Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category
What’s a Green Mortgage?

I received this information from a reader and thought I’d post it.  Interesting information – has anyone had any experience with it?

Town Bans Bottled Water – I love it!

Check out this story about a town that has banned bottled water!  And, of course, the bottled water industry is suing to make the town sell bottled water.  But if they put it on the shelves and no one buys it…is the town selling it?

Take Back The Tap!

This is a funny and informative video.  Dump those plastic bottles and start using reusable bottles for your tap water!

Is building Green worth it?

We ran into the problem of an appraiser (or two) who did not understand how to appraise green homes (see this link).  There was absolutely no premium added for any green features, regardless of how much money the features would save us or any future homeowner.  I suppose the appraisers are a trailing indicator of what potential homeowners value rather than a leading indicator.  As more new green homes appear, and home sales pick up again maybe we’ll see appraisers start to recognize that homeowners are willing to spend more green on Green.

City of Dallas and Rainwater Usage

I’ve posted a couple of times about our now 10-month ordeal with the City pertaining to our attempt to use our harvested rainwater in our washing machine.  I finally (and I emphasize “finally”) got a helpful response back from the City.  Attached is the City’s Position Statement  pertaining to rainwater usage as it applies to my question.  It came from Mark Daniel, the acting Chief Plumbing Inspector. 

My follow-up question to Mr. Daniel was whether the RPZ valve shown above (which we had installed months ago and then had uninstalled at the City’s insistence) qualifies under the new Position Statement.  I’ll let you know what his response is when I get it.

Traveling Light

Plane ImageSomething near and dear to my heart:  traveling in an eco-friendly manner.  I travel a lot for work, and I often worry about the environmental effects of all of those airline miles.  Here is a set of simple tricks to travel a little more eco-friendly.  All of the suggestions are very doable.

Eco-Friendly New Years Resolutions

Champagne GlassesI found a great link to 15 eco-friendly New Years Resolutions.  See it here.

I might add a 16th after watching Julia Louis-Dreyfus on talk about the graduation address she gave at Northwestern University a while back.  She gave three pieces of advice, the last being, “don’t be an ass.”  Not exactly eco-friendly, but still very good advice.

LEED for Homes Platinum!

LEED PlatinumWe spent the last two years immersed in this project.  It’s been full of hard work, education, frustration, and fascination.  However, I’m happy to announce that yesterday afternoon we were notified that our home has been awarded the LEED for Homes Platinum Certification!

I want to thank the following folks:

  • Robert Diago – my partner and co-homeowner
  • Kelly Mitchell – our Architect
  • Garry Walling – our Designer
  • Sean Garman – our Green Consultant (and primary cheerleader)
  • Jim Martinez – our Landscape Professional
  • Andrea Fair – our primary contact at our Home Provider, GWS
  • Ross Boorhem – our Contractor

And I’d like to thank our friends and co-workers who tolerated hours of me telling them about SEER ratings, HERS ratings, VOCs, U-factors, flow rates, permiability……….

Side Note: Knife Block and Teak Stool/Mat

Knife BlockDuring the Home Tour we received a couple of questions about the knife block in kitchen and the teak stool and shower mat in the master bath.  I couldn’t remember the catalogue I found them in at the time, but did dig up the information.  They both came from a company called Viva Terra.  Enjoy!

Our Architect’s New Website Design

KellySeanPhotoOur architect, Kelly Mitchell, and her husband, Sean Garman, have a couple of very exciting things going on these days (that’s the happy couple in the photo).  A couple of months ago Sean received his Architect credentials to match Kelly’s, and then a couple of weeks ago Kelly received her LEED Accredited Professional credentials to match Sean’s. 

The icing on the cake was having Kelly’s design (our home) chosen for the 2009 Dallas AIA Tour of Homes.  And almost simultaneously with the Tour of Homes Kelly and Sean released a newly designed website that showcases their work.  Visit it here.

Congratulations Kelly and Sean!