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Juliet Grable

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Water Conservation by Stormwater Management

Posted by Juliet Grable

Sep 8, 2014 3:18:51 PM

We've let our stormwater get away from us. These water conservation practices can help clean it up and encourage it to stick around.

STORMWATER RUNOFF is rain or snowmelt that flows over the land without percolating into the soil. Stormwater occurs naturally, especially during large rain events, but nature’s sponge—the water-absorbing cover of trees, shrubs and other vegetation hugging our planet—usually takes care of the rest. Unfortunately, we’ve turned our world into a hard place. Paved sidewalks, asphalt parking lots, concrete curbs, streets, driveways, roofs and building facades—all of these impervious surfaces change the natural movement of water over the landscape, and increase the volume, speed and temperature of the runoff.

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Is Greywater Reuse Legal?

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jul 29, 2014 4:19:50 PM

GREYWATER IS WATER from sinks, showers and washing machines, that can be captured and reused for irrigation. Greywater systems can potentially save up to 80 percent of household for reuse.

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Tankless Water Heaters: Starting at the Source

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jul 29, 2014 4:13:34 PM

HEATING WATER ACCOUNTS for 15 percent of a home’s energy budget, and half of that is used in bathrooms. You can maximize water and energy savings in the bath by choosing the most efficient way to heat water. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand (via a heat exchanger heated by gas, propane or electricity) rather than maintaining the temperature of a given volume of water. These units offer several advantages over conventional storage water heaters. Because energy is only used to heat water when it’s needed, tankless units are more energy efficient and can produce “endless” amounts of hot water. According to Energy Star, high-efficiency tankless water heaters can save between 45 and 60 percent more energy. They also last up to twice as long as conventional tank heaters and take up less space. Parts are modular and can be replaced easily, and many tankless units are made of recycled components that are themselves recyclable. And you don’t have to worry about the unit rupturing and releasing 50-plus gallons of water into the mechanical room—and beyond. On the downside, tankless units cost more up-front, and do require more mindfulness when using several fixtures or appliances that require hot water at the same time. However, most manufacturers offer models tailored for various household sizes and hot water demand.

All tankless units are not created equal, either. While non-condensing tankless units are highly efficient and most are Energy Star rated, some companies, including Noritz, Rinnai, Rheem and Bosch, make condensing-type units, which extract the heat from exhaust gases. These units achieve ultra-high efficiencies of 90 percent or more.

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Multi-Family Passive House

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jul 9, 2014 3:29:36 PM

AMID THE RECENT FLURRY of multi-family projects in Portland, Oregon, the Kiln Apartments building stands out: it’s aiming to be one of the first Passive House multi-family buildings in the country. In this case, the development’s owner drove the energy efficiency agenda.
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Multi-Family Project at Avalon West Hollywood

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jun 30, 2014 3:38:46 PM

At 122 dwelling units per acre, Avalon West Hollywood qualifies for Very High Density for Mid-Rise LEED credits. A narrow greenbelt at the low end of the site will help manage stormwater.

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