Iconic Shanghai Tea House is Restored

This thatch-roofed tea house supported on bamboo pillars was built in 1986. The 510-square-meter (5490 sf) structure with its high arched roof was inspired by traditional rural residences in the Yangtze River Delta. After undergoing a major, two-year restoration project, it has now reopened to the public. It was designed by Feng Jizhong (1915-2009), who … Read more

How Termites Build Their Complex Nests

Termites are master engineers who can build enormous, complex nests that stand several meters tall. They build intricate tunnels that have natural air conditioning. But how do these tiny creatures coordinate to create such impressive structures? A study by researchers at the IMT School for Advanced Studies in Italy has cracked the mystery. Termites focuse … Read more

The Cape Ecological Community in Australia

The Cape is a residential community located in southern Victoria, Australia that boasts 130 homes that all feature passive solar, solar power and rainwater harvesting, as well as EV charging infrastructure. The residences are purposely designed for year-round comfort, oriented to maximize natural light and ventilation. Strait House (pictured above) is designed for the Australian … Read more

The Sun Shelter Tiny Home in Brazil

“Sun Shelter” is a 60 sqm (646 sf) tiny house in Ceará, Brazil. The shelter embodies a cozy retreat from the intense Brazilian sun in the rural hinterlands. The construction process involved the use of rammed earth and wattle and daub techniques. A key challenge was preserving the scenic views while mitigating solar exposure, achieved … Read more

Restoration of a Historic Home in Hawaii

The Gulick-Rowell House is a two-story dwelling on the National Register of Historic Places constructed for Christian missionaries nearly 200 years ago in Waimea, Kaua‘i, Hawaii. The house is notable for its New England architecture and use of ōhiʻa lumber and coral limestone blocks cut from offshore reefs by Hawaiian workers, who were paid with … Read more

Indian Scientists Develop Sand Replacement

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science have created a promising new material that can replace natural sand in construction. This development comes as a response to the growing scarcity of sand, a crucial component in building materials. The team is exploring methods to utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from industrial waste gases, treated with … Read more