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Links for September 25th through October 1st

by Mel Starrs on October 2, 2009

in News

These are my links for September 25th through October 1st:

  • "Passive" Heating and Cooling Is a Misnomer. It’s Active. : TreeHugger – "there are 36 Billion square feet of non-residential buildings from the 50s through the 80s that need to be retrofitted and greened. It ain't going to be easy."
  • AIArchitect This Week | Buildings Brought to Life: The First Project to Meet the Living Building Challenge Is Only Months Away – "For a building to meet the Living Building Challenge it must consume net-zero energy and water. It must produce net-zero waste. It must choose an ecologically responsible site and maintain it. Inherently unsustainable materials (like lead, mercury, and formaldehyde) are not allowed, and there’s a limited radius from which materials can be transported to the building site during construction. Indoor air quality must be maintained, and, among many other requirements, all of these sustainability features must be featured in educational materials and programs at the building. Since the challenge was formulated in 2006, no building has met it."
  • Don’t Underestimate the Power of Information in Pursuing Sustainability | – "The Energy Passport is a related idea that could be implemented much more easily. Conceived in the early '90s by Dr. Yuri Matrosov of the Moscow Center for Energy Efficiency (CENEf), Energy Passport programs were first adopted in Moscow, then in Germany, which is now pushing for it to be implemented in the EU as a whole.
    The initial Energy Passport is based on modeled energy use and then actual energy use is compared each year with predicted use, which then could be accessed by tenants and others. Clearly, comparing actual energy use with predicted energy use, as well as consumption trends over time, would give designers and developers an incentive to get the prediction right in the first place (parenthetical note, without clear modeling rules it is shockingly easy to game the results of energy models), as well as provide a clear benchmark for operators to manage their buildings more closely."
  • Glass Industry Raises Concerns Over ASHRAE 90.1 Revisions That Could Reduce the Use of Glass in Nonresidential Buildings – Impact of potential changes to prescriptive route for ASHRAE 90.1 (similar to old elemental method for Part L) for glazing: "The proposal does not recognize or accommodate the need for different glazing solutions across climate zones. It is a "one size fits all" approach and will limit the glazing choice to a small range of high transmission, clear low-E glazings. They are not the appropriate products in all climate zones, especially the Southern cooling-dominated climates because of the sunlight intensity. Use of such high transmission glass in those climate zones will likely result in greater use of blinds resulting in increasing lighting energy usage.
    …There is only limited possibility for saving energy in buildings unless the space also includes automatic daylighting controls. Even with recent proposals, daylighting controls are only required in rooms where the "primary side-lighted area" is less than 1,000 square feet. …"
  • How to keep your mouth shut « Scott Berkun – Oh, I have been here many times. Like Scott, I'm recovering ;o). Read the whole post: "But then later on, in a new job at Microsoft in a group known as MSTE, I discovered a world of dysfunction, despair and passive/aggression. No one spoke their mind in public. Few people worked hard or asked tough questions. Quality of work, and morale, was low. So I soon felt obligated to mention these facts as often and as loudly as possible to leadership. I even expected to be rewarded for telling people how bad things were. Why wouldn’t they want to hear this? I thought.
    Before I knew it, I was that guy. The guy who always complains."
  • 500 Internal Server Error – 500 Internal Server Error
  • Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment » Blog Archive » Ethics and the Built Environment (by Jon de Souza) – If consultants only get involved at the Jus in Bello stage, is it ethical to build immoral buildings? Waiting avidly for part 2: "At present, the discussions about ethical behaviours in construction largely consider what happens after a decision has been taken to construct – the Jus In Buildo stage if you will. (Told you). What is missing is consideration of that former stage – the question asked is “can we build it”, but not “should we”. This seems to chime with our view of the world – that there are some things that simply shouldn’t be built. I mean, can any of us really morally defend snow domes in Dubai?"
  • UK notches strong gains in renewable capacity in 2008 – Politics – Renewable energy news – Recharge – wind, solar, biofuels, wave/tidal/hydro and geothermal – "The UK’s installed renewable generation capacity surged 19% in 2008, thanks largely to a 727 megawatt (MW) increase in onshore wind capacity and a 192MW boost in offshore wind, according to new government statistics.
    At the same time, the amount of electricity produced from renewables in the UK rose a more modest 10%, to 21.6 gigawatt hours (GWh)."