Architecture firm Een Til Een has just opened the first "biological house" in Denmark. What exactly does this mean? This house was built almost entirely from upcycled materials that are generally considered waste produced by the agricultural industry—things like grass, straw, and seaweed. Interestingly, these materials would normally be burned for energy.
World Architecture reports that these materials were instead specially compressed into raw materials to construct the house. Kim Christofte, CEO of Een til Een, stated that experimenting with finding the correct balance of materials was an intense but worthwhile process.
“It’s been a long project, and we have all certainly learnt a great deal over the course of planning and construction. It has been a pleasure to watch the team find so many clever solutions to the problems encountered along the way and we are delighted to finally open the doors to share this unique house with the public.”
One of the most challenging aspects was forgoing the traditional concrete foundation, which is "carbon intensive." Instead, the building sits on screw piles of the far more recyclable material, a technique that creates minimal noise and vibration within the house.
All the materials used have been vetted by the Danish Ministry of the Environment Fund for Ecological Construction, and they're all available on the market. So, though only one family could live in this particular house, anyone could theoretically follow in its footsteps and build a beautiful home made from materials that minimize waste and carbon emissions.
The City of London Corporation will be fully running on renewable energy by October in the city's most prominent business district. Under Mayor Sadiq Khan, England's capital city is quickly transforming toward sustainable solutions, just years after being ranked as the worst in the area.
Ikea announced multiple renewable targets that they plan to reach by 2030, which includes removing single-use plastic over the next few years, offering more home solar solutions, and to reduce their greenhouse gases by 80 percent compared to their levels in 2016.
China is slowing down local growth in the solar industry, which may not sound like progress, but the entire world benefits. Lower costs from Chinese manufacturers exporting their products will create higher rates of installation around the world.
The European Commission announced plans recently to further regulate single-use plastic, including outright banning certain items that have the most effect on marine pollution. These new rules would also require manufacturers to raise awareness and help with cleanup efforts.