The First Year

Anne Cahalan and her cat Wobbles have lived at the El Moore for just over a year. She is an application developer for Detroit Labs, and enjoys baking, knitting, and hanging out in the parlor talking to Lodge guests.  One year and a couple months ago, I was starting to think about moving. My old place was not very conveniently located and was a little too big for just me and my cat rattling around. The space was amazing--a giant loft right on the river, with views of freighters drifting by--but the maintenance was spotty and I could always hear the couple next door arguing in the middle of the night. The only thing I truly loved was my neighbors, the Adragnas, who lived right across the hall. I had met Jeremy when we both worked at the Archdiocese of Detroit, and I remember the day he … [Read more...]

Energy Consumption and Saving at the El Moore

One of the stated goals of the El Moore project is to reduce the building’s environmental impact by using only 25% of the average demand for energy of a building its size. To accomplish this goal, the development team identified five areas in which the most dramatic impact could be made in terms of energy consumption. The first of these actions is ensuring that the building is super insulated. If you were to look inside the walls of the El Moore you would not find your average pink fiberglass insulation. Instead you would find a combination of a foam insulation that expands once sprayed from its container, as well as polyiso insulation which will go on top of the foam and is a better insulator than more traditional methods. Considering that 41.5% of energy consumed in the average … [Read more...]

Goals for Sustainability at the El Moore

To maintain the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ the El Moore development team approached multiple areas within the bottom line categories of environment, economic and community to set specific goals. These goals are area specific and purposefully try to positively affect the building’s sustainability through certain actions. The areas being approached for development are Energy, Waste, Water, Toxicity and Habitat. The goals for the area of energy: -       Only use 25% of the average demand for energy per person. -       Ensure at least 25% of the energy actually used is renewable -       Have personal accountability for the energy used, by not including water and gas bills within the rent.   The goals for the area of waste: -       Only produce 50% of the average waste for a … [Read more...]

An introduction to sustainability and the El Moore project

The El Moore building project is a great example of sustainable development. However the term, “Sustainable Development”, has a fairly wide definition, and can mean many different things to many different people. The most widely accepted definition comes from the Brundtland Commissions 1987 report and defines sustainable development as, “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This is the definition that best fits the El Moore’s goals of reducing environmental impact through proper planning and use of different energy saving building techniques. While it is these techniques and energy saving efforts that bring the El Moore’s goals in line with the definition of sustainable development, the … [Read more...]