THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING IS GOING GREEN. Tuesday, Dec 1 2009 

“In 1931, it became the world’s tallest building.  Now it will become one of the most energy efficient” states and article in the Wall Street Journal.

Older buildings can perform very well in the proper retrofits are installed claims Dan Probst, chairman of energy and sustainability services at Chicago based Jones Lang LaSalle, the firm which is managing the project. Upgrading the windows, using thermal barriers behind existing radiators to reduce heat leakage and lighting retrofitting are the non high tech solutions to green this 80 year old iconic building.  They are anticipating achieving a Gold Lead-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design- Existing Buildings) certification by 2013.

The developers claim that the construction costs maybe be 1% to 1.5% higher by using more recycled products and development costs can be slighter higher using greener standards but the cost of operations can be reduced by 20% to 40%!

For more details on this project refer to Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, November 11, 2009, C11 or wsj.com/realestate/commercial.

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NEW GREEN HOMES AND REMODELS Monday, Nov 30 2009 

Construction of new home construction doesn’t have to take two years.

Modular homes can be delivered in 60 to 90 days and assembled on site in a few weeks.  Another advantage is if you use a modular company that also provides a green product.  The cost per foot can range from a reasonable $150 to $200 per square foot and can save 50 to 70% on energy consumption.  The company Old Green Modular (NOGM) is one company that provides such a product.  The home designs are traditional in style but incorporate state of the art green practices.

Remodeling or retrofitting your home with the proper insulations, and equipment updates you can also achieve great energy savings.  The  U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) offers Regreen (regreenprogram.org) a guideline for remodeling kitchens, bathroom or complete energy retrofits.

Some simple changes could be adding motion sensors to control lights , programmable thermostats or using LED lights which have a higher efficiency output and longer life.

The key to a success energy efficient home depends on you the home owner and occupant.  It requires to be educated on how to control sensors, changing  filters on the HVAC, optimizing all the appliances and energy settings and using all this properly.

ARE YOU GREEN ABOUT GREEN? Sunday, Nov 29 2009 

There has been a lot of publications about  “Green”, Sustainable or LEED, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings.  These terms refer to good building standards that promote healthy and comfortable environments by increasing such as things as energy efficiency water conservation and good air quality.

Lead was developed as a building rating system in the late 1990’s by the U.S. Green  Building Council which described guidelines to achieve a certain degree of “greenness” attaining a required number of points by.  There are four categories:  Certified, Silver, Gold and the highest achievement being Platinum.

Making your home more green raises it’s value since it will cost thousands less per year to operate than a non green home.

WATER STATISTICS Tuesday, Nov 24 2009 

THESE STATISTICS MAKE ME SO “BLUE”  THAT’S INSPIRING TO GO “GREEN”.

A whoping 95% of the water delivered to your home goes down the drain but 65% of  it can be reused.   Only about 3% of the water delivered to the home is accounted for drinking water.

Drinking water is used to flush our toilets.  It is estimated that a female occupant will use  4.8 gallons per day (based on use of three times of day at 1.6 gallons per flush) and for and males  3.6 gallons (based on use of one 1.6 gallon toilet flush and two urinial uses of 1 gallon per use).  If your an avid gardener you can save all this water and its cost by replacing your standard water closet with a waterless toilet and use the wastes for your garden.

Running water in your bathroom sink or shower until the water runs warm can use up to 5 gallons.  One suggestion I read was some one actually collected the cold shower water in buckets and used it to water the garden.  That’s a great idea but not always convenient or practical depending on how are homes are designed and if your shower is on the second floor.  My practice has been to bring a bowl of warm water from a source that is instant to my bathroom to wash up before bedtime.  I think of the old colonial days where they used those grand water pitchers in the bedroom before the days of running water.  So the pitcher still holds water but for a different purpose.

Hello world! Tuesday, Nov 10 2009 

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