The Gaines Group

Green Architect

We don’t do the work to get recognition, we don’t do the work to find glory, we don’t do the work for ourselves. I think that is the difference between those that just show up and those that change a community for the better. We work hard to find the value of our clients and express them in their projects. We find ways to save them money, maximize their investment, and add value to the design. This is ‘sustainable’ design. There should be no debate about whether you should or should not go green. You have an ethical obligation to yourself, your children, your community to use the resources available as best able. There can be no waste in true success. There can be no destruction in true growth. Let’s join together to make our community strong. Let’s join together to make a difference.

Environmental Award

10 Easy Steps to Go Green (and to stop losing money)

  1. Reuse – look for product packaging that allows for reuse, look for minimal throw away packaging, look for new uses for old items
  2. Reduce – replace old light bulbs with energy-efficient LED or Compact Fluorescent bulbs
  3. Tighten – air seal your home, this is the least expensive most effective way to achieve energy efficiency
  4. Eliminate – turn off electrical devices not in use, use smart power strips that get rid of phantom loads from appliance like televisions and phone chargers
  5. Strip – weatherstrip your doors and windows, open the windows in the cool mornings to ‘air condition’ your home, close blinds in the warm day to keep the cool in
  6. Hang Out – install a clothes line to dry your clothes instead of running that appliance that contributes to the humidity in your home
  7. Maintain – make sure your HVAC system is in top running order, change the filter, have a regular check-up from a technician that is trained in building science
  8. Conserve – fix drips and leaks in plumbing systems, plant native plants, use water efficient fixtures
  9. Insulate – make sure your attic, band board, crawl space, and basement are insulated properly, don’t settle for code minimum – ask for most effective amount of insulation
  10. Localize – buy, shop, and support local businesses that keep local dollars in the community
Ren's House
If we all do our part now, they will not have to work so hard to fix things when they graduate into the real world!

For more thoughts on saving money, protecting the environment, and on architectural design visit my websites:

www.facebook.com/virginiaarchitect

www.twitter.com/thegainesgroup

www.thegainesgroup.com

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10 Steps to help you “go green”

10 Steps to help you “go green”

There is a tremendous amount of information about going green on the news, television shows, and coming from corporate America. So how do you decide if “green” is right for you? Simple, do you like to save money, want to do less to maintain your home, want to use fewer resources to achieve the same goals? If you answered yes, then you are ready to go green. There are simple things that you can do to get started. Here are some no / low-cost steps to get you on your way.
  1. Turn off the overhead lights and use lamps. Even better use LED or CFL bulbs.
  2. Use rechargeable batteries.
  3. Adjust your fridge temp to 37 degrees and your freezer to 0 degrees. While you’re at it, turn your thermostat back 1 degree.
  4. Recycle – it cost more to send something to a landfill than it does to recycle it. Do your locality a favor, don’t put it in the trash can.
  5. Print on both sides of the page.
  6. Fix any drips and install aerator on your faucets.
  7. Carpool or plan your trips to minimize driving – or even better, walk.
  8. Use reusable grocery bags – this will reduce the overhead of your favorite places to shop which will reduce their need to raise prices.
  9. unplug or use a power strip – a television draws as much electricity turned off as a 60 watt light bulb does turned on.
  10. Shop local for everything from your food to your architect! Less driving is good on the pocketbook and putting money back into your local economy makes your community stronger.

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