The low-impact Bridge House hovers over a stream in Los Angeles

January 15, 2020 by  
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Architecture is often heavily influenced by the existing landscape surrounding a structure, but architect Dan Brunn didn’t let the weaving waterways on his Los Angeles property limit the options for his home. Dubbed the Bridge House, this 4,500-square-foot home straddles 65 feet of natural stream without harming the landscape. The long, narrow home nestles into the forested background with limited street exposure. The focus on nature is evident with natural light streaming in from expansive windows throughout, a living wall in the living room and an outdoor terrace. In fact, the 210-foot-long home provides a wide expanse of northern exposure for more natural light and less energy consumption. Related: The Garden House features greenery and bee-friendly landscapes While the overall theme is sleek and minimalist, the pool area — complete with a full pool house, an outdoor shower, space for grilling and a Yamaha music room — aims to create an oasis for entertaining. But don’t let the luxuries and size fool you. In addition to the layout and physical situation of the home, each space was designed with low impact in mind. Starting with the foundation, the bridge design suspends a large portion of the structure, minimizing the impact on the landscape. For the structure itself, a BONE steel modular system was incorporated to ease on-site construction with sustainable materials. Plus, the system’s precision leaves little to no cutoff waste, and the steel itself comes from up to 89% recycled material . Although there was waste from the removal of the previous home, all usable parts were donated to the local Habitat for Humanity for reuse. The air quality inside the home is enhanced by the living wall of plants and superior insulation. A water filtration system eliminates the desire for bottled water, and solar power provides for much of the home’s energy needs. + Dan Brunn Architecture Via Dezeen Photography by Brandon Shigeta via Dann Brunn Architecture

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The low-impact Bridge House hovers over a stream in Los Angeles

Couple turns old van into home-on-wheels for just $1K

January 15, 2020 by  
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IKEA offers an almost infinite amount of space solutions for any type of abode — for one couple looking to convert an old van into a home on wheels, IKEA products were their saving grace. Ambitious couple Grace Aquino and her husband Marlon were on an extremely tight budget when they decided to turn their old van into a full-time home so that they could travel the world. As impressive as it is shocking, the couple managed to create their beloved  Flippie van for just $1,000 using IKEA products and doing the work themselves. Van conversions are nothing new, but creating a custom living space on wheels isn’t always as cheap as people expect it to be. Whether buying or building, the cost of living, dining and bedroom furniture can add up quickly. But for one ambitious couple looking to create a bespoke living space within a very compact 60 square feet, everyone’s favorite Swedish furniture brand, IKEA, helped them customize their new home, which they managed to do by themselves for just $1,000. Related: Old van converted into solar-powered bohemian beach hut on wheels When they first decided to embark on a nomadic lifestyle, Aquino and her husband planned to contract professionals to convert an old 2017 Ram ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van into their roaming hut on wheels. However, when they realized that the cheapest estimate given would run them $15,000, the couple decided to take a more practical, DIY route. Accordingly, their first stop was IKEA. “To our surprise, the cheapest quote we were given was $15,000 for a very basic build without a platform for our bed. So our only practical choice was to do it ourselves. While doing our research, we were overwhelmed at the amount of work it takes to convert a van. We didn’t have the tools, the space and the skillset needed. My husband had really only built Ikea furniture in the past, so we thought why not visit Ikea to get some inspiration? Once we found a few things that we knew would work for our van, we decided to fully commit to building just with Ikea,” Aquino explained to Lonely Planet. Except for the flooring, power station, insulation and ottoman, all of Flippie’s furnishings came from IKEA. First, however, the couple had to make sure that the space was comfortable for living in full-time. Therefore, they started by insulating the 60-square-foot interior with styrofoam insulation covered with a foil liner, which they bought from Home Depot. Later, the van’s flooring was topped with exercise floor mat puzzles purchased at Walmart. Once the main envelope of the van was customized, the couple headed straight to IKEA to purchase space-saving, affordable furnishings . First, they purchased a large sofa bed that pulls out at night, but folds up during the day to create more space. The couple also added storage where possible, including a spacious overhead cabinet that was installed over the bed. At the back of the van, two large doors open up into the compact but functional kitchen, which was built using Raskog Cart and Pantry unit that cost just $29.99 and a Sunnersta mini-kitchen set that costs $121. In this area, the couple also installed a pressure shower system for the faucet and added various baskets for storage. A unique back wall is covered in pegboard to hang utensils, paper towels, etc. Across from the tiny kitchen is the couple’s work space, which includes a Besta Burs desk and a Top Trones storage unit. A large ottoman pulls double duty as extra seating and extra storage. In addition to the IKEA products, the couple splurged a bit on an Eco Power Station ($700). While the company is still developing a solar panel , the couple uses shore power to charge the battery so that they can charge their phones and laptops. + The Sweet Savory Life Via Apartment Therapy Images via The Sweet Savory Life

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Couple turns old van into home-on-wheels for just $1K

Atlantis Announces Funding For the World’s Largest Tidal Energy Project in Scotland

August 27, 2014 by  
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The world’s largest tidal energy project just took a big step forward as Atlantis Resources announced it has finalized an $83 million funding package for the project to break ground. When it is finished, the 398 MW MeyGen array of underwater turbines will provide clean, sustainable, predictable power for 175,000 homes in Scotland while reducing carbon emissions. Read the rest of Atlantis Announces Funding For the World’s Largest Tidal Energy Project in Scotland Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Atlantis Resources , MeyGen , meygen project , Pentland Firth , Scotland tidal power , Scotland tidal project , tidal array , tidal project , World’s Largest Tidal Stream Project

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Atlantis Announces Funding For the World’s Largest Tidal Energy Project in Scotland

Wealthy Californians are Circumventing the Drought by Trucking in Water

August 27, 2014 by  
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Everyone knows that California is suffering a catastrophic water shortage , but to drive around some of the wealthier neighborhoods in the state, you might not be able to tell. That’s because some of California’s richest residents are having water trucked to their homes in order to keep their lawns, swimming pools, fountains, and (no doubt vital) polo fields hydrated. Read the rest of Wealthy Californians are Circumventing the Drought by Trucking in Water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Beverly Hills trucking in water , California circumventing drought , california drought , California drought regulations , California water restriction , California water use fines , Californians trucking in water , drought water conservation , drought water use fines , Montecito trucking in water , trucking in water , United State drought , water conservation , water use fines , western US drought

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Wealthy Californians are Circumventing the Drought by Trucking in Water

OMA Celebrates Topping Out the Taipei Performing Arts Center Today!

August 27, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of OMA Celebrates Topping Out the Taipei Performing Arts Center Today! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: experimental theater , Hau Lung-pin , KRIS YAO | ARTECH , oma , performing arts center , rem koolhaas , taipei , Taipei Performing Arts Center , Taiwan , Theater Design

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OMA Celebrates Topping Out the Taipei Performing Arts Center Today!

New Report Shows Startling Connection Between Slowing Gulf Stream and Rising Sea Levels on the East Coast

February 14, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock Scientists project that on average, the world’s oceans will rise about 3 feet by 2100, putting low-lying areas in danger, contaminating water supplies and undermining roads, airports, port facilities and power plants. But even this dire prediction isn’t severe enough to describe what is happening on the east coast of the United States, where sea levels are rising at an even faster rate. The reason for this, according to a new  study in the February Journal of Geophysical Research, is that the Gulf Stream that moves north and then east toward northern Europe—and usually regulates sea levels in the region—is itself slowing down due to the effects of global warming. Read the rest of New Report Shows Startling Connection Between Slowing Gulf Stream and Rising Sea Levels on the East Coast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: global warming slowing down gulf stream , gulf stream , gulf stream flow , gulf stream regulates sea levels , journal of geophysical research , rising sea levels , rising sea levels on the US east coast , slowing of the gulf stream

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New Report Shows Startling Connection Between Slowing Gulf Stream and Rising Sea Levels on the East Coast

13 Green Design Valentines for the Designers, Architects and Visionaries We Love!

February 14, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of 13 Green Design Valentines for the Designers, Architects and Visionaries We Love! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: architect crush , design crush , designer crush , eco valentine’s day , flora grubb , green crush , green valentines day , hot architects , hot designers , hottest eco architects , hottest eco designers , inhabitat crush , inhabitat crushes , inhabitat valentines , jennifer siegel , jonas damon , Joshua Katcher , Kengo Kuma , lousie campbell , Michelle Obama , Pepe Heykoop , thomas heatherwick , valentine’s day , valentines to architects , valentines to designers

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13 Green Design Valentines for the Designers, Architects and Visionaries We Love!

An Ingenious Market Mechanism Restores Watersheds in Montana

July 14, 2011 by  
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Prickly Pear Creek: Image Credit Ted.com Rivers and streams are like the veins of an ecosystem that are now drying up because of over-usage; all across the United States. Rob Harmon (an expert on energy and natural resources policy) brings up one particular watershed in Montana where he and others at BEF have implemented an ingenious market mechanism to bring water back to the stream- Prickly Pear Creek. The watershed problem in Montana: For over a hundred years, the Prickly Pear Creek has run bone dry in the summer. Farmers and breweries have found their fates intertwined in the intriguing century-old tale of Prickly Pear Creek, where “senior water rights – use the water or lose it” type of scenario did not provide any incentive to farmers with “senior water rights” to conserve water. The result: a broken system, over-usage and a stream ecosystem with dry beds all throughout the summer. What else was happening in Montana at that time?: Another sidebar happening was the rise of awareness among beer corporations in Montana to reduce their water footprint and increase water use efficiency. These breweries were concerned about their “brand image” in relation to their water conservation efforts and were taking big initiatives to reduce their water footprint. They were looking for more ways to go that extra step and mitigate their water situation. The market-driven solution: Rob coupled the broken water-rights system with the corporate responsibility policy of the breweries and brought about a market incentive program that encouraged farmers to keep the water in the stream. Business water stewardship, up till now was limited to measuring water usage and reducing it. Rob helped the companies take it one step further and restore water. The program he helped devise encouraged farmers to keep their “share” of the water in the stream and develop certificates for unit quantities of water left in the stream. Breweries bought these certificates, so the farmers got paid to conserve water and every one was happy, most prominently the Prickly Pear Creek. Four billion gallons were returned to the ecosystem using this “willing-buyer-willing-seller” approach showing that a community-based approach encourages more effective and longer lasting solutions to the restoration challenges that corporations face. Watch the inspiring TED video where Rob talks about this intriguing success story in Montana (or click here for the actual high quality TED video) Rob Harmon’s Bio (from TED.com) Rob Harmon is an expert on energy and natural resources policy — looking at smart ways to manage carbon, water and the energy we use every day. Taking the true measure of our environmental footprint is something that Rob Harmon has been doing for years. Harmon joined  Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) in 1999, and is credited with developing their Green Tag program. In 2004, he was awarded the national Green Power Pioneer Award for his introduction of the retail Green Tag (Renewable Energy Certificates) and his ongoing efforts to build a thriving and credible Green Tag market in the United States. He also conceptualized and directed the development of BEF’s national Solar 4R Schools program. His latest venture is the creation of BEF’s Water Restoration Certificate business line, which utilizes voluntary markets to restore critically de-watered ecosystems. He recently contributed chapters to the book  Voluntary Carbon Markets: A Business Guide to What They Are and How They Work . Rob left BEF in November 2010 to explore his next venture,  ConvenientOpportunities.com .

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An Ingenious Market Mechanism Restores Watersheds in Montana

Seoul Transforms a Freeway Into A River and Public Park

February 22, 2010 by  
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A stream runs through the center of Seoul , dividing the city into North and South, but for three decades it was totally buried beneath a busy downtown highway. In 2003, as part of a vast urban renewal project , the highway was removed and the stream was recovered and turned into a beautiful 5.8 km urban park

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Seoul Transforms a Freeway Into A River and Public Park

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