Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Small change to keep blog organized

I think that this blog is becoming a little hard to keep track of. It would be nice to keep it organized, so that other REAP students can use it as well. Hence, I made some changes to the code which will help us keep the future blog posts shorter. We are now using the new blogger editor, which has a number of new features. Read here if you are interested. If not, all you have to know is that there is an easy way to keep posts short on the main blog page, as demonstrated here. You will have to read more to continue reading the remainder of the post.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Passive House Strategies

I extracted only the part that explains passive house standards for you. To get a full overview of the PHPP standard, and how it can be implied in different climates such as in Portugal, France or England, check out for the full presentation

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is LEED on track to save the world?

From the BuildingGreenBlog:

Rob Watson recently published "Green Building Market & Impact Report," his second annual report on the impact LEED is having in addressing environmental problems. The report highlights the continuing remarkable expansion of LEED: 2009 registrations for new design and construction projects in the U.S. may actually exceed total new construction starts! (This is possible because projects don't typically register when they start construction, and a flurry of projects were registered just before the requirement to use LEED 2009 kicked in, to keep their options open.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Energy Star suggest these steps to ntegrate energy efficiency into the design approach

As guidelines for an integrated design approach, I found this set of rules from EnergyStar to incorporate energy performance into the building design:

These guidelines are a strategic management approach, not a technical reference, to incorporate energy performance in the building design process. It is a set of suggested actions for design professionals and building owners to establish and achieve energy goals. These guidelines encourage best practices for energy design as part of the overall design process, and can help translate design intent to top energy performing buildings.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Best cases DGNB and LEED

This are two good examples for LEED and DGNB certified new office buildings

Friday, November 27, 2009

CEPHEUS - A Europe wide passive house implementation

»The Passive House standard:
High comfort, minimal energy consumption, negligible heating costs – Pollution prevention pays!«

CEPHEUS – a project involving the construction and scientific evaluation of ca. 250 housing units built to Passive House standards in five European countries – has set itself the following goals:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where to find information about LEED for homes

LEED is increasingly becoming more important in the United States. I just came across a list of 28 cities in the U.S. (and in Vancouver, BC) that require LEED certification, often with "Silver Rating".

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chicago Climate Action

This is a great example of how a city, like chicago, care about the energy issue. the strategic plan aims to reduce the energy consumption using the concept of retrofitting on existing building.
well check it out!

further infos on...

LEED™ Green Building Rating System Explained

Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology, LEED GoldToronto, Ontario


The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system was originally developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a recognized standard for the construction industry to assess the environmental sustainability of building designs. Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) has since adapted the USGBC LEED rating system to the specific concerns and requirements of buildings in Canada.
LEED is a point-based rating system; points are earned for building attributes considered environmentally beneficial. LEED differs from other rating systems in that it has quantified most of the "green credits." For example, 5% of the building materials must be from salvaged materials to earn a point for the salvaged materials credit.

LEED has 69 points (70 for LEED Canada) covering six topic areas. Each topic area has a statement of associated goals.
  • Site Development: minimize storm water run-off, encourage car pooling and bicycling, increase urban density and green space
  • Water Efficiency: eliminate site irrigation, reduce water consumption, minimize or treat wastewater
  • Energy Efficiency: reduce building energy consumption, use renewable energy, eliminate ozone-depleting chemicals, commission building systems
  • Material Selection: minimize construction waste, re-use existing building façade, use recycled and salvaged materials, use renewable construction materials and design and build more durable buildings
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: incorporate daylighting, use low off-emitting materials, provide operable windows and occupant control of work space, improve delivery of ventilation air
  • Innovation in Design: use a LEED Accredited Professional, greatly exceed the requirements of a credit, incorporate innovative environmental features not covered in other areas, develop a green education plan (such as installing an Enermodal Signature Green Building Kiosk)

Commercial Buildings: Energy Efficient Building Practices


The commercial building market encompasses a diverse mix of structures and purposes – from small retail establishments to corporate office parks, from neighborhood schools to regional hospitals, and from multi-family apartment buildings to universities.
Despite their differences, commercial buildings share a large and growing appetite for energy. They account for 18 percent of total U.S. energy consumption. In a typical office building, energy use accounts for 30 percent of operating costs, the largest single category of controllable costs.
The design and construction of energy-smart buildings offers tangible benefits to building owners and occupants and our nation as a whole.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Best case for CASBEE


Project Outline

IGES is a think tank whose aim is to research policy-oriented or practical measures designed to solve problems of the global environment, and to concretize the results of such research via the policies of governments and local authorities as well as the actions of corporations and citizens in various countries. The design concept was to create a practical yet comfortable, highly flexible research environment that can support research spanning different sectors flexibly over the long term, bearing in mind that such research changes every few years. Another objective was to positively introduce passive technologies that draw on the superb natural environment inside the site, and to present this as a prototype for eco-friendly architecture befitting this Institute.

Kansai Electric Power Building

Best case for CASBEE


Project Outline

This building was designed to house the Head Office functions of Kansai Electric Power Company. Built as Phase I of the “Nakanoshima 3-Chome Joint Development Project”. One of the basic concepts for this building is a "model building for environmental symbiosis". In areas around windows, the outer frames (columns, beams) protrude by about 1.8m outwards from the window surface. This not only constitutes a shaded exterior but also provides functions such as a natural light intake from the large window surfaces, shielding of sunlight by the canopy, introduction of natural ventilation via the eaves, and space for installation of solar panels. Besides these, we have also introduced a task-ambient air conditioning system, internal heat storage and other technology for environmental symbiosis. The building also features a “communication well” (a three-floor atrium in the high-floor office zone), the aim of which is to communicate widely.

DGNB - German Sustainable Building Council

For planning and evaluation of buildings, there is a new
and clearly structured tool: The German Sustainable Building
Certificate. As meritocratic rating system, it covers all
relevant topics of sustainable construction. Outstanding
buildings are awarded in the categories bronze, silver, or

Clear Topics

During the evaluation, 6 topics are considered by the certificate:

– Ecological Quality
– Economical Quality
– Socio-cultural and Functional Quality
– Technical Quality
– Quality of the Process
– Quality of the Location

Is there really a need to quantify "good architecture" as a measure for resource efficiency?

I spent some time looking into the definition of good architecture, and into finding rules and measures for good architecture. I came across a few good points in a discussion forum on archinect such as:
  • One has to feel good when being inside the building.
  • Good architecture is the feeling that you're in a cathedral, viewing something timeless, innovative, and inspiring."Good architecture has to encourage and return traditional aesthetic values.
  • Good architecture stimulates the senses.
  • One man's good architecture is another man's crime.
  • A good architecture is one which meets the needs of the entity that funds its existence.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Environment Report: How Green Is The LEED Label?

LEED buildings get points for green things like bike racks and good energy use, but it doesn’t actually enforce energy efficiency (Photo by Lester Graham) The biggest energy users in America are not cars and trucks - they're buildings. Buildings use about 40% of the nation's energy. In 2000, the US Green Building Council introduced a program that certifies "green" buildings. It's called LEED. That stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. But Samara Freemark reports some critics see serious flaws in the LEED program. See link below:
The Environment Report: How Green Is The LEED Label?

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Melbourne Council House 2


Council House 2 (CH2) new municipal office building: eco-buildings cuts C02 87%, electricity 82%, gas 87% and water 72%


Melbourne eco-building
Melbourne Council House 2 (CH2) is a multi-award winning and inspirational building that has reduced CO2 emissions by 87%, electricity consumption by 82%, gas by 87% and water by 72%. The building purges stale air at night and pulls in 100% fresh air during the day. The building exterior moves with the sun to reflect and collect heat, and turns sewage into usable water. The building has improved staff effectiveness by 4.9% and will pay for its sustainable features in a little over a decade.


To start a good article from Zeno magazine. The pdf is very bad to read but I have the issue at home so don´t worry I will scan it. --> I´m sorry it is in German :(

I did a small map showing the different labels. I think as a first overview is very helpful.
Labels that apply for the building scale

Labels that apply for the quarter scale

Singapore's going green

"The inaugural Singapore Green Building week started on Monday (Oct 2009) with the launch of Singapore's first "Zero Energy Building".

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said the three-storey office building showcases how it can be up to 50 per cent more energy efficient.

It cost some S$11 million (US$ 7.9 Mio) to retrofit, but the building is expected to generate as much electricity as it consumes in a year.

The government aims to get 80 per cent of all buildings on Green Mark certification by 2030.

Known as the zero energy building, the structure along Braddell Road has been retrofitted to ensure it is self-sufficient in meeting its electricity needs.

It has various green features which act as a test bed for clean energy technologies before they are introduced into the industry."

Read the full article here.

How to make a Net-Zero Energy building in 2 minutes

As simple as that!

How do we structure the Energy PROJECT?

As a general guideline, it appears that we first have to define best practices in energy efficient buidling/ town planning.
The next step could be to evaluate existing buildings based on our best practices priniciples. That's after the first presentation.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Environmental Building

They call it the environmental buildng....

The new BRE headquater in Garston, UK, designed by architects Feilden Clegg of Bath combines all sorts of intelligent and innovative features and materials to beat current BEST CASE office buildings of it's kind by 30%.
"The brief for architects Feilden Clegg of Bath called for the use of natural ventilation, maximum use of daylighting, maximum use of the building's mass to moderate temperature, and controls that would let the building meet its environmental targets but keep its occupants happy.
In addition, maximum use was to be made of recycled and waste materials and the building was to score the highest possible BREEAM rating of 'Excellent'. And it had to look good! "
from the Building Research Establishment website.
It features all kind of fancy innovations such as transparent ceramic coated blinds that act as light shelves when direct sun would cause glare or overheating...

hello reapers

I don't know what the deal is with studip, but I thought that a blog might be a good way to keep track of our studies and conversations. We can post videos, pictures, articles, thoughts and tag them and categorize them and comment on them and edit them... It'll stay cleaner than email for example. Perhaps we can use it for all of REAP? We can also chose to keep it restricted only to be viewed in our group - and not in public.

I am all for transparency! Let me know what you think.