Eco-friendly designs take center stage

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 10:59

Sometimes, people go to great lengths to leave as little of an impact on the environment around their houses as possible. Radiant heaters allow people to warm their homes efficiently and solar panels can power the house with only the sun. However, in situations where the building will be in the public's eye, people can go even further than the best heating system to bring the eco-friendly possibilities technology provides to light.
Whether it's a structure many people can use to enjoy the nature around them or a building situated in an area where many passersby will notice, sustainable designs have countless opportunities to be in the spotlight. With everyone looking at and experiencing them, these concepts have the potential to affect the most people and make the biggest difference.
A way to enjoy the surroundingsArchitecture company TYIN Tegnestue has worked with both a local community in Norway and students from Mexico to create a small wooden cabin sitting against the rough Nordic landscape, according to Inhabitat. Members of the Lista district wanted something that could draw people to the remote area. TYIN Tegnestue came up with the cabin, which is made from wood native to the region as well as recycled windows. Using a low-impact foundation, a majority of the structure sits atop stilts dug into the sand. The cabin offers a viewing platform for the rugged terrain around it and the paths leading to it do the same. Made up of straight lines, they seemingly cut through the jagged features of the surroundings in a stark contrast to nature.
Lights aren't needed inside the cabin because of how many windows are in it, providing ample natural light. It was built in three weeks thanks to help from the locals who donated food, machinery and tools to aid in the project's completion. The locals who sought this green design came together to deliver on the concept, too.
As more people enjoy the cabin in Lista, maybe it will encourage them to make these choices as well when it comes to everyday routines and technological innovations that could not only save money, but work toward preserving the ecosystem. Advancements in all different types of science and engineering are proving more and more every day that there are steps people can take to ensure they're a positive influence on the world around them.
In the world's spotlightFor the Milan Design Expo in 2015, companies are already pushing the boundaries even further. The Expo has always been a chance for organizations to show the world what they might expect to see in the future. With climate change on many people's minds nowadays, many of the showcases feature sustainable or green initiatives that have the potential to solve some of the planet's most pressing problems.
One group has developed a way to even clean the air around a structure while also generating energy in what could be the next step of eco-friendly designs. Nemesi & Partners revealed designs for a six-floor building in Italy that would act like a forest in a city setting. After the expo ends, the building will remain on-site as a beacon for sustainable design with its unique pollution-absorbing concrete aiding in reducing smog around it, reported Inhabitat.
By using public spectacles like the expo or tourist locations, people can bring eco-friendly alternatives to common building practices to the forefront of the public's attention. While some of these technologies won't be available to the public soon, it may bring attention to existing advancements such as radiant heating, solar energy and water efficient plumbing that can be implemented by homeowners today.