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The following interesting information just received from Green Clips:  I
would be interested in comments about the first, about Ecolonia and internal
warm walls and natural ventilation systems.  Specifically anyone know where
I can get more information about these innovative building techniques?  The
article about textiles is noteworthy too.  If most of you get this freebie,
I am sorry for the repea; but this particular 'issue' has more fodder than
most.  Sacie Lambertson

Six years after construction began on Ecolonia, a project of 100
demonstration houses with nine different styles and architects in the Dutch
town of Alphen aan de Rijn, most Dutch building contractors are applying only
its more profitable ecological features. Fast money-making features like
non-toxic chalk-composite structural internal building blocks, solar boilers
and roof-mounted heaters, internal warm walls, and natural ventilation
systems have quickly become marketplace items. But other features like the
vegetation-covered roofs of ecological architect Renz Pijnenborgh cost more
than a traditional tile roof and gave no added insulation, concluded a
residents' assessment report published by the semi-governmental agency Novem.
Still, most residents are happy with many of the project's ecological
aspects, particularly the quality of the indoor air that's passed over
waterfalls and through plants for filtering. Residents with air heating
dislike it, preferring well-placed radiator elements - or Pijnenborgh's
heated wall - coupled to a high-efficiency gas boiler with a solar addition.
Tenants say that water-based paints have lost their brightness and need
improvement. Now convinced it's safe for boaters and paddlers, tenants like
the man-made lake with its reed bed that self-cleans gray water.   - Eco
Design, Vol V  No 2, p. 26, by Bill Holdsworth.

The US Department of Transportation's latest Nationwide Personal
Transportation Survey says that, from 1969 to 1995, the vehicle population of
the United States grew six times faster than its human population. The number
of cars has increased two and a half times as fast as the number of
households, and twice as fast as the number of drivers. The number of
vehicles has risen by 144 percent, to 176 million. The number of drivers has
also risen, but only by 72 percent. Drivers used to outnumber cars by 30
percent; now the two are equal. The number of households with three or more
vehicles is 18.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent in 1969. "Inundation is not too
strong a term for it," says transportation expert Alan E. Pisarski. But he
says the growth spurt won't continue - the rush of women into the work force
and of baby boomers into the ranks of licensed drivers has ended. "We're
probably stabilizing at high levels," Pisarski continues, "but the key point
is it doesn't matter, once we have more vehicles than drivers. Unless you
accept the notion that a driver can drive more than one at a time... ."   -
The New York Times, September 21, 1997, p. 18, by Matthew L. Wald.

Usually limited to garden party tents or big tops, textile fabric structures
can bring their material efficiency, adaptability, and thermal and light
diffusing properties to permanent buildings. Strong and lightweight, textile
fabric structures provide more shelter with fewer materials and components
than conventional construction. Tensile structures made of fabrics with
PVC-coated-polyester or Teflon-coated glass fibers can span up to 300 meters.
Despite environmental concerns about these coatings and fibers, the
membranes' high durability saves resources. Averaging 15 to 20 years, the
life span of architectural fabrics compares to flat roofing materials, but
their low materials and energy intensity allows them to be replaced or reused
at relatively low environmental cost. Designing easily-reconfigured fabric
structures around a permanent core creates a highly adaptable building that
can grow and contract, an essential element of a durable and environmentally
responsible building. And using a fabric sandwich with insulating air between
reflective or transmissive membranes controls sunlight and buffers external
conditions. For more information, call the Textile Environmental Network,
Manchester, England, 0161.745.5276.   - Eco Design, Vol V  No 2, p. 36, by
Kate Fletcher.

Writers of the National Master Specification, Canada's leading construction
specification tool, have developed a Guideline for Environmentally Enhanced
Specifications for Construction and Renovation. The NMS Secretariat prepared
the manual to help the Federal Government's designers and specifiers write
green specifications for construction, renovation, demolition, and
deconstruction projects. The manual applies a comprehensive set of criteria
to various NMS sections and offers references, detailed information sources,
examples of greened specifications, and case studies. [For more information,
email Ian Z. Bartlett at the NMS Secretariat, bartleti@pwgsc.gc.ca.]   -
WasteNot, Spring-Summer 1997, p.1, by Ian Z. Bartlett.

Update your specifications - energy efficient lighting technology is
increasingly sophisticated and economical. Boost fluorescent light output at
low cost with specular reflectors. Following poor quality first runs,
reputable manufacturers now offer durable and effective products. And use T5
and T4 ultra-thin fluorescent lamps with small electronic ballasts for higher
lumen-per-watt output than T8 lamps. For downlighting and accent lighting,
consider low-wattage metal halide PAR20 and PAR30 lamps, now with improved
color rendering and stability. For outdoor flood lighting or remote-source
lighting through optical fiber or interreflective film, consider
lollipop-sized electrodeless sulfur lamps that provide incredibly bright
light with a 60,000-hour life.   - The Construction Specifier, August 1997,
p. 35, by Mark Loeffler.

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