Posts Tagged ‘Eco friendly’
In the last posting I started the conversation about Air Sealing walls. The idea of air sealing is simple enough, the more air you prevent from leaking through the walls, the less your home will feel drafty. The less drafty, the more comfortable your house will feel and the less energy it will take to maintain the temperature of the home. The best way we have found to do this is to air seal on the inside of the wall or right behind the sheetrock. By sealing the wall at this point, we are still able to build a wall that can allow moisture to escape to the exterior side of the wall.
So how do we do it. One method is to use plywood or OSB on inside of all exterior walls, floors and ceiling joist. Then using tape we seal all the joints and seams were the individual sheets of plywood meet. We then fir out the ceiling and walls to allow for all of the electrical wiring and HVAC duct work. We design the plumbing so its on the interior walls as much as possible. This does add to both the framing materials and labor, and has to be accounted for in the budget. In the design we strive to have as few of penetrations in our air seal as possible. Each penetration is taped to prevent air leaking past. I know this sounds like a lot of extra work, and it is, however the long term payback will more then offset this cost, and remember the home will feel much more comfortable.
The tape we use is from SIGA. (http://www.siga.ch/Home.20.0.html?&no_cache=1&L=1) remember to hit the english button on the right of the home page..They are a company in Switzerland, who have been involved in air sealing for many years. They have fabrics and tapes for all kinds of air sealing. Their American distributor is The Small Planet Workshop. (http://www.smallplanetworkshop.com) locate right here in Thurston County in the Oyster Bay area.
The Eco Builders Guild, South Sound chapter is proud to announce the second annual South Sound Green Tour coming April 16th & 17th. We started the Green Tour last year and it was huge success. Just like last year, we will feature houses and commercial sites that represent the best in green building and sustainable practices. The homes are located through out Thurston County, including Tumwater, Olympia, and Lacey. We will also have workshops at each site demonstrating many of the features of each site. This year we have also added an expo which will be located in the new Lott buildings parking lot. It will house lots of vendors offering a huge array of green products and services.
Another big addition to the tour is that the Seattle chapter has joined in with us and will have a tour of their own on the same weekend. For more information, or if you would like to be a vendor or site sponsor please visit http://www.ecobuilding.org/events/2011-green-home-tour.
Laupen homes LLC. is proud to showcase two homes in the OMB tour of Homes. First we will feature the Cooper home. This is the same home we had in last spring’s Green Tour. If you didn’t get a chance to see it the first time, come out this weekend and be amazed. This home was a challenge to say the least, but we persisted and the outcome is incredible. You can view photos of it on our project page and read the owners comments on our referral page.
The second home we are featuring is the Bouvier/Rogers house, also known as the hobbit house. Now we could really call it a hobbit house without a round door, so a round door it has. Handcrafted out of mahogany wood, the door has a tree carved into it. Master carpenter Mike Anderson was the inspiration behind the door. It is a must see. This home also features a “Floating Loft” over the main entrance and living room. With lots of curves and whimsical features this home is a must see.
But don’t let the playfulness of the home fool you. It has state of the art energy efficient systems including radiant heat and a Heat Recovery Ventilator. Six operable ski lights make for wonderful natural lighting and at the same time allow the summer heat to escape keeping the interior of the home cool without the need for air conditioning. The outstanding blower door score of 1.23, (most new homes receive a 5 or higher) made it easier to received a Built Green level 5, and Energy star certifications.
Come out this weekend and see these wonderful homes. I look forward to meeting you
How you maintain your garden is also as important as planning when it comes to conserving water. If you’re looking at limiting the amount of water you put into your garden, you will also need to limit the amount of water that flows out of your garden. You can do this is many ways:
• Pick plants, shrubs and grass that are known to develop good root systems and employ gardening techniques that improve roots. One way to do this is to mow the lawn tall, but do it frequently. The other way to do it is to pick plants that go well with your climate and soil and water them well for the first few weeks before you reduce the frequency. Keep looking out for leaves that go yellow and new shoots that look weak and pale.
• Mulching is an excellent way to ensure that your soil remain well hydrated and does not loose moisture, especially if you live in dry weather. Mulch can be conveniently prepared in your backyard using organic waste from your kitchen. A healthy dose of nitrogen fertiliser is also recommended, provided you know what you’re doing.
• Irrigation techniques are the most crucial aspect of conserving water in the backyard. In regions frequent watering is required most homeowners opt for irrigation to keep it convenient. Drip irrigation saves much more water than sprinklers which water a lot of things other than the grass. Gray water systems are another great option. Gray water is ‘wash water’ i.e. water used in the bathrooms, kitchen sinks and laundry, which is treated and then used in gardens. Gray water does not include water from toilets (which is called black water) and is perfectly safe, with few chemicals and pathogens once it’s treated and is used by a large number of families for irrigation. A gray water system is simple enough to be installed in your backyard. However, make sure you are familiar with your locality’s policies on gray water systems.
A pretty home in a quiet suburb, kids playing on the porch, toys littering the driveway and a large backyard with a pretty garden. This is usually the picture most homeowners want when they are remodeling their homes. In particular, the large backyard with a pretty garden is very common, especially for those with kids. While it may seem to be the perfect addition to a green home, a garden that is not well-planned can actually do more harm than good to the environment, by causing you to waste water.
Going water-wise is not just limited to toilets and faucets. If you have a garden, a large amount of water goes down there too, sometimes much more than is necessary to keep your garden green. Thus, we often suggest water-efficient landscaping and gardening when we remodel homes. This does not mean tearing up your garden from hearth. Although it is always easier to do over the entire garden, water efficient practices can also be integrated with the way your current garden is. And this can be done quite simply:
• The first way to limit the amount of water you put into your garden is to choose the plants you water carefully. Some plants tend to survive longer with little water and ideally these should be your first choice. This does not mean you turn your garden into a cacti exhibit. Most of the plants that grow naturally in your surroundings are your best option. Trying to grow and maintain an exotic garden can prove to take up a lot of water and money and effort.
• Soil preparation is an important part of creating a water-efficient garden. After the climate, your soil is what will determine what kind of plants will grow best, with less water. Planting ones that suit your soil or treating the soil accordingly before you plant will ensure that your garden works well with the natural weather and minimal water supply.