Category Archives: Green

Go way off-grid in this beautiful bamboo hut in tucked into Bali’s lush mountains

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Jarmil Lhoták, Alena Fibichová, Hideout Bali, bamboo buildings bali, bamboo buildings, bamboo building material, locally sourced materials, bamboo house bali, green materials, off grid getaways, off grid retreats, sustainable design, eco projects in Bali, bamboo retreats

Adventurous travelers looking to go way, way off grid will love this beautiful bamboo haven located deep in Bali’s mountainous region of Gunung Agung. The Hideout Bali Hut, designed by Jarmil Lhoták and Alena Fibichová, sits adjacent to a peaceful riverbank and is just steps away from picturesque rice fields, letting guests experience the Balinese countryside.

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The Hideout Bali Hut is made completely out of locally-sourced bamboo. Jarmil Lhoták and Alena Fibichová used this sustainable material to create an incredibly durable structure with a low construction footprint. The bamboo used in Hideout’s construction is from the nearby Karangasem Mountains and it’s considered to be one of the best types of bamboo for building. Thanks to its growing height – usually about 800 meters above sea level – the flesh of the bamboo stalks have lower sugar levels, which results in a greater density and durability. Before construction, the stalks were treated with smoke and non-toxic products to increase their longevity.

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Related: Beautiful bamboo building withstands floods and storms in Vietnam

The A-frame hut is supported by six pillars and topped with a thatched roof. The triangular shape of the house led the architects to install large triangular windows on the upper level, which provide stellar views while flooding the interior with natural light. The rest of the house is closely connected to its natural surroundings, and the garden features an outdoor shower surrounded by overhanging trees.

+ Hideout Bali

Via Archdaily

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World’s fastest bullet train can travel between Beijing and Shanghai in 4.5 hours

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Traveling between Shanghai and Beijing can take more than 12 hours by car, or over eight hours on public transportation. But a new bullet train could slash those travel times. China recently launched the fastest bullet train in the world that travels at a speed of 217 miles per hour.

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This month, China launched the world’s quickest bullet train in Beijing. The service is called Fuxing and will travel the route between the country’s capital and Shanghai – a 777-mile trek – in around four hours and 30 minutes.

Related: China takes on the Hyperloop with a supersonic ‘flying train’

This isn’t the first time China has run a 350 kilometer per hour (km/h) bullet train. They first launched a train that travels at that speed in August 2008, but lowered speed limits in 2011 to 186 miles an hour after a two-train crash close to Wenzhou that killed 40 people.

A signaling failure caused the crash, according to Al Jazeera. The BBC said Fuxing trains have an improved monitoring system that can slow the trains down and stop them if there’s an emergency. Now the Chinese government is thinking of building more bullet trains, and taking their technology abroad.

Experts wonder about the economic benefits of the super fast bullet train – estimates from international think tanks indicate it could cost 90 percent more to construct lines for 217 mph trains than for those that only travel at 155 mph.

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Economics professor Zhao Jian told Al Jazeera, “The purpose of raising the speed is mainly symbolic. The train is the fastest in the world, which implies the strength of Chinese train technology and science.”

According to The Telegraph, the country has laid over 12,400 miles of high-speed rail, and aim to add 6,214 more miles by 2020. Along with looking to take their technology overseas, according to the BBC, China’s rail operator might even be looking into how to upgrade tracks so that trains could travel at speeds close to 250 mph.

Via The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, and the BBC

Images via screenshot and Pixabay

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Former chicken coop transformed into a backyard artists studio in Berlin

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We’ve heard of horse stables transformed into dwellings for people, but converted chicken coops are a first. Büros für Konstruktivismus turned an old henhouse into a timber-lined artist’s studio in the backyard of a Berlin villa. The adaptive reuse project, called Hühnerhaus (German for henhouse), preserves part of the original facade and completely overhauls the interior into a modern light-filled space.

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Constructed just after World War II in a lush garden, this former henhouse is a simple gabled structure with rustic roots. Architects Sandra Bartoli and Silvan Linden wanted to maintain the building’s slightly ruinous and overgrown appearance, while gutting and remaking the interior. Thus, the architects largely left the henhouse facade intact but transformed the interior into a single-room pine-lined space with an added mezzanine. The original chimney and steel beams were also covered in pine to create a near-seamless timber appearance.

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Related: Eight lucky hens live in this high-end chicken coop equipped with underfloor heating in New York

Natural light pours in through large glazed surfaces. Stairs with in-built storage lead up to the mezzanine, where the attic for sheltering pigeons used to be. The door for pigeons was transformed into a triangle-shaped window that frames views of the trees and garden.

+ Büros für Konstruktivismus

Via Dezeen

Images via Büros für Konstruktivismus

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Compact New Zealand home sets its sights on going off the grid

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High on a hill above New Zealand’s idyllic Peka Peka beach sits an eco-friendly compact home that responds to the surrounding landscape. Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects designed the dwelling, named Peka Peka House I, as three boxy units perfectly positioned to maximize shelter as well as views of Kapiti Island, forestry, and farmland. In response to the client’s desires to eventually go off-grid, the home is equipped with photovoltaic panels, solar hot water panels, above-code insulation, and other energy-saving features.

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Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects separated the living, sleeping, and garage functions into three interconnected box-like volumes, each positioned in response to climate and views. Two of the boxes are clad in black-stained cedar; one contains the living functions, while the other comprises bedrooms. The third box is clad in profiled polycarbonate and contains the garage and workshop. At night, the polycarbonate-clad volumes glows like a lantern. Timber decking surrounds the three volumes.

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Related: Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush

The cedar-clad boxes are arranged to form a sheltered north-facing courtyard that provides views towards the sea and is protected from coastal winds. “As requested by our knowledgeable clients, the house promotes some eco values in the form of a combination of PV and solar hot water panels and above code insulation,” wrote the architects. “Their long-term ambition is to go off-grid. LED lighting throughout and exposed and insulated concrete slab as a heat store helps reduce power consumption. Natural ventilation picks up the consistent afternoon sea breezes.”

+ Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects

Via ArchDaily

Images by Jason Mann

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Peka Peka House I by Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects, Peka Peka House I, Peka Peka architecture, Peka Peka ecofriendly architecture, off grid architecture New Zealand, Kapiti Island off grid home

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