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Living the “American Dream” means consuming the most product while spending the least amount of time and money as possible. With that being said, it is no wonder that modular and pre-fabricated construction has seen exponential increases in popularity over the past few years. Companies in different fields are recognizing the various benefits that modular buildings have to offer.
New York forged the path for modular buildings last year with the construction of the worlds tallest pre-fab building reaching 322-feet in the air (Click here to read more). The architect of a New York City apartment building set in “the hipster capital of the world,” Jim Garrison, has a plan to make a “pod hotel” using modulars (Click here to read more). Even the mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has recognized the time-saving and cost-efficient benefits of modular buildings in his “tiny-apartment” initiative. The popularity of modulars in New York has a lot to do with time and money, but also safety and loss prevention. Since modular buildings are constructed in an off site building, the chances of theft are substantially less than a building constructed on-site, in an open area.
Not only are modulars popular in the big cities, but are the top choice when re-building communities after a disaster. After hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in 2012, modulars that met the requirements to withstand harsh weather were built to replace destroyed homes. The quick install time and lower costs makes modulars the perfect choice for helping to re-build homes and lives. Read more about how modular buildings help disaster-stricken communities, here.
Qualified Remodeler released Top 100 Product Choices* and among the list of awesome products, we picked out a few to mention for our followers:
* To view the complete list of Qualified Remodeler’s list of top 100 products, click on this link. To view the products listed in this specific blog post, click on the link next to the product number.
#23: Flo-Free Leaf Guard:
DCI Products designed a Lead Guard to prevent clogged gutters. The black nylon is 3/4-inch-thick and fits inside any gutter size as well as in seamless gutters. This guard prevents leaves, pine needles, snow, twigs and other debris from clogging.
Esca Tech developed a D-Lead Paint Test Kit to detect the presence of lead on serfuraces. It detects lead in surface coating at a level of 1.0mg/cm2 in only 3 to 13 minutes. This kit can be used on drywall, plaster, wood and some metal surfaces.
#80: The Striker
The Striker was developed by Simmons Tool Company and used to stake driving tools. The Striker increases work efficiency by using a larger strike surface and adding the stability of a shock-absorbing handle, eliminates injury and protects your stakes from damage. Four models are available in this product.
Peter Yost created a blog on water efficiency which you can find here.
I came across this article and knew I had to post. Recently, this blog has been focusing a lot of going green through saving energy. Now, we should move on focus on ways of going green through our water habits. Below is an article by Peter Yost that I know everyone should not only read, but follow:
Water: The Backseat Driver
When we talk about the environment and environmentally responsible building, it’s almost always energy that takes the spotlight, with water pretty far down the list. But it’s not hard to see just how much of a back seat driver water can be:
• We don’t have any substitutes for clean water and we use a ton of it every day.Actually, more like a ton and a half; the typical US household uses 400 gallons of water a day and that’s about 3200 pounds! (Source: EPA WaterSense)
• Even in areas of the country with long histories of more than 40 inches of precipitation a year, we can be just a few short years away from not enough water to support our needs. Atlanta averages more than 50 inches of rain a year but it was just a few short years ago that Atlanta was experiencing a severe prolonged drought. (Source: US Drought Monitor)
• In many areas of our country, the connections between water and energy are deep—in the state of California, more than one-sixth of all energy consumed is related to meeting water demands. Nationwide, about 80% of municipal water processing costs are for electricity. (Source: Center for Sustainable Systems)
And water is essential to more than just environmental quality; it is increasingly becoming a driver economically as well:
• Water and sewer infrastructure costs: EPA reports that updating our water and sewer infrastructure could cost nearly $500 billion over the next 20 years. (Source: EPA)
• Impact fees: In 2009, the impact fees for a water hook-up alone (not including sewer) averaged $3,582 in Florida; $5,792 in Virginia; $6,879 in Colorado. And forget about beautiful Oro Valley in Arizona—hook-up fees for new homes there are a whopping $27,381 per lot. (Source: National Impact Fee Survey: 2009)
• Water rates: In general, we have pretty low water rates, but that’s not true across-the-board. Typical monthly water bills for both Seattle and Atlanta are well over $70, and in Santa Fe are over $120. (Source: The Price of Water: A Comparison of Water Rates, Usage in 30 US Cities)
After reading this, how can we help in reducing the amount of water we use on a daily basis?
- Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap
- Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful
- Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month
- Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colors.
- When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather
To improve performance of existing windows, consider storm windows, window films, and exterior roller shades before buying replacement windows.
Below are four ways to help improve window energy efficiency:
1. Replacement windows– full window replacement, insert windows (the old sashes come out and a whole new window inserts into your old window frame), and sash replacement (primarily for double-hung windows, this option requires jamb liners into which new sashes are installed).
2. Low-e storm windows- airtight storm windows with low-e coatings can rival the performance of just about any window replacement. And now you can buy low-e storms with high solar heat gain for colder climates and low solar heat gain for warmer ones.
3. Window films can be temporary or permanent– There are two primary types of window films: more permanent, surface-applied films and the stretch-plastic that you install temporarily to interior window trim.
4. Exterior roller shades keep the sun out– If keeping the heat out is your main concern, the most effective window treatment options are exterior; you keep the sun out before it gets in
For more information or a link to this article by Peter Yost, please click on the link: www.GreenBuildingAdvisor.com
Three new accessories for your pick up truck below:
1. A.R.E Deluxe Commercial Units are made of welded aluminum frames. They are available in over 2 hundred options, with a variety of door and window configurations, toolboxes, ladder racks, interior liners and made in four height configurations. www.4are.com
2. Daws Better Built HD truck box includes storage trays, interchangeable dividers, and 90 degree lid opening and offset lid. A power portable access point is available to run electricity into the box! www.dawesbetterbuilt.com3. For remodeling contractors, Masterack developed a Racks and Bins system that includes plenty of drawers and cabinet storage. The system transforms a van into a workshop on wheels. Ladder racks, safety equipment and accessories can be added. www.masterack.com
For more truck accessories, clock on the Qualfied Remodeler article at www.qualifiedremodeler.com
Wish for a hot towel every time you step out of the shower? Check out Mr.Steam products that offer a great look to your bathroom that will also warm your towel. Mr.steam Towel Warmers feature a variety of wall, floor and pivoting designs.
Each electric heated towel warmer has a stainless steel heater for controlled, quiet heat. Hot water heated towel warmers are available for operation hot water systems.
To find your perfect towel warmer, visit www.mrsteam.com
Product of the day: Eldorado Stone
Eldorado Stone offers a relaxing, sleek, and gorgeous look to your home being one of the most believable stone veneer in the world. The handcrafted molds and natural color palettes create a real stone look. Eldorado Stone is lighter than real stone, and can be installed on any sound surface with proper preparation. In general, almost anyone can install this stone themselves. It can be placed on the interior or exterior of the home. We personally love the look of stone in the bathroom!
To find your perfect stone for your bathroom, or for any part of your home, visit: www.eldoradostone.com