Suppot Navajo Adults with Developmental Disabilities


 

July 31, 2009 @ 4:54 pm
Swedes Have Turning Torso and Human Heaters

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torso-zoom A few years back I was in Copenhagen over Thanksgiving weekend and took a day trip to Malmӧ, Sweden. I took the train through the Drogden Tunnel and across the Öresund Bridge which is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe (nearly 5 mi or 8 km). I set out primarily to see the Turning Torso, designed by Santiago Calatrava, one of my favorite architects. I also perused the Nordic contemporary art at Malmӧ Konstmuseum, saw the Malmöhus Castle and strolled around the beautiful Lilla Torg and other city squares and streets.

At 190 meters high (54 stories), the Turning Torso is the tallest building in Sweden, a landmark of sculptural architecture and a green building anchor of the eco-friendly Western Harbor redevelopment. This section of the city had become a dilapidated, contaminated and underutilized industrial park. City planners then commissioned Calatrava to design a statement building based on his Twisting Torso sculpture and the result is a marvel of engineering. A circular concrete shaft runs through the center of the building and houses the mechanical infrastructure. Attached to the shaft are segments of five floor plates that successively rotate to create the corkscrew effect. Meanwhile, the whole structure is supported by its artistic external steel frame. The bottom ten floors contain offices, the middle forty-two floors contain 147 apartments and the top two floors contain meeting spaces. My favorite feature is that because the top floor is a 90 degree turn from the bottom floor, the windows on the eastern side of the building actually tilt outward! You wouldn’t want to live there if you had a fear of heights…

torsoThe amazing design incorporates a number of green features. The building receives 100% of its power from locally renewable energy. The thick insulating walls and windows of the building envelope ensure efficient use of this energy. Environmentally friendly materials were used in construction and other installations enable residents to manage their environmental impact. For example, they can monitor and adjust their own heat and water consumption and use built in waste disposals to grind organic waste for composting or other uses. Additionally, the self contained community of the Western Harbor neighborhood and it’s proximity to central Malmö lessens the need for cars; a short walk away are the beach, green spaces, stores, services, restaurants, waterfront promenade and more. Continue reading for the enigmatic “human heater” portion of the post… Read More…

July 30, 2009 @ 5:04 pm
More Green Buildings Appearing in China; Grand Hyatt Dalian

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China’s recent ascension to industrialized juggernaut hasn’t been without major environmental sacrifices. I’m sure many have heard the statistic that a new coal power plant needs to go on-line weekly just to keep up with the country’s energy demands. Another alarming fact; 90% of urban surface water is too polluted to be of any use. Luckily, the 2008 Olympics put Beijing on the world stage and instigated change. The government’s 5-year plans require significant energy efficiency improvements from new construction and there are hundreds of green building projects recently completed, underway or being planned. This slideshow from Treehugger features several, including the Zero Energy Media Wall from my recent lighting post as well as one of the Olympics building complexes (the athlete’s village). dalian

Now, I’ll focus on the Grand Hyatt development in Dalian. Dalian doesn’t get as much press as Shanghai, Beijing or some other Chinese cities but it’s a very fast growing, highly industrialized port city in the Northeast (16.5% GDP growth in 2008). It is also a government designated “open-city” which enables significant foreign investment. Interestingly, I first learned of the city because it is home to one of German anatomist Gunther von Hagens’ plastination centers where many of the “Bodies…The Exhibition” subjects are prepared (very intriguing exhibit if you haven’t seen it yet).

Anyhow, Goettsch Partners was hired by Hong Kong-based developer China Resources Land Limited to design the over 1 million ft2 Grand Hyatt tower. In addition to 377 hotel rooms, there will be 84 serviced apartments, three restaurants, ballrooms and meeting facilities, a spa and fitness center, and parking for 225 cars. The tower will be situated on the Yellow Sea next to Xinghai Square. Energy efficient and structural features were designed with geographical and meteorological considerations in mind. Glass curtain walls feature high-performance glazing with integrated horizontal sunshades along all southern exposures. The unique triangular shape of the building minimizes the structural impact of high winds on the Dalian coastline and these same winds are accelerated by the tower’s rounded corners and are harnessed to propel wind rotors. The vertical-axis turbines envisioned are very quiet, bird-safe and should supply electricity to the building year-round with limited maintenance. The scheduled completion date is 2011. See this World Architecture News article for more information.

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July 29, 2009 @ 9:49 am
First 100% Renewable Energy Powered Billboard in NYC

If you read my post on the history of lighting (Part 1 and Part 2) then you know about the energy efficiency benefits of LEDs as a light source. Ricoh, the office solutions company, created the first fully renewable energy powered billboard in New York’s Times Square to commemorate their 4th consecutive year being listed as one of the 100 most sustainable corporations in the world. The sign is currently being powered by solar panels and will eventually be flanked by small wind turbines, making the sign a mini generator. The LED flood lights use 50% less electricity than standard high intensity discharge lamps, while lasting over 25 times as long (50,000 hours vs. 1000-2000 hours)! By using renewable energy, the sign emits 18 fewer tons of CO2 annually compared to traditional billboards. For more information on the project and Ricoh’s other initiatives, click here. Also, special thanks go to my friend and reader Billy, for alerting me to the billboard.

ricoh-eco
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July 28, 2009 @ 11:10 am
Containers Reimagined as Box Homes

sg-containersShipping containers of one form or another have been around for more than 50 years. “The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger” tells the story most thoroughly, but ever since the first recognized container ship voyage from Newark to Houston in 1956, “containerization” has been the keystone in global trade growth. Durable, standardized steel containers can transport just about anything and carry about 90% of all non-bulk cargo. Typical containers are 20 or 40 feet long and about 8 feet wide and 8 feet high inside. There are around 20 million scattered around the world on ships, docks, trains, planes, trucks and anywhere else you can think of and there is always a ready supply of used containers exiting transport service. These 10+ year old containers can be bought for about $1,000 – 2,000 apiece including transport or less if purchased in bulk.

Having been inside shipping containers (no, not as a stowaway, in a prior job we owned container leasing businesses), I’m amazed by the proliferation of residential uses I have seen. The modern, efficient homes that forward thinking architects/designers/builders have envisioned and constructed are truly spectacular. Containers are great starting point for green buildings due to a number of reasons: repurposing them extends there life indefinitely and prevents them from being melted down for scrap, they can be modified, connected and stacked in many ways to create dwellings with small physical and carbon footprints and there construction entails much less labor and resources than conventional buildings which saves money, energy and the environment. Continue reading about an innovative project in Amsterdam

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July 26, 2009 @ 6:16 pm
From BC to T.A.E. to LEDs, Part 2

After the magic lantern in Part 1, history’s lighting developers refocused their collective effort on lamps. In fact, I could go on and on about incremental lamp technologies but that would be boring so here’s a quick timeline with major developments:

  • Argand Lamp – First major new lamp technology in millennia, this 1780’s oil lamp used a hollow circular wick surrounded by a glass chimney (better combustion, brighter light, less smoke)
  • Betty Lamp – 1790, a metal variation of Greek/Roman pottery lamps with a wick support that directed the oil drip back into the reservoir, thus it was a “better lamp” and the Betty Lamp colloquialism was born
  • Electric Arc Light – 1800’s, electric candles whereby two parallel sticks of carbon were separated by an insulator whose slowly melting arch self fed the two carbons
  • Gas Lighting – 1800’s, lamps fueled by gas lines with valves to control the lighting circuits
  • Kerosene Lamp – 1853, this new fuel source was introduced in Germany and you have a cabin the woods somewhere you might even own a kerosene lamp or two today

After hundreds of theaters and who knows what else were burned down by gas lighting and other inferior technologies, Edison finally came along. He demonstrated his carbonized cotton filament based incandescent light bulb to the public on New Year’s Eve 1879. His bulbs were revolutionary, offering 16 candlepower, rated at 100 watts (only about 2 lumens per watt) and lasted for 100 hours. The stock price of Edison Electric Company quickly climbed, peaking at $3,500 per share! The simple lightbulb spawned a new industry; electric utilities, and there were 300 of these power stations by 1883.

During the 19th and 20th Century lots of incremental design improvements and updates to existing technologies with a particular emphasis on reduced wattage and energy savings came along. These designs utilized all manner of gases, filaments, etc. and are too numerous to mention – a helpful list is available from GE here. I promised to take us up to LEDs and the current marketplace so keep reading and enjoy the LED video!

cfl_bulb
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July 26, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
Technorati Code

If you happen upon this post, don’t mind it, it’s just a code for Technorati verification: cgrhqm6jtk.

July 25, 2009 @ 1:01 pm
From BC to T.A.E. to LEDs, Part 1

pharos_lighthouseHuh? I’m referring to Before Christ/Before Common Era, Thomas Alva Edison and Light Emitting Diodes. Edison of course was the primary inventor and commercializer of incandescent light bulbs and LEDs are the new high tech in lighting. I thought it would be interesting to survey the history of lighting, compare the different products and highlight some interesting statistics along the way. Be sure to click the article title or “read more” link below to read the entire post and check back tomorrow for Part 2.

Artificial lighting has been with us since around 400,000 BC when fire was harnessed by Homo erectus (probably by accident at first, like many great discoveries…). Torches quickly became the first portable lamps, but holding a burning stick isn’t particularly safe or efficient. By 13,000 BC, prehistoric cave dwellers had begun fabricating lamps by carving rocks, shells and horns to insert fiber wicks fueled by animal and vegetable fats. Apparently, couch potato genes started expressing themselves after agriculture took the world by storm in 8,000 BC, because by 5,000 BC people said forget carving lamps – let’s use entire animals! So, oily birds and fish were threaded with wicks – the smell must have been wonderful and I’m not sure if they ate the resulting BBQ. Wealthy people of the Mediterranean and elsewhere quickly switched to less pungent fuels such as olive oil and sesame oil.

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July 24, 2009 @ 11:58 am
1% For the Planet

trees_smallvertIn case you haven’t heard about this organization I wanted to give them a quick plug. I read about the group recently and logged my membership interest through their website today. Hopefully, I’ll be able to join and you’ll see the 1% logo on my site in the future. In essence, all members of the organization commit to donating 1% of their revenues to environmental organizations of their choosing. According to the site, 1,795 environmental organizations around the world have received donations through the program. Green business is good business these days so if you’re in a position to get involved with 1% For the Planet you should check it out here. Also, assuming I receive membership I’m interested in hearing from you, my loyal readers and future business partners on suggested organizations to donate to. I would be partial to those  environmental organizations operated like businesses…not agents of activism with large administrative and lobbying budgets. To leave comments, please click on the permalink below or on the article title above. Thanks!

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July 23, 2009 @ 11:47 am
The Swiss Green Roof Invasion

You should expect a decidedly international flavor on my blog in the coming weeks as I continue to receive visitors from around the world and am sticking to my promise to cover each originating country. 23 countries are represented so far with recent visits from Bulgaria, Italy, Ireland, Singapore and Spain.

Since the 1970’s, green roofs have become ever more popular in Switzerland. Successful city pilot programs in the 80’s and 90’s have led to sustained campaigns and federal policies have been carried out at the city level. Basel, for instance, requires green roofs on all new developments with flat roofs greater than 100m2. According to a paper titled “From Pilot to Mainstream: Green Roofs in Basel Switzerland,” Basel had 1711 extensive green roofs and 218 intensive green roofs that covered 23% of the city’s flat roof area by 2006. Additionally, the latest campaign is expected to save 3.1 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

Extensive green roofs are non-recreational, contain limited growth plants, require little maintenance and are of a shallow depth (several inches); making them lighter and easier to install on existing rooftops. Meanwhile, intensive green roofs are often recreation friendly, more garden-like, require higher maintenance and are deeper (at least 8 inches); making them more common for new construction. To learn more you can actually go on a Green Roof Safari across Germany and Switzerland – no kidding.

I’ve discussed many benefits of green roofs on my products page, but one I didn’t mention was cleaner urban air and I can anecdotally confirm that Switzerland has some of the cleanest air I’ve breathed in all my travels (~30 countries). Another benefit is their potential contribution to biodiversity. Recently, Switzerland began to emphasize this use to conserve various plants and animals. The picture below from LivingRoofs.org shows Zurich’s rail platform roofs which were designed to resemble a stony desert in order to conserve a rare, local lizard.

zurich_rail_roof

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July 22, 2009 @ 9:13 am
Mindboggling Statistics, Unprecedented Opportunity

Yesterday I came across a couple articles written by Global Strategic Management Institute (GSMI) that detailed and elaborated on the results of a comprehensive study of American building practices and energy usage done by PennEnvironment. The study was obviously done to promote Pennsylvania state government policy proposals on green building codes, etc. but the math is accurate and the numbers are staggering. As I touched on in my Norway post a couple days ago and I will continue to emphasize, buildings are intensive energy consumers – accounting for almost half of America’s energy usage and 40% of its carbon dioxide emissions.

Now, for the mindboggling stats courtesy of GSMI’s July 11th post – these assume energy usage status quo related to U.S. buildings:

  •  From 2010-2030, energy use would grow by 6.61 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs), enough to power 86 million homes for 2 years (note: quadrillion is 15 zeros)
  • Emissions of carbon dioxide would increase by 323.95 million metric tons; essentially equivalent to building 80 coal-fired power plants in our collective backyard.

us_clouds 
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July 21, 2009 @ 9:14 am
U.S.’s Largest Residential Retrofit Program on Backburner

On Thursday yet another program fell victim to recent chaos in the New York Legislature. The measure sought to leverage $5 billion from private investments over five years to pay for energy-efficient renovations by creating a new homeowner financing program. Funds would go towards upgrading windows, insulation and building systems to reduce energy costs by 20%+. Based on projected homeowner savings, investors were to be guaranteed returns of about 7%. Essentially, investors would receive a portion of energy savings until the retrofit costs are repaid over a 10-year period. Stable, predictable returns like this are ideal for city and state pension funds and other institutional investors.

According to this Crain’s article, “The Residential Retrofit Investment Fund would be jumpstarted with $122 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cooperative effort by ten Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Worker pay would be pegged at the prevailing wage in the different areas where work will be performed, and contractors would receive preferences for local hiring.”

ny_legislature

Despite bi-partisan Assembly support, The Independent Power Producers of New York are staunchly opposed and want that initial $122 million to be earmarked for self-serving energy projects such as a clean coal plant in Jamestown, NY. Republicans in the Senate were caught up by the fact that the Working Families Party (WFP) is such a major supporter of the plan. A spokesman for the WFP says the initiative remains a priority and will be pushed aggressively when the Senate returns. We shall see; I will keep you posted. Similar municipal programs have gotten off the ground in Babylon, NY and Berkeley, CA but this is the first statewide effort and could serve as a model for the rest of America. 

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July 19, 2009 @ 9:26 pm
Norway’s Boosts Green Building and Energy Research

Earlier this year, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy announced 8 new government funded research centres that will conduct concentrated research to solve specific energy challenges. As many of you probably know, Norway is a significant oil producer, so much like the UAE’s efforts to build green, these centres are a highly relevant green policy decision. Norway already generates 99% of its electricity from renewable hydropower, constructed the first industrial-scale carbon sequestration project (StatoilHydro’s Sleipner project) and pioneered simple green roofs hundreds of years ago – many homes in the countryside have a torvtak, literally “turf roof.”

sleipner

The 8 centres have attracted numerous academic and industrial partners and each will receive NOK 10-20 million ($1.6-3.1 million) per year for five years with an optional 3 year extension. The programs are centered on offshore wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency, bioenergy, energy planning and design, and carbon capture and storage:

  • BIGCCS Centre – International CCS Research Centre
  • Centre for Environmental Design of Renewable Energy
  • Bioenergy Innovation Centre
  • Norwegian Centre for Offshore Wind Energy
  • Norwegian Research Centre for Offshore Wind Technology
  • The Norwegian Research Centre for Solar Cell Technology
  • Subsurface CO2 storage – Critical Elements and Superior Strategy
  • The Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings

 The Research Council of Norway provides details here. I will focus on the Zero Emission Buildings centre (ZEB).

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July 18, 2009 @ 4:38 pm
An Algae Powered Future?

corn_vs_algae

Should pool owners everywhere forego chlorine to promote algal growth and sell the by-product? Probably not, but this is an interesting concept I’m going to tell you about. First, you should know I’ve been very skeptical of “bio-fuels” because corn-based ethanol promotion has been such a terrible policy. Let me know count the ways:

  1. Extremely inefficient source of energy – 1 acre of corn yields just 250 gallons of ethanol and it takes 1.5 gallons of ethanol to equal the energy output from 1 gallon of gasoline
  2. Resource requirements – irrigated corn requires 785 gallons of water per gallon of ethanol and production uses 1-2 more gallons of water per gallon of fuel then petroleum refining. Additionally, it takes 140 gallons of fossil fuel to plant, grow and harvest just an acre of corn
  3. Unintended impact on food price inflation – historically, corn has been one of the cheapest foods to grow; as a result it is the primary animal feed crop and a reduction in supply increases prices throughout the food chain 

The first two negative effects result from the resource intensive nature of bio-fuel production. When producing a fossil fuel substitute is so inefficient that it strains valuable resources and creates such a large carbon footprint, how are we benefiting? A 2008 paper in Science Express analyzed greenhouse gas emissions resulting from land-use changes brought about by increased corn ethanol production and found emissions were 100% higher relative to gasoline. Most proponents of ethanol only talk about the fact that tailpipe emissions are reduced by 20% when using ethanol.

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July 17, 2009 @ 9:03 am
UAE’s Supergreen City

Given the popularity of my Supergreen Building post, I thought I would direct you to my featured article on Masdar City. Begin with the excerpt below, or click here. Also, stay tuned for a new featured article later this month.

masdar_sunlight_small

Even a region that has seemingly boundless supplies of oil, the Middle East, has put shovels to the sand for the world’s largest green construction project to date. The Central Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has long recognized that the oil would eventually run out and they began diversifying their economy into real estate, tourism and other sectors over two decades ago. Located in the UAE’s Abu Dhabi emirate, Masdar City is the largest and most ambitious commitment yet to green the economy and the country. But, what is it? Continue reading…

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July 16, 2009 @ 10:28 am
Texcote Wins Prestigious Honor

I work with a company here in NYC as an independent sales representative for Texcote so I’m pleased to relay this news from last week. This leading manufacturer of specialty coatings for residential and commercial buildings, was named the “Top Green Coating Project” by the Journal of Architectural Coatings. From the press release, “The designation came as a result of applying Texcote’s energy efficient COOLWALL® coating system to the Lake Mary, FL, office building of Burke, Hogue, & Mills Associates Inc., an architectural firm that specializes in sustainable design. COOLWALL Textured Primer and COOLWALL SUPER-COTE were applied to the exterior of the facility and reduced the building’s energy demand by up to 21 percent. This helped Burke, Hogue, & Mills achieve LEED Silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council.”

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July 15, 2009 @ 6:30 pm
Belgian Green Builders Ahead of Their Time

brugesI had 3 page views from Belgium yesterday and that reminded me of one of my all-time favorite dark comedy films, “In Bruges.” In my opinion it ranks way up there with “Fargo” so if you haven’t seen it you should. I’ve now had visitors from 12 countries on 4 continents and Belgium becomes my 2nd country specific post today.

Founded more than a 1,000 years ago in the 9th Century, Bruges is a beautiful medieval city whose historic center is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite all the lush greenery in and around the city, it is probably one of the last places you would go to seek out green buildings (although thick medieval stone walls provide very good insulation). In fact, about the only modern building of consequence is the Concert Hall opened in opened in February 2002 to coincide with that year’s Cultural Capital of Europe designation. However, the very essence of Bruges makes it a very green city.

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July 14, 2009 @ 12:06 am
GreenBldgBlog.com is 130% Wind Powered

You may have noticed the Host Gator advertising banners on the site. I’m proud to display them because they’ve focused on reducing their environmental impact and I’m one of their many satisfied customers. The environmental efforts began with green renovations and more efficient servers and now all of their servers are 130% wind powered! Yes, you read that correctly. Host Gator has actually purchased renewable energy wind credits representing 130% of the electricity used to both power and cool every single one of their servers. The wind credits are generated in their home state of Texas and according to their website, the environmental benefit is equivalent to 1) Removing 444 cars from the road for a year, or 2) Powering 321 homes with clean energy for a year, or 3) Saving 5,654 barrels of oil, or 4) Protecting 551 acres of forest for a year.

hostgator_cartoon

Data centers are an incredibly energy intensive business and a significant contributor to the world’s carbon emissions.
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July 12, 2009 @ 3:18 pm
Toronto’s New Green Roof Bylaw and Continued Eco-Incentive Program

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As referenced in the “Thank You” post this is will be my first in a series of country posts. I’ve chosen to cover Canada first since it accounts for my 2nd highest page view total (the U.S. is leading). I’m also pleased to add Turkey to the list.

May 26th was a wonderful day for Torontans who like clean air, clean water, efficient buildings and aesthetically pleasing rooftops. Toronto became the first city in North America to pass a law requiring construction of green roofs on new developments. This requirement will be attached to all projects with 2,000 m2 (21,528 ft2) Gross Floor Area and above. It will be applied to all new building permit applications after January 31, 2010 for residential, commercial and institutional projects with a roof coverage requirement ranging from 20-60% of available roof space as building size increases. After January 31, 2011, the law will be applied to all new industrial projects with a roof coverage requirement of 10% up to 2,000 m2. Available roof space is defined as total roof area excluding areas designated for renewable energy, private terraces and residential outdoor amenity space (to a maximum of 2m2/unit). Click here for more details. This new initiative marries well with Toronto’s existing eco-roof incentives…
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July 10, 2009 @ 4:18 pm
Solar Did You Knows

solar_small

Did you know that virtually any building can be a (albeit small) carbon-free solar power plant using currently available technology? By connecting to the grid, an individual home or commercial/industrial building can distribute excess energy from its solar panels. There is an enormous amount of unused solar energy hitting the Earth – maybe you’ve heard this statistic: each day, enough solar energy reaches Earth to meet U.S. energy needs for one year. The untapped potential of this energy is huge, but solar panels aren’t very efficient and were always very expensive to install until recently…
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July 9, 2009 @ 2:05 pm
Thank You, Thanks, Takk, Merci, Danke, Euxaristw, Tack

In the past week I’ve had friends and visitors from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Greece and Sweden and have thus far received comments in German and Norwegian so I wanted to thank you all in your native languages and encourage you to keep spreading the word about my site!

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I also want to write posts specific to green building in each of my visitor’s countries. These are in process and I’m open to suggestions. One of my life goals is to visit every country in the world and I would love to write a green building post about each country as well!

July 8, 2009 @ 9:54 am
Wind Power Isn’t Just for Midwest…

Especially since Boone Pickens just dramatically scaled back and is revising his Texas wind farm plans. It’s true that the Midwestern states form the best corridor in the U.S. but this isn’t stopping New Yorkers like me from buying wind power. I was planning to do a carbon footprint post in the future and Con-Ed must have heard me thinking about it because they recently sent me my “wind power certificate.”

windcertificate_small

You see, through a new subsidiary called Con-Ed Solutions, they began offering customers the chance to buy wind generated electricity. They warned that the supply component of my bill would increase by ~10% but I saw that as a fair price to pay and was thus instigated to take efficiency measures. For little cost or no cost I have done the following:
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July 6, 2009 @ 10:32 am
Rhinebeck’s Supergreen Building
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Courtesy: Omega Institute

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) was conceived by the Omega Institute in 2005 as a living machine that could replace an aging septic system in Rhinebeck, NY. Opening this month, it was designed and built from scratch at a cost of $3.2 million to meet the highest sustainable architecture standards. OCSL will receive LEED Platinum certification and is expected to become the first U.S. building to receive the Living Building designation, meaning it has no negative environmental effects.

Since Omega’s primary mission is to offer holistic educational programs focused on wellness and personal growth, the building is not only a natural wastewater treatment system (the Eco Machine™) but also contains a laboratory and indoor and outdoor classrooms for eco-lectures. The Eco Machine™ is designed to treat over 5 million gallons of wastewater annually. The treatment process involves 5 steps:
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July 4, 2009 @ 1:29 pm
Happy 4th of July!

fireworks_smallAs you celebrate American liberty, pride and patriotism on this beautiful Independence Day 2009, please take a moment to reflect on your personal energy dependence. Collectively, our Nation wastes enormous amounts of energy (see 2007 McKinsey study) and we buy much of it from foreign countries. Behaviors that contribute to building energy conservation (ex: turning off your AC while outdoors at your picnics and BBQs today) and energy efficiency (ex: using technology such as compact fluorescent or LED lights) can save enormous amounts of energy. Lastly, consider this interesting tidbit; a study by the U.S. Department of Energy showed that excess electricity produced by the power grid overnight would be enough to fuel 84 percent of our passenger cars and trucks if they were all converted to electric power.
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