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Sustainable Urban Landscape > Energy Conservation
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CONTACT FOR THIS PROGRAM:

Don Schultz

donald.schultz@gcccd.edu

Phone: (619) 660-4023

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Sustainable urban landscaping

ENERGY CONSERVATION

EMBODIED ENERGY

The Energy Lifecycle

Embodied energy is a term used to describe the amount of energy to obtain, manufacture and transport materials to a site.

Some concepts to consider include:

  • Live sustainably by learning to minimize embodied energy.
  • Minimize the distance that products and raw materials travel .
  • Eliminate the chemicals that go into industrial production.
  • Rely on local sources for products whenever possible.
Wikipedia's definition of Embodied Energy

"Embodied energy is defined as the commercial energy (fossil fuels, nuclear, etc) that was used in the work to make any product, bring it to market, and dispose of it. Embodied energy is an accounting methodology which aims to find the sum total of the energy necessary for an entire product lifecycle. This lifecycle includes raw material extraction, transport, manufacture, assembly, installation, disassembly, deconstruction and/or decomposition."  (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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ENERGY EFFICIENT LANDSCAPES

Sustainable Design

Making sustainable landscape design and planning decisions can contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle and reduce costly gas and electric heating and cooling needs.

Design elements to promote passive solar heating (and cooling) include:

  • Select the best house orientation for passive winter heating with south-facing windows.
  • Plant vegetation/trees for shading and wind breaks.
  • Plant deciduous trees near south, east, and west-facing windows to provide shade in the summer. Collect the sun's heat during the winter by planting evergreen trees on the north side of your home to help reduce winter winds.
  • Use thermal mass materials that retain or store heat produced by sunlight or other sources. Dense materials like stone, concrete, or metal are an important component of solar heating and other high efficiency systems.
  • When building, consider orienting windows to the south, or use roof overhangs to help reduce energy use by providing shade in the summer and solar heat gain in the winter.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency— Reducing Energy Use


CHOOSING GREEN MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS

Consider the Life Cycle

The opportunity to reduce our energy usage is a choice that we can make.

The five main stages in the life cycle of a material or product are:

  • Raw material acquisition
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Use of the product or material
  • End-of-life management
"Reducing our environmental impacts requires thinking and learning about not just how we use products, but where they came from and where they're going."

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U.S. EPA Green Building


RENEWABLE SOURCES

Alternate sources of Energy

As the costs of importing petroleum fuels increase and the potable water from dams and reservoirs decrease, the interest in alternate sources of energy has risen. Long term, renewable energy is no longer a distant goal but has become a current necessity.

Some clean and renewable sources include:

  • Solar energy from the radiant energy of the sun.
  • Fuel cell energy using an electrochemical process.
  • Wind energy from wind turbines.
  • Geothermal energy that uses heat from within the earth's surface.
  • Biomass and biogas energy using green waste products.

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The California Center for Sustainable Energy

San Diego Gas and Electric

 

Career Technical Education

This web site is supported by Carl D. Perkins VTEA IC funds through the System. Office, California Community Colleges,
Grant #08-C01-020

Revised  March 20, 2011
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