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The Science Behind Frozen Wind Turbines

Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power. Winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather. Even light icing can produce enough surface roughness on wind turbine blades to reduce their aerodynamic efficiency, which reduces the amount of power they can produce, as Texas experienced in February. Frequent severe icing can cut a wind farm’s annual energy production by over 20%, costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars. Power loss isn’t the only problem from icing,…


From the Forest: The Fernweh in NYC

Erin Law and Paris Hynes met each other around a socially distant campfire in the early days of quarantine. The pair spent a month drawing furniture and dreaming up their collaboration during a Covid sojourn to Florida. Upon return to Brooklyn, they were eager to get building. They started making furniture in the Bed-Stuy woodshop that Hynes has been patchworking together for the last few years. So the Fernweh studio was born. The Fernweh, German for wanderlust, lets the wood do the talking. The work calls to mind a misty stroll through a long forgotten forest, with live edges and…


5 Simple Basement Storage Ideas

Picture this: Your family is expanding, and so are your belongings. You’ve already maxed out your closet space and there’s little room left for your kids’ toys or your own clothes, let alone the memorabilia you’ve been saving all these years. Or maybe you’re downsizing to a smaller home but taking your belongings with you—and you have to find a way to make them all fit. If your house is outfitted with a basement, there are plenty of ways to get creative with DIY basement storage. Storage Shelves iStock Custom-built shelves are the best way to truly maximize the empty…


Mole Cottage in Wales: A Calm, Creative Holiday House

As admirers of Justine Cook’s distinct brand of “detailed minimalism,” we were intrigued to learn of a new rental project from the creator of Harp Studio—the diminutive Mole Cottage, which has just started taking bookings for the summer season. Photographs by Harry Crowder. Above: The entryway to Justine Cook’s creative, characterful Mole Cottage. Cook uses her collection of natural ephemera, including Baobab seed pods, bleached berries, Sudanese ladder seed pods, and structural dried stems, as decor throughout the house. Above: The cottage is tucked away down a small lane in the Welsh border town of Presteigne, on the banks of…


Go From an Old Deck to New in 4 Steps

Barbara and Phil Johnson, of Mobile, Alabama, faced the same problems other deck owners do. Over the years, the elements as well as their kids and pets took a toll on their backyard deck. The damage and the appearance were bad enough for the Johnsons to consider ripping the whole thing up and starting over. BEFORE: The damage and the appearance were bad enough for the Johnsons to consider ripping the whole thing up and starting over. But before taking that drastic step, they spoke with Danny Lipford, owner and president of Lipford Construction in Mobile, for advice. According to…


The BS* + Beer Show: Unbuild It Takeover

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features a few of the industry’s top dogs (and amateur comedians): Steve Baczek, Peter Yost, and Jake Bruton. The hosts of the Unbuild It podcast stage a takeover of our regularly scheduled program to shake things up a bit, and offer innovative suggestions for how those in the residential building sector might move the needle in the right direction when it comes to carbon drawdown and greening the real estate market—among other issues. Enjoy the show! [embedded content] Join us on Thursday, April 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST when builder…

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