The Future of Sustainable Building: Built Green Conference 2016

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On Tuesday, several members from the Model Remodel team attended the Built Green Conference held at Cascadia College in Bothell, WA. We send a few members to every green building conference each year so that we can stay current on trends and remain an active part of the discussion on the future of sustainable building. As Leah Missik, Built Green Program Manager, wrote in the event brochure “though understanding how green building is connected with complex issues such as equity, health, and climate change can be daunting, it is incredibly heartening to know that as we improve in one area, we also rise in others.” As a builder, we are committed to building in a way that is structurally sound, but also environmentally-friendly. We do this because we believe it to be right, it is a shared-value of our entire team, and it is the only way to build for the future. This is a view we thankfully share with a large community of advocates in the Puget Sound area, and it was a pleasure hearing from and speaking with some of these great minds. As Shannon Affholter, Executive Director of the local Master Builders Association, said “It’s about being a good neighbor.”

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The future is looking bright for green building in the Seattle-area. Roughly one-third of new homes built in King County last year were certified Built Green, and the goal is to have 100% enrolled in a green program by 2030. The Built Green team also shared preliminary data that shows [Read more…]

Model Remodel at the Sustainability Slam

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sustainability slamJoin us Wednesday, April 22 for the AIA Committee on the Environment’s Sustainability Slam. Celebrate Earth Day with presentations about green design and building, including Model Remodel’s presentation on Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe with architects Board and Vellum. Speakers will present in the dynamic, short, PechaKucha-style of 20-second PowerPoint slides, limited to 18 slides total. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with light food and drinks, and presentations begin at 6 p.m. The Sustainability Slam will take place at the Waterfront Space in downtown Seattle at 1400 Western Ave. The event is free. For more information about the Sustainability Slam, presenters and to RSVP, click here.

Don’t Let Phantom Load Spook You This Halloween

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power stripDid you know you that your home electronics are costing you money, even when they’re turned off?

It’s called phantom load (otherwise known as vampire power or standby power). Your TV, DVD player, laptop, video game console, and even your coffee maker all use “phantom” energy while they’re idle. This applies to most electronics with an on-off button or a clock. Another common culprit of phantom load is the cell phone or laptop charger, plugged into the wall, without the device on the other end.

Energy efficiency consultants E Source estimate that phantom load amounts to 15 percent of energy bills for homeowners and 20 percent for commercial businesses. Multiply that amount times all the buildings in Washington, and you have a lot of wasted energy and cost.

So, what is the best way to eliminate this unnecessary expense? Simply unplug your electronics when you are not using them. In your entertainment area, where you may have many devices with plugs, put them on a power strip. Instead of having to unplug every item individually, you can just flip the switch on the power strip (or unplug it if it doesn’t have a switch). Some products, like this one, even let you be specific about what devices get power and when. The good news about eliminating phantom load from your home is that it doesn’t require any real change in lifestyle. Plus, it will save you money like 1-2-3.