Dutch studio unveils colorful solar-powered village for area homeless

July 20, 2017 by  
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Studio Elmo Vemijs from the Netherlands has created a beautiful tiny home village on the outskirts of Eindhoven to help those who find themselves in dire straits. The architects designed the neighborhood layout as well as the solar-powered , 355-square-feet homes to meet the specific needs of the residents. The inspiration for the village came from the Dutch phrase “Skaeve Huse” – roughly translated as “special homes for special people.” Working in collaboration with social housing organization, The Trudo Housing Corporation , the architects designed the tiny homes specifically for individuals suffering from mental illness, drug addiction, and anyone that simply has trouble living in a traditional home environment. Most Skaeve Huses are typically temporary shelters , but with this particular project, the team wanted to create a community of permanent, energy-neutral homes that could offer long-term benefits to the residents as well as the surrounding community. Related: Missouri community is building 50 tiny homes for homeless veterans Located on a tree-filled plot of land, the neighborhood is comprised out of a series of small, energy-efficient homes. All of the structures are made out of a corrugated steel facade with protruding window frames, but each has a unique color scheme. The interior layouts include an entrance hall, living room, kitchen, bathroom along with large windows that provide optimal natural light on the interior. Studio Elmo Vermijs designed the houses as well as the landscape architecture. Using the abundance of existing trees as a guide for the layout, walking paths were created that lead from home to home. The organization of the village gives each resident plenty of privacy and independence, but without creating an atmosphere of isolation. The surrounding greenery along with the home’s cheerful colors provide the village with a vibrant, fun atmosphere. + Studio Elmo Vermijs Via Curbed Images via Studio Elmo Vemijs  

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Dutch studio unveils colorful solar-powered village for area homeless

Cecil the lion’s son shot and killed by trophy hunter

July 20, 2017 by  
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In 2015, Cecil the lion was reportedly lured out of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park to be slaughtered by American dentist Walter Palmer. But lion hunting in the area hasn’t stopped. A group that calls themselves Lions of Hwange National Park recently said Cecil’s son, Xanda, was shot on a trophy hunt . Xanda was just over six years old and was the father of multiple cubs. Lions of Hwange National Park said Xanda was shot a few days ago. Professional hunter Richard Cooke of RC Safaris was part of the shoot, and Lions of Hwange National Park said Cooke killed Xanda’s brother around two years ago, when the brother around four years old. Related: U.S. dentist will not be prosecuted in Zimbabwe for killing Cecil the lion Cooke’s hunt was legal, according to researcher Andrew Loveridge of Oxford University , who is part of a team that monitored the national park’s lions with electronic collars. Cooke apparently returned the collar, cluing researchers in to Xanda’s demise. Loveridge told The Telegraph, “I fitted it last October. It was monitored almost daily and we were aware that Xanda and his pride was spending a lot of time out of the park in the last six months, but there is not much we can do about that. Richard Cooke is one of the ‘good’ guys. He is ethical and he returned the collar and communicated what had happened. His hunt was legal and Xanda was over six years old so it is all within the stipulated regulations.” He said he hopes for a five kilometer, or 3.1 mile, exclusion zone around the park so collared lions that wander out won’t be shot by hunters anymore. The Telegraph reported Cooke did not answer his phones the day they published their article. It’s unclear who his client was, although the publication said most lion shooters hail from the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, or Germany. The client could have forked over around £40,000, or close to $52,000 for the hunt and the lion’s head for mounting where they live. Via Lions of Hwange National Park and The Telegraph Images via Bert Duplessis/Lions of Hwange National Park on Facebook

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Cecil the lion’s son shot and killed by trophy hunter

Why the new Nissan Leaf won’t need a brake pedal

July 20, 2017 by  
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Your next car may not have a brake pedal. But don’t worry – you’ll still be able to drive safely. Nissan’s new Leaf will feature what they call an e-Pedal, which allows users to speed up, slow down, and stop using just one pedal. This seemingly small change could alter car design of the future in a large way. The e-Pedal could forever change the way we drive. Drivers simply push down on the pedal to accelerate, as normal, but when they ease up on the pedal the car slows down, and when they take their foot off completely the car stops. The technology works even on hills, allowing a car to stay in place without a person needing the hold the brake pedal down. Nissan describes the e-Pedal as the world’s first one-pedal operation. Related: The 2018 Nissan Leaf will feature semi-autonomous driving technology According to Nissan, “drivers can cover 90 percent of their driving needs with the e-Pedal.” They think users in heavy traffic or on city commutes could benefit from the new design, since they wouldn’t have to constantly move their foot back and forth to decelerate and accelerate. They say the e-Pedal will simplify driving and make the journey more engaging. The idea may not be quite as crazy as it seems. HuffPost explains when you ease your foot off the accelerator in a gasoline -fueled car today, the engine in the car prompts it to slow down. This feature is lacking in electric vehicles , though, so manufacturers typically put a regenerative braking feature in the design so the car will brake when you release the pedal. In electric cars this motion also generates electricity from the wheels’ movement. Will other car manufacturers follow suit? And will drivers love or loathe the new feature? The e-Pedal will premier on September 6, so we may get more answers then. Via Nissan and HuffPost United Kingdom Images via Nissan ( 1 , 2 )

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Why the new Nissan Leaf won’t need a brake pedal

Congress just voted to allow the slaughter of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros

July 20, 2017 by  
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This week, a Congressional committee signed the death warrant for tens of thousands of wild horses and burros in the US. The House Appropriations Committee voted on Tuesday to remove language from the BLM budget that prohibited the “destruction of healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros,” opening the door for the arguably unnecessary culling of the iconic symbols of the American West. Representative Chris Stewart (R-Utah) authored the amendment, stating “I love horses and am concerned about the most humane treatment and care for these majestic animals. In Utah, wild horses are having significant impact on the range and in many instances are dying slow, painful deaths through starvation at the expense of native vegetation and wildlife.” Experts argue, however, that there is enough land for managed horse populations, but this public land is often used for commercial livestock instead. There is also little evidence that many  wild horses are starving, except where mismanagement has prevented access to food and water. Related: Now Trump wants to condemn wild horses to slaughter If the bill becomes law, it would mean that the BLM could begin killing horses and burros that they deem un-adoptable, so long as the animals aren’t destined to be used as meat. However, wild horse advocates have long called for better sterilization techniques to help control populations, rather than resorting to destroying horses. During the short debate over the measure, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) pointed out that better efforts using contraceptives to limit horse populations should be adopted. “Let’s be clear: House Appropriations Committee members just signed a death warrant for America’s mustangs and it will lead to the wholesale destruction of these irreplaceable national treasures,” said Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Campaign . Via USA Today Images via Unsplash ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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Congress just voted to allow the slaughter of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros

16-year-old inspires U.S. city to pass law requiring solar panels on all new homes

July 20, 2017 by  
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More United States cities are taking strong measures to move the clean energy economy forward. This week, South Miami passed a law requiring new houses to be outfitted with solar panels . The law will even apply to some renovations. It’s the first of its kind in Florida , and passed four to one – and some of the inspiration for the law came from a high school student. High schooler Delaney Reynolds, who was 16 at the time, learned about San Francisco’s 2016 measure requiring solar panels on all new buildings of 10 stories or less. She thought cities in Florida could do the same. Reynolds, who started a nonprofit called The Sink or Swim Project to tackle climate change in South Florida, wrote mayors of around half a dozen cities in her area, according to InsideClimate News, and South Miami mayor Philip Stoddard was the first to reply. He asked Reynolds to help write the ordinance. Related: San Francisco approves measure to require solar panels on new buildings Under the law, new homes will have to have 175 square feet of solar panels per 1,000 square feet of roof area in the sun, or 2.75 kilowatts per 1,000 square feet of living space – whichever one is less. If the house is constructed beneath trees already there it may be exempt. If more than 75 percent of an existing home is being replaced by renovations , or if a home is being extended by 75 percent, the new law will apply as well. On Tuesday, the law passed, with only commissioner Josh Liebman voting against it. Liebman said he’s not against solar power but is for freedom of choice. The law will go into effect in September. Only around 10 new homes are built in the area a year, so Stoddard acknowledges the measure won’t change the world. But he said officials in other areas like Orlando and St. Petersburg have indicated interest, so the idea could spread. Via InsideClimate News and Miami Herald Images via Wikimedia Commons and The Sink or Swim Project Facebook

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16-year-old inspires U.S. city to pass law requiring solar panels on all new homes

HonoMobo’s container homes can be shipped anywhere in North America

July 19, 2017 by  
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Canadian company HonoMobo is taking the stress out of building a new home with its ultra-green, ultra-swanky shipping container homes that can be sent anywhere in North America. Designed to be move-in ready, the repurposed structures make for great tiny homes – and they can even be combined to create bigger spaces for large families. Organized to be move-in ready, HonoMobo structures are designed by registered professionals and just need a foundation and utility connections to get up and running. However, these tiny spaces are solar-ready and can be used as off-grid structures as well. For optimal energy efficiency, the homes come pre-installed with highly-efficient climatization systems and high-grade insulation. Related: You can order HonoMobo’s prefab shipping container homes online The prefab structures are constructed in 10-12 weeks in a controlled environment in order to reduce waste and construction costs. Created to take the stress out of building a new home, the buildings are compliant with most local building codes. For extra assistance, the HonoMobo team works with clients and local contractors to ensure that the property is ready for installation. The container homes range in size from 200 square feet to 1,520 square feet and can be stacked or combined to create additional, personalized layouts. They have an open, flexible floor plan and come with plenty of storage. Large floor-to-ceiling windows give the home a strong connection to its environment and flood the interior with natural light . For interior and exterior design, the repurposed structures come with a number of high-end finishes such as drywall, quartz, cedar flooring, etc. + HonoMobo Images via HonoMobo

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HonoMobo’s container homes can be shipped anywhere in North America

Magical Cape Cod-style cottage perched on NYC rooftop goes on sale for $3.5M

July 18, 2017 by  
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If you have a cool $3.5 million lying around, you could live in one of NYC’s most mysterious and envy-inducing rooftop homes . This sweet East Village cottage – which just so happens to be perched on top of a building at 72 East 1st street – has just been put up for sale. As for the price, the property does come with a slight catch – the beautiful rooftop studio also comes with the massive duplex underneath. The cedar-shake structure is a beautiful rooftop studio whose ownership was a mystery for years until the NY Post unveiled the current owner as Gale Barrett Shrady. Shrady’s late husband, Henry Merwin Shrady III, bought the entire walk-up building in the 80s and renovated it to sell, but he kept the fourth and fifth floors as a duplex for his family. He subsequently added the Nantucket-style studio years later, complete with French doors, a tower and even a horse weathervane. The one-bedroom, one-bath apartment opens out into an envy-inducing wraparound terrace . Related: Philip Johnson’s secret brick and glass home in Manhattan, NYC After years of living in the large space, Mrs. Shrady is selling their duplex and cottage together. Although the small studio is obviously a truly unique gem, the rest of the home isn’t too shabby. The 2,000-square-feet, four-bedroom duplex has high ceilings with exposed beams, spacious living and dining rooms, and a great room balcony on the second floor. There is a grand total of 22 windows that flood the interior with natural light and two wood-burning fireplaces, perfect for NYC’s chilly winters. Via NY Post and Curbed Photos via Compass  

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Magical Cape Cod-style cottage perched on NYC rooftop goes on sale for $3.5M

This off-grid school bus home has an incredible raised roof

July 17, 2017 by  
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Converting an old school bus into a livable home is no easy task, but with a little ingenuity, amazing spaces can be created. When Luke and Rachel Davis of Midwest Wanderers decided to travel full time with their daughter and dog, they renovated a 240-square-foot school bus into a surprisingly spacious off-grid home that includes a raised roof, solar panels, and a beautiful interior design. After deciding to leave their Chicago home behind and take the leap into nomadic living, the couple purchased an old school bus for $4,000. They gutted the entire structure and began to do the bus renovations themselves using as many repurposed materials as possible. A year and a half later, the couple raised the bus’s roof by 24 inches to add height to the living space. The extra space does wonders for the living area, which is illuminated with an abundance of natural light thanks to the porthole skylights on the raised ceiling. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel The sophisticated interior design is extremely comfortable for the family of three, plus their dog, Baxter. The living room, kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms are all equipped with strategic storage solutions to help reduce clutter. Thanks to the elevated roof, the couple was able to add a sleeping loft on the upper level that is accessible via ladder. A second bedroom for their daughter is located just underneath on the main floor. The living area also has a sleeper sofa with plenty of storage underneath. Adjacent to the sofa is a dining table that can be folded down when not in use. A cast iron pot belly wood stove sits in the corner of the living space, and provides enough heat to warm the interior. In the corner of the living space is a compact bathroom, which was installed with a composting toilet and a RV-style tub shower. As a former baker, Rachel was determined to have a working kitchen with sufficient space. Accordingly, the kitchen was equipped with a large countertop, a four-burner stove, and a refrigerator. The handy duo wanted to make their new home as self-sufficient as possible. They used as many repurposed materials in the conversion process as possible, installing upcycled bamboo flooring, reclaimed barn beam countertops, a reclaimed barn wood accent wall, and a locally-reclaimed walnut table. For energy use, a 900-watt solar array provides all of the family’s energy and their water use is reduced thanks to a composting toilet and a low-flow shower head in the bathroom. You can follow the adventures of the Midwest Wanderers on their blog and Instagram page . + Midwest Wanderers Via Treehugger Photography via Midwest Wanderers

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This off-grid school bus home has an incredible raised roof

This farm in New York only grows food for donation (10 tons and counting)

July 17, 2017 by  
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Artist Dan Colen needed an escape from New York City. So he purchased Sky High Farm in New York’s Hudson Valley region in 2011, and worked with Berman Horn Studio to create a gorgeous haven with structures reminiscent of old farm buildings. Not only is the farm architecturally beautiful, it’s on a mission to do good. The 40-acre farm donates all of its organic produce – and eggs and meat from grass-fed animals – to food pantries and banks throughout the state. Sky High Farm is home to a striking Black Barn , designed by Berman Horn Studio. The L-shaped building has black wood siding – the color comes from Benjamin Moore’s Black – and a corrugated metal roof. Livestock reside in the barn, which also serves as a harvest processing center. Interns also dwell inside. Related: Beautiful modern barn produces food sustainably in Utah Berman Horn Studio said in their design statement that changes in materials in the interior speak of the changing functions of the space, while the black exterior lends a cohesiveness to the entire structure. Heavy timber construction is found in the livestock wing; light-filled interiors for the interns. The processing center has industrial finishes. Architect Maria Berman told Gardenista Colen “very much appreciates the integrity of vernacular working farm buildings, and wanted to create a building that felt like it could have been on this very old farm for many years.” The farm’s mission is food security ; the produce and meat products from the farm go to soup kitchens and food pantries or banks in New York City and other areas of the state to feed the hungry. Out of the 40 acres, 25 are used for animal pasture, and two are dedicated to vegetable production. The farm is currently in its fifth season and estimates they’ve been able to donate over 36,000 healthy, organic meals – emphasizing quality of food as much as quantity. On their website they put the donation of produce and meat in tons, saying they’ve donated more than 10 tons. + Sky High Farm + Berman Horn Studio Via Gardenista Images via Sky High Farm

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This farm in New York only grows food for donation (10 tons and counting)

Monolithic stone building springs up at the base of a Norwegian waterfall

July 10, 2017 by  
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Bergen-based architects Fortunen AS worked with Østengen & Bergo to install a compact service building at the base of the beautiful Skjervet waterfall in Granvin, Norway, using locally-sourced materials. The nature of the project required a prudent building strategy , so the team designed the structure to blend into the natural landscape and appear as though it had been there for years. The terrain around the waterfall site is steep and quite difficult to maneuver. However, the rugged landscape and lush vegetation around the site were carefully protected during the entire construction phase. A single trail made of natural stone was chosen as the central nerve of the project, and became the inspiration for the building’s design. Related: Snøhetta unveils spectacular makeover for nation’s second-largest waterfall The compact structure, which consists of two restrooms and a small technical room, is clad in locally-sourced natural stone. The remaining building materials including rebar fencing and concrete benches were also chosen to blend into the environment. On the inside, panels of warm plywood cover the walls, with various narrow glazed cutouts that look out over the river, allowing for amazing views of the Storelvi River, forest, and mountains. The monolithic building’s steep slanted roof , along with the natural stone facade, creates a jagged silhouette that, although contemporary in style, strategically blends into the solid rock surroundings, creating a subtle addition to the area, rather than a distraction. This achieved the design team’s original intention, which was to create a series of “gentle interventions that look like they have always been in this terrain – despite their modern form. The combination of contemporary form, ancient craft and local materials create a timeless dimension to the project.” The Skjervet design earned the World Architecture News Small Spaces Award in 2016. + Fortunen AS + Østengen & Bergo

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Monolithic stone building springs up at the base of a Norwegian waterfall

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