This off-grid cabin in the pristine Alaskan wilderness can only be reached by sea or air

March 1, 2018 by  
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If you’re looking for a luxurious off-grid retreat in the middle of nowhere, you’ve come to the right place. Located on Alaska’s remote Alexander Archipelago, the spectacular Hidden Bay Retreat is a three-bedroom timber home with a copper roof that sits on the water’s edge. Stunning views of the pristine wilderness and wildlife can be enjoyed from the home’s covered porch or better yet, from the infinity-edge hot tub. At 2,382 square feet, the home is a large space, built for maximum enjoyment of the surrounding nature. Constructed out of old growth Western Cedar , the home combines the best of rugged exterior materials with a sophisticated interior design. The copper roof was built with oversized eaves that extend out over the roof to create a series of covered terraces. These seating areas are prime wildlife viewing areas, but the infinity-edge hot tub is definitely the best place to catch the bald eagles and ravens that commonly soar around the home. Related: Lakeside cabin made out of reclaimed wood is as idyllic as it gets The interior design was also created to blend a bit of rustic with sophistication. Timber panels line the walls and an abundance of windows lets in optimal natural light and offers stunning views from the chimney-warmed living room. A double-height ceiling opens up the main living space, which leads to a chef’s kitchen and dining area. Three bedrooms are located on either side of the elongated structure and there is also a large, six-person sauna for those bone-chilling Alaskan winters. The landscape around the home, which opens up to the rocky shore of Hood Bay, has been left in a natural state to fully appreciate the beauty of the untouched wilderness and wildlife . The natural ecosystem is home to a variety of animals from bald eagles and snow geese to brown bears and deer. The waters are filled with a variety of fish and, further up the bay, Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, and Sea Lions are regular sites to see. If this all sounds like your cup of tea, it can be yours for $2.5 million (!). + Hidden Bay Retreat Via Uncrate Images via Sotheby’s International Reality

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This off-grid cabin in the pristine Alaskan wilderness can only be reached by sea or air

The Origin Treehouse has an amazing interior that will blow your mind

January 19, 2018 by  
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Paris-based firm Atelier LAVIT just unveiled a beautiful treehouse with a surprisingly sophisticated twist. The octagon-shaped Origin Treehouse wraps around a hundred-year-old oak in a lush canopy of treetops. While some treehouse designers take a more rustic approach to their interiors, the French architects went another route, creating a living space that provides hotel-like comfort – and it even features a heated spa and lounge area. The Origin Treehouse consists of two structure: a platform with a heated spa and a lounge area that sits on a lower level. The second structure is a soaring “birds nest” that’s hidden by the lush foliage. High up in the trees, the 250-square-foot treehouse is accessed via a suspended walkway from the first platform. Related: Microsoft unveils amazing treehouse office where employees can brainstorm in fresh air Two large sliding glass doors open up to the living space, whose sophisticated design is certainly unique in the world of treehouses. The interior was based on the principles of hotel design: it’s simple, elegant and clutter-free. The interior walls are lined with light poplar panels, giving the space a clean, bright feel. Just past the living space lies a small sitting area, a bedroom, the bathroom, and a technical closet. The octagonal shape of the treehouse allowed the architects to install plenty of large windows, which flood the interior with natural light. Those wanting to get even closer to nature can take a wooden ladder from the back deck to a stunning rooftop terrace that provides panoramic views of the forest. According to the architects, the cabin’s unique design was meant to blend into the serene forestscape: “Origin Tree House discreetly stands out among the centenarian oaks of the Château de Raray forest, as if it had always been part of the scenery. Majestic and elegant, it integrates and completes an already impressive landscape, sublimating it by offering a shelter.” + Atelier LAVIT Via Contemporist Photography by Marco Lavit Nicora

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The Origin Treehouse has an amazing interior that will blow your mind

Water-based AC cools the air without using harmful chemicals

January 19, 2018 by  
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Our air conditioners still draw on principles that are around 100-years-old, sucking up power in the process. Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are working on an alternative: water -based air conditioners. Their system doesn’t need energy -intensive compressors or harmful chemical refrigerants – and can cool air all the way down to 18 degrees Celsius, or 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Over 40 percent of the energy consumption of a building in the tropics goes to air conditioning, according to NUS associate professor Ernest Chua . He led a team to develop a new air conditioning system offering several advantages over conventional machines commonly found in buildings today. Related: This amazing Bangladeshi air cooler is made from plastic bottles and uses no electricity Water serves as the coolant in their air conditioner, and an innovative membrane technology sucks moisture out of humid air. The system uses up around 40 percent less electricity than compressor-based air conditioners, which NUS said translates to an over 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions . And the system doesn’t release hot air, instead discharging a less-humid cold air stream. For every liter of water used, as much as 15 liters of drinking water can be harvested, according to NUS – and the water the system harvests from the air is five times purer than Singapore tap water. Chua said in a statement, “Our cooling technology can be easily tailored for all types of weather conditions, from humid climate in the tropics to arid climate in the deserts. While it can be used for indoor living and commercial spaces, it can also be easily scaled up to provide air-conditioning for clusters of buildings in an energy-efficient manner.” NUS said it’s cost-effective to produce the system. Right now the team is further developing the design to boost user-friendliness, and aim to incorporate smart features like real-time tracking of energy efficiency or “pre-programmed thermal settings based on human occupancy.” They’re hoping to collaborate with industry partners on commercialization. Via National University of Singapore and Futurity Images via National University of Singapore and NUSLife on YouTube

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Water-based AC cools the air without using harmful chemicals

Y-shaped timber cabin on stilts overlooks Norway’s picturesque mountains

September 26, 2017 by  
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Oslo-based architect Lund Hagem has unveiled a beautiful wooden cabin that juts out over the slopes of Norway’s Kvitfjell ski resort. The timber structure – which was built on stilts to reduce the cabin’s footprint – stretches out into an elongated Y shape, creating the illusion that it’s floating over the mountaintop. The beautiful structure stands on stilts on one of the highest buildable plots in the resort and is surrounded by soaring birch and pine trees. The orientation and Y shape of the cabin were strategic to providing clear views towards the southeast, which are especially enhanced thanks to the stilts that support the two extending prongs that house the living area and master bedroom. Related: All-black timber Geilo Cabin makes the most of the winter sunlight The cabin’s glazed walls and timber slat cladding are strategic parts of the design. “Our design process was inspired by the client’s desire to have ‘a summer cabin in a winter landscape’,” explained the studio. The timber exterior is separated from the home’s glazed walls by a fun indoor-outdoor walkway that wraps around the structure. The home’s strong connection to its surrounding environment continues on into the living space, where every room offers stunning views. Rustic oiled oak boards make up the flooring and ceiling throughout the home. One prong of the Y-shaped cabin contains the living area, which is furnished with cozy fleece-covered chairs and a hanging, wood-burning stove. The second prong of the Y shape houses the master bedroom and bathroom, while the home’s three additional bedrooms make up the base of the Y shape. In addition to the main house, the architects constructed a smaller annex, also set on stilts , adjacent to the main home. “By placing two volumes close to the neighboring limits, a kind of a courtyard was created,” they continued. “This way, the outdoor spaces could benefit from privacy from the neighbors, while still benefiting from the west/evening sun, during Easter and summer.” + Lund Hagem Via Dezeen

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Y-shaped timber cabin on stilts overlooks Norway’s picturesque mountains

Researchers engineer new antibody able to fight 99% of HIV strains

September 26, 2017 by  
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Researchers have made what the International Aids Society called an “exciting breakthrough” in the fight against HIV/AIDS . Pharmaceutical company Sanofi and the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) together engineered an antibody that can tackle 99 percent of HIV strains. The antibody has prevented infection in primates . The new antibody can interact with three crucial parts of the HIV virus. And it targets more strains than naturally occurring antibodies, the best of which attack 90 percent of strains. Researchers ran experiments on 24 monkeys. They gave one antibody to eight monkeys, a different one to another eight, and the final eight they gave the new antibody. Five days later they exposed the monkeys to strains of SHIV, a monkey form of HIV. None of those given the new antibody developed an infection. Related: 44-year-old British man could be the first to receive HIV cure The antibody is called a tri-specific antibody because it’s a combination of three broadly neutralizing antibodies. NIH described it as a three-in-one antibody. Broadly neutralizing antibodies tackle “something fundamental to HIV” according to the BBC. Sanofi Chief Scientific Officer Gary Nabel said tri-specific antibodies “can block multiple targets with a single agent.” He told the BBC, “They are more potent and have greater breadth than any single naturally occurring antibody that’s been discovered.” International Aids Society president Linda-Gail Bekker told the BBC, “These super-engineered antibodies seem to go beyond the natural and could have more applications than we have imagined to date. It’s early days yet, and as a scientist I look forward to seeing the first trials get off the ground in 2018. As a doctor in Africa , I feel the urgency to confirm these findings in humans as soon as possible.” The journal Science published the study last week. Scientists from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The Scripps Research Institute also collaborated on the research. Human trials are slated to begin next year. Via the BBC and the National Institutes of Health Images via NIAID on Flickr and Sanofi

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Researchers engineer new antibody able to fight 99% of HIV strains

MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall

April 25, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever walked into a MUJI store and wished you could spend the night, here’s the next best thing. The minimalist Japanese home goods store just announced plans to sell a lovely line tiny homes later this year. The first model available for purchase will be a tiny timber cabin wrapped in “shou sugi ban” charred timber – and it’ll cost just $27,500. Muji’s tiny timber huts measure just under 100 square feet. Thanks to a clever layout, they offer tons of natural light and a simple interior ideal for a quiet weekend escape or a permanent home in the countryside. The cabins also come with an extended porch that creates a seamless connection between the exterior and interior. Related: MUJI unveils trio of tiny prefab homes that can pop up almost anywhere The good news is that beautiful cabins will hit the market for just ¥3,000,000 (approx. $27,500 USD) starting this fall. The price includes the costs of materials needed for construction as well as contractor fees. The bad news? The MUJI Huts will only be available for purchase in Japan for the time being. + MUJI

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MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall

Architect rebuilds his grandparents’ mountain cabin by repurposing its original materials

March 27, 2017 by  
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Architecture passed down from one generation to the next never goes out of style. Architect Jon Danielsen Aarhus is the fourth generation of his family to build a cabin on the jagged terrain that covers the Norweigan region of Ustaoset. Aarhus built the beautiful pine-clad cabin using traditional construction methods with repurposed materials from his grandparents’ cabin, which was originally built on the same site in the 1960s. Ustaoset is 3,500 feet above sea level, with a topography that is not at all construction friendly. Although the architect reused as much material as possible from his grandparents’ 50-year-old wooden cabin , al new construction materials had to be flown in by helicopter or snow scooter during the winter months. Related: Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views The new cabin is built on the same location in order to reduce the new structure’s footprint as much as possible. The materials reused in the new design include the outside stairs and bench, which is made out of prior building’s old floorboards. Old stones taken from the original cabin’s foundation were repurposed as paving that leads up to the entrance. As for the remaining materials, the architect has plans to use them to build an outhouse in the future. To make the building site-specific, the design of the new cabin had to be resilient to the severe climate that includes strong winds and icy snow. Using the old cabin’s tried and true layout, the architect kept the original shape of the building by implementing traditional building methods, but added modern features such as solar protected glass panels. The large windows not only insulate the home and offer natural dayligh t on the interior, but provide jaw-dropping views of the Hallingskarvet mountain range, the Hardangerjøkulen glacier, and Lake Ustevann. As for the immediate landscape, Aarhus did the groundwork himself, forgoing heavy machinery for a shovel and wheelbarrow in order to protect the indigenous vegetation that grows in the high altitude. + Jon Danielsen Aarhus Photography by Knut Bry

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Architect rebuilds his grandparents’ mountain cabin by repurposing its original materials

Beautiful cliffside home ‘split in half’ by landslide rebuilt with wooden pods

March 21, 2017 by  
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Sometimes beautiful design is just fate. When AR Design Studio decided to add an extension to a cliffside home on the UK’s South Coast, the entire house ended up being split in half due to a major landslide . Fortunately, the architects stayed on to design a replacement house, resulting in a beautiful vacation home called the Crow’s Nest. This time, however, the gorgeous structure, which is made out of four wooden “pods,” was built with highly-engineered technology to stabilize the structure against future land movements. The Crow’s Nest home is built looking over a large cliff on the UK’s South Coast. To secure the new home against future natural disasters , the architects worked with engineers to create an integrated system that could resist major land movements. The system entailed installing dwarfs walls into a massive concrete slat that sits underneath the home. This was strategic to creating an adjustable raft-like structural frame where the walls absorb any major land movement. In this case, mechanical jacks installed underneath the frame would be able to re-level the house afterwards. Related: These 6 extraordinary cliffside homes will give you chills Although the original home was severely damaged by the landslide, the architects managed to use its original cabin design as inspiration for the new one. The team created an elongated structure with a series of four “twisted” pods, creating a unique contemporary cabin character . Clad in beautiful blond larch panels, the home seamlessly blends in with the surrounding landscape. The entryway is made up of the smallest pod , which leads into the main living area. The “tower pod” to the left houses the large master bedroom, along with the children’s bedroom and bathrooms. The remaining pod on the right of the living area is a guest space that can be closed when not in use. The interior comprises a light, airy design with a modern cabin feel. Bold wooden furnishings are found throughout, but the use of various industrial materials give the space a contemporary touch. Large windows offer optimal natural light as well as stunning views of the forest and coastal views. + AR Design Studio Via Design Milk Photography by Martin Gardner

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Beautiful cliffside home ‘split in half’ by landslide rebuilt with wooden pods

Coming soon: NYC’s first community solar project

March 21, 2017 by  
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A company based in Toronto is bringing New York City its first community solar project. UGE International , one of the world’s leading renewable-energy contractors, will be partnering with Gotham Community Solar to develop a new array at a multi-tenant commercial facility between the Park Slope and Boerum Hill neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The project, which is scheduled to be completed in early summer, will have a rated peak capacity of roughly 100 kilowatts, according to UGE. The building abuts another UGE project: the Whole Foods Market at 214 3rd Street, colloquially known as “3rd and 3rd” by locals. “It’s been a privilege to work with ConEd , the Department of Buildings, and the project’s ownership group on developing this landmark project” Tim Woodcock, UGE’s Regional Director, said in a statement. Related: UGE is building a massive rooftop solar array atop this popular Brooklyn church Woodcock anticipates selling any surplus power to nearby residents at rates lower than those offered by their utility companies. The benefits would be twofold: cheaper electricity that also comes from a sustainable source. “The solar power generated by the project will be credited to numerous residential accounts, offering access to the benefits and low cost of solar energy to those previously excluded due to their housing situation,” he added. + UGE International

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Coming soon: NYC’s first community solar project

German coal mine set to become "giant battery" for storing renewable energy

March 21, 2017 by  
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A German coal mine is about to become a massive battery for storing electricity from renewable energy sources. The Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia that provided coal power to German industry since it opened in 1974 will soon be turned into a 200-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir. When completed, the nearly 2,000-foot-deep mine that is set to close in 2018 will essentially act as a giant battery that can store enough power for 400,000 homes. That’s a huge backup that’s much needed in one of the most progressive solar nations in the world. This “giant battery” stores energy by continually pumping water between two chambers, an upper and a lower connected via pipes with turbines. During periods of high electricity demand, power is produced by releasing the stored water from the upper chamber through the turbines and into the lower chamber. When demand decreases, pumps refill the upper chamber using the cheaper electricity available from the grid. Plants such as this tend to have a huge efficiency of about 80 percent, while also balancing the load in a larger power system. Related: Groundbreaking technology affordably captures C02 from fossil fuel plants As Bloomberg notes, creating this energy storage facility is a win, win for Germany—as it not only provides a much-needed place to store all that power it’s now producing through renewable energy initiatives , but it will also give a boost to the local economy in nearby Bottrop by providing jobs for many of the miners who would otherwise be out of work when the coal mine is shuttered next year. Via Bloomberg Images via Goseteufel , Wikimedia Commons and University of Duisburg-Essen

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German coal mine set to become "giant battery" for storing renewable energy

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