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Entries in eco-design (12)


Cracked not broken

Like the cracks in the ground as the summer draws on. Do you stop and stub your toe against the mini abyss and wonder what creature shelters within, escaping the fierce summer sun? Not a creepy crawly in this case. No, within this crack is a simple and sustainable single family home based on the Native American pit house ... cool in summer and warm in winter thanks to being buried in the earth. The crack that splits the halves of the house allows light to penetrate deep into the rooms and provides drama. House as art installation by Bercy Chen Studio.

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That's it - I'm moving to California and buying myself a piece of land in the middle of a forest and putting an IT HOUSE on it. The IT HOUSE is about reducing down to the essentials to create a pure architectural experience of space. Every component in the IT HOUSE is designed to re-engineer and radically simplify the process of building houses. We believe that architecture should bring us closer to our environment; the IT HOUSE is the mediator between one's every day experience and the environment. The IT HOUSE is designed to create a seamless experience between the house, environment and life. Designed by Taalman Koch Architecture, the IT HOUSE, IT CABIN and IT STUDIO are customizable and made of high quality sustainable materials that are manufactured with precision off-site and rapidly assembled on site, with no heavy machinery required. These homes can be completely off-grid to bring your eco-consciousness to the max (but I kind of like having plumbing and electricity). This is what my dream cottage looks like. (My sister has alot of land at her cottage, I doubt she'd mind me putting up a little one of these...)

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MAKE architecture

An extension to a small workers cottage in Kingsville, Victoria. A collection of "stuff" to reuse, recycle, make do and make up. An individually crafted design solution by MAKE architecture studio with a sustainable agenda. It's about small ideas and the big picture. Fresh, creative. After all it's not always about conspicuous consumption. (Photography TM PHOTO.)

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A personal house tour (part 2)

As I mentioned earlier, here is part 2 of the tour of Scott and Jenny's home in the Glebe. I'll take you through the second floor that contains the dining room, kitchen and living room, the third floor where the bedrooms and a full bathroom are located, and the roof top deck. 

Art the top of the stairs to the second floor, is this interesting piece of art. It is the back of an old stove. The story goes (something along these lines anyway) an old man living in a trailer near Scott's family's cottage died when his old wood stove blew up. This is the lid of his stove, that Scott thought would look great as art. Kind of morbid, but a cool piece nonetheless. :)

The second floor is one big open space, with the kitchen at the top of the stairs, with the dining room to the left at the front of the house and the living room to the right. Their Ikea kitchen looks phenomenal. 

Scott made the concrete countertops. SWEET!!!

At this point, I nearly fainted. You NEVER see these folding patio doors up here. Maybe our decent weather is too short, or they don't keep out the cold very well in winter. Either way, I'm 100% jealous. The space is already large and open-concept...add these doors and OH-LA-LA. Jenny mentioned they may have some thick curtains made to help keep the space warm in winter.

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A personal house tour (part 1)

It's not often I get to share a house tour here on DTI that I actually got to tour personally. There is a beautiful and highly sought-after neighbourhood here in Ottawa called the Glebe, and each year for the past 12 years there has been a Glebe House Tour featuring several stunning homes in this area. I was contacted by the Chair of the tour committee, Suzanne (a devoted DTI reader), and she offered to take me on a personal tour of some of these homes. (The tour is Sunday, September 16th - details here).I got to visit one this past weekend and I cannot begin to tell you how cool this tour was. It was the home I've been dreaming about building for the past couple of years, and I am so excited to share it with you all. To begin, here's a bit of general info on the home: The homeowners transformed an energy-guzzling 1920s house into a “deep green” beauty. As a green building consultant, homeowner Scott used his expertise and knowledge of the One Planet Living movement as a guide. Scott and his wife Jenny gutted the home and used local, sustainable and reclaimed materials wherever possible. Some of the materials were then used for sliding doors, decorative acoustic panelling, floor finishes and main elements of the staircase. Heating demand has been slashed using solar passive design and super-insulated walls and windows. The new solar thermal system is used for hot water and space heating, while the photovoltaic (PV) system generates electricity. Jenny kindly took my husband and I through every room of their 1800 sq ft home and provided us with lots of great info which I'll include along with the photos I took when I wasn't busy drooling all over their gorgeous floors. 

A before photo:

In this post I'll show you the exterior and the first floor. The rest will come later today.

To start, here's the exterior with brick walls maintained from the old house. Slight transformation. ;)

 Love the large stone slabs as the step up to the porch.

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