The Theory Of Natural, Healthy Materials And The Building Technology

Designers across the globe value the pre-design process to establish the interests of the client, emotional expression and psychological needs. But a clear imbalance still exists …

Care needs to be taken with all material types and attention given to treatments and processing in product manufacture. A pungent chemical, Formaldehyde is used in the manufacturing of many products, including synthetic carpeting especially underlays, particleboard, insulation, paints, adhesives, plywood, foam cushions and cosmetics. It is also used to soften fabrics and improve paper absorbency in paper towels. Research now shows that when it off-gases, it can irritate eyes, cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma.

Often such symptoms are lessened or even completely relieved when changes are made in the home. However, the physical problem is multi-dimensional and other aspects need to be considered as well.

For example, migraines could have been caused by environmental exposure plus may have a hormonal aspect. Or, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) could stem from chronic candida infection, harmful exposures to electro-magnetic fields and / or heavy metal poisoning. It is important to find a health-care professional who is experienced with environmental illness. Whether these symptoms exist or not, moving in the direction of a healthy building makes sense for everyone.

Take the example of purifying indoor air. Before you buy an electric air purifier consider plants that are able to grab and filter common pollutants found indoors and purify the air. NASA's space center has made a list of the most beneficial plants in order of their effectiveness. Having said that – how do you actually know which toxins are in your environment and which plant works best to enhance the feel-good factor of your clients? What does the staff prefer – is the spider plant, dragon lily or the date palm, which colors and flowers can add to the décor, which is easy to maintain and yet gives the best productivity results?

You could be a small establishment, a micro company, a family home or a home office but all need careful planning to realize your project. A client or a DIY enthusiast still needs to know what questions to ask a decorator or a designer. They can know more about building codes that agree with acceptable thresholds for harmful materials.

But, just as wellness is far more than absence of disease, a building that truly nurtures well-being is far more than an environment that is free of toxins. And with the change in human behavior, it is also possible that we will discover our new 'true' self. A building is a result of the aspirations and designer's ideas, but over time people who occupy and work in it take the quality of the buildings they live in. How would you feel when I say a carefully designed buildings can actually make you feel good?

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Solar Energy Is Booming, But Which Sites Are in Demand in 2016?

Solar innovation is reaching critical mass, opening new markets and driving solar developers to new real estate.

With solar PV (photovoltaic) costs collapsing by four-fifths in the last five years, and demand for renewable energy picking up, a perfect storm for solar energy installation is emerging. Incentives and tax breaks still make a big financial difference-and Congress did its part with the extension of the solar tax credit in the omnibus bill at the end of 2015.

There are also many state and local incentives and policies designed to encourage solar energy development, like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent announcement of a $ 5 billion renewable energy plan. Keeping track of the multitude of solar incentives can be a challenge but the website DSIRE keeps a comprehensive and updated source of information on incentives and policies supporting renewable and energy efficiency. This invaluable tool helps navigate the landscape of overlapping policies to help determine where particular incentives apply, and for whom.

But as solar energy innovation continues to accumulate and solar prices continue to plummet, the day solar out-competes fossil fuels and nuclear without any supportive incentives is finally within sight. Small, expensive residential rooftop installations-beginning with the kind Jimmy Carter put on top of the White House in the 70's-have evolved into no-money-down lease arrangements that are highly accessible to homeowners and business owners in many markets. Massive commercial installations are also less expensive and slimming down. Whereas 20 or 30+ acres were necessary in the past, now developers are pursuing 10 and even 5-acre projects with the right conditions. And new models, such as community solar, are slimming acreage needs even further.

'Community solar' refers to community-owned projects or third party-owned installations which electricity is shared by a community-sometimes referred to as a solar garden. The primary purpose of community solar is to give multiple households or members of a community the opportunity to share the benefits of solar power even if they can not or prefer not to install solar panels on their own property. As residential solar developers have discovered during the mini-boom of the past cycle, many rooftops are simply not suitable for solar installation.

Community solar developers are opening new markets by approaching geography in new ways, looking to develop sites as small as 2.5 acres or less and developing multiple micro-sites together. This opens up the potential of many areas where the inventory of suitable large-scale sites is very low-such as the northeast, particularly in populated areas along the coast. Rural and remote areas have large available parcels, but can lack infrastructure and connectivity. Larger installations can also face regulations imposed by state and federal agencies to avoid, minimize, or mitigate habitat loss or fragmentation.

Smaller solar installations are especially good matches for urban markets with fewer ecosystem impacts, existing infrastructure, more end-user demand and higher inventories of smaller sites. Underutilized grayfield and brownfield real estate is ideally-suited for solar use because it can be a less expensive reuse (compared to typical commercial or residential uses) and still generates income and / or saves utility costs for the user. As former industrial and commercial properties, grayfields and brownfields tend to be in areas with ready access to existing infrastructure such as electric transmission lines and substations necessary to load excess power on the utility grid. More contaminated real estate and landfills have highly constrained reuse options, and solar development is an add-on that layers a productive use atop entombed waste-green on brown. The sale of electricity from solar energy production could net a municipal landfill owner hundreds of thousands of dollars in new annual revenue.

EPA encourages solar development of landfills and brownfield property through its Re-Powering America's Land Initiative program, which educates and advocates collectors on the positive benefits of making brightfields out of brownfields. Traditional solar developers prefer sites that are closed and have a final remedy in place, with limited or no ongoing regulatory requirements. Properties with open accidents or incomplete remediation can delay build-out and slow down solar developers who prefer to move quickly and not deal with extraneous, non-solar concerns. But a growing number of developers are willing to come in early and be patient for the right development on the right real estate. For owners of contaminated sites, the cost savings captured by remediating a property with a solar energy reuse in mind can be substantial because brightfields are unoccupied and can therefore require a less intensive cleanup and less regulatory and legal liability concern going forward.

The specific characteristics and requirements of a suitable location for solar energy production vary somewhat depending on the technology and developer. In general, the site must have good access for construction and maintenance, no access for pedestrians, and elevation beyond any floodplain. The slope should generally be less than 35 degrees. In the Northern Hemisphere, the aspect should be south facing or horizontal because solar panels located on south-facing slopes will have a higher solar power output than those located on north-facing slopes. The site should receive some minimum amount of solar radiation per year, and any shading should be removed.

Does your site sound like a match? Are you a brownfield owner looking to list your property and connect to solar developers? You can sign up to list for free in a brightfield portfolio dedicated to marketing solar development opportunities. Use the brightfield tag when creating a listing on Brownfield Listings to connect your real estate to the solar community nationwide.

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Green Architecture: Changing the Home Design Trends of Today

Whether you are considering a home renovation or exploring designs for a new house, one of the common suggestions that you will get both from architects and engineers is to make it adaptive and earth-friendly. For those who may not be too inclined on the technical details of home designs, “adaptive” and “earth-friendly” are just words, that also often appeal to be expensive and complicated to achieve.

However, with the ever changing trends in home designs, we need to start equipping ourselves with knowledge on economic yet safe home design choices. With this, we will try to look into the basic concepts of earth-friendly and adaptive homes – two concepts that are closely interrelated.

Earth-friendly Home Designs

These designs are born out of the campaigns of several countries for an environment-friendly lifestyle or sustainable living, which of course includes house designs. Along with this, professionals in home construction and design have also innovated their skill set to meet these new standards.

When we speak of environment-friendly home designs, this has a lot to do with the materials used to build or renovate the house. For instance, some architects have been practicing the use of biodegradable materials in house interiors.

These design techniques are closely resembling that of the ancient times, when majority of the house materials come from natural sources. Even the paint products for the house have to be eco-friendly, which is not only safer for the walls, but for the occupants' health, as well.

Other strategies being applied by architects is the creation of outdoor rooms in the house.

This means using natural light and air to save on energy for the room. All these, along with eco-friendly household practices easily contribute to having an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Adaptive Home Designs

This type of home design deals with two major things:

1) the ability of the house to adapt to the changing lifestyle of its residents, and 2) ability of the house to adapt and withstand the various environmental changes.

Also operating around the concept of sustainable living, these designs are meant to make the house last longer and the family living in it safer. Common feature of these homes are sturdy lumber and concrete, insulated panels, and dome-shaped ceilings. These type of house built has been proven to be more resistant to storms, tornadoes, and even earthquakes by the Wind Engineering Research Center. With natural calamitiesitting the country almost every year, it pays to be keener in the construction materials used for your house.

When it comes to adaptive spaces for home, this is where secret rooms and sliding door comes in. This is also an innovative trend that architects and interior designers are looking into, in order to make a house with limited floor area still spacious enough for a growing family. Aside from choosing space-saver and multi-purpose furniture, it is also important to choose a house design that is easier to renew in case the need for expansion arises. And this is exactly what your architect mean when they speak of adaptive home design.

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What Are Characteristics of Sustainable Communities?

Environmental conservation has become an important way of life for an increasing segment of the population. Some people are committing themselves to green living to the extent that they are choosing to live in sustainable communities. These populaces come together with a common goal of living in a way that focuses on environmental, economic, and social health and resilience.

The Mindset

Economic growth and development is imperative for ingoing human wellbeing. However, if this development causes harm to natural resources by polluting water, air, and soil; destroying forests; flooding landfills with garbage; and producing toxic waste, the net result ends up being negative instead of positive. The promise of sustainable communities is finding a way to improve quality of life with economic development, while preserving the environment. Neighborhoods embracing sustainability are pursuing alternative options for economic development that do not produce harmful side effects such as air pollution, urban sprawl, congestion, and full landfills.

Strategies for Achieving Sustainable Economic Development

Use Local Resources Carefully – Every community has local resources that are available for use. When a neighborhood explores its local resources and then commits itself to meeting the needs of its residents with these commodities, everyone benefits. This internal resourcefulness creates jobs, boosts the economy, and reduces negative impacts. A community that works together to meet these basic needs internally usually thrives.

Creating an Efficient Infrastructure – Urban sprawl and inefficient city design have a negative impact on the environment. A city without careful planning requires its residents to rely heavily on their individual vehicles for transportation. An environmentally conscious alternative involves careful planning of neighborhood design so that people can reach work, school, and shopping more easily. The availability of public transportation is an integral component of sustainable communities.

Pursuing Energy Efficiency – When everyone in a neighborhood works together to conserve energy, big results usually happen. Businesses and households that focus on waste reduction, pollution prevention, and recycling can work together for the good of everyone. These types of neighborhoods typically experience a reduction in various kinds of damage such as air pollution and misuse of land.

Prioritize Quality of Life – Many people are becoming more aware of the importance of pursuing quality of life in their daily lifestyles. When a community prioritizes this type of lifestyle in its design, residents are generally happier. Creating an attractive neighborhood with clean water and air, open green spaces, and access to natural areas is a positive strategy for benefitting both humans and the environment.

Creation of Jobs – Pursuing environmental consciousness often creates new jobs. Job creation in the areas of environmental technology, waste reduction, pollution prevention, and recycling will often help to create a booming economy in a community.

Realistically, achieving sustainability is a process. A neighborhood will not attain this status overnight, but it is possible to work towards it by making important improvements. For success, sustainable communities must adopt a long-term perspective by adjusting focus to both today and tomorrow. This type of perspective will help ensure that current and future resident needs are met.

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Designing a Greenhouse As a Tropical Oasis

Living in the cold, wet northern hemisphere is not for everyone, and even those who enjoy the chilly temperatures and snowfall need to take a break in a warmer climate from time to time. Taking a vacation, however, especially for those with large families and individuals who work full time, is not always an option. Traveling expenses, along with planning a week's worth of activities, and trying to accommodate everyone can sometimes be more than a headache than a vacation. A vacation-like ambiance can be made right at home, and doing so is a breeze with the help of a greenhouse and an expert team of designers.

Greenhouses are made almost entirely of glass windows and skylights, which allows the sun to warm the interior, making a tropical climate for both humans and plants. Overheating and sunburn will not be an issue, as long as proper glazing options are considered. Incorporating low emission glass coatings, such as LoE 366, will produce a highly efficient glass structure that will block harmful rays in the summer and insulate during the winter. Ventilation will be crucial to ensure air circulates and does not become stagnant. Ridge vents, eave vents, and operable windows are great ventilation options for both humans and plants. Incorporating a retractable roof skylight will open the structure to the outside on warm, sunny days.

Growing palm trees inside the greenhouse is an ideal way to create a vacation atmosphere, as are hibiscus, and practically any vibrant tropical flower . Before cultivation begins, however, it is important to research the various preferences of each plant in order to ensure the greenhouse growing environment is mutually beneficial for each different species. Once the vegetation has been selected, creating the perfect interior environment will be easy with the help of a greenhouse control system, which integrates all lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation accessories into one cohesive unit.

Adding a full-sized pool, spa, or other water features will elevate the tropical greenhouse oasis and help produce the total vacation package. Incorporating a water feature inside a greenhouse or other glass structure, though, will most likely increase interior humidity and condensation, especially in a high-performing structure. Condensation has the ability to promote fungal growth in the atmosphere, which can negatively affect both people and plants. Ensuring proper structural ventilation with ridge vents, eave vents, operable windows, and skylights will help minimize and monitor condensation levels and create a comfortable experience for all users.

Greenhouses, whether designed as a freestanding structure or attached to an existing building, are the perfect way to create a tropical vacation spot right at home. Doing this will allow users a relaxing getaway at any time of year and also reduce yearly vacation costs in the long run.

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8 Amazing Green Buildings in the World – 2015

The Bullitt Center built by the Bullitt Foundation, a Seattle-based non-profit group that focuses on urban ecology was officially opened on Earth Day, 2013. It is certified as one of the world's 21 Living Buildings, ie the building generates as much energy as it consumes; supplies its own water, and processes its own sewage. The rooftop solar panels produce more power than is consumed. Two years since it was occupied, the building's energy-efficiency is commendable; with the building generating 60% more energy than it used.

NuOffice in Munich, Germany was commissioned by Haupt Immobilien, and created with the help of European-funded research group DIRECTION and the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics. NuOffice was awarded the LEED Platinum certification – the highest rating ever issued by the body for a building of its type. NuOffice is equipped with a photovoltaic solar system covering most of the building's roof, and its triple-glazed windows provide excellent insulation. Radiant heating and cooling systems, which are connected to a complex district heating system in the basement keep energy use low and the interior comfortable. The building's inner courtyard design creates natural cross-ventialtion and allows sufficient daylight on both the inside and outside.

One Angel Square is the head office of the Co-operative Group Housing. Built in 2013, it has been awarded an “Outstanding” Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) rating. Sustainable features of the building include a high performance, double-skinned facade, earth tubes for heating and cooling, rainwater harvesting and a future-proof sensor that will help the building anticipate a three to five degree increase in summer temperatures and a 30% increase in winter rainfall. It is also an energy-plus building, producing surplus energy and zero carbon emissions. One of the building's passive solar design features is the south-facing atrium.

Shanghai Tower is currently the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world. But the fact that it claims to be 'the greenest super high-rise on earth' has grabbed eyeballs. The design of the tower's glass facade, which completes a 120 ° twist as it rises, is intended to reduce the natural wind-generated sway of tall buildings, by 24%. The Shanghai Tower so used 25% less structural steel than a conventional design of a tower of similar height. The double-layered insulating glass façade was designed to reduce the need for indoor air conditioning, and is composed of an advanced reinforced glass with a high tolerance forifts in temperature.

Sky Studios in West London is advertised as 'the most sustainable broadcast studio'. Architects Arup Partners treated Sky Studios more as an indoor city than an average building. Sustainable innovations include a biomass-fueled cooling, heating and power plant, one of the UK's largest urban wind turbines, which generates enough electricity to power 90% of the facility's lighting and a rainwater tank that provides 100% of the building's water. The facility was built to capture every viable natural resource on the site and to radically minimize energy use. The CCHP plant also provides sufficient green energy to significantly reduce the carbon emissions of the building.

The Crystal, in London, a Sustainable Cities Initiative by Siemens, offers a fossil fuel free vision of the future. It is an all-electric building that uses solar power and ground source heat pumps to generate its own energy. It also stores electrical energy in a huge battery to ensure excess power can be saved for use when supply is low. The building incorporates rainwater harvesting, black water treatment, solar heating and automated building management systems. The design of the building's structure, including its glass, provides additional insulation, helping it achieve leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum and BREEAM Outstanding ratings.

The PNC Financial Services Group sees its new headquarters in Pittsburgh – The Tower at PNC Plaza. The “breathing” design created by architecture firm Gensler moves away from the traditional closed air-conditioned environment and allows Employees in the 33 floor glass tower to access daylight and fresh air. The facade will feature operable doors and windows that admit fresh air into the building during optimal conditions. A solar chimney is another component of the structures passive system: it pulls air in through the open windows, rather than sucking air out as typically occurring in a high rise building, then the air then travels across the floors, is heated and exhaled through the roof shaft.

The YS Sun Green Building Research Center at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan has been awarded top honors by the USGBC. The three-story 4800 square meter building utilizes 13 different sustainable building techniques in order to achieve a 65% energy savings and a 50% water savings over typical office buildings. Among these, the most exciting one is the natural buoyancy ventilation technology, allowing an international conference hall which can fit 300 people to stay cool in summer and warm in winter without turning on the air conditioning. The YS Sun Green Building Research Center is the first green architectural education center in the subtropical zone, which is open for research development as well as promotion work of green technology.

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5 Reasons for Building Green

Various reasons have been given by many people and entities why they go for green homes and buildings. Through the years, developers have been very keen on abiding by the standards set by authorities aimed at promoting sustainable living. Despite the discussions and information drive, many of us are still left clueless about the advantages of such efforts. It is held that with the rest of the article, you, as a reader, will be shared with valuable information which will help you grasp the genera idea of ​​green building.

One of the earliest benefits of investing in a green home is the multitude of economic benefits it can give. It may be a cost investment, but as years pass, the owner can actually reap the benefits of reduced electricity and water bills. Operating costs will likely depreciate in figures as compared with operating or maintain a non-green compliant home or building.

The market value of green properties surges as time passes by. Demand for these types of homes are planned to go up by 2020 with more millenials jumping into the realization that owning a dream house should be aligned with embracing environmental obligations as well. If time comes that the owner decides to sell his piece, gain is probably on his edge. Life span of green homes is planned to be longer than their non-compliant counterparts.

Families invest in homes because of their kids. Essentially, the social welfare of youngger family members is in the high ranks of consideration when a house is built or bought.

With this come the associated health advantages that owners are likely to get. Planned ventilations and well-located air circulation appliances contribute to improved air quality. In general, windows of green homes are also designed to let natural air and natural sunlight pass according to controlled amount or as needed.

Green homes would not be called such if without the benefits that the environment gets. These types of homes and structures in general are built using hybrid raw and recycled ingredients. This lessens trees cut for use as boards, lumbers, and hardwoods. The trees are given more time to mature in their natural habitat. Well-planned water sewage and waste disposal systems are also incorporated in the designs of green houses. There is less chance that the owner will likely be contributing to the accumulation of untreated waste products.

If you are planning of building a green home, the various benefits discussed above are more than enough reasons to give your plan a green signal.

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Why You Should Consider Living In A Tent

Recently I found myself wondering and talking about some of the quirky and brilliant ways people from around the world use tents. Consequently I pondered about the possibility that some people have contemplated or even opted for living in a tent permanently. Inspired by this idea, I dug a bit further into this topic of permanent tented accommodation.

What would live in a tent full time entail? Some individuals may be unnerved by this idea, while others may be thrilled and excited to take on the challenge and some may have no alternative. Whatever the reason or justification – there are 5 indisputable and great benefits of moving from your modern home to kicking it in a tent.

1. The cost effectiveness is clear

Finding the right location to pitch your tent will definitely decrease your monthly cost of rent, electricity and the like. The idea of ​​saving on your expenses in this matter might seem slightly extreme, but compare it to running a modern household and you may just change your mind. Naturally, you might be worried about cold winters, no internet and not having warm showers, but there are ways to avoid that. You could invest in a proper tent and enough winter provisions, sign-up at a gym that has shower facilities and use the free internet offered by libraries, coffee-shops and even shopping malls.

2. It will be an invigorating challenge and a noteworthy experience

Having a luxury, purpose-designed, tent will definitely make the experience more comfortable and less effortful, but it will still be a demanding challenge to live in a tent full time. There is, however, a multitude of people who find pleasure, excitement and gratification from such difficult tasks and many people thrive in it! Facing and conquering a challenge like this will without a doubt be tremendously rewarding and enriching. It will not only emancipate you and boost your self-respect and dignity, but it will also offer you a sense of accomplishment being able to live and take care of yourself like our ancestors, before modernism.

3. It will significantly reduce your Eco Footprint

We are all becoming increasingly aware of the importance of reducing and the impact of our Eco Footprint. This starts with being more conscious of leaving less of a negative ecological footprint on Earth and ensuring it is as small as possible. Comparing the running a modern household to living in a tent – it is clear that a tent leaves an immensely small Eco Footprint. If you are already concerned about Earth's future and reducing the impact you have on Mother Nature – you are most likely thoroughly ready and able to live in a tent permanently.

4. It will allow you to experience forest bathing

Although the thought of submerging yourself in the open waters hidden within forests is enchanting – forest bathing actually explains to spending time among forests and is an established way of increasing you happiness and health. Japanese studies have uncovered that the phytoncides released by plants aid in regulating your body, improve the immune system and increases air intake – which leads to happiness and increased health.

5. It offers you a less complicated way of life

Modern life is often characterized by a constant rush and a milieu of complication. Life in a tent forces you to pay attention to the things that are really important. Tent-living is a way of life that is simpler and more focused on what really matters, as well as a shift in true perspective. Due to few people having experienced a genuine simple life – living in a tent will very much be life changing and meaningful moment.

While researching this article I happened upon an astonishing variety of, what is coated as, glamping tents . Some companies put a double bed and a carpet inside and call it glamping and then others deliver tent structures with flooring, proper windows and doors, bathroom amenities and beautifully decorated interiors.

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Tips for Using Recyclable Materials in Your Building Plans

The use of recycled materials in green homes and buildings proves to be one of the most common ways to show sustainability. Aside from economic benefits, seeing recycled or salvaged materials never fail to imbibe feel-good factor to ones mood. Here are some tips on how some recycled materials can be incorporated in your green home.

Recycled woods are as effective as finished wood but they are generally cheaper in terms of cost. Recycled woods as well as structural uses in walls and windows can seamlessly find uses in drawers, cabinets, and shelves.

Old newspapers should not only find its way into paper mache. In fact, they can be used as insulation. Carton egg trays an also serve this very same purpose. Hundreds of dollars can be saved from your pockets with this simple act.

Raid your kitchen of empty wine bottles and mason jars. If you think that they can be used only as pen holders and organizers of tiny tots, you'll be surprised that they can actually be used to build a house. Search for various inspirations of the internet and see that there is actually a wine farm in Australia which used abu 13500 wine bottles to design water-heating facility. Similarly, there is a Canadian man who used 25000 wine bottles to design his house.

Dating back to the 1900s, empty wine bottles have found various uses in construction of homes. In the United States, you can find several homes which have walls with embedded bottles on them. The idea is like hitting two birds in one stone as it serves aesthetic and structural purposes.

Reimagine your bathroom by using sea-sourced materials. If you're living near the shorelines, then it is a very wise idea to use natural materials you can find and pick from them. Shells and pebbles of various colors, shapes, and sizes can be perfect inclusions in the walls and floors of your bathroom. Is not this idea very refreshing to embrace? This one can also save you from the usual high costs of bathroom tiles in home depots.

Sustainable living is an idea which one may find very difficult to embrace and carry out. But with proper thinking and inspiration, it is actually an endeavor that can become an easy reality. Start exercising your environment-friendly minds. And always remember that your own household houses bins can become first-hand sources of recycled materials you can actually use to realize a green home.

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Tips for Making Use of Natural Lighting When Building a House

Natural light is bestowed by nature free of any charge. The more of it that enters your house, the more advantages you'll get from it. Imagine the cost you'll be able to save from your electricity bills. It also gives a refreshing glance of your house because it imbibes positive energy. Here are some tips to let natural light help enlighten your house.

  1. Build house to where the sun is intended. Most builders recommend to have most windows face the south direction. They will get the most sunlight than have it lost. According to experts, north light is more pleasing and free of glare.East and west-faced windows gets more sunshine but they can be difficult to manage and can trap more than the sun's energy and give a hotter feel. If you can not avoid having east and west-faced windows, be sure to have low E-coatings on those windows. Deciduous trees can also help give shade during the summer months, and let more sunlight enter during the winter months because they shed leaves.
  2. Have light control materials in your windows. Curtains and blinds are light control materials that will help natural light enter your house depending on the amount you want. During the first hours of the morning, it is good to get sunlight in because it gives a refreshing energy to move. As the day heightens, the curtains and blinds will help you control the amount of sunlight. They may seem low tech but they can help keep in or keep out the amount of sun's light you just need.
  3. Have daylight harvesting system installed. This is an automated system which through the help of sensors and detectors can control the light inside your house. It combines natural light and artificial light to illuminate the parts of the house. This system detects the natural light intensity and signals the artificial light to give off the right percentage of luminescence to give an atmosphere that will be conducive for movement and productivity.

Natural light is important in a house. Aside from illumination, it gives health benefits specifically to the skin which needs the natural vitamin E that it gives. However, maintaining the amount of natural light that enters the house is still within the control of the owner. Through the tips given above, it is hoped that you somehow kissed the general idea of ​​how to keep natural light inside your house just as you need it.

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Should the World Go Modular?

Modular buildings are built almost entirely in a factory and arrive at the site 90 – 95% complete. Framing, insulation, roofing, siding, doors, windows, electrical, plumbing, and interior finishes are completed in the secure environment of the factory. After which, the modules are shipped to the site where they are ready to be finished with interior amenities, appliances, paint, and carpet.

Key Advantages of Modular Construction?

Short Build Times

Typically, 50-60% less time is taken when compared to traditional methods.

Safer Construction

Modular construction has proven much safer than traditional constructional methods.

Environment Friendly

Efficient factory production techniques are less wasteful and installation is less disruptive.

Reduced Labor Requirement

The erection and finishing teams require fewer workers than traditional methods.

Flexibility

Modular construction can easily be disassembled and then get relocated for new use.

Adaptability

The buildings are designed to quickly add or remove modules suiting to the need of the client.

What types of modular construction are there?

They are of two types: Permanent construction and Relocatable construction. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.

Permanent Construction

This type of construction provides markets with the performance of conventional construction in roughly half the time. This construction has a life cycle expectancy identical to that of conventional construction. The design considerations for permanent construction is higher.

Relocatable Construction

It provides the market with instant relief for space needs as the project time for this type of construction is very less. The construction generally provides a life cycle of 1 – 7 years. This market is primarily driven by low-cost of production and speed of construction.

A report by a market research firm estimates a high growth rate for the global modular construction market.

The market is still in its early stages, particularly in the United States, despite having been in existence for at least 25 years. Countries, such as the United Kingdom and India, have shown a significant increase in modular construction. In India, the government plans to build 50 million homes and more than 90 smart cities by the year 2022. Certain cities, like Bengaluru, have already inculcated the modular construction in the residential and industrial sectors.

The main hurdles for modular construction market are increased costs in transportation and logistics. Studies have shown that shipping modules become cost prohibitive when they must travel more than 150 to 200 miles from the factory to site. The industry generally recognizes 125 miles as the maximum practical distance modules should need to travel from factory to site.

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Green Certificate: What Are Its Benefits?

Are you thinking of getting green certification for your property? Do you think it's worth it? Have you thought of the advantages or the benefits it can give you? How would you like to be in the 79% of property owners who are expected to build green properties by 2018? If you answered Yes to these questions, read the rest of the article and know the benefits of getting your property green-certified.

  • Lessened Operating Costs: The high amount of operating expenses always bury the pockets of property owners. And to think that owning a property is something that can help shape one's future, reducing the operating costs can clearly help save more. There are many studies that support the fact that green buildings are known to have a payback of about seven to eight years depending on the types of improvements made relevant to energy-efficiency, sustainability, and aesthetics. According to one study, the operating costs can be reduced to as much as 13%. And if an owner converts his property to rental, he can reap an increased profit of margin by charging premium rents over competitors which are not green-certified.
  • Decreased Vacancy Rates: Owners who want to secure the future of their children are likely to opt converting their homes as property rentals. And by doing green retrofits, there is an increased chance of the property always being rented. The tenants are also likely to renew their leases because of the benefits that they have experienced in their first months of tenancy. Again, studies show that there is a lower vacancy rate for green buildings. They are 4% lower as compared to property rentals which are not green-certified.
  • Surge in Investor Interest: Green buildings show consistent high scores in terms of energy efficiency. They also show consistently high rates of tenant retention causing investors to be driven closer to them. If in such instance an investor wants to add your property in its portfolio, it becomes an instant proof of their company's commitment to sustainability. It scores them a point to shareholders who always look up for the ways that the company they invest into has a social responsibility. That, be sure to get your property green-certified. It is a proof more than the features you'll brag that it it is green!
  • Avoid Being Tagged of Green Washing. With green buildings come the closely associated term of green washing, This term refers to labeling the building green when in fact it is not. It is a direct manifestation of lying to clients. When proven, it can bring headache to the owner and property manager. But when you're green-certified, you are immediately get rid of this tag and will not be labeled as such because you have proof.

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How to Use Its Green Attributes to Market Your Rental Property

Green is green but not literally green! Whoah! Sounds confusing? Right! But not at all if you're one among the rising number of people who are becoming green-minded. Yes, you read the term correctly! But again, you might be interpreting it wrongly! This does not mean having a naughty or sexually related interpretations of things and ideas. It is meant to refer to the state of being environmentally-inclusively to almost anything within your lifestyle.

Being green when it comes to your home is one of the most celebrated ideas in the world of home construction and home decoration today. While site, height or elevation, square footage and number of years from date of construction are still among the top determinants of renal property prices, the green attributes are closely following as common selling factors too. And with this, if you have a rental property, capitalizing on them can give you an edge over competitors. Here's how.

  • LEED Certification: Assurance matters. It certainly is. If you're on to proving to potential tenants that you're building is green, then its LEED certification is an important presentation. Today, this certification is a world-recognized symbol of achieving sustainable development. It stamps the building with a rating that makes it healthy, efficient, and cost-saving. According to a study, green rental properties shown a strong command of 9.1% more rental premium as compared to their competitors which are not LEED-certified.
  • Energy Star Compliance: Another way to market your rental property is by presenting its energy star compliance to the customers. It is a measure of energy efficiency issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While it is commonly associated with the energy-saving features of appliances, green buildings are also issued with this symbol to recognize the efforts of developers and owners in making the property a contributor to lessening carbon footprints and increasing energy efficiency.

Who to Market

Millennials are the best market audience of rental properties. In a recent article published by forbes.com, it was stated that millennials are driving up the single-family rental market. Their semi-nomadic lifestyles give them the mobility and flexibility to accommodate new challenges to their freedom, careers, and independence.

Green rental properties give millions the edge of sustainability while digesting its benefits and without having to give up the freedom they are always wanted.

Where to Market

The millennials are very attached to the technology of their generation. This is very evident in every aspect of their lives. And you would seemlessly fail not to see a millennial without gadgets wherever they may go. Be it at home, workplace, malls, food hubs, and even in beaches, forests, mountains, and caves – the millennials are always armed with their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and wearable technology pieces. These are proofs of their mobility, tech-saviness, and even an option for their flexible productivity.

They are always on top of their social media accounts. Be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other well-known social media networks today, a millennial has certainly an account maintained. With this, there is no other option but to enter their world as well if you want to connect with them and tap heir potentials as the next tenants of your green rental property.

Methods of Marketing

Social media is such a powerful tool. Make your rental property known to the millennials through posts, photos, and videos. Descriptive texts along with enticing photos and a video tour of the property are some ways you can use to introduce your property to potential tenants.

Millennials would certainly love to experience living in your rental property that offers wide street lines, a yard and even a car port. While enjoying these perks, they are still bestowed the capacity to move out when necessary as if a new adventure awaits them in the open!

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7 Simple Ways For Homeowners To Save Money And Be Environmentally Concerned

It is often said, home ownership is an essential component of most people's American Dream, but, while, it should be, once someone has bought the home of their dreams (or the best they might afford, etc), it is important to consider economic considerations and / or challenges, as well as hopefully, being environmentally concerned and responsible. While there are numerous green housing capabilities, this article will review, briefly, 7 simple, relatively inexpensive. environmentalally responsible actions, etc. After all, it does not help the environment, in any meaningful way, if one can not afford to do what's necessary, and / or needed.

1. Energy – efficient lights: What type of light bulbs are you using? There are bulbs available, today, which are far more energy – efficient, often using less than a fourth of the wattage, required by a conventional bulb. Doing this, not only saves energy costs, but helps the environment!

2. Turn lights off: The bane of many parents of teenage children, is having to follow them around the house, in order to turn the lights off, behind them! Many commercial establishments have installed motion detectors in rooms such as bathrooms, hotel guest rooms, certain hallways, etc, in order to save money, on their energy costs. Turning lights off, is simple and easy, but we often fail to pay sufficient attention, to the simplest of tasks!

3. Energy efficient appliances: Many older appliances are far less energy – friendly, than newer ones. These include: air conditioners; stoves / ranges / ovens; refrigerator / freezers; etc. Imagine how our environment might benefit if more people addressed these issues?

4. Insulation: Quality insulation reduces waste, whether someone lives in a warmer or colder climate. Consider the rating of the insulation, and pay attention to areas where there is often a lot of loss, such as from outlets, roofs, etc. In cold weather, one would use less heat, and in hot weather, less air conditioning!

5. Doors and windows: Examine your doors and windows. Are your doors hung properly, and are they made and fitted properly? Is there any air – leakage, coming from your windows? Are your windows and doors, energy – efficient?

6. Air leaks: Are there any air – leaks, coming from windows, doors, air conditioning openings, your attic and / or basement?

7. Thermostat: What temperature to you keep your thermostat at? Every one degree, you raise the setting in summer, or lower, in the winter, saves lots of energy and expense! Statistics show, setback – thermostats, are energy – efficient, inexpensive to install (pay for themselves quickly), and, therefore, save money.

If we all do our small part, even incrementally, we will make a big difference, for the better, in our environment, as well as saving lots of money. Will you participate in this worthwhile effort and endeavor?

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3 Reasons to Invest in Eco Friendly Properties

Rewarding yourself with a new house? Why not go green and eco-friendly? It has plenty of benefits, 3 of which are discussed below.

Eco-friendly homes use natural materials during construction

There are many choices of eco-friendly construction materials. They range from recycled wood, half-raw and half-recycled, and those made from dirt, straw, and clay. According to experts, materials of these made contribute less to the greenhouse effect. They trap less of harmful gases while allowing for a freer entry of natural light and air in and out of the house.

Overall, environment-friendly homes are known to exhibit better indoor environment quality. Improved lighting conditions, better air quality, and natural thermal conditions are some of the natural benefits one can get when buying eco-homes.

Eco-friendly homes are also health-friendly

The natural materials used in eco-homes are also health-friendly. This is very beneficial to individuals with health conditions like asthma and other respiratory problems. There have been several studies linking the use of eco-friendly materials in home construction. Significant changes on health conditions were exhibited by individuals who are known asthma patients.

Further studies revealed that the more natural materials used in them help facilitate the flow of cleaner air inside homes. They are also less likely to contain plastic by-products which release toxic substances. These substances are generally linked to carcinogens or substances that contribute to the development of cancer cells.

These days, developers are more aware of the health consequences of the materials that they are using when constructing properties. Home buyers just need the proper information to educate or at least warn them that eco-friendly homes are by far the best choices when health conditions are considered.

Environment-friendly homes are energy-efficient

Today's thrust in construction of properties gives focus on energy-efficiency. It is a known fact that the earth's natural resources, from which man depends for water and energy, are becoming fastly depleted. In order to contribute to conservation efforts, eco-friendly homes are designed such that they would not significantly depend on non-renewable energy sources.

It is now common to see homes being put on sale that are designed with solar panels. With these, energy consumption is likely reduced to about third as compared to dependency on coal or other non-renewable energy sources for electricity.

Do not just think about yourself, think about Mother Earth too! Living in an environment-friendly house can be one of your unconscious contributions towards nature conservation and protection.

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