MUJIs $26k prefab huts are finally available for sale

November 7, 2017 by  
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The wait is over— MUJI’s microhomes are now officially on sale to the public. Ever since MUJI debuted their line of tiny prefabricated homes in 2015, fans of the minimalist design brand have eagerly awaited the chance to get their hands on one of their tiny prefabricated homes, called MUJI Huts , starting at a little over $26,000 USD. Per MUJI’s famous minimalist aesthetic, the MUJI Huts are elegant and understated. Timber surfaces and a light-tone color palette creates a cozy and welcoming character. The first MUJI Hut to hit the market is a compact 9-square-meter cabin clad in blackened timber and lined in domestic fir wood. Sliding glass doors let in ample natural light and open up to a small covered patio. The simplicity of the design makes it easy for the microhome to adapt to variety of environments and uses. Related: MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall Base pricing for the MUJI Hut starts at 3 million yen (approximately $26,340 USD), tax and construction costs included. Insulation and electrical outlets are optional add-ons. Unfortunately, MUJI Hut is presently only available for sale in Japan—lucky residents can order a microhome from MUJI’s global flagship store at Yurakucho —but fans of the microhome are always welcome to test drive a MUJI Hut at the MUJI Camp in Tsumagoi , about an hour out of Tokyo via bullet train. + MUJI Hut Via SoraNews24

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MUJIs $26k prefab huts are finally available for sale

Skinny micro-apartment can pop up in any city in just one day

October 17, 2017 by  
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The thought of living in an apartment with the footprint of a parking space may seem improbable and uncomfortable, but the chic Tikku micro-apartment shows us that it can be done. In response to pressures of the housing crises, Finnish architect Marco Casagrande of Casagrande Laboratory designed and built a prefabricated mobile micro-apartment that can pop up in as little as a day. The three-story-tall micro-apartment is designed to be mobile so it can go almost anywhere a car can—with enough overhead clearance—and can operate off the grid. Tikku, which means ‘stick’ in Finnish, earns its name from its skinny profile and timber construction assembled from cross-laminated timber modules. The stackable modules occupy the footprint of a parking space measuring 2.5 by 5 meters and require no foundations thanks to a sand box counterweight located at the bottom of the building. Even in Finland’s brutal winters, the architects say that 20-centimeter-thick cross-laminated timber is sufficient to weather the cold without added insulation . The first Tikku prototype was unveiled for the Helsinki Design Week 2017 outside Atheneum in the heart of Helsinki. The 37.5-square-meter micro-apartment includes three floors, one for sleeping, another for working, and the topmost reserved for a light-filled greenhouse. The CLT modules allow for easy customization and the introduction of different living spaces, from a kitchen and sauna to knitting room and workshop. Related: NYC announces opening of its first micro-apartment building, Carmel Place The Tikku is self-sufficient and runs off of solar energy. Composting toilets are installed, however running water is not. Residents are expected to make use of their urban resources for showers, saunas, and laundry machines—a reasonable expectation for cities like Helsinki or Tokyo that have that infrastructure. “Tikku is a safe-house for neo-archaic biourbanism, a contemporary cave for a modern urban nomad,” wrote the architects. “It will offer privacy, safety and comfort. All the rest of the functions can be found in the surrounding city. Tikku is a needle of urban acupuncture, conquering the no-man’s land from the cars and tuning the city towards the organic. Many Tikkus can grow side-by-side like mushrooms and they can fuse into larger organisms.” + Casagrande Laboratory Via ArchDaily Images via Casagrande Laboratory

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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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Student-built solar-powered tiny home represents new vision for the American dream

October 9, 2017 by  
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The future of tiny home design is looking very bright. A team of students from Sacramento State, working under the name Sol Vespiade , have designed a beautiful self-sustaining tiny home that reflects a new sustainable way of living for future generations. The solar-powered , 400-square-foot home on wheels – with a seriously comfy interior – is a powerhouse of energy generation that offers the ultimate in flexible, off-grid living. The exterior of the tiny home was clad in a light paint color with cedar trim, paying homage to the traditional American wooden homes. However, this classic look has been modernized with various innovative and visible sustainable features that take the home into the future of sustainable living. A vertical wall of solar panels was installed on the northern facade, complementing the roof’s solar array , in order to provide the home with ample electricity. Related: Luxury Fireside tiny house resort carries an important message for sustainability Alternatively, the home’s southern facade is equipped with an evacuated tube solar collector , which converts sunlight into heat for water. The system is protected by a rigid steel frame that keeps it safe while traveling. For the home’s water needs, a 40 gallon rainwater collection tank was affixed to the home’s western side. The home’s entrance is through two wide french doors that swing out as to not take up too much space once inside the home. The living space is light and airy thanks to the glass doors as well as a large bay window that sits over an extended counter/dining space. In addition to the natural light they offer, the multiple windows provide cross ventilation to create a healthy, natural atmosphere, reducing the need for air conditioning. The interior design is a sophisticated blend of a cool teal color on the walls, accented with honey-toned wood paneling. The wooden accents are used in the home’s shelving, flooring, and the stairs, which lead up to a small sleeping loft. Hidden in a corner is a mechanical well that allows for monitoring of the home’s electrical and water use. Eight 6 watt deep-cycle batteries that store the energy and a 20 gallon water tank stores the water heated by the solar collector. The tiny home will soon be on display in Sacramento’s upcoming SMUD Tiny House Competition. +  Sol Vespiade Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat

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Student-built solar-powered tiny home represents new vision for the American dream

Mike Pence says America will send humans back to the moon

October 9, 2017 by  
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Humankind took steps on the moon for the first time in 1969, and now vice president Mike Pence says it’s time to go back. He penned an opinion editorial piece for The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) stating “America will lead in space again,” and also spoke on the topic at the first meeting of the revived National Space Council in Virginia at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. This isn’t the first time Pence has hinted at a return to the moon. He talked about the idea back in July at the Kennedy Space Center. At the National Space Council meeting, he said, “We will return NASA astronauts to the Moon – not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation, we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond.” Related: Pence vows America will put ‘boots on the face of Mars’ in near future The Verge pointed out this would mark a shift for NASA , which since 2010 has concentrated on sending humans to Mars without a return to the moon. They said the goal of a presence on the moon surface is a return to President George W. Bush’s vision . Pence described the move to go back as a vital strategic goal, saying NASA should refocus on human exploration and discovery. NASA acting administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement , “The National Space Council acknowledged the strategic importance of cis-lunar space – the region around the moon – which will serve as a proving ground for missions to Mars and beyond and advance our stepping stone approach to going farther into the solar system .” Pence also said according to the intelligence community, China and Russia are developing antisatellite technology, saying in his article, “We will renew America’s commitment to creating the space technology needed to protect national security.” The vice president did look ahead to the red planet in his WSJ article, saying, “America will be the first nation to bring mankind to Mars.” Via The Verge Images via NASA and Wikimedia Commons

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Couple builds tiny A-frame cabin in three weeks for only $700

October 2, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of building your own affordable tiny house you’ve gotta check out this cozy solar-powered cabin in Missoula, Montana that cost just $700 to build. Photographer Alla Ponomareva and her husband Garrett bought plans for the A-frame cabin from well-known tiny house enthusiast Derek Diedricksen and customized the design to fit their needs. The couple built the 80-foot cabin by themselves in only three weeks. They slightly modified the original plan and relied heavily on reused and upcycled elements – including window frames, boards, nails, and roofing. Related: Author Builds Tiny Solar-Powered Off Grid Cabin for Under $2,000! They transformed an aged log into a rustic countertop. Plastic sheeting covers a portion of a wall to provide additional natural light . It can be lifted upwards to provide a connection to the surroundings. The cabin is perfect size for two people, and it includes two single beds, shelving and a camping stove. A solar panel mounted on the roof can provide enough electricity to power smartphones and other small devices. + Derek Diedricksen + Alla Ponomareva Via New Atlas Photos by Alla Ponomareva

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Nestl pays $200 per year to bottle water near Flint, Michigan – while residents go without

October 2, 2017 by  
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For three years, residents of Flint, Michigan, have had to rely on sub-par bottled water to meet their daily needs. Though the crisis attracted national attention and inspired cities elsewhere to check their own water supplies for lead, little has changed in Flint in terms of the poor water supply. Adding insult to injury, The Guardian reports that just two hours away, Nestlé pumps nearly 100,000 times what the average Michigan resident uses into bottles that are later sold for $1 each. And the cost? A measly $200 per year. In 2014, Flint switched water sources to save funds. While a new pipeline connecting Flint with Lake Huron was under construction, the city began to rely on the Flint River as a water source during the two-year transition. The issue was, the water in the Flint River is of poor quality. Because the state Department of Environmental Quality was not treating the Flint River water with an anti-corrosive agent — which violated federal law, the river was 19 times more corrosive than water from Detroit, according to a study by Virginia Tech. The corrosiveness of the water resulted in lead leaching from service lines to homes. To this day, the crisis has yet to be resolved. And to make matters worse, Nestle now wants to pump more water from Michigan. The Guardian reports that in a recent permit application, Nestlé asked to pump 210 million gallons per year from Evart, the small town two hours away from Flint where residents don’t live in fear of their water supply. Within the next few months, the state will decide whether or not to grant Nestlé this permit. Understandably, residents in Flint are infuriated — and confused — by this recent development. Some are asking, “Why do we get undrinkable , unaffordable tap water, when the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé , bottles the state’s most precious resource for next to nothing?” Chuck Wolverton, a resident of Flint, told The Guardian bottled water “is a necessity of life right now.” Every night, he drives 15 miles outside of town to his brother’s residence where he showers and washes clothes. “Don’t seem right, because they’re making profits off of it,” said Wolverton. He says of the Flint water he pays $180/month for, “I don’t even give it to my dogs.” As Gina Luster, a mom who lives in Flint with her family, told the paper, “With the money they make, they could come and fix Flint – and I mean the water plants and our pipes. Me and you wouldn’t even be having this conversation.” Related: Michigan health department head charged with involuntary manslaughter over Flint crisis Though bottled water is a detriment to the environment, it became the most highly-consumed beverage in North America this year, largely due to fears of lead-tainted water. Nestlé is but one corporation profiting from the lead-water crisis. In 2016, the company had $92bn  in sales in 2016 and $7.4bn from water alone. Yet, all it pays to harvest water in the town two hours away from Flint , Michigan, is $200 a year. It’s an unfair reality, one Flint residents and activists demand to see changed. “We’re not saying give everyone a new car, a new home. We’re just asking for our water treatment,” Luster said. “That’s a no-brainer.” Via The Guardian Images via  EcoWatch ,  The Overlook Journal ,  CNBC

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Stunning Lake Michigan home is built from dying ash reclaimed onsite

October 2, 2017 by  
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This stunning timber home by the lake sensitively embraces its Midwestern landscape with its design and use of local, reclaimed materials. Designed by Desai Chia Architects in collaboration with Environment Architects (AOR) , the Michigan Lake House boasts stunning lake views and a striking folded roof. The site-sensitive home features a native plant palette and stormwater management in addition to locally sourced and salvaged materials. Located on a woodland bluff, the 4,800-square-foot Michigan Lake House comprises three offset structures: one for the communal areas, including the living room, kitchen, and covered terrace; and the two others that separately house the master bedroom suite and three children’s bedrooms. A dining area breezeway connects the three structures. The undulating roof takes inspiration from the natural rolling terrain as well as the vernacular architecture of nearby fishing villages. The roof also cantilevers over the south end of the home to provide shade for the lakeside-viewing terrace. Related: Exquisite Shore House is a modernist triumph that embraces nature Shou Sugi Ban timber—charred to protect the wood from rot and pests—clads the exterior to blend the home into the landscape. The use of dark timber continues inside the home but is offset by light-colored ash, which was inhabitat.com/tag/reclaimed-materials reclaimed onsite and milled into custom furnishings, flooring, ceiling panels, and trim work. “The interiors of the house embody the indigenous landscape that once thrived with old growth ash,” wrote the architects. Locally sourced stone was used for the outdoor seating areas, pathways, and steps. + Desai Chia Architects + Environment Architects Images via Desai Chia Architects

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OMAs MPavilion 2017 with a floating roof opens today in Melbourne

October 2, 2017 by  
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Melbourne is heating up for the summer with a new OMA-designed amphitheater. OMA founder Rem Koolhaas and colleague Daniel Gianotten just completed MPavilion 2017, a temporary pavilion that opened today in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens. Commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, MPavilion 2017 is the fourth annual architect-designed summer pavilion for the city and is OMA’s first Australian commission. The multifunctional amphitheater will host hundreds of free events throughout the four-month season. OMA designed MPavilion 2017 as a 19-by-19-meter aluminum-clad steel structure that transforms to accommodate a variety of unexpected programming. Surrounded by an artificial hill landscaped with native plants , the adaptable amphitheater comprises one fixed tiered grandstand and one moveable grandstand that rotates to open up to the park. The floating translucent roof is built with a two-meter-deep gridded, machine-like canopy with embedded advanced lighting technology. Related: Studio Mumbai unveils handmade pavilion crafted from seven kilometers of bamboo “Our design for MPavilion 2017 is intended to provoke all kinds of activities through its configurable nature and a materiality that relates to its direct surroundings,” said Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA. “We are happy that MPavilion can perform as a theater of debate around the city and its development, and contribute to the ongoing civic discourse of Melbourne.” MPavilion will be open everyday from 9AM to 4PM until February 4, 2018. At the end of the four-month season MPavilion will be moved to a permanent new home within Melbourne’s Central Business District. + OMA + MPavilion 2017 Images by Timothy Burgess and John Gollings

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OMAs MPavilion 2017 with a floating roof opens today in Melbourne

Architect builds a tiny studio in his backyard to be closer to his child

September 28, 2017 by  
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This tiny backyard studio in Toronto is the perfect home office for parents who want to play a bigger role in their young child’s life. Oliver Dang, founder of architecture firm Six Four Five A , has constructed the timber structure for himself as a private workspace overlooking a small green area where his one-year-old can play. The studio occupies a place at the end of the architect’s garden enclosed by high fencing. The cedar wood used for the fence was also chosen for decking and cladding the 100-square-foot hut. An asymmetric pitched roof tops the structure and shelters a small interior space fully optimized to fit all the necessary amenities. Related: Timber Shoffice is a Naturally Daylit Garden Shed + Office Combo in London Exposed vertical studs are used to support shelves, the drawing board occupies a space underneath the window, and a standing computer desk runs along one side. A slab of Carrara marble salvaged from a skyscraper functions as a threshold. The building provides the family with more flexibility in organizing their day-to-day life and spend more time together. The firm said in a statement: “The resulting design is a bright, lofty and functional office space that is also visually and spatially connected to the house and yard.” + Six Four Five A Via Dezeen Photos by Ashlea Wessel

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