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Newsletter
February 2004
Design Forward
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 Sustainable Concepts . Design Forward Newsletter 
February 2004 
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Greetings!

Welcome to the February 2004 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

Quote of the Month: "Organic architecture seeks superior sense of use and a finer sense of comfort, expressed in organic simplicity." - Frank Lloyd Wright

in this issue
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  • The Eden Project
  • Energy Efficiency: First Things First
  • Stop Junk Mail
  • Feedback

  • Energy Efficiency: First Things First
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    The average American family spends nearly $1,500 per year on utility bills. This expense can be reduced by 10- 90 percent (depending on how inefficient you are and how aggressive you want to be about getting efficient). Saving energy can be a good way to lessen the strain on family finances and free up money for better uses.

    There are hundreds of things you can do to make your home more efficient, ranging from simple, free adjustments to major, long-term investments. Which ones you should do in your home will depend on a number of factors-where you live, the size and style of your house, how efficient it already is, which direction it faces, and so on.

    Nevertheless, let one principle be your guide: go for the best buys first. Often it will be the cheapest, easiest projects that make the biggest dents in your utility bills. Then, with the money you're saving each month on energy and water, you can tackle further projects. Some utilities and state energy offices offer great information and financing programs to encourage their customers to invest in energy efficiency and renewables. Ask yours about rebate programs and energy-saving technologies.

    Article Rocky Mountain Institute. Picture budgetstockphoto.com

    Read on... »

    Stop Junk Mail
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    Junk mail generates 4 million tons of unnecessary wasted annually and is filling 3% of American landfills. The process of creating the mailer is destroying 62 million trees and using 28 billion gallons of water for paper processing annually.

    Article Design Forward

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    Feedback
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    Design Forward works toward promoting Sustainable Design. If you know of a project that should be featured, please contact us. Let us know why you think it should be featured and give us a basic intro to the project, the sustainable elements and any websites or contact information.

    If you would like to submit a fun and/or entertaining quote about architecture, building, the environment or such, send it in! If it at all possible, include the author.

    If you have any other feedback concerning this publication, please feel free to send an email or use the form.

    Contact Form... »

    The Eden Project
    The largest project of this scale, the Eden project is leading architecture into the 21st century with a new outlook on environmental conservation on an enormous scale. The Eden Project, a monumental architectural space of new materials, is an international work of art. The combination of nature and modern construction techniques, in a breakthrough design, deals with many issues of sustainability. The basis of the project is to maintain sustainability of the environment and create a massive greenhouse to accommodate diverse regions. The Eden Project is being called 'the living theater of plants and people.' Its location in Cornwall England was chosen for its temperate climate and local sand / clay pit. The Bodelva China Clay Pit was used as the platform to create the large Biomes. These Biomes, or geodesic greenhouse domes, house three of the world's climate zones - Humid Tropics (rainforests and oceanic islands), Warm Temperate (the Mediterranean, South Africa, and California), and Temperate (Cornwall, Atlantic woodlands, and Chile). The Biomes will contain plant life collected from all over the world.

    The Biomes are made up of a series of geodesic domes constructed of 3D space frames of hexagons, pentagons and triangles. It was important to use a structure, such as a dome, that would allow for great spans so interior columns would not interfere with the growth of the plants. This complex structure creates a frame for the foil cushions. These air-filled cushions are made of a triple glazed ETFE (ethyl tetra fluoro ethylene) material. EFTE are strong, light weight, and recyclable. ETFE weighs only a bit more than 1% of a comparable sized piece of glass. The foil cushions are triple glazed creating two pockets of air, increasing insulation properties and improving upon the concept of thermal mass. EFTE has a life span of 25 years, but if punctured they can be repaired with a simple patch. Thinking ahead to the future, the architects design the building system to go together and come apart with ease. The entire EFTE system can be replaced with a newer material once it becomes available.

    The Eden Project's mere existence is moving architecture into the 21st century with a bold new look at architecture. The combination of ancient building techniques, such as rammed earth, and new, progressive materials, such as EFTE, gives the building a certain ambiance. The ideas of conservation and a progressive movement into the future are incorporated into the design of the project. The restoration of the site and the sustainability of the area are seen throughout the project. The materials take a new look at how architecture and the environment can be combined together peacefully. It does not compete with the landscape, but rather tries to be in harmony with it. The Eden Project will become an international symbol of sustainability, environmental concern, and a new style of monumental architecture.

    Article Lisa Van Veen.

    More about the Eden Project...

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    Last Month's Newsletter

    Featured Link - U.S. Department of Energy

    Featured Link - Efficient Windows

    Featured Link - Energy-Efficient Lighting

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    Revised February 2, 2004