Building Technology Update for Oct. 18, 2009

October 18, 2009 at 9:28 pm Leave a comment

It has been a busy week for Building Technology. Commercial buildings consume a disproportionate amount of electricity and other resources so anything we as building owners or managers can make great strides toward reducing our carbon footprint and our overall impact on both our local environment as well as the planet as a whole.

First up we have a new “green” concrete product call “Megacrete” that uses come of the waste by-products of petroleum and water treatment plants in conjunction with a concrete product made from flyash also a byproduct of coal fired power plants.  The story is here on Ecofriend (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-tech-mad-scientist-proposes-megacrete-for-greener-buildings-of-tomorrow/) and it seems like this should be a slam dunk for adoption.

Next on Environmental Leader (http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/10/16/intelligent-lighting-controls-deliver-roi-in-3-years/) is an interesting story about the return on investment (ROI) for technology that has been around for some time, building automation systems specifically about interior lighting control.  The story maintains that the ROI is about 3 years, pretty much the gold standard on that type of analysis.  I personally am confident to present for approval this sort of project if the time frame is 3 years or less.

Also on Environmental Leader (http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/10/15/roof-tiles-would-save-energy-by-turning-color/) is a neat report on roof tiles that are color changeable in response to outside temperature.  Great idea, my building has a mood ring fro a roof!  Seriously I think that this is a great idea and very practical if they can make the next step where it is a spray on coating.

On Sustainable Business they are asking, “Why not green walls as well as green roofs?” (http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/19050). I am not sure that this is a great idea as it sounds very resource intensive to take care of from a building management and maintenance perspective. The original article on MSNBC (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33294221/ns/us_news-environment/) shows a great picture of the installation and it would give me nightmares if I was the manager of the building and had to take care of it.  Can you imagine doing a request for proposal where a part of the description is that the garden to be taken care of is on a vertical surface 75 feet in the air?  I can hear the laughter now.  I also predict that these will be gone in a year due to the high cost of maintenance.

Lastly tonight I am including the story about James Dyson’s latest neat trick.  The story on Treehugger (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/10/dyson-air-multiplier-bladeless-cooling-machine-fan.php?dcitc=th_rss_design) has great pictures.  He has come up with what he call an air multiplier, or what looks to me like a blade less fan.  I can think of a great many applications for this, preschools anyone?  My wife was a teacher of young children for quite a while and I can remember the near misses stories even now.  I can see schools and teachers lining up for these.  Also you could place it in font of a window and still be able to see out with little blocking the view.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Design, Environment, Technology. Tags: , , , .

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