Posts filed under ‘Design’

Cool Bike Stand Designs

One of the most small, but common problems I see at my client’s sites is a lack of bike parking and while the article at Eco Friend shows designs that are no where near the market yet, it is hopeful to see such creative solutions! andre-moreira-diass-45-bici

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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December 20, 2016 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

Energy Efficient Windows – Retrofit Opportunity?

I am an energy efficiency consultant out here in California and there has been a great deal of emphasis on  replacing older single pane windows with dual pane, usually vinyl models.  I many cases where a building is being remodeled the building owner has no choice but to install them in order to comply with the 2013 energy related code sections.  This is especially problematic if the building has some historic value to the city.  Now the Federal government in the form of Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) is sponsoring research into methods to retrofit these older windows through its SHIELD program.

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The full story is here on Green Building Elements (http://greenbuildingelements.com/2015/10/09/doe-announces-shield-program-for-energy-efficient-windows/). The DOE website with detail on the program can be found here: https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaId038dc107-a7de-407a-8253-86e3bc99ae00

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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October 11, 2015 at 9:01 pm 1 comment

Better Permeable Paving?

This new version of permeable paving looks pretty impressive in the video, i just hope that it is cost comparable with typical paving solutions.

Permeable Concrete Video

 

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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September 27, 2015 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

Solar Shingles coming to a home near you?

Having just finally got some solar panels installed on the roof of my garage, I wish these solar shingles would come down in price soon!  My fairly large footprint house cant take standard panels do to the roof configuration and local fire code.   These shingles are definitely the answer for me!

solar-shingles-lumaresources_ss01-270x105Read all about this exciting technology at: http://cleantechnica.com/2015/02/08/solar-shingles-renewable-energy-solution-curb-appeal/

The article concentrates on the curb appeal aspect but I think as in my case the ability to use them in more challenging situations presents an even larger potential audience.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

 

February 8, 2015 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment

Storing water in your fence?

I just read about an interesting new product just about to be released this month (Feb. 2015).  It is a rainwater storage system that takes the place of your fence.  Assembled like a typical fence with concrete footing and steel posts you would then use these high density plastic inserts that store the rain water. house2

Interested?   Learn more at the site: http://www.waterfence.com/

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com
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February 4, 2015 at 9:07 pm Leave a comment

Solar Power A Requirement For New Construction

It is looking like the wave of the future is increasing requirements to include renewable energy for newly constructed homes and commercial buildings.

The most interesting new story is somewhat local to me here in Southern California where the City of Lancaster now requires 1 kilowatt of solar power for all newly constructed single family homes.  The ordinance that passed last March went into effect in Jan. 1, 2014.  Here is the link to an article that covers it more in depth. (http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/04/lancaster-home-solar-mandate-1st-us-world-leads-city-2014/).

This is a significant escalation on the Californian mandate of net zero homes by 2020.  The City of Los Angeles has been requiring that the conduit and wiring be put in place in all new home construction to make adding solar panels easier in the future for the homeowner.

I certainly hope that more cities follow Lancaster’s lead and make similar requirements as it can only help the environment and speed the transition to the renewable energy economy.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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January 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment

The Dark Side of Efficiency

We have all been bombarded with the need to live more efficiently and have less of an impact on our planet.  The problem comes when we possibly make our homes unsafe in the pursuit of this efficiency.

There has been a notable upswing in reports of moisture related problems in recent years.  A large portion of the cause for this is the tightening of the building envelope without regard to proper ventilation. Typically homes built 25 or more years ago allowed a significant amount of  air to leak both in and out. This not only increased our cost to heat and cool our homes but allowed for sufficient air circulation albeit by accident!

The other possible issue is one of safety. By tightening the building envelope we may create a situation where carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide can build up to unsafe levels.  Possible improvements that plug those worrisome air leaks or replace windows should include combustion safety testing both before and after completion.

Here are my suggestions for safely pursuing any energy efficiency project for your home:

  • Have a reputable energy consultant evaluate your current conditions and create a prioritized by return on possible investment list of options.
  • Work with a licensed and certified Building Performance Contractor
  • Acquire applicable permits for all work so that it is properly inspected
  • Have the energy consultant come back at the end of the project to inspect the work and to make sure it is working properly so that you get the maximum return on your investment

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

August 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm 1 comment

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