Monday, 3 April 2017

Odds and ends

In 1962 Bob Dylan was worried that the world would be engulfed in nuclear holocaust and he would not have time to write all the songs he had ideas for. So he put them together into one song: A hard rain's gonna fall. Fifty four years later he won the Nobel prize for literature, and Patti Smith sang that song in Stockholm. 

I'm not too worried about nuclear holocaust, and would be even more speechless than Dylan to receive a Nobel Prize, but I do have over 700 emails in my drafts box, of which over 100 are nascent blog posts. So here are some of the bits, all thrown into one mass of mildly interesting information.


Interesting piece here from January 2008 by Dr Andrew J Marsh saying the biggest energy savings can be made in the first couple of weeks of the design process. If you read nothing else about low energy building, read this!

Should cups be made out of plastic or paper, or neither? That old chestnut!


A Passive House building in Sweden using thermal mass
A passive house retrofit of a block of flats in the UK

A passive house in Ireland

A Japanese company providing dome houses

A guy who built a house in about six weeks.

A very cool-looking shed

Increasingly random but not necessarily any more interesting

Solar powered airships

How to market green building features to home buyers
A nice design for a desk light
A recipe for white concrete 
Primary energy factors - how much energy was used to get the energy to your house

Pros and cons of induction heating

A paper on Phase Change materials for thermal energy storage by Alvaro de Graciaa, Luisa F. Cabezab (Energy and Buildings, 103, 15 September, 2015)

And if you're still thinking about building an igloo, but wondering what the U value will be, here is a forumla for the thermal conductivity of snow depending on its density ρ (in g/cm3):

keff = 0.138 - 1.01ρ + 3.233ρ2 {0.156 ≤ ρ ≤ 0.6}

This puts compressed snow at around 0.2 W/mK, which is slightly worse than wood.