Reclaimed steel turns old DIY sofa into ‘green’ new home

In an Eco-Residential Pavilion – its name inspired by Denis Picard’s 1896 novel – the Institute of Science, Engineering and Technology (Inev) has built a small, sustainable home that will communicate ideas about recycling….

Reclaimed steel turns old DIY sofa into ‘green’ new home

In an Eco-Residential Pavilion – its name inspired by Denis Picard’s 1896 novel – the Institute of Science, Engineering and Technology (Inev) has built a small, sustainable home that will communicate ideas about recycling. It features a battery bank, solar panels and rainwater collection, and its fixtures and fittings are locally sourced.

The pavilion will include a TV, games room, kitchen and a large living area – including a modern version of James Henry’s lawn-mower sofa – that will be surrounded by plants grown using local compost and sun. The whole structure has been decorated with models of reclaimed steel and steel fabric panels salvaged from derelict buildings in and around Ostend, and it will be able to produce water and electricity from the sun and harvest rainwater. It also acts as a “pollution protection area”, preventing pollution around the building, and is equipped with a decontamination unit to collect and clean the waste water produced by the guests and organisers.

“Technology can really improve living standards,” says Dr Steve Sawyer, who heads the Innovation Institute of Erasmus University, the owner of the pavilion. “Our pavilion shows the potential for residential buildings to further help combat climate change and create a healthier environment. The pavilion also highlights the value of investing in green technologies.”

The exhibition, Earth on the Horizon: Renewable Energy on Europe’s Streets, runs from 18 May until 24 July, in sites across the city of Ostend in the western Netherlands.

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