Our restaurant has an extremely well integrated and efficient mechanical and electrical system design, allowing us to better control and minimize high peaks of electricity consumption. These are the control panels of different pumps, circuits, and hoods. In the foreground, the variable-frequency controllers and drivers of the restaurant’s air supply unit are used to modulate the fans for supplying fresh air, and the air for exhaust. This also maintains a comfortable ambient pressure, even if the door opens quickly or a kitchen hood starts.
Unique in Quebec’s catering industry, the air extracted from the building passes through a heat exchanger in order to preheat the fresh air, greatly reducing the heating requirements of the building. Each of the four hoods in our facility easily draws more than 1,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) outside the building.
Since all of this air must be replaced by fresh air from the outside, a lot of heat is created, especially when the weather brings extremely low temperatures. Our heat recuperator therefore avoids one of the main energy expenditures of restaurants.
This is one of the nice reusable bags we had received at a local store, after legislation regulating plastic use was enacted in Colombia in 2016. Due to the large amount of plastic waste ending up in surrounding water bodies, Colombia has banned all plastic bags smaller than 30×30 cm, and placed a small charge on others that can still be purchased in stores (with a plan set to increase the tax each year until 2020).
By the middle of 2018, this initiative had served to decrease plastic bag consumption by 35%, and raised around $4 million in taxes [see articles below]. Success from these efforts is spurring other similar initiatives and will hopefully continue to drive progress toward mitigating damage from plastic moving on.
More on Colombia’s Plastic Initiatives:
Small scale solar setup outside of a local business park.
This grill is extremely energy smart. It has a special sensor that detects when cooking is generating smoke, and turns the fan on. When the smoke goes down, the fan automatically turns itself off.
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 hotel/hostel has installed special Raindance showers, which use up to 60% less water than others. They are designed to limit flow and adjust to differing water pressures, using only 1.5-2 gallons of water per minute, while maintaining a full shower experience.
The solar panel installation at our hotel can be seen at the center right of the image, and utilizes the sunlight as a source of energy to heat running water. The temperature of the working fluid can rise up to 80°C. Thanks to our Pontos, cooling, and boiler systems, the running water is then cooled to 55°C by the end of the whole process.
In the summer season, there is no need to activate the Pontos or boiler systems, as the solar panels absorb enough sun energy (up to 240 kW) to warm up the running water.
More information on the Mosaic House Pontos system may be read in another post:
Hotel Grey Water System with Heat Recuperation
When outside temperatures reach -5 degrees or below, our smart building management system begins to heat the windows of our dining rooms. The gentle heat produced cuts the feeling of cold air that one usually encounters at the window’s edge, and additionally, allows us to heat the room less.
Our camp uses a composting toilet system, which requires very little water and is excellent for soil regeneration. Such a system utilizes decomposition and evaporation to process waste. What is not evaporated, we mix with wood chips. This remains an active process in which aerobic bacteria transform the waste into fertilizing soil.
Due to the important contribution of the bacteria, the final product is non-harmful and safe to use. This is why we spend a great deal of effort to ensure a hospitable and warm environment for the process, especially through our very cold weather.
We noticed during lunch that these gorgeous tables we were sitting at were made with wood from reclaimed bowling lanes. They were very soft, beautiful, and had an overall good-quality feel. Very impressive pieces- and what a great use.
The lodge entrance way mixed reused, crushed asphalt with the base gravel, in order to reinforce the non-paved driving trail.
Our Carbon Neutral project funds the replacement of high-emission stoves in Oaxaca communities, reducing fuel use by as much as 60% and reducing exposure to harmful indoor air pollution.
Our hotel/hostel utilizes a well designed grey water system with heat recuperation- the second such system in the world. Through this, heat may be harnessed from previously used water, allowing for a decrease in energy necessary for heating further incoming water. The system saves around 4,000 liters of water daily. In addition, heat recuperation is also used in our air, ventilation, and cooling processes.
As seen here, our basement houses a recycling and regenerative unit- AquaCycle- which was tested and installed by Pontos Company. This system filters grey water in three cycles. We use the water for flushing the toilets, watering the plants, and washing the floors. This technology serves for the heat recovery from the recycling of grey water.
The water heating process is carried out in three steps. After cold water turns from 5°C to 25°C, heat recuperation from cooling heats the water from 25°C to 35°C. Then, our rooftop solar panels help us to heat the water from 35°C to 60°C. If the solar panels collect much energy during midday which is not used, the system stores the hot water (90°C) in an accumulating pot, and it is used toward any event rush.
We noticed the vegetables for dinner came in semi-compostable packaging, with a compostable tray. We are fairly new to composting, but will make sure to notice items like this more.
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.