Renovation

Aloha, My Happy West Coast Friends

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Although Prevost Construction works primarily on the East Coast, below is an article on Modular Buildings in the West Coast! It explains the GO GREEN benefits of modular buildings. Happy reading on this sun filled Friday afternoon:

Deconstruct construction

ZETA Communities helps rebuild the building industry
By Seth Sandronsky
More stories by this author…

This article was published on 07.21.11.

ZETA Communities employees at work at their McClellan Business Park headquarters.
Green Days is on the lookout for innovative sustainable projects throughout the Sacramento region. Turn us on atsactonewstips@newsreview.com

What is ZETA Communities doing at Sacramento’s McClellan Business Park?

There, this San Francisco-based company is building sustainable, modular, “net-zero energy” residential and commercial structures that actually produce as much energy as they consume.

ZETA, who formed in late 2007, a year later received an investment of $5 million from North Bridge Venture Partners, just as the stock market plunged nearly 800 points when the housing bubble burst. While Wall Street crashed, opportunity blossomed for those offering ecologically friendly building solutions for the housing industry, according to Shilpa Sankaran, ZETA co-founder and current director of marketing and communications.

“Our investors said that ZETA was the most game-changing company in its portfolio,” she recalled.

A great deal of waste in the building industry had fed and led to the housing bubble, according to Sankaran, and it was a trend that ZETA had seen coming. Thus, its research-and-development team had been studying the construction industry’s methods and uncovered ways to design and build with fewer delays and less material waste for the mass market.

This R&D outcome propelled ZETA’s current business model for eco-friendly, modular construction in the urban cores and surrounding areas, Sankaran said.

RIP, suburban McMansions?

Maybe. Either way, building modular structures means that ZETA workers assemble commercial and residential buildings inside a 91,000-square-foot factory at 20 work stations at McClellan—from floor framing to roof subassembly to shipping. The company arrived there in October 2009.

Foundations are built at project sites, but workers at McClellan build 80 to 90 percent of the modular structures at ZETA headquarters for delivery.

Modular production saves labor time. As good capitalists and Marxists across the social-class divide well know, labor time creates wealth.

ZETA’s “parallel” work processes can shave up to 70 percent off construction time vs. “sequential” construction methods at a standard on-site building project, according to Sankaran. That time savings can translate to up to a 20 percent lower project cost, compared with on-site building expenses.

Also, ZETA cuts its factory production waste by about 90 percent, compared with that at a typical building site. For instance, the company reuses and recycles drywall, paint and wood scraps instead of discarding such materials.

Sankaran says that business has been growing but, however, declined to give year-over-year revenue figures to SN&R. (ZETA is a privately held company and not legally obligated to disclose its finances.) Black Coral Capital invested $5 million in ZETA in July 2010, bringing its market capitalization to $10 million.

On the local front, ZETA recently broke ground in Stockton on 22 multifamily, three-bedroom, two-bath homes, dubbed the Tierra del Sol project. Each home has “passive” solar design, plus high-efficiency lights and water heaters. ZETA is working on this project with Visionary Home Builders of California, San Joaquin County, the federal Department of Energy and ConSol.

ZETA is also providing some down-payment assistance to its 55-person, nonunion workforce at McClellan to buy Tierra del Sol homes. However, 90 percent of them live in the Sacramento region and don’t want to move, Sankaran explained.

ZETA also builds schools and small commercial buildings. In July 2010, the company delivered two kindergarten classrooms, a central administration office building and multipurpose room to the Davis Waldorf School.

“We are a very green-conscious school and valued this option as being consistent with our larger socially responsible goals,” said Kelly Brewer, Davis Waldorf’s administrator.

ZETA is also building two weight rooms for the San Juan Unified School District in Carmichael, an unincorporated neighborhood in Sacramento County.

The company is looking to expand its green-jobs workforce fourfold to 200 workers in two to three years across the country, according to Sankaran.

“We’re the traditional startup model,” she said. “Our goal is not only to have a factory at McClellan but to expand nationally.”

To view thntire article click on this link: www.newsreview.com

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Towel Warmers

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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

Go green, the easy way!

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John Wagner recently published an article in Qualified Remodeler providing readers with easy steps in going green!

  1. Use no- or low-VOC paints, finishes, sealants, caulks and adhesives.
  2. Use lumber products that are formaldehyde-free or contain no added formaldehyde. F
  3. You can increase efficiency of forcedair-heated homes by up to 15 percent by sealing duct seams.
  4. Use spray polyurethane foams that are isocyanate- and formaldehydefree.
  5. Light-colored roofs drive down cooling costs.
  6. Use certified lumber.
  7. New carpets do not have to offgas toxins.
  8. Plastic decking and trim should have recycled attributes. 
  9. Don’t scrimp on the thermal envelope.
  10. Focus on sound building practices. Green building is about using greener versions of traditional building products.
For a full version of the article, visit by clicking on this link: www.qualifiedremodeler.com

Sink & Countertop Combo

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The Iron/Occasions ITB presented by Kohler offers homeowners a complete island solution with the combination sink and countertop! The island features a seamless, integrated trough and a containment rim for enhanced cleanability and a beautiful appearance. The Iron/Occasions Island offers flexible installation options and can be mounted on common island cabinetry or placed on the optional stainless steel base for a modern feel.

The island is guaranteed not to chip, crack or burn. Two cutting boards are included with the island. These paper-based fiber composite cutting boards are low-profile, dishwasher-safe, and scratch and stain resistant. Also provided is a drain cover to give that modern look!

Visit www.kohler.com to pick out your island!

Kitchen Goodies

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Don’t you hate carrying over a pot of water from your sink to the stove? JACLO Industries introduced a new product, JACLO pot fillers. These fillers swing out from over the stove, allowing access to all burners.

The fillers are easily stores pushed up against the wall in one motion. Depending on the type of pot filler, you can add features such as a positive shut-off at the front handle, so you don’t have to reach over the hot stove to turn it off!

To find your perfect pot filler, visit www.jaclo.com

Stone…and we don’t mean diamonds!

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Product of the Day: Ply Gem Stone

Ply Gem Stone is authentically recreated, easy to install, and is affordable. It is molded from real stone but is a lighter weight. There are over 100 stone & brick style and color choices to fit your home’s style and compliment traditional siding!

On Ply Gem Stone’s website you can use their Stone Selector to visualize selected colors and stones on your own home!

Need another reason to check out this product? This product is green approved to meet the National Green Building Standard!

To find out more about this product and begin researching adding stone to your home, visit www.plygemstone.com

Renovation 2nd Story Addition: Siding

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Siding is complete on the addition in Carroll County, MD!

The siding on the house is CertainTeed Carolina Beaded 6.5″ (Color: Natural Clay) with Azec trim board. Carolina Beaded has a distinct “V” groove and rounded bead. It is a brushed finished, low gloss color,  maintenance free and never needs painting! This siding includes a Post-formed lock that provides secure installation. Carolina Beaded has a Class 1(A) fire rating and a lifetime limited warranty!

Azec trim has sealed edges on all four sides and is known for having the tightest board tolerance in the industry! It is available in trim, sheets, cornerboards, and beadboard. Azec trim is impervious to moisture and insects.

For more information on CertainTeed Carolina Beaded siding, visit: www.CertainTeed.com

For more information on Azec Trim, visit: www.Azek.com