"The good ground is gone" often refers to the challenging nature of construction sites these days. Building on steeper slopes, within tighter boundaries all the while accelerating construction schedules is adding to the challenge of construction managers. Often the revegetation and restoration is unfortunately not planned or timed for successful long-term vegetation success. Site soil conditions are frequently overlooked and the timing necessary for seed germination, expression, and establishment are rarely factors in determining the schedule of seeding applications for optimum results. All too often less than desired results or failure is the accepted outcome. This will increase the future maintenance costs and encourage the repeated “finger pointing” while seeking to blame one cause or another. Typically, this often-repeated process fails to address the fundamental causes and thereby rarely fixes the problems moving forward. In an effort to break out of this all too often repeated cycle lets break down the principle challenges and explore options for successful restoration of challenging sites.
It has been shown that solar energy can provide power to mining companies and become an important part of the energy supply to a large mine. This paper discusses an innovative application for implementing a net-zero-energy solar building NZESB in Datong mining or oil and gas projects. The innovative designs involve integrated architectural design, including passive solar design (respecting climatic characteristics and conducting integrated planning based on the environment, building orientation, distance between buildings, building shape, ratio of window area to wall area, and building envelope), and active solar design (integration of the solar-energy-collecting end of the system—collectors and PV panels—with the building surface—roof, wall surfaces, balconies, and sun-shading devices—and the integration of solar-energy transfer and storage equipment with the building). Some Datong-specific applications on NZESBs are suggested. A conclusion can be drawn that mining or oil and gas projects can use NZESBs to solve energy needs in Datong area if its geography, climate and buildings are exploited correctly.
Water treatment has been implemented for decades to treat water supplies as well as “wastewater” from a variety of sources. Noteworthy are successes treating challenging contaminated waters, including industrial sources, mining influenced waters, and oil and gas produced waters. Passive water treatment is a process of simultaneously or sequentially mitigating contaminants and/or acidity and physicochemical properties in a man-made system. This is achieved by capitalizing on biological, geochemical, and coupled biogeochemical reactions, followed by the physical removal and sequestration of constituents. In its truest form, a passive water treatment system (PWTS) does not require power or chemicals after construction and can be designed as a sustainable system lasting for decades or longer with minimal intervention or maintenance. For waters that contain constituents of concern that are not amenable to treatment by naturally occurring biological, physical, or chemical pathways (e.g. sodium, chloride), hybrid or semipassive systems can be developed that incorporate energy driven processes, such as reverse osmosis coupled with passive water treatment.