Friday, November 30, 2012

I love rain....

Rain Water Harvesting
Illustration by Neela

I love rain and started thinking about importance of water. So here, I am sharing two ways to make use of this rain.
Homeowners Steve and Linda Parker have installed a rainwater catchment system that allows them to collect rainwater to recycle in their California home. Since installing the system they've collected about 3,000 to 4,000 gallons of water to re-use for their laundry and their toilets.

This is little extensive but there is a simple way to harvest rain water, through Rain Barrels. Basically, rain barrel is a container that collects and stores rainwater from downspouts and rooftops for watering lawns and gardens in the summer time. Generally a rain barrel is made using a 55-gallon drum, a vinyl garden hose, PVC couplings,a screen grate to remove debris and keep insects out. Well, we can always use this container in the garden beautifully or disguise them.
They are available at Home Depot  and other stores. Rain is naturally devoid of minerals, chlorine, fluoride, and other harmful chemicals. The chemicals and hard water from many of our municipal water systems can add to chemical imbalances in soil and damage sensitive plants.  Water collected from the roofs of houses picks up very little contamination. Garden will appreciate it. Romantic Song from a film, 1942 A love story- "Rhim Zhim Rhim Zhim"  Growing up in India and watching many Bollywood films, rain generates childhood memories of Gujarati poetry "Aw ray Varasad..." and romantic emotional moments. Here is this beautiful and romatic Hindi Film song and I saw this film in America.
This song is very different but relates to rain and expresses different emotions and I love it too. Enjoy! "Rain on Parade" - Duffy

Friday, November 23, 2012

Love my Tea (Camillia Sinensis)

 A CUP OF TEA........

I just love holding a warm cup of tea all day. I love all kinds of Tea/Cha/Chai/Chay. Camillia Sinensis- an interesting name for a plant and somehow sounds like a name of an exotic woman with a streak of sinful flavor or a hidden musical note just surfaces with surprise.

I drank Green tea in Japan and Black tea in India. But in USA, I drink all black, white, green, yellow, flavored tea; and I even make my flavors by adding ginger or mint leaves or cinnamon powder or cloves or even methi seeds in my boiling cup of tea. Some do taste really weird but hey, I do not mind it, as long as it is in a nice warm ceramic cup.

Guess what- India is declaring TEA as the national drink in 2013, in my opinion, it is late but I vote for that!

Enjoy a cup of tea!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Plastic in Architecture, Plastic in Structures

Plastic Structure
Green House
We have seen green house made up with polycarbonate translucent or transparent panels. They are of various sizes and shapes. They protect plants from wind and harsh sun and cold winter. The indestructible panels diffuse the sun light and retain the heat inside for plants. You can be living in any climate zone and indulge in your vegetables or flowers growing hobbies.

Large Plastic Structures -The Eden Project
The Eden Project- Plastic Domes
The Eden Project, in Cornwall, UK is the largest plant enclosure conceived by Tim Smit and designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw. It consists of a cluster of 8 giant bubble-like inter connected plastic cells. These enclosures emulate natural biomes. They are constructed from a tubular hexagonal steel structure with cladding panels made from Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, (ETFE). ETFE, a fluorine based plastic transmits more light, costs 24% to 70% less to install than glass and 1% weight of the glass makes perfect cladding material making the structures without any interior support. Also, these tri-layered cladding panels  are sealed around their perimeter and inflated to create a large cushion. The large cushion acts as a thermal blanket to the structure. Check the photo with the illumination -
For more information-

For Aerial photo- click Here

The Eden Project has become well known as the largest greenhouse in the world. Each domed cell  houses a plethora of plants from all over the Earth in all different colors, shapes and sizes. In 10 years, about 13 million visitors have visited to the Eden Project.

On the side Note, I want to say few words about Tim Smit who conceived this project-
His new venture is the creation of a geothermal power plant on site, for which planning permission has just been granted. He  produced an album called "Midnight Blue" with Louise Tucker. Check it out=