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Wooden-Framed “iameco” Computer Reduces Environmental Impacts
The wooden-framed iameco (pronounced “i-am-eco”) computer is easy on the eyes and on the environment. A result of a collaboration between German and Irish designers, the PC is the first of its class to receive the EU Ecolabel. Producing about 70% less CO2 than conventional computers and made of a majority of recyclable materials, the machine is setting new standards for the electronics industry.
As the result of a collaboration between Irish tech company MicroPro and German designers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin, the iameco was produced by some of the best engineering minds in Europe. From production to recycling, the touch-screen PC has been built to have a low carbon footprint. Over its entire life cycle, 360 kg of CO2 is expelled — nearly 70% less than comparable computers. A full 98% of its components are recyclable, with 20% being able to be reused immediately to repair other devices. Hazardous chemicals, such as halogenated flame retardants, were replaced with less toxic alternatives so as to be less harmful in landfills and when disassembled.
To achieve a low environmental impact, a few key designs were introduced into the body of the computer. Heatsinks replace fans to cool the processors, saving energy and making the computer extremely quiet. The display is lit by LED lights, saving 30-40% of power over conventional screens. The modular construction of the frame allows for easy access and maintenance of the components, making repair easier and encouraging retrofitting instead of new purchases. For the future, manufacturers hope to refine the overall model so that older versions can be outfitted with new internal life. MicroPro and IZM are currently developing a wooden-framed notebook to add to their line of eco-friendly computers.
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