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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.

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR FRIDAY VIDEO SERIES.
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Interactive Map of ARPA-E Projects

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ARPA-E (the Advance Research Projects Agency-Energy) has launched a new interactive project map that allows users to identify ARPA-E funded projects based on a project location and project type. You can play with the map here.

There are a number of projects in the Bay Area in the following areas, among others:

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Pecha Kucha Rundown: Denser, Part 3

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Noelle and I had fun at Pecha Kucha in San Francisco at the SPUR Urban Center on June 21.  For those unfamiliar with the Pecha Kucha format, each speaker has 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. The format makes for a fun but focused look at what a wide range of professionals is working on and thinking about. Presentations are loosely organized around a theme. The theme this time was “Denser.”

Using my notes, I am putting together a set of posts that lists the presenters in order, along with links to their website (if I could find them) and any major thoughts I jotted down. For some presentations, I took a number of notes. Other presentations have fewer notes (maybe I was looking at the images more carefully?). All of the presentations were more interesting and beautiful than revealed by my notes and these posts.

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Julie KimHot Studio

essay – “Why We Lie to Kids” – Paul Graham

suburban existence – capsule to capsule

organized chaos – systems for sharing space in dense areas

suburban promise – control enables freedom

2 symbols – house + car

urban reality – loss of control enables freedom

worlds colliding in “meatspace”, the real, physical, non-virtual world

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David Baker – Architect – David Baker + Partners Architects

crowded

hot & dirty

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looking at density per square mile and the carbon footprint per person

Portland Pearl District full of 300 x 300 blocks

poem – “Lines in Potentis” – Ben Okri

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Gabriel TanOut of Stock Design, Singapore

members of the firm are from different countries, but find a way to work together online

umbrellas in internal gutter to drain

mix of handcrafts and mass production

very focused on flatpack furniture

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Antonio Roman-Alcalá – SF Urban Agriculture Alliance and Alemany Farm

“The Political Economy of Urban Land, and Its Relation to an Urban Agricultural Future”

farming and cities have co-evolved

our population is no longer “mostly farmers” – not directly tied to the land

what society values – highest-earning college majors vs lowest-earning college majors

can’t urban plan our way out of mining and destruction of rainforests

17th & Folsom = “future park” – park for kinds + urban garden

who gets to decide the best use of the land? the owner of the land or the community?

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Part 1 is posted here. Part 2 is posted here.

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Assorted Links

U.S. Representatives Gene Green and Mike Thompson introduced a new bill for e-waste legislation: Responsible Electronics Recycling Act of 2010. The bill is geared toward stopping companies from being able to export electronic waste to developing countries — an action that is causing environmental damage and harm to human health in places like Ghana and China.

Siemens has bought SureGrid, a building management firm from Texas, the latest in a string of acquisitions in efficiency and automation. The deal highlights two major trends in green. First, building efficiency, particularly commercial building efficiency, has emerged as one of the strongest growth markets. The second trend is the creeping conglomeritis of smart grid and green technology in general.

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Assorted Links

Greentech Media discusses the ongoing infighting between the solar and energy efficiency sectors.

The coal industry costs more money than it creates in West Virginia.

Earth2Tech says we should all be watching the Texas smart meter market, not California.

Is Wal-Mart going green or greenwashing?

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You can read our post on Greenwashing here.

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Philadelphia’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure

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Many older cities face increasing stormwater management issues. Today’s video was put together by the Philadephia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds and gives a pretty good overview of an integrated approach.

The city is trying to address combined sewer overflows through a combination of traditional infrastructure and “green” infrastructure as the city is continuously rebuilt and repaired over time. The main goal is to prevent so much water from running off all of the impervious surfaces in the first place. More information on the approach is here.