Elizabeth Edelstein Archives

go-greenI attended the free workshop on residential energy efficiency today in the East End of Pittsburgh and was made more aware of necessary steps needed for the process. Saving money in the long run, or ‘pay back‘ is one of the major motives for making your house energy efficient. An Energy Audit, made by companies who carry seals such as BPI, Resnet, and Energy Star is the first step in finding out just what exactly is going on in your home.  Infrared Photographs are taken to determine where the heat leaks are. The blower door test is another diagnostic assessment during energy audits. A great point was made that it is also very important to have an energy audit after the new work is completed to verify that the new construction actually did the job in making your home more energy efficient.  -West Penn Energy Solutions. PA Home Energy is another resource for supplying information on “reducing energy use and improving the environment by lowering carbon use.” There are incentives are available to homeowners who make the improvements: DSIREUSA.org, pahomeenergy.org, and keep on the lookout for the Home Star Program given by keystonehelp.com (a home energy loan program).

I spoke with the owner of USA Insulation, Mike Madden, who clued me in on the insulation that he uses which has an R-Value that is 45% better than fiberglass or cellulose! It is injected in the walls of homes and fills all of the voids. -Elizabeth E.

Nicole at ASID function held at Le Tapisseur

Nicole at ASID function held at Le Tapisseur

Elizabeth and I were at the 1st meeting of the West PA Chapter of ASID held at Le Tapisseur. This meeting was a collection of design trends for 2010. We saw inspiring videos from Maison Objet, a trade show in Paris, that showcases the latest and most innovative designs of today’s home accessories and furniture. Le Tapisseur is an excellent source of  fabrics and wall coverings. They were showcasing new outdoor upholstery that is extremely durable. Paris 66 was responsible for the great food! -Nikki, Elizabeth

Chatham University Green Trade Show 2010

Nicole and Elizabeth at Chatham Green Show 2010

Nicole and Elizabeth at Chatham Green Trade Show 2010

Chatham‘s Green Trade Show gave students a chance to get exposed to new eco-friendly products that are on the market. Among the representatives were Benjamin Moore paints, 3Form, Forbo, and Take Pride Construction and Design & Concrete Zen. Students gathered around our table as Nicole and Elizabeth discussed the methods and properties of our concrete production. Nicole discussed all of the attributes of GFRC as well as concrete staining techniques and integrated pigments within the GFRC. We also mentioned some possible uses of recycled parts, like glass, that can be added to the ad-mixture for a specific effect. Nicole stressed the fact that energy is saved in the manufacturing of Concrete Zen’s mixture due to the use of VCAS, a by-product of the Fiberglass Industry.-Elizabeth E.

Mosaic at Tile & DesignsElizabeth & Nicole joined the libations at three showrooms in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh last night. Tile & Designs Inc., Le Tapisseur, and Weisshousewere the destinations. I asked Janelle of Tile & Designs to clue me in on details of the most durable, high traffic tiles that they had in the showroom. She was extremely knowledgeable of the different manufacturing processes of the tiles that they had on display and their appropriate uses. Le Tapisseur has a wide array of fabrics and wall coverings. Weisshouse has a great assortment of custom area rugs in their showroom in addition to their full design services. –Elizabeth E.

GAGI pre-party at the Shadow Lounge

img_0683 GAGI stands for Geek Arts Green Innovators. It is a great feat to bring people together who have differing backgrounds and common interests. Christine McCray Bethea is the fearless organizer who is coordinating events for the GAGI festival on April 2nd. The fun filled evening includes a fashion show, green innovation, robotics and more…Please see www.gagifestival.blogspot.com for detailed information about the event. Brian, Nicole, and Elizabeth joined the fun Friday, March 19th at the AVA Lounge and the Shadow Lounge talking with participants of the up and coming festival. Everyone who I spoke with had very interesting activities to share. It was inspiring to hear that environmental consciousness is widespread nowadays!–Elizabeth E.

Windows and Solar Power

Solar Dye in Windows

Solar Dye in Windows

Popular Mechanics covers a ground breaking story: “Within a decade, windows… could generate electricity”! MIT researchers started a company: Covalent Solar developed the “Organic Solar Concentrator” that uses “dyes [to] direct photons to solar cells at the edges”. This method of collecting light “could increase the efficiency of existing solar panels by as much as 50%.”- EE

Please see:  http://tr.im/RvIM

The Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh is starting a group of young professionals who want to be at the forefront of green building initiatives. I represented Take Pride Construction/Concrete Zen. There were 12 attendees who all have different professions that have relevant connections to the green movement.-Elizabeth Edelstein

"Go Green"

"Go Green"

Strict Rules Passed Regarding Lead Paint Removal

As stated in the February 17, 2010 issue of the Tribune Review, The Environmental Protection Agency will require that “every contractor dealing with lead paint [must] be certified by the agency”. Also the method in which the paint is removed must be done according to these new rules. “U.S. Census figures show [that] across Allegheny County, 88% of the homes were built predating 1978 [which is] when lead paint was used.”-The article goes on to say. This will call for a higher painting estimate, as well as, more painting equipment purchases in order to get the job done according to the stricter rules. Take Pride started off in  Victorian Restoration. We produced work in New York City and was required to have an EPA Lead supervisor abatement certification. We needed this for any work done in the City built pre 1960 and 1960-1978 if there is reason to believe that there is lead in the building. Lead was used as a white pigment on residential buildings. ” White Lead” was later replaced by Titanium Dioxide.

Old Paint to be removed from Victorian Project

Old Paint to be removed from Victorian Project

The “Red Lead” was used for rust inhibiting on metal bridges and industrial uses. Lead can be dangerous to children and animals because the chips taste sweet. The children and animals can ingest and it can lead to an array of complications such as learning disabilities in children and death in animals.-EE/B

Solar Power Technology is on the Rise

According to an article from RenewableEnergySources.com, PPG Industries (based in Pittsburgh, PA) and Prism Solar Technologies (of New York) have partnered for a project to “test the performance of different types of glass… to determine an increase in energy yield.” The two entities will combine attributes of their respective glass surface coatings and then deduce whether or not there is an increase in “energy yield”.

A solar cell is a device that converts the energy of sunlight directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect.

A solar cell is a device that converts the energy of sunlight directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect.

There are incentives for renewable energy at the residential and commercial level. The “Maximum Incentive” for residents and commercial photovoltaic costs is 35% of installed costs.-DSIRE(Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.)Table 3.2 Annual Photovoltaic Domestic Shipments between 1998 and 2007- from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, shows that there were 15,069 photovoltaic units shipped in 1998. In 2007 there were 886,193 pv units shipped. This proves that solar power use is increasing; becoming more attractive to our pocket books; and is moving towards greater efficiency.-EE

Going “Green” Means Staying Local

Brian Polishing Wet Cast Counter with Integrated Drainboard and Cutting table Many cities are riding the green wave: “Beginning in March, San Franciscans will be able to seek financing from Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which will make $150 million in bonds available, according to Renewable Funding, a private group that will put up the capital and administer the program at no cost to the city.”-USA Today

Here in Pittsburgh, we can witness an accelerated growth of becoming more environmentally friendly. “Pittsburgh will be the North American host city for World Environment Day in 2010″ according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).- About.com

Being recognized locally for climbing out of the smoggy reputation is a facet of the entire picture. Another aspect of gaining points is the Green manufacturing of Green products. A product isn’t entirely Green unless it’s resources are obtained within close proximity to it’s final destination. We set up a Sister company with a local Commercial Builder (PCM Inc) called Concrete Zen. Our workshop offers Architects, Designers and Builders and opportunity to resource materials for their projects locally. Concrete Zen creates all forms of Decorative Concrete and Concrete Flooring Solutions.