Saltwater Greenhouses

Process of seawater greenhouse

 

 

As time moves on technologies have too but some of these are often discoveries of things that were already there. For seawater greenhouses I was listening to a radio show when the person who started the idea talked about how he discovered it. He had actually been on a bus where all the passengers had been soaked in a heavy rain downpour. While trying to sleep he had put a towel against the window and leaned on it to rest his head. It was awaking later he found the towel was completely saturated by water that had come from natural condensation.

This was the birth child of the seawater greenhouse and irrigation. The system has many benefits including high yield and all year round growing. This also includes the fact that the seawater naturally cools the greenhouse and its density of salt in the air acts as a natural pesticide.

For me I think people need to think long and hard do we need to keep spending money talking about problems in the world or start spending money in the solutions that could possibly be the solution.

Photo from Seawatergreenhouse.com

The future is here–Rawlemon’s spherical solar generators

Solar energy is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, thermal electricity, the most common which is the photovoltaic cells and many more.  There are a lot of solar technologies being used nowadays to concentrate on the sun’s heating power that generates energy which is of great significance.

Rawlemon has designed an aesthetic take on solar power devices. The German architect named Andre Broessel was inspired by his daughter’s toy marbles and created a glass sphere that is able to collect and concentrate diffuse where traditional devices cannot and as well as providing an efficiency boost, they can be used in far locations which their traditional counterparts can’t do. The design uses a  spherical lens to concentrate sunlight on a small photovoltaic panel and combines this with a dual-axis pivot that tracks the movement of the sun.

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Aside from this, Rawlemon aims to bring more devices to market starting with  the 10 cm (3.9 in) Beta.ey S phone charger, which is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign.  The funds raised are reserved for the production and certification of the Beta.ey S. The charger is compatible with any phone that uses a USB 2.0 charging port and has a battery storage capacity of 27.5 Whr,

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Another is the Beta.ey S Special Edition and Beta.ey XL designed for  charging tablets. There are also larger devices they are marketing namely the 100cm (39.4 in) Beta.ray 1.0 that will generate up to 1.1 kWh a day that can run a laptop about two days. It has a 1.8 kWh battery. This is planned to be released later this year.

The largest device that Rawlemon has is the 180 cm (70.1 in) Beta.ray 1.8 that will generate up to 3.4 kWh a day, that can run a laptop for almost a week. It has a 5.4 kWh battery. Both the Beta.ray 1.0 and 1.8 feature water-filled acrylic-polymer lenses, as opposed to the solid lenses of their smaller siblings, plus they generate thermal energy as well as solar. This will be released right after the Beta.ey.

Lastly, Rawlemon is developing  a system that is called Microtrack that uses the same technology but is installed as a building skin. This will produce energy during the day and can be used as a multimedia display at night. This will take 3 years to bring to market.

Glass Sphere solar energy generator

Sun is the center of the solar system. It is said to be the greatest sustainable energy source here on Earth but then we may also need to think of ways as to how we will be able to conserve the energy coming from it for the next generations to come. We’ve seen PV panels been used nowadays to generate solar energy but this fixed panels are loosing it’s efficiency since the sun is moving and the panels can’t catch up all the light that is coming out from the sun.  Thus, German architect Andre Broessel has come up a solution that could squeeze more juice out of the sun. That’s why he created Rawlemon.  Would this be the answer to all our solar power woes?

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This giant crystal ball generates twice the yield of a conventional solar panel when both are placed on a vertical set-up.  Not to mention,  Rawlemon is able to reduce the cell surface to 1%, so not only can they fit more cells in a smaller area, but Rawlemon can concentrate this energy as well to produce more sustainable and low-cost energy.

“In addition to increased and optimum solar performance, the design offers benefits for users, designers and architects,” explained Broessel in an interview. 

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The Rawlemon device features a fully rotational weather-proof natural optical tracking device that is suitable for inclined surfaces, walls of buildings, and virtually anywhere with access to the sky which is different from the traditional solar panels. This device has a modular collector system that charges and stores energy during the day and at night from the sun and even the moon.

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This is 35% more efficient than current solar panels and is able to operate on cloudy days.  It concentrates light by 10,000 times.

A home in a shipping container

Slums in the Philippines are widely spreading in thousands of islands in the country.  Slum dwellers often live in areas where mostly vulnerable to disasters such as in shorelines, under bridges and around dumpsites. They were left with no choice but to stay in these area since they’ve got nothing to go to.  Philippines has around 92 million population and 22.8 million of which are living in slums according to Homeless International Organization survey.  This greatly shows that issues on land and housing to the many homeless people are quiet a big number.

In relation to this, I have read news from other countries about the use of shipping containers as home for many homeless people in their areas. I just can’t seem to understand why this idea did not come up as a potential and possible solution for this kind of issue in the Philippines.  Shipping containers are not that hard to find and knowing that it is space saving since it can be stacked , so problems about land areas can easily be met.  Not only that, this will also provide imaginative and appropriate accommodation where it can liberate people from substandard housing and squalor.

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Simple houses made of this would really mean a lot to those who are living in areas that compromises not only their lives but also to their  loved ones.  Hopefully this kind of issue will be addressed the soonest possible time as the population is terribly increasing every year.

Buying a shipping container in the Philippines– Update 2014.

I am often asked where can you buy shipping containers in the Philippines and I threw this short video together to explain where to buy. Also where you may find people that will donate containers for projects in the Philippines.

Boathouse shipping container

From shipping containers made into houses to food stall now I’ve seen another creative idea of Steve White from Belfast, Ireland building a boathouse.  He decided to park his boathouse in Brooklyn Marina and intends to live in it.  White didn’t have any doubts in using shipping container as the main building units for he firmly believe that these are affordable, easy to construct, durable, structurally sound, environmentally friendly and only require a minimal investment to make them habitable. Not only that, these are also design to last in marine environments.

Thinking about the characteristics of shipping containers it wouldn’t be a problem making the boathouse to life. However, the builders were challenged on how to make the structure float. They designed a barge which is a box that will allow the edifice to float. The box is made of plastic pontoon cylinders filled with foam. They use this since it’s impermeable to salt water and very robust when placed in water. But if the cylinders are not in the water obviously they can’t support the weight of the home. 

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The challenge didn’t stop from their, they have difficulty cutting the thick steel hull of containers since it was hard and prone to flexing and bending.  They find a way to use a steel frame to firm it up and make it more rigid.  White and his wife also rent it out during summer and planning to construct more boathouses made of shipping containers in the future.

Food stall shipping container

Thinking about the budget for your new business without spending so much? Then this is what you’re looking for. A food stall shipping container inspired. Cool, isn’t it?

Shipping container is not only for building commercial houses. You can be creative and play with the structure as to how you would want to use it. There are so many ways that you can use shipping containers and one of this is creating a food stall. When we construct even a small stall for a small business we can’t deny the fact that the money allocated for your capital will be deducted because of your expenses especially when building a stall. With this, instead of having to spend more you can just simply look for a used shipping container which is quite cheaper than building a new one. You can save labor cost, time and even the days of construction will be lessen as well.  You can immediately use the stall with less than a week or more or less 3 days. It is easy to use and construct, proven to be durable and environmentally friendly. If you choose to reuse a container, you are actually saving the environment as in case of no better use of such containers, their steel is retrieved to be used again and that process takes a lot of energy. Aside from that, you can personalize the design and it’s structure. You don’t have to worry as to where you can buy it since they are almost available everywhere. It is easy to find them. All you need to do is to look for one and you shall have one.

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Whatever there is to be said, the fact that shipping containers have given numerous benefit is too far too be ignored. We can maximize it’s usage if only we allow ourselves to be open to any possibilities and think out of the box. Let our creative minds work and the rest will follow.

Top 10 bizarre homes

 

1. The Spaceship House. This is located at 1408 Palisades Road in Chattanooga Tennessee. It’s structure is a large saucer suspended a story off the ground on six large re-enforced cement pillars. The parking area is underneath the building. It is situated on a wonderful lot with scenic views.

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2. Transparent House in Japan. If you think you have nothing to hide, try living in this see-through house located in Tokyo, Japan. Known as “House NA”, it offers plenty of daylight, however no privacy. The 914 square-foot transparent house was built by Sou Fujimoto Architects and is associated with the concept of living within a tree.

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3. Flintstones Inspired Home, USA. This was a masterpiece of Dick Clark and was listed for $3.5 million. This single storey house in Malibu was inspired by the Flintstones family from the classic 60’s cartoon.

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4. Slide House in Japan. Japanese Studio LEVEL Architects has designed an unusual three-story family house quipped with a slide that connects all three floors. This fun house is wrapped with staircases and a corridor on one side, and the slide on the other side, which together form a circular route around the central area of the house.

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5. The Nautilus House. This giant seashell inspired abode was built by designed by Senosiain Arquitectos for a couple in Mexico City. The design and the structure was incredible. It’s amazing and beautiful. The colors gives out more beauty in it.

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6. The Stone House in Portugal. It is located in the Fafe mountains of northern Portugal. This is not a Flinstones inspired house instead this was built by Vitor Rodrigues in 1974 as a family retreat through connecting a series large glacial erratics with stone and mortar. They are not often staying in the house thus he make it sure that the security of the house is maintained and thus making the glass bulletproof and the door thick steel to keep looters and vandals at bay.

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7. The toilet shaped house. This is located in Suwon, South Korea.   South Korean sanitation activists marked the start of a global toilet association right here on November 21, 2007, by lifting the lid on the world’s first lavatory-shaped home that offers plenty of water closet space.

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8. The Upside-Down House. Located in Szymbark, Poland, the house was created by Daniel Czapiewski to describe the former communist era and the present times in which we live

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9. World’s Slimmest House. This is located in Warsaw, Poland. The Keret House, inserted between two existing buildings, measures only from 92 to 152 centimeters in width. A very slim house that you can’t imagine how you will fit and can sleep in their.

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10. The Teapot Dome. A strange house in Zillah (WA, USA). It was built in 1922 as a reminder of the Teapot Dome Scandal involving President Warren G. Harding and a federal petroleum reserve in Wyoming.

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Container housing a solution for the poor?

Many things have been said about container homes which makes me think, Is this really a solution for the poor? A home is said to be a place where you are at the most comfortable with and something that will reflect your personality and character. Imagine your home is made of shipping containers and you got to bring some of your friends in there, chit-chatting or even bonding with them. A different taste of architecture  which is unique and one of a kind.

Poverty, lack of job opportunities, poor education and population growth confronts the common people. We are aware of the fact that there are many countries who have been facing difficulties such as providing equal benefit and assistance to the needy. There are numerous problems to talk about but one thing I want to get in touch with is about providing homes for those families who have been so down and have nothing to run into but only the government. I am not saying that it is all the work of the government to supply them with all their needs but what I want to imply is to help them even building relocating houses to those who are living in squatters area especially here in the Philippines. A simple house that they can live into is fine. Thinking of the budget? Why not consider shipping container as the main materials in constructing one?

Shipping container architecture has picked up pace as people are reinventing a housing style and enjoying it too. Aside from that, getting a used shipping container is far less expensive compared to buying a cheap house in the city. One thing you’ll need to do is just simply look for one and you shall have one.  It is also easy to construct and you need not to hire many laborers to construct the house thus you can save labor cost. You can even construct the house with just a few weeks. The sooner the better. You don’t have to wait for a couple of months for it be finished and live in it. You can play with your imagination and got to build it with your own design. Shipping containers are present anywhere so you don’t have to worry where you can buy it. It is so durable for it is design to carry heavy loads thus if you want it to be stacked in high columns, it is possible.

There are many countries who have been adapting to this kind of architecture. They find it worthwhile and cost effective. In this case, it will certainly be a solution for those who have a tight budget and wants to own a home. Nothing will stop them from fulfilling their dreams. There’s always a solution to every difficulties and it is a matter of how we will deal with it and make it happen.

Rainwater Harvesting | Save money on your water bill with Green Energy

Water is one of the most important substance here on earth. Everything needs water. Humans, animals and even plants need water to live. They say humans can go quite a long time without food as long as they’re well hydrated. Your body weight, overall health and the weather are also considered in this scenario. The famous Mahatma Gandhi from India, survived 21 days of total starvation while only allowing himself sips of water. Basically, this implies the importance of water to all of us.

Recycling rainwater contributes not only reducing your water consumption but making use of a natural resource that we have.  This concept has been widely use by many like water for their garden. This is good for watering the plants because of it’s well balanced ph and the absence of chlorine in it. It’s soft quality also minimizes the use of detergent when washing clothes. It is also use as water for livestock, water irrigation, indoor  heating houses and even used as drinking water.

There are many things to consider specially when it’s about the cleanliness and free from any contaminants since this is also use for drinking. The quality of collected rainwater is generally better than that of surface water such as in stream, lake, river or wetland. I can say this is better since the first flush or the initial surface runoff of a rainstorm that has a high level of pollutants will be discharged to surface waters. Although contamination is always possible by airborne dust and mists, bird feces, and other debris, thus some treatment is necessary, depending on how the water will be used. You can also obtain  good quality of water by using a floating draw-off mechanism.

Rainwater harvesting also provides water supply during regional water restrictions. It can also supply water when drought, prevents flooding in low level areas, averts soil erosion and contamination of surface water with pesticides, sediment, metals and fertilizers. This also serve as an excellent source of water for landscape irrigation that are 100% pure water with no chemicals or other solutions set into the water. Additionally, it also encourages water and energy conservation.

Let’s see how rainwater harvesting works.

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1.  A typical rainwater system will collect rainwater from your roof which is then taken via pipes to a storage tank that is usually located in your garden.

2.  A filter removes leaves and other debris and a settlement tank allows small particles to sink to the bottom.

3.  Floating debris is skimmed off the surface via an overflow pipe and the clean water is extracted from just below the surface.

4.  Water can be pumped directly from the tank to appliances or to your loft header tank.

5.  A float switch in the tank will automatically top up with mains water if the level is too low.

The demand of water from different areas are increasing and thus solutions to supply the demands need to think about. In this times, we have to look in to the brighter side and think out of the box to further look for ways to ensure that everybody will have enough supply of water. Nowadays, there has been a scarcity of water from different areas and the lack of awareness and inattention need to be worked on before it’s too late for all of us. 

Cooling Homes Naturally

Cooling and heating are one of the important things to discuss since this uses most of the energy than any other system in your home. This will give impact to the environment thus learning on how to cool your home naturally would be of great contribution in preserving Mother Nature. According to study, heating and cooling systems are affecting the atmosphere for it emits over half billion of tons of carbon dioxide  each year thus adding to global warming and climate changes.  Adding to this, it also releases sulfur dioxide which is a principal component in acid rain.

When we are talking about cooling a home, it often comes to our mind the use of air conditioners that is adding too much of the electricity cost especially during hot summer days.  There are much of the things to cool ones home without having to spend so much on professional installations and expensive retrofits.  Below are some of the cooling techniques with low-cost and does not provide immense impact on the environment and energy bill.

First, is blocking the heat. There are three ways to block heat from entering your home namely: insulation, reflective barriers and shading. Insulating, caulking and weather-stripping your homes are essential to keeping your home warm in cold climates but also keeping your home cool during hot weather. The heat is absorb through the roof insulating those will keep this heat from radiating to the entire house.  It would be best to have fiberglass insulation which is easy to install though thinking about the cost, this can be recouped immediately in lower energy bills.  Caulking and weather-stripping would also prevent warmer air getting in from leaking into your home. The materials for these are of low-cost and application is simple.

When building a house take into consideration it’s color. Dark-colored home exteriors absorb most of the radiant energy from the sun that hits the home’s surfaces. In contrast, the light-colored surfaces certainly reflect most of the heat away from your home.  Aside from that, installing radiant barrier is also one of the method for reflecting incoming heat. This inhibits heat transfer by thermal radiation.  You can use insulation like foam, fiberglass or bubble pack and installed it facing a dead air space in a layer.

Shading is the simplest way in keeping your home cool and reduce energy consumption.  A lot have been said about landscaping one’s house and working on the drapes and blinds would also contribute to the coolness of your home.  Trees can be used to shade your homes and reduce your energy bills. Drapes and curtains made of light-colored fabrics reflect much of the sun’s rays and help reduce heat gain. The tighter the curtain is to the wall, the better it will reduce heat gain.

Second, is removing the interior heat. There are a lot of  ways as to how you can control the heat inside your home. You can easily open the windows on the side from where the breeze is coming. Leave interior doors open, and open the upstairs windows on the opposite side of the house.  This is most effective when the outer temperature is higher than the outside temperature. Another, you can use ceiling fan instead of air conditioners. Ceiling fans are efficient and use less electricity compared to air conditioners. There are different models that are available with reverse rotation which can be used in winter to pull warm air down from the ceiling.  In addition to that, you can also use programmable thermostats. This will let you adjust the the time turning on the heating and air conditioning. Since this is programmable thus you don’t need to operate the equipment especially when you’re out or asleep.

Lastly, reducing heat sources. If you think heat is only generated from the outside, then now you will know a lot of factors causing heat within the house.  Here are some:

1.  Turn off incandescent lights. We were thinking that 100% energy that goes to the incandescent bulb turns out to light. It is only 5% of it and the remaining comes out as heat.

2. Reduce sources of humidity.  When drying your clothes, vent it to the outside. Use exhaust fans in kitchen and bathroom and cover pots when cooking. These will not only reduce heat but also saves you electricity.

3. Seal off laundry room and line-dry clothes. When washing and drying, make it early morning or late evening which you can tolerate the heat inside the room. If possible, lessen the use of dryers for this releases substantial amount of heat and consume a lot of electricity.

4. Shut gas supply to fireplace and heaters. The pilot light generates a considerable amount of heat, and should be off during warm months. Fireplace needs to be turned off during hot months for it minimizes the loss of cooler air inside the home.

5. Insulate water heater. Water heater gives out heat thus minimizing it is possible by the use of water heater blanket. This simple technique will also greatly increase the efficiency of your water heater, resulting in lower energy bills.

There are many ways on how to cool one’s home naturally though not all are mentioned here but these are all applicable depending on your own preference.

Pod home garden office hideaway.

hideaway podUK hideaways limited have come up with this interesting design for garden pods or even for use in camp sites. The shape and materials used make them very homely in design. At the same time practical for using as a home office or getaway space.hideaway pod inside

I for one am extremely interested in the design and would love one for my own garden to use as an office. That quiet space where you can concentrate and switch off. While still only a short walk to family life.