Articles - October, 2011

Customize Your Energy Efficient Home

*This is a sponsored article in association with Plastics Make It Possible.

In conjunction with the Solar Decathlon, Plastics Make It Possible created an interactive home to show people how plastic products can be used to make a home comfortable and energy efficient.  For example, window coverings can reduce home heating and cooling, flexible plumbing can be used for direct runs to deliver hot water faster, and plastic-encased solar shingles can blend into the roof while creating energy from the sun.

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Ecobee High-Tech Wireless Thermostat

ecobee wireless smart thermostat

One of the many friends of Jetson Green in attendance at Greenbuild this year pointed our attention to the ecobee thermostat, a high-tech, wirelessly connected, programmable thermostat. In addition to controlling temperature, ecobee also gives you control over the fan settings (allowing you to have the air circulation operate for a minimum number of minutes per hour). Ecobee measures humidity and can be used to control humidification/dehumidification equipment.

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Small Wind Turbine Available at Lowe’s

As the small wind industry grows, it’s becoming easier to buy certain models of turbines online and from big-box retailers.  For example, Southwest Windpower offers the Skystream 3.7 through Home Depot and now offers the Whisper 100 through Lowe’s.  Whisper 100 can produce up to 100 kWh a month in moderate to high winds, according to Southwest Windpower.

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1958 Home Gets a Modern Renovation

This is a home in North Vancouver that was originally built in 1958.  The owners, architect Jim Paul and landscape architect Nancy Paul, acquired the home and invested in a significant overhaul that salvaged or retained 75-80% of the original fabric and materials.  The result is a post and beam style, Pacific Northwest modern home that’s also a nice case study for renovating an aged structure.

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Simple Water Collection for a Retrofit

Rainwater Pillow Cistern

If you’re looking for a cost effective alternative to a below ground rainwater cistern, the Rainwater Pillow, which was on display at Greenbuild NEXT, may be your answer.  Easy to locate under a deck or in a crawl space, the Rainwater Pillow is ideal for a retrofit project where placing a typical above or below ground cistern may prove difficult.  As long as you have a flat surface with no obstructions the Rainwater Pillow can be laid out tied into your landscape irrigation system with ease.

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Smith & Fong Expands Line at Greenbuild

SoyBond From Smith & Fong

Smith & Fong debuted SoyBond, a bamboo flooring and plywood line with a soy-based formaldehyde free adhesive system, at this year at the USGBC’s GreenbuildSmith & Fong has always promoted and offered non-urea formaldehyde resins; however, the step to a soy-based formaldehyde-free adhesive advances their product line further.

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