Why India Should Invest in New Green Technologies in Their Buildings

"Climate change and water scarcity threaten India's economy, one of the fastest growing in the world."

I researched recently that the country has 16 percent of the world's population, but only four percent of its water resources - how can we make this sustainable?"

"In India, buildings are responsible for 4.9% of total GHG, If per capita water availability is any indication, 'water stress' is just beginning to show in India. Beside energy the second most critical issue concerning the building sector, governments, consumers and environmentalists today is possibly water. Infact, water use in buildings accounts for almost 20 per cent of the total water use, which is significant. Hence the Indian construction industry needs to consider where and how they can protect the vibrant Indian economy. In particular, do we need to consider new green technologies?

Buildings in India are prone to many health problems such as:-

•Extreme hot condition
•Waste of energy

The impact is often high electricity bills and occupant's complaining of health problems due to internal environmental quality. "

Children, elderly people, and people with breathing problems, allergies, and lung diseases are particularly susceptible to disease-causing biological agents in the indoor air.

Buildings in India are prone to many problems. Research provides the following interesting such as:-

•The World Health Organisation estimates that up to 30% of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be subject to excessive complaints related to indoor air quality.
•Air conditioning systems in commercial buildings consume about 60-65\% of the total energy as compared to various other end uses.

Sustainable buildings can provide:

•Improved learning by students
• greater productivity in workers
• Faster healing by patients.
• Have Higher Market Value

Both residential and commercial buildings retain a high resale value if they include sustainable design components. The value to prospective buyers comes from knowing their utility and maintenance costs will be lower in green buildings that outperform non-green buildings. Occupancy levels are consistently higher, and vacancy rates lower, in sustainable office buildings.

Understandably, it is these measurable benefits, rather than a general sense of well-being, energy conservation resulting in saving money and improved internal environmental quality for better living and good for the environment these can be achieved by implementing green technology in our buildings. India still to capitalize the benefits of green technology as other countries are already using it in their buildings for instance USA, Australia.

On the financial side, going green will save everyone tons of money. The price of electricity will keep going up as oil supplies shrink. As a hedge against rising electric bills it would be wise to invest in green technology today. Plus an additional benefit will be cleaner air. There are still coal plants around and despite the advancements in technology they remain a pollution factor today. Green technology in the form of solar power could result in a tremendous reduction in the need for coal power plants

Energy saving lightbulbs are a great example of green technology that can be installed in every house in the world, easily. The aim of green technology is to make peoples' lives better without compromising on quality of life.
Examples of green technology subject areas

Perhaps the most urgent issue for green technology, this includes the development of alternative fuels, new means of generating energy and energy efficiency.

Green building
Green building encompasses everything from the choice of building materials to where a building is located.

Environmentally preferred purchasing
This government innovation involves the search for products whose contents and methods of production have the smallest possible impact on the environment, and mandates that these be the preferred products for government purchasing.

Green chemistry
The invention, design and application of chemical products and processes to reduce or to eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.

Time has come to gain from the immense possibilities of Green technologies which will ultimately provide solutions to the entire problem we discussed above.

Sustainable buildings operate from seven simple principles
Sustainable building will:

1.Harvest all their own water and energy needs on site.
2.Be adapted specifically to site and climate and evolve as conditions change.
3.Operate pollution-free and generate no wastes that aren't useful for some other process in the building or immediate environment.
4.Promote the health and well-being of all inhabitants, as a healthy ecosystem does.
5.Be comprised of integrated systems that maximise efficiency and comfort.
6.Improve the health and diversity of the local ecosystem rather than degrade it.
7.Be beautiful and inspire us to dream.

Benefits of Green Building

Environmental benefits

•Reduce the impacts of natural resource consumption

Economic benefits

•Improve the bottom line

Health and safety benefits

•Enhance occupants comfort and health

Community benefits

•Minimize strain on local infrastructures and improve quality of life

We talked about water scarcity which is not only a concern for India but for entire world. So what are we doing for that? The answer is we can certainly look for ways to save water and make optimum utilization of what we have right now. The reason why there is hype for green technology is it's always emphasizes on creating resources and minimum wastage of energy.

If we can reduce the water consumption in the building construction then it can definitely be used in other activities and it should be collective effort.

India has always played a significant role in the global arena. Whether it's growing economy, world's largest democracy and seriousness about environment. Then it is imperative that world should also recognise India's effort for sustainable living. India needs to consolidate its stand on promoting green technologies. And for that government can provide financial assistance to people or organisations to encourage and create awareness about green technologies. India is already doing its bit to save water and other environment friendly measures. Ministry of environment is also seeking assistance from Indian corporate sector to come up with innovative ideas to save the environment. I think we are on the right track and we just need to create more awareness about the biggest threat the world is facing now which is global warming. As we say there is never a wrong time for the right thing so we can certainly give back something to our mother earth.

Original article

Outdoor Shelter - Guide To Choosing A Timber Shelter For Your School

The PTA have a long list of things to buy, and this often includes: summer shade, wet weather timber shelter, parent waiting outdoor shelters and outdoor classrooms. Wherever possible the savvy school will look to combine all these in one substantial unit which, correctly positioned, can cover all categories.

In these circumstances you will require a solid structure, designed specifically for use in schools, which has a properly waterproof roof, and large overhangs to shelter the seating area.


Many structures can be installed onto tarmac or a slab base at no extra cost and this provides several advantages;Clean clear hardwearing floor which is not going to be affected by the seasonsEase of access as there is no step or ramp to get into the shelter

If you're considering installation onto grass, please remember that the extra footfall generated by use of the timber shelter will mean the grass area will become damaged and, without adequate levels of light/rain, will be unable to fully recover. This will mean problems with mud in winter and dust in summer. Flooring such as decking would be beneficial. However, this will create a step into the shelter and potentially create the need for a ramp to ensure that the facility offers access for all. Alternatively, grass reinforcement could be used to improve wear resistance of the natural floor.


Benching needs to be robust, smooth and at a suitable height for primary aged children whilst acceptable for adults to use as well. We would suggest 0.50m from the floor. There should be sufficient spaces for a full class of children ie up to 30 pupils - ideally all facing towards the same point for teaching purposes.


A variety of roofing options should be available to you; the primary function being to offer a dry interior. Where Bitumen roofing is offered, look for guarantees to ensure that you are going to get a decent lifespan from the roofing. Bitumen shingle tiles can have an attractive appearance and are available in a variety of colours with some quality manufacturers giving a 15 year manufacturers guarantee.

Sedum roofing when first installed.Cedar Shingle roofingBitumen Shingle roofing

If you wish to use the structure to demonstrate sustainable options in construction then consider either a living/sedum roof or cedar shingles.


Look for guarantees on the structure that can give confidence in its lifespan. Where choosing a natural material such as timber ensure that it is treated against rot: ideally pressure impregnated. Timber shelters should be correctly installed to maximise lifespan. Where upright posts are being concreted into the ground, be aware that this can cause a weak at the interface, where accelerated decay might occur. A far better method of installation is to bolt the posts to the ground. A small piece of DPC between post and ground will help prevent water ingress to maximise the life of the upright post.


No one wants to be responsible for purchasing the outdoor shelter that was destroyed in gales! Ask the supplier about wind-lift. Such features as the weight of the structure, inner ceiling design and number and positioning of uprights will all have an impact here. Have structural calculations been done to prove that this is not going to be an issue?

Finishing & Speed of Construction

Any timber product should be factory planed to minimise splintering - especially benches. Any product with upright posts should have the corners "pencil rounded" to soften edges and minimise damage should anyone bump into them. A structure such as this should be erected in just one or two days.


Make sure that the cost you have been quoted includes delivery and installation. Ensure you have asked about likely additional costs.


Use this opportunity to purchase a structure that is made of sustainable materials and demonstrates your school's commitment to the environment. Timber is the only natural, renewable, recyclable and bio-degradable construction material we have. Not only that, but it looks good too! Buy a timber shelter for your school and let it double up as an outdoor classroom and parents' waiting outdoor shelter. It will remain as a legacy to the school for many many years to come.

For more information about timber shelters visit our website.

Original article

Enjoy City Life And The Outdoors In Rice Military Homes

Rice Military Homes offer the advantages of city living combined with the beauty of one of USA's largest urban parks. Situated in the vibrant and busy city of Houston, Texas, it is no wonder that it is one of most sought after Houston real estate properties not only by the upper middle class, but also by young urban professionals, empty nesters and affluent home seekers. Rice Military Homes which is situated just west, downtown of Houston, is gaining popularity due to its proximity to Memorial Park and Allen Parkway recreational areas.

Offers a Vibrant Environment

The Rice Military Homes gets its name from, Mr. William Marsh Rice, a notable person who founded the Rice University and Camp Logan, a WWI United States military training camp, which is situated close to the place.

The Rice Military Area is surrounded by pleasant neighborhoods on all the sides. In addition, it is in close proximity to Houston downtown with its active nightlife, the museum, and Galleria shopping. The amazing location surrounded by parks having lush foliage, makes it one of the most exciting and charming places to live in. The site features trails, tennis courts, fields and wide open-spaces and a renowned 600- acre golf course. It has provisions for activities like:

* Swimming

* Tennis

* Hiking

* Biking

* Softball

* Volleyball

* Golf

* Baseball

The Rice Military area is conveniently located inside the loop within walking distance from the renowned Memorial Park. The area itself encourages an active lifestyle with its crisp fresh air and location, which encourages outdoor activities. There are a wide range of townhouses and condominiums, with spacious rooms and garage area, which can satisfy the requirement of anyone looking for a good home surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere.

Houston Real Estate and Houston Properties

As Houston properties are always in high demand, it is tough to buy or sell homes without the help of a reliable Houston real estate dealer. A competent Houston real estate firm can help customers interested in buying a home in the Rice Military Area. They can provide them with essential information like:

* Accurate details about homes and other properties currently up for sale

* Comparison of prices with relevance to previous deals executed

* Information regarding the neighborhood and community areas like shopping malls, places of worship, universities, schools, restaurants, theaters and other conveniences.

* Accurate listing details

* Number of days the property has been on the market

* Comprehensive details of sold out homes

Real estate dealers offer unique marketing strategies to customers who are interested in selling their Houston properties. They maximize the exposure of the property by highlighting its positive features through their website.

A variety of town homes, condos and an appealing array of upscale apartments are available for lease and rent. This is convenient for people looking for temporary homes and for those who cannot afford to make an outright purchase. Most of the buildings constructed by skilled professionals feature an appealing array of state-of- the-art amenities, with eye catching designer features as an added attraction.

For those looking for a modern urban neighborhood set amidst natural surroundings, Rice Military homes is the right place, as it provides the best of both urban life and nature for its dwellers.

Search all Houston Rice Military Homes with spacious rooms and garage areas according to your budget and location at http://www.houstonproperties.com/

Original article

Home Systems: Active Vs Passive Solar Heating Systems

Are you interested in using a solar heating system? If so, then you will have several options. One of the main ones is whether to choose an active or passive system.

What are Active Solar Heating Systems?

This type of system involves harnessing and storing (in the form of heat) solar energy. It uses fans and other objects to dispense heat that has been harnessed. Solar cells constructed of silicon are the most common type of solar heat collectors. Typically, the cells are contained on solar panels, which are located on the roof of a home.

What are its main types?

There are two primary types. Their difference lies in the material that captures and moves the heat that is located in the solar collector. Usually the material is a gas or a liquid. For instance, an air-based system usually involves transpired air collectors or air room heaters. On the other hand, liquid-based systems usually involve water (or antifreeze) to capture and move heat.

How much power does it provide?

Usually the goal of such systems is to heat up to three-fourths of a home's interior. When more solar energy than a house needs is produced, the homeowner could then sell excess power back to his or her local utility company. Also, it is advisable to heat both the air and water in your home, so your system can function throughout the entire year.

What Are Passive Solar Heating Systems?

This type of system is a low-technology method of capturing solar energy. It functions by directly capturing the sun's warmth, and then retaining it within the house for the function of heating. This is mainly achieved through methods such as quality insulation and windows. This type of system can lower your current heating costs, or even replace your home's current system.

What are its components?

Windows are the primary components of such systems. The goal is to maximize the amount of sunlight and heat that one can collect during the daytime. Typically, the windows consist of a special variety of glass that absorbs as much heat as possible-and then keeps it indoors for a maximum amount of time.

Besides windows, another common component of Passive Solar Heating Systems are trombes, which are a special type of wall. There is a pane of glass in front of the wall. The mission is for the space between the glass and wall to collect heat. Another method is to paint the concrete walls black, so they will absorb sunlight more.

What are its benefits?

This is generally an ideal option when you are looking for a solar heating system for a new home. The reason is that Passive Solar Heating systems are based on factors such as the location of the windows in the home, the location of the building itself, the amount of insulation in the building, and so on. These issues can be quite challenging to change within existing homes-and especially the location of the home!

After learning the basics of Active and Passive Solar Heating Systems, it is time to determine which one is best for you.

Original article

What Is A Net-Zero Energy Efficient Home?

Energy efficient homebuilders are constantly improving on design and sustainability to offer solutions to consumers that really want the most efficient home on the planet. The balancing act that an green home builder must pull off is not an easy feat: they need to provide a home with the creature comforts we have all come to take for granted and, at the same time, they must also provide a measurably superior alternative in their offerings that the public will appreciate and be able to afford. Value is exceedingly important given our current economic situation in America.

In the past, energy conscious design was exceedingly expensive and, in turn, was not something the average consumer could afford even if they could appreciate the fact that energy saving homes are good for the environment. Now, building homes that are so efficient they can nearly power themselves is not only technologically possible, but consumers can obtain these superior products for the same price range as a standard, site built home. While these homes go by many names, manufacturers refer to affordable, efficient homes as "Net-Zero energy efficient homes."

Net-Zero energy efficiency aims at supplying the total electrical needs of a household. The goal of the Net-Zero home building process is two-fold: first, to supply the total energy needs of a home and second, to do so at the least possible expense. Some critics of the phrase "Net-Zero energy efficiency" claim they can achieve the same results of a Net-Zero home by merely by adding a large number of solar panels to any home they build. In all fairness, it is true that you can supply all of the electrical needs of a home by adding a lot more solar panels, but this is not nearly as efficient, effective or economical as designing a home and its various components as a system that seeks to reduce energy consumption from as many points of design as possible.

The goal of Net-Zero design should be, then, not to add as many expensive solar panels as required, but to reduce the overall electrical consumption of a home such that the least amount of expensive solar photovoltaic system components need be used.

The reason that many homebuilders are not moving in the direction of improving efficiency is because the research and development costs alone are enormous. However, the builders that do not match pace with efficient designers will, in the future, lose market share to more forward thinking homebuilders.

Owning a green home is possible. In fact, you can buy a custom, factory built home now for the same cost of many standard site built homes that you find in common residential tract neighborhoods. In residential tract neighborhoods, you can add an island in your kitchen, but you can't move entire walls or add to square footage significantly; you buy exactly what the developer offers in standardized plans. Custom, factory built homes differ in that you have far more control over design and the end product. Perform research online about Net-Zero homes and solar homes and you will come to find that there are a number of viable options available at a wide range of prices.

Luca Brammer is the Director of Business Development for Hallmark-Southwest Corporation. Hallmark-Southwest is a builder of California manufactured homes specializing in energy efficient home design and Net-Zero energy efficiency.

Original article

Simple Homes and Green Construction Ideas

Have you ever dreamed about building a home of your own, only to be awakened to the reality that it would cost a fortune? Perhaps you don't want to drown in a sea of debt. There are ways to build a home of your own without breaking the bank.

For example, one of my relatives, who was visiting us in Texas after moving to Africa as a missionary with Youth With A Mission, got ahold of a book I had bought online, Homework: Handbuilt Shelter, by Lloyd Kahn. He was so inspired by the book that when he returned to Zambia, he bought a parcel of land and built a home out of a mixture of natural and man-made materials for around $1500, which is pretty impressive.

But how do you build one in N. America where land prices are so high and materials cost so much? If you do not own a piece of land, it is wise to make your dwelling portable so that you can move it as needed. Remember that here we have high prices, but we also have lots of things that people throw away or give away for free. There are also many areas where there are free materials found in nature that you can use.

If you are looking for a simple, affordable structure that is semi-portable, strong, well insulated, wind, water, and weather proof, then the yurt or ger, which is common in central Asia is the best. Most yurts and gers are designed to withstand high winds, freezing weather, rain, and cold. These have become popular in other parts of the world, and there are several places online where one can find instructions on how to build a yurt out of recycled materials, materials from nature, or store-bought materials. These are almost-free structures that any determined person could build.

The teepee of the plains Indians of N. America is another remarkable design for a portable, green shelter. The American Indians were able to stay warm in these simple structures by building a fire in the middle of the teepee. Be very careful if you build a fire inside a teepee. If the teepee cover is made out of a plastic material, it will melt when you build a fire inside it. Fire dangers and damage can be reduced if the teepee is made out of canvas and natural materials and to reduce smoke, it should be at least 12' high, and 14-18' is best.

Some of the indigenous tribes in N. America built wikiups to protect them from the elements. For a temporary shelter in emergency, the wikiup can't be beat. These can be made of saplings, sticks, grass, straw, tree branches, and leaves.

Moving on to more stable structures, if you plan to build a permanent, green home, it is wise to first secure the land where the home will sit. The best place to build an affordable, handmade, green home is in a rural area. Look for an area away from major cities and highly populated towns. Building officials in farming and rural areas will be less likely to harass you over your unique home. If you get to know the locals, you may find a farmer or property owner that is willing to sell you a parcel of land. Make sure that all agreements are put on paper and signed by both parties, and that a title to the property recorded in your name with the county clerk.

Straw bale houses are a popular method for building a simple, affordable and green home. Straw bales offer great insulation. It is bommon to place the straw bales on a platform that supports the walls to prevent them from getting wet, and the exterior and interior walls that the bales form can be protected with a stucco or mud plaster. It is important to add structural supports in the walls between the straw bales. Certain municipalities and counties limit the use of this type of construction, so check with the local building authorities before proceeding.

Cob is another method of green building that makes use of a mixture of clay, sand, and straw to form earthen walls. Cob buildings can be made that have unique shapes and character. If you are in a city or highly regulated county, there are building code guidelines and limitations about what you are allowed to do with cob construction.

Some have built their homes underground, such as the earthship. Many green home builders have manipulated and designed the earthen walls around them as a protective sheild, as part of an insulation design, and for the "conditioned cave" effect. Properly designed underground construction provides several advantages, including energy savings, security, and less visibility. The only main drawback to underground construction is the possiblity for moisture intrusion such as is common in basements. A properly built and situated underground home can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, and even nuclear events. Building underground is also used as a way to hide the true size of a home.

Some have built ceramic domes, using earthbag construction. Nader Khalili, an Iranian-American architect perfected this art, and presented it to the West. Earthbag or Super Adobe construction can be strong, efficient, and useful for budget construction projects.

In addition to these more direct approaches to green building, there are construction products currently being developed that make use of used, recycled, and sustainably produced materials. Some of these materials are better and safer than others. It is wise to fully investigate the production process for these materials before using them to construct your home. Some contain chemicals that may be harmful to your family's health, so doing your homework on the manufacturing process is advised.

Whatever you desire to build, start small today and test your ideas. Remember to plan ahead, get the advice of professionals, and read up as much as possible before committing your time and finances to the project. It would also be wise to befriend several contractors who can give you advice on how to make things go forward without difficulty.

Paul Ferguson is a Licensed Professional Real Estate Inspector. TREC #6883
He specializes in home inspections, real estate inspections, commercial inspections, and other real estate related services. For a free estimate or phone consultation, or to schedule an inspection, please visit our website at http://www.inspec4.net/

Original article

Energy Efficient Mortgages + Distressed Real Estate = A Match Made in Heaven!

The housing market crash resulted in a surge in foreclosures and bank owned properties, especially in the Miami market. Foreclosures and REO properties are typically considered distressed properties because of deferred maintenance. If you're thinking of buying one of these properties, you should know that these distressed properties will likely need some work, and will seldom be move in ready. Homeowners in foreclosure often neglect essential upkeep, or worse, may even vandalize/strip their properties down vhen they learn that the bank is coming in to take over.

According to RealtyTrac, about twenty-five percent of all residential sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 were either REO (real estate owned) or short sales. On average, these homes sold for roughly forty percent less than comparable (non-distressed) homes. The undesirable conditions of these properties make most buyers walk. Given the current depressed economic climate, most homeowners are not eager or able to complete high-end remodeling projects. However, through an energy efficient mortgage (EEM; aka energy improvement mortgage) program, remodeling and renovating can be very affordable, requiring minimal, if any, out of pocket costs. And with the help of an energy efficient mortgage, these distressed properties can be transformed into ideal green homes.

Distressed properties may require simple sustainable projects, like replacing older features or upgrading basic systems to take advantage of energy efficient improvements, or more involved projects such as complete kitchen renovation. Maybe the place needs a new roof, new flooring, or has an electric system that is not up to code. EEMs allow the homebuyer to obtain financing to purchase a house in need of such repairs or modernizations, and incorporate the additional funds needed for the rehabilitation into the mortgage. EEMs allow for renovations and sustainable improvements up to $45,000, which, when rolled into the mortgage would result in a payment increase in the ballpark of $270.* That's much easier to swing than fronting $45K!!! This program is perfect for those who are first time home buyers, or for those with limited cash for a down payment/closing costs/renovation expenses.

So, if you want to get a great deal on a house but don't have the money that may be needed to renovate a foreclosed/REO property, think twice before you pass on buying a distressed property. An EEM may be just the solution for you!

*based on a 6% interest rate, 30 year amortization schedule

Certified in Energy Improvement Mortgages
FHA 203k
Specializing in distressed properties offering borrowers an opportunity rehabilitate the cost of energy-efficient "green" improvements.

Original article

Nursery Building - Guide to Planning a New Nursery

So you have made the decision and are planning on purchasing a new nursery building. Whether this is your route into business, or a development of an existing business, there are a lot of things to think about. Here is a quick guide to some of the points you need to consider.

Size of building

Each additional square meter will have a cost implication; so it is essential that you get the layout of your new nursery building just right. You need to consider not only the numbers of children, staff, and rooms necessary, but also plan them so that there is minimal wasted space. If you choose a building which is individually designed, and unique to your business, then you have an ideal opportunity to do this.

Indoor Play for Nursery Buildings

Perhaps the most obvious, but the first thing to consider is the space allocation you will need. National standards exist for the allocated play areas for nursery age groups.

Space standards represent minimum space per child for the whole provision;

England and Wales;

Age Group under 2 years - 3.5 sqmAge Group 2 years - 2.5 sqmAge Group 3 - 7 years - 2.3 sqm


Age Group under 2 years - 3.7 sqmAge Group 2 years - 2.8 sqmAge Group 3 - 7 years - 2.3 sqm

This area can include space for quiet play or relaxation. It can easily be planned to provide areas dedicated to messy or wet play within the rooms. Provision of water fountains is also popular. Where preferred, layouts can be planned to give access to the w.c direct from the main play rooms to minimise interference with staffing levels.

Adequate Storage

As some areas may have more than one function, many nurseries benefit from walk-in storage areas, where play items can be stored between sessions. Planned storage can be particularly important to nurseries who share the main facilities with other community groups. This can be built into the floor plan of a new building and give you neat, organised, storage which will help extend the life of the toys and equipment you provide.

Toilet Facilities

1 w.c and hand basin to every 10 children over 2 years. Part M applies, so disability access requires an additional w.c. Many nurseries are able to use this as their staff facility as well which helps maximise use of space within the new building.

Outdoor Play

Safe outdoor play areas can be secured as part of the new project through considering L or T shaped nursery buildings. Here a partially enclosed area is created by the building shape giving ideal opportunity for covered verandas which offer all weather play. Remember to include outdoor taps for the children's gardening activities

Staffing Ratios

1 member of staff for every 3 children under 2 years of age1 member of staff for every 4 children aged 2 years1 member of staff for every 8 children aged 3 to 8 years of age

Office Facilities

A small office will give you the opportunity to have the necessary space and quiet to conduct any meetings (staff/parents/suppliers) and, if positioned next to the main access door, can ensure that you as owner/manager see every person who comes into your premises.


Depending on the type of care you are offering, you will either require a basic food prep area, where you can prepare mid-session snacks and drinks, or a full kitchen, where day care children have their healthy meals prepared. Planning the position of this can help you save space.


A warm, inviting, and safe environment will work for children and parents alike. Choose something that will set your business apart from the norm: like this lovely log building, filled with primary colours to stimulate young minds set against the warmth of the log wall.

Speed of Construction

Especially important if you are replacing an existing childcare building and do not want any interruption to your business. Certain build options, such as off-site manufacture, ensure that a large amount of the construction preparation is carried out prior to arriving on site. This can mean that a complete new nursery building is created in as little as 4 weeks

Disruption during the Build

When you are building your new premises, and hoping to create a positive impression on the community, you want a construction solution that will create interest and enthusiasm. Look out for the Considerate Constructors Scheme: participating companies have a focus on ensuring that they are good neighbours during the build process, which will stand you in good stead with the community when you open for business.


When you have planned out your new building you can start to look at the sustainable options as well. Make sure that your new building demonstrates your commitment to the environment by choosing a building that is constructed from sustainable materials, is energy efficient, and low maintenance during use, and will not be a detriment to the planet when It reaches the end of it its life.

Your new nursery building will not only be your place of work, but the face of your business: you want it to reflect your company's ethos. For more information on pre-school, school and sustainable buildings visit our website.

Original article

Is Your Property Green?

Everyone is talking about "green", and you are probably inspired to "green" your property to follow the latest trend in the market. Making your property "green" is good for the value of your property due to the increasing drive towards this direction, and even if it is not for value adding, making your property "green" is also a good investment for your own health and well-being.

So, how do you "green" your home? Your home may already be 20 years old, and you are not going to restructure the whole house, more so if your house is actually an apartment. You cannot simply tear down the walls or anything, as it will affect the whole block of apartment. What can you do?


We are not just talking about having a beautiful garden or putting a lot of potted plants around your balcony. We are talking about the sprinkler systems. You may wish to turn them on if the sprinklers are in your garden, so that you may check for any over sprays. Apartments have no problem about this because you are probably watering your plants manually. However, for sprinklers, you should replace the older technology sprinkler heads with water conserving sprinkler heads. If you can, get one with a timer and a weather sensor. That way, your sprinkler will not need to activate itself when it is raining.


You will want to ensure that the paint you use has low chemical emissions, especially for VOCs and formaldehyde. Long term exposure to VOCs and formaldehyde potentially cause cancer and leukemia. Most paint manufacturers now may have manufactured paints without VOCs now, but you cannot be too sure about paints in your older home. Also, if you are considering repainting, get a paint which includes anti-bacterial and anti-fungi properties. These are more for your health consideration, because anti-bacterial and anti-fungi will help to avoid unnecessary health problems for your household.


There are several considerations when it comes to the floors. If you have marble floors or whatever hard flooring, there is lesser problems for you. However, if your flooring is carpeted, most of the time you might need to replace your carpet with an eco-friendly alternative. In the market, there are carpets made from recycled plastic bottles, with lesser gas emissions and cost about the same as your typical carpet. You may also replace your typical carpet pad with a hypoallergenic soy carpet pad for that extra "green" to your flooring.

Electrical Appliances

A lot has been said about the new regulations for electrical appliances, and manufacturers are working hard to obtain the Energy Star labels for their products. Aside from the label, do also check the age and who the manufacturer is, especially for your refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher and dryer. Chances are, these electrical appliances are eating up your electricity and footing you an expensive bill due to their age. If you can only afford to change a few of the appliances at home, save enough to start with these few basic ones, starting from your refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher. Once you start with these three, your electricity bill would have become so much lesser and you will be able to save your cash for the others. Do remember that any appliance which requires heat such as iron and your water heater are the appliance which will swallow a lot of electricity. Any older appliance will also be more dangerous for the fire safety of your home. Just take the chance to replace the older appliances to minimize the possibility of fire hazard.


Have you replaced your light bulbs with eco-friendly ones? There are a lot of new light bulbs now which consumes less electricity. It may also be the use of lovely LED lights which can be rather decorative and inexpensive, to replace those heavy-duty outdoor lighting that you had used in the past. For fluorescent tubes, look at the T level on the tube. If the tube T level says T10 or T12, take the initiative to change these to T5 to T8 instead. You will get the same light output, with 70% savings on your electricity bills.


Finally, check the plumbing of your house. Check your water faucets, sinks and shower heads for aerators. You will also need to check the water heater for exposed pipes. Another thing that you need to check is your flush system.

Chances are, older flush systems are using a lot of water and using a single flush system. New flush systems have two systems, one which releases only half of the whole bucket of water when you flush, and another for a full flush. You will save a lot of water for a small investment.

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Original article

Tips for buying a green home

Buying a green home is not as difficult that you might think and long term it can save you lot of money, as well as having an impact on the environment. A Green House is one that is energy efficiency and allows you to save money, but it could also mean it is a home made from recycled materials and making much better use of space. When you buy a green house you must always take into consideration the same things you do when you buy a normal House, as going through the right channels to borrow money and to pay additional costs such as fees to and transfer of stamp.

Construction methods

You can start even before Green thinking to begin to build the House. Choose an architect who is familiar with the ecological houses and ask them to design a House that suits your block. Think of the creation of a House that occupies less space on Earth, leaving as much room for trees and plants as possible. Leave the room around the House for water tanks and a vegetable garden. Think of where on your block build you the House too. Make sure that it is in a position so that you can make use of natural light and it is facing a direction so you get the heat of the Sun for energy efficiency.

Construction materials

You can even be respectful of the environment with your choice of building materials. All the wood in your home should be recycled from other sources. You will find that you can purchase bricks of homes are being razed to the ground. You may also choose to build with environmentally friendly materials such as mud or stone, or even building a straw House haystack.

Energy efficiency

One of the main objectives of your House is that it is energy efficiency. Make sure that it is insulated so that it remains hot in winter and cooler in summer. You can also double glazed and have solar panels installed to rely you on the Sun to power your home. Solar energy can also heat your water so you can save on gas and electricity. Solar panels are not as expensive as they once and many new homes are not respectful of the environment are constructed with solar panels to heat their water.


In your House, you can be more respectful of the environment by choosing appliances to the right. When you purchase a dishwasher, washing machine, fridge or even a dryer you will see that the energy rating on the element via a classification system. The stars an element has the energy efficiency is. You can also buy dishwashers and washing machines use less water. You can also be more energy efficient when lighting your home by choosing to use the power light bulbs. Another way to be friendly to the environment is to look at your energy consumption, therefore turn off lights in rooms that are not in use, turn off appliances at the wall and not heat or cool the rooms that you do not use. With blinds or curtains on your Windows will help keep your House warm in winter and to block the heat in summer.

By the way, do you learn more about real estate? If so, I suggest that you check the cost assignment and assignment.


What are the benefits of green building?

GE Appliances & lighting has recently opened a new data center at its headquarters in Kentucky, equipped with innovative high-efficiency cooling systems. It also uses high density containing more computing power per square foot, thus, reduce the amount of energy, central cooling needs. The company has installed even save fixtures to reduce water consumption in the building of 42% water.

Burj Dubai, the highest of the world building, Khalifa last year announced its intention to meet more water heating needs by relying on 378 solar panels, which will be heat 140,000 litres of water each day. Under his management, sustainable investment is expected to save 3 200 kWh of energy per day, accumulating on 690MWh of energy per year.

Riviera Resort Hervey Bay beat a record solar panel in Queensland this month by installing more solar panels on his six-story building that any other interpretation in the Australian State. The owner of the station claims that he received $ 16,000 for energy savings - a reasonable return on its sustainable investment.

Companies are not only taking advantage of the eco-friendly of adjustments and innovations. ZeroCottage in San Francisco, a zero net energy project-under-construction by David Baker and partners Architecture, employs the benefits of high performance windows, folding doors sealed and wall Assembly, State of rain water and efficient water heating. Kelly and Matt Grocoff, a couple of Michigan, rebuilt their house style Victorian feet square of 1901 2200 and transformed into an investment sustainable zero. Cost the family a total of $47 130, with a return of $104 000 more than 20 years.

According to calculations by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), buildings in most countries took place at less than 40 per cent of national energy consumption. In the European Union, the construction industry eats up to 42% of EU final energy consumption and represents about 35 percent of all gas emissions greenhouse (GHG), estimates of the European Commission. In an economy where businesses and homes are reducing overall costs, energy is one of the first to feel the slash. Governments are taking into account of this trend and encouraging saving energy of sustainable investment incentives such as tax relief tools and feed in tariffs.

2010 Deutsche Bank Research figures indicate that green buildings benefit from savings of approximately 30% more than conventional buildings. In General, sustainable buildings tend to use less water and are less expensive to maintain. Report of the McGraw - Hill Construction Green Outlook 2011 the values of the U.S. green building construction 50% growth between 2008 and 2010. Green buildings represent 25% of all new construction in 2010 and, according to McGraw-Hillprojections, market size will probably rise to about 135 billion by 2015. Will the UK probably see increases in the sector as well as the Government has set up the goal to increase energy savings in the country `nd to achieve carbon neutrality in all new English homes by 2016, by WBCSD.

Before undertaking the greening of home or office space and take advantage of the benefits of the energy cost of Cup, the incentives and maintenance of the buildings more affordable, investors must carefully to learn about industry standards and regulations of their nation. As the investment market sustainable constructions picks up speed, it brings with it the need ongoing quality assurance.

There are several entities of third party who has implemented standards and certify buildings constructed in sustainable investment projects. To the United States, the Green main system of certification of buildings is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed LEED in 2000, to provide residential and commercial owners and operators with a set of measurable criteria that assess the practical efficiency, design, efficiency and building management.In the European Union and UK in particular, the regulatory system widely used is the method of environmental assessment BRE (BREEAM). Created in 1990 by the UK Building Research Establishment (BRE), BREEAM was designed to assess the viability of new commercial buildings. It has since expanded to include residential buildings under its umbrella. In 2003, the Green Building Council of Australia launched Green Star - a system of notation for quantifying the environmental effects of the constructions and improvements made by the innovations in the building sector.

For more information on sustainable building and ethical investments, go to sustainable-investment - guide .com. Sustainable investment guide is a portal of information keep you updated on the facts of the carbon credit market, trends, news and sustainable investment opportunities.


Why choose an eco-construction?

An Eco-building is a building that was designed to minimize its impact on the environment. This can be achieved in many ways;

The durability of the materials is built fromEnergy EfficiencyImpact on the environment for demolition of the building

Sustainability of materials

An eco-building should be constructed from materials which clearly of how responsible and, if possible, renewable source. Thus, we have to think where the materials come from and if they can be replaced.

Some materials traditionally used, such as stone is clearly naturally - but not immediately renewable - and are obvious on the environment when the extract.

Bricks are made of naturally occurring clay, but even after having a clear impact in the extraction of clay and a less known impact through the fluorine bi-produit which is a very reactive element, which is dangerous for humans.

Many options - but the only truly sustainable, renewable and natural construction material is wood. Wood has been used in the construction for centuries and of ancient wooden buildings are in the world: particularly in the Scandinavian countries.

Using the wood in your green building, not only in the building, but for internal and external walls so you can be confident in a truly sustainable building envelope.

Search for FSC certification and PEFC confirm sustainable procurement.

Energy efficiency

As the cost of energy increases and potential shortages shoot in the future, an eco-construction ensure that energy consumption is reduced to a minimum to reduce costs permanent and, if possible, dependency.

High levels of insulation are a must: "U" of your new building values should be checked to ensure that the lost energy is being minimized. The values of "U" will often appear against the various elements of the building like Windows, floors of cassette or walls. Make sure that there is no weak point. If you selected a building wood as the MPL (Machine profile Log) and then low values "U" as 0. 16W / M2K for the roof and Windows potentially as low as 1. 0W / M2K will be an obvious attraction.

Good natural light has several advantages: financially it will lower energy bills, but more important are the personal benefits as the light of the Sun not only improves the mood but general health and well-being and is proven to kill microbes in the building and furniture. Your eco-construction should give opportunities for Sun-tubes and lights to help increase natural light, especially in the corridors of the roof.

Ventilation is also an important factor in your new eco-construction. Avoid expensive cooling systems and to ensure that there is a passive adequate ventilation. These simple options that the opening of thd Windows and roof lights operated by electronic means can help ensure that there is good air flow. Make a right choice of materials sustainable wood log walling ie: wood is able to better regulate the humidity as artificial materials and does not retain any electro-static charge. It is advantage particularly allergic people representing approximately 1: 4 population.

Forget step-isolation works in both sense keep the summer heat off and winter heat in!

Impact on the environment after demolition

According to the choice of the building of sustainable life expectancy will vary. A building wood MPL will last well beyond 80 years. Larch single siding will be 60-80 years without treatment. Finally, almost all buildings end of their life, whether by the degradation of the progress of the construction and design materials making them obsolete. You must ensure that your new eco-building will not be a burden for the next generation.

Verify that the materials offer a reasonable option for recycling. Brick and block may be overwritten for hardcore on other building projects - but it tends to occur on larger sites, otherwise it is potential discharge, as it's expensive to transport. Steel and glass can be repetitive and re-made, but it is likely to be only a small element of the construction. Demolition plaster almost always ends up in landfills. Wood is 100% recyclable and at the very least will always be demand for fuel: a market in full growth and some to be necessary even when the building itself is no longer.

When you search for an eco-construction, locate a wooden building. Wood is the only natural construction product that is traditional, sustainable and renewable. A Cabinco MPL wooden buildings are energy efficient, ecological and economic. For more information, visit our website at http://cabinco.co.uk/.


What is an energy efficient home zero?

Energy efficient manufacturers are constantly improving the design and durability to provide solutions to consumers who want more efficient home on the planet. The balancing act that a constructor green homes must rid is not an easy feat: they need provide a House with the creature comforts we just all take for granted and, at the same time, they must also provide a superior measurable alternative in their offers public will appreciate and be able to offer. Value is extremely important, given the current economic situation in America.

In the past, energy design was extremely expensive and, in turn, was not something that the average consumer could afford even if they could appreciate the fact that energy efficient homes are good for the environment. Now, construction of houses that are so effective that they almost can feed themselves is not only technically possible, but consumers can obtain these products of superior quality for the same price as a standard, home built site range. While these houses go by many names, manufacturers of refer to effective and affordable houses as "zero homes efficient."

Zero net energy efficiency is designed to provide total needs of a household electricity. The purpose of the housing process void is double: first, to meet the total needs of a home energy and, secondly, at the least possible expense. Some critics of the term "zero net energy efficiency" say that they can achieve the same results of a net zero home by simply by adding a large number of solar panels in every home they build. In all fairness, it is true that you can provide all the electrical needs of a House by adding much more solar panels, but it is not nearly as effective, efficient or economical than design a House and its various components as a system which aims to reduce energy use by as many points of the design as possible.

The goal of zero net design should be, then, not to add panels of solar dear as needed, but to reduce overall power consumption of a home such as the less than components expensive solar photovoltaic system must be used.

The reason why many manufacturers do not move in the direction of improving the efficiency is because the only research and development costs are enormous. However, constructors that do not match the pace with effective designers, in the future, will lose market share to more forward thinking manufacturers.

It is possible to have a green home. In fact, you can buy a home built custom, now for the same price of site standard built many houses you can find residential neighbourhoods in common tract. In residential tract, you can add an island in your kitchen, but you can move whole walls or add significantly square feet; you buy exactly what the developer offers standardized plans. Custom, factory built houses differ in that you have much more control over the design and the final product. Conduct research online on houses zero and solar homes and you will arrive to the conclusion that there are a number of viable options to a wide range of prices.

Luca Brammer is the Director of the development of the business to Hallmark-South-West Corporation. Hallmark-South-West is a builder of prefabricated houses in California who specializes in the design of home energy efficiency and zero net energy efficiency.