Monthly Archives: May 2013
I really think it’s important that people pay attention to Food politics
By Yoon Won-sup
Consumers Korea, a civic group seeking to protect consumers’ right announced surprising news a few months ago that beef in Korea, whether it is domestic or imported, is the most expensive in the world. Korean and imported beef were 55,800 won and 54,500 won per kilogram on average, respectively.
The civic group pointed that inefficient and complicated logistics is the main reason for the high price of livestock in Korea.
Probably, another reason for the high price, though it is not the most important factor, is that livestock farmers in Korea spend more money than anyone else in the world in feeding antibiotics to their pigs and cows, according to a recent report by civic groups on animals.
Korean livestock farmers spent 0.91 kilograms per one-ton of livestock in 2002, which is about three times more than the Japan’s 0.35 kilograms…
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A Little About LEED with Amari Roskelly
Sustainability Coordinator at Jacobs Engineering
Sustainability Intern at Jacobs Engineering
Sustainability Grad Student at UTA
Simulation Inventory Specialist at The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington-Amarillo College
- LEED is a green building tool that addresses the entire building lifecycle recognizing best-in-class building strategies.
- LEED is a program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification
Sustainability for Military Bases – Fort Carson
The Net Zero energy designation will require Fort Carson to produce as
much energy on site as it uses. This will require aggressive
conservation and efficiency efforts, including finding ways to capture
and use waste energy and pursuing more renewable energy initiatives.
Operating as a net zero water installation, for example, means the
Mountain Post will conserve and re-purpose water. One way to achieve
this goal is to reuse gray water generated from showers and laundries
for irrigation of lawns and trees.
Additionally, Fort Carson will reduce, reuse and recover waste.
Converting appropriate waste materials into usable resources will
ultimately reduce and eliminate much of the need for costly landfill
SOME INTERESTING LINKS:
- This rating system pays more attention to the social aspects of sustainability and is utilized globally.
The aim of the Pearl Community Rating System (PCRS) is to promote the development of sustainable communities and improve quality of life. The PCRS encourages water, energy and waste minimization, local material use and aims to improve supply chains for sustainable and recycled materials and products.
- Encourages more self sufficient improvements
- Several principals were derived for LEED standards
- Concentrates on environmental impacts of development along with sustainable development
It calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including net zero energy, waste and water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy
I got a chance to sit in on a presentation with John Mauro, Parking Vault Ltd presented at the University of Arlington Fort Worth Campus. This was the most creative and efficient use for parking space.
Benefits Of Automated Parking
Space Saving: Efficient Space Utilization Allows Greater Development Size
automated parking system can use 40% less surface area compared to a conventional garage to fit the same number of parking spaces.
More importantly automated parking garage can save up to 60% of the cubic feet of a garage leaving more space for other more profitable uses.
1 FAR Treatment (counts as one building floor)
Vehicle Security: Your Vehicle is Secure in a Storage Vault
Your vehicle is as safe if placed inside a bank vault. Once a driver parks his vehicle in an entry cabin and turns off the engine, the driver is the last person to touch the vehicle. The vehicle is moved by the parking equipment until it is stored in its computer assigned parking space inside the garage Storage Vault. No person has access to the Storage Vault and no equipment ever touches the vehicle. You are the only person who has access to your vehicle so leave your belongings safety inside in vehicle!
No risk of Dents from other drivers opening doors into your vehicle
No risk of Damage from other drivers backing into your vehicle
No risk of Theft No risk of Vandalism
Personal Safety: Parking Turned into a Pleasant Experience
Personal safety is optimized because a driver never leaves the safe and comfortable confines of the well lit entry cabin. The entry cabins are conveniently located and well monitored so there is no walking aimlessly through a garage searching for your parked vehicle. No driver ever has to walk alone through a garage or a dark stairwell to retrieve his vehicle.
No risk of Robbery
No risk of Rape
No risk of Physical Harm
No CO2 Emissions as vehicle engines are off during entire storage and retrieval process
No Fuel Usage driving up and down ramps searching for a parking space or exit
Lower Noise Pollution as no tires screeching up and down ramps and no horns honking
Reduced Building Footprint permits the balance of a site to be dedicated to other “green” features
1 mule or lever runs about 1 million dollars
20 cents per car
Parking rates are still under debate
I got a chance to sit in on an updated presentation with Don Ferrier, Ferrier Custom Homes At the University of Arlington
60% of consumers today are “Baby Boomers
“Baby Boomers” are really concerned with costs and safety
“Baby Boomers” are willing to spend the extra money if they can save a little in the future
“Baby Boomers” Grew up in large homes and have learned through experice and education that Greener Living is worth the extra upfront costs
Then you have “Survivalist” They are concerned with Green Custom Built Homes, because they want to be prepared for anything especially disasters.
I got a chance to sit in on a presentation at University of Arlington
Mr. McEwing attended Tarrant County Junior College and Morehouse
College receiving a BA degree with a concentration in Banking and
Finance and minor in accounting.
Mr. McEwing has extensive mid-level management, sales, finance,
accounting and budgetary experience having worked at Lockheed-Martin
Aeronautical Company, Pepsi Cola Company, Nabisco, and Waste Management.
He is a current member of the Greater Fort Worth Economic Development Council, Leadership
Fort Worth Board and Class of 2007, Metropolitan Black Chamber Board Member, Fort Worth
Chamber Board- Ex Officio. He has served on the Mayor’s Citizen’s Committee for Fort Worth Future
and The 2006 Tarrant County Transportation Bond Committee. He is currently serving on the City of
Fort Worth Modern Streetcar Task Force and the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Infrastructure
- Tiff incentives allowed them to bring in a Walmart
- This Walmart was very community specific, It doesn’t feature a MacDonald, A Smart Styles, Nail Salon, or Auto Center.
- Market analysis determined this particular community was over saturated with fast food restaurants, Auto Shops, and Hair and Nail Salons.
- Once the Walmart was established, major franchise companies moved in and it lead to a serious boom in financial investments and incline in cash revenue.
- They restored an eyesore of an unused gas station into new Exon with an attached Churches Chicken, and shopping center that currently houses a Metorpcs
- They are expecting retail business like a Ross Clothing Store and the addition of restaurants
- Most of this area is a TIFF District
- 5 TIFF Taxing Initiates
- These Business will give back a percentage of their profits to re-invest in Riverside
- TIFF Funding helped pay for:
- A new Laundromat
- Transit systems
- Apparel Stores
- and was used as an insensitive for builders to come in and build multi-family homes
My Concerns or Misunderstanding:
Now keep in mind I’m a baby in this industry, so it was hard for me to understand how the boom in development lead to improvements amongst the residents. As the presentation went on it started to feel like the only people who benefited from this revitalization project were the investors, it seemed to just keep money in the pockets of the people who already had money.
When I remember Berry Riverside Area, I picture Jacksonville Mississippi, just block to block low income and abandoned homes, with high crime and lots of open unused land. So I guess when you look at it this way,any development was better than what the community had. I understand that if these investments had not happened this is an area that would have continued to be under-deprived, regardless of who’s pocket the money is going into.
My other concern was how sustainable were these businesses to the area. Again I understand any development any cash flowing through this community is better than what they had. Yet, it’s just been in my experience that certain business will move into a community especially one that’s being revitalized or got a lot of hype and press, then 10 years later your back to square one.
Yes, Yes I also know that you will have families and tourist come from miles away to shop at this new Walmart and eat at these new local restaurants, but it’s just a matter of time before another developer or decided to build another Walmart, which will lead the the Wal-Mart Affect.
Yet in 10 years or so your back to square one meaning their leases are coming up the hype has died down and their leases are running out so you have these abandoned shopping center, or shopping centers and structures being re-leased to irrelevant business.
I also think its pretty poor to hear several people in this presentation saying ” Well we can’t control what or how the residents and leaders of the community will maintain the neighborhood.” No one can control the future but these developers or consultants to developers have the power to guide what happens to the future of a community.
I bet Mr. McEwing just didn’t have the time to realy break down the revitalization efforts going on in this community and I’m pretty sure if he had the time he would have wrapped his presentaion up with more information on how these improvements were going to help improve the lives of the residents of this community, and how this will bring more families into Riverside. I want to say I am going to continue to follow the develpment in this area, but ……
End of my soap box
I got a chance to visit the Tarrant Reginal Water District, and unlike the last visit I got a chance to see their control room, while Laura discussed their coverage area.
Since I wasn’t busy taking pictures on this tour I heard some really interesting facts about their new facility:
- Waste Water is being recycled through a 200 acre wet land treatment system
- 1.47 Million Solar array (powers 50-70% of the buildings usage)
- Repaid in 16-18 years
- Since the water district is a govt. building it was important for them to look into long term improvements with little environmental impacts
- The control room is comprised of several monitors, constantly monitoring the counties lakes and public water usage
- Since water is becoming scares and expensive to move around the water district is working on ways of reducing costs to its community.
I appreciated that the Water District had created several indicatives to encourage it’s employees to practice sustainable working habits, that support environmental improvements.
Rik Adamski, was the Streetscape Team Leader on the embRACE theSTREET Better Block project, in Fort Worth’s Near Northeast Side. He is currently spearheading a large-scale “Incremental Urbanism” project for SteerFW, Mayor Betsy Price’s young leader initiative for the City of Fort Worth. He has also guest lectured on the subject of Tactical Urbanism at University of Texas at Arlington. Rik earned his Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in Sociology from the University of Cincinnati. He has over ten years experience in the real estate and planning industries and currently, is a Senior Planner for Bowman-Melton, Associates, a Dallas-based firm, which specializes in pedestrian and bicycle planning.
Bio complements of Texas A&M : http://calendar.tamu.edu/?&eventdatetime_id=14700
I got a chance to attend the presentation presented by Rik Adamski, at the University of Arlington. I’ll admit wasn’t really looking foward to the presentation, but I learned it was my ignorance because I had NOOO idea what Tactical Urbanism was.
How dose Tactical Urbanism differ from these New Urbanism developments, which I see as building these mini communities that don’t require transportation because everything is in walking distance, and these communities are designed to be completely sustainable amongst themselves and its residents.
Tactical urbanism helps citizen activists transform their own communities and educate others about how urban interventions can lead to long-term change in the quality and function of an urban space. Participants will gain knowledge on: The range of tactics available for different purposes, How to plan an intervention, How to identify a site for an urban intervention, How to gain the proper permissions for staging an intervention, How to recruit participants, How to recruit sponsors and donors.
The challenge is teaching some to live on less, and how to use less resources ~ Rik Adamski
You have to put a little pressure on cities by demonstrating … Show them urbanism can also be fun ~Rik Adamski
I hate to always be criticizing these communities, but what drives me nuts is that these communities are built based on what the developer thinks a particular community needs, granted yes I understand they do extensive surveys and lots of neighborhood meetings to determine what a particular New Urban Community needs. It just keeps resulting in a serious imbalance.
Plus one reason we have so many cars on the roads is due to individuals who want diversity, and options. They want options in work location, entertainment ect.
The imbalance, meaning you have these New Urban Communities where the developer decided to bring in organic grocery stores, upscale salons and retail stores. Then you have the other neighborhoods that are developed with several multifamily properties with culturally based grocery stores (El Rigio/Alde) and school buses that transport the children to overcrowded schools across town. I get it if you don’t like that communities features find another community, but that’s why we have land locked cities and rapid sprawling.
After the presentation I now understand:
The beautiful thing about DYI Urbanism, it’s completely driven by the citizens in that community. Tactical Urbanism gives communities tactics to empower community residents and leaders to do different DYI improvements, giving the residents a sense of ownership over their community that will lead to more creative and innovative new urban development ideas.
When it comes to Tactical or New Urbanism, Social Sustainability must come first. I now have a lot of respect for Tactical Urbanism because it takes into account what a lot of organizations are leaving out. I think any type of development is pointless without empowering community residents not just community leaders>> community residents. If you’re not empowering local residents to maintain and continue to grow and improve there communities, we will continue to have sprawling.
I think it’s important that organizations and leaders (Chamber of Commerce’s, Habitat for Humanity’s, Local ISDs ect.) really consider working with neighborhood residents on DIY Projects. These projects will highlight their communities, and if done well will create enough buzz that will encourage to developers taking a second look at their communities for improvements. Then they wouldn’t have to beg Wal-Mart’s to build in their communities and cross their fingers that other business will jump on the Wal-Mart Affect.
My opinion again, but sprawling comes from developers who don’t want to take the time or energy to encourage local residents to make changes. So these developers choose to develop in areas they know they can implement 80% of their own ideas.
Here’s me being a devil’s advocate but I really don’t blame these developers.
Interesting Links Mentioned:
The Building Community Workshop is a Dallas based nonprofit community design center seeing to improve visibility and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. We enrich the lives of citizens bringing design thinking to areas of our city where resources are most scarce. To do so the BCWorkshop recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.
Dallas Habitat for Humanity
Upcoming Unlock the Dream Tours:
We hold our one-hour tours on the 2nd Wednesday and the 4th Thursday of each month. To confirm a tour date & time for you and/or any friends, co-workers or family, please fill out the following form. A confirmation email will be sent to you with further details.
Build a Better Block
The “Better Block” project is a demonstration tool that acts as a living charrette so that communities can actively engage in the buildout process and provide feedback in real time
Another Creative and Effienfcet Use for Solar Power
Dan says the number one question he gets is “What’s the return on investment for adding these solar panels.”
His answer “What’s your return on investment now for you current electricity bill.”
Dan Lepinski has a back ground in Electrical Engineering, with a deep passion for solar technology. He created his first solar powered radio as a 6 grade science project… the judge’s recommendation was better luck next year because solar power is way too impractical.I got a chance to sit in on the 2 hour presentation presented by Dan Lepinski, at the University of Arlington Fort Worth Campums
Hands Down Dan Lepinski is a true “Texas Solar Guru”
Dan hand crafted an old wellsfargo trailer into an emergency response vehicle that can be used in disastrous situations. This trailer has been used to maintain power for police radios and equipment, computers and even medial batteries when no electricity is available.
Interesting Facts About the Trailer:
- Its portable and with brakes, to protect the amount of batteries its carrying
- 5 Top Solar Panels
- 5 Bottom Solar Panels
- Panels are made of tempered glass and peat sand>> all covered by insurance
- Each set of solar panels are powered by separate charging controls
- Typically one inverter is used at a time
- Eight Batteries – four each in two separate 24Vdc systems
- Total Battery Amp-Hours 1100 amp-hours @ 20 hour rate (all battery banks in parallel).
- Total Battery Reserve 26,400 watt-hours @ 20 hour rate (all battery banks on line)
- Inverter Safety Switches>> Only the Main inverters – DC input @300 Amps. UL certified.
- Data Output Ethernet interface to 802.11g wireless router
- Saves 80% on energy usage
- The trailer can power a 2 story home >> if the home has undergone additional energy effiecent improvements.
Something to Remember:
It costs more to deliver energy than to use the energy. With solar energy you are producing the energy right where you use the energy, meaning you are reducing the need for miles and miles of wiring/piping and materials needed to get the energy to a home ect., also reducing the impact of damage done to the environment.
Also with Wind Energy there are currently several setbacks, for starters wind towers need to be at least 30-50 feet above all other objects, unless you are dealing with acreage, and they require lots of good energy to produce good energy.
Interesting Links Mentioned:
Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”)
Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) is a pro-business, pro-environment, pro-jobs initiative that gives property owners upfront access to affordable long-term financing for qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits and improvements to existing structures on residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property. PACE loans are repaid through special property tax assessments that can be amortized for periods of up to twenty (20) years. If the property is sold before the full amount of the PACE loan is repaid, the repayment obligation automatically transfers to the next owner because the lien securing the tax assessment follows title to the property.
Data Base for Incentives on Renewable & Efficiency Improvements and Development
DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies
that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established
in 1995, DSIRE is currently operated by the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State
University, with support from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.
DSIRE is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.