1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

September 30, 2008

:274 Cool Pavement

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:274 EcoTip: Cool pavement is more reflective so it doesn’t build up as much heat as asphalt. This has the advantage of increasing the amount of light available because it is reflected off of the ground. When light is absorbed by asphalt or other dark surface materials the wavelength changes to heat energy that can contribute to the heat island effect in cities and higher cooling costs for individual buildings. The temperature of asphalt can be as much as 70 degrees F (40 degrees C) hotter than light colored paving.

 

Source: Heat Island Group

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :273

You can learn more about the heat island effect cool roofs and cool pavement from the Heat Island Group  

Tomorrow’s 1:5:10:365 EcoTip is about how cool pavement can also benefit from being pervious.

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September 29, 2008

:273 Cool Roofs

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:273 EcoTip: Cool roof is a term used to describe roofs that reflect light instead of becoming hot. According to a paper presented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Hashem Akbari if every roof and area of pavement in the 100 largest cities in the world was switched to a cool roof and more reflective pavement, the reduced heat would offset 44 metric gigatons of greenhouse gases – an amount greater than all the greenhouse gases emitted by all the countries on our planet each year.

Image reprinted from the Cool Roofs Rating Council Website

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 Additional Information:

In 2005 the state of California required that all flat roofed commercial structures switch to white roofs. The technology has developed such that in 2009 California will require that all new and retrofitted roofs on both residential and commercial structures be heat-reflecting. When properly manufactured even colored roofs can be reflective.

 For additional information see the Los Angles Times September 10, 2008 articleTo slow global warming, install white roofs.

The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) is an independent, non-profit organization that maintains a third-party rating system for radiative properties of roof surfacing materials.  You can use their directory to search for cool roof products.

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September 28, 2008

:272 Shower Heat Exchanger

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:272 EcoTip: A shower heat exchanger can conserve 25 to 40% of the energy that normally goes down the drain when taking a hot shower.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :144

The EcoDrain can be installed below the shower during either new construction or bathroom renovation to help increase energy efficiency by reducing hot water energy use. According to the manufacturer.

The EcoDrain is designed to make the reuse of shower waste heat practical. Its key feature is a patent-pending turbulator which optimally stirs the waste water in order to maximize heat exchanger performance in a small device.

The EcoDrain is installed directly under the shower. This minimizes heat loss and makes installation easy in new home construction and in most bathroom renovation projects. 

 

I observed this product at this years West Coast Green conference and was impressed – Contact EcoDrain at: info@ecodrain.ca or 514-448-4798

 

 

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September 27, 2008

:271 Attract Good Bugs

Filed under: :271 Attract Good Bugs — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:05 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:271 EcoTip: Now is a good time to think about attracting beneficial insects and creating safe places for them to over winter.

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 Additional Information:

Queen Ann’s Lace, Alyssum, White Cosmos and Bronze Fennel are good plants for helping beneficial insects over the fall and winter into spring. They should be planted in out of the way places that will not be disturbed by tilling and of course never be sprayed or treated. This will give the beneficials a safe place for those that over winter or their eggs. Don’t pull the plants out and throw them away when they die – If you throw them away the beneficials go with the debris.

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September 26, 2008

:270 Evaluate Gutters

Filed under: :270 Evaluate Gutters — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:02 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:270 EcoTip: It’s the time of year to evaluate your gutters to be sure they are in good repair. By fixing them now – they will be ready for the fall leaves and rains or winter snow.

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 Additional Information:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts of any accumulated debris.
  • Check for rust and deterioration of the finish and make sure they are affixed tightly against the fascia boards.
  • The fascia boards should also be inspected for dry rot or damage.
  • Add some water to be sure the gutters drain and there are no leaks.
  • Add splash blocks and make sure the gutters drain away from the foundation.

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September 25, 2008

:269 Rate It Green

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:269 EcoTip: If you want to find out what others are saying about various eco-products – Rate-It-Green is the place to go.

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 Additional Information:

Rate-it-Green has a section on their website called Green Ratings. The following is from the greeting for this section of their website:

Welcome! Our directory is live and ready to help you find available green building products and services. We encourage you to rate items and share what you know so that others may learn from your experiences. Note that this site is still new – it may take some time before you see multiple ratings. And make sure to keep your comments constructive!

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September 24, 2008

:268 Prescriptions for a Healthy House

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:268 EcoTip: When building, remodeling, or reconstructing after a disaster consider using the least toxic products available. Prescriptions for a Healthy House, A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders, and Homeowners has specification language, construction tips and advice as well as lists of resources and non-toxic products that can help accomplish this goal during construction.

 

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September 23, 2008

:267 Dryer Test Method

Filed under: :267 Dryer Test Method — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:48 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:267 EcoTip: A clothes line provides the most energy efficient method for drying, but if you are going to use a clothes dryer – make sure it is operating efficiently. Here’s a test method you can use to check both the dryer and the ducting to help insure it is working effectively.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :071, :072, :245, :246,

For more information check www.vcisafety.org

The Vent Check® Test Kit has the following Instructions

  1. Place one indicator strip inside empty dryer.
  2. Remove lint screen.
  3. Set the dryer on high heat and time dry.
  4. Locate exhaust vent duct cover. Clip the second indicator strip to the inside of the duct cover on the exterior exhaust vent. Be certain that the measurement end of the indicator is inserted completely inside the vent.
  5. Start dryer and allow it to run 5 – 7 minutes.
  6. Retrieve both indicator strips from their applied locations.

a) If both indicators show red color dot, dryer and vent are functioning properly.

b) If the indicator strip inside the dryer has red dot and the second strip is still white, then the dryer is reaching minimum operating temperature, but the vent system may be clogged.

c) If both indicator strips are white, then your dryer is probably not reaching minimum operating temperature. Disconnect vent from rear of dryer and repeat test with dryer only.

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September 22, 2008

:266 Finding Moisture Pockets

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:266 EcoTip: Thermal imaging using an infrared camera can help identify materials that are wet after flooding or water intrusion. Depending on the nature of the damage – many materials that look dry may in fact be wet. Capillary action and movement of water vapor can cause secondary damage that goes well beyond where the action water flowed. A thermal imaging scan can quickly help identify areas for investigation with a moisture meter. This can help identify pockets of moisture that might otherwise be missed. 

 

Thermal Image of a wet wall courtesy of Restoration Consultants at www.moistureview.com

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :037, :256, :276, :258, :259, :260, :261, :262, :263, :264, :265

This is the eleventh in a series of EcoTips about working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

 

John Banta with Fluke thermal imaging camera from www.moistureview.com

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September 21, 2008

:265 Preventing Mold

Filed under: :265 Preventing Mold — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:45 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:265 EcoTip: There are no magic chemicals or treatments that will prevent mold growth. The secrete is keep it dry.

The victims of hurricane Ike are now being let back into their areas to begin recovery. Unfortunately enough time has passed that mold prevention won’t be possible so a lot of mold remediation will be needed. Just as with every other disaster of this nature – there will be a lot of claims about various treatments and coatings that can be used to prevent future problems. Unfortunately the claims don’t hold up to scrutiny. Health problems have been linked with dampness in buildings. Mold is only one of many issues that develop when buildings are damp. Using a chemical treatment and ignoring the underlying moisture simply doesn’t work. Keeping the environment dry always prevents organisms from growing – so why waste the money on chemical treatments that may introduce their own problems.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256, :257, :258, :259, :260, :261, :262, :263, :264

This is the tenth in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

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