Category Archives: building and architecture

Aquaponics Innovation and DIY Greenhouse Technology

Pierre Beauchamp, a young and successfull innovator and evangelist for greenhouse and aquaponics, who’s goal is to bring fresh and natural food production into urban environments. When Pierre Beauchamp was 15 years old he created an amazing aquaponics operation in a greenhouse in his families property in Auburn, Calif.

DIY Aquaponics Innovation by Pierre Beauchamp, source: Makezine.com

DIY Aquaponics Innovation by Pierre Beauchamp, source: Makezine.com

His aquaponics and greenhouse systems are so called closed loop systems that join plant production in combination with fresh water fish production. These aquaponics and greenhouse closed loop systems are great sources for fresh food production in future urban environments. Pierre Beauchamp was awarded the 2012 Sea World / Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award and the Global Green International-Citizen Entrepreneur Award.

Philips Hue Connected Light Bulbs

Philips and Apple’s ambilight technology appeared on the market already some years ago and despite it’s incredible cool design Philips and Apple are going a little bit further by introducing Hue light bulbs. Hue light bulbs are directly connected and can be controlled by your mobile iPhone or iPad. The user is able to create light settings based on favourite photos, or to choose from expert light recipes to help you relax or concentrate, or even set timers to help you wake up and pace your day. According to it’s direct control and its flexible lighning settings there will surely be countless application possibilities for this new Philips Hue bulbs in a makers home. All you need to start connecting your home’s lightning scenes is to buy a Philips Apple Hue Starter Kit which comes with a bridge and three bulbs and costs 199$ within the Apple store.

Philips Apple Hue Light

Twine: The Internet of Things for your own Use

Twine - eine kleine Box mit Sensoren und WLAN zum Einbinden von beliebigen Dingen ins Internet (Bild: Supermechanical)

Twine, one of the first Kickstarter projects dealing with specific hardware to connect sensors and aktuators with the Internet, is starting to ship the first bundles these days. For around $100 you can buy a Twine box, that is shown above, that offers WLAN and a multitude of different sensors to check the status of your house or any other real world object you can think of. It runs on two batteries that should offer enough energy to keep Twine up for more than two month.

Another interesting feature is the Web interface Twine offers for specifying event condition action rules for reacting on user defined situations, without programming. The Web interface and ECA rules look quite similar to Microsoft’s On{X} Android App, which we discussed some month ago.

Future Dash EnergyBuddy

The core of EnergyBuddy is a low-cost and easy to install stylish gateway that connects to the home network. It operates with or without a smart meter and brings home energy consumption to life with vivid dashboards on PCs and mobile apps

image source: FutureDash.com

The Cali-based startup FutureDash presents The EnergyBuddy, which was first unveiled as a prototype at CES and now going toward the final release date. FutureDash is a complete home energy-tracking system, which uses sensors in your electricity grid in order to monitor your houshold energy consumption. Starting at $99, it keeps tabs on users’ energy consumption with a square-shaped gadget that connects to your network via WiFi or Ethernet. The square glows red, yellow or green depending on how much electricity you’re using, and the user is able to specify the typical footprint profiles.

Their motto is: ‘Increased energy awareness leads to increased energy conservation.’

Malaysian ICT-Park Cyberjaya

In my series about worldwide startup and incubator programs, this time we look at the  Malaysian ICT-Park Cyberjaya: Established in October 1996, Cyberview Sdn Bhd, a Government owned company and landowner of Cyberjaya, has been mandated to spearhead the development in Cyberjaya. To this end, Cyberview put its utmost effort towards ensuring Cyberjaya continues to progress in line with the Government’s aspirations. Within this ICT campus lies the SME Technoentrepreneur Center, which supports the grow and development of innovative Startups.

LOXONE – A simple solution for smart home automation

Loxone Electronics GmbHThe LOXONE miniserver is the centerpiece for a very simple and intuitive home automation system, which can be used to retrofit existing home electricity installations. It allows you to control all things in and around your home. Ranging from simple blind control to intelligent and cost-efficient zoned heating systems.

The LOXONE system is conveniently installed in your consumer unit and linked to the home network. It monitors various inputs, such as switches, motion detectors, door contacts, smart phones and is able to control all your actuator devices, like blinds, lighting, heating.

China’s fast construction company

Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), a Chinese architectural firm builds medium-cost, super-saving utility buildings and to promote a futuristic urban lifestyle. They are planning to build the world’s tallest building, the Sky City Tower in Changsha, Hunan, whose 220 storeys will be erected in unbelievable 90 days. This timelapse video shows another project by Broad Sustainable Building, which is a 30-storey hotel that went up in 15 days. The architecture and designs of their buildings should be extremely seismically robust and environmentally efficient.
From CNNGo:

Its 220 stories will provide a total of 1 million square meters of usable space, linked by 104 elevators.

Zhang said Sky City is expected to consume a fifth of the energy required by a conventional building due to BSB’s unique construction methods, such as quadruple glazing and 15-centimeter-thick exterior walls for thermal insulation.

The company’s construction methods also seem to save money.

According to Chinese newspaper 21 Century Business Herald, the total investment in Sky City is RMB 4 billion (US$628 million), compared with US$1.5 billion on Burj Khalifa and US$2.2 billion on Shanghai Tower.