Tag Archives: Green Ideas

Designing a Natural Pool with Fish Habitat

Natural Pool Design Trees 1 b

Designing a Natural Pool with additional fish habitat area for the Sustainable Hemp Home Series.

Top View Natural Pool Design with Fish Habitat
Top View Natural Pool Design with Fish Habitat

Since the Hemp Home Designs are all about Sustainability.  Why wouldn’t the pool be as well and while we are at building a natural pool we might as well incorporate a fish habitat into the natural pool design.  This will allow the pool to serve as a food source in addition to the entertainment value.

Birdseye view Natural Swimming Pool Design
Birdseye view Natural Swimming Pool Design

Tips for natural pools supplied by Mother Earth News

Design Information

  • Reserving at least 50 percent of your pool’s surface area for shallow plants, either at one end or in a ring around the sides, eliminates the need for chlorine and expensive filters and pumps. You’ll want to separate the swimming area of your pool and the filtration area, or plant zone (see the illustration in the image gallery).
  • The water needs to circulate continuously for the plants’ roots to cleanse the pool. You also may need to aerate the water so the water organisms’ oxygen needs are met.
Without adequate oxygen, your pool could become stagnant, harboring odoriferous anaerobic bacteria.
  • Besides cleaning the water and making your pool beautiful to behold, the shallow plant zone warms the water quickly and provides habitat for frogs and many invertebrates. They’ll appreciate the shallow water for breeding grounds and repay the favor by eating mosquito larvae.

  • A rim within an inch of the water’s surface keeps plants in their place but allows water from the swimming area to move to the plant zone for filtering, As water passes through the fibrous root structure of the plants, bacteria concentrated on the plants’ roots act as a biological filter, removing contaminants and excess nutrients in the water. Decomposer organisms, also found in the plants’ root zones, consume the bacteria, effectively eliminating underwater waste buildup.

CAD Design- Shady Jacks Saloon New Bar Design by Scotts Contracting

Final Bar CAD Design for Shady Jacks Saloon, Downtown St Louis MO-Design Build Green Project- CAD design by Scotty-Scotts Contracting www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com
Final Bar CAD Design for Shady Jacks Saloon, Downtown St Louis MO-Design Build Green Project- CAD design by Scotty-Scotts Contracting http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com

Project Notes / Must Haves

  1. Additional Room for the Newly Added Alcoholic Beverage Dispensers
  2. Create a User Friendly area for the Bartenders with the addition of additional beer coolers under the lower shelf
  3. Decor Must Match Existing Finishes

Materials Used

 

  • 2″x20″x14′ White Oak Rough Cut  “True Dimensional” Lumber from the Mill- Up-cycled materials that have been in storage for 8 years

Specialty Tools

  • Kreg Jig used in Attaching the Shelves 
  • Hand Planer
  • Hand Sander
  • Skil Saw
  • Levels
  • Torch Drivers

See the Before and After Photos  with Additional CAD Designs for the Project

Shady Jacks Saloon CAD drawing New Bar Design- Green Build Project- CAD by Scotts Contracting www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com
Shady Jacks Saloon CAD drawing New Bar Design- Green Build Project- CAD by Scotts Contracting http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com
Final Bar Design Shady Jacks Saloon- Waitress Station and Center Shelving added to New Bar Design
Final Bar Design Shady Jacks Saloon- Waitress Station and Center Shelving added to New Bar Design

 

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Recycling is not just for Cans

Earlier this year I was asked to replace a leaking roof on a Patio of an Investment Property.  The job consisted of Removing the existing Mound City Clay Roof Tiles from the Porch Roof and replacing with Certain Teed 3 Tab-Shingles (Energy Star Rated).

Rather than dispose of the Clay Roof Tiles in the local  landfill I choose to “Recycle” the roof tiles and am happy to report that they went to a good home and will be re-installed on future roofs by: “Old World Roofing Company Slate and Tile Specialists

Mound City Clay Roof Tiles Recycled by Scotts Contracting
Mound City Clay Roof Tiles Recycled by Scotts Contracting

While I was at Old World Roofing Company and speaking with the business owner, Mr. Hagerty.  We discussed the aspects of his business that has his business backlogged with future projects into 2012.  I jumped at the opportunity to discuss and learn the various aspects that have made his business a success.  And was thrilled to learn that the things that have made his business a success are the same principles that I incorporate into my small business:

“Honesty and hard work, prompt customer service, keeping the customer informed of the progress on the job, and providing quality work!”

We also discussed the aspects that make the Clay Roofing tiles a Green and Sustainable product.  Clay Roofing Tiles-

  • are traditionally made from locally available materials such as clay.
  • Clay as a building material is one of the oldest building materials on Earth, among other ancient, naturally occurring geologic materials such as stone and organic materials like wood. Between one-half and two-thirds of the world’s population, in traditional societies as well as developed countries, still live or work in a building made with clay as an essential part of its load-bearing structure.re-posted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay#Clay_as_a_building_material

  • Clay minerals are typically formed over long periods of time by the gradual chemical weathering of rocks, usually silicate-bearing, by low concentrations of carbonic acid and other diluted solvents. These solvents, usually acidic, migrate through the weathering rock after leaching through upper weathered layers. In addition to the weathering process, some clay minerals are formed by hydrothermal activity. Clay deposits may be formed in place as residual deposits in soil, but thick deposits usually are formed as the result of a secondary sedimentary deposition process after they have been eroded and transported from their original location of formation. Clay deposits are typically associated with very low energy depositional environments such as large lakes and marine deposits.re-posted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay

In keeping with the Title of the Article: ” Recycling is not just for Cans ” I’d also like to point out that recycling also saves:

“Landfill Space, Reducing the Energy to manufacture new products ie: Reducing Global Warming, and re-using building products in the construction industry will also save you money.” 

I encourage everyone to Re-use and Re-cycle!  If you are interested in recycling options on your next building project (St Louis Area) Scotts Contracting offers many options for recycling the building materials  and many times are tax deductible for added savings on your project.  Feel free to drop me a quick note by using the Contact form below and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will return your request asap.

CSP-design with Heat Recovery Unit for added Energy Savings

UPDATE:  Concentrated Solar Power Design with Added Heat Recovery Unit

Seeking Assistance to bring this design to market.  

Please use Contact Form Below and

Scotty, Scotts Contracting will reply to your message ASAP.

Concentrated Solar Power with Heat Recovery Unit Designed by Scotts Contracting 11/01/2011
Concentrated Solar Power with Heat Recovery Unit Designed by Scotts Contracting 11/01/2011
Updated Concentrated Solar Power Photovoltaic Design with Added

Automatic Heat Recovery Unit for Dual Energy Savings

This is an update on the CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) design with Heat Recovery Unit for added Energy Savings.

Design Features:

  • Energy via the Automatic Heat Recovery Unit

Notes:

  • Many of the CSP designs on the Market today “create steam to generate electricity”.  This design will create electricity efficiently via Photo-voltaic Cells in the receiver; thus eliminating the need for Steam Engines.  It also generates heat to be used in the Heat Recovery Unit (twice as much usable energy for today’s home and business).
  • Heat Recovery Unit incorporates an automatic air handler set by thermostat for transferring climatically controlled air movement.
  • This design works exceptionally well during the winter time when the sun’s radiation is at it lowest radiation level.  Concentrated Solar Power will soon be available for non-desert regions and easily adaptable for any region.

Seeking Assistance to further Develop this CSP Design2.  Please use the Contact Form Below for additional info and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will reply ASAP.

Word Press Links:Concentrated Solar PowerCSPenergy,Parabolic troughRenewableSolar, and Solar power

A diagram of a parabolic trough solar farm (to...
Image via Wikipedia

Poll-How can I help you Save Money on your Winter-Time Heating Bills?

Scotts Contracting Provides Energy Audits and Weatherization services for your home or business. Save $ by Weatherizing your building against High Heating Bills this winter
Weatherizing your Building will Save $ Money $ on your Heating Costs

POll-How can I help you Save Money on your Winter-Time Heating Bills?

[contact-form] [contact-field <a class='zem_slink' title='Record label' href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Record_label' rel="wikipedia">label</a>="If you checked any of the above options enter your info in the form below to Schedule a Free Green Site Inspection" type='text'/] [contact-field label='When is the best time to contact you?' type='select' options='AM,PM'/] [contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='true'/] [contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='true'/] [contact-field label="<a class='zem_slink' title='Website' href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website' rel="wikipedia">Website</a>" type='url'/] [contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='true'/] [/contact-form]

Frost or Snow on Roof or Lack Snow is a sure sign…

Snow on Roof or Lack Snow is a sure sign….

On the Frosty Mornings when you are outside your house scraping your cars windshield to prepare for your drive to work. Take a look at the Roof of your Home. -Lack of Frost or Snow on your Roof is a sure indication that it was melted by the Heat as it rises from the Interior of your House into the Attic Area-

Snow on Roof or Lack Snow is a sure sign…

  • Does the Frost or Snow cover the whole roof?
  • Are there places where the snow and frost melt first? (not caused by the Suns Rays)
  • Is there Frost and Snow on the Garage Roof but not on the House Roof?
  • Does your Neighbors House have Frost and Snow on their Roof- but-Your Roof Doesn’t?

Any or All the above may mean that:

  1. Lack of Insulation In the Attic
  2. Air Infiltration from the Interior of the House into the Attic Area
  3. Uninsulated Heating Ducts inside the Attic

Scotts Contracting can Inspect your Attic for Proper:

  1. Insulation Levels
  2. Adequate Ventilation
  3. Uninsulated Heating Ducts
  4. Air Infiltration

Email scottscontracting@gmail.com and Scotty will provide a Free Estimate to Fix any of the Above Issues on your Home. I will also provide a Cost Saving Analysis that will provide a ROI on your Investment. 

Weatherization doesn’t cost it Saves! - Rule of Thumb: For Every $1 Spent on weatherization You will Save $2-$3 on your Home’s Energy Bills

  • Example: By adding the suggested Inches of Insulation you will save 10-30% amount on the Energy needed to heat your Home= Lower Heating Bills and Greater Comfort Levels for you and your family

Additional Green Blog Posts:Energy Star Home Improvement Tips ,Insulation and Thermal Performance ,Which Kind Of Insulation Is Best? ,Radiant Barriersfor your Attic,Insulating Roofs, Walls, and Floors, Roof and Attic Ventilation ,


Email scottscontracting@gmail.com or use the contact form below and Scotty will provide a Free Estimate to Fix any of the Above Issues on your Home. – Scotty, Scott’s Contracting

Air Sealing a Ceiling Electrical Junction Box

CAD Design-Weatherize-Insulate-Fire Block-Electrical Junction Box

Air Sealing Ceiling Electrical Junction Box
CAD Diagram explains how to Build and Air Tight Electrical Junction Box located in most Attics

Sealing Air Leaks

Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter and can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weatherstrip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can save on your heating and cooling bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.

Hint: Use Fire Rated: 5/8″Fire Rated Drywall or Sheetrock with Fire Proof Caulking to Create the Air Tight Seal

Fire Proof /Air Tight Electrical Junction Box Cover used in Attics

Tips for Sealing Air Leaks

re-posted from:http://www.energysavers.gov/tips/insulation_sealing.cfm

Pie chart shows how air escapes from a typical home: 31% floors, ceiling, walls; 15% ducts; 14% fireplace; 13% plumbing penetrations, 11% doors; 10% windows; 4% fans and vents; 2% electric outlets.How Does the Air Escape?
Air infiltrates into and out of your home through every hole and crack. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls, and floors.
  • First, test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
  • Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
  • Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
  • Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose.
  • Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists. These joints can be caulked.
  • Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with more efficient windows, such as double-pane. See Windows on page 18 for more information.
  • When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes—24 hours a day!
  • For new construction, reduce exterior wall leaks by installing house wrap, taping the joints of exterior sheathing, and comprehensively caulking and sealing the exterior walls.
  • Use foam sealant around larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where warm air may be leaking out.
  • Kitchen exhaust fan covers can keep air from leaking in when the exhaust fan is not in use. The covers typically attach via magnets for ease of replacement.
  • Replacing existing door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets is a great way to eliminate conditioned air leaking out from underneath the doors.
  • Fireplace flues are made from metal, and over time repeated heating and cooling can cause the metal to warp or break, creating a channel for hot or cold air loss. Inflatable chimney balloons are designed to fit beneath your fireplace flue during periods of non-use. They are made from several layers of durable plastic and can be removed easily and reused hundreds of times. Should you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate within seconds of coming into contact with heat.
Cutaway house illustration showing areas of home where air leaks. Refer to caption for list.Sources of Air Leaks in Your Home
Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money. Check the areas listed below.

  1. Dropped ceiling
  2. Recessed light
  3. Attic entrance
  4. Sill plates
  1. Water and furnace flues
  2. All ducts
  3. Door frames
  4. Chimney flashing
  1. Window frames
  2. Electrical outlets and switches
  3. Plumbing and utility access
Scotts Contracting is available to assist you in improving your Home or Business Energy Demands.  Please use this form to Contact Scotty, Scotts Contracting to schedule a FREE Energy Analysis for your Property.

How Insulation Works-Typical-St Louis Brick Home used in Examples

CAD Drawing-Insulation-St Louis Brick Home-Examples

How Insulation Works
Top View: Brick Home with Zero Insulation
Brick Home Wall Detail with Zero Insulation
Brick Home with Insulation in Wall Cavity


Why Insulate Your House?


Heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average American home. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Insulation:

  • saves money and our nation’s limited energy resources
  • makes your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house, and
  • makes walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use.

Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, energy conserved is money saved -saving energy will be even more important as utility rates go up.

This fact sheet will help you to understand how insulation works, what different types of insulation are available, and how much insulation makes sense for your climate. There are many other things you can do to conserve energy in your home as well. The Department of Energy offers many web sites(http://ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_07.html) to help you save energy by sealing air leaks, selecting more energy-efficient appliances, etc.


How Insulation Works

How Insulation Works
  • Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In winter, the heat moves directly from all heated living spaces to the outdoors and to adjacent unheated attics, garages, and basements – wherever there is a difference in temperature.
  • During the summer, heat moves from outdoors to the house interior.
  • To maintain comfort, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors decreases the heating or cooling needed by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.
  • Reflective insulation or Radiant Barriers works by reducing the amount of energy that travels in the form of radiation. Some forms of reflective insulation also divide a space up into small regions to reduce air movement, or convection, but not to the same extent as batts, blankets, loose-fill, and foam.


Reference> http://ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_01.html

How to Prevent Heat Loss 4 Examples-Diagrams-Drawings for your Building Projects

How to Prevent Heat Loss with 4 Examples-Diagrams-Drawings for your Building Projects

In recent conversations with customers and peers about Reducing Energy Loss in Buildings / Structures and how heat and cold are transferred into a Building via Conduction.  I explained and made reference to using a Metal Cooking Utensil to stir a pot of chilli.

If the utensil is left in the pot of chilli for any length of time.  The heat will eventually transfer heat up the utensil handle and will usually burn your hand or fingers.

Heat and Cold enter a Building  in the same way; unless, there is some form of Insulation or Thermal Break to prevent the conduction of energy.

Cooking utensil manufactures solve this issue by adding handles made of Wood, Plastic, etc.

The Building and Remodeling Industry combats this energy loss/gain in various ways.  Here a few examples, diagrams, and drawings that show how this loss or gain is minimized.

When this heat/cold gain and loss is minimized you will save money on your Heating and Cooling Bills.

By renovating and building using these examples and basic design principles you will save money and reduce Global Warming / Climate Change.

[Clicking on the Diagrams will enlarge the Photos for easier viewing.]

  • Example 1. Adding Insulation on the exterior of the Building normally behind the exterior wall finish.  This is normally used in conjunction with Insulation in the Wall Cavities.

    • Example 1 top view
      Example 1 Top View
      ISO View Example 1
      Example 1 Adding Insulation on the Exterior of Wall Framing
  • Example 2 – Staggered Wall Studs

  • 2x4 Staggered Studs to prevent Energy Loss and Gain
    Top View 2×4 Staggered Studs to Prevent Energy Loss and Gain
    2x4 Staggered Studs
    2×4 Staggered Studs Prevent Energy Loss and Gain
  • Example 3- Double Wall Construction

  • 2x4 Double Wall Construction
    2×4 Double Wall Construction to Prevent Energy Loss and Gain
    2x4 Double Wall Construction
    2×4 Double Wall Construction to Prevent Energy Loss and Gain
  • Example 4- Creating a Thermal Break by Adding Wall Channels

Thermal Break created by Wall Channels to prevent energy loss
Thermal Break created by Wall Channels to prevent energy loss
Thermal Break created by adding Wall Channels to prevent energy loss and gain
Thermal Break created by adding Wall Channels to prevent energy loss and gain
The above illustrations are just a few examples of how to prevent Energy Loss in a Building by adding: Insulation, Providing a Thermal Break, and Creating Dead Air Space.  Examples 1 and 4 are used mostly in Remodeling and Renovation Projects.  With examples 2 and 3 are used mainly in new construction of Buildings.  For detailed information, proven scientific facts, about how energy is transferred I suggest reading the Article at Wiki  on Heat Transfer at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_transfer.

If you live in the St Louis Area and are interested in Saving Money on your utility bills by any of the above mentioned diagrams or illustrations I can be reached using the form below. (This is how I reduce the Spam received via the WWW)  I will return your message asap for confirmation of the Appointment