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Building

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Ultra-lightweight building technologies

In Switzerland, researchers and architects have teamed up on a project dubbed NEST (Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies) to develop innovative building technologies, including ultra-lightweight and thin components. Their flagship project is HiLo, a prototype residence and office building that will be constructed with an ultra-slim roof shell. 

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Resource Fix: Liquid cooling tech saves energy and captures IT heat for reuse

Iceotope has developed a liquid cooling system for servers. The company's unique technology cools IT equipment at the source, rather than cooling the surrounding air. This eliminates the need for large-scale air conditioning and refrigeration equipment and reduces energy use by about 20 percent.

The servers are encapsulated in liquid-filled pipes, so there are no concerns related to air quality, humidity and so on regarding where they can be placed. And because there are no fans, the servers operate quietly. This all means that the servers don't necessarily need to be in a dedicated space; they can be placed anywhere, potentially saving space or using idle space.

Iceotope's technology also provides the infrastructure for easily capturing waste heat for reuse in buildings, providing a twin benefit in energy savings.

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Resource Fix: A Thinner Insulating Panel from BASF

Reducing the amount of energy required to heat buildings - even eliminating the need for central heating altogether in some cases - can require a lot of mass. Walls in passive homes, like this newly certified brownstone in New York City, can reach upwards of two feet thick. BASF is developing a new insulating panel that is expected to be up to 50 percent thinner than similar panels, while delivering higher insulating properties. The company’s insulating panel incorporates organic aerogels for a strong, lightweight solution to better building envelopes with less mass. According to BASF, the panels will be highly adaptable and allow for more effective retrofits in historic buildings and interiors. The product also has potential applications in making more energy efficient refrigerators.

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