Eventually our standards for what is considered “sustainable” will have to actually be sustainable. As long as we, as a society, are not recycling all our wastes, as nature does, our practices are not sustainable over the long term.
Nathan Roy at Ecologic Construction is currently designing one of the first residential onsite waste water systems that is truly sustainable. It is not a composting toilet! It is a much cleaner, more efficient better solution. (more…)
Slate roofs are by far the best choice, as long as the supporting structure has been planned to handle the extra weight. Slate is beautiful, durable, and ecologically sustainable.
Yes, slate is an expensive material to purchase, time-consuming and expensive to install, but a slate roof will last for a century and more with proper maintenance. Considering the long-term value of slate, it is probably the least expensive choice for your roof. An asphalt roof will need to be replaced every ten to twenty years, but your slate roof will only require minimal maintenance every twenty years or so.
The front door is a full three inches thick, made of cedar. We added cedar trims and sills. Attention to detail makes all the difference in a construction project. Special care is taken to give the sills just the right angle to shed water. The construction crew has enjoyed working with cedar, which cuts cleanly and has a pleasant scent. Working on a number of renovation jobs over the years, we have seen proof that cedar performs better than “sustainably harvested” wood that is coming on the market now and used as trims. After five to tens years, homeowners have experienced rot in this product. Part of the problem is that this “manufactured” product is joined together to make long lengths and moisture gets into the wood through these joints. (more…)
Business has been great, so we’ve hardly had time to work on our own projects, but finally we got the walls up.
After the foundation was laid, we started on the frame and walls and roof. 2″ x 10″ studs were used in the walls and roof to allow extra space for insulation. Thicker walls are also more aesthetically appealing. (more…)
After many years of planning and designing, in the spring of 2010 we finally starting laying the foundation of an “eco-cottage,” a little structure that will be designed to heat and cool itself without much help at all from machines. We decided to build on a hill for aesthetic reasons and also to reduce the threat of moisture as much as possible. Moisture is a problem for every home and prevention is the best cure. There should be no place for water to stand around a home. Gravity should be taking it away from the basement/foundation walls. (more…)