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Energy-saving

The house is “floated” on 60 foot (roughly 18 meter) steel stilts, supported by concrete p...

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

Pit Homes were used by some Native American tribes

Edgeland Residence is a modern dwelling designed by the Bercy Chen Studio which sees the company rehabilitating land once considered unsuitable for occupation. Claimed to set a new standard for sustainability, it draws inspiration from the Native American Pit House, and is designed to impact the environment as little as possible.  Read More

Researchers at FMTC reduced the power consumption of their badminton robot by 50 percent, ...

Eco-friendly refrigerators, dishwashers, and laundry machines don't just save you money – they're also better for the environment. Factory automation could reap the same rewards, but optimizing production lines isn't easy. That's where the energy efficiency analysis software, developed by the EU-funded Energy Software Tools for Sustainable Machine Design (ESTOMAD) project, enters the picture.  Read More

MeterPlug connects via Bluetooth 4.0 to iOS and Android devices to help users monitor and ...

MeterPlug is a new home energy monitoring device that brings a mix of simplicity and sophistication to the equation when it comes to keeping track of how much energy various home appliances are using. Placed between the appliance and the AC outlet, the MeterPlug sends precise information on energy usage to iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth 4.0 and incorporates a range of power saving features to help curb excessive consumption.  Read More

The second generation of Tony Fadell's Nest Learning Thermostat will be shipping soon

Apple fans with vivid imaginations love to dream up all kinds of fictional Apple products. iCars, iFridges, and iBoats may never see the light of day, but there is one home appliance that requires a bit less imagination. Former Apple exec Tony Fadell, who was instrumental in creating the iPod, brought his Cupertino schooling to the world of thermostats. The resulting original Nest thermostat was a hit, and – much like with an iPhone or iPad – its sequel is here, nearly a year later.  Read More

A PNIPAM mat, shown on the right, keeps a model house cooler than a mat made from conventi...

We're used to the thought of humans sweating to cool down, but what about buildings? Researchers at ETH Zurich have applied the biological cooling mechanism to the task of keeping a building cool, and in the process have hit upon a novel and inexpensive method of cooling houses which could prove useful for homes in both developed and emerging nations.  Read More

LIFX multicolor LED light bulbs can be controlled via a smartphone app

When it comes to replacing the soon-to-be-obsolete incandescent light bulbs in our homes, LEDs are certainly a good way to go – they’re highly energy-efficient, they last for years, and they emit a nicer quality of light than compact fluorescents. Now, San Francisco-based LIFX Labs has set about making them even more attractive. The company’s new LIFX (pronounced “life-ex”) LED bulbs can be remotely controlled from the user’s smartphone, and they change color.  Read More

The Baby Plumen is better suited to regular lightbulb duties than its elder sibling

With the release of Baby Plumen 001, a shrunken version of its award-winning Plumen light bulb, Hulger is making a clear statement that the humble fluorescent light bulb isn't ready for the trash just yet.  Read More

Using a wireless smart socket to control the lights in your home may not be not far off

A common theme in any form of entertainment depicting the future is the use of a remote to control everything – futuristic houses are often shown with the owner turning the lights on before they even arrive. Turns out, using the internet to control our houses is not too far away. A group of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication Systems ESK in Munich, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern, have developed a new power outlet that supports the brand-new IPv6 Internet protocol. These new outlets, known as the wireless smart socket, could very well revolutionize the way we turn things on and off in our homes.  Read More

The phase-change drywall absorbs heat during the day, and releases it at night

Scientists from Spain’s Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have created a new type of drywall, that they claim can reduce a building’s energy consumption by up to 40 percent. Its secret? Lots of tiny beads of paraffin.  Read More

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