Atlantic Coast · Conservation · Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · Historic Towns · intercity transit · museums · Resilience · Rivers · Sustainable Communities · Travel Plan Fees · water quality

Exploring Brandywine Creek and Valley

Brandywine Creek is a tributary of the Christina River in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. The Lower Brandywine is 20.4 miles long and is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River with several tributary streams.

Development and Conservancy Issues in the 1960s, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania in the historic Brandywine Valley, faced a possible massive industrial development that would impact a largely rural community.  Also, development plans in floodplain areas threatened to devastate water supplies for numerous communities in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware.

Residents bought endangered land and founded the Brandywine Conservancy in 1967.  The first conservation easements, protecting more than five and one-half miles along the Brandywine, were granted in 1969. 

These Experiences have placed the Brandywine Valley communities in the forefront of responsible land use, open space preservation and water protection with a focus on integrating conservation with economic development through land stewardship and local government assistance programs working with individuals, state, county and municipal governments and private organizations to permanently protect and conserve natural, cultural and scenic resources.

The Conservancy opened a museum in 1971 in the renovated Hoffman’s Mill, a former gristmill built in 1864, part of the Conservancy’s first preservation efforts.  It contains an unparalleled collection of American art with emphasis on the art of the Brandywine region, illustration, still life and landscape painting, and the work of the Wyeth family.

River Museums Microbrews and Shopping in Delaware and Southeastern PA

Professional Enrichment Tours address suburban sprawl, declining water quality, diminishing water supplies, vanishing agricultural land, loss of historic character, wildlife habitat degradation, and threatened biological resources. Learn to:

·         Protect and conserve land and water, natural, cultural and scenic resources;

·         Create and strengthen local government efforts that support resource conservation;

·         Improve site planning and design to support resource conservation;

·         Plan and conserve of natural and cultural resources;

·         Enhance awareness and knowledge of conservation approaches.

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On the way to the Brandywine Valley, it is worth visiting three cultural venues in Wilmington:

Rockwood Mansion & Park, an English country estate featuring unique gardens, a Rural Gothic mansion with conservatory, and a Victorian house museum with 19thand 20th century furnishings.

The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, located in the Wilmington Riverfront District, is a non-collecting contemporary art museum dedicated to the advancement of contemporary art. The DCCA houses seven galleries with over 30 exhibits annually, featuring the work of regional, national, and international artists.

The Delaware Art Museum founded in 1912, it offers vibrant family programs, studio art classes, a diverse collection of American art and illustration and an outdoor sculpture garden.

Explore Brandywine Valley, Delaware and Southeastern PA

America · Business · Conservation · Cultural Heritage · Efficiency · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Maritime Heritage · museums · Travel · travel plan

Preserve and Divulge Cultural Heritage

Destinations and Itineraries

Cultural Heritage and Local Museums give meaning and purpose to the objects on display in museums and art galleries as they disclose the historical and archaeological heritage of a community, leverage conservation and the rediscovery of cultural heritage through the arts, history, archaeology, literature and architecture, preserve biodiversity and rediscover cultures associated with agricultural, coastal and river communities

For Friends & Family Theme Groups and Business Travelers

River Market KCLocal Food Wineries and Breweries there are several fascinating examples throughout America of a resurgence in farming that cater to an ever-increasing demand for local, quality and sustainable food, wine and ale consumption in urban, rural and suburban communities, fueled in part by downtown development and neighborhood construction. This, in turn, has spawned a demand for nightlife and weekend amenities for local citizens and out of town visitors.

Experience Uniquely Local Atmospheres Where Historical and Sustainable Attractions are also Present

Milwaukee Intermodal StationLocal Public Transport Initiatives in recent years, efficient and affordable public transit – in the form of bus rapid transit, subways, elevated and other rail services and trolley cars – for urban, suburban and intercity services have been debated, studied and in some instances implemented. Our itineraries include major US cities with established commuter and regional service as well as communities that are implementing new transit programs. An opportunity to meet with local planners and managers and travel efficiently, safely and affordably as you visit the United States.

Canal boat DelphiWater Resources and the Environment visit and study the efforts of communities that are in the forefront of water resources management and other environmentally sustainable practices in coastal and river waterfront development in small towns and large cities as well as agricultural communities. Local officials and nonprofit stewards of the environment, among others, will explain their policies, programs and best management practices in wastewater and watershed management, land conservancy issues, LEED certifications, recycling, rainwater collection and energy efficient systems.

Industry and Commerce Itineraries from Agriculture and Industry to Services and Sustainability

Lockport downtownMany American Communities are transitioning from traditional industrial and commercial activities to technologically innovative ones; in some instances, they are also able to re-establish their traditional economic activities with a successful application of the so-called knowledge economy and, in the process, becoming once again competitive in the world marketplace.

Communications Training Small Business and Entrepreneurship

C&O Canal - GeorgetownCommunities with traditional economies can succeed in a post-industrial environment by utilizing modern communications technologies, updating existing industrial infrastructure, local workforce training as well as supporting small businesses and new entrepreneurial opportunities.

Destinations and Itineraries for Friends Family and Business Travelers

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Business · Conservation · destination management · Efficiency

Financing Energy Efficiency Projects

Energy Efficiency Projects face several financial impediments, including:

Information financial institutions often lack a full understanding of energy efficiency technologies which are almost always investments with long repayment terms;

Commercial Lenders are risk averse to this type of credit exposure while investment funds have a greater appetite for risk but focus on large volume transactions, hence

Energy Efficiency projects that would benefit small towns and rural communities require specific and unique knowledge, expertise and funding sources.

Main Street Historic DistrictsSolutions

Energy Audits provide the necessary information on current consumption patterns and establish baselines for future demand and consumption with IT-based monitoring and controlling systems whose software gathers and elaborates data coming from smart meters.

ESCOs are energy and water service/savings companies that provide design, implementation and financing of energy/water saving projects via retrofits, conservation, infrastructure outsourcing, power generation and supply, as well as risk management as they share in the risk borne by the project beneficiary as the funding source buys energy savings receivables resulting from the project.

NREL Image Processing Occupancy SensorProject Tasks include: identification and evaluation of energy-saving opportunities; developing engineering designs and specifications; project management from design to installation to monitoring; energy supply at the best costs; funding; staff training and ongoing maintenance services; guarantees that savings cover project costs; understanding and applying of energy standards, laws and incentives.

Energy Performance Contracts contain risk allocation, cash flow segregation, financial instruments and controls with the appropriate management information systems.

Economies of Scale and larger volume finance transactions are achieved by linking with similar size and type projects in other small towns and rural communities.

self reliant communities 3 images by EffektTell Us About Your Project

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Business · Conservation · destination management · Efficiency · Historic Towns

Water Resources Best Management Practices

Water and Energy Projects are catalysts in generating new employment opportunities and entrepreneurial efforts in communities that are in the forefront of managing watershed and water resources issues in urban and rural settings.

Communities are confronting new and complex challenges to achieve safe and affordable water supplies, collect and treat waste water and storm water, flood protection, rivers and streams for fishing and swimming. There are also challenges with aging infrastructure and the impact of climate change on human health and ecosystems.

Storm Water if rain is not properly managed and flows over impervious surfaces into the nearest storm drain, it can have a detrimental effect on rivers and streams. In an urban environment, storm water is also closely related to safety, flooding, waterway health and drinking water.

bend-old-mill-districtChallenges that Require New Infrastructure Investments and Approaches to Urban Water Resources

Waterways urbanization is responsible for many of the sources that contribute to waterway degradation. Increases in impervious surface area and runoff have negative effects on stream flow. Once the natural physical condition of a waterway is compromised by pollution or excessive runoff, it sets off a chain of degradation: erosion, water temperature changes and habitat loss.

Watershed groups, municipalities, agencies, and conservation groups working together to develop watershed and restoration plans, implement projects and return streams to healthy thriving systems by implementing watershed assessments and planning programs, quality control plans, floodplain protection, land use management and storm water best management practices and more.

autumn featival in south dakotaInfrastructure Requires Continuous Inspection and Maintenance

Conservation the true cost of water in a property should be measured as the water rate + the sewer rate multiplied by the water consumption volume + plus fees and other associated costs. In addition, while the water usage profile varies by building type and use, mechanical systems account for 30 percent of water use in a typical building, with cooling towers nearly 50 percent and outdoor usage another 20-30 percent.

Water Heating Accounts for Eight Percent of Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings

Sub-meters help identify inefficiencies and malfunctions as leaks account for six percent of water usage and older fixtures consume up to five times more water prompting installation of leak detection systems.

Main Street Historic DistrictsBilling Meters Sub Meters Metrics Outdoors Landscaping O&M Irrigation

The Cost of Water is deceptively low as building owners and tenants pay for water twice – water supplied + water discharged to the sewer. Additional considerations include the cost of energy required to pump and heat water and rate increases over time from energy and water utilities. Cost control solutions and incentives range from fulfilling water requirements for building certifications, conducting water audits, inclusive of leak detection, to incorporating water efficiency into standard operating procedures and procurement policies.

Billing Issues verify your property’s rate class and meter size, read water meters regularly to verify usage – units and scale of readings should match bills and internal log books.

Water Meters Require Limited Maintenance and Annual Calibration

Bills can cover multiple meters with specific water usage for each; match all meters listed with their location and equipment covered. Record usage individually and ask utilities for credit on sewer charges for water lost to evaporation instead of being discharged to sewer, irrigation and cooling towers.

Meter and Sub-meter all sources of water to help identify areas for targeted reductions: city potable, reclaimed water and well water. Most facilities have one or two master meters supplying the whole building; others have one meter for an entire campus with multiple buildings. Sub-meters:

do not have to be on separate utility accounts;

can help identify leaks and equipment inefficiencies or malfunctions.

self reliant communities 3 images by EffektWater Metrics the sum of all sources: Potable Water from public water systems and classified for human consumption. Reclaimed Water wastewater treatment plant effluent purchased from a public water system. Well Water obtained from wells, bore wells, and other groundwater sources. Natural Freshwater sources that are not municipally supplied, including surface water sources such as lakes or streams. Other Sources rainwater or storm water harvested onsite, sump pump water harvesting, gray water, air-cooling condensate, reject water from water purification systems, water reclaimed onsite, or water from other reuse strategies.

Outdoor Water Usage the amount of water used outdoors is dictated by landscape size and design, the need for supplemental irrigation, management of pools and other facilities. Outdoor water use is a primary driver of peak use.

Landscaping a well-designed, healthy, water-efficient landscape includes healthy soils to promote water infiltration and root growth, appropriate grading with gentle slopes, mulching of landscaped beds to keep soils cool and moist, drought-tolerant, native, or climate/regionally appropriate plant species, minimal turf area.

O&M maintain existing plantings and protect your investment in plants, remove weeds so water is available for desired plants, allow turf grass to grow longer to achieve deeper root growth, make shade and apply less water to shaded areas, minimize water used for other purposes, shut off water features whenever possible, recirculate in water features, sweep, don’t water hard surfaces.

Irrigation install rain shutoff devices or sensors, soil moisture-based control technologies and sprinklers. Maintenance check the system for broken or clogged sprinkler heads, move or adjust sprinkler components to avoid watering pavement, install and monitor water sub-meters for irrigation systems, monitor monthly use trends, audit irrigation system every three years.

Water ResourcesInnovative Water Solutions for Your Home Neighborhood and Business

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Business · Conservation · destination management · Efficiency

Energy Efficiency and Your Property

Microgrids-as-a-Service: A New Approach to Resiliency Efficiency and Sustainability

Volt Logistics develops, deploys, markets and manages tools that improve energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption, enact water quality and conservation measures in commercial and residential properties with a specific focus on main streets and historic districts in small towns and rural communities. These efforts are conducted in collaboration with established local businesses, technology, equipment and service suppliers.

Energy Management for Small and Medium-sized Commercial Buildings

Main Street Historic DistrictsSmall and Medium-sized Commercial Buildings account for 95 percent of building stock and consume half the energy in a sector of the economy responsible for 20 percent of the total energy consumption. Owners of smaller buildings are often unaware of the amount of energy wasted and the opportunity for savings that building automation systems provide. This sector hasn’t BAS for the following reasons: the high cost of tailoring software and acquiring hardware components is beyond the reach of most small- and medium-sized properties; the owner is not always the tenant that pays the utility bill, hence limited incentive to invest in the building’s energy efficiency.

voltec imageBuilding Leases spell out how energy costs are divided between tenants and owners. Often, these leases are not structured in a way that promotes energy savings. Tenants have no incentive to save energy in their leased premises because energy costs are based on tenant square footage. Building owners have no incentive to invest in energy efficiency because the operating expenses are passed onto tenants.
Green Leases promote energy efficiency by creating lease structures which equitably align the costs and benefits of efficiency investments between building owners and tenants.

Energy Management Systems can be used to centrally control devices like HVAC units and lighting systems across multiple locations. EMS also provide metering, sub-metering and monitoring functions that allow facility managers to gather data and insight to make more informed decisions about energy activities across their sites.

LEED Neighborhood Development building technologies and advanced, real-time energy smart meters allow business and residential energy users to verify consumption in workplaces and homes. Passive Solar Buildings take advantage of the local climate with window placement and glazing, thermal mass, insulation and shading. Walls, floors and windows are designed and located to collect, store and distribute energy without the use of mechanical and electric devices.

Conservation and efficiency are energy reduction techniques; conservation implies sufficiency and is the key to sustainability as it lowers energy costs by reducing resource depletion.

Innovative Solutions for Your Neighborhood and Business

electricity meterDigital Metering and Smart Grids smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system; unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting. With the inception of electricity deregulation and market-driven pricing, utilities have been looking for a means to match consumption with generation. Smart meters provide a way of measuring site-specific information, allowing utility companies to introduce different prices for consumption based on the time of day and the season.

Sub-meters identify best practices to reduce energy and water consumption in a building allowing owners, property managers, condominium or homeowners associations to bill tenants for measured utility usage via individual water, gas and electric meters. Water Sub-meters promote conservation and help offset maintenance costs.

Distributed Generation occurs on a property site when energy is sold to the building occupants; here, commercial PPAs enable businesses and governments to purchase electricity directly from the generator rather than from the utility. Power Purchase Agreements PPA is a legal contract between an electricity generator and a power purchaser.

Financing Energy Efficiency Projects face several financial impediments, including information. Financial institutions often lack a full understanding of energy efficiency technologies which are almost always investments with long repayment terms. Small towns and rural communities require specific and unique knowledge, expertise and funding sources.

Power Purchase Agreements and Distributed Generation Projects

Green City ManhattanA Power Purchase Agreement PPA is a legal contract between an electricity generator and a power purchaser. Contractual terms may last anywhere between 5 and 20 years, during which time the power purchaser buys energy, and sometimes also capacity and services, from the electricity generator. Such agreements play a key role in the financing of independently owned electricity generating assets. The seller is typically an independent power producer – IPP.

PPAs Facilitate the Financing of Distributed Generation Assets

Distributed Generation occurs on a property site with energy sold to the building occupants; here, commercial PPAs enable businesses and governments to purchase electricity directly from the generator rather than from the utility. The parties involved include a Seller, the entity that owns the project. In most cases, the seller is organized as a special purpose entity whose main purpose is to facilitate financing, and the Buyer, typically a utility or building occupants under the distributed generation scenario.

Energy Management for Small and Medium-sized Commercial Buildings

Tell Us About Your Building

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Business · Conservation · destination management · Efficiency · Logistics

Energy Audits Conservation Design and LEED Neighborhood Development

Energy Audits inspect and analyze energy usage and flows in a building to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting output. Building technologies and advanced real-time energy smart meters allow business and residential energy users to verify consumption in workplaces and homes. Passive Solar Buildings take advantage of the local climate with window placement and glazing, thermal mass, insulation and shading. Walls, floors and windows are designed and located to collect, store and distribute energy without the use of mechanical and electric devices.

Conservation and efficiency are energy reduction techniques; conservation implies sufficiency and is the key to sustainability as it lowers energy costs by reducing resource depletion.

Smart Location Encourages Transport Alternatives Historic Preservation while Discouraging Sprawl

Urban and Suburban Transport developed with inexpensive fossil fuels. Recent zoning practices range from greater urban density to incorporation of walking and bicycling designs that, coupled with lifestyle changes like telecommuting, help reduce transport energy consumption.

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