A young couple creates a dreamy Scandinavian-inspired yurt home in Oregon

November 11, 2019 by  
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When filmmaker Zach Both decided to hit pause on his itinerant lifestyle after three years on the road in a self-converted camper van, he and his girlfriend, Nicole Lopez, tapped into their DIY roots to assemble their new home — a contemporary yurt 20 minutes outside of downtown Portland, Oregon. Prefabricated by Rainier Outdoor, the couple’s modified yurt offers 930 square feet of light-filled living space furnished to ooze hygge vibes. To share the knowledge they learned during the build, Both created a website, DoItYurtself.com , a free step-by-step guide to show others how to build a modern yurt. Built over the course of six months, the prefabricated Eagle Yurt that Both and Lopez purchased from Rainier Outdoor measures just over 30 feet in diameter with 730 square feet of living space; the couple added a bedroom loft to squeeze in an additional 200 square feet of space. While the exterior of the yurt only took a single weekend to erect with the help of friends and family, finishing the interiors was a much more involved process. As stalwart DIYers, the duo took on all parts of the project from running electrical lines and plumbing to framing the walls and furnishing the greenery-filled contemporary interior. Related: This yurt-inspired modern cabin is a holiday getaway in Slovakia The modern yurt serves as a functional home for the couple and as a home office where Both can work on his filmmaking and writing. At the heart of the circular residence is a service core housing the bathroom with a composting toilet , service equipment and kitchen. This core is wrapped by the living room with a wood-burning stove, dining space and office. The home is hooked up to electricity and draws water from a well. A round bedroom loft is elevated atop the service core and features a circular planter with more than 45 plants. “It’s been incredible to adapt a structure with a history that stretches back thousands of years,” Both said. “It was our attempt at building a modern yurt for the 21st century.” To help others, Both’s online yurt guide offers photos and videos of his entire build process as well as a comprehensive collection of information about American yurt companies on the internet. + Do It Yurtself Photography by Bryan Aulick via Do It Yurtself

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A young couple creates a dreamy Scandinavian-inspired yurt home in Oregon

New e-snowmobiles bring eco tourism to the northern lights

November 11, 2019 by  
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Between Norway and the North Pole is Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago and one of the most rugged and northern inhabited areas. With an average January high of 9 degrees and 24 hours of darkness, you might not expect this to be a tourist hot-spot. But the northern lights are drawing bigger and bigger crowds through Svalbard’s dark winter. The trick is making sure that the roughly 75,000 annual visitors don’t overwhelm the environment and culture of the archipelago’s 2,583 year-round residents. One strategy has been to spread tourism out over the entire year, and a new tactic is using electric snowmobiles to explore the area in a more sustainable way. Off the Map Travel, based in England, specializes in Northern Lights travel. Its “Truly Green Aurora Holiday” package has developed the lowest impact Arctic northern lights adventure yet. The team has harnessed Arctic winds to power e-snowmobiles. Off the Map Travel offers the new activity out of Longyearbyen, the Svalbard town where the majority of the population lives. The company recommends this activity from November to January, when the skies over the islands are almost permanently black. Related: Sleep beneath the northern lights in this unique Iceland bubble “Although the northern lights are a natural phenomenon and are never guaranteed, you need clear, dark skies to optimize your chances to see them,” noted Jonny Cooper, Arctic travel expert and founder of Off the Map Travel. “Svalbard’s dark skies and extended aurora viewing are due to the sun’s being at least six degrees below the horizon. This means it can be dark all day, so the northern lights can appear at any time. In effect, the sun never rises.” In addition to the more eco-friendly nature of the e-snowmobiles, they are also much quieter. Unlike the roar of an average snowmobile , the electric variety allows visitors a peaceful and silent experience. “The quiet engine allows for gentle searching of the northern lights, reindeer , ptarmigans and polar foxes,” Cooper said. “Exploring some of the most uncharted areas of our planet has never been more eco-friendly.” + Off the Map Travel Image via Off the Map Travel

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New e-snowmobiles bring eco tourism to the northern lights

LARQ: the world’s first portable, self-cleaning water bottle

November 11, 2019 by  
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Water is a basic necessity of life; however, water can also introduce our bodies to bacteria and illnesses if it is not properly treated prior to consumption. Over the years, treating water has involved adding iodine drops or filtering the water through a carbon-based system. Now, new technology has streamlined the process, offering effective water filtration at the press of a button with the LARQ water bottle. The LARQ water bottle features the world’s first portable, digital water purification system powered by a rechargeable lithium polymer battery. To ensure reliability, the patented, UV-C LEDs last 40 times longer than conventional, mercury-based UV technology. Batteries should be replaced monthly, depending on the frequency of use. Related: Cove launches the first 100% biodegradable water bottle Developing a nontoxic, chemical-, ozone- and mercury-free system sounds complex, but the idea is quite simple. Starting with UV technology that is already used by hospital staff and backpackers for sterilization, the team at LARQ converted the process into an all-in-one, portable option. Water inside the bottle is processed using a UV light built into the lid. With the touch of a button on the top, the water inside is purified in 60 seconds. For added safety, the LARQ water bottle continues to sterilize up to six times a day automatically. In addition to filtering water, the LARQ also sterilizes the bottle, eliminating bacteria prevalent in other water bottles without the hassle of trying to clean those tight necks and narrow vessels. Of course, you can also keep other liquids in your LARQ bottle, which keeps iced beverages cold for 24 hours and hot beverages warm for 12 hours. While the LARQ is an option for providing a healthy water supply, it is also a sustainable choice, replacing single-use water bottles that are problematic for the planet. Plus, it is BPA-free and made with stainless steel for durability. There are also no wasteful filters to replace. The newest collection, LARQ Bottle Movement, was developed with athletes and travelers in mind. The addition of a premium, food-grade silicone grip will prevent slips and keep you hydrated while hiking , playing tennis or kayaking. + LARQ Images via LARQ

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LARQ: the world’s first portable, self-cleaning water bottle

Green-roofed addition brings a mid-century home into the 21st century

November 11, 2019 by  
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There are few things we love more than witnessing the transformation of something old into something new — and sustainable. Washington, D.C.-based firm KUBE architecture has just unveiled the beautiful renovation of a 1950s home , called the Dual Modern Home, that includes a new addition with expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass and a lush green roof. Although the architects breathed new life into the home, they had a great structure to work with from the get-go. The mid-century home, which was designed by American architect Charles Goodman, had plenty of character and style to begin with. A one-story, elongated design, the original structure was built with glass walls that flooded the living space with plenty of natural light . Related: Stunning green-roofed home in Poland is embedded into the idyllic landscape To update the home , the design team came up with a new addition that stretches half a level up the natural slope of the site. Connected to the existing house with a courtyard, the addition houses a new living area, office and children’s playroom as well as two full bathrooms and a laundry room. To create a cohesive connection to the original home, the new addition follows the same basic features of the existing design, including multiple walls of floor-to-ceiling glass panels. The structure is topped with a split pitched roof that gives the space a modern aesthetic. Stretching from the old space and over the extension is a lush green roof , which also helps to connect the entire home with its natural surroundings. The new addition adds flexibility to the home. Sliding walls allow for a change of layout in the future, and a separate entrance was installed to allow the residents to turn the addition into a fully autonomous guest suite. + KUBE Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Anice Hoachlander and Julia Heine via KUBE Architecture

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Green-roofed addition brings a mid-century home into the 21st century

A traditional log cabin in Colorado is the perfect winter wonderland retreat

November 21, 2018 by  
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The cold winter months are almost upon us and what better way to enjoy a snowy vacation than staying in a beautiful log cabin tucked into a winter wonderland? Located in Durango, Colorado, Bear Hollow Cabin is a traditional log cabin that offers guests a cold weather getaway including a roaring fireplace and private outdoor hot tub. The beautiful cabin has everything needed to provide a serene winter escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Secluded deep into the Rockies, the log cabin is surrounded by a dense forest, but it is just three miles from the nearest ski resort. Related: Super-insulated modern log cabin withstands frigid Finnish winters in style The two-story structure, made out of thick log walls, has been recently updated, but it still retains a traditional mountain getaway vibe. Built into a sloped landscape, the cabin offers stunning views of the evergreen forest and aspen trees, which can be best appreciated from the private hot tub located on the large deck. The interior is homey and spacious with two living areas, three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. The main living space is an open layout that includes a fully-equipped kitchen and dining area. There is another small living area downstairs designed for quiet reading time or game night. A wood-burning stove warms the interior on chilly nights. To take advantage of the incredible surroundings, the large wrap-around deck is perfect for dining al fresco. For activities, the area around Durango is full of options. Outdoor enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the many hiking trails, and nearby Electra Lake has excellent fishing. For wintertime fun, there is a nearby ski resort, which offers downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Of course, after a long day of activities, guests to the cabin can enjoy a glass of wine in the hot tub or beside a toasty fire. + Bear Hollow Cabin Images via Vacasa

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A traditional log cabin in Colorado is the perfect winter wonderland retreat

This low-cost forest house on stilts is a minimalist dream in Vietnam

January 3, 2018 by  
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This charming forest house on stilts allows two people to experience the beauty and simplicity of living in a remote mountain setting. Architect Chu V?n ?ông designed the structure as a low-cost dwelling that is easy to build and that places focus on the surrounding environment, rather than on interior luxuries. The house is nestled in the lush wooded landscape of Northern Vietnam . As a simple, temporary residence, the Forest House offers a minimalist space that draws the eye toward the surrounding greenery. Large glass surfaces blur the line between the interior and the exterior and allow natural light to bathe the living area. Related: Incredible daylit house in Vietnam is filled with living trees The building can accommodate two people. Its interior is stripped down to the essentials and includes a wood-burning stove , a bed that doubles as a bay window bench, and a wooden table top that can be used for dining and work. The designer hopes that the project, which was built on a small budget, will inspire other temporary housing projects in the area. + Chu V?n ?ông Via Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by Handyman

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This low-cost forest house on stilts is a minimalist dream in Vietnam

Exquisite Japanese house wraps around a generations-old tree

January 1, 2018 by  
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The line between nature and architecture is often blurred in Japan to beautiful effect. Japanese architect Takashi Okuno practices this kind of nature-fused architecture with Hiiragi’s House, a modern Japanese-style residence built around a courtyard and old tree that the client’s family has tended to for generations. Located in the Ehime Prefecture, the house is minimally decorated and built with large expanses of glass to focus the eye on the use of simple, natural materials and courtyard views. Named after the venerated generations-old tree, Hiiragi’s House was built to wrap around a mature hiiragi (Japanese for ‘holly osmanthus’ that’s not seen in the photographs due the tree’s “recuperation”). The architect highlighted the importance of the tree by making the courtyard visible from nearly every room in the home, including the entrance hallway. Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors frame views of the courtyard from the open-plan living room, where a wood-burning stove visually delineates the lounge from the kitchen and dining area. Related: Beautiful cedar home stands high on stilts to accommodate heavy snowfall in Japan Environmentally friendly practices were also put into place. Rather than solely rely on fans for cooling, natural ventilation is optimized, as is the stack effect, where cool outside air is pulled into the double-height living room and hot air exits through clerestory windows on the second floor. Rain chains collect rainwater runoff from the roof, while cellulose fiber is used for heat insulation. The architect also stressed the use of natural materials throughout the building to create a healthy and welcoming environment, seen from the solid timber framing and straw-floor tatami mats to washi-paper screens and diatomaceous earth used as a finishing material. + Takashi Okuno Via Dezeen Images by Shigeo Ogawa

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Exquisite Japanese house wraps around a generations-old tree

Renovated forever home strives to minimize its carbon footprint

January 1, 2018 by  
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Sustainable architecture doesn’t have to come at the cost of beauty. Take, for example, this lovely refurbished home in Melbourne with its elegantly exposed timber frame, modern decor, and eco-certified building materials. Foomann Architects led the redesign, titled Ballantyne Street, to meet the client’s brief for a sustainable home where they intend to live in forever. Foomann Architects preserved much of the single-story dwelling’s original structure, including the front, but replaced the 1990s extension in the rear with a more modern addition that houses an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen, study, as well as a new bedroom. The renovation and expansion accommodates the client’s family of five and visiting guests. In contrast to the home’s original and rather unassuming frontage, the new modern addition is wrapped in full-height glazing that lets in natural light and views of a fenced-in backyard. “The design was approached in this context; to be no bigger than required and enduring,” wrote the architects. “This resonated strongly with our practice; every decision weighing up cost, longevity and environmental impact.” The modern addition features an interior mainly made of masonry and glass broken up by beautiful exposed timber framing —made of composite laminated lumber veneer —integrated with joinery, echoed in the furnishings, and extended across rooms to the outdoor spaces. The joinery is also integrated with concealed lighting for a clean and minimalist appearance. Related: Solar-powered forever home is a modern take on the rustic farmhouse The dedication to sourcing eco-certified and durable materials as well as the design of compact room sizes earned the project a Commendation for sustainability in the ArchiTeam 2017 Awards . + Foomann Architects Via Dezeen Images by Willem-Dirk du Toit

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Renovated forever home strives to minimize its carbon footprint

This solar-powered cabin is a dreamy green getaway in the Colorado Mountains

December 29, 2017 by  
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Perched on a rocky cliff at 10,000 feet, this pair of solar-powered cabins offer unique views of Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo mountains, the Collegiate Peaks, and the South Platte River. Renée del Gaudio Architecture designed Big Cabin | Little Cabin to capture the essence of traditional cabin vernacular with a modern twist. The site is bordered to the north by a thick forest that provides the cabins with a sense of privacy and protection. Gabled roofs and rustic materials echo the area’s vernacular architecture, while the exterior cedar siding helps the cabins blend into their wooded surroundings. A similar material palette dominates the open-plan interior of the project, with plywood interior walls and ceilings lending a rustic quality. Related: 7 new micro-cabins in Colorado provide superior insulation in extreme weather High-efficiency electric appliances and LED lighting keep energy consumption to a minimum, while closed and open cell foam insulation, double and triple pane windows with low-e glass , and rolling barn door shutters keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The project also features a 96% efficient boiler, radiant floor tubing set in a concrete slab, and a high efficiency wood-burning stove . The project is wired for a 3kw photovoltaic array , which is expected to fully meet the cabins’ energy needs. + Renée del Gaudio Architecture Via Dwell Photos by David Lauer

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This solar-powered cabin is a dreamy green getaway in the Colorado Mountains

This huge ‘tiny house’ on wheels can fit a family of five!

September 12, 2017 by  
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Tiny homes are a huge hit – but we’ve never seen one this big before! The Pemberly is a traveling house made from a large gooseneck trailer by Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses . It’s packed with enough features and amenities to accommodate a family of five. Measuring 37 feet in length, the Pemberly is based on a custom Trailer Made 30’+7? gooseneck trailer with Dexter air ride suspension axles that smooth out bumps in the road. The house weighs 21,000 lbs and has a total floor space of 460 square feet (42.7 square meters) The team made it easy to unhook the trailer from the truck – and the house automatically levels with a push of a button. Related: Self-sufficient SCARAB remote living habitat can be placed almost anywhere The interior is organized around the living room. The kitchen features a small wood-burning stove , granite countertops, custom cabinetry, a Miele induction cooktop, a combination steam and convection oven, a Bosch fridge, an on-demand hot water system, and a garbage disposal. The bathroom has a shower, a medicine cabinet, an efficient water heater and a whole house dehumidifier to rid the interior of excess moisture. Related: Affordable and compact Dinky Dub camper offers a modular twist to the vintage VW look A steel pipe ladder leads to the bedroom on top of the gooseneck. The bedroom has enough room to install a trundle bunk with a pull-out bed for temporary guests. This space also has a little room for toys and play time which can be closed off with a pocket door. A large catwalk connects the master bedroom to another bedroom with two closets. Air circulation is provided by an inline fan installed above the door. Two sets of vertical louvers provide privacy and block views from the outside, and LEDs light up the interior and exterior. + Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses Via New Atlas

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