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.
This is a “Granny Annex” in Kent, England, fabricated by in.it.studios in eight weeks. In.it.studios fashioned the backyard prefab with a well-insulated envelope, Canadian Western Red Cedar cladding, a “zero maintenance” living sedum roof, floor to ceiling windows, a sky light in the hallway, an Accoya deck, and other built-ins with PEFC- and FSC-certified woods.
Here’s a beautiful garden studio in Oxford overlooking the Thames River. The custom and contemporary structure was completed by in.it studios with a special plinth foundation, birch ply interior walls, a green sedum roof, and sustainably harvested timber. The design allows natural light through bi-folding doors, while insulated walls and a glass-panel heater keep the warmth inside in the winter. The tiny studio has a bathroom and kitchen for use as a guest house and an extra deck space for entertaining.
Take a moment to notice what’s happening across the pond. This is the Tetra Shed, a inventive building system that uses up to six modules to create extra space — home office, play space, beach hut, pop-up retail — in most any location. The exterior can be custom painted or finished with copper, zinc, corten steel, or marine plywood, while the interior can be finished with LED lights and birch-faced plywood or plasterboard. Tetra Shed, designed by David Ajasa-Adekunle, arrives in the UK in January 2012.
Keeping our tootsies pampered during midnight trips to the bathroom is a job any carpet can handle. But clean the air of all that icky stuff floating around that we know is there but glad we can’t see? According to Dutch carpet manufacturer Desso, their new carpet line AirMaster can greatly reduce the concentration of that microscopic particulate matter to improve indoor air quality eight times better than hardwood floors. Tall claim, but they have several independent studies backing it up.
Photovoltaic panels and solar hot water panels both provide useful benefits for the buildings they are attached to, but sometimes there is limited space on the roof, and usually only one or the other is installed. Solimpeks, a solar panel manufacturer based in Turkey, has been producing solar panels for a long time, and has an elegant solution to the problem: a panel that produces both electricity and hot water. It turns out that the Solimpeks Volther dual-use panels increase efficiency more than you might expect.