Posts Tagged ‘green’
A Nation of Old Homes
Seen this house? Like me, you might’ve grown up in one, or come home to it daily. Did you know that more than half of our nations houses were built more than three decades ago? Review the data and graphs within The Current, and learn about our concept of building new within old walls.
Cable shows have romanticized fixing up old houses; but, assuming structural integrity, you’re pitching money if you don’t completely retrofit, modernize the systems and tighten the building envelop (i.e. proper air sealing and insulating).
There’s nothing wrong with renovating to a traditional STYLE of house, the problem, many owners focus only on fixtures and finishes and lose sight of the house as an integrated system. Brushed nickel looks spiffy but $400 electric bills aren’t warm and fuzzy. They’re pouring money into putting lipstick on a functionally and operationally, obsolete pig and will continue bleeding money monthly heating and cooling outdoors.
A new building code is now taking effect and best practices the last five years in green building science and universal design correct many design and construction mistakes of the past, so those inclined to renovate an older home can achieve a traditional look along with energy and social sustainability. Just remember when looking at these properties, we no longer build that way for a reason, not all oldies are goodies.
Lifetime Home Survey UPDATED
- new products we’ve discovered and/or are now using
- replacing any mention of fluorescent with LED lighting
- multiple embedded hyperlinks to source material, additional information or manufacturers/vendors
There are numerous active links (anything underlined blue, all dot-coms as well as the green title of the document) to make the surveys convenient and save you time Googling. Click the underlined text and you’ll be taken to that web site. If you rest your mouse pointer over blue underlined words, you should see the web address to which you’ll be re-directed when you click those words. Email me and I’ll forward as raw PDF attachments if it’s not working.
Remember, because I’ve added and deleted since the original, the line items have changed. Please reference the version date at the top and specific line item if you have a question so we’re on the same page.
(graphic courtesy TerraChoice)
Lifetime Home Survey
I was on a mission and took six months developing the Lifetime Home Survey (LTHS), which was born of a single negative comment following a post class, feedback form. Without ever knowing his name, I still picture the disgruntled attendee with arms crossed, an engineering type who frowned the entire presentation.
His comment? “Didn’t give specific measurements!” I purposely avoided getting technical to reduce the likelihood of audience slumber; but, after reading Mr. Unhappy Engineer’s feedback, I vowed, “Metrics you want, measurements thou shall get!”
Call me obsessive compulsive but, with Mr. Unhappy Engineer’s scowl burned into my mind, what began as a simple checklist grew (out of control?) into a whole house assessment. I referenced 17 documents and architect teammate Charles Hendricks proofread the final product, what we believe to be THE most comprehensive Universal Design home assessment resource currently available on the web.
Gardening for Life
People often assume they can no longer do something they enjoy simply because they cannot continue the way they’ve always done it. Like most things universally designed for the home, your outdoor living areas and activities can be accommodated and inclusive for people of any age or circumstance so nobody should have to give up hobbies and activities which make them happy.
This is particularly true of flower and vegetable gardening. If you’ve got a deck, patio or yard of any size, you can garden by choosing an efficient and accessible method from numerous options. Before I list some alternatives and resources, let’s review the ideal conditions for any outdoor activity.