A bamboo meditation center overlooks sunset views in Chiang Mai

January 14, 2021 by  
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Locally sourced bamboo and adobe bricks make up the new Meditation Cathedral & Sunset Sala, a cluster of organically shaped buildings on top of a hill in northern Chiang Mai. Commissioned by Khunying Noi, a member of the Thai royal family, the net-zero carbon project provides the client with a space to enjoy the sunset with loved ones as well as a meditation cathedral for the Buddhist community. Chiangmai Life Architects designed the mountain-inspired buildings with construction carried out by Chiangmai Life Construction craftspeople who mainly comprise locals as well as Thai Yai who fled the Burmese army’s minority prosecution campaigns. Completed in 2018 in the small town of Mae Rim, the Meditation Cathedral & Sunset Sala was initially planned as a simple ‘sala’ — a type of open pavilion in Thai architecture — for enjoying the sunset from a hilltop location. Because Khunying Noi is a practicing Buddhist and active member in the Buddhist community, she later asked the architects to add a dedicated meditation space along with a freestanding bathroom area. This area includes showers and toilets; the architects also inserted a smaller, mushroom-shaped structure to house the mechanical and electrical systems, including a water tank. Related: Giant bamboo arches shield Haduwa Arts & Culture Institute from the sun “The design of all buildings emulates the mountain range and the rolling hills,” said the architects, who constructed the project with adobe walls and bamboo roofs. “Thus, the buildings mold into the scenery as if they grew there themselves.” The Buddhist meditation space features lofty arched ceilings built of bundled bamboo to mimic the domes of Roman or Gothic cathedrals. The architects mainly used bamboo of the Thyrsostachus genus along with Dendrocalamus asper and Bambusa spp species. The bamboo stalks were selected by age and then preserved with a borax/boric acid solution. Once treated, the bamboo is left to dry and cure to ensure long-term durability as a construction material. + Chiangmai Life Architects Photography by Markus Roselieb via Chiangmai Life Architects

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A bamboo meditation center overlooks sunset views in Chiang Mai

Adidas Outdoor line furthers brand’s push for sustainability

January 14, 2021 by  
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While many big businesses and brands cause overwhelming environmental problems, Adidas works to clean up its act. In a bold move last January, Adidas acknowledged its contribution to plastic waste, noting the waste’s negative impacts on the world’s oceans. The brand followed up this acknowledgment with plans to move forward with the environment in mind. Adidas’s new Outdoor line stays true to this environmental commitment with clear sustainable features. The Outdoor line includes shirts, pants, jackets, shoes and, of course, face masks. You can wear head to toe Adidas while still dressing sustainably. Adidas accomplishes this by using recycled materials and PRIMEGREEN technology. The company describes PRIMEGREEN as a “performance fabric” containing absolutely no virgin plastic. This fabric looks and feels good, all while helping Adidas work toward its goal to end plastic waste. But if the fabric contains no virgin plastic, what exactly is it made of? Hitting on the third R in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” trifecta, PRIMEGREEN contains 100% recycled polyester. Related: Adidas unveils lightweight hiking shoe made from ocean plastic Several products in the Outdoor line use these sustainable materials, but one that stands out is the MyShelter Parley RAIN.RDY Jacket. Using 100% recycled polyester and Parley Ocean Plastic made from recycled marine plastic waste, the MyShelter Parley RAIN.RDY Jacket exemplifies Adidas’s efforts to reduce plastic waste. You can grab this eco-friendly jacket along with vests, parkas and insulated hooded jackets in both men’s and women’s styles on Adidas’s  website . This line serves as just part of Adidas’s sustainability work. While the use of recycled polyester demonstrates Adidas’s work toward its commitment to shift to recycled polyester in all products by 2024, the brand has additional environmental goals in sight. As stated in an  article  from January 2020, Adidas plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2030 and be climate neutral by 2050. An influential brand like Adidas making such strong strides toward sustainability encourages competitors to adopt green initiatives, too. Hopefully, this green trend can make a real impact on the world’s plastic waste problem. + Adidas Images via Adidas

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Adidas Outdoor line furthers brand’s push for sustainability

This modular, shipping container home was completed in 2 months

February 3, 2020 by  
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Completed in March 2019, this modular home in the East Hampton town of Amagansett, Long Island encompasses a kitchen, four bedrooms and three bathrooms within 1,800 square feet of living space. Four repurposed 40-by-8 -foot shipping containers were used to construct the main part of the structure, two placed side-by-side and two more stacked on top. The inside was then carved out to create a larger interior space. The whole building was installed in two days and fully completed in two months. New York-based architecture firm MB Architecture is responsible for the project. The proposed site was a triangular, wooded corner lot on high ground that the clients hoped to turn into a summer and year-round weekend home with a large outdoor space and enough room for a pool and a lawn. Although the building site was restrictive, its high elevation provided beautiful views and plenty of natural light. Related: This container home in Brazil helps its residents disconnect In addition to the limited construction site, the clients were also set on sticking to a strict budget, which, after examination, proved to be much lower than the original projected costs. The shipping container method presented the perfect solution, significantly lowering the costs of construction while offering a unique design strategy. MB Architecture proposed prefabricating the building off-site and lowering the cost of transportation and materials by using the shipping containers.  The designers installed a wide staircase, which took up the width of a single shipping container , and extended the high living room ceiling to create a landing area that faces the backyard. Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows were added to take advantage of the natural sunlight and provide breathtaking views of the sunset and spacious outdoor area. An additional shipping container guest house consisting of two bedrooms was strategically placed away from the main structure to create a courtyard in between the two buildings, making the property feel larger. + MB Architecture Via AN Interior Photography by Matthew Carbone via MB Architecture

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This modular, shipping container home was completed in 2 months

A homey, floating cabin makes for the ultimate romantic getaway in South Australia

November 21, 2019 by  
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Nothing says romance like whisking your loved one off for a remote getaway in South Australia . Located on the mighty Murray River, this amazing floating cabin has just about everything you need for a relaxing time away, including plenty of open-air seating to watch the sunset over the idyllic horizon. For anyone planning a trip near beautiful Adelaide, this gorgeous floating cabin is a perfect place to get off the beaten path. Starting in the Australian Alps, the Murray River stretches about 1,558 miles into Southwest Australia. The scenery is incredible, and seeing it first-hand from your own floating home is an unforgettable experience. Related: Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney The floating cabin sleeps up to two people and comes with all of the amenities needed for a romantic yet adventurous getaway. The interior is comprised of a comfy living room and a beautifully decorated bedroom that comes with a queen-sized bed. There is a spacious bathroom with a walk-in shower, and it comes complete with luxury linens and towels. Although small, the cabin’s compact kitchenette comes equipped with all of the basics, such as a stovetop and microwave, to whip up a tasty meal. For breakfast, guests will find everything they need to prepare a delicious spread of bacon, eggs, avocado, tomatoes, coffee, juice and more. Although the interior is cozy and inviting, the exterior of the boat is the best place to be. The outdoor deck includes plenty of seating, from two hanging basket seats to a couple of loungers arranged perfectly for soaking up the Australian sunshine. The area also has a barbecue area and a fire pit, which is just the spot to enjoy the late-evening views. The cabin is designed to offer guests a complete respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life. However, guests looking for a bit of outdoor adventure will be able to enjoy the river up-close thanks to a two-person kayak. Other activities can also be arranged. + Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

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A homey, floating cabin makes for the ultimate romantic getaway in South Australia

A tiny farmhouse in North Carolina is as energy-efficient as it is adorable

November 13, 2018 by  
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For those looking to get a taste of tiny home living, this charming, energy-efficient home located on a working farm outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina is just for you. Despite its small stature, the Roost 18 is a sustainable powerhouse, complete with sheep’s wool insulation, energy-efficient kitchen appliances and a composting toilet. The adorable abode can be rented out on Airbnb starting around $88 per night. Located on the rolling hills of a historic farm just outside of downtown Winston-Salem, the Roost 18 is a dream getaway for anyone looking for a serene retreat in the country. The tiny farmhouse is clad in white wood panels with an itsy-bitsy but welcoming front porch. The black, A-frame roof pays homage to the many barns in the area. Related: Enjoy a mint julep on this tiny farmhouse’s charming front porch The living space offers a small bench for sitting and enjoying the views or simply snuggling up with a good book. The home is kept warm and toasty during the colder months thanks to the sheep’s wool insulation and the mini wood-burning stove. For added sustainable measures and to reduce waste, the kitchen was installed with energy-efficient appliances. The small bathroom, which has a stock tank tub for soaking, is installed with a composting toilet . The tiny home sleeps up to four guests, with one queen-sized bed in a sleeping loft and a fold-out sofa bed downstairs. The interior of the home benefits from plentiful windows that provide stellar views of the stunning natural surroundings. (According to the reviews on Airbnb, this is a prime spot to watch the sunset.) Better yet, guests can enjoy a stroll around the working farm, which has a number of free-roaming animals and historic farm buildings. + Perch and Nest Via Tiny House Talk Images via Perch and Nest

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A tiny farmhouse in North Carolina is as energy-efficient as it is adorable

Denver firefighter uses 9 shipping containers to build a stunning family home

November 13, 2018 by  
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Denver-based firefighter Regan Foster used to spend his days putting out fires, but while recovering from a work-related injury, Foster decided to try his hand at building his dream home. The results are breathtaking. Using his own designs, Foster converted nine repurposed shipping containers into a massive 3,840-square-foot home with sophistication that rivals that of any professional architect’s work. Working with architect Joe Simmons of BlueSky Studio , Foster created the design and worked as the principal contractor on the project. To build out the frame of the home, four shipping containers were placed on the ground in pairs set 24 feet apart. Another four containers were then stacked on top of the first level, with a few pushed forward so that they cantilever over the ground floor. The ninth container was placed perpendicular to the back of the second level. Related: Starburst shipping container home to rise in the California desert The team topped the sections of the home with a series of flat roofs, and they covered the front facade in wood panels, contrasting nicely with the corrugated metal. An abundance of large windows were cut out of the containers in order to provide the interior with natural light . Although the exterior of the home is outstanding, the interior of the seven-bedroom, five-bathroom home is just as impressive. Walking into the great room, visitors are greeted with soaring 25-foot ceilings and an open floor plan that leads out to a large patio. As part of the master plan, Foster was determined to maintain the inherent industrial aesthetic of the shipping containers . The inside of the exterior walls were insulated and covered in drywall, but the interior walls and ceilings throughout the living space were left intact so that the corrugated metal would be visible. Foster, who has a passion for furniture making, used reclaimed wood in many of the home’s custom furnishings and design elements. For example, the flooring throughout the home is made with reclaimed barn wood and boards from a felled tree. Foster even refashioned an old walnut slab into a sliding door and used some waste lumber to create a cantilevered walkway that runs the length the second floor. Needless to say, the process of building his own home sparked a new professional path for Foster and his family. After completing the project, Foster retired from the fire department and started his own design and construction company, Foster Design . The family also rents out their home on Airbnb. + Foster Design + BlueSky Studio Via Dwell Photography by Regan Foster and Chris Boylen via Foster Design

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Denver firefighter uses 9 shipping containers to build a stunning family home

Modern, self-sustaining home blends into a rocky landscape

November 13, 2018 by  
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Zagreb-based architectural office PROARH completed Issa Megaron, a family retreat in Croatia that’s disguised inside a rocky hillside with a zigzagging road. Due to its remote location and lack of surrounding infrastructure, the modern home operates off the grid by necessity and includes self-sustaining technologies from rainwater collection tanks to solar photovoltaic panels. Going off grid, however, hasn’t compromised the architect’s pursuit of luxurious living, made evident by the contemporary interior design, large pool and spacious footprint of 420 square meters. Completed in 2016, Issa Megaron began with the conceptual combination of a cave, a megaron (a great hall in ancient Greek palaces) and stone dry walls. “The house is envisioned as a dug in volume, a residential pocket between the stretches of space forming walls, an artificial grotto, a memory of a primitive shelter,” explained the architects, who split the house into two floors. The upper floor contains six bedrooms and bathrooms organized around a central living room and book-ended by two offices. The master bedroom and bath, the  open-plan dining room, lounge and kitchen, the game room, the gym and storage are located on the lower floor, which opens up to the pool and outdoor terrace. The traditional stone dry walls have been reinterpreted as reinforced concrete retaining walls topped with rocky green roofs . When viewed from above, Issa Megaron appears to blend into the steep terrain. “The design that emerges from such conditions is subtle, creates a symbiosis with the new/old stonewall topography,” the firm noted. “The newly built structure is man-made but unobtrusive in intent, material and ultimate appearance.” Related: Croatian freshwater aquarium by 3LHD is built right into the hillside In addition to green roofs and solar panels, the house minimizes its energy footprint by following passive solar design principles that promote natural cooling. A concentrating solar power system is used for heating, while harvested rainwater is filtered and reused in the house and for the pool. + PROARH Via ArchDaily Photography by Damir Fabijani? and Miljenko Bernfest via PROARH

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Modern, self-sustaining home blends into a rocky landscape

Solar-powered Noe Hill Smarthome is an eco-friendly dream in San Francisco

October 19, 2017 by  
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The LEED Platinum -certified Noe Hill Smart Ecohome marries state-of-the-art green technology and the indoor-outdoor lifestyle that urban dwellers dream about. The house, designed by EAG Studio , creates a healthy living environment with plenty of natural light, native plant gardens, rain catchment, solar power and a bevy of smart features to optimize power use. The house occupies a coveted site near the crest of the Collingwood hill in San Francisco . It spans three levels and comprises 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths (with 3 bedrooms ensuite on the upper floor), media room, gym, flexible use 2-room guest suite, an open main level floor plan, 4 distinct outdoor living areas and 2-car independent parking. Related: Sunset’s Green Dream Home in San Francisco The dramatic vistas open up from the main living room and dining area connected to a sunny deck and a landscaped garden. The garden features drought-tolerant , native plantings. Retractable glass doors in the kitchen open directly to the deck and enhances the experience of the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. A sculptural staircase leads to the upper level and receives natural light from the skylight above. The bedrooms occupy the upper floor, with the luxurious master suite openning to its own view deck ideal for a morning cup of coffee or casual lounging. The staircase leads further up toward the roof deck with multiple dining and lounging areas perfect for entertaining guests. Related: San Francisco’s Solar “Mission: House” is a High-Tech Marvel A rainwater harvesting system captures most of the roof/surface water for landscaping irrigation. All exterior walls are insulated and optimized for energy efficiency, while a solar array provides renewable energy for the building. These systems, along with LED lighting , occupancy sensors and the use of reclaimed building materials make this building a modern and truly eco-friendly home. + Noe Hill Leed Home + EAG Studio

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Solar-powered Noe Hill Smarthome is an eco-friendly dream in San Francisco

Getting Schooled In Recycling

February 9, 2016 by  
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There’s no such thing as recycling school, but one recycling center in Brooklyn, N.Y., comes pretty close. Situated on a pier in the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, Sims Municipal Recycling’s 11-acre Sunset Park materials recovery facility…

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Getting Schooled In Recycling

90% of America’s Nuclear Regulators to be Furloughed Today

October 10, 2013 by  
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  Image © Shutterstock As the government shutdown continues to drag on, there have been some troubling new developments; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission just announced it expects to furlough 3,900 employees today due to budget shortages . That’s 90% of the agency’s workforce, which is responsible for the safety of 100 commercial nuclear reactors at 63 sites across the US. Read the rest of 90% of America’s Nuclear Regulators to be Furloughed Today Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: government budget crisis , government funding , nuclear accidents , nuclear emergency response , nuclear power , Nuclear Regulatory Commission , nuclear safety , Union of Concerned Scientists , US emergency response , US government furloughs , US government shutdown , US nuclear policy , US politics        

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