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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wow, what will they think of next?

Green is the new sex -- it's being used to sell everything. It's always especially funny when the real estate developers start telling you how green their handiwork is. A while back we had good laugh when the one builder bragged about how green he was because the windows in his new tower were going to open.

Now the tram-masters at OHSU are blathering about the new campus they're going to build in the Portland's SoWhat District as soon as they find a billion dollars or two lying around somewhere. Not only will it be the center of all of our universes, but it will be green, green, oh so green!

The most recent plan incorporates an impressively long list of environmental features. Among other things, it calls for the street grid to be angled slightly to the north to take full advantage of the sun for passive heating.
Now, there's a good one. We'll get more passive heat in the walls by rotating the streets a little! Man, if they keep this up, we'll have our energy and climate problems solved in no time.

Comments (15)

Are you sure they are not referring to the OHSU biotech campus in Florida? For nine months out of the year, there is no solar heating here in Oregon!

Yes indeed, we will "high-tech" our way out of this energy mess with sustainable futures and continue our go-go American lifestyles unabated on algae/bio-diesel.

The hucksters have piled in. Lucky for them Portland has plenty of new-age goofs with a kindergarten ethos of entitled happy endings and outcomes who will line up to buy into this crap.

While there is probably some merit to facing more building surface area direct to sunlight for radiant heating, trumpeting this as being environmentally friendly is just silly, since there's a good chance that it would be working against you in the hot days of summer, when they're running the HVAC systems on the roof in full AC mode.

Also, aren't those hills that have the rest of OHSU on them kinda gonna get in the way of some late afternoon sun?

The Katz committee determined the original route no longer made sense, especially considering the amount of residential construction now occurring in the North Macadam area.

So does this mean they will re-route the max to cater to privileged a*****e medical professionals and students?

Or maybe the pr***s will all buy condos SoWA and cloister themselves away so they never have to interact with the common person again.

To address the climate crisis (and yes, I'm one of those kindergarteners who believes in this crap) we will probably need to incorporate as many solutions as we can, as well as alter our go-go lifestyle.

Sun angle and street orientation is interesting to me and I wish I had the engineering background to understand what sort of impact this would have on these buildings.

In the summer, the angle of the sun may be high enough where direct exposure at noon is not a big issue. Or at least good building design could create shade in the high-angle season.

I did a quick and unsuccessful search trying to get info about passive solar benefits vs. street angle adjustment costs. If anyone finds anything of value, I'd appreciate the link.

But don't we insulate buildings to help prevent the inside temperature from being changed by the outside temperature? Or will it be a "green" thing to stop using insulation?

Soylent Green is the future.

Musician, that is the case where YOU live in Oregon, but not all over the state. In the big part of Oregon, east of the Cascades, we get over 300 days of sun a year.

Mike -- You are right about the insulation, but this is something that "green" building design and LEED rating system takes into account.

Here is a snippet from the OHSU press release about their SoWa building:

"The south-side fa├žade of the building on the 15th and 16th floors was transformed into a giant solar air heater by creating a 6,000 square foot trombe wall consisting of two glass skins. The warm air produced inside the trombe wall by the greenhouse effect is recirculated through the building in winter reducing the building's energy use."

In the summer, the sunshades double as solar electric generators.

Of course, all of this is hugely expensive and I don't know if/when the savings will recoup the costs.

Good point, pril.

Among other things, it calls for the street grid to be angled slightly to the north to take full advantage of the sun for passive heating.

I don't want to get too overly technical here, but doesn't the sun actually traverse across the southern sky most of the time?

Sorry for cussin' in my last post Jack, I guess OHSU and its affiliations make me a trifle upset...

OHSU doesn't have enough revenue to maintain it's current missions. In order to continue it needs a bail out.
Metro Councilor Brian Newman went to work for OHSU to help snow job the public into handing over many more millions.

The PDC is going to need help too. Despite the charade that they are flush with Pearl cash the PDC is floundering with not enough revenue coming.

What's their answer?
Come up with new big schemes and skim off the top to postpone the inevitable.

Isn't OHSU short of money to fund their CURRENT operations? And they expect the public to pay even more for their inept financial dealings?

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