A while back, I wrote about Green Driveways and Paths, which ended up being a pretty popular article. I figured that it would be helpful to see your options when it comes to porous surfaces, permeable paths and eco-friendly driveways.
Green driveways not only are more pleasant to look at, they also can reduce urban heat retention, reduce CO2, reduce runoff, improve drainage and aquifer recharging, provide some water filtration and more! They can also be cheaper in the long run over asphault (resurfacing costs and crack repairs) and concrete (repairing cracks, staining) not to mention preventing washouts and pot holes.
Systems already embraced in Europe typically last over 20-30 years, with little to no repairs or maintenance. The main options for green driveways are using some sort of permeable surface along with turf, gravel or ground cover to enhance the beauty and green factor.
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Emceed by Patti Southard, of the King County Green Tools Program, this year’s Annual Green Building Slam! put on by the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is sure to be interesting.
|What:||Annual Green Building Slam!|
|Where:||Bastyr University Auditorium|
|When:||Saturday, September 10, 2011 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.|
|Cost:||$20 Advance (before 9/8)/ $30 (after 9/8)|
Hosted by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild’s Seattle Chapter, this event features architects and builders showcasing their green construction projects in a 10 minute, 10 slide presentation.
In celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the International Women’s Day, a number of remarkable projects by top women green building professionals will be highlighted. › Continue reading
Many of us are familiar with the LEED rating system from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), which is a third party green building rating system for commercial and residential buildings. The LEED rating system has been adopted by the U.S. government and is used with all new construction and major renovation of federal buildings. LEED certifies buildings on a point based system in the areas of Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Locations & Linkages, Awareness & Education, Innovation in Design, and Regional Priority. Points are then added up to achieve Silver, Gold, or preferably Platinum certification. While mainly regarded as a tool for commercial building, there is also a LEED for Homes section that allows you to certify your home or neighborhood.
Recently, USGBC has launched a Green Home Guide. The site is an awesome resource for those of you looking to remodel or build a home in the near future. The site contains a myriad of resources for the casual and the serious green homemaker alike. The “Know How” section guides you through green building advice and educational articles to help you make better-informed decisions. They cover a diverse range of topics, and the content is growing everyday. With the rapid growth in the green building world, it’s a great resource if you need to get an idea of what’s out there.
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Winter: tis the season to be jolly. Christmas and Valentine’s day have already come to pass, but the season hasn’t lost all of it’s festivities for those of us enjoying the Winter Olympics. Some time during the beginning of each month though, in spite of how joyful the season may be, you’re bound to get an envelope in the mail that’ll bring you down from all that cheer. Inside the envelope, you’ll find a letter with a lot of fine print and a very clear number representing how much money will be going to go towards paying off the additional heating expenses that every Winter brings along with, the Winter hangover.
Environmentally sound technology has advanced though to the point where you can stay warm in-doors without paying as much of the annual extra costs of heating utilities and without causing unnecessary harm to the environment. It’s a win-win situation in the form of a window material that won’t even clash with your drapes.
The technology is called Low-emittance coating and is applied to the glass during the manufacturing process but the science behind it is pretty simple. When your home is warmed up, eventually things will cool down (it’s why you have to keep the heater on over extended periods of time) as the heat radiates. The heat leaves in the form of infrared radiation, and these microscopic layers work to prevent that by only allowing specific frequencies through. Best of all though, it can work both ways. So in the Summer the same coating that kept heat in during the winter, can keep heat out (diminishing the need to keep rooms regularly air-conditioned).
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Thinking about re-siding your home? Take a look at this eco alternative. Just like a trees own weather proofing, these bark shingles insulate, protect, and are virtually maintenance free. It is made up of tulip tree bark waste from timber operations that would otherwise get burned, mulched, or left to rot.
Lasting up to 75 years, renewable, sustainably harvested and containing no chemicals, it is quite possibly the greenest siding on the market today. The textured look only adds to its appearance and acoustic properties, blocking out sounds much like another bark, cork.
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