Vampire energy, aka phantom loads, is estimated to cost U.S. consumers about $3 billion per year. I know, it’s not really that much … I mean, if you break it down to the individual level, that’s only $10 per person ($3 billion / 300 million). But the point is, it’s money that goes in the pocketbook of energy companies and their shareholders — it’s not going in yours. The chart above is courtesy of GOOD, the magazine that always brings a full-page spread to otherwise obfuscatory information.
There’s major action in the data center world, with all sorts of facilities aiming for energy-efficient centers and LEED buildings. Cisco, led by the undeniably approachable CEO John Chambers, is embarking on a plan to green their business. It kind of feels like a revival of the old Japanese, waste-elimination era, but there’s progress in areas other than efficiency. Here’s what they’re doing:
- 17,400 sf office in Chesterfield Ridge Center (St. Louis Regional Sales HQ) received LEED certification;
- Their Carbon to Collaboration Initiative aims to reduce company GHG emissions from air travel by 10 %;
- They hired Paul Marcoux, one of the founders of The Green Grid, to drive green initiatives inside and outside the company – he’s become known as the company "Green Guru."
Yes, the greening of business is something we’re going to keep seeing. ##
Ciralight caught the attention of a few attendees at this year’s Greenbuild 2007 exhibition. Their flagship product, SunTrackerOne, is free-standing, solar-powered, and completely self-contained. SunTrackerOne has three mirrors that track and reflect the sun into buildings through a thermal barrier, light well, and diffuser. It’s different than passive lighting because it collects more light and diffuses it more effectively throughout a building. This lighting system is a major green innovation to keep an eye on, especially since Ciralight touts a seductive 15 – 35% return on investment on energy savings alone.
There’s a new online video show hosted by Alex Pettitt called Mainstream Green. Their videos are high-quality and super informative. Sometimes, it helps to see how things work, so I love to show video as often as possible. The video above is on recycling and deconstruction. The deconstruction guy says the cost of on-site deconstruction is comparable to waste removal. That’s a good. Generally, people are self-interested and when it becomes profitable to do the right thing, more and more people will start doing the right thing. Makes sense doesn’t it?
With the price of oil at $95 a barrel, economists estimate that U.S. households will spend an additional $90 billion on costlier gasoline. Estimating our population at 300 million, that’s an average of $300 per person. Between my wife and I, that means we’re giving up $600 of our economic pie to the recently increased cost of transportation, on average.
In China, there’s a massive exodus from the rural to urban areas, but it’s controlled because the country doesn’t have enough housing for everyone that wants to live in a city. At the same time, urbanization accentuates the air and soil pollution problems. So, Knafo Klimor Architects proposed an agro-housing project that blends agriculture and high-rise housing in one structure. This agro-housing project brings the food-supply directly to the building, and to the extent that residents can realize the benefits of urban farming, there is a decreased reliance on transportation for agricultural products (shopping and delivery to stores). Plus, with the building’s integrated water capture systems, the project has the potential to reduce water consumption and runoff. Residents could make money off the crops, too.
This agro-housing project is going to be built in Wuhan, China. As you can see from the renderings, the building has quite the elaborate labyrinth to control water, air, and heat. Structurally, it will be made with SIPs and a majority of the materials will come from steel, aluminum, and terracotta — all materials that can be recycled at the end of the building’s life. Via Dwell.