Posts Tagged With: environment

Green Building August 8th Luncheon: Building Neighborhoods for People

Since the inception of the personal automobile, the way that communities are designed has changed considerably, so much so that many neighborhoods are arranged so that people only interact with each other as they pass in their cars. New Urbanism is a movement to undo this by designing walkable places where people and communities flourish; using the tools of cohousing, traditional neighborhood development, pocket neighborhoods and many others designers seek to make new places that are centered around people, not cars. By addressing more than just the built environment, Cohousing takes it a step further and intentionally seeks to rebuild the social fabric one neighborhood at a time.

Speaker: Peter Lazar has lived in the cohousing community “Shadowlake Village” in Blacksburg for many years and is an advocate for the movement on the national level with the Cohousing Association (http://www.cohousing.org). He is currently working on bringing the new 26 home “Emerson Commons” cohousing neighborhood in Crozet to life. Join us this month as Peter highlights the design, benefits, challenges and experiences of living and building neighborhoods centered around people.

Fee: Free for members, $10 nonmembers, Register Here

Lunch will be provided.

DATE AND TIME

Tue, August 8, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

LOCATION

City Space, 100 5th Street NE

Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902

Categories: Communities, Education, Resilience | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cloud Shower: Disruptive Shower Technology?

There are two types of technology change: Incremental and Disruptive. As a designer, disruptive is way more fun.

Incremental: How do we get more with less? For showers, building codes limit their consumption to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) while green building rating systems are pushing manufacturers to get more with less; down to 1.5 gpm. The problem is that at a certain point there is a physical limit to the incremental change and efficiency gains will level off. My gut says that for shower heads this point is somewhere around 1.2 gpm. Any 50% reduction is something to be proud of, but it has taken a long time.

Disruptive: What if we ask a different question altogether: “Is there a better way to take a shower?” A couple startups are trying to answer this question with what they call a cloud shower. Previously only available as a luxury shower add-on, the technology is similar to a type of commercial humidifier. They claim that their technology not only uses 75% less water, but also provides a much more luxurious showering experience: providing more even coverage and rinsing more effectively. We now have a sudden 75% drop in water consumption, which also results in a major drop in the amount of water that needs to be heated, which in turn saves a lot of money. All this by simply swapping out a shower head! Brilliant!

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

Green Building May 9th Luncheon: LEED v4 Energy/HVAC Credit Changes and Submittal Tips

Ever wonder what your LEED reviewer really wants you to know? Join two of GBCI’s most experienced LEED energy/HVAC Reviewers for an overview of the LEED v4 rating system changes and submittal tips.

As of October 31, 2016, all projects pursuing LEED Certification are required to register under the LEED v4 rating system. Is your project team ready for the LEED v4 EA and IEQ HVAC/energy related credits? This presentation will explore key changes between LEED v4 and LEED v2009 credits, and provide tips from experienced GBCI LEED Reviewers for documenting compliance with LEED BD+C and ID+C requirements in LEED v4 projects. Similarities and differences between rating systems will be explored including the new credit, Integrative Process. The presentation will be followed with a Q+A session.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the major changes in the BD&C rating system from the v2009 version to the v4 version for energy/HVAC related credits.
  2. State the ASHRAE Standards required by LEED v4 and the prerequisites and credits these Standards affect.
  3. Explain the requirements related to existing or partially existing HVAC systems in LEED ID+C projects for EAp Fundamental Commissioning and Verification, EAp Minimum Energy Performance and EQp Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance.
  4. Identify the top three strategies for preparing LEED BD+C and ID+C documentation for review.

This luncheon will be held at City Space, 100 5th St. NE, on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, VA. Doors open at 11:45 and the Seminar begins at 12:00. Luncheons are open to the public. Lunch is provided, attendance is free for GVGBC members and $10 for non members. Register Here

Categories: Announcements, Education | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Ecovillage Charlottesville Updates

Check out the latest and greatest plans for the buildings of Ecovillage Charlottesville designed in collaboration with Øesch Environmental Design featuring compact, energy efficient living spaces in the form of flats and townhouses with a large indoor/outdoor shared kitchen and dining area spaces on the rooftop and the utmost attention to livability, natural light, privacy, energy efficiency, and functionality.

See the latest designs here:

Townhouse Exterior

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

River at Risk: The Environmental Health of the James River

River at Risk: The Environmental Health of the James River

Tuesday, January 13th,  2015  — 12:00-1:00 PM

Located at CitySpace, on the downtown mall in Charlottesville

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The GVGBC is pleased to welcome Pat Calvert, The Upper James River Keeper for the James River Association  who will present on the environmental threats to the James River.

The James River Association (JRA) is kicking off its “Our River at Risk” advocacy campaign throughout the James River basin to bring awareness to potential threats to the James River, a significant source of drinking water for Virginians.

Due to several recent incidents, to include the chemical spill on the Elk River in West Virginia, the coal ash spill on the Dan River in North Carolina and the train derailment and oil spill in Lynchburg, JRA has been researching the issues of crude-by-rail, toxic chemical storage and coal ash in the watershed.

Bill Street, Chief Executive Officer for the James River Association  says “Our River at Risk” is designed to inform and engage the public in a conversation about the ongoing threats to the James.

“The James River Association is calling on industry and government to recognize and address the risks that are facing the river in light of the recent toxic incidents in the region. JRA has identified important goals in regards to potential policies to address each issue of concern and is seeking to engage the broader community, government agencies and industry representatives in an effort to achieve the results that are needed to safeguard the James River.”

This luncheon will be held at City Space, 100 5th St. NE, on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, VA. Doors open at 11:45 and the Seminar begins at 12:00. Luncheons are open to the public.  Lunch is provided, attendance is free for GVGBC members and $10 for non members. Advance registration requested at GVGBC.ORG  

 

Categories: Announcements, Preservation | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Rayton Solar Panels

If you have been thinking about adding solar panels to power your home but have been priced out, that may all change soon. This startup called Rayton is claiming to have built a solar panel with 25% greater efficiency and 60% less expense. If they succeed, it is a game changer for alternative energy!

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

GVGBC Luncheon: Environmental Studies Academy

Join us for lunch (noon to 1pm) on December 9th at Cityspace downtown Charlottesville for Greater Virginia Green Building Council‘s monthly lunch speaker series! This month features a speaker from Western Albemarle High School who is going to fill us in about their Environmental Studies Academy and how they are training and empowering the next wave of environmental leaders.

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Categories: Announcements, Education | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

UVA Sustainability Days

Thursday11/13 & Friday 11/14 UVA Sustainability Days
Events start at 9:30 am Thursday and end by 2pm Friday.  See schedule for exact times and locations
Take part in UVA Sustainability Days to celebrate and innovate sustainable solutions on Grounds. There will be sustainability-themed events such as a Poster Competition, Film Screening, Zero Waste Workshop, Panel Discussion, Hoos Talking Green, and much more! Please RSVP, as space is limited for some of the events.  Free.  Info. and RSVP at http://www.virginia.edu/sustainability/u-va-sustainability-days/

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Categories: Announcements, Energy Efficiency | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Building a Garden on top of Rotting Logs

raised-garden-bed-monthWhile in college my friends and I built a garden on top of a giant rotting tree stump outside of our rental house. That small 4’x2′ garden produced more cucumbers and tomatoes than the four of us could eat without much watering. We didn’t have a clue that we had built a garden system called hugelkultur, but it worked better than we could have imagined. If you have piles of rotting wood laying around (or know someone that does) put them to use under a garden!

We’re trying this out! We’re trying it on a slope that was grassy and eroding, and now is basically a little terrace. Here’s what we did:

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1. Dig a trench that followed the existing contour of the site. We are building a swale as well as burying logs, so that we will also capture rainwater as it flows down the slope.

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2. Fill the trench with logs and sizable branches that have been accumulating from all of the storms we have around here.

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3. Cover the logs with dirt that was excavated earlier. Be careful and fill in all of the holes between the logs which is tricky if you have clay like we do around here, if you don’t I imagine that the mound will sink over time. Check out the water pooling during a big storm in the trench (called a swale) behind the new mound of earth (called a berm); it’s already working! Don’t worry, that water disappears quickly into the soil after the rain stops, though if it doesn’t, add more mulch and build the soil so that it can hold more water.

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4. To keep erosion down we gathered rocks from a field that was plowed too deep and built the terrace edge. On top of the new mound of dirt we planted blueberries, strawberries, thyme, lavender and some flowers. Local pine mulch was put down on top as well to keep the weeds out and cover the bare soil. Now we wait until next season!

Categories: Gardening, Resilience | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Ecovillage Presentation

This is a presentation which gives a rough introduction to the Ecovillage Charlottesville project.  It was built to be an introduction for UVA’s “Engineering Students Without Borders” student group

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

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