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

May 2003

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When Good Pipes Go Bad

Paint By The Numbers

A lot of today's exterior siding, trim and accent materials promise ease of maintenance - and many tell you that you'll never have to paint them. And even if a new paint job isn't necessary, maybe you'll want to shake up the look a little bit. But can you use the same brand and kind of paint on your fiber-cement siding that you used on your cellular PVC trim? And what kind of paint works best on factory-finished aluminum window frames? Now more than ever, home exteriors are made up of combinations of various different substrates.

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.

The Evolution of Vinyl Siding

Homeowners can be an obsessive bunch. They think it's good sport to drive around new, upscale subdivisions and study siding. It's fun to see how that Victorian reproduction has mixed natural-colored, hand-split shakes with ivy green, half-round shingles. That Colonial looks striking, with its crisp, gray clapboards, trimmed out with white crown window molding and corner blocks flanking the doors. But look closely. The biggest surprise might be that most of these handsome facades are created not from wood, but from vinyl. There was a time when vinyl-clad houses were easy to spot.

A guide to the language of cellular technology

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) - The most common digital technology in which information is digitized, assigned a unique code and spread over the entire bandwidth available to the phone. The receiver uses the same code to reassemble the signal. CDMA allows as many as 10 separate calls to occupy the same amount of space as an analog call. TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) - The first digital cellular technology to hit the market.

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