Tag Archives: building of the week

Building of the week: the plastic bottle house

An engineer in Algeria has developed an ingenious new house building technique on a desert refugee camp. He wanted to build a home for his grandmother that would beat the heat and sandstorms, and plastic bottles were readily available. Filled with sand and straw and encased into the walls, the bottles make a sturdy and […]

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Waste tyres as a building material

I recently wrote a pair of posts on the global waste tyre problem, and how we can reduce, reuse and recycle the billion plus tyres discarded every year. There’s one further use that I’ve been saving for a Friday, when I like to write about sustainable buildings. Because if you’ve a vast stock of heavy, […]

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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: 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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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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The rise of the forest city

Here’s a nice update on a previous building of the week – Bosco Verticale, the residential tower blocks in Milan that were designed to create a ‘vertical forest’. After the success of that project, architect Stefano Boeri has had a lot of interest in the idea and a number of other projects have been suggested. Unsurprising, […]

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Building of the week: St Sidwell’s Point

Exeter City Council have high standards for their buildings. In 2011 they built their first PassivHaus, learned all they could, and formally adopted the idea. All new council buildings now need to meet PassivHaus standards. If you’re not familiar with PassivHaus, it’s a design framework for low energy buildings. One of the main principles is […]

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Building of the week: Princess Elizabeth Antarctica

Heating is the biggest use of energy in a house. That means that generally speaking, the colder the climate, the harder it is going to be to build a zero carbon home. But it should always be possible, and in an age of climate change and rising energy prices, a cold climate is no reason […]

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