January 24, 2009
My husband’s brother and sister-in-law know I am into green building, so a thoughtful gift came my way last Christmas: Building Green by Clarke Snell & Tim Callahan. I engulfed the 600+ page resource within a couple of weeks. It was a wonderful read, focusing on step-by-step examples of earth plaster, straw bale, cordwood, cob, and living roofs.
Here are a few other great green building picks:
Green Building Products by Alex Wilson and Mark Piepkorn – resource for green building materials in your home. It has an index of products and suppliers that will help you achieve a healthier home, inside and out.
Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time by David R. Johnston and Kim Master – a comprehensive guide that will help you make simple green remodeling changes in your home. Authors are a top remodeler and a green remodeling consultant.
Natural House Book by David Pearson – a recommendation of my favorite green architects: AMD Architecture. It provides homeowners with a practical guide to saving money and energy with some of the latest green homebuilding practices. Included is an updated list of resources for your green building needs.
Green By Design by Angela Dean – invites you to make healthy choices in your home building/remodeling, such as straw bale construction and natural flooring. A reference for green materials as well as a guide to avoiding Read more
January 20, 2009
Beginning in April 2010, federal law will require that contractors be trained to protect children and pregnant women from dangerous levels of lead. Signed in March of this 2008, the EPA’s “Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Program” is the most important new effort to combat childhood lead poisoning in the last decade says the EPA.
The law will require contractors and maintenance professionals to be certified, and their employees trained. In addition, they must follow protective lead-safe work practice standards when renovation, repair or painting activities will disturb more than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room or when 20 square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed on the exterior.
Contractors will be required to post warning signs, restrict occupants from work areas, prevent dust and debris from spreading, conduct a thorough cleanup and verify that the cleanup was effective.
Two-thirds of homes and half of the schools and day care centers built before 1960 have some lead-based paint. These new requirements focus on those built before 1978, the year lead-based paint was banned, where children under the age of six are present or where an expectant mother resides.
Exposure to lead-contaminated dust is the most common way children get lead poisoning, which can cause serious behavior and learning problems in children and health problems in adults says the EPA.
By requiring certification, we will be able to identify those contractors who are trained in lead-safe work practices. It is likely all of this will add cost to our remodels as well.
For educational materials and brochures, please visit www.epa.gov/lead, or call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD (5323).
December 15, 2008
What is orange, green, and good for a residential home remodel or improvement project? GetWithGreen thinks one answer is the ever growing inventory of Eco Option products located around the corner at your local Home Depot.
This past week Ron Jarvis senior vice president of environmental innovation with The Home Depot and GetWithGreen.com, sat down to talk about the Eco Options program, and retail trends in green home product market.
Ron’s home improvement career spans 23 years, starting early on with Lowe’s, followed by 13 years at America’s largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot. For the last eight years Ron has been tracking energy products for the retail giant, and now leads the company’s Eco Options program, among other environmental initiatives, reduced energy consumption by stores, reduced waste and increased recycles as well as increased sustainability into all business functions.
Eco Options is Home Depot’s product labeling program that allows customers to easily identify products that have less of an impact on the environment. The 3,000+ products are located Read more