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Architecture Innovations

Posted by Blake Nijs on May 27 at 2:30 PM
Innovations today are seemingly endless.  You purchase a new phone and three days later is obsolete.  However, there is one area of technology that I feel is moving slower than the rest, architectural design for residential housing. Since the 1950s it seems there hasn’t been many substantial improvements in design, for the most part it even appears to be at a standstill. Isn’t it time for some new and more eco-friendly alternatives?
One movie that was incredibly inspiring to me was called “The Garbage Warrior” about an unconventional architect whose mission was to build prototype homes out of completely recycled or reused materials.  The architect, Michael Reynolds, uses miscellaneous construction materials that had been thrown in the dump.  Though some of this garbage could have been recycled, Reynolds has found better uses for much of these items.  These "junked" items recovered actually save energy by not using recycling plants to transform the materials into new products.  Michael Reynolds has developed many prototype homes that required none of the standard fuels needed to heat or power them.  His designs are completely designed around the sun, using it to both heat and cool the buildings.  This does not mean that there a bunch of solar panels strapped to the roof, but rather the house itself captures the light then expels the energy at certain times of the day.  Using a system of passive solar control to reflect and direct the light he is able to heat the space then using the convection process to cool it.

Photo Taken From www.garbagewarrior.com
Vacation homes are another place where green buildings could grow.  Many people have summer cottages, getaways, water front condos, and so on, but do they need to be full size luxury homes?  While surfing some of my favorite sites I found some pretty interesting “summer homes”.  O2 Tree House , is a small company that produces small but accommodating tree houses that provide a better perspective, being 10 feet off the ground, while using all recycled materials.  These Tree houses may not be the complete answer to living green, but it does provide a way to co-exist with the environment while enjoying a continuous outdoor experience.

Photo Taken From www.o2sustainability.com
Another wonderful idea comes from Kyu Che , an architect out of San Francisco.  He has developed futuristic homes called Lifepods, which are eco-friendly, work with the surrounding environment to create livable homes.  Many of his designs are made with the idea of easy transportation and accessibility in mind.  This allows the pods to be put in peculiar and interesting locations.  The Lifepod is not in production yet, since the technology is all very new and untested, but hopefully soon will be.

Photo From www.kyuche.com

Here are the links below, let me know what you think!

Unknown, (2008). Garbage warrior. Retrieved from http://www.garbagewarrior.com/about.html
Unknown, (2010). O2 treehouse. Retrieved from http://www.o2sustainability.com/
Che, K.C. (2008). Kyu che symbionic design studio . Retrieved from http://www.kyuche.com/index.html

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