Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

Energy Conservation Solutions

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Save Energy Systems

22 May 2019

  Captain Ross Files sees ripples on the surface of the water down a side canal and instructs Captain Steve Browning to turn in that direction. Files, an energetic bald man in his sixties, sprints up a ladder to sit on top of the boat, his bare feet and legs dangling, as he looks for more telltale signs in the water. After a minute, he admits defeat. “No, I don't think that’s a ‘tee!” he calls back to Browning. It’s just past seven in the morning and I’m on a boat in Crystal...

Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design has transformed ten shipping containers into a striking mixed-use structure on Shanghai’s Chongming Island in China. Located on an open grass field, the building has been named “The Solid and Void” after the staggered arrangement of the shipping containers, which seamlessly connect to outdoor spaces framed by angular timber elements. To further tie the building to the outdoors, the architects used a predominately natural material palette and white-painted walls...

In a move that is both a victory for environmental justice and a snub to the current president, the California Senate officially banned a pesticide that has been proven to cause brain damage in children. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had previously attempted to ban the chemical, chlorpyrifos, nationwide but the Trump administration rejected the overwhelming scientific evidence of its health impact on pregnant women and children living near major farms. This week, California representatives...

Despite its irrefutable success – founded in 1891, one million visitors a year--the New York Botanical Garden staff tirelessly find new ways to stimulate visitors’ connection to nature. This year they introduced a new artist residency program. They started off with a bang by inviting internationally acclaimed visual artist Michele Oka Doner and sought after composer Angélica Negrón to be their first participants. “People come to nature in different ways,” Barbara Corcoran, NYBG’s vice...

Related: + Pepe Gascón Arquitectura Via Design Milk Pepe Gascón Arquitectura, Elvira & Marcos House, geothermal energy

While the fashion industry continues to take a hit as one that contributes heavily to the pollution of the planet, one Brooklyn-based artist is focused on lessening that impact by repurposing fabrics into quilts. <!--more→ It may not seem like fabric and art directly intertwine, but they do when the artist creates a canvas from vintage and repurposed materials. Bisa Butler, an American textile artist, upcycles the fibers not only to find a use for them, but to tell stories through...

England has officially gone seven days without using any coal-powered source of electricity for the first time in centuries. Britain was the cradle of the industrial revolution, opening the world's first coal powered plant in 1882. In an attempt to transition to renewable energy, the country removed its last coal generator from the power grid on May 1st and has effectively survived a week without needing to tap into coal resources. Related: Renewable energy surpasses coal for first time in US...

There’s a good reason why this beautiful, natural wood treehouse blends in perfectly to its surroundings on the pacific coast of Costa Rica--the entire structure was built using the trees from the property site. Nestled in the jungle, and complete with ocean views, the house was inspired by the owners’ love for surfing and environmentalism and built by Tom Kundig. There are three floors to the treehouse, with the top floor visible from above the tree canopy, and the bottom two levels hidden...

Sure, we know that cities can be congested and polluted, but at least we have the national parks to escape to when we want to breathe some fresh air, right? Wrong. According to a new report released by the National Park Conservation Association, 96 percent of all parks experience significant air pollution problems. The bipartisan nonprofit organization published a report, “How America is Failing to Protect our National Parks,” that analyzed air quality in 417 parks. Their findings assess...

In the city of Depok in West Java, Jakarta-based architectural firm DELUTION architect has completed the Flick House, a two-story home with a brick facade and a contemporary design that stands out from its more conventional neighbors. Created to follow sustainable and low-energy principles, the house features cooling microclimates and is optimized for natural ventilation. Daylight is also maximized in the house to reduce reliance on artificial lighting while a second “skin” facade helps buffer...

For most people, getting in a good workout on a daily basis is hard enough, let alone making sure it is beneficial to the environment. While combining the best of both worlds seems difficult, there are ways you can create an eco-friendly exercise program without too much trouble. From working out at home to enjoying the splendor of the outdoors, here are eight ways you can improve the environment and your health. 1. Go Outdoors Taking your workout to the great outdoors is one of the best ways...

You may not think about it each day when you toss that cotton swab into the garbage after touching up your make-up, but billions of people with the same habit create a massive amount of waste! Fortunately, designers from Copenhagen, Denmark have come to the rescue with a reusable cotton swab. <!--more→ The LastSwab is potentially the last cotton swab you’ll ever need. Well, one of two anyway. The company offers the LastSwab for traditional applications and another one styled specifically...

On Tuesday, May 7th the Arctic Council released Anchor Texta statement of urgent priorities that never mentions the word climate changeclimate change – and many diplomats blame U.S. influence. The Arctic Council is comprised of indigenous representatives and eight nations, including the U.S., Canada, Finland, Russia, China, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland. After meetings in Finland, the group released a statement but could not arrive on joint strategy declaration. “A majority of us regarded...

Related: + Via Design Boom

On Thursday, the city of Amsterdam announced its plan to replace all gasoline and diesel-powered cars and motorcycles with electric vehicles by 2030. The plan is an attempt to address unhealthy and alarming rates of air pollution in the city due to high traffic. Currently, toxic air pollution in Amsterdam exceeds European Union standards. In 2018, the Dutch health council called on the government to develop a plan to address toxic amounts of nitrogen dioxide and particle matter, specifically in...

Amsterdam-based architectural firm bureau SLA and Utrecht-based ZakenMaker have transformed a one-hectare potato field in the rural area of Oosterwold Almere, the Netherlands into nine connected homes for a group of pioneers seeking a sustainable communal lifestyle. Initially, Frode Bolhuis had approached the architects to construct his dream home, but the very limited budget prompted him to ask eight of his like-minded friends to join to make the project possible. The nine homes—each 1,722 square...

The tourism industry is booming throughout the world, but nowhere more noticeably than on the small tropical islands of Southeast Asia. Millions of tourists flock to the remote islands every day to enjoy the beaches and snorkel among the coral reef, but the traffic and the waste it produces has forced some ecosystems to reach their breaking point. “Overtourism” is the new term for the overpopulation of tourists who wreak havoc on fragile ecosystems and many Asian governments have had to close...

When you are ready to explore the country, why not take your home with you? Sure, there are motorhomes and travel trailers to choose from. You could even pick up a Sprinter van. But for a real adventure, you could tootle about in a Skoolie. If you didn’t catch the play on words, a Skoolie is a converted school bus made into a tiny home on wheels. <!--more→ One couple, Robbie and Priscilla, have converted a school bus into their own travel-ready abode through a process of trial and...

Concerned by the rampant growth of cities across Latin America and the loss of endemic species, Ecuadorian design studio oficina de Diseño (odD+) has proposed the Sunflower Tower, a conceptual residential building inspired by the seeds and petals of a sunflower. Proposed for Quito, the Sunflower Tower has been envisioned as a “vertical ecosystem” with lush, self-sustaining planters located on every floor of the high-rise. As a result, the building would offer year-round interest, natural air...

A new study released today by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services reports that nearly one million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction – largely due to unsustainable economic development. The Global Assessment is the largest and most comprehensive study about biodiversity loss and the role of capitalism. The report synthesizes over 15,000 scientific papers published over three years and was released on May 6thand endorsed by 131 countries....

On May 10th, 187 countries voted to list plastic as hazardous waste and tighten control over its international trade. The governing agreement, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal dictates legally binding standards for importing and exporting toxic materials. For the first time ever, the agreement now includes plastic, with the exception of PE, PP and PET plastics. The new agreement gives lower income countries – particularly...

Nations have just one more year to reach the global marine conservation goal to protect 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020. Although seven percent is already legally protected, many new declarations are massive, offshore areas. Some conservationists argue these offshore achievements fail to protect more critical coastal waters and may even be aggressive ocean-grabs by colonial powers. The goal to legally protect ten percent of the ocean was ratified under the Convention of Biological Diversity...

For a break from schoolwork, students at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have been swapping their laptops for shovels and seedlings at SCAD Back40, the university's new one-acre “farm”. Created as a legacy project to celebrate SCAD’s 40th anniversary, the agricultural initiative features a wide range of seasonal, organically grown crops as well as a growing apiary with 16 beehives actively managed by students. Produce is regularly donated to America’s Second Harvest of Coastal...

OMA and Milan-based Laboratorio Permanente have won a competition to transform two abandoned railway yards in Milan into public parks that will act as “ecological filters” for the car-centric city. Titled Agenti Climatici (Climatic Agents), the master plan would use the natural air-purifying power of plants and the filtering capabilities of water to clean and cool the environment while adding new recreational spaces for the public. The project is part of a larger effort to redevelop disused post-industrial...

A new study by an international group of scientists denounces the up-and-coming octopus farming industry as both detrimental to fragile marine ecosystems and unethical given the specie’s high intelligence. As countries like Japan announce that they will have farmed octopus ready for sale in 2020, the researchers are calling on companies and governments to discontinue funding and support for the new industry, claiming there is still an opportunity prevent the same unethical and destructive mistakes...

There are many benefits to repairing your clothes. Fixing a hole in your favorite jeans or re-attaching a broken button can extend the life of the piece, which is better for the environment and your wallet. From hemming jean bottoms to fixing zippers, here is a quick look at all of the ways you can repair your clothes. Jean Repairs Jeans often develop holes after extended use. Before you toss your favorite pair of pants, you can extend their life by repairing those rips and tears. All it takes...

Sustainable restaurants in California are going a step further by adding a farm-to-table and back-to-farm-again surcharge that allows patrons to support climate smart farming practices within the state. This Fall, participating restaurants will begin adding the optional one percent surcharge intended to offset emissions by paying farmers to store carbon in healthy soil and vegetation. The initiative is a joint partnership by the Perennial Farming Initiative, the California Department of Food and...

Related: Solar-powered glass PurePod cabins provide the ultimate connection with nature + LumiPod LumiPod

Australian-based company Paper Saver has been using its product to help recycle paper since 2015. Their original designed Paper Saver notebook has a plastic sleeve inside where leftover scratch paper can be inserted and used as pages. When the pages are full, the paper can be easily taken out and replaced with new pieces. It’s an innovative idea that has since allowed tens of thousands of customers reduce their paper waste, according to the site.   Now, the company is supplementing their sleek,...

Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects has won an international competition for the design of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City, a new district in the southern Chinese city spanning 5.5 million square meters. Working alongside two other local firms, Henning Larsen’s green and sustainable master plan will help cement Shenzhen—often likened to China’s Silicon Valley—as the innovation center of the country. A critical part of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City is reconnecting...

On May 9th, the governing and opposition parties in the Irish congress voted to declare an official climate emergency, following Britain's declaration a week prior. The declaration of a climate emergency is a public notice that the government commits to developing stronger cross-party actions to deal with the urgent loss of biodiversity. "We're reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration," Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton said in a statement. "Things will deteriorate very...

The tiny resort-town of Telluride in the Colorado Rocky Mountains is known for its world-class skiing, remote location and, until now, lack of low-cost housing. When the tourist numbers begin to pile up during the busy season, those working in the tourist industry at restaurants, shops and resorts are often forced to endure a long commute from the areas outside of town where prices are cheaper. The expensive hotel rooms and vacation homes are a dream for visitors, but when it comes to lower to...

Related: + APPAREIL Architecture Via Archdaily Grand-Pic Chalet, APPAREIL Architecture, chalet, wood cottage

The earth is a fragile place; a bit more so with each day that humans contribute to chemicals in the waste stream and overconsumption of resources. While it may seem like a benign daily activity, doing laundry traditionally pours toxins into the water stream and drinks up valuable freshwater in the process. Since it is an activity we all do, there is a great opportunity to reduce the cumulative impact that laundry has on the environment. Here are some ways you can lower your laundry footprint by...

After three years of research and development, architect Wayne Turett of New York City-based architectural firm The Turett Collaborative has designed and built his long-awaited Passive House in the village of Greenport, New York. Built to the rigorous standards of the Passive House Institute, the airtight dwelling combines cutting-edge technologies with passive solar principles to minimize its energy footprint and meet Turett’s aspirations for a carbon neutral design. Held up as an example...

eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of its 2019 Skyscraper Competition from a pool of 478 projects. A jury of architects and designers selected three winners and 27 honorable mentions. The annual award recognizes “visionary ideas for building [high-rise] projects that through [the] novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.” Methanescraper,...

Related: + BUMO

Fourteen Nepalese volunteers collected three tons of garbage from Mount Everest in the first two weeks of their clean up. The government sponsored initiative is an effort to reduce growing amounts of garbage on the world’s tallest mountain. Nearly one third of the garbage collected was taken by helicopter to recycling facilities in Kathmandu, while the remaining trash was sent to a landfill in the Okhaldhunga district. Chief of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry, Dandu Raj Ghimire, told the Associate...

Related: + AirSpace Factory Via Archdaily SpaceFactory, Mars Habitat Challenge

Heat-treated pine and steel were used to create this unique treehouse inside the Garvan Woodland Gardens in central Arkansas. The space, a 210-acre nature park with botanical gardens owned by the University of Arkansas, borders the Quachita River. The structure itself resides inside a children’s garden full of native trees such as oak and pine, and serves as an interactive experience for the kids. The treatment process to create the "thermalised" southern yellow pine uses heat and steam to...

The Australian Koala Foundation declared koalas officially “functionally extinct,” a term which means that though there are still about 80,000 koalas, they are unlikely to reproduce another generation. The iconic Australian animal is on a fast track to extinction and has suffered from deforestation, disease, climate change-driven drought and a massive slaughter for fur in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Australian government listed the species as "vulnerable" in 2012 when there was thought...

Related: + Via Yannan Avenue Highway Adaptation

An earthship is an accommodation with low-environmental impact. The design of an earthship incorporates natural and recycled materials in the architecture and decor. It is built with conservation of natural resources in mind so that it produces its own water, electricity, and food. Most earthships reuse discarded tires and/or cans and bottles for wall construction. Mud is common for wall plaster and floors. The energy savings through self-heating and cooling properties are remarkable. Most earthships...

At least 15 states have passed or proposed bills that further criminalize trespassing on fossil fuel infrastructure, a trend that environmental and free speech advocates argue unnecessarily targets pipeline protesters and indigenous leaders. In 2018, Louisiana passed a bill that makes trespassing on so-called “critical infrastructure” a more serious offense than existing trespassing laws. While trespassing has long been considered a misdemeanor, the law now specifies that the same act on particular...

The U.S. has over 400 national parks across the country, which host a combined total of 330 million visitors every year. National parks have clear economic benefits for national and local economies but they also have important benefits for the environment within and outside of their borders.  Here are some reasons why national parks are great for the environment: Biodiversity like nowhere else National Parks are often designated to protect threatened or unique ecosystems and geography. It is...

Within a cluster of traditional Dutch homes in The Hague, local firm Global Architects has designed a single-family home that stands out from its neighbors with its contemporary design yet relates to the surroundings with a layout that references the concept of a village. Aptly named the Hidden Village, the modern house also distinguishes itself with its use of energy-efficient technologies that span passive solar principles to the use of solar panels and an air-heat pump. As a potential forever...

Related: + Solo Arquitetos Via Archdaily

This May, American Victor Vescovo broke the standing record of the world’s deepest ocean dive, venturing seven miles into the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench where he discovered four potential new species as well as plastic and candy wrappers. Vescovo is a wealth banker with an interest in ocean exploration. He traveled in a high-tech submersible that can withstand enormous amounts of pressure from the 35,849 ft descent. In fact, the submarine is capable of withstanding the weight of “50...

AUDI revealed the concept for a new electric car with autonomous driving capabilities at Auto Shanghai 2019, and this vehicle really pushes the limits when it comes to connecting technology with nature. Apart from the AI technology implemented to take most of the effort out of driving in general, the AI:ME autonomous vehicle is completely electric. On the interior roof of the car, a wooden pergola roof allows climbing plants to grow and thrive. According to the company, the AUDI AI systems are...

We all have our favorite ways to start the day, but how eco-friendly is your morning routine? You might be surprised to learn that most people waste a lot of energy and resources in the first few hours they are awake. Luckily, you can make your mornings more eco-friendly with a few easy steps. From drinking a more sustainable cup of coffee to saving on water, here are seven ways you can go green in the mornings. Sustainable Coffee A hot cup of coffee has become the staple of many morning routines....