i-house 2.0

Clayton Homes is making a good thing better with their i-house upgrade. Here's a list of the features:

  • maintained "green" identitiy
  • butterfly roof
  • warmer colors and materials
  • natural light optimization
  • solar option
  • public and private separation
  • clearly marked entry
  • Flex options still apply
  • covered outdoor living
  • larger doors and wider hallways
Posted on Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 01:46PM by Registered CommenterBurke Sisco in , | Comments2 Comments | PrintPrint

TIGER II grant funding for the BeltLine

The Atlanta Development Authority and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. have applied for federal grant money that would provide funding to complete 7 miles of the Atlanta BeltLine corridor and more than 8 miles of new streetscape improvements along the corridor.

Competition for the TIGER II grants is fierce, as you can imagine. So the ADA and Atlanta BeltLine Inc. are asking you to help show support by signing this petition.

When we receive the funding [positive thinking, right?], the Atlanta BeltLine will have 11 miles of multi-use trail within three years. That's 1/3 of the proposed 33 miles of multi-use trail that will eventually form a linear park connecting 45 neighborhoods.

Two more miles of the trail will be complete and ready for use by Summer '11 thanks to a combined $5 million donation from Sarah and Jim Kennedy/PATH Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. This trail will go from Freedom Park to Piedmont Park connecting along the way to two of our Emerald Necklace's newest jewels:  Old Fourth Ward Park and a world class skateboard park.

Did you sign the petition, yet?

Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010 at 10:18AM by Registered CommenterBurke Sisco in | Comments1 Comment | PrintPrint

Lights out for T12 fluorescent

Even though T12 fluorescents are generally considered out-dated lighting technology, they still account for 3 out of every 10 4 foot lamps sold. That 70-year-run will soon come to an end. As of July 1, 2010 a  halt to magnetic ballast production, mandated by the Department of Energy [DOE], goes into effect. This is not necessarily bad news, as the continued strong sales of T12 fluorescents indicate that a substantial slice of the nation's buildings are not using the most energy-efficient lighting. A recent report by the DOE indicated well over 4 million buildings using outdated lighting technology. Some estimates say there are still 1 billion T12 lamps burning out there. 

Energy savings will be substantial when we change that light bulb paradigm.

If we could flick a switch and upgrade all of Georgia's buildings with old T12's to the much more efficient T5 technology, we could probably end discussions about spending millions on new coal plants. That may sound like hyperbole, but upgrading a 4 lamp T12 fixture to a 2 lamp T5 can account for up to 70% in light and HVAC energy savings! Because, as I have enlightened my dear readers before, there is a technology that is the closest thing I've found to flicking a switch.

Old fixtures can be used in-place by simply by-passing the existing ballast. Then you simply replace the old lamp with a special adapter that clips in just like the lamp. The adapter has a built-in electronic ballast and accommodates the shorter T5 lamps.

With substantial Federal and State incentives available to Georgia building owners, there has simply never been a better time to make the switch.

For a fact sheet on the T5 adapter click here.

For FAQ on the T5 adapter click here. 

Sambo Mockbee documentary

One of the most transcendental moments of my life happened standing in a downpour outside a poor elderly African American woman's home in Hale County, AL. On the porch beside her stood a young white Auburn Architecture student. The old woman was crying tears of gratitude as she thanked the young woman and The Rural Studio for a new bedroom and bath addition to her shack of a home. I was grateful that the thundershower somewhat masked my own tears, as I felt embarrassed by an unexpected display of emotion amongst a gaggle of strangers. It was the beginning of the summer of 2002 and and the lingering shock and awfulness of 9-11 had not fully subsided. But here was tikkun olam -- a repairing of the world -- and there seemed to be hope for humanity yet. None of us in the crowd sought cover from that drenching rain. The moment was too important to miss. The Rural Studio's founder, the legendary Sambo Mockbee, used to say that everyone deserves shelter for the soul. And we had found some.

I felt as if I had undergone a baptism of sorts.

Although Mockbee had died the Christmas before, it was obvious as I toured some of the newest student projects that his leadership and legacy would live on. The Rural Studio was focused on sustainability, afford-ability, and creative re-use of materials long before it became du jour. The sheer genius of the intersection of practical education and community benevolence to some of the nation's poorest germinated in me an intense desire to be a change agent in my own community. 

A documentary film celebrating the contribution of Sambo Mockbee will be shown tonight at the High Museum of Art.  Citizen Architect:  Sambo Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio screens at 8 p.m. Tickets are free.

Come be inspired.

Posted on Friday, June 4, 2010 at 10:04AM by Registered CommenterBurke Sisco | CommentsPost a Comment | PrintPrint

Clothesline criminals

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Enemy Within - Backyard Clothesline

Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News


Just know that all Realtors aren't against the right to dry.  

Meanwhile, Levi Strauss will award $10,000 to the winner of their Care To Air Design Challenge. The contest seeks to find "the world’s most innovative, covetable, and sustainable air-drying solution for clothing." One of the key criteria for judging will be aesthetics.

What do you think? Should community aesthetics trump personal economic, environmental, and energy issues? Or is line-drying a part of the quilt of solutions for a climate neutral tomorrow?

Posted on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 08:09AM by Registered CommenterBurke Sisco in , , | Comments2 Comments | PrintPrint

A laundry list

A few reasons why you should hang your clothes out to dry:

  • Save money with lower electric bills
  • Conserve energy and the environment -- electric dryers use five to ten percent of residential electricity in the U.S.
  • Sunlight bleaches and disinfects naturally without chemicals
  • Clothes dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually. The yearly national fire loss for clothes dryer fires in structures is estimated at $99 million.
  • Clothes last longer
  • Clothes and sheets smell better without chemical fragrances
  • You can tap into solar and wind power in your backyard today. Breezecatcher offers a great umbrella-style clothesline at an excellent price. My readers get a 7.5% discount on all orders over $50 plus free shipping when they enter coupon code S5000.

And finally -- on a partially-related note -- a little clothesline humor:

Art on the BeltLine:  "Cribbing"

photo courtesy of Audrey L. Jones

My wife Liana and I are Artist Liaisons for the Lake Ave. – DeKalb Ave. section of the BeltLine for the upcoming Art on the BeltLine. This section contains one of the BeltLine’s most interesting areas with a variety of topographies and boundaries. This area was chosen by one of the artists for one of the larger installations. “Cribbing” will reassemble railroad ties from the BeltLine into an interactive enclosure. Jeff Morrison is the artist/architect and can use volunteers for the remaining weekends in May, especially the 15th and 16th. For a bead on the location go here and look for the green pushpin on the map.

Last week Jeff + 7 volunteers made great progress. The designated area has been cleared and graded and is ready for the ties.

Let me know if you can help out. And thanks to those who have already volunteered. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm for being a part of the transformation of historic rail lines into Atlanta’s Emerald Necklace.

Construction crew including me and my daughters April + Shelly

Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 09:38AM by Registered CommenterBurke Sisco in , | CommentsPost a Comment | PrintPrint