This house laughs at wildfires thanks to a clever coating called Sarnafil

“As you drive up to it, you can’t quite tell what’s going on,” Toni Hubenette tells Zillow of her unusual home. It’s partly the three cantilevered protrusions extending out from one end of the house, but it’s also the terra-cotta-colored outside that makes the residence unusual.

Designed by architect Sarah Graham, the two-bedroom house is located on 10 acres in Topanga, (Come on, Topanga!) California. An area prone to fires, Graham wanted to find a way to make the building waterproof and fire-resistant. She chose to paste on a Sarnafil membrane. “It’s used a lot in Europe as roofing material, and we thought it would be fun to experiment with,” says Hubenette.

Sika, which makes thermoplastic PVC Sarnafil membranes for roofs, says its material was put to a real-world test when a medical helicopter crashed into the University of New Mexico Hospital’s roof and fuel ignited, starting a fire. The membrane suppressed the fire, and only about 2 percent of its surface area needed to be replaced. To help clean away the spilled fuel, crews dumped gallons of water on the roof, which also resisted leaking. Sika says its membranes resist dirt and pollutants. They are also weather- and UV-resistant.

The membranes are often used as a waterproof layer on green roofs, like the one atop Nashville’s Music City Center.

The Topanga house was also built with sustainability in mind; it has solar panels and the landscaping features drought-resistant and native plants.  In addition to the views from the master bedroom, the house also comes with stables. There are three stalls, a tack room, and a feed room, plus riding trails nearby.

If you’re in the market for a reddish-orange house in California for yourself and your horses, this 3,600-square-foot one will cost you $2.7 million. Pretty insane in the membrane.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: boozed-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Product Review

Step aside, Sonos: Riva's Concert is the best smart speaker you can buy

The Riva Concert series speaker is a fantastic, small-profile smart speaker with Alexa integration, truly excellent sound, and great looks, making it the perfect addition to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Smart Home

These wireless security cameras are a wire-free way to protect your home

Home security cameras can give you piece of mind, but if they have wires, are limited in where you can put them. We've rounded up the best battery-operated home security cameras to give you flexibility along with your security.
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Product Review

Hue who? Nanoleaf Canvas brings a riot of color and vibrancy to the smart home

Fun and festive, Nanoleaf Canvas feature lighting adds personality and vibrancy to any room. Nanoleaf Canvas features squares that you can connect in any configuration you’d like. Sync to music, play games, or relax in soothing light.
Smart Home

With a simple command, Alexa can arm all your security devices

Alexa customers can query status plus arm or disarm home security systems several companies. New Alexa Guard skills set your home to away mode, send alerts when alarms or sensors go off, and contact home security monitoring services.
Smart Home

Voice assistant-enabled Deebot N79S robot vacuum now deeply discounted

The Ecovacs Deebot N79 is more powerful and quieter than its predecessor and adds Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. Ready to make cleaning easier than ever, this voice-enabled bot will vacuum your home on spoken command.
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Smart Home

Dog or cat shedding? These vacuums do a great job of sucking up pet hair

Got a pet hair problem? Fortunately, there's help for you and your furry friend. We tested out a bunch of vacuums that promise to remove pet hair. Here are a few of the best you can buy.
Smart Home

Rocco wants to rock out. Parrot learns to use owner’s Amazon Alexa

Rocco, an African gray parrot, fell in love with his owner's Alexa unit and ordered himself treats and other goodies, but mostly uses the smart assistant to rock out to his favorite music.
Smart Home

Find good gift ideas with these small kitchen appliance deals on Amazon

Small kitchen appliances are favorite holiday gifts to give and to receive and that doesn't only mean an Instant Pot. We found excellent deals on Amazon for blenders and espresso makers plus a highly rated sous vide machine.
Smart Home

The Echo Wall Clock can help you keep track of multiple Alexa timers

Amazon just released the Echo Wall Clock that was announced at its September new hardware device event in Seattle. The Echo Wall Clock is an analog clock that also indicates the minutes remaining on one or more Alexa timers.