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"Green" design, what do you think

Posted on 05/05/2002 7:32:07 PM PDT by Andrewksu

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To: BigBobber
Just asking, but how the heck did yo ucome to this conclusion? I know some "green" people, and I have never heard anything even remotely like this.
51 posted on 05/06/2002 5:54:54 AM PDT by newcats
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To: Andrewksu
Early morning BUMP
52 posted on 05/06/2002 6:10:33 AM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: Andrewksu
I am a conservative in a field of liberals, especially on this topic, and am interested in green design without the eco-freakishness.

There's nothing that says conservatives shouldn't care for the environment. In fact, WE should be the protectors, not the liberals. For decades humanity has built and built and built without considering the consequences. We can and should take responsibility for our environment without being "eco-freaks."

53 posted on 05/06/2002 6:15:48 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Andrewksu

Although your question of "green design" is based in architecture and construction, it applies in many other fields. My opinion about the "green design" debate is simply - let the market decide.

Around my industry, the supporters of green design, in general, want this type of design imposed by governmental or industry code. If "being green" were such a good idea, consumers and businesses would convert to green design of their own free will because of the overwhelming benefits of "being green". There is a shift towards energy and raw-material conservation that is market driven because some consumers and business already see the return on their green investments. If there is a marked advantage in green products and services in the open market, these goods will eventually dominate over those that are not green. Borrowing from the environmentalists' vocabulary, I would say that current green-market trends are a "natural" and "evolutionary" process.

If government or industry imposes green design codes on products, this act is an "artificial" process in the market. Typically, these regulations are out of step with the needs of consumers and business. The impacted products and services do not fare as well as their predecessors and their costs are driven up due to compliance issues. In the end, the consumer pays more for something they did not necessarily want.

In the end, the green design movement must come to terms with the market. If green designs can make it in direct competition with other products, they will survive. Otherwise, they will go the way of the dodo.


54 posted on 05/06/2002 7:11:44 AM PDT by jriemer
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To: Andrewksu
Putting A Positive Spin On Manure

One man’s trash – the manure produced at Tinedale Farms in Wrightstown, Wisconsin – can be another man’s treasure – electricity and fertilizer generated from that manure. In short, that was the story shared at a media conference held at the dairy in August.

Carl Theunis, an owner of Tinedale Farms, and several of his environmental partners announced the formation of Ag Environmental Solutions LLC (AES) and its objective to demonstrate how to convert manure into renewable energy and value-added products. These products will enhance the environment and provide an economically viable option for U.S. dairy operations. Theunis reported, "The primary focus of AES will be on anaerobic digestion, with a stated goal of maximizing solids conversion to methane." This project is based on the principle that if life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

The first AES project will be constructed at Tinedale Farms with engineering services provided by STS Consultants Ltd. Even though his neighbors don’t complain about the odor, Theunis realizes it’s a problem. This manure-to-energy operation will eliminate the odor and produce a nonoffensive sludge for land spreading. Plus, it will produce electricity for 200-300 neighboring homes. Eventually, Theunis also plans to market fertilizer. "It’ll be very high value, Class A sludge," he stated. He’ll target gardeners, landscapers, golf course managers and crop producers in his marketing efforts.

Terry Stebor, an engineer with STS Consultants, defined anaerobic digestion as the biological oxidation of organic matter by microbes in an environment in which there is no molecular oxygen. The organic matter (manure) is a food source for the microbes, which convert it into gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide.

Manure’s consistency is an advantage

Compared to other waste-generating sources, Stebor said manure offers several advantages. "It’s very consistent," he commented. Stebor credited cows’ relatively static diet for this consistency. Also, manure flow varies little from day to day. "This is a big benefit for dairy producers, compared to municipalities and other businesses, such as canneries and paper mills." Anaerobic digestion can occur at 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit or 120-135 degrees Fahrenheit. At the higher temperature, degradation occurs faster. Consequently, an operation uses a smaller reactor, which costs less. Plus, there’s better control of bacterial and viral pathogens. The disadvantage, however, is that more heat must be added to the system.

Biogas (methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide), the product of anaerobic digestion, can be burned in boilers to produce hot water, in engines to power electrical generators, and in absorption coolers to produce refrigeration.

Utilities need renewable energy sources

Alex De Pillis of the Wisconsin Energy Bureau said that Wisconsin power companies are required to sell a certain amount of energy produced by renewable energy sources. The anaerobic digestion of biomass, including animal wastes, appears to be a logical choice in America’s Dairyland.

Tinedale Farms received funding from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Brown County Revolving Loan Fund and Wisconsin Focus on Energy for this environmental stewardship project. A full-service environmental business, it has the potential to create 20 new jobs in the areas of facility management, biosolids marketing, labor management, public relations and financing. Theunis anticipates a four to five year payback for the project.

55 posted on 05/06/2002 7:29:19 AM PDT by BraveMan
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To: newcats
I live in northern California and "transit villages" are in the newspaper almost every day. The local transist system will not expand their lines into an area unless you pass their test for "smart growth". That is, high density housing (multi-story apartments) surrounding the tranist hub. Vast areas are being earmarked as no-build to protect endangered species like the red legged frog. Parkland and green easments are being procurred at an astounding rate, yet the public is locked out of these areas to "minimize disturbance".

The goal is to cram everyone into small apartments in high density urban areas, while preserving huge tracts of greenspace with access only to goverment biologists and those with an "in". This is nothing new. The Left's war on suburbia and the private automobile have been going on for decades. They're not even sneaky about it. As I say, it's in the newspaper every day. You just have to connect the dots.

56 posted on 05/06/2002 8:00:48 AM PDT by BigBobber
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To: Andrewksu
One of the customers of the company I work for as an Electrical Engineer is Cryofuel Systems. Among other things, we provide equipment and controls for their Landfill Gas Processing systems. The following article is an excerpt from their website . . .

Landfill Gas Processing

During the past three years CFS has developed a landfill gas processing system that is capable of producing high quality LNG (or pipeline quality gas) from landfill gas.

The novel LFG processing system uses multiple stages of purification to reach the final high quality state. First, the critical removal of corrosive and troublesome trace impurities is accomplished through the use of phase separators, coalescing filters and impregnated\non-impregnated activated carbon adsorbents.

Next, a zeolite adsorbent removes remaining polar molecules (specifically water) to a concentration of a few ppm. Oxygen must also be removed at this point if present in more than trace quantities.

The resultant gas then enters our cryogenic purifier where the carbon dioxide is separated out leaving a high grade LNG product consisting of 90%-97% methane. The remainder of the LNG is dissolved nitrogen. If desired, the nitrogen may be removed with additional CFS equipment at modest incremental costs.

The high value of LNG relative to the raw landfill gas and the capital cost of the system create excellent returns on the capital investment. Because our LFG processing system is based on the same mid-sided liquefier used in our refueling systems they can make good investments for small and medium sized landfills. Our LFG processing system is ideal for landfills that are big enough to require gas collection systems but too small to attract larger capital projects.

57 posted on 05/06/2002 8:05:24 AM PDT by BraveMan
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To: Andrewksu
Would you be willing to pay more initailly, if you were shown that you would retrive the cost over time through reduced utility bills and maintenance costs? Or are you decisions driven by the initial contruction costs?

What do you feel about tax incentives for using techniques and technologies that reduce your energy consumtion and environmental impact?

The difference between First Cost and Life Cycle Cost is certainly always worthy of analysis. The Net Present Value of money, the capitalization costs and similar calculations must be taken into account to have a sensible analysis however. If you want to be able to sell the benefit, you better take an accounting course, or audit one, to do the financial analysis and expalin it.

Even when it is expalined well, many who make the buying decision for new structures, have their finacial interests shaded by either their Ownership Horizon (Developers or others with resale in mind at some point) or cpitalization mandates by their job dictates (Corporate Buyers effected by internal Cap limits). Even when a proper study shows that it is in the financial interest of the project, it may not be in the finacial interest of the buyer.

Tax incentives are really tax burdens shifted and the accompanying inefficiencies of Government Planned Economies. These have been the things that Conservatives have fought against accross the board. Sure there is the Humane Market of a Roepke that doesn't require the full blind hand of the von Mises, or even short of the Hayek approach, but do we want to give an inch where Leftists want to take a mile.

Do your thinking, and your promotion, outside of government programs. They can change overnight and often should, to be eliminated. Sell on the merits and desirability or not at all.

There are a lot of people that will buy something Sensible, without undue consideration to the bottom line or government largess. Find them.

58 posted on 05/06/2002 9:17:07 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: edger
Sure we are at risk when the leftists compose the language of conquest. That is why we must stay engaged with the terms. Earth Coupled and Ground Source are certainly good engineering terms, Sustainable Architecture, beyond Sustainable Resources is a buzz word and I pick out "materials" because that is what we are talking about.
59 posted on 05/06/2002 9:49:29 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: Andrewksu
There was an article recently about the California eco-nuts claiming that the paper they were using was "recycled" when in fact it wasn't, at least not to the percentage they were claiming. Did a search but couldn't find it.
60 posted on 05/06/2002 4:06:13 PM PDT by EggsAckley
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To: KC Burke
I do have to agree with you on trying to eliminate teh federal government's involvement, but do you believe in more local government or better yet the utility co.'s incentive programs. The problem is that the systems are not economically viable w/o incentives, which I know should not be forced, but sustainability is mutally benificial and new technology does require a certain amount of investment.
61 posted on 05/06/2002 4:41:24 PM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: supercat
Your points concerning high wattage appliances are well taken.
That is why I made the point of commenting on them as a separate concern.
I of course, realize that things like Air Conditioners, Electric Heaters, Stoves, Furnaces, all utilize high amounts of energy, and in such instances, must be handled differently.

Try this alternative.
Don't use electricity for these devices, use Natural gas.
High efficiency Gas Furnaces are rated in the 90% to 98% efficiency rating nowadays.
Much more efficient than any electric furnace.

62 posted on 05/06/2002 8:34:51 PM PDT by Drammach
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To: Drammach
Much more efficient than any electric furnace.

I dunno about that; electric heat pumps can have useful-heat efficiencies exceeding 100% [as a side effect of operation, they cool the outside, but this is not generally a problem]. To be sure, this over-100% efficiency is marred by costs for capital, maintenance, and repair; and by the fact that production of the electricity to run the heat pump is not 100% efficient. Still, at least in the winter, heat pumps may be a sensible alternative to direct heating.

63 posted on 05/06/2002 11:26:41 PM PDT by supercat
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To: Andrewksu
Economic incentives from utilities are already being used where really needed. They are peak demand charges and, so-called, ratchet-rates.

Such economic realities, driven by the costs of production, yield such new thinking as the "off-peak" production of ice and the realted ice storage and harvest systems tied into the chillers on building. The chiller makes ice during off-peak hours then shuts down during peak hours, keeping the facility from adding to the peak demand and staying out of the ratchet rate impact for the buyer of electricity. The building cooling system "harvests" the ice for cooling and the occupants have little knowledge that the system is beyond-typical. Thus real world economic forces, coupled with inovation, yield advancement. That is what makes sense and will be self sustaining development in this field.

Schemes of "planned outcome", fueled by games with my money, are the work of socialists.

64 posted on 05/07/2002 7:50:44 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: KC Burke
I have heard of such systems, and also of systems that use a similar method, but with evaporative cooling and lower nighttime temps to cool water then using that to boost the cooling systems. But these systems are on a much larger scale, what about small projects and resdential. As there are over 100 million homes in the U.S., small broad ranging changes in consumption would help the situation greatly. I do agree with you on your point of letting the market determine the value of such systems and their use, but how do you help change values?

Many homes, and buildings are built in such a temporary fashion that they do see as much value in these longer term investments. Building are no longer designed/built to last for long(100+ years), either the quality of contruction and materials is poor, or the building was designed for on narrow purpose and is not suitable for much else. For instance the new Sprint headquarters, the build quality looks decent, but what in the hell will that be when Sprint moves? (which has already become an possible issue.)

Don't get me wrong, I am not at home stewing about the environment, I just see sustainble design as better, more complete design, that is financially rewarding, if you can convince cleints for more intial invesment on DESIGN, and then maybe technology. The proper design of a building is much more important than the systems, they are there only to slightly modify the lighting/temp/air circ. of a space. A couple of hundred years ago there were buildings that were "comfortable" before these technologies came along, but we have ignored some of those techniques. As a young designer, I see that I can make some difference, so I want to start my career off in the right direction.

65 posted on 05/07/2002 2:34:46 PM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: Andrewksu
A trend for residential the last decade is moving toward the use of earth coupled heat pumps. A single well drilled with a buried loop gives 55 degrees for use in heating and cooling. The tecchnology is simple and the first cost is reasonable. The use of some of this as opposed to air-to-air equipement also gives a longer service life to the equipment as it doesn't have to adjust to the extremes of temperature.
66 posted on 05/09/2002 9:24:34 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: KC Burke
My parents are preparing to build a new home with a geothermal heat pump system, and radiant floor heating, which work nicely together. These techniques are definitely not the norm though, which is why I would like to know the best way to encourage their use, as many people/businesses/builders are hesitant to try new things. I thought the ground temp was closer to 60-63 for the KC area. I plan to stay heavily involved in the designing of the house and systems, as it will be a great learning experience and a good portfolio piece.
67 posted on 05/09/2002 11:40:38 AM PDT by Andrewksu
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To: Andrewksu
In the Missouri River bottom, where I installed about 60 wells at 90 feet, the average temperature was 57 degrees, from -4' to -90'.
68 posted on 05/09/2002 11:52:50 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: Andrewksu
What are your views on what "green" design/lifestyle means and requires.

If I were doing a "green" design I think I would use all clear-cutted mature Redwood and decorate with spotted owls...

69 posted on 05/09/2002 11:56:28 AM PDT by Always Right
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