Texas’ largest green roof – 251 Medical Center Blvd


Developer Jeff Mickler gives us a personal tour of 251 Medical Center Blvd, a 48000 SF medical office building that is pursuing LEED Platinum. This building features the largest green rooftop in Texas! … LEED “ENERGY STAR” “green building” sustainability sustainable “green roof” “energy efficient”

Lennox Industries Announces New Line of Healthy Climate Whole House Humidifers

Lennox Industries recently announced the introduction of a NEW, redesigned line of Healthy Climate Whole-Home Humidifiers. The new Healthy Climate Whole-Home Humidifiers work with a central comfort system to provide homeowners with a more comfortable, healthier indoor environment. With three capacities, automatic or manual control options and improved design and durability, you can trust Healthy Climate humidifiers to provide the right whole-home solution.

Designed to easily integrate with existing comfort systems, the new Healthy Climate humidifiers are easier to install. A fixed, side-mounted solenoid valve no longer needs to be changed depending on install side — simply swap the tray, plug and drain locations. Fewer parts on the distribution tray also speeds up installation. A plastic feed tube allows for laminar flow and reduces water noise. Bases and front covers are made with a strong thermoplastic material. And bypass model front covers now include a molded-in top/bottom snap-fit. All this, plus a fresh new look.

Features:

Leed


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED is a process developed by the United States Green Building Council, which certifies buildings to specific levels of being environmentally frien…

California Title 24 Services: 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Will Be in Effect as of August , 2009

The Energy Commission adopted the 2008 Standards on April 23, 2008, and the Building Standards Commission approved them for publication on September 11, 2008. The 2008 Residential Compliance Manual was adopted by the Commission on December 17, 2008, and the 2008 Non-residential Compliance Manual is scheduled for adoption in January 2009.

These new Standards will be in effect as of AUGUST 1, 2009. The requirement for when the 2008 standards must be followed is dependent on when the application for the building permit is submitted. If the application for the building permit is submitted on or after 8/1/09, the 2008 standards must be met.

The Energy Commission adopted the 2008 changes to the Building Energy Efficiency Standards for a number of compelling reasons:

1. To provide California with an adequate, reasonably-priced, and environmentally-sound supply of energy.

2. To respond to Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which mandates that California must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

3. To pursue California energy policy that energy efficiency is the resource of first choice for meeting California’s energy needs.

4. To act on the findings of California’s Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) that Standards are the most cost effective means to achieve energy efficiency, expects the Building Energy Efficiency Standards to continue to be upgraded over time to reduce electricity and peak demand, and recognizes the role of the Standards in reducing energy related to meeting California’s water needs and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

5. To meet the West Coast Governors’ Global Warming Initiative commitment to include aggressive energy efficiency measures into updates of state building codes.

6. To meet the Executive Order in the Green Building Initiative to improve the energy efficiency of nonresidential buildings through aggressive standards.

For more details about this new, please visit: http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/

About Author
Energy Compliance Services offers comprehensive Title 24 Energy Analysis and documentation. Fast,accurate and cost effective Title 24 services.

PEX Makes Radiant Heating Possible

Cross-linked polyethylene, better known as PEX, plays an important part in the radiant heating system. This system is the basic reason that many of the European households can enjoy warm room temperature even during freezing winter months. Radiant heating is a trend that is present in this continent since the 1950s. Right now at least 70 percent of the heating systems used in various residential and official places are based on radiant heating.

Most of the radiant heating systems are done through under floor heating. The success of this under floor heating depends on the quality of the pipes. It is here that PEX comes into play. Most of the pipes used for this purposes are made by PEX. This material is flexible and long lasting. It can also withstand a great deal of temperature.

Right now the US too has its kind of radiant heating system. However, this system is not as sophisticated as those seen in Europe. On the other hand Europe has to make its radiant heating system full proof because many of its countries fall in the arctic zone and that is why have a severe cold temperature. This system helps the residents keep a comfortable temperature in their home.

Choosing the best quality PEX pipes help in making the floor warmer for a long time. The pipes are then covered by concrete. In case you are using a copper pipe there are risks that the pipe will suffer corrosion. This is something that you will never have to face if you use PEX pipes.

In addition PEX is more cost efficient. It also helps the users to save energy. It is seen that by using this radiant heating system fuel consumption can be brought down by 15 to 20 percent. The idea of safety, and comfort that are related to this heating system has made it very popular. It is also believed that this is also quite natural and never adversely affects the health of the users.

Radiant heating will also keep your home free of air-contaminants, bacteria, dust, and cold spots. In a room that has radiant heating you will feel that the heat is equal to your body temperature thus making it very comfortable.

Without the use PEX this radiant heating system, especially the floor heating one would be impossible to achieve. So, if you have planned to install this heating system in your home then pay close attention to the quality of the PEX pipe that you are buying and also towards its fitting.

About Author
GTGlobe Industries is a manufacturer of PEX Tubing, manifolds, and fittings for potable water plumbing and radiant floor heating systems.

Tips to Reduce Your Heating and Cooling Costs

Here are a few tips that will help reduce the load on your heating and cooling systems so that they do not have to work so hard, resulting in further reductions of your heating and cooling costs.

INSULATING AND SEALING

In the summer, the attic is the first layer of defense between your homes living space and the sun. In the winter, the attic is the final layer between your heated air and the frigid air outdoors. The most economical thing you can do is to add additional layers of insulation to your attic or have more insulation blown in.

In the winter, if you have older windows, seal the windows with plastic, either from weatherization kits that are readily available or by simply cutting plastic sheets and securing them with duct tape. Also add weather stripping to doors and replace screens with storm windows or cover the screens with plastic.

ATTIC VENTILATION

During the summer, your attic crawl space can easily exceed 130 degrees. Proper venting, such as installing a ‘ridge vent’ can be helpful in allowing the heat at the attic’s highest level to more easily escape.

If you had chosen to add more insulation to your attic space, check to make sure none of your eaves are blocked and that your attic still has airflow from each eave to the ridge vent.

Another great ventilation aid is to install a solar powered exhaust vent that only turns on at high temperature and uses only the power of the sun to provide this extra ventilation. Since there is no wiring necessary, any basic carpenter or handyman can install this form of vent.

EXHAUST SYSTEMS

Your bathroom fans, stove top fans and clothes drier are all items that exhaust your heated or cooled air outside, requiring air to be drawn in from the outside, resulting in hot humid air or cold frigid air being sucked into your home when you least desire it.

Do not use your clothes drier on extreme temperature days, such as summer days at 90 degrees and greater or on winter days at 20 degrees or lower. In the summer, the heat of the day peaks between 3pm and 6pm, so run your drier earlier in the morning or much later at night. Likewise in the winter, the night temperatures may be frigid and drop into the single digits. Run your clothes drier only during the afternoon and early evening when the air is the warmest of the day.

For your bathroom exhaust fans, replace the simple on/off switch with a timed switching device of no more than 60 minutes. It is necessary to ventilate the bathroom, but it’s totally wasteful to find that the exhaust fan ran all day while at work, exhausting your heated air outside. You may as well have just left a window open all day.

FREE HEATING AND COOLING

Depending upon your geographic location and the position your home faces, you can take advantage of windows and curtains to add or block heat, depending upon the time of year. In the winter, allow the sun to enter your southern windows during the day, but in the summer, be sure to keeps those blinds drawn.

For summer cooling, install a whole house exhaust system and run it on nights when the outdoor temperature drops. Simply turn the unit on, open your windows and allow the house to cool off naturally, with just a little help from one central fan.

TEMPERATURE SETTINGS

Heating systems are generally designed to provide your home with the capacity to maintain 70 degrees indoors when it’s 0 degrees outdoors. By eliminating drafts and simply wearing long sleeve shirts and socks during the winter, you can easily reduce your homes temperature setting to 65 degrees and be totally comfortable. Any lower than that and you may start feeling uncomfortable.

Cooling systems are generally designed to provide your home with the capacity to maintain 75 degrees indoors when it’s 95 degrees outdoors. Since the main discomfort issue in the summer is humidity, you can be comfortable in your home at higher temperatures since the homes humidity levels are reduced when running the air conditioner. By eliminating unnecessary exhaust and door openings and closings, you could increase your homes temperature setting to 78 or 80 degrees and be totally comfortable if you dress lightly and keep drapes drawn that favor the suns side of your home.

For either heating or cooling, you can alter the temperature settings from 5 to 10 degrees for when you are not going to be at home for 8 to 12 hours. Making an alteration of any greater amount only leads to your system overworking to recover and this is inefficient. If you are going to be away for days, you can reduce the heating to 55 degrees or raise the cooling temperature to 90 degrees and this will prevent freezing issues or baking issues.

You can also install a programmable thermostat to better define the periods where you plan to be home or not, plus you can also set winter heating temperatures lower during the night when you are sleeping and have it bump back up a few degrees a half hour before you awake.

( This article is an authorized excerpt from the book ‘The Rewards of Making Energy Efficient Choices’ , available at http://www.EnergyEfficientChoices.com )

David Nelmes is a published author and home energy inspector in Pennsylvania, specializing in the fields of Heating and Air Conditioning, Electrical Wiring and Interiors/Insulation. You can visit his web site at http://www.energyefficientchoices.com

Global Warming and Your Home

Consuming energy creates green house gas emissions which is responsible for global warming. Energy used in people’s homes account for 28% of all the energy used in the United States. Making your home energy efficient will help our environment and will save you money. The average home spends 34% of its energy on lighting and appliances. You can cut this down by using Energy Star appliances which use less energy than other appliances. Also, using fluorescent lighting saves money in the long run because they have a life span of 10 times longer than standard light bulbs which are incandescent lights. Make sure to unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them, they still use energy when they are shut off.

Water heating can account for 14% of your energy expenses. You can cut this down by using solar water heaters or even water heaters that don’t have a tank and they have a heating coil installed into your furnace, this is called a tankless coil and indirect water heaters. You can also use less energy for your water heater if you take shorter showers, around 5-7 minutes. Be sure to turn the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. Only run your dishwasher or laundry appliances when you have a full load. Refrigeration accounts for 8% of your home’s energy expense. You can lower this by getting a new Energy Star refrigerator because if your refrigerator is about 15 years old, it is not energy efficient at all.

Heating can account for 34% of your home’s energy. To improve this, you could just get a newer version of your current furnace or boiler; they have really improved in energy efficiency in recent years. You can also look for solar heating or an energy efficient heating pump. If you are looking to keep your current heating system, but want to save the environment and energy, you can turn on your ceiling fan to run clockwise to push the warm air down. You can also install heat-resistant reflectors between the radiator and the wall. To save costs on cooling your house which accounts for 11% of your home’s energy use, make sure to use your ceiling fans with your air conditioner which will allow you to raise your thermostat 4 degrees and you will still be comfortable. If you are looking to replace your air conditioning unit, just look for one that is more energy efficient.

By making your home more energy efficient not only will you be saving money, but you can contribute to improving the environment and slowing the effects of global warming. Before you purchase energy efficient products do your research, look for the Energy Star label, and also look for the Energy Guide label that estimates how much energy the product consumes annually. Look to see if your purchase qualifies you for a rebate from your state and a tax credit from the government. There are many incentives for you to improve your energy use.

Learn how to go green! Let www.Green3Dhome.com show you how to reduce your energy consumption, make your home energy efficient and significantly contribute to improving the environment. Also, check out their green product directory and green building forum.

Credits For Energy Efficiency

If you want to start making your home more energy efficient with new appliances, windows or more, it does not have to cost you a lot of money. Did you know you can actually get tax credit for your qualifying purchase? That’s right, on many products you can get “reimbursed” for 30% of the original cost of the product that was purchased. Not only will you be able to save money right from the start on making these purchases, you will notice your energy bill will be much lower than it was. Many qualifying purchases are the Energy Star appliances which cut down your costs because these appliances use only a fraction of the energy normal appliances consume. Look for the Energy Star label on things such as windows and appliances, along with the Energy Guide labels that estimate how efficient the product is.

Consumers itemize these purchases on their income tax form, the tax credit will lower what they owe in taxes dollar-for-dollar. Many states also offer rebates to consumers with energy efficient homes. Be sure to check for your state’s website for more information on these rebates. Do research on products before purchasing them to make sure they qualify. Make sure to keep your receipts so you can itemize these products on your taxes.

To qualify for the tax credit for home improvements, the product needs to be installed between January 2009 and December 2010. If you get windows or doors that are qualified for energy efficiency, you can get a federal tax credit from the United States government for 30% of your purchase, up to $1,500. This amount can also be applied to roofing, insulation, central air conditioning, oil furnaces, and water heaters. If you buy a qualifying Geo-Thermal heat pump, there is not a cap on the amount spent. You will be getting back 30% of the price of the product. If you are looking into alternative energy such as solar panels or wind energy you can get the credit for 30% of the cost of the product.

Some examples of rebates you can look for in your state can be like Alaska, they are offering lower interest rates for mortgages on houses that you would purchase already energy efficient or if you need a loan to improve the energy efficiency of your house. In Arizona they will give you a rebate depending on how efficient your new air conditioning unit is. States like Colorado and Illinois and more offer rebates for purchasing energy efficient appliances through your utilities provider.

If you are thinking about improving your existing home or purchasing a new one that is more energy efficient, not only will it save you money in the long run of energy expenses, but make sure to check into rebates in your state. On top of that, make sure before purchasing new appliances, windows, or other upgrades that you check into how it can help with your income taxes. In order to save a substantial amount of money in your energy expenses, just make sure to do some research on the products and your rebates.

Too learn more about energy star compliance and energy star products please visit Green 3D Homes. Discover how to reduce your energy consumption, become energy efficient and significantly contribute to improving the environment.

What is MERV? – Features, Benefits and Information

The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of a filter describes the size of the holes in the filter that allow air to pass through. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes in the filter, the higher the efficiency.

Recently the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the air filter industry have come up with a standardized rating system, based on the European concept, of a MERV rating for each type of air filter. This numbering system makes it easier to evaluate and compare mechanical air filters and will hopefully eliminate some of the confusion regarding the overall effectiveness of any type of a mechanical air filter on removing airborne particulates, especially those that are less than 2 microns in size.

COMPARING VARIOUS AIR FILTERS TO MERV RATINGS

Throw-Away Fiberglass Media MERV 1 -MERV 4
Pleated Media Air Filters 30% ASHRAE MERV 10 – MERV 11
Pleated Media Air Filters 65% ASHRAE MERV 13 *
(* 65% ASHRAE is about 20% effective on less than 1 micron particles)
Pleated Media Air Filters 95% ASHRAE MERV 14

Some of the man-made synthetic media like that used in the 3M Filtrete air filters may be rated MERV 15. However, they hold very little dust and load up quickly and have a relatively high-pressure drop (static pressure) and can affect the performance of the heating/cooling system.

Lennox Announces New 95% AFUE Furnaces

On August 24 ,2009 Lennox Industries announce dthe addition of three NEW G61 two-stage residential gas furnace models that are loaded consumer features.

With two-stages of heat, consumers will appreciate the longer run times and a more even temperature provided. Couple comfort with the lower utility bills provided by 95% efficiency. These models represent broadened opportunities for high efficiency furnaces which qualify for the Federal Tax Credit, in the Lennox furnace family of products.