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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogNow that you have decided to build your dream home, you may have taken bold steps to locate the ideal lot or acreage site to build on. The impressive natural beauty of the land may have drawn you to it and instilled a sense of peace as you walked the lot. Understandably, you want to retain these same natural features that drew you to the land. Each lot and building project are unique, but these are some of the strategies that can be used to preserve the natural features that you have fallen in love with. Plan around Trees There are few natural features more beautiful than a centuries-old tree that has lush, healthy branches as well as deep roots and a huge trunk. These heritage trees tell a story of their own, so you understandably want to keep them intact on your land. If space permits, consider designing your home’s layout around the trees. These trees can be a true focal point to the landscape, and they add curb appeal as well as property value. Creating a floorplan and layout that takes the preservation of heritage trees into account is a smart idea. Build into Cliffs and Ledge If your lot has a dominant cliff or ledge, you may be able to build right up to the rock wall or even into it in some cases. Rock boring hire is available to help you anchor your property into the rock. By doing so, your home may become a part of the natural beauty. The rock may also act as a natural protective feature, and it could promote energy efficiency. It makes sense take full advantage of cliffs and ledges when they are present on your property. Hire an Experienced Architect These are only a few of the many features that you may want to preserve or take advantage of in your floorplan. In some cases, such as if you have a very large estate lot with ample space to lay the home on the land, special effort may not be required to preserve coveted natural features. However, other properties may require bold or monumental efforts in order to achieve your preservation goals. Hiring an experienced architect who has a proven track record of creativity and success in this area is advantageous. As you see, there are many creative ways to preserve your land’s treasured natural features. Identify the features that are most important to you, and speak with various contractors about the preservation options available.
RachelleW posted a blog entry in Shades of an Apple Green HomeMany business are going green to benefit the environment and their bottom line. Green building initiatives show corporate responsibility. By investing in these useful tools, you can go green efficiently and make investments that could ultimately save your business a significant amount of money. Solar Panels A building's roof has the potential to either absorb a great deal of the sun's energy or reflect it. One way to create a green roof is to install solar panels. Solar panel technology allows for the collection of energy on sunny days. A connected battery system allows this energy to be stored and used as needed. The electricity that is generated can be used to heat water or to power electrical items inside of the building. Excess amounts of electricity could even be sold back to the utility company. State and federal tax grants are available for companies that install certain types of solar panels. Green Roofs A green roof confers many advantages. It can help with storm water mitigation to eliminate runoff during heavy rains. A green roof absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen into the air. The green roofing materials add insulation and reduce heat absorption through the roof, which helps to reduce the amount of electricity that is required to keep a building cool during the summer. You can even add a patio or access area to a green roof and turn it into a leisure place where your employees come for relaxation on their break time. Delicate Building Materials When you have delicate building materials such as sprayed foam insulation, they need to be kept cool. In a hot environment, the sprayed foam may deteriorate. Some companies, like Powerblanket, know that regulating the temperature of sensitive materials helps keep them safe. Keeping delicate materials at their optimum temperature is important. Insulation Newer insulation products help to reduce unwanted air exchange with the outdoors. Sprayed foam insulation has high thermal resistance values and only needs to be installed once. Proper insulation helps to keep buildings consistently comfortable all year long. Going green in your business does not have to be complicated. You can make one upgrade at a time as your budget allows. By doing the research and making cost-effective changes such as electronic cooling blankets for your server room, you can save money and use the savings to make even more green updates.
HannahWhittenly posted a blog entry in HannahWhittenly's BlogThese days it is possible to recycle plastic, but there are several different kinds of plastic, and they differ in some important respects. Some plastics are more likely to leach into the environment than are others. Some are more bio-degradable than others and some are simply safer to use. Plastic containers always have a symbol on the bottom. It's a triangle with a number in it. The number indicates the type of plastic used to make the container. There are seven kinds of plastics: 1) PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Plastic #1 is usually clear and used to make soda and water bottle, beer bottles, salad dressing bottles, peanut butter jars, and mouthwash bottles. It can be recycled as furniture, fleece, carpet, and tote bags. While many recycling programs accept it, it is known to let bacteria accumulate. 2) HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Plastic #2 is generally opaque, and it is one of the three safest plastics to use. It tends not leach much. It is used to make milk jugs, shampoo bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs, and household cleaner containers. It can be recycled as pens, picnic tables, benches, fencing and lumber. Most curbside pickup recycling programs accept it. 3) V or PVC (Vinyl) Plastic #3 is used to make food wrap, detergent bottles, plumbing pipes, medical equipment, and shampoo bottles. It can be recycled as flooring, speed bumps, and decks. This plastic may still contain phthalates which have been linked to miscarriages and some birth defects. Plastic #3 also contains DEHA which can cause cancer after prolonged exposure. People should not burn or cook with this plastic. Curbside recycling programs usually won't accept it. 4) LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) Plastic #4 is one of the three safest plastics to use. It is used to make shopping bags, clothing, squeezable bottles, bread bags, and carpet. It can be recycled into compost bins, floor tiles and paneling. Curbside recycling programs are starting to pick up this plastic. 5) PP (Polypropylene) Plastic #5 is one of the three safest plastics to use, and it is used to make yogurt containers, shampoo bottles and medicine bottles. It can be recycled into brooms, ice scrapers, signal lights and bicycle racks. Recycling programs increasingly accept it. 6) PS (Polystyrene) Plastic #6 is more commonly known as Styrofoam which is notoriously hard to recycle. It is therefore bad for the environment. It also leaches potentially dangerous chemicals, especially when heated. It is used to make egg cartons, meat trays and disposable plates and cups. Recycling programs usually don't accept it. 7) Miscellaneous Plastic #7 is a catch-all for any plastic that doesn't fit into the above six categories. It's a mixed bag, and some of the plastics in this group contain the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) which has been linked to health problems like hyperactivity and infertility. It can be used to make sunglasses, nylon, and computer cases. It can be recycled into plastic lumber. It is usually best to avoid plastics as much as possible. But if using a plastic is necessary, it is best to choose Plastics #2, #4, or #5. Given the dangers associated with them, Plastics #1, #3, #6 and #7 should not be used or recycled. Informational Credit to Lakeshore Recycling