DBUG JULY MEETING
at Lesko Kelly Associates
July 18, 2012
Braving high winds, thunder, lightning, heavy rain and congested traffic, ten intrepid DBUGers attended this evening's DBUG meeting at Lesko Kelly Associates in Norwell. Their perseverance was rewarded by an excellent buffet, a museum quality environment, and an terrific program.
After Eileen Kelly welcomed all and introductions were made, a few announcements were given. Evan Shu noted that the Build Boston tradeshow had been renamed as ABX (Architecture Boston Expo), relocated to the Boston Convention Center, and that the new policy was that if a committee was not giving a workshop, they would not be given a meeting room space. So, DBUG's 25th anniversary meeting in November will not be at Build Boston, but either be at the BSA or a possible surprise location to be announced in October.
Plane Snap & ShaderNX. Evan Shu opened the presentations by describing the ongoing energy program to upgrade his family's Victorian house. He never thought that this year's "greening" project would involve installing solar panels, but he came across an opportunity that was too good to pass up. He would leave that description up to the next presenter, but he decided it would be a great opportunity to update the 3D CAD model of his house with a context site bitmap and use DataCAD's new ShaderNX to check the solar exposure of the proposed 20 new solar panels.
He presented a lesson that first created a solar panel symbol, then used DataCAD's 3D tools of Plane Snap to find the right roof plane to lay the solar panel flat to the roof. (A better tool, he would discover later was to use, right click/Construction Plane.) Finally, he invoked the ShaderNX to dynamically show how much solar exposure the proposed solar panels (as well as additional ones he thought might work, but didn't) received. His presentation lesson plan handout with the various steps that he used is provided in the attachment below.
SOLAR PANEL CASE STUDY. Next up, Dan Mullaney of 1st Light Energy used Evan Shu's house as a case study along with a few other examples to show how his company could provide solar panels on either residential or commercial installations for little (or even no money down) on a 20 year lease basis and have a 1-2 year payback period. They would guarantee a set rate (about 1/2 of utility company rate for a typical lease) that would usually provide 50 to 100% of the owner's electric bill. For Evan's house, the 5KW system (20 panels) would provide 50% of his total electric bill at about 9 cents a KWH (current rate is 14 cents/KWH), saving him about $400 per year. Along with other incentives, he would get his down payment back in 1 1/2 years and continue to save that amount every year for the extent of the lease. During the life of the lease, the lessor is responsible for any maintenance costs needed and guarantees the rate and the production. At the end of the lease, it is typical that the lessor leaves the system in place and thus provides the home owner with free energy after that point.
Dan's 1st Light Energy Powerpoint presentation is provided in the link below and shows installation details as well, which the architects in the group were very interested in.
OMG MPG. After a short break, our final presentation was to get a viewing with commentary by Neil Blanchard of the recent Chronicle show "OMG MPG," which was about the technique of hypermiling, which can increase your car mileage up to as high as 50 miles per gallon. Neil was one of the featured drivers in the show and he was able to add a lot of extra tips in his commentary that didn't make it past the editing of the show. (Examples: technique of "swooping" at bottom of hills, minimizing quick accelerations, driving your car the same way you ride your bike via coasting and minimal braking; covering your grille for an extra 4 mpg, and the "accordion" technique of driving in traffic.) Neil estimated that you can add 20% to your gas mileage by hypermiling driving techniques alone.
Links to the show can be found here:
At the end of the evening, those who were brave enough to attend despite stormy weather felt well rewarded with an especially bountiful DBUG program.
-- Meeting Notes by Evan H. Shu, FAIA