As palestras têm uma duração média de 1h00m, seguidas de 30m para resposta a questões relacionadas com os temas. Começam às 17h30 e o valor de participação é de 15€ por pessoa. Dado o limite do espaço, será sempre necessário fazer a reserva prévia.

Notas: o conteúdo que se segue é da autoria do orador Francis Thompson e está em inglês, embora as palestras sejam dadas em português. Alguns destes temas serão alvo de abordagens práticas a organizar conforme os grupos de estudo que se formarem durante a intervenção teórica.

1 – o2 Outubro – Collecting, storing and filtering Water

2 – 09 Outubro – Insulation

3 – 16 Outubro – Saving through alternatives

4 – 23 Outubro – Alternative construction materials

5 – 30 Outubro – Solar Heating Systems

6 – 06 Novembro – Photovoltaic’s

7 – 13 Novembro – Natural and high efficiency illuminations

8 – 20 Novembro – Efficient and long-lasting Lighting




Collecting, storing and filtering Water

First of all we must learn how to be efficient with water.

Being the most vital element for all life, it is essential having access to fresh running water. The water most people are provided with (publically) nowadays, having been recycled over and over, as well as containing chemicals of which our body does not require and even weaken, should be avoided where ever possible.

Generally water is used for one application and then goes straight to a municipal water recycling center. By retro fitting (when space allows it) small tanks (approximately 50 to 100 l) and collecting used bath or shower water in these small tanks all toilet water (or even gardening water) can be saved in place of fresh water.

There are many ways in which water from various different sources can be collected, filtered and stored for all, if not for the least quantity requirement but most important need, mineralized drinking water. It is how ever possible to provide water for all in-door and out needs from for example rainwater depending mainly on available storage space.

Rain is an excellent free source of pure distilled water practically ready to be used for all in-door house-hold needs using minimal and basic filtration. All out-door uses generally need no filtration at all. Only a small percentage of our total daily water consumption actually requires proper filtration, when for drinking.

Using free and renewable energy to pump water from whatever available renewable source can supply whatever volume of water you may need.




If waste is lost profit, then a house with no or inefficient insulation is a constant waste all year round.

Insulation is a sure way of steadily improving the efficiency of your home, office or caravan and a way of reducing your heating needs in the winter and cooling needs in the summer.

Considering that in this day and age concrete and brick is still an acceptable form of construction material, when plenty of other renewable, low or no energy input and locally sourced materials can by themselves perform better than concrete and brick (with insulation) and cost less in materials and sourcing.

Retro-fitting insulation in existing constructions with little, poor efficiency or none at all, can and should be installed. There are a variety of commercial and easily accessible insulating materials with specification specific to the functions required.

3 –Saving through alternatives


Saving by storing may not just mean the obvious storing of electrical energy in batteries from a PV array, micro wind turbine or micro hydro-turbine.

There are many ways in which to reduce your living cost and environmental impact, whilst using sustainable and renewable free energy sources to power accumulators and provide a range of ‘goods’ to store for various general house hold necessities.

This could be storing water (from a well, lake or whatever source available) in a tank at an elevated height (relative to point/s of use) using a renewable energy source such as a photovoltaic panel, small wind turbine or whatever free energy source most steady and accessible. By using these methods one eliminates the need for battery banks plus all related accessories, and therefore reduces the overall costs.

Storing of heat for cooking, washing and building heating is another option.

By storing your organic waste you can produce fertile soil or even produce your own biogas.

Wise, intelligent and sustainable design can convert any existing house, office or other living space into a clean environment with all needs provided in such a way to have little or no harmful effects on others.

This is sustainable design.


Alternative construction materials


Depending on the context of application alternative construction materials are renewable, low impact, low input energy and high quality and performance characteristics.

Such materials have been used around the world for thousands of years.

Having been forgotten and/or disregarded with the general acceptance of (high input energy and finite resource) concrete and/or brick as mainstream construction material, or synthetics and petrochemical derivatives in place natural renewable and other wise low energy input and sustainable.

They are finally re-emerging into a more mainstream market as a green and renewable alternative, performing by them-selves both thermally and acoustically (in relation to construction) and with greater weight to strength ratios (in relation to other construction materials).

They are superior to existing materials, by means of their low impact, renewable and sustainable nature.

These are some alternative construction materials;

Straw bale,


Rammed earth,

Timber frame,

Clay and straw,

Stone masonry (beneficial when integrated with passive solar heating and cooling),

Recycled materials.


Solar Heating Systems


Solar heating systems are a very simple and effective way of absorbing solar radiation to produce hot water, for all of your hot water needs. Even in low light conditions (cloudy weather) solar panels can absorb enough heat radiation to produce useful heat.

In the summer (as well as half of the year) an average of 80 up to 100% of all your hot water needs can be saved and a further 40 to 60% in the winter, relying solely on solar panels.

If your greater need of hot water exists at night, then either a large thermo-accumulator or better yet a geothermal accumulator deposit can be used to efficiently store hot water produced during the day to be used at night.







Producing your own energy is another way of on the one hand further reduces your long term living costs, as well as having less negative impact on the environment. PV systems allow the possibility of providing all your electrical energy needs by relying on the suns radiation.

The efficiencies of photovoltaic modules are the measure of how much of the sun’s radiation per meter squared is converted into electrical energy.

Commercially available PV modules have ranging efficiencies between 6% up to 45%. Most people have heard of the Poly-crystalline or Mono-crystalline type PV cells, perhaps the most inefficient type of PV technology. Requiring high energy input for a relatively low energy output as well as low energy conversion efficiency. They don’t work well in low level radiation (cloudy weather) conditions, and have a maximum efficiency at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, loosing efficiency as the temperature rises above this temperature.

However there are a range of other (some around for 50 years with the highest efficiency and other emerging with high potential) technology commercially available at much more cost competitive prices, with higher efficiency in both low level radiation conditions and high ambient temperatures.

Considering that Portugal has a high radiance per meter squared compare with the rest of Europe, it is an ideal candidate for such high efficient PV systems.


Natural and high efficiency illuminations



This is a sure way of saving money and using no electricity on light during the day, in those places that get no direct sun light. Using either highly reflective polished metal piping, a series of specially angled mirror arrays or even fiber optics for more complex applications, will allow natural light to reach all areas and can even be amplified along the way with certain optic lenses for a powerful natural light source all throughout the day.

Retro-fitting these systems can be tricky in buildings lacking space or accessibility to tiles, ceiling and walls (though always possible) and in this case usually dependant on how financially willing and environmentally conscious the client may be.

Easy access to roof tiles and ceiling allow for a low cost and low tech (resulting in low energy input) high efficient natural lighting installation.

A simple and obvious low cost and low tech natural light source is using glass roof and wall tiles.

Combine this with the use of high efficient lighting and perhaps even motion sensor (for least possible waste in time use) can reduce ones lighting costs up to 95% with an average of 80% reduction of all electrical energy required for all lighting needs.


Efficient and long-lasting Lighting


By simply changing the type of bulbs (lighting) one uses, a saving of easily 80% and more can be attained. Not only does one save all that electricity on lighting needs, but you also have the ability of selecting high efficient bulbs with a life time of hours up to 80.000. If you calculate 24 hours a day times 365 days a year, you get 8760 hours a year.

So a 50.000 hour bulb will last 45.66 years if you use 3 hours of light per day or 22.83 years if you use 6 hours of light per day or even 11.41 years if you use 12 hours of light per day.

Such bulbs also provide high lumens per watt (measure of light quantity) with minimal consumptions varying from 1.2 watt (equivalent to a 8-15 watt incandescent bulb), 3 watt (equivalent to a 30-40 watt incandescent bulb) or 9 watts (equivalent to a 90-110 watt incandescent bulb).

Francis Thompson


Sustentabilidade: Energias Renováveis 3ª parte


14 de Agosto – 21:30, sede do Projecto Terra (Sintra)

Orador: Francis Thompson

– Sistemas de energias renováveis

– Produção de energia

– Auto suficiência energética


Sustentabilidade: Energias Renováveis 2ªparte

Materiais de Construção Alternativos

26 de Junho – 21:30, sede do Projecto Terra (Sintra)

Orador: Francis Thompson

Técnicas, aplicações e benefícios do uso dos materiais alternativos para aplicações variadas.

Palha, Canhamo e Bioplástico.




Sustentabilidade: Energias Renováveis 1ª parte
8 de Maio – 21:00, sede do Projecto Terra (Sintra)

Vivemos uma época em que cada vez mais o ser humano tem necessidade de viver um presente sustentável. O Planeta Terra como hoje se encontra, tem os dias contados, como tal, a melhor maneira que o ser humano tem para acreditar no amanhã é fazer hoje algo para mudar os seus hábitos. Esta palestra é a primeira de uma série , onde é focalizada uma área e algumas soluções práticas para melhor sustentabilidade.
Um dos campos prioritários a ser preservado é


A água é um recurso básico para a sustentação humana em um ambiente e ao longo do tempo várias civilizações evoluíram e padeceram em função de sua relação de uso com este recurso.
O uso sustentável da água consiste em estabelecer o máximo de elementos de captação, armazenamento, e reciclagem; preferindo armazenar água nos pontos mais altos e reciclar água o quanto for possível.

Os temas a destacar nesta 1ª Parte são:

Como recolher água
Como armazenar água
Como filtrar água
O uso eficiente das águas
Como produzir energia a partir da água
Como reutilizar /reciclar a água utilizada