Wednesday, April 15, 2009

William McDonough's "Bill of Rights for the Planet"

Just something I found today when I was researching sustainability:

A model of the new design principles necessary for sustainability is exemplified by the "Hannover Principles" or "Bill of Rights for the Planet," developed by William McDonough Architects for EXPO 2000 held in Hannover, Germany.

  1. Insist on the right of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse, and sustainable condition.
  2. Recognize Interdependence. The elements of human design interact with and depend on the natural world, with broad and diverse implications at every scale. Expand design considerations to recognizing even distant effects.
  3. Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement including community, dwelling, industry, and trade in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness.
  4. Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems, and their right to co-exist.
  5. Create safe objects to long-term value. Do not burden future generations with requirements for maintenance or vigilant administration of potential danger due to the careless creations of products, processes, or standards.
  6. Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full life-cycle of products and processes, to approach the state of natural systems in which there is no waste.
  7. Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative forces from perpetual solar income. Incorporate this energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.
  8. Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever and design does not solve all problems. Those who create and plan should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a model and mentor, not an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled.
  9. Seek constant improvements by sharing knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers, and users to link long-term sustainable considerations with ethical responsibility, and reestablish the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity.



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My new Job

So after over 3 months of searching I landed a job working for Timmons Design Engineers.

I am really excited to get to work and to learn from engineers committed to sustainable design. I am really glad that I didn't settle for just any company and got what I was searching for: a company who's mission was to.... well i just show you what Timmons is.

"TDE’s commitment to energy performance, resource conservation and pollution reduction in the built environment has evolved into a true sustainable design practice. TDE provides integrated engineering and sustainable design services ensuring a true balance of conservation, constructability, schedule and budget. "

I am excited to share what I learn... till then


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hybrid and Electric Cars

Thought I would share a really well design website dedicated to showing people what kind of hybrids and electric cars that are out there.

This is a really great list and one I will be sending people to from now on:


Friday, March 13, 2009

3rd BiWeekly Post - I'm Mad As Hell

The movie Network came out in 1976. I haven't seen it, but clips of the movie keep coming up. I thought I would share a clip that is still relevant today.

The beginning of the clip is messed up but the picture comes back after like 30 seconds. I love the line he uses "I'm Mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Great stuff. It's like when John Mayer got up on stage for Live Earth and said he was changing the lyrics to "Waiting on the World to Change" to I'm NOT waiting.

This is the best video I could find of that day. Don't mind the girl's voice in the background.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

2nd BiWeekly Post - New Orleans MIR

This weekend I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras with Sarah and her coworker Kaile. We drove up and stayed with a friend of a friend and it turned out really great. As soon as we got there we dropped our stuff off and hit up a parade right near Tulane University. Not exactly the most eco-friendly of a holiday. The place gets trashed and beads are literally everywhere. But its a good to relax about that stuff once in a while I guess.

The next day we decided to go west of Tulane and New Orleans to check out the above ground tombs. Here is a shot of Kaile next to some of the Tombs.

Just randomly after breakfast we happen to be stumble upon a really interesting looking house. It was so interesting and we had taken a wrong turn to get there so we got out to check it out. After further inspection I saw it had Solar Panels, Solar Hot Water Heaters, and Rainwater Harvesting... this was not just a normal house. (Its pictured below)

So after some encouragement from Sarah, I went up to the front door (I mean what I figured was the front door... it wasn't that clear) and hoped for the best. What we got was beyond the best. The man inside was the Architect of the building (his home) and his company (Conchordia) had designed 2 of the house designs for Brad Pitt's Make It Right Project we were about to go see! So he took us around the house and showed us all the wonderful ways he had made his house more sustainable. He designed his house to be a lab, where he could see which techonologies worked and which did not. The house was LEED Gold I believe.

After we thanked Steven for showing us his lovely house we headed to the 9th ward to check out The Make it Right Project.

The place was totally devistated, there was nothing on this flat piece of land except 6 or so new houses from the MIR project. There was a group of people hanging outside this house below.
They were very nice and actually offered to show us around the house. Gloria, I believe was her name, was given the very first house in the 9th ward and she was able to tell the Architect exactly what she wanted (where as everyone else has to pick from the 13 eco-designs). On the inside the house was pretty normal, but there were a lot of bedrooms and people living in this house. They gave us home cooked Ribs and told us to stay but we were ready to move on and felt they had been kind enough (I tried ribs... 2 bites).

The trip was really great and I am really interested in going back to the 9th ward a year or so from now to see the progress that they have made. They are suppose to build 150 houses and they have funding for 90ish houses so far. Don't forget to check out the website for MIR and more of my pictures on facebook.


Monday, February 9, 2009

1st BiWeekly Post - DC Car Show

Earth 911 is a great site for your questions about how to dispose of things you don't need anymore. For instance, I just looked up motor oil and it went into the hows and whys to recycle used motor oil.

Green Yahoo is another site I just came upon. Its a collection of green blogs.

So this weeks story....

On Sunday, my Dad and I went to the DC car show. We almost could have gotten away with not paying because the main attraction (that I wanted to see - The Green Cars), was at the entrance before they collected tickets.

There were a number of green and "green" cars. Electric cars, propane powered cars, dieseal cars, plug ins, hybrids, biofuel and solar powered cars.

Here is the i MiEV from Mitsubishi

Cool little car, going to be all electric, I couldn't find a lot on it because most of the info was in Japanese.

We saw the old Rav-4 Electric Car that Toyota did years ago in response to California's 90's EV standards.

So then there were a bunch of other "green cars" (like biofuels and weak hybrids) and they were boring. So we did pay $20 for parking downtown and $12 each so we decided to get our money's worth and check out the main show rooms.

Inside we were able to walk through and pick out the hybrids and concept cars staggered between the SUV's and junk.

Here is the Chevy Volt

It was weird that they wouldn't open up the hood.

My dad and I really liked this Hybrid SUV. The Saturn Vue Hybrid. It is out right now (2009 Car) and in a year or so they are going to have a V6 plug-in version that is going to get even better mileage.

I found a site where this company took this car (2006 version) and made it a plug in that gets 150 mpg. Here is it

This was my Dad's favorite. It in the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid. Suppose to get 100 mpg. It is a 2011 car so a little ways off but possible worth the wait. Video here

And My favorite was the Tesla Roadster. It was really cool to finally see this car in person. The black model was all the way in the back and we thought that was so strange. Even when we got to the middle and found this red one, no sales person was telling people about it.

Side note - here is an article about Tesla getting $350 million in a few months to start production of their new car the model S.
Article Here

And Finally to show I am not a cold heartless only electric car person.... here is a nice petro car.

Ford GT i think.

That's It see you next week.


Monday, July 28, 2008

The Story of Stuff

This is a great video i just came across in a blog called jetsongreen.

Its called The Story of Stuff and it is a 20 minute video about the cycle of consumption in our country and the world, how it works and how to break that cycle.

A lot of what troubles people (and me) about this green revolution is "will this really change things." If I take 5 minute showers.... if everyone takes 5 minute showers will this change things? If I don't eat meat am I changing things.

I struggle with these questions (and others like them) everyday. Please Please Please watch this video. And then share it with a friend so you can discuss what it means and what needs to be done.

I just wrote my family an email with the subject "If you love me you will watch this video." I did that because I think this video hits it on the head what is wrong with our current trends in consumption. Also it is in a very easy to understand and visual way.

Enjoy the video.


Quote from the site: "The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."