Low-Income Green Technology Initiative

A nonprofit company that designs green technologies for low-income people is making a difference throughout the world, according to an official who spoke Feb. 10 at UDM.

John Barrie, executive director of the Appropriate Technology Collaborative (ATC), gave a lecture in the Loranger Exhibition Hall in the School of Architecture, highlighting projects ATC and various “world challenge design teams” – groups of engineering, design and business students from various universities around the nation – have been working on in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

“Appropriate technologies” make better living conditions, are affordable and are environmentally responsible, according to Barrie.

All of the ATC designs are under a creative commons license, which allows anyone else to use and modify them.

ATC has developed LED replacements for kerosene lamps, a Treadle pump (similar to a Stairmaster) for use in pumping water and a vaccine refrigerator that uses only charcoal and ethanol.

The collaborative has also created water supplies for mountain villages and ram pumps, which use water from a higher location to pump another water source into villages.

Barrie showed how the ATC was able to make $10 solar panels using only greenhouse plastic, a wood frame and black paint.

Barrie said he was looking forward to continuing a thermo-acoustic engine project, which uses sound waves to create energy.

He said that they create free energy, cost less than solar panels and will actually create jobs.

The ATC is also becoming involved in bio-medicinal technologies, including stethoscopes that can connect to the Internet and allow clearer diagnoses in villages that don’t have many doctors.

The company is also developing a low-cost ultrasound probe that uses an Android Touch.

Green buildings are also a focal point.

They are constructed of walls made from plastic bottles, which are plastered with mud.

A green building project is planned for the summer of 2012.

For additional information on ATC, visit apptechdesign.org

M. Germaine Parra
Realtor, Feng Shui Consultant
Licensed in DC, MD and VA
Long and Foster Realtors
6862 Elm Street Office, McLean, VA  22101
Fax:   703-873-1901
Cell:  703.650.8838

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