Futuristic aviary design uses piezoelectric energy to mimic bird movements

January 7, 2021 by  
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A combination aviary and bird-watching platform in China’s Suzhou Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park, this stunning conceptual design by Margot Krasojevi? Architecture utilizes piezoelectric energy to move parts of the structure, mimicking birds in flight. At the heart of the dome, a high tensile steel loom acts as a gallery for birds, while the primary structure is made from stainless steel spine beams that move and sway like feathers. Piezoelectric cells are connected to a motor that harnesses movement to produce an electrical current, making the entire structure self-sufficient. The cells then respond to the overall mechanical stress generated by the structure and create an electric charge, which in turn runs through a dichroic filtered electrochromic glass modifying the transparency and luminosity of the facade. Responding directly to the density of bird movement, the facade appears to “flutter” as the environment changes. Related: Abandoned amusement park to gain new life as a nature park in Suzhou Thanks to the reflective, fluttering facade, the structure appears to partially disappear into its wetland surroundings. The dome protects birds from flying into the glass cladding by projecting ultrasound signals from the surface. Extra electrical energy generated by the piezoelectric cells is used to control the dome’s temperature, humidity and building filtration, allowing the structure to essentially dictate its own ecosystem. The humidity is filtered and ecologically purified to be pumped back into the surrounding wetlands through the aviary’s dome.  Visitors are led into the wetlands and connected to the building entrance through a helical ramp that unfolds across the aviary. This hydraulic runway ramp glides along within the building, rather than touching the building envelope, to guide visitors as they walk among the birds. The ramp can lower and raise to take visitors to different heights within the interior; this can offer clearer views. The pile grid is anchored through concrete to enable it to rise and fall according to the substructure movement, all while maintaining equilibrium inside the aviary. + Margot Krasojevi? Architecture Images via Margot Krasojevi?

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Futuristic aviary design uses piezoelectric energy to mimic bird movements

Green-roofed home embraces valley views and daylight

January 7, 2021 by  
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On the steep banks of the Dyje River in the Czech town of Znojmo, Brno-based architecture firm Kuba & Pila? architekti has completed the Family House in the River Valley, a contemporary, geothermal-powered home topped with a lush green roof. Set on a narrow, rectangular plot, the waterfront home complements its neighbors with its simple form, yet it stands out with a modern materials palette that includes a structure of reinforced concrete and steel clad in black aluminum sheets. Access to natural light and views toward the slope and the river largely dictated the design of the home. Completed after 9 years of design and construction, the Family House in the River Valley comprises three floors that face the Dyje River and one floor that faces the slope. The north-facing side of the home is topped with a sharply angled green roof that feels like an extension of the steep, grassy slope and culminates into a rising garden above the home. Related: Modular home in Delft boasts low-carbon timber build and a green roof Unlike the layout of a conventional home, the Family House in the River Valley places the living areas on the top floor and the bedrooms down below. “The living space benefits from the absence of partition, which creates two advantages,” the architects explained. “One, the sunlight floods the room from the southern side, from the garden through the glass wall in the dining area. Two, to the north, it offers impressive views of the valley. It is the beautiful views of the Dyje River valley and the opposite rocky slopes with important historical monuments of Znojmo that are the main strengths of this site.” The interior is kept minimalist so as not to detract from the beautiful landscape views. Large, aluminum-framed windows usher in these vistas and natural light. To create an indoor-outdoor experience, the architects connected the living space to an outdoor terrace and the garden on the south side, which can also be accessed via an outdoor staircase. + Kuba & Pila? architekti Photography by BoysPlayNice

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This dad built a backyard coffee shop with repurposed materials

July 28, 2020 by  
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When Julianna Astrid posted about the DIY coffee shop that her dad, Ed, built in his  backyard , her social media blew up with supportive comments. The impressive backyard cafe uses only repurposed construction materials, combined with various pieces from swap meets, antique stores and thrift stores. Ed works full time as a contractor in Orange County and took unused  building materials  from past projects to build the structure. He finished the job in just three months, working on the weekends and after his regular work hours to complete the passion project. Related: San Francisco superdad builds homemade roller coaster in his backyard As daughter Julianna explained to  Newsweek , “My dad is a contractor and has been on so many job sites where he has to throw old materials away to make room for the new remodels ; but he saved some of the ‘trash’ from numerous jobs and repurposed it to create his coffee shop; these things included materials to build the structure, the coffee shops doors and the front window!” The mini coffee shop, or “La Vida” as Ed has named it, serves as a place to relax and enjoy a brew with friends and family. The design features a painted wooden exterior and interior, a bar area under one of the glass windows and a dedicated outside patio with string lights and seating. A cute pastry case and a mini-fridge filled with cold  coffee  beverages fill out the space. From the chalk menu board to the cozy chess table in the corner, you’d never know that you were in someone’s private backyard rather than an actual cafe. Julianna originally posted about La Vida on her TikTok in March before  tweeting  about it in June. Since then, the Twitter post has received over 37,000 retweets and 302,000 likes. According to Julianna, her dad has always loved coffee and building, so this project came naturally for the hardworking contractor. The space is still a work in progress, with Ed keeping an eye out for different types of coffee beans from around the world and unique pieces from second-hand stores to stock his shop. In the future, he plans on making  YouTube  videos teaching people to build things for their homes. + ELS Builds Via Twitter Images via Julianna Astrid

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This dad built a backyard coffee shop with repurposed materials

Futuristic DFAB HOUSE is digitally built with robots and 3D printers

July 15, 2020 by  
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The homes of the future could be built with robots — that is the narrative that DFAB HOUSE, an experimental “house” in Switzerland’s municipality of Dübendorf, hopes to promote. Set atop Empa and Eawag’s modular research and innovation building NEST, the three-story structure completed last year serves as a testing ground and showroom for cutting-edge smart home technology and robotic construction . Built largely with digital means, the inhabitable “home” is also smart in terms of energy consumption; it includes rooftop solar panels that supply, on average, one-and-a-half times as much electricity as the structure needs as well as heat exchangers that harvest hot wastewater from showers. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/DFAB-HOUSE-9-889×592.jpg" alt="large glass and concrete building topped with a white extension" class="wp-image-2274915" Researchers from eight professorships at ETH Zurich collaborated with industrial partners to not only digitally plan DFAB HOUSE but also make it habitable for academic guests and visiting scholars of Empa and Eawag. The innovative construction has created an otherworldly interior landscape — defined by curvaceous walls and a wavy concrete ceiling cast in 3D-printed formwork — that Empa likens to the Swiss artist H.R. Giger’s Alien film sets. Related: Robots weave an insect-inspired carbon-fiber forest in London The ground floor, which houses the common areas, is built mainly of concrete, while the two upper residential floors are characterized by wooden frames fabricated by construction robots. In addition to a home automation system that coordinates all energy consumption, guest residents also benefit from an intelligent multistage burglar protection system, automated glare and shading options and networked intelligent household appliances that even include a smart hot water kettle. 

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Futuristic DFAB HOUSE is digitally built with robots and 3D printers

These solar-powered cabins are made of natural materials and shungite plaster

June 29, 2020 by  
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The Karg Cabin provides owners with a cozy opportunity for off-grid living with 100% solar-power capabilities (and that’s not even its most sustainable feature). These honeycombed-shaped micro-homes are also made completely out of natural materials . The solar-powered Karg Cabins come in three different designs: a standard cabin, a micro-home (measuring about 129 to 215 square feet) and a sauna. Karg Cabins can be used year-round and are easily transported via flatbed to a variety of rural or urban locations without a need for environmentally damaging foundations. Solar energy is used to provide 100% of the power needed for everything from lighting to ventilation to electrical sockets. Related: Check out these amazing sustainable cabins by ZeroCabin The compact design, ease of transportation and variety of different model types makes the Karg perfect for a traveling office, guest house, micro-home or just a spot to detox and disconnect from normal, everyday life. When it comes to building materials, the company chooses only those that can be found in nature. The majority of the structure consists of straw panels, cellulose wool for insulation , wood and shungite, a type of carbon-rich mineral found in Russia that is known for its healing properties. The straw panels help ensure proper insulation due to its ability to store heat and provide long-term, stable temperatures indoors. Cellulose wool collects moisture and is breathable enough to maintain a comfortable interior climate yet strong enough to eliminate condensation and keep the construction damage-free during the wet season. Shungite plaster is believed to block electromagnetic waves (EMF), improving the sleep quality of those living inside the home and keeping the interior very quiet. Triple-glazed, reflective windows help bring in natural light and connect the occupant with the outside environment. The Estonian company offers an online feature where those interested can build their own Karg on the website to find out exactly how much their personalized, off-grid cabin or sauna will cost. + Karg Images via Karg

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These solar-powered cabins are made of natural materials and shungite plaster

Tiny bivouac shelters mountaineers in Bosnia and Herzegovina

May 14, 2020 by  
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There are few things more satisfying than exploring the far-flung corners of the earth. However, both day hikers and long-term explorers know how important it can be to find decent shelter from bad weather or unfortunate circumstances. Thankfully, some architects love the outdoors just as much as they love design. Bosnia and Herzegovina-based firm,  Filter Architecture has just unveiled a stunning and practical  shelter . The Bivouac Zoran Šimi? Cabin is a tiny 150-square-foot refuge located in the middle of one of the country’s most remote mountain ranges. The Bivouac Zoran Šimi? Cabin is located on Viso?ica, a majestic mountain range found in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. The pristine region is a favorite of many hikers and mountaineers who try to make it to its highest point, some 1,967 meters above sea level, to take in the amazing views. However, until now, the trek had no  resilient structure  for refuge in case of inclement weather, illness, etc. Related: A bivouac is lightly perched on a rocky peak of the Italian Alps As hikers themselves, the team from Filter was inspired to create a bivouac that would accommodate hikers in need, or anyone wanting to take a rest after a long trek. The resulting design, which was a collaboration between mountaineering association Željezni?ar and the Federal Ministry of Tourism, is a tiny structure that accommodates between 9 to 12 people. Located at the edge of a deep canyon, the  tiny shelter  is found between two trekking paths that lead from Viso?ica mountain to the adjacent Bjelašnica range. The location is so remote that construction of the structure on site was incredibly difficult. In fact, the materials had to be transported to the site via military helicopter. Once all of the materials were in place, the architects worked with several volunteers to assemble the structure. The angular exterior features a small base that spans outward as it rises on either side, a strategic feature that allows the volume to leave a  minimal footprint  on the terrain while adding interior space. The structure’s dark grey siding was chosen for its durability and resilience against harsh weather, and also helps reduce solar gain in an area where there is limited shade. The interior layout is simple and functional, with a massive horizontal window that looks out over the spectacular view and lets in natural light . Inside, the space is comprised of three platforms that serve as flexible spaces. The platforms offer seating space for up to nine people or sleeping areas for up to 12. + Filter Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Emir Handzic, Dženad Džino and Zlatan Kurto via Filter Architecture

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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

ZHA gets the green light for worlds first all-timber soccer stadium in England

January 10, 2020 by  
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After years of delays, Zaha Hadid Architects has finally gained planning approval for Eco Park Stadium, the world’s first all-timber soccer stadium in Gloucestershire, England that will serve as the new home of the Forest Green Rovers football club. As a beacon of sustainability, the structure will aim to be carbon neutral or carbon negative and will include renewable energy systems as well as low-carbon construction methods and operational processes. Set in a meadow, the Eco Park Stadium minimizes its visual impact on the surrounding landscape with a natural material palette and a soft, undulating profile topped with a transparent membrane roof to reduce the building’s volumetric impact and encourage turf growth. The building will be constructed almost entirely of sustainably sourced timber , from its structure and roof cantilevers to the seating terraces and floor slab — elements that are typically built from concrete and steel in most stadiums. The stadium design can also accommodate future growth; the structure will initially serve 5,000 spectators, while phased development can increase capacity to 10,000 seats without the costs of major construction works. “The really standout thing about this stadium is that it’s going to be almost entirely made of wood — the first time that will have been done anywhere in the world,” said Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder and Forest Green Rovers chairman. “When you bear in mind that around three quarters of the lifetime carbon impact of any stadium comes from its building materials, you can see why that’s so important — and it’s why our new stadium will have the lowest embodied carbon of any stadium in the world.” Related: Zaha Hadid’s 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar adapts for future use The Eco Park Stadium will be the centerpiece of the £100 million Eco Park development, Ecotricity’s 100-acre sports and green technology park proposal. Half of Eco Park will include state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including the new stadium, while the other half will be dedicated to a green technology business park with sustainably built commercial offices and light industrial units. The proposal will also include a nature reserve on the site and a possible public transport hub. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images by MIR and negativ.com via Zaha Hadid Architects

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ZHA gets the green light for worlds first all-timber soccer stadium in England

Remote tiny house in the Netherlands has a design inspired by foliage

December 18, 2019 by  
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When a client tasked the team behind Liberté Tiny Houses to create a mobile, minimalist home where she could reconnect with nature, they responded by building the Makatita — a 182-square-foot tiny home with a shape that was inspired by the organic form of a leaf. Located in a remote area of the Netherlands, the Makatita was specifically designed to let the owner enjoy her favorite passions of walking, camping and bushcraft. Accordingly, the architects behind Liberté began their design process by looking directly to Mother Nature for inspiration . Related: This gorgeous tiny home features a greenhouse and wooden pergola The tiny home was built with various organic shapes and materials found in nature, such as foliage, in mind. In fact, according to the designers, Gijsbert Schutten and Gijs Coumou, the home’s angular volume was inspired by the shape of a leaf. “The shape of the house was inspired by the lines that appear when you carefully fold a leaf,” Schutten explained. “The window shutters give the effect of the way light scatters through the forest.” Not just a nod to nature, the tiny home’s severely angled roofline enabled the structure to have ample space for a massive glass facade. Further embedding the home into its environment, the floor-to-ceiling glass panels nearly erase all boundaries between the indoors and outdoors. Inside and out, the structure is clad in pine , creating a warm, cabin setting. Although compact and minimalist, the living space feels open and welcoming. Throughout the interior, the unfinished wood walls, gray vinyl flooring and angular ceiling lend to the industrial design aesthetic. At the request of the homeowner, who prefers to sit on the open-air deck, there are minimal furnishings inside the house. The living space is comprised of a custom bench, which also holds the fireplace with firewood storage underneath, and a single stool made out of a salvaged tree stump. Next to the kitchen, a bespoke table folds out of the wall and can be used for dining or working. A simple wall ladder leads to a sleeping loft with a twin mattress. + Liberté Tiny Houses Via Dwell Images via Liberté Tiny Houses

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Turtle-inspired bamboo shelter contracts to half its size in case of extreme weather

November 21, 2019 by  
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With extreme weather wreaking havoc around the world, there is a need for resilient shelters more than ever before. EEMY Architecture and Design has created a sustainable and resilient structure that can withstand nearly all severe conditions. Delta is a bamboo shelter that retracts into itself when challenged by stormy weather and expands during non-severe weather. Delta was created in collaboration with the World Bank, Build Academy, Airbnb and GFDRR. Using the Philippines as an example of areas that are prone to natural disasters , the team’s design strategy was to create something that could withstand even the most extreme weather emergencies, from floods and superstorms to typhoons and earthquakes. The structure was inspired by the traditional Filipino Bahay-kubo houses. The main frame is comprised of 12-centimeter-wide bamboo poles with trusses built in between for added stability. The bamboo poles are treated with a boron solution that makes them repellent to insects, a common issue in tropical climates. Related: Ingenious cardboard and bamboo emergency shelters by Shigeru Ban pop up in Sydney Created in a wide, pyramidal shape, the structure is elevated off the ground to withstand high waters. When bad weather hits, the shelter can contract to half its size, much like a turtle does at the first sign of danger. This feature is made possible by a series of folding bamboo tents that contract to half the structure’s size (430 square feet) and expand to its full size (861 square feet) after a storm. Additionally, the structure’s many windows and “wings” can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a shade from the harsh sun, drying racks or even market stalls. In addition to its flexible, sustainable and resilient design features, the Delta shelter comes with an incredibly reasonable price tag and construction time. Each bamboo shelter starts at $8,500 and can be constructed within 28 days. + EEMY Architecture and Design Images via EEMY Architecture and Design

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