Saturday, January 22, 2011

Green Technology: A Student Project

GREEN TECHNOLOGY is exploding.  From the birth of ecology as a social movement perhaps now forty years past, it can seem like we have made a few gains.  But when we begin to explore, we have made far more than a few gains.  Green technology has exploded and is almost beyond our capacity to keep up with the actual and the possible.  Go to the internet and search a term, and we suddenly have a website or blog with many other links, and each of those with many other links promoting the achieved technology or envisioning the possible.  We find that we have many new working applications and myriad ideas to apply.  As will be evident shortly, we have breathable buildings and the capability for vertical urban gardens and on and on, almost ad infinitum.

Developing categories of search words and specific links can get a better handle on what is occurring, and it can be a group student project.  A few possible categories might include: architecture, infrastructure, micro-architecture [house and work environment], transportation, agriculture (related to urbanization), personal, eccentric innovation, and “links.”  A project offers a document for others to use to access information and to begin to increase eco-literacy with an expanding list of terms that relate specifically to green technology.  It may also give focus to students looking for environmental vocations, such as developing “vertical urban gardens” that they may not have considered as a possibility.  And it may offer “seed ideas” that lead students to eventually produce new applications, and to find themselves in a broad community of others.  Very basically, it simply begins to reveal how many projects and ideas are out there.  I offer the following sample that I did a few years past as an example of what is out there, and it was almost endless then.  This sample also offers a simple format to which groups everywhere can add. 


Breathable buildings [search “living city”]
Carbon neutral construction
“Clean” or filter air surrounding buildings rather than only inside buildings
Construction materials: recycling slag in concrete
Daylight panels to regulate heat
Design philosophy:
building for fifty years [Europe] vs. 12 months [USA]; building as naturally organic and so optimizing this dynamic; current buildings produce 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, 65% of landfill waste, and consume 70% of electricity produced; city center producing ¼ CO2 of suburb [Lincoln Institute of Land Policy]; Germans using ½ energy of Americans; urban rationalization and modernization orientation threatens local networks; USA 4.6% consume 25% of world resources [, from design e2 DVD]; real sustainability and not just “lipstick” rain gardens or trees as “building parsley.” USA 5% of global pop using 22% of greenhouse gas emissions [32% CO@ due to transportation, 40% CO2 due to construction/ building operation (See Richard Moe on “preservation”)
Grass roofs
Green building standards; plus innovative standards:
e.g., required solar power in Barcelona for 60% of hot water
Green technology as profit vs. extra cost [Battery Park Design]
Integrated buildings, sharing resources
Lighting: motion sensors
Low income design for global projects
Solar panels; solar roofs [Austin Texas panels reducing the equivalent of 200,000 cars];
            Renting roofs for solar [Duke Energy]
Solar, passive
Solar plastics: “powerfilm”
Solar surfaces
Solar Wi-Fi Streetlight:
Solar windows [each producing 80-250 watts: “RSI Solar”]
Steel container rooms: “SG Blocks,” “Quick Build,” *“Greentainer”
Water reuse; groundwater/rainwater reuse; LID; retention


Appliances: efficiency; solar; turn off “sleeping” electronics; “energy star” heating and
cooling efficiency
Faucet heads, weather stripping, wrapping water heater, refrig. temperature, water temperature, etc.
Gardening: windows, “victory gardens,” micro greens,
Insulation: attic, insulated drapes
Lawn: landscape for wildlife certification; passive paths, cluster gardens, rain gardens;
Paint, eco
Paper: use recycled paper; copy both sides of paper; mugs vs. paper cups;
Paperless office
Printing: “Ecofont”—20% less ink
Passive solar
Passive house: air tight/ passive solar gain, people, electric heat
Preservation/ reuse: an “embodied energy” (in existing architecture) 65 years for a green,
energy efficient new office building to recover the energy lost form demolishing an existing building [Richard Moe, president, National Trust for Historic Preservation; in Christopher Hawthorne, “Green to the people, Low income housing and sustainable architectural materials” []; 35-50 years for new energy efficiency of home to recover the carbon expended during construction: Richard Moe, “Preserving building helps preserve the planet.” Planetizen []
Rainwater collection
Radiant heating
Recycled furniture
Solar roof tiles: “Solar PV”;  Sole Power
Sugarcane charcoal [save trees]:
Toilets: efficiency


Bike pedal charger [e.g., cell phone from empty to full in 90 mins]
Bike trail systems
Bike sharing: Paris “Velib”; Washington “SmartBike”: Barcelona
Car sharing: Washington D.C.
Electric motorcycles: “Enertia” and “Empulse” [faster] at
Free bus passes for public/corporate employees [Des Moines, public]
Hybrid vehicles
Hydrogen fuel
Hydrogen fueled bus
Light rail systems [Denver, by sales tax of 4 cents (?) per $10]
No idling policy for public vehicles
Priority parking for hybrids
Roads, energy generating[ Innowatted (Israel)]
Smart cars: e.g., Zenn [25-35 mp charge]; Fortwo,
Walking:  50% of all trips are less than three miles; 28% less than one mile

AGRICULTURE [related to urban]

Environmentally-friendly landscape design [David McDonald, Seattle]
 “Landscape ecology” [Harvard U Grad School of Design]
Lawn revision: till to absorb rain, “rain garden” of native flora, National Wildlife
Federation—certified wildlife habitat yard; 50,000 nationally
Food scrap recycling for free compost
Genetically-Altered Species:  More food: crops, salmon doubled in size; Less pollution: enviropigs—manure that doesn’t pollute as much, cattle that don’t produce methane in their flatulence; pharmaceuticals:  bananas and other plants producing vaccines [Genetically-engineered plants in 2 billion acres in 20+ countries
Micro greens [The Cook’s Garden; Thompson &Morgan Seedsman]
Organic farm/ truck farm network
Park planting of native/drought-resistant plants
Passive green space; GPR “green plot ratio”: tree 6, bush 3, grass 1
“Pockets of nature”: alleys, railroad tracks, sewage lagoons, neighborhood creeks, field edges
Rain garden in parks
Reconciliation ecology
Rural: 50 foot corridor from water; hedgerow vs. fence; “wildlife highways” [Montana];
Holistic grazing management [foraging]; Conservation Reserve Program; cellulosic vs, grain ethanol, “sinking carbon; promotion of small wind turbines on farms; Aldo Leopold Center For Sustainable Agriculture
Tree planting goals
Urban farm/ urban garden: Will Allen, Growing Power
Vegitated architecture: to mitigate urban “heat islands”
Vertical garden
 Vertical farm
Wetland oasis vs. Mitigation “trade off”
            Environmental Law Insititute/ Sustainable Use of Land Program


Biodegradable products, policies to encourage use
certified green architects/ green realtors
City pools requiring solar heating
Cold water form deep lakes for air conditioning [Toronto]
“Complete Street”—seniors/disabled/transit users/pedestrians/cars/bikes/safe school
routes—curb on one side, landscaped median on the other with planters and granite seats. (See “pedestrianism.”)
“Eco-footprint” evaluation [Wm. Reese, co-creator of term]
Energy rebates for alternative energy projects/Federal tax incentives
Entrepreneurial “Incubators” for recycled design; investment funds [e.g., E+Co], venture
philanthropy, enterprise development [e.g., “Vision Spring”]
Environmentally-damaged sites: restoration of landfill, brownfields, waterfronts
[Andrew Blum, “the long view” Nov 19, 2008, Metropolis magazine (on james Corner, landscape architect]; Hudson Yards Development Corp;
Four day work week and tele-working policies
Geothermal incentives
Greenhouse gas emission goals [e.g., 10% by 2010,  80% by 2050]
Local Governments For Sustainability software package to inventory a city’s greenhouse gas emissions
Green space requirements [e.g., 48% of subdivision]
“Landfill mining” vs. garbage /”Waste transfer faculties vs. generic landfills
sort recyclables, de-manufacture or “deconstruct” electronics/appliances to reclaim resources vs. demolish, compost organics, capture leachate and methane gas, burning trash for energy
LED bulbs in city lights/stop lights; reduce street light wattage
LID goals [low impact retention of water, “bio-retention”]
Nuclear power
Pay for trash
Pedestrianism: e.g., Jan Gehl, Denmark.
Permeable asphalt parking lot
Prohibiting bottled water
Public sustainability coordinators
Recycled construction materials: glass into sand; asphalt singles and rubber into paths
Retrofitting suburbia: big box stores, malls, corridors [transp., pedestrian, greenspace]
Sales tax exemptions for energy efficient products/installations
Solar panel bulk purchase programs for households/businesses
Voluntary water conservation programs; storm water management [enhance stream
Water recycling goals and incentives
Wind energy goals [Houston 25%, Albuquerque 20%]

PERSONAL cheap water filter
Mighty Light [cheap solar lamp]
One Laptop Per Child Project: affordable computers


Illuminated umbrellas, powered by rain
Weed gardens, veneration of weeds
Watershed educator: outside the box
“Adopt the sky”


Living city
Urban farm
Wildlife highways
Stanford University Institute of Design: “Entrepreneurial Design For Extreme
Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon
Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, Oberlin
School environment lessons
American Institute of Architects Custom Residential Design Committee
www. story of stuff”
reconciliation ecology
adaptive reuse
breathable buildings
landscape ecology
certified green architects
bike sharing/ car sharing
smart cars
solar plastics film
recyclable products
compostable products
www.freecycle [recycle]—“design e2” six-part DVD on infrastructure/building design

SPECIFIC LINKS [that, in turn, have related links]

A Daily Dose of Architecture
All About Cities
Architecture for Humanity
Arch News Now
Brooklyn Modern Center for Architecture
The Business of Green
The Center for Land Use
*City Fix [sustainable urban mobility]
*City of Sound
*Civic Nature
Core 77
Critical Cities
Critical Spatial Practice
Daily Green
Design Observer
Design Sponge
Design That Mattters
The Dirt
Down To Earth
Earth Architecture
Earth 911 [recycling centers]
Earth Island Journal
Eco Fashion World
Eco Street
Eco Worldly
Environment 360
Green For All
Green Daily
Great Green Goods
Green Line
The Green Loop [clothes]
Green Options
Green Patriot
The Green Room
Green Tech Forum
The Huffington Post
Kids Against Pollution
*Landscape + Urbanism
Life Without Buildings
Live Earth
Living Cities
The Next American City
Next Billion [sustainable business models]
OSI Baltimore
Population Counts
Putting People First
Resilience Science
The Sphere
Sundown Channe: The Green
Sustainable Design
Sustainable South Bronx
U.S. Green Building Council
UNEP [United Nations Environment Program]
The Urban Land Institute
Urban Palimpsest
Web Urbanist
Wikia Green
Wiser Earth
WRI [World Resource Institute]
Yahoo! Green
Yale Global Online

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