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The Japanese House

Japan was devastated by the Second World War. Over four million houses were destroyed, and after the war there was a major rebuilding effort. With so many homes needed as quickly as possible, there was a lot of experimentation with modular buildings, prefabrication, and new materials. There was also a revolution in style. Traditional Japanese […]

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Open Source approaches in architecture

Last week I wrote about how open source approaches are being used in the automotive industry, helping to accelerate innovation. Today I wanted to mention that a handful of people are trying something similar in architecture. Generally speaking architecture is bespoke, expensive, and often elitist. Most of us live in fairly standard boxes. Really good […]

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Building of the week: the circular building

No, not circular like the Colosseum or the Albert Hall. Circular as in the circular economy, something I’ve written a fair bit about over the past few years, but not so much in the construction sector. In a circular economy, materials are reused in a closed loop, rather than being thrown away. The only stuff […]

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Building of the week: Chototel

By 2025, an estimated 1.6 billion people will be in substandard and overcrowded housing. That’s an extraordinary number to provide houses for, and it’s hard to know where the funds or materials will come from to deliver them. The existing housing industry, whether private or public, doesn’t look equipped to build that many homes. That […]

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Building of the week: house of sand

The foolish man built his house upon the sand, goes Jesus’ parable. But if he’d built it out of sand, that would have been a different story altogether. Assuming he was using Mike Tremeer’s sandbag building techniques, that is. Developed in South Africa, sandbag buildings are an affordable do-it-yourself approach to sustainable housing. The House […]

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Building of the week: Green Solutions House

As I’ve been describing over the last couple of weeks, Active House is a relatively new design standard for sustainable homes. It aims to show how energy efficient homes can also be great to live in, and make them a desirable option whether or not people are interested in the environment. There’s just one problem: […]

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Building of the week: RenovActive

I’ve been exploring the Active House idea over the last couple of weeks, explaining what it is and then looking at the first building to receive the certification. I’ve got two more posts on the subject, and today I want to look at renovating to Active House standard. This is really important, because we can’t […]

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The world’s first certified Active House

Last week I introduced the Active House concept, a new vision for sustainable housing. The ideas have been around for a few years, but it was only recently formalised into a certification scheme. Houses that meet the right criteria can now be labelled with the stamp on the left, and this is the first house […]

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What is an Active House?

This week I dropped in on the EcoBuild exhibition in London, Britain’s biggest trade fair on sustainable construction. I was gathering future blog posts and looking for ideas to make my own home more sustainable, but the main reason I was there was to attend the Active House symposium. I hadn’t heard of the Active […]

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Building of the week: the 3D printed house

The first house to be 3D printed on site was built last month in Russia. It took 24 hours, and cost just over $10,000. It looks like this: Houses have been printed before, but only as components that are then assembled on site. What makes this one different is that the whole thing has been […]

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