Author Archives: Chris

About Chris

Chris Fuller is a member of the Ecovillage Charlottesville Board and Design Team. He dreams up possibilities for our Ecovillage and other resilient housing communities with his friends at Staengl Engineering.

Required Reading: Walkable City

Written in an entertaining style, Jeff Speck’s Walkable City brings urban planning concepts to a place that anyone can understand. This book takes the concepts of Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities and draws upon loads of independent research to show how street design directly affects a place. You don’t have to be a designer to understand this book, which makes it a great introduction to the way that your city works (or doesn’t) for citizens and planners alike. Everyone should feel like their city gets better every day, and this books gives you the tools to understand some of the interconnected concepts of making a livable and vibrant city or town.

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Categories: Architecture, Communities, Design, New Urbanism | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Green Building January 8th Luncheon: Resilience for All: Striving for Equity Through Community-Driven Design

In the United States, people of color are disproportionally more likely to live in environments with poor air quality, in close proximity to toxic waste, and in locations more vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events.

In many vulnerable neighborhoods, structural racism and classism prevent residents from having a seat at the table when decisions are made about their community. In an effort to overcome power imbalances and ensure local knowledge informs decision-making, a new approach to community engagement is essential.

In Resilience for All, Barbara Brown Wilson looks at less conventional, but often more effective methods to make communities more resilient. She takes an in-depth look at what equitable, positive change through community-driven design looks like in four communities—East Biloxi, Mississippi; the Lower East Side of Manhattan; the Denby neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan; and the Cully neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. These vulnerable communities have prevailed in spite of serious urban stressors such as climate change, gentrification, and disinvestment. Wilson looks at how the lessons in the case studies and other examples might more broadly inform future practice. She shows how community-driven design projects in underserved neighborhoods can not only change the built world, but also provide opportunities for residents to build their own capacities.”

This course will be approved for 1 GBCI LEED Specific and AIA CE

Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Lunch will be served, Register Here

Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.

DATE AND TIME
Tue, January 8, 2019: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Categories: Announcements, Communities, Design, Education, Resilience | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

ZERO Code

In case you missed it, we can now create new buildings that are so efficient that they can create most of the power they need onsite and it can be done at a very small or even no premium to standard buildings.

There are a few big challenges to widespread adoption:

1. We need to take Bold action.

2. Everyone involved needs to buy into the idea (Owners, builders, designers)

3. We need Simple, elegant, low cost tools to use to guide the infinite possibilities of a building design in the right direction. The Zero code is a straightforward set of code style rules that gets a new building on the path to zero-net-carbon without having to pay for a plaque.

Categories: Architecture, Design, Energy Efficiency, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Required Reading: A Pattern Language

I can’t say enough about this book. When I first read A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander it completely changed my outlook about what the built environment should strive for. The introductory book The Timeless Way of Building highlights the fact that humans are emotional creatures and that architecture should recognize this and be built to enhance the lives of the people that inhabit the places created. “A Pattern Language” takes that fuzzy concept of happiness, comfort and wholeness and details how to achieve it in the built environment with a scope that no book before or since has replicated. This books should be required reading for every architect, urban planner, engineer, and social activist.

 

Categories: Architecture, Communities, Design, New Urbanism, Resilience | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Twelve Steps of Sprawl Recovery

As we strive to build towns and neighborhoods that are vibrant, lively and great places to live, we inevitably find that people being there are what makes them this way. It is not architectural acrobatics or parking lots that make great places, but interesting street life. Hopefully the paradigm of building everything so far apart from each other, which in turn creates personal automobile dependence, is drawing to a close. The question then is how do we re-imagine areas that were built with this thinking into vibrant and essential places?

Steve Mouzon has a fantastic post outlining The Twelve Steps of Sprawl Recovery. It is a simple and incremental approach to making places vital again.

If you are thirsty for more people-focused town design, The Congress for New Urbanism is a collection of people that have made it their mission to answer these sorts of questions; inspiring towns, cities and their inhabitants to work towards making their places better every day.

Categories: Architecture, Communities, Design, Resilience | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Building November 13th Luncheon: Designing for Sustainability in Division 8: Architectural Aluminum Framing

This course will give attendees an overview of how standard architectural aluminum framing products offered in Division 8: Glass & Glazing can be a key element of a design team’s LEED strategy. Standard components offered in architectural aluminum framing products can be major drivers for potential points in three categories: Enery and Atmosphere; Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality.

Total building construction costs and LEED strategies do not need to work against each other. A cost effective LEED strategy can be achieved in part by gaining an understanding of the proper application of many standard components and how they are best utilized. For example, improvements in thermal technology, along with higher performing insulated glass units, will increase the thermal performance of glazed elevations and enhance energy optimization. Additionally, proper use of shading devices allows for expanded glass areas, resulting in greater views and harvesting of natural light. Shading of the glazed area permits the use of glass with higher visible light transmission while reducing solar heat gain. And today, commercial windows are offered with triple glazed insulated glass units along with baffles in the aluminum profiles’ cavities to prevent heat transfer through convection. This allows for leveraging Thermal Comfort and Enhanced Indoor Air Quality without sacrificing energy performance.

Keep in mind that when putting together an aggressive LEED strategy there is no need to pay for custom products. A proper understanding of the efficient application of standard products can position your project for the LEED certification process.

Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Lunch will be served, Register Here

Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.

DATE AND TIME
Tue, Nov 13, 2018: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Categories: Announcements, Architecture, Materials | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Crozet Houses: Orchard Dr

Attached Greenhouse

Just a few blocks from Crozet’s downtown district is a little one acre parcel of land that was once the home to part of a much larger apple orchard. A few of the old apple trees remain and a tenacious grove of bamboo has colonized the stream bank. Today this plot is completely surrounded by houses, has public water, sewer and electricity, and is an easy walk from coffee shops, post office, a new Library, restaurants, stores and loads of small town charm.

The concept for this one acre parcel just north of the intersection of Jarman’s Gap Rd and Orchard Dr (two lots) in Crozet is to build two houses that have attached accessory units that even though they are attached, feel like their own completely separate houses. This is done by clever house and window placement, utilizing the existing topography as an advantage. The houses are designed to be net-zero ready, using such

Entrance from Orchard Dr

little energy that a few solar panels on the roof or mounted remotely can power them while providing superior indoor air quality and comfort for the residents. The houses are placed on the site to capture their outdoor spaces, making them comfortable and loved. The grounds will be planted with native plants as well as non-invasive food producing orchard trees. The existing street will be lined with shade trees and rain gardens. The houses are also designed to fit in with the existing neighborhood’s one and two story ranches in scale, color and texture.

See the full designs here and contact me if you would like to buy one or design something like this for somewhere else!

 

Categories: Architecture, Design, Tiny Housing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Green Building October 9th Luncheon: Energiesprong in the US – Deep energy retrofit for multi-family housing

The Dutch EnergieSprong program retrofits existing multi-family housing stock to Net-Zero energy quickly and cost-effectively. The state of New York (through RetrofitNY), and the Department of Energy (through the REALIZE project) have funded several programs to transfer the EnergieSprong approach to the US. Staengl Engineering is working on a project in New York and with the REALIZE project to help implement a similar process for US multi-family buildings. This talk with describe EnergieSprong and report on efforts to implement the approach in the US.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the Dutch EnergieSprong approach and its Net Zero energy results.
  2. Identify the differences in the US climate and market that affect implementation of the EnergieSprong approach.
  3. Understand project implementation and net zero energy goals for a project in Troy, NY
  4. Understand the transformations that the market will need to go through to realize the net zero energy results provided through the EnergieSprong approach in the United States

Presenter:

Galen Staengl has 20 years of experience designing cutting-edge energy-efficient mechanical systems for green building projects and industrial facilities. Throughout his career, Galen has worked to bring energy-efficient and sustainable principles into his designs for award-winning schools, institutional buildings, multi-family residential projects, and office buildings. As President of Staengl Engineering, Galen has provided design and energy analysis for buildings certified as LEED Platinum and Gold, Passive House, Net Zero energy, Net Positive energy, and Living Building Challenge.

As a leader in low-energy building system design, Galen regularly presents and moderates at national and regional green building conferences. He is also involved in advancing the technical and regulatory aspects of green building design in the U.S.; he is currently a member of the national Technical Committee of Passive House Institute U.S..

Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Lunch will be served, Register Here

Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.

DATE AND TIME
Tue, Oct 9, 2018: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Categories: Announcements, Design, Energy Efficiency, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Building September 11th Luncheon: Redefining ‘Productivity’: Micro-Farming in Green Buildings

This course will educate attendees on the applications for micro-farming in living spaces, as part of a new generation of WELL-Standard and Fitwel-compliant buildings that promote occupant wellness, and offer sustenance as well as shelter.

Presenter: Will Graham with Babylon Micro-Farms

Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Lunch will be served

Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.

DATE AND TIME
Tue, Sep 11, 2018: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Categories: Announcements, Design, Education, Energy Efficiency, Gardening | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Building August 14th Luncheon: Frederick County Middle School – A Model of Energy Efficiency

The goal for this new middle school was to create a progressive campus for an expected enrollment of 900 students in Frederick County’s under-served rural community. This student- and community-centric prototype was designed to be a model of energy and water efficiency and to incorporate the building’s sustainable infrastructure into the curriculum.

The school exceeded its energy-efficiency goals in its first year of operation: energy consumption was just 26.9 kBtu/sf—39% of comparable secondary schools and below its target of 30 kBtu/sf/year. This number is projected to drop over time with operational fine-tuning. Additionally, the school operates independently of fossil fuels and is a net zero water facility. Energy-saving highlights include an on-site water generation and treatment system, a hybrid geothermal HVAC system, and exclusive use of LED lighting.

Speaker:

Peter Mackey is an accomplished senior mechanical engineer and project manager who has led some of 2RW’s largest MEP/FP design projects. He is a dedicated client advocate who has exceptional attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to quality and ac

countability. Peter has 14 years of industry experience, 12 of which has been with 2RW where he designs and manages new construction and renovation projects for K-12 schools, higher education and research facilities, municipal facilities, mixed-use and multi-family developments, healthcare, and more. Peter has played a key role in numerous LEED-certified and Net Zero-ready projects and presents continuing education courses for USGBC and AIA accreditation.

Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Lunch will be served

Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.

DATE AND TIME
Tue, Aug 14, 2018: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
LOCATION
City Space, 100 5th Street NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Categories: Announcements, Design, Education, Energy Efficiency, Resilience, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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