Cow farts may be contributing more to global warming than we realized

October 4, 2017 by  
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When you hear the words ‘ cow farts,’ you probably giggle a little. But bovine flatulence and belches are pumping methane into the atmosphere, and contributing even more greenhouse gas emissions than scientists previously thought. According to new NASA -funded research, estimates of livestock emissions could have been off by around 10 percent. When we think of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change , carbon dioxide is typically the first one that comes to mind. But methane – even though it can break down quicker – is around 85 times more powerful in trapping heat. And guess who’s pouring methane into the air? Cows. Three scientists, from the United States Department of Agriculture , Joint Global Change Research Institute , and the United States Department of Energy , reevaluated data employed to calculate 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emissions factors. They created revised emissions factors and discovered livestock methane emissions were 11 percent higher in 2011 than other estimates arrived at using the 2006 guidelines. Related: How oregano could save the world by reducing bovine belching The journal Carbon Balance and Management published the research the end of September. Lead author Julie Wolf said in a statement , “In many regions of the world, livestock numbers are changing, and breeding has resulted in larger animals with higher intakes of food. This, along with changes in livestock management, can lead to higher methane emissions.” The way we deal with cow poop also influences how many emissions enter the air. Using manure as fertilizer on fields yields less methane than storing the poop in pits. Changes like that one have caused global methane emissions to increase by almost 37 percent. Between 2003 and 2011, livestock yielded around one fifth of methane emissions – but they were also responsible for between half and three quarters of the methane emissions increase researchers noted during that time period. Even if you’re not a farmer, and can’t control farming practices, Popular Science said it wouldn’t hurt to eat less red meat . Via Forbes and Popular Science Images via Ryan Song on Unsplash and Filip Bunkens on Unsplash

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Cow farts may be contributing more to global warming than we realized

Luxury lakeside hotel promises a return to nature in Italy

October 3, 2017 by  
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Architecture studio noa* mixes alpine and Mediterranean influences in their renovation of a family-run hotel in Italy. Located on a high plateau next to a small natural lake, Hotel Seehof is a luxury hotel that celebrates nature in its use of materials, design, and programming. The nature retreat features an undulating roof that mirrors Natz-Schabs’ mountain scenery while its earth-colored plaster and use of timber references the nearby forests. Hotel Seehof completed its major renovation and expansion earlier this year and now includes 16 new suites as well as a new pool and wellness area. Guests are invited to take a dip in the lake, “Flötscher Weiher,” that serves as the main focal point of the project. Sinuous lines and pathways seamlessly link the hotel grounds, including the oblique green roofs of the spa, to the surrounding forests and fruit orchards. Related: Frank Gehry-designed luxury hotel brings avant-garde design to historic Spain winery “The wooden façade and its rough surface are related to the environment, with a focus on incorporating regional materials. The communication with the lake – important characteristic and name of the hotel – is deliberately staged here,” wrote the architects. The interior design pays homage to Hotel Seehof’s site history. Copper pipes are used extensively throughout the interior as a design element and to reference to the widely used water pipes that were installed for the apple orchards in the 1950s. As with the exterior, a natural materials palette is used for the interior design. + noa* Images by Alex Filz

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Luxury lakeside hotel promises a return to nature in Italy

Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush

September 4, 2017 by  
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Cabin envy is real with this gorgeous Back Country house in New Zealand’s Puhoi bush. Designed by David Maurice of LTD Architectural , this timber-clad holiday home combines backcountry tradition with beautiful contemporary design. The environmentally sensitive cabin was built with locally sourced materials and makes use of passive heating and ventilation. Inspired by New Zealand’s backcountry typology, the Back Country house boasts a simple and clean silhouette comprising a single volume for the communal activities and a lean-to annex for the lower floor sleeping and service areas. The main volume embraces indoor-outdoor living and is open fully on two sides to a large wraparound deck. The deck feels like an outdoor room with its large fireplace and twin built-in bathtubs. Related: Seascape cottage is a self-sustaining getaway made from locally-sourced materials Locally sourced bandsawn macrocarpa is used inside and out to reinforce the cabin’s connection to the outdoors, while galvanized corrugated iron strengthens the hut aesthetic. Natural light floods the open-plan living room, dining, area, and kitchen, as well as the mezzanine master suite. To add interest to the mostly white and timber palette, bright and colorful furniture punctuate the spaces. Passive heating and ventilation as well as high performance insulation keep the Back Country house’s environmental impact low . + LTD Architectural Via Contemporist Images via LTD Architectural

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Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush

Trees to grow on the balconies of Pendas timber high-rise in Toronto

August 3, 2017 by  
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A new kind of “vertical forest” has been envisioned for Toronto where trees would grow on every balcony. Architecture firm Penda teamed up with Canadian company Timber to design the Toronto Tree Tower, an 18-story mixed-use tower covered in greenery and built of cross-laminated timber. The large and modular balconies are staggered to look like branches of a tree and to optimize views for every resident. Designed to appear as a giant tree in the city, the Toronto Tree Tower is covered in plants and greenery and clad in wooden facade panels. The tower’s modular cross-laminated timber units would be prefabricated and assembled off-site, and then transported and stacked around the building’s trunk-like central core. The building would comprise 4,500 square meters of apartments as well as a cafe, children’s daycare center, and community workshops. Related: China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing “Our cities are a assembly of steel, concrete and glass,” said Penda partner Chris Precht, according to Dezeen . “If you walk through the city and suddenly see a tower made of wood and plants, it will create an interesting contrast. The warm, natural appearance of wood and the plants growing on its facade bring the building to life and that could be a model for environmental friendly developments and sustainable extensions of our urban landscape.” + Penda Via Dezeen

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Trees to grow on the balconies of Pendas timber high-rise in Toronto

New light-filled learning center celebrates the food history in one of Denmarks oldest towns

August 3, 2017 by  
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Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter just won a competition to design a new cultural center for one of the oldest settlements in Denmark . The winning proposal, called Kornets Hus (“Grain House”), will be an activity-based learning center in Hjørring focused on the importance of grain to Jutland—a region believed to have been populated 10,000 years ago. Kornets Hus will be of a minimalist and modern design built largely from brick and timber that takes inspiration from the region’s diverse landscapes, folk culture, and agricultural heritage. Commissioned by Realdania , the L-shaped 680-square-meter Kornets Hus is set on a site with an existing farm and bakery. The learning center will offer visitors as well as locals and employees engaging educational experiences about the region’s rich food and farming culture. In addition to educational and exhibition spaces, the building will also include a cafe, store, and offices. Related: Norwegian Mountaineering Centre mimics a dramatic snow-covered mountain The building features a simple and flexible plan to accommodate a wide variety of activities. Two brick-clad light wells , reminiscent of baker kilns, bookend the structure’s two ends. Skylights and large windows also help maximize access to natural light . Glazing on the west facade frame views of wheat fields and connect to an outdoor terrace. A large bread oven forms the heart of the public spaces. + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Images via Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

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New light-filled learning center celebrates the food history in one of Denmarks oldest towns

Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

June 5, 2017 by  
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Helsinkians and visitors take note—a beautiful new public sauna has popped up on a tiny island in the Finnish capital. Architecture firm OOPEAA designed the recently opened Lonna Sauna, a contemporary building constructed solely of natural materials. Built on a former military outpost in front of Helsinki’s city center, the timber sauna is an easily accessible escape that promises tranquility with a view. Commissioned by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna , the Lonna Sauna on Lonna island is one of several initiatives transforming the former sea fortress islands into recreational destinations. Accessible via a short waterbus ride from the city’s harbors, the new 190-square-meter sauna sits on the island’s southeast tip near six heritage-listed buildings that date back to Russian rule of the island in the 19th century. The wood-heated sauna was built as a continuation of Finland’s tradition of public saunas—a dwindling culture seeing recent renewed interest—with a modern twist. The log cabin -like building is constructed of handcrafted wooden logs left untreated and topped with a sculptural pitched roof clad in zinc . Related: Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun “The skillful use of larch in the furnishings and the large windows opening a view from the sauna loft into the archipelago create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere,” wrote OOPEAA. “The unique natural features of the Lonna island create a special and authentic atmosphere adding a new aspect to the experience of an urban public sauna. It brings together the calming and peaceful experience of the sauna ritual and the social aspect of the public sauna as a gathering place for people.” The Lonna Sauna is open daily from 2PM to 7PM throughout the summer. + OOPEAA Via Dezeen Images via OOPEAA and Lonna Sauna

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Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

Gorgeous forest home will fulfill your tiny cabin dreams

April 26, 2017 by  
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Get ready for some serious cabin envy. Architecture firm studio PIKAPLUS crafted a gorgeous tiny home that perfectly harmonizes with its surrounding forested wilderness. Built mostly of timber, the Wooden House is a cozy retreat for those who crave connection with the outdoors and also want simple luxuries and protection from the elements. Keep reading for a tour of the cabin’s light-filled interior. With just 82 square meters of space, the compact cabin is the result of thoughtful planning and building constraints on a small plot of land. Set on the edge of a large forest clearing, the tiny home minimizes disruption to the stunning landscape with its simple appearance and wooden construction. The landscaping around the home also respects the natural environment. The sharply pitched roof and angled side walls give the home an eye-catching appearance but run the risk of creating a cramped interior. To make the compact home feel as spacious as possible, the architects lined the walls with untreated timber that reflect the natural light that pours through the large windows. The giant glass facade brings views of the outdoors into every room of the house, with the exception of the bathroom. Related: Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance “Simplicity in the design of The Wooden House is complemented by the oblique lateral facade, adding captivating nuances,” wrote the architects. The main entrance opens up to a double-height foyer with the living room on the left and the open-plan dining room and the kitchen to the right. A bathroom and sauna are tucked in the rear. Two bedrooms are located upstairs and overlook the ground floor. The project placed second nationally in 2016 for the best wooden construction in Slovenia. + studio PIKAPLUS Via ArchDaily Images © MIHA BRATINA

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Gorgeous forest home will fulfill your tiny cabin dreams

Explosion of color takes over an abandoned Puerto Rican factory

April 26, 2017 by  
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An artist’s brilliance breathes new life into a desolate tobacco factory in Caguas, Puerto Rico . Bright sprays and colorful drips have seemingly exploded all over the factory’s formerly lifeless walls in local artist Sofia Maldonado’s eye-popping intervention, Kalaña. Created as part of Cromática: Caguas a Color , the community engagement piece transformed the building into a piece of art and new home to educational workshops, presentations, and other artistic events. Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado and her team of helpers used all parts of the factory interior as canvas. Florescent blues to neon pink and yellows are splashed across the concrete walls punctuated by a few scribbled tags while old graffiti peeks out from behind the latex paint. “My work is mainly inspired by colors and also the Caribbean way of living, and experiencing light and color,” said Maldonado. “The idea of the project is to inspire and open the door to different projects that reuse abandoned spaces. Kalaña is my interpretation of public art . It’s intended for the public to explore to get inside an abandoned building and to experience an explosion of color. But it is also a piece that is activated by different social engagements. That’s one of my main goals: how can I integrate the community in my artwork.” Related: Javier de Riba graffitis gorgeous geometric patterns onto the floors of abandoned buildings Kalaña injects a welcoming energy to the space and the bright colors help set the tone for positive community collaboration. Maldonado was one of seven artists to explore the intersection between art, community, and abandoned architecture in Cromática: Caguas a Color. The piece was completed in 2015. + Sofia Maldonado Via Popup City Images via Sofia Maldonado

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Explosion of color takes over an abandoned Puerto Rican factory

Tiny Toronto lighthouse serves multiple functions at once

March 2, 2017 by  
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This minimalist wooden lighthouse installed at Woodbine beach in Toronto doubles as a temporary drop-off location for local charity donations. Portuguese design firm João Araújo Sousa & Joana Correia Silva Arquitectura wrapped The Beacon in aged wood to make it look as if it has been part of the beach for a long time. The Beacon, which shoots a vertical beam of light into the night sky, captures the essence of traditional lighthouses, while translating their archetypal conical shape into a single spatial gesture. Beside its role as a lighthouse, the structure also functions as a place where people can leave non-perishable foods and clothes for charities. Related: The government is giving away free lighthouses to the right owners The lower part of the structure acts as a repository for such items and features openings at different heights through which they can be easily inserted. While the architects hope the Beacon will become part of a larger, permanent network of donation hotspots in Toronto , this small structure can also be repurposed as a wildlife observation tower , a wilderness shelter or a fire lookout tower . + João Araújo Sousa & Joana Correia Silva Arquitectura Photos by Steven Evans

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Tiny Toronto lighthouse serves multiple functions at once

Renovated California cabin with star-studded history goes up for sale

February 10, 2017 by  
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This renovated lodge-inspired house preserves the star-studded legacy of the original structure. First built for the 1923 silent movie “The Courtship of Miles Standish”, the home was formerly owned by Daryl Hannah. The existing owners commissioned architect Chris Peck , interior designer Lisa Strong , builder Eric Dobkin and landscape architect Samantha Gore to dream up a beautiful 6,195-square-foot estate expansion and renovation. The house, currently listed for sale , is tucked amidst the trees of the iconic Uplifters Ranch neighborhood of Rustic Canyon, and offers privacy to its occupants. In 2012, current owners Marla and Larry Butler commissioned a team of designers to renovate the cabin  into a larger building that would preserve as much of the original materials as possible. Stones from the original cabin were reused, while naturally fallen lodge pole pine timber from Montana dominates most of the exterior and interior. Related: 6 Tiny Homes under $50,000 you can buy right now An open-plan kitchen and dining room feature double-case windows and bi-fold doors that offer spectacular views of the surrounding nature. A large terrace with a plunge pool and stone walkways functions as an outdoor entertaining area. Original furniture, fixtures and windows strengthen the connection to the past. + Chris Peck + Samantha Gore + Lisa Strong Design

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