The most solar-panelled, sustainable material-using, eco-friendly building can still leave an unnecessary environmental footprint. How? By forgetting to design the structure paperless. Engineers love to use paper, and an average residential structural engineer will use at least a ton of it every month.
An Austrian company Smartflower recently unveiled a unique and innovative solar energy system, which does away with traditional roof-top mounted solar panels. The so-called Smartflower POP system is a 3.2 kW solar power array that is ground-mounted. It gets its name from the folding panels, which close up at night and in strong wind conditions, and automatically unfold again in the morning. The units are available in 8 different colors.
The Smoky Park Supper Club, located in Asheville, North Carolina, is a recently built restaurant made of shipping containers. It was built using 19 recycled containers by the construction firm SG Blocks, and is apparently the largest shipping container building in the country.
The architecture firm LGA recently designed a new house in Toronto, Canada called the Bedford Park House. This home was designed and built in a sustainable way from the ground up. The home blends in with the neighborhood, and is spacious enough for a large family, all while being very green.
There is something so whimsical about treehouses and I for one would love to have one. Especially one as beautiful and sustainable as the Nest treehouse. It was recently build by the company ArtisTree for Cypress Valley Canopy Tours out of Texas, and it features the perfect blend of unique design, recycled and reclaimed materials and alternative energy. It also offers wildlife conservation since it will double as a butterfly sanctuary.
There are many reasons why people choose to downsize and move to a tiny home, though mostly these reasons stem from financial concerns to some degree. This was also at the core of the decision to build and move to a tiny home for student couple Jess and Dan Sullivan of Burrillville, Rhode Island. They built their tiny home from primarily wood, and used a lot of repurposed and recycled materials to finish it up. They also made it off-the-grid to avoid further costs.