Articles - August, 2012

Energy Bill Guaranty, Passive Solar, Green Roof Movement, + Liquid-Cooled Lighting

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Prefab Living Structures in North Carolina

If in a pinch for extra living space at home, a detached structure could be just the solution.  Especially if an addition isn’t an option, there are companies all over the country that provide prefabricated structures that can be used for a home office, studio, in-law suite, or cabana, etc.  North Carolina-based Outdoor Environs is one of these companies with a backyard shed from about $40,000.

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Denim Insulation Now Available at Lowe’s

There’s been a lot of talk about cotton insulation, but I’ve seen it used in countless projects.  It’s probably worth noting that Bonded Logic’s recycled-content product hit the mainstream with a roll-out of UltraTouch Denim Insulation to 165 Lowe’s stores this month.  The product is made with 80% post-consumer recycled natural fibers and doesn’t have added formaldehyde, VOCs, or chemical irritants, according to Bonded Logic.

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Rocio Romero LV Prefab in Pope Valley

If you’re in the Napa County and have an interest in modern prefab, an LV Home by Missouri-based Rocio Romero will be featured in open house public tours on September 22, 2012 (register here).  So you know, the LV model comes as a fabricated kit of parts — post and beam, exterior wall panels, faux wall panels, roof framing, select connectors, and siding material — and forms the shell of a home with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and about 1,344 square feet.  We’ve mentioned at least two LV homes in the past, one in Pacifica and another in Whidbey Island, and these homes generally get finished by a local contractor for $120 – $195 per square foot with the LV kit starting at $39,500.

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Wind-Oil: Homemade Food from Small Wind

Recall for a second a project called Rubble Floor by Dave Hakkens.  Hakkens recently published another project called “Wind-Oil” to show how to use industrial processes at home to create good food.  He made an oil pressing machine that’s powered by a small-wind turbine.  The machine has a worm drive that presses nuts and seeds — walnuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, etc — and spits out oil in one bottle and a food pulp in another.

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Zero-VOC Paint Colorant by Sherwin Williams

This year Sherwin Williams introduced ColorCast EcoToner, which is a new tinting system that won’t add VOCs to paints.  The new colorants “maintain the paint’s full body after tinting, delivering thick, rich coats for maximum performance,” according to a company press release.  The ColorCast EcoToner system is available for any hue in the Sherwin Williams color palette (as well as custom color matches, too).  ColorCast EcoToner colorants are now used for Emerald paints and all other Sherwin Williams latex and water-based coatings as of July 1, 2012.  Perhaps you’ve already used paints with this system — thoughts?

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