Available Project Opportunities
Deadline Sunday 11/4/12 at 11:55pm
Wheelchair Ramps for the Disabled:
Disabled or injured patients confined to wheelchairs are often incapable of independent mobility into and out of their own homes due to lack of a bridging device. They end up unable to make crucial medical appointments for treatment and examination or, in many cases, injure themselves further in an attempt to get across without their chair. A large unmet need is thus for wheelchair ramps into homes, as well as someone to install them. Working with local community partners such as UVA Hospital Health-South and the Albermarle County Housing Improvement Progam (AHIP), this project seeks to benefit such members within both the UVA and local Charlottesville/Albermarle County community by taking the initiative to install these sorely needed wheelchair ramps.
Solar Panel Consulting:
This local project will be focusing on providing consulting service and photovoltaic estimates for clients interested in putting up solar panels in the home or workplace. The team members will learn how to perform visual modeling of solar panel installation on plan sites via GoogleSketchUp. After mastering the basic skills, the team will contact local community members to ask for their interest in installing solar panels. We will be providing free consulting services, but we will not be physically integrating the panels into their power grid. If the client is satisfied with the initial estimates, we can set them up contractors. The team is looking for members who have strong interest in alternative energy and interested in gaining skills in consulting, GoogleSketchUp modeling, and client communication.
Efficient Energy for Low-Income Trailer Residents:
This project will seek to partner with the Appalachia Service Project (asphome.org) to explore solutions to a chronic issue impacting low-income folks: how to keep a trailer warm. Much heat & energy is lost from a lack of insulation, poorly functioning windows and doors, lack of underpinning, etc. Many folks use wood burners in trailers, often when they have a room addition off the center of the trailer. The electric furnaces that are standard are horribly inefficient and expensive to operate. Alternatives such as natural gas ventless stoves may be explored.
Sustainable Straw Design for the Paralyzed/Mobility-Impaired:
Paralyzed and mobility-impaired people often require the use of straws to consume liquids from an otherwise-inaccessible container. Repeated usage and disposal of the standard plastic straw, however, is neither a sustainable practice nor ideal for the patient’s ease of use. This local project will focus on designing a straw that can address the issues of sustainability, efficient reusability, easy packaging, and adaptability of shape.
Expediting UVA Mailroom Efficiency:
Students rely on the UVA mail system to sort and deliver their packages after reaching the university. However, packages are often delayed, reaching students as much as two weeks after initially arriving on grounds. This causes undue stress on students and slows the university’s economy. I propose that the ESWB examine the sorting and distribution methods of the mail rooms and brainstorm ideas to minimize the time between package arrival and student pick up. Improvements made would be a direct contribution to faculty and students alike.
Living Energy Farms:
The Living Energy Farm in Charlottesville aims to actively promote lifestyles and technologies that are truly sustainable and completely free of fossil fuels. They strive to make these sustainable technologies accessible to all persons regardless of their income or social position. The Living Energy Farm and ESWB will partner on one of several project opportunities including building a bio-gas digestor, building a solar ammonia loop ice maker for refrigeration, and working on a solar hot water system. The project team can decide which opportunity to pursue.