Viridian Future 1

Aiming to be not just the most environmentally sustainable townhouse in Manhattan, but a net zero energy home.

A Story of Impotence and Frustration

But first, lets have some photos

This is the top floor and cantilevered roof, seen from the neighbors side. The front wall will have a brick facing to match the walls below, and we are designing how to integrate the roof decoratively. Seen from the street, this is very dramatic, and adds a lot of roof space for solar panels.

And of course there will be a wall down the side behind the chimney stack, it just isnt built yet.

This is the start of our roof garden looking back towards the double doors that will open out onto it from the top floor room. On the left you can see the start of the room that will house the rain water collection tank. The plan is to be able to store 1900L (500gal) and, once it is filtered and disinfected with a UV light, to use it for our domestic hot water.

This should give you an idea of the size of the roof garden.

Now to more of the story. I didnt want to send out a post earlier this week because we had so much rain and these areas were all covered in tarpaulins, with varying degrees of effectiveness, causing my heart a lot of pain. By the end of tuesday the roofs will all be water tight.

So the impotence in the title is mine, in the face of the plumbing regulations which, many people tell me, were written by the plumbing union to ensure work for plumbers. I guess, when you are a plumbers union, you would want to ensure work for plumbers, even if that work is unnecessary, wasteful, or counterproductive.

New York is the first place I have encountered that uses a whole series of pipes running in parallel to the waste pipes from the sinks, showers, toilets etc. in order to carry nothing but air, with the apparent purpose of ensuring the smell from the sewer never passes thru the traps under the sinks and toilets etc. If nobody else needs this pipe duplication, then what is so special about New York that makes this necessary. Like I said, nowhere else has the New York Plumbers Union to deal with.

So I am required to install all this unnecessary pipework, and use metal pipe to boot, that is both expensive, uses materials that could be actually doing something useful, takes up space in the shafts, and very effectively conducts heat out of the building.

You can tell from this rant, that I am enormously frustrated. Anybody who knows me knows that I abhor waste and inefficiency. I have spent hours (many of them lying in bed at night when I should have been sleeping) trying to find a way to avoid this wastage. There you have my impotence. As was spoken to me today, 'you are up against forces far stronger than you. Let go of this and use your energy to fight a winnable fight'.

Trouble is, as Lorna will attest, letting go is something I am not very good at.

Web Design by Abel B'Hahn, with grateful thanks to The Story of Us | VIRIDIAN FUTURE 1 | New York, New York, USA