Arcosanti Greenhouse Effort Focuses on Building Raised Beds & Adding Soil Mix

Work on Arcosanti Greenhouse Continues – We continued to sort and haul compost for the hoop greenhouse that is located above the Guestrooms at Arcosanti this week. Preliminary soil test were done using the “compost tea method.” We also determined the mixing ratio for the raised beds which are about 50 completed: 1 part silt, 1 part compost from the Arcosanti Gardens/Camp and 1 part vermiculite. Later once we get more thorough testing done we can determine any specific soil amendments that need to be added. Also Starlyn Cag a former alum based on Newfoundland Canada is working with us to explore the possibility of entering into the 2011 Holcim Awards Competition focusing on innovative sustainable projects.

Tucson Raw Milk Dairy Looks for a New Location – My colleague Tracy McQuade on the Arcosanti adhoc Energy Apron Greenhouse Team noted that a raw milk dairy in Tucson is looking for a new location. She suggests that we could use the compost in such a operation. However, we would have to consider the challenges of locating a dairy operation at Arcosanti.

2010 CleanTech Open Coming up – the launch for this years competition starting in about a week: http://www.cleantechopen.com/app.cgi/content/competition/business/eligibility

Ecocity Builder Founder Richard Register Drops byEcoCity Builder’s founder, Richard Register dropped by Arcosanti on Wed. He came by to do an interview for a documentary about Arcosanti and Paolo Soleri (see trailer here) which he mentions in his recent newsletter. Register has been a supporter of Paolo’s work over the years and featured him prominently in his recent book.

What’s interesting about the newsletter is that he talks about distinction between his definition of Ecocity and other terms such as green or sustainable city which has often been used as an interchangeable. According to his perspective they are not because the idea of Ecocity like Arcology implies a fundamental change in how we see the modern city.

While many in city planning circles use the term “ecocity” interchangeably with “green” or “sustainable” city, Ecocity Builders uses a definition of “ecocity” conditional upon a healthy relationship of the city’s parts and functions, similar to the relationship of organs in living complex organisms. We believe “ecocities” need to take healthy organic, ecological and whole systems lessons seriously to be able to reverse the negative impacts of climate change. A set of principles, standards, and metrics, as well as good models demonstrating ecocity elements is vital in bringing clarity regarding the definition of an “ecocity”.

To that end, in partnership with our international network of ecocity colleagues and associates, Ecocity Builders is launching the International Ecocity Standards (IES) project to define “ecocities” by developing a set of standards, criteria and metrics against which to evaluate and guide new and existing cities’ progress towards becoming an “ecocity.” International Ecocity Standards will evaluate different scales of development, from the small neighborhood scale to the regional scale. Similar to LEED green building standards, the Ecocity Standards will rate urban development at various levels of attainment.

More here on this here.

Rapid Set Offers a Greener Hydraulic Cement – iGreenBuild.com reports that Rapid Set holds promise as a alternative to Portland Cement. Its a greener hydraulic cement primarily because it has a much smaller carbon footprint than portland cement. In its manufacturing process, it generates far less carbon dioxide (CO2).