Making it Easier to be Green
Green design includes energy conservation, but that's not what it's all about. It's about having good air quality both indoors and outdoors, making the environments in which we work, live, study and play healthier and more comfortable and conserving all of our natural resources.
This site will provide a balanced, holistic view that includes advice about saving energy, water and other natural resources, improving indoor air quality, using environmentally responsible design and construction techniques and minimizing waste.

I will be focusing on interiors for three reasons:

  • We spend about 90% of our time indoors.
  • Buildings in the United States annually consume about 30% of our total energy and 75% of our electricity.
  • As a New York State Certified Interior Designer and a LEED Accredited Professional, I want to share my knowledge and expertise with you.
Sustainable design and construction can be done in many different styles and using a wide variety of materials. There are examples of healthy, sustainable, comfortable and inviting interiors for commercial, not-for-profit and residential clients on the web site for Interior Design Solutions.
You can use the labels on the sidebar to locate entries that you want to read. For instance, most people might want to look at the entries for "Green Homes," but "Green Finance" would be of more interest to professionals involved in the design, construction, management, financing and marketing of buildings.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Green Computing Initiatives


Computers consume a lot of energy, especially when you factor in the amount of energy used in air conditioning server facilities. Energy consumption and cost driven by growing demand for computer services is a major problem for many organizations. Data centers in the United States consume annually more than 62 billion kilowatt hours of electricity - equivalent to the amount used by approximately 5.8 million U.S. households - for a total cost of about $4.5 billion. If current trends continue, that usage could double by 2011. The good news is that there are a number of ways in which you can decrease the energy use and cost associated with computers.

Throughout Your Office, School or Home
  • Purchase only energy-efficient hardware (Energy-Star should be the minimum requirement for all new equipment).
  • Replace desktops with laptops in areas of light usage *
  • Replace CRT monitors with flat screens *
  • Consolidate peripheral equipment. Using shared printers in centralized locations not only saves energy, it can improve indoor air quality.   
  • Use power management features to turn off equipment when not in use
  • Deactivate screen savers, which waste energy
  • When you will not be using a computer for several hours, power it down and turn the power strip off to eliminate "vampire energy" drain.
  • For schools and offices that have centralized computer facilities, consider replacing distributed computers with thin clients. Thin clients depend primarily on the central server for processing activities, and mainly focuses on conveying input and output between users remote servers.
For Data Centers
  • Evaluate potential of software applications to be migrated to external web facilities. Email is a prime candidate for outsourcing.
  • Consolidate servers. You may have twice as many as you need. *
  • Replace older servers with more energy-efficient ones. *
  • Reconfigure server layout to avoid "hot spots."
  • Adjust room temperature. Many server rooms are colder than they need to be.
  • Use energy-management software.
  • Consider alternate cooling methods. For instance, IBM's Rear Door Heat eXchanger "cooling doors" reduce server heat output at the source.
  • For large data centers, consider co-generation. Co-generation is on-site production of electricity and heating or cooling, and is considerable more efficient than using electricity from the grid.
* Make sure that all e-waste is disposed of responsibly.
For additional information about advances in server room design, please consult the following post on the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire:
http://www.csrwire.com/press/press_release/25472-IBM-Unveils-Plan-to-Combat-Data-Center-Energy-Crisis-Allocates-1-Billion-to-Advance-Green-Technology-and-Services

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