13 Redwood Refinishing Tips

Refinishing redwood decking

Redwood is a wonderful material for outdoor structures like decks and fences, but not everyone is in love with its gray, weathered look.  Refinishing redwood is actually quite easy and can be done by novices and professionals alike. Cleaning The first step, of course, is to remove any debris from the structure.  This can be…

Tiny House Trends: Homelessness & Sustainability

Having been interested in tiny houses for a while now, I continue to be pleasantly surprised by new developments in the movement. One of the more recent developments in the many uses for tiny houses is making permanent housing the first, most crucial part of a comprehensive strategy to help counteract homelessness. Home ownership is…

Building Materials, Fossil Fuels’ Ugly Cousin

We still live in a time when we do plenty things that are very harmful to our planet. It seems we’re all aware that fossil fuels like oil and coal create a considerable portion of our greenhouse gas pollution. But many people don’t understand that we also do a lot of harm to our planet with…

Coca Cola Saves Energy With Umisol Window Film

Umisol Infrared Blocking Filter was recently installed at the Coca-Cola headquarters in Brussels.  The project is expected to create a net profit of 14 €/m²/year. Energy efficiency is central to the European strategy with the 2020 – 2030 – 2050 EU Directives for smart and sustainable growth and the progression to a resource-efficient economy.  By 2050…

Rain Tunnel Technology Provides Drinking Water from Air

Rain tunnel technology provides drinking water from air

New technology from Bangalore promises clean drinking water by drawing moisture from the air.  Rain Tunnel Technology, invented by Dr Rajah Vijay Kumar, Chief Scientific Officer at the De Scalene Research Organization, will soon be available for both commercial and household use. Getting water from the atmosphere is not new. It has been around for more…

First Public School Designed For LEED Platinum Certification Uses LED Lighting

LED lighting by Cree Industries saves energy.

LED lighting by Cree has helped the Sandy Grove Middle School in Lumber Bridge, North Carolina achieve LEED Platinum status and save $16 million in energy.

Passive Solar Design Enhances Natural Ventilation

Passive design office

  What is passive solar design?  It goes by many names, though all are similar: passive design, passive solar, passive heating, Passivhaus, and passive house.  Buildings using this strategy rely on the heat of the sun to moderate the temperature indoors without the need for artificial heating and cooling.  How do they do it? Thermal…

What Affects the R-Value of a Building?

Doors and windows effect R-value of a building

This is part two of our posts on R-value.  Read the first post to get a definition of R-value and find out what it means to you. Doors and Windows As much as we love, and need, doors and windows, they are not good for a building’s insulation value.  Doors open and close, allowing air…

What Is R-Value and What Does It Mean To You?

R-value of building insulation

What Is R-Value? Simply put, R-value is a measurement of how insulating a building material is, protecting one side from the heat or cold on the other side.  A higher R-value means that a material insulates better than one with a lower value. In order to get an idea of what these values are, here…