occupy the ground floor, while offices are placed on the upper levels. The embassy will minimize its energy footprint with the installation of a thermally efficient facade system. A green roof and photovoltaic array will top the building. + Bates Smart Via ArchDaily

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Every solar panel on this CO2-neutral Austin home has its own inverter

October 8, 2015 by  
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Every solar panel on this CO2-neutral Austin home has its own inverter

Solar suburbs: The future is now

October 6, 2015 by  
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A solar panel on every roof, an electric vehicle in every garage, ultra-efficient home batteries to store excess energy, and the easy transfer of electricity among house, car, and grid. But will the technological pieces fall in place to make this dream a reality?

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Solar suburbs: The future is now

Elegant solar-powered Shine light delivers 30+ hours of portable energy with just one charge

September 9, 2015 by  
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Breakthrough solar panel-battery hybrid captures and stores energy from the sun

September 4, 2015 by  
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What if future solar cells can capture and store solar energy at the same time? Researchers at Kogakuin University in Japan strive to do just. Their translucent lithium-ion battery-solar panel recharges itself when exposed to sunlight, fusing battery storage with renewable energy generation. This elegant design could finally trump the problem of securing effective and affordable storage. Read the rest of Breakthrough solar panel-battery hybrid captures and stores energy from the sun

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Breakthrough solar panel-battery hybrid captures and stores energy from the sun

Paper-thin printed solar cells could provide power for 1.3 billion

June 17, 2015 by  
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The cost of solar power has declined dramatically over the past few decades, from $40 per watt in 1977 to $0.74 per watt in 2013. This trend is expected to accelerate as improvements in efficiency and new technologies come online. This is good news for citizens of developed countries who want to make the switch to a cleaner and increasingly cheaper energy source. The shift to solar may be most dramatic for those living in developing countries. Thanks to inexpensive printed solar cells, 1.3 billion people currently without electricity may be able to plug in for the first time. Read the rest of Paper-thin printed solar cells could provide power for 1.3 billion Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , anti-poverty , developing countries , electricity access , Kyung-In Synthetic , off-grid , paper-thin solar cells , printed solar cells , solar , Solar Cell , solar panel

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Paper-thin printed solar cells could provide power for 1.3 billion

California oil refineries use 94 million gallons of water a day and nobody is stopping them

June 17, 2015 by  
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In California, the ground is dry, cracking, and sinking faster than ever. Farmers are walking away from hundreds of thousands of acres of croplands because there is no water to irrigate. Golf courses and celebrities are shamed for watering their green lawns . But in the fourth year of the worst drought in California’s history, those who wish to save the Golden State have another silent enemy in the fight against the drought: oil refineries. Read the rest of California oil refineries use 94 million gallons of water a day and nobody is stopping them Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: california drought , california oil , california refineries , california sinking , california water , mother jones report california , oil industry , oil refineries , water usage

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