Artificial turf isn’t just for mini golf and football stadiums anymore! It has become the go-to product for homeowners suffering through drought or trying to reduce their water consumption. Tanner Shepard, owner of LawnPop, an Austin, TX turf installation company, says that their brand has been growing at a rapid pace. “Synthetic grass was a…
Tag Archives: Home and Garden
Social media is helping many start-up companies gain followers, earn profit and take off. One company that was featured on Kick Starter and on startup-USA.com is The Green Tower Project. The Green Tower Project is a self-contained vertical garden/composting system. “It’s a Garden, it’s a composter – It’s the Garden Tower! The unique self-contained vertical…
If you are still working on getting your yard in shape, here are some techniques for water conscious landscaping. Xeriscaping is the art/science of landscaping with reduced need for irrigation. It offers several benefits, besides just saving water. It requires less maintenance, reduces the need for chemicals and fertilizers, increases property value, reduces air pollution,…
Everyone has their heroes, their role-models, their if-I-could-be-like-anyone-it-would-be persons and I am no different. I wrote about his past accomplishments, including his cardboard cathedral and paper tube relief houses on GBE a couple of years ago and now my career hero was given the ultimate award in architecture this past month. He is Shigeru Ban…
I’m inspired and intrigued when I find a designer or a firm that’s basis is found from the always changing, always amazing, purest form of systematic design: Nature. Vito Selma, furniture designer from Cebu, Philippines, takes the complex notions that nature puts forth and breaks it into simple components of lines, forms and movement. His…
The Story of Eagleyew: A High Efficiency Natural Building on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada I’m pleased to say that I have been building Natural Buildings for a number of years now. My work has taken me up and down the West coast of North America, with a focus in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been calling…
In a small town remotely located on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley large eco-friendly ideas are taking root. The place is a close-knit community of approximately 130 people, called Crestone, Colorado and the concept is a better living and built environment for everyone.
Many different elements are part of the everyday life there. They are internationally known for alternative buildings and have approximately 100 sustainable homes is the area.
A locally sourced place for customers and clients to go to purchase a large variety of natural materials, consult experts and experience the ‘green’ materials first hand is Originate. This is a natural building materials’ showroom located in Tucson, Arizona. “Originate specializes in interior finishes that are environmentally friendly, non-toxic, durable, and made from natural and renewable resources.”
A company that was established in 1953 in Flores de Cunha, Brazil, called Fábrica de Móveis Florense is a leading example in a business that thrives on sustainability. Fábrica de Móveis Florense, or more commonly known as simply Florense, is an international company. Florense is a furniture manufacturer and producer of high quality wood veneers.
There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a new appliance – this is especially true with refrigerators. Before buying a new fridge, make sure you know about the different styles and which will give you the best energy efficiency.
The iconic Mr. Peanut arrives in his new biodiesel Planters Nutmobile and opens the first Planters Grove, a peanut-shaped eco-urban park in New Orleans’ historic Central City. The public green space is designed to provide a natural, inspirational place for the community to enjoy with many sustainable design elements.
Who says completing green updates around your home should take a long time and cost a lot of money? Here are some simple ways that you can enhance your home with products that are better for the environment, and save money.
In Paradise Valley, Montana, experienced builder, Pouwel Gelderloos and family designed, built and are marketing the first “hybrid” house. It is a hybrid because it can be completely self-sustaining (off the grid) but is also connected to the grid incase the need should arise for additional energy sources.
Back in my early 20's, when I used to live in the city (that's what New Yorkers call Manhattan); I had a brief stint at the Mercer Kitchen as a hostess. Besides their impeccably delicious and perfectly prepared food, I always loved the interior design of this iconic hotel, especially the floating stair case. Designed by Parisian designer, Christian Liaigre, This all revealing sub floating staircase was what started my love for modern zen architecture and passion for beautiful builds.
When you buy a new garage door, hopefully one that is green, the old one is typically taken away and disposed of in a land fill. While some companies will take the old door and try to refurbish and sell it or will recycle the material, others simply toss it. But there are many creative…
It is time to start thinking about getting our homes ready for winter. Maintenance and repair work done while the weather is still mild will pay off not just in the coming cold weather, but with year round benefits. Here are five common issues to think about when considering your winterization projects, and how to avoid making some common mistakes while improving your house.
Window film insulates windows. False.
A window film serves as a draft barrier to stop air leaks, rather than effective insulation. The plastic film itself will contribute very little. Having another air layer is more helpful, and keeping moisture sealed out can help reduce frost forming on old windows. But if you have big windows that are losing lots of heat, a quilted curtain can be more helpful. Windows are big thermal holes in your walls, and even very efficient windows lose heat much faster than the walls that support them. A window film adds only a slight increase, but it can be effective for stopping drafts.
<img src="/files/111/warmboard.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="194" align="top" />
Radiant heating is a popular option in green buildings. Many green buildings feature it because it is a more efficient, and more comfortable, method of heating. If a building doesn't require air conditioning, it may be possible to eliminate ductwork altogether, or at least use a much smaller system that is sized for air conditioning. And even in buildings where air handling is still necessary, the systems that push the air around can be run less frequently because they are needed only to provide fresh air, and don't need to take care of the heating as well. Radiant heating systems don't cause the air to be dried out in the same manner that heated forced-air systems tend to do. Most of all, radiant heating is comfortable because it is warmest at floor level and slightly cooler at higher levels, matching the human desire for warmth for the feet, and less for the head.
A recent <a href="http://jetsongreen.typepad.com/jetson_green/2007/09/solar-decathlon.html">blog post by Jetson Green about the National Solar Decathalon</a> reminded me of an intriguing product that can be used for in-floor radiant heat systems. Warmboard is a specialty subflooring for use in radiant-heated buildings that doesn't require a concrete slab to embed the radiant tubing. This makes it especially useful for multi-story buildings where a concrete slab floor may be less desirable. Warmboard is much lighter than a corresponding concrete slab, meaning that less structural material is needed to support the floor. It also does not need curing time, unlike a concrete slab, which is another factor that makes it appealing for use with modular and pre-fab construction. <br />
<a href="http://www.warmboard.com/">Warmboard</a> is a plywood material that is slightly thicker than typical subflooring plywood. It has regular channels cut into it that the radiant heating system tubing can be laid into. On top of this, an aluminum plate is formed to the surface, providing a transfer surface to uniformly distribute the heat from the tubing across the floor.</p>
Two years ago Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and brought enormous devestation to the city and the region. Since then, numerous agencies and programs have been working on projects to rebuild and revitalize this region. An architect and online friend of mine wrote an excellent article about the recently publicized pictures for Global Green’s proposed Holy Cross development for the redevelopment of New Orleans.
This guest post is by Sarah Nagy. Sarah is in a position to be a much better critic of proposed New Orleans construction because she, too, lives in a hurricane-prone region (the Florida panhandle), and is directly acquainted with appropriate design for a Gulf Coast environment. I think her analysis offers an excellent review of this project, balancing the applause for what she calls ‘Sleek Contemporary Prefab Housing Solutions’ with some pointed criticisms of some of the apparent problems in the design.
The complete essay can be found on Sarah’s blog, Front Step Design.[Disclaimer: As critical as this post will be, I want to applaud the folks involved with this project for their initial feelings of goodwill, their obvious effort, and all the good green decisions that lie under the aesthetics.]
To look at the images of these houses, Holy Cross is clearly located on the rural prairies of Southern Louisiana. Each of these houses will survey 20 acres. But enough sarcasm. The situation, to anyone who has been there, looks more like the pictures below (from The Urban Conservancy).