Welcome to the July 2006 newsletter from Design Forward.
Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.
Quote of the Month: "Never be afraid to try something new.
Remember that a lone amateur built the ark. A large group
of professionals built the Titanic."
On a personal note, my name has officially changed to Lisa
A. Swan. All future correspondence will be from my new name,
please update your files and address books. Thank you.
Lisa A. Swan
Eco Office using Straw Wall System
An environmentally-friendly office in York which will
be the biggest building of its kind in Europe is starting
to take shape. By the time the new Eco-Depot at Hazel
Court in James Street is finished later this year it
will have photovoltaic panels on its roof to generate
electricity, a system to harvest rainwater and its own
renewable energy source.
Contractors Mowlem are on site using a crane to winch
into place prefabricated wall panels, made from Yorkshire-grown
straw, on to a timber framework. The panels, the ModCell,
were made at a farm in Easingwold by compressing the
straw and then rendering the resulting boards, which
incorporate doors and windows, with lime.
The straw wall panels have a precision engineered wood
frame, Eurban, which in itself is an innovation in that
the wood is a form of glu-lam that derives its raw material
from previously trashed lumber from a dimensional saw
mill. The frames are filled with modified straw bales,
selected for density, freeness from dust and trash,
a specific moisture content and with a low background
level of mould spores. The whole frame is then pinned
with wooden dowel and rebar to create a rigid panel
that as a structural member can support itself and 3
stories in an installation. A slurry coat of lime render
on top of mesh completes the panel ready for shipment
to the construction site. Window and door openings are
made from the same glu-lam lumber to take conventional
door and glazing units as required. Once installed the
panels are finished in a top coat of lime render along
with appropriate internal and external fascia to suit
design, local code and available materials.
The walls of the finished building will be so highly-
insulated they will be three times more energy efficient
than is required by current building regulations. The
next stage of construction of the £8m building will
be the roof. A wind turbine will help to cut heating
bills by 40 per cent and the building's sustainable
design, which maximizes the use of natural daylight
and ventilation, is expected to save £46,000 in energy
bills each year. Under-floor heating and sensors on
windows, to detect high temperature or CO2 levels and
open accordingly, are other measures to make the building's
use of energy more efficient.
Rainwater will be harvested and recycled for use washing
depot vehicles, rather than having to use clean tap
water. The office will be the new base for York Council's
commercial services department and will include rooms
for training on sustainable building design and educational
visits by schools and other groups.
Article © Mark Harrison and Julie Hemmings / Yorkshire
Post. Picture © Mark Harrison.
As awareness of alternative building materials and residential
energy sources increases among Chaffee County, Colorado
consumers, two local real estate brokers will be ready
to meet the market.
Terri Dunn of Piñon Real Estate Group recently completed
online certification to become the Chaffee County’s
first eco-broker. Kathleen Nelson of United Country
Premier Brokers is working to finish the same online
curriculum offered at ecobroker.com
As eco-brokers, they will represent “green” homes –
built with materials such as straw bale and tires –
and energy efficient homes that use solar or other sources
for power. They will also help buyers find parcels suited
for alternative homes and help connect them with local
Article © Arkansas Valley Publishing. Picture © ECOBROKER
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