Posts Tagged ‘gizmag’

“Smart” Blocks Will Transform Our Lives-a/k/a Redefining ‘Blockhead’

August 1st, 2016 Comments off

microbial_fuel_cell_blocks_credit__UWE_Bristol_UK postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsA new home construction technology on the drawing boards is building blocks with microbial fuel cells (MFC) embedded in the blocks that can turn waste into electricity, joining the growing list of “smart” items in the marketplace.

Microbial fuel cells are energy transducers that exploit the metabolic activity of the constituent microbes to break down organic waste and generate electricity,” says Ioannis Ieropoulos, professor at UWE Bristol’s Robotics Laboratory. “This is a novel application for MFC modules to be made into actuating building blocks as part of wall structures. This will allow us to explore the possibility of treating household waste, generating useful levels of electricity, and have ‘active programmable’ walls within our living environments.”

The programmable walls will be “living engines,” able to sense the environment inside and outside the house, including the residents.

As newatlas (formerly gizmag) informs MHProNews, “Depending on how they’re ‘programmed,’ these bioreactor walls will be able to take in inputs such as grey water, carbon dioxide, sunlight, algae, bacteria and nutrients, and in turn produce resources like ‘polished’ water, oxygen, electricity, heat, biodegradable detergents, biomass and biofluorescence.”

Adds Andrew Adamatzky, the head professor of the UWE Bristol team, “The technologies we are developing aim to transform the places where we live and work enabling us to co-live with the building.”

These smart blocks are part of ongoing global sustainability research at institutions across Europe—and lending a more positive meaning to “blockhead.” ##

(Photo credit:UWE Bristol’s Robotics Laboratory–microbial fuel cell)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Turnkey Tiny Home ready for Occupancy

July 5th, 2016 Comments off

tiny_home_New_Frontier_Tiny_Homes_their_credit_242_sq_ftThe Riverside tiny home by Nashville, TN-based New Frontier Tiny Homes measures 242 sq. ft., and at $79,000, this modular comes ready-to-move-in furnished, down to the the cutlery, furniture and all other accoutrements, according to what gizmag tells MHProNews. Sitting on a triple-axle trailer, the ebony stained cedar board and batten siding combines with a metal roof, a small porch and an external storage box; inside the walls are maple plywood and the floor is hand-hewn solid walnut.

The primary living area includes a couch, a small table, a chair and a larger movable folding desk/dining table. The kitchen features granite countertops, stainless steel sink, custom cabinets, and two-burner movable stove-top that can be stored in a drawer. There is also a small fridge and freezer. The bathroom contains a stainless steel shower and composting toilet.

The double bed sleeping loft is accessed by a ladder, although a storage-style staircase is also available. A Mini-Split HVAC controls the interior temperature, water is heated by a tankless propane water heater and energy-efficient LEDs provide lighting. Currently wired for a standard electric hook-up, an off-grid set up could be added. ##

(Photo credit: New Frontier Tiny Homes)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver and posted to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Shepherd’s Hut Re-introduced as Tiny Home

April 14th, 2016 Comments off

united_kingdom__contemporary_shepherd_hut__credit__tiny_homeAll the rustic charm of the old English Shepherd’s Hut is captured in the tiny homes of Contemporary Shepherd Huts but with added modern touches like a skylight that runs the length of the home, kitchen and bathroom. The traditional shepherd huts were made for taking a snooze after a day’s labor in the fields.

The modular structures are made to order and can be used as an office, guest house or additional bedroom, according to what gizmag tells MHProNews. Built on a steel chassis with cast iron wheels and a tow bar, the floor of the interior is recycled pine and the outside is corrugated steel clad. Double-glazed windows and thick insulation make it cozy, while shading slats on the skylight prevent the interior from taking in too much heat.

The kitchen has a two burner stove, a fridge, freezer and sink, and the bath comes equipped with a shower toilet and sink. A bedroom and dining area round the space.

Designing and making small spaces is my passion, I like working within the constraints of limited space,” says Contemporary Shepherd Huts boss Thomas Alabaster. “The spaces I design are tailor made for my clients, so that the building reflects its surroundings and the people who use it.”

Contemporary Shepherd Huts typically start at £10,000 (US$14,156). ##

(Photo credit: Contemporary Shepherd Huts)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Belgium Mini Modular Suitable for Singles or the Elderly

September 30th, 2015 Comments off

Belgian_Skilpod_modular_tiny_homeMade from cross-laminated lumber, Belgian firm Skilpod is producing small, modular inexpensive homes specifically designed for those, young and old, who want smaller homes. Designed in partnership with UAU Collective, the homes can be zero energy or energy positive with the use of solar panels, and may be useful for housing elderly parents on one’s own land as an alternative to traditional nursing homes.

Belgian_mini_modular_2_gizmag__creditBuilt in a factory in the Belgian city Geel, other features that contribute to the sustainability of the homes are heat pumps, ventilation systems with heat recuperation, automatic sunscreens and other home automation systems. Skilpod’s most recent model is 517 square feet and sells for $67,200. According to what gizmag tells MHProNews, they are transported to the site via trucks. Modules may be added as desired. ##

(Photo credit: gizmag–Belgian modular by Skilpod)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Shelters Developed for Military may be Used for Disasters Scenarios

August 11th, 2015 Comments off

army_shelter__origami__gizmag__credit__from_Notre_DameStudents at the University of Notre Dame’s Kinetic Structure Laboratory have developed an origami-inspired deployable shelter for the military that will cut energy usage used to heat and cool canvas tents by 70 percent, according to gizmag. Instead of erecting four shelter walls as in traditional construction, the walls are levered into the upright position and the roof folds out at the same time. The rigid walls are thermally insulated, which reduces the need for refuelling missions that would save money and lives.

The goal of the project is to develop the next generation of military-sheltering systems aimed at improving the quality of life of soldiers and also the energy efficiency of the heating and cooling systems of the shelters,” said Dr. Ashley Thrall. She said the militray has already lost 1,000 lives from the transporting of fuel into the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres.

The shelter can be carried by plane, ship or truck on a regular military pallet and be assembled by a few soldiers in less than an hour. Work is continuing with electrical and mechanical engineers to build control systems to further reduce consumption. Although the funding for the project came from the U. S. Army, the shelter will likely find applications in emergency and disaster situations. ##

(Photo credit: gizmag/University of Notre Dame–origami-inspired shelter for U.S. Army)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

$2,500 Bamboo and Wood House Measures 861 Square Feet

June 25th, 2015 Comments off

cambodia framework project   building trust internatinal  creditCambodia’s two-story pilot Framework House, built of bamboo and wood, was initially aimed at families afflicted with HIV who are in poor health, but will now be targeted generally to those with low incomes. A collaboration of Atelier COLE, Habitat for Humanity Cambodia and Building Trust International, the family for whom it’s intended gets to choose the layout they need. For example, they might want it to double as a small store or for keeping livestock.

Costing $2,500 (USD), gizmag tells MHProNews the 861 square foot sustainable home features recyclable material for insulation: earth bags, plastic bottles and clay bricks were used on the ground floor, while wattle and daub, split and woven bamboo insulate the top floor. A small solar panel provides sufficient electricity for charging a mobile phone or using a water pump, while a solar powered light illuminates the inside.

Operable shutters provide ventilation and the large overhanging roof feeds into two separate water cachements tanks for cooking, drinking and washing. Local builders and local materials are used throughout. The home is elevated because of flash flooding. ##

(Photo credit: Building International Trust)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Recyclable Mini House Assembles in Two Days

May 30th, 2015 Comments off

mini_house_jonas_wagell__gizmag__andy_liffnerSwedish architect Jonas Wagell has designed a modular home that is delivered flat-packed and requires only two days to assemble on site. The design includes an insulating polystyrene core clad with plywood or plastic laminate. The Mini House modules consist of prefabricated walls, framing, roofing and trim-less windows.

Wagell tells gizmag all the materials used in the construction can be recycled or combusted. The 161 square-foot modular does not require a building permit within Scandinavia, and the structure includes a 161 square-foot outdoor terrace with a pergola. Sliding glass doors open onto the terrace.

Updated versions will be available in several sizes ranging up to 753 square feet, and MHProNews has learned options will include energy efficient features as well as photovoltaic panels. ##

(Photo credit: gizmag/Andy Liffner–Mini House by Jonas Wagell)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Gizmag says top sustainable housing includes prefabricated homes

November 28th, 2014 Comments off

top-sustainable-models-includes-prefabricated-homes-credit=gizmag-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Having a sustainable green home in today’s housing market can mean more than just having solar panels. It can often mean technology and better quality building components.

With sustainability and energy key buzz words, homebuyers are often looking to minimize environmental impact and total financial outlays. This can be done by using sustainable technology and materials, resulting in a boom for those seeking to drive architectural innovation.

According to a survey by Gizmag  of sustainable homes, a new line of high-end prefab houses called Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes (PATH) are emerging.

Designed by renowned French designer and architect Philippe Starck who recently teamed-up with Slovenian prefab firm Riko, one such PATH home line features multiple shapes and sizes, and a bold exterior boasting plenty of windows. Optional features using sustainability includes a roof-placed solar array, roof-based wind turbine, rainwater collection and filtration system.

The Fall House located on California’s Big Sur coastline, was designed by San Francisco’s Fougeron Architecture. This stylish home is also practical. The two story home has energy efficient windows includes automatic windows. A copper facade twill weather and patina over time given exposure to nearby ocean air. The copper is also offers a degree of fire-protection.

The Waste House gets its name because it was built from mostly re-usable materials that came from household and construction waste. For example, materials utilized in Waste House originally came from such items as toothbrushes and used carpeting. It is a sustainable construction project installed at the UK’s University of Brighton.

The Tighthouse is said to be the first certified passive house in New York City. Tighthouse is actually a 100 year old row home. Now completely renovated, it features energy efficient building materials, including solar panels and a heat ventilation system.

These are just a few examples of innovative pre-fab and remodeled housing which can be stylish and energy efficient for their home owners.

Factory built housing professionals tracking developments in green building, such as California based Modular Lifestyles off-grid homes, will want to explore how trends continue to evolve and impact the market and thus the manufactured and modular housing industries. ##

(Photo collage credit: Gizmag)

joseine-josie-thompson-writer-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com50x50-Article submitted by Josie Thompson to – Daily Business News – MHProNews.  

Dutch Mini Homes start at $95,000 for Smallest Model

October 30th, 2014 Comments off

Dutch_mini_homes___2by4_architects_and_gizmag__creditThe 2by4 Architects design firm in the Netherlands has developed a series of three small modular houses, each a little larger than the previous one.  The tiny mods have wooden walls, frame and roof.  They include an electric heat pump system, as well as optional off-grid components such as a composting toilet, solar panels and rainwater cachement.

The smallest, the 226 square-foot Chalet Aida, has a double-height living room with sliding glass door, a small bedroom with a double bed and a loft bed that sleeps two. The kitchen has the basic fridge, sink and two-burner electric stove, according to gizmag, as well as a small bath with shower and toilet.

The Chalet Tosca has 319 square feet and Chalet Nabucco 516 square feet, similar to Aida, but both have a mezzanine area instead of a loft bed and a different interior layout. Prices range from $95,570 for Aida to $108,314 for the Nabucco modular. Additionally, MHProNews has learned the mini-homes can be lengthened an additional four feet at a cost of $6,371. ##

(Image credit: gizmag/2b4 Architects)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com(Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews)

3D Printer Cranks out Ten Homes in One Day

April 24th, 2014 Comments off

A private Chinese company has built ten stand alone homes in 24 hours, using a huge 3Dprinter and construction waste mixed with cement, according to Suzhou-based construction materials firm Winsun creates cement/glass panels in a central factory and ships them to the site for assembly. has learned the print pattern leaves air gaps that act as insulation. Costing just under $5,000 for each home, Winsun envisions the homes as meeting the growing need for low income housing in China. ##

(Photo credit: New Materials–3D home)