Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Home Energy Audits

Duke and Dan preformed a whole house energy audit on a home built in the early 1900's. The photo shows Dan running a manometer (pressure and flow gage) just inside of our blower door. The blower door and manometer measure the amount of air infiltration. This test will provide the cumulative size of all the holes, cracks and crevices that leak air. All of the windows and doors are closed before the test. The blower door is installed in the front door of the home. This test takes about an hour. Duke walked through the home to search for specific areas that were leaking. He found some unlikely culprits of energy leaking, such as can lights and soffits that were not properly sealed. Our infrared camera was also used to find areas that are leaking or not properly insulated.
Duke also set up a calibration to monitor the "ghost" energy used in the home. This test will find out just how much energy those computers, security systems, clocks and audio video equipment use while they are sitting unused.
Dan and Duke checked the hot water tank, insulation conditions, duct work conditions, caulking around the windows and doors, furnace filter and other random items that may affect the efficiency of the home.
After all of the data is compiled, Duke will provide the homeowner a detailed report including the amount of leaking air and suggestions on how increase the home's energy efficiency.
Preforming an Energy Audit on your home is a smart way to plan what maintenance projects and products will provide the most energy savings for your home. Right now there are many energy tax benefits on home repair to take advantage of, including 30% of the cost of windows, doors and water heater. There may be local rebates available too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Historic Tacoma with Dr. Swope

On February 11th Stacy Harris attended the Design Professionals Council meeting at the Knights of the Pythias Lodge in Tacoma. The space is truly an architectural wonder hidden in Tacoma. Dr. Caroline Swope was the guest speaker.
Dr. Swope spoke about styles of historic architecture in Tacoma; Victorian, Colonial Revival, Craftsman and Tudor Revival. Her lecture was illustrated by many historic and current photos of homes in the Tacoma and Seattle areas. Dr. Swope emphasised when remodeling a home, keep with the home's original style. She stated renovations and updates will not look right if you try to add Craftsman detailing to a Victorian home. An easy way to make sure you are staying true to your home's origin, look for historical photos at the library and look at the homes in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Duke speaks to the Building Science class at Clover Park.

Today Duke York spoke to the Building Science class at Clover Park Technical College. The students were interested in the application of built green building processes and built green products in a remodeling application. Duke spoke about remodeling being client driven projects versus a new home builder who chooses green for the marketing aspect of selling the final product. Certifications were also discussed. Since this is a growing and changing field Duke suggested looking into the LEED certification program, because it is currently the largest program available.

Duke serves on the Clover Park Steering Committee for the Construction Program. Duke is also a founding and current member of Tacoma - Pierce County Built Green program.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Certified First Aid and CPR Training

York Production staff took a certified first aid and CPR training class last Monday morning. Every two years we have Scott Kelly with conduct an on site class to keep our employees certified. This year we were joined by two members of the production crew from Wren and Willow, a fellow MBA member. The Pink Crew had meatball sandwiches and fresh cookies ready when class was over.