An off-grid home in South Africa features a conservatory for fully enjoying nature

October 26, 2018 by  
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South African architect  Nadine Engelbrecht has unveiled a stunning family home in her hometown of Pretoria. The design was a result of working directly with the homeowners, who wanted a peaceful off-grid retreat where they could escape their hectic urban lifestyle. Connecting design with the gorgeous surroundings, the house’s best feature is a massive conservatory that brings in a wealth of natural light and acts as a passive heating and cooling feature for the solar-powered home. At 6,400 square feet, the Conservatory is a sprawling family home located on a 35-hectare farm outside of Pretoria. Cement washed bricks were used for the main volume of the house, which is attached to the large glass conservatory framed in black steel. The volume of the home was created to meet the needs of the homeowners, who requested a very spacious, one-story living area for two. This space is contained in the conservatory and adjacent living space. The rest of the structure houses guest suites that can be effortlessly separated from or integrated with the main home. Related: Glass elements dramatically open up a solar-powered Sydney home Besides the homeowner’s layout requirements, the surrounding environment drove the project’s design. The home was built into the sloped landscape, which is covered in natural grass. The lower portion of the home is partially submerged into the hill, allowing veld grasses to cover a portion of the roof  for a seamless connection to nature. This connection with the landscape continues through the interior thanks to the huge conservatory built into the core of the brick home. The glass structure, which is topped with translucent roof sheeting, provides spectacular views and also allows for passive temperature control . In the colder months, the glass panels allow solar penetration to warm the space. The area beyond the conservatory was built with glass partitions, which can be opened to allow warm air to flow throughout. In the warm summer months, the automated glass facade opens up completely to allow natural cross ventilation to flow. In addition to the passive temperature control features, the stunning home was built to operate off the grid. Solar panels on the roof generate clean energy, and the water installations are designed to conserve water and reuse any gray water. + Nadine Engelbrecht Via Archdaily Photography by Marsel Roothman via Nadine Engelbrecht

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An off-grid home in South Africa features a conservatory for fully enjoying nature

The first off-grid Ecocapsule microhomes are shipping to customers this year

June 6, 2017 by  
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Want to travel to the beach or a mountaintop or a jungle – and spend the night in style every time? The Ecocapsule offers that flexibility in a tiny off-grid package. The company just announced it has secured financial backing to move forward with the microhome – and they’re planning to deliver the first Ecocapsules to clients later this year. Late night television host James Corden recently tested the versatile pods out in a peaceful garden, a horse ranch, and a restaurant rooftop – check out his take after the break. Corden hit up the Ecocapsule to explore the latest trends in travel and eco-friendly living. The egg-shaped, mobile microhome is around eight feet high, seven feet long, and 14.5 feet wide, and it’s powered by rooftop solar cells and a small wind turbine . It also collects rainwater to be reclaimed as drinking water. A folding bed, bathroom, kitchenette, and living area provide travelers with all the amenities of a luxury hotel . The Ecocapsule can be towed via trailer or sent to a location in a shipping container. Related: The world’s first off-grid EcoCapsule is now available for pre-order Corden envisioned the Ecocapsule in exotic locations like the Grand Canyon or a beach in Ibiza. He took his characteristic humorous approach to the design of the pod, asking founder Tomas Zacek, “How do I know this isn’t just some sort of spaceship?” Ecocapsule will only make 50 of the first edition pods, but they plan to start mass producing the microhomes for a lower price in 2018. It seems Corden enjoyed his time wandering in the Ecocapsule; he said in the video, “I could stay here for years.” He also told Zacek that snuggling encapsulates the ethos behind the Ecocapsule. + Ecocapsule

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The first off-grid Ecocapsule microhomes are shipping to customers this year

Solar-powered Murphy House is one of Edinburgh’s most adaptable and sustainable homes

March 18, 2016 by  
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Solar-powered DURAhome is a 100% self-sufficient shelter built for disaster zones

October 6, 2015 by  
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Harvard students build a tiny 100% off-grid home powered by the sun

September 2, 2015 by  
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Stunning snowflake-shaped home in the UAE is 100% powered by the desert sun

September 1, 2015 by  
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India’s sweeping 20 million LED streetlight retrofit will save $890 million each year

September 1, 2015 by  
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India’s government announced a major commitment to energy efficiency earlier this year when the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) was launched, calling for 20 million lightbulbs in streetlights to be replaced with LED bulbs . The largest project of its kind, the upgrades will take about two years to complete, and comprise part of a larger effort to reduce the national power load and save hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Read the rest of India’s sweeping 20 million LED streetlight retrofit will save $890 million each year

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Solar-powered Elevate Structures are wrapped in a living, breathing wall of green

August 10, 2015 by  
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Family-run Elevate Structure Inc. is bringing a gorgeous new contender to the rapidly growing collection of eco-friendly homes. Powered by solar and wrapped in green, these buildings are unique because they are not limited to becoming a tiny home even though they are suitable for families and make an amazing place to live. Instead, they are designed to be functionally flexible, and can be used as commercial spaces, gyms, office space, shelters for the homeless, storage units, or even a drive-thru. Read the rest of Solar-powered Elevate Structures are wrapped in a living, breathing wall of green

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Honda and SolarCity Announce $50 Million Fund to Make Solar Power More Accessible

October 9, 2014 by  
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In the market for a new car? You may want to consider a Honda or Acura if you want a sweet deal on solar power. Honda and SolarCity have announced the details of their renewed partnership that will provide $50 million in future solar projects. The partnership has already created a range of solar projects for homeowners, dealerships and corporate facilities that total more than 12.5 MW of solar generation capacity. The new commitment will make solar power more affordable and available to Honda and Acura customers as well as dealerships in the U.S. Read the rest of Honda and SolarCity Announce $50 Million Fund to Make Solar Power More Accessible Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , electric car , electric power , Electricity , green , Honda , plug-in vehicles , renewable energy , Solar Power , solar powered home , solarcity

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Chiba University’s Post-Disaster Renai House Wins Second Place in Architecture at Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

July 6, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Chiba University’s Post-Disaster Renai House Wins Second Place in Architecture at Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2014 solar decathlon , Chiba University , post-disaster , post-disaster architecture , post-disaster city , Prefab , renai house , Rikuzentakata , Solar Decathlon , solar decathlon europe , Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 , solar powered home , sustainable cities , tohoku oki earthquake , urban seeds

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