June 15, 2016
20 year Dream for BAB
This is only an idea, one I may never see as it may take 20 years, but could be done in 3-5. I’ll be dead, it’s up to you. Please read it through and study the links at the end.
BAB needs to look far ahead and find ways to use all our resources. One of our biggest and underutilized resources is our parking lot. It is a rare double lot, 61 X 124 feet and worth somewhere between 0.5 to 1 million dollars right now.
This not a plan to sell it. That would be a really bad idea and we need to figure out now, how to not end up broke and in a position where we have to sell it. Could happen. Eminent Domain could happen. This is a plan to maximize our resources and create green benefits for all BAB owners. In this Dream we could keep the parking lot, heat and cool our current building and become urban farmers with solar energy. No concept presented in this Dream is impossible and uses existing technology.
Our old fashioned and wasteful individual HVAC, water heaters and refrigerators are very expensive. All these items are in use in every unit. They frequently break and costly to replace. Just the current energy costs for each unit are $100 to $200 a month. On the average all this equipment fails every 15 years, but is warranted 10 years of less. Cost for full replacement in 2016 is $7,000 to $12,000 per unit.
25 units spend $30,000 to $60,000 per year on gas and electric. Replacement of our appliances is $175,000 to $300,000 at least every 15 years and keeps rising.
What if we could lower or eliminate those costs? We can. The technology is here and has been in use since caves. Our building, because of it’s courtyard design and ownership of a ‘huge cave’ (the parking lot) could convert to something like old fashioned central heat, but much better.
It’s called Geothermal. It is simple, we dig up the parking lot, which needs need new asphalt anyway, install water piping under the parking lot and cover the whole thing up. It’s hidden for decades or more. We use the natural heat of the earth to heat water and change cave water into hot and cold with a heat pump. We also park right on top of it.
We all eat and many here want to farm or garden. We could build above the parking lot and gain parking indoors. Better security. The building could be an urban farm, techniques which were pioneered on the South Side of Chicago and now are done all over the world. Basically 2 to 4 floors of hydroponic greenhouse vegetables with LED grow lights. Those lights could be powered by Solar roof panels on top of the parking lot building. The solar electricity would also power the pumps for the Geothermal system. Irrigation water use is minimal.
Some neighbors may complain, however our box greenhouse could be fauxed to look like their expensive boxes. Urban camouflaged farm with either food for us, or food to sell. We could rent it out and have others farm. We gain cash flow. They gain jobs.
Obviously we need usability studies, construction estimates, zoning changes and money. It may not be easy, but perhaps we can leverage the existing value and equity in the parking lot to gain a construction loan. Maybe somebody wants to help build a proof of concept Geothermal urban retrofit and somebody else wants to enable urban farming. Maybe. Remember we are sitting on a big pile of parking lot equity. I maintain in 10 years that parking lot will be almost empty as Robot Taxi’s take over.
There are many little obstacles, but none are insurmountable.
If anybody wants to help with initial drawings of this, please contact email@example.com
Below are a few links that show what is possible right now.
If we can Dream it, we can do it.