4 Essential Tips for Building an Eco-Friendly Deck

Building an eco-friendly deck requires carefully sourcing materials, strategically creating designs, and researching quality maintenance practices. If you’re interested in building a beautiful and sustainable deck for your home, follow these 4 essential tips for success.

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The Importance of Going Green

Gradually, the importance of living an eco-friendly lifestyle is gaining in popularity. People strive daily to discover sustainable changes they can implement in their lives to truly make a difference for the planet.

Reducing your carbon footprint can be accomplished in a variety of ways from simple changes, like choosing reusable over plastic, to major alterations, such as experimenting with alternative energy sources.

Analyze your life to uncover eco-friendly habits you can start forming today.

Building a deck is not exempt from green practices. By carefully planning and strategizing, you can build a sustainable deck that won’t harm the environment.

Ensure every aspect of your life aligns with your eco-friendly goals by discovering how to create an environmentally-friendly deck for your home.

1. Choose the Proper Materials

Constructing an eco-friendly deck involves selecting the proper materials for the job. Take time to search and analyze numerous potential materials to utilize for your deck project.

Potential sustainable and quality building materials to choose include:

When talking about sustainability, one needs to consider maximum durability and longevity. With long-lasting metal stair railings, you get good value for money and avoid adding more waste to the environment. Metal railings are a long-term investment. This means that, unlike wooden rails, it will take years and decades for them to rot and lose their function. This doesn’t only save you on costs but also helps protect the environment. When hiring professionals, notice their equipment and tools. For selecting industrial ladders for your decking project, find here the best recommendations.

Each material option provides different advantages and disadvantages for the earth and your deck. Research each type of building material to discover the decking that’ll suit your green project. Contemplate important information related to locality, production, maintenance, longevity, and recycling.

Create a pro and con list to determine the perfect decking material that aligns with your eco-friendly conscious.

Choosing the proper building materials for your sustainable project is the first step to ensuring you build an ecological deck.

2. Select a Conscious Design

Planning your dream deck should be completed with an environmentally-sound focus. Guarantee your deck design minimally impacts your carbon footprint by carefully considering important aspects.

How will you build your deck? Avoid excessive digging by marking the location of your support beams and only digging in the specific spots.

How will you position your deck? Evaluate your home and deck building space. Choose a location, if possible, that’s protected from the sun and utilizes the shade of trees. Arranging your deck with sufficient shade will help you avoid building additional structures in the future.

How will you decorate your deck? Select eco-friendly decorations to support your sustainable deck. Purchase recycled deck furniture, install solar lighting, and incorporate plants.

Create an environmentally-conscious design to guarantee you build a beautiful deck.

3. Perform Deck Maintenance Carefully

Preserve your sustainable deck by performing regular maintenance. Avoid harsh chemicals and select eco-friendly cleaners that’ll keep your deck beautiful and help save the planet.

Research a variety of methods for cleaning your deck. Search for natural cleaners, homemade solutions, and chemical-free products.

Natural cleaners for decks can be located online by performing a simple search. Research reviews for different cleaners to discover the best option.

Household solutions, such as white vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide, can be combined with water to create a green cleaner for your deck.

Chemical-free products that serve as deck cleaners include oxygen bleach. Oxygen bleach will clean your deck without damaging or bleaching the wood.

Contemplate your deck maintenance options to ensure you don’t undermine the integrity of your eco-friendly deck by choosing improper cleaners. A lot of these improper cleaners are products that many people have sitting around in their homes… these items are what you would call household hazardous wastes.

4. Seek Assistance

Purchasing materials and designing a deck is a difficult process, especially if you’re inexperienced. Consider hiring a professional if you need assistance building a quality, eco-friendly deck.

Research different decking companies in your area. Ask friends and family for business recommendations. During your search, specifically review each company’s skills, style, and eco-friendly focus.

Ask questions about building materials, designs, and maintenance possibilities. Guarantee they’re aware of your desire to create a sustainable deck.

Select a decking company capable of completing your green project and talented at building quality Kansas City decks.

If you’re interested in building an eco-friendly deck, follow these 4 essential tips to ensure you create a beautiful deck while reducing your carbon footprint.

Weather-Resistant Building Materials for 2022

Homeowners are always wary of extreme weather conditions such as flooding, severe rain, excess heat, and extreme coastal surges. Extreme weather can either damage the exteriors of a home or your garage flooring Minneapolis or make the indoor temperatures. That leads to expensive repairs or high costs and energy saving is at the forefront of every homeowner’s mind. To protect a home from extreme weather, the best thing to do is build using water-resistant materials and to elevate your house in a way that surging floods don’t sweep your house away.

If you have resolved to build a new home in 2022, here are some of the most weather-tolerant materials to consider:

1. Concrete

Concrete is one of the strongest building materials out there, particularly when it comes to withstanding pressure and stress. This material can be pre-casted to become water-resistant, it doesn’t expand or contract in extreme weather, and when reinforced with rebar and pre-stressed, it can be extremely durable.

What’s more, concrete is readily available all over the world at very affordable prices. You can use it to build your basement walls or a slab foundation for your home or rental property by hiring services of specialized companies.

2. Wood

Wood is one of the oldest building materials. I mean, it was used to build shelters in the mid-stone age. You can use wood as a primary siding material or reinforce it with concrete or metal to make it stronger and more durable. Wood is also a bad conductor of heat, making it an ideal material to use in areas that experience extremely hot or extremely cold seasons.

However, wood has one key disadvantage: It can decay when exposed to excess water for a prolonged period. It can withstand moderate moisture for a decade or two especially when there is an occasional sun to dry it up, but it will eventually decay. The positive thing is that wood can be painted and treated to prevent it against moisture damages.

3. Vinyl

Vinyl is a great siding installation due to its ability to shed rainwater away. It is not 100% water-resistant, but it has superior water resistance than wood. In most cases, vinyl is installed in a standard interlocking horizontal wall, so it does not retain much dampness or snow after a rainy season. Modern vinyl panels are made with “weep holes” that aid in channeling away excess water in order to keep the siding wall dry at all times, consequently increasing its durability.

You can also reinforce it with an insulation board so as to keep away any stubborn moisture that refuses to dry away through the weep holes. A house wrap is also a great secondary reinforcement- it ensures that moisture doesn’t penetrate the sidings, consequently keeping your interiors warmer than the exteriors.

4. Metal roofing

For the homeowners who live in hailstone-prone areas, metallic hail-resistant roofing shingles are your best bet. Such roofing will withstand storm damage and remain intact even when high winds blow through your region. If you want a hail-resistant roofing option that is also stylish and contemporary, you can try the stone-coated metal roofing tiles.

5. Fire-resistant materials

There are areas that are more prone to fire outbreaks than storm damages. California, for example, experience lots of wildfires during summer months than they experience storms during winter. If you live in such an area, then you need to use building materials that make your home as fire-resistant as possible. Sometimes it is hard to avoid these acts of nature, but your contractor can help you mitigate their effects.

You can, for example, install fire-rated roofing that resists ignition even when exposed to extremely high temperatures. There are also windows that don’t shatter in heat. Even if these materials won’t be salvaged after the fire, they will at least prevent your interiors from the fire. You will only need to do minor rehabilitations to your home’s exteriors once the fire subsides.

6. Stone

Most ancient buildings world over are made of stone. This material is durable and can withstand almost every extreme weather condition you can think of. It is also classy and readily available.

Conclusion

There are many weather-resistant materials to check out in 2022. More new materials will be invented going forward, and the existing ones will continue being reinforced in order to increase their durability and strength. The six materials discussed above will get the job done. If you need more, make sure you research widely and talk to as many homeowners in your area before settling for a material.

Things You Need to Know About Construction Project Manager?

A construction project manager basically coordinates material resources and employee schedules throughout an entire project. This is normally accomplished by using different techniques and determining the scope of the project, the cost of the project, the time that is required from start to finish, and the quality of the completed work. Anyone who works in this field knows that a construction project manager’s day is never the same, as the work is continuously changing as the project progresses.

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Construction project managers can work on residential, commercial, and even industrial buildings, or they can work on bridges, roads, and schools. They will hire all the contractors and oversee the work of the architects, engineers, and all the vendors. Depending on the size of the project, a single construction project manager may be in charge, or there may be multiple ones in charge of their own specific sections.

While some construction project managers do not have a degree, it is becoming more common for a Bachelor’s Degree to be required for this position. The degree should be in a construction related field like construction management, civil engineering, or building science, but that may not be necessary if a person has quite a bit of hands-on experience in the field. That same hands-on experience is still necessary though, even with a construction related degree, and it can be earned by working as an intern, craftworker, and even a supervisor at a construction site.

Successful construction project managers will continue with their schooling to earn their Master’s Degree, as well as earning their certification for either Associate Constructor, Certified Professional Constructor, or Certified Construction Manager.

One of the first things that a construction project manager will do when they are hired for a job is to create a schedule for the entire project. This schedule will list everything that needs to be done in chronological order, while including the time needed for each item and detailed masonry estimates. They may need to make a few changes before the schedule is complete, due to ensuring that everything is finished at the agreed upon time.

Once a construction project manager has the schedule figured out, they will need to determine how many workers they will need and when each one will be needed. This can be tricky, as one small mistake can throw the entire schedule off. Each part of the project will need different workers, as many construction workers specialize in one thing or another. That means that project managers will be hiring painters, plumbers, electricians, drywallers, flooring installers, waste management professionals and numerous other workers to keep each part of the project moving along on time.

As soon as the project begins, a construction project manager must inspect and review everything that is being completed, so that it all meets current building and safety codes and regulations. In order for that to happen, they must explain all the plans and contract terms to everyone who is working on the project. This can be accomplished all at once or spread out over multiple meetings as the project progresses.

Changes are always part of the construction world, whether the client changes their mind on something in the original design or part of that design will not work the way that it was thought. Those changes always need to be documented somewhere and construction project managers need to be the ones that make sure that they are. Changes can be written as revisions or a change order and then approved by all parties.

There is always a need for permits and licensing when constructing a new building and if any are not obtained when they need to be, the construction may not start on time or the work that was completed may need to be torn down. Most construction project managers are well-versed in the necessary permits and licenses that are needed, but if there are ever any questions, they would need to contact the local town or city board for the proper answers.

While a good part of a project manager’s day will be spent supervising all the workers, they will also need to complete paperwork and track all the progress and costs. This is necessary so that they can stay on budget and on time, but it is also something that the clients like to keep an eye on as well. This is also an excellent way to see how delays have affected the schedule or how future delays could jeopardize the entire project.

The quality of a construction project should always be high and project managers are in charge of ensuring that quality control programs are in place. This can be as simple as doing in-house inspections routinely. Those inspections can also show if there is any damage or ways that an accident can happen and how those can be prevented.

A construction project manager has quite a bit to do each day, but thankfully, due to the use of computers and construction estimation software, they can easily do some of their work wherever they are. They will also have everything that they need at any time, since they can easily access that information from their smartphone or laptop.

Every project manager needs to be organized and a quick thinker, but those who choose this profession thrive in the hustle and bustle of their everchanging workload.

How to Choose Tile for Your Living Room?

What role does your living room play for you? It is usually the heart of the whole house. It is the place where you socialize when you have visitors or the place where you relax with your loved ones at night. Therefore, it is natural that there are a lot of things to consider when choosing tiles for your living room. Follow this guide to find the right tile that suits your lifestyle.

1. Ensure a Suitable Atmosphere

Getting a space that has a homely feel is an essential factor to consider when choosing tiles for the living room. After all, this is the room where your loved ones and guests spend the most time. So how do you choose the tiles for your living room?

tile-living-room

To make it a comfortable space for everyone, choosing the right colors is essential. It is well documented that the colors of an environment can affect the human subconscious. Therefore, the color scheme in your living room should favor soft colors and avoid extremes. Some of the favorite colors used in living rooms are brown, beige, gray, and amber colors.

Consistency in how you choose the tiles for your living room between the flooring and the furniture design is also crucial in getting the perfect space.

2. Choose Wood Look Tile, if You Like the Aesthetics of Hardwood

Hardwood floors look excellent in the living room, but they scratch easily and can be challenging to maintain. If you like aesthetics of hardwood but want the hassle, go for ceramic wood look tile. It is really durable and resistant to both moisture and scratches, which means your floors will look great for a long time.

You can buy ceramic lumber that mimics the look of almost any type of tree. Keep in mind that real wood floors are softer and warmer than ceramic wood, which can be hard and cold. However, ceramic wood look floors are easier to clean than real hardwood floors. This type of flooring can be expensive to install, however. Car title loans can be the perfect way to cover those costs, and have your living room looking stunning!

engineered-wood-flooring

3. Pick Ceramic or Porcelain Tile for a Solid and Dense Flooring

Ceramic and porcelain look-alike, but porcelain is slightly denser and slightly less porous than ceramic. If you have children and pets, this can be a good option as it can handle a bit more action (and is less likely to get stained).

Porcelain generally costs a bit more than ceramic, but it usually lasts a bit longer. Porcelain tiles come in many different designs and colors, so you’ll have plenty of options!

4. Install Mosaic Tile for a Patterned and Textured Flooring

Mosaic tile may look strange for a living room, but it can really add a lot of color, texture, and artistry to your space. It works well if you want the rest of the room to be simple, and at the same time, you want an explosion of color or design in the room.

Mosaic tile is ideal if you want to create a design yourself, it lasts a long time and is easy to clean.

5. Consider Durability and Maintenance

When choosing tiles for your living room, durability is an essential factor to consider. Not only does your living room floor get a lot of human traffic, but it’s also exposed to falling and spills objects that can cause damage.

For durability, porcelain tile is always the top priority. Porcelain tile is harder than old-style ceramic tile and most natural stone tiles. Regardless of the finish, the hard body ensures that they will retain their original appearance for a long time.

Most porcelain tiles are stain-resistant, which means they are virtually maintenance-free. This is because most porcelain tiles are pre-glazed or sealed, so surface porosity is kept to a minimum.

6. Choose Flooring that Suits Your Daily Lifestyle

Don’t buy fancy flooring for entertainment purposes. If your floors are regularly subjected to heavy traffic, you shouldn’t add glazed or slippery tiles to your rooms, particularly when you have children or pets in the house.

Having a tile floor makes you vulnerable to slips and minor accidents. Therefore, consider the daily needs of your family members when choosing a tile for your living room.

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Parquet wood floors are back in vogue

7. Make a Small Room Looks Bigger by Choosing Lighter Colored Tiles

Ceramic and porcelain are decent options for small living rooms, as are all other tiles in white, beige, or cream. Light colors give the room a more open look.

Ultimately, you need your tiles to be a color that you don’t mind looking at every day. Take home samples of different colors and styles to see what works best for your living room before making a final decision.

8. Choose Large Tiles to Make Your Living Room Appear Spacious

The larger the tiles, the bigger your room will appear. Look for tiles that are 13 x13 inches (33 x33 cm) or larger. There will be fewer grout lines in your living room, simplifying the space.

That also means you have to clean fewer grout lines. Larger tile looks more modern than smaller ones. However, remember that small tiles are more slip-resistant than large tiles.

9. Select a Matching Grout to Create a More Cohesive Room

If you don’t want your floor to get a lot of attention, choose a grout that matches the tile of your choice. Similar colors will make the tiles appear to flow together, making the living room perfect.

An off-white or gray grout will bond light tiles and draw less attention to the floor. Select a grout that matches the color of the tiles for the perfect look.

10. Take Pictures of Your Furniture and Paints to See How Things Blend Together.

Take some photos of your living room before going to the store. Think about the decorations, doors, curtains, furniture, and artwork that you have in the living room. It will always be tough to say precisely how things will look together. Still, having the photos should help you narrow down your options.

If you have fabric or paint samples from when you painted or bought new furniture, take those with you too. Be sure to bring photos of the room with you when you buy tiles.

3 Ways Real Estate Firms Can Adopt Environmentally Sustainable Practices

Real estate accounts for 40% of the world’s energy consumption and 1/3 of all carbon emissions. With that kind of eco-footprint, real estate firms are at the frontlines of climate change risks created by greenhouse gas, making the switch to sustainability necessary.

Realtors, brokers, and building owners need to do their part to ensure they don’t intentionally or unintentionally encourage the excessive use of energy, waste, and inefficient practices. Here are 3 ways real estate firms can adopt a more sustainable real estate portfolio.

ways real estate firms can adopt a more sustainable real estate portfolio

1. Establish a Remote Work and Technology Policies

The first step on your eco-journey should include a remote work/technology policy. These policies will encourage building occupants or remote brokers and realtors to adopt greener technologies or reduce their energy and water consumption when they’re at home.

For example, you can make the real estate transaction process greener by creating a paperless pipeline. You’ll save on your energy consumption by reducing transportation costs. If you have to use paper, utilize recycled materials and adopt enhanced recyclability for all employees.

To improve your remote work/technology policy, include the following processes:

  • Adopt low-energy apparatuses at home (for example, LED lighting or smart lighting).
  • Minimize water and energy use at home/work (for example, putting your computer in sleep mode when it isn’t in use and using a filter instead of an in-office water jug).
  • Lessen the hazardous material intensity of property and business spaces.
  • Reduce the use of paper where possible. Use phone apps or software instead.
  • Extend the durability and functionality of your business property.

Your remote work or technology policy can also include cutting your direct mail marketing campaigns and switching to email and digital marketing full-time to reduce wastes.

2. Green Your Business Through Your Clients

Making your business green is very important, but there are other ways to create sustainability in your company that involve your clients directly. Eco-friendly homes are a hot commodity with Millenials and Gen Z, so if you showcase your concern for the environment, you’ll attract clients.

When selling to a potential buyer, explain green initiatives that a homeowner can cash in on if they buy a fully-stocked, eco-friendly home. For example, homebuyers can take advantage of tax credits and improved energy efficiency when purchasing Energy Star appliances.

Keep in mind that eco-conscious home buyers may not know enough to seek homes that feature green amenities, like water-conserving fixtures, sustainable flooring, and energy-efficient windows. Realtors who explain these features fluently will have an easier time getting a sale.

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Don’t forget about the sellers! Home sellers that want to speak to a green crowd should be coached on how to do so, as green amenities are often a big selling point to buyers.

3. Create Sustainability Through Business Initiatives

A green portfolio will easily attract the eco-conscious, but you have to walk the walk. If you’re all talk, clients will see right through you, so brokers and their agents have to educate themselves on green practices. Here are some key ways companies are reducing their carbon footprint.

Work With Sustainable Vendors

Prospective clients don’t just look at the firm’s eco-footprint; they’ll also research vendors. Everything from HVAC parts to landscaping services will be critiqued with a fine-toothed comb, so it’s essential that you choose service providers and suppliers that practice sustainability.

On your website, display all the vendors you work with. That way, clients are reassured that both you and your vendors are committed to creating a more environmentally friendly world.

Pursue Green Certifications

Building operations and construction, directly and indirectly impact the environment, meaning real estate firms should achieve a green building certification to be sustainable.

Many property developers have adopted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards (LEED) of the US Green Building Council to become more eco-friendly. Other options include WELL Building Institute and the National Association of Homebuilders.

Such standards have led to a growing inventory of efficient and sustainable buildings.

Set Emission Targets

Several companies are adopting the science-based target approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions which establishes targets that keep the global temperature increase below 2°C.

Keeping carbon emissions down as low as possible also has lasting effects on the industry as a whole. New innovative practices and technologies will emerge to help clients and firms adopt strategies that further reduce their carbon footprints, leading to a more eco-friendly nation.

5 Pieces of Equipment That Every Construction Site Needs

If you’re the manager of a successful construction company, you will know all too well how important it is to invest in the right tools and equipment.

The success of your business relies heavily on the effectiveness of your construction tools. Without them, it would extremely difficult for your employees to complete their jobs efficiently.

New technologies are being developed all the time and it’s often tempting to buy the latest, most advanced versions of every tool that you use within your business.

You could spend most of your yearly budget purchasing every updated tool for your construction site but this isn’t necessary if you want to succeed. In fact, doing so could have the opposite effect and may slow your growth significantly.

Instead, investing in a select few pieces of equipment will benefit you more. Allocate a portion of your total budget to get high-quality items that will enhance productivity on your construction site.

Using the best equipment also makes your employees’ tasks much easier to complete and provides you with the opportunity to expand your business operations in the future.

So, if the best option is to spend money on just a few essentials, how do you know which pieces of equipment are crucial for your business?

To help you make a firm decision, here are five pieces of equipment that every construction site should invest in.

1. Welders

There is a range of different welders that you can use on your construction site. The specific types that you choose will depend on your unique needs as a business.

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For example, you may wish to invest in a titanium 140 MIG welder. This is an affordable, beginner-friendly option that uses a bare wire and a second flux core. This is an ideal option for welding two thin metal wires together.

Another type of welder to consider is the more versatile TIG welder. This is a more complex option that requires two hands to safely use. You can use a TIG welder to combine a range of metals, including steel, aluminum, copper, and nickel.

Other types of welding that you can use on your construction site include:

  • Stick welding
  • Lazer welding
  • Plasma arc welding

You don’t need to invest in every type of welding equipment. It’s worth doing some deeper research into each option if you’re unsure which type will benefit your business the most.

2. Diggers

Every building or construction needs a foundation to hold it in place and diggers are essential for this task.

Your diggers are needed to dig through stone and rubble, and excavate soil surfaces. They’re sturdy and strong, and can be used on a variety of terrains.

Alongside diggers, you may need additional excavation equipment, loads, and bulldozers to complete your projects.

3. Skips

Construction work accumulated a lot of waste. Keeping a few large skips on your site is necessary to ensure proper disposal of this waste. It also keeps your site clean and tidy.

The best skips for the job are metal options that are welded tightly to prevent leakages or spills.

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You might also benefit from getting some dump trucks, which enable the easy transportation of your waste away from your construction site.

4. Mandatory Signs

Signage is necessary on any construction site to ensure the safety of every employee. Often, they are used to indicate potential hazards and warn employees of moving pieces of equipment or heavy loads.

Safety signs can also be used to indicate the different areas of your construction site and inform people of what jobs need to be carried out in these areas.

Some common construction site signs include:

  • Warning signs
  • High visibility or safety helmet signs
  • Site safety hazards or prohibition
  • Fire points and first aid kits

You can also get custom signs made for your site if there are extra details you want to for your employees.

5. Personal Protective Equipment

It’s vital that you supply personal protective (PPE) equipment to all of your employees on the construction site.

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PPE protects your employees from the potential dangers of the construction site and reduces the risk of injury. The most common PPE includes goggles, helmets, ear muffs, and gloves.

High visibility jackets are also a key part of your employees’ PPE. They are made from reflective materials that make every employee visible from a far. They are an affordable, yet effective way to reduce the risk of accidents on your construction site.

The Concept of Passive House: An Interview with Toyin-Ann Yerifor

Green building concepts have come a long way. As architects, designers, and builders gain access to better tools that help push the limits of construction energy efficiency; we see longer strides made towards more mainstream adoption of green building standards. One such standard that is coming of age is passive houses. The concept of passive houses was first mooted in the early eighties when the idea of green homes was still in its infancy. Today, the concept is well entrenched with over 25,000 houses and buildings across the world qualifying as passive houses.

We recently caught up with Toyin-Ann Yerifor, an architectural consultant focused on exploring new and innovative ways to design with reduced impact on the environment to explain what passive houses are and their benefits. She holds an MSc in Architecture (AEES) from the University of East London, an MBA from the University of Northampton and an MSc in Computer Science and Engineering from the Université Grenoble Alpes.

What is a Passive House?

First, what is a passive house? Toyin-Ann explains: A passive house is any building that adheres to rigorous energy efficiency standards. The term passive comes from the fact that the building’s energy efficiency comes from its passive structures, which include the roof, walls, windows, doors, and floor. By radically improving the building’s insulation and energy conservation features, it is possible to reduce its heating requirements by up to ninety percent. As such, passive housing as a standard is focused on helping reduce the energy requirements of buildings through insulation, and by extension, their overall energy footprint.

When you reduce a building’s energy footprint, says Toyin-Ann, several benefits accrue, including environmental, health, and cost efficiency benefits.

Environmental Benefits of Passive Houses

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “energy efficiency is the first fuel of a sustainable global energy system. It can mitigate climate change, improve energy security, and grow economies while delivering environmental and social benefits.” Passive houses deliver on this mandate superbly, says Toyin-Ann Yerifor.

One of the biggest challenges traditional buildings face is energy loss. When a building easily loses energy in the form of heat, it takes burning more fuel to heat the building. When this happens, overall energy consumption goes up, which is bad for the environment because a major portion of heat generation comes from burning fossil fuels. When buildings are radically energy efficient, on the other hand, less energy is required, and so fewer fossil fuels need to be burned.

While this is the macro view of the environmental benefits of passive houses, are there any micro benefits of investing in this technology? Here are two, says Toyin-Ann Yerifor. First, think of the air quality that comes with less energy consumption. In homes that rely on furnaces, doing away with the furnace improves the air quality in and around the home significantly.

Second, sound pollution is eliminated if you no longer need to use a furnace, HVAC units around the home, or any other heat generation and management devices. Essentially, says Toyin-Ann Yerifor, passive houses reduce the need to burden the environment. Through radical energy efficiency and self-sufficiency, passive house buildings become a part of the environment and not just an addition to it.

Health and Comfort Benefits

When most people hear about passive houses, they imagine living in a sealed paper bag. That thought can be quite disheartening because issues of quality of air, air adequacy, and comfort come to mind. Although the idea behind passive houses is energy efficiency through a tightly sealed envelope (building), this does not mean health and comfort are compromised. Take air quality, for instance. Most people consider opening a window the best way to guarantee air quality in a room. Now, passive houses rely on closed windows to ensure no heat escapes, which presents a dilemma. Passive houses address this dilemma well, says Toyin-Ann Yerifor.

Although you can open a window in a passive house, even if you do not, the heat recovery ventilation system ensures there is enough quality air circulating the house. Regarding comfort, passive houses maintain a comfortable temperature regulated by the passive heat sources in the house like appliances, body heat, and lighting. Also, they tend not to have cold spots or hot spots, which is often the case with traditionally heated homes. Through rigorous design standards afforded by tools such as the Passive House Planning Package, homes built on the passive house standard adhere to comfort standards as rigorous as the energy efficiency standards stipulated.

Cost Efficiency Benefits

Cost efficiency is at the heart of the passive house concept. When a building is exceptionally well insulated, it can use as little as 10 percent of its regular heating energy requirements. This, of course, also significantly reduces the costs associated with heating the building. So, how does the passive house concept achieve such a radical reduction in energy needs? The answer is insulation, says Toyin-Ann Yerifor. Passive houses rely on extensive insulation to gain this level of energy efficiency. Why is insulation so effective?

Traditional buildings lose a lot of heat through the roof, walls, floor, doors, and, most of all, windows. With a passive house, each of these structures is carefully designed and built to ensure close to zero loss of heat. When you look at the thermal scan of a passive house next to a traditional house, you’ll notice the passive house is almost entirely blue, meaning there’s close to no energy loss. The other building is close to all red, meaning it is losing a lot of energy. This level of energy conservation and efficiency is what leads to the massive energy savings that make passive houses so cost-efficient.

Passive houses are a concept that is yet to hit mainstream construction. However, this does not mean it is impractical to build passive houses. What it does point to is the need for better awareness of the concept. Toyin-Ann Yerifor recommends anyone interested in the concept to visit a passive house showcase home to experience its benefits firsthand. She says this is the only way to understand and internalize this breakthrough energy efficiency concept.

The Three Most Important Benefits You Didn’t Know about Precast Concrete for Your Project

For many construction and building projects, concrete is already a standard. But concrete panels made from pre-formed moulds, or precast concrete, have also become a more common sight across a good number of building projects, including entire buildings and structures, walls, and more. If you are involved in a building or construction project and are looking for the best material and component you could use, precast concrete may well be your best option.

Precast concrete comes with the best strength and durability, and it is also a flexible and versatile component you can utilise for many different purposes. But along with all this, it comes with a few other advantages you may not even know about.

So what are these advantages? Here are the three most important benefits you didn’t know about precast concrete for your project:

benefits of precast concrete

1. Immense capabilities for load-bearing

Precast concrete panelling is made of concrete with the highest possible strength, and this is combined with steel strands that are also pre-stressed. It is a standard for many precast concrete panels or walls to have a strength of around 7000 PSI. What this means is that it won’t be a problem for you to apply a load or weight in excess of a hundred thousand pounds to your precast concrete panels.

If you are planning to build a structure made of steel, for instance, you will have to set up perimeter columns and beams, and then you can place a ‘skin’ made of steel against the columns and beams. The steel columns and beams will need to support the enclosure panelling. But if you utilise a precast concrete system, you’ll no longer need to have the perimeter columns and beams, as you can tip the panels up and then just attach the steel elements onto the precast concrete panels.

This also means more savings because you don’t have to spend too much of your budget on buying steel. It’s the same if you construct a precast king post wall as well – it is designed to act as an effective retaining wall that can retain soil and water and protect a road or property most effectively.

2. High Wind Resistance

Furthermore, precast concrete is made to withstand the elements and has high wind resistance and can resist winds with speeds of up to 400 kilometres an hour, and the panels can handle storms and projectiles without damage.

3. Sound and fire ratings

You may already be aware that concrete has proven to be an effective fire barrier because it doesn’t conduct heat that easily. A precast concrete panel or wall can provide a fire rating of between two to four, and walls can remain intact when there is a chemical fire.

In fact, many warehouses make use of precast walls and panels so they can act as dividers, protecting goods and personnel from areas that are prone to fire. The greater the delay of the spread of fire, the higher the chance to save people and get them out without any incident.

Building and constructing a structure, wall, or other critical components can be a huge endeavour, and it entails a big investment as well. But if you want your project to go smoothly and benefit from one of the most effective components and materials, precast concrete is your best choice.

The Eco Revolution in Property Investment

Many of us are now making more eco-friendly and environmentally conscious decisions every day. Whether it’s taking our own carrier bags to the shops, having a reusable water bottle or recycling your tin cans – little changes are making a big impact. When it comes to property, the eco revolution has increasingly been making waves. From solar panels to energy efficient light bulbs, our properties are becoming better for the planet. These eco-friendly priorities are also affecting property investment, with an increasing number of tenants looking for eco-friendly properties.

Eco-friendly homes are becoming increasingly popular with a new environmentally conscious generation starting to look for rental properties. Young professionals who are living in the city are less likely to buy a home than ever before, so are looking for a rental property that meets their exacting requirements. With many of them choosing to make environmentally friendly choices, like going plastic free or cutting down on how much meat they eat, accordingly they are looking for eco-friendly homes too.

Environmental impact is increasingly on the agenda of consumers in every aspect of their lives. Many are also willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly purchases. Research has shown that UK consumers would pay an average 10% more if they were buying something they thought had a positive impact on society. Property investors would be wise to bear this in mind when looking for new property investments. In an increasingly competitive rental market, the ability to raise prices because of eco credentials is a lucrative option for investors.

Furthermore, 40% of consumers think that sustainability is important when they are making a purchase. The impact of this can be seen in the growing number of brands and businesses that are making their environmental commitments obvious to consumers. It is clear that savvy property investors can be both environmentally friendly and business smart when looking to purchase new properties.

In another study, 80% of tenants believed that their landlords should be considering the environment more, and suggested measures like double-glazing, insulation and eco-modifications. These simple measures can make a large impact on the appeal of a property to prospective tenants. Increasing energy prices are another concern for occupants.

In addition, 55% of renters asked said they would prefer a rental property with a smart meter if it was the same price. Energy efficient measures are both good for tenant’s monthly costs and for the environment so buy to let property investors can be at an advantage if their property offers these.

As of April 2018, buy to let landlords are legally required to have an EPC rating of E or above in their properties. This means that property investors are increasingly looking at new build properties which are already energy efficient and don’t require costly renovations. Tenants can also legally request that a landlord makes property improvements if the EPC rating is F or G.

Developers are increasingly taking sustainability and environmental impact into consideration when building new properties. Properties with energy efficient specifications, like many by RW Invest  are providing investors with lucrative returns and high tenant demand. Recent changes to regulation mean that new build properties need to be energy efficient and this is making a huge impact on the buy to let market.

The trend towards environmentally conscious properties looks set to continue, with eco-friendly qualities high on the agenda of both potential tenants and investors.

4 Things to Consider For Your Roofing Project

Getting a new roof can sometimes be a very exciting experience. Your pets and kids can watch what’s going on in awe as they look at the professionals ripping, hauling, tearing and nailing things. They might just even be tempted to once in a while get as close as to the action as they possibly can. However, that’s, of course, extremely dangerous and you should keep careful watch over your children when all this is going on. Anyway, there a lot of things you need to think about before taking on a roofing project. Below are a few of them.

1. Go top shelf

If you don’t want to have roofing as something you need to think about again for a very long while, as well as give your place a few additional selling points when it comes time to move then you might want to consider going for high-quality products.

Selecting the right choice of roofing for your building involves picking the right roofing and guttering products. Things like copper flashing should be what’s running through your mind. If you didn’t know, well, it happens to be the most durable metal material used for sealing those joints where a wall meets the roof or a roof meets another roof.

2. Communication is the Key

Lack of proper communication is what makes most projects fail. This is exactly why you need to always make sure that you’re communicating enough with the contractor you’ve chosen to go with.

If the contractor you’ve chosen is not the type that follows up with you during the project unless you specifically ask them to, then you might want to seriously think again and get one that truly cares about being responsible. Good quality contractors are the ones that keep you updated every step of the way.

3. Shop around

Some roofing professionals don’t really care much when it comes to customer satisfaction because replacing roofs is often like a once-in-a-decade job or so. This means that they rarely rely on repeat business to keep them going, much less profitable.

Furthermore, most homeowners normally pick their roofers based on price, and a lot of these roofing contractors employ low-wage laborers ensure the lowest possible bids are what they deliver. All in all, be very careful with whom you decide to go with. Get yourself some trusted references from family, friends and neighbors and also check different manufacturers’ websites for certified installer lists.

4. Play close attention to all the paperwork

Quick jobs like these, which usually takes around two to five days to complete, depending on the roof’s size and style, involve tremendous amounts of money as well as liability. Ensure you understand all the essential documents required for this process to be successfully accomplished. One of the said documents includes the building permit which many towns require if you want to undertake a roofing project.

Taking these steps before you undertake a roofing project can help you protect yourself and your finances.  According to the Crockett Law Group, if something goes wrong with your roofing job, you want to make sure you know who’s liable for your injuries or the other person’s injuries.

Getting an Orange County personal injury lawyer could be your next step if something goes wrong, so be sure you’re prepared for anything.

Bonus tip: Make sure you check with your insurance company before you undertake any projects to make sure you remain compliant with their terms. If you have any issues, we highly recommend visiting Consumer Insurance Report to get free insurance quotes.

Bottom Line

Your roof is arguably your house’s most important component. Without it can a house really be a house? After all, it’s what keeps the water out of the building during the rain. Even though no one really likes having to replace their roof, the aesthetic and critical function it serves is undeniable and can help reduce the pain you feel when having to spend all that money.