Utility Rebates for HVAC Audits & Commissioning

“In an effort to make these studies more accessible to the average building owner, local utility rebate programs can incentivize energy optimization in commercial buildings, both old and new. In many ways, utility rebate programs can help fund HVAC audits and commissioning. The two types of utility incentives offered for commercial buildings include service incentives

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Fireclay: Local Sustainable Tile Company

“If that sounds pretty awesome, you should check out the new Color-It design tool from Fireclay, a sustainable tile company based in San Jose. First, pick out your pattern (up for grabs are the traditional Mexican and Moroccan designs of Fireclay’s Cuerda Seca catalog), then select your palette. You can click and drag your colors into

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Sears Data Center Conversion of Empty Buildings

“Now, in a Hail Mary pass, Sears is seeking to leverage one of its current liabilities–high-priced real estate, coast to coast–into a money-maker by converting old Sears and Kmart properties into data storage centers. The department store chain owns 25 million square feet of space across 3,200 properties, with a store located within 10 miles

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Selecting Green Furniture

“Organizations today “are much more cognizant of sustainability and green design,” Lee says, and her firm works that way routinely, even if the client is not seeking LEED certification. “The next generation of workers have been groomed and taught since grade school about environmental responsibility. They’re going to demand a workplace that’s healthy and an...

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Drywall Basics

“Drywall is a master of disguise. The walls in this picture look like they could be plaster. One of the visual giveaways that you’re actually looking at drywall is when you see the sharp corners created by standard corner bead. Corner bead is a metal or plastic piece that covers the outside corners of drywall

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Stimulating Kids’ Creativity Thru Playing

“SmartPlayhouse playhouses allow for installation on both natural ground and on pavement. Each product is sent pre-assembled as a kit, and setting your child’s playhouse up is a snap as there’s no glass, and windows and doors are set in at the factory. You’ll get installation instructions with your kit or can see the assembly process in action via...

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Solar Energy Simplified

“A solar power system consists of solar panels, inverters, batteries, and a charge controller.  Solar panels are connected assemblies of several photovoltaic cells.  Each individual cell is coated with a positive and negative layer to create an electric field.  As photons from the sun, or sunlight energy particles, enter a cell, they allow the electrons in each cell

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Painting

“”Make sure you apply an ample amount of the coating,” he says. “What we’ve seen over the years is that someone puts a lot of paint on the roller but then they keep rolling, and they’re really trying to stretch that paint too far. It’s good to keep a real good, wet edge. By doing

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Freecycle: Reuse

Often when we’re moving offices, there’s a huge amount of unwanted items left behind.  I always encourage my clients not to throw in the trash.  There are numerous opportunities for reusing: Craigslist, Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, schools, non-profits, your social network.  Ever heard of Freecycle? “The American way of life seems to revolve around

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Looking for Efficiency in Single-Wall Kitchens

Oftentimes in an office situation, single-wall kitchen is your only option.  “Less popular, but no less functional, are single-wall kitchens, where the three elements of the semisacred work triangle — refrigerator, sink, stove — are aligned on one wall. The efficiency of single-wall kitchens happens through the spacing and location of these three elements, the

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San Jose & San Francisco’s Traffic Congestion

“Traffic congestion increased 25 percent in the San Jose area from April 2012 to April of this year, and 22 percent in the San Francisco region over the same period, according to a new study by the Kirkland, Wash.-based company INRIX. The numbers are staggering. San Jose’s jump in congestion is the sixth biggest change

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Google’s LEED Platinum Aim

“Cars will take a back seat. Google will only provide 2 parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of office — one-third less than the traditional three spaces per 1,000 square feet. That’s the result of an aggressive car-reduction program. The campus will be entirely walkable, pedestrian-friendly and dedicated to bicyclists. Google will use radiant

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