Most Efficient Heat Pump by WaterFurnace

WaterFurnace International, Inc., a manufacturer of geothermal and water-source heat pumps, just launched what the company is calling the “world’s most energy-efficient heat pump,” according to a press release. The 7 Series 700A11, pictured, is the first variable capacity unit available for homeowners and boasts a 41 energy efficiency ratio and 5.3 coefficient of performance. The 7 Series exceeds Energy Star requirements and qualifies for a 30% federal tax credit, said WaterFurnace. The heating and cooling system also comes with a laundry list of other design features: integration with automation and energy monitoring systems, online remote monitoring and control, quiet performance with a lower compressor speed, advanced hot water generation, and a port for service and diagnostics that doesn’t require opening the unit.  700A11 uses a soft-start variable capacity compressor, variable speed ECM blower, and variable speed loop pump to scale output as needed.

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Five-Star Luxe Container Hotel in China

Halfway across the globe in a rural village outside of Changzhi in China, a developer was inspired by emergency housing made with shipping containers in Japan and decided to build a five-star hotel out of them, according to CNN Go.  The hotel — 香箱乡祈福所, which apparently translates as Xiang Xiang Xiang Pray House — was built with 35 new containers and includes 21 tiny, luxe guest rooms of either 161 or 321 square feet each.

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Bespoke Green Railing by BOK Modern

In the midst of an effort to reduce costs associated with standard pipe railing on a multifamily project, the founders of BŌK Modern happened upon innovation.  Their epiphany came when they decided to use laser-cut flat metal formed using computer-automated machines (to reduce welding, grinding, and other unnecessary hand labor).  Some of the panels were on display at the recent Pacific Coast Builders Conference, and Houseplans.com editor Dan Gregory said they were “striking.

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Delta Taps the Maker Movement: Giveaway

If you’ve been following the story about my participation in the Delta 2012 Maker/DIY Blogger Event last week — Part I and Part II — you’re probably as impressed with the Delta Faucet Company as I am! You also might have caught the little teaser I gave at the end of my last article about a GIVEAWAY! And oh boy, is it a good one!

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Eco-Friendly LEDs, Expensive Prefab, Passive Solar Design, + Pierce The Envelope

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JUSTLED Intros Loop Nature LED Bulb

When Hulger launched a designer CFL called the Plumen, most of the design world went crazy for the product.  So perhaps it will be with the new Nature LED bulb by JUSTLED.  The bulb was on display at Dwell on Design, to the excitement of certain design blogs, and presents what could be the best way to go naked (or exposed) with a LED light bulb.

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