Environment Forum

Greenbuild 2010 round-up: less water, more light

Here’s a round-up of some of the participants at  Greenbuild 2010, which is filling eight football fields’ worth of  exhibition space in Chicago:

– The folks at Zero Flush—a company in Kissimmee, Florida that builds no-water, non-flushing urinals—started with this premise: water is precious; urinal maintenance is a nightmare.

Zero Flush—whose founders left competitors Falcon and Waterless—builds wall-fixed urinals  that it says save approximately 40,000 gallons of water per year and are  odor-free and easily maintained .

They work like this.

Zero Flush urinals have a basin and a replaceable filter that fits in a tray. The filer contains an odor-blocking solution made of mostly vegetable oil.

Urine is 96 percent water, 4 percent solids (a combo of urea, chloride, sodium, potassium, and creatine, etc.). Urine flows down the urinal and is filtered through the vegetable oil solution. The liquid portion of urine flows directly through the oil and out to municipal sewage pipes. The solid portion is retained in the oil chamber.

Powell blooms in retirement at green building expo

powell“Colin Powell is … an interesting choice for a convention on green building,”  said George Baños, a project manager attending the industry’s largest annual gathering.

Baños was one of thousands of people who assembled in a hangar-sized auditorium at McCormick Place near downtown Chicago this morning to hear the former Secretary of State’s opening address to Greenbuild 2010, a showcase for the latest innovations in green building.

Powell acknowledged he wasn’t an obvious choice.

“All of you should be saying to yourself,” Powell said in opening,  ”‘Excuse me, isn’t this guy an infantry officer, the former Secretary of State? What does he know about green building?’”