Inhabitat News 2021-01-31


Luxe, solar-powered home boasts a green soul in Brazil

By: Lucy Wang on 29 January 2021, 7:30 pm
Studio CK Arquitetura has recently completed the Casa Doce Vida, a custom luxury home that emphasizes sustainable design.


Shark populations have decreased by 71% in the last 50 years

By: Bonface Landi on 29 January 2021, 6:30 pm
A new study published in Nature shows that sharks and rays are facing increased threats of extinction. Sharks alone have plummeted, largely due to overfishing.


Local communities want Trump's border wall torn down

By: Teresa Bergen on 29 January 2021, 5:30 pm
Hundreds of miles of land have been blasted and bulldozed, including protected public land and sites sacred to Native Americans.


Le Littoral is a modern retreat tucked into an idyllic region of Quebec

By: Katherine Gallagher on 29 January 2021, 4:30 pm
A minimalist vacation home overlooks the area where the ocean meets the St. Lawrence River.


Agrodomes are individual greenhouses for budding crops

By: Dawn Hammon on 29 January 2021, 3:30 pm
Rather than spend the resources transplanting from greenhouse to field, Agrodome allows farmers to germinate directly into the soil.


Restaurant furniture company launches sustainable brand for residential kitchens

By: Katherine Gallagher on 28 January 2021, 7:30 pm
Grand Rapids Chair Co. is pivoting to offer durable, commercial-grade furniture to families.


UK plans to reduce grey squirrel population via contraceptives

By: Teresa Bergen on 28 January 2021, 6:30 pm
There’s not much cuter than a baby squirrel — until they grow up to be invasive acorn hoarders that interfere with tree planting and, by extension, efforts to slow climate change. So, U.K. environment minister Lord Goldsmith has announced it’s time to put these squirrels on the pill.


Biden to replace entire federal fleet with electric vehicles

By: Bonface Landi on 28 January 2021, 5:30 pm
President Joe Biden has announced his administration’s plans to replace the entire federal fleet with electric cars. According to his remarks while signing the “Made in America” executive order, all the new electric cars will be made in the United States.


Hyper-efficient prefab home hovers above a wetland in Minnesota

By: Lucy Wang on 28 January 2021, 4:30 pm
Alchemy Architects has completed the Lake Elmo weeHouse, a new addition to the firm’s series of eco-friendly, prefab homes.


Respira, the hydroponic smart garden that purifies the air

By: Katherine Gallagher on 28 January 2021, 3:30 pm
Toronto-based New Earth Solutions is offering a sustainable and compact method for natural air purification. Respira, a hydroponic smart garden, helps improve the air quality of indoor spaces, something that society has found an additional need for since spending more time inside the home.


Beautiful modular homes raise the bar for affordable housing in Ontario

By: Lucy Wang on 27 January 2021, 7:30 pm
An affordable housing complex with 49 residences will be ready in just 12 months thanks to prefabrication.


Air pollution could increase risk of irreversible blindness

By: Bonface Landi on 27 January 2021, 6:30 pm
A study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology has revealed that exposure to air pollution increases the risk of blindness in elderly people.


Biden to issue new directives on climate change

By: Bonface Landi on 27 January 2021, 5:30 pm
President Joe Biden is expected to issue a suite of directives by end of the day today that will kickstart the process of combating climate change.


Sneci houseboat leaves no footprint while floating on Lake Tisza

By: Dawn Hammon on 27 January 2021, 4:30 pm
Sneci isn’t your typical summer home.


Wooden canopy in Calgary uses 3D-printed light fixtures

By: Katherine Gallagher on 27 January 2021, 3:30 pm
Students have designed and built a 70-foot-long lightweight wooden canopy equipped with interactive 3D-printed biodegradable light fixtures on the Castell Building in the heart of Calgary’s downtown.


ESUB Tracks is a smart, solar-powered bicycle helmet concept

By: Lucy Wang on 26 January 2021, 7:30 pm
Germany-based design firm WertelOberfell has teamed up with material scientists, material suppliers, end-users and manufacturers to develop ESUB Tracks, a conceptual design for a smart bicycle helmet powered by flat-printed organic photovoltaics.


Amazon rainforest is becoming a carbon source due to deforestation

By: Bonface Landi on 26 January 2021, 6:30 pm
In the next 15 years, the Amazon rainforest is on track to be a larger source of carbon emissions than it absorbs because of the rapid rate of deforestation.


Global ice melt is in line with the IPCC worst-case scenario

By: Bonface Landi on 26 January 2021, 5:30 pm
A new report has found that the rate of global ice loss is now in line with worst-case scenario predictions. Find out what this means for our planet.


Construction of Europes largest vertical farm is underway

By: Katherine Gallagher on 26 January 2021, 4:30 pm
The first phase of construction on the new Nordic Harvest vertical farm has been completed after just 6 months of work.


Green-roofed Casa 23s porous facade opens and closes to save energy

By: Lucy Wang on 26 January 2021, 3:30 pm
On the outskirts of the town Villeta in Colombia, Arquitectura en Estudio has completed the Casa 23, a holiday home that relies on passive strategies to save energy and stay naturally cool without air conditioning.


Herdade da Ferraria goes from farmhouse to sustainable home

By: KC Morgan on 25 January 2021, 7:30 pm
Sustainable living inspired the amazing Herdade da Ferraria by Enter Arquitectura. Once an old farm warehouse, this building has become a benchmark for modern design.


Finnish hockey team goes carbon-neutral

By: Bonface Landi on 25 January 2021, 6:30 pm
Lahti Pelicans, a Finnish ice hockey club, is championing for a carbon-free world.


LA River masterplan requests local input for sustainable development

By: Bonface Landi on 25 January 2021, 5:30 pm
The planners hope to better address community needs throughout the project.


Designers selected for new Shenzhen Natural History Museum project

By: Katherine Gallagher on 25 January 2021, 4:30 pm
The team beat out over 70 proposals from around the world in an international competition.


JUSU turns juicing by-products into all-natural home and body care items

By: Dawn Hammon on 25 January 2021, 3:30 pm
A juice bar in Canada pursues zero-waste goals by turning fruit scraps into natural personal care and home products.


Century-old water tower is now an award-winning home with stunning views

By: Lucy Wang on 22 January 2021, 7:30 pm
Seven years after purchasing the water tower next to their childhood home, cousins Ruud Visser and Fumi Hoshino of RV Architectuur have successfully transformed the century-old structure in Nieuw Lekkerland into a stunning home for their families.


Biden signs executive order to rejoin Paris Agreement

By: Bonface Landi on 22 January 2021, 6:30 pm
The newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that will kickstart the process for the country to rejoin the Paris climate accord.


Washington is the first U.S. state to hold a climate assembly

By: Bonface Landi on 22 January 2021, 5:30 pm
Starting this month, residents of Washington are going to have direct say on climate matters in the state.


LEED Gold apartments provide supportive housing in Los Angeles

By: Lucy Wang on 22 January 2021, 4:30 pm
The Westlake / Rampart Village neighborhood of Los Angeles welcomed the Rampart Mint Apartments, a new permanent supportive housing project that provides secure and sustainable housing for people who are experiencing homelessness.


Hydraloop recycles up to 260 gallons of water per day

By: KC Morgan on 22 January 2021, 3:30 pm
Hydraloop is making water recycling easier for all types of buildings.


How the Sunrise Movement is changing the climate activism game

By: Dawn Hammon on 21 January 2021, 7:30 pm
The Sunrise Movement represents a growing force that encourages all citizens to work towards better balance for the planet at an individual, governmental or corporate level.


Reindeer herders in Norway take a wind farm to court

By: Bonface Landi on 21 January 2021, 6:30 pm
Reindeer herders of the Sámi Indigenous community have moved to a court of appeals in Norway to challenge a proposed wind power project.


Student inspires Miami-Dade County Public Schools to shift to electric buses

By: Bonface Landi on 21 January 2021, 5:30 pm
Holly Thorpe, a middle school student at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, has pushed the school district to shift from diesel-powered buses to electric buses.


MIA Architecture's office blends into the landscape with a mirrored facade

By: Dawn Hammon on 21 January 2021, 4:30 pm
If ever there is a building type to emphasize dynamic appeal and make a statement, it should belong to an architectural firm.


House of Childhood is a daycare that emphasizes energy efficiency

By: Dawn Hammon on 20 January 2021, 7:30 pm
Translated House of Childhood, the building was designed by Tectoniques Agency and is functional, inviting, striking and environmentally friendly.


Federal court dismisses Trump's rollback on regulating carbon emissions

By: Bonface Landi on 20 January 2021, 6:30 pm
A federal court has turned down the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to lessen carbon emission regulations for coal plants.


Gothenburg, Sweden develops world's first zero-emissions zone

By: Bonface Landi on 20 January 2021, 5:30 pm
The Swedish city of Gothenburg is developing the world’s first large-scale zero-emissions city zone. In collaboration with Volvo Cars, Gothenburg’s Green City Zone initiative will be open to economic activities, allowing people to participate in businesses while supporting a sustainable environment.


Former prison site to transform into green mixed-use district

By: Lucy Wang on 20 January 2021, 4:30 pm
In the Copenhagen suburb of Albertslund, the former Vridsløselille prison site will take on new life as an attractive mixed-use district with a strong emphasis on nature. The development plan for the 160,000-square-meter district will combine the design proposal by Danish architectural firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and landscape architects BOGL with the scheme put forth by COBE Architects.


Need a bike helmet? 'Grow It Yourself' with mycelium

By: Dawn Hammon on 20 January 2021, 3:30 pm
Tired of replacing all those plastic bike helmets? Now, there’s a more sustainable option. The 100% compostable Grow It Yourself Helmet is made from mycelium.


The Mountain tiny home comes with a skylit cedar shower

By: Katherine Gallagher on 19 January 2021, 7:30 pm
Designed and built by CoMak Tiny Homes in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this tiny home on wheels packs a ton of cool features into a pretty small package.


Biden expected to cancel Keystone XL project on first day in office

By: Bonface Landi on 19 January 2021, 6:30 pm
Sources close to the US. President-elect Joe Biden indicate that the President plans to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project.


US solar panels may be partially produced via slave labor

By: Bonface Landi on 19 January 2021, 5:30 pm
The production of polysilicon and other solar panel parts in Xinjiang is suspected to be through slave labor. Will the US stop importing these problematic parts?


A new LEED Gold civic center will reinvigorate downtown Long Beach

By: Lucy Wang on 19 January 2021, 4:30 pm
Long Beach Civic Center Master Plan redesigns the downtown area into a vibrant, mixed-use district with multiple LEED-certified structures.


Could contraception for pigeons be a humane option for population control?

By: Teresa Bergen on 19 January 2021, 3:30 pm
To get rid of pigeons, people typically trap, shoot or poison them. OvoControl is trying long-term birth control instead.


The Wzai 2.0 smart plant can give anyone a green thumb

By: KC Morgan on 18 January 2021, 7:30 pm
Have you ever found yourself with a struggling houseplant, demanding to know why it won’t thrive? Let the Wázai 2.0, the world’s smartest bonsai, turn you into a master home gardener.


Seagrass purges 900M plastic bits from the Mediterranean yearly

By: Bonface Landi on 18 January 2021, 6:30 pm
A new study has found “Neptune Balls” full of plastic that wash ashore are the product of seagrass, which collects and purges plastic pollution from the water.


Cobalt-free batteries will make EVs more affordable

By: Teresa Bergen on 18 January 2021, 5:30 pm
If the high price tag is all that stands between you and your dream Tesla, you might be able to afford one in a few years thanks to cobalt-free batteries.


This green-roofed cabin is made from local cedar and glass

By: Katherine Gallagher on 18 January 2021, 4:30 pm
Made from sustainable building materials, the Bowen Island House maintains deep connections to nature while minimizing environmental impact.


Dolmen Shelter renderings imagine stone-shaped guest rooms

By: Katherine Gallagher on 18 January 2021, 3:30 pm
Sibling team Davit and Mary Jilavyan have imagined a boutique hotel with stone-shaped guest rooms partially inspired by their housing complex in Moscow. The project, known as Dolmen Shelter, is a fictional rendering that the duo hopes to someday see brought to fruition by their friends in the building industry.


Bro.do x Mylea Better Shoes are made from mushroom leather

By: Dawn Hammon on 15 January 2021, 7:30 pm
As the fashion world looks for alternatives to plastic and leather, mycelium is rising to the top of the material supply chain.