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Energy Efficient

— 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
— 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
— Environment

SEAD identifies the most energy-efficient TVs available

Size, resolution, the underlying display technology, 3D or not 3D, contrast ratio: these are all things one considers before splashing out on a television. How many of us think about energy consumption? The SEAD Initiative (Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment) is laboring under the apprehension that however many it is, it's not enough. What's it doing about? It's launching Global Efficiency Medal awards to very visibly identify the most energy-efficient flat-panel TVs (and other electronics), and last week it announced its winners ahead of an awards ceremony in January. Read More
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