Solar Sinter Project

In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project by Markus Kayser explores the potential of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance.

In this experiment sunlight and sand are used as raw energy and material to produce glass objects using a 3D printing process, that combines natural energy and material with high-tech production technology. Solar-sintering aims to raise questions about the future of manufacturing and triggers dreams of the full utilisation of the production potential of the world’s most efficient energy resource – the sun. Whilst not providing definitive answers, this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking.

Bricks From Volcanic Ash

After weeks of enduring the ash brought on by Chile’s Puyehue volcano, one Argentine woman has decided to transform the grey sediment into something useful. Maria Irma Mansilla used the sediment and sand spewed by the volcano to create bricks. She hopes she and her neighbours will be able to produce them on a large scale to build homes for the poor. Watch

Sra Pou Vocational School

The Sra Pou vocational school in Sra Pou, Oudong, Cambodia by Finish architects Rudanko + Kankkunen is constructed of hand-dried blocks of the surrounding soil. The school serves as a business training centre and public hall.

The soil block walls repeat the warm red shade of the surrounding earth. They are laid out with small holes, so that indirect sunlight and gentle wind come in to cool the spaces – and at night, the school glows like a lantern through these small openings. The whole community space is open, providing comfortable shaded outdoor space. The colorful handicraft doors are visible from far away and welcome visitors coming along the main road.

The 200m2 building cost $15,000 and was constructed by members of the community.

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The Hinterland House

The Hinterland House by is a rammed earth house designed to be in harmony with the Australian bush. No fences, screens or garden areas were incorporated to insure as little disturbance as possible to surrounding inhabitants. The local animal and plant life can continue to roam as freely as before the structure was built.

Along with rammed earth, the material palette includes spotted gum, rough recycled timber, concrete floors, corten steel and zincalume. Building environmental features include the earthen thermal mass, double glazing, shading and cross ventilation that mitigates against the need for air conditioning. Sustainability solutions include the use of worm farm waste treatment, solar heating and hot water, and the cellar pantry drawing cooled air through an underground chamber.

The Hinterland House program includes:

· Living/dining/kitchen core
· Clients’ separate bedroom suite
· Separate studio & study
· Separate guest accommodation