Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Empire State Building, once the world’s tallest building, is now set for a $100 million ‘green renovation.’ Empire State Building the iconic symbol of NY, just underwent an eight month modeling and analysis program and will receive a massive Green overhaul.
The 102-story Empire State building was built during the Great Depression; now, during the current economic ’stumbles,’ Empire State building is poised to lead the way into a more efficient future. “We have a very deep commitment to sustainability,” Tony Malkin of the Empire State Building Company says. “Without applying sustainable practices in all aspects of our businesses and lives, we will greatly harm our future.”
Empire State building management has also decided not to apply for LEED certification, opting instead to making the building as efficient and healthy as possible without such guidelines. The partners involved in Empire State building goin green project are fully aware that this project will be serving as a template for the massive efficiency upgrades in store for many of the nation’s buildings in the not so distant future. Seventy-five percent of the 4.5 million buildings in the United States are more than 20 years old and need energy retrofits. While a 38% predicted reduction in energy use is an incredibly ambitious undertaking. Empire State Building’s renovation agenda include a total overhaul of the HVAC system, improvements to the Empire State building's envelope, triple-glazed windows, electronic readouts to make users aware of their personal energy consumption, maximized day lighting, tenant demand ventilation control, and occupant sensor controls.
This retrofit of Empire State building is just what New York needed. It does the job and does it well. If the parties involved in Empire State building goin green project are able to achieve the savings they anticipate, there will be no excuse not to look to the Empire State Building as the symbol of progress and American ingenuity that it was when it was built.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sustainable Style for Spring 2009 has been introduced by Loyale on inhabitat.com. Sustainable Style for spring this year show cased dresses made out of organic cotton and reclaimed fabric. In her Sustainable Style posting on inhabitat.com Olivia Chen also reported that Jenny Hwa, founder of Loyale, is a recipient of the 2008 Eileen Fisher Business Grant Program. With a commitment to environmentally responsible business practices and continued use of sustainable fabrics. Jenny’s Sustainable Style spring collection showcases flirty mini-dresses and breezy tunics, that are easy-to-wear and comfortable pieces fit for all occasions. Loyale will be offering items of this Sustainable Style collection at 25% off for one day only with coupon code, apr22loyale, on this earth day. Shop sustainably!
With Kinetic Flexible Cell Phone Kyocera is changing the future of cell phones. Kyocera unveiled a kinetic energy-powered phone that is capable of folding up like a wallet. Kinetic Flexible Cell Phone has been designed by industrial designer Susan McKinney, and the phone consists of a soft, semi-rigid polymer skin surrounding a flexible low-energy OLED display. Shape memory in Kinetic Flexible Cell Phone allows the phone’s keys to pop up when in use and blend in with the surface during downtime.
Kinetic Flexible Cell Phone can be used in its folded-up shape for simple phone calls, and unfolds to reveal a wider screen. The exciting thing about Kinetic Flexible Cell Phone is that it derives its energy from human interaction. The more you use the Kinetic Flexible Phone, the more kinetic energy turns into an electric charge through an array of tiny piezoelectric generators. In other words, you’ll never have to worry about leaving the house with a semi-charged cell phone again.
Kinetic Flexible Cell Phone is still in the early design stage, but Kyocera hopes to integrate concepts from the device into cell phones in the near future. Kinetic Flexible Cell Phone is the future of the greener phones already introduced by Samsung and LG that use solar energy to charge up.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Utah Container by Group 41 is a new dimension to Prefab Housing, in fact it wont be wrong to say that Utah Containers in the next generation of Prefab Housing. Shipping Containers are being used allover the world to create eco friendly Prefab Housing, but Utah Containers is innovative because it’s a housing scheme devised out of 1000 Shipping Containers. Group 41 has developed two schemes for the Salt Lake City suburb complex and is waiting for planning approval. The Two schemes of Utah Containers differ in style and layout, but not in facilities, both have large underground parking garages and a courtyard. Utah Containers will be located near a future commuter rail line and shopping center.
Projects like Utah Containers offer the right type of Sustainable Recycling on massive scale, Container and Prefab Homes are a sustainable type of recycling as they require less energy in construction compared to melting down Shipping Containers. Utah Containers is an Eco friendly solution to the ever increasing demand of sustainable green housing.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Sustainable tip of the day is to save Nemo, Nemo is a Disney cartoon, but they're plenty of other fish who actually need saving. More than 90 percent of the world's swordfish, marlin, giant tuna and other large predatory fish have been caught, and 76 percent of the world's fish stocks are eaten up by man if we don't watch out, we could lose many of the world's fisheries.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Sustianable living tip of the day is you're not really recycling unless you're buying recycled. The most important part of recycling is buying products that contain as much "post-consumer recycled content" as possible. Look for it and ask for it when you go shopping.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way to use an ancient life form to create one of the newest technologies for solar energy, in systems that may be surprisingly simple to build compared to existing silicon-based solar cells.
The secret: diatoms.
These tiny, single-celled marine life forms have existed for at least 100 million years and are the basis for much of the life in the oceans, but they also have rigid shells that can be used to create order in a natural way at the extraordinarily small level of nanotechnology.
By using biology instead of conventional semiconductor manufacturing approaches, researchers at OSU and Portland State University have created a new way to make "dye-sensitized" solar cells, in which photons bounce around like they were in a pinball machine, striking these dyes and producing electricity. This technology may be slightly more expensive than some existing approaches to make dye-sensitized solar cells, but can potentially triple the electrical output.
"Most existing solar cell technology is based on silicon and is nearing the limits of what we may be able to accomplish with that," said Greg Rorrer, an OSU professor of chemical engineering. "There's an enormous opportunity to develop different types of solar energy technology, and it's likely that several forms will ultimately all find uses, depending on the situation."
Dye-sensitized technology, for instance, uses environmentally benign materials and works well in lower light conditions. And the new findings offer advances in manufacturing simplicity and efficiency.
"Dye-sensitized solar cells already exist," Rorrer said. "What's different in our approach are the steps we take to make these devices, and the potential improvements they offer."
The new system is based on living diatoms, which are extremely small, single-celled algae, which already have shells with the nanostructure that is needed. They are allowed to settle on a transparent conductive glass surface, and then the living organic material is removed, leaving behind the tiny skeletons of the diatoms to form a template.
A biological agent is then used to precipitate soluble titanium into very tiny "nanoparticles" of titanium dioxide, creating a thin film that acts as the semiconductor for the dye-sensitized solar cell device. Steps that had been difficult to accomplish with conventional methods have been made easy through the use of these natural biological systems, using simple and inexpensive materials.
"Conventional thin-film, photo-synthesizing dyes also take photons from sunlight and transfer it to titanium dioxide, creating electricity," Rorrer said. "But in this system the photons bounce around more inside the pores of the diatom shell, making it more efficient."
The physics of this process, Rorrer said, are not fully understood – but it clearly works. More so than materials in a simple flat layer, the tiny holes in diatom shells appear to increase the interaction between photons and the dye to promote the conversion of light to electricity, and improve energy production in the process.
The insertion of nanoscale tinanium oxide layers into the diatom shell has been reported in ACS Nano, a publication of the American Chemical Society, and the Journal of Materials Research, a publication of the Materials Research Society. The integration of this material into a dye-sensitized solar cell device was also recently described at the fourth annual Greener Nanoscience Conference.
The work is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Initiative, a part of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute.
Diatoms are ancient, microscopic organisms that are found in the fossil record as far back as the time of the dinosaurs. They are a key part of the marine food chain and help cycle carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
But in recent years their tiny, silica shells have attracted increasing attention as a way to create structure at the nano level. Nature is the engineer, not high tech tools. This is providing a more efficient, less costly way to produce some of the most advanced materials in the world.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sustianable living tip of the day is that indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air,and according to the EPA, Paints and finishes are among the leading causes.
Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application, manufacturers are now producing non-VOC variety of paint. So paint yourselves with nature.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Sustianable living tip of the day is A small, energy efficient car is less polluting than a gas-guzzling 4x4 and is cheaper to run as well,so drive less energy consuming cars, and save money and energy.
Sustainable living refers to a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources. Sustainable living is an attempt to reduce carbon footprints by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet form furious consumptions to sensible choices. Sustainable and ecological living promotes living in manners that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respect of humanity’s symbiotic relationship with the Earth's natural ecology and cycles. The practice and general philosophy of Sustainable living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development. Sustainable living is all about minimizing our "ecological footprints to an extent that it dose not create an environmental impact. Proponents of Sustainable living hope to preserve the Earth for future generations of human beings and other life.
Sustainable living branches from the concepts of sustainability and self-sufficiency. Sustainability, in recent years, has been expressed as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Self-sufficiency is the core principle of Sustainable living in which individuals or societies consume only that which they have produced. It is generally a stricter ideology and practicing sustainable living in an urban world is becoming a global cause.
Sustainable living demands sustainable urban infrastructure is a form of sustainable design, which adheres to the principles of sustainable living. Its main principles are to achieve technological and governmental policies that enable urban planning for sustainable architecture and agriculture.
Sustainable living according to Lester R. Brown, a prominent environmentalist and founder of the World watch Institute and Earth Policy Institute, is “Sustainable living in the 21st century is "shifting to a renewable energy-based, reuse/recycle economy with a diversified transport system."
There a many movements that may appear similar to sustainable living, which oppose further mechanization of society vis-à-vis technological achievements. Sustainable living, however, adheres to the belief that technological progress can be effectively achieved through appropriate technology.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
SAWT is an innovative company engaged in vertical axis wind turbine technology. SAWT stand for Shanghi Aeolus Wind power Technology and SAWT entered Shanghai China in 2005. Research by SAWT’s focuses on vertical axis wind turbine generator including systematic study on aerodynamics & materials. SAWT made breakthroughs in commercializing vertical axis wind generator.
SAWT has been able to develop designs there large product range, i.e. 200-watt, 300-watt, 500-watt, 1000-watt, 3000-watt, vertical axis wind turbines. 10kw vertical axis wind turbines by SAWT are ready for marketing and sales, while two designs 200-watt, 300-watt of vertical axis wind turbines by SAWT have passed experimental phase successfully in wind tunnels. SWAT’S 300-watt vertical axis wind turbine has been installed on experimental grounds at the national highway monitoring system in northern China.
SAWT has obtained 8 international invention patents which is the threshold to enter the vertical axis wind turbine industry. SAWT hopes to replace the traditional horizontal axis wind turbines in the near future with there Vertical Axis Wind Turbine.
Aeroturbine by Aerotecture are being called the future of urban wind energy. Despite of this positive reputation of Aeroturbine many are arguing that the asking price by Aerotecture is a too high. Assuming that one could get 5 KWH per day out of the 1KW 510V model of Aeroturbine and assuming that the value of the KWH is $0.12/KWH, yearly income equivalent would be;
365days/yr x 5KWH/day x $0.12/KWH = $219/year
Therefore payback time in years would be
$15,000/($219/yr) = 68.5 years
Even if you could get 10 kWH per day (which is doubtful because where are you going to have wind blowing at 30mph 10 hours/day), the payback for Aeroturbine would still be about 35 years. However, Bill Becker’s Aeroturbine its self would probably breakdown long before that.
Being a strong supporter of green energy, the cost of Aeroturbine does not disturb me, but Aerotecture should consider a more sensible pricing for Aeroturbine as green technology should be consumer friendly and so that its implementation can be wide spread. Aeroturbine its self is not an expansive set of equipment, in fact it’s simple and cheaper in terms of manicuring compared to the regular wind turbines. Aeroturbine is a light weight easy to install low thought regular yield equipment that should be sold in bulks on more retail grounds.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Aeroturbine was developed by Chicago-based Aerotecture International in 2007 and is a remarkable design in the field of renewable energy. Aeroturbine is known for its innovative design that is perfect for urban wind power generation. The turbines of Aeroturbine are designed for rooftop installation on either commercial or multi-family residences that have access to strong winds. Aerotecture started selling the commercial prototypes of Aeroturbine in late 2007.
Aeroturbine’s design has the interesting aspect of both a vertical prototype for multi-directional wind locations, and a horizontal version for locations with a steady primary wind direction. Aeroturbine has been designed to operate at slow speeds, with little noise and maintenance. The reflective finish and slow turning speed of Aeroturbine reduced the risk to birds and wildlife. A 510V Aeroturbine produces an estimated 1kW of power in 30 mph winds with the 520H produces an estimated 1.8kW from similar wind speeds. Each Aeroturbine is custom fitted to the architecture of the building with a ballpark cost for the 510V of $15,000 and the 520H of $21,000. As Aeroturbine is easy to move and install it can be easily considered as the next generation of wind energy, for our ever urbanizing world.
Potential installation locations for Aeroturbine needs to be 40 feet above ground, unobstructed by trees or other structures, with wind speeds averaging over 10mph. Many are arguing that the asking price is a too high for the Aeroturbine, but tend to forget that the payback time might be too long for Aeroturbine, but is still less then the cost we are and will be paying with our ever increasing carbon foot print.
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