Rivendell net-zero energy house optimizes solar energy

April 18, 2022 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Rivendell net-zero energy house optimizes solar energy

Surrounded by lush scenery in Harvard, Massachusetts is the Jenson-DeLeeuw Net-Zero Energy House by Paul Lukez Architecture. The dwelling is often referred to as Rivendell by the owners, a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien’s elvish village in Middle Earth. Rivendell uses various systems to harness copious amounts of solar energy and features several passive design strategies that allow for thermal comfort and airflow. The project uses a dual clean-energy system that generates and conserves solar energy. The angled roof maximizes the energy production of 56 photovoltaic roof panels, which produce 21,000 kWh of solar power each year. 16kWh Sonnen batteries store surplus energy and are part of a split heating and cooling system. This solar energy system is a lower-cost alternative to standard HVAC systems and is more eco-friendly. Rivendell also has a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of -23, meaning that it produces 23% more clean energy than similar-sized homes. As a result, the excess energy can be used in cloudy weather or to power the owners’ Chevrolet Bolt electric car. Related: Zero Energy Ready Homes can bring you net-zero energy bills Passive design strategies are key in optimizing the home’s thermal comfort. During the warmer months, the large roof overhangs shield the interior from the intense summer sun. Additionally, the open floor plan and high ceilings enhance airflow and cool the space with natural breezes. Conversely, in the winter, the project’s large south-facing windows bring in natural light and warmth from the low-angled winter sun. This is supplemented by insulated walls and a wood stove in the living space for extra heating on colder days. The architects created a thermal envelope using Huber Engineered Woods’ Zip System. This high-efficiency sheathing enhances insulation and prevents moisture buildup. Visually, the weathered wood cladding alludes to the wooded, rocky landscape and reinforces Rivendell’s connection to the site. By maximizing solar energy and creating a thermal envelope through passive design strategies, the Jenson-DeLeeuw house successfully achieves net-zero principles and creates a comfortable living environment . Its self-sufficiency also prevents cutting down trees in the woods for the installation of utility infrastructure. Alongside its incredible efficiency, the Rivendell house also creates visual connections to its surroundings and celebrates the beautiful scenery. + Paul Lukez Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Greg Premru

Read the original:
Rivendell net-zero energy house optimizes solar energy

New book says car science can save the world

March 4, 2022 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New book says car science can save the world

NASCAR might conjure up images of speed-mad rednecks waving flags. However, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes in the world of racing cars, much of it environmentally -friendly. A new book by Kit Chapman, “Racing Green: How Motorsport Science Can Save the World , ” explained the technology behind the vroom. Whether or not you’re a car buff, “Racing Green” by Kit Chapman is an extremely engaging read. It’s the perfect book for people who love cars, but feel guilty about using fossil fuels . Chapman, a lifelong racing fan, traced the history of motorsport science and how its technological breakthroughs can help save the world. Related: Consider these factors before buying an electric vehicle “Motorsport is often dismissed as a trivial, environmentally harmful, perilous spectacle,” Chapman wrote in the introduction. “For critics, it’s a modern chariot race, horses and whips replaced by petrol-guzzling cars that spew out noise and fury for the joy of millions…At the end of the day, it’s just a bunch of cars going around in circles, right? Not even close. It’s so much more. I don’t see chariots racing around the Circus Maximus as the mob bays for blood. I see the world’s fastest R&D lab.” The history of electric cars Electric vehicles are touted as the future of transportation . But they have a longer history than you might imagine. There is the story of Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat. Dubbed “the Electric Count,” he won a one-kilometer course race in about 57 seconds in his brother’s electric vehicle. That was in 1898. Of course, electric vehicles have come a long way in the last 120 or so years. The Electric Count’s car didn’t even have brakes. In 1968, the brainiacs at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) held the Great Electric Car Race. The aim was to drive from one campus to the other. That is, Cambridge, Massachusetts to Pasadena, California . It didn’t go so well. MIT’s car spent 37 hours being towed. The problem, as is still the case, was batteries . And so Chapman traced the history of batteries. He went back to a ceramic pot with a copper tube and an iron rod made in Iraq sometime between 250 BC and 650 AD. He covered the discovery of lithium by a Brazilian geologist who found an unusual rock in Sweden in 1800. And then onward to the increasingly efficient rechargeable batteries of today. A modern battery delivers about 90% of its power to a vehicle. This is compared with only 35% for an internal combustion engine. And there are no emissions. However, batteries still store nowhere near the amount of chemical energy that we get from fossil fuel. Car manufacturers are currently trying to improve the energy density, cost, safety, charging ability and lifetime of batteries. Chapman examined the pros and cons of various battery materials, including lithium , nickel, magnesium and cobalt. Race car technology to the medical field Chapman took readers into automotive research and development labs around the world, showing the surprising reach of race car technology . For example, international racing giant Formula One has inspired changes in the U.K.’s National Health Service. “In hospitals, 70% of mistakes are usually breakdowns in communication – technical or information errors – and half of these occur at this ‘hand-off,’ for example by transferring a patient before a bed is set up for them,” Chapman wrote. “[Pediatrician Allan] Goldman wondered if his team could copy the balletic, choreographed precision that makes a pit crew able to change four tires in less than three seconds.” Sure enough, by adopting pit procedures, technical errors fell by 42% over the next two years. Furthermore, during the ventilator shortage in the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, people who worked in the motorsports world played an important role. They were suddenly manufacturing masks and designing devices to help sick people breathe and barriers to protect healthcare workers. New materials from the racing world While most cars are made in environmentally-unfriendly manufacturing processes, “Racing Green” illuminates possible materials of the future. Porsche has already manufactured the Cayman 718 GT4 with its bodywork made entirely from interwoven flax fibers. Allegedly, it can save 85% of the usual carbon footprint and cut raw materials costs by almost a third. Another material, graphene, has been called our age’s wonder material . Chapman discussed graphene’s possibilities as a coolant for electric vehicles. “And when you combine that with graphene batteries and graphene electrical circuits, you’re suddenly able to store massive amounts of energy and transfer it in an instant, all while keeping the temperature cool. You could charge a car in minutes, or your mobile phone in seconds,” Chapman wrote. Colorful characters and their stories In Chapman’s book, scientists and engineers are anything but boring. “Racing Green” brings car researchers to life with funny and engaging stories. Not only will readers learn a lot about car technology and materials of the future, they’ll be entertained along the way. Images via “ Racing Green ” and Pexels When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commissions at no cost to you.

See more here:
New book says car science can save the world

In startup Verdox, carbon capture meets electrification

February 23, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on In startup Verdox, carbon capture meets electrification

Norsk Hydro, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital are among investors committing $100 million for Verdox, a carbon capture company born at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

View post:
In startup Verdox, carbon capture meets electrification

LEED Gold Walden Pond Visitor Center honors Thoreau’s legacy

February 7, 2022 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on LEED Gold Walden Pond Visitor Center honors Thoreau’s legacy

The Thoreau Society honors the author’s legacy with the sustainable, LEED Gold Walden Pond Visitor Center in Massachusetts. This eco-friendly building pays homage to naturalist Thoreau, who wrote “Walden,” a famous text in which he journaled his observations of the local environment at Walden Pond. The Walden Pond Visitor Center has an exceptionally small carbon footprint, just the way Thoreau would have wanted. A solar canopy in the parking lot helps power the building. The center sits nestled behind trees and is an all-electric, net-zero building that implements Passive House principles. The building systems operate without fossil fuels. Triple-pane windows and extra insulation keep the heat in during winter. In warmer weather, windows, ceiling fans, and clerestories offer natural ventilation and light, reducing the need for air conditioning and artificial lighting. Related: LEED Gold HEC Montreal will house AI research The walls and floors of the visitor center are made from local maple, ash, and red oak. Water-efficient plumbing fixtures and low/no-VOC paints and finishes were used throughout. Solar hot water and Variable Refrigerant Flow heat pump systems power the building. Outside, an electric charging station allows visitors to charge their vehicles. Ken Bassett, chair of the Walden Pond Advisory Board, helped lead the visitor center project. Bassett brought together the Thoreau Society, the Walden Woods Project, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The DCR hired Maryann Thompson Architects of Watertown, landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., of Cambridge, and ObjectIDEA of Salem. Together, these teams helped The Walden Pond Visitor Center reach LEED Gold. The Thoreau Society won a public bid to manage the Shop at Walden Pond. “The store is an important outreach component of the Society’s Mission to stimulate interest in and foster education about Thoreau’s life, works, and legacy,” the Thoreau Society said in a statement. “As part of the Society’s commitment to the preservation of Thoreau Country, 10% of the net sales proceeds from the store will directly benefit Walden Pond State Reservation.” + The Tho r eau Society Images by Iwan Baan

Go here to see the original: 
LEED Gold Walden Pond Visitor Center honors Thoreau’s legacy

Extreme cold closes schools and COVID testing sites

January 12, 2022 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Extreme cold closes schools and COVID testing sites

On Monday, the New Hampshire Department of Health announced that the state’s COVID-19 would close due to extreme cold weather. The sites include Claremont, Manchester, Newington and Nashua. The announcement mirrors several other northeastern states closing schools due to subzero temperatures. According to weather experts, the Northeast can expect temperatures reaching minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These extremely low temperatures have prompted authorities to order temporary school closures while the situation is monitored. Related: Climate change pushes US weather to extremes The Boston public school system announced the closure of all schools starting on Tuesday. As the largest school system in Massachusetts, its announcement means that thousands of students will be out of school. Reports indicate that the highest temperature in the city will be 12 degrees F, with wind chill making it feel like minus 8 degrees F. According to a National Weather Service forecast, New York City will also experience subzero temperatures. Meanwhile, Massachusetts could experience temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees F in some areas. This extreme cold could endanger school-going children, hence the school closures. Other regions expected to experience extreme cold include New England, where forecasts say temperatures could reach minus 40 degrees F in some areas. New Hampshire and Vermont may also experience sub-zero temperatures. Experts also say that these extremely low temperatures can cause frostbite. Frostbite can occur in as little as 30 minutes. As people struggle to stay warm, heating costs are rising. Central Maine Power has urged customers to weather-strip windows and open curtains to let in heat from the sun outside. In areas such as Boston, community centers have opened to provide those in need with a place to get warm.  According to a forecast from the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to rise to more comfortable levels going into Thursday. Via  HuffPost Lead image via Pexels

View original here:
Extreme cold closes schools and COVID testing sites

LEED-certified apartments set highest green design standards

January 10, 2022 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on LEED-certified apartments set highest green design standards

The initial LEED-certified project by The Procopio Companies was completed in conjunction with DMS Design as the design architecture and CUBE 3 for interior design to analyze materials for sustainability. The result is Caldwell, a high-rise, mixed-use and multi-family apartment complex in Lynn, Massachusetts with 259 units. The area sits just north of Boston, but draws in arts and culture enthusiasts from near and far Caldwell was designed to meet the highest standards of sustainable design, from minimal site impact to the interior design.  Related: Modular design helps UCLA’s Pritzker Hall earn LEED Platinum “We’re extremely proud of this impressive accomplishment, as there are few residential buildings in the state of Massachusetts that are certified LEED Platinum,” said Michael Procopio, LEED AP and CEO of The Procopio Companies. “This may be our first LEED-certified project, but it certainly won’t be our last. Our team has learned a tremendous amount through this building process, making Caldwell a benchmark for our future projects as it relates to sustainability and protecting our environment .”  Caldwell not only sets the standard for The Procopio Company and new owners The Green Cities Company, an ESG/sustainability-focused company, but for all architecture in the area and beyond. The structure was built from responsibly-sourced reclaimed wood that was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.  Inside, air quality is ensured through an individual ventilation system that provides continuous fresh air . Similarly, building and interior design materials were chosen for low emissions , including paint, flooring, wood and insulation. The builders aimed to focus on the future of the environment, but also to the mindset of the residents. They provided six electric car charging stations and an energy-saving automatic parking system. Of course, as a LEED-qualifying building, they also put an emphasis on energy-efficient design. Caldwell is equipped with smart thermostats and solar panels for power production. While Caldwell may not leave room for blocks of individual residential gardens, it does make use of the rooftop green space with a vegetable garden, potted plants and grassy area.  “As architects, our job is to create places to live that fight the effects of climate change and design buildings that are as sustainable as possible,” said Dan Skolski, founder and managing principal of DMS Design. “With Caldwell, we were able to design a building that prioritizes its carbon footprint and is sustainable down to the studs, from an innovative structural system to all electric heating and cooling systems. It sets a new standard in the community for innovative, green building .” + The Procopio Companies  Images via Matt Surette and The Procopio Companies 

See the rest here: 
LEED-certified apartments set highest green design standards

Best states in America for owning an electric vehicle

December 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Best states in America for owning an electric vehicle

Electric vehicles (EVs) are taking to the roads in record numbers. Car manufacturers drive huge sums into innovating better solutions for range and battery recyclability . States in America are working on infrastructure in anticipation of the changing dynamics on the highways. The federal government is working towards massive tax advantages for those who make the change to electric vehicles too. Bumper, an automotive site aimed at facilitating well-informed car sales and purchases, has put together a ranking of the financial and infrastructural aspects of owning an electric car in the U.S. Which state has the most readily-available charging stations? Where will you receive the largest kickback for your purchase of an electric vehicle? Related: Public art electric vehicle charging stations merge design and function The key takeaway is that Washington is the best overall state for owning an EV. Utah comes in at a close second, followed by Colorado, Massachusetts and California. The top 10 is rounded out, in order, with Maryland, Oregon, New York, Nevada and Hawaii . Alaska lacks infrastructure and ranks last.  There are many aspects to consider when evaluating the best places to own and operate an electric vehicle — from the initial purchase to the life of the vehicle. After all, it does require some special considerations in regards to range, benefits to the environment and the practical factors when it comes to charging availability and costs.  Financial incentives were rated with consideration for metrics, including rebates and tax incentives, recharging costs, the price of gas in the area, average travel distances and costs associated with an EV versus those of a gas-powered vehicle. Combining these factors, Washington and Illinois are the top states for financial incentives to own an EV. Utah, Colorado , Oregon and Maryland rank high as well. New Jersey, Hawaii, Ohio and Nevada round out the top ten with slightly lower financial advantages.  As for infrastructure, the research team looked at the number of charging stations that have been installed in the past four years and the number of charging stations per 100,000 populations. They also calculated number of EVSE ports per 100 charging stations as well as the number of EVSE ports per 100 EV vehicle registrations. EV registrations as a percentage of all motor vehicles in the state were the final consideration. In all, Vermont and California top the list for best electric vehicle infrastructure. Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also ranked high. Colorado, Utah, Georgia, New York and Nevada also offer strong infrastructure for EV owners.  Interestingly, California ranks high in several individual categories, yet came in fifth overall in the state rankings. This is likely because they came in 11th for incentives, at least those available at the time of the study. However, California ranked first in new EV registrations as a percentage of total registrations, so it’s clear the population is adopting the EV option. In fact 425,300 registered EVs in the state. That’s an impressive 41.73% of all registrations nationwide, giving California a dominant lead in getting EVs on the road.  In return, the state is responding effectively to this growth with the number one spot for charging station growth and a second-place ranking for overall EV infrastructure. It also ranks second for the number of charging stations to serve the population, as a measure of stations per 100,000k. The problem areas came to light through this research too, with California ranking 36th in the country when it comes to rebates plus tax incentives. Federal changes may also facilitate change at the state level in the near future. The state came in even lower for recharge costs. This is a reflection of the cost of electricity and plummets California into the 44th position.  The comprehensive report breaks down the data for each state, offering a detailing of the financial and infrastructural benefits and disadvantages in each area. It’s a snapshot of where the adoption of EVs is strong and where it’s barely made the radar . For example, by comparison to California, Alaska and Montana each registered 940 electric cars in 2020 and Mississippi logged 780 while North Dakota is late to the game with a paltry 220 new EVs on the road. Also on the lower end is South Dakota with 410 and West Virginia with 600.  Population has a big effect on the numbers when it comes to percentage of the total EV registrations across the nation. As mentioned, California registered a dominating 41.73%. The next closest was Florida with 5.71% and Texas with 5.12%. Washington breaks the mold with lower population from a smaller state, yet still coming to the table with 4.96% of national registrations. New York clocked 3.2%, New Jersey 2.98% and Arizona 2.82%. In addition to those mentioned on the lower end, Wyoming, Arkansas, Nebraska and Rhode Island rank in the bottom 10 states for new EV registrations.  Via Bumper Image via Nathaniel Blum

Excerpt from: 
Best states in America for owning an electric vehicle

Greenary is a lush, biophilic house built around a tree

November 5, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Greenary is a lush, biophilic house built around a tree

Once a traditional Italian farmhouse and granary, what’s now known as Greenary is a home that has undergone a transformation that blurs the line between the natural world and the residential one, literally building around an existing tree. Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA), in collaboration with Italo Rota, redesigned the space with a  ficus tree  at the heart of it. It’s one of many projects developed in alignment with CRA’s mission to include natural elements into architecture under the theme of biophilia. It’s a philosophy introduced by Harvard professor E.O. Wilson, which suggests people intrinsically want to live close to nature.  Related: A green remodel gave this 1950s home major treehouse vibes That’s easy to do with a 60-year-old tree at ground level inside the home. She makes such a statement, she even has a name, Alma, and as a representative from the ficus australis species, she’s equipped to handle life indoors. However, designers relied on  passive design  and advanced technological solutions to ensure her comfort. The primary adaptation was to fill the space with copious  natural light . Massive windows on the south side contribute to this goal while other systems monitor the temperature and humidity for the comfort of the tree and the residents. The roof and the windows open and close automatically to provide the ideal amount of sunlight and fresh air into the space.   “In a flat landscape in which there are no mountains, hills, or lakes, but only plains, nature expresses itself through a beautiful light that changes throughout the day. It adds a charming, almost film-like quality to the atmosphere,” said Italo Rota, director of Italo Rota Building Office. “The  environmental  conditions around the Greenary inspired our design, and this represents one of the different expressions we use to illustrate the harmony between natural and artificial elements.” The Greenary embraces an architectural concept developed in the 1900s by architect Adolf Loos, called the Raumplan, which essentially means to have nature at the core. Although Alma is difficult to ignore, there are more subtle  natural materials  woven into the design, such as soil and orange peels incorporated into the flooring.   “The 20th-century Italian architect Carlo Scarpa once said, ‘Between a tree and a house, choose the tree .’ While I resonate with his sentiment, I think we can go a step further and put the two together,” said Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Much of CRA’s work focuses on the intersection between the natural and artificial worlds. With the Greenary, we are trying to imagine a new domestic landscape built around nature and its rhythm.” + CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati Images via Delfino Sisto Legnani and Alessandro Saletta

Go here to read the rest: 
Greenary is a lush, biophilic house built around a tree

14-day hunger strike ends following Biden’s COP26 promises

November 5, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 14-day hunger strike ends following Biden’s COP26 promises

Four young activists on hunger strike outside the White House have ended their protest. In a tweet, the four announced on video that they will be ending their strike following president Joe Biden’s commitments at COP26 . They also said that they will be changing their approach to target Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. The four activists, Kidus Girma, 26, Ema Govea, 18, Julia Paramo, 24, and Abby Leedy, 20, began their hunger strike on Oct. 20 to pressure the Biden administration to take serious climate action . The strike was physically straining, which forced them to sit on wheelchairs due to a lack of strength. One of the activists, Girma, was hospitalized last week after passing out. Related: Activists on hunger strike for climate action outside White House The end to their strike comes a few days after another activist, Paul Campion, 24,  announced on Twitter  that he was ending his hunger strike after being diagnosed with bradycardia. The condition can be fatal and develops when one’s heart drops to extremely low rates. In a Twitter post, the activists noted that Biden’s pledge at COP26 to cut fossil fuel emissions by half by 2030 was part of their motivation to stop the strike. However, they promised to continue fighting, with their target being Sen. Manchin and other congress members responsible for stalling climate reforms. “We are ending our hunger strike to bring the fire to Joe Manchin and other folks in Congress that are more willing to fight for oil and gas billionaires and not for the young people and their communities,” Girma said in the video. Manchin, the Democratic Senator for West Virginia , has been a stumbling block in the way of climate reforms. Manchin, whose home state relies on fossil fuels, blocked the president’s Clean Electricity Program, which would see fossil fuel operators receive funding to shift to clean energy sources. Although the activists have ended their strike at the moment, they promised to continue fighting. They have not specified how, but they say their fight will depend on how Biden and other democrats handle the climate agenda. “Our survival depended on his commitment to climate action. This morning, he promised a 50% decrease in emissions by 2030. Today, we end our strike. But our survival still depends on Joe Biden and other Democrats like him,” the activists said in a tweet. Via HuffPost Lead image via Hunger Strike 4 Climate Justice

Read the original here: 
14-day hunger strike ends following Biden’s COP26 promises

What Biden’s clean power plan would mean for solar energy

October 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on What Biden’s clean power plan would mean for solar energy

Assuming that utility-scale solar power requires roughly eight acres per megawatt, the expansion would require an area roughly as big as Massachusetts and New Jersey combined,

Read more from the original source:
What Biden’s clean power plan would mean for solar energy

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 10812 access attempts in the last 7 days.