PSFK and The Inspiration Room highlight work by Italian designers to help Milan’s homeless population – called the Shelter Box – which “serves as a bed, chair, table and portable bag, providing shelter from the elements while sleeping, and storage of possessions during the day”.
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.
TechCrunch highlights research that aims to help care-givers and medical practitioners anticipate and prevent falls by senior citizens before they happen.
Using motion-triggered cameras, the researchers measured the gait and stride of the inhabitants of a residential home in the US, and were able to predict falls several weeks in advance, where the walking speed of the older person began to slow and their stride length got shorter.
Inhabitat highlights plans for what will be the worlds largest offshore wind farm – to be built off the coast of The Netherlands. As well as its impressive scale – powering c. 1 million homes – the project should also result in some of the most cost effective wind energy anywhere.
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.
FastCoExist features a water-saving shower that filters and re-uses waste water:
“Instead of letting water flow down the drain, the Showerloop catches the water, sends it through several filters to purify it, and then pumps it back to the showerhead. The water circulates in a loop until someone’s ready to get out.”
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.”
BuyMeOnce is a new shopping site for a range of product categories from clothing and shoes to furniture, kitchenware and tools, that can save people money in the long-term and reduce waste and landfill.
The idea behind the site is to reduce production and waste from cheap and short-term products and instead provide long-lasting, well-made products that are also ethical, repairable and sustainable.
Inhabitat features a disaster and emergency shelter designed to feel more like a home.
Unfortunately most recovery and development work after a disaster or displacement takes years rather than days or weeks, so the idea behind the Hex House is to give people a comfortable, semi-permanent space that could last many years and includes solar panels and a rainwater capture system.