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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The Sound Wall Completed: Ready For Testing

The prototype versions of what will hopefully be used to create a sound reducing pocket park along the green corridor is complete. After placing the daub (a mixture of clay, sand, straw and water) on the pallets, we waited till they were dry and installed them in their temporary locations.

First we had materials delivered to us by PCR Contractors, the group building the new engineering building. They gave us a good helping of clay, sand, rocks and a bale of straw.

Then we began to mix.

After the daub was mixed we were able to apply it to the pallets, let them dry, then install them. All went according to plan, now they need to be tested for sound canceling ability.

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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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Getting Technical, Practical and Moving Forward

After having a meeting with Noel and Rod last Thursday, Noel gave us really good insight about our current structures, and while unique, we are not thinking as practically as we should be, and they did not match the budget that is constraining us. We now have a more narrow direction and feel we are on the right track. From here we researched pre-fab greenhouses available to us to try to get a price-point to match our budget. We are also planning to utilize the side of the eco-house to benefit both the greenhouse and the eco-house.

Yesterday, we met with Jennifer. She was excited both about our spinal designs (see last blog), as well as our lean-to greenhouse design, as long as we hybrid it and make it more unique. We agreed to research pricing on materials for the spinal designs, create detailed drawings and schematics. We are going to get back to Jennifer with the pricing hopefully this Thursday so the choice of materials can be complete. We are also going to speak with Martha Gay-Scroggins this Thursday who is a professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture in Guelph. She is hopefully going to give us ideas on how to build the greenhouse, how to make it sustainable and anything other information we need.

Photo:http://backyardgreenhouses.com/ecom.asppg=products&specific=jplnooi0&gotogrp=230&gotopgnum=1

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Urban Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges

Landscape Architecture specialist Karen Landman will present “Urban Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges” to the public at 7pm on Thursday March 18 at the University of Windsor.

Ms. Landman will address the opportunities and challenges of sustainable living through urban food production while discussing urban agriculture, land stewardship, food systems and urban ‘greening’ projects in other communities.

A professor in Landscape Architecture at the School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, University of Guelph has a background in landscape architecture, planning and development, and cultural geography.  Landman has had a design practice for over 20 years, specializing in planting design. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Ontario Agriculture College Distinguished Professor Award. Her current research interests include green infrastructure, urban agriculture, local food systems, urban to rural linkages, community landscape-stewardship planning, and especially the linkages between design and planning.

Event:

  • Thursday March 18th
  • 7- 9pm
  • Room 115
  • School of Visual Arts, LeBel Building
  • University Of Windsor

(South West Corner of Huron Church Road and College Ave.)

All students and community members are encouraged to attend this event to gain valuable insight into establishing Urban Agricultural Projects for our West Windsor community.

This event is hosted by University of Windsor, Green Corridor in support of the Campus Community Garden Project.

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From Mind-Mapping to Reality

Creativity and innovation continue to flourish among greenhouse project team members. Beginning with the fundamental requirements of a greenhouse, the team developed several mind-maps branching out into regimes that would appear to have little to nothing to do with greenhouse design. From these branches a list of one hundred seemingly unrelated words was compiled, including terms such as: globalization, discovery, stereotype, fashion, rubber duck, waste, parachutes, community and non-profit. The group will take many of these terms and work to integrate the ideas into our design proposals.

Aside from turning the creative wheels, the entire team has been hard at work planning, designing and researching. By the midterm report on February 25, 2010, the team will be prepared to present five exterior design proposals along with proposed floor plans and options for sustainable systems integration. One of the proposed designs follows the theme of a lady bug as depicted. Elementary research will also be completed on recycled or renewable materials that may be used for construction as well as vegetable or herb crops with the optimum potential for output given the climate in Southwestern Ontario. An initial list of potential sources for project funding will also be identified.

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HIgh Line elevated urban park

An elevated park in the sky built on top of the skeleton of an old rail system? It may have sounded impossible only five years ago, but today, the eagerly awaited High Line elevated urban park officially opens for thousands of New Yorkers looking to escape the hubbub of the city below!

Here at Inhabitat, we have been following the journey of the High Line for the past several years and were super excited to get a sneak peek yesterday of the new park, which was renovated / designed by James Corner Field Operations, Lead Designer, with starchitects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. We were thrilled to get a chance to scope out the High Line yesterday as we’ve been waiting for this for ages!)

source: INHABITAT

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Art & Urban Agriculture: Building a Sustainable Future

As part of The University of Windsor’s “Green Corridor” winter 2010 class 6 different students, from varying academic disciplines, have assembled into a group that will research, develop, and implement the foundations for what will eventually become a community garden utilizing the vacant space available at the site of the Eco-House, another project by the Green Corridor providing a prototype for an environmentally friendly and self sustaining residential home. This garden will be self sustaining, organic, and provide vegetation that will nourish not only the community but the environment as well.

The team is comprised of an interdisciplinary mixture of students: Mike, Brad, and Kyle from Mechanical Engineering, Roel from Sociology, Megan from Visual Art & Anthropology, and Chris from Visual Art & Communications.Hopefully the combined skills of critical thinking, innovative problem solving, and technical know-how provided by our group will result in a vibrant and effective collaboration.

The community garden is a new project proposed by the artist run collective Green Corridor and our group is the first to tackle the project. In the few classes we’ve had thus far we’ve created a basic plan of attack: we need to determine the quality of the soil that is currently available at the site figuring out the toxicity and nutritional levels, research viable solutions for enriching the soil, design the most effective layout possible for the garden, and map out possible areas on campus the project could be extended to in the future.

Luckily we have the help of Dr. Rita Haase, a professor here at the University of Windsor who works with a local activist group “FedUp”. She has interests in developing the garden as well and our group will be meeting with her on a semi-regular basis and will hopefully be able to assist her in developing ideas while utilizing her experience and knowledge to enable us to make more effective decisions in relation to our sustainable garden.

As a group we’re excited to see where we can take this project and look forward to the process of developing it.

The Team

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Student Blogs

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» Read all of the student blogs

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