These shipping container tiny homes provide for the unhoused

September 22, 2021 by  
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The pandemic showed us all how close anyone can come to having nothing. Many people are much closer to losing everything than they even want to know. Monarch Village, created by Studio 804, offers a shelter solution to meet the needs of unhoused people and families. Everyone deserves a clean, safe place to live. And when someone is transitioning between permanent living situations, temporary housing like Monarch Village can be a real lifesaver. Studio 804 worked through the pandemic to build 12 clean and comfortable housing units. These units provide the privacy and safety people need to live well. Related: LEED Gold apartments provide supportive housing in Los Angeles These private housing units are different from the large, open-style housing that shelters traditionally provide. Each unit is a tiny home that shares a covered patio area. The units are built around a community vegetable garden and a spot that will soon become a butterfly garden. There’s also a large public space just north of the garden . Monarch Village’s main building houses a cafeteria where meals are served to the entire shelter population. The food is prepared and served with a farm-to-plate concept. Each tiny home has enough space to sleep four people in two separate sleeping areas. There’s also a full bathroom and kitchenette in each unit, and one is fully ADA accessible. Students of Studio 804 built the furniture and cabinetry for each home. Studio 804, a not-for-profit corporation, offers hands-on design and build experience for students. Graduate students from the University of Kansas Department of Architecture join the program to further their studies and learn more about the innovative building solutions that can create a better future. Students here work on all aspects of design and construction over a nine-month academic year. Built to meet USGBC LEED Platinum sustainable design standards, Monarch Village is Studio 804’s latest completed project. Used shipping containers form the structure of the tiny homes, repurposed materials are used throughout the project and passive strategies address heating and ventilation concerns. + Studio 804 Images courtesy of Studio 804

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These shipping container tiny homes provide for the unhoused

ESCAPE to this eco-friendly tiny living community in Tampa

August 11, 2021 by  
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Tiny living has become much more than a fad. It’s a way of life. Entire tiny living communities exist now, including the Tampa Bay Village. This community is designed to be eco-friendly. It’s a true community where outdoor spaces and chores are shared by all. ESCAPE Homes has introduced their first mid-century modern tiny home, built specifically for the expansion of Tampa Bay Village. ESCAPE Tampa Bay Village debuted in spring 2020. Soon, it’s expected to increase fourfold. The community will include a large pool and expanded outdoor living spaces. Dan Dobrowolski, founder of ESCAPE, says that business has “grown exponentially” as a result of COVID-19 . The village was designed to serve as a blueprint for a post-pandemic world, a community that provides eco-friendly tiny homes in a beautiful neighborhood setting. Related: These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant “The opportunity to work remotely, reduce the carbon footprint and still live in a beautiful home for a fraction of the cost, has energized people to consider tiny living,” says Dobrowolski. People of all ages and walks of life have come to ESCAPE Tampa Bay Village. They’re attracted to affordable living, simple upkeep and the community spirit of the place. The homes here have outdoor decks, and each home has its own space. These cozy, tiny homes are perfect for full-time living, but they can be vacation homes as well. The neighborhood is less than an hour away from Orlando , and it has easy access to the downtown Tampa area. Surrounded by the lush tropical landscape, these lovely tiny homes have everything homeowners need and no excess. Each home has plenty of windows to let in natural light, and there are many outdoor spaces for everyone to share to enjoy the Florida sun. The simple construction and minimalist design of each of these tiny homes create a modern, streamlined look that feels perfectly at home against the tropical plants and tall shade trees. But what makes these tiny homes so eco-friendly? Aside from tiny living’s inherently smaller footprint, ESCAPE’s homes also include energy-saving features such as LED lighting and thermopane windows. Some even incorporate solar power. + ESCAPE Tampa Bay Images via ESCAPE

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ESCAPE to this eco-friendly tiny living community in Tampa

In Our Nature delves into animal life from the Serengeti to US

August 11, 2021 by  
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“In Our Nature,” a new six-episode digital series, takes viewers to settings in  Tanzania  and the U.S. and features gorgeous animals and fascinating info about their lives. And you can watch it free on YouTube. Three of the hosts talked to Inhabitat about their new series — favorite moments, what they learned and why viewers should care. Joe Hanson is a biologist and the creator and host of PBS Digital Studio’s  It’s Okay to Be Smart ; Trace Dominguez is a science communicator, and the producer and host of PBS Star Gazers, Uno Dos of Trace; and Emily Graslie is a  science  communicator who worked as the Field Museum’s chief curiosity correspondent, for which she created more than 200 episodes for the natural history-themed YouTube channel The Brain Scoop. Here’s what they have to say about “ In Our Nature .” Related: Los Angeles is the largest US city to be certified as a biodiversity haven Inhabitat: How did “In Our Nature” come about, and how did you get involved? Joe Hanson: The project came about originally as a digital program alongside PBS’ broadcast series  “Life at the Waterhole”  and I was involved in developing our series from the outset. During pre-production we embraced the opportunity to create a top-quality nature  education  series designed specifically for audiences that primarily watch YouTube and other digital video platforms rather than TV or streaming services. I worked with my production team from It’s Okay to be Smart to create a format and story approach that would feel native to YouTube but allow us to present top-quality nature filmmaking at the same time. We immediately thought of Emily Graslie and Trace Dominguez as co-hosts thanks to their awesome track record making creative and high-quality educational videos.  Emily Graslie: Joe Hanson approached me about this series back in January and I was immediately hooked on the premise of looking at ecosystem  health  in such a holistic manner. And, it’s not very often a YouTube channel gets the opportunity to film an international, high-quality nature series, so being a part of this has been really special and rewarding. Trace Dominguez: “In Our Nature” came about when Joe Hanson reached out to me about working on a new kind of  nature  show. I’ve known Joe and Emily for years yet, incredibly, the three of us had never worked together! We all agreed that nature documentaries are incredible, but needed a bit of a refresh. Traditionally, documentaries try to bring attention to individual animals, or single ecosystems. They often eschew discussion of human influences or exploring the wider parallels across continents, or the delicate web of connections running across different species. I was super interested in the challenge and thanks to our group of admirable nerds I think it worked out swimmingly (pun intended). Inhabitat: What have been the most exciting parts of making this show? Hanson: Filming a nature series in the Serengeti ecosystem is as good as it gets. This was my first time in Africa , and even though I knew I would see some awesome things, I wasn’t prepared for just how MUCH awesome stuff we would see. I was simply blown away by the richness of life, at scales big and small, in this place. We also saw herds of wildebeest that stretched to the horizon and over 100 elephants in one grassy clearing. There was just so much of everything. I think it speaks to just how valuable wild places like this really are, not just for the life they contain, but also for the effect they can have on us. Graslie: Filming for  Episode 3  in the Andrews Forest in  Oregon  came with all sorts of adventures — but ascending 140 feet up a Douglas fir to examine how scientific instruments stories in the canopy can teach us about things happening on the forest floor was the most thrilling. Getting into a drysuit to snorkel in the forest’s streams to follow that cycle into the water was a close second. It was freezing!! Dominguez: The most exciting part, for me, has been working with Joe and Emily; full honesty! Plumbing the depths of the collections at the  California  Academy of Sciences is great and all (that place is an amusement park of nerdery), but this business is often pretty solitary. Getting to work with such excellent science communicators has been a privilege. Inhabitat: What about the most challenging parts? Graslie: I’ve helped coordinate plenty of filming shoots, but this was the first time doing it during a global  pandemic . Lots of decisions and potential ideas were up in the air because there was so much uncertainty around vaccinations and travel. At the same time, everyone else – our crews and filming partners – were more or less in the same boat, so we all just learned to go with the flow and support one another as best as possible. Dominguez: The most challenging part of “In Our Nature” is the hardest part of  any  science project: the execution. We can have ideas and plans to tell giant stories, but actually capturing  animals , ecosystems, and humans all together  at the same time and in the same place  is extremely challenging. Inhabitat: What’s your favorite episode and why? Hanson: It’s hard to pick just one! Our episode about  animal culture  is a real favorite. Scientists are starting to appreciate how widespread and varied  culture  is across animals. And my hope is that will change how people look at conservation. Because it’s teaching us that we aren’t only saving animals themselves, or even just the places they live. We are also preserving their ways of existing and surviving in those places. And those ways of existing are often irreplaceable if the animals were to disappear, even temporarily. Graslie: I’m really proud of the work we put into  “Are some species more important than others?”  – in part because of the partnerships we developed with the Intertribal Buffalo Council, and Oglala Lakota Parks & Recreation. The ITBC is doing critical work to reintroduce  bison  to tribal lands across the country for reasons that are environmental, cultural, and spiritual. Oglala Lakota Parks & Recreation welcomed us to participate in a sacred buffalo dance ceremony they usually only hold once a year, and later invited us to film their herd. Dominguez: I think my favorite episode might be Emily’s episode about  nutrient recycling . When you get enough bio-nerds together they will inevitably start to geek out about  whale  falls, carrion eaters, and decay. With both Joe and Emily together on this show it was inescapable that we’d see a decomposition chapter in this series too; I was riveted! So many different organisms benefit when one huge African animal kills another, or when an ancient  tree  comes crashing to the ground. The parallels between these massive herds of wildebeest and the rotting of giant ancient trees were through-lines I never would have made without help, but once they were side-by-side they were so similar! Inhabitat: I’m especially intrigued by animal culture. What were the most surprising examples you found? Hanson: This example didn’t make it into the episode, but I was really surprised to learn just how deep and significant whale culture is. It may even be influencing speciation. Groups of orcas possess culture in how and where they  hunt , as well as how they vocalize. They specialize to such a degree that they only mate within these cultural groups, which some scientists believe is or already has led to the creation of several subspecies of orcas. So culture and behavior are capable of driving evolution, which is pretty special. Dominguez: Animal culture is something I’ve spent a lot of time learning about. I studied behavioral psychology in undergrad, and find intelligence, social interaction and the culture that comes out of that fascinating (in both humans and non-humans). Ultimately, the story of white-crowned sparrows passing on their song cultures won out. Not just because of the story itself and how it affects the lives of the sparrows, but it’s also kind of a meta-cultural story on top of that. There are stories about the  researchers  carrying on Baptista’s legacy, the story of Baptista himself, and the exploration of how human noise impacts other species. Inhabitat: Tell us a couple of memorable things you learned from “In Our Nature.” Hanson: Dung beetles navigate by the  sun  and stars. They are tiny, smelly astronomers. That will never not blow my mind. Graslie: I love Trace’s story in “Are humans the only animals that have culture?” on the white-crowned sparrows in  San Francisco , especially how fast those birds changed their songs during the times when traffic noise was lessened during the COVID-19 shutdowns. I was also completely blown away by Joe’s facts in  “This is the REAL circle of life”  episode about dead wildebeest providing, like, 10 blue whales’ worth of nutrients when they die crossing the Mara River. Dominguez: One of our goals for this series was to help people see that ecosystems don’t exist in a vacuum; instead  ecosystems  across the world have parallels and even influence each other. I don’t typically cover a lot of these huge biology and environmental stories so working with Emily and Joe really opened my eyes in how to tell these stories and really emphasized their importance.  Inhabitat: Why is it important that the world knows about Serengeti animals? Hanson: This area is the cradle of humanity, and our species has been interacting with this ecosystem for tens of thousands of years. But today, humans impact the  Earth  to such a degree today that there really is no corner of the world that we haven’t changed in some way. But the Serengeti ecosystem is proof of just how rich and beautiful wild nature can be if we protect it, let it be, and minimize our impact and influence wherever possible. That’s a hefty challenge, but it’s hard to work to save what we don’t know about. That’s why we share stories like these. Dominguez: Giraffes, zebras,  lions , elephants and hyenas have been the protagonists, antagonists and everything in between in stories across the world, but even though people know these beautiful animals exist — they rarely understand the ecological nuances that they fit into. We’ve all seen incredible videos of giraffes lumbering across the savannah, but they’re rarely depicted holistically, or as a complete story of the animal. Inhabitat: What else should readers know about “In Our Nature”? Graslie :  I promise it’s some of the best science/nature content on all of  YouTube !!! Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than this. Dominguez: “In Our Nature” is one of the best projects I’ve ever worked on; I’m really proud of what we’ve done with it. Watching it will open your eyes to stories you might have missed before, and while it’s great on a phone, the footage just sings* on a giant screen. That said, no matter where you watch, you’re going to see stories you’ve never seen before! * just like the white-crowned sparrow! + In Our Nature Images by Joe Hanson, David Schulte, Emily Graslie, In Our Nature

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In Our Nature delves into animal life from the Serengeti to US

ARCspace’s prefab homes are a quick and sustainable housing solution

July 26, 2021 by  
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The construction industry is responsible for considerable pollution and waste. Builders are leaning into innovative designs and material development to curb the environmental impact through sustainable architecture. ARCspace, a modular building developer, is one such business offering a solution for wasteful traditional construction, while introducing a host of other benefits. ARCspace is a division of Sustainable Building Council Ltd., located in the Los Angeles Cleantech Corridor. As a parent company, the goal of Sustainable Building Council Ltd. is to bring together experts in construction, architectural design, engineering, building, environmentalism and innovative technology who are all invested in addressing housing needs around the world, starting with the crisis in their own backyard, Los Angeles . Related: These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant Prefabricated construction As part of this larger mission, ARCspace partnered with a variety of public and private interests to develop proprietary modular and prefabricated steel building systems. The mission is to work together to create efficient, affordable and long-lasting housing for a variety of needs that range from serving underprivileged communities to providing temporary housing. What began as a pilot program as a potential solution to the extreme homelessness crisis in L.A. has grown into several accommodation options ranging from 160 to 10,000 square feet. These units have been developed for residential and commercial use and as accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The structures are prefabricated for highly efficient and quick builds. The process also minimizes waste . In fact, the company reports the buildings are “spec-built from the ground up in 40-60% less time and cost than traditional construction.” Building materials In alignment with another Sustainable Building Council Ltd. goal to focus on sustainable architecture, ARCspace relies on high-grade steel as its primary material. Steel is a strong choice for durability, so the ARCspace units are built to meet and exceed California seismic safety requirements for protection against earthquake damage. The steel also makes them resilient in high winds and highly fire-resistant. In addition, steel won’t succumb to damage-causing bugs such as termites, and it’s a material that can be reused or recycled . Customizable tiny homes During development, the team at ARCspace collaborated with top innovators in the housing industry in order to follow the guidance of leading GreenTech companies. As a result, ARCspace units come with a variety of options customers can select during the customization process. This includes fun interior design elements like flooring, countertops, fixtures and paint. It also means optional elements that provide off-grid power and water. For example, some homes feature self-contained atmospheric water generators called Hydropanels that are grid-independent and pull a few liters of drinking water out of the air each day. Affordable solar panels are another add-on option. However, the primary supply still comes from onsite plumbing and electrical systems. The finished product provides all the comforts of home and the convenience of upsizing or downsizing with the addition or subtraction of units. Units can be linked end to end or stacked up to four units high with stairways connecting each unit. Avoiding toxins Although they look a bit like shipping containers, ARCspace pointed out critical differences. “We do not utilize or work with any form of used containers, not even 1-trip containers (those only used one time),” the company explained. “Shipping containers are manufactured with materials known to cause cancer such as LED paint, DDT wood flooring, and often have insecticide coatings, etc.” In addition to avoiding toxins in construction, ARCspace puts a focus on smart home features that are energy-efficient and healthy. The company employs a variety of sustainable technologies such as environmentally friendly, vegetable-based spray foam insulation and specialized window coatings that keep excessive heat out while allowing natural light in. It also uses recycled materials throughout, including for decking and outer cladding. Temporary shelters and emergency housing For temporary work sites or emergency housing needs, impermanent foundations mean the units can be relocated with minimal site impact . They can also be set up in as little as 24 hours once onsite with a small team using cranes to stack modules then following up with window installations. The company said, “Last year, ARCspace collaborated with Habitat for Humanity to create an Emergency Shelter Project in the San Francisco Bay area using America’s first prefabricated foundation and worked with local trade schools to help prepare a new workforce with an understanding of emerging sustainable building technology.” This quick-build housing showed the potential for ARCspace to provide affordable housing but also served as inspiration for those considering a career in green design. The ARCspace project was recently selected as a finalist in Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards, a competition that recognizes “Buildings, landscapes, urban designs, and policies that make cities and living in them cleaner, more efficient, more beautiful, and more equitable for their citizens.” + ARCspace Images via ARCspace

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ARCspace’s prefab homes are a quick and sustainable housing solution

Elon Musk’s tiny house is a Boxabl casita

July 22, 2021 by  
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What do Elon Musk and tiny homes have in common? For now at least, a tiny house called Boxabl is Musk’s abode, which, rumor has it, he lives in near SpaceX ground zero in Boca Chica, Texas after selling off nearly all of his real estate holdings. The 20×20 model might be commonly known as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or perhaps a guest house, but in the Boxabl world, it’s referred to as Casita. Unlike other tiny houses , Boxabls have a unique, flat-pack design that allows them to break down to 8.5 feet in width and be delivered onsite via truck, train, air or ship. Related: These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant The main materials in the casita are steel, concrete and EPS foam, specifically chosen for their durability. They don’t degrade like other building materials, so the structures are built to last a lifetime. Not only are Boxabls rated for hurricane-strength winds, but because there isn’t any wood or sheetrock that could be damaged by water, the homes won’t grow mold or deteriorate due to moisture from floods . In addition, the company said, “Nothing is fireproof. But Boxabl was engineered with fire resistance in mind. The interior and exterior of the structure is clad with non-combustible materials. We think this means flying embers that spread forest fires won’t ignite your Boxabl.” There are several costs involved in getting a Boxabl set up, including the Casita itself, starting around $50,000. From there, you’ll need land, a foundation and utilities to plug into. You’ll also pay a delivery fee, but the company can hook you up with certified builders to unfold the Boxable for you in your desired location, which takes less than a day. However, the building will save you money in the long run, because it is extremely energy-efficient . Each tiny home relies on a small air conditioning system as needed and has high R value insulation, a tight building envelope and limited thermal bridging to keep the space fairly temperature controlled. The unit comes wired and plumbed, so it’s ready to accept solar power or any other energy source the buyer chooses. The prefabricated design, complete with nearly everything you need to open the door and move in (including a full-size refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and washer/dryer) is also seen as an option for temporary shelters that can be preloaded with supplies and delivered quickly for emergency response. Currently, there are no customization options, and the company is only taking orders while it completes a manufacturing plant. + Boxabl Via Curbed Images via Boxabl ?

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Elon Musk’s tiny house is a Boxabl casita

These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant

July 16, 2021 by  
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What began as a mission to provide a stable housing option in Papua New Guinea turned into a business model that now sees plug-and-live housing being shipped everywhere in the world. The founders of what became Nestron were met with many obstacles in completing that initial commitment following their visit to Papua New Guinea in 2013. Learning from the process, they launched the Nestron company in 2017. Four years later, they are setting a standard for tiny houses of the future. Nestron’s tiny homes have been called futuristic with their otherworldly look contoured out of a steel frame. Thee company currently offers four models of tiny homes , each of which is 100% prefabricated and equipped with smart features and green technology. The designers found it was most efficient to prefabricate the homes to avoid issues with contractors and supplies on the receiving end. While the pipeline production maximizes accuracy in manufacturing, it also minimizes material waste. Related: Tiny Topanga builds steel-framed tiny homes with artisan touches The houses are customizable with a variety of color and style options. Customers can even select their favorite furniture, because each tiny house arrives fully furnished and ready to live in. Once on location, the tiny house leaves a minimal site impact thanks to its ability to sit directly on flat land without a foundation. The compact designs require little installation with the exception of plugging into electrical and plumbing systems. As part of the customization process, customers can add on green features such as solar panels and a composting toilet. “We take our efforts in caring for the environment seriously because we believe that everything starts at home, hence we equip our houses to make a living in them clearly environmentally friendly and enable people to live a sustainable lifestyle without additional effort,” Nestron said.  Along with the home’s steel frame, 90% of the materials used in the construction process are recyclable and produce very low emissions . The exterior coating and interior insulation offer a high level of soundproofing, but the houses are also rated to endure level-7 earthquakes and level-10 typhoons. The exterior wall material is fire-resistant for two hours or more, and the interior walls are fire-resistant for at least one hour. In addition to the 14.5-square-meter Cube One, and 26-square-meter Cube Two, the company offers more traditional models with the Legend One and Legend Two. All models come with a 50-year material and construction guarantee. The company ships anywhere in the world. + Nestron Images via Nestron

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These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant

These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant

July 16, 2021 by  
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What began as a mission to provide a stable housing option in Papua New Guinea turned into a business model that now sees plug-and-live housing being shipped everywhere in the world. The founders of what became Nestron were met with many obstacles in completing that initial commitment following their visit to Papua New Guinea in 2013. Learning from the process, they launched the Nestron company in 2017. Four years later, they are setting a standard for tiny houses of the future. Nestron’s tiny homes have been called futuristic with their otherworldly look contoured out of a steel frame. Thee company currently offers four models of tiny homes , each of which is 100% prefabricated and equipped with smart features and green technology. The designers found it was most efficient to prefabricate the homes to avoid issues with contractors and supplies on the receiving end. While the pipeline production maximizes accuracy in manufacturing, it also minimizes material waste. Related: Tiny Topanga builds steel-framed tiny homes with artisan touches The houses are customizable with a variety of color and style options. Customers can even select their favorite furniture, because each tiny house arrives fully furnished and ready to live in. Once on location, the tiny house leaves a minimal site impact thanks to its ability to sit directly on flat land without a foundation. The compact designs require little installation with the exception of plugging into electrical and plumbing systems. As part of the customization process, customers can add on green features such as solar panels and a composting toilet. “We take our efforts in caring for the environment seriously because we believe that everything starts at home, hence we equip our houses to make a living in them clearly environmentally friendly and enable people to live a sustainable lifestyle without additional effort,” Nestron said.  Along with the home’s steel frame, 90% of the materials used in the construction process are recyclable and produce very low emissions . The exterior coating and interior insulation offer a high level of soundproofing, but the houses are also rated to endure level-7 earthquakes and level-10 typhoons. The exterior wall material is fire-resistant for two hours or more, and the interior walls are fire-resistant for at least one hour. In addition to the 14.5-square-meter Cube One, and 26-square-meter Cube Two, the company offers more traditional models with the Legend One and Legend Two. All models come with a 50-year material and construction guarantee. The company ships anywhere in the world. + Nestron Images via Nestron

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These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant

La Poste du Louvre turns the page from 1888 to 2022

July 16, 2021 by  
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The story of la Poste du Louvre is both historic and modern. Originally built as a post office (la Poste) on du Louvre street in a central area of Paris , France, the building is now undergoing a transformation into a multipurpose space that has earned several environmental certifications.  It’s an example of honoring a classic building, constructed from 1888 to 1898 following the design by Julien Guadet. La Poste du Louvre has long served as a post office in a changing industry that has resulted in endless renovations over the century-and-a-half of its history. Updates took place during the 1960s through the 1980s, with intensive reconstruction following a fire in 1975. But the building, under the ownership of la Poste du Louvre’s real estate subsidiary Poste Immo, is receiving a comprehensive and modern conversion guided by architect Dominique Perrault, whose vision includes a hotel, restaurant , shops, offices and social housing. Plus, the post office remains intact. Related: Ranch Dressing house sets example for modernization with minimal impact Perrault placed a special focus on going beyond the outlined criteria required to earn certifications related to sustainable architecture. As a result, the building achieves triple certification from NF HQE Rénovation (Excellent level), LEED Core & Shell Gold and BREEAM (Very Good level).  While working to keep the framework of the original building, secondary structures were built inside for additional support. In this way, the new design kept the building’s original stone and metal as well as original decorative elements like painted ceilings and heritage clocks. Even in keeping with the existing architecture, the space received extensive upgrades in regards to thermal insulation. Updates to air treatment systems and controllable facades keep interior temperatures at a comfortable level with high energy-efficiency . Long-term living spaces feature strategically placed windows to maximize views and natural lighting. Furthermore, the roof is equipped with solar panels to supplement energy usage. The roof doubles as a garden with a selection of plants. The building is equipped to recover rainwater , which will be reused for cleaning and watering the plants. Even the basement is upgraded, with the bottom two levels of the building equipped for parking, including charging ports for electric or hybrid vehicles. La Poste du Louvre is expected to open to the public in 2022. + Dominique Perrault Architecture Photography by Michel Denance via Dominique Perrault Architecture

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La Poste du Louvre turns the page from 1888 to 2022

This prefab concrete house harvests rainwater with food-growing vertical gardens

October 10, 2017 by  
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Students from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri  designed this beautiful solar-powered home completely out of prefabricated concrete. Built to showcase the viability of building with concrete , the spectacular design includes a series of gutters on the exterior that serve as a large-scale hydroponic growing system that can produce food all year round. According to the team, the design of the Crete House is meant to be a reminder that concrete continues to be a viable and sustainable building material that makes for a beautiful alternative to wood constructions. Thanks an ultra-strong envelope comprised of four inches of standard concrete, five inches of insulation, and one inch of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC), the home is incredibly resilient against fire, moisture, mold, insects, seismic activity, and extreme weather. Related: 8 amazing homes that are 100% powered by the sun The design focuses on providing the ultimate in self-sufficiency – including energy generation, water reuse, and food production. Solar panels provide sufficient energy to the home, and a water-to-water heat pump provides hot water for domestic use as well as water for the home’s radiant heating and cooling system installed in the floor and ceiling. The precast insulated concrete panels of the home are factory-manufactured, but assembled on-site, reducing travel time and energy. In addition to the home’s structure, the concrete panels were used to create a series of large L-shaped gutters that extend out and away from the house. The shape of the gutters was strategic in creating an innovative system of water collection that directs to vegetated channels built into the vertical gutters that extend out into horizontal planters on the ground level. This all-in-one hydroponic system, complete with drip emitters, integrates a home garden system into the design, allowing occupants to grow their own food all year round. + Crete House + Solar Decathlon Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat

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This prefab concrete house harvests rainwater with food-growing vertical gardens

Getaway is launching new tiny house rentals in Washington DC and Boston

October 9, 2017 by  
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Getaway tiny houses  are expanding, and we couldn’t be more excited. Until now, you could only rent one of the off-grid houses outside parts of Boston and New York, but now you can also spend the night away from the hustle of  Washington DC . Getaway is also expanding in Boston, so you will have even more options for a weekend escape outside of Beantown. At $99 a night, users of Harvard Innovation Lab startup’s Getaway houses get a hotel-level experience in the middle of a forest. The cabins have no Wi-Fi or TV, which helps you completely disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. All other aspects of the structure were designed for ultimate comfort. Related: Harvard student startup unveils third tiny house that can be rented for $99 a night The majority of the structure are located within two hours from the city, with a special series of three cabins located on New York harbor beaches accessible by public transport and a half-hour drive from Prospect Park. The company recently closed a round of funding to the tune of $15 million, and is set to expand in Boston by 20 houses this fall. + Getaway House Lead photo by Roderick Aichinger

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