Tuesday, July 31, 2007



Dear 2007 Master Classers,

Time is creeping on and bookings are filling up for the third New Zealand Architecture Master Class at the beautiful Awaroa Lodge with Ian Athfield,Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury.

'The Warren Trust' has agreed to become the major sponsor.

Details and application form on the web at www.ozetecture.org

Dates - 16-22 September (missing the school holidays and crucial World Cup rugby matches)

Fee - NZ$2,950 (AUS2,700) for 5 share lodge accommodation
and $3,300 (AUS$3,000) for twin share.


Inquiries to: info@ozetecture.org

Monday, July 16, 2007

SolCool- cooling with pv's

via inhabitat.com

"The basic SolCool system
has the same output capacity to a two ton air conditioning system but uses 85% less energy than equivalent high efficiency air conditioners;
and the dual battery/solar powered system enables the unit to run 24 hours a day, even during the most overcast of days or when blackouts occur.
One of the most unique attributes of the Millennia 4.0
is that it’s powered on a direct current (DC) which allows for the most efficient use of solar energy. The use of DC also allows the Millennia 4.0 to have integrated attachments such as water purification systems,
lights, and even ceiling fans. The latest version can also heat a room. All of which SolCool believes will help make-up for the $20,000 to $40,000 cost (before subsidies) of installing solar panels on the average household’s roof. SolCool’s unit is a way of stepping into the solar powered world without committing all at once, by integrating solar power efficiently forsmaller applications."

EcoVantage Energy Inc.

Contact: Samuel Little

Phone: (817) 304-0661

Email: contact@ecovantageenergy.com

Weatherford, TX 76087
Service Area: Texas

Friday, July 06, 2007

RDA Civic Forum: EcoCities, July 11, 7pm

Everybody in Houston is talking "green".  But what, exactly, does this mean? What is an EcoCity? Does the European Union's EcoCity Project set the global standards? Are there exemplary local projects and initiatives, or does the term EcoCity only serve to point to Houston's role as a leading U.S. carbon producer?

Many Houstonians express a passionate interest in preserving and even increasing their city's green space. Are the strategies that seem to be productive in Europe and Asia, where many nations are working together to plan a sustainable future, applicable for us?

On Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at 7 p.m., the Rice Design Alliance (RDA) will hold a forum to begin to answer these questions.

Brown Auditorium, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet (Enter via the Main Street door)

Admission is free and open to the public.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Gulf Coast Green- Symposium on Building

The Houston Chapter of AIA's Committee on the Environment (COTE) third green building symposium and expo will take place April 3-6, 2008 at Reliant Park, Houston, Texas.

This year, GCG 2008 will focus on both professionals and the public: Four educational tracks offering various skill levels for the
design and construction professional will be offered at the two-day seminar, while we will all be encouraged to become familiar with the
latest in certified green building products and innovations at the Consumer Expo, new to GCG this year.

The theme of the 2008 conference is Innovations in Building for Hot and Humid Climates. The conference's specific focus is green or sustainable building along the Gulf Coast Region, but the content includes broader issues such as sustainable land use and global warming.
Educational tracks will be: Meeting the Carbon Neutral Challenge; Ecological Design; Sustainable Land Use & Development; and Innovations in Sustainable Design.

The Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE) hosts Gulf Coast Green 2008 in partnership with the Greater Houston Area Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Houston District Council of The Urban Land Institute

Call for Proposals opens August 2007.
Registration for attendees opens in September of 2007.
Visit www.gulfcoastgreen.org to sign up for our newsletter or email info@gulfcoastgreen.org for more information on sponsorship,exhibiting your certified product, or speaking at the event.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Formation and Future of the Upper Texas Coast

Letter-to-the-editor from Professor John Anderson (RICE U.), author of the very latest May 2007 book by Texas A & M Press:
(Click on images to enlarge)

"I was one of the three authors of the Geohazards Map that has raised so much attention in recent months. I am bit miffed by the apparent misunderstanding of the map by Galveston City officials. It is really not that complicated. It is based on island elevation, existing habitats and future habitats. The first two are fairly simple, the elevation of the island controls storm impact, the distribution of modern habitats and the rate at which these habitats will change as sea level rises and the land surface subsides. The third ingredient sounds complicated, but it is based on careful monitoring of the rate of Gulf shoreline and bay shoreline migration over the past several decades. If anything these rates will increase in the next several decades, so beaches, dunes and wetlands will need to have room to migrate landward.

The Geohazards map is color coded, with red designating areas that are of imminent geohazard potential and orange designating areas with high geohazard potential. Existing wetlands fall within the red zone and areas that will become wetlands in the next few decades occur within the orange zone. The proposed Marguette Development has significant overlap with both red and orange areas. It is estimated that 75 acres of wetlands will be lost.

During the June 19 meeting of the Galveston Planning Commission, Commissioner Listowski stated that he was not concerned about the wetlands because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will serve as the watchdog agency to assure that the wetlands are protected. Mr. Listowski clearly misunderstands the Corps responsibility and their track record. He needs to drive the far west end of the island to observe how the Corps failed to consider wetlands migration in at the Cintex Development. So, if the Corps of Engineers is not watching out for the wetlands, who is guarding them? When the Geohazards map was submitted to City Council two years ago it was our hope that the City would assume responsibility for safeguarding the island environment. They are the ones who issue the permits for development on the island.

I am not apposed to development on the Island and fully appreciate the city’s desire to raise new tax dollars. But, the attitude of the commission seems to be that wetlands have no economic value, and they clearly are not concerned about the next generation of citizens who will have to clean up after our mistakes. City officials now have the information needed to assess the impact new development will have on the island and its fringing waters over the life span of the project, not just on the day of ground breaking. It is no longer acceptable to simply ignore these impacts are try to assure us that someone else is guarding the hen house. If city officials have problems with the current Geohazards map, we need to work on these problems in order to come up with a map that can be used to preserve the island environment for all of its inhabitants, including those who will inherit it."