Off-Grid Mountain Lodge Completed in Norway

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About three years ago, Norway’s Tourism Association held a competition for designing the best self-catering mountain lodges, which they could place on hiking trails across the country. The winning lodges were the so-called Skåpet Mountain Lodges designed by Koko Architects. These lodges are made up of a group of off-grid cabins, which require very little maintenance and can house up to 35 hikers. They also operate completely off-the-grid, and provide a secure and comfortably warm shelter even in the harshest conditions, which in Norway can get pretty harsh. The first of these Skåpet Mountain Lodges was recently built on a hiking trail in Rogaland. (more…)

By |December 20th, 2016|Green Building|0 Comments

Super Sustainable Renovation of a Cottage

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The vacation home in question is located in the Lake of Bays, Muskoka region and is actually a recently renovated house from the 1960s. The renovation was done by Fourth Pig and Stone’s Throw Design and the end result is a nearly passive home, which boasts of a number of sustainable features and looks amazing inside and out.

As part of the renovation, the home has been wrapped in straw bale for insulation, and it is heated by a wood fired boiler. The latter also provides hot water for both washing and the radiant heating system. There is also a solar hot water heater, which provides hot water and supplements radiant heating. They home also features a high efficiency Energy Recovery Ventilator. (more…)

By |December 3rd, 2016|Green Building|0 Comments

House Built Using the Soil on Which it Stands

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Our forbearers used what was on hand to build their homes and shelters, and striving for a more sustainable world inevitably means that we have to get back to those basics. A great example of doing just that is the so-called Casa Candaleria, which was designed by Cherem Arquitectos. It is located near San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and was built using primarily the earth on which it stands. (more…)

By |November 24th, 2016|Green Building|0 Comments

Van Converted Into a Multifunctional Tiny Home

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New Zealander John McElhiney recently converted a van into a tiny home, which is equipped for full time, off-the-grid living, and can actually be fully submerged underwater with the help of a snorkel-like add-on. He doesn’t live in it full time, but does spend a lot of time in it when he travels and explores.

He purchased the 1998 Mitsubishi Delica Starwagon already fully modified for expeditions and post-apocalyptic living about a year ago. He started his renovation of it by tearing out the rear seats to create a sleeping and living area. Next, he installed a custom-built piece of furniture, which includes a pull-out sink, a compact fridge, and a counter that can be stored inside the unit when not in use. All these utilities are accessible via the van’s rear door, and locked in place with a pin system when not in use. (more…)

By |November 7th, 2016|Green Building|0 Comments

Vintage Trailer Becomes Cool Family Home

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Jordan Menzel of Salt Lake City, Utah recently converted a vintage 1976 Airstream Trailer into a cozy, quirky tiny home. He’d come across the trailer by chance and even though he’d never lived in a tiny home before (or a trailer, for that matter), he decided to buy it. It cost him $4000, and it is now a full-time home for him and his young daughter.

The trailer is a 29-foot-long Ambassador class Airstream, and he spent about three months turning it into a home. He started the renovation by first removing all the shag-carpet lining the interior. This was followed by removing the cabinetry, and completely redoing it using reclaimed pallet wood. He also used the latter to build a new closet. He set out to create a very open interior, which now feels cozy and spacious, rather than cramped and cluttered as Airstream interiors tend to be. (more…)

By |October 26th, 2016|Green Building|0 Comments

Off-The-Grid Bunker-Like Vacation Home

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Since vacation homes are empty for most of the year, keeping them securely locked up is one of the main considerations. This was especially true for Casa Caldera, which is located only 15 miles (24 km) north of the US-Mexico border. Keeping this vacation home secure while unoccupied was one of the main concerns when designing it, and the architecture firm Dust of Tucson, Arizona did a great job on it, making it both secure and highly sustainable at the same time. In addition, only a single truck-full of waste was produced during construction. (more…)

By |October 25th, 2016|Green Building|0 Comments