Your Questions About Sustainable Energy Companies

Carol asks…

What sort of sustainable energy sources or resources are the cleanest and most economically viable ?

Since petroleum oil is becoming less affordable and is believed by many to be the main cause for global warming, what do you think should replace petroleum oil and gas?

admin answers:

The most appropiate type of alternative energy source will be dependant on the application. I will assume you are refering to alternative energy for use in vehicles. Currently there are a few alternatives, some in the early phases of implementation, others a long way off. In the end different techonoligies will develop in parallel to maturity. These include:

1) Hybrid vehicles (petrolium based/electric hybrids) – very economical, they recover energy in breaking in a dynamo to charge the battery bank and a gas or diesel engin for the main power source.

2) Bio-fuel – primarly bio diesel from soya oil, or Ethanol from corn or biomas. This is sustainable but requires agrigulctural land to supply the soya, maize, etc. Regular diesel vehicles can use bio-diesel with minimal modifications required. Gas powered cars can use a gas/bioethanol blend very easily with minimal modifications required.

3) GTL (synthetic) diesel – made from natural gas that may otherwise have been flared (burnt). This is a low sulphur, low aromatic, cleaner burning diesel. Many petrolium companies including Sasol-Chevron and Shell are developing this technology. See the site http://www.sasolchevron.com/ . Regular diesel cars can use GTL diesel without any modifications required.

4) Hydrogen powered cars – based on the hydrogen fuel cell require a source of hydrogen. They have no emissions (except water) and low noise also. To make hydrogen you need energy and this would have to come from a clean source. There is a lot of water availible, but you need electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Currently the only really viable source would be nuclear power. If in the distant future fusion reactors could be comercialised, they could provide the energy for battery/hydrogen powered cars. There are still some problems to solve so this is a longer term possibility. Other problems include how to store hydrogen in the vehicle safely. Its a highly flammable gas and would need to be stored under high pressures. Current vehicles would have to be significantly modified to run on hydrogen. The method of using the hydrogen would be using a hydrogen fuel cell that generates electricity from the hydrogen. The car would use an electric motor.

5) LPG (liquified propane gas) – this fuel combusts (burns) in the engine like gas. LPG is expensive to produce and transport though it could be used in modified engines.

These are the main alternatives currently availible.

Donald asks…

What jobs can a building surveyor be engaged?

I’m now looking for companies to apply internship. but i wonder what else position in the market can a building surveryor take except quantity surveyor?

admin answers:

» Job description

Building surveyors provide professional advice on all aspects of property and construction. They work on site with new buildings and are concerned with the aftercare and performance of existing buildings. This is a very wide field and may include advising on various aspects of buildings at different stages, including:

* design;
* maintenance;
* repair;
* dilapidations;
* refurbishment;
* restoration;
* sustainability.

The nature of the work may range from the design of large, multimillion-pound structures to modest adaptations and repairs, and sometimes includes working with buildings of architectural or historic importance.

Building surveyors may be called upon to give evidence in court in cases where building regulations have been breached and as expert witnesses on building defects and dilapidations.
» Typical work activities

Building surveyors work in many areas of property and construction so the work is diverse and rarely routine. Tasks typically involve:

* ensuring projects are completed on budget and on time;
* advising clients on schemes and projects and determining requirements;
* preparing scheme designs with costings, programmes for completion of projects and specification of works;
* preparing documents for tender and advising on appointing contractors, designers and procurement routes;
* determining the condition of existing buildings, identifying and analysing defects, including proposals for repair;
* advising on energy efficiency, environmental impact and sustainable construction;
* advising on the preservation/conservation of historic buildings;
* advising on management and supervision of maintenance of buildings;
* dealing with planning applications and advising on property legislation and building regulations;
* assessing and designing buildings to meet the needs of people with disabilities;
* advising on construction design and management regulations;
* negotiating dilapidations (when there is a legal liability for a property’s state of disrepair);
* carrying out feasibility studies;
* advising on the health and safety aspects of buildings;
* advising on boundary and rights of light disputes and party wall procedures;
* preparing insurance assessments and claims.

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