Energy efficiency, easier than you think

*Energy efficiency is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services.

*A deep energy retrofit is a whole-building analysis and construction process that uses to achieve much larger energy savings than conventional energy retrofits. Deep energy retrofits can be applied to both residential and non-residential (“commercial”) buildings. A deep energy retrofit typically results in energy savings of 30 percent or more, perhaps spread over several years, and may significantly improve the building value.

If we take a closer look to what energy efficiency is all about, you will find that it is easier to achieve than you think.

Before hiring a Building commissioning agent, there is a list of things you should check in your building, let’s find out which one:

  • Have you implemented a business policy to turn off the lights when the building is comfortable with daylight or when nobody is occupying the space?
  • Or a company policy to turn off the computers, printers, fax machine, AC or heaters when not needed?
  • Have you changed all the lightning bulbs for more efficient ones?  ( Led or fluocompact) Look for energy Star logo or Eco Logo products and lighting fixtures.  Solar tubes can add extra lightning during the day and are zero energy-consuming. Installation can be done through walls and ceilings.
  • Are the appliances, plumbing fixtures and machineries in your building  high-efficient ? water-heating appliances, WC with low water consumption rates, etc.
  • Have you had the HVAC system inspected and cleaned lately? Are the filters clean and efficient?
  • Are the windows and doors sealant seems old and cracked?
  • Can windows or doors be manually opened to bring some fresh air into the building/work area instead of starting the central ventilation system?
  • During winter, is the heating system running too much getting the occupants too hot? Not enough hot? Implementing a survey can help you find out just how much degrees you can tune down the heating system or during summer the AC. (online survey forms from GOOGLE will do the job just fine)

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Schöck prevents thermal bridging in major new Irish distillery

Architecture, Design & Innovation


Marketing and distribution across Ireland of the major Pernod Ricard premium wine and spirit brands, such as Malibu; Jacob’s Creek; Brancott Estate and Mumm; is big business for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.  However, the company’s real heritage is in its whiskey brands, particularly Jameson Irish Whiskey, which is produced at the main distillery in Midleton, County Cork.  The site has a production capacity of 33 million litres of alcohol a year, but even this is still insufficient to meet increasing international demand. As a result, €100 million is being invested in new plant to double the capacity.    When complete, Midleton will be one of the most modern distilleries in the world, boasting three 75,000 litre potstills, and three column stills, which are used in combinations of three to produce the different types of whiskey.

Sustainability has always played a significant part in Irish Distillers…

Voir l’article original 705 mots de plus

Hemp brick, Biodegrable and Carbon Capturing

Hemp is used in hundreds of products, but here’s a new one: a hemp wine cellar.
Château Maris, a bio-dynamic and organic French winery, has created a net-zero energy building by using bricks made from organic hemp and lime. Topped by a green roof with solar panels, it produces as much energy as it consumes.

It’s not uncommon for people who are new to organic and biodynamic wines to query the extent to which a wine estate can be ‘completely’ organic. Surely, they ask, the organic commitment begins and ends in the vineyard?

Well no – and especially not at Château Maris.

The Domaine was keen to build a winery (chais) that embraced all that was good about new technology whilst not neglecting proven, traditional winemaking practices.

The chais has been built with hemp lime bricks that are supported by a wooden structure. The materials are, for the most part, vegetal and a renewable resource. They emit no gases that are bad for your health health, no dust allergens and no static electricity. Equally, they regulate moisture effectively.
hempbrickThe bricks create a 9,000-square-foot wine cellar that’s both energy self-sufficient and biodegradable. They not only maintain consistent temperature and humidity, they also absorb carbon from the surrounding environment. And there’s no need for systems that heat, cool or ventilate the structure.

march 2012 024Hemp has amazing qualities – the material both insulates and is  « breathable » – keeping the building warm in winter and cool in the summer at a consistent 54°-63°F. Two exterior walls connected by an air tunnel also insulated against extreme temperatures. If more airflow is needed to lower the heat created by fermentation, there’s a manual duct in the cellar’s roof that can be opened and closed.

Hemp doesn’t require irrigation or fertilizers and its rapid root growth creates good soil structure, controlling erosion. They are using hemp straw – what’s left after the crop is made into an assortment of products from rope to clothes to paper. It’s inexpensive because Europe provides some subsidies for the crop and it fit the bill for low-carbon transport because hemp farms are nearby.

Winery Hemp

After five years of research, they chose a hemp/lime combination after evaluating other natural options such as stone, rammed earth and even straw. Why? Because they examined the lifecycles of potential materials and hemp was the least expensive and locally produced.

Even better, the hemp bricks are very light, making them easy to transport. A two-foot thick brick weighs 33 pounds. And when lime is added to harden hemp straw into bricks, the chemical transformation into limestone carbonate captures and sequesters carbon.

They basically created a biodegradable building that sequesters carbon – an estimated 44 kilos per square meter – for the next 20-25 years.

Château Maris is applying for American standard LEED-Platinum certification.Along with the novel hemp construction, Maris takes advantage of many other green building practices: The 15,000-case winery was built into the hillside, with a soil-topped roof planted with local vegetation that needs little water. To minimize water consumption, the winery collects rainwater and recycles its gray water by filtering it through a natural pond system. Low-consumption LEDs are used for all the lighting. Future plans call for a windmill and solar panels to provide all of the winery’s power and the addition of a hemp-based visitor center and a garden. The roof of the office and tasting building will support 380m2 of photovoltaic solar panels capable of producing 49kwc/an. Along with the building’s efficiency, the complex will produce as much energy as it consumes, as well as stocking CO2 to counter any emissions in the winemaking process

Sources: News

Chateau Maris

Matériel d’isolation à base de champignons – Mushrooms based insulation material



MycoFoam 18″ x 18″

Comment pouvons-nous remplacer les panneaux de styromousse dans la construction de bâtiments écologiques?


Une entreprise appelée Ecovative propose une solution plutôt inhabituelle: les champignons. Ecovative cultive des matériaux fabriqués à partir de sous-produits agricoles et de champignons mycélium. Les déchets agricoles utilisés sont des sous-produits de plantes propres comme les tiges et les enveloppes de graines.

Le mycélium est une colle naturelle auto-assemblée qui digère les déchets de culture pour produire des matériaux compétitifs et respectueux de l’environnement. Contrairement aux plastiques, qui proviennent de produits pétrochimiques non durables, les champignons peuvent se retrouver dans votre jardin, entièrement compostables.

L’une des nombreuses applications de cette nouvelle technologie est l’isolation des bâtiments. Les panneaux formés avec cette technologie peuvent remplacer les panneaux de mousse rigides directement . Le panneau créé par Ecovative fonctionne extrêmement bien et est très stable. Voici un aperçu de leurs spécifications:

Standard Métrique Ecovative
Résistance thermique ASTM C518 R 3.6 par pouce
Force de compression ASTM D695 10% 0.3 – 6.7 psi 50% 72 – 260psi
Transmission de vapeur d’eau ASTM E96 0.02 0.03 US Perm
Résistance au feu ASTM E84 Classe A
Émissions d’aldéhyde et de COV ASTM E1333 <0,01 – 0,03 ppm

Ce produit est certifié Gold par l’institut d’innovation produit Cradle to Cradle, ce qui en fait un excellent choix pour tout projet certifié LEED.



How can we replace foam panels in green building construction?

A company called Ecovative  is proposing a rather unusual solution: mushrooms. Ecovative grows materials made from agricultural byproducts and mushroom mycelium. The agricultural wastes used  are clean plant byproducts like stalks and seed husks.

Mycelium is a natural, self-assembling glue, digesting crop waste to produce cost-competitive and environmentally responsible materials that perform. Unlike plastics, which come from unsustainable petrochemicals, Mushroom Materials can end up in your garden, fully compostable.

One of the many applications of this new technology is building insulation. Panels formed with this technology can replace directly rigid foam panels. The panel created by Ecovative perform extremely well and are very stable. Here’s a look at their specs:

Metric Standard Ecovative
Thermal Resistance ASTM C518 R 3.6 per inch
Compressive Strength ASTM D695 10% 0.3 – 6.7 psi  50% 72 – 260psi
Water Vapor Transmission ASTM E96 0.02 0.03 US Perm
Fire Resistance ASTM E84 Class A
Aldehyde & VOC Emissions ASTM E1333 < 0.01 – 0.03 ppm

This product is certified Gold by the Cradle to Cradle product innovation institute making it an excellent choice for any LEED certified project.