Future Student Housing Is A “Hobbit Hut”

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Tired of the boring old dorm complex most universities have adopted? Looking to spice up your student years and hit the books in style? Is sustainability something that keeps you up at night? Then boy, this housing concept may be the stuff for you. A 33-square-foot hut developed by Swedish firm Tengbom Architects has been generating buzz this past week. It has about 5 different housing aspects built into its tiny frame, though the question on everyone’s mind is: will it actually work? The concept was initially created for the students at the University of Lund. Everything inside either folds,… read more

Driving Options For All

The Wheel Chair Accessible Car

For most wheelchair users a modified vehicle costing up to $80,000 is their only option. Such financial challenges have barred many wheelchair users from driving a car at all, and eco-friendly transport was surely out of the question. Then along came the Kenguru, the first low-speed electric vehicle designed specifically for wheelchair users. The Kenguru (pronounced “kangaroo”) can accommodate one passenger seated in his or her wheelchair for a range of up to 60 miles. The Kenguru has only a single door to the rear of the vehicle for direct wheelchair access. It’s opened by remote control. Inside the driver… read more

Findings On Fire Island

Fire island

Fire Island is the large center island of the outer barrier islands adjacent to the south shore of Long Island, New York. Fire Island is 31 miles (50 kilometers) long but ranges between only 520 and 1,300 feet (160 and 400 m) wide. During powerful storms like Hurricane Sandy, waves punch a hole the dune, bringing sand inland. On Fire Island, elevations on the beach dropped by as much as 10 feet (3.5 m), while inland areas gained about 3 feet (1 m) in height in places, said Hilary Stockdon, a United States Geological Survey (USGS) research oceanographer. The entire… read more

Golf – Not Green At All!

www.onthehouse.com.au

Golf was once thought to be a sport for snobs, but not anymore! It is a popular recreational and professional sport in many parts of the world, even in developing countries. What price do we pay for golf courses though? Golf courses are known for their aesthetic appeal, the span of land that remains green year round is breathtaking and simply wonderful to the eye. Golf courses however have a negative effect on the environment from when they are constructed. Before a course can be set up, a lot of clearing is required, thereby destroying habitats and causing erosion. A… read more

These 4 Office Pods Put Function To Work

These 4 Office Pods Put Function To Work

According to the 2010 U.S. census report, 10% of employed Americans work at least 1 day per week from home, and the numbers of those who work solely from home has climbed from 4.8% in 1997 to 6.6% in 2010. Having a productive space is important whether at home or at the office. These 4 work pods with ecofriendly features may leave some dreaming of a quiet, accommodating place to complete tasks. The G-Pod is a workspace with a futuristic look. In addition to its interesting external appearance, it is also made with efficiency in mind. It can be rotated by… read more

Airfoil Ship Could Cut Emissions by 80%

Airfoil Ship Could Cut Emissions by 80%

The design of a merchant ship with a hull shaped like an airfoil, which can “pull” itself through the ocean using just the power of the wind, is said to be capable of reducing fuel consumption by 60% and reducing emissions by 80%, and could herald a coming age of sustainable sea transport. The Vindskip concept, from Lade AS, is a break from traditional large vessel design, and hinges on the effect of relative wind on the ship, which is usually a factor in designing airplanes and sailboats, not merchant vessels. But the designers behind the Vindskip, who recently patented… read more

An Open World Is Wonderfully Terrifying

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The world is becoming ever more connected with each passing second. While you were sleeping last night, 227,792 new internet users were added somewhere around the globe. A whopping 2.3 billion people, or 1/3 of our planet’s population, access the internet almost everyday. This presents a whole bunch of possibilities for the future, along with a host of potential problems. We all know (or should know) about cloud computing, and how it will be utilized in the years to come. People will continue their mass exodus from local storage and move their data online, along with computer, tablet, and phone operating systems becoming… read more

Solar Panels Will Soon Make Utilities Obsolete

solar-panel

In a report released last January, the Edison Electric Institute heralds in relatively blatant terms a great success in renewable energy – and the impending death of utility companies. The news comes as utilities face the risk of losing customers to renewables due to rate reductions and technological innovation. Utilities have remained predominantly unchanged for the better part of a century, with no real competition. As such, the growing prosperity of renewable sources may find them ill-equipped to concoct a plan for battling their losses. Instead, it appears they’ll dedicate time to preserving the ‘integrity’ of their image and product…. read more

To weed or not to weed?

To Weed or Not to Weed

To weed or not to weed. That is the question…not least because what some people consider a weed, others consider a boon. I recently helped a friend move into a cottage on 200 acres overlooking the Obi Valley in Australia’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. The dwelling sits near a spring-fed dam that sources a creek which runs into the valley below through assorted waterfalls and swimming holes. It’s an idyllic location rich in wildlife and majestic vistas. There is, however, a problem (the solution to which might also provide some unexpected benefits). The little dam is covered in duckweed. An aquatic… read more

This Hill House Is A Social Magnet

This Hill House Is A Social Magnet

Architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin, who work with lifestyle designs, had an imaginative idea to accommodate a family’s wish for an addition to their existing home. Located near Melbourne, Australia, the Hill House takes a vertical approach and completely revolutionizes the look of the exterior with a slope built directly into the landscaping. The spot faces north, which before the addition caused the backyard and parts of the indoors to be darker. When a 2-story extension was added, it further restricted the natural solar availability and made portions of the yard and home even more shadowed. For the new addition,… read more