Courtesy IEEE Spectrum

Microsoft is testing the idea of submerging its data centers underwater to improve their energy efficiency. Having the infrastructure and machinery on the seabed could lower construction costs (from building a facility from scratch) and also reduce the cost of cooling. Dubbed "Project Natick," the Pacific Ocean–located experiment entailed installing a prototype underwater, ensuring its internal structure would remain dry, monitoring whether the machine would be harmonious with surrounding ocean life, and confirming cybersecurity. [IEEE Spectrum]

ICYMI: ARCHITECT's 11th Annual R+D Awards program is now open for submissions! Innovation is one constant in architecture and construction. Show the world how your technologies, products, and projects are changing the future of design. Winners will be published in the July issue of ARCHITECT. The early bird submission deadline is April 14, and the regular submission is April 19. [ARCHITECT]

David Burgher of Scotland-based Aitken Turnbull Architects has developed the Virtual Reality Empathy Platform (VR-EP), with Glasgow-based Wireframe Immersive and experts in dementia care, to help architects better understand the condition and how they can help design buildings to accommodate sufferers. [The National]

Courtesy Fast Co. Exist

As part of a new Stockhom Data Parks initiative, the Swedish capital is working to bring major data centers to the city and redirect their excess heat to local heating centers for single-family residences and apartments. According to the Fast Co. Exist article, "the city hopes to source 10 percent of its heat from data centers as part of its strategy to become fossil fuel-free by 2040." [Fast Co. Exist]

Courtesy Jetson Green

Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has gained the rights to a concept design called H2PIA, a residential and commercial sustainable community powered solely by hydrogen. [Jetson Green]

New York–based 3D printing service company 3D Brooklyn is collaborating with Dutch design studio Better Future Factory to provide its users with recycled filaments made from waste plastics. Available for purchase on the company's online store, Refil AB is made from old car dashboards and door panels, while Refil PET comes from recycled plastic bottles. []

The Da Vinci printers by 3D printer manufacturer XYZprinting has beaten toy manufacturer giant Mattel's forthcoming ThingMaker to the punch. An affordable alternative to the much-anticipated ThingMaker, a Da Vinci printer—specifically, the Da Vinci Nano—can come as cheap as $230, and use the company's proprietary biodegradable polylactic acid filament for a non-toxic experience. [Wired]

Tesla revealed in a shareholder letter that it plans to construct two or three more Gigafactories to add to its Nevada and Buffalo, N.Y. locations. The company, which already produces cars, solar panels, and energy storage products, is planning to start selling solar roofs by the end of the year. [The Verge]

The city of Boston is considering building the Big Wall, a sea barrier to serve as a protective arc around Boston Harbor. The wall would have openings for ships and cargo, but also built-in gates that could shut before a big storm to protect the seafront from surges. [Boston Globe]