What home for this small
planet
would John Muir,
Clara Barton, and
John Kenneth Galbraith build?
A Zero Carbon apartment
building,
of course.

What's Ann Up To?

April 19 **Free** Class | Integrated Design Thinking for Zero Net Energy Residential Buildings

9am-12pm, Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard Street, SF
Register HERE to participate in person, HERE via the web

Podcast (available now) | ZNE Views

I had a very fun interview with James Glave of 3Things.Energy last fall during the Global Climate Action Summit. Here’s a tweet from James with links to the podcast via iTunes, Google Play, or your web browser

Blog

Induction Cooking Is the Bomb!

I have a kind of strange admission to make, for an eco-freak. I am eagerly awaiting the death of an appliance. Admittedly, this has happened before, but then it was an aesthetic issue. This time it’s about climate change.

I want to ‘decarbonize’ my home — eliminate all sources of fossil fuel combustion so that I can get the gas line capped off at the street. That means we will need to swap out all the gas appliances for electric: space and water heating equipment, the clothes dryer, and the kitchen range.

I expect our situation is pretty similar to a lot of other people’s. It’s hard to justify the expense (and embodied carbon footprint) of scrapping appliances that haven’t yet reached the end of their useful lifespans, and there are some logistical challenges, too, such as getting adequate electrical supply to the range location. 

Unlike many, though, I don’t have an attachment to cooking with so-called “natural” gas (which is methane, a greenhouse gas that is 80x more potent than CO2). I’m already persuaded of the many benefits of induction cooking over gas. It’s faster, more efficient, reduces burn risks, and results in cleaner indoor air by eliminating natural gas combustion byproducts. And perhaps best of all, the CLEANUP will be much easier!! The gas cooktop has far too many nooks, crannies, and crevices that get coated with muck from my husband’s liberal interpretation of “tablespoon” when it comes to the application of olive oil. 

Many people react poorly, though, to the idea of giving up their gas cookery; their only point of comparison is old-style electric ranges — which bear little resemblance to today’s induction appliances. Induction is a magnetic technology, and the fact that the ranges plug into the wall is irrelevant (gas ranges plug in, too). 

I’d like to recruit YOU to join the induction campaign! Learn about induction, test it out (single burners can be had for ~$50), and take your recalcitrant friends, family members, and clients to a showroom – a live demo of this technology can be very persuasive. Consumer Reports also has some great resources:

  • ‘Which is better’ – the highest performing stoves tested by CR are induction models, and one is cheaper than 9 other models in the top 10!
  • ‘Pros and cons’ – induction cooktops are faster & respond better to dialing back the temperature

Now get cookin’ with your campaign!

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I took the plunge into green building in the early 90s and felt completely at home in that pool from the first dive! Here was the convergence of my architecture background, my lifelong passion to protect the natural world, and my insatiable drive for order, efficiency, and the elimination of waste of all kinds.

After completing each major project, I’ve asked myself, “What’s next? What needs a big push now to help steer the building industry along a more sustainable course?”

A decade ago, I saw zero energy building design as the most powerful vector for reducing building sector carbon emissions. The field is rapidly evolving, I’m seeing notable progress in
acceptance and implementation, and new
opportunities are continually emerging.

We now know what it takes to build
zero-energy homes, but but zero-carbon
communities pose new and
fascinating challenges
– both political
and technical. Government agencies and
nonprofits across North America are working
on creative solutions, and I get to play!
What could be better?!
Green Building

“Ann Edminster is a true pioneer in the green homes field: based on her own hands-on experience, she spots trends and opportunities years ahead of others and is there waiting when the ‘leaders’ arrive.”

– Rob Watson, CEO
EcoTech International
and “Father of LEED”