sustainability

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Design

Off the Grid: A Couple Spends 24 Years Building a Floating Island Home in Canada

August 11, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Twenty-five years ago artists Catherine King and Wayne Adams made the realization they would never have enough income to afford real estate so they made a fairly radical decision: they would build an island. Currently moored off the coast of Vancouver Island about 45 minutes by boat to the nearest town, their sprawling floating house is called called “Freedom Cove.”

The completely mobile island is made of 12 tethered sections that incorporates four greenhouses, living quarters, a kitchen, workshop, art gallery, a lighthouse and even a dance floor. Adams estimates the structure weighs in around 500 tons (a million pounds) and says everything was constructed with a handsaw and hammer without the aid of power tools. In this short clip Great Big Story takes a brief glimpse inside this supremely unusual residence.

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Design Documentary

Earthships: Meet a Community in New Mexico Living in Incredible Off-The-Grid Homes Built From Trash

December 8, 2015

Christopher Jobson

Fresh out of architectural school in 1972, Michael Reynolds immediately started to question much of what he had just learned. Why build houses with trees when forests are something we want to preserve? Why pay for electricity, water, and heat when all of it can be provided off-the-grid using existing materials and renewable resources like wind, rain, and solar?

Reynolds set out to design a home built from dirt, tires, aluminum cans and other repurposed objects and so successful others began to take notice. Now, an entire community lives in these unusual homes called ‘Earthships’ in Taos, New Mexico. Filmmakers Flora Lichtman and Katherine Wells recently stopped by to learn more. (via Devour)

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