Monday, December 17, 2007

Solar hot water and electric in the same tile

Tiles installed like regular roofing shingles that heat water with solar energy AND produce electric. What a concept! And they're winning all the awards for such forward thinking - as well they should.

Wouldn't it be great if we could use them as awnings to help with both hot water and electric in addition to helping to channel run off water for re-use in the gardens?


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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

the meeting with Janet Montgomery 12/12/07

Problems they faced with the art community center:

  • Rent of building/property
  • Cost per square foot for studio space- artist agreeing on cost at a realistic bracket
    • Who gets windows… do you charge more
  • Who could use the center- studio space/gallery space
    • jury
    • open
    • what kind of artists: clientele, price brackets
  • marketing
    • more than advertising…
      • reputation
      • community support
  • maintenance
    • who will clean
    • how will people be held accountable
  • security
    • locking doors
    • protecting art
    • ensuring space used appropriately
      • not artist studio space not living space
      • not a social party space
  • Insurance
    • For art
    • For public use
    • For potentially dangerous activities, ie welding
  • OSHA
    • Meeting standards for ventilation
    • Health codes
    • Structural elements
    • Fire code
  • Money
    • Where is the money coming from
      • Grants
      • Donations
      • Loans
    • Creating a realistic budget
    • How will it sustain its self
How do you get a bunch of non-conformist to adhere to a set structure?

Additional things we should think about:

  • involving the community
    • all of the families are interconnected so don’t be careful not to burn bridges or talk down on anyone
    • talk to the mayor
    • create a web of possible allies or other groups that can benefit
    • combating the resistance to anything new/unfamiliar
  • visual aesthetics
    • have solid visuals of the structure to accompany the proposal to counter the negative stigma attached to cargo containers

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Space saving wall installed furniture

I was poking around for some idea to redo downstairs #3 and came across Murphy beds. There's a number of reasons that would work for that room but it also made me think about the space in the Cargo container apartments.

If we're building these for student housing, maybe we can make them a little more friendly to live in regardless of the smaller space.

I found a bed that folds up and becomes a desk - functional, practical and totally usable for this scenario.

Kitchen counters or tables could be done similarly to keep the spaces feeling as open and roomy as possible

Thursday, December 6, 2007

one of the better grid-tie systems, should be legal in watauga. prob give 300-500 kwh/month since out estimate avg wind speed in the valley is 9-13 mph. integrated inverter! w00t!

this guy is a really good one to talk to (sugar grove):

compost looks like its only viable in conjunction with solar thermal from what i've seen so why not just go all solar thermal of PV? like something modeled after this?
also clear dome makes a pad that helps raise temperatures in conjunction with other heating methods:

also green house, even a simple one would be key to starting seeds early for the rooftop garden. compost can easily be used to heat that or we could go all out bioshelters.

solar hot water: we should be able to offset 50-70% of hot water needs with well placed solar thermal panels...
a really cool index of projects, some useful, some not:

a couple panels (sol makes some of the better ones...):

take a look and tell me what you think! also, let's look at microhydro resources cause i got a ton of info on that...


What if we could create a "living building"?

Over lunch, a few of us were sitting around talking and the subject of using cast off cargo containers for affordable, sustainable housing came up. The more we all brainstormed, the more it became apparent that there is both a need in the area for more of this type of housing and that we can pool together our skills and knowledge to make it happen (assuming we can get the money together).

We're all students at Appalachian State University - which has a phenomenal Sustainable Development program, plus Interior Design, Architecture, Land Use & Space planning - so we have an incredible talent pool to draw on and a fairly large percentage of the student body and local community that are interested in sustainable development to provide public support.

In talking over the project requirements, we've decided to form as a Non profit, to develop the project with a concern for community involvement and additionally provide space for a community gathering center that various groups can use for meeting space. Some of the units should be living/studios while others will provide one or two bedroom apartments. Ideally, we can develop this with a rooftop garden, recycling the gray water from the laundry and capture the waste heat from the building to provide a sauna (possibly with the help of captured heat from a compost pile).

Some cool places for ideas

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