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

June 2008

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Taking the LEED

Homebuyers no longer have to become instant experts to find homes with high efficiency and environmental performance. Certification labels like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) help consumers understand a home’s actual environmental content, and guide professional builders in designing green, efficient homes.

Home weather stations

Here’s the hypothetical situation: You’re planning a two-week vacation and need to make sure the lawn and garden are properly watered in your absence. The irrigation system can be programmed but you’re not sure where to set the watering level. How much rain did the area get this time last year? What if the forecasted storm doesn’t materialize, or what if it lingers longer than expected?

Keeping a Low Profile

Smoke alarms have been integral safety devices in the home for nearly four decades, but during that time they haven’t changed much in appearance. The Silhouette Low-Profile Smoke Alarm is out to change that. With a sleek design that protrudes just a half-inch from the ceiling, it blends easily into its surroundings and won’t interfere with your interior décor.

The Tipping Point

Most homeowners today recognize the fact that, sometime in the past few months, we reached a tipping point — a threshold when gathering pressures beyond our control have forced us into a period of rapid change. It’s happening all over the world, and in our own homes. It’s happening to our neighbors, our families and ourselves. It’s a communal event, and an individual one. And it’s causing us to abandon comfortable old routines and habits in search for new, more successful ones.

Creating a Fire-Resistant Home

Wildfires were particularly destructive last year, especially in the West, where thousands of homes were destroyed, and in the South, where drought left trees and shrubbery tinder-dry. Already this year, wildfires have sprung up in Virginia, the Carolinas, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Nevada and California, destroying homes and property.

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