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Sustainable

Gizmag presents a look at five of our favorite passively-cooled homes

Home air-conditioning offers near-instant relief from hot weather but is both expensive and resource-heavy to run. Gizmag picks five of our current favorite passively-cooled homes that are environmentally responsible to keep comfortably cool, and – perhaps just as importantly – very desirable to live in.  Read More

The winning house, LISI, by the Vienna University of Technology features a lace-like UV cu...

Team Austria (Vienna University of Technology) has been announced the overall winner of Solar Decathlon 2013 after the closest competition in the history of the event. Second place went to University of Nevada Las Vegas, with the Czech Technical University achieving third place overall.  Read More

The Tree Snake House snakes it way through the tree tops

Tree Snake Houses by RA Architectural and Design Studio is the latest in a long line of innovative treehouses that we've covered at Gizmag. Located at the Pedras Salgadas Spa and Nature Park in the north of Portugal, the pair of houses snake their way through the tree tops, offering simple and private accommodation.  Read More

Swedish architectural firm Tengbom has come up with an accommodation model that squeezes s...

Swedish architectural firm Tengbom has come up with a creative new accommodation model that squeezes student living into a compact 10 sq m footprint. The Smart Student Unit aims to offer an inexpensive and sustainable housing choice for students in Sweden that could reduce the current residency rents by half.  Read More

Energy Box was completed earlier this year (Photo: Pierluigi Bonomo)

Following the earthquake which struck L'Aquila, Italy, on April 6 2009, Pierluigi Bonomo was tasked with building a replacement home for a family. The architect produced a three floor property, dubbed Energy Box, which features an unusual wooden box-like design, and energy-reducing technologies including passive ventilation, and photovoltaic panels.  Read More

Pump House, by Branch Studio Architects, was completed this May (Photo: Branch Studio Arch...

It's an obvious point, but it's easy to forget that the most appealing homes don't have to be the most expensive or imposing. We're reminded of this yet again by Pump House – a basic but idyllic weekend retreat designed by Australian firm Branch Studio Architects (BSA). It was built with a modest budget, and boasts the advantage of operating off-the-grid.  Read More

Johannesburg based design studio, Architecture For A Change has recently completed the con...

Johannesburg-based design studio, Architecture For A Change (AFAC) has recently completed the construction of an off-the-grid prefabricated unit located in the informal settlement of Mamelodi, South-Africa. Dubbed Mamelodi Pod, the tiny prototype is designed with the aim of raising local living conditions while also providing an affordable housing solution for settlement districts.  Read More

Hi’ilani EcoHouse was completed earlier this month (Photo: Studio RMA)

US architectural firm Studio RMA recently completed the Hi’ilani EcoHouse: a two-family, low-energy property located on an attractive plot on Hawaii's Big Island. The building draws much of its required energy from renewable sources, and Studio RMA strove to offset the CO2 produced during construction by planting extensive forestry.  Read More

Prawns raised on the Novacq fish-free feed additive (Photo: CSIRO)

When it comes to commercial aquaculture, a lot of people have some legitimate concerns – fish farms can introduce antibiotics, anti-algal chemicals and concentrated fish waste into the ocean; escaped fish can upset the local ecological balance; and wild fish still need to be caught in large numbers, as a food source for some species of farmed fish. While there have been recent efforts to address the first two concerns, the fish-in-the-fish-food problem is now being taken on in two different research projects. These are aimed at replacing the fish content in fish feed with more sustainable ingredients.  Read More

The Modern Seaweed House was constructed with timber-frame panels and stuffed with seaweed...

Joining the ranks of homes built with edible materials, such as the Tourner autour du Ried, made using corn cobs, and the Mushroom Tiny House, built with (you guessed it) mushroom-based products, is the Modern Seaweed House. Located on the small island of Læso in Denmark, the house features a simple wooden structure covered with an insulating layer of seaweed.  Read More

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