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Archive of entries posted on June 2011

Green Community requirements discussed at public hearing

The Green Communities Study Committee held a public hearing on Monday, June 13th to review their work to date and seek public input on Needham becoming a Massachusetts Green Community.  The program, created under the Green Communities Act, supports Massachusetts cities and towns that commit to becoming more sustainable communities by reducing energy use, promoting …read more

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Green Homes tour featured on Needham Patch

This past Saturday’s Green Homes Tour, featuring six Needham homes, is featured in this article on Needham Patch.  If you missed the tour, you can see detailed information on each of the houses here on our blog. The six homes on the tour featured a variety of approaches and technologies, including: Geothermal heating & cooling …read more

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Summer book suggestion – Raising Elijah

If there is a book I highly recommend to be on a parents summer list of “great reads”, this is it – Raising Elijah: Protecting our children in an age of environmental crisis! Sandra Steingraber, PhD, is a biologist, mother and cancer survivor. She has a passion and expertise in the biological sciences and on …read more

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LWV honors Eleanor Rosellini

At the June 8 Annual Meeting of the League of Women Voters of Needham, Eleanor Rosellini received the League’s Greta Schirmer award.  This award is given each year to honor Greta Schirmer – a member who died in 1980 and was described as “large in accomplishment and high in achievement.” Lindsay Acomb and Susan McGarvey …read more

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Green Homes Tour: Solar Thermal Hot Water and Space Heating

House: Built in 2002, 4247 square feet plus 1700 finished basement System Description: Vacuum tubes on the roof contain copper rods filled with glycol. As the rods heat up from the sun, the glycol boils and bubbles to the top. This heat is then transferred to a separate glycol loop that runs into the basement …read more

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Green Homes Tour: Older home energy retrofit

House: 100 years old   1800 square feet Household size: 2 adults System Description: Radiant heating was installed under the kitchen and back hall floor to replace an old radiator in the cabinet under the sink. For more information about radiant heating, visit the government’s EERE: energy savers website Other recent energy saving-measures: All walls of …read more

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Green Homes Tour: Sustainable Yard

Saving energy and reducing the carbon footprint in your sustainable yard 1. Plant trees strategically to use less energy to heat or cool your house.   Evergreen trees on the northeast side of a house buffer cold winter winds. Deciduous trees on the south and west sides of a house provide shade in summer, but let …read more

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Green Homes Tour: Solar Photovoltaic

House: Built in 2004; 2,992 square feet System Description: 30-panel photovoltaic array producing electricity (not hot water) of about 8,500  kWh per year. It is a grid-connected system, meaning that the unused electricity is fed into the electrical grid, making the electric meter run backwards. When the panels aren’t producing, the meter starts running forward …read more

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Green Homes Tour: Residential Geothermal Heating and Cooling

House: 90 years old System Description: In a closed loop piping system, water is pumped 300 feet underground, where it takes on the 55 degree underground temperature. It is pumped back into the basement to a heat pump unit with a set of copper coils containing a refrigerant that has a very low boiling point. …read more

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Green Homes Tour: Electricity/Heat Co-generation

House: Built in 1950’s, remodeled multiple times most recent addition 2008.  2800 square feet System Description: The co-generation system produces electricity and heat at the same time. When the heat is turned on, a small generator (MCHP — micro combined heat and power unit), which is run by propane, produces electricity used for the house. …read more

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