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    • December

      30

      2012
    • 1734
    • 0

    Is Moisture an Unwanted Occupant In your Building

    No designer wants to see the unwelcome guests of mold and mildew show up in their building. Guidance on how to prevent moisture that causes their appearance is offered in several sessions at ASHRAE’s 2013 Winter Conference in Dallas.

    “Sooner or later, HVAC professionals throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast come up against the problem of preventing or getting rid of mold,” Lew Harriman, a speaker at the Conference and author of ASHRAE’s ASHRAE Guide for Buildings in Hot and Humid Climates, said. “In June 2012, the ASHRAE Board of Directors approved a totally revised and updated Position Document on Indoor Mold and Dampness in Buildings. The Dallas Conference includes a comprehensive briefing on what ASHRAE experts have found to be the HVAC-related causes of mold in buildings, and what owners, contractors and designers can do to prevent ………

    • December

      30

      2012
    • 1822
    • 0

    Why Plastic Foam Insulation Is Like a Twinkie: Lessons Green Builders Can Learn From Michael Pollan

    Green building means different things to different people, but improved insulation and reducing energy use is certainly up at the top of everyone’s list. Some of the most effective insulations are made from plastic foam, either in rigid boards or sprayed foams.

    But there are concerns; Architect Ken Levenson recently wrote a controversial article, Why Foam Fails. Reason #1: Dangerous Toxic Ingredients, which was the start of a series that is very critical of foam insulation. I wrote about it inDoes Foam Insulation Belong in Green Buildings? 13 Reasons It Probably Doesn’t and at the Green Building Advisor, the discussion almost turned into a flame war between those who think that plastic foam does a great job, and those who agree with ……….

    • December

      30

      2012
    • 2611
    • 0

    In a Lime Plaster Job, a Leonardo Moment

    What do the Sistine Chapel, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Appian Way and the outside of the straw bale house we’ve been buildinghave in common?

    According to Ryan Chivers, a natural plaster guru, they’re all made with lime.

    “I’m a big time research geek, so I spent a lot of time on the Internet researching stuff and reading books,” said Ryan, who runs Artesano Plaster in Boulder, Colo.

    He grew up working for his family’s drywall company in Salt Lake City. There he learned to use a hawk and trowel, the traditional tools of the plasterer. Then he became involved with tree sitters fighting clear-cut logging in British Columbia.

    “That kind of set me off on, ‘Why are we cutting down all these trees?’ ‘Because we are building all these houses in the states.’ So I thought I could take some action on that front and got into natural building,” Ryan said. “Because I was doing drywall, the plastering thing was a natural….

    • December

      30

      2012
    • 1704
    • 0

    3 insulation materials could be used for commercial retrofits

    As building science innovators continue devising energy-saving products and methods in the ultimate pursuit of net-zero structures, commercial property executives and their advisors have to select from myriad alternatives for each new development and retrofit venture. And in a large, geologically diverse country like the United States featuring climates from cold and dry to hot and wet, thermal insulation technologies rank among the most logical sources of potential savings.

    Indeed, as 2013 approaches, decision-makers considering insulation alternatives are adding some intriguing new-wave products and systems to their lists—including those based on micro-encapsulation of tiny particles boasting remarkable thermal protection properties. These technologies promise to boost thermal performance dramatically while reducing……..

    • December

      27

      2012
    • 1699
    • 0

    New consumer guide illuminates home energy savings

    “Save Money, Save the Earth.” That motto has appeared on the cover of every edition of the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings since the first book was published in 1991. It’s a big promise, and one that appears on the 10th and newest edition of the book from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and New Society Publishers (NSP).
    But is it true? According to Jennifer Thorne Amann, ACEEE buildings program director and lead author of the Consumer Guide: “Every kilowatt-hour you avoid using saves over a pound of …..

    • December

      27

      2012
    • 1814
    • 0

    What Makes a Building Green? You Sure Can’t Tell From It’s Energy Star Rating

    In courting tenants over the last six years, 7 World Trade Center has trumpeted its gold LEED rating, an emblem of sound environmental citizenship.

    But when it comes to energy efficiency, the young 52-story tower is far from a top performer, according to data released under a city law that tracks energy use in New York buildings. It had a score of 74 — just below the minimum of 75 set for high-efficiency buildings by the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program. On the other hand, two venerated show horses from the 1930s……..

    • December

      19

      2012
    • 1428
    • 0

    When Should Your Replace Your Windows.

    Given the considerable enhancements in window technology over the past years, determining whether to replace, repair or renew windows can be as hard as making a decision on whether to replace or repair an aging car engine or go for a brand new car.

    As with the car comparison, there are a number of aspects to think about when deciding the future of aging windows. This contains comfort, energy consumption, acoustics, aesthetics and function.

    Discomfort related with old or insufficiently performing windows is a general criticism among building owners, managers and tenants. Windows that let a lot of heat inside during summer times or are cold in winter not only bring about

    • December

      18

      2012
    • 2018
    • 0

    BEopt, Quick & Free Energy Modeling Software From DOE

    BEopt is an energy modeling software that measures the expected annual energy consumption for any type of home design, and it is also an optimization software that finds the least expensive way to build the envelope of a net-zero energy home. The program has a list of user- adjustable construction cost statistics. This characteristic enables BEopt to verify (i.e) whether a house with 3-inch-thick foam sheathing, 2×6 walls, and triple-glazed windows will cost more or less than a house with 10-inch-thick double-stud walls and double-glazed windows. It will also conclude which of these selections will execute a better result.

    BEopt guides designers of zero-energy homes how to have a better envelope specifications, and allows them identify the right place to quit making envelope enhancements.

    • December

      18

      2012
    • 1377
    • 0

    City Of Atl Proposed Stormwater Requirements

    The City of Atlanta is required by the state and federal government to manage stormwater runoff that enters the City’s combined sewer system and neighboring waterways. The City’s proposed stormwater Management Ordinance applies for development actions including new impervious areas (surfaces that do not let water to soak into the ground like concrete and asphalt), construction of new buildings or additions, pools, patios or decks. If the project is greater than 1,000 sq. ft. of new impervious surface, a specialized drainage plan arranged by an engineer or landscape architect is required to decrease the all stormwater flows by 50 percent. (Thus if you add an averaged size pool to your home, you will have to retrofit your entire home with a system)

    • December

      18

      2012
    • 1289
    • 0

    When to Build or When to Renovate.

    The practice of new construction, with all of the advanced green building techniques, is a lot quicker than renovating an existing structure.

    But when you take into consideration having an existing building and infrastructure, we also need to know which has the greatest environmentally impact. While the simplicity of new construction might be desirable, the greater potential for decreasing the carbon impact during a renovation compared to a new construction is very evident over a 75-year life span of a home or building. The National Trust for Historic Preservation newly mentioned that the greenest building could be …….

    • December

      16

      2012
    • 14484
    • 0

    6 celebrities with deep green homes

    Celebrity power couple Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s chateau-inspired hovel in L.A.’s chichi Brentwood section managed to raise a few eyebrows earlier this year not just because of its elephantine size — a staggering 22,000 square feet — but also that Bundchen, a noted environmentalist, reportedly planned to outfit it with as many eco-friendly bells and whistles as possible including solar panels, rainwater recycling systems and energy-efficient lighting and appliances. This, of course, led to the inevitable question: Can a $20 million palace with eight bedrooms and a six-car garage still be considered “green?”

    The jury is still out on that one, but we do know that chez Bundchen and Brady would be a heck of a lot greener if they shaved, oh, about 15,000 square feet off the home’s total size. But hey, at least they tried. And look at Larry Hagman. The recently passed actor best known for playing a despicable Texas oil tycoon went and built himself

    • December

      16

      2012
    • 2378
    • 0

    Sustainable building goes far beyond energy efficiency

    To be sustainable, a building should work at all times. Better daylighting strategies mean we can see indoors throughout the day. When it comes to energy supply, renewables might be calledsustainables, because any building that can survive off the grid is more useful to society during disasters. (My colleague Chris Nelder covered the topic’s energy implications recently.) And a simple hand pump would have been brilliant for our friends with out-of-service water wells.

    • December

      16

      2012
    • 1793
    • 0

    Energy efficiency within reach

    A Building Revolution: The Super Insulated Passive House is a guide to the methods that builders, architects and homeowners around the U.S. and Europe have used to drastically reduce home energy consumption. The movement isn’t new, and neither are most of the construction practices, which, as the film states, were first employed in the U.S. and Canada in the 1970s when the first energy crisis reared its head, threatening greatly increased home heating and cooling bills. The change was short-lived, waning in …….

    • December

      15

      2012
    • 1394
    • 0

    Soma Reinvents the Water Filter, Makes It Gorgeous And Greener

    We have been recommending water filters for years, but they are not without their issues. (Remember Beth Terry’s Take Back the Filter campaign?). They are often ugly, plastic things. I love my ZeroWater, but it is ridiculous to fill, and is seriously out of place in an architect’s kitchen.

    The Soma, on the other hand, is lovely to look at. CEO Mike Del Ponte tells us that it is designed according to Dieter Ram’s principles (which inspired Jony Ives and Apple). Rams has written:

    My aim is to omit everything superfluous so that the essential is shown to the best possible advantage.

    • December

      15

      2012
    • 1072
    • 0

    Winter Lawn Protection

    When the topic of lawn care is brought up, people are likely to think in terms of spring and summer. When the weather gets warm and the grass starts growing, people break out the digging fork, the mower, hoe and related equipments and get to business. What they fall short to understand is that not only can they fix summer harm to the lawn in the fall and during the winter, but also they can in fact recover the lawn so it will be healthier and have smaller amount of weeds in the spring.

    The most critical thing a person can perform in the fall to see the lawn through the winter and train it for next spring
    Feeding is the most essential thing one can do for your lawn in the fall. Many people ……..

    • December

      15

      2012
    • 1288
    • 0

    Green Designs in different forms and shapes

    While it may at first appear to be the only benefits of green building attempts go to the environment – at the cost of human comfort and expense – this is not the case. Advocates of eco-friendly architecture take a holistic method to the notion of environmental health, taking into human well being in their calculations.

    This Organic dome near ….

    • December

      15

      2012
    • 1358
    • 0

    Lafarge’s Thermedia0.6B, a lighter form of concrete

    Footprint recently attended a workshop on Thermomedia0.6B, a Lafarge product branded as anefficient building systems (EBS). Thermedia0.6B is aBES 6001-accredited structural concrete, four times lighter than conventional concrete, which reduces heat loss due to thermal bridging by four times when combined with internal insulation. After four years of R&D and three years of trial on the French market, Lafarge is now looking at its application

    • December

      5

      2012
    • 1677
    • 0

    Issues with Distressed Properties

    Issues With Distressed Properties.   A for-sale house that’s been unoccupied may look like great bargain, but costly problems often prowl inside homes that have been vacant for some time and therefore buyers should be more careful. A home can become unoccupied due to a marriage, job transfer, and loss of a family member or

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Costs of Custom Homes

The first thing most people want to know is: What does it costs to build a 3000 sqft custom home in the Atlanta, GA. market?  The first thing you have to calculate is the square footage you want.  Once you have that, the numbers below give you a good starting point.

Adjusted Square Foot Calculation:

New Construction:

Renovations:

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