Presentation on theme: "Building for the End of Oil ( A work in progress ) David Sheridan, P.E. Executive Director, Green Building Association of Central PA Principal, Sustainable."— Presentation transcript:
Building for the End of Oil ( A work in progress ) David Sheridan, P.E. Executive Director, Green Building Association of Central PA Principal, Sustainable Community Development Co.
Peak Oil Concept Hubbard called the U.S. peak and subsequent depletion accurately Some analysts feel global peak has occurred, or will occur soon
Peak Oil, continued Petroleum will not end quickly, but if supply drops as demand continues (or increases), there will be a pronounced impact on economies Aspirations in developing countries will not be put off. Everyone wants the American lifestyle
Global Climate Change Antarctic and arctic ice –Open water absorbs more heat Greenland ice –Melt water lubricates glaciers Loss of glaciers worldwide European temperature extremes
My (humble) opinion Global society (not just the U.S.) is not going to be able to control its petroleum appetite Petroleum price will continue to increase Global climate change has reached a tipping point, and the flywheel continues to spin IT’S TIME TO ADAPT
What does adaptation look like?
Or it may look like any other house
Guiding principles of BFEO Our homes should last for many years During the lifetime of these homes, transitions will occur We need to live comfortably in current petroleum economy We should be able to move through the transition to a post-petroleum economy with relative ease
Elements of BFEO Elements that pertain to the residence –Electric power –Heat –Water and sanitation Elements that pertain to the location –Food –Transportation
Electric power Impact of depleting petroleum –Higher cost to produce power –Decreased reliability of distribution system maintenance
What should we be prepared to do with respect to electric power? Be prepared to produce electric power Be prepared to shed electric power loads within the residence
Making electric power Technology –Photovoltaic? –Wind? –Storage (batteries? hydrogen?) Scale –Individual residences –Aggregated systems Local government to organize? Depends on location
Electric power loads in the house What would the critical loads be? –Heating system (air conditioning?) Heat pump system –Refrigerator –Selected lighting –Home water system components Two wiring systems or a controller? AC or DC?
Building strategy Build to retrofit on-site power generation equipment –Maybe not so far in the future Electric rates will be free of regulation in 3 or 4 years Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard Build to accommodate load shedding Build to retrofit storage –Differing objectives now and later
Heating Start with high-efficiency thermal envelope –Walls, windows, roof, floors We need to take advantage of solar energy –Passive –Active “Supplemental” heating system –“Primary” in the near term
Passive solar Prospect will be unique to the location and orientation Architectural requirements may affect today’s choices –Can we build to retrofit passive solar features?
Active solar Solar hot water has been cost-effective since it was introduced in the 70s Solar collectors may not be acceptable in near term because of aesthetic concerns
Heating through the transition Minimize electric power requirement? Continue to depend on petroleum fuel? Shape of my current thinking: –Hydronic system – maybe radiant heating –How close can we get to solar energy providing “survival” heat?
Water and sanitation Electric power cost will affect the cost of potable water Electric power reliability will affect water reliability Three aspects of water use –Drinking and food preparation –Waste carriage –Washing (bodies and laundry)
Drinking water Rainwater collection – new or retrofit? Cistern and pump in basement or buried with pump vault? Pipe to kitchen (and one bathroom lav?) Filtration Disinfection –Point of use –Ultraviolet light –Silver
Waste carriage Arrange one bathroom to convert to a composting toilet system Leave other toilets connected to plumbing Collect and treat graywater for toilets – now or retrofit? –Bath and shower –Laundry –Sinks
Graywater use Is it allowed by current local codes? Plumb for it, but use potable water for near term? How much storage?
Washing Maintain current practices Curtail when potable water is not available Cistern water – is there enough for this use?
Food – Cooking What kind of stove? –For near term, gas or electric, according to availability and preference –For post-petroleum, both may have limitations
Food – Availability High intensity gardening on available outdoor space (now or future?)
Food – Availability Our system for putting food on our tables depends utterly on cheap petroleum To improve our food security, we must decrease the distance our food travels
Providing food – the spectrum of possibilities Depend on the free market to adjust Community-supported agriculture maintained by the farmer Contract with the farmer to provide food Own and operate agricultural activities
Can we wait to “retrofit”? “Retrofit” would entail waiting for the free market to adjust to depleting petroleum Risk of losing farmland to development in the meantime Risk of farmers leaving farming
Additional benefit of local, balanced agriculture It brings people back to the land, encouraging stewardship It provides meaningful employment opportunities
And finally, transportation In the post-petroleum economy: –We need to place our residences in locations that do not bind us to the automobile –We need means of traveling longer distances without depending solely on automobiles
In-town location Town with railroad tracks (or right-of-way) Accommodate automobiles in the near term Perhaps shared cars in the longer term Open additional food-growing areas by decreasing parking
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