Panasonic Corp. recently announced a breakthrough tankless toilet called “Arauno V,” according to newswire AFP Relax News. This isn’t one of those toilets where the tank is hidden in the wall, rather the toilet draws water directly from the home water supply. And the bowl is engineered like a tornado to cleanly circulate waste down the drain.
As you may know, in recent years, I bought an old, existing home originally built in 1958. It’s nothing fancy and not all that updated in the main areas, such as the bathrooms and kitchen, so I’ve been working on modernizing things little by little. One bathroom was so run down that we shut the door and didn’t use it after purchase.
But all this changed recently when HouseLogic, a resource by the National Association of Realtors, agreed to partner with me and Jetson Green to renovate a bathroom.
New Town Builders, the company that uses beetle-killed pine for their framing, opened this net-zero energy home with an announcement yesterday. The company is the first in the area to offer a zero-energy package as a regular, additional option. In other words, if a buyer wants it, the buyer can get a home that generates as much energy as it uses over the course of a year for the right price — in this case, $26,900.
This is the first LEED Platinum home in Athens. Designed by Lori Bork Newcomer, principal of Bork Architectural Design, Inc., the 2,632 square-foot home blends native materials to maintain neighborhood context and contemporary design to suit the aesthetics of owners Lori and Quint Newcomer. Lori and Quint self-contracted the build for about $125 per square foot and, perhaps more impressively, the home uses about the same amount of energy as one a third the size.
Induction cooktops are expensive but they’re also fast and efficient — a report for the Department of Energy says induction has a cooking efficiency of 84%. So when a company combines the efficiency of induction cooking with new cutting-edge technology, as shown by Thermador’s Freedom Induction Cooktop, there’s going to be some interest.
Switch Lighting, creator of the only LED that uses liquid cooling technology, is on the cusp of a breakout year in 2012. The Switch bulb creates the same warm color of an incandescent, yet it’s made with reclaimable or recyclable materials using the Cradle to Cradle methodology. Inside the bulb is a liquid thermal cooling solution that helps cool the LEDs from all sides, producing more light from less LEDs. In fact, a Switch bulb lasts about 25 times longer and uses 80% less energy than an incandescent.