Archive for the 'Green Remodeling' Category

Earth Day is coming — how’s your eco-anxiety level?

Do you feel guilty about every drop of water that trickles through your flow-restricted shower head and every minute of light that your compact fluorescent light bulbs produce? You may have eco-anxiety and may need an eco-therapist. The feeling of anxiety is understandable. We humans are putting so much carbon into the air and so [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Dispatch from the kitchen and bath show

Kitchen designer Susan Serra, who writes an ever-inspiring blog called The Kitchen Designer, just got back from the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Chicago and offered to share with Pardon Our Dust readers the five big trends she saw: 1. Green: This year, much more than last year, KBIS was nearly ALL about living in [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 home builder goes greener

Beazer Homes, one of the country’s 10 biggest home builders, announced that all new homes it builds will include features that contribute to water and energy savings, as well as occupant health and comfort. The package of features is called eSmart by Beazer Homes and has been included in the company’s San Antonio, Texas, homes [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Indoor air polluted by paint fumes? Not for me, thank you

So I asked the guys at my local paint store about no-VOC and low-VOC paints. As you may know, VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, but you could also call them volatile chemical compounds. They are emitted as gases from paints and glues and sealants and other products and make people sick. Or, as the [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Rammed-earth homes looking better all the time

Because I grew up around the tract-home building industry, I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around anything other than 2-by-4s, sheer panels and drywall. But now that sustainability is becoming a life-and-death issue for our species, I find my mind opening. And this rammed-earth home in Napa, built for the owner of a [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

The high end of eco lighting

These lamps were designed by Deniece Duscheone, an award-winning lighting designer and a LEED-accredited professional. Her most recent project was the $56 million renovation and re-design of the US Grant Hotel in San Diego. The four lights above are named, from left to right: Stem, Firefly, Cocoon and Flur. They are made for Duscheone’s company [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Human Footprint: Take the survey

The Human Footprint will be on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday at 9 p.m. The subtitle is: Everything you eat. Everything you drink. Everything you use. Your entire life’s consumption in one place at one time. The website includes these 10 ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Here’s my status and my goals. Post [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Six essentials for a green remodel

New green homes get the most attention, but greening up existing homes is the real challenge. After all, 1 million to 2 million new homes are built each year (much less than that now) but there are more than 101 million residential households in the United States today. According to government statistics, approximately 74 million [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Coming soon: a million solar spats?

The case of one Sunnyvale, Calif., neighbor’s redwood trees versus another neighbor’s solar panels and hot tub ended up in court and is still not settled, according to a story in the New York Times. The story is long and convoluted, with eight redwood trees in question. When were they planted? How tall were they [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Chula Vista adopts green building and remodeling standards

Last week, the Chula Vista City Council unanimously approved a proposal that includes the first green building standards in the county for all new construction and major renovations. Other cities in San Diego County have green building standards, but only for city-operated buildings. According to an article in the San Diego Union Tribune, the proposal [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

3 ways to go green at Home Depot

I was frustrated a few months ago when I sought out green products at my local Home Depot and didn’t find much. And of course, I blogged about that. So when Home Depot marketing person Sarah Hereford came calling, I took the opportunity to ask: What can I buy green at Home Depot? Here are [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Coming to rooftops near you: 65 million square feet of solar panels

I’d rather see solar panels on my rooftop and yours, but this is still pretty cool. A project has been proposed that will place photovoltaic cells on 65 million square feet of commercial building roofs in Southern California. The cells will generate as much as 250 megawatts of electricity — enough to power about 162,500 [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Sprinklers running in the rain? Mushrooms growing in your yard?

High-tech wizards have tried to get us to use our computers to control so many mundane daily tasks: opening and closing the drapes, turning on the hot tub, setting back our thermostats. But so far, we’ve resisted, finding a quick yank on the drapery pull easy enough. But here’s a device that might tip us [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

NEW: Green product checklist for remodels

When I visited Renata Kanclerz to see her gorgeous Hollywood Hills kitchen remodel, I asked her what kinds of green features and materials she used. She just seemed like the kind of person who would pay attention to that sort of thing. But . . . thinking green during the hectic planning and execution of [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Saving water outdoors

My mother-in-law is visiting from Santa Barbara and wonders if she can rinse off her truck at my house. It’s no longer allowed in her town. As the population explodes here on the planet, supplies of fresh water don’t seem to be keeping up. Something has to give. A helpful article in Sunday’s newspaper, headlined [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Meaningful remodeling: recycled-glass knobs that help homeless

While searching for cabinet hardware, I came across these glass knobs made by Aurora Glass. They are made of 100% post-consumer recycled glass and sales of them benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Eugene, Ore., which helps homeless people and others having a hard time in life. I love the idea of choosing [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-it-yourself solar-powered fountain

After countless vain attempts to locate a solar-powered fountain similar to the one I stumbled upon at my local Home Depot, I’ve decided the better way is to find the components and assemble one myself. The elements are shown above: fountain + pump/solar panel = solar-powered fountain. Fountain: The fountains come from places like OSH, [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

A chance to speak out on green building

The county of Los Angeles is considering adoption of a green building program and is holding a series of public meetings to get comments. Discussions will focus on green building, drought-tolerant landscaping and low-impact development. Now, you may think: Oh, yeah, green building. Of course. It’s a slam dunk. Full steam ahead. Hold up. My [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

L.A. builder wins national energy efficiency award

Los Angeles-based Pardee Homes received an Energy Value Housing Award last month at the International Builder’s Show in Orlando. The awards recognize builders who voluntarily incorporate energy efficiency in the design, construction and marketing of new homes. The word "voluntarily" is key for builders, who want to avoid more regulations and mandates. These builders are [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Poll: Should green building be mandated?

Home builders tend to be pro choice when it comes to green building. And who can blame them? I know I don’t like to be told what to do, especially if it’s going to cost me time, effort and/or money. Still, what would our housing be like if current building codes were voluntary? What if [...]

Read the rest of this entry »