A Growing Business

This week has proved to be our most eventful thus far as a potential location has required us to delve deeper into the logistics of starting a business. After speaking with the building owner of 30 University Avenue, we were advised to further our knowledge of how to run a business. We looked into specific details on running a cafe, such as: acquisition of money, regulations for building codes, and garbage removal. Our location, right across the street from the Armouries building, is seen in the picture below. (We have not yet met with Mr. Rivard to take a tour of the space, which will be our priority for the upcoming week.)

The group had established a basic business plan which will be developed further. The proposal includes company goals and objectives, long term plans and assessments, and the inclusion of brief numbers and figures. This plan will become a fundamental contract in operating this business with critical analysis of underlying aspects of our project. This will hopefully show Mr. Rivard (landlord) that our group is enthusiastic about making this idea into a cornerstone green business for the downtown Windsor core.

We have also begun to explore the issue of garbage and recycling. The unique location of the site, within the confines of two other businesses, means space for disposal is narrow and nearly nonexistent. Below is the rear entrance of the location, with lines indicating what land we are entitled to use for waste removal.

With midterm presentations approaching, we focussed on the preparation for this event. A prezi has been prepared, and we have been meeting to organize required material and layout.

We hope to make significant progress in the upcoming week, including: following up with Mr. Rivard, beginning design of renovations, and gaining a tour of the space.


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Outsourcing for Improvement

This week started our with a lot of brand new ideas being thrown to the table. Now that our final vision is in mind, the requirement for tools and resources to reach this goal became our top priority. In order to achieve our goal  is to reach beyond our limitations by involve the community and the experts on the project we have set forth. From architects to engineers, to creative art specialists and urban designers, we look to integrate a combination of selected skill sets and ideas to create  improvements to  urbanize alleyways within this city.

During the first half of this week, Sandy came across valuable information about a high school  that also unearthed the issue of alley abandonment. A class at Vincent Massey High School decided that it was necessary to end neglecting alleyways in their city and it was time to speak up. This was a perfect opportunity for our team to collaborate with these eager students who are also looking for a change in their community. We decided it was necessary to contact the civics teacher and pool our ideas!

With our eyes set on a ideal location, and a nifty design in mind, the team kept its foot on the gas and is concurrently preparing for the visual construction of the final product. The team is using a computer program to render a 3D visual of how the final design would look like. We are hoping this will be finalized by the end of this week due to time-constraints.

The images above were taken of sites our project will be focused on. The first two images depict the location within the alley that we would like to transform. The third image provides an insight to what we are currently working on and in the hopes of getting it done before project presentations.

Don’t forget to check back next week for new updates as well as feedback from our class presentation! Thank you!

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Poetry Blox on the move!

Today we talked to Ron Allan from Metro Skylite (an eco friendly company) on the telephone. He’s very enthusiastic about the project: he’s on board with us, currently trying to get us a better alternative to a Velux VSE S06, from Poland for the price of FREE. He’s getting back to us tuesday! feel the excitement!

We are also calling Roxul Insulation, and waiting on a call back from ABC Fire Doors today.

Last night in class Hiba made calenders for every group to plug in their dates for events in our semester!
We should all colour code the groups and make a legend so everyone knows what everyone else is doing. no confusion!

Noel and Lorenzen Engineering are talking to the University: soon enough the cement foundations are going in, which will take 7 days to cure, and then we will be receiving the crate! expect this to finally begin within the next two weeks me thinks!!!!

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Design Like You Give A Damn!

Design Like You Give A Damn is the name of a book by Architecture for Hunanity. I was told about this book and another, Design For The Other 90%, by Gaelyn from Tug Collective. I (Stephen) was very interested in these ideas of design from the beginning of the course. I am also very interested in implementing these ideas in my own practices within the near future. After Kevin and I began to work out methods of treatment for our pallet structure Gaelyn sent us a page from Design Like You Give  A Damn. This depicts our chosen construction methods.

“The pallets can be plastered in wattle and daub or filled with straw, rubble or other material for insulation.” -Design Like You Give A Damn, a project by I-Beam Design

The ability to re-use one of Windsor’s most plentiful object (the pallet) gives rise to the opportunity to create extremely low impact structures and community sites. Our group is doing experiments that will give insight into many aspects of this building method.

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Design Possibilities for the Sound Wall

These are photos of Gaelyn Aguilar‘s ideas for the sound wall entitled “Pocket Park”

Gustavo and Gaelyn have continued to stay in contact with Kevin and me (Stephen). Gaelyn has provided a rendering of the space and how the wall could possibly take form. The wall would be made from the pallets and other found materials we’ve been collecting and the sound absorbing bass traps can also be found around the “Pocket Park”.

After recording the noise that emanates from Huron Church Road, the NAFTA Super-Highway that flows in front of the Lebel School  of Visual Arts, I will be able to isolate certain “problem” frequencies. There seems to be a distinct pattern of resonant frequencies that are multiples of 60 Hz. This allows us to be able to focus on methods and materials that neutralize problem areas like 30, 60, 120, 1800, 8000 Hz.

We have also been able to collect an array of wood materials to build the main structure. We’re going to use different methods to create sound blockage by connecting two pallets and filling the centre with a bass absorbing organic material of some sort, and we will use weaving methods with flexible pieces of wood and etc. Construction will begin on Thursday with the help of Gaelyn and Gustove.

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The Birth of Sound Incubator

The sound wall is beginning to take shape. The one other member in my group, Kevin, was unable to make it to class tuesday, so I, Stephen, started some of the design research.  I have started to look at several designs for a noise reducing shelter or wall. The search was inspired by the theories behind Helmholtz resonators, and sustainable design made from recycled materials.

I was very inspired by the use of skids in the type of shelters that can be found on the website Design For The Other 90%, a design group that focuses on

“use of local construction techniques and materials to build affordable permanent structures. In Africa, a low-cost device compacts soil into blocks for cost-effective buildings. In the United States, multidisciplinary teams, often composed of volunteers, are creating transitional or permanent housing for the homeless, and even for entire neighborhoods such as the areas of New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.”
-Design For The other 90%

These concepts lead me to consider the use of  ”local construction techniques and materials” which lead me to the pallet or skid. A very common material that can especially be seen on and around the NAFTA superhighway that makes up large portion of the Green Corridor.

“The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.
Dr. Paul Polak, International Development Enterprises

Me and Kevin will be working in assosciation with the artist group Tug Collective. This group is made of Gaelyn Aguilar and Gustavo Aguilar, an interdisciplinary art initiative.

“Tug is a free-range, performative research collective that serves as a platform for addressing issues of social and cultural transformation.  Our work is collaborative (we are not autonomous, self-contained individuals) and non-hierarchical (we respect difference by weaving it into the process).  Our projects come from disparate moments and geographic locations, and reflect an ethos that connects cultural production with community engagement.  We look for cracks in the pavement.  We co-create and cross pollinate. We propagate a sense of place.” -Tug Collective

We are all looking forward to working with each other and seeing where our creativity takes us.

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automated Rain Barrel/City Water Irrigation Project

Irrigating a small garden is a relatively relaxing and sometimes therapeutic activity (well if you are a botany/biology nerd [or really in need of a hobby]) but going away for any length of time can present a problem. The simple solution of course is to purchase a hose-bib/timer package from Home Depot for about $30 and set up a small drip system to efficiently water each plant or row of plants (rather than a wasteful sprinkler system). Going along with conserving water is using a rain barrel collection system to capture rain for later use thus eliminating or more likely reducing treated water consumption.

Adding a rain barrel complicates the system significantly as there isn’t much water pressure at its spigot compared to a standard city spigot which has somewhere around 40 psi. Also, if the barrel is empty, you don’t want your plants to die and thus you need to be able to detect that the barrel is empty and switch to city water.

After a little bit of planning, shopping and construction I came up with a simple system for automatically or manually watering a garden that in an automatic mode could select the appropriate water source and turn on based on an off the shelf timer. The system uses a small 12 Volt Battery, Pump (for getting the rain barrel water pressure closer to the hose-bib, a solenoid valve, bilge pump float switch, etc. (see the documentation for more detail on parts and wiring). Oh yeah, and in keeping with the eco-friendly approach I figured I should probably keep the battery charge with a small solar panel!


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GCompost Gets National Recognition

As the SIFE regionals approach, GCompost gears up to present their business plan. SIFE ( Students In Free Enterprise) Windsor is managed by a dynamic group of motivated individuals who are determined to position and pilot SIFE Windsor to become a major catalyst for economic change.

SIFE is driven to create economic opportunity in our community by teaching others about market economics, entrepreneurship, sustainability, success skills, financial literacy and business ethics. They do this by implementing community focused and entrepreneurial basedprojects. SIFE Windsor is striving to foster and promote new and innovative business opportunities. We are an action-oriented team seeking to lead change in Windsor and around the world.

Every year SIFE teams from around the country present their business ideas to Top CEO and Fortune 500 companies. This years presentations are environmentally focus and are designed to build awareness and initiative  towards greener world. Through this presentation Green Corridor and GCompost will receive nationally recognition towards their efforts.

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Student Blogs

WIth the final exhibition looming, we have prepared ourselves for the final push to finalize […]

The semester is coming to a close, and boy have we been busy! We have […]

    Hello again, Team Windsor Revivers are back one last time with our final […]

Welcome back once more to our blog! It has been a very stressful week for […]

This past week has been the most exhausting and busy one. It was our last […]

» Read all of the student blogs


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