A ventilation tower is a natural ventilation system (versus a mechanical system such as a motorized fan) that relies upon pressure differences to move fresh air throughout the house. Natural ventilation systems such as a ventilation tower help to reduce the overall energy consumption of a residence and can improve indoor air quality.
Sheet mulching is a gardening technique that mimics a natural forest's soil stratification. By using layers of cardboard, compost, mulch and vegetation, sheet mulching helps to create a healthy, low maintenance backyard ecosystem that requires less fertilizers and retains water.
Green roofs, or roof gardens, are a layer of vegetation that sits atop a building's roof. They usually include a waterproofing layer, a root barrier, a growing medium and a drainage system that acts as an extension of the existing roof. They can also include an irrigation system, depending on the types of plants used. In addition to providing aesthetic appeal, green roofs can also add a lot of functionality to a roof.
- provide thermal insulation to a home or office building
- retain storm-water that would otherwise add to the city's waste-water management system
- attract wildlife
- decrease the amount of heat radiated back into a neighborhood (think cool field of grass versus hot asphalt)
Concrete Counter tops
Concrete counter tops are a beautiful alternative to stone or laminate counter tops. Once sealed, they are extremely durable and can resist scratching and heat similarly to granite. The best part about concrete counter tops is their customization. Since the concrete starts out as a liquid, it can be poured into a variety of shapes and built-ins, such as recessed cutting boards or trivets, can be included. A variety of colors and materials can also be added to the concrete to give the counter top a unique look.
Concrete counter tops can also be a sustainable alternative to other counter top materials. Unlike stones such as granite or marble, the cement in concrete can be obtained locally instead of having to be shipped from overseas mines.