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led lighting

I have hope that flying cars will exist in the future. I have hope that there are actual people reading this blog. I have hope that ‘World Peace’ never changes his name back to Ron Artest. I can hope that these ideas come to fruition. But I don’t have to simply rely on hope when I think about the future of green construction.

On Wednesday, SRELP made a field trip to PCBC, a trade show at the Moscone center that showcased construction materials from around the nation. The vast number of green options was exciting and inspiring to behold. As is the case with many companies, there were a few people that used the word green a bit too freely to describe products that weren’t exactly green, but for the most part, the booths offered a variety of green options for building materials and construction. Some favorites:

Matrix Viribright LED Light bulbs: Whereas fluorescent light bulbs are indeed sustainable, LED lights are even better!  This is due to the fact that LED lights do not use mercury, making them easier to dispose of; and use a greater portion of the electricity they consume for generating light– meaning that they are more efficient.  In addition, Viribright’s light bulbs are cheaper than most LED bulbs.   The one downside I noticed to Viribright’s LED lights is that they are only manufactured in China and Vietnam.

Trunano Counter Top Sealant: This sealant is unique for– supposedly– using no VOCs (a fancy word for dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde or acetone), being biodegradable, and using covalent bonds instead of using an adhesive to repel the liquid.  This means that the counter tops only need to be resealed every 3 or 4 years, rather than every 6 months.  The downside to this product is the price, but over time, having to buy this product once every few years ensures that the costs even out.

Enerflex Radiant Barrier:  A layer of foil with a net of wire built inside, the enerflex barrier can be placed in one’s attic to reflect the heat waves that come from the sun outward, lowering the temperature of one’s attic.  This means that the air conditioning unit can reduce its energy usage by up to 20%.

All in all it was a wonderful event, and I am glad to know that green business is still important to homeowners of the Pacific Coast.

Until next time,




Designing for Power

by admin on February 11, 2009 · 0 comments

in Power and Energy Conservation

We used many different technologies when remodeling our first house. In the process, we learned that 30% of the energy created in California is used by residential consumers. That energy is produced by a variety of sources, but still predominately by burning fossil fuels. So here are some of the products we used.

Solar = Clean Electricity

The solar panels on the roof will provide 2.6 kilowatts of clean electricity. In tandem with energy star appliances and lighting the house will lower monthly the monthly energy bill. Clean electricity means that the energy is produced by a system other than a power provider, say a local utility company.

In the Loop

We used an integrated hot water tank / forced-air heating system. We chose The PHOENIX – a 97% efficient system. The hot water from the tank loops into the forced-air heater, and the heat is reused for the home. There are two cold air returns with filters on the ground floor that clean the air, and a hydronic air handle with an exterior intake valve that allows for complete interior air changes. Working in conjunction with the insulation, a system such this system provides exceptional heating with minimal energy use

Energy Star Lighting

We added LED lighting on the right side going up the stairs. LEDs use even less power then CFLs and they do not have any mercury so disposal is not a HazMat issue.

Natural Light

In the great room of the house we included a 4 foot round skylight which will provide natural light. We also included skylights in a hallway and above the staircase for to increase the natural light, and reduce the need for flipping on a switch.