Archive for the ‘Green Building’ Category


Conserve Energy Painlessly

January 14, 2011


Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last six to 10 times longer. When Mom told you to turn out the lights, she was thinking of saving energy dollars, not rolling blackouts and bankrupt utility companies. Rarely have Moms words of wisdom been as fitting as they are now and not just in California. Electricity rates are going up everywhere. Besides switching off lights, there are several other painless methods to conserve energy and save money on your electric bills.

Plug ins * Look for those electronic devices, especially those with digital time and date displays that are infrequently used such as alarm clocks, TVs and VCRs in a guest room and unplug them.

* Unplug devices used to recharge electronics/batteries when they’re not being used. * Transformers consume energy. Consider unplugging devices like calculators that are not in use.

Appliances * Wait until you can fill up your dishwasher before running it. And if you have a heated-dry option, switch it off. Prop open the door a bit after the cycle to air dry your load. * If you have an electric cooktop, turn the burners off a few minutes before the allotted cooking time. The heating element will stay hot long enough to finish the cooking without using more electricity.

  • Refrigerators use more power than any other appliance in the home and deserve special attention. Although rushing out to buy a new refrigerator may not be in your budget, it is important to know that new models are more efficient and use as little as half the electricity of older units.
  • Full refrigerators run more efficiently than ones that are only partially full. So buy more food and save some energy.
  • If you have two refrigerators, or an additional freezer, decide if the extra expense is really worth it. Cram as much as you can into your primary refrigerator or consider disposing of two older refrigerators and replacing them with one larger, newer and more efficient model.
  • Make sure the refrigerator door seals are tight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
  • Place food and liquids in airtight containers. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Move the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum its condenser coils yearly unless you have a no-clean condenser model. Refrigerators will run for shorter periods with clean coils.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature in the refrigerator and freezer. Recommended temperatures are 37 to 40F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0F.
  • Its obvious, but true: Turn off lights that are not being used. Consider installing timers or photo cells on some lights. And instead of constantly nagging the kids, try occupancy sensors that turn on and off automatically when someone enters or leaves a room.
  • Rather than brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops
  • Consider dimmer switches and three-way lamps. These provide low light levels when bright lights are not necessary.
Use linear fluorescent and energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last six to ten times longer. Although fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they pay for themselves by saving energy over their lifetime.
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Brief History of Toilet Paper

August 3, 2009
Although the following article does not directly apply to Architecture or Real Estate I couldn’t resist sharing this information. Just something to think about when you think about the environment.
Brief history of toilet paper
By Green Living Tips | Published 07/13/2009

I’ve been known to be a little bit feral at times, but toilet paper is certainly a gotta have in my books – but it really wasn’t all that long ago that none of us used it.

Use of toilet paper started about 150 years ago, in the U.S.A. The original toilet paper consists of aloe-infused sheets of manila hemp (obtained from the leaves of the abacá, a relative of the banana) dispensed from boxes. Toilet paper on a roll didn’t appear until 1890 and it really wasn’t until the 1930’s it became mainstream.

Indoor plumbing was the main reason for the invention of toilet paper. Try flushing a sheet of newspaper down your toilet and you’ll understand why. Actually, don’t try it as it may clog up your pipes. Modern plumbing certainly isn’t made for some of the other things we used to use to wipe our butts.

So, toilet paper is a necessary luxury/evil for many of us; but the number of trees cut down to serve our needs is truly astronomical.

Currently, the United States spends billions a year a year on toilet tissue and while consumption has plateaued there, it’s catching on in other countries – meaning even more trees felled and all the other environmental issues surrounding the production of the stuff. It seems such a terrible and undignified end for something as beautiful and useful as a tree.

There’s a fascinating article on CNN about the history of toilet paper.


Silver Lake Businesses Earth Day

April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Silver Lake businesses celebrate Earth Day, pledge to eliminate plastic bag use

In celebration of Earth Day, business owners in Silver Lake announced that they would be setting a new green standard by discontinuing the use of single-use plastic shopping bags. The Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce held an “Earth Day Ball” where local residents and workers brought their plastic bags which were used to make one giant plastic ball.

Local businesses that have committed to no longer using plastic bags from Earth Day 2009 onwards and to encourage customers to bring their own re-useable shopping bags include:
Medicus Graphics, Leela Thai, Monkeyhouse Toys and Art Gallery, lawson-fenning, Yolk, Lark Cake Shop, Sumi’s, gingergrass restaurant, Silver Lake Wine, Panty Raid, Mexican Village Restaurant, Materials and Applications, Dr. Cheryl Revkin, D.C., Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, Bleu Sage Restaurant, Modem Salon, Dr. Theresa Fitzgerald, D.C., Juvie, Large Marge Sustainables Catering, Sustain LA Restaurant Consulting, All Shades of Green, Rubbish, Solar Now, Studio 1617, Grace Ellay Botique, Dog Camp LA, Andiamo, Pet Express, Local, Matrushka Construction, Precision Motors, Shag Hair Salon, Silver Lake Yoga, SiLa Restaurant, Pet Express, The Living Room, Rambutan, LAMILL, Citibank, P.E.A.C.E. Organizing, Free Range Thinking, Earthlite, Silver Lake Farms, Leonardo Chalupowitz LEED certified architect,, Tsunami Café, Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic, Catts & Doggs, Say Cheese, Happen Essence Event Planning, Mornings Nights Café, Fresh Pressed, Bittersweet Butterfly, Zachary’s Smile, Replay, Kelly Green, Kicks Sole Provider, Reform School, Casbah Café, Naturewell, Ragg Mopp Vintage, Secret Headquarters, Wee Soles, Pazzo Gelato, Come to Mama, Cru Café, Video Hut, and Hard Times Pizza.

Posted by lacityorgcd13 at 4:27 PM



December 20, 2008


Remodeled w/ style & elegance, this eco-friendly house has vaulted ceilings, walk-in closet, wood floors, new stainless appliances. Walking distnce to cafes, restaurants, hiking trails. Great outdr patio 4 dining/entertaining. Bonus room for laundry and/or office. 1 off-street parking space. New electrical, new copper plumbing, new sewerline.

806 sq ft.

see previous post for photos


Green Home Survey

December 17, 2008
Daily Real Estate News | December 16, 2008 |

Surveys Show More Gains for Green Building
In November, the results of more than 10 surveys and reports exploring an array of topics such as worker productivity in green buildings, cost premiums, and perceptions of the business case for going green were released.

Such new data has been in demand lately as building stakeholders attempt to gauge how the credit crunch and a full year of recession have affected green construction.

Almost universally, the research points to another good year in 2009.

The “Green Building Impact Report 2008” from Greener World Media, which quantifies the overall effects of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification on industry and the environment, determined that companies in LEED buildings have realized annual employee productivity gains exceeding $170 million as a result of improved indoor environmental quality–a figure that is projected to jump into the billions by 2015 as the number of employees in LEED buildings grows more than tenfold.

The report further predicts an overall “flattening” of the rate of LEED growth as it begins to saturate markets nationwide, but continued expansion in the amount of floor area that is certified.

Other research chronicles how the downturn in construction will affect green building development in the months to come. McGraw Hill’s “2009 Green Outlook” study, for instance, said green building seems to be insulated from the recession and is growing “in spite of the market downturn.”

Meanwhile, at a recent Ernst & Young roundtable of construction company executives, a whopping 99 percent of survey respondents said interest in green development would increase in 2009 or at least remain the same as it is this year.

Eighty percent of respondents in a recent poll by the Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) International and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) said that energy efficiency measures have defrayed costs, and 65 percent said their green investments have generated a positive return on investment.

Finally, nearly 70 percent of corporate real estate executives described sustainability as a “critical business issue” in a joint survey by CoreNet Global and Jones Lang LaSalle, which is up nearly 20 points from 2007.

Source: CoStar Group, Andrew C. Burr (12/05/08)