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The Romans are credited with the invention of the first smoke-free heating system in Western Europe: the hypocaust. Until recently, historians had assumed that its technology was largely lost after the collapse of the Roman Empire. In fact, however, it lived on in large parts of Europe, and was further developed into the “heat storage hypocaust”, an underground furnace on top of which granite stones would be piled, to then release hot air through vents in the floor. By this means, a room could be kept warm for days with just one firing of the hypocaust's furnace. Continue reading "Heat Storage Hypocausts: Air Heating in the Middle Ages" »

Cargo cyclists replace truck drivers on European city streets   Those with strong cycling legs have ever more jobs up for grabs in Europe these days. A growing number of businesses are using cargo cycles, a move towards sustainable and free-flowing city traffic that is now strongly backed by public authorities. A cargo cycle is at least as fast as a delivery van in the city - and much cheaper to use, giving a strong economic incentive to make the switch. Cargo cycles also bring important economic advantages to tradesmen, artisans and service providers.

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