Category Archives: “Green” Homes

Improving the Water-use Efficiency of the Shower Head

The bathroom shower is major contributor to water usage in the American home.  But in the future, that need not be the case. A Dymaxion bathroom (circa post-WWII), designed by Buckminster Fuller, was equipped with “fog gun” hot water vapor … Continue reading

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Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House

In October 2016, with my grandson James, I visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  To my surprise, tucked away in one corner of the museum, was a large aluminum structure shaped like a Hersey’s kiss.  To my surprise … Continue reading

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Annabelle Crank: Navajo Rug Weaver Extraordinaire

I first met Annabelle Crank several years ago while working with colleagues to bring indoor water and power to her very isolated home on the southern slopes of Navajo Mountain.  To get to her place you have to make several … Continue reading

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Adding Lights to Swing Sets: A Beta Test

Several of the areas where we work are near the equator:  Uganda, Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Ecuador.  That means that their 24-hour days are evenly split year-around between daytime and nighttime.  Since it starts to get dark around 6 pm, we’ve … Continue reading

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“Rural Studio” and the $20,000 Home

A recent Time magazine article (30 Sep 2013), discusses Rural Studio, an arm of Auburn University’s architecture department.  The reason the article caught my eye is because the Auburn program was the model behind a Utah program called DesignBuildBluff or DBB. DBB … Continue reading

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Occupy Wall Street: Is it Really Leaderless?

Van Jones is a past radical who joined the Obama adminstration for a short period of time early in the President’s administration.  According to Time magazine: . . . Van Jones (is) a Tennessee-born activist who just two years earlier had … Continue reading

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Water Treatment: Forward Osmosis

Osmosis is the transport of water across a selectively permeable membrane from a region of higher water chemical potential to a region of lower water chemical potential.  And Forward Osmosis (FO), according to Wikipedia is:    . . . an … Continue reading

Posted in "Green" Homes, Drinking Water, Engineers Without Borders, Environment, Navajoland, Technology | 1 Comment

Water and Energy Modules for Navajo Outposts

On August 12th, I was given a tour of a solar-powered water and energy supply module designed to provide modern amenities for Navajos living in isolated locales in the Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.  The demonstration unit was designed and … Continue reading

Posted in "Green" Homes, Drinking Water, Navajoland, Technology | 2 Comments

Water Conservation: Toilet-to-Tap Taboo

On a recent Saturday Night Live skit (23 Sep 2011), Steve Martin interrupted an Alec Baldwin monologue to tell him he needed a steroid test before he could host the program.  Alec goes behind a screen and comes back with … Continue reading

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Case Study for a Zero Energy Home (Cold Climate)

The following references provide design information for a 1,280-square-foot, three-bedroom Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver zero energy home that combines envelope efficiency, efficient equipment, appliances and lighting, and passive and active solar features to reach the zero energy goal. … Continue reading

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