Saturday, October 27, 2007

Green Homes with modular approach

It was good to see our local home builders start advertising new home building in 2008 to feature green homes. It fits the goal of creating green communities where homes and other commercial buildings are built green.
Considering the 3 D modeling and design technology we now see modular home builders experiencing the demand for green homes. One can build in modules these homes and assemble the pieces on site in very short time. You can save materials and get high quality construction.
So many new ideas are now in practice that future only can be brighter as we see such homes built in our communities. No worries about big unions raising the labor costs or bad weather delaying the construction. Only better days are ahead for the Green building initiatives.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sustainable Green Hospitals offer natural healthy environmenr

Hospitals are the place where people recover from illnesses. It takes medicine and caring staff to help patients as they recover. The building environment and indoor air quality also plays a key role in how we feel and can make the curing process faster. Many new Green hospitals will soon prove this point. From another aspect, cost of health care is also critical and since the health care industry requires more energy, it is necessary that we build energy efficient facilities.
As the oil hit about $88.00 per barrel price mark today, the future is much Bleaker. 2008 may bring us $100 per barrel oil. More money is leaving our country as this price keeps going up. It has increased about 300 percent since 2003. The time is right to stop this by adopting green design and switching to other renewable fuels. The money spent on energy should stay in our country and not be given to many suppliers of oil that are unfriendly to our way of life. Let us not fund the enemy. Let us invest in better hospitals, schools and industrial plants that bring nature to people to enhance our performance and help local economy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Noble Peace Prize for Noble Cause

Well today is the Bloggers environmental message day! It was great to see the Noble pize this year shared between Mr. Gore and the UN climate group. The message supports the concern for saving the globe from going out of balance and resulting in massive natural disasters.
Green initiatives are common sense approaches to conserve not waste and most of the time win win proposition. It is time we become smart consumers and shed the dependence on oil. What is needed is long term perspective. Start to think in 10 to 15 year plans and implement today what can save us money over the long run. Expecting 1-2 year returns is common from their investments in the corporate world. However, Government should be providing incentives and long term financing to build systems with solar or geothermal technology that may take 10 year payback but gets us off the oil habit.
Fortunately tax free bonding is available to the towns and villages and this source could be used to fund Green projects. Sustainable green communities should promote such program by using this funding approach and get the systems installed in their communities. Wisdom at the top can certainly guide the rest as we take this journey.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Green Communities create Jobs and economic development

The main benefits known from Green building initiatives are energy and health. However sustainable thinking helps create opportunities for local businesses to create and sustain jobs. Use of recycle content promotes reuse and helps salvage companies in metal, wood, plastics and concrete. The concept of locally grown food with use of natural fertilizers helps agriculture and small farmers to deliver fresh food and require less transportation. Alternative energy projects would allow to reevaluate old sites for flour mills, small micro hydro installation to make power. Many of these concepts form the sustainable green ideas that communities need to review as they assess their own assets and move forward with this journey.
Planning green initiatives with the involvement of local citizen is the best way to tap this enormous talent that is willing to contribute to make their community a Quality community. In Rochester area, the Town of Irondequoit, Town of Brighton and City of Auburn are taking this step. We will report the progress as these initiatives are implemented in future.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Deconstruction approach saves emobodied energy

Every product made by humans requires resources and energy to make. We use these products and discard them after their useful life . With the product disposal the embodies energy is lost and it consumes energy to transport to the disposal site.

Sustainable green thinking makes us to recognize this hidden energy and try to design products with cradle to cradle thinking. Once the useful life is reached the parts of the products are reused for making new products.

Smart companies have started looking at sustainable designs and now designing reuse in mind. Today I noted an advertisement in Wall street for Executive CEO chairs with 93% recyclable feature noted for this Eco friendly products. A local college- Rochester Institute of Technology is starting the first pH D program in sustainability focusing on manufacturing sector. These are wonderful developments to help fight global climate change.

In building sector, deconstruction is very important technique for helping save disposal costs and help support the recycle reuse industry which can produce new products for new building construction.

We are applying this approach in a local contaminated site redevelopment project in Churchville NY. An abandoned industrial plant site is planned to be converted to a small green housing community of 30 - 40 homes for seniors. The waste materials and metal buildings are sold to companies that have taken them apart with the intention of rebuilding them on their own site. It is our intention to reuse as much of the on site building facilities in our future building plans. Any items demolished will be ground up and used for site fill needs to minimize the amount disposed off site.

We hope that others will do the same, but FIRST we should be the change! as Gandhi said to lead by example. Sustainable communities should provide incentives and support to such developments.