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

May 2003

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A Mad Cow in the Garden?

The diagnosis of Mad Cow Disease in 30 people in Great Britain raised concerns as to whether using animal by-products in the garden poses a hazard. Most human cases of Mad Cow Disease resulted from people eating animals that had been fed tainted by-products, but four gardeners who came down with the disease might have been infected by inhaling bone-meal dust they were using on their roses.

Foundations: Keeping Warm with Rock, Steel and Glass

The manufacture of fiberglass insulation is an improvement upon slag wool, which comes from steel mills. Volcanoes started it all with rock wool. When most people think of home insulation, fiberglass almost always comes to mind.

Foundation Options

As discussed in the previous installment, a building foundation performs a surprising number of tasks. The four critical tasks are to: Bear the weight of the building loads, Anchor against the forces of wind and earthquake, Prevent vertical motion due to frost, and Isolate the building from ground moisture. In general, there are nine different foundation types. Each is capable of satisfying these four basic requirements if built properly.

Smart Energy Savings

Caulking and weather-stripping begins at construction and continues throughout the life of the home. Done properly, it can be extremely effective and economical.More than 30 years have passed since the Middle East oil embargo made Americans aware of energy prices. But for many people, the lessons haven't hit home.

Web Resources

Alcoa: or Alside Inc.: American Hardboard Association: American Society for Testing & Materials: Brick Industry Association: CertainTeed Corp.: http://www.certaint

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