Monday, 17 September 2012

A Smart Multi-Colored Light Bulb That You Can Control With Your Phone...



Design company LIFX Labs has created a smart multi-colored LED light bulb that can be controlled with your smartphone. LIFX has already surpassed its $100,000 goal for backing, taking in over three times that much with nearly two months left for fundraising. It also brings a wide variety of functionality to something most people consider mundane but necessary: a light bulb.

Called ‘LIFX’, owners can use their Apple or Android smart phones to control their lights from anywhere; choose the brightness for a specific bulb, a room or the entire house; and even change the colors to match their mood or d├ęcor.

Because it is connected to your phone, the lights will even be able alert you of notifications from Twitter, Facebook and text messages.

The light bulb is also energy efficient—it uses approximately 1/10th the energy of the standard household bulb and can last up to 25 years.

“LIFX answers a need that is well and truly overdue. Everyone in the world needs light bulbs. Existing light bulbs are based on an archaic technology that threatens our environment,” LIFX inventor Phil Bosua wrote.

“Light bulbs consume approximately 20% of electricity in homes around the world. They need to be more efficient, smarter and last longer. In the twenty-first century, people need lighting that matches the “smart culture” and eco aware sensibilities of our day.”

[Credit: DesignTaxi.com]

Friday, 7 September 2012

Pantone Fashion Color Report Spring 2013...


Colours to look out for, after all, fashion trends tend to be reflected in the home too.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

IKEA Unveils Its Catalog Of The Future...


IKEA has revealed its adoption of mobile augmented-reality and interactive technology, as a new approach for its future catalogs. 

Users have to download the new IKEA Catalog App (which would be available from 31 July) for their smartphone or tablet, and scan select pages of the 2013 catalog to unlock films, interactive experiences, photo galleries and other home-furnishing inspiration.



 (click on the picture)

Friday, 20 April 2012

Bld. Regs. - greenhouses, sheds, garages, carports...


Small detached single storey domestic buildings including greenhouses, sheds, garages and attached carports meeting the following conditions do not require Building Regulation approval:

1. Detached garages or structures with an internal floor area not exceeding 15 m2 and built of any type of construction that does not affect disabled access and contains no electrical supply (see notes below**) are wholly exempt from Building Regulation approval.

2. Detached garages or structures with an internal floor area not exceeding 30 m2, built of any type of construction and sited so as to be a minimum of 1metre from any boundary line, that does not affect disabled access and contains no electrical supply (see notes below**) are wholly exempt from Building Regulation approval.

3. Detached garages with an internal floor area not exceeding 30 m2 and built of substantially non-combustible materials*, that does not affect disabled access and contains no electrical supply (see notes below**) are wholly exempt from Building Regulation approval.

*Examples of what constitutes substantially non-combustible materials*:
ROOF - non-combustible cement based sheeting fixed to steel roof trusses / tiled or slated roof on timber roof trusses or timbers / timber flat roof covered with felt with applied bitumen bedded 12.5mm limestone chippings.

WALLS – brickwork / blockwork / concrete panels / steel frame clad in non-combustible cement based boarding.

FLOORS – concrete slab.

4. Carports open at least two sides attached or detached from the main building, with an internal floor area not exceeding 30 m2 that does not affect disabled access and contains no electrical supply (see notes below**) are wholly exempt from Building Regulation approval.

NOTES:
Disabled access.
It is a ‘Material Alteration’ requiring the submission of a Building Regulation application, if the works you are undertaking make access to or access into the dwelling any worse than it is now. So the proposal must not obstruct access pathways up to the main dwelling entrance doors.

Electrical regulations.
If the small-detached building is to have electricity supplied from a source shared with or located within the dwelling, then the Building Regulations apply to the electrical works. You will be required to submit a Building Regulation application. (Refer to Guide Note 20 for full details of the requirements).
If electrical circuits are to be provided or adapted to provide light or power to your attached carports, then the Building Regulations may apply (Refer to Guide Note 20 for full details of the requirements).

Water efficiency regulations.
If you intend to provide a cold and / or a hot water supply to any greenhouse or small detached building covered by this guide and the supply is from a source shared with or located with or located inside a dwelling, then the Building Regulations requirements of Part G - paragraphs G1 (cold water supply), G3(2) and G3(3) (hot water supply and systems) must be complied with. As a result you will be required to submit a Building Regulation application providing full details of compliance. (Refer to Guide Note 25 for full details of the requirements).

Thermal regulations.
If you intend to provide heating and lighting or install ‘Controlled services or fittings’ into the building, you will be required to make a building regulation for those works refer to guide 24 (2).













Planning Approval
You are reminded that Building Regulations Approval does not imply approval under the Town and Planning Act – you should check whether or not a Planning Application is required.

Drainage and your proposal
IMPORTANT NOTE - SHARED DRAINAGE RUNS AND UNITED UTILITIES OWNERSHIPS.
Where you encounter any drainage or drainage is likely to be affected by your proposal, from the 1st October 2011 United Utilities now have ownership / maintenance responsibilities of all private land shared drainage systems which connect to their sewerage systems and therefore require access / drainage protection provisions and in some cases formal ‘Building Over Sewers Agreements’ in place to allow the your work to commence. This applies where the works are to be undertaken over or within 3m of the shared pipework.

Prior to the excavations commencement it is advised your contractor determines the exact positions of all drainage runs / pipe sizes / pipe depths and positions of all existing access points and inspection chamber on site and to either side of the proposals site that will run under or are within 3m of the proposals. Where shared drainage between adjacent properties is likely to be encountered you are advised to contact United Utilities Asset Protection Team to determine their requirements and seek their formal agreement to allowing you to build our there drainage.

Connections
Any new drainage connection must be made to the appropriate drain (foul to foul / surface water to surface water) and within the site boundaries of the property. United utilities connection consent will be required if connections are made to neighbouring properties drainage systems. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Swedish House...


The Swedish House The Swedish House at The Ideal Home Show 2012
Reminiscent of times gone past maybe, but in a good way. I do however, feel that this may age badly and look outdated in a short period of time if proper care and maintenance of it and it's surroundings are not met. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

1000 'Princes Houses' ...

If all goes according to plan, the first eco-friendly 'Prince's Houses' will be built in the UK in 2013. 
















The 'Princes House' or Natural House prototype at BRE Watford. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Ikea’s Strand East village submitted for planning...


Strand East, set to be built south of the Olympic Park in Stratford, will feature 1,200 homes, 480,000 square feet of commercial office space, a "hub area" with shared space for the community, a creative zone intended for creative-minded businesses to take root, a restaurant, a hotel, pedestrian walkways, cycle routes, and a new bus route. 
Strand East will also be free of vehicle traffic--upon entering the development, drivers will head straight to an underground garage. Vehicles will be allowed inside, of course (especially buses, delivery vans, and emergency vehicles), but their presence will be minimized.
LandProp  (the development arm of the Inter Ikea Group, which owns Ikea’s intellectual property) expects to start construction in 2013.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Orchard View Barn...


In 2010 R Taylor Design Associates were appointed to completely renovate and convert a detached Grade II listed 16th-century barn in Plymtree, Devon on a 300-acre sheep/arable and beef farm (Blog post, dated Tuesday, 16 February 2010). Once a milking parlour, cattle stalls and roundhouse, the building is now established as a holiday let.




Friday, 6 January 2012

Commercial Refurbishment, Hatfield...














Drawings and images prepared for the refurbishment of an estate agency in Hatfield. The scheme looks at the integration of new floor finishes, property display panels, lighting and furniture.