Fall House Exterior by Joe Fletcher Photography

Green Home’s Features Make It Part of the Landscape

This coastal home in Big Sur, California, is built to be one with the surrounding landscape.  The building is actually embedded in the land, making it an integral part of the coastline.  According to the architect, Fougeron Architecture, “The interior is a shelter, a refuge in contrast with the roughness and immense scale of the ocean and cliff.” Sustainable Design Strategies Natural daylight is used in all rooms, including bathrooms, and the design is tailored to maximize solar exposure and…

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Divine Nectar retreat cabin

Earthbag Buildings – Functional to Beautiful

In homage to our previous post on all natural building products, here is a photo collection of earthbag buildings – built from bags of dirt or sand, stacked brick-like, and covered with mud mixed with straw. Divine Nectar retreat cabin – This stunning earthbag cabin was built as part of a retreat center in the desert of Arizona. This is an example of earth-sheltered earthbag building, which involves packing dirt around an earthbag structure and growing grass on top for a…

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Internal Wall Insulation Could Save You and Your Family Up to £460 Per Year

How to Save on Your Energy Bills The recent hike in energy prices has left many families struggling to keep up with inflated rates for gas and electricity. In extreme cases, people are being forced to choose between eating and heating, as the ‘big six’ energy companies dominate the UK energy market and take their cues from each other when it comes to increasing prices. Whether you’re looking to save on your energy bills or do your bit to protect…

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Living as One with the Landscape

Buildings that are beautifully and uniquely designed are only made better when they tie in with their surroundings and bring out their individual landscapes. The following are four examples of buildings that become one with their environment and both bring out the brilliance in the other. Nature, nurture, design and intent all mesh into a space of alluring creativity. The first building is an entryway to an underground mystery space. The building is the Jewel Cave Visitor Center at Yallingup,…

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10 Earth-Friendly Building Materials for Earth Day

Borrowing from Discovery.com’s 2012 top ten list of natural building materials, here are ten earth-friendly building materials, some old and some new. 1. Rock Locally sourced rock is the most earth-friendly, due to short transportation distances.  Extraction may be the most energy intense part of the life cycle of this material.  Rocks can be mortared together with earthen plasters such as sand and clay or lime.  Rock walls have very good thermal mass, which means that they absorb the outside temperature,…

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Shigeru Ban is Awarded The 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Everyone has their heroes, their role-models, their if-I-could-be-like-anyone-it-would-be persons and I am no different. I wrote about his past accomplishments, including his cardboard cathedral and paper tube relief houses on GBE a couple of years ago and now my career hero was given the ultimate award in architecture this past month. He is Shigeru Ban and the award is the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The award goes to a living architect whose work has contributed to humanity and the built environment.…

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