Archive for the 'Green Remodeling' Category

Free and cheap: A tile showroom in my living room

Suze Orman would not be happy with me. If you’ve seen her show, you’ve heard her intone: People first. Then money. Then things. My current lineup is: People first. Then tile. Then everything else. Back at the tile shop, where I picked up my free tiled tabletop in the alley behind the store, I checked [...]

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Top green-building innovations: one architect’s viewpoint

I asked green-leaning Berkeley architect Robert Nebolon to make a list of the top green-building innovations from his perspective. Of course, he had to make two lists— architectural and non-architectural — and if you know any architects, you’ll know it’s pretty typical that he did more than was asked for. Robert also consulted a colleague, [...]

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How’s that remodel working out? Greening up a modest tract house

Bill and Becka Doering did a whole-house green remodel on their Santa Barbara home, and I wrote a Pardon Our Dust feature about it, which you can read here. Bill is both an engineer and a green-building enthusiast. With his firm, Doering Design & Engineering, he helps others make their homes more energy-efficient. Also, the [...]

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Quiz: Which is the biggest energy hog at home?

Before we start generating energy onsite with solar panels and geothermal, we should cut down on any needless uses of energy in our homes. That way, we’ll need fewer solar panels to give us all the energy our homes need. But we are mostly in the dark (pun intended) when it comes to energy use. [...]

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The new chic: decorating from the dump

I knew we were on our way to a Depression Era decorating mentality and now we have arrived. Thank goodness we have artists living at the poverty level to show us the way. As seen in this feature in the New York Times, an artist who makes sculpture from driftwood and his resourceful partner have [...]

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Made in America — Alabama white marble

We should all be inspired by Anders Lewendal, a homebuilder in Bozeman, Montana, who is building what he considers the first home documented to be made entirely of American-made materials. He was featured recently in the New York Times. Lewendal, who has an economics degree, told The Times: “I think we could solve this recession if everyone shifted [...]

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Flash News — Hot sun makes barn cooler

This is what I’m talkin’ ’bout! This agricultural barn is being cooled with Big Ass Fans powered by solar panels. What a concept! This is so obvious! When the sun is beating down hot, the buildings and people and animals need cooling off. Rather than sucking black gunk out of the ground and burning it to create energy, why [...]

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What is home performance? Check this out

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LEED? ICC-700? Energy Star? One builder gives up on green-building ratings

Vernon McKown, co-owner of Ideal Homes of Norman, Okla., is a pretty enlightened green builder whom I heard speak last week at the International Builder’s Show in Orlando. The topic was how to build affordable green homes and Vern made a shocking statement: He said he’s quitting all green-building rating systems programs. That includes Energy Star [...]

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This is huge! The Home Depot brings the green

(Washington, D.C.) Mar. 7, 2012 - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), in conjunction with The Home Depot®, has launched an online green home products database. The database: leed.homedepot.com is a special microsite within homedepot.com that features products geared toward green home building, many of which may contribute towards earning LEED® points and prerequisites for the LEED for [...]

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5 Favorites on Kathy’s Remodeling Blog

You can tell what’s up in the world by what people search for on the Internet. Here on Kathy’s Remodeling Blog, we’ve got five consistently favorite subjects that interest your fellows readers. They are: Green Remodeling Kitchens Before & After Contractor Issues Design Ideas

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A hot new career for women — home energy auditor

First, what are home energy auditors? These are professionals (accredited through BPI or certified through RESNET) who go into homes and measure or assess how much energy is being used and wasted through leaks and lack of insulation and bad HVAC systems and watt-sucking appliances. The idea is to figure out ways to make that home more [...]

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The New Orleans Healing Center rises from the post-Katrina muck

My heart goes out to the victims of Hurricane Irene. I feel your pain. (And I promise not ask this inane question: Why would you live/rebuild where hurricanes can hit? I’ve been to Vermont. I know why you live there.) Six years ago, when the federal levee system failed in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, [...]

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Why should buildings cause 39% of greenhouse gases? That just ain’t right

What is the most critical, dangerous, life-threatening problem of our time? Carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Everything else — political discord, economic downturns, loss of freedoms — can be changed fairly quickly. But once those greenhouse gases become trapped in the atmosphere, they will be there for a long, long, long time. And [...]

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A deep energy retrofit — coming soon to a very HOT climate

In case you’re not familiar with central Florida, let me break it down for you: it’s HOT, HOT, HOT. And humid. Think sunshine, thunder and flash rain storms in the summer. So what does this mean? Houses in hot and humid climates need to be built differently from those in, say, cool and dry climates. [...]

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Enlightened journeys

I’ve been especially enchanted with several house photos in my collection, and I finally realized what they have in common: All of the homes use natural light to make the journeys from room to room more pleasant. The top photo shows Claire Gunning, 8, walking down the stairway in her family’s Hermosa Beach home, which [...]

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Architect Portfolio: Hermosa Beach house on a teeny lot

The more I study this “green” house, the more I like it. Of course, it’s more of a teardown and rebuild than a remodel, but the lot size — at 30 feet by 50 feet — presented plenty of challenges. The 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom house, which is two blocks from the beach in Hermosa, was designed for a [...]

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Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff | Video on TED.com

In this funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he’s built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own creative drive. via www.ted.com

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Save the Windows — an emotional video plea from Preservation Nation

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LEED rating system draft: first public comment period opens today

Beginning today, Nov. 8, USGBC will begin the first public comment period for the next update to the LEED rating system, with first public comment expected to run through the end of 2010. The proposed update is a general technical update to the rating system content. The proposed updates will undergo at least two public [...]

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