tger greenhaddock: Becoming greener

Friday, March 23, 2007

Becoming greener

In the next couple of weeks Marburg is going to decide whether it should be made compulsory for all new buildings (including private homes) constructed in the Marburg area to have solar panel included on the roof. I think this is a tremendous idea and hope they decide in favour of it. It is still under discussion whether both types of solar panel (PV for electric and absorption for heating water) will be compulsory. Personally I hope they make both compulsory. I do regret not having solar fitted when we had the house built, but finances became tight and some extras we had to do without. But if it had been compulsory we would have found the money somehow.

On our housing estate it was compulsory to have an under ground rain water tank attached to the gutters of the house. Out tank holds 4500 litres of rain water when full and is plumbed to supply our toilets, washing machine and outside tap for watering the garden. I think this is a great idea as during heavy rains the tanks fill up first before the run off enters the rainwater sewer. In our estate the rainwater sewer is separate from the toilet sewer. The rainwater sewer then goes to a filtered reed bed and the overflow from there goes to the river Lahn. This system slows down the rainwater reaching the river thus helping to prevent flooding. It also of course helps lower our water bill and helps conserve water.

Marburg is quite a green town really. A lot of the buses run on natural gas or bio diesel. Also a lot of buildings and houses have solar fitted already. There are 3 wind turbines and they are planning to build more.

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Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

I'm always fascinated to hear what other communities are doing. The water system you mention is particularly intriguing!

March 23, 2007 11:58 PM  
Anonymous lillian said...

WOW maybe they could come and help fight the smog here in Chiang Mai....

March 24, 2007 1:58 AM  
Blogger Lyn said...

Excellent ideals... excellent blog... will be back...

March 24, 2007 2:58 AM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I think they are thinking ahead or at least way of north america which is bass ackwards as usual!

March 24, 2007 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Maribeth said...

We had solar hot water in Florida when we lived there. It was a wonderful way to heat our water, especially since Florida is the land of sunshine.
We did not put it in here, instead spending the money on an under the floor heating system that is very economical, and also spending the money on insulation of the house.
Although I am sure a solar panel or two would do some good here, I'm thinking that perhaps not as much as it did in FL as we do not have the sunny skies that we had there.

March 25, 2007 3:10 PM  
Blogger Ex-Shammickite said...

That's awesome, solar panels on every roof, and a rainwater tank to supply toilets, washers etc. What foresight! Here in Canada, we just use, use, use. There are some wind turbines for electicity, and a few solar panels, but both water and electricity have always been cheap and abundant, no serious thoughts of conserving or planning for the future. And Canada supposedly has 25% of the world's fresh water.

March 25, 2007 3:12 PM  
Blogger heza said...

Great post to inform others what your community is doing to be more energy efficent and incorporating passive water quality measures.

It's great that Maribeth opted for better housing insulations, that is where most of our energy consume comes from, worse than autos.

Personally, I hope all new buildings are built more like passive houses before they opt for solar cell technology. Photovoltaic system efficiency is short for the money.

March 25, 2007 9:03 PM  
Blogger Haddock said...

L.L.Barakat - Water management is an issuw whisvh I think is seriously overlooked.

Lillian - I see from your blog that the smog can be quite serious at times.

Lyn -thanks for the visit. Hope to see you again soon :)

ET - Germany is quite forward thinking in this area. They could have taken a major lead in the bio-fuels area but decided to tax them too high.

Maribeth - Thats great that you had solar to heat your water in FL. I believe the efficency of the systems used are getting better all the time, and maybe could be used in your current location :)

Ex- shammickite - I think in the future water will become more of a precious resource. At least you will still have plenty! :)

Heza - One of our main critrea we considered when we chose which house to have built was the energy efficency. We opted for a highly insulated one. Most houses built in Germany nowadays are low enegery, and I certainly agree that insulating older houses to make them more energy efficent should be done first before fitting solar :)

March 26, 2007 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Sue said...

I think it is important that we all start thinking about greener alternatives on a global scale. Interesting read! Thank you.

Cheers from Toronto, Canada!

March 26, 2007 3:32 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

It is pretty amazing that they would suggest it. We are thinking of putting some panels on next spring. We also have the rain collector. It has been shocking to me since returning to the States this weekend about how so many here just shrug off the environment.

March 27, 2007 2:43 AM  
Blogger bigbikerbob said...

A great blog with Germany certainly high in the efficiency league, dear old blighty dragging its heels as usual.

April 03, 2007 10:45 AM  
Blogger Blueyes said...

It actually makes sense to do this especially with all new buildings built because it will save on the energy bills for us sure but will help maintain a better environment without all the electrical garbage and byproducts of whatever we do. If we have well for drinking water in some areas why not tanks to catch rain water to supply toilets, etc. Google took a HUGE step in adding solar panels to the googleplex in CA and overall they are going to reap the profits from that not to mention the energy they will be able to put out.

April 04, 2007 1:40 PM  

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