Amazon to install large-scale solar systems on 50 facilities by 2020

March 3, 2017 by  
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Amazon just announced plans to install 41 megawatts worth of solar power on the roofs of its US facilities this year. The project is part of amazon’s larger initiative to install solar systems on 50 of its order fulfillment facilities around the globe by 2020. “As our fulfillment network continues to expand, we want to help generate more renewable energy at both existing and new facilities around the world in partnership with community and business leaders,” said Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. “We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability—this is good for the environment, our business and our customers. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It’s a win-win.” The solar projects planned for this year will see a total of 41 megawatts installed on the rooftops of Amazon facilities in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware. Depending on various factors, the solar installations could provide the facilities with up to 80% of the energy needed to run. Related: Amazon’s new Prime Air delivery drone is part helicopter, part airplane https://youtu.be/R7tMiQcF9tY According to Amazon, the company is also working on other clean energy projects – including a wind farm in Texas and a network of wind and solar farms in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. It’s also possible some of this power could be used to energize other initiatives Amazon is working on – such as the eventual delivery of orders by drones , and the company’s plans to build a giant floating warehouse in the sky from which the drones would work. Via Businesswire Images via Amazon/Businesswire

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Amazon to install large-scale solar systems on 50 facilities by 2020

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

Your future clothes could turn body heat into electricity

September 18, 2016 by  
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Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed lightweight wearable tech that can harness your body heat and turn it into electricity. The system comprises a layer of thermally conductive material that feeds body heat through a centrally located thermoelectric generator; a separate polymer layer helps retain body heat. The system is only two millimeters thick and could be integrated into everyday clothes, like t-shirts.

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North Carolina home embodies the spirit of Raleigh’s first progressive street car neighborhood

July 28, 2016 by  
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The design doesn’t aim to mimic the architecture of the surrounding buildings, but tries to embody the spirit of the neighborhood. Four levels of living spaces are framed by two board-framed concrete walls that stretch from the public sidewalk into the site and the private service access area. A multi-level circulation gallery hall flows through the house and the site, establishing a strong connection between interior and exterior spaces. Related: Net-zero passive home in North Carolina can power an electric car with solar The main living room is flexible and extends out towards the garden. This space offers views of several other areas of the house, creating a fluid spatial arrangement. A metal staircase connects all four levels and lead up onto the rooftop terrace which provides views of the neighborhood. + Alphin Design Build + North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) Via Architect Magazine Photos by James West / JWest Productions

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North Carolina home embodies the spirit of Raleigh’s first progressive street car neighborhood

Efficient "ice battery" provides 24/7 cooling for your home

July 28, 2016 by  
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The eco-friendly and cost-effective “ice battery” method of residential indoor climate control has been around for more than a decade, but one company still believes it is the answer to inefficient air conditioning units. California-based Ice Energy is the company that makes Ice Bears for both residential and commercial installations. The cooling units promise to save home and building owners a ton of money, while providing reliable cool air with a smaller environmental impact than traditional air conditioning. The system is based on a simple concept—ice is cold and can make air cold, too—but the sophisticated system is both smart and flexible to respond to the demands of a modern world. The company has lofty claims for its ice-based cooling units, saying the Ice Bear system “reduces peak cooling electricity by 95 percent for up to 6 hours a day” resulting in energy savings up to 40 percent overall. The efficient unit essentially makes ice, a low energy task, and then uses it to cool your home’s air. Ice Bear can reportedly get four hours of cool air from its ice with the compressor shut off, which means it uses a lot less energy than a traditional air conditioner. Related: BeCool HVAC system generates energy while keeping buildings cool The Ice Bear, which is installed outside just like traditional central air conditioning units, can integrate with a home’s duct system or use a ductless mini-split system for homes lacking ductwork. It’s a smart system, too, designed with remote monitoring and control capabilities, as well as a host of reporting features that allow homeowners to see graphical representations of their energy usage. Via Treehugger Images via Ice Energy

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Efficient "ice battery" provides 24/7 cooling for your home

Insane video shows Siberian ground bubbling like a "wobbling waterbed"

July 28, 2016 by  
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Siberia is no stranger to weird geological phenomena. Adding to the list of the area’s vast holes and craters is a bubbling tundra on the island of Belyy. Environmental researchers found a site where the Earth wobbles like a waterbed when stepped upon. Their best guess to explain the mysterious quivering is methane released by melting permafrost just below the surface. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=06Xc3LtZRWo Researchers Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich first noticed the spot last year and were surprised to see similar occurrences this year. So far, 15 bubbling spots have been found in the area, each averaging about a meter in diameter. They found the air escaping from the bubbles contain 200 times more methane and 20 times more carbon dioxide than the typical air we breathe. Related: Toxic methane is leaking from Siberia’s rapidly melting permafrost Further studies need to be done, but they are estimating a recent heatwave through Europe may have something to do with the phenomena. Sokolov told the Siberian Times , “It is likely that that 10 days of extraordinary heat could have started some mechanisms, [and the] higher level of permafrost could have thawed and released a huge amount of gases.” Melting permafrost releasing methane and CO2 into the atmosphere is the last thing we need as climate change isn’t slowing down anytime soon without the added emissions. Sokolov said, “It is evident even to amateurs that this is a very serious alarm.” Via Science Alert Images via  YouTube

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Insane video shows Siberian ground bubbling like a "wobbling waterbed"

Playful Blauhaus residence in North Carolina powered by geothermal energy

July 27, 2016 by  
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Blauhaus has a gabled roof section and a flat roof section joined together by an elevated roof deck . It is clad in cementitious siding and standing seam metal panels with red elements that accentuate the orthogonal geometry of the building. Its interior, filled with natural light, features bamboo floors and an open plan layout. Related: Apple Set to Build its Third Enormous Solar Farm in North Carolina The most entertaining part of the 3,700-square-foot house is a small “gargoyle” placed on the roof that creates a waterfall leading to the nearby creek. Blauhaus references the owner’s old home in Germany and uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling. The project has won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Matsumoto Prize Awards organized by North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH). + STITCH Design Shop + North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) Via Architect Magazine Photos by Adam Sebastian

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Playful Blauhaus residence in North Carolina powered by geothermal energy

BioMason’s bricks “grown” with sand and bacteria to hit the market next year

March 1, 2016 by  
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BioMason is inching closer to commercially debuting its eco-friendly “grown” bricks , which they say could be on the market as early as next year. Since its founding in 2012, the North Carolina startup has been pushing to revolutionize the world of building materials in a way that slashes carbon emissions by using bricks grown from sand and bacteria, instead of firing traditional bricks. An increasing number of architects and builders are looking to sustainable construction materials in response to the growing demand for green buildings, and BioMason’s emission-saving biobricks fill a unique niche in the market. Read the rest of BioMason’s bricks “grown” with sand and bacteria to hit the market next year

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The South is building its first major wind farm

July 14, 2015 by  
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The land of tobacco and peach farms is set to sprout something it’s never seen before — a major wind farm. Crews are currently building a new commercial-scale wind turbine farm on an old tract of North Carolina farmland – and the farm could generate enough electricity to power about 60,000 homes . The project marks the first large onshore wind farm in the region’s history. Read the rest of The South is building its first major wind farm Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: better wind technology , higher wind turbines , north carolina , north carolina wind , southern wind farms , wind energy , wind farm

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