Glass windows may soon be a thing of the past

Windows and solar panels in the future could be made from one of the best — and cheapest — construction materials known: wood.

Researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed a transparent wood material that could change the way we construct buildings and solar panels. To create the transparent wood, researchers chemically removed lignin from samples of commercial balsa wood and added acrylic..

The new material is suitable for mass production, the researchers say, and is a low-cost renewable resource.

transparent wood windows, energy efficient windows, transparent wood, wood windows
Glass windows may soon be a thing of the past

 

 

If used in the construction of homes and buildings, a transparent wood material has potential to improve indoor lighting, allowing natural light in through the walls.  This could save on the costs of artificial lighting, and may even have use in solar cell windows.  While this is not the first example of optically transparent wood, previous developments have focused on the study of wood anatomy on a microscopic level.  Researchers say this new material has large scale applications.  Panels of transparent wood could be used for windows or semi-transparent facades, to let light in while still maintaining privacy.  And, its ‘haziness’ also gives it promise for solar cells, as it traps light, thus boosting efficiency of the cells.

 

Not sure if this is a good thing.  More trees will need to be used.  Yes, they are renewable but is it sustainable?

 

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The Denver Home Show is not just about windows and sofas

How can homeowners make the most out of home shows?

on Monday, 22 February 2016. Posted in Gravina’s Blog

2015 DENVER HOME SHOW

We love the Denver Home show because it is a great destination for a busy person.   One stop shopping, helps homeowners find everything under one roof from replacement windows to Japanese flower gardens.

Here are a few other reasons:

To save money

Everybody loves a good deal.  Exhibitors at the show often have ‘show deals’ on their products and services. These deals are exclusive and they are a huge bonus for Denver Home Show attendees.

Quality products and services

The Denver Home Show features the highest quality exhibitors. Attendees browse through exceptional products and meet skilled individuals without worrying about scams or shortcuts.

Sometimes, even DIYers need a little help.

Whether an attendee is looking for quick advice from a stage presentation, or project assistance from an exhibitor, the Denver Home Show is the perfect destination for them to get the job done.

Fun, fun, fun for everyone!

The Denver Home Show is not just about windows and sofas.  It features numerous fun activities for young and old.   With fantastic TV personalities, new trends and products, contests and fun for the whole family.

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To ensure an energy-efficient home this winter, grab a pen and notebook

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The Old Farmer’s Almanac Says Colder than Average Winter Looms so It’s Time to Winterize Your Home from Top to Bottom – via Next Step Living

Even if your home was originally constructed as an energy-efficient house, time and nature have a way of taking their toll on your home. For example, opening and closing doors and windows over months and years can cause weatherstripping to break down and lose its ability to insulate and protect your home from cold winter drafts.

To ensure an energy-efficient home this winter, grab a pen and notebook, and take a tour of your home and conduct your own home energy audit. Start with the furnace. Check to see when you most recently had your furnace cleaned. It should be cleaned every year, even if it is a gas furnace. A clean furnace is crucial for ensuring that it is operating safely and efficiently.

Next on your home energy audit is to check all the doors and windows and confirm that they open and close properly. Inspect the weatherstripping to confirm that it’s in good working order, as well. Ideally, examine the doors and windows on a cool, windy day so that you can check for drafts.

The attic is the chief culprit for winter home energy loss. Heat rises, and if the attic is improperly insulated, heat from the lower living areas of the home will find its way into the attic and eventually out of the home via the ridge and soffit roof vents.

Inspect the attic for proper insulation. Depending upon where you live, you should have at least R-30 or R-38 insulation in the attic. Make sure that when inspecting the insulation, you check for small breaks. Even the smallest of uninsulated areas in the attic can lead to a dramatic reduction in energy efficiency.

Next take a look at the shower heads in your bathrooms. Heating water is another major culprit in high energy costs. By replacing the old shower heads with low-flow shower heads, you can dramatically save energy at home.

After addressing the big-ticket items in your home energy audit, look at the electrical appliances and light fixtures. By replacing the standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, you can reduce your home’s lighting energy consumption by as much as 70 percent.

Also, if you have the budget, consider replacing some of the old appliances — for example, the refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave and washer and dryer — with Energy Star appliances.

So conduct your own home energy audit this fall, and implement some, if not all, of the suggestions I recommended. By doing so, you will be guaranteed to have an energy-efficient house this winter.

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Why Is R-Value Important?

Simply put, R-value is a measurement of how insulating a building material is, protecting one side from the heat or cold on the other side.  A higher R-value means that a material insulates better than one with a lower value.

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In order to get an idea of what these values are, here are a few examples of common building materials and their R-values:

  • 1/2″ drywall – 0.45
  • 1/2″ plywood – 0.62
  • 4″ wide brick – 0.80
  • 1″ of concrete – 0.52
  • Single pane of glass – 0.91
  • 2″ insulated metal door – 2.00
  • Dual Pane Low E glass – 2.5

R-Value of Building Insulation

Building insulation has different R-values depending on the type of material being used and the thickness.  Different materials are used in different areas of a building, and they are designed  to be used in different types of construction.

Here are a few common types of building insulation:

R-value of fiberglass insulation

Fiberglass – Made of blown glass threads that are either matted together into batts or distributed loosely, this is the most common material used in residential construction today.  The fiberglass “batts” are either stuffed into the spaces between the studs in the exterior walls of a building, or they may be laid down on the bottom of an attic space.  Other forms of insulation, such as loose fill or boards, are used in other locations, such as a basement or crawl space.  Fiberglass batts come in a wide range of R-values, most commonly from R-11 to R-38.

Foam – Spray foam insulation is made by mixing two chemicals (isocyanate and polyol resin, if you are interested) that react and cause the foam to expand to fill the space it is placed in.  It can be shot into spaces through small access holes, making installation in retrofit projects easier than standard batts.  There are two types of spray foam – open and closed cell – with closed cell being the most dense and therefore having a higher R-value.  Foam averages R-5 to R-6 per inch, compared to R-2 to R-4 per inch of fiberglass.

R-value of recycled denimRecycled denim – Blue jeans and other denim products are shredded and the cotton fibers are woven together to form batts, similar to standard fiberglass insulation.  The denim used to produce this insulation is post-consumer, so it removes products from the waste stream and repurposes them.  Denim batts provide slightly better R-values than similar thicknesses of fiberglass.

What Does This Have To Do Windows?

So, why is all this important?  A typical double-pane window achieves an R-2.0. Better windows have higher R-values and low U-factors.  Higher numbers mean more insulation.

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Camping trailer turns into a spacious mobile home

 

 

When Their Trailer Transforms Into A House, Everyone Is Left Completely Amazed

For people who like the idea of camping, but prefer the conveniences of home and sleeping in a comfortable bed, this may be the stylish solution that offers the best of both worlds.

bohtlingk.nl

This camping trailer turns into a spacious mobile home. “De Markies” (The Awning) was built in 1985 by Dutch designer, Eduard Bohtlingk, as a contemporary travel-size home that unfolds to triple the floor space and provide enough room for four people to sleep comfortably. Its design includes a kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom along with collapsible furniture for simple storage.

One of the best features is the vinyl awnings that are easy to fold for some fresh air or cover for privacy. Amazing versatility!

UCL-2-UrbanCampingFishing

bohtlingk.nl

Enjoy the gentle breeze as you take an afternoon nap. A partition wall can be added to separate the sleeping area and create two cozy bedrooms.

pop up campers with bathrooms

ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com

The kitchen is located in the center of the camper and includes a kitchen table, plenty of cupboards, counter space, electrical outlets, and a sink and stove that are combined to save on space.

ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com

With stainless steel kitchen appliances, including a cappuccino machine, the kitchen has a contemporary style for the accommodations you would find at home.

ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com

So much floor space! The living room is a perfect place to invite neighboring campers over for drinks and casual conversation.

bohtlingk.nl

UCL-7-UrbanCampsite-Markies

ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com

It is evident that “De Markies” is not your typical camper. The contemporary design was masterfully planned out to use every inch of space efficiently and in a stylish way.

I am not sure what this runs, but this is one of the cooler campers I have ever seen.

 

Source here