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Note: Design Forward LLC is proud to have served the Southern California area designing straw bale homes for over 15 years. However, we have moved on to other business ventures and have closed the business as of January 2017. We will not taking any new projects or responding to phone and email requests. This website will be left up as an archive of data for straw bale and design. You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer. Thank you!
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July 2004
Design Forward
 Sustainable Concepts . Design Forward Newsletter 
July 2004 
. . . . . . . . .

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

Quote of the Month: "Engineers participate in the activities which make the resources of nature available in a form beneficial to man and provide systems which will perform optimally and economically." - L. M. K. Boelter, 1957

in this issue
  • Zero Energy Housing
  • Recycling - A Waste?
  • Cutting Energy Costs in Half, Solar Pioneer Changes Attitudes One Bale at a Time
  • Feedback

  • Recycling - A Waste?
    Recycle So it true that recycle is a waste of time, money and energy? Let's look at the facts: First off, it is more expensive to recycle garbage than it is put it in a landfill. For the average city it takes $50-$60 a ton to throw trash into the landfill, and $150 a ton to recycle. Cities, such a New York, it is estimated to cost up to $250 a ton. In fact, landfills are the cheapest method of disposing of garage. New landfills are constructed to pipe the methane gas it produces to local power plants, supplying approximately 39 million kilowatt-hours per year - enough to supply about 3,200 homes (very green energy). So what about recycling? It takes more money to recycle a plastic bottle than it does to create a new one. Recycling paper takes more energy and creates more pollution than making new paper. There are more steps including removing the ink, which causes another byproduct. The processes also use more water than producing new paper products. But what about the trees? There is the argument that paper should be recycled so that we save trees and forests? We have 3 times more trees now than in the 1920s; in fact we grow trees just to produce newsprint. It is a sustainable resource.

    So now what? Many of us recycle and feel our need to participate. Environmentalists tell use that we should and we are helping the planet. But if it is a waste of time, money and resources and is less sustainable than we though all along, what can we do to help. Well one thing recycling aluminum can is still a good practice. It takes less money and resources to make an aluminum can from recycled materials than it to make a new one. So save the cans and trash everything else.

    But don't take my word a face value. Do your own research...An article...Recycling Is Garbage...and the rebuttal...Recycling Isn't Garbage...

    Article Lisa Van Veen

    Cutting Energy Costs in Half, Solar Pioneer Changes Attitudes One Bale at a Time
    Associate Professor David Bainbridge of the College of Business at Alliant International University (AIU) has received the American Solar Energy Society's Passive Solar Pioneer Award honoring innovative work on environmentally responsive buildings and solar energy for ventilation, heating, cooling and lighting.

    Bainbridge was an early proponent of straw bale building, a technique that provides the super-insulation needed for high-performance solar buildings at modest cost. Because of these advantages, the technique is catching on worldwide -- straw bale buildings in Mongolia are now providing energy savings of 80%-plus.

    Article AIU.

    Read full article... »

    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... »

    Zero Energy Housing
    BedZED, the Beddington Zero Energy Development, is an environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient mix of housing and work space in Beddington, Sutton.

    BedZED will only use energy from renewable sources generated on site. It is the first large-scale 'carbon neutral' community - i.e. the first not to add to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. BedZED shows how housing can be built without degrading the environment.

    BedZED is being developed by the Peabody Trust, working with environmental consultants BioRegional and architect Bill Dunster, who jointly developed the zero energy concept.

    Article & Picture BedZED

    Find out more...

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    Last Month's Newsletter

    Featured Link - Solar Pioneer Award

    Featured Link - David Bainbridge

    Featured Link - BP Solar

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    Revised July 12, 2004