Have you considered bamboo flooring?

Warm in color, stylish, and strong, bamboo floors have been increasing in popularity. It is a durable and attractive option that has an inviting look. The material comes in at about $2 to $7 a square foot, uninstalled.

Bamboo flooring can come in its natural blond color, stained, or carbonized to become a richer brown color. The grain type could be horizontal, vertical, strand-woven, or hand-scaped. In any case, these possibilities afford all the aesthetic flexibility you can want in flooring.

Bamboo Grain Types

How to Use It

There are a few things to consider when using bamboo flooring: moisture, traffic, and potential damage. Bamboo flooring is

Good for:

  • Kitchen – clean spills right away
  • Living and dining rooms, dens and offices, bedrooms – use furniture protectors to avoid scratching; direct sunlight can discolor the floor so use blinds and shade
  • Foyers and entrances – with some protection like a rug or a runner

Not good for:

  • Bathrooms – there is too much moisture
  • Outdoors – sunlight can discolor it, moisture can warp it
  • Weight rooms and playrooms – impacts can be pretty hard on the wood, many opportunities for denting

Other things to consider: trim your pets nails, avoid high-heeled shoes or concentrated stressors, and sweep and damp-mop often.

Environmental Impact

Unlike other wood species, bamboo does not have to go through a long period of time to mature and be ready for use. It is a fast-growing grass that quickly replenishes itself. When it is harvested properly, the root is left intact, and the plant can be harvested from again in about 3.5 to 7 years instead of 50+ years! This makes it a very attractive renewable resource.

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Home of Innovation for Sale of Lease

New Avenue is now putting the Home of Innovation up for sale or lease.

The Home of Innovation was built in collaboration with GE, Moen, Mohawk, Schlage, Daltile and EchoFirst to demonstrate the latest technologies in security, energy efficiency, home entertainment and green building. The result was a smashing success.

Please browse the details, photos and videos below and contact info@newavenuehomes.com if you are interested.

_________________________________________________________________________

Details

700 sq ft

2 bed, 1 bath, living room, full kitchen, deck

Listing at $100,000. ($80,000 below cost to build a comparable home)

Interiors

Daltile Venetian Gold Granite 3cm countertops
General Electric Washer/Dryer, range, hood and refrigerator appliances
General Electric Low energy LED lighting
Moen Fixtures including a digital vertical spa shower
Mohawk wood floors

Design  

Video Tour

[vimeo width=”550″ height=”400″]http://vimeo.com/42793345[/vimeo]

Photos

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Graywater Systems

Leah Drake is a guest contributor for this post. She is a designer with a specialization in water conservation with years of experience in successful California rainwater harvesting and graywater system design and implementation. Learn about her firm at Drake Design Associates. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to also check out our past entry on rainwater harvesting.   – New Avenue

These days, many households are seeing the benefits and water savings of putting their graywater to use in the garden.  In California, graywater systems for use in Landscape Irrigation have been approved by the State.  What is graywater?  It is the relatively clean but soapy water that is used in the washing machine, the bath or shower, or lavatory sink.  It contains soaps, which have phosphates in them – which many plants love!  (There are some plants that do not do well with phosphates, so please check with your landscape designer for a list of plants that LOVE graywater!)  The trick to make sure your graywater is earth friendly and does not contain harmful additives is to use eco-friendly varieties of soaps and shampoos, such as those found at Trader Joes or other brand names like Ecover.

Young Super Hero Standing on Laundry Machines

How much can a family save in clean, drinking water per year, if using graywater instead of the city or municipal water supply for landscape irrigation? About 10,000 gallons per year per person is the average calculation, if the members of the household are already conservative water users. A household of two can generate 20,000 gallons or more of water a year, which can be enough to irrigate the entire landscape, if it is a typical suburban lot with a low-water using, drought tolerant landscape design (more on this subject in another article.)  For a family with kids, more graywater is generated. A family of four can generate up to 45,000 gallons or more per year!

This attractive drought tolerant, “No Mow” lawn and low water landscape uses a subsurface irrigation system and recycled water. (Courtesy Drake Design Associates Landscape Design Studio)
This attractive drought tolerant, “No Mow” lawn and low water landscape uses a subsurface irrigation system and recycled water. (Courtesy Drake Design Associates Landscape Design Studio)

You can see that when planning your new home, it makes sense to put the extra effort to plumbing the bathroom (except the toilet) and laundry fixtures for graywater, if the water savings is this high!

Your graywater system should take into account the possibility of the household not generating enough water for the landscape, say, during a family vacation. This means there should be a back-up plan for irrigating the landscape when you are away. One way to do this is to have your irrigation system automatically turn on the municipal water system should there be no water in the graywater tank.

In order for graywater or recycled water irrigation systems to be approved by the local health department, however, the irrigation system must be subsurface, such as a drip system, not overhead spray.  And there must be a backflow preventer to keep the graywater from accidentally flowing into the municipal water line.  Another important consideration is that the water must be used within 24 hours, or it will not be easy on your filters or your olfactory system, unless there is an aerator in place.

Graywater systems vary in size, complexity and convenience.  See examples. The recommended more complex and automated systems can range from $5,000 to $15,000 to install, but can save tens of thousands of gallons of potable water per year.

This is a typical 100 – 200 gallon Graywater Surge Tank, buried in the ground, with a submersible pump and float switch. (article.wn.com)
This is a typical 100 – 200 gallon Graywater Surge Tank, buried in the ground, with a submersible pump and float switch. (article.wn.com)
A simple “Shower to Garden” system (article.wn.com)
A simple “Shower to Garden” system (article.wn.com)
Art Ludwig’s Laundry to Landscape system is more affordable for those who do not wish to retrofit all of their graywater plumbing to a single source. This system uses gravity to distribute the water, and it works everytime someone in the house does a load of laundry! Note that this system would not pass the code In California, however, as all of the irrigation pipes and emitters must be below the ground to be approved.
Art Ludwig’s Laundry to Landscape system is more affordable for those who do not wish to retrofit all of their graywater plumbing to a single source. This system uses gravity to distribute the water, and it works everytime someone in the house does a load of laundry! Note that this system would not pass the code In California, however, as all of the irrigation pipes and emitters must be below the ground to be approved.
A pretty easy to assemble, low-tech, hands on system! (Courtesy MotherEarthNews.com)
A pretty easy to assemble, low-tech, hands on system! (Courtesy MotherEarthNews.com)

Ask your professional Landscape designer who specializes in graywater and rainwater systems for details about the best graywater components and level of automation that is right for you and your landscape!

Organic Edible and Ornamental Gardens and Fruit Trees watered with Graywater. (Courtesy Earthcraft Landscape Design.)
Organic Edible and Ornamental Gardens and Fruit Trees watered with Graywater. (Courtesy Earthcraft Landscape Design.)
Miriam’s Garden, Courtesy smgov.net
Miriam’s Garden, Courtesy smgov.net
Flowers LOVE the phosphates available due to the soaps in Graywater. (from Design.fr website, Botanical Garden in Louisiana)
Flowers LOVE the phosphates available due to the soaps in Graywater. (from Design.fr website, Botanical Garden in Louisiana)
This is an example of a fully automated Graywater Irrigation System. It includes a Tank with a submersible pump and float switch, a sand filter, a backflow preventer, further irrigation water filters, an irrigation controller, valves and a subsurface drip irrigation system.
This is an example of a fully automated Graywater Irrigation System. It includes a Tank with a submersible pump and float switch, a sand filter, a backflow preventer, further irrigation water filters, an irrigation controller, valves and a subsurface drip irrigation system.

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Have any questions? We are available to discuss your goals & ideas. There’s no fee or commitment. To request a time for a call, just click here and tell us when to call you.

Do you know how your windows perform?

When you’re choosing a window, door, or skylight, there are many things you should consider (you know, besides how nice or expensive it is). Often you’ll find a label that looks something like this:

nfrc-example-label

 

This label is given by the NFRC, the National Fenestration Rating Council, a non-profit that rates the performance of these fenestration products. The DOE and EPA use this rating system for their ENERGY STAR designations. 

Here’s a quick summary of what these numbers mean:

Rating Values
U-Factor
Tells you how well the product insulates. Essentially, it measures to what degree the heat from inside a room that can escape through the product.
Typical range is 0.25 to 1.25 in Btu/h·ft²·°F. Lower numbers mean better insulation and, consequently, lower heating expenses.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
Tells you the measure of the fraction of solar energy transmitted – or how well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight.
It’s a number between 0 and 1. Typically ranges from 0.25 to 0.80. The lower the number, the less solar heat can pass through the product and the better it is at keeping a room cool.
Visible Transmittance (VT)
Tells you how much light can pass through.
It is a number between 0 and 1. Typically ranges from 0.20 to 0.80. Higher means more light can pass through.
Air Leakage (AL)
This number tells how good the product is keeping air out.
Typically a number between 0.1 to 0.3 cf·m/ft², or cubic feet of air passing through one square foot of window area per minute. A lower number means less air can enter the room through this product.
Condensation Resistance
Measures how well the product resists water build-up.
Ranges from 0 to 100. Higher means less build-up.


These tables from Energy Star map major United States climates with recommended U-Factor, SHGC, VT, and AL values.

Resources

 

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Brandon and Anne’s San Mateo Remodel

Brandon and Anne are doing a big remodel to their home in San Mateo, CA. The family of four is remodeling the master bedroom and adding a 1-bed, 1-bath accessory building to their backyard. In the short term the accessory building will serve as a playroom, music room, office, a place to have a beer, and comfortable accommodation to host visiting friends and family. They may also occasionally list it as a bed and breakfast on airbnb. Looking to the future an elderly parent could move in and make themselves at home.

Below is a peek at some design development progress. The structure will sit in the corner of the backyard and is roughly 350 square feet or about 22’ x 16’. A welcoming deck wraps the two sides facing the main home.

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Get $250 + 20% off with Fireclay Tile when you start before Thanksgiving!

Get $250 in free tile PLUS an additional 20% off at Fireclay Tile when you start your New Avenue project before Thanksgiving! If you are planning a new tile shower in your bathroom or tile floors in your main home, then this discount can make starting your New Avenue project totally free! That’s the equivalent of 20 hours of custom architecture services and our zoning research report for any project just for buying some beautiful tile.  Get in touch to get started.


Fireclay Tile

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Benefits of Multigenerational Living

How can seniors remain out of care facilities longer? How can you remain closer to your parents without the expensive cost of finding a home near seniorcarearizonayours? The answer you’re looking for may be a multigenerational dwelling—adding on to your existing home to better accommodate your needs. More people are entering old age than ever before and because of this, multigenerational homes have gained in popularity. As seniors age, they and their families are faced with difficult decisions of how to provide the best care possible. Ideally, seniors would love to remain in their own homes, but there a number of reasons this sometimes isn’t possible. Most commonly money is an issue, waning health, or loved ones living too far away in case of an emergency. The next best option to living alone is living with their children or other immediate family members.

According to “Aging alone in America,” written by NYU professor Eric Klinenberg, one third of older Americans are choosing to remain independent. With medical advancements and healthier lifestyles, living alone is a possibility and living with a family member is not the burden it used to be. As people grow older, living in a familiar place, with those they love, helps alleviate depression or disorientation that can occur in aging facilities. Furthermore, with multigenerational living you can avoid the guilt and long-lasting arguments that frequently occur when parents are forced into homes they do not want to be in. Unlike much of the rest of the world, Americans tend to live separate from their elders. This can often be perceived by older people as pushing them away or not wanting to deal with them. With the recent economy shift, however, young people are commonly staying in their parents’ homes longer and older people are moving back in with their children. How European of us!

Beyond the obvious cost benefits, living at home can help your parents remain healthy, both physically and emotionally, by keeping with a routine. Housekeeping, yard work, and cooking are all forms of physical and mental exercise that patients do not receive in places like assisted living centers. Once people have been retired for quite some time, they often lose the routine that kept them healthy. Doing small things around the house to keep active can help reduce what is called aging atrophy, eventually leading to a greater dependence on those around them. With your parents in a suite attached to your house, they can perform the cleaning duties or homecare activities you might not have time to do yourself. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Lastly, living in a familiar place allows seniors to more easily control their environments. The house can be as clean as they like and they are able to decide which people they want to see, if any. At facilities, residents are required to see nurses, other residents, and sometimes other residents’ families. As always, if your loved one begins to require too much care to healthily live with, you should look into home-health services or other living options. Aging can often be a time of making major decisions, but keeping parents close can hopefully alleviate some of that stress.

Jacob Edward is the manager of both Prime Medical Alert and Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona. Prime Medical Alert allows seniors to stay in their homes longer and is one of the leading suppliers of Arizona medical alerts. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys dining out and supporting his alma mater Arizona State’s Sun Devil sports teams. Jacob lives in Tempe, Arizona.

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New Avenue is treating you to 2 open houses!

Haunted Eco-House, Palo AltoHalloween-21

Friday, Oct. 31 – 4:30p-8:30pmJoin us for a fun time at the Eco House, now the Haunted Eco-House this Halloween! Next to the Lucie Stern Complex by the Girl Scout House, staff will be on-hand to tell the story behind the modular house, and giving away treats to trick-or-treaters and to anyone interested in taking a look at what a small space can offer. Everyone is invited. Please RSVP so we can be ready with the treats! The location is 1120 Hopkins Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301 Here is a map. http://goo.gl/r7hjgI

Music Studio Open House, Berkeley
Sunday, Nov. 2nd – 12:00p-2:00pm

Join us for an open house of a beautiful 438 square foot music studio in Berkeley that’s in mid-construction! This is a private residence, so please RSVP below. We will email the address to you a couple of days before the event.

Admission is free for both events!

RSVP here!

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Santa Cruz Open House of Mid-Construction Backyard Cottage, Saturday July 19th, 12-2pm

Santa Cruz ADU
Cedar custom 1×4″ fabricated and rabbited on site

Tour a 1,000 sq.ft. accessory dwelling under construction on Saturday, July 19th from 12-2pm in Santa Cruz.  The drywall just went up, so it’s a perfect time to get a sense of the size and flow of a beautiful ADU, with all the finishes still up to your imagination! Kathleen and John are building this home for Kathleen’s father.  The space has a 2-car garage, loft, full kitchen and lots of storage space for this active couple’s paddle boards, surf boards and bicycles!

New Avenue representatives will beElevations on hand answering any questions you have about our process and how projects like this work.  Feel free to invite your friends and family. Simply click here to RSVP and get the address.

Stay tuned for invitations to more open houses and events like this one. Please call us at 855.563.9283 or email info@newavenuehomes.com with any questions about this project or one you might have in mind for yourself.

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Attention All Architects – Join Us!

 

Less of this means….

New Avenue is launching an Architect’s Profile feature for our website and we would love your input.  Our cloud-based collaboration program connects homeowners to the architect and takes care of the paperwork, helping them through the complicated process of designing and building sustainable accessory dwellings.

…more of this!

Now we are ready to showcase our amazing architects with a new feature in development.  We are holding focus group sessions at our Emeryville office in the next few weeks.  We are excited to meet you and get your feedback!

If you, or a colleague, would be interested in learning about our SAS program or becoming an architect partner, please call us at 855-5NewAve or email partners@newavenuehomes.com

Here is what our current partners have to say about our software and business model:

“New Avenue has helped to take the work of finding and attracting new clients off of our to do list, allowing us to focus on what we enjoy doing the most – designing for our clients.”

-Patrick Bartlett, Bevan Bartlett Architects

“If you’re not pursuing an integrated design process, in all probability it’s a ‘dis-integrated’ process, with sub-optimized results pretty much guaranteed. For top outcomes, an integrated process is a must.”

-Ann V Edminster, Advisor, former Chair of LEED for Homes and renowned sustainability and green building leader

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