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Peter Gleick – The Future of Water

This is a recording of the keynote speech from the “Resources Roundtable 2013: The Future of Urban Water,” an event hosted by the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative.

Peter Gleick is the President and Co-founder of the Pacific Institute, based in Oakland, CA. His speech was titled “An Audacious Vision for Water in the City of the Future.”

He also periodically writes a column on water issues for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Solara & Los Vecinos: Net Zero Energy Affordable Housing

Solara and Los Vecinos are affordable housing projects that were designed with the goal of net zero energy performance with a very small increase in the incremental cost per unit. The projects also have a number of other “green” features.

More information on Solara and a link to a case study is on the Global Green website here. Information on Los Vecinos and a link to a case study is here.

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The Hestia Project

Steve Gurney, an ecologist at Arizona State University, has put together a software package that illustrates where fossil fuels are being burned in a city down to the individual building and street level.

You can find more information about The Hestia Project here.

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Land Surface Temperatures Over Time

This video shows the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature groups’s land surface temperature data from 1800 to 2009, illustrating overall global warming since the industrial revolution.

Click the image below to watch it on The Guardian website or click here (there may be an ad first).

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More information on the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group can be found on their website, here. Team members include Art Rosenfeld.

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Solar Decathlon Time Lapse

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This week’s video is a time lapse of the construction of the 2009 Solar Decathlon entry from Cornell University, nicknamed the “Silo House.”

You can find more information about the 2009 Solar Decathlon here. You can find more information about the Cornell entry here.

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FEMA & USGBC on Resilient Communities

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Last Wednesday, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave a speech describing the role green building can play to ensure resilient communities as the climate shifts. Fugate was the keynote speaker of the National Leadership Speaker Series on Resiliency and Security in the 21st Century at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The presentation also featured the launch of a report by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The report, Green Building and Climate Resilience: Understanding Impacts and Preparing for Changing Conditions, describes potential adaptive strategies familiar to green building practitioners. These strategies add an important new dimension to green building’s long-standing focus on reducing greenhouse gases through energy efficiency and renewable and low-carbon energy supplies.

You can find the full report on the USGBC site here.

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Microgrids – The Future of Electricity

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Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) visited the University of California, San Diego, to document the campus microgrid.

According to the video description:

At UCSD, the microgrid provides the ability to manage 42 megawatts of generating capacity, including a central cogeneration plant, an array of solar photovoltaic installations and a fuel cell that operates on natural gas reclaimed from a landfill site. The central microgrid control allows operators to manage the diverse portfolio of energy generation and storage resources on the campus to minimize costs. In addition, the campus can “island” from the larger grid to maintain power supply in an emergency, as in the case of the power blackout that struck parts of Southern California, Arizona and Mexico in September 2011.

If the video does not appear above, you can watch it online here.

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Tour a Tiny House in Portland

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Finance blogger J.D. Roth posted a video of his friends giving him a tour of their tiny house (only 130 square feet!). You can check out more detailed info on all the nooks and crannies from the owner’s blog. You can also check out the website of the designers of the house, Portland Alternative Dwellings.

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A Year of Sky

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This is a lovely video of the San Francisco sky for a year. According to the YouTube description,

A camera installed on the roof of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco captured an image of the sky every 10 seconds. From these images, I created a mosaic of time-lapse movies, each showing a single day. The days are arranged in chronological order. My intent was to reveal the patterns of light and weather over the course of a year.

More information on the project site: http://www.murphlab.com/ahots

It is also a very clear illustration of how day length changes symmetrically over the year. All of the days are synchronized, starting and ending at the same time. So you can see that some days are much shorter and longer than others, and that sunrise and sunset happen a little earlier or later than the previous one.  The exact times of sunrise and sunset depend on our latitude here in the Bay Area.

So… how does this connect back to resource efficient infrastructure?

Knowledge of the sun’s movement and its position in the sky at any given date and time are fundamental to energy efficient building design and the thermal and visual comfort of the building’s occupants.

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Earth From Space

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Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.

This video is striking for a number of reasons. Earth is so small. And yet you can see city lights all over the place, a sign of how much of an impact we have had on the planet. You can also see flickers of lightning through the clouds.

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