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Sustainable

Environment

Superconducting coil to slash costs and improve efficiency of direct-drive wind turbines

Conventional offshore wind turbines are expensive and complicated pieces of machinery – in a large part because of their complex and maintenance-intensive gearboxes. Dr Shahriar Hossain from the University of Wollongong in Australia is looking to slash production costs and drastically improve efficiency replacing these gearboxes with a superconducting coil.Read More

Environment

EcoSafe Digester: Big data, less waste

The world produces a hell of a lot of waste and a great part of it is food waste. According to the United Nations Environment Program, around one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year is either lost or wasted. In an effort to deal with all this waste in a green way, New York-based BioHitech has developed a device that breaks food waste down into grey water and connects to a cloud system to allow the company to tap the power of big data to monitor and improve the performance of the units.Read More

Architecture

Green living: Top 10 sustainable houses

The cost of a house can be counted in dollars, but the construction and running of a house takes a toll on the environment that's harder to measure. Increasing numbers of people are looking to minimize both environmental impact and financial outlay by outfitting their homes with sustainable technology, and the resulting boom in sustainable building is driving new levels of architectural innovation. With this in mind, Gizmag highlights ten remarkable sustainable houses.Read More

Architecture

Green-roofed kindergarten constructed in Vietnam

Following our recent coverage on Vo Trong Nghia Architects' US$4,000 S House, the Vietnamese firm offers yet another impressive sustainable project that suits the particular local climate and needs. Located in the country’s Đồng Nai Province, the Farming Kindergarten sports a huge green roof, a water-recycling and irrigation system, and is cooled passively. Read More

Space

Synthetic biology could be the key to manned space missions

The secret to pulling off long-term manned space missions is biomanufacturing – at least, that's the argument presented by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) who have used synthetic biology to produce sustainable alternatives to fuel and anti-malaria drugs. Their theory rests on the idea that biological production processes and harnessing of materials at the mission destination could dramatically reduce mass (and hence cost) requirements.Read More

Environment

Using 'dirty silicon' to cut the cost of solar cells

Most everyone not vested in oil and gas agrees that renewable energies such as solar are a more sustainable option, but cost remains an issue. To make solar more competitive by addressing the high cost of solar cell production, researchers out of Norway have developed a method that could bring down the amount of silicon used per unit area by as much as 90 percent. The price of silicon is a major driver in the cost of solar panels. Read More

Tiny Houses

Bigger isn't always better: Standout small homes

Constraints often fuel creativity, so it is perhaps unsurprising that despite inherent limitations in size and budget, the small living movement punches far above its weight in terms of innovation. With the end of 2014 fast approaching, Gizmag takes a look back at 14 of the best tiny homes that we’ve reported on this year.Read More

3D Printing

Wasp's 3D printers produce low-cost houses made from mud

A need to address a lack of housing for the globe's growing population has turned up some eye-catching efforts, blending creative architecture with new, sustainable technologies. And it is increasingly looking like 3D printing could have a role to play. Italian firm Wasp is the latest to explore the potential of additive manufacturing in this area, developing a super-sized 3D printer capable of producing low-cost housing made from mud.Read More

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