Are self-sustaining eco-communities the future?

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There is no longer any doubt left that finding more sustainable ways to live are crucial to ensure the continued survival of our planet. And that is exactly what the ReGen Village project aims to achieve. It will consist of several eco-villages, which will be built to be completely self-sustaining from the ground up. The first of these villages will be developed in Almere, Holland.
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By |May 11th, 2017|Green Building|0 Comments

Net-Zero Tiny Home Designed by Students

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How much space does a person need to live comfortably? Not that much, according to tiny home enthusiasts. And tiny homes are certainly one way to combat the increased demand for affordable homes in urban areas. The students of Laney College in Oakland, California, have designed and built a solar-powered net-zero tiny home to help combat the housing shortage in the area. The home was entered into last year’s Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) competition and won the “Best Architecture” and “Best Design” accolades.

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The tiny house is called the Wedge and measures just 202 sq ft (18.8 sq m). It rests atop a 20 ft (6 m) long trailer and is primarily aimed at those who have been priced out of their homes by gentrification and the rising rents it brought. The home was designed in a way that ensures low maintenance and running costs.

The home produces as much energy as it consumes, and it gets its power from a solar panel array mounted on the roof, while excess power is stored in a battery bank. An inverter converts the power from the 24 volt DC bank of batteries to the standard 120 volts AC for the appliances and devices that require it. However, most of the lighting, devices and appliances, including the water heater, are powered directly from the battery.

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The Wedge has an interesting shape, which is how it got its name. A part of it juts out and the main purpose of this design choice was to create additional interior space, but keep the same footprint. The home features a sitting area, two sleeping lofts, a kitchen and a bathroom. The sitting area is fitted with an L-shaped sofa, which hides a storage area. As for sleeping, the home can accommodate a family of three. One of the lofts fits a queen-sized bed, while the other is big enough for a single bed. The larger is accessible via a storage stair, and the smaller one via a ladder. Although, since the lofts are just large enough to fit the beds, I would like to see some protective railing installed to prevent falls.

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The kitchen features a long counter that has all the necessities incorporated into it, namely a sink, a small fridge, a pantry and a two-burner induction stovetop. There is still ample amounts of counter space left over. Opposite the kitchen is the working/dining area, which is fitted with custom-built furniture and has seating that can be stored underneath the desk when not in use. The bathroom is fitted with a composting toilet, shower and sink.

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The home is also fitted with a natural gravel and wetland plant based greywater filtration system. This water can then be reused for irrigation, since the plan for these homes is to be used as part of urban farming initiatives.

The Wedge is currently on sale for $55,000 via Tiny House Listings.

By |April 18th, 2017|Modern design|0 Comments

Tiny House Made of Cork

Ecobubo, a Portuguese startup, has recently completed a tiny dwelling of the same name that’s made of cork. The primary function of this tiny house is to serve as a nature escape for two, since the home is located in the woods and lacks the space and amenities, which would make it suitable as a full-time home. (more…)

By |April 13th, 2017|Modern design|0 Comments

Home 3D Printed in 24 hours in Russia

It’s been awhile since we’ve had news of homes being 3D printed, but now Russian engineer Nikita Chen-yun-tai has made quite a breakthrough. The 3D printer he designed has been used to print a home in just 24 hours. His company Apis Cor has successfully constructed a home that is the first in the world to be built using mobile 3D printing technology. (more…)

By |March 21st, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

London Will Get Europe’s Largest Floating Solar Array

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Following the example of Japan, which has already begun constructing numerous floating solar arrays to meet it’s renewable energy goals, UK’s Thames Water has now announced plans to do the same. They are already building what will be the largest floating solar array in Europe, and they plan to install it on a reservoir in London. This project is part of Thames Water’s goal of finding solutions to generate one third of its own energy from renewable sources by 2020. (more…)

By |March 20th, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

France to Get a Solar Highway

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The French National Institute for Solar Energy (INES) in collaboration with Colas, a transport infrastructure company, is planning to cover about 621 miles (1000 km) of French roads with solar panels. The project was commissioned by France’s Agency of Environment and Energy Management and it is estimated to be completed within the next five years. The project is called the Wattway system and looks very promising. (more…)

By |March 6th, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments