Bad Visions And Unsustainable Cost

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An illustrious vision of which we are told is a green design.

  Above we see a designers vision of something we are told is a green building design, and the author of this no doubt wants to sell this building to someone somewhere.  However what the buyer would obtain is art work with very little consideration of what is true in terms of green building design.  First of all the design involves unusual framing of the curved sections and requires additional work in order to design the various parts to fit into place, which adds additional energy or rather power consumption as well as cost.  Furthermore the notion of all the green vegetation growing within the opening of the structure requires additional energy in terms of electrical power to pump tons of water throughout those sections to keep everything alive.  Hence this design adds additional cost to operating the building and it is doubtful that there is enough green vegetation in such designs to impact the air quality of this world if these designs were wide spread.  About the only functionality of growing vegetation on buildings is to either have vines up the sides of buildings to shade and lower its thermal mass temperature in the summer, or to have such vegetation growing on top of buildings to do the same.

  In this video there is a concern for the merit of cooling a giant dome envisioned to be built over the city of Houston.  The matter of concern here is whether or not the theories being employed to cool the structure will actually work, and if not then Houston will have a monster of a problem with the power consumption required to cool the interior of the domed city.  Although there is some discussion of the method and means of ventilation for keeping the interior cool and lowering the humidity, the fact that this dome is clear and that it allows radiant solar energy to enter through the dome, where this source of heat can cause the interior temperature to escalate once the thermal mass of all the buildings and concrete and pavement has absorbed sufficient enough heat.  A potential problem exist on this wise, the notion of ventilating a dome to cool it comes from an original design that was not clear.  The theorist here are hoping that natural air convection due to heating of the air by solar means will lead to upwards ventilation out of the top of the dome.

  As for the reason for wanting to build the dome to help save the city from the ravages of hurricanes as well as heat and humidity, a better investment would be to change their building practices and require new buildings to meet with certain design  considerations.  we might also ask our self if not those involved with this idea are actually wanting to build a futuristic vision that they have, perhaps one borrowed from science fiction movies, which we might also ask our selves of the unusual building design seen at the top of this page?

  The only practical use that any of us would obtain from a glass dome is to have some warm place somewhat nice to go and spend time in, in the winter time.  One thing that we have learned from green houses is that although we provide them with ventilation both passive and active, we still have to cover them over as the summer progresses or else the plants we are growing inside the green house will receive too much solar thermal energy and die.

  The matter of the dome over Houston then becomes a question of whether or not the project will result in something that will require the city to have to utilize enormous amounts of electrical energy to cool the structure and to help move the air for ventilation since such a structure can trap such things as automobile exhaust.  Who knows this might work however, but it is a costly vision on such a large scale when more down to earth means can be employed at a much more reduced price over all to tackle their problem.  First of all in terms of their heat problem, increasing the insulation standards of buildings is a start.

  As we go about our business to explore a whole new world of ideas and technologies as well as visions for a green world and marketplace, we need to stop and consider which visions are affordable and sustainable.  If we invest in something that was visionary and it turns out wrong, where the theories of the operation of the design fail to deliver on their promise, then we could be stuck with something that requires more energy to keep operating than it was meant to.  It should lower the cost of operation rather than increase it.  Hence it is best to stick with tried and true concepts if we want to make a good investment.

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  In this visionary piece of architecture we have solar panels placed over two curved surfaces, one surface is somewhat of a dome while the other is a spiral walkway to nowhere, which has solar panels curved around its structure.  Here the designer somehow equated futuristic looking features with green building design and created a costly construction idea.  Several solar powered homes could be built for the cost of this construction or a much larger office building with much simpler and hence basic design.  This design also utilizes more energy to construct from energy used to heat and shape metal to all of the energy expend on suspending and hanging the spiraled feature.  Although the author of this vision tagged this as a green building design it is hard to afford in terms of construction cost, and hence such designs are unsustainable in terms of visions.  No one needs to hire an architect who does things like this.  This is not a green building design, this is art work at the purchasers expense.

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