Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Energy-saving

Chisel allows small computational errors to be made, in the name of saving power (Image: S...

You may have heard the expression, "Work smarter, not harder." When applied to humans, it means (partially) that we should do our best work on the tasks that are the most important, instead of wasting time and effort by going all out on every task. Well, that principle is now also being applied to computers. Using MIT's new Chisel system, computers are saving power by delegating less-critical tasks to less-dependable lower-energy hardware. This means mistakes may be made on those tasks, but that's OK.  Read More

The as-yet-unnamed building is due to be completed in 2016 (Image: Studio Gang Architects)

Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects has unveiled some early renders and a few preliminary details concerning a new, as-yet-unnamed, residential tower slated for Miami. The firm is targeting LEED Gold certification for the project.  Read More

The EcoDrain uses outgoing hot water to heat incoming cold water

Generally-speaking, when there's something that we're trying to conserve, we don't just put it down the drain. For those of us who are trying to save power, however, that's just what happens when we let hot water from our showers or baths run straight into the sewer. The EcoDrain is made to address that problem, via a unique design that allows outgoing hot water to warm up incoming cold water.  Read More

Honeywell has announced the Lyric smart thermostat

Honeywell has announced a new thermostat, Lyric, that tracks the user's location via their smartphone and adjusts the temperature of their home accordingly. It figures out when a household is empty and when residents are on their way home. Users can expect reduced energy usage and costs.  Read More

Tado Cooling is a WiFi-enabled unit that turns any air conditioning unit controlled via IR...

As internet-connected appliances continue to make their way into the modern home, you'd probably think that cooling your house with a smart air conditioner would involve going out and buying a new one. German company Tado is looking to bring your existing unit up to speed with its Tado Cooling system, a Wi-Fi-enabled device that turns any old air conditioner operated by infrared remote control into a smart device.  Read More

Lakiya Culley cuts the ribbon on her new home (Photo: Sarah Gerrity, US Dept of Energy)

It won first prize in the Affordability category of the 2011 Solar Decathlon, and in December of 2012 Empowerhouse became Washington DC’s first Passive House. In a video interview just released by the US Department of Energy, its new owner describes how the house's energy-saving design means a brighter future for her family.  Read More

The Illawarra Flame house was created by students from the University of Wollongong

A group of students from the University of Wollongong took a typical Australian "fibro house," and retrofitted it with technology which includes solar panels, climate control, and an energy monitoring system. The end result, dubbed Illawarra Flame, is a net-zero home which offers a potential starting point for transforming many similar properties into low-energy dwellings.  Read More

A new lightweight hoisting line known as UltraRope could double the current maximum height...

As architects continue to design taller and taller buildings, a certain limitation of elevators is going to become more of a problem – using traditional steel lifting cables, they can’t go farther than 500 meters (1,640 ft) in one vertical run. Any higher, and the weight of all the cable required is simply too much. Currently in the world's few buildings that are over 500 meters tall, passengers must transfer from one elevator line to another, part way up. Thanks to a new lightweight material known as UltraRope, however, elevators should now be able to travel up to one kilometer (3,281 ft) continuously.  Read More

The Soleto zeroEnergy One home

Romanian non-profit green-tech firm Justin Capra Foundation for Sustainable Technologies and Inventions (or FITS), has unveiled the Soleta zeroEnergy range of sustainable off-grid homes. The flexible dwellings are available in several shapes and sizes, and combine rustic modular design with the proverbial kitchen sink of energy saving and producing technologies.  Read More

Philip's Coen Liedenbaum shows off the 200-lm/W prototype LED tube

Back-to-back announcements from Green Ray LED and Philips show signs that there is now clear water between LED lights and fluorescent lights so far as energy efficiency is concerned. The proverbial glow of commercially available lights with 200 lumens per watt efficiency can now be clearly seen radiating over the horizon.  Read More

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