- It uses 80% less energy to produce than standard drywall.
- It doesn't contain gypsum. In fact, it's made with 80% post industrial recycled waste.
- It doesn't generate any mercury during the manufacturing process.
- It resists mold, up to 50% better than even mold resistant drywall.
- It is less dusty which cuts down on airborne contaminants.
- Application and installation process is like standard drywall so additional installer training is not needed.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
As I mentioned in a previous post, we installed a Caroma Sydney dual-flush toilet in our green bath remodel. We really like it.
Caroma has now gone 1-step further with this dual flush/sink addition to their line of bath products. This Profile Smart toilet has won the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough award for 2008. http://www.caromausa.com/Profile-Smart
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A really interesting video on the principles that should guide all Green building designs. Part of a series given by author Dan Chiras. Excerpts are from a Residential Renewable Energy workshop offered through CU Boulder's Sustainable Practices Certificate Program. This and many others can be seen at sustainablepractices
Monday, December 1, 2008
One element of remodeling and building that I love is the designing and presentation of projects to clients. We discuss their vision, needs and budget. If they didn't hire a designer or architect, I would draw up the usual floor plans (mostly for permit purposes) for their approval. 2-D drawings aren't the most inspirational at times and aren't a great way to show the client what the finished project will look or feel like.
- First thing, removed drywall/light eyesore from ceiling (seen above in picture) and patched ceiling. The gaping hole in ceiling did afford electrician access for wiring new lights.
- Removed old carpet, pad, vinyl and luaun from the kitchen, dining room and living room.
- Replaced with prefinished Maple floors that came from responsibly managed wood lots in Canada. Instead of 15# asphalt impregnated felt for underlayment, we used Kodak paper. Absolutely no off-gassing.
- Repainted all rooms mentioned above with low or no-VOC paints.
- Old cabinets and tops removed. Cabinets donated to ReStore to be sold and used by others. Old kneewalls torn out and all 2 x 4 material salvaged for backer/incidental framing.
- New Kraftmaid cabinets.
- Island hood installed for better ventilation.
- Appliances are Frigidaire and all are EnergyStar rated.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
- Small Wind - Tax credits are available to homeowners who install residential small wind turbine systems. The credits are available for systems placed in service from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2016. The tax credit is for 30% of the cost of the system, up to $500 for each half kilowatt of capacity with an overall maximum of $4,000.
- Solar - Tax credits are available for qualified solar water heating and photovoltaic systems. The credits are available for systems placed in service from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2016. The tax credit is for 30% of the cost of the system, up to $2,000. After December 31, 2008, this $2,000 cap will be removed for photovoltaic systems (but not solar water heaters). This credit is completely separate from the $500 home improvement credit.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
- By not tearing out the tub and/or the tile and starting over, the project didn't contribute to the waste stream.
- Eliminated shower doors which are hard to clean and are growth zones for grime and potentially mold.
- Contributes to the health of customers by removing a risk, in this case, falling.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
- We started with expanding the door into our linen closet. The existing bifold was only 2' wide, although the closet width was over 3'. This made it difficult to remove and return larger blankets, quilts and stacks of towels. We bought a door to fit the new opening at a reuse-it shop. (I take a lot of doors, windows, cabinets, etc. to this shop through my remodeling business) A couple coats of no-VOC paint, it looked like new.
- The floor needed replacing. Very dated! I didn't want to tear it and the underlayment out because I didn't want to contribute it to the landfill. Ceramic tile would require this to occur and it is cold on bare feet. The height difference between the hall wood floor and the existing bath floor was 3/8", so we needed a flooring that would bring the floor level close to the hall floor. We chose Marmoleum Click. This product is a floating floor with a cork backing, is treated to repel water and is easy to install and maintain. 18 colors to choose from. We chose Caribbean.
- We added an Ikea cabinet above the toilet area to get the storage out of the vanity.
- We kept the existing vanity, again to save on the work, waste stream and cost of replacing. Paint is a great way to turn old into new.
- New countertop, faucet and sink. The countertop is formica, which could be argued isn't green, but I purchased the formica from a local lumberyard's "dog bin". Every lumber company has this area so-called for mistaken orders, discontinued or unused products. I may have saved this from being thrown away. For those of you remodeling, check this area out. You can find windows, doors etc. and save money and landfill space.
- Caroma dual-flush toilet. Made in Australia. This a great way to conserve water.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
The topic of this entry is my disbelief that I didn't see many examples of water conservation. Here we have a state (and in all fairness, it really is it's biggest megalopolis, Phoenix) that is reliant on the Colorado River and a series of canals to supply water to it's thirsty residents. We stayed with a dear friend in Prescott who proudly announced that their water came from drilled wells, not the Colorado River. We toured Taliesin West and they get their water from a well. Interesting story there- When Frank Lloyd Wright purchased the 640 acres in the early 1930's, he paid an extra $7.00 an acre for the water rights. The sellers thought they really had fooled the architect and made a killing. FLW hired a well driller and 400-some feet later they hit an aquifer and they are still using the water.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
- A 2 x 6 sill plate on a 8" block wall allows air flow from inside of block cores into basement space cooling floors above the block and the basement as a whole. I glue in 2"cuts of 1" foam on top of block. I then glue 4 x 8 sheets of 1" ESP foam (R-4) on the block surface. The reason I use ESP is it allows the walls to dry to the inside. It costs about $4.-5.00 a sheet ($1.00 per R factor rating). 1" EXP foam is R-5 and is quite pricey. Up north, it is difficult to get EXP without the moisture retarding skin and that would not allow the walls to dry out. All seams are caulked (as is the perimeter) and taped.
- 2x4 stud wall on 2' centers goes up next. Use a treated plate. This is needed for running electrical and heat runs easily.
- Run heat runs in stud bays as close to floor as possible. Make sure you add cold-air returns equivalent to heat.
- Insulate stud bays with R-13 insulation.
- NO VAPOR BARRIER.
- Drywall lifted off concrete slab. This prevents any wicking of moisture from floor. Caulk bottom gap.
- Prime and paint with latex paint (NOT OIL). This will allow the walls to breathe and continue to dry to the inside.
- Flooring is next. Because of the dampness of basements in the summer, the flooring choices are limited. Carpet gets musty and damp in summer. Glueing wood to cement is not a good choice. Tile is about the only good choice but would be cold in winter. We put DriCore panels down after it was painted. It was amazing the difference your feet felt between the concrete slab and the DriCore surface. DriCore claims about a 6 degree difference. Well worth the $5.00 per panel cost.
Friday, March 14, 2008
- Caulk and seal any leaks (air and water)
- Replace drafty window(s), door(s)
- Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL's or LED's
- Replace Toilet(s) with dual-flush toilets
- Low flow faucets and shower-heads
- Get more insulation in attic
- Have furnace cleaned and serviced.
- Replace noisy bath fans with quiet, energy efficient fans
- Replace old deck surfaces with recycled-content composite decking
- Insulate basement
- If your carpet's old and needs replacing, replace with wool or recycled-content carpets. Watch the VOC's. Better yet, replace with Forbo, engineered (and sustainably harvested) wood. Recycled-content tiles are a good choice too.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
- the Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area, Inc. A few words about the HBA. I'm not a member (so this isn't being said to promote "my" group or association) but they are really concerned about those issues that confront us as builders and consumers. They've been at the Green forefront and are leading the charge in our state.
- The Traverse City branch of the AIA.
Friday, February 22, 2008
This blog entry is an update to an earlier entry (Here) that discussed some of the drawbacks of compact fluorescent light bulbs. Don't get me wrong, I was not playing devil's advocate and wishing we'd go back to incandescent bulbs. They consume 10% of the electricity in the U.S and we've got to get off this addiction.
- last up to 50,000 hours
- (Incandescent bulbs last 1000 hours),
- (CFL's last 10,000 hours).
Monday, February 18, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
This a really nice 2 part video of a green remodeling project. There are a couple of quibbles I have with the project. 2 x 6's on 19.2" or 24" centers on framing ( also called Optimum Value Engineering) would have saved even more on materials and insulating value. The spirit of the homeowners and the project is in the right place. Remodeling is inherently more green because you are not building a new home. (Disturbing the land, broadening the power grid, etc.) I say Bravo! Thanks to the Mikezk Channel on YouTube for posting this and other great Green Videos.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
- squak mountain stone (http://tmi-online.com/). These tops are made from recycled paper, recycled glass, coal fly ash and cement. Based in Washington state this would be great for western homes.
- ShetkaSTONE (http://www.shetkastone.com/). From their website- "