Colorful tent cathedral in French village billows peacefully in the wind

August 3, 2017 by  
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British studio Neon has created a beautiful cathedral out of multi-colored windsocks that gently sway with the wind. The Tilted Wind Cathedral was built for an open-air art event in the French town of Massif du Sancy. The vibrant, billowy structure is located on a grassy hilltop overlooking the town, and it was built around the village’s beloved Perdue Cross, which marks the death of a local woman who passed away around 200 years ago. Neon installed the cathedral for Horizons – an open-air event that brings large art installations to the town during the summer months. The design studio created the structure with reverence for the site’s origins as well as its serene green-covered mountainous landscape. Related: 700 colorful mirrors bathe a 19th-century cathedral in gorgeous rainbow light Thirty colorful inflatable windsocks mimic the stained glass windows typically found in most cathedrals. The site’s blustery weather also served as an inspiration, prompting the designers to use inflatable panels that are constantly in motion, giving the impression that the cathedral is breathing. + Neon Via Dezeen

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Colorful tent cathedral in French village billows peacefully in the wind

Hacks to Stay Cool: Beat the Heat Using Less Energy

July 31, 2017 by  
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According to a study from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), air-conditioners account for a full 6 percent of U.S. energy consumption. It’s a huge number, and a large issue for those concerned with global warming. This massive…

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Hacks to Stay Cool: Beat the Heat Using Less Energy

Amazing low-cost, off-grid Lifehaus homes are made from recycled materials

July 4, 2017 by  
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This amazing home by Lifehaus blends low-cost off-grid appeal with with holistic living and luxurious details. The Lebanon -based company started by Nizar Haddad is pioneering energy neutral dwellings made from locally sourced and recycled materials . People living in the green homes will be able to generate their own electricity and grow their own food. Lifehaus homes include a greenhouse for growing food and solar panels for generating renewable energy . It promotes sustainable water use through rainwater collection and grey water reuse. And all this comes with a price tag of around half the average cost of an unfurnished Lebanese home, which is around $800 per square meter. Related: The first off-grid Ecocapsule microhomes are shipping to customers this year Lifehaus addresses many societal issues in their sustainable dwellings that offer a way of life more in touch with the Earth. “Lebanon’s construction industry is one of the leading factors behind desertification in the country,” Media Representative Nadine Mazloum told Inhabitat. “Entire hills and mountains are being turned into wastelands as demand for conventional buildings continues to rise. Also, with Lebanon being a post-war country, successive governments, since 1990, and up until now have been and continue to be unable to provide many of the country’s citizens with round-the-clock water and electricity – so this got us thinking of going off the grid.” Lebanon has been suffering from a trash epidemic , and the crisis propelled the team into action in 2015, according to Mazloum. She said, “As garbage was left on the streets for months at a time, we felt that we could no longer wait and so dedicated ourselves fully to Lifehaus.” Lifehaus treats that waste as treasure by incorporating recycled materials in the dwellings. They also allow for composting organic trash for use in the garden as fertilizer. Passive design keeps a Lifehaus cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The homes can be partially buried, with the roofs offering additional food-growing space. This helps them be more earthquake-resistant and minimizes heat loss. The homes’ low cost design could work for housing in developing countries , or for refugees . Lifehaus counts Earthship among their sources of inspiration, and creator Michael Reynolds has endorsed the project. Lifehaus is drawing on ancestral building techniques, such as using mud and clay as opposed to concrete, and treating those materials with linseed oil and lime. Construction on the first 1,722 square foot prototype will begin next month in Baskinta, Lebanon, and Lifehaus hopes to get the community involved. “Now is the time for the human species to reconcile with nature . Our collective lifestyles are no longer sustainable,” Mazloum told Inhabitat. “The Lifehaus is not just about building a house, it’s about community and communication. We hope to reinforce the feeling of being in a community and communicating a strong message that yes, we can all make a change no matter how dark the world seems.” + Lifehaus + NH-Architectes Images courtesy of Lifehaus

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Amazing low-cost, off-grid Lifehaus homes are made from recycled materials

10 Products to Green Your Picnic

June 9, 2017 by  
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Dreaming of dining barefoot in the park or feasting with silky sand beneath your toes? Before you head off to frolic in the summer sun with picnic basket in hand, be cognizant of your personal impact. Try these sustainable swaps when planning your…

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10 Products to Green Your Picnic

America’s Prettiest Natural Swimming Holes

May 29, 2017 by  
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Grab your swimsuit and some eco-friendly sunscreen — it’s time to explore the outdoors. The heat has arrived in the U.S., and that means swimming. Rather than splashing around in fossil-fuel-heated public pools, take your summer entertainment…

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America’s Prettiest Natural Swimming Holes

4 Tips for Planning a Toxin-Free Summer Barbecue

May 23, 2017 by  
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With Memorial Day Weekend approaching, grilling season is officially upon us. Distant splashes and adolescent laughter can be heard from nearby pools, while tantalizing aromas from firing grills fill the air. It’s that time of year to channel your…

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Cameron Sinclair joins Airbnb to provide housing for 100,000 displaced people

April 25, 2017 by  
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Airbnb wants to provide temporary housing for 100,000 displaced people, and to help reach that goal, the home-sharing service has put together a team lead by designer and Architecture for Humanity co-founder  Cameron Sinclair . Sinclair heads architecture firm Small Works , which focuses on building for communities in need, making him the perfect fit for Airbnb’s temporary housing project. Sinclair has been working with Airbnb over the past year on various pilot projects, with the official project launching this summer. The ultimate goal is for one million Airbnb users to register as “hosts for good,” signaling that they will provide housing for people impacted by natural disasters or otherwise displaced. Related: INTERVIEW: We Talk with Architecture for Humanity Founder Cameron Sinclair Airbnb announced its ambition to host displaced people during this year’s Super Bowl with a commercial tagged #weaccept. In addition to working on the commercial, Sinclair also worked on Airbnb’s Yoshino Cedar House . via Dezeen images via Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Cameron Sinclair joins Airbnb to provide housing for 100,000 displaced people

Mercedes takes on the Tesla Powerwall with a new battery for buildings

April 25, 2017 by  
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Tesla’s Powerwall has reigned supreme in home energy storage , but now they’ve got some competition from Mercedes-Benz . Last year, Daimler , parent company of Mercedes-Benz, announced that they had started developing their own brand of home energy storage units. Now the company confirmed they are beginning to deliver the units to businesses and homes in Germany . Mercedes incorporated the same lithium-ion battery technology from their hybrid cars in the new home energy storage units. Each unit has an energy content of 2.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh), and a system can be scaled up to include eight modules for a total of 20 kWh. The units come with a 10-year warranty , the same as the Tesla Powerwall , though Powerwalls come with the option to store more energy with a capacity of 13.5 kWh. Related: BMW, Daimler, Ford, and VW are planning an electric vehicle superhighway in Europe Similar to a Powerwall, Mercedes’ battery storage units store excess energy gathered by solar panels for use during peak hours or at night. According to Daimler , homeowners using their system can increase renewable energy use by as much as 65 percent. Daimler aims to expand throughout Europe and start selling the units in the United States this year. Mercedes is already developing three industrial-scale projects to provide reliability to the grid in Germany; one project includes 29 megawatt-hours of storage capacity. Mercedes is also offering a package for homeowners that comes with the battery storage unit, solar panels, an inverter, and an energy management system. The whole package, including installation, costs around $10,000. One 14 kWh Tesla Powerwall costs $5,500 ; with supporting hardware the total estimate is $6,200. Installation costs between $800 and $2,000. That doesn’t include a solar power system. Head of Development Electrics/Electronics and E-Drive for Mercedes-Benz Harald Kröger said in a statement, “We are convinced we can offer our customers an attractive product at a competitive price.” Via Treehugger Images via Mercedes-Benz and Daimler

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Mercedes takes on the Tesla Powerwall with a new battery for buildings

World’s first mobile recycling plant turns trash into tiles

April 25, 2017 by  
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Waste management is a pressing problem all over the world, but it’s especially hard for isolated communities that lack access to recycling facilities. Taiwan-based architecture studio Miniwiz has come up with an environmentally friendly solution: TRASHPRESSO, a traveling solar-powered recycling plant that turns trash into tiles. Wherever it goes, TRASHPRESSO takes local waste and recycles it into tiles for use in architecture. The mobile recycling plant is in a 40-foot container platform that a trailer truck can transport, and Miniwiz says the plant opens up similar to how a satellite unpacks in orbit. It can recycle plastic and fabric waste, running on solar power . Garbage is “washed, shredded, melted, and molded” into architectural tiles, and the water to clean the trash is reused in the process. Related: Verti-Cult: Miniwiz Unveils Glowing Green Wall Made From Recycled Bottles The off-grid plant can pump out 10 square meters, or over 107 square feet, of the architectural tiles every 40 minutes. Each tile contains the equivalent of five plastic PET bottles . They can be utilized for exterior or interior floor finishes, according to Miniwiz, “or sold as raw material for further upcycling manufacturing processes like yarning, injection, and extrusion.” Miniwiz CEO and co-founder Arthur Huang said in a statement, “Until now, industrial grade recycling was limited to plants. The TRASHPRESSO overcomes the distance and energy barriers by showing that recycling is possible everywhere. Not only does it serve to transform trash on-site, it also serves as an educational tool in isolated communities.” The TRASHPRESSO will be deployed for the first time this summer to NianBao Yuze on the Tibetan Plateau. The natural beauty of the glacier region has been trashed by tourists who leave behind litter. From there TRASHPRESSO will travel to other remote areas where garbage gathers, such as beaches, lakes, reservoirs, or rivers. Miniwiz showed off the TRASHPRESSO recently in Shanghai to celebrate Earth Day . They’ll bring the recycling plant to NianBao Yuze in partnership with Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes documentary series on National Geographic . + Miniwiz Images courtesy of Miniwiz

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World’s first mobile recycling plant turns trash into tiles

Studio Gang designs massive paper tube Hive for the National Building Museum

April 19, 2017 by  
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The National Building Museum has welcomed giant ball pits , mazes , and icebergs into its historic Great Hall, and this year the Washington, D.C. museum will welcome yet another imaginative creation: the Hive. Architecture firm Studio Gang designed the latest installation for the Museum’s Summer Block Party series that commissions larger-than-life temporary structures. The massive Hive will be built from thousands of recyclable paper tubes stacked to reach 60 feet in height. Built with over 2,700 wound paper tubes , the Hive will soar to the uppermost reaches of the museum and take on a curved form reminiscent of Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis and even a spider’s web. The tubes, which vary in size, are interlocked to create three interconnected domed chambers, the largest of which has an oculus over 10 feet in diameter. The tubes will have a reflective silver exterior and a bright magenta interior. “When you enter the Great Hall you almost feel like you’re in an outside space because of the distance sound travels before it is reflected back and made audible,” said Studio Gang founding principal Jeanne Gang. “We’ve designed a series of chambers shaped by sound that are ideally suited for intimate conversations and gatherings as well as performances and acoustic experimentation. Using wound paper tubes, a common building material with unique sonic properties, and interlocking them to form a catenary dome, we create a hive for these activities, bringing people together to explore and engage the senses.” Related: ICEBERGS immerse visitors in a beautiful underwater world in Washington, D.C. The Hive will open to the public July 4 until September 4, 2017. A full schedule of concerts, tours, talks, and programs will be hosted alongside the installation . + Studio Gang Images via National Building Museum

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Studio Gang designs massive paper tube Hive for the National Building Museum

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