Green Building

Santa Clara Agrihood Project Needs Your Support!

agrihood 1An exciting and innovative project called the Agrihood, that is to be located in Santa Clara, by Valley Fair needs your support.
The Agrihood Project is a creative solution that will include affordable housing for seniors, veterans, as well as market rate units, and the best part:  an urban farm!  The plan for this farm is to be both a working farm as well as a model farm for the rest of the world.

While it was the understanding of EGG members whom visited the California Native Garden Foundation  (CNGF) recently that this project is a “done deal”, until work starts on the farm, the CNGF wants to leave nothing to chance.

Therefore will you please come out and add your support for this vital project on Tuesday Nov.29, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm?  There will be a special session at the Santa Clara City Council chambers located at 1500 Warburton Dr., Santa Clara, CA, where community members may voice their support for this project.

While the project does have a green light, there are a few people who may try to derail this project.  Due to this concern Alrie Middlebrook, President of CNGF wants to ensure that there is enough support for this project.  At the Nov 29, meeting there may be people who will be voicing concerns about traffic, etc. Middlebrook says, “We need to speak with solidarity.” Will you come and speak for 2 minutes about why you think this development is good for our community? Please speak from your personal perspective.  If you can speak, please let CNGF know by calling (408) 292-9993 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

At former council presentations people wore yellow t-shirts in support of this most important project.  If you have one of these t-shirts please wear it. Otherwise, Alrie Middlebrook and her staff will bring t-shirts for anyone who has not participated before while welcoming all of the supporters starting at 4:30 pm in front of the meeting location.

Core will be making the first submission for the project on Dec. 5, to Santa Clara staff. CNGF is writing grants every week to bring more funds to this project so we can create a model that will work for the whole urban farming community and it is our hope that this project will set a high standard for sustainable land use in Santa Clara county.

Your support, engagement and ideas are needed to demonstrate to the politicians that our community values a model that addresses economic and social disparities as well as sustainable land use priorities. That productive urban farming models are part of a solution for a food system that is currently unsustainable.
Date:  Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Time:  5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where:  Santa Clara City Hall located at 1500 Warburton Dr., Santa Clara, CA

Smart City Security Guidelines

securing smart cities logoIn our quest to conserve energy and decrease our energy footprint in our cities of the future, we are focusing kaspersky lab logoon providing a secure infrastructure to protect against those who will inevitably try to hack and distrupt our efforts. Securing Smart Cities is a global not-for-profit organization that is working towards these goals. This organization has released guidelines that is the foundation for putting in place a secure infrastructure.

Some key contributors to this agenda are Kaspersky Labs and Blue Karma Security. blue karma security logo

For more information please contact Alex Mednick, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sustainability & the New San Jose Firehouse

sj firehouse 4San Jose has recently completed construction and putting into service a new firehouse. It is located on White Road near Lake Cunningham. Engine 21 resides here. On January 23, 2016 they had an open house to show off this new building and community safety resource. I had the opportunity of visiting this new station during their open house. Mayor Licardo and Vice Mayor Rose Herera were present as well as other City officials. I chatted with several firefighters who make this their home away from home. They are really quite pleased with station. It has an open artchitecture, it is modern, it has many comfort ammenities, and it provides the space necessary to store three firefighting vehicles as well as tons of support equipment. There is plenty of parking and a nice size service yard.

I had a chance to talk to the architect of the building; Dominique. He told me that they did sj firehouse 3not outsource the design of the building but rather relied on internal city employees to facilitate the design of which he was the key artchitect involved. I asked if he could highlight any design points which supported sustainability. He said that much of the building materials were chose to utilize recycled materials, all wood was green certified, and as much of the furnishing utilized recylced materials as they could arrange. The lighting uses LED lighted throughout. The building uses windows with an eye towards minimizing the need for internal lighting.

I talked with several firefighters about the overall sustainablity practices of the San Jose Fire department. I was told that they have really cut down on the program of testing fire hydrants throughtout the city to save on water (I don't know if this is good or bad!). When at fires they have a new mandate to prevent the flow of tainted water into the curb gutters. Lastly, they have installed water storage/collection tanks at their training facilities to be able re-use water that is used for their training exercises.

It was a very interesting open house and of course, the kids absolutely loved it (They received free firehats!).

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Water Leak Detection Made Simple

A Presentation by Nancy Hartsoch 

DSC 5813 mediumAging plumbing, outdated distribution systems and equipment malfunctions cost property owners billions of dollars in water damage and loss annually. Despite the severity of the problem, available solutions, which focus primarily on spot detection, have been limited in their ability to address the problem. In addition millions of gallons of water are lost due to a variety of causes, and these losses often go undetected for months until a very large bill arrives two months later causing a shock wave and urgent investigation of the situation.

Read more: Water Leak Detection Made Simple

Opportunities for Sustainability in Commercial Buildings

tony green pic 2Commercial buildings include buildings greater than 1,000 square feet which devote more than half of their floor space to activities which are neither residential, manufacturing, industrial, nor agricultural.

This includes stores, office buildings, schools, churches, gymnasiums, libraries, museums, hospitals, clinics, warehouses, and malls. The design, construction, operation of commercial buildings impact natural resources, environmental quality, worker productivity, and community well-being.

Approximately 9 percent of the total water use is consumed by commercial and institutional facilities in the United States and up to 17% of publicly-supplied water use. Three applications: sanitary (e.g., toilets, sinks), landscaping, and heating/cooling account for 88% of commercial building water use.

Hear about the opportunities for commercial buildings to do their part in conserving our water in this time of unpreceded drought.  

I will cover questions such as:

    • What are commercial buildings and does how water usage differ by type?

    • What are the typical water and energy usage in commercial buildings?

    • Where can water savings be obtained in commercial buildings?

    • Where is the nexus between water and energy in commercial buildings?

Read more: Opportunities for Sustainability in Commercial Buildings

Grey Water Diverters - The Beginning of the Transition to the Sustainable Homes of the Future?

A Presentation by Tony Green

tony green pic 2Gartner estimates a typical family home could contain more than 500 smart devices by the year 2022. These devices, which will be a major part of the Smart Homes of the future, could revolutionize the way we live in our homes. The recent drought has caused homeowners to re-evaluate the most efficient method of managing water use in their homes. The remote capability to operate a Grey Water Diverter Valve poses a glimpse into the possibility of the impact Smart Homes will have in the future as well as sustainable living practices. I will cover questions such as: 


  • What are Smart Homes and Smart Devices?
  • What type of applications of Smart Devices are used in the Smart Home?
  • What are the key requirements of Smart Devices for use in the Smart Home?
  • What is the status of the implementation of Smart Devices?
  • How can water consumption be managed in the Smart Homes of the future?

Come join us for this special EcoGreen Group meeting.

Download the Presentation

Read more: Grey Water Diverters - The Beginning of the Transition to the Sustainable Homes of the Future?

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