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Australia

Architecture

Impressive green home emerges from a tiny block of land

Australia's Schulberg Demkiw architecture studio has recently completed an innovative new home in Melbourne’s beach side suburb of Elwood which boasts a maximum Australian GBCA 6 star Green Rating. The Beach Avenue home sits on a small block of land measuring 9 by 12 meters (29 ft x 39ft) and is tucked away behind neighboring properties. The challenge for the architects was to maximize the interior space of the home and flood it with natural light, all the while making it spacious and private. Read More

Around The Home

Envirotouch switch keeps your energy use in check

The modern home is chock-full of electrical appliances, many of which remain on standby when not in use and add unnecessary bulk to our energy bills. Thankfully, those looking to trim down on power usage aren't exactly short of options, with many devices emerging over the years designed to shut off our appliances at the wall. The Envirotouch is the latest take on the smart, energy-saving switch, relying on one-touch timer buttons to cut power to our appliances soon after we stop using them. Read More

Wearables

Responsive "Bionic Bra" adjusts to breast movement

According to a recent University of Portsmouth study, almost one in five women avoid exercise because of breast-related problems, such as pain, embarrassment about excessive breast bounce and not being able to find the right sports bra. That’s around 20 percent of women who may be missing out on the health benefits of physical activity. Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of the Bionic Bra, which quickly adjusts to breast movement, providing more – or less – support as required. Read More

Environment

Superconducting coil to slash costs and improve efficiency of direct-drive wind turbines

Conventional offshore wind turbines are expensive and complicated pieces of machinery – in a large part because of their complex and maintenance-intensive gearboxes. Dr Shahriar Hossain from the University of Wollongong in Australia is looking to slash production costs and drastically improve efficiency replacing these gearboxes with a superconducting coil.Read More

Architecture

The Commons: Inside Australia's most sustainable apartment building

Throughout the traditionally working class suburb of Brunswick in Melbourne's inner north, apartment developments are popping up everywhere as urbanites scramble for their own slice of inner-city living. These buildings are modern and comfortable, though many are cut from the same commercially oriented architectural cloth. But among them stands a beacon of green and thoughtful design. The Commons by local firm Breathe Architecture is a beautiful five-story apartment block with sustainability emanating from every square foot, from the bicycle rack to the communal veggie garden on its roof.Read More

Drones

Drone delivery nets could be the mailboxes of the future

With drone technology progressing so quickly, it may not be too long before they start dropping packages at our doorsteps. But proposals for how the vehicles can safely navigate fences, pets and small children haven't been entirely convincing so far. A pair of Australians believe they have the answer, with a system that sees drones zero in to drop deliveries into a purpose-built net, guided by LEDs to ensure centimeter-perfect accuracy. Read More

Architecture

Floating surf park envisioned for Melbourne

Melbourne may soon receive a new choice location to surf, courtesy of local firm Damian Rogers Architecture and engineering giant Arup. The two companies recently unveiled a concept floating surf park slated for the city that features a beach and wave pool with height-controllable waves. Arup reports that it'll be the first of its kind in Australia. Read More

Tiny Houses

The Tiny promotes small living to a big audience

Australian James Galletly, also known as "The Upcyclist," is on a mission. He wants to expose Sydney residents to the small living movement, and demonstrate that salvaged materials can prove useful long after they're discarded. In a bid to bring this about, he has built The Tiny: a pint-sized off-grid retreat made from an estimated 99 percent recycled materials that could serve as an extra bedroom or writer's studio. Read More

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