Monthly Archives: April 2012

Elegant Brass Tools

Call me odd if you will, but I generally prefer things that are traditional, simple, functional, well-made, and elegant. Hand tools exhibiting these qualities are particularly important to me, and they need not be antiques to embody the craftsmanship often … Continue reading

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Crushing Stones of the Treaty Tree

Old homes are sources of all kinds of strange and unexpected artifacts from the past, and the Mansfield House is certainly no exception. Here, there are a number of fairly good sized stones lying about, in several of the second … Continue reading

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Mansfield House WPA Architectural Survey

Some of you might be old enough, or sufficiently well versed in American history, to recall the Works Progress Administration (or, WPA). The WPA was a New Deal agency enacted in 1935 to provide jobs for unemployed (often unskilled) workers … Continue reading

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Deep Energy Retrofits and Historic Preservation: The Beginning of a New Dialogue

[Note: On April 3rd-4th, 2012, a spirited debate erupted in the Twittersphere on the topic of Deep Energy Retrofits, involving me (@BirminghamPoint), @EnergyCircle, @GreenCurmudgeon, @EnergyVanguard, @EESavers, @CLaumerGiddens, @SLSConstruction, @LeahThayer, and @PEGENG. My good buddy Sean Lintow Sr., of SLS Construction, … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Home Performance | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Will this Detergent turn my Greywater a Lighter Shade of Gray?

While grocery shopping yesterday (which happened to be April 2nd — the second day of Earth Month), I happened to stumble upon a bottle of Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Natural 4X Laundry Detergent, something I’d never heard of before: … Continue reading

Posted in Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Water Can Be An Evil Enemy

“Controlling rain is the single most important factor in the design and construction of durable buildings, and in the control of mold” — Joseph Lstiburek Uncontrolled water and moisture are no friends of structures built by humans, and can easily … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Home Performance | Tagged , , | 3 Comments