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Author Topic: Carbon Neutral Buildings  (Read 2746 times)

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AGelbert

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Carbon Neutral Buildings
« on: October 29, 2013, 09:54:06 pm »
Seattle's Bullitt Center
The Greenest Commercial Building In The World   


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKqf0CxftEQ&feature=player_embedded
The Flower metaphor and the Flower IMPERATIVES for a TRUELY GREEN BUILDING.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHtgie2t5UI&feature=player_embedded

Designed to last 250 years, this TRUELY green building needed special permits.

WHY? Because building a zero carbon footprint building that generates it's own power, uses only the water that fall on it and recycles ALL OF ITS WASTE so nothing goes into the garbage or sewer VIOLATES at least 12 building construction codes in the USA!  :o

Seattle worked with a team to make this, the first of hopefully millions of buildings like it, a reality. :emthup:  :sunny:
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V7Bpd-pydY&feature=player_embedded

This video from a small drone is shaky but gives a nice outside view of the building.

Quote
A virtually self sustaining office building?

The Bullitt Center in Seattle is beyond simply being "green". All its water is supplied by rainwater collected in a 56,000 gallon cistern. They have composting toilets, a grand staircase with a view to discourage elevator use, and rooftop photovoltaics ready to break even with the energy use of the building.

The goal is to prove that carbon-neutral office space can be commercially viable...and to influence everyone from developers to banks to city government to start building along these lines.

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/shelter/seattles-bullitt-center.html#sthash.ml95kKqU.dpuf
Another video (vimeo) at the link is quite informative.















http://bullittcenter.org/
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Surly1

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 09:06:53 pm »
This is really compelling stuff.

Problem (not really) with these posts is, if you watch the videos and follow all the links, you can easily put in a couple of hours (depending on the length of the vid.)

Makes me wonder how long it takes you to create one!

AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 04:08:22 pm »
Surly,
A large percentage of my material was previously posted at the DD (Which promptly would get lost in the posting memory hole). So I have read most of it. That said, in the 18 chart post I made yesterday I did not go read the detailed report because I do trust the source.  ;D
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AGelbert

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LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design)
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 08:34:55 pm »
LEED  (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building) Projects Near 60,000 Globally

11/15/2013

Clean Edge News

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its second installment of the LEED in Motion report series: Places and Policies. The report states that there are nearly 60,000 LEED green building projects across the globe, spanning 10.6 billion square feet. Notably, Canada, India, China, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil lead the way for countries with the highest number of projects outside the U.S.

The first section of the report showcases in-depth statistics and graphics on LEED projects and areas of growth around the world, with a sub-section for projects in the U.S. as well as global projects. Canada leads the way in LEED projects outside the U.S. with 4,375 projects, followed by India with 1,586, China with 1,282, UAE with 816 and Brazil with 717 LEED-certified green building projects.

The second section examines domestic and international policies and partnerships that support the framework of LEED and drive global progress. 400+ localities have LEED-specific policies in place. Globally, there are nearly 100 green building councils in various stages of development, a LEED International Roundtable with members from 30 countries and newly launched Alternative Compliance Paths and Regional Priority Creditsfor LEED, which provide flexible, regionally-focused approaches to LEED credits for projects outside the U.S.

“LEED is a global phenomenon,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president of LEED, USGBC. “People spend 90% of their lives indoors; a healthy, resource-friendly and environmentally sound indoor environment contributes to the health, happiness and well-being of people and is something people from countries across the globe are finding value in.”

http://www.cleanedge.com/Resources/news/LEED-Green-Building-Projects-Near-60,000-Globally
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 10:36:53 pm »
‘A Terrible Irony’ - Affordable Housing, Unaffordable Energy

Oakland Local/New America Media, News Feature, Eric K. Arnold,  Posted: Nov 26, 2013

Editor’s Note:  In Oakland, buildings account for 56 percent of the city’s carbon emissions that drive climate change. That’s slightly higher than the state average of 50 percent. Nationally, buildings make up slightly more than two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, making the sector a key area to achieve emissions reductions. In the past few years, several pilot projects have highlighted the benefits of bringing solar and energy efficiency upgrades to affordable housing, including public housing. In the second part of a two-part series, Oakland Local reporter Eric K. Arnold explores the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy for low-income residents, as well as the challenges to more widespread adoption.

Read Part 1

OAKLAND, Calif. –Tassafaronga Village, a mixed-use housing development in East Oakland, isn’t your average affordable housing project.

During a site visit, assistant manager Wendy Ruiz and maintenance worker Edgar Valencia proudly show off the building’s roof: Rows and rows of solar panels – 145 in all -- efficiently harness energy from the sun.

So far, the solar investment is reaping big energy cost savings. The monthly electricity costs to light common areas such as hallways for the entire housing project, Ruiz says, is about $25 for 137 affordable housing units and $12 for 20 market-rate townhouses. The panels require “very low maintenance,” Valencia adds. Although residents pay for individual utility use, the bills are very low, about $10-$15 monthly, Ruiz says.

Tassafaronga is the jewel in the crown of the city’s affordable housing -- a model for sustainable development that uses less electricity from the grid, has a lighter carbon footprint and provides benefits to residents and the wider community. While the model has proved effective—Tassafaronga has won numerous sustainability awards—state and federal budget cuts have derailed efforts to further green affordable housing stock in Oakland and other cities, leaving developers scrambling to find new funding sources.

The case for energy efficiency in affordable housing

Energy efficiency is particularly critical in affordable housing developments, says Jeremy Hays, chief strategist for state and local initiatives at Green For All, an environmental advocacy group. According to Hays, apartment buildings built before 1970 use 55 percent more energy than those built after 1990.

Oakland has some 8,800 units of affordable housing, not including the 3,300 units of public housing overseen by the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA), a city agency that administers federally-subsidized public housing programs and develops affordable housing throughout the city. Many of OHA’s properties were built decades ago, and are in need of rehabilitation.

A 2013 study by the Rocky Mountain Institute found that energy costs for federally-subsidized affordable housing are almost 40 percent higher than energy costs for private homes, and 10 times greater than government investment in energy efficiency. This leads, the study found, to “a terrible irony: affordable housing saddled with unaffordable energy bills.”

The disparity means that higher energy costs are passed down to property owners and low-income tenants.   
 :(

In both affordable housing and public housing units, tenants receive federal subsidies, known as Section 8 vouchers. Tenants generally contribute 30 percent of their monthly income toward rent and utilities, and pay utilities directly, receiving a utility allowance, which is supposed to be adjusted annually or when rates rise more than 10 percent.

Low-income residents spend 12 percent of their annual income on utility bills – four times the amount that the average American spends, according to Green for All.

Furthermore, affordable housing owners, including public housing agencies and non-profit real estate developers, are constrained by rising utility bills; energy consumption in the United States has steadily increased nearly every year since 1985, a trend that shows no signs of reversing.

As utility bills continue to rise, “we’ll continue to lose affordable housing,” Hays says, unless the amount spent on utilities can be reduced.

“Every time you reduce your energy bill, you build in some safety for yourself around increased cost,” he noted.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, energy efficiency saves 30 to 40 percent of consumption at little to no additional cost—a significant number, considering that buildings account for 75 percent of U.S. electricity use and 36 percent of natural gas use.

Because it creates a win-win situation—lowering utility costs while benefitting the environment—utilizing renewable energy and energy efficiency has become a growing trend in the affordable housing field.

“Energy efficiency and green building will help the building and its systems last longer, which provides positive health benefits to residents and lasting benefits to the neighborhood in terms of blight reduction,” says Carlos Castellanos, director of Real Estate Development at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), a non-profit affordable housing organization, which has developed more than 1,900 residential units.

Building affordable housing to a green standard

Built at a cost of $75 million dollars—a figure which includes not only building and construction costs, but environmental clean-up of neighborhood brownfields—Tassafaronga was the last large public housing development in the city to undergo what OHA’s Bridget Galka calls a “complete rehabilitation.”

Originally built in 1964, during the Johnson administration, Tassafaronga’s existing 87 units of low-rise public housing were dilapidated and run-down, exacerbated by jagged cracks and fissures that exemplified the term “concrete jungle” and created seismic safety issues to boot. On top of that, the site’s soil was highly contaminated by petroleum and pesticides. The neglected, blighted area became a haven for crime, prostitution and drug dealing.

After applying for a federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and creatively tweaking its financing model—leveraging Section 8 vouchers to qualify for a bank loan—OHA demolished the existing structures, with Galka serving as project manager for the revitalization effort.

In 2010, Tassafaronga opened, offering 157 mixed-income units—a combination of market-rate and affordable housing—covering 7.5 acres. The project has two major panel systems: rooftop solar (which powers common electrical systems), and solar water heaters. In addition to solar energy, Tassafaronga boasts energy-efficient windows, lighting and boiler systems. Other green measures include recycled building materials, low-flow toilets, rainwater-catchment drains, and paint that releases fewer toxic chemicals.

Tassafaraonga attained LEED Platinum status—the highest certification level possible—from the U.S. Green Building Council for Environmentally Sustainable Development. Completing the project “really bumped up [OHA’s] status as far as being super energy-efficient,” Galka said.

Sustainability as a community model


The development of Tassafaronga Village highlights how sustainability features in affordable housing can transform neighborhoods, when combined with holistic urban planning and community-oriented development.

Numerous studies have examined the impact of blight reduction on crime in neighborhoods. A 2011 study from the University of Michigan noted “Beautifying and maintaining” vacant or blighted property “can be an effective crime prevention strategy.”

In 2011, the Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm Project, a youth-run sustainable urban gardening project adjacent to the redeveloped property, opened on a city-owned plot in a neighborhood known for violent crime, drug dealing, and prostitution.

Today, the farm grows sunflowers, cotton, and organic vegetables. It also produces cheese and spaghetti sauce that is sold onsite. In addition to mitigating the “food desert” syndrome common in inner-city neighborhoods by providing a source of fresh produce, revenue from the farm goes into an education fund for its youth workers.

As Acta Non Verba Founder and Executive Director Kelly Carlisle noted, “on top of beautifying the community within the so-called bad part of town, we’ve also allowed elders and youth to consider what they’re eating.”

Further catalyzing East Oakland’s transformation, in 2011, a new public library opened up on 81st Avenue, just down the street from Tassafaronga Village. Rounding out the neighborhood is Acorn Woodland Elementary, an award-winning K-5 school also on 81st Ave., which opened in 2006 and houses a preventative care clinic onsite.

While the use of sustainability features in Tassafaronga Village isn’t solely responsible for the neighborhood’s transition from eyesore to community model, it’s unlikely the City of Oakland would have redeveloped the land used for the farm had the housing development not been rehabilitated and re-envisioned as the centerpiece of an uber-green urban planning project.

Budget cuts jeopardize future green projects

Despite the benefits of energy efficiency investments in affordable housing, financial hurdles hinder greater efforts on this front. Even though sustainability and green living models have been established in the affordable housing sector, Galka says, budget constraints limit what agencies like OHA can presently do.

For instance, Tassafaronga’s funding included $12 million from Oakland’s Redevelopment Agency. Yet that sum was locked in prior to the statewide elimination of Redevelopment Agencies in 2012. After redevelopment funding was cut, developments in the pipeline required a larger percentage of OHA funds than in previous years. The federal Housing and Urban Development department has also slashed its public housing budget.

The affordable housing sector has also been heavily impacted by mandatory sequestration due to federal budget cuts. As the San Jose Mercury News reported, OHA faces $11 million in cuts due to sequestration in 2013, which could result in the loss of a significant amount of Section 8 vouchers. That’s critical to projects like Tassafaronga, which leveraged federal housing subsidies to qualify for some $23 million in bank loans—nearly one-third of the project’s total budget.

“The reduction of affordable housing funds makes it challenging to pay for energy-efficient features,” Castellanos said.


In the past, federal funds have helped to defray up-front costs, he says, but “the long-term savings over operations that sustainable features yield doesn’t always communicate well to politicians who are trying to reduce budgets at all levels.”

The challenges which lie ahead for affordable housing are clear: Although increased investment in energy efficiency can lower energy costs for low-income residents, reduces power consumption, provides health benefits, and results in long-term cost savings for property owners, unless new funding sources are secured, the ability of affordable housing developers to provide future sustainability features remains in jeopardy.

This work was supported by a 2013 New America Media Energy Reporting Fellowship in collaboration with SoundVision Productions’ Burn: An Energy Journal.

http://newamericamedia.org/2013/11/budget-cuts-derail-efforts-to-green-affordable-housing.php
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AGelbert

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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2014, 04:44:47 pm »
I envy this fellow from Canada (and admire him too!)     

SparkyBtheWonderDog 

My bungalow on Prince Edward Island, Canada, is heated right now with a solar air heater (Cansolair) and its a very comfortable 72-75F inside on a cold and snow covered day (19F today, although it was -20F yesterday, and it was the same temperature inside then too) 3500 miles ENE of Lancaster CA. Ditto with the solar hot water panels on the roof. Hot water for ZERO running cost as the circulator pumps have their own PV cell, and the solar warm air costs me less than $15.00 a year for the 31 Watt fan on the Cansolair.

Within a year, I'll also have solar PV panels, supplying my electricity. Its not how warm it is outside, its the SUNSHINE and it works even in midwinter way up north about 6 or 7 climate zones colder than Lancaster CA. Actually, sunshine works pretty well on those cold, crisp, bitter (and cloudless) dry winter days, with the sunshine reflecting off the snow onto solar panels.

So, if it works here, it will work ANYWHERE in North America, and likely much better than here, which is sunny the way Germany is sunny (ie, not exceptionally) Yeah, and even here my solar systems ($11K for both) are entirely paid for in house heating furnace oil not burned and electricity not used for hot water in under 5 years... 

Agelber NOTE: The above comment was posted after this article about an intelligent, far seeing, rational Republican in Lancaster, California.  :o

Quote
Surprising to hear from a Republican? Not so much, Parris notes. “The Republican Party is in a quandary because the polling shows that the voters support environmental protection. It’s the leadership that doesn’t,” Parris said. “You’d have to be a moron to discount global warming. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t recognize it’s occurring.”
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/04/lancaster-home-solar-mandate-1st-us-world-leads-city-2014/#TxyPjS8dFSIq38E6.99



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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2014, 06:14:03 pm »
BIOMIMETIC ARCHITECTURE: Green Building in Zimbabwe Modeled After Termite Mounds

by Abigail Doan



Biomimicry’s Cool Alternative: Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe The Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, typifies the best of green architecture and ecologically sensitive adaptation. The country’s largest office and shopping complex is an architectural marvel in its use of biomimicry principles.

The mid-rise building, designed by architect Mick Pearce in conjunction with engineers at Arup Associates, has no conventional air-conditioning or heating, yet stays regulated year round with dramatically less energy consumption using design methods inspired by indigenous Zimbabwean masonry and the self-cooling mounds of African termites!

 


 
Termites in Zimbabwe build gigantic mounds inside of which they farm a fungus that is their primary food source. The fungus must be kept at exactly 87 degrees F, while the temperatures outside range from 35 degrees F at night to 104 degrees F during the day.

The termites achieve this remarkable feat by constantly opening and closing a series of heating and cooling vents throughout the mound over the course of the day. With a system of carefully adjusted convection currents, air is sucked in at the lower part of the mound, down into enclosures with muddy walls, and up through a channel to the peak of the termite mound. The industrious termites constantly dig new vents and plug up old ones in order to regulate the temperature. :



The Eastgate Centre, largely made of concrete, has a ventilation system which operates in a similar way. Outside air that is drawn in is either warmed or cooled by the building mass depending on which is hotter, the building concrete or the air. It is then vented into the building’s floors and offices before exiting via chimneys at the top. The complex also consists of two buildings side by side that are separated by an open space that is covered by glass and open to the local breezes.



Air is continuously drawn from this open space by fans on the first floor. It is then pushed up vertical supply sections of ducts that are located in the central spine of each of the two buildings. The fresh air replaces stale air that rises and exits through exhaust ports in the ceilings of each floor. Ultimately it enters the exhaust section of the vertical ducts before it is flushed out of the building through chimneys.




The Eastgate Centre uses less than 10% of the energy of a conventional building its size.  :o   :emthup:These efficiencies translate directly to the bottom line: Eastgate’s owners have saved $3.5 million alone because of an air-conditioning system that did not have to be implemented. Outside of being eco-efficient and better for the environment, these savings also trickle down to the tenants whose rents are 20 percent lower than those of occupants in the surrounding buildings.



Who would have guessed that the replication of designs created by termites would not only provide for a sound climate control solution but also be the most cost-effective way for humans to function in an otherwise challenging context?

http://inhabitat.com/building-modelled-on-termites-eastgate-centre-in-zimbabwe/



SECRET termite thoughts upon viewing the Eastgate Mall:

It took those monkeys a while, but they finally figured out how WE do it!  But they STILL DON'T REALLY GET IT!

As all of us smart termites KNOW, altruistic behavior is our SECRET. Human greedballs get heartburn when they are faced with this so our secret is still safe.   

Those dumb shits think we build efficient nests just because we don't know any better? How stupid can they be! 

Do they think we "co-evolved" with FUNGUS? Don't they understand that we don't just farm fungus, we have to avoid the kind that kills us too!

Do they think we have guards at the entrance to decapitate any termite with spores from the wrong fungus on them out at the hazardous waste site AND replace the guards who immediately commit suicide because we don't know any better?


Oh well, that Marx guy has been demonized so Homo SAP will probable make great fungus culture for us in a hundred years or so. We can wait.

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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2014, 12:33:20 am »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJbVLyst4Ok&feature=player_embedded
Amory Lovins grows bananas in the Rockies and sells electricity too (WITHOUT A FURNACE!  :o  ;D).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMTCNOlozTA&feature=player_embedded

LONG VERSION of first video for non-DOOMERS only.  ;D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5txQlEI7bc&feature=player_embedded

Energy efficiency 1 of 5 videos: Amory Lovins
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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2014, 09:49:45 am »
Here's a contrarian view, which when I read it, raised a number of questions. As someone who considers not only "green tech" but the moral implications seriously, I pass it along. A tip o' the Surly Crown of thorns to JD Wheeler, who posted it first.

"People tend to think that technologies like wind, solar, on-site water capture, and so on will empower the average person and local communities and loosen the power of centralized power structures. But what if the opposite is true? What if all these technologies hand the one percent even more power? Under our current socioeconomic system, what if these technologies allow the one percent to establish their libertarian utopia where they don’t need the rest of us and can tear up the social contract even further than they already have."

Why Green Architecture is a Sham

Some of you may have heard of the green building certification system known as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, a private organization that even though it calls itself non-profit, functions as en effective cash cow for its founders. LEED is essentially greenwashing for the one percent to feel good about themselves even as they tear the fabric society apart. It’s yet another meaningless credential so that we can pretend our system is sustainable. What’s my evidence?

Well, here are my two favorite “green” projects, both LEED certified so they must be sustainable right? One is a new terminal at San Jose International airport built exclusively for the private jets of Silicon Valley executives to fly around the world (Designboom does not use caps):


Your private jet to Dubai awaits at this "green" airport extension

a new development at the mineta san josé international airport (SJC) will break ground in january, where private aviation firm signature flight support has been granted rights to build and operate a $82 million private development on 29 acres on the airport’s west side. the company will service and provide a new site for the personal aircraft of the principals at google, as well as other clients in the silicon valley such as hewlett packard. designed by gensler architects, the 270,000 square foot LEED gold-certified facility will feature an executive terminal, hangars, aircraft servicing resources and ramp space for accommodating large business jets such as the boeing’s 737 business jet and boeing B767. in addition, the airport extension will create economic stimulation to the region by opening up 150 to 200 construction jobs and offering the SJC $2.6 million in annual rent.
http://www.designboom.com/architecture/googles-82-million-corporate-jet-facility-in-san-jose-to-break-ground-12-20-2013/

Almost 200 jobs constructing a private jet facility for Google executives, eh? Someone call Tom Friedman! I guess the wealth is finally trickling down after all.

The other is the Virgin galactic spaceport for the one percent to blast off into space for a vacation (even as NASA’s budget is perennially cut):


Does it get more "green" than a spaceport for the one percent in the middle of the desert?

The Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space, a combined terminal and hangar facility, will support up to two WhiteKnightTwo and five SpaceShipTwo vehicles. The 120,000 square-foot building has been designed by Foster + Partners, working with URS Corporation and New Mexico architects SMPC.The Gateway will also house all astronaut preparation and celebration facilities, a mission control centre and a friends and family area...With minimal embodied carbon and few additional energy requirements, the scheme has been designed to achieve LEED Gold accreditation....Built using local materials and construction techniques, it aims to be both sustainable and sensitive to its surroundings.
http://www.dezeen.com/2011/10/19/spaceport-america-by-foster-partners/

"Sensitive to it's surroundings," huh? Note that the space port is in THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT! So where is the water for this “sustainable” facility coming from? Oddly, the press release doesn't say, but now Richard Branson can tout his “environmental stewardship”

Do these projects seems like environmentally responsible green building projects designed for a world with less energy and a changing climate to you?

So now you can see what constitutes “green” building today. There has been a lot of criticism of LEED, but these two projects make that criticism better than anything I could say. Thanks to LEED,  the one percenters can purchase a fancy and expensive credential to show all the world how environmentally sustainable their pleasure domes are to ease their guilty consciences. After all, it’s not like private jets and spaceship use fuel, right? Here’s another one from the architect’s playground from the appropriately named MAD architects:


Yet another LEED-certified glass skyscraper in the world's most polluted country

The team explains: “Like the tall mountain cliffs and river landscapes of China, a pair of asymmetrical towers creates a dramatic skyline in front of the park. Ridges and valleys define the shape of the exterior glass façade, as if the natural forces of erosion wore down the tower into a few thin lines. Flowing down the façade, the lines emphasise the smoothness of the towers and its verticality.”
An additional benefit of this fluid design approach is that the ridges draw a natural breeze indoors, providing an energy efficient cooling system for building users. The development has received LEED Gold certification for its employment of natural lighting and air purification systems, as well as intelligent building design.
This perception of the elements eroding natural forms is continued to the four smaller buildings found south of the two main towers. These office blocks have been shaped to resemble river stones, washed smooth and rounded over a long period of time.
http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=24226

Look, if you want to make a bunch of glass buildings look like ancient Chinese cliffs and river-washed stones, I have no problem with that. Go for it. What bugs me isn't the design itself, nor the cost, but the dishonesty. If you want to indulge in design fantasies and stand out from the crowd, that's your prerogative, but don’t pretend that you’re somehow being "environmentally friendly" by going for a credential like LEED. Who are you fooling? And I like the part at the end about air purification systems – necessary because of China’s infamous air pollution. So your building can get green credits by screening out the air caused by the coal-fired power plants fueling all the economic growth (which generates more building, etc.).

Finally, I’ll outsource this one to Lloyd Alter.


The one percent enjoying their "green" lifestyle

The big European engineering and manufacturing powerhouse, ABB, is making a push into residential markets with their LivingSpace program, full of home automation, security and more. They show a truly lovely piece of architecture on the site (sorry about the nav button being there), a see-through glass box with some nice shades too. But somehow it doesn't seem appropriate to use it as a model for "Reducing the energy consumptions of our homes."
It is a beautiful site with unusual navigation that works well once you figure it out that things go sideways when you slide your finger down, but McLuhan said that the medium is the message, and the medium here is this big honking house. What's the message? That instead of building a house with walls, ABB will sell you "heaters, air conditioning, lights and blinds that automatically work together to create a comfortable atmosphere while minimizing energy to the max."
Perhaps I just don't understand advertising. I would have thought that anyone who cared about energy consumption would immediately ask themselves "why would I consider living in a place like that?" or "how much do I have to pay ABB to make that glass box comfortable?"
The title of the post sums it up: How to reduce your energy consumption: Buy a glass monster home and fill it with green gizmos (Treehugger)

Actually, the message is clear and is the same as the three LEED projects above -  "green" is a way for the job creators in their gigantic mansions to feel good about themselves and the direction society is headed.

Thus, the one percent can live in giant gizmo-filled “green" homes and jet off into space from their “green” spaceports while the rest of us are forececlosed upon and living in tarpaper shacks or under bridges. But I guess our low-impact lifestyle won't count as "green" will it? Welcome to the “green economy” – it’s a “green” economy if you have the “green” of money (with apologies to users of other currencies).

And that brings me to another conclusion that is counterintuitive. People tend to think that technologies like wind, solar, on-site water capture, and so on will empower the average person and local communities and loosen the power of centralized power structures. But what if the opposite is true? What if all these technologies hand the one percent even more power? Under our current socioeconomic system, what if these technologies allow the one percent to establish their libertarian utopia where they don’t need the rest of us and can tear up the social contract even further than they already have.

What brought this to mind was finding this old article from 2009: Inside the Indian Building Hillary Clinton Calls a Green Taj Mahal (Treehugger):
Located in the satellite city of Gurgaon, the ITC Green Center is said to reuse all the water that lands on it and recycles all the water it uses. Its insulated glass keeps out heat and lets in abundant natural light. Ten percent of its wood is certified, and its landscaping relies on local plant species. The building has reduced its energy and water consumption by 51 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.
When it opened in 2005, it became the world's largest completed LEED platinum rated green office building. "If all new buildings were designed in the same standards as the ITC Green Centre, we could eventually cut global energy use and green house pollution by more than 20 percent and save money at the same time," she said.
With lower utility bills, the company will break even on its investment (given an extra cost of 12 per cent over a typical building) within five years and then begin to see subsequent savings.
"The monument is a building to the future. The Green Centre not only represents the promise of a green economy but also demonstrates the partnership of India and the US in the 21st century," she added.

Gurgaon is also home to the LEED platinum rated headquarters for Wipro. The building has saved the company Rs 1 crore in power costs annually, or 55 per cent of its energy consumption. The extra cost of its construction—six to eight per cent over a normal building—is expected to be recovered in five years.
The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is targeting 1,000 LEED certified buildings by 2010, up from 140 last year. Currently, green buildings covering 67 million sq ft are being constructed all over the country, up from 20,000 sq ft in 2003.


Green Building - good for elites like Hilllary, but bad for us?

Keep in mind, this is a country where millions of people still burn dung for heat and live without electricity or a toilet. Ever seen Slumdog Millionaire? And what does this company do?
As in China, the green building movement remains mostly relegated to large corporations, which have more capital to invest in sustainable practices and a significant interest in burnishing their reputations both at home and abroad.
In addition to the hospitality and IT industries, the ITC Group, the conglomerate behind the center, makes its money through tobacco.

As with SOM's "zero-energy" tower for the China National Tobacco Company, talking about health out of one side of your mouth and smoking with the other is hardly convincing.
Guragon, you may recall, is India’s “Voluntary City” a nice euphemism for the Neoliberal endgame for all of us. It’s the Libertarian wet dream. This is a city where there is no common anything; an area of no taxes or governance where it's every man for himself. Wealthy corporations pay for everything themselves, while the unlucky poor live in squalor. Here is the coverage of Guragon:

Gurgaon  has no publicly provided “functioning citywide sewer or drainage system; reliable electricity or water; public sidewalks, adequate parking, decent roads or any citywide system of public transportation.” Yet Gurgaon is a magnet for “India’s best-educated, English-speaking young professionals,” it has 26 shopping malls, seven golf courses, apartment towers, a sports stadium, five-star hotels and “a futuristic commercial hub called Cyber City [that] houses many of the world’s most respected corporations.” According to one survey, Gurgaon is India’s best city to work and live. So how does Gurgaon thrive? It thrives because in the absence of government the private sector has stepped in to provide transportation, utilities, security and more...
http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/06/indias-voluntary-city.html

So this wealthy tobacco company just buys everything it needs, trucks in its privileged employees (just like in Silicon Valley) to a gated Elysium while everything outside the walls goes to hell and everyone not serving the corporate bottom line is left to fend for themselves without even basic infrastructure. This is the world the elites are building all over the globe! Behold the endgame of anti-government Neoliberalism. It has already brought about a radical divestment of the U.S. infrastructure, which is literally crumbling and falling down around us. What if things like wind and solar allow this situation to get even worse? Things like sewage systems, public transportation, and the electrical grid are already derided as “collectivism."

Who cares about making upgrades to the electrical grid we all use if you can just slap some solar panels on your multi-million dollar home or office building? Who cares about leaks in the water system, if you just harvest your own water? Who cares if the water is safe to drink for people if you can afford to buy your own private water filer? Who cares whether people can afford to light and heat their homes if you can just buy your own private diesel generator or hydrogen fuel cell and have your personal stash of fuel trucked in? It reminds me of Hurricane Sandy, when the general public lived without power for weeks while the rich lived in comfort and ease in their giant McMansions thanks to their diesel-powered generators and solar panels. This is the future.

What if what these technologies really do is allow the rich and powerful to abandon society to an even greater extent than they already have?

Now that the one percent don’t even need the commons to provide their power or their food anymore thanks to"green" technology, what will become of it - public transportation, public sewage systems, running water, natural gas, public trash collection and snowplowing, and the common electrical grid we're all hooked up to?

What will happen to the rest of us unfortunates who find ourselves on the outside of their gated compounds and office parks? Will we even have access to electricity and clean drinking water? If Guragon is humanity’s future then probably not. As the rich collect ever more of society’s wealth, they will continue to dismantle the wider society and put it into private hands, and "green" technology may actually help them do this – gated communities with all the latest “green” amenities – solar electricity, solar hot water, on-site water capture and filtration, air purifiers, locally grown food, etc., while the rest of us will be eating junk food made from processed corn while shivering in the dark, dying of cholera, and getting asthma from the coal-choked air. And the digital panopticon initiated by governments around the world watching us 24 hours a day will make sure even the very thought of dissent is strangled in its crib.So “green technology” may not be the benefit we all assume it is. It may even end up advancing the Neoliberal endgame even further.

Now, to be clear, this is a worst-case scenario. For the record, I’m for these technologies and I think they are a good idea to cope with an energy descent scenario as well as climate change. But I just want to highlight  the potential dark side to these technologies and how our current political and social arrangements may deploy these technologies in a way which is not to the benefit of most people, and may even be to the detriment of some, as in Guragon. I think we just assume that these technologies will make us all better off without thinking through the deeper questions.

P.S. - Please forgive the title of the post - I know it's a sweeping overstatement. I should have probably said LEED is a sham. It's just that in my city, entire swaths of the city are being bulldozed, people are losing their homes and tent cities are springing up, even as massive and expensive condominium towers for the wealthy are popping up downtown like dandelions in the spring, and most of them have the latest "green" amenities and LEED certification (and "certification" is literally all it is - just a plaque in the lobby).

AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2014, 04:04:47 pm »
 ::)

Okay Surly, I'll bite.  ;D


Here's a contrarian view to the half baked, cherry picking "contrarian view" article JDwheeler (e.g. another Doomer in the "caloric intake is IT" box canyon) which equates corrupt rich apples to sustainable building architecture oranges. 

QUESTION FOR DOOMERS:  But what if the opposite is true? What if the issue is NOT what the corrupt rich DO and have DONE in human power structures from day one but what the rest of us have done to make the planet livable? What if the continual buck passing rhetoric and hand wringing about how powerful the rich are and how we are truly forked unless a giant collapse pulls the rug out from these entrenched parasites ( because they allegedly will coopt any and all new technologies for their own private piggery)?

It's pretty G O D  D A M N E D  transparent how the motive of the article is to establish a basic (but entirely false) premise that ALL new technology that can solve our energy and sustainability issues will not reach the common man because the rich are

(A) suicidal,

(B) want a huge population cull so they must ensure that the environment is thoroughly trashed until 9/10 of the "ZOMBIES" die off AND/OR

(C) Profit over planet is too much fun for these evil pigs to give up and they just ain't gonna do it! 

SO, the "question" of "But what if the opposite is true?" is framed TOTALLY OUT OF CONTEXT with regard to the issue of sustainability, energy and the laws of thermodynamics in order to cleverly disguise the FACT that ANY technology can be used for good or evil by ASSUMING INCORRECTLY that ALL new technologies are "pie in the sky techno fixes" that WON'T WORK because RE and Doomer friends SAY SO, are wishful thinking out of the descending colons of Cornucopians and, in case we "idealistic, impractical dreamers hadn't noticed", the rich are incorrigible meanies that we cannot reform that must be OFFED (cue to RE's guillotine    or some other bloody graphic splashed with blood thirsty, vengeance filled joy). It's just FORKING amazing how the Doomer mentality rotates around offing the rich because they are an obstacle to all human progress while completely ignoring the facts about how MUCH technology HAS reached the common man and continues to do so for the betterment of the biosphere and our species (despite the huge amount of negative impact from wasteful and poisonous  technologies). They just don't want to go there. And it seems, Surly, neither do you.

So, even though I am convinced that YOU are convinced that the "contrarian" view has  so much merit that it should be given equal time with a hope filled scenario based on hard science and real technology, I present to you a properly framed QUESTION:


But what if the opposite is true? What if, despite all the coopting by the rich to accumulate more and more power with the use of the new technologies, said technologies result in the elimination of the use of fossil fuels, the  elimination of the production and use in our products of chemicals that alter our endochrine system, cause immunes system disorders and cancer and, the elimination of chemical fertilizers in food production,  the elimination of high thermal heat engines like nuclear power plants and internal combustion engines and a gradual healing of the biosphere?


WHY would those rich meanies allow such an outcome that might ruin a bit of their power trip parade because they then have to share a healthy planet with so many other humans?

BECAUSE they do not have any other choice. See Guy Mcpherson.  ;) Yes, I know Guy has his 30 positive feedback loops wiping out Homo sap in a few decades but the POINT is that the 1% are not going to sit on their hands with the hard data that serious people like Guy Mcpherson present. He doesn't believe in a viable outcome for us but ADMITS that he may be wrong. That said, I disavow EVERYTHING that Guy's website pals say about people suiciding themselves for the "good" of humanity. That's REALLY EVIL! And by the way, your pal RE has NO PROBLEM with people commiting suicide because he has NO MORALITY beyond caloric intake for survival of the "fittest". NOT a fun guy to be around if he is hungry and you are the only food around.  :P

Ask JDwheeler WHY, if you CAN grow bananas and heat a house in the Rockies WITHOUT a fossil fuel furnace or any other heat source but the sun SINCE 1983 (See Amory Lovins), most people aren't doing it? He will say because the rich prevented it or it's not really cost effective. Both are incorrect, but BASIC premises of the Doomer box canyon mindset.

You see, that was a trick question.   8)  If you take several hours over a week and watch the 5 video multi hour conference on energy efficiency in various human endeavors from construction to transportation, you will learn something that Doomers hate to admit and probably refuse to believe. That is, that GIANT steps in energy reduction through efficiency HAVE been made in many areas since the 1980s. We HAVE, without lowering comfort levels, managed to use about 20% (OR LESS) of the energy we "needed" in 1980   NOW to do EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS for heating, cooling, refrigeration, construction, communication and transportation.  8)

WATCH THE VIDEOS, Surly. It's ALL THERE! We are saving energy (NEGAWATTS) hand over fist! RE is pushing a bill of DOOMER goods. You don't have to believe a word I say. But please, watch the videos. Every ENERGY issue is dealt with as well as HOW the energy can be obtained and distributed SUSTAINABLY.

All that said, I admit and agree with you, RE and JDwheeler that the meanies in the 1% are evil forks. So what else is new? Tell me when this was not the case?

So they have, like, technology and  computers to herd us more thoroughly now. And? The abysmal ignorance that people like RE show about human history is testament to the grave error of assuming that we are far more oppressed now than any other time in history. That is TOTAL BS. But I'm NOt going to sit here and argue quixotically about history to those who believe we were better ,nicer and more decent when we wielded swords or bows and arrows or whatever.

I have been researching LAW for the past three months. LAW is the application of cultural mores to a societal framework that ALWAYS favors the powerful but MUST pay tribute to the common man in order to provide a framework for a stable society (revolutions happen when you oppress the rubes too much). Most LAW in Western Civilization comes from Roman and Germanic codes. You DO NOT want to know what "freedom" you had under those codes, Surly. :P  They have evolved over the centuries with the Magna Carta and French contributions to a more equitable system. Inheritance laws, tort, and penal codes are horribly distorted in earlier centuries so the rich can do whatever the fork they want and have you imprisoned or killed for a trifle.

It is HYPERBOLE, the DD's specialty, to claim that things are WORSE now for the average citizen than they were in more primitive times. BUT, it is NECESSARY for RE and the like to push this false meme in order to justify their inability to countenance the possibility of human progress through technology. I accuse the DD of being in THAT box canyon. And they CAN'T GET OUT OF IT because the instant they admit there is hope, the sine qua non for the DD mindset VANISHES!

So they will ALWAYS GRASP at the "contrarian" STRAW that no progress is possible because the rich have us by the short hairs.
It's quite logical. Re is running a scary movie scenario that is lots of fun for him. You (and I, for a while) fell for it. Get real Surly. The DD is like the Cults that keep pushing the date when Christ returns to earth into the future when the one that didn't pan out comes and goes (after people have sold their houses and given the money to the top dog "spiritual" leader  ;) ). It's fun for a while but it is not reality based, period.

Now you can smirk, huff and puff, laugh at me or you can do what a serious inquiry of the validity of my allegations requires and watch these videos. Take a week, take a month but YOU have a responsibility to tell people with a Master's Degree in Agriculture (I think) like JDwheeler that they do not know what they are talking about for their own good. 


Energy efficiency 1 Amory Lovins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=O5txQlEI7bc
The meat of the matter:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=O5txQlEI7bc#t=4075
Energy efficiency 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8kUih_t9aCs
Energy efficiency 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=RjcWx7U1sjQ
Energy efficiency 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zW6gWZD4394
Energy efficiency 5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=x-9jd2OMwJQ
The next industrial revolution
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=1zfO3HW6xCw

 
 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 05:44:20 pm by AGelbert »
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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2014, 07:02:21 pm »
Quote
Most Present Day Engineering is based on Ideology, NOT FACTS and the practical application of the laws of physics.  :o  :P
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFWXMmmiihk&feature=player_embedded
Negawatts and air (cold or hot) movement in buildings with a view to duct design, air filters, pump design and placement and pressure drop air handling fun and games: 80 to 90% LESS energy use for MORE efficient air movement! MASSIVE savings potential for buildings all over the world!
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Surly1

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2014, 09:42:01 pm »
AG, do you really think I posted this here to mess with you?
You are the only individual I k ow knowledgeable enough about these issues to form a useful counter-perspective to what I found to be a disturbing article.


Quote from: AG
  But what if the opposite is true? What if, despite all the coopting by the rich to accumulate more and more power with the use of the new technologies, said technologies result in the elimination of the use of fossil fuels, the  elimination of the production and use in our products of chemicals that alter our endochrine system, cause immunes system disorders and cancer and, the elimination of chemical fertilizers in food production,  the elimination of high thermal heat engines like nuclear power plants and internal combustion engines and a gradual healing of the biosphere?

An excellent question. I considered the thrust of the article in the context of the wholesale retreat from any notion of a "commons" and E Pluribus Unum iin the political sphere. Seen the movie Elysium? Depicts a likely end-game scenario.

Quote from: AG
 
WHY would those rich meanies allow such an outcome that might ruin a bit of their power trip parade because they then have to share a healthy planet with so many other humans?

Because now they have the means to do so, in a way they have never really possessed that means before. You DO know that they don't serve GMO foods in the Monsanto cafeterias, don't you?

Quote from: AG
BECAUSE they do not have any other choice. See Guy Mcpherson.  ;) Yes, I know Guy has his 30 positive feedback loops wiping out Homo sap in a few decades but the POINT is that the 1% are not going to sit on their hands with the hard data that serious people like Guy Mcpherson present. He doesn't believe in a viable outcome for us but ADMITS that he may be wrong. That said, I disavow EVERYTHING that Guy's website pals say about people suiciding themselves for the "good" of humanity. That's REALLY EVIL!  And by the way, your pal RE has NO PROBLEM with people commiting suicide because he has NO MORALITY beyond caloric intake for survival of the "fittest". NOT a fun guy to be around if he is hungry and you are the only food around.  :P

This goes into the list of nominees for the all time greatest non-sequiturs of all time. You have a serious bone to pick with RE; I suggest you pick it with him. I represent my own ideas, which I have articulated as carefully as I know how. On some things, I agree within him; on others, not. You have not forgotten the Orkin Man/guillotine/Pol Pot/this way lies madness debates, have you?

Quote from: AG
 
Ask JDwheeler WHY, if you CAN grow bananas and heat a house in the Rockies WITHOUT a fossil fuel furnace or any other heat source but the sun SINCE 1983 (See Amory Lovins), most people aren't doing it? He will say because the rich prevented it or it's not really cost effective. Both are incorrect, but BASIC premises of the Doomer box canyon mindset.

You see, that was a trick question.   8)  If you take several hours over a week and watch the 5 video multi hour conference on energy efficiency in various human endeavors from construction to transportation, you will learn something that Doomers hate to admit and probably refuse to believe. That is, that GIANT steps in energy reduction through efficiency HAVE been made in many areas since the 1980s. We HAVE, without lowering comfort levels, managed to use about 20% (OR LESS) of the energy we "needed" in 1980   NOW to do EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS for heating, cooling, refrigeration, construction, communication and transportation.  8)
//
All that said, I admit and agree with you, RE and JDwheeler that the meanies in the 1% are evil forks. So what else is new? Tell me when this was not the case?

So they have, like, technology and  computers to herd us more thoroughly now. And? The abysmal ignorance that people like RE show about human history is testament to the grave error of assuming that we are far more oppressed now than any other time in history. That is TOTAL BS. But I'm NOt going to sit here and argue quixotically about history to those who believe we were better ,nicer and more decent when we wielded swords or bows and arrows or whatever.

I have been researching LAW for the past three months. LAW is the application of cultural mores to a societal framework that ALWAYS favors the powerful but MUST pay tribute to the common man in order to provide a framework for a stable society (revolutions happen when you oppress the rubes too much). Most LAW in Western Civilization comes from Roman and Germanic codes. You DO NOT want to know what "freedom" you had under those codes, Surly. :P  They have evolved over the centuries with the Magna Carta and French contributions to a more equitable system. Inheritance laws, tort, and penal codes are horribly distorted in earlier centuries so the rich can do whatever the fork they want and have you imprisoned or killed for a trifle.

It is HYPERBOLE, the DD's specialty, to claim that things are WORSE now for the average citizen than they were in more primitive times. BUT, it is NECESSARY for RE and the like to push this false meme in order to justify their inability to countenance the possibility of human progress through technology. I accuse the DD of being in THAT box canyon. And they CAN'T GET OUT OF IT because the instant they admit there is hope, the sine qua non for the DD mindset VANISHES!

So they will ALWAYS GRASP at the "contrarian" STRAW that no progress is possible because the rich have us by the short hairs. It's quite logical. Re is running a scary movie scenario that is lots of fun for him. You (and I, for a while) fell for it. Get real Surly. The DD is like the Cults that keep pushing the date when Christ returns to earth into the future when the one that didn't pan out comes and goes (after people have sold their houses and given the money to the top dog "spiritual" leader  ;) ). It's fun for a while but it is not reality based, period.

Now you can smirk, huff and puff, laugh at me or you can do what a serious inquiry of the validity of my allegations requires and watch these videos. Take a week, take a month but YOU have a responsibility to tell people with a Master's Degree in Agriculture (I think) like JDwheeler

You really work up quite a head of steam, doncha?

Believe it or not, I did not post this here to tweak you or mock you. I was seriously interested in your response. Not smirking, huffing and puffing. You don't see DD anymore, but you seem to have an encyclopedic of view of what goes on there. I can tell you that we've been combating trolls for weeks; and I am sick to death of arguing with people.

And now I have hours of videos to view.

And PS-- you were oh-so-right about the effete Golden Oxen.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 07:17:52 am by Surly1 »

AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 02:17:00 am »
Surly,
I know that I can be a royal pain in the ass on this renewable energy thing. I am not saying you aren't an independent thinker. I AM saying the DD SUCKS. I will say it over and over because RE is an ego fortress of hyperbole that dominates the majority view there. 

All that said, I don't think you are "messing" with me. I am just angry as hell about what is going on with my court case and I guess I took it out on you. Sorry.  :-[

Well, tomorrow is another day... We'll see what the latest court order directed at me because the bank lawyer lied through her teeth (and I can't prove it!) says to me. When it's all over and I am totally defeated, I'll give a synopsis of it if I can get up the energy.

You see, I, like you, just get tired of this whole renewable energy thing versus what the 1% want to do and are stupid enough to do it might happen. To me, renewable energy is like gravity. It's a no-brainer and every creature on earth, including mankind for most of his existence, has used it in a multifaceted way. I am no longer really trying to convince anyone of the wisdom of the renewable energy path. IT's the material cure for our "disease". I do admit that without spiritual progress, it will be another postponement like the fossil fuel age. I just don't give the importance that you do to political systems. Perhaps you can post some of your political posts here. I'll read them. I just don't like politics. I have a section on power and politics here but I put stuff there because it has to be addressed as a thorn in man's side. That is why I do the knee jerk reaction thing when renewable energy is challenged as a REAL aid to humanity versus political solutions that never amount to more than another Potemkin circus for the rubes. Think about it. Maybe I am the one in denial but I just will not concede that it is over because the rich have all the technology marbles. Time will tell.

I read a piece by RE on Mike Ruppert at Guy Mcpherson's web site and read the comments too. It was refreshing to watch him get spanked in a place he couldn't pull that Godfader BS.  ;D It was sad to watch him try to put a guilt trip on Guy for allowing the advocacy of suicide (particularly for geezers like myself!) when RE advocates violence against TPTB on a regular basis. That's why I mentioned him. I know you do NOT share his preoccupation with offing the piggies.  I'll try to leave him out of the conversation from now on.

If you don't mind, please fill me in on GO's latest antics. A little gossip might improve my mood.  ;D



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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2014, 02:34:46 pm »
Surly,
This is one more giant step being taken in renewable energy (the avoidance and eventual ELIMINATION OF MINING for raw materials - a MAJOR source of pollution that has NOTHING to do with the successes or failures of LEEDs certification in "green" buildings - see cherry picking) that the 1% are not inhibiting in any way. As a matter of fract, the 1% that own all these processes are backing closed loop recycling.

Closed Loop Recycling

By Martin Murray

Introduction

Closed loop recycling is the process where post-consumer waste is collected, recycled and used to make new products. But in the closed loop all participants should work together to make sure that the flow continues. In the example of recycling aluminum cans, the consumer purchases beverage cans that are made from recycled material, and they consume the contents. The can is then collected from the consumer as part of their normal recycling pickup, and then combined with other aluminum cans to create raw materials which are sold to the manufacturer, who in turn produces new cans, made from recycled materials.

How to Make Closed Loop Recycling Work

The easiest way to make a closed loop system to work is to recycle every item that can be recycled, ensure that the manufacturers want to purchase post-consumer recycled material, and that the customer wants to buy products made from recycled material. These assumptions are not always possible to achieve and the closed loop is difficult to attain. However some materials, such as aluminum and glass, can be recycled indefinitely and these materials offer the best chance of closed loop recycling.

Glass recycling has been working for decades. Bottles were used where there was a deposit paid on the bottle so that it was returned, or milk bottles that were picked up daily by the milkman. An estimated eighty percent of collected glass is recycled and used to make more glass containers. The Glass Packaging Institute estimates that in California, almost eighty percent of glass containers are recycled, whereas nationally the figure is closer to fifty percent, but that glass bottles and jars are totally recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality. Glass container manufacturers set a goal that by 2013 there would have fifty percent recycled content in the products they produce.

Aluminum recycling has been as successful as glass recycling, with an estimated 68 percent of each aluminum can sold in the US is made from recycled materials. Two thirds of the aluminum ever produced is still in the processing cycle today. However still a large amount of aluminum is placed in landfills which recyclers calculate is as much as $600 million each year. For the closed loop system to work those items need to be collected not disposed of.

Other Closed Loop Recycling

Companies are trying to make closed loop systems of more specific items. The car manufacturer, Mazda, has developed a process where they can recycle the fenders from vehicles that are being scrapped and make them into new fenders for new vehicles. The company has been designing their vehicles with recycling in mind, and since the 1990's the company had designed its fenders to be more recyclable. Mazda developed technology where they can recycle used fenders from vehicles, into raw plastic resin for use in new vehicle fenders. Their technology allows the plastic from any age of vehicle to be combined to produce new items.

Another car manufacturers, Ford, has plans to use a polyester seat fabric in its vehicles that is created from a blend of recycled materials, including post-industrial fiber waste and post-consumer PET plastic bottles. By using this fabric used from recycled plastic bottles, the company says it can divert 2 million plastic bottles from going to landfills.

Shaw Industries, the leading floor covering manufacturer, is an example of a company that saw that consumers wanted a greener product and delivered it. In 2003 they introduced a recyclable carpet tile that can be recycled into new carpet tiles at its end of life, thus saving carpet from being sent to landfills.

Even small companies are creating a closed loop. A small dog toy manufacturer called West Paw encourages consumers to return used dog toys, dog beds, apparel and other items to the company so that they can be reprocessed into making new items.   

 



Suggested Reading
•Recycling Waste
•Green Supply Chain
•Green Supply Chain Best Practices


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•Closed Loop Logistics and Recycling
•Glass Recycling - Benefits of Glass Recycling - Why Recycle Glass?
•How Recycling Creates New Jobs
•What Can Be Recycled? Confusion About Recycling Addressed by New Initiative
•Asphalt Shingle Recycling Overview

http://logistics.about.com/od/greensupplychain/a/Closed-Loop-Recycling.htm
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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