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Glass Block Windows – 5 Steps for Installation Success

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Insulated Siding, Part 1

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Installing insulated siding on an older home may be the best way to up its R-value.

My first encounter with insulated siding (or IS as it’s known in the trades) came while visiting the Raritan Inn, a bed-and-breakfast in New Jersey that was remodeled by a pioneer in energy-efficient and innovative "green" construction, Bill Asdal. The Raritan Inn serves as a research center and a showpiece of deep-energy remodeling. In 2003, Asdal, in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Research Center, pioneered the first net-zero energy remodeling project in the United States. The structure was clad with insulated siding in an effort to achieve the highest R-values possible within the limits of remodeling an 18th century structure. What I noticed was not the R-value but the aesthetic quality. The siding had a clapboard profile and it lay flat, lacking the usual telling concave cup of most vinyl siding.

Libeskind’s Extension to the Denver Art Museum

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The Denver Art Museum may well be the most prominent expression of Denver’s cultural heart. Daniel Libeskind’s 146,000 sq. ft. extension to the museum, The Frederic C. Hamilton Building, was a joint venture with the Davis Partnership and houses Modern, Contemporary, Oceanic, and African Art collections. The original museum, which opened in 1971, was Italian architect Gio Ponti’s first American commission and boasted an exterior of Italian tile and the innovation of stacking its galleries vertically, which sought to combat the “museum fatigue” that resulted from traversing the long horizontal layout typical of museums at the time.

Bathroom Caulking 101

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Preventing water damage inside our bathrooms is just as important as directing water away from our homes. Caulking, as part of routine homeowner maintenance, prevents avoidable damage around the multiple fixtures and different building materials located inside a bathroom. To get started all you need to know are the areas inside a bathroom that need to be regularly maintained, how to remove existing caulking, and how to apply a new bead of caulk.

Watts It Matter to You? Electricity Transmission

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As stated in Watts it Matter to You? Electricity Generation, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) assigned the United States’ ENERGY infrastructure a grade of “D+” on their 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Electricity transmission, which is the second of three installments on energy, covers transmission lines and grid networks, “green” power transmission, and "smart" grids. Electricity distribution will be covered in installment three as we follow the path of electricity from a power generating facility to your home or business.

Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Garden in Madrid

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There are two common sayings about Madrid -- “Madrid me mata” ("Madrid kills me") and “De Madrid al cielo” ("From Madrid to Heaven"). Both adages are appropriate ways to describe Madrid’s polarization between the calm and the chaotic. From the city’s breakneck traffic to its streets filled with animated Madrileños, rosemary-laden gypsies, and gawking tourists, the city of Madrid moves at a nauseating rhythm. Somewhere, deep within this traditional chaos, it’s possible to find hidden corners of both modernization and tranquility. Strolling along the Paseo de Prado’s tree-lined avenue, you will come across Patrick Blanc’s vertical garden lurking in one of these corners.

Mitigating Elevator Noise in Multifamily Residential Buildings

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Today’s modern mid rise and high rise luxury condominiums and apartment buildings offer numerous amenities to attract potential owners. They can offer spectacular vistas through floor to ceiling walls of glass, high end finishes on the floor, gourmet style kitchens with all the modern features one could ever want, and a master bedroom suite that offers a tranquil and quiet place to escape. In these building types, elevators become a necessary component for vertical circulation to access the floors. For those residences that are adjacent to the elevator equipment room or the elevator hoistway, the noise and vibration caused by the operation of the elevator can be a potential source of sound intrusion. Because today’s buildings are constructed with lightweight materials, and because there is a need to generate maximum useable square footage, sound transmission issues are compounded. All this combined can result in unsatisfactory living conditions for tens of thousands who live in condominiums or apartments.

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

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Installing or replacing a kitchen faucet is a job any homeowner can do. As with any home improvement project, a little planning to ensure that you have the proper faucet type and the right tools on hand will make for a smooth job.

Going Green: Sustainable Finishes

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The number of green design materials available has exploded in recent years. Products that used to be offered in limited colors or designs are now as varied as their traditional counterparts. Because of consumer demand, sustainable painting, flooring, and countertop products that might have been less durable and expensive in the past are now stronger, longer-lasting, and often more affordable.

The Hoover Dam Bypass: A Modern Engineering Marvel

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The Hoover Dam Bypass is being described as a remarkable, magnificent, impressive, spectacular, and monumental engineering feat. Completed in October 2010, this $240 million civil engineering project took nearly a decade of intensive planning and preparation, required coordinated efforts among a six-agency management consortium, and consisted of a three-prong emphasis on design, safety, and economic considerations.

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