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Artist Creates Igloo Made of 322 Refrigerators

German artist Ralf Schmerberg has created a bizarre-looking igloo, in the middle of Hamburg, to send a message about the country’s uncontrolled waste of energy.

Entitled “Wastefulness is the biggest source of Energy”, Schemerberg’s igloo aims to raise awareness to the amount of energy people are wasting nowadays. A huge electrical meter set up outside the igloo shows passers-by how much electrical energy the 322 old fridges would consume, and is meant to inspire them to think carefully about how much energy they are wasting every day. According to recent studies, Germany could save up to 40% of its energy, if everyday people would use electricity more efficiently.

The refrigerator igloo was sponsored by a German energy provider and will be exhibited in Hamburg’s Gänsemarkt until November 9th. The bizarre installation is 5.6 meters high and 11 meters in diameter, and was built using 322 old refrigerators and 1,718 meters of wire. On the inside, visitors can admire a funny electrical installations made up of colorful blinking lights.

Article from OddityCentral.com

 
Chinese Student Lives in Tiny Green Egg House

Daihai Fei, a young Chinese designer, has built himself a sustainable egg-shaped house and spent the last two months living in it.

Originally from Hunan, 24-year-old Daihai Fei came to Beijing to attend the university and make a future for himself. Now, just six months after graduation, he has become somewhat of a local celebrity, after people started noticing he lives in an egg. Rents in China’s capital are very high, so living in a conventional home meant Daihai had to spend most of his income on rent, and that was not an option for this resourceful designer. In just two months time, and with a budget of only 6,400 yuan ($960), Daihai Fei managed to build his very own mobile home.

Read the rest of the article from OddityCentral.com

 
The Only 5 Tools You Need to Maintain Your Home

I DON’T love working on my house.

I have a full-time job and a similarly situated wife, four children, two dogs, one cat, various subordinate pets (fish, gecko), a tower of unread books and hobbies that purr at me when I have a free moment.

I also have a 40-year-old, 2,000-square-foot colonial-style home that creaks, leaks and breaks frequently, and because this place protects my family and welcomes my friends, I oblige.

I tackle these jobs with a collection of tools that has diminished in stunning lockstep with my children’s ability to reach the toolbox.

Read the rest of the article from NY Times.com

 
Free Masonry Workshop Sept. 24

The Center on Sustainable Communities is offering a free masonry workshop called masonry Matters on Friday, September 24 in Sioux City.  Information can be found at www.icosc.com/documents/MortarMattersFlyer.pdf

Looks like it could be an excellent program.

 
Walls Need to Breath and 9 Other Green Building Myths

Just for fun, I’ve rounded up ten oft-repeated statements that are either half-truths or outright falsehoods. I’m sure some readers will disagree with my conclusions; if you’re one of them, don’t hesitate to post a comment.

Green building myth #1. New York City is an environmental nightmare

This myth has been debunked many times, most recently by author David Owen, in his New Yorker article titled “Green Manhattan.” In fact, the average resident of Manhattan uses much less energy, and has a much smaller carbon footprint, than the average American. Compared to a resident of New York City, the average suburban American is wearing carbon clown shoes.

Read the rest of the article at Green Building Advisor.com

 
Where Biology Meets Building

Deep in the Missouri woods outside of metropolitan St. Louis resides a special place for learning—fed by rainwater, powered by sunlight, rich in native materials, and carefully integrated into the surrounding habitat. When Washington University’s Tyson Research Center first considered adding a new building to its environmental research station, the administrators became intrigued with the idea of living buildings: architecture adapted to place and inspired by nature, with a building’s production and consumption of energy-and-water in perfect balance.

The Tyson Research Center property offered an ideal, diverse setting in which to merge biology and the built environment within 2,000 acres of hilly mixed-hardwood forest, with prairies and ponds In 2009, university administrators, Tyson leadership, and the design team from Hellmuth+Bicknese Architects struck out to create a new facility providing much-needed space for faculty and graduate research in environmental biology and sustainability.

Read the rest of the article on Eco-Structure.com

 
Burstner Trailer has Lessons for Living in Smaller Spaces

Those designing for small spaces can learn a lot from boats and travel trailers, particularly from European designs. Caravanning is a high-end luxury activity in Europe and some of the models put luxury yachts to shame. This Bürstner Averso Plus is pretty luxe, and has is advertised as the first ever with a drop-down bed. The image above is set up for dining, with the bed pulled up to the ceiling and the "chic starry sky" of LEDs visible.

Read the rest of the article at treehugger.com.

 
James Howard Kunstler: The Tragedy of Suburbia

In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes -- including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts.

 
House Built From Hemp

In much of the world, hemp is thought of as a useful building material; Warren recently showed us an interesting house from Australia and it is common in the UK. But in America, it is still the butt of hippie jokes; Matt Hickman of the Mother Nature Networks describes a new house in Asheville, North Carolina with references to Tommy Chong and describes the interior: "there's not a blacklight poster, hanging spider plant, or crumpled up Cheetos bag in sight." Discovery News says "Put aside old visions of burlap-like shirts that belong with hacky sacks." Even the owner tells CNN ""We heard that we could have a really great neighborhood party if it ever caught on fire."

It's a shame that everyone is focusing on that, because it is just one interesting product in a fascinating house that is full of surprises.

Read the rest of the article from treehugger.com

 
A House of a Different Color

When Rob Schweitzer saw the photo of a historic house in southeastern Michigan, it took him aback. "I thought, "What happened?"

The two-and-a-half-story Shingle Style structure set on a huge lot in Grosse Pointe Farms was a short bike ride from the street where Schweitzer had grown up in Detroit. He remembered it as one of the most eye-catching residences in the neighborhood, distinguished by a spacious wraparound porch and an impressive Lake Superior sandstone rotunda. "And now it was all … taupe," he says, recalling the monotone house in the photograph.

Which was precisely the reason Terri and Richard Reynolds, the home's new owners, reached out to him. Schweitzer runs Historic House Colors, a color consulting business, and he helps homeowners choose historically appropriate colors for residential exteriors. He can take a house bathed in brown—or taupe—and honor its original appearance.

Read the rest of the article from preservationnation.org

 
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