Egg shells and furnace-free homes
Edmonton has positioned itself as a leading research and development centre for alternate energy, and it seems all that hard work is paying off.
A materials science engineering research team working at the University of Alberta and the National Research Council’s National Institute for Nanotechnology has developed an electrochemical supercapacitor that makes slow, rechargeable batteries seem outdated—and they’re using egg shells to help power their plan.
Led by materials engineering professor and Institute researcher David Mitlin, the team is using carbonized egg shell membranes to build supercapacitors that charge up almost instantaneously, hold three times the energy of current designs, and are remarkably resistant to corrosion. The supercapacitors the team produces are smaller than a quarter.
By using egg shell membranes, the group’s design taps a vast resource that is otherwise considered waste.
Meanwhile, Tarry Tweed of Igloo Prebuilt Homes has launched “balanced energy” homes offering a glimpse into the future for the average consumer.
“We build for 80 per cent of the market, the 1,800 to 2,000 square foot home, so this new approach has to make economic sense. If you simply added the extra cost to the mortgage, your payments would equal your energy savings, and the house will retain its premium value on resale,” says Tweed.
Igloo’s plant in Acheson is a home-building factory, churning out one new home a day — an output that will double next year. The modular units travel between the 18 work stations on air cushion floats, and are completed within 18 days.
The City of Edmonton’s long-range plan for a sustainable, resilient community, The Way We Green, is also receiving national recognition.
The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators has awarded the City of Edmonton with its 2012 Environment Award for The Way We Green Environmental Strategic Plan. The award was presented at the Association’s national conference held in Saskatoon on May 30.
“CAMA is pleased to recognize the innovation and administrative excellence demonstrated by the City Edmonton in developing this plan,” said Association President Jim Toye.