Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

Cool Bike Stand Designs

One of the most small, but common problems I see at my client’s sites is a lack of bike parking and while the article at Eco Friend shows designs that are no where near the market yet, it is hopeful to see such creative solutions! andre-moreira-diass-45-bici

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

December 20, 2016 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

Energy Efficient Windows – Retrofit Opportunity?

Source: Energy Efficient Windows – Retrofit Opportunity?

October 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm Leave a comment

Foam Insulation Gets Healthier

OSHA is finally making one of the building trades less dangerous. As a Lifelong asthmatic I applaud this change. The full story is here at BuildingGreen.com (http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2013/7/28/OSHA-Puts-the-Squeeze-on-Asthma-Causing-Polyurethanes/).

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

August 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

Building Technology Update for 5/23/2010

Hello Everyone,

Real life got in the way of regular posts, which for now is solved.  I will be posting again every week on Sunday evenings for the foreseeable future.

Tonight we have one update and several interesting technologies.  The update is on the Chinese drywall problem where the product was off gassing dangerous level of toxic chemicals. On Building Green (http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2010/5/17/Chinese-Drywall-Manufacturers-Liable-for-Millions-in-Damages/) we have an update where cases have come to court and the plaintiffs have started getting big awards.  I am glad that this has finally started and I hope that it will cause importers to more carefully screen where they are getting their products.

Here is Southern California we are finally starting to attack the air conditioning monster we need for living in a desert!  In Glendale the first of I hope many projects is getting underway where they will be using ice created overnight with cheap wind energy to provide the cooling that was previous provided be the energy hungry conventional HVAC units.  The complete story is on Clean Technica (http://cleantechnica.com/2010/05/22/53-megawatt-ice-energy-storage-trial-begins-in-california/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cleantechnica%2Fcom+%28CleanTechnica%29)

Prices and availability on LED bulbs is about to improve radically! The article on Ecogeek (http://ecogeek.org/efficiency/3167-affordable-high-performance-led-bulbs-finally-hitt?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EcoGeek+%28EcoGeek%29) gives me great hope that this much needed technology is finally going to become affordable!

Lastly tonight we have two stories about growing your outside wall covering. Both from Treehugger, one is about growing the map of Europe on your wall (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/living-map-europe-grows-copenhagen-wall.php?campaign=th_rss_design) and the other is about simply growing plants on your wall to improve your local environment. (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/lifewall-modular-vertical-garden-tiles-eat-pollution-feed-plants.php?campaign=th_rss_design)

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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May 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

Housing California 2010 Day1

Hello everyone out there from rainy Sacramento California!  Today was day one of the annual conference about low income/special needs housing development.  It was a great day, except for the rain.

You can see the conference offerings here: http://www.housingca.org/events/annualconference/

Tomorrow we should have a great speaker and I will give you a post about the topic in the evening from the airport!

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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April 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm Leave a comment

Ghost Towns and Abandoned Places around the World

Looking over my post statistics for this blog I am surprised to find that one of my most popular posts has to do with “Ghost Towns – Past, Present or Future?“.  So I spent a little time this morning looking into other sites that delve into this obviously popular subject.

I am surprised at the shear number of sites to be found by simply typing in “abandoned places” into Google.com.  Here are a few of the ones I like best.  First is the Abandoned Places Blog (http://community.livejournal.com/abandonedplaces) a fairly comprehensive resource on the subject. Of course the main draw of these sites are the photos to be found there.

kwinradar02

Next we have Abandoned-Places.com (http://www.abandoned-places.com/). The interface is a little confusing and hard to use, buy the pictures and attached stories are worth the effort.

From the DIRJournal (http://www.dirjournal.com/info/abandoned-places-in-the-world/) there is a wonderful article about abandoned places in the world.  It has some of the better pictures from a number of sites and is a good starting summary of the topic.

san4

I also found a pretty good post in the Atom Community (http://community.atom.com/Post/The-Six-Creepiest-Abandoned-Places/03EFBFFFF0182C7B8000800BC1459) in an attempt to define the 6 creepiest places in the world.  This is a pretty daunting challenge for anyone, but you will just have to make your own judgment on whether you agree with the list.

Excerpt : “This is Gunkanjima, Japan, also known as “Battleship Island.” It once had the densest population in the entire world: 1.4 people per square meter. Do you realize how insane that is? Let me put it this way: If you were a fat guy on Battleship Island, there would technically be another person partially inside of you, like the aftermath of some horrifying teleporter accident.

633779167200000000

Lastly today I would like to point you to the WebUrbanist site that does a fabulous job in showcasing all sort of interesting architecture.  I have two links to give you here:

1. 100 + Abandoned cities, towns, building and property (http://weburbanist.com/abandoned-buildings-towns-and-cities/).

2. Abandonment in action (http://weburbanist.com/2009/08/13/8_cities_abandonment_deserted_modern/) which showcases several still inhabited places that look to become a future abandoned places feature.

abandoningmainmontage

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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August 26, 2009 at 10:48 am 5 comments

Green Power Technology Update for June 23, 2009

Just when you think that the various green, alternative power types are getting going we have a whole slew of bad news. There are serious potential issues affecting both wind and solar power’s affordability and overall return on investment.

The easiest to fix is the problem built into California’s net metering law that sunsets it once the amount being generated from alternative sources reaches 2.5% of the system peak grid load. The story on Cleantechnica (http://cleantechnica.com/2009/06/23/sunset-clause-to-dim-solar-in-california/) makes the point that we are already alomost there and we are just getting started. This problem is easily fixed but will probably get lost in my state’s annual budget fiasco.

Excerpt: “One of the key ways that solar is economical is through net metering. Because our utilities pay more for afternoon electrons, you can send electricity to the grid that sells for 40 cents in the afternoon, and use that generation as a credit towards the electricity you get back from the grid for 11 cents at night.

This lowering of utility bills is key to increasing home values. If a home saves $1,000 in a  year with solar then the value of the home goes up $20,000. This improvement is essential to getting mortgage financing for solar; so it’s all circular. Net metering down; savings down; bankers frown = energy brown.”

Next we have an unusual enemy for solar power, at least the solar tower/ heliostat type, the US Air Force.  Apparently these folks are not in favor of large areas near there installations that can potentially blind their pilots. The story is on Ecogeek (http://ecogeek.org/solar-power/2820-new-enemy-for-solar-tower-plants-the-air-force) has what details have been realeased.

Excerpt: “The Air Force, in fact, is not saying precisely why they don’t want the power plant. They say it could interfere with radar systems, but, more importantly, there are other reasons…all of which are classified. Col. Howard D. Belote, installation commander at Nellis said, “Because of the sensitivity [of information], I can’t tell them why. Unfortunately for them and us, there’s stuff on the Nevada testing range we don’t tell anyone about.”

We assume it has something to do with the aliens.

Too bad as this is prime area for installations such as these…..

Next there is concern over the problems Spain is having regarding wind power that might tarnish the technology’s reputation for affordability. Some think that the country’s investments in wind generation are causing potential insolvency issues.  The story is on Leonardo Energy (http://www.leonardo-energy.org/wind-energy-really-affordable) is from mu perspective brings up some very valid points.

Lastly tonight we have a little good news, if tightening or belts can be called that.  A new report put forth by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) says that by reducing unnecessary demand by up to 20% through demand use technologies.  The story is on Sustainable Business (http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/18422) and it has all of the details if you are interested.

Personally I am more interested in continued development of alternative power generation as a means to get us out of our current mess, but I suppose that efficiency will always have its place.
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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June 23, 2009 at 9:23 pm 1 comment

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