Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Monday, October 17, 2016

Green features at Scarborough Campus

I visited a friend of mine who works at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, where I taught episodically from the early 1990s until about ten years ago. A whole lot of new buildings have gone up since I left.

For most of the time I was there, the entire place consisted of an elongated concrete bunker, with a glass front overlooking a playing field and student residences; whereas the back, which overlooked the valley, was a solid mass of concrete punctuated by a few portholes.

Starting about ten years ago, several new buildings went up, including a new sciences building on the north side of Ellesmere Avenue. This building has a number of green features, which is appropriate, as the building is largely used for environmental and earth sciences.

Starting at ground level, the building is surrounded by numerous "earth tubes". They draw in air, and pass it through underground pipes, which act as heat exchangers, warming the air in winter, and cooling it in summer, before circulating it through the building.

A good portion of the roof is covered with white gravel, which reflects away solar energy, helping keep the building cool in summer.

A good portion of the roof is green--covered with plants, which both help keep the building cool, and which also retain rain water, keeping it from being released through runoff too quickly. The plants selected require very little care, as they are native to the area.

I believe there is some kind of drainage system under the gravel that directs some rainwater into cisterns for storage, where it can be used to water the lawns during the drier parts of the year (according to this site).

On a connected roof, we can see lots of solar panels.

A fairly sizable part of the roof is accessible easily to staff and students, and is used as a garden and meeting area. Although when I visited, the meeting area was overgrown by pumpkins.

From this roof we overlook the nearby sports facility built for last year's successful Panem--sorry, Pan-Am Games. It's roof also appears to have green features.

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