Award-winning luxury townhouses boast energy-efficient, passive solar design

August 28, 2018 by  
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Melbourne Design Studios has dramatically transformed a row of townhouses in the historic, post-industrial neighborhood of Richmond, Melbourne . The six bespoke urban homes—named ‘No Two The Same’—are strikingly contemporary, with light-filled interiors, handsome facades and a bevy of sustainable features that have earned the project an average 7-Star NatHERS Rating across all townhouses. The sustainable development was recently awarded Building Design of the Year at the 2018 Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) Awards. Located opposite a former shoe factory, the project included a number of challenges in addition to its narrow laneway location. The heritage setting required careful design attention, particularly due to its unusual battle-axe shape and the inclusion of a derelict heritage home in desperate need of an extensive renovation. Wanting to complement the neighborhood’s mix of Victorian architecture and warehouse conversions, the architects scaled the development to fit the area’s proportions and gave each townhouse an individualized facade constructed with materials that reference the area’s industrial past. The perforated laser-cut screens, in particular, double as artwork referencing local culture. Each home comprises three to four bedrooms and two bathrooms within 200 to 230 square meters of space that opens up to 100 to 120 square meters of outdoor space. “Marking a significant departure from conventional townhouse typology, each dwelling offers multi-functional and spacious living in an otherwise tightly built-up urban area,” explain the architects. “Boasting a rare combination of light-filled internal spaces gathered around multiple outdoor spaces and rooftop terrace with city skyline views, each townhouse has over 20% more outdoor space than a typical solution, with the six different outdoor spaces designed for various activities and purposes.” Related: Solar-powered home cuts a bold and sculptural silhouette in Melbourne To meet sustainability targets, the architects relied on passive solar principles, which dictated north-facing orientation, the “thermal chimney” effect that dispels hot air in summer, and cross-ventilation year-round. Natural and recycled materials were used throughout. Natural light is drawn deep into the home through double-glazed, thermally broken windows. The home also includes highly efficient insulation, solar hot-water heaters, and rainwater tanks that provide 14,000 liters of storage across the entire development. + Melbourne Design Studios Images by Peter Clarke

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Award-winning luxury townhouses boast energy-efficient, passive solar design

A 1940s home gets an energy-efficient renovation for $250K

June 4, 2018 by  
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When the homeowners of a small, Cape Cod-style home in Arlington Heights, Illinois wanted extra room for their growing family, they turned to DII Architecture for help. The design/build firm not only added a second floor, but also oversaw a complete revamp of the ground floor. Conceived with a modern farmhouse aesthetic, the Wilke House is now flooded with natural light and features an airy, spacious interior that’s more energy-efficient than before thanks to a new suite of low-energy additions. Located on a large three-quarter-acre lot, the 2,150-square-foot home was refreshed with new white siding and a roof clad in Owens Corning shingles . The original Cape Cod attic was demolished and replaced with a new second floor with room for a double-height dining and meeting area that can be seen from above thanks to a new catwalk, which has Feeney DesignRail railings. Although the budget didn’t allow for a standing seam metal roof, the Wilke House makes its modern farmhouse influences evident through the material palette of warm woods matched with crisp white paint, extruded window elements, and indoor daylighting. “This project has quite a few sustainable elements,” says DII Architecture. “During the demo phase, we preserved as much of the first floor as possible, included old nominal 2×4 studs and white oak flooring. Low VOC paints were used throughout the home as well as LED bulbs. Energy Star appliances were also implemented. Lastly, Low-E windows [with] argon were used for the whole house.” Related: Crusty old Swiss barn transformed into a modern solar-powered home The renovated home, completed for $250,000 in 2016, offers bedrooms for the family’s two kids as well as a guest bedroom for when grandparents and friends visit. The large lot was preserved to provide an outdoor play area for the family’s children and dog. All second-floor rooms feature vaulted ceilings to help create the illusion of more space. + DII Architecture Images by Black Olive Photographic

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A 1940s home gets an energy-efficient renovation for $250K

Friends give their kitchen a green makeover filled with fun upcycled touches

August 31, 2016 by  
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Tiffany had been planning to eventually overhaul her outdated kitchen anyway, but unexpected flooding caused by burst pipes fast-forwarded the need for renovation. She recruited actor Kat Tingum, a friend and fellow recycling aficionado, to come along on her green makeover adventure. “My job as Chief Design Junkie at TerraCycle fully supports this mentality of reuse and upcycling,” Tiffany told us. “And while my day job (and a lot of my hobbies, too) involve building furniture and accessories, neither Kat nor I had ever done anything involving plumbing, hanging cabinets, or installing large appliances. This was definitely new territory and we both learned a ton!” RELATED: How Kitchen Design Has Evolved Over the Last Century Tiffany says she tackled her kitchen reno with the same mindset she does for all of her projects, carefully considering how to use as many salvaged materials as possible in an attractive and appealing way. “That’s where pennies, red wagons, old wallpaper, a few buckets of cement, and bucket lids all come into play,” she said. “All of these materials became the building supplies for my new kitchen.” The shimmering new backsplash is clad in $30 worth of pennies while old bucket lids and scrap fabric were whipped into new cushions for Tiffany’s wooden stools. Three red wagons were transformed into a playful new minibar. Tiffany and Kat used a cement overlay combined with a natural coffee stain and food safe finish to refurbish her dated countertops. New appliances were sourced from a scratch and dent store, saving Tiffany 30-40% off of retail, and the old cabinets and old but still working appliances were sold through Craigslist. “I am loving my new kitchen and am proud of the fact that it was created from loads of love, sweat, and salvaged materials!” says Tiffany. Don’t forget to check out our full photo gallery for more of the fun details that can be found in Tiffany’s new kitchen. + Tiffany Threadgould + Kat Tingum

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Friends give their kitchen a green makeover filled with fun upcycled touches

Product Review: Inhabitat tests out the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat

August 31, 2016 by  
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Honeywell’s Lyric Wifi Thermostat is a smartphone-connected device that allows you to regulate the temperature of your home while you’re there or on-the-go. Because you can control it via the Lyric app , it gives you the flexibility to start cooling your place down as you leave the office on a hot day, or to shut the system down from 30,000 feet in the air if you forget to switch it off before leaving to catch your plane. Like other programmable thermostats, it can be set up on a schedule so that it maintains a comfortable temperature during the times you’re usually at home while switching the system off during times you’re not. There’s also a handy geofencing feature that allows you to map off a radius around your home so that the system can detect that you’re nearby using your phone’s GPS system and start heating or cooling your home to your preferred temperature. A thermostat that knows when you’re almost home? That’s pretty cool! RELATED: VIDEO: How to save money and energy with a programmable thermostat Design-wise, the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat is one of the most visually pleasing models on the market, although you have to admit that its round form factor does look pretty similar to the Nest’s (a competitor that rings in at about $50 more at $249). On the other hand, it should be noted that Honeywell came up with the first round thermostat way back in 1953, so maybe they’re just getting back to their roots. With a pristine white face wrapped in a sliver of silver, the unit is almost like an artpiece or accessory for your wall. The minimal touchscreen buttons light up in a cool blue, giving it an even more soothing appearance. In the box: The unit itself, a battery, two screws and anchors for mounting, instructions and an optional wall plate. Setting the device up was a breeze, although I should note that since I live in an apartment with no existing in-unit thermostat system, I was unable to actually install the thermostat as you would if you were actually going to use it to control your heater and air conditioner. Instead, I simulated the installation process using a wall adapter, so this part of my review is based solely on the ease of setup, rather than how the device actually regulated the temperature in my home. The first steps are downloading the Lyric app and connecting to your WiFi, and after that, your phone guides you through the entire setup and installation process. Although I wasn’t fiddling with any wiring or anything like that, I was still able to appreciate the step-by-step instructions that popped up right on my phone to guide me through the installation process if I was. It even asks you questions along the way so that you can tailor the experience to your particular system, taking the hassle out of fumbling with an instruction manual and leafing through the parts that may or may not apply to you. The whole thing took me about 5 minutes to complete (though you would probably need to spend at least 20 if you were actually following the steps). One thing I did find was that the touchscreen buttons were not quite as responsive as I wanted them to be and I had to press down harder than I’m used to doing on my smartphone. Luckily, there’s not much need to use the buttons on the unit itself after setup since you can just use your phone to make any changes, or simply rotate the face of the unit clockwise or counterclockwise to turn your temps up or down. The Lyric app itself is intuitive, easy-to-use and starts up in a matter of moments. The Lyric WiFi Thermostat is also fully compatible with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Echo and other home ecosystems. In terms of energy and cost savings, Honeywell’s energy savings calculator estimates that I stand to save about $142 per year on my energy bill (based on my zip code) using the Lyric WiFi Thermostat. That means that in addition to keeping my home comfortable and reducing my power usage, I could also make back the $199 spent on the Lyric Thermostat in a little over a year. To learn more about how the Lyric Wifi Thermostat can help you slash your energy bills, check out the video above or visit Honeywell’s Lyric Connected Home website here . + Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat Editor’s note: The Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat was supplied to this writer free-of-charge by Honeywell in exchange for an unbiased review. Photos: Honeywell and Yuka Yoneda

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Product Review: Inhabitat tests out the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat

Subterranean Conservation Hall is a glass-walled atrium under the Governor’s lawn in Tennessee

May 15, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Subterranean Conservation Hall is a glass-walled atrium under the Governor’s lawn in Tennessee Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Archimania , Architecture , botany , conservation , Conservation Hall , governor’s lawn , green design , LEED gold , Nashville , retrofit , subterranean atrium , sustainable design , sustainable renovation , tennessee

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Subterranean Conservation Hall is a glass-walled atrium under the Governor’s lawn in Tennessee

Studiomama Gives Historic 18th Century Swedish Home a Monochromatic Makeover

November 6, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Studiomama Gives Historic 18th Century Swedish Home a Monochromatic Makeover Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , minimalist home , renovated historic home , renovated Medieval home , Stockholm , Studiomama , sustainable design , sustainable renovation , Sweden , Swedish design

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Top Heavy TYIN Tengestue Addition Provides Extra Living Space Without Sacrificing the Garden

July 22, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Top Heavy TYIN Tengestue Addition Provides Extra Living Space Without Sacrificing the Garden Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: angular roof , eco design , green design , green homes in Norway , green renovation , green space , Norwegian green design , sustainable design , sustainable renovation , Trondheim Norway , TYIN Architects , tyin tegnestue , vertical extension

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Top Heavy TYIN Tengestue Addition Provides Extra Living Space Without Sacrificing the Garden

Lock Jet Space: Awesome Hexagonal Book Towers Update Boring School Library

July 21, 2014 by  
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Green Dot Public Schools and No Right Brain Left Behind recently launched Locke Jet Space, a transformed public school library at Locke High School in Watts, California. The 3,000 square foot space re-defines the concept of a library for the 21st century, using hexagonal shelves and custom designed furniture. The prototype space seeks to produce a blueprint for modular educational spaces. + Green Dot Public Schools + No Right Brain Left Behind The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: environmental initiatives , green design , Green Dot Public Schools , green education , green interiors , green library , green renovation , Locke Jet Space , No Right Brain Left Behind , renovated library , sustainable design , Sustainable Interiors

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Lock Jet Space: Awesome Hexagonal Book Towers Update Boring School Library

The Coachman: Lundberg Design Retrofits a San Francisco Bar with Walls Made of Honey

July 18, 2014 by  
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San Francisco-based Lundberg Design transformed one of their old projects, Heaven’s Dog, into one of the city’s most visited restaurants – The Coachman. The design team added around 600 square feet of space to the existing bar and enlarged it into a spacious restaurant with a great selection of cocktails. Hit the jump for more details about this striking renovation. Read the rest of The Coachman: Lundberg Design Retrofits a San Francisco Bar with Walls Made of Honey Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Heaven’s Dog San Francisco , honeycomb walls , Lundberg Architects , lundberg design , Olle Lundberg , retrofitted restaurant , San Francisco architects , san francisco architecture , sustainable renovation , The Coachman retrofit , The Coachman San Francisco , walls made of honey

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The Coachman: Lundberg Design Retrofits a San Francisco Bar with Walls Made of Honey

RARE Architecture Restores Historic London Building with a Modern Patterned Skin

February 21, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of RARE Architecture Restores Historic London Building with a Modern Patterned Skin Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aluminum skin , Bethnal Green Town Hall , green renovation , historic building , hotel , London , luxury , parametric , Rare architecture , sustainable renovation , Tower hall hotel        

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