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

February 2008

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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.

Organize Your Kitchen

While the kitchen tends to be the center of activity in most homes, surprisingly few homeowners pay attention to how a kitchen is designed beyond the stylish cabinets and overall layout of the room. The result can be a beautiful kitchen that just doesn’t work. Sure, you may have all your pots, pans and cookie sheets in a cabinet next to the stove, but are they piled on top of one another in cavernous cabinets? Do you have to empty half the pantry closet to find the spaghetti sauce because it’s buried behind 12 cans of soup?

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.

Green Computers Make Cents

The next time you head off to the local electronics store to buy a new desktop computer, laptop or monitor, consider purchasing a green one — that is, a computer that meets criteria established by EPEAT, or the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool.

Building Green Step by Step

When our company, Meadowlark Builders, purchased a large lot near downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., we saw an opportunity to build two single-family homes that would showcase the enormous benefits of alternative construction methods. As a builder, I’m sometimes amazed by the sheer volume of new building products available today. Many of these new products can result in increased energy savings and more durable homes. But when it comes to building green, I believe the major impact comes from re-thinking the basic elements of construction and mechanical systems.

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