Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have created a revolutionary new solar paint that can be used to produce endless amounts of clean energy. The innovative paint draws moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. As a result, hydrogen can be captured as a clean fuel source.
Inhabitat features a concept modular and moveable building – called Mashambas – that could be used to increase farming productivity and reduce poverty in developing nations, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa where around 40% of the population are subsistence farmers.
Combining growing space, tools, education and a marketplace, the Mashambas is put in place for as long as needed – i.e. when the local community is thriving and self sustaining – before being disassembled and moved to another community.
Tesla has introduced Solar Roof – a new range of glass roof tiles that have built in solar cells in what could be a major next step in integrating clean and renewable energy generation into buildings and objects.
There are four durable glass tiles to choose from that mimic slate and other colours traditionally used in roofing materials, with a solar cell below the glass.
Inhabitat features a brilliant way of using waste plastics polluting the worlds oceans, called RePlast. Developed by the US-based ByFusion, the approach compresses mixed plastics from the seas and turns it into construction blocks. As well as cleaning the oceans, the approach doesn’t require splitting the plastics into different types and generates c. 95% less greenhouse gases than concrete blocks.
Engadget reports on the development of new solar cell technology that could allow solar panels to generate power from both sunlight and rain, by incorporating a thin layer of graphene. The approach has some way to go before becoming viable but it could encourage wider instalation of solar panels in climates with more variable weather.
Phys.org reports on a process proposed by a multi-disciplinary team at UCLA to capture and utilise CO2 from power plant smokestacks and then use the gas to create a new building material like cement – CO2NCRETE.
Inhabitat features eco-friendly bricks made by BioMason from a mixture of sand and bacteria, that could have a huge, positive impact on the environment. Not only are they produced more quickly and with less energy and CO2 emissions than regular bricks, they can also soak up pollution from the atmosphere.
Inhabitat states: “Traditional bricks, which are also made from sand and binding agents, have to be “fired” for three to five days, a process which generates approximately 800 million tons of carbon emissions each year. BioMason’s biobricks take only two or three days to ‘grow’ and eliminate the emissions altogether. What’s more, Dosier says her company’s bricks can even absorb pollution, making them an active agent in the war against climate change.”
Springwise highlights an innovation in that mainstay of modern construction – concrete. Cortex Composites has developed water-activated rolls of concrete that are quicker to install, stronger, cheaper and less resource intensive than standard concrete production.
FastCoExist highlights research at University of Technology Sydney into roofing materials that could help reduce the need for air conditioning by reflecting more heat and keeping the roof by as much as 9° cooler than similar ‘cool roofs’.