Thursday, September 4, 2014

1st Net-Zero Energy Laboratory in the World: The J. Craig Venter Institute, San Diego

In fall 2013, the J. Craig Venter Institute, a well funded Genomic Research Lab, opened its new 45,000 sq. ft. LEED Platinum, Net-ZERO+ energy lab at the UCSD campus. This is important milestone because Science Labs tend to be heavy energy users, and the design needed to fit into an environment like La Jolla. With this type of building as a 'proof of concept', we can now say, with definitive proof, that it is possible to build Net-Energy-POSITIVE industrial laboratories using reclaimed and recycled, sustainable materials. As we move forward in the NEW-Building space, we must incorporate these techniques and build a mass market for the materials, even as we teach building contractors to innovate and adapt, training their workforce to the new standards.

Overview - see the info-graphic at the link
The scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) are engaged in basic science research that has the potential to change society. One of our quests is to help solve two troubling issues — global climate change and our dependence on hydrocarbons. While doing all we can to find solutions to these issues through our science, we are now building what we believe will be the first carbon-neutral laboratory facility in the world, located on the campus of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The building massing and envelope have been designed to maximize the use of daylight to improve indoor comfort while further reducing overall building energy use. The building is proposed to be "net-zero" for electrical energy, which means that it will produce as much electricity on-site as it consumes annually. This is possible by integrating numerous energy efficiency measures throughout the building systems, incorporating operable windows, efficient lighting, and by reducing internal plug loads wherever possible. On-site electricity is generated through the sizeable photovoltaic roof.

The team has also pursued strategies to minimize water consumption, as appropriate for the semi-arid environment of San Diego. Rainwater will be collected and stored in a cistern, filtered, and then reused for non-potable uses such as PV washing, cooling tower make-up, and site irrigation. High-efficiency plumbing fixtures will be used and the site will be landscaped with native plants that require minimal irrigation.

Labs, and in particular genomic-focused ones, traditionally consume large quantities of energy to both run energy intensive scientific equipment and for heating and cooling. The new JCVI building will feature all of the latest design and construction elements to ensure that it will exceed the requirements for LEED Platinum certification. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cassandra Complex

Many environmentalists have predicted looming environmental catastrophes including climate change, rise in sea levels, irreversible pollution, and an impending collapse of ecosystems, including those of rainforests and ocean reefs.[13] Such individuals sometimes acquire the label of 'Cassandras', whose warnings of impending environmental disaster are disbelieved or mocked.[13] Environmentalist Alan Atkisson states that to understand that humanity is on a collision course with the laws of nature is to be stuck in what he calls the 'Cassandra dilemma' in which one can see the most likely outcome of current trends and can warn people about what is happening, but the vast majority can not, or will not respond, and later if catastrophe occurs, they may even blame you, as if your prediction set the disaster in motion.[14]

Monday, July 7, 2014

Report Iraq War Card - The Lies That Lead to War

As the exploding crisis in Iraq spotlights once again the tragic record of American policy in the Middle East, Bill speaks with investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, “935 Lies” details the many government falsehoods that have led us into the current nightmare. A complicit partner, he says, is a media intent on preserving the status quo and never offending the ruling elite.
investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity

Thursday, June 12, 2014

SimCenter LIVE - Resilient Cities Program, Thursdays, Summer 2014

Tonight at 6:30 we UStream from the SimCenter 
2014 Summer Series - GENI World Resources SimCenter
Resilient Cities: How Global Climate Trends Affect Local Communities
1088 Third St., San Diego, CA 92101

Watch the Archives

The new SimCenter Interns are working hard to create a 'Resilient Cities' Curriculum. I'd like to invite those from out of town to join in on our Summer 3Rs-Tours with the Council of Divers and get some experiential learning along the cost of La Jolla.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Resilient Cities - Summer Program at SimCenter

The San Diego SimCenter, a project of the Global Energy Network Institute, is holding its annual summer conference series. The subject for the 2014 season is "Resilient Cities", and every Thursday evening, June 12 - August 28th, we will explore and analyze subjects & solutions to our urban planning environments.

Topics in Each Week:
  • Resilience vs. Sustainability
  • Systems Stressors within the region and from the outside
  • Interconnected sub-systems: (Economic, Social, Environmental, and the built environment)
  • Innovation as solution: food and water security, transportation and transit, energy and efficiency, network technology, social inclusion, waste streams, buildings and urban design and technology
  • Policies to prepare and Leadership that fosters change
Thursdays, 6-8Weekly Schedule: June 12 - August 28, 2014
June 12
June 19
June 26
July 3
July 10
July 17
July 24
July 31Designing Resilient Waste Systems
August 7
August 14
August 21
August 28

The Archimedes windmill

A quiet, powerful, and visually stunning solution to urban wind power. The Archimedes Windmill.