Sustainable Homes Track

Where can everyone exercise their right to choose a more sustainable future for their children and grandchildren?  At home, of course! Learn how to reduce fossil fuel usage and energy costs, and to conserve water and other natural resources, to preserve our quality of life for future generations.

Session 1: How to Save Monday and Energy in Your Home
Dr. Kathleen Gardner, co-chair of DCCCD Sustainability Summit

This session addresses strategies that homeowners can follow to live more energy efficiently and sustainably, which translates into money savings. Topics include the house envelope, plumbing, living space, heating, air conditioning, lighting, indoor air, appliances, your yard, your vehicle and environmentally friendly products.

Session 2: Residential Solar Energy: Does It Make Sense for Your Home?
Brian Cunningham

photo of Brian CunninghamRenewable energy is real, and tens of thousands of residential solar electric systems have been installed across the country in just the last few years. The sun is free and provides abundant energy. But will it work for everyone? The answer is: “maybe.” Come find out if it will work for you, and what the benefits and barriers are to owning your own miniature utility system.

Lunch Session: Hot Attics — Turning a Problem Into a Resource
Christopher M. Roseberry, Ph.D.

photo of Christopher RoseberryIn the interests of sustainability, existing residences need to be modified for better energy management. However, most households are not equipped to make use of solar energy or heat from cogeneration. The seasonally hot attic space of a house is generally an underexploited source of low-grade heat. The roof surface and attic space may be considered a large, low efficiency solar collector that uses air as the working fluid. The primary factor determining the expense involved with most solar heating and power systems is that they require a large amount of new material to present a large surface area for sunlight absorption. As compared to conventional solar collectors, using the hot attic space requires a relatively modest investment. It has been demonstrated that the installation of a simple heat exchanger and blower can meet much, if not all, of the heating requirements of a typical backyard swimming pool. This approach could be applied to most of the seven million swimming pools in the U.S.

Session 3: Purchasing Light Bulbs: What Role Does Temperature and Color Spectrum Play in Incandescent, CFL and LEDS?
Chuck Dale, professor, Eastfield College

Session 4: Home Grease Abatement: Save our Sewers
Carol Stephens and Helen Cantril Dulac, Dallas Water Utilities