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Green Building and Renewable Energy Tour

Berkeley High School's Green Academy Field Trips ~Article and photos republished from Bay Area Green Tours

Green Building
Visiting David Kruse at Kruse PlumbingVisiting David Kruse at Kruse PlumbingWe extended our focus on water to green building with Berkeley High School's Green Academy on December 13th. The United Nations Environmental Program suggests that buildings consume one-fifth of the world's available water! Hence, the importance of connecting resource management to building design.

Our Green Building tour with Berkeley High School was led by our resident expert in Architecture, Dorrice Pyne. The agenda featured Urban Ore, Kruse Plumbing, Metro Lighting, the McGee House designed by Karl Wanaselja and Cate Leger(Boat House),David Brower Center and Gather Restaurant. Through this jam-packed schedule, students gained insight into material reuse, water and energy management, and creative design.

Renewable Energy
The United States currently uses about a quarter of the energy produced globally. On December 13th and 14th, Bay Area Green Tours led two Renewable Energy Tours for Berkeley High School to examine current trends in energy production and consumption.

At the West County Waste Water Treatment Plant, we again examined the impressive Solar Power Partners Array that provides energy for between 500 and 700 homes in the surrounding Richmond area. Students examined both the technical processes of the modules and discussed market trends for solar energy. Next, we visited the wind turbine and strawbale house at Shorebird Nature Center to look at other applications of alternative energy systems.

Since questions about career paths and employment resonate strongly with young adults, we then went on an exciting tour of the Cypress Mandela Training Center. There, the students had the chance to ask about the rise of vocational training programs and green collar jobs. Lastly, we toured the sticky and intriguing labs of Sirona Biofuels, which serve as a great example of local alternative energy generation.