Droughts, Lawns, & Reducing Use


For four years most of California has been in drought status and yet they never instituted any reduction strategies until now. This has left many scrambling to not only see how much they are using now but also how to reduce. One of the quickest methods for most is to stop watering altogether or changing […]

Did Passive House US (PHIUS) just jump the shark?


For those that may not know, jumping the shark is a term to describe a pivotal moment when a television show begins to decline in quality. This term was originally coined when the Fonz jumped a shark in a Happy Days episode. While the US version of Passive House is not a TV show (hereby to be called PHIUS), it sure has had it’s share of drama […]

Quick Maintenance Tip – Faucet Aerators


An aerator is most commonly attached to a faucet to not only catch particulates in the water (no one likes sand in their water glass) but more importantly creating a non-splashing stream of water which is generally done by mixing water and air. If you are like most people you don’t think twice about them until the […]

Getting ready for Spring: Your deck & grill

spring really

Hopefully, this last snow storm was it for spring (really?) meaning most of us can start getting ready to grill and get back to enjoying the great outdoors. Needless to say for the last few months our decks / patios have been left to the mercy of mother nature, while our grills not only had to deal with […]

The Fight over the ERI & … Return to Sender


Yesterday the full IECAC committee met to hear the commercial and residential sub-committees recommendations. Many items were approved with 4 items being referred back to the appropriate sub-committees. Here is a recap of that 2 1/2 hour meeting, what passed, what is still being debated, a few new objections, & a big you have to be kidding me (can you […]

Illinois & the Fight over the ERI Path

History of the Illinois Energy Code

Tomorrow, Wednesday March 18th, the Illinois Energy Conservation Advisory Council will hold session to hear various sub-committee recommendations and possibly move to vote on the their final recommendations for the adoption of the 2015 IECC. Originally there was a huge fight to simply skip this code cycle due to the “limited performance gains” making it seem largely […]

Creating a Box Beam Work Bench / Desk Top

4 - glue & screw final pieces

One of the lessons we quickly learned was when one builds a work bench, if you don’t want issues with sagging it is best to utilize a box beam (aka torsion box) type design. While I didn’t have a work bench that needs to be built, we decided that we needed to add a built in desk in […]