Kitchen or bath expanded existing space

Thermal Bridging

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in steel framing

Everything is relative — especially when it comes to thermal bridging. Thermal bridging occurs wherever assembly components with low R-values relative to surrounding materials span from the inside to the outside of a building assembly. Thermal bridging takes place in wood-framed assemblies because, although wood is a pretty good insulator at about R-1 per inch, it is at least three times more thermally conductive than any cavity insulation, which start at about R-3.5 per inch.

Provide for paper recycling

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Provide a recycling receptacle in a home office or other household space where wastepaper is generated.**

Additional storage may be required in a garage or utility room, especially for newspaper subscribers.

Further Resources

Setting up a Home Office: Making Environmental Choices

BuildingGreen.com [Outdoor Trash and Recycling Receptacles](http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productsByCsiSection.cfm?SubBuilderCategoryID=2916)

Add bathroom-wall blocking for future grab bars

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**When building or remodeling a bathroom, install blocking within the walls for grab bars, even if they aren't specified.**

Then, photograph the blocking before the walls are closed up. As your clients age or become infirm, grab bars supported by secure blocking, already in place, will be much easier to add.

Learn more in the Green Building Encyclopedia

[Remodel Project: Bathroom](Node/8998)

Residential Remodeling and Universal Design

Maximize storage for a smaller house

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath expanded existing space

**Often, houses with plenty of storage are smaller than those without.** Opportunities to include storage exist in most rooms. In small bathrooms in particular, include additional storage by finishing the interior cavities within the walls for medicine cabinets and small shelves. Incidental bathroom items fit the 3.5-in. to 4-in. space well. For even more storage, choose a sink with a base cabinet rather than a pedestal sink.

Choose salvaged wood

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Salvaged lumber can be of exceptional quality.**

Choose high-efficiency T8 fluorescent lamps

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Good light at low operating costs** T8 fluorescent lamps are extremely efficient. They can produce a wide variety of casts of light ("color temperatures") and are capable of producing very good color rendition. The most common tube length is four feet, but T8s also are available for eight-foot fixtures. T8 refers to the diameter of the fluorescent tube, in eighths of an inch; a T8 lamp measures one inch in diameter.

Use paint with higher gloss for high traffic areas

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Glossy paints have a harder surface.** High-gloss paints are a good bet in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic rooms. The harder surface resists wear, and glossy paints hold up to frequent washing more successfully. Many painters have long preferred oil-based enamel paints, but newer high-sheen, waterborne acrylic paints offer excellent performance and are lower in volatile organic compounds.

Learn more in the Green Building Encyclopedia

[Integrated Design Overview](node/7658 "Finishes/Materials")

Specify Energy Star appliances

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Rated appliances use less energy** Dishwashers with an Energy Star rating are at least 25% more efficient than minimum federal standards. The minimum energy factor for Energy Star dishwashers is .58, versus a federal factor of .46. Energy Star refrigerators exceed the 2001 minimum federal efficiency standards by 10%. If Energy Star models are not available, compare the annual energy use ratings of each brand to choose the most efficient machine.

Use drain-water heat-recovery systems to preheat water

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Without it, energy dollars go right down the drain** A heat-recovery system captures heat from drain-water that would otherwise be lost. The simplest systems consist of a section of copper drain line wrapped with copper tubing and no storage tanks. These systems recover heat only when water is being drawn simultaneously (for a shower, for example). These are still quite cost effective, and have no moving parts to fail. One potential pitfall: A heat-recovery system could actually lead to increased water use for showers because the hot water won't run out as quickly.

Test for lead on painted surfaces and in surface dust

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath expanded existing space

**Lead is a serious health threat.** Although paint containing lead has been banned since 1978, it's still present in many older houses. Lead paint can be found in as many as 74% of private homes built before 1980 and an even larger percentage of public housing, most often on the exterior. Testing for lead paint is a simple operation but must involve all layers of paint. Lead encapsulation paints may be an option, although contamination may require help from a licensed professional.

Choose compact furniture with built-in storage

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Sensible storage helps keep the house footprint small.**

Use environmentally preferable interior doors

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Add a floor above

**Look for FSC-certified wood or composites that don't off-gas formaldehyde** Environmentally preferable interior doors include those made with cores of agrifiber, such as wheat and/or rice straw, with no added urea formaldehyde resins. Other good choices are doors made from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, or doors that have been salvaged and refinished.

Use PEX or polypropylene pipe when possible

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**There are greener options than copper.** Of all the common types of plumbing pipe used in homes, cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) is the most benign. This plastic contains only carbon and hydrogen atoms, so manufacturing and disposing of it comes with relatively few environmental penalties. Polypropylene pipe (PP) is a new entry but it has an environmental product profile similar to PEX. Although most copper pipe has a fairly high recycled content, the mining required to produce virgin copper is environmentally damaging, and all copper is highly energy intensive to produce.

Choose easy-to-clean interior finish materials

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Easy-clean surfaces need fewer harsh chemicals.** Strong chemicals often are needed to clean and protect interior finish materials, such as stone. Choosing ceramic tile, glass, and other nonporous surfaces that do not need regular treatment and re-sealing reduces reliance on chemicals. Carpeting or other porous flooring materials in entryways can collect outdoor dirt, which then is dispersed throughout the house. Carpets near the entrance also are likely to get wet--a perfect medium for mold.

Specify Energy Star lighting

Posted on April 18,2015 by Peterbilt in Kitchen or bath addition

**Energy Star is a guarantee for better efficiency.** Lighting is responsible for 20% of the power bill in an average U.S. home, so the potential for savings is high. Compact fluorescent lamps, LEDs and Energy Star fixtures are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Lighting meeting Energy Star standards shows good color rendition, low noise, and minimal flickering as they start up. Energy Star rated light fixtures generate about 75% less heat than standard incandescent lamps, and they come with a two-year warranty instead of the usual one, according to Energy Star.

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