Whoever designed and resides in this home certainly loves their flower pots. Just finding this image made me smile so I thought I’d pass it on. I wish I could say more, but the site that the image comes from, Urbanarbolismo, is in Spanish or Portuguese and I have no idea what the description says. I cannot imagine the work that must go into maintaining all these plants, but perhaps the home is located in an area of fair weather and substantial rain so that the plants can essentially survive on their own without the aid of a gardener.
Designed by Architect Jose Maria Chofre, the vertical garden pictured was installed on the six story exterior wall of a newly constructed children’s library in San Vicente de Raspeig, Spain.
The vertical garden uses cubic containers filled with substrate felt held in by two metal grids. One grid is on the outside and the other on the inside of the wall. For planting and maintenance, the containers can be reached via corridors built into the rear. The plants are watered by a metal structure built upon the deposit of concrete.
You could basically consider the structure to be a living wall or green wall. Though it serves a more decorative than functional role in the build’s structure as a green roof, the vertical garden is certainly comparable in principle. Varieties of small flowers and herbs compose the upper layers of the vertical garden. Ferns grow near the bottom of the garden and ivy climbs up the sides. This is one of the only ever-changing walls you will ever find.
This really is a beautiful example of innovative architecture that attempts to challenge our traditional expectations of development.
This is quite a unique idea. Dutch designer Klaas Kuiken has created red clay birdhouse shingles that can become part of a home’s roof. I’m curious about how the heat of the sun could effect the living potential of the homes, but the concept is elegant all the same. Having a home clustered with these clay birdhouses doesn’t do much to make up for the loss of natural habitat but it certainly promotes an environmentally conscious attitude that I can appreciate. Conservation and preservation is always the most effective and responsible approach, but any effort is better than none. Plus, these birdhouses are the kind of thing that people are bound to notice and to comment on. That kind of interest is always a perfect starting point for larger kinds of progress and projects. I would be really excited to see someone with an entire village of these red clay birdhouses on their roof. That would serve as a very natural alarm clock of chirping every sunrise.
So maybe this clock doesn’t have any practical use, but it is really cool nonetheless. Based on scientific principals mastered by kids in science fair projects all across the country, the digital clock is powered by the oxidation reaction between the citric acid of the fruit slice and the copper and zinc in the base of the clock. Believe it or not but a single lemon is able to generate enough electricity to power the clock for an entire week. I figure that ultimately the usefulness of the clock probably doesn’t extend past simple keeping track of long the sliced lemon has been left on your kitchen counter. But maybe I’ve got it all wrong and someone out there is searching for a way to time how quickly orange juice naturally seeps from a sliced orange.
Introducing the Greenorator by designer Jonathan Globerson. This interesting gadget it intended for people with serious space restrictions, but who still want to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint. If you cannot tell, the Greenorator is a synthesis of of solar panels and a wind turbine. Mounted to the balcony railings of an apartment, the system makes the most of the space available while still looking sleek and classy, if that’s what you are into I mean.
According to the designer, Jonathan Globerson
, each unit can reduce your electricity bills by 6 percent and can save 2000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. It should be noted that this is only a concept, so I’m not sure how such an approximation was made.
This clip is more or less just a promotional video and not so much a tutorial, but it is fun nonetheless. The video, in two part, does explain the functionality of these homes with some sense of completeness. The homes’ method of water resource management is one of the most intriguing part of the homes. I’m pretty interested in designing a gray water system of my own. I am certainly a green house enthusiast. The creators and designers of Earthships have an internship program. Naturally, it is unpaid, but I feel like it would be an amazing experience to take part in.
The pictures here are pretty explanatory of what this sink is all about, but don’t worry, it is just an illusion. As a result of some clever plumbing, the water level in the fish bowl drops as someone washes their hands in the sink basin. The design is intended to promote water conservation with a simple but poignant message: the more water you use, the more water is taken from the fish.
Of course this isn’t literally the case. The water from the fish bowl is moved to a storage container while the sink is in use and then moved back once the sink is turned off. Also, the water level is only lowered to a point. Once that level is reached, the water level stops falling and the fish is safe (It really wouldn’t make much sense to wash your hands in water that a fish has been swimming around in anyway). But hopefully the visual illusion is enough for people to get the larger point that wasting water is taking water away from ecosystems that rely it.
This just made me laugh. As this article’s title suggests, the system converts doggy doodoo into electricity that is then used by the attached lamp. The novelty of the idea is pretty cool.
The units in the pictures are located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is called the Park Spark. The system operates as follows: the pet owner picks up the dog poop with a biodegradable bag and places it inside the Park Spark. He or she then rotates that crank which transfers the bag into a digester. There the bag and poop slowly break down (through natural anaerobic decomposition), releasing methane. This methane is the burned in the lamp. It reality, the lamp isn’t so much a special feature as a necessity. Methane is the worst of all the greenhouse gases and burning it (also called flaring) is the only real means of destroying the gas.
Park Spark’s creators intend to implement the technology into other systems that burn regular amounts of fuel each day like tea houses or popcorn stands. Maybe they could put together an incentive system or pay costumers for they’re doggy droppings. Now that would be a brave new world.
This portable wind turbine is designed with the intent of providing emergency power in a time of need. Of course it is only a concept and one turbine alone doesn’t tend to produce enough energy for any substantial use. Nonetheless, an army of such portable wind energy resources could make the difference for a community that has lost access to power all together due to some natural disaster. It is an interesting concept and a cool design.
Presenting the Earthship. These are amazing homes; made from recycled material and totally self-sustaining. And we are not talking about your rusting cabin in the woods, these are modern homes for people interesting in living their comfortable lives while reducing their energy demand. In fact, neither of these homeowners pays an electricity bill, but that doesn’t mean they’ve given up their computers….
Architect Michael Reynolds refers to his style of construction as biotecture because his homes focus on the recycling of materials in construction and on creating a sustainable system of water and power collection and temperature control without the use of fuel. All water entering the home is from rain and snow melt. All electricity is from solar panels and wind turbines. All sewage leaving the home is treated on site. Homes include indoor and outdoor gardens so that homeowners can grow their own produce. The gardens are watered by sink and shower water. Any remaining runoff is collected and used in the toilets. It is an intelligent and harmonious system that avoids unnecessary waste in the pursuit of total sustainability. With thoughtfulness and a resourceful mind, Earthships create a lifestyle of responsibly and respect for nature little found in our modern world.
Here you can find a series of webinars given by Earthship inventor Michael Reynolds discussing the struggles his revolutionary image has faced.