Cover’s $50k algorithmic tiny houses are 80% more efficient than conventional homes

April 26, 2017 by  
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A California-based tech company is looking to bring tiny homes to the masses by streamlining the construction process with the help of computer algorithms. Cover has developed specialized software that creates custom-made, prefabricated tiny houses that are 80% more efficient than conventional homes – all without the help of architects, planning departments, or even contractors. Cover was founded by Alexis Rivas and Jemuel Joseph in 2014. The company seeks to give everyday people the tools to create “thoughtfully designed and well-built homes” for themselves rather than enlisting the help of costly professionals. The innovative process essentially removes the need for architects, planning departments, or even contractors by guiding users through a simple 3-step process: Design, Permit, and Build. Related: Student invents computer program to help Bedouin villages build better homes Although the idea may seem a little farfetched to some, the founders believe that this is the future of DIY home building : “We’re doing for homes what Tesla is doing for the car – using technology to optimize every step of the process, from design and sales, to permitting and manufacturing.” Cover’s process uses generative design technology and algorithms to spec out various design options based on individual needs. In the design phase of the process, which costs just $250, clients fill out a digital survey providing information about their lifestyle and design preferences such as location, style, size, etc. The company then meets with the clients onsite to discuss details. The next step is feeding all of the information into a computer program that generates multiple designs options based on the information. The program is also equipped to account for geospatial data, solar positioning , and zoning requirements. After the clients choose their design, the company develops and sends “photorealistic renderings and plans” and a full quote to the client. Currently, the company’s tiny dwellings range from $50,000 to $350,000, depending on size, location, design, etc. Once the design details are worked out, the second stage is obtaining the necessary building permits, followed by laying the foundation while the prefab structure is built in a factory. Once the permits are approved, most Cover dwellings can be completed in as little as nine weeks. Cover limits material waste by manufacturing each tiny home in a factory. Additionally, using digital technology produces more energy-efficient structures. According to founder Alexis Rivas, “We’re redesigning the details that make up a home to take advantage of the precision possible in a controlled environment. This allows us to build homes that are 80 per cent more energy efficient than the average new home.” Cover homes are currently only available in Los Angeles, but the company has plans to expand to other cities in the future. + Cover Images via Cover

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Cover’s $50k algorithmic tiny houses are 80% more efficient than conventional homes

Apple announces goal to make products from 100% recycled materials

April 26, 2017 by  
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The electronics industry is notoriously harsh on the planet. Around 60 million metric tons of e-waste end up in landfills each year, and children are sometimes put to work to mine necessary rare earth elements. Technology giant Apple aims to fix these issues in their company. They recently announced plans to use 100 percent recycled materials in all of their devices. Apple’s aims are ambitious. In addition to using only recycled materials, the company also wants 100 percent of their supply chain to run entirely on renewable energy . They want their packaging to be made of 100 percent responsibly sourced and recycled paper. And they want to stop mining the earth. Related: Apple just unveiled a blazing fast iPhone recycling robot Apple has already made progress in many areas. Their data centers are 100 percent powered by solar, wind, or hydropower. 96 percent of their worldwide facilities run on renewable energy and over 99 percent of their packaging is already made with recycled and responsibly sourced materials. But they still have a long way to go. Apple didn’t offer a specific timeline for their mining goal. “It sounds crazy, but we’re working on it,” the company writes on their website. “We’re moving toward a closed-loop supply chain.” In their 2017 Progress Report , they said they’re challenging themselves to “one day end our reliance on mining” but that will require many years. They pointed to recycling programs and their recycling robots as evidence of progress. Apple Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson told Vice , “We’re actually doing something we rarely do, which is announce a goal before we’ve completely figured out how to do it. So we’re a little nervous, but we also think it’s really important, because as a sector we believe it’s where technology should be going.” Greenpeace Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook said in a statement Apple’s goal “highlights the need for greater urgency across the sector to reduce resource consumption and e-waste that are causing significant impacts on the environment and human health …While transitioning to 100 percent recycled materials is critical to reducing the sector’s footprint, it is also fundamental for Apple and other major IT companies to design products that last, are easy to repair, and recyclable at the end of their life.” Via Apple and 9to5Mac Images via Maurizio Pesce on Flickr and screenshot

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Apple announces goal to make products from 100% recycled materials

London’s Marston Court transforms shipping containers into emergency housing for the homeless

April 26, 2017 by  
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A newly-constructed emergency h ousing development in London’s Ealing borough provides 34 temporary apartments to the needy. CargoTek teamed up with QED Property , ISO Spaces and Ealing Council to build the innovative Marston Court development out of re-purposed shipping containers, using a kit of moveable and re-usable parts for maximum flexibility. The project addresses the issue of homelessness with flexible, temporary and affordable design solutions. Marston Court is located on a disused brownfield site on Bordars Walk in Ealing. The project revitalizes vacant land by providing emergency accommodation to those in need, including young families and low-income individuals. Related: CargoTek taps shipping containers for affordable UK homes and offices The project will house up to 72 people in 34 fully furnished apartments with a management office, laundry and refuse storage. It includes a landscaped outdoor area with a playground. ISO Spaces manufactured the modular components in their production facility in Cornwall. The company’s founder Gregg Curtis said: “Homelessness is an issue that is always critical at any scale, We need to design and develop more solutions to these issues. Our focus is on providing real products to do that. And working in partnerships with organizations that can deploy those solutions at scale is critical.” + CargoTek + ISO Spaces + QED Property

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London’s Marston Court transforms shipping containers into emergency housing for the homeless

Build your own indoor garden with modular LEGO-like blocks

April 26, 2017 by  
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Humans are spending more of their lives inside, missing out on the health benefits and beauty of plants . Winmart Design from Singapore decided to bring nature indoors with LeGrow, a creative indoor garden users can design themselves with LEGO -like pieces. The gardens can be equipped with LED lights , allowing plants to thrive year-round, or with a humidifier to improve the atmosphere of interior spaces. Chinese designer Haobin Lin decided to create LeGrow after he realized his daughter, growing up in a city, might not have the nature-filled childhood he’d loved. Inspired by her favorite toys, building blocks, he came up with the sleek, clean indoor garden system. Related: 7 indoor plants that purify the air around you naturally A LeGrow system can include planter pots, Power Pots, a humidifier, and an LED grow lamp. The stackable planter pots incorporate internal water reservoirs to reduce mess. A two-bulb LED grow lamp can provide light in six-hour increments for multiple plants, with a maximum output of 50,000 lumens. A diffusing mist humidifier helps create an atmosphere conducive for growing plants indoors, an area that tends to be dry due to heating and air conditioning; but the humidity can also improve human health by reducing eye strain and softening skin. LeGrow’s Power Pots are specifically targeted towards home office use; they can power the system’s humidifier and lights but can also charge a smartphone or tablet via four USB ports. Winmart Design is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter ; with over 20 days to go they’ve already raised around $45,000 of their $30,138 goal. They offer several options, starting with one LeGrow Power Pot with an early bird price of $34 all the way up to a limited edition package with 36 standard pots, four dual-LED lamps, one humidifier, and two Power Pots for $392. You can find out more here . + Winmart Design Images courtesy of Winmart Design

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Build your own indoor garden with modular LEGO-like blocks

Ultra-narrow affordable LG House encourages open living

May 15, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Ultra-narrow affordable LG House encourages open living Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: affordable housing , canada , glass facade , green architecture , LG House , lifestyle , narrow house , natural lighting , small spaces , Sustainable Materials , Thirdstone Inc , tiny home , ultra-thin home

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Ultra-narrow affordable LG House encourages open living

Expert Says “We May Have to Migrate People out of California”

May 15, 2015 by  
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Fire , earthquakes and one of the worst droughts in recent history – these days California is not looking like the best place to settle down. In fact, things have gotten so bad that the state could run out of water in just two years . If things continue down this road, some experts think that the only solution will be to abandon the place. Read the rest of Expert Says “We May Have to Migrate People out of California” Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: california drought , California drought solutions , California groundwater , California migration , California surface water , california water , drought costs , drought solutions , exceptional drought , extreme drought , US Drought , western US drought , western water issues

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Expert Says “We May Have to Migrate People out of California”

Otto Ng’s Robotic Wallbot Walls Automatically Move to Adapt to Your Lifestyle

August 10, 2012 by  
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Wallbot mobile walls can communicate among themselves. By applying scientific research in collective intelligence to architectural design, artist and architect Otto Ng has created a kinetic wall system that pushes the housing envelope. Powered by electronic and kinetic systems , Wallbots can assume different positions within a dwelling without any interference from the inhabitants. Read the rest of Otto Ng’s Robotic Wallbot Walls Automatically Move to Adapt to Your Lifestyle Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: design prototype , interactive intelligent wall , interactive technology , kinetic architecture , mobile computing , otto ng , responsive architecture , Responsive Architecture at Daniels , self-guiding walls , wallbot wall system

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Otto Ng’s Robotic Wallbot Walls Automatically Move to Adapt to Your Lifestyle

5 Tips for Greening Your Finances

August 17, 2011 by  
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When you’re considering ways to green your lifestyle, revamping your personal finance practices probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But considering the energy and materials wasted through lengthy paper contracts, monthly mailed statements, and poorly thought out purchases, taking a good, hard look at how you manage your money can have a big impact on the environment — and your bank account. By following our tips on going paperless , getting organized, and greening your spending, not only will Mother Earth be pleased, but so will your wallet. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: go paperless , going paperless , green banking , greening your finances , how to green your finances , inhabitat lifescoop posts , lifescoop , online banking , paperless banking , paperless statements

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Breathe Easy: Building Concept Cleanses Dirty City Air

April 20, 2011 by  
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[ By Delana in Art & Design & Nature & Ecosystems & Science & Research . ] What if, instead of trying to remove all of the things that poison our environment, we built an infrastructure that uses these poisons as fuel to build a better world?

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Breathe Easy: Building Concept Cleanses Dirty City Air

Bennu’s New.Life.Style Mantra: Improving Markets for Recycled Products

April 4, 2011 by  
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Bennu is a socially responsible product development and marketing company that completes the recycling loop. By developing quality brands using sustainable business practices, Bennu is greening the standard for a new lifestyle.

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Bennu’s New.Life.Style Mantra: Improving Markets for Recycled Products

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