5/16/11 – 7/22/11
For my ten weeks of the Strauss Internship for Social Understanding, I volunteered at an architecture firm called the Claremont Environmental Design Group, CEDG. CEDG focuses on building sustainably for both landscape and the built environment. I became aware of the work CEDG does through a research project I worked on during the school year. This project was to research the passive heating and cooling system’s energy savings that CEDG was considering installing into their current project called Greenspace.
The volunteer work that I did for CEDG over the summer included a variety of tasks. The most important and time consuming of these was to develop a database of a variety of different building materials and their respective energy and carbon dioxide emissions that they release during production and transportation. In addition to emissions from building materials, I helped create a worksheet to be filled out daily that would keep track of how many workers there would be on the construction site, how they got to work, and how far they traveled, as well as keep a log of all the machines that would be used on the construction site. This worksheet will be used to carefully document all the carbon dioxide emissions that go into the entire project of constructing a building. Lastly, during free time at the office, I was able to continue researching different systems that could be used in the building. These included a passive cooling system using earth-air heat exchanges and rainwater harvesting.
Overall I immensely enjoyed my experience as a volunteer at CEDG and would recommend future Strauss interns to contact them if they are interested in creating a more sustainable world.