Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

February 2008

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Designing for the Generations

Karl Brown stands 6 feet 3 inches tall and is left-handed. He does not consider himself to have special needs, yet in common daily scenarios he’s had to learn to become ambidextrous to efficiently complete certain tasks. He can’t golf with traditional clubs. He finds can openers and scissors difficult to use because they are intrinsically designed for right-handed users. And on flights he must pay extra to sit in the emergency exit row, so his long legs aren’t too cramped.

SH Bookshelf: Multitasking Homes

Today’s homes are required to do more than just keep the rain off our heads. They’re also expected to be more flexible as well as more durable.

Fighting Fires

It’s every homeowner’s nightmare — a house fire, caused by faulty wiring, a kitchen accident, an act of nature or simple carelessness. When most homeowners think of house fires, they probably first consider the resulting property damage, and the numbers are staggering. In 2006, fires in single- and two-family homes caused $5.7 billion in property loss, according to data compiled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), based in Quincy, Mass.

Choosing Smart Building Products

Now that winter is almost history, many of us will turn our thoughts to those construction or remodeling projects we’ve been putting off. Whether you’re redesigning your kitchen or bath, installing a sprinkler system or deciding between different siding options, in order to make your home as eco-friendly as possible you should carefully evaluate the attributes of the different products and materials that are available before you make your final choice.

Smart Choices for Siding

Most homeowners understand the concept and value of curbside appeal. It can make or break a house sale, or simply ensure your home makes a good impression on neighbors, guests and passersby. Landscaping contributes to a home’s overall exterior cachet, but the façade carries the brunt of the aesthetic burden. And for most homes, that façade is comprised of some type of siding.

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