As many of you are aware, we are in the transitioning phase of this website as we close out TeamUV.org and transition to EngineeringAFuture.com over the next two months, so this will be Abraham’s last Open Mind post here at Team UV, but not to fear, there are still two months of posts left here and the same types of articles will be carried over onto EAF (Engineering A Future), so without further ado, please enjoy the following:
Let’s face it, your house was probably built over half a century ago. It has the appeal of an old high school sweatshirt: comfortable but covered in bleach stains. The future is now! Time to design some new homes that will last longer, are more affordable and sexier than your parent’s house. Engineering can add a lot of interesting choices to your home. Here are a few of mine.
- Tuned Mass Damper living room center piece: Your friends come over to watch the big game. You’ve got it all set up: comfortable couches, plenty of beer, nachos, wings, and a projection tv that covers the entire two-story bare wall. Unsurprisingly, you are almost immediately asked about the gigantic hanging sphere of death above your head. Tuned mass dampers are used to theoretically reduce vibrations from your structure to zero. So essentially in the event of an earthquake, the forcing frequency (earthquake), the frequency of the additional mass and spring, and the natural frequency of your home will become equal to each other. When this happens, the mass and spring will move and the building will not shake, providing the best uninterrupted viewing party experience!
- Composite homes: Say you build your dream home out of new lightweight composites. Composites are strong, formable, and can be designed to fit most structural purpose that you can think of. Now say you love your home but don’t like the neighborhood because your neighbor’s cat always relieves himself on your porch. Easy fix. Simply un-anchor your lightwieght home put it on a bed and take it with you. Currently homes made in the US are pretty much made of wood, dry wall, nails, and concrete. Although they are tried and true, they do add a lot of unnecessary weight to your home making it virtual impossible to transport and dangerous in the event of an earthquake. Today new composites can make your home stronger, corrosion resistant, and even more architecturally interesting because composites are currently able to be 3D printed. Of course, there are other things to think about (i.e. insulation, fireproofing, water damage, etc.).
- Using the power of the Sun: If you live here in So Cal, you’re probably experiencing high 90s temperatures right about now. Luckily the state of California has initiatives to generate your electricity for your home using solar panels which can be a huge help to your budget and environment. But why stop there? Cut some holes in your roof put some opaque glass and make sun roofs where you can absorb as much light as you want, illuminating your home for free. Design a control system that uses a light sensitive sensor to activate and rotate your blinds automatically to save on using electricity to light your home. Harnessing the power of the sun can even go as far as your car and fashion choices. Your vehicle can also become solar powered, Hanergy is working on it as we speak! And one last thing, I’m just going to throw this out there. Solar powered pants.
Thanks for reading, hope this helped you make some interesting choices for your home and fashion choices of the future.