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February 14, 2012

Alli @ 8:59 am

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is inherently green: it uses less energy than forced air systems and does not circulate dust, bacteria, or other particles the way forced air does. 

 Warmboard is different than most radiant heating systems. It consists of a sheet of tongue-and-groove plywood with a modular pattern of channels cut into the surface. A thick sheet of aluminum is stamped to match the channel pattern and is permanently bonded to each panel. A roll of half-inch PEX tubing (the radiant industry standard for toughness, reliability, and performance) is then easily installed into the channel to complete the hydronic circuit.

As a structural subfloor, Warmboard is stiff, strong and especially tough. It can be sawn with a Skilsaw and nailed or screwed directly to your floor joists just like any conventional subfloor. It is less labor intensive than other radiant heat systems because it installs in just a few easy steps. Warmboard is now available in FSC-grade wood!

Wood floors are almost everyone’s first go to choice when selecting new flooring for their space. Warmboard is a great solution for radiant heating while still keeping the sustainability factor in mind!!

Filed under: Go Green


February 13, 2012

Alli @ 10:18 am

Seek Alternative Materials

Today, more and more manufacturers are working closely with designers to develop a wide range of options in environmentally friendly materials that are recycled, reclaimed, organic and/or renewable. For every product used in an interior environment, there is usually a greener option that can be used. In addition search for locally sourced and manufactured materials.

Here is a table that will help you find good sustainable alternatives….

materials table

Filed under: Go Green


February 9, 2012

Alli @ 10:57 am

Save a tree, use less paper

You can buy “tree-free” 100% post-consumer recycled paper for everything from greeting cards to toilet paper. Paper with a high post-consumer waste content uses less virgin pulp and keeps more waste paper out of landfills.

Other tips:

  • Remove yourself from junk mail lists. Each person will receive almost 560 pieces of junk mail this year, which adds up nationally to 4.5 million tons, according to the Native Forest Network. About 44% of all junk mail is thrown in the trash, unopened and unread, and ends up in a landfill. To stem the flow into your own home, contact the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service at P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512, or download the online form. Opt out of credit card or insurance offers at OptOutPrescreen.com or by calling 888-567-8688, a single automated phone line maintained by the major credit bureaus.
  • Buy unbleached paper. Many paper products, including some made from recycled fibers, are bleached with chlorine. The bleaching process can create harmful byproducts, including dioxins, which accumulate in our air, water and soil over time.

Filed under: Go Green


February 8, 2012

Alli @ 10:34 am

Clean green.

Stop buying household cleaners that are potentially toxic to both you and the environment. In his book, “The Safe Shopper’s Bible,” David Steinman suggests reading labels for specific, eco-friendly ingredients that also perform effectively. These include grain alcohol instead of toxic butyl cello-solve, commonly found in carpet cleaner and some window cleaners as a solvent; coconut or other plant oils rather than petroleum in detergents; and plant-oil disinfectants such as eucalyptus, rosemary or sage rather than triclosan, an anti fungal agent found in soaps and deodorant.

Or, skip buying altogether and make your own cleaning products. Use simple ingredients such as plain soap, water, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), vinegar, washing soda (sodium carbonate), lemon juice and borax and save money at the same time. Check out these books by Annie Bertold-Bond for cleaning recipes: “Clean and Green” and “Better Basics for the Home.”


Filed under: Go Green


February 7, 2012

Alli @ 3:03 pm

Watch the temp.

Almost half a home’s energy consumption is due to heating and cooling. 

  • Turn down the thermostat in cold weather and keep it higher in warm weather. Each degree below 68°F (20°C) during colder weather saves 3%-5% more heating energy, while keeping your thermostat at 78°F in warmer weather will save you energy and money. A programmable thermostat will make these temperature changes for you automatically.
  • Clean your furnace’s air filter monthly during heavy usage.
  • Consider a new furnace. Today’s furnaces are about 25% more efficient than they were in the 1980s. (And don’t forget to check out furnaces carrying the Energy Star label.)
  • To keep you cool in warmer weather, shade your east and west windows and delay heat-generating activities such as dish washing until evening.
  • Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioners. Light clothing in summer is typically comfortable between 72°F and 78°F. But moving air feels cooler, so a slow-moving fan easily can extend the comfort range to 82°F, according to “Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings” by Alex Wilson.


Filed under: Go Green


February 6, 2012

Alli @ 10:04 am

Green up your appliances

Getting rid of that old refrigerator in the garage could save you as much as $150 a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Appliance use comprises about 18% of a typical home’s total energy bill, with the fridge being one of the biggest energy hogs. If any of your appliances is more than 10 years old, the EPA suggests replacing them with energy-efficient models that bear their “Energy Star” logo. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. According to the Energy Star site, if just one in 10 homes used energy-efficient appliances, it would be equivalent to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees.

Also, consider what you put in that energy-efficient refrigerator. Pesticides, transportation and packaging are all things to consider when stocking up. Buying local cuts down on the fossil fuels burned to get the food to you while organic foods are produced without potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers.


Filed under: Go Green

Overland Park – Whole House Remodel

February 3, 2012

Alli @ 3:47 pm

There has been an incredible amount of progress at the whole house remodel in Overland Park! We are quickly wrapping up the project with final touches and making sure the details are just perfect for the homeowners to move in!

The walls have all been painted, the tile floors in both bathrooms have been laid, as well as the fireplace and kitchen back splash. The wood floors have been re-finished, the cabinets have been set and the counter tops have been installed.  The lighting fixtures have all been hung.

We are putting the final touches on the house, so hopefully the homeowners can move in in about 2 weeks or so! RARE is so excited with the outcome of this whole house remodel and we hope the homeowners like it as much as we do!!

Filed under: Current Projects,Projects,Whole House Remodel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Expand your space without a room addition!

January 24, 2012

Expand your space without a room addition!
Rose @ 10:22 am

During the last several years we have been expanding our client’s homes with room additions. We found that many room additions were done to accommodate either a new, larger kitchen or to build a larger master suite. New homes were larger and had more open floor plans.  Often, the only way to accomplish that look in a smaller home was to add on.

Now, years later and in the present economic times we are designing many projects within the existing foot print of the home.  People are down sizing or deciding to stay where they are.  Rearranging the current space to better suit the family’s needs is what we do today. We have also used “bump outs” 2 feet deep or so to enlarge the space “Just Enough” to accomplish the design. A great reference book we use is called Creating the Not So big House from Sarah Susanka. Her approach is to design the house and each room in it to suit the needs of the individual clients who live in the home.  Her concepts will work in any size house – the idea is to design or remodel the space so it suits your particular needs.  Have fun on her web site- it might just change how you think about where you live.  

Filed under: Design Time,Room Addition,Whole House Remodel — Tags: , , , ,


January 23, 2012

Alli @ 9:52 am

Comfortex SilverScreen Roman & Roller Shades

Comfortex has come up with a great solution for sustainable roman and roller shades for the home! They have combined the contemporary style with visual comfort. Comfortex uses SilverScreen fabrics which have been designed to reduce eye-straining glare while also maintaining view-through so that your view from inside is not limited. “SilverScreen fabrics are made of vinyl-coated fiberglass with a vapor-deposited aluminum coating that reflects 76% of solar radiation, dramatically increasing solar energy performance and allowing for improved temperature and draft control.” These shades are truly energy saving in that they keep sunlight out during the summertime–reducing air conditioning needs, and they also reflect heat back in the room during winter–reducing heating needs.

The Comfortex shades are manufactured and fabricated through Comfortex’s on-demand technology, a process that uses fewer natural resources and generates almost no waste.  The Comfortex shades are available to you in Roller or Roman Styles, and they meet the standards for indoor air quality and are also formaldehyde-free. 

The install for these shades is extremely easy! The shade brackets are installed into the wall or window frame with screws and the shade snaps into the brackets.  
This is a really good solution for any home with several windows and/or windows that bring in an enormous amount of sunlight. These shades not only are sustainable but are money savers too!








Filed under: Go Green — Tags: , ,


January 18, 2012

Alli @ 9:50 am

RARE Construction is taking a huge leap forward and is making an effort to educate Kansas City on sustainability! As many of you know there is a massive green movement happening out there and we at RARE are very excited about sharing with you many sustainable products and solutions for your home without breaking the bank! While there is an abundance of information out there on sustainability and being “green,” we are going to try and break it all down and only provide you with the good stuff!

Endurawood produces sustainable wood products for residential and commercial green buildings. They custom design and fabricate all of their products at their warehouse and studio in Portland, Oregon. Endurawood has been in operation for more than 15 years and has served well over 2,500 customers.

Endurawood offers in-house fabrication of custom sustainable wood products such as counter tops, furniture, mill-work, tabletops and more. So if your in the market for a FSC certified, reclaimed, rapidly renewable resource for a sustainable wood product, then Endurawood is the resource for you! All of their wood products meet the guidelines for FSC which is the Forest Stewardship Council. FSC certified wood products must be harvested from forests that meet strict standards of sustainability, ecological diversity, and socioeconomic responsibility.

“Endurawood believes that sustainable forestry is the best way to meet both our current and future building needs.”

We at RARE Construction are quite impressed with their advocacy for the environment and commitment towards sustainability. Their product selections aren’t too bad either! We hope to have the opportunity arise where we can say we have used Endurawood in one of our clients homes and were thrilled with the outcome! 



Filed under: Go Green

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