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Energy Efficient

The ESCAPE home looks like a cabin but is actually rated as an RV (Photo: Canoe Bay)

Perhaps due to the fact that the challenge of designing viable tiny homes pushes architects to come up with creative space-saving solutions, the tiny house movement is bursting with great ideas. The latest such dwelling to come to our attention, dubbed ESCAPE, is a 37 sq m (400 sq ft) home that boasts a handsome design, lots of customizable options (including operating completely off-grid), and legal status as an RV.  Read More

Gizmag gives the nod to 10 outstanding forest-based retreats

From children’s fables to cheesy horror movies, the archetypical cabin in the woods has long provided inspiration for storytellers. This makes sense when one considers the unique experience that living isolated amid nature offers. With this in mind, Gizmag gives a nod to 10 outstanding forest-based retreats.  Read More

Scientists have demonstrated a new type of robotic muscle with 1,000 times more power than...

If a so-called "rise of the machines" ever comes to fruition, our chances of survival may have just taken a big hit. A team of scientists from the US Department of Energy ’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has demonstrated a new type of robotic muscle with 1,000 times more power than that of a human's, and the ability to catapult an item 50 times its own weight.  Read More

The Ocean Cleanup Project hopes to utilize the oceans' gyres as a means to collect plastic...

Boyan Slat, an aerospace engineering student at the Delft University of Technology, is working to combine environmentalism, technology, and his creative outlook to rid our oceans of plastic debris. His Ocean Cleanup Project aims to utilize the oceans’ natural gyres (five circular currents in the oceans around the world – two in the Atlantic, two in the Pacific, and one in the Indian) to collect plastic waste.  Read More

House in a Warehouse, by architectural firm Splinter Society, is located in Hawthorne East...

House in a Warehouse, by Melbourne-based architectural practice Splinter Society, saw the transformation of a former industrial space into an efficient family home. The attractive property incorporates storm-water collection, passive cooling, and a computer controlled lighting system to reduce grid-based energy requirements.  Read More

The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (Photo: Perkins+Will)

Architectural firm Perkins+Will has designed a new research campus for the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. Completed in December, 2012, at a cost of US$31 million, the 54-acre (22-hectare) plot overlooks the ocean in East Boothbay, Maine, and has been awarded LEED Platinum status.  Read More

Does water hold the key to more efficient windows? (Photo: Nathan Larkin)

Researchers at the University of Toronto say they can improve the energy of efficiency buildings by fitting window panes with tiny channels of water. The scientists says that these channels, inspired by vascular systems in nature such as the network of blood vessels in the human body, can provide 7º to 9º C of cooling in the summer, and reduce heat loss during winter.  Read More

The competition is due to take place this October (Image: Team Stanford)

Since its inception back in 2002, the biennial US Department of Energy-sponsored Solar Decathlon has given collegiate teams a chance to show off their best solar powered home designs. Gizmag takes a closer look at five of this year's 20 entrants which will compete in October.  Read More

The Recordura electronic door lock runs purely on electricity generated by users pushing o...

Smartphone-enabled electronic door locks such as the Unikey, Lockitron and Goji do have advantages over their traditional counterparts – digital “keys” can be sent to multiple users’ phones, access to locked rooms can be limited to specific dates and/or times for certain users, and keys stored on lost phones can simply be deactivated. However, as with just about any electronic version of a purely-mechanical device, they do introduce one complicating factor: they require a power supply. The Recordura lock, however, generates its own electricity when users push on its handle.  Read More

The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity ...

However efficient a prison may be, it still typically expends significant energy resources. But what if a prison could actually create power, rather than just consume it? That's the thinking behind lecturer in architecture Dr. Margot Krasojevic's futuristic offshore floating Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison concept, which isn't just self-sustaining, but produces excess energy for homes on the mainland too.  Read More

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