This modern solar-powered retreat is topped with a massive green roof

June 18, 2018 by  
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Outside the concrete jungle of São Paulo , Brazil is a solar-powered holiday retreat that fully embraces nature. Brazilian architecture firm Studio MK27 designed the striking home, called the Planar House, for a couple and their three children. Despite the rather spacious size of 10,763 square feet, the dwelling projects lightness thanks to its concrete slab green roof that appears to float above the landscape. Topped with a grassy green roof , the Planar House was crafted to blend in with the surrounding lawn and rolling hills. The building was constructed almost entirely of reinforced, poured in-situ concrete. Slender metallic pillars on both side of the home hold up the concrete slab roof. The home, which was designed for entertaining, consists of five en-suite bedrooms, the staff quarters, kitchen, kid’s playroom and expansive living and dining areas with indoor-outdoor access thanks to sliding glass doors. A hallway that runs north to south divides the programming. “Planar House is a radical exercise in horizontality, [an] aspect commonly explored in the projects of the studio,”  Studio MK27 explained. “Discreetly inserted in the highest point of the plot and favoring the existing topography, its presence is most strongly felt in the footprint rather than volumetrically. [The home is] an extensive line in an open landscape.” Related: Flat green roof helps Casa Guarujá integrate with the forest in Brazil The holiday home’s design was strongly influenced by Miesian architecture. The home is sandwiched between two concrete slabs with the upper slab serving as a structural platform. The interiors feature board-formed concrete ceilings and a mostly timber material palette that lends warmth throughout. In contrast to the home’s rigid geometry, the architects added a sinuous brick wall — punctuated by voids to let in light and views — that wraps around part of the home. The architects said, “The wall, which is usually a symbol of division and isolation, in this project, is at times concave and at others convex, embracing the entrance garden and creating transparencies as well as offering protection from the street.” + Studio MK27 Images by Fernando Guerra

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This modern solar-powered retreat is topped with a massive green roof

Old Greyhound bus converted into gorgeous tiny house on wheels

June 18, 2018 by  
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For most people traveling on a Greyhound bus, the journey usually involves squeezing into cracked polyurethane seating for uncomfortably long periods of time. But that’s not the case for Jessie Lipskin , who transformed an old 1966 Greyhound bus into a shockingly sophisticated and spacious tiny home on wheels . Now, in this new space, the name Greyhound has become synonymous with tiny home living in comfort and style. Lipskin revealed to Apartment Therapy that years of living in New York City inspired her to commit to the tiny home lifestyle . Little by little, she began to get rid of superfluous possessions, until everything she owned could fit in a suitcase. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel The next step was finding her perfect tiny home, which turned out to be a 1966 GMC Commuter Greyhound bus she found on eBay. According to Lipskin, she chose the bus because “The Greyhound’s classic body style and great condition made the perfect fit for a beautiful tiny home conversion.” After gutting the interior, she installed beautiful new hardwood flooring throughout the space. The interior of the bus was painted all white, which opens up the tiny house tremendously. Additionally, the bus’s original windows were left in place to flood the interior with natural light. LED lighting with dimmers was installed throughout the interior to provide a serene ambiance. Lipskin mapped out a new floor plan for the tiny home that includes a large living area and a full-sized bath, as well as two sleeping areas that comfortably sleep up to four people. Additionally, three large closets were installed – a rarity in such a compact space. The tiny home’s kitchen is equipped with ample wooden counter space, as well as an oven and stove top. An energy-efficient washing machine and dryer also fit into the kitchen, along with an instant hot-water heater and propane tank. There is ample storage to keep the space clutter-free. It took Lipskin three years to create her custom tiny home on wheels , and the result is incredible. However, she has since decided to put the bus up for sale in order to travel internationally. The tiny house is currently listed on Craigslist for $149,000 . + Bus Tiny Home Via Apartment Therapy Photos via Jessie Lipskin

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Bronx community garden transformed with sustainable improvements

June 18, 2018 by  
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A newly renovated community garden has officially opened in the Bronx. Fannie’s Garden at Paradise on Earth , a venture of the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), received a dramatic upgrade with sustainable features like permeable pavement , a rain garden , and a shade structure designed to support solar panels. The 13,000-square foot-garden offers space for urban residents to escape the city, get their hands dirty in 24 garden beds, and enjoy the colors of native plants. NYRP just celebrated the grand opening of the community garden last week. They renovated Paradise on Earth, founded in 1981, together with design firm Sawyer | Berson around what NYRP described as “simple, elegant geometry.” The garden includes 12 raised garden beds for kids, six raised beds for adults, and six raised beds that meet Americans with Disabilities Act height requirements. Related: Brooklyn Grange announces a new location — in a former WWII shipyard The garden also includes open space for children to run on natural turf, a multipurpose raised deck underneath a tree — a NYRP Instagram post shows students practicing yoga on the deck as one potential use — and a slatted shade structure that NYRP said has been “pre-fitted to support solar panels and an off-grid electrical system” at Paradise on Earth. A chicken coop, outdoor kitchen, drinking fountain, and a trellis and tool shed are also part of the renovation. The upgrades kept sustainability in mind with a rain garden meant to “capture, store, and infiltrate storm water before it reaches the sewer system” and a compost toilet . The community garden is located in the Morrisania neighborhood at 1106 Fox Street, Bronx, New York, 10459. If you’d like to volunteer at the garden, such as cultivating produce or helping with maintenance, you can find out more information at NYRP’s volunteer page . + Paradise on Earth + New York Restoration Project + Sawyer | Berson Images courtesy of New York Restoration Project

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Olafur Eliasson unveils his first building, a sculptural stunner in Denmark

June 8, 2018 by  
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The prolific Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has unveiled his first building—a sculptural castle-like mass that rises from the waters in Vejle, Denmark. Dubbed Fjordenhus (Fjord House), the solar-powered structure was created as the new headquarters for holding and investment company KIRK KAPITAL and features both green roofs and solar panels. The project was created under Studio Olafur Eliasson’s new international office for art and architecture, Studio Other Spaces, which was founded in collaboration with architect Sebastian Behmann and will execute similar large-scale experimental architectural and public space projects in the future. Located next to the man-made Havneøen (The Harbour Island), Fjordenhus comprises four intersecting cylinders that rise to a height of 28 meters. The historic harbor warehouses and silos in the area inspired Fjordenhus’ curved facade and brick cladding. Inside, the building is organized around circles and ellipses, from the curved windows and furnishings to the round vestibules and spiral staircase. The double-height ground floor will be open to the public and partly flooded by water. The KIRK KAPITAL offices are located in the upper three floors, while the top of the building is decked out with a green roof and solar panels. “In the design team, we experimented from early on with how to create an organic building that would respond to the ebb and flow of the tides , to the shimmering surface of the water, changing at different times of the day and of the year,” said Olafur Eliasson in a statement. “The curving walls of the building transform our perception of it as we move through its spaces. I hope the residents of Vejle will embrace Fjordenhus and identify with it as a new landmark for the harbour and their city.” Related: Olafur Eliasson launches a gorgeous and affordable handheld solar phone charger In addition to custom furniture and lighting, the contemporary building also incorporates site-specific artworks by Eliasson. The Fjordenhus officially opens to the public on June 9, 2018. + Olafur Eliasson Images by Anders Sune Berg

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Olafur Eliasson unveils his first building, a sculptural stunner in Denmark

Solar-powered multi-generational home offsets its energy consumption

June 5, 2018 by  
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Toronto-based architecture firm Williamson Williamson has completed a stunning home that embraces aging in place with a sustainably minded footprint. Located in the Ontario town of Hamilton, the House on Ancaster Creek comprises two distinct residences—one for the clients and the other for their elderly parents. The multigenerational home also reduces its energy demands with a 10KVa solar array, daylighting techniques, and low-energy fixtures throughout. Conceived as a high-density solution, the House on Ancaster Creek combines the functions of two separate homes into a single L-shaped entity. To accommodate any future mobility limitations, the architects placed the parents’ suite on the ground floor, where it’s joined with additional living spaces. Elder-friendly design considerations and features were also incorporated, such as the well-located drains and a master power switch that can immediately switch off any fixtures accidentally left on due to memory loss. The second floor master suite is accessed via a dramatic wood-clad spiral staircase that ascends from the first-floor living room located at the intersection of the two rectangular volumes. The main residence is positioned parallel to the creek and overlooks the views through floor-to-ceiling glazing. Full-height glazing is also used throughout the home to create a seamless connection with the outdoors. The material palette also reflects this connection: the ground floor of the home is clad in three-and-a-half-inch thick locally quarried Algonquin limestone while timber is used throughout. Related: Fabulous multigenerational home allows owners to comfortably age in place Despite the abundance of glazing, the home manages to keep energy demands to a minimum thanks to a highly insulated envelope and a high-performance triple-pane wood-frame window system with an average Uw of .77. Radiant heating is also used to complement a high-efficiency furnace, while LEDs and low-energy fixtures are installed throughout. A 37-module 9.8 kW solar array is installed on two of the flat roofs to offset energy consumption. + Williamson Williamson Via ArchDaily Images by Ben Rahn / A-Frame Inc.

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Solar-powered multi-generational home offsets its energy consumption

Brooklyn SolarWorks can turn almost any rooftop into a sun-powered oasis

April 30, 2018 by  
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Brooklyn SolarWorks wants to help bring solar power  to  New Yorkers . Stunning new renderings of the company’s Solar Canopy envision how city dwellers might benefit from this innovative product. The Solar Canopy offers solar in spots where traditional  solar panels can’t go because of fire codes or obstacles. Beyond just generating clean energy , the canopy could create new living spaces and redefine urban solar. Brooklyn SolarWorks’ Solar Canopy, designed with SITU Studio , has been around for a while, popping up around New York City in Park Slope, Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy to name a few. The new renderings paint a picture of what urban solar power could look like; for example, a relaxing rooftop dining area. Related: Durable canvas cloth with embedded solar cells generates 120 watts per square meter The Brooklyn SolarWorks website  says the company is “capable of putting solar panels on almost anything. Whether you have ample roof space free of obstacles or your roof is littered with vent pipes, skylights, and hatches, we will likely be able to figure out a solar solution.” The Solar Canopy is one of those solutions. By raising solar panels nine feet above rooftops, the company can work around restrictive fire codes. Brooklyn SolarWorks uses different panels depending on the job at hand; two of the most popular are Silfab’s SLA-M 310 Wp Monocrystalline panels  that offer “100 percent maximum power density” and  LG NeON 2 355W panels , which use thinner wires for a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance. You don’t have to leave your couch to check out the Solar Canopy; Brooklyn SolarWorks offers an immersive 3D model  that you can explore with virtual reality goggles. Find out more about the company and its innovative products on the Brooklyn SolarWorks website . + Brooklyn SolarWorks Images courtesy of Brooklyn SolarWorks

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Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm

April 10, 2018 by  
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Solar energy development has skyrocketed in recent years, but many … The post Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm

Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm

April 10, 2018 by  
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Solar energy development has skyrocketed in recent years, but many … The post Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Can’t Add Solar Panels to Your Roof? Join a Community Solar Farm

Off-grid Fossil Discovery Exhibit camouflages into the Texan desert

March 28, 2018 by  
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Big Bend National Park isn’t just a place of stunning landscape beauty—the Texan park is also paleontological paradise. To tell the story of the area’s rich fossil history, Texan architecture studio Lake | Flato designed the Fossil Discovery Exhibit, a series of interpretive pavilions that draws inspiration from the surrounding topography. The unstaffed, low-maintenance building operates off grid and draws energy and water from solar panels and a rainwater catchment system. Created as a series of open-air pavilions , the Fossil Discovery Exhibit takes visitors on the Big Bend Fossil Discovery Trail: a sequential walkway that covers four paleontological eras from the Early Cretaceous period to the Cenozoic Era. “The complex story of Big Bend’s remarkable landscape can be brought to life through its fossil history and the artifacts found within the park,” wrote the architects. “These characteristics create a unique opportunity for interpretation and education; the trail will describe the world-class diversity and length of Big Bend’s fossil history while directly referencing the breathtaking surrounding landscape.” Related: Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is sustainably built from CNC-milled beetle-kill timber Elevated on concrete piers, the building is clad in perforated weathering steel for low maintenance and camouflage so as to avoid disrupting views from the road and trails. Interior partitions guide visitors through the spaces, the highlight of which is the Gallery of the Giants where massive bones and recreated skeletons are on display. Solar panels power the buildings, while the angled roof, which evokes a winged dinosaur, is optimized for rainwater collection. + Lake | Flato Via Dezeen Images by Casey Dunn

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Off-grid Fossil Discovery Exhibit camouflages into the Texan desert

LifeEditeds newest home brings off-grid luxury to Maui

March 19, 2018 by  
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If you loved LifeEdited’s shape-shifting Manhattan apartment from a few years ago, prepare to be stunned by the design consultancy’s latest project—an off-grid luxury Maui home that produces more energy than it needs. While LifeEdited:Maui is more than double the size of the transforming Manhattan project, the Hawaii home was likewise built to push the envelope in sustainable luxury design. The home, built for LifeEdited founder Graham Hill, boasts the top of the line in eco-friendly and space-saving amenities, materials, and technologies from Sunflare solar panels to Resource Furniture murphy beds. Located on 2.2 acres of rural land in Haiku, LifeEdited:Maui is a two-story home with 1,000 square feet of indoor living space and an additional 330-square-foot lanai, or sheltered veranda. In keeping with LifeEdited’s philosophy of ‘small space, big design,’ the off-grid home fits an impressive array of amenities thanks to transforming furniture and space-saving techniques, and can comfortably entertain over twenty people at once. “LifeEdited:Maui is a model for how we can innovate to live in the future,” writes LifeEdited COO Ross Porter . “It allows a family to live a big, happy, modern, convenient off-grid life in a 1,000 square foot home that functions like one twice its size.” The home, completed early this year, sleeps up to eight in four bedrooms and two and a half baths. When not in use, certain bedrooms can be easily adapted for other uses, like office spaces , thanks to Resource Furniture’s transforming furnishings that combine functionality with aesthetics. Related: Graham Hill’s Transformable Cube-Within-A-Cube Cleverly Makes the Most of a Small Footprint The home’s sleek contemporary design isn’t visually weighed down by its impressive off-grid capabilities either. Sunflare’s custom-sized thin-film solar panels are nearly invisible on the standing-seam metal roof and provide power that’s stored in a Blue Ion 2.0 Energy System. Natural lighting and ventilation is maximized throughout the home thanks to ample operable glazing like the Andersen MultiGlide sliding glass doors. A 15,000-gallon rainwater tank collects rainwater for irrigation. Automated technology is integrated in many areas of the home. A Sense energy monitor keeps energy levels in check. The luxurious eco-home was completed for just under $1 million. + LifeEdited Via NY Times Images via LifeEdited

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