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Energy Efficient

Architecture

Air Villa turns the Panamanian holiday retreat on its side

Dutch studio Haiko Cornelissen Architecten has revealed a rethink of the typical Panamanian holiday home that breaks away from the current format by using sliding wooden doors that traverse the entire width of the building. To be located twenty minutes outside of the city in Cerro Azul, the sideways approach of the Air Villa design aims to provide an energy efficient dwelling with maximum exposure to the surrounding environment.Read More

Architecture

Mo Ventus house shoots for net zero with shifting screens and windsail design

Architects are increasingly designing houses which produce as much energy as they consume, which has led to a plethora of innovative sustainable homes, some conventional in design and some decidedly not. The Mo Ventus luxury house concept from Todd Theodore Fix of FIXd Architecture/Design falls squarely in the latter category, with plans that call for retractable screens that regulate heat and light, along with a curved design to harness wind power more efficiently.Read More

Architecture

Walgreens plans to build first net zero retail store in the U.S.

Drugstore chain giant Walgreens has announced its intention to build what the company believes will be the first net zero retail store in the United States. Once open for business, engineers anticipate that the combination of solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal technology, energy-efficient building materials, LED lighting and ultra-high-efficiency refrigeration will allow the new store to produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes.Read More

Architecture

Energy-efficient Queen Alia International Airport opens in Jordan

In some cities, the airport can be the busiest place for miles and tends to consume a fair amount of energy as a result. It's no wonder then that several modern airports have started incorporating more green technology into their designs, like photovoltaic panels and wind-powered generators. Now the city of Amman, Jordan is getting in on the trend with the recently opened Queen Alia International Airport, which features an energy efficient, modular design modeled after palm fronds.Read More

Architecture

Family moves into first net zero Active House in the U.S.

We've seen plenty of impressive net zero houses in the past, from the motion-controlled CHIP House in California to the budget-priced Sosoljip in South Korea. But one issue that seems predominant in most energy-neutral homes is that they typically take on a design that doesn't suit many suburban areas. That may soon change though with the first Active House, which uses natural lighting and ventilation to reduce its energy consumption while still blending in with the architecture of the surrounding neighborhood.Read More

Environment

Waste seaweed finds use as insulation

If you live near the Mediterranean Sea, you might be familiar with little balls of seaweed that regularly wash up on the beach. These come from the Posidonia oceanica plant (better known as Neptune grass), and are generally thought of as a nuisance. Now, however, Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology is involved in a project that’s converting the little balls into high-quality building insulation. Read More

Architecture

Equinox Passive House doubles as solar calendar

Modern passive house it may be, but as its name suggests, the showstopper at Equinox House in Bulgaria harkens to ancient times when humans built buildings in veneration to heavenly bodies. A narrow aperture in the roof transforms the house into a solar calendar leading it's designer, Ignatov Architects, to refer to the house as a "celestial instrument."Read More

Around The Home

NanoLight claims to be world's most efficient light bulb

Until recently LED light bulb manufacturers have struggled to find a solution in the 75 to 100-watt range which successfully replaces the soon-to-be redundant, energy crunching 100 W incandescent bulb in terms of size and brightness. Three friends from the University of Toronto are the latest to offer a feasible product to match the classic 100 W bulb without compromising on electricity consumption with their proposed NanoLight LED light bulbs.Read More

Robotics

Rolling HyTAQ robot avoids obstacles by taking to the air

A team at the Robotics Lab at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has come up with another take on the caged flying robots like the spherical air vehicle developed by Japan’s Ministry of Defense (JMD) and the more recent Kyosho Space Ball. However, instead of a spherical shape, the the outer protective cage of the HyTAQ (Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotor) is cylindrical and is attached to the quadrotor via a shaft connected by two rotating joints, thereby providing the HyTAQ with the ability to fly or roll over the ground. Read More

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