Monday, March 19, 2007

More and more people both, architects and material suppliers, are jumping onto the “green architecture” bandwagon but how many practices really follow any sort of eco-principles. Just calling something green doesn’t necessarily make it so.
The term “greenwashing” has entered the lexicon to mean giving the appearance of being green without providing substantive environmental benefit. Before you hire a architect or residential designer educate your self
  1. Ask to see example of past green projects they have designed.
  2. Ask if they have designed any Energy Star or LEED H designed homes.
  3. Ask what continuing education they have taken to educate themselves on green building practices .
  4. Ask if they're member of any green or sustainable organization.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I attended the first class in a series from Grand Rapids Community College called Renewable Energy Experts Series. The first class in the series was on Wind Energy in Michigan. Richard VanderVeen III President and Co-founder of Mackinaw Power was the presenter. He spoke about.
  • What is the wind power potential for Michigan?

  • How do wind turbines work and feed power to the grid?

  • What are the Federal and State Policies effecting wind energy?

  • Why is wind energy growing at a 30% annual rate around the globe?

  • What is the economic potential for West Michigan?
I enjoyed the class an learned a lot. The next classes in there series are.

  • Green/LEED/Energy Star - What means what in "Green Building".

  • Solar Power - Electricity from photovoltaic cells.

  • The Electrical Grid - the components, the fuels and how renewables can be apart.

  • Renewable vs. Conservation vs. Efficiency - Potential economic impact from a focus on efficiency.

  • Liquid fuels - petroleum issues and some altenatives.
  • Green Built vs LEED vs Energy Star.

We are looking forward to attending these series. Hope some of you can make it to them. Also our friend Mark Bauer of Bauer Power will be the presenter for the class on Solar Power.