Human Bones + Nanoengineering = Green Concrete?

Greenconcrete_2 The following post may seem a little esoteric, if not absolutely dry, but don’t be intimidated.  Bear with me a second as the idea opens up towards the end of this article.  Every year, roughly 1.89 billion tons of cement (the main component of concrete) are manufactured.  Cement accounts for about 7-8% of all human-generated CO2 emissions (a main ingredient in the recipe for climate change).  Here’s what happens: cement is made by burning fossil fuels to heat a limestone and clay powder to 1500 °C.  Then, the resulting cement powder is mixed with water and gravel and the invested energy in the powder is released into chemical bonds that form calcium silicate hydrates.  Those calcium silicate hydrates bind the gravel to create concrete. 

So, the idea goes, human bone could show us how to manufacture concrete with less CO2 emissions.  Human bone achieves a similar packing density to concrete at the nanoscale, but with human bone, this packing density is achieved at body temperature with no extra release of CO2.  Stated otherwise, bone strength is achieved naturally without having to heat powder at a high temperature, and thus, without the CO2 release.  The problem is, however, the hardening of apatite minerals in the bone takes a long time.  Say, a month or more. 

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By |August 1st, 2007|Gadgets, Materials, News|0 Comments

Green Roofs, Cleantech Investments, Monster Homes + Stellar LEED Returns (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Rooftop vegetation and gardens are catching on–though there are still many questions about how and when to apply the technique. 
  2. Cleantech venture capital investments are small but growing. 
  3. Monster Homes: Enough is Enough – some places will make you pay for that big thing. 
  4. Developer sells its LEED certified project and it was "certainly a stellar return." 
By |July 28th, 2007|Gadgets, LEED, News, Week in Review|0 Comments

Stanford Yang & Yamazaki Green Building Coming Along Nicely

The Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building is coming along nicely.  Yang is the co-founder of Yahoo! and Yamazaki is a director of the Wildlife Conservation Network in Los Altos.  Needless to say, the powerful couple takes pride in their alma mater and the environment.  But back to the building.  Dubbed the Y2E2 Building, this $120 M building will be quite the eco-structure once completed.  Funded in part by a $50 million grant by Yang and Yamazaki, Y2E2 is expected to use 50% less energy and roughly 90% water of a traditional building of similar size.  Coming in at roughly 166,000 sf, Y2E2 is expected to be complete near the end of this year, say November or December-ish, and will become the future home for the Woods Institute for the Environment (and a couple other groups).  Y2E2 is located at Via Ortega and Panama Street.   Another image below the jump. 

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By |July 27th, 2007|Energy Efficiency, News|0 Comments

NASA Seeks 'Silver' Lining in Green Buildings

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This news isn’t all that surprising because the government (at various levels) has shown significant support for green buildings, but recently, NASA set the wheels in motion to have a $54 million LEED Silver building built in Greenbelt, Maryland.  This three story office and laboratory structure will be the future Exploration Sciences Building at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  And as a side note, NASA has determined that all future buildings will be constructed to the LEED Silver level, at a minimum.  Designed by EwingCole, the completed building will end up at about 265,500 sf.  Looks good.  UPDATED 8/23/2007:  new images swapped out. 

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By |July 26th, 2007|Corporate, LEED, News|0 Comments

Jeriko House Explores The Platform for Living

Jh1

I’m going to be talking with the CEO of Jeriko House, Shawn Burst, later this week, but I still want to post an update on what’s happening with this Louisiana-based modern prefab company.  I broke the story on Jeriko House last January and a lot has happened since that time.  Right now, Jeriko House is smack dab in the middle of three different projects, with more on the development table.  Feel free to head on over the newly redesigned, updated website for current projects, the gallery, and other information on what the company has to offer.

Hypothetical: What Would it Take?
Jeriko House is prepared to adapt their designs for a variety of climates and sites, so they can go anywhere in the United States.  With that in mind, let me throw out a little hypothetical to satisfy my own curiosity.  Assume your are in the market for a new home and you have an empty lot.  What would it take to put a Jeriko House on your lot?  Any thoughts?  Unload in the comments.  Also, some incredible pictures below the jump.

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By |July 25th, 2007|Gadgets, Modern architecture, News, Prefab|0 Comments

New Books in the JG Sustainability Bookstore

Greenbooks The publishing world is going crazy with good eco-friendly content.  I’ve added some new titles to the Jetson Green Sustainability Bookstore, in case you’re interested in keeping up with the latest trends and research on topics relevant to Jetson Green. 

I’m particularly interested in sitting down to The World Without Us near the end of the week.

By |July 23rd, 2007|book, News|0 Comments