This Swiss straw-bale house is completely self-sufficient

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Traditional building techniques and modern technology come together in the House in Berne, a self-sufficient straw bale house in Graben, a Swiss village located less than an hour’s drive north of Bern. Trun-based architecture practice Atelier SCHMIDT GmbH designed the modern home that was crafted to blend in with his rural surroundings by taking on the appearance of an old Bernese farming house and is powered entirely by rooftop solar panels.

Completed this year, the House in Berne… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building



A 1960s Swiss chalet is transformed into a whimsical off-grid home

Swiss architecture firm Frundgallina has dramatically transformed a rundown chalet in the Swiss Jura Mountains into a whimsical self-sufficient dwelling punctuated by a variety of differently sized gabled openings. The architects kept the structure’s exterior dimensions, however, rearranged the interior by dividing the floor plan into four sections measuring approximately 86 square feet each. The gabled home operates off grid and is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system.

The… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

A 1920 Swiss barn is reborn as a modern home for a family of five

Swiss design studio Ralph Germann architectes overhauled an old drafty barn into a beautiful contemporary home with a new timber annex. Located in the rural village of Orsières in southeast Switzerland, the barn renovation and expansion project was commissioned by a family of five who sought a modern and light-filled abode. The adaptive reuse project—named the House EKC—was built of locally sourced materials and is equipped with an air-water heat pump, solar thermal panels, and dimmable LEDs.

The… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Swiss resident begins peddling jars of Alps mountain air starting at $97

Got an extra $97 lying around? With that money you can now purchase a jar of fresh mountain air from Switzerland. Resident John Green has started collecting air from the Alps and peddling it online, saying “the air in the mountains is like champagne [so] I decided I had better start selling it.”

Related: View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Tiny 86-Square-Foot Flat in Paris Transforms Like a Swiss Army Knife

The space, located on the top level under the roof of an old Haussmann building in Paris. Originally designed as maids’ quarters, today these small nooks often loose their purpose and either converted into attics and storage spaces or left unused.

Related: View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

New Swiss solar cell doubles the efficiency of residential systems

As if to prove the sheer speed at which solar cell technology is evolving, a new startup called Insolight claims to have beaten the efficiency record set just over a week ago by a joint team from MIT and Masdar Institute. The new device was invented by a team while working in the innovation incubator at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and it reportedly has a solar energy conversion rate of 36.4 percent, one percent more than the Masdar/MIT innovation. That efficiency… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building