Living City Block

 

Llewellyn Wells stands next to solar panels on the roof of the Alliance Center downtown

By Kristin Pazulski

Photography by Adrian DiUbaldo

Green. Sustainability. Collaboration. The first two are buzzwords we are familiar with in today’s new developments, but collaboration? That is something Living City Block is bringing to the table.

Living City Block (LCB) is taking the goal of sustainability a bit further, by attempting to convert existing buildings with various owners into a fully sustainable community.

LCB is focusing on creating this energy producing community on just one block in Denver (specifically the square block between 15th and 16th Streets and Wynkoop to Blake Streets in Lower Downtown). Its goal is to retrofit this block, so that by 2014 the buildings and businesses on the block will be creating their own energy with no waste, and two years later will be creating more energy than they use.

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Bio-Fuel Sells

by Chris Bolte

When he heard that an entire family of gorillas had been murdered over charcoal in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Robert Williams, of Nederland, Colo., stepped up efforts to expand production of a little-known alternative fuel.

The gorillas were slaughtered in 2007 by a group of African rebels who support themselves on charcoal production. But this charcoal isn’t pulled from the ground. Instead, it’s made from trees. According to Paulin Ngobobo, a Virunga park ranger who describes the process on the gorilla.cd webpage, first, a tree is cut down, the trunk not always being used, then the branches are stripped and stacked into a dome shape that is covered in mud.  This mud separates the wood from the atmosphere, which causes the wood to burn stronger, making the charcoal. “It’s important to note that it takes 6 kilograms of fuel wood to make a single kilogram of charcoal,” Williams said, “It’s a terribly inefficient process.”

 

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