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Smarter Buildings with Distributed Control

Better control of building systems is one of the keys to reducing overall building energy usage. Building systems have always had control systems associated with them, and some of viagra generic canada them are very complex, highly engineered systems. But centralized systems can be expensive, difficult to program, and are not necessarily responsive to changing conditions.

Regen Energy is a new company that is using a number of distributed controllers for various building systems, rather than a single, central controller, to improve the energy efficiency of a building. Using a "swarm" approach to building control is quicker and only now buy levitra now easier to install than a centralized system. And by setting parameters for building equipment, it is easier to set performance goals without needing to program the entire building.

"We tell the controllers, 'Here are some rough guidelines for upper and lower limits' (of energy consumption) and they do the work," he said. "Right now, the way to do this sort of thing is to get a building engineer who does an analysis and then get a software programmer to write custom code."

Regen Energy is partnering with the solar-energy monitoring firm Fat Spaniel and with Zerofootprint, a carbon-management software company. "Fat Spaniel's solar array monitoring software (is used to) maximize the how to get viagra online amount of electricity used from on-site solar, Kerbel said. The integration with Zerofootprint's service will allow building managers to reduce carbon emissions by integrating real-time information on whether power is recommended site drug viagra being generated from fossil fuels or renewable energy." By coordinating with utility programs that identify peak-load periods, the swarm network can help reduce building energy demand, which translates into utility rate savings, as well as improving energy performance.

via: Building Energy Performance News


Mexico City Tries to Clean Up Its Act With Urban Vegetation

Greater Mexico City is the third largest metropolitan area in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere with a population of over 22 million people. The city is home to much of Mexico’s economy, industry and culture.

However, it is also horribly polluted, contributing 1.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The city is so polluted, in fact, that 4,000 people die every year as a direct result of the toxic chemicals that float in the air over much of the city. The Mexico City Human Rights Commission declared that the state of the city was a “violation of the right to a healthy environment.”

The good news is that the city’s leadership appears to be finally making a push to clean up their act. A new project has been launched called Sustainable Housing Units, which seeks to create a vegetative urban environment to help clean up the city's air.


Old Oil Rig? Or New Island Resort?

There's a problem with oil rigs...once they've pumped all of the oil out from underneath them, they become gigantic, useless hunks of metal sitting in the middle of some of the most beautiful oceans in the world. So what do we do with all of them?

Well we've already seen people strapping wind turbines to them, to turn fossil fuel farms into wind farms, and we're pretty big fans of low cost canadian viagra that idea. But this year's winner of the Radical Innovation in Hospitality award is taking that idea a few steps further. Yes, the oil rig will have a wind turbine, but the turbine will be used to power a luxury hotel that will sit on the only today non prescription levitra off-shore island.

The hotel would have 300 luxury suites, a conference center, a roof-top infinity pool, a dive bell and (since there are no specific laws preventing it) a casino. What else could a modest millionaire ask for in a vacation spot?

Because it's so expensive to hire construction crews certified for working on oil rigs, the hotel would be pre-fabricated on-shore, and then shipped in modular components to mexico levitra the oil rig.

To me, there are a few significant flaws to this plan. The first, of course, is that Katrina showed us just how vulnerable these structures can be. And while they would have plenty of time to evacuate, the Hotel would probably just be empty for all of hurricane season, and absolutely impossible to insure.

Second, this seems like a fairly unsustainable use of an unsustainable product. I'd rather we just strap a wind turbine to it and be done with it than constantly be helicoptering millionaires into the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.


New Skyscraper Farm Mimics Nature

What grows organic produce, consumes CO2, and is over 30 stories tall? The answer is Eric Vergne’s Dystopian Farm skyscraper, a winner of 2009's Evolo Skyscraper Competition. The Evolo Skyscraper Competition, held each year, encourages some of the world's most creative architects, engineers, and artists to design new structures to meet the needs future urban residents.

One of this year's three winning designs was the spiraling Dystopian Farm tower, a green skyscraper designed for the Hudson Yard area of Manhattan. The tower is buy daily cialis modeled after the cells in ferns and other plants. Its organic design provides stability to buy ultram overnight the structure, and a network of housing for the tower's growing systems. The tower is equipped with advanced growing technologies such as airoponic watering, nutrient feed systems, controlled lighting, and CO2 level regulation.

The end result is a tower which not only looks natural, but is home to a rich green garden that consumes carbon dioxide and provides food for the growing urban population. Mr. Vergne describes, "Through food production and consumption, this skyscraper sets up a fluctuation of varying densities and collections of people, bringing together different social and cultural groups, creating new and unforeseen urban experiences that form and we like it best price for levitra dissipate within the buy levitra cheap flux of city life."

World population in urban centers is on the rise. Experts predict that by 2050 80% of the world's citizens will reside in an urban setting. These residents will need an estimated 109 hectares of arable land to provide their food. As space on best quality levitra the ground is limited, one increasingly attractive solution is to build upwards, creating vertical farms. While few such farms currently exist, several projects are planned and the field could grow tremendously in the next couple decades.

The Evolo Skyscraper competition drew 416 entrants this year from 64 countries. Ultimately, three winners, including the Dystopian Farm, were picked, with 15 special mentions.

Via Inhabitat


Super-Insulation Panel 10x Better than Today's Market Leaders

The most effective building insulation materials currently in widespread use are polystyrene and polyisocyanurate panels and polyurethane spray foam. These materials have an R-value of about R-5 to R-6 per inch.

Fiberglass batts, which are widely used in residential construction, have an R-value of about R-3 per inch. Aerogel is an intriguing material which has an R-value of R-10 per inch, but it is still very expensive to produce and, because it is so fragile, it is difficult to incorporate into building materials. As these R-Values increase, so does the efficiency of heating and cooling, the largest slice of the home power-use pie.

Specialty panels with significantly higher performance are available. Vacuum boards can provide as much as R-30 per inch. And a company called Glacier Bay offers Barrier Ultra-R panels, which use aerogel inside a sealed, evacuated panel. Ultra R panels offer R-50 per inch insulation value, roughly 10X better than a conventional polystyrene or polyiso insulation board.

By incorporating the aerogel core inside the vacuum panel, the panels require a less extreme vacuum to obtain their insulation performance. And the reduced pressure differential due to the lower vacuum level translates into a longer life for the panel. A typical panel needs to have internal braces to keep the panel from being crushed by the buy ultram online legally outside atmospheric pressure (and these braces reduce the effectiveness of best price on viagra the vacuum insulation by acting as a thermal bridge that lets heat move from one side to the other). Aerogel is a very strong material, and supports the panel faces to generic cialis tadalafil prevent them from being crushed.

Even if the panel is tramadol 10mg punctured and the vacuum is lost, these panels will continue to perform at R-9 per inch, still nearly double a conventional insulation board. And the panels carry a 25 year warranty.

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