Filed under: Green Build
I have seen solar canal boats before but this is great. This post is from the website
Bauhaus’ a solar electrically powered cruising houseboat 15.24m by 4.1m
What makes Bauhaus unique is the combination of the technologies listed below. A boat like this can be built from £120,000
25m² POLYCRYSTALLINE PHOTOVOLTAIC panels rated at 1.7kw (more details and how to get more from your own solar panels in technical info).
Electrically powered using the most efficient Lynch motor 10 horsepower also saving you 25% on the British Waterways licence (more details in technical info).
No gas, diesel or petrol on board! You cook and heat with the electricity the PV system generates.
Huge, 1.2 ton battery bank, cruising range ca. 40km (more details in technical info).
All steel flat bottom shell, built to the highest specifications 12/8/6/4mm (14 tons of steel) by a very well established boat builder in Britain (more details in technical info).
Unsurpassed multilayer composite Passiv Haus insulation using the surrounding water as an energy source (more details and you can insulate your boat better check out technical info and some of the articles in the press section).
Under-floor heating throughout and an Art Deco – Bauhaus style 1930’s solid burning stove.
Bauhaus is classified as category D-Inshore
Through its unique design and layout Bauhaus offers much more internal space than many Dutch barges or double width narrow boats of 15.24m overall length, but importantly has exactly the same if not better manoeuvrability then any other vessel of this size. The inside dimensions of the cabin is 3.66 by 14m, apart from three steps into the boat everything is on the same level. Bauhaus is divided into a very big lounge/kitchen, 25m², a bathroom, and two cabins 13m² and 7m². There is plenty of light from a skylight, a large fully glazed door and windows. Plenty can be seen during cruising, but you don’t get the ‘I am sitting in a fish tank feeling.’ The roof can be used as a seating area.
Bauhaus look rather like a house above water however, there is much more to bauhaus than meets the eye on every level
Bauhaus-Barge is utilitarian at its best whilst offering all comfort, having a lower environmental impact than comparable cruising barges, houseboats or indeed most flats or houses of this size.
DRAUGHT: With the current load/ballast at the lowest point centre stern 78cm, and between 48 to 53cm on bow and stern.
AIR DRAUGHT: With the current load/ballast the higest point is 2.18 to 2.23m in the center and 1.67 to 1.75m at a width of 4.04m the cabin is 14.40m long by 3.94m wide.
WEIGHT: 18 to 22 metric tons
For those interested in facts rather than fiction regarding renewables, fossil and nukes:
And above all, the best way of reducing our carbon foot print and reduce our dependents on fuel is by reducing our use! Nobody needs to live in caves and you don’t have to dispose of your car, just use it wisely.
Interesting blogs or rather article on sustainability, renewables and nuclear power:
Filed under: Green Build
Reflected light from skyscraper melts a car in London!
“It may sound like science fiction, but it was no joke for Jaguar XJ owner Martin Lindsay, who parked his pricey ride near the under-construction building, officially called 20 Fenchurch Street, but known by many Londoners as the “Walkie Talkie” for its distinctive shape.”
“When he returned to the car, he found some panels warped beyond repair by the beam of light reflected down from the curved side of the landmark glass tower.”
“The developers of the 37-floor building, Canary Wharf and Land Securities, have said they’ll pay for the high-spec vehicle to be fixed.”
“Canary Wharf Construction and Land Securities have been very good and agreed to pay for the damage, and accept that there is an issue which they will resolve,” Lindsay told CNN.
“I am in construction and sometimes things go wrong which nobody would have envisaged, and this is one of them.”
“The City A.M. newspaper said light reflected from the building had also previously damaged a van parked on the same street, Eastcheap.”
“A joint statement from Land Securities and Canary Wharf said they were taking the issue of light reflecting from the building seriously.”
“The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky. It currently lasts for approximately 2 hours per day, with initial modeling suggesting that it will be present for approximately 2-3 weeks,” it said.
“The developers have been in touch with local businesses and have arranged with local authorities for three parking spaces which may be affected to be suspended, it said.”
I say shame not to use all that sunlight to generate power, rather than cause damage.
Filed under: Green Build
After getting planning permission…
“From there I worked with stone from the ruin as a plinth wall for the straw balls to sit upon a wall plate. Women friends from the village came up to help and to learn how to build stone walls with lime mortar. There was a timelessness about it and a deeply buried memory of how this was done before; friends, families, communities building homes together.
Four hundred bales arrived along with Barbara Jones for our first straw bale build course. It was very exciting, as building and working with straw always seems to be. I discovered that this was to be the first two storey load bearing straw bale house in the UK and the second in Europe. Load bearing saves on timber, having no wooden framework and hence less carpentry involved, however it does require attention to keeping bales dry during the build until the roof is fixed down to a roof plate with tie downs to foundation level.
More courses happened for internal clay and external lime plastering and over the 2/3 yr process we had over two hundred volunteers coming to learn, share and help and then leaving to take their skills into their own lives and builds. The roof was covered with cedar shingles. Most windows were salvaged and most timber locally sourced larch and oak.
One woodburner heats the whole house with back up under floor heating system running from a back boiler, also heating the water. Five hundred watts of solar panels and 1kw wind turbine powers the house and rainwater is harvested for bathroom use. The two storey house cost around £60,000 to build, at a size of 160sqm. This includes all renewable energy and a few learning curves… and now no bills except a gas bottle every few months for cooker backup. Biomass is coppiced on site.
In 2008 the house was nominated and voted by the public as Grand Designs Eco Home of the year. Since then we have run the Quiet Earth Project and Retreat, supporting and running courses for other straw bale and low impact projects. From this woodland home now we also offer conferences and courses in Off Grid and Sustainable Living, Open Days, Contemplative retreats in Nature, Yoga, ceremony and currently a forest garden is being cultivated. There are wwoofing / volunteering opportunities and time also available to spend retreat time in the woodland. I’m presently working on a book about the life here in nature and the process and creation of a natural dream home.”
Filed under: Green Build
How to Cool A House In The Hot Weather
Shutting your blinds and curtains during the day will help block the sun’s heat. As soon as the sun hits your building in the morning, close all windows and keep exterior doors and windows closed throughout the hottest part of the day. Do this until night falls and it’s cool enough to open the windows for the night.
For even better protection, get insulated curtains (or use removable sheets of reflective bubble insulation, or cardboard cut to size and covered in foil.) If possible, go around the outside of your house and clip sheets over the OUTSIDE of the house, especially on the south side (or north side if you live south of the equator). These exterior curtains you rigged up will keep the sun’s heat from getting anywhere near your window frame, but still let a breeze through. You can even rig a temporary “porch” awning out of broomsticks and sheets.
Open the windows at night. Open selective windows so that cooler night air is blowing in throughout the evening. Leaving all interior doors open (including closets and kitchen cabinets) helps, too. If you leave them closed, they store the daytime heat and your house won’t cool off as much at night.
Be sure to get up and close the windows and blinds as soon as the sunlight hits your house. This can be as early as 5 or 6 in the morning in some areas.
Turn off all heat sources. Don’t use the stove or oven to eat. Eat cold food, or use the microwave. Incandescent light bulbs also create heat – switch to compact fluorescents or LEDs. Turn off your lamps and your computer when you’re not using them. You should also turn off your TV since it gives off a lot of heat, as well as some plug-in power adapters.
Get some air flowing.
Cross ventilation. When air flows into a room from one side and out the other, you’ve got cross ventilation. As with any air movement, cross ventilation can cool your body by speeding up the evaporation of sweat, and it can cool your home by removing hot air, especially at night, if the incoming outdoor air is cool.
Any room with openings on opposite sides can be cross-ventilated if the openings are large enough.
As you plan to make changes in your house’s air inlets and outlets, consider these guidelines:
* Openings in opposite walls allow maximum air movement.
* Openings in adjacent walls create air turbulence, increasing the cooling effect.
* A combination of low inlets and high outlets can achieve the greatest scouring of room air. This strategy is especially useful for night cooling of thermal mass floors.
* If you install new openings, make sure the air moves around the people in the room in order to best cool them. Having either some low and some high openings or all openings at a mid-height should achieve the desired effect.
* Finally, you can enhance the effectiveness of cross ventilation by naturally cooling the air before it enters your home. Shade, plantings or water (in arid climates), in the form of a pond, fountain or mister, all can remove heat from the air. When located on the windward side of your home, these features will increase your indoor comfort in hot weather.
Best Bets for Passive Cooling
According to Rocky Mountain Institute, passive cooling measures can reduce energy bills by up to 40 percent. In addition to natural ventilation, the most effective cooling strategies, in order of increasing cost, are:
The minimization of indoor heat generation. For example, using energy-efficient light bulbs, reducing hot water use, using smaller and more efficient appliances and scheduling heat-producing tasks (such as clothes drying) for cooler hours of the day.
Weatherization. Caulking, sealing and weatherstripping all building envelope seams, cracks and openings reduces heating and cooling energy requirements.
Insulation. Insulating your home or installing heat-reflecting foil reduces heat conduction into your living space.
Window shading and glazing. Solar radiation passing through windows can contribute 20 percent to heat gain in hot, humid climates. Window shading devices and glazing technology minimize heat gain while transmitting daylight, which reduces electrical lighting needs.
Roof whitening and attic ventilation. These are two effective measures to reduce heat gain by either reflecting heat away from the roof or flushing heat out through the attic.
Trees and landscaping. Planting broad, leafy shade trees that block the sun will reduce the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the house.
Filed under: Green Build
The shed roof is made from a clinker built boat that is 14ft long and 7ft wide. It was an inshore fishing boat made between 1900 and 1910 from Cardigan Bay. It was placed on a frame of 4 telegraph poles with cross beams.
Once in place (and the boat survived!) the walls were filled in using aluminium framed windows from a 1940s caravan and single glazed windows from our 400 year old farm house. Other walls are made of wattle and daub, a mixture of mud, clay, and straw stuck onto a woven frame.
The rear of the shed is clad in old corrugated metal sheet painted in black bitumen.
The roof (boat) is covered with sheeting stuck down with roofing felt adhesive and liberally dosed in bitumen paint and roofing paint.
Filed under: Green Build
While serving in opposition, the shadow Housing minister, Grant Shapps, promised backing for people who built their own homes to kick-start a house building “revolution” in the UK.
Two years later in Government, he launched an action plan to double the number of self-build homes within a decade.
But recently when asked how they were doing; senior officials in the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) attempted to prevent the release of statistics showing how many self-build homes had been started. What are they trying to hide?
Bizarrely, they tried to claim that they could not provide the information because to do so would “prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs”.
The Informationok Commissioner roundly rejected the argument put forward by officials and demanded that the information be released.
In a short table released showed that the number of people who begin self-build homes had fallen since the depths of the recession in 2009 under Labour from 11,800 to 10,400 in 2011.
Filed under: Green Build
The next wave of energy-producing architecture may look quite different.
Strawscraper, a project currently underway in Stockholm, will see a building coated in a hair-like material that harvests energy from the wind. The process is known as piezoelectricity. Designed by Swedish firm Belatchew Arkitekter, Strawscraper is an addition to Stockholm’s Söder Torn building, which was completed in 1997. Once transformed into the Strawscraper, the building will stand at 40 stories tall and will act as an “urban power plant,” according to the architect’s website.
As the name suggests, the the building’s facade will be coated in thin straws, which will be agitated by the wind in a continual flowing movement. At nighttime, the building will be mde even more lively with colored lighting illuminating the swaying straws. This type of wind energy technology is much quieter compared to wind turbines and is able to collect energy from mere breezes. The Strawscraper will also feature a public observation deck offering views of the city below.