Category: ISU / Ames (page 2 of 2)

Interlock House webcam

The Iowa State Solar Decathlon has debuted a webcam today, providing a live feed of the construction progress of the Interlock House. The building site is in a warehouse near the ISU Research Park. The house will be built in to module sections for transportation purposes and the whole house will be about 40 feet long by 20 feet.

> ISU Solar Decathlon 2009: Construction Webcam

Solar D on 88.3

My father George Dorman recently interviewed Iowa State’s Solar Decathlon team on “Clean Up Your Act” for KCCK radio in Cedar Rapids. Team leaders describe the challenges and benefits of designing a solar home for the general public.

Designing the Solar Home of the Future

> Full interview (11:09)
> ISU Solar Decathlon 2009
> U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon

Campustown gets rubber sidewalk thanks to beer

Rubber sidewalk

How appropriate for the first day back in class at Iowa State… Here’s a short clip from NPR Morning Edition from August 19, about concrete sidewalks being replaced with rubber to stand up to the occasional dropped keg at Lincoln Way and Welch in Campustown. Doing a Google search, it appears the story was picked up across the country for the day’s light-hearted news story.

Edit: Apparently the rubber sidewalk has been installed along Chamberlain Street at Welch Ave next to the Campustown fire station (one block south of Lincoln Way). The sidewalk work at Lincoln Way and Welch appears to be for new traffic signals. The above photo I took Thursday, August 28.

> Morning Edition: Sidewalk Padded With Rubber For Keg Deliveries

New brick and chains on campus

New brickwork and barrier chains have been installed outside of Friley Hall and Union Drive Community Center (UDCC) on the Iowa State University campus. The new brick replaces large dead, dirt spots where years of heavy pedestrian traffic has done its toll. I am always happy to see new brickwork on campus instead of all concrete sidewalks. It gives the already beautiful campus added character and visual interest.

However I can’t say the same for the new metal chains. These pedestrian barriers are found all over campus restricting pedestrians to sidewalks as to prevent creating “cow paths” in the grass. A debate has sparked on campus after a Facebook group was created arguing over-use of these chains that many deem uglier than a few cow paths. I agree that some chains are necessary around campus but it now seems they are going up just anywhere and everywhere. These new chains between Friley and the UDCC look haphazardly placed amid a few small shrubs and a tree at either end. Mulch has been worn away around shrubs as thousands of students cut through daily going between Friley and the UDCC where a dining center is located.

In such a high traffic area the landscaping strip at UDCC would be more suitable as a small strip of brickwork, like what was just installed nearby. The two trees could easily be preserved and maybe even a third one added, with space in between finished in brick. This would allow pedestrians passage, require little maintenance, and enhance the entrance into the Union Drive residential community. Instead of restricting pedestrians from cutting through by erecting unsightly metal chains, the Department of Facilities Planning and Management should work to identify and respond appropriately to pedestrian movement around campus.

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