August 12th, 2008
Recently an MIT professor, Daniel Nocera announced a major breakthrough that promises to make the way passable to revolutionize the adaptation of storing solar and wind harnessed energy. The current problem has been that when the sun goes down, or the wind stops blowing, the energy stops. Battery systems are expensive, and only live so long before they need replacing. This new discovery uses non-toxic natural materials to split oxygen and hydrogen from water, at room temperature. These can be stored and recombined in a fuel cell later whenever electricity is needed.
You can hear Daniel Norera discuss this at … MIT TechTV
You can read an article about this work at MIT news.
June 3rd, 2008
Below I posted my intentions to start a web site narrowing the available stock plans to ones that generally fit in the categories of sustainable and green. Both words are now official (to me at least) buzz words that are rapidly loosing their meaning due to so many people associating their products with “green” and “sustainable”. It is like the word “bungalow”. Do a Google search for bungalow plans and the same old multi-gabled stuff (being polite here) shows up, just relabeled.
While I do have specific goals for these new plans, as well as modifying some of the existing plans, I would very much appreciate hearing from people as to what they expect in this specific category of house plans. I am not going to simply relabel plans. I am especially interested in what spec builders are after. I would specifically like to know what your market would like, basically what constitutes a sellable product for you.
Would passive solar be a plus? (ie: solar green houses or “sun space”, solar mass walls, direct gain etc?)
Would a dedicated room for alternative mechanicals be important? (ie; would you be installing renewable energy products… solar water heating, photovoltaics or wind equipment?)
Would you install active solar panels to generate electricity?
Do you need assistance specifying sustainable products?
You can post to this message,. or reply to me via this link
If you need to attach something you can email me via the form/email link above and I will reply with a different address. If I put my “real” address in this blog I would be spammed to death over night. The spam robots are relentless.
thank you for your assistance.
March 19th, 2008
BYOBlue is a nationwide collaborative between Architecture 2030, Earth Day Network and numerous other groups calling for an immediate moratorium on the construction of any new coal plants. In 2007, Fifty-nine coal plants were canceled – over a third of the 151 planned. That was before millions of people joined together to say No Coal by participating in BYOBlue. For more information you can follow this link http://www.byoblue.org/
So, just wear blue April 19th through April 22nd. If you want to bring even more attention to the issue, just wear blue underwear and nothing else. That ought to bring attention to the matter.
January 28th, 2008
I would like to pass this along to anyone interested.
It’s Almost Time to Face It!
Come January 30th at 9 am EST, thousands of people will be logging on to www.architecture2030.org to view one of the most informative and solution-oriented webcast on global warming to ever be aired. If you have not registered, register today at Face It Registration. Remember, you can view the webcast any time after 9 am EST by just logging on.
November 28th, 2007
I would like to announce that I am starting a sister web site www.sustainablehouseplans.com. It most likely will be a while before I actually get the site online, but I am starting to shift my time from developing plans for this site, to designing plans for the new site. I would not mention it here, but the day after I registered the site name (yesterday), I needed to give out the new link to ASU, and this is what that link will open for the present time. So, if you linked here from there, sorry, but I’m not really here. However, I do have another site, and please visit that (www.thompsonplans.com)… and keep reading. The new link (sustainablehouseplans.com) will start showing up on a new web site related to a plan I donated to The NC State Energy Office and the Appalachian State University Energy Center. It was built by a Habitat affiliate in Hickory,NC and was the first Zero Energy Home (ZEH) built in North Carolina. My new plans will not necessarily be geared for the affordable housing market, but will maintain an Arts and Crafts feel with nice porches and warm detailing.
My interest has long been designing homes that are connected with the environment. Unfortunately, in the early 1980′s that was not what many of my clients were interested in. Despite my living and working out of a passive solar house that I built in Atlanta, very few clients had any interest in investing funds for solar features. I also loved the Arts and Crafts character, and since that is what my clients wanted, that is what I did. This web site grew out of that work.
Today we live in a different world. Everyday more people are becoming aware of the shortsightedness of using fossil fuels. “Green” is now the buzz word in advertising and marketing new homes. But, for the most part, this just implies product selection, and does not necessarily address the energy consumption issues to any great extent. I am starting the new site by reworking many of the existing house plans I have, and incorporate passive and active solar functionality. My intention for these new plans is to incorporate thermal mass storage as a fundamental heat source, along with room designated for photovoltaic systems. Some will incorporate attached solar greenhouses. All plans will have 2×6 wall construction, as well as other environmentally sound construction details.
If you have linked here from another site through the www.sustainablehouseplans.com link, please look around, and if any of the plans work for you, and you are also interested in solar considerations, email me. The new plans will be specifically oriented to work with the sun.