Building an environment-friendly home is simple. Living in it takes more than the regular effort, given the fact that you need to keep a wary eye on the direction your solar panels face, in case you haven’t invested on automated options. Also, one needs to constantly keep switching off appliances to prevent unnecessary electricity sucking! Now, making living green easier, SCI-Arc and Caltech have come up with a net-zero solar-home that you control by waving your hands! Called the Compact, Hyper-Insulated Prototype Solar House (CHIP), this abode uses an Xbox Kinect for a master command center, enabling you to control your lighting, your shades and a lot more with simple gestures!Continue reading
Category Archives: Architecture
Barcelona will now bring home some snow, with one of the greenest artificial ski-slopes planned for the second largest city in Spain. To be completed by 2015, this ski-slope will be carbon neutral and will show up in a redevelopment area of La Zona Franca. With a 39,000 square meter dome planned that will house the slope as well as a ski-ring, the facility will be powered with methanisation, solar power and plant waste from the city. Also, to pull the temperatures below -10º C, regasification facilities at Barcelona’s liquid natural gas terminal will be used. A green ski resort for the residents of Barcelona, this new attraction in the city will also help generate employment.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Well, a 30-story building wasn’t built in a day either, though a fortnight is indeed a short while for a construction this massive! With an area covering 170,000 square foot, the 30 story hotel took 360 hours to build and will revolutionize the way buildings are constructed in today’s era. The building was prefabricated, completely wired and drywalled, with a finished plumbing and tile work. The building was pieced together from parts prefabricated in a factory and this certainly is an eco-friendly way to building construction that saves time, manpower, energy and funds! Somewhat like those building sets you’d spend your childhood constructing architectural dreams with, these prefabricated building methods could soon change the way cities sprout.
Dubai has decided to turn its green spots greener and the Municipality has decided to switch to the green side to power up and illuminate parks. The Al Barsha Pond Park in Dubai is one of the six parks already playing home to solar-powered illumination systems. As per the Dubai Municipality, two more parks will go green this in the near future with a total of four more community parks destined to go solar powered by the end of the year. Using LED and metal halide lights that use lesser energy than the usual tungsten-halogen bulbs, the lighting systems will use solar energy to charge up in the day, with the energy being stored for use at night.Continue reading
Nations like Sweden find it easier to switch to the greener side, with lesser populations, more free space and plentiful natural resources, as compared to countries like the United States. Now, Swedish oil company OKQ8 has decided to turn its home greener with a gas station in the Sollentuna (Stockholm) suburb of Häggvik that’s termed to be sustainable. Using wood glulam beams instead of steel, a laminated timber of sorts, the material is known to be highly cost-effective when it comes to manufacturing and transporting it around. Also, the gas station will have a green roof and will sport solar panels to soak in the sun while a rainwater collection system will preserve water to serve the car-wash port!Continue reading
For those of you who’d like that perfect tanned look, though sitting out in the sun waiting for your skin to turn golden isn’t one of those activities you’d indulge in, here’s the perfect way to tan yourself. Now, ironic as it might be, this tanning salon is powered up by solar energy, using juice from the sun to power up all the equipment inside that gives you a healthy, though artificial tan. The Sunlounge Tanning salon, located in California, also makes use of bamboo walls and eco-friendly non-toxin paint while using a “tank-less” water heater that saves up on natural gas.Continue reading
We’ve got wind of Apple’s soon-to-open headquarters in Cupertino, California before. The spaceship-resembling building could now host one of the largest solar installations in the United States, with the roof spanning an area of a whopping 500,000 square feet that could all be topped with solar panels. And that’s not all. The parking space will boast 2,000 sq feet of photovoltaic solar panels, making this one of the greenest corporate facilities in the country. Also, Apple has made sure to keep the green in, with an increase of tree population in the area by 60% and reducing the use of asphalt by 90%.
Shipping containers have been recycled before and put to newer uses post-retirement. This home in Canada is one of them, a perfect way to put to use those usually thrashed away chunks metal boxes. Called the Sea-Can Home, this one’s being put together by Bill and Rosanne Glennon and is still under construction. Once complete, this container-home will spread across 5,000 square feet and will serve as a retirement home, recycling 30 shipping containers in the bargain and making use of the wind and solar energy to power up.
Blending together architecture and greenery, Italian architectural firm Stefano Boeri Architetti seem to have perfected the vertical garden design. Called the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) project, this solar powered structure by the Milan-based firm could be the answer to the green additions required in our urban spaces today. In cities growing vertically, spaces for green spots are rare and difficult to find. However, building vertical green areas could help save space and better the ecosystem in cities. The two residential Vertical Forest towers planned stand 110 and 76 meters respectively and will be home to more than 900 trees and will also include shrubs and floral plants! In all, these towers with 10,000 square meters of green will help produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, and produce oxygen with a budget of $87.5 million.
Satisfying a woman with gifts, particularly your better half, isn’t all that easy. Men have been known to wander about shopping malls desperately trying to get their hands on stuff that’ll make their beloved smile. Well, when you’re a billionaire and you’ve got Naomi Campbell for a girlfriend, gifting her something from a mall isn’t all that good, which is probably why beau Vladislav Doroni came up with plans to build this Eye of Horus-shaped 25-bedroom luxury island house that’s astoundingly green. The dome-shaped home boasts a special cooling system that uses the principals of nature to keep the interiors cool even during summer. With photovoltaic panels integrated in the glass that surrounds the home’s dome façade, this home generates its own renewable energy.