Net Zero Energy Paradigm Homes

After the setting of 13 factory-built boxes and the completion of construction, these net zero energy homes were opened to three

low-income families in Lafayette, Colorado.  Referred to as the Paradigm Pilot Project, the development includes one single family home and a duplex.  The project was designed by HB&A Architects and built by All American Homes of Colorado for the Boulder County Housing Authority.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Paradigm Pilot Project was designed to maximize solar orientation and generate on-site energy from solar PV, solar thermal, and a ground-source geothermal heat pump (for the single family home).

In addition, the ceiling and floor truss materials came from waste lumber, the landscaping is partially drought-tolerant, the plumbing fixtures are low-flow and water efficient, and the appliances are Energy Star.

The housing authority intends to build upon the success and learning experience of the Paradigm Pilot Project with a potential project in Josephine Commons, a 153-unit, mixed income development also in Lafayette.  We’ll keep an eye out for permitting plans on this future eco community.

[+] Boulder County Housing Authority Builds Green by the Daily Camera.


Courtesy:Jetson green

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Environment Issues-How Much Energy Does It Take to Make Bottled Water?

producing, packaging and transporting a liter of bottled water requires between 1,100 and 2,000 times more energy on average than treating and delivering the same amount of tap water, according to a peer-reviewed energy analysis conducted by the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Oakland, California.

Popularity of Bottled Water is Rising
Bottled water has become the drink of choice for many people around the world, and sales have skyrocketed over the past few years. In 2007, for example, more than 200 billion liters of bottled water were sold worldwide. Americans alone purchased more than 33 billion liters for an annual average of 110 liters (nearly 30 gallons) per person—a 70 percent increase since 2001.

Bottled water has become so popular that it now outsells both milk and beer in the United States. Carbonated soft drinks are the only bottled beverage that U.S. consumers buy in greater quantities than bottled water, and per-capita sales of bottled water are rising while per-capita sales of milk and soft drinks are going down. The irony here, of course, is that a lot of bottled water is little more than tap water, which costs very little and is much better regulated and more rigorously tested than bottled water.

Adding Up the Energy Costs of Bottled Water
For the energy analysis, environmental scientists Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley of the Pacific Institute assessed the energy used during each stage of bottled water production. They added up the energy it takes to make a plastic bottle; process the water; label, fill and seal the bottle; transport bottled water for sale; and cool the bottled water before it ends up in your gym bag or your car’s cup holder.

Writing in the February 19, 2009 issue of Environmental Research Letters [pdf], Gleick and Cooley report that manufacturing and transportation are the most energy-intensive processes involved in putting a bottle of water in your refrigerator.

The two scientists estimate that just producing the plastic bottles for bottled-water consumption worldwide uses 50 million barrels of oil annually—enough to supply total U.S. oil demand for 2.5 days.

Transportation energy consumption is harder to figure, because some water is bottled locally and travels short distances to reach consumers while other brands of bottled water are imported from distant nations, which increases the amount of energy needed to transport them. According to the report, imported bottled water uses about two-and-a-half to four times more energy than bottled water produced locally.

Overall, the two scientists estimate that meeting U.S. demand for bottled-water—assuming the 2007 consumption rate of 33 billion liters—requires energy equivalent to between 32 million and 54 million barrels of oil. The energy required to satisfy the global thirst for bottled water is about three times that amount.

Think Before You Drink
If you imagine that every bottle of water you drink is about three-quarters water and one-quarter oil, you’ll have a pretty accurate picture of how much energy it takes to put that bottle of water in your hand.

Courtesy:About.com

Reality beckons for geothermal energy dream

EVERY time Resources Minister Martin Ferguson makes an announcement regarding geothermal energy he likes to quote the statistic that just 1 per cent of Australia’s geothermal resources could power Australia for 26,000 years.

But does he really believe it can even power Australia one time over? The pace and quantum of the government funding for geothermal suggests he is not entirely convinced.

He wouldn’t be the only one.

Continue Reading at TheAustralian

How can we conserve energy?

How can we conserve energy?
When you enter a room and turn on the light,
To help you see in the dark of night,
Do you ever stop to think and ponder,
What will happen if we continue to squander?

Not all our energy is the renewable kind,
So ways to save it, you must keep in mind,
For if we don’t, one day there will be,
No energy left for you or for me!

What can we do? What must we change?
What habits should we rearrange?
There’s lots to be done, changes big and small,
And most take almost no effort at all!

Why is it important to conserve energy?

Why is it important to conserve energy?

Why Is It Important To Conserve EnergyAll of us use energy every day – for entertainment, cooking, transportation, lighting, heating and cooling homes, manufacturing, etc. We consume a lot of energy. The United States consumes about one fourth of the world’s energy resources.
When energy is produced from non-renewable fuels, to heat our homes or power our cars for example, pollutants are released into the air contaminating the air we breathe and water too. The more energy we use or miles we drive in our cars, the more energy power plants must produce or gasoline our cars burn, releasing more pollutants into the air.

What is non-renewable energy?

What is non-renewable energy?

What Is Non-Renewable Energy

Non-renewable energy comes from sources that can’t be replenished in a short period of time. We get most of our energy from nonrenewable energy sources, which include fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, coal and from nuclear energy.  Fossil fuels are thought to have been formed from the buried remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago.

Did you know that between 20 to 25 percent of the electricity generated in Pennsylvania comes from our five nuclear power plants?

Why do we need energy?

Why do we need energy?

Why Do we Need Energy?
Energy is very important in today’s world. For example, we use different energy sources to generate the electricity we need for our homes, schools, businesses and factories. Electricity “powers” our TVs, computers, air conditioners, cell phones and washing machines – just to mention a few.  We also use energy to run cars, planes, trains, buses and motorcycles.

What is energy?

What is Energy?

Energy is the ability to do work. Oil, coal, natural gas, wind, water – just What Is Energy?to name a few – provide us the energy we need in our daily lives. For example, we use oil to produce gasoline for our cars. We use natural gas, coal, solar and wind power to generate electricity that makes the computer you are using work!
There are two forms of energy: renewable energy and non-renewable energy.



Courtesy:Department Of Environmental Protection