February 2015


We Americans created sprawl and with it a massive amount of energy consumption. Could this be one of the answers?

http://www.businessinsider.com/nyc-micro-apartments-under-construction-2015-2

New York City’s first ‘micro apartments’ are coming this spring — here’s what they’ll look like

In 2013, a project called My Micro NY won a design competition for the New York’s first “micro apartments” sponsored by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Intended to create affordable housing for singles in New York City, those promised prefabricated affordable units are finally being assembled in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will be unveiled this spring in Manhattan’s Kips Bay, according to The New York Times.

The city’s first “micro” building will have 55 rental apartments, all ranging from 260- to 360-square-feet with big windows, ample storage space, and Juliet balconies.

Because the architects believed amenities are important to micro-unit dwellers, the building will also have a public meeting space, café, and common rooftop garden for residents, as well as a laundry room, residential storage space, a bike room, and fitness space.

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Go there and read a little (chuckle). More next week.

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My sister-in-law Mari Whitney and her  husband Dick installed a house sized unit at their house in Mason City and it saves them a bunch of money. But the payback is loooong.

 

https://www.centralilfoodbank.org/

https://www.centralilfoodbank.org/documents/AnnualReportFinalPDFWeb.pdf

The Foodbank Goes Green
One of the first 50 wells being drilled in October2014.
This fall work began on an estimated $850,000 geothermal
project that will help cut utility costs at the Foodbank’s 56,000 square
foot facility. The geothermal projectwill help heat and cool a portion of
the building.
50 wells were dug 200 feet deep in the open lawn on the east
side of the Foodbank’s Cook Street location to install a closed loop
geothermal heating and cooling system in the ground.
The system will use the earth as a heat source in the winter and
a heat sink in the summer, resulting in significantly lower energy
consumption.

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Go there and read the whole site. Look around. More next week.

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I saw a story on Digg about a designer (architect?) that got an award for building a house with water walls. But I could not find it again. This piece popped up and uses an older technology but you can get the idea from it.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/build-a-water-wall-home-zmaz83ndzale.aspx

Build a Water-Wall Home

Construct your very own water-wall home and learn about calculating water storage requirements, wall construction and solar basics.

By David Bainbridge
November/December 1983

The Morgan home in Davis, California has 14,000 pounds of thermal mass stored in its water walls, yet the containers blend in so well with the house design that they’re barely visible.

In many ways, passive solar homes are superior to those with active (mechanically assisted) heating and cooling systems. After all, passive solar systems don’t rely on auxiliary energy sources to perform (so they’ll work even when the power is off)… are generally simple and low in cost, combine energy collection and storage functions, have a long life, need little maintenance, and can often be built and installed by the home handy person, without special training or equipment.

But precisely because such “non-moving” systems have no pumps or controls to circulate warm or cool air, they typically rely on one key element: the thermal mass that stores and gives off absorbed heat or cold. A number of different items can be used to provide this energy-holding capacity, but just about the most effective and economical “To a water wall (a term that is a shorthand way of saying “contained water for thermal mass in passive solar homes”).

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This is the course I have set for the next few weeks, so bear with me,

 

http://en.vorweggehen.de/energy-efficiency/top-five-energy-saving-tips-for-the-bathroom/

The top five energy-saving tips for the bathroom!

Electric razors or toothbrushes, a long soak in a bubble bath and an on-demand water heater can all affect energy consumption in the bathroom. Read our energy-saving tips for the bathroom to find out how you can save energy without having to do without modern technology.

Energy-saving tips for the bathroom – tip #1: Save water

A dripping tap is not only a nuisance, – it also increases your water consumption. Up to 20 litres can disappear down the plughole unused over the course of a day. Getting it repaired promptly will pay off. You can save more water with this first one of our energy-saving tips for the bathroom: use only as much as water as you really need. Don’t leave the tap running while you are brushing your teeth and use the toilet’s low flush button.

Energy-saving tips for the bathroom – tip #2: Avoid battery-powered devices

From hairdryers and razors to electric toothbrushes, we consume power even in the bathroom. Avoid using battery-powered devices because they use up more electricity than mains-operated appliances. If you cannot do without battery-powered devices, make sure that you charge them properly. Remove the plug after charging, allow the battery to run down completely every now and again and dispose of it properly.

Energy-saving tips for the bathroom – tip #3: Ventilate and heat correctly

It does no harm to turn up the heating in your bathroom every now and again, as a warm bathroom reduces the risk of mold and mildew. When you shower, steam is created, which then forms condensation on walls and windows. If it is too cold in your bathroom, the moisture cannot evaporate and it soaks into the plaster and wallpaper, thus creating the ideal breeding ground for mould and mildew. Make sure when you ventilate your bathroom that the doors to less heated rooms are closed – otherwise the steam from your bathroom will condense on the walls of those rooms and bring their temperature down even further. Open all the windows and doors in your bathroom and turn the heating down. During winter months it is sufficient to ventilate intensively for three to four minutes. This is more efficient than leaving a window half open all day long.

Note: As with so many of these “Ways to save” topics there is so much on the web that you should probably do your own search. There are literally 1000s of articles laying around. This is just a place to get started if you need a reminder.

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Go there read. More next week.

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