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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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An Abandoned Stable Becomes a Beautiful Off-Grid Home in Spain

An Abandoned Stable Becomes a Beautiful Off-Grid Home in Spain | sustainable architecture |

Located in the province of Cáceres, high on a hill and far from city water or an electrical grid, this home is positioned as it was originally and the material used are also the same as the existing structure.

The original orientation allows for the sun to be the main source of heat during the winter, while a generous eave prevents heat from entering the home during summer. Large wooden shutters that slide closed like a second skin, cover the large windows at night to trap in most of the home's daily solar heat gain.

In the interior nature has been incorporated almost to every room: bathrooms with views of the interior patio and stone water fountain and bedrooms with picture windows overlooking the countryside.

Supporting walls were replaced by light metal pillars, the haylofts in the upper area were converted into bedrooms and the enormous central lounge serves different purposes.

Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's comment, May 22, 2013 4:19 AM
shared on Pinterest.thank you Lauren!
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Back to Earth | Vernacular Architecture

Back to Earth | Vernacular Architecture | sustainable architecture |
In Ma'anqiao, the 2008 earthquake destroyed 263 out of 272 houses.

Today, with the help of a group of university researchers, this remote Sichuan village has become a workshop of design experimentation, in which the region's inhabitants and artisans are re-learning the ancient art of rammed-earth constructions.

To do so, it was essential to give villagers a demonstration of how to rebuild with all the readily available resources. As a prototype, a new rammed-earth courtyard dwelling was constructed for an elderly couple in one month by the project team together with villagers mobilised from each family. Providing families with a participative training course on the basic techniques developed in previous studies, this hands-on approach allowed them to be convinced by the new construction and further understand how to rebuild their houses by themselves...

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Greening Japan: sustainable trends in architecture + reconstruction

Greening Japan: sustainable trends in architecture + reconstruction | sustainable architecture |

Japan’s historic architecture was among the most sustainable and environmentally friendly on the planet. Think of a traditional machiya (merchant’s house) or even a palace, such as the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto; made of local materials such as wood, tatami, paper.
The 20th century’s rush to modernize favored new technologies over tradition, and Japan became one of the most exciting architectural landscapes on the globe. There are few environments as adventurous: a place where microhouses are built on microscopic building sites, where skyscrapers rise on seismic quake lines and where material and form are pushed to new heights- it is a constantly changing architectural landscape... 

But the price for this constant reinvention is often environmental; with global economic uncertainty and recent disasters, Japan has had to rethink how it wants to go forward. It could be the beginning of a quiet architectural revolution, as architects and urban planners – as well as the public – question architectural ideals since 1945 and ask: how can this be done better?

Now, with reconstruction beginning, the need and desire to find innovative and sustainable ways of building is growing. Japanese architecture has traditionally prized and worked in response to nature, so it's no surprise that architects are not only looking to new green technology but also back to Japan’s architectural traditions; a shoji screen can be as relevant as a solar panel in sustainable architecture...

Visit the link for the complete article for case studies, example projects and more images that address this new phase of architecture and sustainable development in Japan.

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