Articles - May, 2007

GreenSource: The Magazine of Sustainable Design

Greensource Do you read GreenSource? There’s a free read of the April 2007 edition of GreenSource online.  I highly recommend it, if you have a little free time and a fast connection.  It’s a quarterly production, supported by the editors of McGraw-Hill Construction, BuildingGreen, Inc., and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).  GreenSource has a circulation of about 42,000 readers.  In March 2007, it was given the prestigious Neal Award for Best Start-Up Publication.  I spent way too much time online reading the articles…it just sucked me right in. 

Good Links:
+GreenSource, April 2007
+GreenSource Online Page
+GreenSource Magazine Wins a Neal Award [PRNewswire]

Botanical Visitor's Attraction: Eco Rainforest by Grimshaw

Eco Rainforest
Eco Rainforest

I’m not sure if this concept will make it into practice, but I like the idea.  We have zoos right?  Why not create a botanical visitor’s attraction of the tropical rain forest?  That’s the concept that Grimshaw Architects created and was rewarded with a 2007 MIPIM/AR Future Project Award in the Sustainability category.  Generally, here’s how it works: the enclosed greenhouse will create a tropical zone, a rain forest of sorts, housing both plant and animal life that people can walk through and study.  The goal of this man-made rain forest is to mimic the ecosystems from tropical regions of the world.  It will have 50 meter high gabion walls around the enclosure that contain composting tubes for heat generation during periods when the passive solar gain isn’t enough to sustain the tropical environment.  The idea is to harness the energy created by the decomposing biodegradable matter and re-create a tropical rain forest.  Grimshaw hopes that by doing so, the Rainforest will have the potential to grow fruits and vegetables with vastly reduced food miles. 

Transporting goods has a carbon cost associated with it, so people want to buy locally.  But climate can vary dramatically from one place to another making it tough to get some things locally…that is, unless you can recreate the climate of another area.  Think:  oranges in Canada.  To a small extent, this is what happens with a greenhouse.  Here, however, you are creating a greenhouse on a grand scale, one that is carbon neutral and cyclical.  It’s a good idea. 

TXU Boosts Wind Energy Portfolio by 29%

TXU Logo Looks like the new TXU is really moving in a green direction.  This is what I was looking for, so let’s hope similar news follows in the future.  Today TXU Wholesale, a subsidiary of TXU Corp. (NYSE: TXU), announced the purchase of about 209 megawatts of wind power from Airtricity.  This will be Airtricity’s third project in Texas and it will use 209 1.0-MW Mitsubishi 1000A turbines.  In total, the purchase now brings TXU’s investment in wind to 914 MW (powered by 965 turbines).  The farm, known as Roscoe Wind Farm, is currently under construction 45 miles southwest of Abilene, Texas.  By my BOE calculations, this news means that the portion of wind in TXU’s total energy portfolio (18,100 MW) is about 5.05%.  Five percent of TXU’s energy is generated from wind.  It’s not cheap, but this is the direction we need to go.  Nice work. 

Good Links:
+$300,000,000 Facility Will Provide Power to TXU [doc][Airtricity]
+TXU Adds to Wind Energy Portfolio with 209-MW Deal [TXU]

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