Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day and we are probably the only people in Norway who are sort of celebrating. In class we got the task of finding out and writing about something that can make the earth and out school greener.
Green buildings are becoming more and more common now that the global warming and eco-problems have been put under light in the media. Many big companies with big office buildings wish to look good in the media, and at the same time perhaps do something good for the environment. So when they build new buildings they try to focus on making the structure as ecofriendly as possible. This is what separates the green buildings from any other building.
The materials used in these green buildings are resource-efficient, from design, to construction, maintenance and demolition. The making of such a building takes a lot of cooperation between the engineers, the client, and everyone involved in general. Also characteristic for these buildings is the low cost of building them. The green buildings exceed and complement the classic style of building designs of economy, utility, durability and comfort. Green buildings are also called sustainable buildings, because of the sustainable use of materials. The goal with these buildings is to reduce the buildings environmental impact. If we can reduce the environmental impact each building makes, we will be doing a small thing for our planet.
Sandvika High School is not a Green Building. It has not been built with an eco-friendly aspect in mind. Maybe it is possible to convert an already existing building into a more environmental friendly structure. Below are some examples of how to make the school greener.
A solar panel is a set of solar modules connected and mounted on a supporting structure. The solar panel can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity. But how does it really work? Here in Norway it is more common to see cabins with Solar panel- systems than on regular houses, but these kinds of Solar Panels that we see are called: Photovoltaic Solar Panels (photo- light, voltaic means to do with electricity.) PV solar panels produce electricity using photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect was first noted back in 1839 by a French physicist called Edmund Bequerel. He discovered that certain materials would produce a small electric current when you exposed them to light. This is the principle used by PV solar panels. Solar panels have many solar cells which are small devices that can convert sunlight into electricity. One cell on its own will only provide a very small amount of power. Several cells connected together and fixed in a frame make a solar panel (or a module), which can produce a larger, useful amount of power.
Of course it is really expensive to run or to buy solar panels and it will take a lot time before it ``pays of``, but it`s worth it in the long run, especially if you live in a country like Spain or somewhere in Africa where the clime is different, with a lot of sun and it would be cheaper to use this kind of electricity. Sandvika high school has a big potential because of the size of the roof. Above you can see an aerial shot of our school. You may be able to see the glass part of the roof; this is where we could insert the solar panels. We already have something called a green flag, which means that our school is `` green`` but it would be even better if the school would invest in a solar panel-system. What do you think? Are there any other ways to become greener?

PS. we are going to skype with some students from NY today, I`m really looking forward to it

1 comment:

  1. I think you list a lot of good alternatives here. What I am missing here is a link to your sources, unless you are a solar power expert I'm assuming you found this information on the net. The same with the green buildings.