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


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.


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.


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


Used shipping containers are available across the globe.


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.



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.


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.


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


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.


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.