GDES 4365W: November 2010 Archives Almost everyone these days is concerned about the environmental preservation, but it feels like we, as consumers, are not always willing to sacrifice convenience and change our habits or consumption to make a serious commitment to the environmental agenda. There are many fair reasons why we can't commit, the strongest being the lack of financial resources to purchase environmentally friendly products. There is also a lot of concern about "greenwashing," which drives people away from so-called green products because of potential unsubstantiated claims about their ecological benefits. It is easy to see that we have found ourselves in a situation in which there is a strong social need for environmental protection, but an inability to match that attitude with action. Hotels have found many green cleaning options actually save them money, or are at least are price neutral, compared to traditional cleaning products. Works Cited: Glanville Consultants.
Scientists Develop Affordable Solar Panels That Work In The Dark It's about damn time, don't you think? Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced Wednesday that they have been able to confirm a new high-efficiency solar cell design that utilizes nearly the entire solar spectrum. Translation: They figured out a way to make solar panels generate electricity in the dark. CleanTechnica says , In earlier trials, the researchers used different alloys that achieved full spectrum responses but involved very high production costs. The advantage of gallium arsenide nitride is that it is very similar to a conventional semiconductor, gallium arsenide, and it can be produced with a commonly used fabrication method involving chemical vapor deposition. The Lawrence Berkeley breakthrough represents just one path to increasing the efficiency and lowering the cost of solar cells. In the meantime, you could just turn any metal surface into solar panels with photovoltaic spray paint . [Photo: Norby /Flickr]
Alternative Technology Association website Solar panels getting a sleek new makeover The next generation of solar panels will bear little resemblance to their predecessors, at least on the outside. Companies like SRS Energy, Kyocera and Suntech Power are working with building suppliers on alternatives to clunky solar panels that will satisfy the demands of picky property owners, creating products like solar roofing tiles that blend in with the traditional clay versions found on many Southern California homes. Aesthetics have long been a complaint of homeowners who were interested in switching to renewable power, but were unhappy with the looks of conventional solar panels. Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are solar installations that also serve as functional building materials including roofing, shading systems and window glazing. Today’s versions still stand out, but advancing technology like thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) could offer nearly invisible solar coverage.
Green Home Building: Index Royal Wolf - Accommodation & Portable Buildings, Toilets & Shower Rooms Container Hire, Sales & Modifications Projects Division 1300 558 243 Royal Wolf’s Special Projects division can work to supply standard or customised accommodation units. Constructed from solid steel shipping containers, these accommodation units offer a strong & secure solution that can be promptly delivered & easily installed. Features & Benefits: Rapidly deployable containerised accommodation solutions“Plug & play” installationAvailable in stock & customised configurationsISO configured & stackable for ease of handling & transportCyclone rated to wind region C Applications: Temporary & permanent installationsRapidly deployed & recoveredIdeal for remote & difficult deployments
fabprefab - modernist prefab dwellings We Transform Disaster Debris Into Lego Building Blocks For A New Life | Bored Panda We, The Mobile Factory from the Netherlands, have found a solution to make the world a better place. Starting in Haiti. Although the earthquake struck five years ago, there’s still 25 million tons of debris lying around. Many families affected by this terrible natural disaster are still living in grimy tents, on incomes below the poverty line. We – a small group of rich Dutchmen living in luxury and freedom – can’t and won’t just stand by and watch this any longer. That’s why we came up with The Mobile Factory: a smart solution to give debris a new purpose. More info: themobilefactory.org | indiegogo We decided to give debris a new purpose – to turn it into new building blocks Mobile Factory is placed in a location where there’s a lot of debris Chunks of debris are put into a machine that transforms them into liquid concrete These building blocks can be used to build new homes That can simply be stacked, just like Lego bricks
'IKEA on steroids': Flat-pack homes to bust Australia's housing shortage Updated Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek. Video: Tiny homes for tiny prices. (Lateline) With just a few tools and a bit of patience, would-be home-owners can now build their own abode from a flat-pack, on the cheap and off the grid. A Sydney architect has designed the flat-pack home, describing it as IKEA on steroids, in order to combat sustainability and housing shortage issues. The one bedroom, 13.75-square-metre home comes on the back of a trailer. A drill, a hammer and a wrench are all that are needed to put together the 37 panels that make up the house. Architect Alex Symes, founder of Big World Homes, says anyone can put it together. "It's like IKEA on structural steroids," he said. "It has all its water tanks; we have two potable water tanks, we've got one grey water tank, so all the waste water effectively comes to the grey water tank, you add an additive to it and then effectively that's safe to go on your garden.
NASA Reveals A List Of The Best Air-Cleaning Plants For Your Home A healthy home environment is vital to a person’s well-being and houseplants contribute to it more than you might think. Their main benefit is air-filtering, so it sounds only reasonable that NASA did a Clean Air Study, that found which plants are effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from the air – chemicals that have been linked to negative health effects like headaches, dizziness, eye irritation, and others. Show Full Text Dr. More info: nasa.gov (h/t: lovethegarden, designyoutrust) 10 Brilliant Tiny Houses that are Revolutionizing Micro-Living 10 Brilliant Tiny Houses that are Revolutionizing Micro-Living Inspired by the increasingly popular micro house trend, these 10 project designs came about for various reasons. In addition to being a cheaper option when compared to larger homes – both for construction and in maintenance – they are an ideal solution for people who want to reduce their material possessions and the space they occupy. These selected houses, each under 40 square meters, serve as perfect examples of innovative designs that provide a simpler life, while fostering social interaction between people and dialogue with their environment. Check out the 10 examples below. Forest Retreat / Uhlik architekti Area: 16.0 m² "We designed a compact enclosed volume – an object resting freely on boulders with a stern raised on a huge boulder. Quebrada House / UNarquitectura Area: 40.0 m² "The house "breaks" adapting to the slope and differentiating the private and public space within a single enclosure." Minimod / MAPA Area: 27.0 m²
An Economist's Guide to Tidying Your Apartment - The Atlantic “In this book, I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever.” This is the ambitious first sentence of Marie Kondo’s best-selling manifesto, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Direct and devoid of clutter, this sentence rings true to her philosophy. Unlike most self-help books, there are no extraneous words, no pandering—the lack of “wink wink” gesturing reads as an appealing, authentic statement. Though Kondo’s book was published in English in October of last year, a search on Google Trends still puts interest in her near an all-time high. In the introduction of her book (and several times throughout), Kondo quantifies the power of her advice—she estimates that she’s helped her clients (a group that doesn’t include her countless readers) dispose of no fewer than a million items. Why do people have so much trouble throwing things out? For example, Kondo aptly attacks what’s called the sunk-cost fallacy.
Living in a woodland wonderland: The rise of the tree house Image copyright Tom Chudleigh Freedom, fun and adventure. That is what tree houses have been about for generations of kids. Vancouver Island in Canada is home to a rather unusual resort called Free Spirit Spheres. Eve is made of yellow cedar wood and Eryn of Sitka spruce, while Melody is constructed from fibreglass. Image copyright Microsoft "I start with a shell, then add frames and insulation and put in the floor," explains Mr Chudleigh. "I make all the fixtures and fittings by hand; the local hardware stores don't make door hinges to fit spheres. Sway with me Guests enter the tree houses through a spiral staircase that wraps around one of the trees. "The sphere works like a nutshell, it is nature's packaging unit. So does the sway make guests feel a bit queasy? "The spheres always dwell in the centre of a triangle of trees. Typical customers are couples who want to do something a bit different, and despite the considerable price tag, demand is high. Trees for tech Wooden wonderlands
Is this the utopia we're fighting for? Submission against Aria's 'green' highrise At first glance, Aria’s recently-proposed highrise development for 23 to 25 Glenelg St, South Brisbane looks like the kind of development that Greens councillors like me should be cheerleading for: rooftop solar panels, green walls, and trees growing out of balconies – what’s not to like? The building’s outward appearance evokes utopian solarpunk aesthetics and points to visions of a more sustainable urban future. However, despite including several very cool features that I wish other developers adopted, the proposal also has several significant flaws which mean that although it will appeal to some green capitalists, when considered holistically, developments like this aren’t in the broader public interest. When you drill into the detail, you realise that although it certainly has green veneers and many of the trappings of sustainable development, the project overall still isn’t as sustainable as its marketing might suggest. Yes, there is some good stuff Key concerns Car-centric 1. 2. 3. 7.