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Energy…getting a lil political here….

17 Oct

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Architectural Record seemed to be reading my mind today, there online “WEB INSIDER” came out with a critique today by James Russel titled “All Quiet on the Eco Front

Energy is a big thing, lets not kid ourselves here, and one of the big issues I’ve been having with the election is how Energy isn’t becoming a larger topic. Granted yes Taxes, Healthcare, the Economy, Foreign Policy they all are big issues as well, and rightfully should be front and center while we decide who is going to be the next President of the United States. I honestly haven’t decided who I am voting for yet, but one of the MAJOR ISSUES I have with Governor Romney is the fact that he keeps boasting about how he will be successful in making us Energy Independent over the next 8 years (assuming he’ll be a two-term President should he win).

My issue with this is that ENERGY IS A GLOBAL ISSUE !


It’s an EV Party! The IGO EV Event Recap

11 Apr

Last night’s IGO EV Member Party was filled with fun, information, and intrigue. After toasting (yes, toasting!) IGO’s EV start with a plastic cup of champagne, the IGO CEO explained some of their plans on moving forward with their EV releases. There were plenty of snacks and drinks going around while people enjoyed good discussion, thoughts about the program, and yes, even some test rides in the their new Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.





Some recap and insight:



10 Feb

Being green doesn’t mean you always have to make a statement. I came across this article about the largest solar array in Manhattan. What struck me is that even though this is so big it was very well blended into the current architecture. It is simple moves like this that are so powerful, hiding some solar panels among a similar colored south facing roof.

Deutsche Bank Solar

I-GO Solar

14 Dec

I-GO recently announced that they will be constructing 18 solar charging stations and will be adding 36 electric vehicles to its fleet. One of the locations for these solar charging stations will be right here on the IIT campus.

Rendering of Solar Charging Station


PopSci New Green Tech

28 Nov

The December 2011 issue of Popular Science is their annual Best Innovations of the Year and included two in their Green Tech section that stood out to me. The first is Wysips, a flexible, transparent solar film.

Wysips, from Popular Science


Inventive Thinking…Constructing Wind Turbines with a Pick Up?!

23 Nov

When talking about innovation, you don’t necessarily need tons of money, big equipment, or a ton of fan support to get something done.  Sometimes all you need is a little invention.  With fuel prices between $6 and $7 per gallon in the remote locations of Alaska, heat and electricity costs are sky-high.  With that in mind, one town decided that windpower would be a fantastic solution.  There’s just one problem…how can you get a crane to a remote rural town without sending construction costs through the roof?

Easy…use a Ford F-150 pick up truck!

“The tribal leaders of the small village of Perryville on the Alaska Peninsula in a far corner of Southwest Alaska believe the wind has saved them $66,000 to date. The wind in Perryville does not blow particularly hard, but it comes steady off the Gulf of Alaska to spin 10 Skystream 3.7 wind turbines.

Villagers hoisted them into the air in November of 2008 using a winch mounted on a Ford F-250 pickup truck. Then they wired them into the grid connecting the village’s power to three, existing diesel turbines. The entire project cost $150,000″

You know what they say…”Necessity is the mother of invention.”

For the full article:

The Future of Cities [ TED talks ]

21 Nov

What’s your vision of a “sustainable” city?  Much of what we see today are cities full of buildings covered in trees, plants, waterfalls, and other natural items.  However, a sustainable city isn’t a city pasted over by a green film…check out what Alex Steffen has to say:

What I like most about his talk is the fact that he wants us to THINK DIFFERENT…greening anything isn’t just about the green on top, it’s about the systems underneath, the nitty gritty things that aren’t always talked about.  He makes a good point…what about rain collection systems, animal pollination, and the recovery of carbon?  Many of these things aren’t seen on the outside, so many people ignore them, but they are an extremely important component of moving our future forward.


Recycling Gets Real: Plastics [ TED Talks ]

21 Nov

I know that many people question the recycling process and how well it really works.  As an avid recycler, even I question the realities of recycling, and the biggest questions come to the realm of recycling plastics.  Plastics 1-7, certain factories only do certain types, ooops can’t do plastic film, bla bla bla…there are so many issues with plastic recycling!

Well, here you go green fans…now, plastic recycling gets real…real sustainability, real economics, real recycling!


Green Retrofits on existing housing in Urban Areas

15 Nov

Found this article reading my weekly Urban Green Council e-mail. Made me think back to all the good times in IIT’s College of Architecture… I think to the Mec/Elec classes learning the basics about reducing energy in design, then re-learning them in Energy Conscious Design, and to the stories told in “The Dwelling” of the houses that were fixed up by Professor Davis. I also remember people thinking its a good idea and something to add to the list of things they’d want to do after they graduate.

Now in a report that will be published by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Living Cities the idea now is that those fixer uppers will be retrofitted with the means to create Energy Savings, because now there are actually numbers to back up all the talk that older buildings can be made green and that the cost put in will in fact be made back in energy savings. This totally justifies my wanting to retrofit my grandmothers 5 family residence in downtown Brooklyn, this report just made it easier to help convince my family to maybe let me do it. *Fingers Crossed*

See NY Times Article:
Study Clarifies the Energy Savings in Retrofitted Buildings