We live in a world of robotic household items designed to make our lives easier. Now there is a machine that is able to build our home from scratch and fast.
University of Southern California’s Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has designed the giant robot that replaces construction workers with a nozzle on a gantry, this squirts out concrete and can quickly build a home according to a computer pattern.
It is “basically scaling up 3D printing to the scale of building,” Prof Khoshnevis told msnUK.
The technology, known as Contour Crafting, could revolutionise the construction industry, he says.
Prof Khoshnevis Contour Crafting could slash the cost of homeowning, making it possible for millions of displaced people to get on the property ladder.
It could even be used in disaster relief areas to build emergency and replacement housing.
As Prof Khoshnevis points out, if you look around you pretty much everything is made automatically these days “your shoes, your clothes, home appliances, your car. The only thing that is still built by hand are these buildings”.
How does it work?
The Contour Crafting system is a robot that automates age-old tools normally used by hand. These are wielded by a robotic gantry that builds a three-dimensional object.
Strong walls are built up layer by layer using concrete with automatic reinforcement, while plumbing and electrics are also added by the system during the building process.
The nature of the technology means it will also be possible to create curved walls and architecture that is both “exotic and ‘beautiful”, according to Prof Khoshnevis.
As a result, it could be ideal to print out customised luxury homes.
Furthermore, Prof Khoshnevis believes that the technology could be applied beyond our planet.
“Contour Crafting technology has the potential to build safe, reliable, and affordable lunar and Martian structures, habitats, laboratories, and other facilities before the arrival of human beings,’ his website reads.
The technology has been developed over several years and has been put back in the spotlight this week as part of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which highlights the enormous growth in robotics.
The end of builders?
What the implications are for builders with this new home construction technology is, of course, a major concern.
But Prof Khoshnevis says “the reality is that a lot of new jobs can be created in this sector as well (from it)”.
So can the Contour Crafting robot move from its research lab environment and into the real world?
“If you can build a wall, you can build a house,” says Prof Khoshnevis.
But Contour Crafting was named one of the 25 best inventions in 2006 by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the History Channel’s Modern Marvels program and is still being tested.
So don’t go ditching your builder just yet.
Original article published www.news.com.au by Staff Writer, News Limited 10/1/2014
How to make a tiny Moreton garden terrific.
If you’re a fan of real estate you would be more than aware of the phase ‘Street appeal’ and understand that obtaining good street appeal should be high on your list of things to accomplish. It can be extremely difficult to make the front of your house look attractive if the whole area is taken up by a car parking space. Here are my top tips to try and achieve an inviting front garden in a tight spot.
Tight front gardens usually have a joining wall between properties and its imperative you try and green this wall up as plants have an amazing way of expanding the field of vision making the space feel larger. My favorite option is a green wall or vertical garden as they give maximum plant numbers with minimum footprint but they are expensive. Other options include slim line pots with climbers that can be grown on wires or if you have a bit more room a thin garden bed with some shrubs that can be pruned tall and thin. If you really are tight on space and just can’t fit any plants in joining walls can be dressed up with modern timber screening or laser cut metal screens.
As you should try and have the car out of the parking space for viewings take some time to think about the flooring you have. In an ideal world natural stone is the most attractive and darker coloured stones are the most practical but in most cases the flooring is in place and 9 out of 10 times its concrete. Concrete can be pressure washed and cleaned up but by adding a sealant with a stain will make the whole slab look brand new and the colour will last 6-8 times longer than using a paving paint.
If you don’t use your parking spot on a regular basis think about adding a bit of green by installing lawn. In usual installation the plants roots compact under the pressure of a car and inevitably the grass fails but these days there are plastic reinforcing and drainage grids that protect the roots from compaction and allow water to drain through them making them environmental friendly.
Another common sight in a small front garden is the carport and these are huge culprits for making the space feel like a dark uninviting dungeon. The easiest way to lighten these up is to paint the frame in a light colour, as this will reflect light underneath to the darkest parts. Replacing the roofing with transparent or smoke coloured polycarbonate will also allow light in whilst keeping the UV rays out.
Original article published at www.news.com.au by Charlie Albone News Limited 11/7/2013
The 5 Best Energy Saving Appliances in your Home
Saving money is of the utmost importance to many households today. Given the cost of everything is rising, making these small changes to help control your energy costs can really pay off in the long run. If you have been considering ways of reducing your energy usage, there are a few things that you can do. Here is a list of the 5 best energy saving appliances and a look at how much they can save you over the course of a year:
In the Kitchen
Many homes today have automatic dishwashers and while washing and drying dishes the old fashioned way may be the best energy saver, there are many modern dishwasher models that are designed specifically to use less water and electricity than older models. Choosing a model that gives you options between light and energy saving wash cycles is a good way to help save throughout the year. A good energy efficient dishwasher can save you more than £300 per year on water and electricity combined.
Energy efficient refrigerators are everywhere today and buying one can cut your electricity costs significantly. While the initial expense may be a bit high, you can more than make this cost up over the next few years on energy savings alone. Experts recommend replacing a refrigerator that is more than 20 years old. In doing so, you can save up to £100 per year and if you choose an energy efficient model you can add an additional 15 per cent to these savings.
In the Bathroom
A water heater that is more than ten years old will use approximately 50 per cent more energy than one that is significantly newer. Replacing your old water heater with a newer model can help you to save several hundred gallons of water each year, resulting in a significant savings for your wallet as well.
Washing machines that were produced before 1994 tend to use more electricity and water than those made today. If your washer is more than 20 years old, upgrading it can help you to save more than £100 on your energy costs every year. Choose an energy efficient model and you will be using just half of the energy it takes to run other models. You can save up to 20 gallons of water per large washing load as well.
Around the House
If you use window air conditioners that are more than ten years old, you are wasting energy. Buying a newer model can help you to save as much as 50 per cent on those energy costs. Running a smaller window type air conditioner is a much more efficient way to cool your home, particularly if you keep certain rooms closed off.
All of these appliances can help you to cut energy costs and save money and while purchasing them may seem like quite an expense, you will definitely notice an improvement in your electricity and water costs. Which will be great at your home and also help to keep your tenants happy as well. We all know that a happy tenant means a hassle free life.
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