Light Emitting Diodes (LED) For Home?

The short answer according to wikipedia is not yet: ‘…”Currently, solid state lighting is not readily available for household use, requires power source conversion in household applications, and is relatively expensive, although costs are decreasing. LED flashlights however already have become widely
The Energy Self-Sufficiency Newsletter also has an informative piece on this topic.

Review: GAF Liberty Self Adhering Shingle

Spreading a hot bucket of tar on a roof is not my idea of fun. So when the roof of my 1951 falling-downer garage really began springing a leak, I went to the local Home Depot and discovered the GAF Liberty™ roofing system. Essentially it is a peel and stick shingle that comes in a long roll. It looked perfect for what I had in mind which was simply covering up my roof as quickly and cheaply as possible.

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Rice Hull Insulation

Here is a paper on rice hull insulating: ‘The rice hulls are unique within nature. They contain approximately 20% opaline silica in combination with a large amount of the phenyl propanoid structural polymer called lignin. This abundant agricultural waste has all of the properties one could ever expect of some of the best insulating materials. Recent ASTM testing conducted R&D Services of Cookville, Tennessee, reveals that rice hulls do not flame or smolder very easily, they are highly resistant to moisture penetration and fungal decomposition, they do not transfer heat very well, they do not smell or emit gases, and they are not corrosive with respect to aluminum, copper or steel. In their raw and unprocessed state, rice hulls constitute a Class A or Class I insulation material, and therefore, they can be used very economically to insulate the wall, floor and roof cavities of a super-insulated Rice Hull House…’ Thanks to Tony Adrian for this link.

Georgia-Pacific has a new mold-resistant wallboard

Georgia Pacific has a new mold-resistant wallboard. You can find more information about it on the company website here: ‘Paperless DensArmor� Plus Interior Wallboard is a highly mold-resistant interior gypsum panel. DensArmor Plus panels are ideal for moisture-prone interior walls, in areas such as basements and residential bathrooms. They are also ideal for commercial pre-rock installations. DensArmor Plus Interior Wallboard carries a three-month in-place exposure warranty…’ It scored a perfect 10 on a mold growth test, the fine print says: ‘…The score of 10, in the ASTM D3273 test, indicates no mold growth in a 4-week controlled laboratory test. The mold resistance of any building product when used in actual job site conditions may not produce the same results as were achieved in the controlled, laboratory setting. No material can be considered mold proof. When properly used with good design, handling and construction practices, DensGuard Products provide increased mold resistance compared to standard paper faced wallboard products.’

PCA: May/June 2005 Concrete Homes Newsletter

The Portland Cement Association has its May/June 2005 concrete homes newsletter out. Interesting stuff, including a giant home basement pour: ‘There are plenty of complex basement pours, but not many come along that demand this type of flexibility. This 14,760 sq. ft. residential home in Grand Blanc, Mich., features walls which are 12 ft. tall and 12 in. thick, with 12 rebar placed both vertically and horizontally. Even more impressive is 580 linear ft. of 12 ft.x 12 in. wall over 250 ft. of trench footing with multiple angles…’

Radical Roof Insulation Design

Tony Adrian’s house is unusual to say the least. It is self sufficient: off the commercial electrical grid, uses filtered rainwater and has no air conditioning. All this in Louisiana, a state not known for cool weather. How does he live there? Quite comfortably because his house was designed to maximize the possibilities of insulation, solar energy and the surrounding environment. A complete article including pictures of the house can be found the here in the Daily Advertiser as well as another article here. However, Home Building and Remodeling News corresponded with Adrian to ask about one of the most intriguing parts of the design: the roof.

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First Annual Gulf Coast Green Symposium on Building

Architects, builders, and concerned citizens gathered in Houston, April 29, 2005 for the first annual Gulf Coast Green Symposium on Building. With the recent series on air pollution in the Houston Chronicle, it was no surprise that this conference was well attended. Several prominent stakeholders spoke including Mayor Bill White. Representatives from the US Department of Energy building technologies program, the US Green Building Council, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Houston Advanced Research Center, and the Associated General Contractors partnered their efforts to make a dream from 2 years ago become reality.

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Home Plan Websites

There are many, many home plan websites on the Internet such as:, and After some research, it seems as though the home plan sites are good for getting ideas, but are basic and apparently do not have the HVAC, plumbing, electrical included. For this you may need a local architect/designer which somewhat negates the value of the plans. and can help you with the other parts.