Blog:Proleno - life, style, design

All posts tagged eco-design

Front was inspired by the long life of a LED lamp. Its burning time of almost ten years makes it possible to create a lamp you never need to change the bulb of. The inner dome softens the light and creates the illusion of a lamp without a bulb, blurring the boundary between lightsource and lampshade.

booo studio presents an innovative collection of design lighbulbs by Front Design, Nacho Carbonell and Formafantasma at Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan.

booo studio is a new company based in holland and composed by an team coming from different fields and countries to work in between avantgarde design and mass production industry.

LED lightbulbs is the first challenge and for the occasion booo studio have asked Nacho Carbonell, Design Front and Formafantasma, among the most interesting design creatives on the scene, to re-design our usual idea of
lightbulbs.

The result of this research is two collection of lightbulbs one meant for the mass production and one more experimental and released in a limited edition.

The main collection is designed to not need any additional lamp or lamp shade: the lightbulb becomes also the lamp.

Thanks to the new LED technology development these designers have approached the design of a lightbulb in full freedom. They’ve created products which combine state of the art technology with revolutionary aesthetics.

At the same time booo products are aimed to be perfectly produced in a mass production process in terms of costs and prices and it fits perfectly both the consumer and the contract market.

booo wants to play a new role into the design industry as a connector between two worlds which has been separated for too long. At the same time booo develops new technologies inspired by the continuous interaction with the designers and patents them, like ‘Smartbulb’ an innovative system of remote controlling based on wireless technology.

The Limited edition collection is intended to be experimental and we left the designers completely free to investigate the possibilities of LED even with the use of innovative and not conventional materials. The limited edition collection also represent the laboratory for future use of LED resources.

 

Are you aware that 2 NYC based architects designed an asymmetrical home with fixed budget of $250,000?

Architects and Jersey City citizens Richard Garber (assistant professor at NJ Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture and Design in Newark) and Nicole Robertson of GRO Architects in NYC rose to the challenge of constructing and overseeing the building of a single-family house that’s a genuine proof of both progressive design and environmental-friendly technology.

Denis Carpenter not long ago purchased a compact vacant lot and, to achieve his concern for the environment, wanted a residence that was efficient and very easy to maintain.
Eco Friendly Home
What’s so particular about this home?

– Inside the home, on the floor level, radiant heating below the exposed cement floor warms the full bathing room and two bedrooms.

– In the attic-like 2nd level, sleek aluminum and stainless steel railings accent the bamboo stairway to the mezzanine, family room and an artfully designed kitchen made with restored devices and cabinetry.

– Passive cooling strategies like ceiling fans and clerestory windows allow occupants to be cool during summer months and hot during winter.

– The roof contains 260 feet square of photovoltaic panels that deliver around 2,000 kilowatts of energy per year to a battery stored in the basement.

This single family 1,600-square-foot home was constructed in six months and won a 2009 American Institute of Architects merit award and the 2010 Green Building of the Year Award from the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency.

Ok now what? How can you transform your home into an ecologically-friendly home without investing too much money?

If you’re remodeling a home, execute an energy review first to help you determine what energy efficiency improvements should and can be made to your home. In this way you’ll calculate how much energy your home consumes.

My favorite eco-friendly technique is the passive solar cooling/heating design.

Passive solar signifies that your home’s windows, walls, and floors can be created to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer.

Existing buildings can be adapted or “retrofitted” to passively collect and store solar heat too.

The following five elements constitute a comprehensive passive solar home design:

The Collector – The area through which sunlight enters the building (usually windows).

The Absorber – The hard, darkened surface of the storage element. Sunlight hits the surface and is absorbed as heat.

The Thermal Mass – The elements that retain or store the heat generated by sunlight below or behind the absorber surface.

The Distributor – The method by which solar heat circulates from the collection and storage points to different areas of the house.

The Controller – Roof overhangs can be used to shade the aperture area during summer season or Thermostats that signal a fan to turn on.

The author – Cynthia Booth – shares knowledge for the architecture careers blog. It’s a nonprofit web site dedicated to provide help for young architects who need resources for their careers. With this she would like to increase the attention on eco-friendly home design and change the general public conception of energy efficiency.

There are islands of plastic debris the size of Texas floating around in the Pacific and other oceans. Electrolux is going to turn them into vacuum cleaners.
Sea Vac
“Our oceans are filled with plastic waste. Yet on land, there is a shortage of recycled plastic. The supply of sustainable raw material, such as recycled plastic, is crucial for making sustainable appliances, and assisting consumers in making their homes greener. I, therefore, hope people will join us in raising awareness about the threat plastic poses to marine habitats and the urgent need for taking better care of the plastic that already exists” said Hans Stråberg President and CEO, Electrolux

To inspire people into solving the issue and bring awareness to the situation, one of the world’s largest home appliance makers, Electrolux, will go to the scene of the crime and gather plastic from the plastic islands and, from the material gathered, turn it into vacuum cleaners.
Electrolux Vac
The global initiative is called “Vac from the Sea” and aims to bring attention to the issue of plastic pollution and at the same time combat the scarcity of recycled plastics needed for making sustainable home appliances.

What an environmentally friendly and stunningly cool way to make use of recycled shopping bags!
Katsu Design
Recycled sustainable clothing that is art in its own right. Germany based KATSU DESiGN art objects are recycled from used materials (LDPE shopping bags) in combination with unbleached, formaldehyde-free cotton. A subtle daily reminder to our ecological conscience.

They say “We do not want plastic bags. We want sustainable design.”

Their mantra is “reduce, reuse, recycle.”
Katsu Design
used by you… Armadillo is an art object intended to be used by you. Hot stuff for cool people!

Invite birds in with the multi-award winning Window Bird Feeder designed by Pascal Charmolu and manufactured from recycled plastic by Born In Sweden.

Window Bird Feeder

Window Bird Feeder


An innovative bird feeder that encourages small birds to feed next to a window. Perfect for apartments & flats where a garden is just not possible.
Eco Bird Feeder
The bird feeder can be mounted on any smooth window pane, thanks to an innovative double-sided suction cup. The carefully selected materials can cope with extreme temperatures as well as UV rays. It is designed for small birds and features a drainage hole at the base of the bowl.

Available in the UK from Stylish Life.

A step away from my usual posts but, if only from a design perspective let alone its ecological value, I think the Syreen deserves some “airtime”.

Syreen Syringe

Syreen Syringe


Cambridge Consultants announced the launch of the ‘Syreen’ syringe, a new concept that demonstrates the cost benefit and supply chain disruptions made possible by sustainable product design.

Instead of glass, Syreen syringes are made with COP (cyclic olefin polymer) plastic, which has enabled Cambridge Consultants to shed the need for secondary packaging altogether, a first in this medical device arena.

Cambridge Consultants in the newsThe United States alone produces 6,600 tons of medical waste per day, equaling well over two million tons per year—approximately 85 percent of which goes to landfills throughout the country. The Syreen eliminates the need for wasteful fillers such as cardboard and styrofoam, reducing the packaging weight by 30 percent and volume by 50 percent from today’s standard packaging. After delivery, with a simple snap, the user ejects the needle into the sharps bin allowing the user to potentially recycle the plastic capsule.

You can learn more about the Syreen and Cambridge Consultants at their website or see them on Sky News.

It will come as no surprise that more than 40% of the UK’s CO2 emissions result from the choices we make as individuals. By taking an active interest in sustainable living, changing the way we live and introducing energy efficiency measures into our homes, we can make a difference to this global issue.
Eco House
To help you improve the energy efficiency of your home, whether it is an existing house or a new build, the organisers of The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show, on at the NEC from 18 to 21 March, have put together some great pointers:

Get Educated!

Find out how sustainable you and your home are by checking out your own carbon footprint. Use the Energy Savings Trust’s carbon calculator and get a personalised action plan to do your bit for the environment and reduce energy bills. You can visit the Energy Savings Trust at The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show to get further information or attend the free seminars at the Show. How to heat your home for free and turning your existing home into a low energy house are just two of the many eco topics in the seminar and masterclass programme.

Start with the Basics

There are so many simple ways to become more sustainable in the home – and save money! Turn down your thermostat by one degree (which could save 10% on your heating bills), use the economy setting on the dishwasher, don’t leave appliances and equipment on standby, use your washing machine at 30 degrees, use low energy light bulbs or only fill the kettle for the amount of water you need. Call the Act on CO2 helpline for more advice: 0800 512512.

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

Insulating your home is a great way to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce energy costs. For the average house 30% of the heat simply escapes through the walls and roof. Did you know that installing or topping up your loft insulation to 270mm thickness can save you £60 a year and reduce your carbon footprint by 299kg? Cavity wall insulation (generally appropriate for houses built between 1920 and 1980) can save £150 on your heating bills and reduce your carbon footprint by 799kg. For new builds, investing in high levels of insulation materials is the most cost effective way to minimise heat loss and keep energy bills low. Insulation materials are used in roofs, walls and floors and there are a wide variety of products on the market for both existing and new homes. Check out the wide range of insulation specialist exhibitors at The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show.

Consider Alternative Energy Technologies

Alternative energy technologies where you produce your own electricity or energy to heat your home may be expensive but can significantly reduce your carbon footprint as well as reduce your utility bills to a minimum. Ground source heat pumps are the darlings of the green movement and work like a fridge, using electricity to power water through pipes below the surface where the temperature remains at a constant 10 degrees. You could also consider wind or hydro turbines and solar panels. For simpler initiatives consider underfloor heating, rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling.

Understand the New Payback Scheme

Grants are no longer available to help towards the cost of installing alternative energy technologies. However, from April 2010 the Government is introducing a Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme in which homeowners who generate their own electricity will be paid a substantial premium for all electricity they generate. Offering a series of per-unit rates, guaranteed by law for 25 years and inflation-linked, the income is also tax free. Now there’s an incentive! From April 2011, the Government will be introducing the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which will apply the same principles to heat energy – for technologies like thermal solar panels and ground-source heat pumps. To find out more, ring 0800 512512 or attend the free masterclass on how to make money from renewable energy at The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show.

Get Financial Help with Ageing Boilers

If your boiler has a permanent pilot light or is over 15 years old, it’s likely it is G-rated and therefore qualifies for the boiler scrappage scheme. The great news is that the Government is offering a £400 cashback voucher for anyone scrapping their G-rated boiler and replacing it with an A-rated boiler or renewable heat technology. There are currently around 3.5 million homes in England with G-rated or worse boilers. Find out if you are eligible by logging onto www.governmentboiler-scrappagescheme.info

Do Your Homework

Do your homework and get as much information as possible. Visit websites like the Association for Environment Conscious Building, the Centre for Alternative Technology and the Energy Saving Trust.

Visit The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show at the NEC from 18 to 21 March. The Show features over 450 exhibitors as well as The Eco Homes Show, free seminar and masterclass sessions, Ask the Experts and Independent Advice Areas. Sustainable living continues to be a big focus of the Show this year and there are two free seminars every day as well as 29 free masterclasses over the four days focussing on specific aspects of energy efficiency and environmentally friendly products and services. You can also speak to Tim Pullen, resident eco-expert at the Ask the Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine Experts stand or visit Oakwright’s cutaway structure demonstrating how your dream home design can accommodate eco-friendly products including solar heating, breathable walls, wind power and insulation.

Tickets are £10 in advance or £14 on the door and children under 16 go free.

Using maize bio-plastic and bamboo trim, Elium Studio is extending its research on materials applied to household products.
safe radio
The designers have looked at small electronics for the home in eco-friendly mode: a radio with rechargeable battery by manual wind-up, clock, alarm clock, calculator and pocket flashlight with solar-powered battery, a range of eco-design pieces for Lexon.
safe calculator
As for the finish qualities of maize bio-plastic, which is matt rather than the super shiny plastic, they are honed and counter-balanced by the addition of bamboo for the covering. This is a technically bold option that adds an artisan touch to mass production and gets around the problem of appearance, fade in particular, since bamboo takes on an elegant patina with use where ordinary plastics age badly.

Australian design brand DesignByThem have released a stool made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. ‘Butter stool’, designed by Sarah Gibson and Nicholas Karlovasitis, is made almost entirely of recycled milk containers.

The designers believe that there is a large difference between designing products that can be recycled and products that are made from recycled materials.

“Many products can be recycled however the majority use virgin plastic, essentially adding more plastic to a saturated recycling system.”

Aside from the sustainable attributes of the product, the stool remains extremely robust, being UV-stable and waterproof.

Sarah, who also lectures in Ecodesign at the University of Technology Sydney, believes that the functionality of sustainable products should not be compromised. The stool can be hand assembled and is designed from a single piece of material which folds together to become rigid. The stools can also be stacked and are available in a variety of colours including yellow, white, black, grey, beige, blue, green, red & orange.

Nicholas and Sarah have been collaborating together for the past three years and are the creative minds behind DesignByThem. They have plans to expand the Butter range to include a complimentary table and a shelving system.butter stool