Ideas and Solutions for long term Affordable
- Co-generation or district
heating - is the use of a heat
engine or a power station to generate both electricity
and useful heat.
Conventional buildings account for
over 35% of the energy used in the developed world.
Conventional heating systems use more fuel, even though a project may use
LEED certification, using heating oil for each dwelling will consume much
more energy than a centralized wood pellet or bio-fuel co-generation
- Passive solar
design - for all units and
commercial spaces. Passive design includes small changes such as larger
roof overhangs on the south side, direct and indirect solar gain
techniques, roof pond systems, trombe walls and other simple technologies
that will save money on heating and cooling. Passive solar technologies
convert sunlight into usable heat, cause air-movement for ventilation or
cooling, or store heat for future use without the assistance of other
energy sources. Technologies that use a significant amount of conventional
energy to power pumps or fans are classified as active solar technologies.
Some passive systems use a very small amount of conventional energy to
control dampers, shutters, night insulation, and other devices that
enhance solar energy collection, storage, and use. Design changes include buildings that are
elongated on an east-west axis can also provide greater solar exposure. By
using Passive design the energy costs of the buildings are lowered further
than what LEED alone can provide. This will save energy for the life of a
- Day-lighting (the practice of placing windows and skylights, light tubes with
reflective surfaces, so that during the day natural light provides
effective internal illumination), this brings in the natural sunlight, even to lower floors, and back
rooms. This will eliminate, or reduce the need to run electric lighting in
the daytime. Day-lighting provides healthy lighting for occupants with no
ongoing or additional cost.
- Use of automated
lighting controls (called occupancy
sensors), which turn on and off lights if there is motion or occupancy,
and not enough ambient light. Also we will use motion sensors for
exterior lighting. These energy saving technologies are being used in many
new buildings for interior and exterior lighting systems and these simple
steps will save electricity over the life of the project.
- Use of compact
fluorescent bulbs and low voltage LED
interior and exterior
lighting systems in 100% of this project, including the outdoor lights.
Outdoor lights are so often overlooked and play a major roll in energy
lighting will be low
voltage LED style and on timers or motion sensors to use less electricity
and not be always on. Streetlights
can be PV powered (standalone) so less wiring and underground trenching
will be needed. There are several very attractive low standing LED street
light systems. LED street lamps do not have to be changed for 12 years
when lit for an average 11 to 12 hours a day, which is twice the lifetime
of regular high energy lighting. LED systems use less than 50% the
electricity of conventional lighting. [what about light pollution issues?]
- Use of geothermal
pumps), to provide cost-effective cooling for your project. Using the
ground for cooling is much more efficient than using air conditioning, and
provides heat in the winter.
- PV Systems (Photovoltaic) solar
electric will provide some portion of the electric needs. PV collectors
can now be integrated right in the rooflines and often are very
attractive. While the most efficient collectors are on trackers that pivot
to follow the sun, one can cover more area on a roof and generate as much
electricity for lower cost without using trackers. PV will offset energy
used for this entire project; it will save electricity over the life of
- Solar hot water
systems and on-demand (tankless)
hot water systems for units not serviced by solar hot water systems. These
systems can be used together with on-demand as a backup. This will reduce
costs, since only a cold water pipe is needed to supply remote bathrooms
(less copper pipe), and in other cases where units would only turn on if
the water was not heated by sunlight.
- Solar Cooking - commercial
ovens, solar kettles and hot pots will compliment the shared kitchen
space for this project, providing free heat for cooking meals. Home
appliances are the world's fastest growing consumers of energy, second only to
automobiles. Items such as stoves, ovens, and refrigerators account for 30
percent of electricity use in industrial countries and 12 percent of their
greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, an estimated 5 percent of
fossil fuel consumption is dedicated to the cooking and distribution of
food. Using solar ovens could eliminate a portion of that energy
expenditure. This may
encourage more community suppers.
- Green rooftops - provide a natural solution to large scale water runoff problems, noise and air pollution and, offers a productive greater insulation while providing a green space that reduces carbon dioxide from man made sources.