|Design Forward Newsletter
Welcome to the September 2004 newsletter from Design
Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.
Quote of the Month: "What is the use of a house if you
haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" - Henry
Lisa Van Veen
||Award Winning Straw Bale Residence
This award winning Tucson Arizona home designed by
Radius Associates uses both straw bales and Rasta
walls. The architect Robert Gay stated, "the most
fun thing about the Mullaneys' house has been that
it seems to turn people on at multiple levels -- they
are curious about the bale and Rastra walls, solar
hot water, rainwater harvesting, etc, but they also
like the designed diversity and uniqueness of the
various spaces." The 2436 square foot house uses low-e
glazing, R-45 ceiling insulation, radiant heat barrier,
solar hot water, and energy efficient lighting and
appliances. The house's estimated energy performance
is calculated at 7% better than the (optional) Sustainable
Energy Standard (the "Civano code").
Placement on the site also strongly influenced the
design. Floor levels are set to make equal volumes
of cutting and filling, to eliminate hauling or importing
soil. The driveway was set on a ridge to reduce cutting
or filling, only light grading was needed. As for
the landscape, the disturbed area is minimal and the
untouched desert area is maximized. There will be
no grass and natural growing vegetation is preserved.
Article © Lisa Van Veen. Picture © Radius Associates.
||Global Warming to Worsen Heat Waves in America and Europe
Heat waves like those that have hit Paris and Chicago
in recent years are likely to get worse, roasting
more and more cities with ever-higher temperatures,
climate researchers predicted.
While some may like it hot, the forecast means misery
for many, and hotter weather can affect crops, drive
up fuel prices and can kill the old and weak. The
heat wave that hit France a year ago killed an estimated
15,000 people. A similar heat wave that hit the U.S.
Midwest last year damaged the corn and soy crops,
and 739 people died in a head wave that broiled Chicago
Using a new computer model that takes into account
increasing levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon
dioxide, Gerald Meehl and Claudia Tebaldi of the National
Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado,
found heat waves might become more common as global
warming heats the Earth.
Article © PlanetArk. Picture © emagazine.com
||A Source of Renewable Energy
In the early stages of the Green Energy program,
Georgia Power will use methane gas created by the
decay of landfill waste as its primary form of biomass.
The technology for collecting and using landfill gas
is well-developed, making methane one of the most
efficient and low-cost sources of renewable energy.
Landfill gas is largely composed of methane and carbon
dioxide, which must be burned to avoid hazards of
accumulation. By burning methane in boilers, Georgia
Power produces steam for power generation. Depending
upon the size and age of a landfill, generators at
landfill gas sites tend to produce between three and
eight megawatts of electric power. A five-megawatt
plant would produce approximately 39 million kilowatt-hours
per year - enough to supply about 3,200 homes.
Article © Georgia Power
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