Green Home

Green Home

Your next house could be made of pot

This North Carolina house is made of eco-friendly hemp-based bricks, and the company that makes them wants to start building a similar house in California. Throw in a natty hemp suit and Cheech and Chong’s marijuana-resin car, and you’ve got most of the recipe for an entirely pot-based suburban idyll.

Living

Prevent furniture fires: Get the killer chemicals out of your couch

A new proposal would upgrade an outdated furniture flammability standard, replacing nasty fire retardants with healthy, eco-friendly products. Bonus: They’re actually better at preventing fires.

Renewable Energy

Soon, your toilet could heat your apartment building

Now you can dump energy waste just by, well, taking a massive dump. Green tech company OriginOil is working on a project that uses toilet wastewater as a way to heat apartment buildings. OriginOil, a start-up based in Los Angeles, CA., has begun a pilot of its urban algae farm concept at the La Défense complex near Paris. Wastewater from buildings nourishes algae growth; algae is processed to make heat. The company is attempting to prove that integrating algae production into large building complexes will help bring them closer to net zero.

Green Home

Energy monitoring device lets dad bust up rager from 500 miles away

If this were a movie, hardware and software developer David Rowe would look like a sitting duck for teen shenanigans — I mean, we don’t know the dude, but we’re pretty sure he’s a dweeby dad (or as close as you can get in Australia). The man describes himself as “kind of a power geek” — and he is talking about home energy use, not imperialism. But in fact, Rowe’s power geekiness has now translated into powerful hardass parenting: He busted up his daughter’s New Year’s bash from 500 miles away, thanks to his home energy monitoring device. Over New …

Green Home

Gecko-inspired adhesive lets your TV cling to the wall like a lizard

With its Tom Cruise-like talent for scattering straight up walls, the gecko has become one of biomimicry’s favored muses. Studying its feet, scientists have come up with a variety of gecko-inspired tapes, but now a team at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has developed a stronger adhesive patch they’re calling “Geckskin.” A piece of the stuff about the size of an index card can hold up to 700 pounds of weight on a smooth wall. That’s a 42-inch flatscreen TV or a mirror or that Dutch masterpiece you picked up on your last European vacation. And if you get the placement …

Green Home

Now you can buy a prefab IKEA house

Oregon architecture firm ideabox is producing this prefab tiny house, which comes pre-installed with IKEA cabinets, flooring, and closets. The “activ” house is about 750 square feet and costs $86,500, and you can pick the color scheme of IKEA accoutrements that you prefer. And unlike most IKEA stuff, it doesn’t come flat-packed and there’s no assembly required.

Energy Efficiency

Frank Lloyd Wright goes solar, posthumously

Taliesin West, the iconic desert home created by Frank Lloyd Wright, is about to go net-zero, which means it will produce as much energy as it consumes.

Green Home

How to turn an abandoned oil silo into an awesome sustainable home

Once we either kick oil for good or descend into Mad Maxish fuel-based anarchy, you’re going to want to set up a pretty good personal Thunderdome. And if we’re way past peak oil anyway, why not nest in an abandoned oil silo? Architecture collective Pink Cloud has designed a sustainable home for a post-petroleum world, repurposing the 49,000 refinery oil silos that will, one day in the not-too-distant future, be otherwise pointless.

Cities

Smallest legal apartment in California is prefab, adorbs

Check out the smallest studio apartment you can build by law in California: It's 160 square feet, and it includes a bevy of space-saving measures.

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