Thursday, September 11, 2008

Step-through Tubs

During a recent bathroom remodel, my clients and I were discussing options for their cast iron tub/shower unit. They were concerned that it was getting more and more difficult to get in and out of the tub to take showers. That 16" high rim is not easy to step over. They don't take baths anymore and were strongly convinced that my plumber should tear the tub out and re-plumb for a 5' walk-in shower. If you've ever torn out a cast iron tub, you know, this is one tough, nasty and messy job. 
They had aged glass doors on the tub and these are so hard to keep clean that they needed to be replaced or removed.
Add the fact that, in this case, tile goes from the ceiling to the tub rim; you either have to tear that out and durock and re-tile or tile from the rim level down to the new shower pan. The expense, mess and the debris going to the landfill made this an unappealing option.
Enter Surface Specialists. This a national franchise that does re-glazing, repairs, and step-throughs for tubs. Steve Streifel, owner of Surface Specialists of Michigan came over and in short order turned their tub into a walk-in shower.

              From this:                                                                                                           

                To this!

Why this is Green:
  • 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

Traverse City, MI- Northern Michigan was fortunate to host a presentation given by Bill McKibben, the author of the seminal global climate change book, The End of Nature on Sunday, Sept. 7th. Sponsored by the Michigan Land Use Institute, this event drew more than 500 concerned citizens and rallied all in attendance to become activists. He discussed what's happened world-wide, politically and environmentally, since his book was published in 1989. He talked at length about the future and the need for all of us to be involved, to become activists, to do something. He encouraged all in attendance to join, a group engaged in environmental activism, who's goal is to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the current level of 387 parts per million to 350.

As a Green builder and Green blogger, I attended this event because education is a good thing and it's important. If we want to build responsibly, sustainably and environmentally, Green is the answer.
Here's a great video from the