Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whitfield Design Inventory

There are two buildings on site, one is a kwanset hut that use to be a meat market.  it could be salvaged to be reused as a sandwhich place or the building could be opened up as a pavilion.  The other building is an abandoned house that i see as not being able to be reused, so it is a no brainer for me to tear it down. 

The vegetation that is on the site is located on the image to the left.  I think that the vegetation along the eastern edge of the site which is the left of the image.  Having some existing vegetation on the site will help the devlopment look like it has been there for a long time instead of having all of the same height trees planted. 

The site has a few utilities that need to be kept in mind.  one is the Overhead powerlines on the north end of the site.  The existing well could be reused as a water feature or even a water storage area for stormwater.  The rest of the information on this sheet is a few more trees that were not located on the sheet above.  There are a few storm drains located along whitfield street that need to be kept in mind for road layout. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Kiel Method is REAL!

Journalist Carl Honore believes the Western world's emphasis on speed erodes health, productivity and quality of life. But there's a backlash brewing, as everyday people start putting the brakes on their all-too-modern lives.

Journalist Carl Honore is best known for his advocacy of the Slow Movement. His book In Praise of Slowness dissects our speed-obsessed society and celebrates those who have gotten in touch with their snail.


All about the ecological footprint

Worldchanging.com founder Alex Steffen argues that reducing humanity’s ecological footprint is incredibly vital now, as the western consumer lifestyle spreads to developing countries.

Alex Steffen is cofounder and executive editor of WorldChanging.com, an online clearinghouse of information and inspiration on the environment.



In this inspiring talk about recent developments in biomimicry, Janine Benyus provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already influencing the products and systems we build.

A self-proclaimed nature nerd, Janine Benyus' concept of biomimicry has galvanized scientists, architects, designers and engineers into exploring new ways in which nature's successes can inspire future developments.


How are Man and Monkey are Different

Jane Goodall hasn't found the missing link, but she's come closer than nearly anyone else. The primatologist says the only real difference between humans and chimps is our sophisticated language. She urges us to start using it to change the world.

Jane Goodall, dubbed by her biographer "the woman who redefined man," has changed our perceptions of primates, people, and the connection between the two.



How might the world end? Stephen Petranek lays out the challenges that face us in the drive to preserve the human race. Will we be wiped out by an asteroid? Eco-collapse? How about a particle collider gone wild?

When he was editor-in-chief of Discover magazine, Stephen Petranek tangled with questions as big as the universe. Here he confronts the biggest question on the planet.


Flying on Solar Wings

Paul MacCready -- aircraft designer, environmentalist, and lifelong lover of flight -- talks about his long career.

Paul MacCready, an aircraft designer and environmentalist, is a pioneer of human-powered flight, alternative energy for transportation, and environmentally responsible design.


A Plant Perspective

What if human consciousness isn't the end-all and be-all of Darwinism? What if we are all just pawns in corn's clever strategy game to rule the Earth? Author Michael Pollan asks us to see the world from a plant's-eye view.

Michael Pollan is the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in which he explains how our food not only affects our health but has far-reaching political, economic, and environmental implications.



Asteroid strikes get all the coverage, but "Medea Hypothesis" author Peter Ward argues that most of Earth's mass extinctions were caused by lowly bacteria. The culprit, a poison called hydrogen sulfide, may have an interesting application in medicine.

Peter D. Ward studies life on Earth -- where it came from, how it might end, and how utterly rare it might be.


Eating all of the Wrong Food

     In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what's wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it's putting the entire planet at risk.
     Mark Bittman is a bestselling cookbook author, journalist and television personality. His friendly, informal approach to home cooking has shown millions that fancy execution is no substitute for quality.


Diverse Global Seed Bank in Norway

The varieties of wheat, corn and rice we grow today may not thrive in a future threatened by climate change. Cary Fowler takes us inside a vast global seed bank, buried within a frozen mountain in Norway, that stores a diverse group of food-crop for whatever tomorrow may bring.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Renewable Energy - Solar Thermal (Hot Water)

This is a documentary that explains why a Sustainability energy chain should be used or how it could be used. A house could have solar panels that use solar power to power a water heater or it can be used to have water run a cycle around and be heated directly by the suns heat.

OHOME Passive Solar Studies

Whitfield Design
This is a great idea for the reuse of the kwanset hut. The roofing material in the video could be the metal of the kwanset building. it could be cut up and used for different houses. This could be a great alternative to taking the building to the landfill. It would work great for 1 story house but not sure what it would look like for a 2 story.

How Passive Solar Design Works

I was interested in more information and to see a presentation on how this passive solar design actually works so here is a short video clip on passive solar design

Home Wind Turbine, Home Wind Turbines

I think this is a great idea, but not sure how much it costs for installation. Close to Brooke's house in Quincy one of the houses has a wind turbine that is located adjacent to the house. I am not sure if they are using the power it is generating or even if they are harvesting the power. But most will think that the turbines will make the house look hideous. With the video above installing turbines on top of the house with all white metal makes them stand out more than something that blends in with the environment. The one in Quincy has been installed for a long time so it adds a rustic approach and fits in the environment around it.

I think that by implementing more turbines into residential applications woulod be beneficial along with solar panels. Once these turbines are mass produced and the price drops, it might become more prominent in the landscape.

Splash Fountain at Salem's Riverfront Park

This is a great example of a splash fountain that is located in a park without any other water park features around. This is a great interactive water feature for neighborhood children to come and play in after school or in the hot summer months. it could have the capabilities of reusing stormwater for the water storage.

Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In

This is a great exhibit in Washington D.C. that is leading the way in Stormwater management. It allows visiters to see how they are managing their stormwater and allows them to read on how it works. By having signage in front of these exhibits allows the visitors to take this knowledge home and implement it there.

Build Your Edible Rooftop Garden with Senga

I think that this video is great for any DIYer that wants to place a vegetated roof on an existing roof, She points out that she had to consult an engineer and an architect for structural support. Also shes makes an even better point about having public members on the roof brings up safety policies. Even though the movie is a little tacky, i think it is great for one of us to implement.

green roofs for chickens

This is a great idea. I have chickens at home and i have been needing to rebuild a chicken coop so i think that i might have use this example as a design idea. i might have to put some wheels on it so that i can move it around the farm. Chickens love fresh green grass, as long as they dont get out and eat the vegetaion on the roof, unless they provide great fertilizer for the roof while eating.

Green Roof Images

This is a video that i looked at to get some inspiration for using green roofs on the Whitfield design.
I designed the roofs to have one slant facing south. My intentions were to use sedums for the plants on the roof.

Vegetated Swales

Here is a design idea for the Akin Village Design about daylighting a stream.  The site currently has all of the water pipe underneath of it and empties out into a stream that transports water from the University and some right off of college view street.  The link below has information for vegetated swales.  The site includes information about where to use it, implementation, How it works and maintenance. 


Design Ideas

stormwater runoff swale
"Moth Eyes Biomimicry for Solar Panels"

Moth Eyes Biomimicry for Solar Panels

Here is a biomimicry example that they are mimicing moth eyes for solar panels.  It would be interesting to see what the entire panels looks like as well but i was not able to find an example.  Wondering if it would be kinda crazy looking. But i always wondered what a biomimicry example would look like and now this is a pretty cool one. 
Moth Eyes Biomimicry for Solar Panels photo

Silicon is reflective, so a lot of light that could be turned into electricity is bounced back and lost. Anti-reflective coating is used, but its effectiveness is limited and it has downsides too. So while looking for a solution, researchers noticed that moths have very non-reflective eyes ("most likely an evolutionary defense against nocturnal predators"). The moth-eye process creates panels that reflect less than 2% of light. That's a vast improvement over the 35 to 40% reflection rate seen without the anti-reflection coating layers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Floating House

15-20 Minutes

This is a house that is designed to float in case of a flood. The house  is also being built in the Lower Ninth Ward in Brad Pitt's development Make It Right.  I dont know about anyone else but i kinda what to see this house float, maybe not wish for a flood but maybe a mock flood.  The house weighs 33.5 tons and is placed on a polystyrene foundation that is covered in 2 inches of spray on concrete.  One may ask that if it is designed to float in a flood then where is it going to end up.  The house is built on a chassie that is brought in on a semi trailer and is placed on two steel poles that are placed vertically into the ground.  The house has an opening for the two poles and if it was to flood then the house would rise with the water and just move up and down the poles.  when the water falls the house would fall back into the same place that it was built in.  You may ask about all of the utilty connections for the house would break or keep the house attached to the ground but actually they thought about that too.  They have included extra lines for everything that will reach the house as high as the poles would let it go.  I would love to see this in water, is that bad.   



In this Video clip, it is all about Rain Water Harvesting.  This house is using Rain water for toilets, showers, DRINKING Water and Their pool.  The house uses a whole house cistern and utilizes a clean metal roof.  The Tank town has setup a expeirment to show homeowners that they coul still collect water off of a old rusty roof that is covered in leaves.  They use a purification systems tha collects the first flush in a seperate tank that they then use for irrigation.  The purification process is completely chemical free, where they use ultra violet sanitizer that cost $75 and lasts 10,000 hours and once that bulb runs out then the water is undrinkable until it is replaced.  Great way to use what mother nature gives to us for free. 

LED Light Bulbs


This is tha same video as linked above, but another portion of this video is using the new and upcoming LED light bulbs for your house.  This is a great new concept since incandesent bulbs only last 5-7 years or less and they are projecting that LED's will last 50 times longer.  I would love to implement these LED's into my house but i do not think that i can afford to pay $60 for a light bulb, yeah it might last 50 years but it is that intial cost that i would have a hard time paying for. 

Reuse of a BUG Disaster


If you were to follow this link to a video, you can watch the first part of it and it explains how this company is taking advantage of a buggy situation.  Mountain Pine Beetles have been destroying forest for a total 38 million acres since 1997.  This company is harvesting the wood in these insect infested woods and turning them into wood pellets for furnace burning.  Check it out if interested in using biomass to heat a house or a housing development that one may build. 

Lower Ninth Ward New Orleans


This Video is about a development in the Lower Ninth Ward where Brad Pitt Started a development called Make It Right.  Architects from all over have helped designed these uniques houses.  Some of them have some crazy designs but almost all are built on stilts because the development is located in a flood plain.  They have included roof hatches on all of the buildings incase of another Katrina.  The ONLY design concern i have is that they have implemented using pervious concrete in an area that they mention that the water will rise again, so why put something in that once muddy water covers it is going to have to be cleaned with a vac or pressure washed. Any ideas?