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With all the pressing problem our country faces, House Republicans have decided that energy efficiency just doesn’t make American sense.  Introduced by U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) who is, frighteningly, the the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Michael Burgess, (R-Texas), the BULB (Better Use of Light Bulbs) Act seeks to repeal the Bush-era Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  The 2007 act, contrary to the Texas dynamic duo’s belief as a “de facto ban on the incandescent light bulb that has its origins in Thomas Alva Edison’s laboratory”, merely requires new bulbs to use 25 to 30 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs starting in 2012, and 65 percent less energy by 2020.  There is no language in the original 2007 act that bans incandescent bulbs, even if it should have.  Read the rest of this entry »

Water Hazard is an ongoing architectural research project by moss.  We are studying water related issues to become better stewards of this most precious resource.  Below is the latest dispatch. (This report was originally published by moss in March of 2005)

golfcourse1aThe United States is home to more than 23,000 golf courses, by far the most in the world. A large number of courses are located in the west and southwest regions of the country; regions that are in severe drought [1].  In addition, most golf courses are only available to a select few that can afford green fees and access the course.  This would not pose such a problem if golf courses did not consume a surfeit of natural resources that are important to the survival of the public.  Courses consume an enormous amount of land (an 18 hole golf course of 6200 yards or more would require 110 to 180 acres of land [2]), and water for decorative features and irrigation.  California alone boasts 912 golf courses, second only to Florida which is home to over 1,100 courses [3].  Therefore, California, looking right in the face of severe drought, uses over 164,000 acres of mainly urbanized and irrigated land for golf courses; that equates to 256 square miles, or roughly the size Memphis, Tennessee. Read the rest of this entry »

solar_panel2It has been a long time coming, but the State of Illinois is now helping the public finance photovoltaic (electricity) and solar thermal (hot water) panels. The State offers a rebate of 30% of the total cost of the solar system (up to $10,000). The Federal government kicks in an uncapped 30% tax credit. This is obviously most effective when the panels are incorporated into a greater sustainable design renovation or new construction. Simply because it makes more sense to reduce your overall demand, by way of proper orientation and design features, before installing costly energy production systems.  This will also substantially shorten the time required to achieve a return on your investment. Read the rest of this entry »

dplogoSlated to open late this summer, Chicago will welcome its first food coop.  While Chicago’s summer farmers’ markets are great, the Dill Pickle Coop will house community supported farming on a daily basis.  Like most coop’s around the country Dill Pickle, located in Logan Square, will be a member-owned food store specializing in real, local, organic, and nutritious food.

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southside solarExelon is planning a solar power plant on the southside of Chicago which would be funded by loan guarantees from the Department of Energy.

This story caps a solar-energy-news heavy month, where we learned someone is working on making solar panels affordable by making end-users leasees of the technology instead of owners.

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sun of the first nationsThe inaugural post should explain the header, right?  Right.  The overall vision is to give an insider’s look at the architectural practice through the lens of my own architectural practice (see “about” page).  In doing so I hope to shed some light the the intricacies of the profession, but more specifically where I would like to see it go and the avenues for getting there.  I think that broadest boulevard is paved with straw, metaphorical straw, of course.  Architects are supposed to be on the front lines of innovation since we see the project first, get our hands dirty first, and typically get to control the flow and direction.  However, too many contradictory interests have invaded our once prominent stronghold.  All in all, we have lost our way.  We are no longer the creators of innovation but the proprietors of sameness. Read the rest of this entry »

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