Monday, April 30, 2007

AIA Convention 2007

The AIA 2007 National Convention and Design Exposition, held in San Antonio, is the premier event for design and building industry professionals. From thought-provoking education programs to informal meetings with peers, you'll have access to hundreds of opportunities that increase your knowledge, improve your projects, and help you better serve your clients.
This year's convention theme is 'Growing Beyond Green' and spotlights sustainable design—how you can green your projects, educate your clients, and reduce the impact buildings have on the environment.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Solar panels ...

Solar panels on gas station canopy
...on a gas station canopy in Lisbon, Portugal. We can do this in Houston, can't we?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2007

METRO goes green.

I'm a little behind on posting this, but for those who weren't aware:

METRO is rolling out 10 new hybrid buses, the first of 30 local buses to take to the streets of Houston. The rest of these environmentally-friendly buses are expected in May.

The 40-foot buses run on diesel and electricity, and are expected to post a fuel savings of 30 percent or more. The hybrid technology reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by more than 50 percent and greatly reduces particulate hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. The buses are also quieter, provide a smoother ride and require less maintenance, reducing METRO’s operating costs.

Read more

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Get Crafty

Make your own sun jar. (a solar powered night light of sorts)

Not Martha has a great step by step tutorial based on the Sun Jar design by Tobias Wong.

List of materials:
- Ikea Slom jar, smallest size, about $3
- single Malibu brand solar garden light, about $10, from Lowes (see notes below for pictures of the specific one as there are a few variables)
- glass frosting spray
- some Blue Tak or sticky stuff

Not too crazy about working with electronics? You can also buy a similar version/nightlight from the Geek Gear Store.

They also have great ideas, if your so inclined, for recycling those floppy disks you feel so bad about throwing away.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More News from Charles Tapley

On the UH green roof progress:
"...What a team we have! While Bellows was running the show yesterday assembling the metal edges and down hill grates for the beds, today it was all Decherd(sp).
They flashed-in the metal frames, waved me on up the ladder, and then asked if I wanted to see what else they had brought....What they showed me was a delivery of "trays," the cups that receive water below the filter and the growing medium, and bundles of erosion protection fabric through which
the plants will be planted...."

Monday- "Green Roof, full of promise; a meeting is promised with Bellows, Decker, and
myself to talk about the next steps in the evolution of the roof, namely, delivery and installation of the growing media. ...Right now, with the contractors eager to finish and say goodbye, it is becoming our job to inform the College and the University that some big components of having and taking advantage of having a Green Roof are yet to come; managing the roof, recording conditions on the roof and with the plants, planning research projects, planning for seasonal variations, developing academic programs to better knit the roof (and thus the Zone) to the College, creating programs to bring other institutions in to joint venture some of the programs, and visitors and foundations to become better informed about the asset and it's need to be supported.
A lot to rejoice about, a lot to do, and a lot to think about. "

Monday, April 16, 2007

Film Screening

As part of CLEAN's film series
THE END OF SUBURBIA: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream

Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness.

Guest Speaker: Aaron Dunlap, website administrator for

When: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 from 7pm- 9pm

Where: Rice Media Center, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77006 (Rice Cinema is located on the Rice University campus, inside of Entrance No. 8 University Blvd. at Stockton Dr., 2nd building on the right hand side.) Rice University Map

$5 donation however no one will be turned away for lack of funds

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The installation has begun.

News from Charles Tapley and Geoffrey Brune on the progress on the new sloped* Green Roof for the College of Architecture at the University of Houston :

"Here it is folks, the opening pages of the real thing. The crews started in a light rain on Friday and were on the roof by 7:30 AM (April 14,2007) today and just leaving at 5:00 PM. Today the weather was dry, cool, and very windy. As you can see the metal surrounding the planting beds is well along and Tony (with Bellows) tells me they will be back tomorrow morning, Sunday.I will, too.
Celebrate! Chas"

Related articles:

GREEN is cool - University of Houston Magazine

Rice Design Alliance

The SciGuy on green roofs - Houston Chronicle

Friday, April 13, 2007

UH Green roof- Updates!

Green Roof by Hydrotech, College of Architecture, Keeland Design Exploration Building

Installation of the green roof components on the south bay of the Keeland Building begins TODAY!!! Planting soon to follow...... Stay tuned....first sloped green roof in town!

~Green Team Houston

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Techs and Trainers- Houston

"Techs and Trainers provide technology and skills to people with disablities."

Whether you are looking for economical corporate computer asset disposal or just wish to recycle your used computer equipment (computers, monitors, and used printers are all, generally, accepted), Techs & Trainers is ready to put your tax deductibles to good use.

Contact info:
6020 Jessamine
Houston, TX.
(713) 839-7177

Plastics- FYI

Reusing plastic for food is not always such a good idea. It seems lots of plastic is not food-grade and not food-safe.

When reusing plastic containers this might be helpful.