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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Biomass Thermochemical Gasification Plant

Constructed in 1862, this fine old brick building in the Second Empire Style...HOLD ON THERE, PODNER! Whut in tarnation...?

Many of us City Daily Photo Bloggers tend to be a little conservative, reveling in the old/settled/heritage/historical/retro aspects of our cities, with lots of good reasons. Often what's left over from the past has been left over because it was well-built and beautiful. Also there is a bit of nostalgia for the days when species weren't threatened, nobody knew there was an ozone layer and gasoline was cheap and harmless. However, those "good ole days" got us to where we are now and today's problems with energy and the environment stem directly from our own giddy carelessness in years gone by.

Anyway, while some of Victoria's waterfronts are being condomized (condominated?) in an environmentally thoughtless and exploitative fashion, there is a currently abuilding a large condominiac development with some differences. It's called Dockside Green. It promises well and the Biomass Gasification Plant above is only one of its environmentally sustainable features. The plant will process wood waste to meet the heating and hot water needs of its several thousand residents and, " expected to be greenhouse gas positive from a building energy perspective."

If you're interested in the technical aspects you can read more about it on their website by clicking here or the links above. They also have a closed water system with their own sewage treatment plant and the waste water being re-used. Since the developers are conveniently erecting Dockside Green along the route I regularly cycle to get downtown, I will be posting more photos and information as the construction continues.


Saretta said...

It's nice to hear about this kind of project! I wrote about "gas" on my blog today, too. What a coincidence!

Laurie Allee said...

This is a great post. I love the way you write -- and what a cool shot.

Wayne said...

I haven't had an opportunity to poke around Dockside Green but I'm interested in what is going on there.

It seems to me there is an earlier residential project on the Inner Harbour that was supposed to be very green but I don't remember what it was called. It was a one-off, not on the scale of Dockside Green.

Good one Benjamin.

Anonymous said...

I must say this is an outstanding photograph and post.

USelaine said...

Well, another way to look at condos is that they would produce an even bigger footprint on the earth if all those dwellings were detached single-family homes, carpet-bombing the surrounding fields and forests for many more miles of destruction. If people keep getting born and refuse to live out their lives with their siblings in the homes of their birth, then they have to go somewhere. I think it's better to stack them up whenever possible, and this project sounds like the best possible approach to the challenge.

nobu said...

I think biomass is one of efective means to stop global warming.

Benjamin Madison said...

Saretta - thanks. I tend to be anti-condo so it has taken me a while to warm up to this project - especially since I used to pick blackberries where Dockside Green is being built. I also used to gather Shaggy Mane mushrooms there around this time of year.

Laurie, thanks - I felt I had to post this though it's a bit boring. I'd have preferred one with a construction worker hammering at something in one corner but it was too late in the day.

Wayne, thanks. I expect Vancouver probably has a few developments that are a little environmentally sensitive.

abraham lincoln - Thanks!

Elaine, good points that remind me to try keep my Luddite knee-jerk reactions under control.

Nobu - yes, this would seem to be one technology that provides us with what we need without wrecking the environment for future generations.

USelaine said...

And I'll humbly point out that I live in a single-family detached home.

I completely endorse a return to care in architectural design, that thinks about human spirit and its cries for beauty. Nuttin' Luddite about that.

Knoxville Girl said...

This is very interesting - I'll look forward to more photos. I just like the sound of "gasification". Reminds me of our current US presidential election debates.
p.s. don't hate me, I live in a condo - no grass to mow.