ccfinlay

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May. 11th, 2007 | 10:04 am

A few blocks away from where I work, a developer is turning an old manufacturing site into an environmentally friendly development:

"If there was an epiphany, it was that proper environmental stewardship and good business practices are one in the same," Recchie said. "If you look at the Dow Jones Sustainability Index you see that businesses that have merged those two thoughts are the most profitable." ....

Next month, construction will begin on Jeffrey Place’s environmentally sensitive crowning jewel, simply dubbed the North Block.

Its 72 residential units and three commercial units all will use solar-paneled roofs, geothermal heating and cooling systems, tankless water heaters, and rainwater reuse technology.

"The North Block phase will be the largest solar array in a residential building in Ohio," Recchie said as he strolled through the development, pointing to an empty clump of land. "It’s also the largest number of units with geothermal heating and cooling in Ohio."

...."Some homeowners in these units will have net zero energy consumption. They’ll produce as much power with their house as they’re using. That’s the essence of sustainability."


I used to walk around the old factory site, once most of the buildings were torn down, and used pieces of it as setting for the urban war-scape in my story "Hail, Conductor," published last year in Talebones. I like this alternate new future for it much better.

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Comments {18}

shhhh it's a secrit

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from: secritcrush
date: May. 11th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Sadly, rainwater reclaimation? Has a bigger carbon footprint than using regular old mains water for toilet flushing and the like. (There is a long rant in me about how green building practices is driven by an arbitrary code (LEEDs in the US, BREEAM in Europe) and not by how much of a real impact on the evironment it has.

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: May. 11th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
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Educate us, here: what's a "bigger carbon footprint"? Besides what the T. Rex leaves behind him in Jurassic Park.

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shhhh it's a secrit

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from: secritcrush
date: May. 11th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
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Ok, carbon footprint is a measure of how much energy is consumed by a given resource by tracking how much energy is used throughout it's life.

So while something like solar panels don't consume carbon to produce energy, there was still the manufacturing and installation that has to be accounted for when assessing its environmental impact.

The problem with rainwater reclamation is that usually the optimal storage is 10 days. So what happens is you end up doing is dumping a lot of water into the sewer system anyway once the tank is full. Further, when you hit dry periods you have to draw mains water into your reclamation system and once it comingles with it, you have to treat it again.

Ultimately it's a pretty complicated business to assess the genuine ecological impact but a lot of rainwater reclamation systems end getting put in because you can get a credit for it, and not because it's right for the development.

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shhhh it's a secrit

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from: secritcrush
date: May. 11th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
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argh! its! (I'm not correcting any more typos.)

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: May. 11th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
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Heh. You're cute when you grouch.

Also, thanks for the explanation for the drive-by readers. And, er, me.

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: May. 11th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
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Ah, thanks for the explanation. The way that I read the article (and know from talking -- the developer is the dad of one of my kid's classmates at school), is that the rainwater reclaimation is only going to be used for landscape and exterior watering -- no toliet flushing, or anything internal, which will come off the mains. With so much greenspace (1.2 million square feet out of 1.8 million total), they anticipate a large watering need just for that. But I don't know if that makes a difference at all.

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shhhh it's a secrit

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from: secritcrush
date: May. 11th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
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Not particularly, toilet flushing requires the least treatment of reclaimed water. It's also a more constant load on the system so you can use more of what you reclaim. (Perhaps they have a huge underground tank - the problem is, when we get rain, that's when we least need rainwater for irrigation. Generally you can't store enough to carry over to the drier season.)

I can't obviously speak to this particular project because I don't know know the development details and what would happen to the rainwater if it weren't used for irrigation - if it were fed into the groundwater aquifer it's probably better. Also better if you have a separated sewer system. (rainwater and water from toilets etc. kept separate.)

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: May. 12th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure what would happen to it. If it's like the rest of the neighborhood, it would feed into the storm sewers, which are antiquated and sometimes unequal to capacity -- every time there's a heavy thunderstorm, some of them back up and cause some flooding.

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shhhh it's a secrit

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from: secritcrush
date: May. 13th, 2007 09:06 am (UTC)
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*nod* but since the development is incorporating green roofs it attenuates the flows so it'll make the storm sewer less likely to back up. (so while a tank for reclamation helps with that problem, the thing that really helps is the green roofs.)

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Rhona

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from: rhonawestbrook
date: May. 11th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
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Dude, that's pretty cool!

If I strolled around with developers, I'd be so stuck up no one could stand me.

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: May. 11th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
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Whoops -- fixed that! There was a sentence remnant in the last paragraph. I'm such a crappy proofreader of my own stuff.

I used to just stroll around the site on my own, cause it was so cool, but that's back when they were still trying to sell it. (I've met the developer briefly a couple times at school functions with our kids, but I've never visited the property with him.)

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Rhona

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from: rhonawestbrook
date: May. 11th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
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LOL...you couldn't POSSIBLY be worse than I am. I've actually had a short published in which I used the word genitals instead of gentle. To make things worse.....it was a very innocent story! (right up until the genitals that is.....


I blame it on our creativity. We don't have room in our minds for details like typos. Yanno?

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: May. 11th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
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I think that's a very natural mistake to make: after all one should be gentle when it comes to, well, you know.

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Rhona

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from: rhonawestbrook
date: May. 11th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
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LOL....thanks. I'm totally adding that to my list of excuses.

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I AM SHERLOCKED

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from: i_amsherlocked
date: May. 12th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
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I just friended your sweetie, mind if I friend you too?
(I've also seen you around in rhonawestbrook's journal)

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: May. 12th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
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Sure!

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I AM SHERLOCKED

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from: i_amsherlocked
date: May. 12th, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
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cool!
Hi!
My name is Megan. Nice to meet you!

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: May. 12th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
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Nice to meet you too, Megan!

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