Recycling Mystery: Windows

June 27, 2018 by  
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Recycling Mystery: Windows

Earthling Survey: Confused by Recycling Options?

June 27, 2018 by  
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Express your opinion and help drive environmental change. Every week, … The post Earthling Survey: Confused by Recycling Options? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earthling Survey: Confused by Recycling Options?

Couple turns old toy hauler into a gorgeous tiny home for their family of four

May 28, 2018 by  
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Rusty and Autumn Bailey travel a lot for Rusty’s job, so in order to travel comfortably on the road, they purchased a Keystone Fuzion 416 toy hauler to transform into their dream home on wheels. Surprisingly, it only took about 12 weeks to convert the 300-square-foot camper into a homey, light-filled tiny home with plenty of custom-made features designed to provide optimal space efficiency for a family of four. The couple began to reform the interior of the 42-foot-long camper by incorporating as many  colorful and bright accents as possible. The original interior was very dark and drab, so the ambitious couple painted all of the walls white. Beautiful Persian rugs bought on eBay for less than $100 adorn the interior. Related: 7 beautifully designed tiny homes that fit big families The next major upgrade to the space was the flooring. With a large family, the couple knew that they had to have durable flooring, so they went with a waterproof vinyl plank tongue-in-groove flooring with a cork base for easy installation. The kitchen was also in desperate need of a makeover. The couple updated the space with a butcher block countertop made out of 8? slabs of builder-grade honey maple, then repainted the cupboards a dark slate grey, which contrasts nicely with the home’s contemporary all-white interior. For the bathroom renovation, they used a little bit of the leftover butcher block slab to create a nice vanity space. A beautiful hammered copper sink, found on eBay, completes the sophisticated look. The family also completely renovated the sleeping quarters in order to create the maximum amount of space. They gutted the former  main bedroom and converted it into their oldest child’s bedroom, adding a closet with a sliding door and a tiny play area. Autumn says that they focused on opening up the space as much as possible for the couple’s first child: “We tried to keep it open so he had all the space he needed to romp around in and play with toys.” Finally, the couple gutted the master room to make space for a large bed, instead of the existing bunk beds. With just a coat of new paint on the walls and new flooring , the master bedroom became a calming oasis with natural light flooding in through the windows. According to Autumn, the entire camper renovation , which she and Rusty did themselves, took about 12 weeks and cost approximately $6,000. The family posts updates on tiny home living on their Instagram page, @AutumnABailey. + Asphalt Gypsy Via Dwell Images via Autumn Bailey

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Couple turns old toy hauler into a gorgeous tiny home for their family of four

New double-pane quantum dot solar windows generate power with better efficiency

January 3, 2018 by  
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Researchers at an American national laboratory have now employed quantum dots for double-pane solar windows that offer shading, insulation, and, of course, generate energy – with greater efficiency. The Los Alamos National Laboratory team drew on a new window architecture utilizing two layers of low-priced quantum dots, tuned to take in distinct parts of the solar spectrum. The double-pane windows were equipped with manganese-doped quantum dots, absorbing blue and ultraviolet, on the surface of the front glass pane, and copper indium selenide quantum dots, absorbing the rest of the spectrum, on the back pane’s surface. Once light is absorbed, dots re-emit it at a longer wavelength. Total internal reflection guides the light to the edges, where it can be gathered and turned into power by solar cells in the window frame. Related: National laboratory scales up quantum-dot solar windows that can power entire buildings Solar-spectrum splitting – in which higher- and lower-energy solar photons can be processed separately – is key to the research, according to Los Alamos. And the dots in the front layer are essentially reabsorption free, which the laboratory said the team accomplished by incorporating into quantum dots manganese ions “that serve as highly emissive impurities. Light absorbed by the quantum dots activates these impurities. Following activation, the manganese ions emit light at energies below the quantum-dot absorption onset. This trick allows for almost complete elimination of losses due to self-absorption by the quantum dots.” The journal Nature Photonics published the research online on New Year’s Day. Per the article’s abstract, the researchers’ prototype “exhibits a high optical quantum efficiency of 6.4 percent for sunlight illumination and solar-to-electrical power conversion efficiency of 3.1 percent. The efficiency gains due to the tandem architecture over single-layer devices quickly increases with increasing LSC [luminescent solar concentrator] size and can reach more than 100 percent in structures with window sizes of more than 2,500 centimeters squared.” Double-pane quantum dot solar window research could lower the cost of solar power , according to lead researcher Victor Klimov, who said in a statement , “Because of the strong performance we can achieve with low-cost, solution processable materials, these quantum-dot-based double-pane windows and even more complex luminescent solar concentrators offer a new way to bring down the cost of solar electricity.” Via Los Alamos National Laboratory Images via Los Alamos National Laboratory Twitter and Depositphotos

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New double-pane quantum dot solar windows generate power with better efficiency

Edgy black slats conceal a surprisingly light-filled interior in this Brisbane home

October 16, 2017 by  
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Brisbane-based Bureau Proberts  designed a beautiful home whose wonderfully bright interior is completely concealed by its edgy black exterior. The Bardon House is clad in vertical black slats to provide the homeowners with the utmost privacy and shade from the harsh sun, but the interior is anything but dark. Illuminated by an abundance of natural light thanks to multiple windows and a large skylight in the roof, the interior is vibrant and airy. From the outside, the shape of three-story home mimics the surrounding landscape, gradually sloping to either side of the home. The resulting angular shape is continued throughout the interior where the large sloped ceilings create an open living space, which is flooded in natural light thanks to a large skylight installed at the apex of the ceiling. Most of the interior color scheme is neutral with natural white walls and grey tile flooring, but the windows and doors are framed in a beautiful dark-stained timber for contrast. Related: Elegant timber extension uses angular volumes to maximize natural light The main living area is located on the first floor while the bedrooms are located on the second level. From the living room, sliding glass doors open into beautiful open-air space courtyard filled with greenery . The architects describe the space as “a veranda-like thoroughfare, melding the courtyard with the landscape beyond.” The bottom level of the home has been designed as a social space, which leads out to the open-air terrace and pool area, further connecting the house to its natural surroundings. + Bureau Proberts Via Dwell Photography by Alicia Taylor

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Edgy black slats conceal a surprisingly light-filled interior in this Brisbane home

Scientists witnessed a neutron star mashup for the first time – and it transformed our understanding of the universe

October 16, 2017 by  
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For the first time, scientists have detected gravitational waves stemming from the crash of two ultra-dense neutron stars – and the event has spawned a new era of astronomy known as “multi-messenger astronomy.” It is believed that cataclysmic events such as these generated at least half of the gold in the Universe. Though astronomers have witnessed ripples in the fabric of space in time before (created by objects moving in the Universe), this is the first time in history the event was detectable by regular light telescopes. As a result, researchers have gained new insight into massive cosmic collisions. A neutron star is the burnt-out core of a massive star that ran out of fuel , blew up and died. Typically 20 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter, a neutron star is radioactive and has a mass slightly more dense than the sun in our solar system. Reportedly, a handful of neutron star material weighs as much as Mount Everest ! When two neutron stars combine, they spiral around each other, growing closer and closer over time. The spinning intensifies until the two objects revolve around each other several times per second. Then, a forceful impact takes place and a gargantuan gravitational wave is emitted into the Universe at the speed of light. On August 18th, astronomers witnessed the remains of a neutron star mash-up, which traveled 130 million light years before it was seen by Earthly detectors. The phenomena resulted in dozens of scientific papers being published in top academic journals. As Phys.org reports, the observation also solved several physics riddles – including how much of the universe’s gold , platinum, mercury and other heavy elements were formed. Related: Einstein’s gravitational wave theory proven by the sound of two black holes colliding Said co-discoverer Benoit Mours of France’s CNRS research institute, “We witnessed history unfolding in front of our eyes: two neutron stars drawing closer, closer… turning faster and faster around each other, then colliding and scattering debris all over the place.” Days before the highly-anticipated event, three different gravitational wave observatories based around the world picked up gravitational waves. Astronomers worked together to locate the area where the merger occurred. After narrowing it down to a very small patch in the southern sky, the US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) mobilized the rest of the astronomy community, reports The Verge. Within hours, thousands of astronomers searched the sky , eventually spotting the explosive leftovers of the neutron star mashup. Telescopes witnessed newly-forged material in the fallout. This confirmed that “maybe half, maybe more, of the heavy elements in the Universe are actually produced by this kind of collision,” said physicist Patrick Sutton, a member of LIGO. “This is a revolution in astronomy, of having thousands of astronomers focus on one source for weeks and having this collaboration unravel in seconds, in hours, then days, and weeks,” said Vicky Kalogera, an astrophysicist at Northwestern University and a LIGO collaborator. “For us, that’s the Holy Grail.” The development comes two years after the first gravitational wave was detected (also by LIGO). For the past century, astronomers have been trying to figure out how to detect the ripples, which were predicted by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity . Via Phys , The Verge Images via Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science , NSF LIGO Sonoma State University / A. Simonnet , Tony Piro, Carnegie Institution for Science

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Scientists witnessed a neutron star mashup for the first time – and it transformed our understanding of the universe

Light glides softly inside this cylindrical modern church in the Czech Republic

August 29, 2017 by  
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A beautiful modern church that looks like a sculptural work of art has popped up in a Czech village. Brno-based studio Atelier Št?pán designed the Church of St Wenceslas that combines inspiration from the historic rotundas built in the 10th century with contemporary and minimalist styles. The church has become the new focal point for Sazovice, a village that had sought a new church since before World War II. The Church of St Wenceslas was carefully placed at the heart of Sazovice to “amplify the spiritual sense of the church.” Instead of a rectangular form, the architects opted for a simple cylinder that’s roughly the same size and proportions as the old rotunda at Prague’s famous St. Wenceslas Chapel. The newly built church in Sazovice also contains relics of the saint. The architects wrote: “My aim was to dematerialize the building. When you observe the volume, you feel the lightness made by design principle of tapering the walls into tiny lines. It’s like cutting a paper cylinder and exploring its possibilities. I created the windows by pushing and pulling the cuts and letting the light glide softly on the walls. The church invites us inside and provides a sense of quietness and peace. You can experience being alone with God if you want. The interior is very personal and it’s better to come and live it out.” Related: Athens’ Placebo Pharmacy Is Wrapped with Light Infusing Braille Perforations Unlike its richly decorated predecessors, the Church of St Wenceslas is deliberately minimalist in order to create a meditative environment. The white exterior is made of reinforced concrete covered in plaster while the interior features light colored timber pews, furnishings, and ceiling. The altar takes on a sculptural appearance with its shiny bronze shell crafted with an organic shape. A variety of window sizes and shapes punctuate the curved walls and roof to let in glimpses of the outdoors and natural light. + Atelier Št?pán Photography by Jakub Skokan and Martin T?ma – BoysPlayNice

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Light glides softly inside this cylindrical modern church in the Czech Republic

House by the Forest gets a retro remodel that helps it blend into its surroundings

August 8, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm kaa-studio used classic building materials and techniques to reconstruct a simple suburban house in Czech Republic and revamp it as a retro-styled weekend getaway. With its dark grey-brown facade, the House by the Forest blends into its natural surroundings and channels the simplicity of rural living. The architects preserved as much as possible of the original structure and focused on reorganizing its interior to open it up towards the garden and bring natural light inside. They decided to demolish the original vestibule, reorganize the entrance area and only keep the central supporting wall and the staircase on the ground floor. This allowed a more contemporary layout of the living space and reintroduced the connection to the main garden. Related: Skylights stream light into tiny cantilevering home in German forest A strip of window was made across the entire width of the building in order to provide natural lighting and views of the neighboring forest. Similarly, a strip of large roof windows brightened the attic. The height difference between the main entrance and access to the garden was solved using field banks/green hills reinforced with rough stone. + kaa-studio Photos by BoysPlayNice

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House by the Forest gets a retro remodel that helps it blend into its surroundings

Striking rammed earth home blends into the hills of Santa Fe

May 1, 2017 by  
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This incredible Santa Fe residence by Studio GP Architects was inspired by the rich landscape of New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon. The home is constructed from rammed earth and surrounded by native plants that help it seamlessly blend into the breathtaking desert landscape. The homeowners of the La Tierra Nueva Residence were looking for a home design that would allow them to enjoy the beauty of the natural landscape from the inside or outside of the home. Multiple large triple-pane doors and windows were installed to provide amazing views as well as optimal natural light for the interior. Additionally, the home had to be strategically functional for the aging couple so the living space, kitchen, and bedrooms are all located on the same floor. Related:Rammed earth walls form the core of this modern Australian home The home’s walls were constructed out of rammed earth , a technique traditionally and currently used for its strong insulative properties , which in this case, also provided the earth tone aesthetic desired by the homeowners. The zinc-toned roof and walls pay homage to the traditional corrugated metal traditionally found in the area. In fact, the roof plays a vital role in the design; the multi-layered planes mimic the rolling hills of the expansive La Tierra Nueva in the background while the extended panels shelter the structure from the elements, especially the high desert sun. The roof also has an integrated rainwater harvesting system that funnels water through concealed gutters to be used to irrigate the native juniper bark and sage bushes used in the landscaping. + Studio GP + Zola Windows Images via Studio GP and Zola Windows

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Striking rammed earth home blends into the hills of Santa Fe

5 Green Gadgets That Will Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze

March 31, 2017 by  
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It’s that time of year again. Time to roll up your sleeves and tackle all the dirt and clutter that happened while you were getting through the winter months. That’s right — it’s time to throw open the windows and get down to spring…

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5 Green Gadgets That Will Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze

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