Terminologies and lingos can easily get in the way when one thinks of what exactly goes into a green roof. Technically speaking, a ‘green roof’ means a roof upon which plants are grown. It is more or less like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Sounds viable but oddly enough, this kind of roofing is not what many homeowners today can consider as cool. So instead of just going ‘mainstream’ and having the said green roofs over their heads, they simply go for the ‘modern green roof’. That is, any kind of roofing considered as eco friendly. So the next time you hear a contractor talk of ‘green roofs’, think about any of the following roofing options:
You might want to consider tiles if you want a roof that can outlive you. You might also want to consider it if you are keen on the exterior aesthetic appeal of your home. The reason is simple. Tiles come in a wide range of colors and designs. Speaking of designs, some tile designs may look strange, but make no mistake about them. The shape of the design may have something to do with its functionality and the role it plays to fulfill its eco friendly ‘obligations’. Curved r4oofs for instance are meant to ensure your home has ample ventilation from the roof. But that is not everything. Lighter tile colors means your tile roof will reflect less heat into the atmosphere
A single ply thermoset is simply made of a single roof membrane derived from natural oil and gas. The membrane is then curled before it is bonded into a roofing material. The end product is usually a well sealed and insulated roofing material. Note that single ply thermoset roofs are constructed in factories as opposed to other roofing materials constructed and sealed at the building sites. Thermoset membranes are ideal for withstanding the harmful and damaging effects of ultraviolet rays from the sun. The membranes are mostly made in black. There are however white membranes meant for cool roofs.
Roofing experts recommend single ply thermoset roofs for restaurants, cafes and other establishments that have to push oils through their ventilation systems. The membranes can easily resist the oils and animal fat used in such establishment. They can also prevent bacterial growth. Experts also recommend the roofs for residential homes. They can be installed over old roofs where a full pull or tear down exercise for purposes of remodeling is not practical.
Take a walk around your neighborhood and note how many homes have shakes and shingles. Chances are 3 out of every 5 homes will have shakes and shingles. They are simply, put, the most popular roofing materials today. But without the right engineering and maintenance, they are the least appealing or to be precise, they are the least reflective. You certainly don’t want that kind of roof. You want something that can reflect, not collect heat. So to deal with the problem and to improve their eco friendly qualities, the best you can do is to have the shakes and shingles treated with green pigments. But you will soon realize that won’t solve your heating problems. The best solution is to therefore have the pigments installed then paint the shingles white.
They are not as common as the roofing options already discussed above. But they are just as viable and of course, eco friendly. They are paving tiles designed for roofs. They are heavy and tick – approximately two inches thick. A square foot of the roof weighs about 23 pounds. The weight and thickness are however not disadvantages pavers are designed for buildings that can withstand the weight. They can reflect as much as 78% UV light. Pavers also tend to have great insulating properties and are easy to maintain. You do not have to install them everywhere. Have them n smaller areas like on the balcony or veranda.
This may sound strange but metal is also an eco friendly roofing option. But first note that when roofing contractors talk of metal as an eco friendly roofing option; they are not talking about the usual metal. This is after all, the 21st century. With the kind of eco friendly building techniques around, virtually anything can happen. Contractors do not use bare metal. They use coated metal. They simply start with coated metal then prime it with a light color. Some add light reflecting pigments. It is that simple. You can in fact install this kind of roofing over your existing roof. It is durable and easy to maintain. You will also have the benefit of a unique roof in a sea of tiles, shingles and tiles.
Perhaps you may go for the best eco friendly roofing option, but that is never enough. Going for the best eco friendly solutions and having the right experts to do the main job are two different things. In other words, be sure to find Hawaii home builders who are experts in eco friendly building solutions. Take not of such things like experience. Then examine the portfolio of the green building or eco friendly building contractor you wish to go for. Stick to on that reputable and of course, licensed. Then keep in mind that you must always adhere to the building codes of your area.
Do you know that about half of the greenhouse gas emissions are from buildings? It’s surprising how much we control on factories and industrial areas to curb their noxious gas emission but don’t control something that is so common and so widespread which is buildings and their construction. Buildings let out more gases than industrial areas and transportation services worldwide and this can be avoided with small changes done to buildings and their construction. Builder and construction companies have realized this influence on the world’s environmental health and have come up with green constructions which are eco-friendly and also cost saving in the long run. This is a way that they have found to be responsible to give back to the society.
Green construction is important and essential if we want to make sure that our life quality remains elevated in the decades to come for us and the future generations. It is also important to save our finite natural resources in the world. As such governments and other non-governmental organizations are all getting together to fund such green construction projects to help contribute to the environment as well. They sometimes over alternative incentives to such go green building construction projects by giving tax rebates and other perks.
Going green to have an eco-friendly construction is actually much easier than you think. There are a set of guidelines and requirements that you would need to follow as part of the protocols and this would aid your process in engaging in the green construction as you have a set of instructions to follow for its completion. This has helped many construction companies and builders around the world to go green this way and many are even becoming great experts in green building and construction services, like us Barker Kappelle Construction!
Building such green homes entail the usage of the three R’s that we know of: reduce, reuse and recycle. In the building of such eco-friendly buildings, there is a great use of recycled materials and recyclable materials as the construction material. The materials used in the construction also have reduced energy contents in them, and they would burn out slower so they can be energy efficient and last longer. The materials used in green construction also have some special properties like a lowered requirement of water usage and electricity usage, reducing the need for a lot of water and electricity. Some other special properties they tend to have are being able to gather and use solar power as part of their energy requirements.
Having a green home and building one also definitely places less stress on the environment. This in turn leads to countless benefits like having less worldwide climate changes, diseases, and economic and social imbalances. Our environment is already damaged and the only way we can help now is to stop the damage since we cannot reverse it, and cultivating that through having greener owners would create a huge impact as we mentioned before, buildings contribute the most to such environmental damage.
As mentioned before, green homes have a lower impact on the environment than normally built homes. This is the main reason why green homes are on the rise in the first place. They provide you with a large reduction in the energy usage and they are also less dependent on energy sources which are not renewable. This is why they cause a lower level of greenhouse gas emission. Lowered greenhouse gas emissions are beneficial not only to the environment on the whole, but also to the world’s general health, economy and society altogether through the positive impact on the environment and these in turn can save more resources to be spent to help the environment as well. This is a positive cycle to set off through a few changes we can make in building our homes.
Building a conventional house leaves become too much of construction waste whereas having a green home in the building uses up materials which are recyclable and recycled so even if waste is left behind, it can be reused again. This causes a great reduction in the waste going to the furnaces to be burnt off to release noxious gases.
Moreover, having an eco-friendly house makes it a priority to avoid the usage the toxic materials. This allows no harm to the existing ecosystems and habitats. On top of that, having green homes will also help air and water purify over the long run. Since green homes also reduce the amount of natural resources that are used during the construction and during the home’s lifespan, they conserve the amount of natural resources that we have. Since these resources are finite, we have a responsibility to make them last as long as our future generations live on so turning to green homes as a solution would help to a large extent. Talk to your Hawaii home builders if you are convinced that green building construction is the way to go!
Years ago, the mention of any eco friendly building solution evoked feelings of bland and boring materials. That was expected at the time, given that there were just a handful of viable eco friendly building solutions. The expertise was lacking at best and half baked at worst. Worse still, there were several misconceptions amongst first time homeowners who sought to go for green building and eco friendly homes.
The same can be said about commercial property building owners who wanted a blend of modern and old building designs with emphasis on eco friendly building solutions. But a lot has changed since then. Green building and eco friendly building solutions seem to be trending now. It is of course, affordable to many. But it also offers aesthetically appealing options. Take eco friendly flooring options for instance. At any given time, you will have the following options to choose from.
Everyone knows about wood, that’s for sure. But going for or rather shopping for a wooden flooring option is not as easy as most people think. One must first ensure that the wooden option he wishes to go for is sustainably sourced, reclaimed or recycled from lumber products. Then keep in mind that other eco friendly alternatives that are conventional to wood flooring are increasingly viable. One such example is bamboo flooring, which is discussed below.
It goes almost without saying that bamboo is one of the most popular eco friendly flowing options today. Unknown to several people, bamboo is a type of grass. It however shares strange hardwood characteristics that make it ideal for making furniture, walls, and floor options. But that is not everything about bamboo. It is durable, easy to maintain and most importantly, sustainable.
Strangely, just a handful of people know about linoleum. It happens to be one the best eco friendly building solutions in the market today. It is in fact more eco friendly than vinyl. Its main ingredient is linseed oil, which goes on to explain why Linoleum is popular for its non-allergenic characteristics. Note that linoleum is often compared to vinyl because they both share similar characteristics. It should however be noted than on the eco friendly weight measure, linoleum takes the medal as already hinted.
Cork is still new to the flooring world. Chances are, you have only seen cork on wine bottles and walls. But it also happens to be a viable and eco friendly flooring option. The material is harvested from the barks of cork oak trees found in the Mediterranean regions and some parts of Africa. The tree grows back after every three years. Cork is therefore a renewable source. That is however, not everything. Cork boasts of antimicrobial properties. It can easily reduce allergens at home. It is also fire retardant, insect repellant and very easy to maintain. Like wood, cork can be finished in a wide range of stains and paints to suit different home themes and designs. Depending on the quality you go for, cork can last for up to 35 years
Have you ever wondered what happens to soda, beer and wines bottles shipped to recyclers every year? You probably have. The bottles are simply recycled into alluring glass tiles ideal for both commercial and residential homes. This renewable source is quickly becoming a preferred option for high end homes. It is easy to see why. Glass comes in limitless range of colors. Then it does not attract mold or mildew even in the dampest environments. For those who wish to maximize n light, glass reflects light, rather and absorbing it as ceramic and porcelain tiles do. It also does not stain and is as you would epact, easy to maintain. All you need to do is wipe it from time to time.
Sisal is not as popular as bamboo as far as flooring is concerned. But it is equally sustainable. People simply don’t understand the concept behind sisal flooring options. For starters, sisal is made from the leaves of a special tree species known as the Agave sisalana plant. The leaves are then crushed and soaked for days to extra sisal fibers which are spun into yarn. Note that sisal flooring options cannot be used evenly in a house. Water can damage it. Heat too can damage it. On should therefore avoid using sisal flooring products in the bathroom and other wet areas as well as in the kitchen.
The name says it all. Sisool is simply a wool and sisal composite. That means it comes along with dual fiber characteristics. It also means sisool boasts of two distinctive textures. The material is not as popular, but it is as you would expect, viable. It is in fact, way better that the aforementioned sisal flooring options. Again, sisool is not ideal for wet areas such as laundry room and bathrooms. It is also not ideal for the kitchen.
If you need further advice, talk to a Honolulu construction company that is experienced in eco friendly flooring solutions and you will definitely get the best advice on what suits your home best.
The world has embraced green building construction, and rightfully so for pretty solid reasons. For starters, conventional building techniques incorporate use of conventional building materials, some of which can expose one’s heath to life threatening risks. Remember how asbestos wrecked havoc in the 90s when it emerged it was extremely carcinogenic?
But that was asbestos. Now gone, people are faced with new challenges. Conventional building is just not working. People want to also ensure that the environment remains at its best even with development going on right left, right and center. That is in fact, the very essence of sustainable development. It is what also green building construction is all about. So just which areas should one prioritize the most before emerging in a green building construction project? Read on to find out.
It is the most visible part of any roof. It must therefore be appealing at best and magnificent at worst. Fortunately, there is a wide range of eco friendly solutions that can be considered. One must however be sure to hire the right contractors for installation, remodeling or repairing green or rather eco friendly roofs. Tiles and shingles happen to be the most preferred eco friendly roofing solution in the market today. But there are other little known options such as single ply thermostat roofs.
It is easy to ignore gutters and downspouts when setting up your green building project. But they are just as important as your roof options. First off, note that you will need functional gutters every time it rains. That means your gutters have to be flawless, especially if you live in rainy areas. Unfortunately, there are just a handful; of eco friendly gutter materials that can lust. The best material is aluminum. It may souls like any other metal, but it is not. It is renewable, so you really don’t have anything to worry about should you opt for aluminum gutters and downspouts. Note too that most aluminum downspouts come from manufacturers that use hydro generated power to supply their procession facilities. They simply don’t produce Co2 emissions.
The best lighting solution as anyone would expect is of course, the natural light –sunlight. But having a residential home that solely relies on sunlight for lighting purses is not as easy as many people think. It goes beyond installing skylights and sun tube tunnels to light up the room. Not that skylight and sun tube tunnels are bad, but one has imply to maximize their use and consider other better alternatives. So with that in mind, consider having your skylights and sunbeams but over and beyond them, consider having solar panels to light up your living spaces. At the end of the day, it is about having a functional eco friendly home. But it’s also about saving your energy bills, something that solar panels, skylights and sun tube tunnels can effortlessly do.
You don’t have to worry about flooring at all. Home improvement stores are awash with eco friendly flooring options that are more than just ideal for green building construction. Bamboo stands out as the most reliable solution. Contrary to what many people think, bamboo is a grass with pretty much similar characteristics as hardwood. Its source is renewable, given that bamboo trees can grow within 3 years. There is also cork, rubber and linoleum. They all share pretty much similar characteristics. They are easy to maintain durable and like bamboo, they come from renewable sources. They are also affordable and as you have already guessed, easy on the eyes.
This two go together for the simple reason that one relies on the other. But that is as far as normal conventional homes are concerned. Green building solutions capitalize on renewable sources of energy. It also encourages harvesting rain water and of course recycling. So be sure to have solar panels installed to provide energy if for no other reason than cut down your energy consumption costs. Be sure to also have plumbing system that can incorporate use of harvested rain water. But able all, have the water you harvest or reuse treated.
You may not know it but green building solutions also mean one must be responsible. That is, one must take into account measures to ensure the green solutions incorporate in his or her home work. This may mean hiring the best contractors to ensure the green building construction project is completed on time. Speaking of contractors, note that there are way too many green building contractors in the market today. Getting ripped off is a reality. It can happen.
Stick to reputable and experienced general contractors in Hawaii. But over and beyond that, it also means being cautious with what you do and observing habits that encourage sustainable development. Do not leave your taps running when not in use. In addition, consider eco friendly cooking options in the kitchen if you have to.
Termites can be a huge problem once they get entry into your house. These tiny creatures invisible to our eyes rapidly spread all around the house and cause havoc by slowly eating up different materials, especially wood. And they can also go latent in your existing wooden frames and works that even if you replace the woodworks in your house, they can come back again to cause more trouble. In the United States of America, termites are reported to cause damage up to 5 billion dollars in worth every year just in the residential sector. That is a lot of money we can save on if we act on this problem early enough.
Along with the spread of termites, the solution to cure them has also advances. Termite treatment has taken up new technologies to work better in recent days. The termite treatment technology has also become more affordable over the past two decades. On top of that, companies also give you more guarantee perks, for example, re-treatment guarantees whereby the company would offer to do another termite wipe up for you if the termites come back again once the treatments are over, within a specific period of time. This guarantee programs are free of charge as assurance to get rid of the termite problems for you by the companies.
One of the best agreements for termite control is a Damage Repair Agreement; where there is payment given to help you repair the damage done to the home because of the termites.
Although nowadays with more advanced treatments, termites can be wiped out more easily compared to a few decades ago, it is still important to prevent rather than cure the problem to avoid any damage at all. Here are a few ways for you to prevent termite infestation in your house.
Leaving behind these scrap wood pieces in your crawl space would have usually been done by the house builders as an accident. These wood pieces can hold termites and they can slowly itch through the pieces of wood and reach the woodworks in your house. These pieces of wood are unnecessary and do not have any function, so removing them would be a help to your house to avoid any possibilities of having termites in your place.
Firewood is also another item where termites love to get into, so don’t assume that stacks of firewood which look alright do not have termite inside of them. Keep all your firewood outside your house, at least 10 meters away so that the termites have no way of entering your house that way.
Checking and inspecting your woodworks in the doors and windows, even if just the frame is made up of wood, is very important. Keep a habit to check on them regularly because overtime, rain and moisture can get into your woodworks on the windows and doors and termites love moist wood the most.
If there are any pools of water in your foundation or your crawl space, remove it as soon as you can. Find the reason why there is water there in the first place and inspect your drainage system to check if there are leaks from the system. Then, correct any leaks because having moisture in your crawl space would be a good ground to breed termites when it comes into contact with wood.
You can get pea gravel to be laid out on your foundation and this is quite a definite solution to prevent termites. Laying out about eight to ten inches of pea gravel in the foundation of your house can help prevent any mulch from touching the foundation. Termites are not really able to get through gravel because it is hard for them to survive in it, so you can block out any possible sources of termite away from your house to keep it safe.
You can also grind off any stumps. Stumps are actually pieces of dead wood remaining in the ground. And termites thrive really well in dead wood so stumps would be a good place for termite families to live in. If you can grind off these stumps then you are blocking another source of termites.
When you are landscaping the beds of your plot of land of the house, make sure you choose hard materials instead of mulch. Mulch is a material which is also a source of termites so using mulch for your house is inviting trouble. Use other materials like rocks, brick chips or coco bean hulls.
Doing this will keep you informed of the status in your house and keeps your house protected as well. It shows you potential areas where termites might enter your house through and this would allow you to cure the root of the problem and tackle these areas early enough.
For any termite related problem with your property construction, do not hesitate to call the general contractors at Barker Kappelle Construction today to help you out with any termite repair service and more!
The green building construction industry or eco-friendly building industry is growing year on year with the receptive response from companies who are in favor of green building. Another advantage of engaging in green building is also the increase in revenue the company would be getting because of many perks like long term savings and also tax rebates from the government and other organizations that are in encouragement of such eco-friendly activities. Through engaging in green building, companies can reduce their overall energy expenditure, they can provide product transparency and they can also reduce the workload on the total equipment in use in the building.
Green renovations are on the rise alongside green construction. In fact, people prefer to do green renovations to convert their existing normal buildings slowly to a green environment more than doing a green construction from the start. Year on year there have been increases in the number of green renovations taking place to convert crucial buildings like government buildings to make them green and eco-friendly. Such green buildings have their own rating and score on how green they are and according to that, many countries offer perks to those running the building in reward for their efforts to save the environment.
One of the main benefits of having a green building is that it saves a lot of energy in the long run. That is why it is eco-friendly in the first place, and it doesn’t only help the environment but also helps your pockets in terms of reducing your bill amounts. As such, people are keener into having green projects, green constructions and eco-friendly renovations because of the amount of money they can save over the long run with the reduction in energy usage. This is one thing to remember when you are looking for your next client who for construction related purposes or to set up a company.
Nowadays there are more solutions available for people to think about funding like third-party financing services on the rise recently. This allows more owners of spaces which are both industrial and residential to be able to get money to install in solar panels for solar energy derivation. It is indeed quite expensive to set up the solar power system but as part of the green touch, it also saves plenty of money through saving energy in the long run. Therefore, one of the reasons green projects are on the rise is because with the money spent on installing a solar power panel, it is wise to might as well change other factors which can make the building more green overall as part of the green renovation.
The necessity to save water and conserving it is not anymore limited to just countries which are known as deserts and tropical areas only. The need is spreading worldwide because of the international reduction in rainfall levels and reducing amounts of freshwater reserves everywhere. This means that all countries have to actively take part in saving water. This would only work if the means and ways to save water are feasible for everyone’s daily lives. These feasible ways are set forth by green construction and green renovation which give you a suitable environment and way to help you start on saving water. Although the benefits of this would not be seen right away, in a few years we would be thanking such green construction works for the pathway they have paved for us to embark on this good habit.
Having green building construction will help you develop a building which is called zero net energy producing building. This will place your construction above the rest in the long run because as the name states, your building will require almost zero energy when tallied overall and this will be able to get you very attractive clients to buy units off your building because they don’t need to worry about huge electricity bills. This way you can get to sell your units for a better price than other buildings and earn back the extra money spent to make your construction green, or even more! Clients who really know about how economically beneficial green buildings are will definitely be willingly be able to pay you a sum larger than usual for your green building units.
As such, if you would need more information or help in your green building construction, do not hesitate to call us, Barker Kappelle Construction today for more details. We are specialized in green construction and would be able to help you in all aspects regarding eco-friendly building today. Call us now to book an appointment soon!
The real estate market at this point may be able to supply buyers with unique and affordable opportunities, but finding a home that matches your ‘dream home’ in every detail – budget included – is generally very unlikely.
Every property you’ll find on the market is essentially created based on another person’s concept of the perfect home and incorporates features in accordance to the popular architectural trends at the time when it was constructed. Furthermore, while you might be able to find a house that’s designed to your tastes and the most you can change is the wall paint, what happens when it’s located in an area you don’t like or can’t afford?
Building your own house – with the help of an architect and a contractor team, of course – is by far the solution that provides the greatest versatility, not to mention satisfaction once the project is completed. Let’s find out what you should remember before taking on this laborious task.
You’ll encounter unanticipated expenses throughout the construction of the house, and it’s better to be prepared for them by establishing a flexible financial plan. For example, if the terrain where you intend to erect the house features several large trees that are in the way, you’ll have to add the costs of taking them down and transporting them off your property into the equation. Alternatively, you may decide halfway through the project that you’d prefer a more expensive material for the countertops or the flooring. Remember, every change you want or are forced to make alters the original costs.
In addition to the financial considerations, modifications to the original plan or unforeseeable events also push the scheduled completion date forward. It’s worth noting that strict deadlines are rarely feasible and you need a contingency plan to help you mitigate the impact of not meeting them. Let’s assume that you’ll be required to vacate your current residence on the exact day when you expect the new home to be inhabitable, but plumbing and power will only be up and running at least two weeks later. If you planned ahead and have accommodation options ready, it won’t affect you that much.
You might want to be there for every major step of the construction to ensure that the contractors are actually respecting your exact specifications. However, it may not be an option when you’re working a 9 to 5 job, have children or an elderly parent who requires attention and supervision or other personal obligations. Remember, home construction isn’t a hobby that can be tended to during the weekends or on your spare time. Collaborating with a reliable team of contractors minimizes the time you’d need to spend onsite to check on the progress.
The unpredictable occurrences mentioned earlier require an immediate response on your part. It falls under your responsibility to establish the next course of action when, for example, a certain plumbing system is not in accordance with local building codes, or when the supplier has just run out of the insulation materials you ordered. You should consult with the contractors to receive an expert opinion on what the options are, but don’t forget that ultimately the decision is in your hands.
In the absence of a plan that covers all major aspects of the project, you can’t institute a budget or a schedule. The preparation has to account for material delivery dates, blueprints, permits, contractor team, interior design, furnishings, plumbing, landscaping, so on and so forth. Learning that you aren’t allowed to install a certain type of roofing because it conflicts with local codes mid construction and after the materials have already been purchased can certainly put a damper in your project. Again, when the construction company you’re working with has been in the business for a while, they possess the experience and knowledge to advise you on such matters in due time.
By now you might have noticed that building your dream house from scratch is not what you would refer to as a walk in the park. Problems will arise throughout the development, some of them more unpleasant than others. It’s important not to lose sight of your definitive goal, which is to create the perfect environment for you and your family. Don’t let the tiny setbacks knock the wind out of your sails and try to retain the same level of enthusiasm you had when you first started the project. A positive outlook on things will always get you further in life!
Foam insulation can be applied via either spraying or injecting procedures, depending primarily on the specifications of the project. To put it simply, insulating an open nook or a new construction via spray foam provides optimal results, whereas injection is better suited for sealing enclosures in retrofitting projects. It is important to remember that the two insulation techniques rely on distinct mechanics, in accordance to the conditions of the application and the substance utilized.
One might consider that point and shoot foam guns simplify the task considerably compared to fiberglass batt installation, but in actuality, the entire process is more complex and challenging. Let’s find out what you need to remember.
A critical component in terms of achieving an optimal insulation consists of learning the distinction between the two types of applicators. In spite of the fact that contractors mainly employ spraying foams, the injection-based applicators still play a major role within the industry.
Both spraying and injection mechanics are similar in terms of expansion, however the rate at which they expand differs considerably. In essence, while sprayed foam requires a few seconds to settle, its injected counterpart takes several minutes. Controlling and slowing down the rate of expansion for injected insulation foam via catalysts is critical for preventing excessive pressure inside the enclosure and disastrous results.
Dual component foams, for both sprayed and injected insulators, have to be formulated correctly prior to the application. Otherwise, the consequences incurred vary between highly toxic emissions and a low quality insulations. Numerous factors influence the ratio of the mixture, and specialized measurement equipment is necessary to ensure on-site quality control readouts. Monitoring the temperature of the mixture and displaying/printing values can also help maintain the compound levels within the correct thresholds.
The lift, which constitutes the elevation of the insulator layer from the surface achieved in a single pass, is different based on the product utilized. With most sprayed insulators, the maximum recommended lift does not exceed 2 inches, but certain products permit layers of up to 6 inches in thickness.
When using closed-cell foams, excessive thickness applications could translate into decomposition and/or chemical ignition. Open-cell foam is more permissive in terms of chemical reaction generated heat, but don’t forget that the rate of expansion is over 3 times higher. That can lead to the development of large cavities with a negative impact on the R-value of the materials.
In most cases, managing the lift requires only paying attention to the sequencing and being patient, but in others situations the lift simply cannot be controlled properly. Therefore, electing to use an injection applicator to insulate the tougher sections first is recommended.
The substrate’s temperature is often critical when insulating a surface during the cold season, because the heat it absorbs has a realistic chance of negatively influencing the foam’s ability to bond and expand correctly. The same goes when the installation is performed at high temperatures. In addition, don’t forget that certain substrates – such as polyethylene sheets – are inherently problematic since they tend to break the bonds. Excessive moisture contents might also prevent the insulation foam from adhering properly.
When you’re spraying multiple layers of insulation foam on a surface, you have to be patient and treat each lift as an individual substrate. Permit the sprayed foam to cool before a subsequent application. The waiting time is also critical when subsequently using injected insulation foam, as contractors should allow the former to expand before inserting a new one. It may feel that you’re slowing down the construction project, but in reality you’re ensuring that the insulation is properly installed and effective.
There is a specific type of insulation foam for every venture, and learning how to determine the optimal variety is something that comes with experience. The chemical clock, which essentially represents the rate at which the foam expands and adheres to the surface, determines the effectiveness of the insulator. For example, slowly rising foams should be employed in projects that require decreasing the pressure within a certain cavity, whereas a sprayed-on foam is a better choice when the job implies filling open frame voids.
Selecting a quality insulation foam, applying the correct one in accordance to project specs and allowing it to expand/cool according to the manufacturer recommendations are all mandatory steps in ensuring optimal results. However, you can’t guarantee that the job is well down without implementing a set of protocols for verifying the quality of the mixtures on-site and making sure that all the contractors respect them to the letter.
Energy efficient appliances, state of the art insulation materials and economical heating sources comprise the main trends of environmental sound practices that people are familiar with nowadays. A significant number of socially responsible blogs routinely advocate them, and it’s overall a good thing. However, a topic that comes up when discussing energy preservation is water, and it’s unfortunate that so few of us remember that a direct correlation between water and energy exists.
Plenty, to be honest! For starters, limiting your household’s water consumption translates into saving the energy required to filter, decontaminate and purify. The supply of freshwater flowing through the faucets in your house bypasses the municipal filtration and purification system, which comprises of heavy duty submersible pumps and other machinery, all requiring power.
Second of all, water is directly involved in the production of energy, and not only via hydroelectric plants. Evaporation in thermoelectric plans consumes plenty of it as well. Conservative estimates indicate that in excess of 2 gallons are required to produce 1 kWh. Then you have hydraulic fracturing and rigs that rely heavily on water for the extraction of natural gas and petrol from the ground, sometimes in areas where supply is scarce.
Finally, and this one should be pretty obvious, heating the water necessitates power, which is furnished by either electrical or gas based boiler systems. Few are comfortable with taking cold showers, particularly in the winter months. When the mercury drops, the energy demand goes up considerably. In the light of these facts, you can easily understand why energy efficiency is dependent on your water consumption, at least at a macroscopic scale. So, how can you help?
The simplest way to maintain your consumption within reasonable levels is to install water-using furnishings designed for efficiency. Let’s find out some of the most popular ones.
• Low flow showers
When you’re shopping for a low flow showerhead, search for the EPA WaterSense seal of approval. This certification is overall a good indicator that the showerhead adheres to the 1.75 GPM standard, as opposed to the federally imposed limit of 2.5 GPM. However, you can also check out 1.5 and even 1.0 GPM models; they generally deliver more than enough pressure and won’t negatively impact your showering experience. Remember, a lower showerhead flow also helps you save energy by reducing the amount necessary for heating up that water.
• Low flow faucets
The EPA WaterSense certification also applies to faucets. A 1.5 GPM faucet provides plenty of water pressure, particularly since most people rarely turn it on at full capacity. It’s worth noting that plumbing industry trends are pointing towards the 1.5 GPM becoming the universal standard, in spite of the 2.2 GPM still constituting the federally imposed limit. In case you don’t feel like replacing all the faucets in your home, installing screwed-in aerators will transform any standard one into a considerably more water efficient version.
• Low flow toilets
When they were first introduced on the market, the primitive technology behind low flow toilets was incapable of flushing down solid waste efficiently from the first two, even three tries and used to clog easily. They required flushing several times and, as a result, ended up wasting more water than normal versions. Naturally, most were turned off by this setback at the time, but on the upside, low flow toilets have come a long way since the early days. A quality 1.28 GPF model is currently able to perform similarly to a standard toilet, but without the high water consumption.
• Efficient dishwasher
Invest in a dishwasher with a higher Energy-Star rating that is capable of cleaning a full load with less than 2.9 GPM to minimize the water footprint. Remember that in excess of the 90% of energy consumed by this appliance goes towards water heating, which in turn means that lowering the water consumption directly influences the energy savings. Furthermore, skipping the heat-dry cycle can also decrease the power usage.
• Efficient washing machine
The Energy-Star rating constitutes the safest way to determine the energy and water efficiency of a washing machine as well. You could employ a few more tricks to reduce the water and energy waste by setting cold-washing cycles for clothing that doesn’t have major stains and letting the laundry air dry naturally.
• Foot-operated kitchen faucets
These ingenious fixtures require keeping a plate pressed down with your foot to supply water and will stop immediately when the trigger is disengaged. They’re great for stopping the flow automatically when you’re washing dishes manually, for instance. You are no longer required to turn the faucet on and off every time you wipe a plate or apply dishwasher soap and, let’s face it, most of us just leave the water running continuously.
The increasing scarcity of the freshwater in conjunction with the increasing demand in the energy production industry should be a cue for both households and production facilities to rethink the way we manage consumption.
All building projects require considerable expense and planning, especially if they are of the commercial type. There are several stages into which to organize a construction project, you have to choose the site and make building plans based on what purpose you want to use it for. Once the architectural designs are approved, you will have to encounter a lot of paperwork and red tape to obtain planning and building permits, following which you will have to recruit a commercial construction company to carry out the actual task of building.
You could assign the entire task to a project management company who will either have their own team of architects, finance planners and construction workers work on them or outsource it to ancillary companies. Optionally, you could also handle each stage of the project planning yourself and hire people you think are best suited at each task. However, this would mean that you will have to be more deeply involved in each aspect, which will have demands on your time and energy.
Usually your architects may be to make recommendations about choosing a commercial construction company as they may themselves be associated with such businesses or work on freelance basis with them. Since they are more involved in the industry, they will be better aware of which companies provide quality work and it would be advisable to check out their suggestions. However, if you are recruiting from scratch and without much help, here are some tips to guide you in choosing the right construction company for your project. You are likely to be investing a lot of money into a building project and you want to make sure you choose wisely so that you get your money’s worth.
If you are looking around to hire a construction company, there will probably be many to choose from in your area. A simple Google search will churn out several results, not to mention the business cards and recommendations that will drop in when word gets out. Doing a little background research on the various companies and comparing the quotes they offer is the first thing you should do, especially if you got the information first hand.
It is usually a good policy to be wary of quotes that are exceptionally low. If you have been in the business long enough, you will have an idea of what the building materials and fair wages for the workers will cost you eventually. Even if you don’t, your project manager has probably put well researched estimates of these accounts into the budget planning. Base your judgment on these figures; if the price they are asking seems impossibly low, chances are that they intend to be cutting corners. However, a ridiculously low quote does not always mean that they are upto something fishy, they could also be a new company trying to get a toehold in the construction business in your area and thus discounting their first few deals.
One way to clarify and judge offers is to find any previous clients or clientele portfolio on the companies’ websites and read their testimonials about the company’s work and their experience with the team. Pay special attention to mentions of whether the company delivered their work on time and on budget and choose accordingly.
When you have selected the few best offers and shortlisted some potential companies, be sure to discuss all the details of the project in depth with and ask them any further questions or doubts you may have on the initial quote they offered. Make sure that they consider any additional costs they may incur in order to meet any specific aspects of your project.
This is a good time to negotiate the deal and decide on a final quote that is agreeable to both companies. Being the one with business to offer gives you an upper hand, you can get a better deal by threatening to take your money to their competitors. However, be realistic in your demands so as to not compromise on quality. When you have finalized the terms that you are both happy with, have your legal team ensure that the contract you draft clearly outlines the outcomes expected of the project and insists upon maintaining transparency in expenses incurred. Otherwise, you might end up with a substandard piece of work or be stuck with hidden surcharges at the end of the construction process. Even so, be prepared to access buffer funds just in case; it is not unheard of large scale building costs to go over the estimated budget by at least 10%.
While you are running checks on the company, be sure to find out if the owner of the construction company and the foreman of the building crew assigned o your project have adequate knowledge about the area’s rules and regulations for building commercial properties. This is because it may happen that the builders might have to make slight alterations to the approved designs. If they do, it is their responsibility to ensure that these alterations adhere to all the local legislations and that the completed construction will pass all regulatory checklists. If you stay sharp and be mindful of these few points, you should be able to select a construction company well suited to your building needs.
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