Articles With "recreational" Tag

Pallet Structure Gets A Human Touch

Unit Load_Redux

About ten years ago, I worked at UPS in their "boneyard" — a place where all the pallets were unloaded and strewn in huge heaps on an asphalt parking lot.  We’d neatly stack the pallets, place them in a trailer, and UPS would get rid of them, netting about $0.25 per pallet saved.  At the time, I didn’t realize the amount of pallets in circulation around the globe.  It’s estimated that there are about 2 BILLION ordinary unit load pallets in circulation globally, and about two-thirds of these are only used once.  It’s further estimated that U.S. companies throw away roughly 4 billion board feet of wood pallets every year.  Pretty crazy, I know. 

So HDR Architecture came up with Unit Load_Redux, a temporary exhibition intended as a probe for sustainable living through the redux of pallets and the use of bicycle energy.

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HOM Draws a Crowd at Dwell on Design

HOM

HOM Escape in Style made its debut at Dwell on Design this weekend and drew a considerable crowd.  Apartment Therapy said HOM was their favorite home on display, and Curbed liked its interior design.  Of the three models that HOM plans for production, the (smaller) 1000 sf design was exhibited throughout the weekend in LA.  HOM designs cost in the $200 psf range, which calculates to approximately $200,000 for a 1000 sf house.

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Innovative Abōd Takes Small Project Award

Abōd

The fulcrum of the green building revolution, I think, is conservation and living happily with less.  It’ll be interesting to see how we get there, to see if we can live lighter.  In the meantime, I like to monitor small projects to see what piques the interest of crowds.  Lately Abōd® has been getting some quality attention.  Abōd was honored by the AIA this year with a Small Project Award.  The AIA explained the concept: "The design goal was to develop a breakthrough in value-engineered lowest cost housing with an extensive array of add-on options to personalize each home. The resulting design incorporating the Catenary arch is simple and structurally sound but also aesthetically pleasing and can be built by 4 people in just one day with only a screwdriver and an awl."

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Leaf-like Solar Shade Both Functional, Educational

Veil Solar Shade

Buro North, a design firm located in Melbourne, Australia, has partnered with Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) to develop this interesting solar-collecting sun shade called the "Solar Shade" for Australian elementary schools.  The Solar Shade concept is part educational and part functional.  Of course, when used in clusters, Solar Shades provide a shaded gathering place that generates energy for the school.  But in addition, the device demonstrates and educates students on the dynamics of harvesting solar energy.  The foundation of the Solar Shade includes LED lights that provide feedback as to whether the orientation is/is not optimal.  When the LEDs turn red, students can grab the handle and rotate the device to absorb more of the sun’s rays.   Although still a concept, it’s kind of a cool idea — maybe enthusiasm for the project will push it into production?

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Gulf Islands House Blends Minimalism and Green

Gulf Islands Home

This clever little house caught my eye the other day.  Designed by architect Matthew Woodruff, The Gulf Islands House was completed a couple years ago in what seems to be quite the serene location.  It’s a cozy second home that was built as an escape of sorts for Woodruff’s family.  I’m not sure the owners were trying to set any green building records with the home, but the two-bedroom pad has some green features we can all appreciate, such as its solar orientation and design, small footprint, and use of locally harvested materials.  The minimalist design seems to create just the right space for congregating with the family, too. 

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Magic Box, is this the Future of (Green) Prefab?

Magic Box Prefab

I put ‘green’ in parenthesis because the future is green, whether you, I, or anyone else likes it.  That’s where this whole thing is heading.  And several countries rely heavily on prefabrication for construction of homes and buildings.  So I ask, after looking at the photos, does this Magic Box represent what’s to come in the future?  The Magic Box is cubic and versatile and small.  It can go anywhere and be used as anything.  But is this the future of (green) prefab?

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