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Tag: retrofit

Consider this when doing a Sustainable Retrofit

Consider this when doing a Sustainable Retrofit

Sitting at home in the summer heat, your mind may start to wander to that fancy new air conditioner. But when it comes to making your house comfortable and sustainable, prevention is better than cure. By prevention we mean simple retrofits that will set you on the path to comfort and sustainability. As we spend more than ever on maintaining and improving our homes, we’re also becoming more aware of how their design and use impact on our health and society. Add to this climate change and rising energy costs. 

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Surface Color & Solar Gain: White is the Greenest Color

Surface Color & Solar Gain: White is the Greenest Color

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that for low-rise commercial buildings, the heat gain through the roof is about 50 percent of the heat gain for the entire building. This heat gain can be reduced not only by using more insulation but also by reflecting the sun’s radiation. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) states that the heat gain through a white roof is half of that of a black roof, and the heat gain through a white wall is two-thirds that of a black wall. Thus, in hot cli- mates, the walls should have…

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Abandoned Homes in Detroit Become Greenhouse

When steven mankouche first saw the house at 3347 Burnside Street in Detroit, in 2013, it was buckling and scarred with burn marks. An artist named Andy Malone, who lived nearby, had just purchased the lot for $500 and was hoping to find some way to bring it back to life. Mankouche, an architect, and his partner, Abigail Murray, a ceramicist, floated a proposal to do just that, by commandeering the house’s foundation and repurposing it as a sort of plant nursery.

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Tips for a high-impact, budget-friendly remodel

The kitchen was eye-popping for all the wrong reasons, remodeler Dan Kradzinski recalls. Dark brown oak cabinets with medieval-style handles. Birch-colored counter. White appliances. The backsplash was rust-colored brick, the walls the color of an overripe nectarine. The room had a jumbled 1980s-era vibe. The kitchen’s Richboro, Pennsylvania, homeowners asked whether his company, Kradzinski Remodeling, could bring it into this century? After about four weeks of work, the kitchen looked Pinterest-ready.

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Solar roof Solar shingles and tiles

Solar roof Solar shingles and tiles

Elon Musk recently talked about a new product that might be coming out of SolarCity’s Buffalo factory soon: It’s a solar roof as opposed to a module on a roof. I think, this is really a fundamental part of achieving a differentiated product strategy – it’s not a beautiful roof that it is a solar roof, it’s not a thing on a roof, it is the roof. That’s … quite a difficult engineering challenge, and not something that is available really anywhere else that is at all good. I think this will be something that’s quite a standout. So one of the…

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How to Improve Run-Down Buildings

Some Williston residents are concerned the city needs to put a better face forward in terms of the building code. Local run-down buildings, including an abandoned Winn Dixie, can currently get by with temporary fixes, such as patching broken windows with plywood, while still remaining under code. City hall and code enforcement are working on new rules to address the problem. Enforcement of the new code could include liens on property or foreclosure of the buildings that are not up to code.

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Earthship Presentation: King of Prussia, PA

Earthship Presentation: King of Prussia, PA

Earthship Presentation 6pm-8pm, October 5, 2016 at Michael’s Deli in King of Prussia, PA Sponsored by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Earthship360, an educational and research organization based in the Philadelphia area, designs and builds sustainable custom structures for residential, commercial and government use. The 6pm October 5 presentation at Michael’s Deli is $30 per person, $25 for students payable at the door. All funds raised goes to the American Society of Civil Engineers, Philadelphia Chapter. Michael’s Deli, located at 130 Town Center Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406. Contact Jonah Reynolds for additional information at jonah@earthship360.com.

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Time to retrofit our cities

Time to retrofit our cities

Retrofitting a few city buildings would have big impact on overall carbon emissions Many programs encourage owners of homes and other buildings to improve their energy efficiency, sometimes offering substantial subsidies or tax incentives for doing so. Now, planners may have a way to determine where such programs can get the most return for that investment: New research shows how to identify the buildings where retrofitting for energy efficiency will have the biggest impact on a city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

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Solar energy rolls out like a carpet with groundbreaking Roll-Array photovoltaics

Solar energy rolls out like a carpet with groundbreaking Roll-Array photovoltaics

Solar power is easier to install than ever before thanks to the latest innovation: the Roll-Array. John Hingley and his team at the renewable energy company Renovagen designed a high power PV array that rolls out like a carpet. This flexible and easy-to-transport instant microgrid has the capacity to bring alternative energy to places we never thought possible. Check out the video below to see it in action. The Roll-Array is easily towable by a standard 4×4 vehicle such as a Land Rover. When connected to the back of the car, the flexible solar panels are pulled out of a…

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Top 6 benefits of a passive house

Top 6 benefits of a passive house

The technology behind passive houses can be confusing, so we’re cutting straight to the good stuff: The biggest benefits of this energy-efficient construction method. 1. Low monthly energy use and big savings The most obvious upside to a home that heats and cools itself without an air conditioner or a furnace is the monthly energy costs: They’re typically close to zero. “There is no downside to a building that uses less energy than its code-compliant equivalent,” San Francisco builder Ewen Utting. And Utting notes that passive construction doesn’t take much more in terms of effort, energy, or materials to create a building that…

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