The world’s first "Biological House" opens in Denmark

November 29, 2017 by  
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Danish firm Een til Een just unveiled the world’s first “Biological House.” The designers developed a process that converts agricultural waste (including grass, straw and seaweed) into raw building materials – and the resulting home leaves virtually zero impact upon the environment. Supported by the Danish Ministry of the Environment Fund for Ecological Construction, the architects built the eco-friendly home in secret for the new BIOTOPE ecopark in Middelfart, Denmark. The project – which was designed by advanced digital production technology – was first and foremost guided by sustainability at every stage. The architects sourced various agricultural “leftovers” for the project’s building materials. Mounds of recovered grass, straw and seaweed – all of which would, under normal circumstances, be burned for energy – were processed into raw materials to be used in the home’s construction. Not only were the products upcycled, but the environmental impact of burning them was avoided. Related: Man builds ultra-efficient green home as a love letter to the environment The home’s sophisticated cladding was also chosen for its strong eco-friendly profile. Kebony modifies sustainably-sourced softwoods by heating the wood with a bio-based liquid, basically polymerising the wood’s cell wall. This innovative process, which was developed in Norway, coverts softwood pieces into durable hardwood panels, perfect for building. In the case of the Biological House, the silver-grey cladding will develop a patina over time, giving the home a beautiful rustic character. The home’s construction process was also environmentally-forward. The architects tested and developed many innovative technologies during the construction process that would reduce the project’s impact. Instead of building on a typical concrete foundation, for example, the home was built on screw piles. This allows the home to be easily removed at any point, without causing damage to the terrain. + Een til Een Via World Architecture News Images via Kebony Technology

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The world’s first "Biological House" opens in Denmark

New rooftop solar hydropanels harvest drinking water and energy at the same time

November 29, 2017 by  
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Sunlight + Air = Water . It’s a seemingly befuddling equation, but it’s at the heart of a new solar hydropanel developed by Arizona-based startup Zero Mass Water . Called SOURCE, the panels can be installed atop any building just like a standard photovoltaic, but instead of just harvesting solar energy, it uses the sun’s rays to pull water from the air. Indeed, each panel has the potential to draw up to 10 liters (2.64 gallons) of water per day. So how does it work? Each SOURCE array consists of a standard solar panel flanked by two hydropanels. As explained by The Verge in the video above, the photovoltaic at the center of the array drives a fan and the system’s communication with the hydropanels. The hydropanels themselves consist of two different proprietary materials, one that can generate heat, and another that can absorb moisture from the air. Together they are able to condense water into an onboard, 30-liter reservoir where it is mineralized with calcium and magnesium. From there, the water can be siphoned directly to a drinking tap. As one might guess, the amount of humidity in the atmosphere and solar energy available will affect the payout. However, Zero Mass Water says that even low-humidity and arid regions can effectively benefit. The company’s CEO, Cody Friesen, cited the array atop his headquarters as an example. “Our array on the Zero Mass Water headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona makes water year-long despite low relative humidity. The Phoenix-Metro area can get below 5% relative humidity in the summer, and SOURCE still produces water in these incredibly dry conditions,” he said. Additional panels can also be added to optimize water collection, but there is the matter of cost. Right now, the two-panel array costs $4000, plus installation, which runs $500. The whole system has been engineered to last 10 years, which according to  Treehugger ’s calculations, this averages out to about $1.23 per day, or between $0.12 and $0.30 per liter of H2O. To date, hundreds of panels have been set up in eight countries around the globe. Zero MassWater says the installations represent a combination of early adopters who have paid out of pocket for the technology and developing areas and emergency situations where funding has been provided by donors, NGOs, or other institutions. +  Zero Mass Water Via Treehugger  and  The Verge Images via Zero Mass Water

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New rooftop solar hydropanels harvest drinking water and energy at the same time

WOHA’s deep-green Enabling Village is a beacon of universal design

January 3, 2017 by  
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WOHA ‘s latest project in Singapore proves that universal design can be incredibly sexy. The team just revamped a defunct 1970’s building into Enabling Village , a verdant multi-use community center in Redhill. Designed to be both sustainable and accessible, the renovation serves as a beacon of inclusion for locals. WOHA chose to reuse the former school compound’s original structure and basic layout, but updated it with a number of accessibility features. Visitors with disabilities will find various elevators, low-gradient ramps, tactile floor indicators, as well as hearing loops and braille signs located throughout the building. Related: WOHA’s solar-powered SkyVille in Singapore boasts a deep-green public skypark The center includes six main spaces that are named for their uses: “Nest”, “Playground”, “Village Green”, “Hive”, “Hub” and “Academy.” All of the spaces feature bright wall murals specific to their use, and all are seamlessly connected for easy access. The timber-clad Nest greets pedestrians as they enter the center, and garden walkways lead out to the rest of the buildings. In addition to making the structure all-inclusive, WOHA used a number of upcycled materials throughout the building. Pre-cast concrete pipes were installed as sitting and reading nooks, old sea containers were used as bridges, and recycled oil drums have been repurposed as large planters. The architects have become known for their love of greenery , and it shows in the Enabling Village’s serene landscaping and water gardens, which were planted with a variety of native species. To bring visitors closer to nature, there are plenty of peaceful walkways, verandas and cabanas that look out over the adjacent pond. Thanks to its impressive array of all-inclusive features, the Enabling Village was awarded the Platinum BCA Universal Design Mark Award in May, 2016. + WOHA + Enabling Village Via Archdaily Photography by Patrick Bingham-Hall and Edward Hendricks

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How to make an edible water "bottle" at home

January 3, 2017 by  
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We were fascinated when we first came across the Ooho , an edible water “bottle” conceived by three students to reduce plastic waste, and decided to make one of our own. Check out our DIY video and DO try this at home!

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How to make an edible water "bottle" at home

Green roofs cool co-working shipping container office in Brazil

January 3, 2017 by  
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The practice of building with shipping containers has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last few years, with today’s designs continuing to push the architectural envelope. Brazil-based Rodrigo Kirck Arquitetura used the repurposed material to create Container, a stunning co-working space cooled in part by two rooftop gardens. The structure’s monolithic warehouse-esque volume was created by stacking two overlapping containers on top of each other, at various lengths. The entrance is located under a cantilevered block, with the co-working spaces primarily located on the upper floors. This was a strategic measure to optimize the amount of natural light on the interior space, subsequently reducing the building’s reliance on artificial lighting . Related: Shipping containers are transformed into a colorful office and showroom in China The containers are topped with two large garden roofs , which were installed for their ability to reduce solar radiation and capture reusable rainwater. Additionally, the architects wanted to create a green connection of “urban gentleness” with the neighboring buildings. The design strategy not only called for using the repurposed building material as the main envelope for the building, but also to serve as a focal point on the interior. Similar projects typically tend to hide the containers’ rather cold aesthetic, but the designers instead chose to highlight the industrial aesthetic by painting the interior a soothing white. Building on the Container’s philosophy that “being is more important than having”, the space is open and uncluttered, and emits a quiet creative serenity. Focusing more on sustainability and local respect than decoration, the walls are free from art or additional clutter. The only marking is the Container logo, which pays homage to the architect’s indigenous origin and connection with his native city of Itajaí. + Rodrigo Kirck Arquitetura Via Archdaily Photographs by Alexandre Zelinski

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Nha Trangs first hostel built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Vietnam

November 14, 2016 by  
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Created with the motto that “everyone around the world can be connected into a big family,” the Ccasa hostel was designed with a sense of openness and transparency that puts the spotlight on the shared living spaces, rather than the sleeping quarters. The three shipping containers, which house the beds, serve as a colorful backdrop painted in the primary colors of blue, red, and yellow. Each container contains a different bedroom layout, from multiple bunk beds to a family-style room with a queen bed. The bathrooms are housed in a “washing block” in a separate three-story structure next to the shipping containers. The kitchen facilities are located on the first floor in between the containers and the entrance. Related: Kurgo’s bright orange shipping container office is a haven for dogs Natural ventilation is key to the design of Ccasa hostel as a means to mitigate Nha Trang’s muggy and tropical weather. Instead of stuffy corridors, open metal bridges that wrap around a tall tree link the container bedrooms. An accessible terrace roof offers large hammocks and city views. A pergola with climbing vegetation wraps around the hostel to add an extra skin of greenery that protects the interior from direct sunlight and helps create a cooling microclimate. Encaustic cement tiles, old wood windows, and flat winnowing baskets were also upcycled as decorations, solar shades, and room dividers. + Ccasa Hostel Via ArchDaily Images by Quang Tran

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Federico Uribe recycles everyday objects into captivating animal sculptures

January 14, 2016 by  
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INFOGRAPHIC: Get inspired to turn trash into upcycled treasure

February 18, 2015 by  
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Recycling is a great way to reduce the waste stream, but it typically requires a lot of energy and resources to remake those materials into new, often lower quality, products. That’s why we at Inhabitat love the concept of upcycling , a process in which unwanted items are remade into products that are of better quality and more value than the original source material. If you’re interested in dipping your toe in a DIY upcycling project, this infographic by dustbox cleaning services is a great place to start. The ‘Turning Trash to Treasure’ infographic begins with a snapshot of inspiring upcycled products and also offers several easy and eco-friendly DIY project suggestions with step-by-step instructions. Read on for the full graphic. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: Get inspired to turn trash into upcycled treasure Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: DIY , dustbox , infographic , recycling , upcycled materials , Upcycled Products , upcycling

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Underground Organic Vena Cava Winery is Built With Salvaged Boats in Baja

April 8, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Underground Organic Vena Cava Winery is Built With Salvaged Boats in Baja Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Alejandro D’Acosta , baja , baja california , Claudia Turrent , eco design , eco vineyard , eco winery , green architecture , Green Building , green design , guadalupe valley , organic vineyard , organic winery , phil gregory , reclaimed boats , Reclaimed Materials , Recycled Materials , salvaged boats , salvaged materials , sustainable design , sustainable vineyard , upcycled boats , upcycled materials , valle de quadalupe , vena cava winery , vineyard , winery

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Open-Source ‘Precious Plastic’ Machines Recycle Small Scale Waste

October 22, 2013 by  
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When Design Academy Eindhoven graduate student Dave Hakkens learned that only ten percent of discarded plastic is actually recycled , he decided to create “Precious Plastic,” an open-source collection of machines that recycle plastic on a small scale. After interviewing several manufacturing companies, he was told that much of the expensive, precise machinery could not handle the impurities of waste plastic. So, he decided to fabricate three machines that are capable of shredding, melting, and molding salvaged plastic. Read the rest of Open-Source ‘Precious Plastic’ Machines Recycle Small Scale Waste Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printer , dave hakkens , Design Academy Eindhoven , open source machine , open-source plastic recycling machine , phone bloks , precious plastic , Recycled Plastic , small scale plastic recycling machines , small-scale recycling , upcycled materials        

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