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Around The Home

Tado turns "dumb" air conditioners into smart, energy-saving devices

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

Architecture

Illawarra Flame: The net-zero fibro house for the future

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

Architecture

UltraRope could make kilometer-high elevators possible

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

Environment Feature

A tale of two tests: why Energy Star LED light bulbs are a rare breed

Just over a week ago we reported that Philips' 22 W LED light bulb, designed as a like-for-like replacement of a 100-W incandescent light bulb, was the first LED bulb of its type to receive the stamp of approval from Energy Star. But looking at the Energy Star requirements reported by Philips in its press release, it seemed a little strange that Philips' product is the only one to have been certified – given that products long on the market appear, at face value, to meet those requirements. Since then, Gizmag has spoken to LED light bulb makers Switch Lighting and other industry players to find out why they're apparently playing catch-up.Read More

Around The Home

Wattio aims to smartify your home's energy usage

Here at Gizmag we've featured a variety of home energy management devices, and the latest solution is an offering from Spanish startup, Wattio. The SmartHome 360º is a home energy monitoring and control system that can be managed through a smartphone, tablet or PC using the Wattio Gateway software. The system's four components are capable of communicating with each other and subsequently with the Wattio software applications and cloud service, to provide comprehensive energy management capability throughout the home.Read More

Architecture

“Like a Houseboat” home floats above former landfill on steel stilts

Alongside the use of sustainable building materials, and innovative energy-saving techniques, another step in reducing a new home’s impact on the environment can be to build upon land once considered undesirable for human habitation. The “Like a Houseboat” property by Shipley Architects ticks all three boxes, with steel stilts enabling the single-family residence to be built upon poor-quality soil once home to a landfill. Read More

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