Smart City Expo World Congress, held this year in Barcelona, is an annual architectural, engineering, and technology exhibition dedicated to creating a better future for cities worldwide through social collaboration and urban innovation. Among the projects that were unveiled at this November's event was CityIQ’s proposal to install 4,200 sensor nodes throughout San Diego, California, a major tech hub whose goal is to decrease its carbon emissions and energy use in order to fight climate change. The CityIQ nodes, which are part of an elaborate internet of things (IoT) project, will be coupled with new smart city apps to improve the city’s parking, traffic, and streetlight efficiency by an estimated 20 percent. CityIQ is already cooperating with multiple departments within San Diego, including the police department, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the Traffic and Engineering and Operations unit. The company's IoT project involves embedding sensors and software into the streets of the San Diego in order to collect and exchange data, and just last week, the city agreed to install 1,000 more nodes than originally planned. The new data that will be accumulated by the nodes can support a wide variety of innovative apps, including Genetec, which facilitates real-time emergency response, Xaqt, which displays the latest traffic patterns, CivicSmart, a smart parking app, and ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection app that can locate the scene of the shooter in less than a minute. The city is also working toward bringing a state-of-the-art Lightgrid system onto the streets, whose immediate data collection and connectivity will provide the city with a better understanding of streetlight usage, and it is expected to save the city over $250,000 in energy costs. “Our ability to leapfrog our smart cities technology ahead in both energy savings and scale is a testament to the hard work and ongoing collaboration of many public and private stakeholders,” said San Diego’s interim deputy chief operating officer Erik Caldwell in a statement. “We are proud of our progress so far in building a solution that will stand in the test of time and enhance our citizens’ quality of life.”
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On November 15th-16th the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia is hosting the region's most important commercial interiors event. NeoCon East, will feature nearly 200 companies and provides insight into the workplaces, hotels and other public spaces of tomorrow. Programming will include more than 25 CEU accredited seminars, as well as an impressive group of keynotes: Alex Gilliam, Founder and Director, Public Workshop; David Insinga, AIA, Chief Architect, US General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service; Suzette Subance Ferrier, IIDA, Studio Design Director at TPG Architecture; and Zena Howard, Managing Director at Perkins & Will, AIA, LEED AP.
More than 900 ceramic and sanitary ware manufacturers from 50 countries exhibited at Coverings 2013 in Atlanta, but three days to take in two exhibit halls and a back-to-back education program only made a dent in the offerings. The following is a cross section of some of the stand-out products displayed on the show floor last week. SoMa Bellavita Tile Bellavita Tile translates San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood-style onto ceramic with SoMa (above), a multi functional unglazed porcelain that can withstand high traffic in commercial applications. The collection comes in Matte or Polished finishes for interiors, as well as Structured for exteriors or wet areas, and six colors are available on 24 by 24-, 12 by 24-, and 12 by 12-inch formats. Three mixed formats, mosiacs and coordinating trims are also available. Archconcept Apavisa Burgeoning technical capabilities facilitate Archconcept, a three dimensional wall tile that can be suitable for exterior facades. As its name suggests, the Quarter Up format is a 35-inch by 5 4/5-inch plank that curves upward one quarter of the way down the plank. The collection comes in a variety of cementitious tones, metallics, and natural porcelain finishes. Hydrotect Crossville An exclusive North American partnership with bathroom fixture manufacturer TOTO brings Japanese technology to the U.S. supply chain with the Hydrotect treatment for tile. The coating, which is applied during a final firing after the tile has been baked and glazed, permanently transfers antimicrobial properties to each piece in the form of a silver, copper, and titanium dioxide treatment. Designed by TOTO's 1,500+ engineers to mimic the way plants harness light for photosynthesis, the finish also boasts hydrophilic and photocatalytic properties. Back2Back Emil Ceramica Noting the tendency of Italian architects to install stone upside-down to dipsplay the uniquely milled textures, Emil Ceramica developed Back2Back. The collection portrays the duality of natural, finished stone on ceramic for endless configurations of both finished and raw surfaces. It is available in three colors on 47- by 24-inch planks, 24- by 12-inch planks, or 24-inch tiles, and in a number of mosaics and custom pieces. Wood Cooperativa Ceramica D'Imola There was no shortage of timber visuals on ceramic at Coverings 2013, but Wood stood out for its 3D wall application that layers ceramic planks on one tile for an authentic clapboard effect. And thanks to its porcelain construction, it is suitable for both interior and exterior applications. D'Imola was also highlighted at Coverings as the first Italian manufacturer to achieve Green Squared certification, a multi-attribute green certification system introduced by the Tile Council of North America last year. Techlam Levantina With the advent of large format tiles, Techlam's flexibility and durability was on display in a new colorway, Arabescato. While the product boasts oversized dimensions of 39- by 118-inch sheets, Techlam measures only 3mm (.12 inches) in thickness. Also available in a 5mm thickness, it can be installed as a ventilated facade cladding system. Quarz Metropol Quarz offers the visuals of natural quartzite without the restrictions that material. More than 20 designs across three colors feature high shade variation. Natural and Lappato finishes are applied to 39- by 20-, 12- by 24-, and 23-inch tiles, while Antislip finishes come on 24-inch and 12- by 24-inch tiles. Frame Refin Extensive investments in production methods and a collaboration with Italian graphic design firm Studio FM Milano resulted in the Frame collection that reimagines traditional tile patterns through modern manufacturing. Carpet, a standout pattern within the collection, interprets the hydraulic/encaustic trend across layers of monochromatic graphic patterning for a fresh take on a popular 20th century European tile look. Flexible Architecture Sant'Agostino Phillippe Starck grows his product empire with a new collection of floor and wall tiles for Sant'Agostino. The collection features unique joint play by a slightly offset bezel above rectified edges. The absence of traditionally grouted joints is further exaggerated by both matte and high gloss finishes on two surface textures; one rocky, one wavy. Eight colors ranging from traditional to trendy further grow design possibilities. Plane StonePeak Ceramic One of the largest products at Coverings was Plane, a 5- by 10-foot porcelain panel. Its large format makes it ideal for seamless installation on walls, floors, countertops, and bath furniture. It is available in nine colors, including stone and metallic looks. Plane was also featured in the Coverings Installation Design Showcase Hotel Lobby vignette.