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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Why wallpaper should never be used inside your house

April 30, 2010 3 comments

If you have wallpaper in your home and you live in a hot and humid climate with air conditioning running most of the time, you might want to reconsider using paint instead of wallpaper. Chances are: your wall has already been infected by a colony of mold.

Don’t blame the contractor, it’s not their fault. Even if the wallpaper is perfectly glued together, the mold will still be there.

So, how do we get rid of this seemingly persistant mold? Long story short. Most wallpapers are made out of vinyl which is essentially impermeable to water – we call it vapor barrier. You’ll find a lot of them installed inside houses that are in cold climate and uses heater a lot. The vapor barrier is installed behind the drywall on the inside face of the warm side of the wall. —— Next page
  

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Monitoring building usage leads to behavioural changes

March 8, 2010 9 comments

Energy geeks would have love nothing more than to see their energy consumption in REAL time. In the old day, like yesterday…, monthly bills is used to see how much electricity, water, gas and etc have been used. The only problem with that is that you are monitoring monthly usage only, while a lot is going on within the month. Say you want to find out what happened on day 7 from 1pm-2pm and that particular time happened to be an hour ago… You can’t.

But, with Lucid Design Group and their “building dashboard” product, you can instantaneously see your energy consumption at any given point in the past. Access for the information is done through their website. It’s like magic… only with a dash of science. I want this for Christmas… you hear that Santa?

There’s a live demo of the Dashboard here. I hope there’s something similar to this in a not too distant future and doesn’t cost $9000. “Ouch” maybe for homeowners. But, If you are a comercial building manager / owner, this might sound too good to pass up.

Update1: I cant’ believe my wife doesn’t care about any of these stuff??…

Update2: Okay @getookwife does care :p

Voluntering Sustainability Practice

March 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Watch out, the word “sustainability” is about to become more famous in the next few years – if it hasn’t already. It is certainly an aspect that has an ample amount of weight in the building industry. Architects and engineers alike. They talked about it and spent times trying to figure out how to wrap their project with a big blanket of sustainability. This is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, not so much in many volunteering projects especially in developing countries.

Ned Breslin (his Bio) – A CEO of Water For People said this:

Africa, Asia and Latin America have become wastelands for broken water and sanitation infrastructure…

The infrastructure mentioned here is referring to facilities that were built by many volunteers and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization). The intention to bring water and provide safe sanitation to remote and forgotten communities is nothing but good if not – noble. The problem lies in the poor execution and half-baked procedure.

a small caveat of incentive that comes with this kind of project beside “helping” the communities is that the number of people benefited from the project will be shown on someone elses portfolio. And it will stay there for a number of years. Even when the system finally ceased to operate and the volunteers are long gone, the number in the portfolio lives on.

The longevity and life cycle of the system are often left out for other volunteers in the future to figure out.

The right way to do this as described by Ned, is to incorporate ownership of the system. Which involves the community actually paying for the system in long term. Find out how at the source below after the pictures.

Money can be raised, water pump can be bought, donated and installed. But, to exclude and ignore the capacity that the community itself have to offer, is a sure failure coming at a distant.

Pictures from West Borneo of water infrastructure all out of commisioned

WC: flushing water much?

March 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Hard to believe that even water was once considered an unlimited resource. Understandably, it’s almost unthinkable that water would someday became “out of stock”. Afterall, our earth is covered by 71% water. But, most of them are not safe for immediate consumption and to provide potable drinkable water requires energy, infrastructure, man power and lots of money. So, it is in everybody’s best interest that potable water cumsumption be kept as minimal as possible. In contrary to the urgent matter, here in U.S. it’s a normal practice to flush our toilet with drinkable water. How much water do we dump through our toilet? Literally.

Before Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) 1975, water closets were flushed with 7 mighty gallons of potable water! Later on, the U.S. Energy Policy Act (EPAct) 1992 set a maximum rate for flushing water closet to 1.6 Gallon per flush. Now, some manufacturer have come up with 0.5 gallon per flush. Very significant progress indeed. Who knows what the future might bring… in terms of flushing your number 1 down the toilet. Maybe “waterless toilet” shoot something at “it” and it evaporates…

Dream on.

How to kill mosquito with laser

February 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Finally, this will be the weapon of mass destruction for all those mosquito out there. I wonder what would happened if mosquito become extinct… Taken from The New York Times.

LED vs Incandescent

February 12, 2010 4 comments

A seemingly inexpensive incandescent lamp for a mere 70 cents ends up costing more than the ridiculously priced $82 LED light of similar lumens output.

The price of a standard LED fixture may drive a lot of people away in an instant. Thus, overlooking the potential of quick return on investment that can be gained. Plus, this thing looks too darn futuristicly cool to pass up – very scifi ish.

In case you are wondering what does it take to manufacture one of these LED bulb – Not much. A study done by OSRAM concludes that only 2% of the energy required to light up the LED from start to finish, actually went into production.

So, to produce one 12W LED with 50,000hr rated life, the manufacture would spend only 12 kwh in terms of energy required giving birth to this baby. To give a comparison; my last month electric usage was 600 kwh.

Complete calculation and picture of LED here