Luxe Magazine – Dallas

We are featured in the newest edition of Luxe interiors + design magazine (Dallas/Fort Worth edition)!  The article highlights the home’s design as well as its Green features!  We’re on page 168 through 177.

Check us out!

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.

And keeping with the rainwater harvesting theme…

LA is considering setting mandatory regulations requiring all new houses (and other projects) to harvest rainwater.  Check out the treehugger.com article here.

Rainwater In My Washing Machine – FINALLY!

I am happy to report that we finally received approval to hook up (again) our washing machine to our rainwater harvesting system.  It’s been a 10 month ordeal of emailing and waiting and emailing and starting over and waiting (you get the picture). 

In my previous post I linked to the new Dallas rainwater harvesting guidelines.  Now I received the following from Mark Daniels, the acting Chief Plumbing Inspector, when I asked if an RPZ valve fulfilled the intent of the guidelines:

We find the “RPZ valve” acceptable for this individual case and consider, with your agreement and acceptance, that your required plumbing inspections are complete and this permit is in final status. There are no other actions required on your part.

There you have it!

PS:  mind you that I’ve had a plumbing inspection/permit since last April, so I really wasn’t waiting on a permit of any sort – just trying to do the right thing and pave the way for others who want to use rainwater in Dallas.

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.

Side Note: Kelly Mitchell Interview

Robert interviewed our architect, Kelly Mitchell, for Modern Dallas.  The interview provides some insight into how Kelly approaches architecture, clients, and sandwiches.

To see Kelly’s really great work, click here for her website.

Side Note: North Texas USGBC Chapter

Our house has become the first LEED for Homes project featured on the website of the North Texas USGBC!  Check it out here.  The story’s a nice summary, and the photos look great.  It’s nicely done.

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.