Xomali House in Mexico City makes clever use of a tiny 115 square foot lot

January 5, 2017 by  
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DMP Aquitectura built the Xomali House on a tiny plot of land of just 115 square feet in Mexico City . They carefully designed it to make the most out of the reduced space while keeping material costs down. Filled with hidden storage everywhere and built with standard affordable materials like wood, ceramic tiles and concrete, the home also keeps the neighbors close with a communal courtyard .

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Xomali House in Mexico City makes clever use of a tiny 115 square foot lot

Costa Rica ran almost entirely on renewables in 2016

January 5, 2017 by  
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It’s a happy new year in Costa Rica, where the nation’s Electricity Institute has reported that 98.1 percent of the electricity used in 2016 came from renewable energy sources . This is the second consecutive year that Costa Rica has proven the power and reliability of renewables, after hitting 99 percent in 2015. While the achievement isn’t surprising, given that the country’s leaders have been ambitiously pursuing (and coming close to) this goal for several years, it is still important. What Costa Rica has accomplished shows the world that relying on renewable energy is not only possible, but that it can become a reality much earlier than many skeptics believe. The reasons behind Costa Rica ’s high renewable usage are numerous, and sort of complicated. For starters, the per capita electricity consumption in the nation of 4.9 million people is much less than, say, that of the typical American. In fact, the average Costa Rican uses just one-seventh the electricity that Americans do. With less electricity in demand, it’s much easier to supply those needs with renewable sources, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t be possible for the United States to reach the same astounding figures with the proper infrastructure. Related: Costa Rica celebrates 113 days of 100-percent renewable energy (and counting) Costa Rica’s climate has also made it a bit easier to become powered almost entirely by renewables . The area’s plentiful rainfall positions hydropower as the primary renewable energy source, supplying around 75 percent of the electricity used each year. Solar and wind power make up most of the remaining portion, again due to the perks of the geographic region. While 99 and 98 percent in 2015 and 2016 are insanely respectable figures, the Costa Rican government is aiming higher for 2017 and beyond, with four new wind farms to generate even more clean energy. Via Grist Images via Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 )

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Costa Rica ran almost entirely on renewables in 2016

Discreet new home in North Carolina acts like a gateway to the surrounding wilderness

January 5, 2017 by  
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The cypress-clad Carolina Hillside House perches over a thick forest near North Wilkesboro’s Kerr Scott Lake, providing stunning views of untouched nature. ARCHITECTUREFIRM designed the building as a habitable gateway that connects an abandoned logging road, the only access to the house, with the surrounding wilderness. The house is located above North Wilkesboro’s Kerr Scott Lake and is accessed by an abandoned logging road. Clad in untreated cypress that acquires a beautiful patina over time, the house blends into its wooded surroundings. Related: Snøhetta’s New Library at North Carolina State University Aims for LEED Silver A large opening separates the main living area and sleeping quarters, forming a sheltered patio with a beautiful outdoor fireplace . This space provides sensational views of the surrounding forest and allows the owners to enjoy the outdoors even during harsh winters. + ARCHITECTUREFIRM Via Uncrate Photos by James Ewing

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Discreet new home in North Carolina acts like a gateway to the surrounding wilderness

New Toyota concept takes the wheel when drivers get sleepy

January 5, 2017 by  
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The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show kicks off this week in Las Vegas, with an increasing number of automakers using the show to showcase their latest technological innovations. This year, Toyota is giving the world a look at the future with its Concept-i vehicle which can not only drive itself, but also uses Artificial Intelligence to build a relationship with the driver. According to Toyota, the Concept-i is designed from the inside out to give the vehicle a warm and friendly user experience. While its interior looks spacious and inviting, the more significant part of the Concept-i is its advanced artificial intelligence system that builds a relationship with the driver that is stronger than learning driving patterns and schedules. The Concept-i is designed to use multiple technologies to measure emotion, mapped against when and where the driver travels around the world. Related: Chrysler unveils all-electric self-driving Portal car In addition, the AI system uses advanced automated vehicle technologies to enhance driving safety. Under certain conditions, drivers will have the choice of automated or manual driving based on their personal preference, but the Concept-i also has the ability to fully take over if the driver’s engagement declines. The system monitors driver attention and road conditions, with the goal of increasing self-driving support as necessary. The warm and friendly part of the Concept-i starts with a next-generation user interface that serves as a platform for the vehicle’s AI Agent, nicknamed “Yui”. Instead of displaying important information on a digital screen, Yui uses lights, sounds and even touch to communicate critical information. Colored lights in the foot wells indicate whether the vehicle is in automated or manual drive, projectors in the rear deck project views onto the seat pillar to help warn about blind spots and a next-generation head up helps keep the driver’s eyes on the road. The Concept-i’s exterior also displays information, like “Hello” to greet the driver and passengers as they approach the vehicle. The rear of the concept communicates to other drivers about upcoming turns or warn about a potential hazard, while the front communicates whether the Concept-i is in automated or manual drive. Toyota hasn’t announced any production plans for the Concept-i, but Toyota does expect to start on-road evaluation within the next few years in Japan. + Toyota All images @Toyota

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New Toyota concept takes the wheel when drivers get sleepy

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