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Energy Efficient

— Architecture

SOM's net zero New York school aims for "ultimate sustainability"

Net zero: put together, they're two of the buzzwords of contemporary building design. Sometimes the phrasing's a little different. ZNE, or zero net energy, is one variation; zero-energy building is another. They're all the same thing, though: buildings designed to offset their energy consumption over the course of a year, every year. Work has commenced on one such project, a 444-student primary school on Staten Island, New York, designed by architects at SOM and engineers at AKF. Read More
— Environment

Energy-saving Greencam app is a real turn-off

Computing guzzles a great deal of electricity and striving for greater energy efficiency both saves money and decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Although computers already come with energy-saving mechanisms, such as sleep mode and other power saving features set by users, there's always room for improvement. This is the idea behind Ecobeneficios’s Greencam. The Brazilian company has launched a PC app that automatically turns off the user’s monitor when he or she walks away from it. Read More

"Cool blue" pigment could boost energy efficient building

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a new type of blue pigment that could help boost the energy efficiency of buildings. Discovered unexpectedly three years ago, the "cool blue" pigment has unusually high infrared heat reflectivity which it is hoped can be channeled into commercial products in the near future. Read More
— Environment

Record setting small-scale solid oxide fuel cell could power neighborhoods

A new, small-scale solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system developed at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (DoE PNNL) could be used for household and neighborhood power generation. Fueled by methane, the system achieves an efficiency of up to 57 percent, improving on the 30 to 50 percent efficiencies seen previously in SOFC systems of similar size. The PNNL researchers say the pilot system they have built generates enough electricity to power the average American home, and can be scaled up to provide power for 50 to 250 homes. Read More
— Architecture

Iconic, efficient Warburg House cost less than $100k to build

Canadian design studio Bioi recently completed this compact home in Warburg, Alberta after being given the challenge to create a contemporary and energy-efficient home for under US$100,000. The result is a simple, open and sustainable home, with a reduced space that holds all of the functionality of a regular sized home. “Working alongside our client, we determined the true necessity of the space that they required,” principal architects Jordan Allen and Ryan Trefz told Gizmag. “Throughout the design phase redundant spaces were eliminated, and non-inhabitable spaces were pushed to an absolute minimum.” Read More
— Environment

Osram Sylvania's 100 W-equivalent LED bulb may be pick of the bunch

Following Gizmag's coverage of GE Lighting's 27 W Energy Smart and Switch Lighting's 100 W-replacement LED light bulbs, Osram Sylvania has been in touch to tell us about its 100 W-replacement LED light bulb, joining its Sylvania Ultra series: a 20 W, 1600 lumen light bulb with a warm, "incandescenty" color appearance of 2700 K. With Philips also to release a 100-W equivalent this means the big three manufacturers of light sources are joining Switch Lighting in offering high-output LED light bulbs for the home, but all things considered, Osram Sylvania's may prove the pick of the bunch. Read More
— Environment

GE to launch 100-watt equivalent LED replacement bulb

GE Lighting has announced that it is getting in on the 100 W-equivalent LED replacement act. The 27 W Energy Smart LED bulb joins its range of incandescent bulb replacements that already includes 40 W and 60 W equivalents. And like an incandescent bulb, GE claims its LED bulb emits light evenly in all directions. But how does the 100 W equivalent stack up performance-wise? Read More

Philips unveils poleless street lighting system

A group of people including city planners and architects recently put a challenge to Dutch electronics company Philips: design an outdoor lighting system that helps to declutter our streets. The result was FreeStreet, a street lighting system that does away with vertical streetlight poles in favor of horizontally-strung cables that have clusters of LED lights built into them. The system won its designers a 2011 Dutch Design Award, and is available for use in Europe as of this month. Read More
— Marine

Life at a slower pace, with the solar-powered Bauhaus Barge

The soothing sound of canal water gently lapping against wood as you fall into peaceful slumber has got to be one of the best ways to end a relaxing day of leisurely cruising past sights that many Londoners rarely glimpse. Doing so on a vessel that gets the power for its motor, lighting and modern appliances from the Sun, features multi-layer insulation, underfloor heating and a charming wood-burning stove, and is surprisingly bright and roomy inside, seems too good to be true. Meet the Bauhaus Barge, a Dutch-style wide beam houseboat which is all of that and more. Read More
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