more top stories »


— Tiny Houses

Up to three groups of people can live in this rusting small home

Japanese homes are often designed to last a relatively short time before being demolished and rebuilt, so it's little wonder that the country produces a disproportionately high number of quirky residences. The Transustainable House reflects this trend, and sports a facade that rusts over time. In addition, despite measuring just 38 sq m (409 sq ft), it can house up to three groups of people at once. Read More
— 3D Printing

Semi-finalists in Electrolux Design Lab 2014 announced

The annual Electrolux Design Lab competition for 2014 has reached stage three of the judging, and 35 semi-finalists remain. Many of the entries are innovative, some are quirky, and others are downright strange. But in the spirit of originality, they are all very individual, unique takes on various types of household devices that we may be using in the not-too-distant future. We have a look at ten of the entries that caught our eye to give you an idea of the competition so far. Read More
— Environment

Net-zero energy test home ends year-long study with surplus energy

Braving a harsh winter with snow-covered solar panels, the Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) in Washington DC has come up trumps in a year-long study of its energy harvesting capabilities. Located on campus at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), researchers used computer simulation to replicate the energy consumption of a family of four. At the end of its first 12 months, there was a large enough surplus to power an electric car for 1,440 miles (2,317 km). Read More
— Architecture

2014 European Solar Decathlon: Five projects to watch

The 2014 European Solar Decathlon recently kicked-off in Paris, and a total of 20 sustainable houses and 800 competitors hailing from 16 countries have arrived in the City of Light's Château de Versailles estate. Running until July 14, the competition offers a different take on the future of sustainable living compared to last year's US Solar Decathlon, and features a greater overall focus on inner-city living. Read More
— Robotics

Robots help create ultra-thin wooden exhibition hall

The Landesgartenschau Exhibition Hall in Stuttgart, Germany, is claimed to be the first building to have its core structure made entirely from interlocking timber sections created by robots. Made up of over 240 individual segments of beech plywood created using a robotic fabrication method, the 17 meter (55 ft) tall, 245 square meter (2,637 sq ft) structure required just 12 cubic meters (424 cubic feet) of timber to construct. Read More
— Architecture

One man's garbage is another man's ... house?

Can garbage be used as an eco-material to construct a house? That's the intriguing premise behind the recently-completed Waste House project, which is believed by those involved to be the first permanent British building built almost solely from waste and recycled materials. Constructed at the University of Brighton's Grand Parade campus, the Waste House is an ongoing experiment which aims to prove, in the organizer's own words, that "there is no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place." Read More