Smarter and Greener: The Future of Building [Infographic]

The future of construction could involve swarms of robots and 3D printed houses. Microalgae could help buildings generate energy and provide shade. Futuristic insulating materials could lower energy needs for buildings.

This is an exciting time to be in construction. The challenges of a growing world population and increased economic development across the world are putting an increased strain on our resources and the environment. This challenge is being met across the globe by engineers who are developing new methods of construction and perfecting materials to improve lives and help the environment.

Some of these breakthroughs are still very much in the research and development phase, while others are already starting to be used in ground-breaking projects.

Robot swarm construction methods are being developed at Harvard and could have huge implications on construction in the future. The idea for robot swarm construction actually comes from how termites are able to build their elaborate termite mounds. The beauty of swarm construction is that, rather than having different robots with specific instructions, each member of the robot swarm can combine to finish a project. In theory, this means that, should a few robots breakdown, the project should be able to be completed with minimal disruption.

The 3D printing is a little further along the line, and has even been tested in China, where the company ‘WinSun’ have built houses using this method, and by DUS architects in the Netherlands. As with robot swarm construction this method could be used, in the far future, to build on the moon and possibly even planets.

It is not just building methods that are being developed; considerable research has gone into utilising new materials. These include Microalgae, (which provides shade while producing renewable energy), Aerogel Insulation (which is as light as air and has super-insulating properties) and the ultra-strong transparent aluminium.

In the infographic below we learn more about these materials and methods and also look at some buildings that are showing the way. These include the world famous Edge Building in Amsterdam and the Crystal in London.

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DIY E-waste Project Ideas [Infographic]

Electronic waste, also known as E-waste, has become a significant problem for our planet. It includes consumer electronics like computers, cell phones, and fax machines. These items contain toxins like lead, cadmium, and mercury that leach into soil and drinking water. Fortunately, there has been significant attention paid to the issue of E-waste and the best ways we can reduce it. DIY projects using pieces that would otherwise end up in a landfill has long been a popular and practical craft concept. The uses of E-waste in creating exciting art and interesting crafts are practically endless.

Take a look at the infographic Metrofax Blog created below.

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Green Office buildings [Infographic]

Euroffice.co.uk has put together this infographic to celebrate some of the most environmentally friendly office buildings in use today. These buildings are some of the smartest, most innovative and in many cases the most beautiful office buildings built in recent years. While they all look very different, all have taken interesting approaches to reducing their own carbon footprint drastically.

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Environmental Benefits of Solar Panels [Infographic]

Solar power has continued to advance in technology over the past decade. It has become more energy efficient and is more cost effective than ever before. The table’s are turning and solar is becoming an extremely viable option. Get the facts on Solar:

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Green Documentaries: Terra Blight [Trailer Video]

produced by: Jellyfish Smack Productions

Terra Blight traces the life cycle of computers from creation to disposal and juxtaposes the disparate worlds that have computers as their center. From a 13-year-old Ghanaian who smashes obsolete monitors to salvage copper to a 3,000-person video game party in Texas, Terra Blight examines the unseen realities of one of the most ubiquitous toxic wastes on our planet.

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