Sustainable & Offgrid

Sustainable & Offgrid

15 Outlandish Homes Pushing The Limits Of Creativity

The world is a strange and beautiful place. Each of these 15 homes proves that we are not limited by conventional thought when it comes to designing and creating something truly unique. Using what we can find, what we know, and what we think we can learn, the world can become just a little bit stranger, and a lot more beautiful.

1 | A house on a rock in a lake in the fog in a forest.

1373-934x

2 | Thai Dome Home.

595-934x 602-934x

3 | House on a hill…or should I say in a hill.

5114-934x 5214-934x 5311-934x

4 | Next stop? House in a caboose. 

3324-934x 3227-934x

5 | Floating your boat house. 11116-934x

6 | Desert land bridge house.5810-934x 5710-934x 5610-934x

7 | House you could fit on a fork lift.

3523-934x 3324-934x

8 | The ‘no one knows’ house.

977-934x

9 | Solar powered barrel house.

692-934x 687-934x

10 | There’s a 747 in my living room house.

3143-620x 4103-620x

11 | The grassy knoll house.

1759-934x

12 | Not your grand daddy’s trailer.

4216-934x

13 | Blue container house.

1282-934x

14 | The Frank Lloyd Wright house.

4712-934x

15 | The school bus…house.

686-934x 783-934x

19 Beautiful Forest Cabins That Will Make You Wish You Were A Hobbit

Forest cabins hold a special place in many of our hearts. There is a calm serenity, a quiet solitude, a comforting familiarity that accompanies a rustic old cottage. For your viewing pleasure, here is a collection of 19 such structures, all neatly tucked into their surrounding canopy of elms, oaks, maples and pines. Enjoy!

forest_house_

Someone definitely wrote a novel here.
forest_house_1

Just stop with that sun perfectly filtering through the trees.
forest_house_2

I guess Fall is when you take pictures of your cabin.forest_house_4

Lights, camera, cabin!forest_house_5

No cabin is complete without a creepy, overgrown driveway.forest_house_6

Hobbit party.
forest_house_7

If there isn’t a German living in there, I’ll give you a thousand dollars (I won’t, actually).

wallpapers
wallpapers

Every forest cabin needs a pool. Wait, what?
forest_house_9

For the modernly inclined forest dweller.house_forest_

Abe Lincoln would be proud.house_forest_2

No swing? You call that a porch?
house_forest_8

Pretty run of the mill, right? Get it? house_forest_9

I got nothing.

house_forest_10

Be one with the forest. house_forest_12

Ghost face cabin.house_forest_13

Use the forest, Luke. Use the forest.house_forest_18

Did I already use my ‘mill’ pun?house_forest_19

Peeping Tom’s cabin.
house_forest_21

All that’s missing is an ogre and a talking donkey.

She Left A High Fashion Job In NYC To Build Incredible Bamboo Homes In Bali

There comes a time in most of our lives when you need to switch gears, or maybe even swap your entire car; change your job, your relationship, or your outlook. That’s what Elora Hardy did when she left her established career in the NY fashion scene to build bamboo houses in Indonesia.

Elora is a resident of Bali and spent the past five years working with bamboo construction, a sustainable resource that she believes could be used more readily. And when you see what she built, you might agree. Inspired by her father, who used bamboo in the campus buildings he helped create, she has long known the benefits of this highly available resource.

Bamboo doesn’t just look good. It grows incredibly fast, and has a strength-to-weight ratio that rivals steel. Like many woods, it does have one weakness, which comes in the form of damage from insects and moisture. Otherwise, when treated, it can serve as an integral component of building that last’s a lifetime. To learn more about these magnificent homes and Elora’s vision, check out her TED talk video, below.

More: Ibuku.com | Facebook

This Dome-Shaped Solar Home Floats on Water And Is 98% Recyclable

A fully recyclable home that has the potential for self-sufficiency, environmental and functional adaptability, and out of this world curb appeal was the dream that eventually gave way to the Waternest 100. Designed by London-based EcoFloLife in collaboration with Giancarlo Zema Design Group, this dome-shaped structure can be configured as an office, home, restaurant or exhibition space and is entirely powered by solar panels that are smartly integrated into the convex roof.

The generous 1,000 square foot allow for a multitude of interior uses while never feeling cramped or starved for space. This particular model of a housing application has a kitchen, living and dining areas, two bedrooms and a full bath. A simplified version of the design could even be mass-produced and deployed as relief shelters. When the life-span of the home comes to an end, the materials used for construction are 98% recyclable, making the home as fundamentally eco-friendly as it looks.

9 Most Amazing Green Roofs In The World

Green roofs have plenty to offer. Not only are they architecturally interesting, they have a drastic effect on reducing a building’s carbon footprint. Covering any roof in a thick layer of properly drained vegetation naturally insulates the interior, but also absorbs heat that would typically be reflected back into the sky, preventing all kinds of ecological problems on a large enough scale.

Architects have taken notice, and are beginning to embrace green roofs as a focal point of their designs. Here are 9 green roofs that will knock your socks off (which is good, because no one wants to walk on grass with socks on).

1 | 8 House | Bjark Ingles Group (BIG)

8 house_1 8 house_2

BIG is known for going…well…big! This green roof is no different. The symmetrical shed roofs provide the perfect opportunity for the dual cascading green carpets that meet at an exterior courtyard at the base of the structure. (source)

2 | CR Land Guanganmen Green Tech Showroom | Vector Architects

green tech_1 green tech_2

When a green roof isn’t enough, why no couple it with some green walls? Vector Architects have left no exterior sufrace naked, creating an extruded square shell that naturally protects the interiors from swings in temperature. (source)

3 | California Academy Of Sciences | Renzo Piano

Academy_1 Academy_2

If I didn’t use ‘undulating’ and ‘elegant’ in the same sentence to describe this one I’d have an angry gathering of former architecture professors burning me at the stake (not literally). Mr. Piano is a master of his craft, and this is one of the truly iconic contemporary buildings in the Western Hemisphere. (source)

4 | Marcel Sembat High School | archi5

high school_1 high school_2

High school has changed a lot since my day. This beautiful structure is highlighted by the (don’t say undulating…don’t say undulating) faceted curvilinear roof structure (nailed it). (source)

5 | Beijing Capital International Airport | Foster + Partners

beijing 2 beijing_1

In a stroke of perfect irony, visitors to the world’s most industrial, pollutant contributing city are greeted with one of the world’s most sprawling green roof. China is no stranger to environmental paradox, as they are a leader in sustainable development, yet continue to degrade the planet through their bustling industry. (source)

6 | School of Art, Media, and Design | CPG

Singapore_1 singapore_2

Two interlocking sloped green roofs wrap around a central public space in this project by Singapore based firm CPG. The roofs are accessilble to visitors, providing a lush carpet to make a picinic and take in a view of the surrounding Nanyang. (source)

7 | Villa Bio | Enric Ruiz-Geli

villa bio_1 villa bio_2

Spanish architect Enric Ruiz-Geli designed this home intented to reflect the landscape of the area. Even though it’s surrounded by homes that are less-than-camouflage, the green roof acts as a bridge between natural and man-made.(source)

8 | Chicago City Hall | City of Chicago

chicago_1 Chicago_2

In 2001, the City of Chicago tasked a team of architects, landscape architects and engineers to design and build a 38,800 square feet of green space. It is an initiative that makes great strides towards covering our cities in  well-manicured lawns. (source)

9 | Vancouver Convention Center | LMN + DA with MCM

vancouver_1 vancouver_2

A lush carpet of green velvet covers this convention center, which sits in a prestigious waterfront site in the heart of downtown Vancouver, BC. The architectural team created a man-made peninsula that mirrors the surrounding landscape. (source)

Step Inside This Offgrid Cabin And Enter Another Dimension Of Design

The entryway to the "Tuba Cube" was made using pine shavings.

If you happened upon this little cabin while trekking through the woods, at first you might think it was some sort of portal to another dimension. Located in Bergen, Norway, this interesting abode is the result of a design-build workshop at the School of Architecture. Their aim was to build a unique all-wood cabin using a mixture of techniques borrowed from places like Japan and Norway. While the front door looks like it might be moving at warp speed, the interior shows off a relaxing atmosphere of pure Nordic inspired simplicity.

Three College Kids Built This Affordable, Sustainable ‘Dogbox’

One wouldn’t think so by looking at it, but this beautiful example of sustainable, affordable design was the brain child of three ambitious architecture grad students. New Zealand natives Ben Mitchell-Anyon, Sally Ogle and Tim Gittos started the venture with the goal of gaining real-life building experience as their education came to a close. I’d say they passed with flying colors.

patch-work-dogbox-exterior6

patch-work-dogbox-exterior12

They worked hard to find an affordable site to build the house, but finding cheap land had a catch – it was at the top of a steep hill. With the help of some dedicated and gracious friends, they were forced to hand carry all materials up the hill in order to get them to the building site. Hands on experience, indeed.

patch-work-dogbox-ldk1 patch-work-dogbox-ldk3 patch-work-dogbox-verandah2 patch-work-dogbox-exterior2 patch-work-dogbox-exterior5

The house itself uses affordable, locally sourced materials and off-the-shelf components in order to remain cost-effective. For example, guard rails are made up of common chain link fence, and gives the home a bargain bin, yet contemporary aesthetic. Most of the finished materials such as the concrete and plywood were left raw, saving construction time and money, as well as reinforcing the industrial-chic framework.

Sleek Forest Home Where The Forest Is Actually In The Home

Building a home often means flattening the plot of land set to be developed, effectively destroying what made the site interesting in the first place. However, when trying to design something truly beautiful we find that architecture can only be as good as the land it embraces.

Meet the Casa Corallo by Guatemalan based architecture firm Paz Arquitectura. Rather than uprooting the trees that natively inhabited the building site, they literally designed the home around the natural vegetation. Towering trees flank, loom, and even pierce through the home in a way that blends existing and new in elegant symbiosis.
casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-1 Two trees frame the entry of the mostly concrete home. The harsh material was used to provide ironic contrast between natural and man-made.casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-2 casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-6 The home spill down the natural slope of the hillside as a stone path melts together with low brush.casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-8 The interiors are highlighted by tree trunks that climb up through the floors. In many cases, the location of the trees dictated the spatial organization.
casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-9 casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-10 casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-12 casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-13 casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-16

While the home is large and imposing, the choice to involve the trees so prominently in the design speaks to the sensitivity the architect had towards the land.

Stylish Home Built From Recycled Wood Could Be Seattle’s Most Efficient Dwelling Ever

The team at Dwell Development has been working on a pretty incredible project in Seattle, building a 2000+ square foot home using mostly recycled and reclaimed material. Focusing on sustainability first and foremost, the team aims to garner a Built Green Emerald Star certification, which would be the first such certification awarded in the whole city.

The roof boasts a large 6.6 kW solar setup, which powers the entire home. Windows were placed to maximize natural light benefits, and nearly every design aspect was built with both aesthetics and energy in mind. Other features they added include the heat recovery ventilation system and a water heating system that uses 78 percent less energy than a normal system.

The exterior and framing of the home includes FSC-certified timber, with paneling from reclaimed Douglas fir. The room was made from reclaimed steel sourced from a cannery in Willamette Valley, and most of the interior finishes like the cabinets, countertops, and tile were made by local craftsmen.





These 10 Buildings Are The Greenest Of Them All

The American Institute of Architects has announced its 10 Best Green Buildings of 2015. The following structures make a point to champion sustainability and energy conservation without sacrificing cutting-edge design or functionality.

1. The Bullitt Center. Seattle, Washington

This office building, opened on earth day in 2013, is the largest certified Living Building in the United States. Designed by The Miller Hull Partnership, the Bullitt Center features 100% renewable energy, water, and waste-management. The entire shed roof canopy is composed of one large solar panel array.

The-Bullitt-Center-The-Miller-Hull-Partnership-21

2. The CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory. Hamilton, Ontario

This LEED Platinum certified laboratory contains 174,300 square feet of research, office and lab space focusing on innovations in material technology. Green features include sun shading on the south facade, green roofs, and renewable energy systems integrated into the building’s exterior shell.

3045264-inline-i-4-canmet-mtl6-peter-a-sellar-corridor-copy

3. Collaborative Life Sciences Building. Portland, Oregon.

ERA Architects and CO Architects collaborated on this LEED Platinum office and research building. The stark grey exterior gives the building a feeling of cleanliness and sterility, something that the integrated building systems exhibit themselves. Stormwater management, green roofs, atrium heat recovery, and low ventilation fume hoods are features that scream sustainability.

3045264-inline-best-green-budilings-extra

 

photo courtesy Jeremy Bitterman

4. E+ Townhouses. Boston, Massachusetts

The E+ Townhouses were built as prototypes for energy efficient living in affordable housing. The replicable model homes were the brain child of a collaboration between Interface Studio Architects (ISA) and Urbanica Design, and were built under Boston’s Energy Plus (E+) Green Building Program. In the prototype, versatility is shown in how the structures march down the slope of the natural terrain.

3045264-inline-i-3-01etownhousessam-oberterview-from-highland-street-copy

 

photo courtesy Sam Oberter

5. Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse. San Antonio, Texas

Adaptive reuse projects have a prominent role in transitioning into the green era. Overland Partners face-lifted this early 1900’s warehouse was into contemporary studios with state of the art sustainability features. The project features flexible interior spaces and a public courtyard to promote user health and public engagement.

3045264-inline-i-5-hugheswarehousedrorbaldingercollaborationspace-copy

 

Photo courtesy Dror Baldinger

6. San Antonio Military Medical Center. San Antonio, Texas

“Doing it Bigger” in Texas appears to apply to sustainability as well! RTKL designed this massive complex that focuses on medical research and care for our nation’s military. A enveloping screen traces around the southern facade, protecting the interiors from heat gain while providing ample natural light.

3045264-inline-i-6-sammccharlesdavissmithinterior-copy

 

photo Charles Davis Smith

7.New Orleans BioInnovation Center. New Orleans, Louisiana

This 65,000 square foot biotech lab achieved a LEED Gold certification, making it the first of it’s kind in New Orleans. The building features a 3,000 square foot central courtyard is prominently visible from famed Canal Street through the building’s transparent, yet UV protected facade. Designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.

3045264-inline-i-7-nobiccrockerentryway-6-copy

 

photo courtesy Will Crocker

8. Homes For Adults With Autism. Sonoma, California

LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects built four homes in a complex that champions sustainability and energy conservation. Each of the homes is fit with a powerful rooftop solar array, making good use of the persistent California sun. In addition to the homes, the complex boasts a community center, therapy pools, and even an urban garden.

3045264-inline-i-8-sw1-269-copy

 

photo courtesy Tim Griffith

9. Sustainable Housing Development. Oakland, California

Why build one sustainable building when you can construct an entire neighborhood? That’s exactly what David Baker Architects had in mind when they designed this complex that contains 60 affordable apartments, 77 attached townhouses and 20 additional apartments. The homes are well insulated and promote passive cooling techniques such as natural ventilation.

3045264-inline-i-2-tassafarongavillagebrianroseapartmentbuilding-copy

 

photo courtesy Brian Rose

10. University Center – The New School. New York, New York

Famous architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) designed this university that was conceptualized on the platform of combined heat and power systems that were specifically designed for water management. It was enough to afford the building a LEED Gold certification. The facade seen here seamlessly shades glazed openings, providing UV protection and reducing energy consumption.

3045264-inline-i-9-univeristycenterthenewschooljamesewingcorridor07-copyphoto courtesy James Ewing