Posts filed under ‘Planning’

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

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October 11, 2015 at 9:01 pm 1 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

Manage and Measure for Less Waste

It seems that what is old is new again.  One of the current trends in management in general is to try and measure more parts of our businesses and life to allow us to manage to a less wasteful existence.

It seems that these folks need to look back at their old college text books as this concept has been around a long time.  Economic Order Quantity and the various inventory models (LIFO and FIFO) anyone?

I suppose that the world may need a refresher course in these ideas, but just because we now have access to BIG DATA doesn’t necessarily make this simpler or easier.  In many ways it may make it harder by requiring new processes to collect and manage the inventory data that don’t actually generate a return on the investment.

I have seen this especially in relation to janitorial supplies which always seem to be a hot button for the accounting department as an example.  Here is a good article that has some positive examples:

GreenBang.com (http://www.greenbang.com/real-time-information-can-shrink-your-waste_25032.html?utm_source=feedly)

So take a look at these and plan your new -old process management accordingly!

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

September 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Improvements in Earthquake Resistant Building Design

Living in Southern California I am always interested in improvements to building design that affect how well they ride out an earthquake.  I found this article from the Christian Science Monitor intriguing to say the least.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Tech/2012/0113/To-save-buildings-from-quakes-architects-try-self-destruction-by-design

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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January 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Coming Solar Storm – Disaster of major proportions?

Interesting article on Forbes.com (http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2011/08/09/sky-full-of-trouble-bracing-for-super-solar-storms/) tells about the fact that the results of a major solar storm is headed our way in the next few days…..There is even a possibility that the electromagnetic pulse could even shut off the water to your house by disabling the computers at the pumping station near you.

How likely is this, well the answer is not very even according to the story.  It would take a direct hit from a “super” storm to do any real damage.  We have been being shot at by the sun pretty regularly since mid June and I am sure that if your toilet stopped working during that time it was due to a more typical cause.

Why am I writing about this here in a blog about building, construction and disaster recovery?  Well it is a disaster you should consider if you are responsible for planning for recovery for your business and there has been more than a little scare mongering lately about this topic.  However if you have planned ahead to survive a major earthquake and a solar storm hits you should be just fine as the things you will need are very similar.

And the government is planning for the event.  Here is an official link from NASA all about it: (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/22jun_swef2011/)

Also here is a Youtube video showing what one looks like: (http://youtu.be/G4gwEpNYygU)

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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August 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

Interesting Disaster Shelter

I ran across and very interesting concept in rapidly deployable shelters.  They are called concrete canvas shelters and you can find all about them here: http://www.concretecanvas.co.uk/

Here is a youtube video on the product:

Pretty amazing stuff!

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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July 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm 1 comment

Cleaning supplies for unusual needs

I ran across some unusual cleaning supplies  this week to supplement your arsenal when it comes to keeping you buildings clean and safe.

The first is a product called slipgrip and it is for use on ceramic tile and polished stone floors.  The idea is a cleaner that get the surface clean but doesn’t make it slippery.  The office where i work just remodeled the lobby with beautiful terrazzo floors that were slippery even when dry.  Management has started using the product and I can notice a difference when I walk across the floors.  Information on the product can be found here at slipgrip.com( http://www.slipgrip.com/).

Next we have a product I found on the Cool Tools website (http://www.kk.org/cooltools/) called Ickee Stickee Unstuck. This product is a stain remover maybe from soybeans.  It is said to remove many things like paint and magic marker.  I can certainly find uses for this at my sites!  It is available from Amazon and is manufactured by Franmar Chemical (http://www.franmar.com/).

Lastly tonight via the Geeky Gadgets website (http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/decongel-is-the-best-cleaner-in-the-world-28-05-2011/) comes a product that supposedly can clean up radioactive particles from hard surfaces.  It is called DeconGel.

DeconGel’s unique qualities were accidentally discovered a few years ago when a scientist working for a technology incubator peeled it off a surface. Turns out what DeconGel does best is collect all sorts of microscopic particles that are cluttering the space it is spread on. When removed, it virtually cleans the object of thing it’s been covered with.

The company website has a lot more information and can be found here: (http://decongel.com/).

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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May 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

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