Join us on October 11th for the Green Building Luncheon in downtown Charlottesville:
Energy Actions – Moving People to Action
In honor of Energy Action Month, USGBC Greater Virginia is pleased to welcome Susan Elliott from the City of Charlottesville and Nate McFarland of Generation 180. Our speakers will present on energy actions and moving people to action, including trends seen in the local Energize!Charlottesville campaign and our local community and region, as well as efforts and methods to shift everyday people to make clean energy choices.
For additional information: City of Charlottesville, Climate Protection Program (www.charlottesville.org/emissions & energizecville.org) and Generation180
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:
While 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:
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.
2. Fill the trench with logs and sizable branches that have been accumulating from all of the storms we have around here.
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.
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!
Have you bought furniture lately? The first problem is finding something that will last a long time. The second problem is finding something that hasn’t traveled around the world twice. A lot of furniture and cabinetry is made halfway across the world, and to make things worse, some of that wood comes from forests right here! There are still local carpenters making amazing pieces and it doesn’t need to be a dying art; there is plenty of demand. I have spent a lot of time talking with Thomas Johnson about how we need to bring carpentry back as a respected craft. The best way to do that is to support your local artisans with your business instead of the big box stores, but he wants to do more. He has a vision of creating a wood products manufacturing school called Mayflower Landing and rekindle the interest of young people to become masters of this timeless craft.
This is the custom table and bench that Thomas Johnson built just for us. It is solid oak, crafted and finished beautifully, as well as costing less than furniture of comparable quality from overseas.
Two great classes are coming up in the charlottesville area, both are donation funded and located at the Ivy Creek natural area. The first is an introduction to Underground Housing on Sunday, April 20, 2014 from 11am – 7pm. If you’d like to get a little background before you go, look up Malcolm Wells in google!
The second is an introduction on shaping the landscape to build soil, improve fertility, and make food for yourself! Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 11am – 7pm in the Ivy Creek Natural Area Educational Building. If you’d like to get a little background before you go, look up Permaculture Earthworks in google!
Categories: Announcements, Architecture, Design, Gardening, Resilience
Tags: architecture, Gardening, greenhouse, low impact, Passive solar building design, Permaculture, Resilience, Swales, Underground Housing
Don’t forget to join us today at the James River Green Building Council luncheon on Tuesday, June 11th 12:00 — 1:00pm to learn about how to make our built environments more resilient!
Architecture 2030 is a team of non-profit crusaders that want to radically transform the way that structures are built and how they interact with the environment. The 2030 Challenge is much like the EPA’s very successful CFC reduction program that let the Ozone Hole repair itself. Instead of CFCs, this challenge is to phase out the use of fossil fuels in buildings by the year 2030.
Not to leave everyone hanging wondering how to accomplish this goal; they are developing a great free resource of information on how to build carbon neutral and resilient structures and plan resilient communities which is called the 2030 Palette. The website is complete with pictures, descriptions and rules of thumb for many concepts vital to low impact built environments. Check out this fantastic tool for Architects, Engineers, Owners and people who want to learn more about how our buildings interact with the environment.
Categories: Architecture, Preservation, Resilience
Tags: architecture, Architecture 2030, Energy, environment, greenhouse, low impact, Passive solar building design, Renewable, Resilience, Solar, The 2030 °Challenge
Join us at the James River Green Building Council luncheon on Tuesday, June 11th 12:00 — 1:00pm to learn about how to make our built environments more resilient!
Resilience: The ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. That’s what the dictionary says. More importantly though, as climate begins to change and the natural world bombards us with more and more challenges, how will we design our living systems to take these new challenges in stride? Resiliency and Sustainability are two terms we have begun to hear very often especially in building circles, but resiliency often gets replaced with redundancy. Resilience.org has a lot to say about the topic, so I’ll let them be your guide: