For the modern home owner, the pressure to implement green sustainable systems and source eco-friendly green products and services is overwhelming. Between the growing bodies of government regulations, public concern for environmental / green issues and rising expense of raw materials and energy, the grounds for owners to go for “Green” homes is compelling.
What we do
We demystify the understanding and implementation of Green Homes.
- Design and Architectural support - Green Building perspective
- Construction, Project Management, “Green” Material Sourcing
- Solar Path Analysis – ensuring optimal use of the Sun in your home
- Fresh Air and ventilation planning
- Water management - clean and adequate supply for years to come
- Energy Optimization – Energy planning - immediate and future needs
Plan and make a “Green” home within your budget without compromising on any of your Requirements / Comforts / Luxuries.
It all starts from the design – since ancient times we have always built keeping in mind the sun movement and the wind flow. Vaastu (without any religious connotation) is integral to all building designs.
Solutions to deal with the design - orientation and stilts, heat sinks etc.
More concepts and knowledge is pouring into the basin of Sustainability - which is fantastic for this critical science for sustaining 7 billion (and adding) inhabitants on mother earth. A lot of knowledge is relevant locally due to obvious geographical differences. Design has to be relevant to the times, the people, the purpose and the location.
“Sun-path analysis” forms the first step of planning a Green Building. An extensive computer-assisted analysis is made of how the sun will impact the proposed site/structure to enable planners/architects and Green Building professionals to harness the power and yet shield from the wrath of this magnificent power-generator. Ancient India was probably the first civilization to study this science.
No wonder Indians have the lowest rate of Vitamin D deficiency (thanks to abundant sunshine) we also have the lowest per capita incidences of Skin Cancer (thanks to our general distaste of sun-bathing)
The green solution
Nature can hugely subsidize our comfort. Pre-cooling and free cooling are concepts that ensure lower dependence on energy to keep buildings cool. If one is able to keep a building cool by smart planning of design and materials – one can enjoy free-cooling. If one can use non-compressor based options such as air-washers, tunnel-coolers and any other non-conventional tool to cool buildings one would be less dependent on grid-generated energy and hence be Greener.
Air-conditioning is a huge source of power consumption and lot of diligence is given to evolving the optimal solution. The gases used for cooling have to be eco-friendly, the choices of central vs. individual units has to be made based on local geography, usage patterns, technology choices have to be made with regards to the latest options available. This is an area which requires detailed SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
This also is a very important element of Green Homes wherein all waste is suitably recycled/disposed off with minimal impact on the environment.
Water Management - concept of zero discharge building – 100% water recycling - Rain water harvesting and collection pits.
With a robust growth of global population and stress on fresh water reserves there is growing need to conserve water – Drinking water and water for washing/cleaning/watering plants etc.
100% water recycling and Zero discharge buildings have become a reality. Rainwater harvesting is critical since billions of liters of fresh water (mostly pumped from underground reserves) ends-up in waste drains and rivers going into oceans thus depleting the ground-water table. Collection pits are being created in urban areas and public parks to harvest it back to the ground-water table which has fallen to incredible depths in many parts of India.
Conservation Features- Recycle, Reuse & Recharge
The Mantra “reduce, recycle and reuse” is importantly addressed in Green Buildings for three basic requirements – Air, Water and Fire (energy source)
For “Air” the mantra is defined as enabling Green Buildings to have uninterrupted access to fresh / clean air inside the building while generating clean air in its vicinity (while being constructed or later when the building is being used by its occupants) The idea is simply to innovatively use design, technology, construction practices and when occupied, sustainable practices to ensure fresh / clean air inside and outside the building.
Similarly for “Water” the mantra in Green Buildings is to have uninterrupted access to fresh / clean water inside the building while generating lowest possible levels of waste water. The waste water, if any, is used in the buildings vicinity for purposes of greening the areas inside and outside. Again, the idea is to innovatively use design, technology, construction practices and when occupied, sustainable practices to ensure fresh / clean water inside and outside the building. To lower dependence on the ground-water table and/or any other municipal source of water.
“Water” management in Green Buildings is critical. Green Buildings ensure that they have uninterrupted access to fresh / clean water for drinking and grey water for Bathrooms and facility management. While great attention to detail is given to ensure that the waste water generated is treated, reused and disposed-off judiciously. The waste water, if any, is used in the buildings’ vicinity for purposes of greening the areas inside and outside. Care is taken to ensure low dependence on the ground-water table and/or any other municipal source of water.
“Natural Light” is used extensively for lighting majority of the building during daylight hours. During non daylight-hours lighting is provided by low-consumption eco friendly lighting by LED lights, CFL bulbs, Solar generated power-backed lighting.
Thursday, 4 July 2013
THE NEW EDIBLE LANDSCAPE
It looks like Leslie’s tips on starting your own edible garden have garnered some serious attention. In the April 2013 issue of Sunset, one of Leslie’s projects is featured as one of ten ways to get planting this spring
Sinker Cypress is one of the most stunning and beautiful woods that we at Arc Wood & Timbers have the honor to reclaim and custom mill for our clients. Its rich color ranges from deep honeycomb gold to dark olive green depending on the water regions where the logs are found. Sinker Cypress (also known as Deadhead Cypress, Heart Cypress, or River Recovered Cypress) describes harvested trees that sank as they floated down rivers in log rafts to the nearest sawmill
Historians estimate that anywhere from 10% to 20% of the logged virgin growth Bald Cypress trees met this watery fate. Most of the Sinker Cypress logs that we salvage from the southeastern region of North America have been under water for the past 80 to 130 years. Radiocarbon studies have dated Sinker Cypress logs as old as 30,000 years. These ancient logs likely blew down millenniums ago in gale force hurricanes. This incredible underwater preservation is a testament to the durability and resiliency of this unique lumber. The heartwood of Sinker Cypress contains Cypressene oil. The highest concentrations of Cypressene are found in the old growth Sinker Cypress logs. This oil creates a natural preservative making Sinker Cypress one of the most rot- and insect resistant woods in the world.
In the words of one of the river loggers we work with, “This stuff doesn’t grow on trees anymore.” And he’s absolutely right. The color and density of grain found in the heartwood of Sinker Cypress cannot be replicated from the younger 2nd or 3rd growth Bald Cypress trees currently harvested in the United States today. As Sinker Cypress logs lay on the swamp and riverbed floors, the wood fiber starts to absorb the minerals and tannins found in the surrounding water to create breathtaking colors. Muddy river bottoms can lend to hues of olive green, while sandy bottoms of water can result in deep, rich reds and golds. Sinker Cypress logs can have 40 to 50 growth rings per inch, creating an extremely dense grain. Many of these old-growth trees were 1,000 to 1,800 years old before they were harvested. This translates to an unparalleled stability in the wood and an appearance that is one-of-a-kind.
Sinker Cypress is an excellent option for interior paneling and ceiling decking, as well as for exterior siding, soffit, trim, doors and windows. It can also be structurally graded for rafters, beam and post applications. The clear “select” grade of Sinker Cypress is ideal for contemporary modern home designs. The #1 or #2 Common grades, which can include knots and light peck, are suitable for more rustic, “mountain” style homes. Highlights of the Sinker Cypress include: • Deep, rich colors ranging from golden honeycomb to dark olive green resulting from underwater aging over the past century. • Clear Vertical Grain “select” grade material is ideal for contemporary modern home interiors and exteriors. • Rich in history and character.
A rare grade of Sinker Cypress, called Pecky Cypress, is caused by a fungus while the tree is still alive. This rare fungus acts as an artisan sculptor by producing narrow oval shaped carvings within the tree’s growth rings while it’s growing. When these Pecky Cypress logs are milled, the peck within the wood fiber creates naturally distressed looking lumber. The fungus disappears once the trees are harvested, leaving behind only its life’s work sculpted into the wood. Pecky Cypress produces paneling and ceiling decking for beautifully rustic interior finishes.
We are continually surprised and captivated by the beauty of this wood and how nature takes its course to preserve and enhance the character and color of Sinker Cypress over time. With every log that we split open, we never know exactly what we are going to find inside as far as grain & color. It’s like unwrapping a present not knowing what you are going to find inside. We find more often than not that our clients choose to finish their Sinker Cypress material with a clear stain or sealer to simply enhance the natural colors of the material. We hope you love Sinker Cypress as much as we do.
Sinker Cypress used for exterior shiplap siding for an Arc Wood & Timbers project in Hawaii.
A native to Northern California, Lance Karnan’s interest in wood started early while working as an apprentice on his Dad’s commercial and residential construction projects. After graduating from the University of San Diego with a degree in business and marketing, he moved to San Francisco. For the next 10 years, Lance worked for both Oracle Corporation and Exodus Communications in contract, sales and management roles. In 2003, Lance left the high-tech world to travel. During his year abroad, he committed to pursuing a livelihood he could be passionate about. Lance wanted to grow a company that made something tangible that could be appreciated from the moment it was delivered to the client. When he returned home, he reunited with his close childhood friend David Ferst to rebuild Arc Wood & Timbers. Lance continues to live in San Francisco with his wife Tammy and their son Luke. Always on the lookout for rare and cool woods, Lance also enjoys skiing, golfing, mountain biking and paddle boarding.
Conceived by architect Milos Milivojevic for a public park in Serbia, this tree-like park folly cleverly supports a solar panel canopy with its sculptural trunk and branches.
The canopy is angled to take advantage of the optimum solar angle while also providing shade for its occupants seated on the wooden bench below. Solar energy from the canopy is used to power a raised black bar in the middle of the bench with flexible hanging cords, offering a place to recharge mobile phones and other multimedia devices while you relax and enjoy the view.
Green Architecture is a term used to describe economical, energy-saving, environmentally-friendly, sustainable development.
Green architecture is becoming increasingly mainstream with the lots of eco-friendly architectural innovations and simple of-the-shelf construction products to help ‘green’ living.
Green architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space.
An eco-friendly space requires planning as much as commitment towards a better future
Principles of Green Architecture
EPrinciples of Green Architecture: Energy Efficiency
• design passive solar energy facilities use energy efficient appliances, solar panels and heat pump technology
• Use of computer sensor controlled energy saving devices; like automatic dimmers for lighting and occupancy sensors to adjust air-conditioning automatically
• centralise plumbing, insulate cold/hot water piping
• Using energy saving lighting like CFL
• Install Monitor Power Management Software
• Use of low power computers
Principles of Green Architecture: Water Conservation
• collect rainwater for external use i.e. garden/washing car
• use water conserving appliances including toilets, shower, taps, washing machine and dish washer eg. Low flow faucets, water saving dual flush tanks
• reduce irrigation and surface water run-off
Principles of Green Architecture:
Low Environmental Impact
• include water permeable landscape features
• enhance native bush and create edible gardens
• establish home recycling bins and garden composting.
Principles of Green Architecture: Building Materials
• Certified Wood - Specify wood from certified sustainably managed forests.
• select low volatile organic compounds (VOC) and toxic-free paints, finishes and adhesives
• use materials that permit the building membrane to 'breathe'
• apply natural floor surfaces such as tile, timber and linoleum
• use sustainable solid timbers rather than processed composite sheet materials
• use inert gypsum-based wall and ceiling linings.
• Rapidly Renewable Materials such as straw, bamboo and some woods
Principles of Green Architecture: Sustainability
• think globally -act locally
• reduce CO2 production, ozone and resource depletion, rainforest destruction and erosion
• encourage environmentally-friendly technologies and sustainable solutions
Principles of Green Architecture: Waste Reduction
• select materials using recycled components
• design for re-use and recycling
• control and reduce waste and packaging
• reduce resource consumption.
Principles of Green Architecture:
Health and Wellbeing
• meet the basic physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the occupants
• consider healthy lighting, colour and sound, controlled temperature and humidity and good indoor air quality to enhance the living environment
• reduce formaldehyde emissions and use pollution fighting indoor plants
• create an asthma aware home i.e. no fitted carpets, reduced ledges, low-allergen gardens
• apply an integrated wiring system for lighting, power, security, fire alarm and audio facilities
• design a safe and user-friendly space
Principles of Green Architecture
: Economic Performance
• consider maintenance of the space plus initial 'running costs' pay-back period
• strive for a balance between ecological integrity and economic viability.
Principles of Green Architecture: Community Support
• use local resources, skills, labour, crafts and art
• consider local facilities and utilities
Points for a Green office
1. Open plan
2. Big atrium
3. Communal desks for multiple users
4. Terra cotta Floor tiles and fly ash bricks are eco-friendly
5. Clear, white walls, eco-paints
6. Large, well-insulated double glazed windows, with solar shades
7. Solar panels
9. Low-energy computers
Eco-friendly buildings are the buzz in the world of sustainable energy. Architects are becoming one with certification programs such as LEED, which offers tools for those within the green building industry. LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy in Environmental Design, sets a standard for improving energy usage and lowering the carbon imprint, as well for innovation and design.