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The rise in energy costs has caused many to wonder as to what will happen in the near future to prices of energy. You and a group of experts are looking into the possibility of creating better homes at affordable costs. This resource will provide with a green building education kit to further teach this lesson. This sample investigation will provide many specifics to look for when grading different projects on green building. This sample investigation can serve as a means to get students to transfer their learning outside of the classroom.
This teacher resource provides many recycling lesson plans that can be incorporated in this PBL lesson. This teacher resource provides many ideas as to what other schools across the nation are doing in regards to energy conservation.
This resource provides interactive quizzes and other activities to see how green is your school. This website resource will give you an article that talks about affordable, energy star houses.
This will provide you with reasons to build green for your presentation at the end of your project. Book References: The following book references will provide many things to look for when developing your designs. Academic Journal Articles: The following journal articles provide an extensive details about building codes, building initiatives, designing, and updates with regards to energy conservation. Now that you are familiar with investigating different homes that can be build in a new subdivision that would be both economical and energy efficient, you will write everything you know about Conserving Energy, Home Manufacturing Costs, and Business. Below is a rubric that will make the expectations clearer and will provide a developmental road map for you. You list things you know, don’t know, or wonder about Conserving Energy, Home Manufacturing Costs, and Business.
You think through the situation even more and examine your understanding to be accurate, and the possible implications regarding Conserving Energy, Home Manufacturing Costs, and Business. You analyze your prior knowledge to see if it makes sense regarding Conserving Energy and Home Manufacturing Costs. You describe your understanding to be accurate or not based on your prior knowledge about Home Manufacturing Costs.
You support your ideas with the best explanations and reasons you currently have about Conserving Energy, Home Manufacturing Costs, and Business.
You give some reasons for why you think what you think about Conserving Energy and Home Manufacturing Costs. Below is a rubric that will make the expectations clearer and will provide a developmental road map for you and your team. A rich list of questions with contributions from each participating team member regarding what can be done to about Conserving Energy, Home Manufacturing Costs, and Business.
Each participating member contributes a variety of questions about Conserving Energy and Home Manufacturing Costs.
Multiple perspectives are weighed as members begin to answer questions regarding what can be done to prepare for about Conserving Energy, Home Manufacturing Costs, and Business. Different perspectives emerge as most members begin to answer most team questions about Conserving Energy and Home Manufacturing Costs. More than one perspective is apparent as some members begin to answer some team about Home Manufacturing Costs. Individual perspectives remain separate since individual members answer only their own questions about Conserving Energy. Answers are partially supported and the kind of evidence needed to support them is described about Conserving Energy, Home Manufacturing Costs, and Business. Answers are partially supported with evidence from experience, prior research or reading about Conserving Energy and Home Manufacturing Costs.
A thorough investigation is planned and described with individual roles, types of resources and expected about Conserving Energy, Home Manufacturing Costs, and Business. An investigation that builds on itself with ways for team members to share as they do research, not just at the end about Conserving Energy and Home Manufacturing Costs. The questions are divided up to be answered by different group members about Conserving Energy. A problem statement is discussed in terms of how it addresses about Conserving Energy and Home Manufacturing Costs. A problem statement is accepted and an explanation is given about Home Manufacturing Costs. A problem statement is suggested and accepted without considering other options about Conserving Energy.
Tip: To turn text into a link, highlight the text, then click on a page or file from the list above. Energy efficiency is not only pivotal for the environment: it is also a necessary condition for higher economic growth. The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based organization made up of 29 member states, has stated that improving energy efficiency could reduce global consumption of energy by one third over the course of the next four decades. By stimulating an open competition of ideas, crowdsourcing can play a central role in the development of new opportunities for energy efficiency. But this solution is also an attractive one for solvers: by entering an open innovation tournament, engineers are able to explore a wide field of solutions, with no restrictions to their creativity.
Keeping up the pace with economic growth is fundamental for making a more sustainable use of our resources. There are many ways to make your house more energy efficient and save money in the process. Reducing house heat or cooling loss through the attic can we one of the best things to focus on to make your house more energy efficient -- especially if it is an older house. Fibre insulation is typically blown into the attic or laid down in rolled sections called batts. Each of these materials have "R" values which represents the materials resistance to heat flow. Rolled in insulation can be a fairly easy do-it-yourself project, but blown in insulation is almost often a professional job. Blown in insulation has an additional advantage over rolled in insulation as it doesn't leave gaps in which heat or cool can escape. Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 1 ton of carbon dioxide a year. Spray-in foam sealing is a different approach to energy loss and is becoming more popular in new home construction. Spray in foam is almost always professionally installed and is applied to the underside of your roof and completely seals the attic from any air leaks from the attic.
This approach is very energy efficient and substantially reduces the temperature of your attic in the summer and increases it in the winter as the temperatures more closely represent those that are in your living spaces.
However, if you have window that aren't leaky, their energy performance can be substantially improved by adding energy efficient window film. This film allows most visible light to pass through (usually around 80%), they blocking almost all (usually close around 98%) of harmful ultraviolet light from entering the house, and they block most infrared solar heat from penetrating the window. Energy efficient window films can be installed professionally or they can be a do-it-yourself project. If it is determined that your ducts are leaky, they can either be fixed by replacing sections or sealing them with tape or spray-on sealant or the duct system could be completely replaced.
In addition to sealing leaks, the energy efficiency of your ducts can be improved by adding insulation to the ducts if they do not have them. In a house, there could be problem areas where there are air is allowed to leak from or into the house. If the house is determined to be leaky, the professional will typcially walk around the house use a smoke pencil to emit a safe smoke that in areas that may be leaking that can then be seen emerging from the ouside of the house or into the attic or crawl space if an actual leak is present. Thermal leaks are areas that could come from air leaks, but may also be areas where heating or cooling is escaping without any air leakage.

Thermal imaging uses a special camera to identify which makes areas of heat or cold easily that are different from the surrounding areas easily identifiable. The images to the left show an area around a window using a normal camera and using a thermal camera . Thermal imaging is typically done by a professional because the best thermal cameras can be very expensive, but if you have one or want to buy one, using it to find hidden leaks in your house can be relatively easy. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) are four times as efficient as incandescent lights, they last up to ten times longer and they use 50-80% less energy.
Early CFLs had very cold, bright light that was not as "warm" and liked as much as incandescent lighting but more recent products offer have now closely matched the preferred incandescents light. Another are of dislike for CFLs is that unlike incandescent or LED lighting they take time to warm up to full lighting. Similar to CFLs, early generation of LEDs had a cold, bright light, but recent versions can produce light almost identical to incandescents in warmth. The only downside of LEDs is the cost which is quite a bit more expensive than CFLs but over the life of the bulb will be cheaper than CFLs.
While more efficient incandescent lights such as halogen lighting have existed for a long time, there is continued research and development of of energy efficient incandescent lighting. Some manufactures like Philips already have a newer generation of incandescent bulbs that are around 30% more efficient.
The following table compares some of the key characteristics of LED, CFL and Incandescent bulbs. The following tble compares the total houshold cost for LED, CFL and Incandescent bulbs over 50,000 hours, assuming 25 bulbs per houshold.
This clearly illustrates the long term cost savings of both LED and CFL over incandescent and even though LED lights are ore expensive than CFLs, they still are slightly cheaper over the long term.
If you house has and old furnace or central air conditioning system, a great way to improve energy efficiency is to upgrade to new energy efficient systems.
Forced air heating is a traditional heating system that utilizes gas burners which then heat a large metal chamber. The trick to saving money with a radiant heating system is to connect an individual water heater to the boiler.
Solar energy, clean and renewable power source, is becoming more widely adopted today due to decreasing cost, tax incentives and leasing options. Photovoltaic systems use solar panels to gather and directly convert the sun’s energy into electricity.
Although power can of course, only be generated in daylight hours, in many areas of the country, house owners can be setup by their power company to be paid for energy they generate.
PV systems can be expensive, costing tens to twenty thousand for small systems up to a hundred thousand dollars or more for a large mansion. An additional option for PV systems is to lease them from companies who pay for all the installation costs and maintenance, and the "sell" you energy at rates lower than traditional power companies. The shortage in non-renewal energy has caused the price for energy costs to sky rocket in the recent years.
You have been given the role of head supervisor for a Home Manufacturing Company that got together with a group of head consultants from the Environmental Protection Agency.
In one or two sentences, you should be able to describe what it is that your group is trying to solve, produce, respond to, or find out. Since each level of the rubric is qualitative, you will recognize if your work is a level 1 or can look to a level 2 to see the next best thing to improve it. Since each level of the rubric is qualitative, you and your team will recognize if your work is a level 1 or can look to a level 2 to see the next best thing to improve it.
An Earth systems approach to the themes of Earth in space and time, solid Earth, and fluid Earth defined the selection and development of the concepts described in this paragraph. The geosphere is a collection of complex, interacting, dynamic subsystems linking Earth's interior to its surface. ESS has three strands used throughout each of the three themes: systems, energy, and relevance. A system is a collection of interacting physical, chemical, and biological processes that involves the flow of matter and energy on different temporal and spatial scales. The uneven distribution of Earth's internal and external thermal energy is the driving force for complex, dynamic, and continuous interactions and cycles in Earth's subsystems.
Techniques for working with spatial figures and their properties are essential in understanding underlying relationships. By reducing the amount of energy that we need to use in order to provide goods and services, we are able to lower costs while also cutting down our emissions.
In order to reach such goal, our approach to energy efficiency must combine cost-effectiveness and innovation. From the organizational point of view, it is a chance for companies to combine their internal quest for innovation with a creative and open environment where different processes emerge. This entrepreneurial path may take them down the road of incremental improvements or may lead them developing disruptive opportunities. From appliances to construction, from manufacturing to transportation, energy efficiency is all around us. The higher the R value, the better the insulation of that material and, in general, the more expensive the material is. A thermal shield is a thin layer (looks like tin foil) that reflects radiant heat escaping from your living areas back into them instead of letting it escape into the attic. This means that in the summer about 70% of solar heat is prevented from entering your house and in the winter, about 40% of heat is prevented from escaping to the outside through your windows. The problem is, that over time, the duct system that carries the hot or cool air develops leaks and becomes inefficient.
This means heating or cooling is lost to the outside making your house less efficient than it should be. For this test, a door is removed from the house and a blower door is temporarily installed that blocks the opening except for the section that icludes a blower or fan. With the thermal image, you can clearly see that there is an area around the window that has a thermal leak that is not visible from either the inside or outside that needs to be addressed. However, some hidden leaks can be very subtle so it may be easy for a an inexperienced person to miss the leak when looking at a thernal image.
While they are initially more expensive, they will be cheaper over the medium and long term. While the quantities included in a bulb are so low to not be of concern to a household that breaks one, the amount of mercury that could potentially be exposed to the environment as they fail and are thrown away is a long term concern for these bulbs. They last up to five to ten times as long as CFLs and are generally over twice as efficient as CFLs.
THere is a misconception that based on recent laws, incandescent lights bulbs will become illegal, but in fact the law only set standards for lighting efficiency that must be made and any technology can be used.
While no where near as efficient as CFLs or LEDs, they are lower cost options of improving lighting efficiency and further development could improve this. It should be noted that bulb costs can change rapidly, the cost for power varies widely from region to region and new generations of bulbs further improve performence. The air is pushed over the metal chamber, warmed and then forced through ducts into various rooms by an electrical fan. They are extremely energy efficient, but they tend to be more complex in that they can double as an air conditioner.
The heated water is run through pipes in the floor (or walls) and the floor gets warm as the heat radiates into the living area.
The boiler is responsible for heating the water that circulates through the baseboard radiators or the tubing in the floor. This will heat a greater volume of water more efficiently than a conventional water heater.
During daylight, the photovoltaic cells which are arranged on a grid like pattern on the solar panel’s surface collect the sunlight and turn it into direct electricity and an inverter converts direct current to alternating current that is usable in a house. This enables a strategy where a owner installs a system which generates more energy than need in peak energy periods (where cost is the highest) -- this excess energy is then "sold" to the power company at high rates which then offset the cost of energy purchased in hours of darkness.
This is a good option for saving money and reducing up front costs, but in the end, you of course can never reduce your electricity cost to zero.

This is commonly used for heating homes, providing hot water, heating swimming pools, and space heating. Your job will consist of investigating different homes that can be built in a new subdivison that would be both affordable and energy efficient.
Don't be tempted to start thinking about potential solutions or to start looking for information. Just use the information given and write the facts that you already know about Conserving Energy .
The problem statement may have to be revised as new information is discovered and brought to bear on the situation. Students should be able to distinguish between scientific decision-making methods and ethical and social decisions that involve the application of scientific information. All systems have basic properties that can be described in terms of space, time, energy, and matter. Advances in technologies continue to further our understanding of the origin, evolution, and properties of Earth and planetary systems within a chronological framework.
The geosphere is composed of materials that move between subsystems at various rates driven by the uneven distribution of thermal energy. These subsystems interact with the biosphere and geosphere resulting in complex biogeochemical and geochemical cycles.
Earth's system is composed of interdependent and interacting subsystems of the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere within a larger planetary and stellar system. These interactions are responsible for the movement of matter within and between the subsystems resulting in, for example, plate motions and ocean-atmosphere circulation. Students use a variety of representations (concrete, pictorial, numerical, symbolic, graphical, and verbal), tools, and technology (including, but not limited to, calculators with graphing capabilities, data collection devices, and computers) to solve meaningful problems by representing and transforming figures and analyzing relationships. As they do mathematics, students continually use problem-solving, language and communication, connections within and outside mathematics, and reasoning (justification and proof).
That is why the concept of energy efficiency goes hand in hand with the idea of sustainable development. That is the beauty of crowdsourcing: it empowers all sorts of approaches because, at the end of the day, only an open approach to knowledge is able to truly elevate the quality of our solutions. That is why the idea of doing more with less will always be a priority for companies… and an opportunity for engineers. The amount of insulation or R-value you'll need depends on your climate, type of heating and cooling system, and the section of the house you plan to insulate.
When installed in the attic, it can be either laid on top of the rafters, or applied to the underside of the attic roof or a combination of both.
There are many manufacturers of these products and you can dial the performance you'd like to certain level.
Since the ducts typically run through the attic, or in the basement or under-house crawl space, the leaks mean heat or cool is lost to non-living spaces. To do this, all of the vents where heating or cooling enters your living spaces are blocked (with tape or temporarily installed coverings) and then a blower is applied to the ducts to pressurize the duct system and then leakage is measured with a professional tool.
When installed and turned on, air pressure will build in the house and special instruments will measure how air-tight your house is.
An example of this type of leak is an area in walls or ceilings that does not have adequate insulation or where the insulation was improperly installed or damaged. They use no mercury, so are better for the environment, and they are more durable as their construction is more solid so they better withstand jarring or bumping. Since hot air rises, the air near the ceiling may reach 82 degrees while the air near the floor might be only 69 degrees. Heat pumps are run by electricity, but the electricity used in a heat pump operates differently then expected.
With hydronic forced air applications, heated water is passed through several long, narrow baseboard-style radiating units and a blower pushes the cool air across the units. However, they also use less energy than comparable forced air systems which will end up saving homeowners lots of money. Without a sufficient amount of heated water, the baseboard radiation and tubing will not have enough heated water to radiate into the home. The truth is that conventional water heaters heat about 40 to 50 gallons of water in an hour at 55% efficiency.
Using this strategy, a solar energy house owner can drive energy cost to zero or near zero.
Return on investment analysis typically creates a break even scenario in five to ten years. Usually, space and hot water heaters use a storage tank to store the heated water while pool heaters recycle the water by using collectors, often placed on the roof which use the sun to heat the water and return it to the pool or hot water heater.
The idea is to design homes that cost less to build and that will conserve the most energy. Change and constancy occur in systems as patterns and can be observed, measured, and modeled. The origin and distribution of resources that sustain life on Earth are the result of interactions among Earth's subsystems over billions of years.
These dynamic processes are responsible for the origin and distribution of resources as well as geologic hazards that impact society. The global ocean is the thermal energy reservoir for surface processes and, through interactions with the atmosphere, influences climate. Change and constancy occur in Earth's system and can be observed, measured as patterns and cycles, and described or presented in models used to predict how Earth's system changes over time. Students also use multiple representations, technology, applications and modeling, and numerical fluency in problem solving contexts. It reduces energy loss by stopping heat or cool from escaping from your living areas into the attic.
With an older house or in a house where ducts could have been damaged, leakage could range up to 50% or more which is a huge loss of energy efficiency and money waste. These types of leaks cannot be detected with a blower test (see above) so require another method to identify called thermal imaging. Radiant heating systems can use 20% to 40% less energy to heat the same space, while maintaining a much more comfortable heat level. By connecting a conventional water heater to a boiler, it will heat 200 gallons or more in an hour at 87% or more efficiency. The cost to maintain a home that is not energy efficient almost doubles when compared to homes that are energy efficient. You will look at the costs for different types of materials such as roofing, wall materials, insulation, windows, and appliances as you look to "build" these homes. Homes that include vaulted ceilings experience enormous comfort and efficiency challenges with forced air systems. With heat pumps, more energy is supplied than consumed, simply because heat is extracted from the air and water within its surroundings.
You will compile these designs with details as to what each material costs and how much energy will be conserve using that type of material. Students should analyze a system in terms of its components and how these components relate to each other, to the whole, and to the external environment.
Furthermore, conventional systems often leave houses with hot and cold spots as well as drafts. When purchasing a system look for "Energy Star" rated systems that have the highest efficiency you can afford. Another advantage of heat pumps is because the run off electricity, if you install a solar system, you can potentially power your heating and cooling systems for free or at reduced cost. Additionally, you have the option of installing geothermal run heat pumps which run long pipes through ground to use the near constant temperature of the earth as a very efficient method to generate heating and cooling in even more efficient fashions than standard heat pumps. As with forced air systems, look for "Energy Star" rated systems and buy the highest efficiency system you can afford.

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