We recently converted all lighting from the restaurant to LED fixtures, saving us $ 700 per month. However, after finding these other LED filament bulbs- which adapt much better to our style of globes- we could not resist converting them another time.
Despite their retro appearance and high power (they are turned on at a minimum), these bulbs consume only 4 W of electricity, against 7 W from the previous LEDs, and 50 W for the initial halogens.
This LEED Platinum home exhibits a large variety of sustainable features, including this notable cork flooring. Cork has excellent properties for such an application, in addition to giving a soft, warm color to the house interior (though other cork flooring can come in many patterns and colors as well).
Due to its highly porous composition, cork is able to better absorb impacts and provides very good acoustic and thermal properties, which are greatly beneficial to a home. It is also a highly renewable material, and exhibits a long list of other excellent aspects, as detailed in the last half of this page (click thumbnail below):
In the foregound, we have a buffer tank for our geothermal circuit. Pumps circulate glycol in the mitigated circuit between the heat pumps. In the background, two water heaters are used to power the restaurant. Just like the rest of the building mechanics, everything is controlled by the building-management computer system. The central computer cycles the start-up of various equipment and uses load shedding to reduce the electricity demand peaks as much as possible.
The next image displays an overview of the complexity of the piping. The cabinets at the bottom are water-to-water heat pumps which allow the surplus heat to be sent to the geothermal wells during the air conditioning period, and to draw heat to the restaurant in very cold weather.
This LEED Platinum home plot exhibits a large variety of sustainable features, including this 30-panel solar installation atop the barn roof. The setup involves a 6.9 kW system, which serves to power roughly 1/3 of the plot’s operations (covering three buildings and a pond).
In addition, with the aid of supportive credits, the cost of the system was able to be reduced a great deal, to half of the overall total.
I passed a site of small wind and solar installations on the campus of a branch of our community college. The wind turbines are vertical axis (VAWT).
The Houston Permitting and Green Building Resource Centers are housed within a certified LEED Gold building, which incorporates a large variety of sustainable and low-impact features.
This is a vegetated green roof that spans an area of around 1,720 square feet, and can be enjoyed through the windows of a large meeting room and other spaces. The roof system also serves to collect condensate in its troughs, which is practical in a location such as Houston, where a typically hot and humid climate can produce a great deal of moisture.
Overall, green roofs such as this are considered in credits toward LEED certification, due to their added benefit of minimizing possible building contribution to the heat island effect in urban areas. This involves the concept that dense cities tend to show a localized temperature increase, due to the heavy amount of human and industry activity over a small area.
While rooftop cooling efforts such as this are helping to decrease this effect, they may also serve to better insulate buildings, aid with stormwater runoff, and provide help in other aspects that make them a beneficial addition to many buildings.
Our apartment complex has recycling bins in community mail areas, encouraging recycling directly at the source, where there is a high potential for mass paper waste. This has been an easy way to help residents responsibly dispose of unneeded letters and other mail that may otherwise be thrown away with regular trash.
Living art wall / vertical vegetation in Baltimore.
Skyscraper green wall art in our downtown. It is beautiful, and spans 2,380 square feet.
The lodge actively takes extraordinary measures toward sustainable and low-impact efforts. Much of the site construction, alone, serves as an exhibition of innovative and deeply thoughtful design. These are the lodge’s primary suites, which are not only beautiful, but use creative structure re-use as well.
Each room is made from a single reclaimed shipping container, which can be seen clearly in the last image. Several other buildings at the lodge can be seen using the same feature, as well as utilizing old blue jean pants within the walls as insulation material.
Our camp is thoughtfully designed to take full advantage of available natural light, within our domes. Not only does this serve to save on indoor lighting, it provides for a magnificent outlook on our extraordinary surroundings.
My apartment building offers a composting option in addition to the general waste and recycling bins.
This lodge uses an extraordinary amount of reclaimed materials in its construction. Seen here are some of the sample builds, displaying the incorporation of reclaimed barn wood and tin roofs into the base designs. As with many of the other site features, this provides for a wonderfully rustic and raw accent to the grounds.
Earth Energy USA has a patented pipe that makes geothermal heating, cooling, and hot water affordable. Our pipe is a flexible 4.5″-wide round bundle, utilizing a 2″-wide round plastic HDPE center pipe as the core pipe of the system. This pipe has small 1/2″ holes evenly drilled throughout its length, which allow for a cement grout to seep through and fill any voids in a system borehole wall. This creates a solid, filled borehole. Around the center pipe are eight smaller plastic pipes wrapped in a spiral fashion to allow for maximum surface heat transfer to your water. Four of the pipes carry the closed water loop down the borehole to a U-turn fitting at the bottom, while the remaining four pipes bring the water loop back up, completing the system.
With this design, whereas other geothermal companies use three to four boreholes, Earth Energy USA only requires two. This makes for significant savings and also allows us to install geothermal systems in more urban areas. The boreholes we drill bring up the natural temperature of the earth, which is a constant 55 degrees Fahrenheit regardless of the season, to heat and cool your home or facility.
This type of system can be utilized in new and existing construction, toward both residential and commercial building applications. As described above, the piping provides for a closed-loop system that is leak-free and non-polluting, while additionally allowing the cost of clean geothermal energy to become more comparable to that of gas or oil.
On one of our roofs, we maintain this rooftop garden. Not only does it allow for a more efficient use of space, but it also serves to help cool the roof in the summer, as rooftop gardens can provide better insulation than standard tar or gravel use, and help to remove heat from the air.