Tool Libraries

I have a cellar full of tools and man stuff.  But why?  As we have libraries and car sharing and car clubs why not share many many more things like tools, gardening expertise, design skills?Why do individuals drag around van loads of stuff when they could be picked up using a cargo bike from a … Continue reading Tool Libraries

Healing the tangled bank

Should dividing stuff off, enclosing it, categorising it,putting it into boxes and subjects, be understood as stuff you do to protect it whilst it is young, like staking a tree? Thus it isn't a tragedy of the commons, but a tragedy of infantilising, keeping the water wings on or the stabiliser wheels on a bicycle … Continue reading Healing the tangled bank

Dancing Bicycles?

I am doing a brilliant Coursera course Introduction to Global Health and this is my attempt at an essay!  Thinking about this since writing this, would someone help me invent a form of transport where dancing makes it move - using arms, legs, hips, elbows, knees... A strategy for the prevention of the … Continue reading Dancing Bicycles?

Health for all, health and well being and older person’s strategies

Following a bit repetitive of other posts but never mind! Health and wellbeing, extra care etc! I have recently completed a short on line course presented by John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health about “Health for All”. I really enjoyed this course as it filled a critical gap in my understanding and also … Continue reading Health for all, health and well being and older person’s strategies

Ageing – separately or in communities? Thought provoking! Since the 1960s, there has been a steady increase in the development of environments built specifically for older people including retirement housing, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), memory care centers, and assisted living facilities.  This occurred because economic development made long life more common. But while this demographic shift was occurring, enormous … Continue reading Ageing – separately or in communities?

Net zero energy property

Net zero energy property

Net-Zero Energy Buildings Take Hold in U.S.

Buildings that produce as much energy on-site as they consume are becoming more common

By Lacey Johnson and ClimateWire  | March 7, 2012 | 1

Some new buildings aim to produce as much energy as they consume.Image: Wikimedia Commons/Daderot

A weak economy and rising energy prices have led to a buzz over building efficiency. Light bulb regulations, LEED and Energy Star ratings for homes and appliances, stricter construction codes, and government incentives are all parts of a national effort to cut energy waste in the building sector.

Nearly 40 percent of the nation's energy is consumed by homes and commercial buildings, which means that making them more efficient would not only save money but also drastically reduce carbon emissions. So a handful of builders are taking the idea one step further: Why construct a building that uses less energy when we can make one that uses no energy at all?

That's the philosophy behind "net-zero" buildings, and they have been springing up all over the country in recent years. By the purest definition, a net-zero building produces all the renewable energy it needs on site, drawing no more power from the grid than it gives back.

Considering that a shack in the woods is technically net zero, the concept isn't exactly new. But advances in technology over the past decade have made it easier to design sophisticated buildings that produce 100 percent of their own energy. At least 21 commercial buildings in the United States meet net-zero standards, according to a study released yesterday by the New Buildings Institute and the Zero Energy Commercial Building Consortium.

They run the gamut from offices to libraries to elementary schools. Researchers identified eight more unverified buildings that may also be net zero and an additional 39 that would classify if they installed more on-site renewable energy systems, plus dozens more under construction.


The future house boat

Loads of water near the Olympics site!  Beautiful Modern Water Villa Sets Sail in Amsterdam There are hundreds of canals criss-crossing through Amsterdam which make the city uniquely suited for living on the water. This new modern houseboat at De Omval makes houseboats on Lake Powell in the USA look like redneck McMansions. … Continue reading The future house boat

Sound, the way the brain prefers to hear it By GUY GUGLIOTTA Published: September 5, 2011 LOS ANGELES — There is, perhaps, no more uplifting musical experience than hearing the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah”performed in a perfect space. Many critics regard Symphony Hall in Boston — 70 feet wide, 120 feet long and 65 feet high — as just that space. Enlarge This … Continue reading Sound, the way the brain prefers to hear it