Making it Easier to be Green
Green design includes energy conservation, but that's not what it's all about. It's about having good air quality both indoors and outdoors, making the environments in which we work, live, study and play healthier and more comfortable and conserving all of our natural resources.
This site will provide a balanced, holistic view that includes advice about saving energy, water and other natural resources, improving indoor air quality, using environmentally responsible design and construction techniques and minimizing waste.

I will be focusing on interiors for three reasons:

  • We spend about 90% of our time indoors.
  • Buildings in the United States annually consume about 30% of our total energy and 75% of our electricity.
  • As a New York State Certified Interior Designer and a LEED Accredited Professional, I want to share my knowledge and expertise with you.
Sustainable design and construction can be done in many different styles and using a wide variety of materials. There are examples of healthy, sustainable, comfortable and inviting interiors for commercial, not-for-profit and residential clients on the web site for Interior Design Solutions.
You can use the labels on the sidebar to locate entries that you want to read. For instance, most people might want to look at the entries for "Green Homes," but "Green Finance" would be of more interest to professionals involved in the design, construction, management, financing and marketing of buildings.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Changing Fluorescents to Fluorescents

We're hearing quite a bit about replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps ("CFLs"), but much incandescent lighting is in homes , where the major energy consumption is from temperature control and appliances. Fluorescent lights, while much more efficient than incandescents, have several disadvantages:
  • They contain mercury, and breaking them releases a toxic substance. So they should always be recycled, rather than tossed into the garbage.
  • They don't last as long as predicted when turned on and off frequently.
  • Most of them will not work with dimmers.
  • They do not function well in recessed fixtures that have lenses covering the bulbs.
But Lighting is the major single source of energy consumption in commercial buildings, especially when you include both the energy consumed by the lighting itself and the energy consumed by cooling the increased heat load that the lighting generates. So improving lighting efficiency in commercial buildings can save an enormous amount. For instance, if your office was designed more than five years ago, the general ambient lighting is probably accomplished using T12 lamps and fixtures with magnetic ballasts. Changing to T8 lamps and electronic ballasts can improve efficiency (and reduce energy costs) by 40%, especially if you use the new generation of high performance T8s. In addition, T8 lamps last longer than T 12s and have better color rendition. Some people think that if T8s are so much better than T12s, T5s must be even better. T5s are great for certain applications, but they are better left to lighting designers who understand the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

There is quite a bit of useful information about fluorescent lighting on GE's web site:

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