Archives for posts with tag: forest

eco-friendly house

Wilkinson Residence (Portland , Oregon), designed by Robert Harvey Oshatz architect in 1997 and completed in 2004, is a forest-based house. Located on a flag lot, a steep sloping grade provided the opportunity to bring the main level of the house into the tree canopy to evoke the feeling of being in a tree house. A lover of music, the client wanted a house that not only became part of the natural landscape but also addressed the flow of music. One must actually stroll through the house to grasp its complexities and its connection to the exterior. One example is a natural wood ceiling, floating on curved laminated wood beams, passing through a generous glass wall which wraps around the main living room. But is this tree-hourse truly sustainable? Well, looking at these pictures, we realize the design’s characterized by many elements that do not seem really recyclable or with a low impact on the environment; the location is undoubtly eco-friendly but not sure of the materials and production methods used to build such a marvellous house. What do you think about it?

Talking about forests and the wood material, it is undeniably true that primary forest is an absolute asset for humanity, an ecosystem that has taken millions of years to give as an enormous flora and fauna biodiversity that, once destroyed, can never be reconstructed again. By penetrating the forest, the wood industry devastates gigantic areas, destroying animal and plant species and the cultural, nutritional and medicinal resources on which the native populations depend. The forest is also in danger due to the fires that prepare the territory for other, just as destructive, activities such as breeding and agriculture that prevent the growth of new trees. The forest is also vital for the rain cycle and to preserve the microclimate: in fact, deforestation contributes to the acceleration of global climatic changes on the Earth and increases the greenhouse effect. This is why it is important to avoid using wood coming from the primary forest and to favour species grown in purposely-created plantations or in European woods in which valid and certified forestry projects are in course.
Valcucine has no part in the exploitation of the primary forest and uses only wood species that come from plantations in which there is a balance between felling and planting.

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biodiversity

The planet Earth is characterised by a wide diversity of living species, the biodiversity. Therefore, the Earth has an inestimable value, recognized by all human cultures around the world. Natural biodiversity has many implications and has to be protected.  To understand the importance of diversity in our life let’s use a metaphor: the forest.

Let’s imagine that we paint all the elements in a forest (flowers, plants, soil….) the same colour, in this case green: it is now all the same colour. Now let’s imagine that everything that is green becomes of a single material, i.e. plastic: it is now all of the same material. We can now imagine that everything that is plastic becomes shiny and that everything shiny has the same surface texture; we now have the same texture and reflection. Now let’s imagine that the light is of one kind and evenly distributed: light is the same everywhere. Lastly, we can add constant background music: we now have an even and unchanging sound. In this way we have completely cancelled any diversity from the forest. This sameness in terms of colour, matter, surface, light and sound is negative because it creates a feeling of oppression and a lack of freedom. On the other hand, diversity corresponds to freedom of thought and expression: lack of differences would be an unfathomable loss for Man. In nature too, the reduction of the complexity and diversity of species is a negative factor. We are witnessing to an authentic tragedy, i.e. the progressive decrease in biodiversity is undermining the very delicate ecological balance of our planet in terms of its ability of cyclically transforming itself to renew its resources.

ECOLOGICAL VALUE OF BIODIVERSITY

It is worth mentioning here the ecological and cultural values of biodiversity, as revealed by the David Suzuki Organization. The following natural cycles make Earth hospitable by moderating temperatures and climate, and by providing us with food, clean water and breathable air.

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deforestazione

From Treehugger we report here this important news.

A few months ago Brazil announced that rates of deforestation in the Amazon increased 3.8% over the previous year and that it would be taking steps to crack down on illegal logging, land clearing (sometimes by burning) and illegal settlements. The country also established the Amazon Fund to solicit international monetary donations to help fund anti-deforestation efforts.

Now Brazil has announced that it has a plan to reduce deforestation by 70%, or about 6,000 square km per year. According to Environment Minister Carlos Minc, the plan would have the following effect:

Just in terms of avoided deforestation in the Amazon, the plan foresees a reduction of 4.8 bn tons of carbon dioxide that won’t be emitted up to 2018 – which is more than the reduction efforts fixed by all rich countries.

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