Tree House Costa Rica Puerto Viejo | Costa Rica Tree House

This is renting out for $300/night minimum – up to $450/night for 6 people. In Puerto Viejo, not Puntarenas. The bathroom doesn’t look too flash for $300/night, but that’s part of the adventure and the charm.

The Tree House has been entirely built of sustainable woods. All the hard woods used on the tree House were obtained out of fallen trees. We did not cut any alive tree to build the Tree House. Most of the woods used on the Tree House are Nispero Manilkara chicle and Casha Pithecellobium idiopodum. Both are hardwoods.

Most of the time, these trees are found in deep areas of the jungle. To get them out we cut them on location in the desired sizes, then we pull the wood out with oxes. Many times it took several weeks to get our wood out of the jungle before we could build.

The bathroom is built around a 100+ year-old tree, which is still growing around the house.

via Tree House Costa Rica Puerto Viejo | Costa Rica Tree House.

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7 deluxe tree-house hotels – CNN.com

Want to go out on a limb for your next vacation — literally? Once the sole province of young boys and Ewoks, tree houses offer adventurous travelers (read: unafraid of heights) a unique travel experience in an age of roadside motel chains and globe-stretching hotel corporations.

Building a hotel in the treetops is hardly a new idea: Brazil’s Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel has been inviting guests to explore the jungle canopy from its rooms since the mid-1980s. But the concept has blossomed; today you’ll find them everywhere from Massachusetts to China.

Better yet, this new breed is more than just planks of wood nailed to an old oak. Head to South Africa’s Tsala Treetop Lodge, in Plettenberg Bay, and you’ll find infinity pools and fireplaces.

Modern tree houses present a rare opportunity to drive past the McResort and break free of travel’s predicable stops and well-traveled routes. Up in the leaves, you’ll find something unique and exceptional — surely the reward of any good journey.

Tree House Lodge, Limón, Costa Rica

Why it’s unique: The highlight of this 10-acre beachfront property, within the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge on Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast, is a sustainably built tree-house made from fallen trees, with solar heating, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a shower built around the crooks and roots of a massive 100-year-old Sangrillo tree.

Access: Hanging steel bridge.

What to do: Snorkel or kayak off the nearby Punta Uva Beach.

Travel + Leisure: World’s coolest futuristic buildings

Treehotel, Harads, Sweden

Why it’s unique: Leading Swedish architects gave the backyard staple a strange futuristic makeover at the Treehotel outside Harads village (population: 600). Perched four to six meters above the ground, each of five treetop suites has its own look, whether resembling a bird’s nest, a flying saucer or a construction of Lego blocks. The most ingenious suite has a mirrored exterior, reflecting the forest on all six sides.

Access: Ramp, bridge, or (if you’re lucky) electric stairs.

What to do: Pursue the Northern Lights by dog-sled ride or snowshoe hike through the Lule River Valley in winter, or go fishing and kayaking in summer.

Travel + Leisure: World’s most unusual hotels

Playa Viva, Juluchuca, Mexico

Why it’s unique: The eco-friendly Playa Viva north of Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific Coast features three tree-house casitas completely built with sustainable materials. Each has a bedroom and full porch for dining and lounging, and the master development plan calls for a beach club, lounge and a 40-room boutique hotel, plus solar-generated electricity and hot water.

Access: Series of stairs, ramps, and bridges.

What to do: Tour the resort’s 200 acres, 80 percent of which is a private nature preserve.

The Aviary, Lenox, Massachusetts

Why it’s unique: Located on 22 acres of parkland designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the two-story Aviary tree-house is housed in a former aviary at Wheatleigh, a sprawling 1893 “summer cottage” in the Berkshire Mountains. The luxury suite features a limestone wet room with an antique soaking tub, circular stairs leading to the second-floor sleeping quarters in the trees and a Bang & Olufsen entertainment system.

Access: Ground-floor entrance.

What to do: Sample the season’s bounty in Wheatleigh’s elegant Dining Room restaurant, or poke around the historic area’s local galleries, antique shops, and museums.

Travel + Leisure: World’s coolest ferris wheels

Hinchinbrook Island Resort, Hinchinbrook Island, Australia

Why it’s unique: Hinchinbrook, a 96-acre national park with lush rainforests, rugged mountains, and coarse sandy beaches, has just one option for accommodations: the Island Resort, a secluded hideaway with 15 roomy tree-house bungalows, each with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, small kitchen, private balcony and bath, and easy beachfront access.

Access: Winding timber boardwalks.

What to do: Stroll one of the island’s 11 secluded beaches, and in the evening relax at the Island Resort’s bar.

World’s best airport hotels

Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Why it’s unique: Overlooking the Tsitsikamma Forest, this high-design stone-and-glass lodge counts 10 secluded tree-house suites, each with floor-to-ceiling bedroom windows, a log fireplace in the living room, a private deck, and an infinity-edge pool.

Access: Wooden walkways.

What to do: Explore South Africa’s Garden Route, which winds along the botanically rich Western Cape, or relax on the beach at nearby Plettenberg Bay.

Chewton Glen, Hampshire, UK

Why it’s Unique: Six private tree houses, with two stately suites in each, are on the 130-acre grounds of Chewton Glen in the Hampshire countryside near New Forest National Park. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic canopy views, as does a spacious outdoor terrace, with a hot tub and daybeds, 35 feet above ground. Heated timber and marble floors encourage bare feet.

Access: Gangplanks lead the way to these floating suites.

What to do: After breakfast (a chef-prepared hamper delivered to your tree house) explore the English countryside via walking trails, horseback, or kayak.

Check out more of the world’s coolest tree-house hotels here.

via 7 deluxe tree-house hotels – CNN.com.

A World Without Landfills? It’s Closer than You Think | NationofChange

Zero waste systems include:

composting, recycling, reuse, and education on how to separate materials into these categories;

door-to-door collection of recyclable and compostable stuff; swap meets, flea markets or freecycle websites to exchange reuseable goods and encourage people to buy less;

policy change, including bans on incineration and single-use plastic bags, and subsidies and incentives for recycling;

regulation of corporations to require them to buy back and recycle their products once they are used by consumers (glass soda bottles and tires are examples of products subject to this regulation in some countries).

Zero waste systems are designed with the goal of eliminating the practice of sending trash to landfills and incinerators. Not only is this possible, it’s already beginning to happen. Ercolini’s hometown of Capannori, Italy, has already achieved 82 percent recycling and reuse and is on track to bring that figure to 100 percent by 2020.

via A World Without Landfills? It’s Closer than You Think | NationofChange.

Alastair Parvin: Architecture for the people by the people – TED Talk

Great TED Talk on Wiki House, shared under Creative Commons License, C & C machine cuts the parts, slots together without tools, 2-3 people can build a house in a day.

Wikihouse.cc the Open Source Construction Set. Print Your Own House.

 

Architect Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses? The concept is at the heart of Wikihouse, an open source construction kit that means just about anyone can build a house, anywhere.

via Alastair Parvin: Architecture for the people by the people – YouTube.

Greening the Desert with Geoff Lawton, Original and Update: 1 of 4 – YouTube

The all-time ultimate introduction to Permaculture. All the world’s problems can be solved, in a garden:

This half hour video documents the ongoing work of Permaculture Gurus, Geoff and Nadia Lawton, in the Dead Sea Valley. It begins with the famous original ‘Greening the Desert’ five minute video clip, and then continues into Part II, a 2009 update to the 2001 original.

If you prefer, you can watch the whole thing in one hit on Vimeo:

You’ll get to see and learn about the original Greening the Desert site and see some of the spin-off effects of its influence throughout Jordan, and you’ll also be introduced to a new educational demonstration site that was started in 2008.

You can see the video, and more information about it, in its original post here:

http://www.permaculture.org.au/2009/1…

This is inspiring, practical work – the kind of work that should be encouraged, supported and emulated worldwide. It is the ultimate root-cause type of aid work.

via Greening the Desert with Geoff Lawton, Original and Update: 1 of 4 – YouTube.

Tentsile tree tents: floating treehouses mimic spider webs – YouTube

Treehouse architect Alex Shirley-Smith wanted to create a portable treehouse, a kind of ready-made, floating shelter that could be assembled in any backyard, wood or even city streets.

In 2010 Shirley-Smith released several tree tent prototypes inspired by spiders’ webs. “A spider always uses three anchoring points and the web finds its own position in space that’s a circle in between any of those 3 points. So as long as you’ve got 3 anchoring points this tent will find its own central position to create its own shape inside that triangle. The whole thing is sort of taken from spider’s web technology or you know, what exists in nature. Biomicmicry.”

After refining 11 prototypes, Shirley-Smith and partner Kirk Kirchev finally released a production model tree tent- the Tentsile Stingray. Using just 3 tree straps, 2 poles and one fly sheet, the Stingray will shelter up to 4 people in mid-air. It takes about 10 minutes to set-up and a few minutes to take down. And best of all, it is one size fits all.

The tent can be used as a camping alternative- to keep you comfortably suspended above any animals, bugs or uncomfortable rocks-, but the design could also prove the basis for a new type of eco-village. Kirchev dreams of one day creating a community of (much larger) tensile structures where portable villages could be mounted and disassembled in a day, leaving little impact on the forest floor.

via Tentsile tree tents: floating treehouses mimic spider webs – YouTube.

HOW TO: Build Your Own Beach Bar from Discarded Shipping Pallets | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Using seven discarded shipping pallets, avid recycler and designer James Higginson—who previously shared his pallet table project with us—now ups his game with a gorgeous DIY beach bar built on a tiny budget. Check out James’ tutorial on how you can make your own beautiful construction this summer. His step-by-step instructions can found here, and though this project requires some building know-how, it’s also a DIY masterpiece that’s sure to WOW your friends and family!

via HOW TO: Build Your Own Beach Bar from Discarded Shipping Pallets | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

Tentsile tree tents: floating treehouses mimic spider webs – videos – *faircompanies

Treehouse architect Alex Shirley-Smith wanted to create a portable treehouse, a kind of ready-made, floating shelter that could be assembled in any backyard, wood or even city streets.

In 2010 Shirley-Smith released several tree tent prototypes inspired by spiders’ webs. “A spider always uses three anchoring points and the web finds its own position in space that’s a circle in between any of those 3 points. So as long as you’ve got 3 anchoring points this tent will find its own central position to create its own shape inside that triangle. The whole thing is sort of taken from spider’s web technology or you know, what exists in nature. Biomicmicry.”

After refining 11 prototypes, Shirley-Smith and partner Kirk Kirchev finally released a production model tree tent- the Tentsile Stingray. Using just 3 tree straps, 2 poles and one fly sheet, the Stingray will shelter up to 4 people in mid-air. It takes about 10 minutes to set-up and a few minutes to take down. And best of all, it is one size fits all.

“It’s not bespoke, so it’s a treehouse solution that avoids all of the pitfalls of treehouse architecture. Because a treehouse has to be bespoke to be made to the host tree and this is a treehouse that one shape fits all. It doesn’t have to be custom made: any three trees, any three points, I mean we’ve put it up in London on lampposts and bollards and stuff.”

The tent can be used as a camping alternative- to keep you comfortably suspended above any animals, bugs or uncomfortable rocks-, but the design could also prove the basis for a new type of eco-village. Kirchev dreams of one day creating a community of (much larger) tensile structures where portable villages could be mounted and disassembled in a day, leaving little impact on the forest floor.

“It will also be quite spectacular to be able to be up above in the canopy where the birds are singing and there’s leaves and it’s just a great environment, which it has been unexplored until now. Go back to the trees… we’ve never had people up the trees until we came down from the trees I suppose.”

– tags: small spaces tiny homes treehouse biomimicry small homes tiny shelter london small shelter tentsile ecovillage floating tent hammock tent portable treehouse queen’s wood tentsile stingray

via Tentsile tree tents: floating treehouses mimic spider webs – videos – *faircompanies.

Shipping Container Homes

some good examples of designs at this link, eg.

2x 40ft Shipping Container Home, – Sarah House Project, – Glendale, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Sarah House Project is a mostly one-man effort to build a small home out of two 8 by 40-foot shipping containers.

Jeffrey White is adding something new to the mix. Something unexpectedly stylish. Shipping containers.

White’s house is 672 square feet.

White estimates the cost of the project, including the land, at $108,000 – $115,000. This, he says, is close to the cost of a conventional home and is higher than he expected, but White hopes he’ll be able to bring those numbers down in future.

“I would love this house to come somewhere in the $60,000 – $75,000 range,” White said.

The Crossroads Urban Center will eventually sell the home to a low-income single or couple

via Shipping Container Homes.

FLW container house | Zigloo

FLW CONTAINER HOUSE

An adapted Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) Container House design concept creates a unique house sized perfectly to most standard size lots. This design is constructed of two 40′ and six 20′ shipping containers. The main floor consists of an open living, dining and kitchen area, along with 2 bedrooms, the main bathroom and laundry room. Circular windows in the living area provide interest on the front wall, while the kitchen window provides an elegant visual backdrop. The bathroom is tucked away behind the kitchen and the foyer leads to the bedroom hall. The bedrooms have sliding glass windows overlooking the front yard and the container doors can be locked shut to increase security or opened to allow natural light. The central staircase is a sculptural element to access the upper floor. The upper floor contains the master bedroom suite and an open office/den space. The studio and mechanical rooms are contained in a separate 20′ container joined to the principal building by a patio and water feature.

#8 Shipping Cabin

The Shipping Cabin design is a luxury, low cost construction conceptualized for a controlled manufacturing environment. These luxury low cost residences could be built on Canada’s West Coast and economically shipped to places like Spain, Bolivia or Iceland. The use of shipping containers serves as the fundamental building blocks of a cabin structure which can be easily adapted to any location and environment. This concept uses a single 40′x8′ shipping container as an upper floor and a simple glass and aluminum frame with a ground level enclosure. The cabin is raised 9′ above the ground and supported on four wooden columns. The roof consists of arched trusses and corrugated 12′ steel culverts. The ground level floor is an open and flexible space for accommodating various living arrangements. The shipping container makes up the structure of the upper floor which includes the bedroom, storage unit and bathroom.

via FLW container house | Zigloo.

Snoozebox Portable Hotel is a Creative Use of Shipping Containers : TreeHugger

hipping containers are not just metal boxes, they are part of a transportation system. Without the trailers, cranes and ships designed to handle them quickly and cheaply, they would be just packing cases. That’s why I have never been much of a fan of most shipping container architecture, where they are thought as just metal boxes, and why I love projects like the Snoozebox Portable Hotel, which demonstrates how this incredible transportation infrastructure can be put to work.

Snoozebox/Promo image

The Snoozebox Hotel can be set up anywhere in the world in as little as 48 hours, and the entire hotel can be rented for as few as three days. So if there is a special event that draws a lot of people for a short time, (like the Olympics right now or the Edinburgh Festival in a few weeks) the hotel can be set up and removed quickly. Instead of having a lot of overcapacity built permanently, it can be rented short term.

Snoozebox/Promo image

The rooms are not huge, getting four suites into a 40′ container, and they are really designed for sleeping, not swanning around at a resort, with bunk beds built in. At the Olympics they are being used for security personnel. Occupants are often race crews, moving around Europe.

Snoozebox is totally self-contained and does not require mains services or flat terrain to be fully operational at almost any event or location around the world. With the benefit of being stackable, the accommodation takes up considerably less space than traditional ‘cabins’ or large motorhomes, plus the the simple, rapid build-up ensures minimal time and disruption on-site.

Snoozebox/Promo image

The look of the building is utilitarian, but as we learned from China, the shipping container look is so trendy that people are even faking it. The point here is to get as many rooms in a box as you can and to use the technology to move fast. Snoozebox does that brilliantly. More at Snoozebox, found on Core77

via Snoozebox Portable Hotel is a Creative Use of Shipping Containers : TreeHugger.

FLW container house | Zigloo

FLW CONTAINER HOUSE

An adapted Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) Container House design concept creates a unique house sized perfectly to most standard size lots. This design is constructed of two 40′ and six 20′ shipping containers. The main floor consists of an open living, dining and kitchen area, along with 2 bedrooms, the main bathroom and laundry room. Circular windows in the living area provide interest on the front wall, while the kitchen window provides an elegant visual backdrop. The bathroom is tucked away behind the kitchen and the foyer leads to the bedroom hall. The bedrooms have sliding glass windows overlooking the front yard and the container doors can be locked shut to increase security or opened to allow natural light. The central staircase is a sculptural element to access the upper floor. The upper floor contains the master bedroom suite and an open office/den space. The studio and mechanical rooms are contained in a separate 20′ container joined to the principal building by a patio and water feature.

#8 Shipping Cabin

The Shipping Cabin design is a luxury, low cost construction conceptualized for a controlled manufacturing environment. These luxury low cost residences could be built on Canada’s West Coast and economically shipped to places like Spain, Bolivia or Iceland. The use of shipping containers serves as the fundamental building blocks of a cabin structure which can be easily adapted to any location and environment. This concept uses a single 40′x8′ shipping container as an upper floor and a simple glass and aluminum frame with a ground level enclosure. The cabin is raised 9′ above the ground and supported on four wooden columns. The roof consists of arched trusses and corrugated 12′ steel culverts. The ground level floor is an open and flexible space for accommodating various living arrangements. The shipping container makes up the structure of the upper floor which includes the bedroom, storage unit and bathroom.

via FLW container house | Zigloo.

Bayside Marina Hotel, Shipping Container Architecture | GBlog

The Bayside Marina Hotel by Japanese architecture firm yoshimura is another stunning example of modular construction built using shipping containers.  The seemingly random positioning  of the pthe prefabricated modular cottages gave a  unique and different view to each room as well as creating multiple panoramic scenes within and around the premises. Each unit consists of two containers stacked upon one another which have been pre-fabricated in Thailand and assembled in Japan. Check also the Crossbox by CG Architects

via Bayside Marina Hotel, Shipping Container Architecture | GBlog.

Self-Powered Wireless Window Sensors Provide Foolproof Security | Gizmodo Australia

Window sensors have long been a part of security systems, but since they all rely on wires so they can be constantly monitored, there’s the potential for them to be compromised. That’s not the case with these new wireless sensors that are invisible when installed, and don’t even require an outside power source.

Developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, the new sensors are built around the institute’s HallinOne 3D magnetic field sensor which is already in use in other consumer products. A magnet embedded in the bottom of the window is detected by the fingernail-sized 3D sensor built into its frame. It’s sophisticated enough to determine both the position and angle of the magnet, so it can tell if a window has been left just slightly open, or even if it’s been properly locked. And to keep it powered a thermoelectric generator, also embedded in the window frame, converts heat into electricity — while a small solar cell harvests sunlight from outside.

The system also uses a clever nodal RF system to wirelessly transmit status information to a base station. Every single window has a small radio unit and microcontroller built-in so that they can talk to each other, passing along data to the next if they’re out of range of the base station. And while all the hardware is only available as bulky prototypes at the moment, by the end of the year it will be refined and ready for mass production so you can hopefully expect to see security systems employing this technology as early as next year. [Fraunhofer]

via Self-Powered Wireless Window Sensors Provide Foolproof Security | Gizmodo Australia.

Fakros Innovative Windows Transform Into Airy Rooftop Balconies! – StumbleUpon

Fakros Innovative Windows Transform Into Airy Rooftop Balconies! – StumbleUpon.

Window design company Fakro has developed an innovative skylight that can transform a window into a balcony! With the flip of the window sashes, the panes open out to form a guard rail, creating a small open-air terrace. Met with a slide rail inside, Fakro’s design can transform a room’s architecture without expensive renovations.

Read more: Fakro’s Innovative Windows Transform Into Airy Rooftop Balconies! | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 

 

Shipping container architecture – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shipping container architecture is a form of architecture using steel intermodal containers (shipping containers) as structural element, because of their inherent strength, wide availability and relatively low expense.

Contents  [hide]

1 Advantages

2 Disadvantages

3 Examples

4 Markets

4.1 Other uses

5 For housing and other architecture

6 See also

7 References

8 Further reading

9 External links

[edit]Advantages

Strength and durability

Shipping containers are in many ways an ideal building material. They are designed to carry heavy loads and to be stacked in high columns. They are also designed to resist harsh environments – such as on ocean-going vessels or sprayed with road salt while transported on roads. Due to their high strength, containers are useful for secure storage.

Modular

All shipping containers are made to standard measurements and as such they provide modular elements that can be combined into larger structures. This simplifies design, planning and transport. As they are already designed to interlock for ease of mobility during transportation, structural construction is completed by simply emplacing them. Due to the containers’ modular design additional construction is as easy as stacking more containers. They can be stacked up to 12 high when empty.

Transport

Pre-fabricated modules can also be easily transported by ship, truck or rail, because they already conform to standard shipping sizes.

Availability

Used shipping containers are available across the globe.

Expense

Many used containers are available at an amount that is low compared to a finished structure built by other labor-intensive means such as bricks and mortar — which also require larger more expensive foundations. Construction involves very little labor and used shipping containers requiring only simple modification can be purchased from major transport companies for as little as US $1,200 each. Even when purchased brand new they are seldom more than US $6000.

[edit]Disadvantages

Temperature

Steel conducts heat very well; containers used for human occupancy in an environment with extreme temperature variations will normally have to be better insulated than most brick, block or wood structures.

Humidity

As noted above, single wall steel conducts heat. In temperate climates, moist interior air condenses against the steel, becoming clammy. Rust will form unless the steel is well sealed and insulated.

Labor

The welding and cutting of steel is considered to be specialized labor and can increase construction expenses, yet overall it is still lower than conventional construction. Unlike wood frame construction, attachments must be welded or drilled to the outer skin, which is more time consuming and requires different job site equipment.

Construction site

The size and weight of the containers will, in most cases, require them to be placed by a crane or forklift. Traditional brick, block and lumber construction materials can often be moved by hand, even to upper stories.

Building permits

The use of steel for construction, while prevalent in industrial construction, is not widely used for residential structures. Obtaining building permits may be troublesome in some regions due to municipalities not having seen this application before.

Treatment of timber floors

To meet Australian Government quarantine requirements most container floors when manufactured are treated with insecticides containing Copper (23-25%) Chromium (38-45%) and Arsenic (30-37%) Before human habitation, floors should be removed and safely disposed. Units with steel floors would be preferable, if available.

Cargo spillages

A container can carry a wide variety of cargo during its working life. Spillages or contamination may have occurred on the inside surfaces and will have to be cleaned before habitation. Ideally all internal surfaces should be abrasive blasted to bare metal, and re-painted with a non toxic paint system.

Solvents

Solvents released from paint and sealants used in manufacture might be harmful.

Damage

While in service, containers are damaged by friction, handling collisions, and force of heavy loads overhead during ship transits. The companies will inspect containers and condemn them if cracked welds, twisted frames or pin holes are found, among other faults.

via Shipping container architecture – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Sman Cruisers’ Classic Wooden Bikes Take to the Streets With Sustainable Style | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

With summer in full swing and temperatures soaring across the states, why not stay cool and reduce carbon emissions at the same time by taking to the streets on a wooden bicycle by Sman Cruisers? The retro-styled beach bikes, developed by Dutch master woodworker Arnolt Van Der Sman, combine 1950s California surf culture with environmentally-friendly materials to inject classic form with contemporary eco-consciousness.  Read about what makes this cruiser sustainable after the jump.

via Sman Cruisers’ Classic Wooden Bikes Take to the Streets With Sustainable Style | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

B9 Shipping developing 100 percent fossil fuel-free cargo sailing ships

Ireland-based B9 Shipping has started work on a full-scale demonstration vessel as part of its goal to design the modern world’s first 100 percent fossil fuel-free cargo sailing ships. Unlike most conventional large cargo vessels, which are powered by bunker fuel, B9 Shipping’s cargo ship would employ a Dyna-rig sail propulsion system combined with an off-the-shelf Rolls-Royce engine powered by liquid biomethane derived from municipal waste.

The company says all of the technologies that will be used in its cargo vessels are already proven and readily available. The Dyna-rig sail system was originally conceived in the 1960s by German hydraulics engineer Wilhelm Prolls and was first used by Italian shipbuilders Perini Navi in its 289 ft (88 m) clipper, The Maltese Falcon, which made its maiden voyage in 2006. The free standing and free rotating system has no rigging and comprises multiple relatively small sails that are operated electronically from the bridge. This allows them to be trimmed quickly to maximize wind power and turned out of the wind in the event of sudden squalls.

The Dyna-rig sail system is expected to provide around 60 percent of the vessel’s thrust, with the remainder coming from a biogas-powered Rolls Royce engine. The biogas will be produced by the anaerobic digestion (AD) of food waste and other commercial and industrial organic waste. B9 Shipping’s sister company, B9 Organic Energy, has recently sunk money into a 50,000 tonne per annum AD plant in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, to demonstrate the biofuel production technology.

To demonstrate the engineering and economic validity of its fossil fuel-free cargo ship design, B9 Shipping has started work on a full-scale demonstration vessel, wile a testing program, which is set to begin this month, is being conducted at the University of Southampton’s Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics (WUMTIA). This will involve tow tank and wind tunnel research using a scale model to identify a basic hull design and how it interacts with the Dyna-rig system.

The testing program will also examine the calibration of the thrust from the sailing rig with various hull shapes to ensure the maximum efficiencies in a wide range of wind and sea conditions, whilst conforming to the loading, unloading and port constraints of commercial cargo vessels. Once the towing tank and wind tunnel testing has been completed and the data validated, the company will undertake an economic analysis of the designs later in the year.

“We are designing B9 Ships holistically as super-efficient new builds transferring technology from offshore yacht racing combined with the most advanced commercial naval architecture,” says Diane Gilpin, Director of B9 Shipping. “We’re combining proven technologies in a novel way to develop ‘ready-to-go’ future-proof and 100 per cent fossil fuel free ships.”

Here’s a video from B9 Shipping outlining the technology they will use in their cargo sailing ship design.

 

They are going to transfer their technology to the small island states:

 

Source: B9 Shipping

via B9 Shipping developing 100 percent fossil fuel-free cargo sailing ships.

Technicolor Tape Installations Turn Ordinary Hallways And Staircases Into ‘Dreamscapes’

Glasgow based Jim Lambie has mastered the art of tape, fashioning large-scale installations out of the sticky stuff that he manages to imbue with the power to transform the dynamics of an entire space. Lambie’s creations are heavily influenced by the architecture of the gallery space it inhabits, tracing the floor with brightly colored vinyl tape to create pulsating illusions that disorient the viewer.

Each of the installations is site-specific and labor-intensive, with most taking weeks to complete. Through the use of contrasting colors, angles and lines, Lambie’s installations emphasize the movement created within the space, transforming the quiet gallery into an energetic sensory overload, pulling you into some kind of “dreamscape.”

via Architizer Blog » Technicolor Tape Installations Turn Ordinary Hallways And Staircases Into ‘Dreamscapes’.

Cardboard containers

Organization: The Moving Crew

Project: What’s Inside?

A collective project by The Moving Crew What’s Inside? uses the motif of the international shipping container as a platform for cross-cultural and creative exchange between the Midwestern United States and Rijeka, Croatia.

We will stack 1800 cardboard boxes to form a volume of one big shipping container.

Dimensions of each box are 20’ x 8.5‘x 8’ in inches, or 50.8 x 21.59 x 20.32 in centimeters. Please see box diagram below.

Intermodal Shipping Containers are 8.5 X 20 X 8 feet:

 

The Moving Crew will silkscreen each box to transform it into a small sized container.

We ask you to invent the logo or company identity, which will be printed on them. The company identities can be fictional or not, but should reference shipping companies to whom those containers belong.

DESIGN SMALL SHIPPING CONTAINERS WHICH WILL BE STACKED TOGETHER INTO ONE REAL-SIZE CONTAINER:

You may submit separate images in any or all of the 3 categories.

1) Company Identity / Logo (for this project we hope to receive submissions of logos which could communicate various statements about the shipping companies)

2) Graffiti (containers collect various graffiti while traveling across the globe. Leave your graffiti messages for the container design)

3) Surface (ie. barcodes and numbers, rust and damage, barnacles, hinges and latches, texture, etc?)

The Moving Crew will print your single color images on multiple colored backgrounds. The surfaces of these boxes are collaborative. Each box printed with your image may also contain other images. (I.e. your company identity may be printed with rust, a barcode, and graffiti from another artist.)

We will take your digital files and convert them to film. This film will then be used to create a silkscreen of your image. The Moving Crew will hold community screen printing workshops throughout the midwestern United States and Rijeka Croatia to create 1800 miniature shpping containers. These containers will be the primary object in the What’s Inside? exhibition.

Send the following to: themovingcrew@gmail.com

1) JPG, Ilustrator or Photoshop files. Since our exposure process requires a decisvely opaque black image, anything that is more nuanced will be filtered to translate a continious tone into ‘yes or no’ information. This will be done using Photoshop with one of the following filters: halftone, bitmap, diffusion dither, threshold, posterization etc. If you have questions about this please email: themovingcrew@gmail.com

2) Your Image IN BLACK ONLY composed within a 20’ X 8.5’ or 8’ X 8.5’ canvas (in centimeters: 50.8 x 21.59 or 20.32 x 21.59)

3) Image Resolution: 300 DPI

4) Images must be labeled with your name and the category you are submitting in. For instance if Sarah Jones is submitting an image of Graffiti her image file is called: S_Jones_Graffiti

5) Your Full Name, Address, Email and Phone Number so that we can get in touch with you and send you a catalog.

In submitting to this exhibition you are agreeing to have your design printed in tandem with the designs of other artists. You are agreeing to show your work at Molekula in Rijeka Croatia, and at the Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell IA USA. You will not receive your printed boxes at the end of the show, they will remain the property of The Moving Crew. If you have additional questions, please email themovingcrew@gmail.com.

via TheMovingCrew :: WeAreShipping.

Floating islands can boost fish production while cleaning water, creator claims : Lifestyles

Breaking muddy night crawlers into thirds, Bruce Kania is so anxious to get two visitors to catch fish in his pond that he’s baiting their hooks.

“A little pressure here, we have to average one fish every two minutes or you screw up my average,” he said like a coach urging his team on in a critical playoff game.

During all the banter, he deftly baited hooks and unhooked perch and crappie as the anglers reeled them in, tossing the fish into a 5 gallon bucket.

“We’re like a machine here, we’re like a factory,” he cheered on. “Our job is to harvest nutrients. That kind of sounds grandiose, but that’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to harvest nutrients before they get down to the Gulf of Mexico and create a dead zone.”

Kania is the owner of Floating Island International, based northeast of Shepherd. On his property, Kania has a 6-acre pond in which he demonstrated the capability of his products.

The large plastic squares that the islands are made of — resembling huge, hollow honeycombs – provide the structure for plants to grow in by sucking sustenance out of the nutrient-saturated water. The water is nutrient rich because of runoff from agricultural and domestic fertilizers as well as from cattle manure.

In a typical pond, such nutrient loading can produce huge blooms of algae that feed on the minerals. But at Kania’s pond that’s not the case. Instead, the nutrients are gobbled up by biofilms growing on his islands and the plants interweaved into the islands. The biofilms are eaten by aquatic bugs that are then eaten by fish.

But the biofilms must be nurtured to thrive.

“The two variables we control are circulation and surface area,” Kania said.

By providing constant circulation to his pond through aeration, the biofilms flourish, keeping away the algae mats that would otherwise typically form. In the process, the water quality is improved as the biofilms chow down on phosphorous and nitrogen from fertilizer runoff. Water clarity has also gotten better, going from 14 inches to 19 feet in the pond, Kania said.

“I think this represents a new message for folks: that we can take water that’s dead and make it high quality,” Kania said. “And you don’t have to travel far to do it. You can do it wherever.”

Kania pointed to 64-acre Lake Elmo in Billings as an example of a place he’d like to show off the capabilities of the floating islands. He claims they would vastly improve the fishing at the shallow, canal-fed impoundment.

There are costs involved, though. In addition to the initial expense of the islands, there would also be the cost of powering the islands’ pumping systems for circulation. At his 6-acre pond, Kania said he spends about $110 a month to pump about 10,400 gallons of water a minute.

“One or two of them would fix Lake Elmo,” he said.

The idea to create the islands came to Kania while he was working as a muskie fishing guide in northern Wisconsin. The Chippewa Flowage, a 15,300-acre manmade impoundment, is dotted with about 200 islands and floating bogs.

The waterway has the distinction of producing the world record muskie, a 69-pound, 11-ounce fish caught in 1949.

“When you dive into the water you can see why it’s so productive,” Kania said. “There are roots everywhere.”

Those roots harbor the biofilms that feed the insects that the fish eat. Kania uses his islands to mimic what’s naturally occurring in places like the Chippewa Flowage.

Kania said he’s pushing to get some of his islands into New York City’s East River to help clean it up and further prove the viability of his system. Islands have already been installed elsewhere, including New Zealand.

He said he’s proven the islands work on a small scale at his pond. Last year he said anglers caught 2,600 fish from his impoundment. This year he hopes to top 5,000.

“I guess what’s exciting here is that water quality is essential to fish growth and fish harvest, which is fun,” he said. “So which would you rather harvest, 280 pounds of algae or 100 pounds of fish?”

via Floating islands can boost fish production while cleaning water, creator claims : Lifestyles.

The Cool Hunter – Outdoor Wallaper by Wall & Deco – Italy

The Italian wallpaper company Wall & Decò is known for creating exquisite, large-scale mural-like wallpapers that define a room. They are widely used in hotels and restaurants, and for private residences by interior designers.

In April at the Fluorisalone 2012 in Milan, Wall & Decò introduced a new wallpaper system designed for the outdoors.

Their OUT – Outdoor Unconventional Textures – system is a three-part covering that allows for incredible photographic reproductions and large-scale graphic designs to be applied onto outside walls. The system consists of an adhesive, a technical fabric and a finishing treatment.

The designs introduced in Milan included a Bauhaus look, a black-and-white OP pattern, tile-initiations and even military camouflage. We believe this is an idea that has staying power, and that it will expand and improve as feedback from early users comes in. – Tuija Seipell

via The Cool Hunter – Outdoor Wallaper by Wall & Deco – Italy.

Wall Gardens, Living Walls in Home Decor – WSJ.com

Consumers with deep pockets will find wall-garden systems that are elaborate and high-tech. GSky Plant Systems Inc., of Vancouver, sells a ProWall system that holds plants without soil in 1-foot-square stainless-steel units, watered through an automated drip system. Typical cost of a custom 10-foot-by-10-foot wall ranges from about $10,000 to $15,000, says Hal Thorne, chief executive. The company won’t install the ProWall system unless the homeowner or business agrees to a maintenance contract for at least a year—which for a 10-by-10 wall would cost about $150 a month.

“We don’t just build them and walk away,” Mr. Thorne says. “It’s a living system, and it needs constant attention and care.”

Bright Green, of Hartland, Mich., creates living walls from plastic trays of 10 or 45 cells, which hold plants in soil at an angle so they don’t fall out when mounted on a wall. Hand-watering is required. Water enters through notches at the top edge of the tray and travels down via a “moisture mat” made of a coconut-based fiber. A tray collects water at the bottom.

The system retails for $29.95 for the small version or $39.95 for the large. A kit including a wooden frame to set off the design on a wall costs $95.

Woolly Pocket, of Los Angeles, offers a system of 2-foot-wide planters filled with soil. Each pocket has a plastic-coated mesh liner that is both a moisture barrier to protect walls and a reservoir, focusing water onto plant roots. The systems generally are watered by hand or by an automatic system with a timer that can cost as much as $60.

The single-pocket “Wally One” planter retails for $40; three cost $100, five $150.

via Wall Gardens, Living Walls in Home Decor – WSJ.com.

After some trial and error with plants, homeowner Angela Day, a financial analyst, enjoys tending her collection of kangaroo ferns and prayer plants. “When I walk by, it’s calming, just a little more serene, maybe a little bohemian,” she says. “It’s a lot different from where I am most of the day.”

Incorporated into a sleek interior, a green wall lends unexpected freshness and some appealing contrast, designers say. “It gives an otherwise smooth, straight, linear design some texture,” says Jason Lempieri, a 41-year old industrial designer in Philadelphia.

Mr. Lempieri’s recently remodeled 1920s brick row house has an open floor plan and a sleek, black-and-white interior.

Recalling plant-filled walls he had seen in Europe, Mr. Lempieri installed a wall garden in the dining room, on a partial-height wall 13 feet wide by 8 feet high with a skylight 30 feet above. He used a system of felt-like pockets filled with soil and, working with Philadelphia-based designer Peter Smith, came up with a palette of ferns and tropical plants. Total cost: $1,000.

Jason Lempieri, a Philadelphia industrial designer, installed a wall garden filled with ferns and tropical plants on the wall of the kitchen in his renovated 1920s row house. Wall gardens are a good contrast in linear modern interiors, designers say.

Mr. Lempieri says he enjoys watering and tending to it. “I’ve come to care for it like it’s a member of the family,” he says.

Wall systems are often modular, with stackable cells of plants that can be arranged in customized displays. Irrigation can be an old-fashioned watering can, or a hidden computerized watering system on timers. Plants may require soil, or they may be fed hydroponically, through chemical-nutrient mixtures in water.

For some, living walls can be a bad fit. Conditions indoors are more challenging for plants than outdoors, because there is less light and moisture. Homeowners have to be a little more “in tune” with their plants’ needs, says Kimberly Labno, a Philadelphia designer.

People may forget to set the timer on an irrigation system. Yet with automatic irrigation systems, there are risks of mold problems and overwatering, designers say. Manufacturers say their systems are safe, but many have been on the residential market for less than five years—not exactly a test of time.

Ms. Labno actually advises homeowners against certain automatic watering systems for their indoor wall gardens, because she says there’s too much that could go wrong. “If dust prevents a valve from closing, you could have a serious flooding event,” she says. The wall gardens she designs typically require watering by hand.

“I think the jury is still out,” says Rebecca Sweet, a Los Altos, Calif., garden designer and author of the book “Garden Up,” about vertical gardening. “Because this is such a new field, I don’t know any homeowner that has had any of these walls up for 10 years at a time.”

 

How to Make Moss Graffiti: 6 steps (with pictures) – wikiHow

Moss graffiti, also called eco-graffiti or green graffiti, replaces spray paint, paint-markers or other such toxic chemicals and paints with a paintbrush and a moss “paint” that can grow on its own. As people become more eco-friendly and environmentally aware, the idea of making living, breathing graffiti has become a more green and creative outlet for graffiti artists. It can also be considered another form of guerrilla gardening.

via How to Make Moss Graffiti: 6 steps (with pictures) – wikiHow.

The Coolest Hideaway Desk Bed – YouTube

The Coolest Hideaway Desk Bed

 

The Hide Away DeskBed is both a Desk and a Bed. Innovative and convenient, the Hide Away DeskBed is an elegant solution to the need for optimal functionality in limited space. The Hide Away DeskBed provides you with the best of both worlds – an effective work space by day and a comfortable sleeping area by night.

The Hide Away DeskBed locks in place in the up-right Desk position then unlock and lower the desk into the Bed. Your computer, printer, papers and even coffee stay on the desk without removing or spilling a drop. When lowered, the hidden bed is revealed.

The Hide Away DeskBed: perfect for loft living, dorm rooms, home office or a child’s room. Space saving solution at its best! Choose Twin, Twin Extra Long and Full size plus additional Hide Away DeskBed furniture to make your room complete. Please view demonstration video online at http://www.specialtytools.com

via The Coolest Hideaway Desk Bed – YouTube.

CARGOTECTURE | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

I had the great pleasure this past weekend of being invited to a little town outside of Seattle, where I witnessed the work-in-progress prototype of Cargotecture’s Studio 320. Had I arrived by chance in the industrial neighborhood to which my directions guided me, I might not have noticed the faded yellow and orange cargo containers that sat at the back of a large, mostly vacant parking lot. They were barely discernable from the backdrop of discarded industrial material. But closer inspection revealed that something surprising was afoot. These two metal boxes are the seed of an ingenious plan by two Seattle architects to turn old shipping containers into sustainable modular dwellings.

On the spectrum of old to new ways of designing sustainably, Robert Humble and Joel Egan pretty much span the gamut with Cargotecture. They are reusing and recycling post-industrial waste, installing new, eco-friendly systems and materials, and presenting it anew for residential habitation, complete with solar panels, smart walls and rainwater collection.

Studio 320 is just one of a group of designs using cargo containers. This prototype is a scant 320-sq-ft, with a thoughtfully-packed bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and great room. The idea is to create a “box within a box” – the exterior being metal and the interior mostly plywood. I was privy this weekend to the insulation process, where they prepared to fill the space between the two boxes. The insulation was being installed by Progressive Insulation, who use a polyurethane spray foam that is non-toxic, produces no off-gasses and claims to offer energy savings over standard insulation. The process essentially turns the whole container into a thermos. Sound too hot for summer? Later in the design process, one whole wall will be turned into a sliding glass panel, and windows cut to permit true indoor-outdoor living during the warmer months.

This prototype is the forerunner of a whole colony of cargo houses called Cargotown, which is the brainchild of Humble, Egan, and a squadron of others who formed a group called Team HyBrid in 2003. Team HyBrid has proposed a multi-tiered, super-low-impact development plan for one of Seattle’s ports, which would include Cargotown, as well as community spaces and habitat restoration projects. They also designed a Mobile Triage Unit for use by Doctors Without Borders in developing countries where housing and healthcare are acutely needed.

These guys are covering all the bases, from post-industrial re-use to sustainable technology, from humanitarian aid to modern urban cool. And if that’s not enough, they plan to offer up free online DIY instructions on building a cargo dwelling yourself. Needless to say, my little field trip to their site sparked tremendous inspiration and admiration. I hope to offer you all a longer interview with these two visionary architects in the weeks to come.

via CARGOTECTURE | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

Houston Buying 25 Shipping-Container Offices for Emergency Solar Power » Swamplot: Houston’s Real Estate Landscape

Houston Buying 25 Shipping-Container Offices for Emergency Solar Power

A SMALL FLEET of modified shipping containers outfitted with adjustable solar panels will soon serve as mobile emergency power supplies for the city of Houston. City officials are currently negotiating a contract to purchase 25 of the units, which are based on a prototype originally deployed as the green-themed sales office of a Montrose condo project. The solar-powered containers, called SPACE (“Solar Powered Adaptive Container for Everyone“), were created by a joint venture of local architecture firm Metalab, Joey Romano’s Harvest Moon Development, and design firm ttweak (best known for the popular “Houston. It’s Worth It.” marketing campaign). City sustainability director Laura Spanjian announced at the opening of the University of Houston’s Green Building Components Expo last month that SPACE and energy company Ameresco had been selected through a public-application process to supply the city with the mobile “solar generators.” Spanjian now tells Swamplot the contract should be complete “in a few weeks.”

* * *

After a hurricane or during any prolonged power outage, the containers would power medical devices and refrigerate and store medicines in various locations throughout the city. They’d also be used to charge phones, computers, and communications equipment. The units were built to withstand hurricane-force winds (as long as the panels are folded down). When off-duty, the SPACE units would hang out at fire stations (providing them with a little solar power on the side). Metalab’s Joe Meppelink tells Swamplot the units will be built in the new Campo Sheetmetal Works shop on Telephone Rd., and that several of them will be finished out for use at festivals and city events.

The earliest versions of the SPACE units were deployed as sales centers for Harvest Moon’s Mirabeau B. condo project at the corner of Hyde Park and Waugh in Montrose — where they handily survived Hurricane Ike. With support from the UH College of Architecture’s Green Building Components program, the team later developed an off-grid version that includes a battery backup, allowing the mobile offices to maintain power for several days without sun.

Solar Powered Adaptive Container for Everyone [SPACE]

RFQ for Design-Build Mobile Solar Generator Project (PDF) [City of Houston]

SPACE [Metalab]

Previously on Swamplot: Solar-Powered Shipping Containers Flee; It’s Apartments for the Mirabeau B., Green Sales Offices for Sale: Solar Powered Shipping Containers for Everyone, The Solar Powered Shipping Container Sales Center for the Mirabeau B., Cisterns and Balcony Bikes: What You’ll See at the Mirabeau B.

via Houston Buying 25 Shipping-Container Offices for Emergency Solar Power » Swamplot: Houston’s Real Estate Landscape.

Solar-Powered Shipping Containers Flee; It’s Apartments for the Mirabeau B. » Swamplot: Houston’s Real Estate Landscape

Solar-Powered Shipping Containers Flee; It’s Apartments for the Mirabeau B.

HEY, WHAT’S happening to those fancy solar-powered recycled shipping containers on the corner of Hyde Park and Waugh, meant to attract eco-minded buyers to the $400K+ condo units in the Mirabeau B.?

Up and away they go! Did the Mirabeau B. meet its sales target? Nope . . . but it’s time for construction anyway, developer Joey Romano tells Swamplot:

Our financing is in place and we have signed our contract with Mission Constructors who have commenced work on the site. If all goes to plan at the City, the building work will begin in the next few weeks.

How’d that happen? With a little switch: to rental. But Romano says none of the project’s “green” features will be changed:

We’ll still plant our green roof; our 15 KW solar PV system will still power all common areas; and our rainwater retention system will still irrigate our native Gulf Coast plants. Our units will be large, open, and spacious, offering unique, high-grade finishes, high-end energy efficient appliances, and natural light in every bedroom.

So where are the shipping containers headed?

* * *

To this space: A new shop owned by Campo Sheet Metal . . .

. . . where they’ll await their next assignment.

Moving day for Mirabeau B Sales Center [Metalab]

The Solar Powered Shipping Container Sales Center for the Mirabeau B. [Swamplot]

Green Sales Offices for Sale: Solar Powered Shipping Containers for Everyone [Swamplot]

Cisterns and Balcony Bikes: What You’ll See at the Mirabeau B. [Swamplot]

via Solar-Powered Shipping Containers Flee; It’s Apartments for the Mirabeau B. » Swamplot: Houston’s Real Estate Landscape.

Shipping container to solar powered restaurant in 90 seconds? Meet the Muvbox portable restaurant

Shipping container to solar powered restaurant in 90 seconds? Meet the Muvbox portable restaurant

By Mick Webb

05:29 July 7, 2009

We have already seen the humble shipping container take on many guises ranging from pop-up hotel rooms to relocatable homes. Here to “cater” for the entrepreneur on the move is the Müvbox portable restaurant. This compact and mobile unit uncovers a fully operational kitchen in around 90 seconds at the touch of a button, and brings an eco-friendly ethos to the table to boot.

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The refitted 8ft deep and 20ft long shipping container transforms into a functioning restaurant with room for four staff and a wood fired pizza oven. Covered eating space is provided for up to 28 people (with bistro seating for 14) when the walls of the container are folded back and tables assembled. On top of the 90 second initial deployment, complete installation takes around 15 minutes.

The flagship unit, recently unveiled in Montreal, endeavors to promote sustainability by offering largely local produce from its ‘gourmet fast food’ interior. The mobility of the concept enables the investor to move around with demand for business and the basic design means it can be easily adapted to suit other ideas.

“More and more entrepreneurs are seeking affordable, turnkey concepts that reflect their lifestyle while minimizing the financial risk that can often be associated with new ventures says creator Daniel Noiseux. “The Müvbox meets their criteria: minimum staff, minimum cost, and the advantage of not being attached to a fixed location”.

Aside from being a re-used shipping container, the US$150,000 Müvbox concept has an environmentally friendly floor constructed from recycled tires. Added to this, the roof contains two solar panels which enable the unit to be up to 40% self sufficient in terms of energy use.

via Shipping container to solar powered restaurant in 90 seconds? Meet the Muvbox portable restaurant.

YMGI Solar Powered Ductless Heat Pump 12,000 BTU

YMGI Solar Powered Ductless Heat Pump 12,000 BTU

$2,449 online

12000 BTU – With Heater

Now, for those who want to really conserve energy, YMGI created a solar powered ductless heat pump. During periods of peak sun, one photovoltaic panel is sufficient to power the entire system, providing reliable air comfort without consuming electricity. Those features also make it a reliable option for hotels, sunrooms, offices, restaurants, mobile homes and more. Of course, YMGI’s solar powered ductless heat pump …

via YMGI Solar Powered Ductless Heat Pump 12,000 BTU.

Solar Air Conditioning | Solar Cooling & AC | Solar Absorbtion Chillers & Air Conditioners

Solar powered air conditioning systems is one of the most efficient and cost effective solutions for commercial air conditioning. Solar air conditioning employs time tested absorption chillers made by Yazaki.

Absorption chillers are powered by heat (hot water). Many thousands have been installed using gas boilers or by harnessing waste heat from generators or other sources.

Evacuated tube collectors are one of the most effiecient and effective producers of solar hot water. Therefore, absorption chillers run very effectively with a proper solar thermal configuartion.

How Solar Air Conditioning Works

The solar air conditioner / solar heater is powered by solar energy collected in the evacuated tube solar thermal panels (right). The thermal energy collected is then delivered to the solar powered chiller using a Corn Glycol (antifreeze) solution and a simple but carefully designed system of pipes, pumps, and controls.

In the winter, even at below freezing temperatures outside, our evacuated tube solar thermal collectors still produce an abundance of heat. The system can be designed so that this heat is then transferred into your building, either reducing or nearly eliminating the operation of your existing heating system. This means free solar air conditioning in the summer, and free heating in the winter.

See Diagram of Solar Air Conditioning / Solar Heating System for more information.

About Solar Air Conditioners

Absorption chiller air conditioners are not a newly developed technology. In fact, they have been commercially used in the U.S. since the early 20th century and are still very widely used to this day. Absorption chiller AC units are also very popular in Asian countries like Japan, where the high cost of electricity make them very desirable. Chillers constitute up to 40% of all installed commercial air conditioning tonnage. They are simple and dependable, using no harmful CFC (Freon, etc.) and some units actually operate without any moving parts.

When engineered to run on solar energy the absorption chiller AC units provide the lowest cost to operate and the best return on investment of any air conditioning system in the world.

Solar absorption chillers are very low in operating and maintenance costs, and consume little or no electrical energy. Essentially the only parts that use electricity are low amp fan motors and small pumps that move the thermal transfer fluid (Corn Glycol, a food-grade antifreeze) from the collectors to the chiller and then back up to the collectors. Inside the unit is another small pump that circulates the refrigerant. There is no “compressor” to consume power. All of these small electrical loads can run from solar PV panels if desired, meaning zero operational costs for the solar air conditioning system.

This has become an increasingly attractive system for commercial and industrial applications. Air conditioning is one of the most expensive operating costs that a business faces today. Absorption chillers are efficient, reliable, low maintenance – and even better, able to be powered using only the sun. Solar cooling has the direct ability to drastically lower your energy and operating costs.

Solar Panels Plus provides engineering, design, support to installers of solar air conditioning systems across North America. To learn more about this system, please Contact Us today.

via Solar Air Conditioning | Solar Cooling & AC | Solar Absorbtion Chillers & Air Conditioners.

Finally a Solar-Powered Air Conditioner: 6 Tons of A/C Using 4 Solar Panels : TreeHugger

In 2007 we covered a Coolerado A/C system with the headline “getting close to solar powered air conditioning”. Back then, the unit produced 5 tons of cooling using 1,200 watts, getting within the range of what some people and small businesses could afford in solar panels. Now, the new Coolerado design can produce 6 tons of cooling using 600 watts, quite an impressive improvement!

Read on for more details an a video detailing how it works.Boosting Solar Power Production TooOne interesting trick that Coolerado has – and that you can see in the video below – is the use of exhaust air from the A/C unit to cool down the solar panels. The reason for that is that solar panels produce less electricity when they get too hot, something that happens on the sunniest days when A/C is most needed. But cooling down the panels with exhaust air (that would need to thrown out anyway because it contains too much humidity) allows them to keep producing more, reducing costs because fewer panels are needed.

The demonstration video is quite well done, check it out:

One of the downsides of using an evaporative cooling system is that it uses water. About 4 gallons per hour for the 6 tons system, or 96 gallons a day. In some very dry areas, this can be a lot, though it might still be better than using a regular A/C that uses tons of electricity. A good compromise would be the use of gray water (stored in a holding tank underground so it stays cool?).

For more information about how this solar power A/C works, see this page.

If you’re interested in buying a solar powered air conditioner from Coolerado, check out this page.

More Solar Air ConditioningGreencore’s Solar-Powered Air Conditioner (Finally!)Coolerado Coolers: Getting Close to Solar Powered Air ConditioningSmall-Scale Solar Powered Air Conditioning Is Here (in Spain, Anyways)Solar Powered Air Conditioning Just Makes SenseMore Solar Power ArticlesSunSeeker II Solar Airplane to Fly Over Europe this SpringBiomimicry Breakthrough: Butterfly Wings Could Lead to Better Solar Panels7 Awesome Solar Boats You Must See

via Finally a Solar-Powered Air Conditioner: 6 Tons of A/C Using 4 Solar Panels : TreeHugger.

Container living: a home for under £50,000 – Telegraph

Everyone knows what shipping containers are for. Transporting computers, television sets, cheap toys and a million other kinds of goods from one side of the world to the other.

But it also turns out you can do something else with these giant metal boxes. From Bath to Brooklyn, imaginative homeowners are proving that containers can make terrific places to live.

In east London, they’ve gone one further and formed a thriving community. Directly across the river from the O2 Arena stands Trinity Buoy Wharf, a collection of old waterside buildings, in the centre of which is Container City. This consists of two multicoloured stacks of shipping containers, piled up four storeys high, and accommodating some 70 souls.

One of the residents here is 36-year-old make-up artist Becky McGahern, who runs a training consultancy called Beaudoir. With her partner Chris Jewer, a sound engineer, she not only rents a 40 sq m container home, but uses it as her office and studio too. Isn’t it claustrophobic? Not a bit.

“It’s lovely living here,” says Becky. “It’s like being at sea, with the big porthole windows. We’ve designed the interior ourselves, with lots of curves, so it doesn’t feel as though we’re in a box.

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“We’ve got a main room, which is about five metres by seven, and an area for the kitchen-and-shower room, which is about two metres by two. It’s a bit of a squeeze sometimes, when we’re all here. We’ve got two cats. But, like the Tardis, it’s actually a lot bigger inside than it looks from the outside.

“We also find that, because we haven’t got a lot of space, we do have to keep it tidy. But that’s not such a bad thing. We love being part of this community. Everyone works in a creative field of some sort. There are lots of musicians, so in the evenings, people will meet up and get their violins out, and I’ll bring my face paints.”

Among Becky and Chris’s neighbours is journalist and broadcaster Caroline Barker. Along with Strictly Come Dancing star Russell Grant, Caroline is part of Container City-based production company Jibba Jabba.

“We used to have horrible offices in Harrow, west London” she recalls. “Coming here has been marvellous – for our clients as well as us. Some of them take the ferry across the river from the O2. They can’t believe it when they arrive.”

It’s not just living and working space at Trinity Buoy Wharf. There is a restaurant, an American diner and a performance space, as well as a fleet of Thames clipper boats.

The park is the brainchild of Eric Reynolds, the founder of Urban Space Management. He has created similar cross-fertilisations of culture and commerce at Camden Lock, Spitalfields Market and Green Park Station Market in Bath. He is trying to repeat the trick at Container City, and reckons the best way to make an area desirable is to attract artists.

This means costs must be kept down. Rents at Container City range from £600 to £1,000 per month, low by central London standards. Metal containers are considerably cheaper than bricks and mortar.

“We buy the containers in China. They earn their passage by coming over to the UK full of fridges or whatever,” explains Reynolds. “When you add the cost involved in converting them, I’d say they work out at £850-£950 per square metre.”

Given that most containers measure 40-45 sq m, this means you’ve got a ready-made apartment for around £38,000 and £47,000. What’s more, they don’t have to be in the middle of a city, where land is at a premium. You can put them anywhere.

For example, overlooking a magnificent Scottish loch, as they are at Cove Park in Scotland, another artistic community 25 miles west of Glasgow.

“Put a couple of 20ft-long containers together and you’ve got something totally suited to an artist’s requirements,” says Julian Forrester, Cove Park’s director. “You’ve got a little kitchen, a working and sleeping area, and a sitting-down-and-doing-nothing area.

“It’s perfect. Not too big and not too small. Of course, we’re a bit exposed here, so if you’ve got sliding doors made of glass, they have to be double or quadruple-glazed, but the good news about containers is that although they rust a bit, they don’t leak. In fact, they work so well for us, we’re thinking of installing some more.”

via Container living: a home for under £50,000 – Telegraph.

Modular home comes delivered in a 10 foot box and is assembled “like an IKEA house”

via Modular home comes delivered in a 10 foot box and is assembled “like an IKEA house”.

House Arc, by Bellomo Architects, is a prefabricated off-the-grid housing solution that facilitates compact living. The project was originally designed as an environmentally sensitive and affordable method of housing that is not only functional but also attractive to the eye. Furthermore, it is designed to be easily packed and shipped to any location, where it can then be erected by the user or community. “We designed it to be a kit of parts that can be assembled quickly-like an IKEA house,” says House Arc architect Joseph Bellomo.

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The House Arc is designed to be flat-packed and shipped in a remarkably small box that measures 4 x 10 x 3 feet (1.2 x 3 x .95 meters). The lightweight base structure consists of a modular system of bent steel tubes that can easily be assembled on site. Constructing the low-impact home requires no special training and is similar to building modular furniture, with a kit of parts and an easy-to-follow, graphic installation manual. Upon assembly, the House Arc becomes a curvaceous 150 square-foot (14 square meter) home that weighs 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg). The house features large windows that allow natural light to filter through the dwelling. A shading trellis limits the amount of heat that can infiltrate inside the building and the raised structure allows air to flow underneath for cooling, whilst also maintaining the permeability of the site. The House Arc can withstand the elements, including tropical winds, and also features a roof designed to support solar energy-generation.

Optional additions to further enhance the sustainability of House Arc include the installation of solar photovoltaic panels and insulation that can be added between panels.

Whilst the House Arc would make an attractive backyard retreat, the lightweight and easy-to-construct house could also function as an emergency shelter. It is a primary focus of Bellomo Architects to develop the House Arc concept so it can be used to house people in devastated areas after a catastrophic event or to replace housing that was not built to withstand such forces. “We foresee the House Arc in locations such as Haiti and New Orleans” says Bellomo Architects.

We just hope that they will drop the US$65,000 price tag for such a noble cause!

The House Arc will be a featured prefab house at this year’s Sunset Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park, California from June 2-3.

 

via Modular home comes delivered in a 10 foot box and is assembled “like an IKEA house”.