Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 L.A. Historic Neighborhoods Conference



Office of Historic Resources

2014 Los Angeles

Historic Neighborhoods Conference


The City of Los Angeles' Office of Historic Resources is pleased to invite you to the 2014 Los Angeles Historic Neighborhoods Conference! Click HERE to register now.
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Contact Information
Office of Historic Resources, Department of City Planning 200 N. Spring Street Room 620 Los Angeles, CA 90012 USA
Phone: (213) 978-1200
Fax: (213) 978-0017
Website: http://preservation.lacity.org


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Remodeling 101: Where to Locate Electrical Outlets, Living Room Edition by Janet Hall



Remodeling 101: Where to Locate Electrical Outlets, Living Room Edition by 

Issue 35 · The Organized Life · September 4, 2014



An often overlooked detail during a remodel? Strategically placed electrical outlets, which will enhance any room's functionality and aesthetics. To ensure your house's power is both plentiful and well placed, here's the first in a series of electrical outlet primers.
First up: Outlets in the living room and entryway. 
Floor Outlets Tiinas Living Room, Remodelista
Above: Inset into a polished concrete floor, strategically placed floor outlets keep the cords of freestanding lamps to a minimum in the living room at Tiina Laakkonen's House in the Hamptons. Tour the whole compound in the Remodelista book. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

Know electric code restrictions and rules

Step 1: Educate yourself about the requirements and restrictions defined by the International Residential Code, National Electrical Code (NEC), and any local codes. The good news is that the rules focus on the minimum requirements for outlet placement (by number of feet between outlets and from corners, etc.). Those minimums may be exceeded, so you may generally add outlets when necessary.
Electric Outlet Architect Symbols, Remodelista
Above: Symbols used by architects to denote various types of electrical outlets include duplex (two receptacles), floor, and GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) outlets, which are used in bathrooms, kitchens, or anywhere water is present. Image via What's on the ARE.

Assess your living room electrical power needs

Make a careful assessment of how you're going to use your living room; convenience is crucial, but aesthetics are also important. To reduce the need for unsightly and hazardous extension cords, outlets should be placed as close to their points of use as possible. Here are key questions to drive your outlet placement decisions. 

1. What is your furniture layout?

This is an important consideration in living rooms. If you plan to anchor your space with a centrally positioned sofa or seating arrangement, strategically placed floor plugs come in very handy. And don't forget bookshelf and storage shelf placement—if you have units that back against a wall, you won't want to block essential outlets.
Francesca Connolly Living Room, Remodelista
Above: When Remodelista cofounder Francesca Connolly remodeled her Brooklyn Heights brownstone, she knew she would need power for lamps on either end of her centrally positioned sofa. "It's best to carefully measure the furniture and placement," she says. "If there is only one obvious place where the sofa will go, it's easier. Just center the outlet so you can position a lamp on either end of the sofa and hide the cord underneath; in our case, there's a small slit in the rug where the cords weave through to the central outlet under the sofa." Photograph by Matthew Williams.
Brass Floor Outlet in Wood Floor, Remodelista
Above: Remodelista contributing editor Izabella Simmons went a step further. "We made cardboard templates of our sofas and placed them on the floor to figure out where to plant the outlets [which are dropped into the floor and stay flush]," she says. "It was as simple as that." See 10 Easy Pieces: Floor Outlets for a range of options. Photograph by Izabella Simmons.

2. Where are your lighting sources? 

Will you have lamps on your end tables? Do you have a favorite floor lamp that will stand next to your reading chair but far from a wall? Plan accordingly. Also make sure you have ample outlets positioned along your baseboards.
Julie Carlson Living Room, Remodelista
Above: Working with architect Jerome Buttrick, Remodelista editor in chief Julie Carlson placed outlets in her living room to allow for multiple floor lamps. Photograph by Matthew Williams

3. How many outlets do you need? What powered items do you use? 

Placement is not just about where but also how many electric outlets are available. It's easy to underestimate your needs. A console table may house not only a lamp but also a speaker, a phone, and other equipment. A duplex receptacle is too small. 

4. Will you have a flat screen or other electronics in your living room? 

While their profiles have grown sleeker, TV screens still come with cumbersome cords. Take into account TV placement and make sure you have ample outlets.
Wall-mount Flat Screen with concealed outlet, Remodelista
Above: Place outlets directly behind where you plan to hang a wall-mounted TV. Recessed outlets are recommended because they sit invisibly behind flush screens, keeping plugs and cords out of sight (for more guidance, go to 7 Secrets for Living with a Flat-Screen TV, Cord-Control Edition). Photograph by Ragnar Ă“marsso via Skona Hem.

5. Do you need electric power in your entryway?

Seattle architect Nils Finne, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Design Directory, designs spaces with his clients' personal electronics use in mind. "Thinking about how you come and go, and where you use and recharge your personal devices, is essential," Finne says. Consider outlets for front-entry electric power solutions, including cubbies (outlets can go in the back), credenzas, or outlets inside entry closets. 
J Weiss Architecture Moraga Entry, Remodelista
Above: SF architect Jennifer Weiss created a built-in entry credenza in an East Bay residence; concealed outlets act as convenient charging station for phones. Photograph by Lucas Fladzinski, courtesy of J. Weiss Architecture.
Docking Drawer, Remodelista
Above: In-drawer outlets in entry credenzas are convenient for charging personal electronics. They can be configured by an electrician or are available preconfigured from Docking Drawer.

6. Do you decorate for holidays and special events? 

Decorating for special events might happen only a few times a year, but don't leave it out of your electrical outlet planning. Having outlets near mantels, stair railings, and interior archways, for example, makes it easier to hang sparkly lights and electric-powered decorations.
Holiday String Lights Entryway, Remodelista
Above: String lights add a festive touch, especially when extension cords are not involved. Photograph via Julie's Indoor Holiday Lights Pinterest Collection.
For visible solutions to outlet blight, there are attractive options such as An Extension Cord to Have in Plain Sight and 10 Easy Pieces: Switch Plate Covers.
Getting ready to remodel? Peruse all of our Remodeling 101 features.



This article is reposted from Remodelista


SARAH BARNARD is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and is recognized by the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology as a Building Biology Practitioner (BBP) and by the United States Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). She has served on the Santa Monica Conservancy’s board of directors and specializes in green interior design and historic preservation.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

187 Simple Ways to Go Green


187 Simple Ways to Go Green


The idea of making green lifestyle changes may be unfamiliar territory to some. Even the phrase "going green" may conjure images of things like off-grid living, reliance on only solar or wind power, vegan diets, or insistence on purchasing organic everything – which may seem extreme.
However, even the smallest changes in your daily habits – like not leaving the faucet on as long or turning off electronics when you're done with them – will make a difference. Here is a list of nearly 200 suggestions for things you could do to live a little greener.
Lighting
Photo by Flickr user Anton Fomkin.

1. Rely on natural lighting as long as you can around the house before you turn the lights on.
2. Install a skylight to increase the amount of natural light in your home.
3. Ditch any incandescent light bulbs and replace them with energy efficient alternatives.
4. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
5. Install dimmer switches.
Plumbing
Photo by Flickr user Scott Feldstein.

6. Fix leaky faucets or toilets.
7. Use low-flow faucets, shower heads, and toilets.
8. Take showers instead of baths to conserve water.
9. Take shorter showers.
10. If you take baths, afterward use the water on your houseplants or garden.
11. Turn off the water when you shave or brush your teeth.
Appliances & Electronics
Photo by Flickr user Alejandro De La Cruz.

12. Replace old, inefficient appliances.
14. Use a microwave or toaster oven to prepare small meals.
15. Don’t open the oven while something is cooking.
16. Use the right size pot when cooking on your stove, or consider an induction cooktop.
17. Dust the coils underneath and on the back of your fridge to help it run more efficiently.
18. Decide what you want to eat before you open the fridge.
20. Use an electric shaver or a razor with replaceable blades.
23. Don’t charge your cell phone overnight.
24. Use power strips.
25. Turn off or unplug electronics, appliances, or chargers when they are not in use.
Heating & Cooling
Photo by Flickr user Steve Johnson.

26. Paint your house a light color in warm climates or a dark color in cold climates.
27. Set your thermostat to a slightly warmer setting in the summer and slightly cooler setting in the winter.
28. Close the curtains in the summer, and leave them open in the winter.
29. Install a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature when you’re away from home.
30. Install ceiling fans for improved air circulation.
31. Cool off with a window fan instead of an air conditioner.
32. When you can, open a window to cool off your home.
33. Wear extra layers before you resort to turning up the heat.
34. Install energy efficient double pane windows.
35. Replace furnace filters regularly.
37. Close heating and cooling vents in unused rooms.
Home Air & Insulation
Photo by Flickr user Mark Tighe.

39. Insulate the walls.
40. Weatherstrip your doors.
41. Seal air leaks in your home with caulk.
42. Be sure your pipes and water heater are well-insulated.
43. Use air filters to improve indoor air quality.
44. Decorate with plants.
45. Use candles instead of air freshener.
Food & Drink
Photo by Flickr user Shanna Trim.

46. Make a meal plan to avoid wasting food.
47. Eat at home instead of going out.
48. Prepare meatless meals more often.
49. Buy your produce from local farmers.
50. Eat fresh fruits and veggies rather than canned.
51. Eat foods in season.
52. Buy fewer frozen dinners.
53. Store foods in glass containers instead of plastic.
54. Don’t defrost foods with water.
56. When you eat, use real dishes and silverware instead of disposable.
58. Reuse tea bags before you throw them out.
60. Do not buy bottled water.
61. Invest in reusable water bottles.
62. Get a water filter for your faucet.
63. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap until the water gets cold.
64. Don’t use plastic straws in your drinks.
Cleaning
Photo by Flickr user Christian Haugen.

66. Scrape dishes rather than rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher.
67. Run full dishwasher loads.
68. Air dry your dishes instead of using the dry cycle.
69. Wash only full loads of laundry.
70. Use a little less detergent than what’s recommended.
71. Wash your clothes in cold water.
72. Hand wash any delicate clothing items instead of dry cleaning.
73. Clean out the lint screen in your dryer after each load.
74. Add dryer balls to your dryer.
75. Hang up your laundry to air-dry.
76. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
77. Use non-toxic cleaning products.
78. Make your own eco-friendly cleaners.
79. Use rags instead of paper towels to wipe up spills.
Waste & Decluttering
Photo by Flickr user Dave Goodman.

80. Recycle as much waste as you can – paper, plastic, glass, etc.
81. Recycle old batteries.
82. Recycle ink and toner cartridges.

84. Turn trash into craft projects.
85. Repurpose items whenever you can.
86. Snip plastic 6-pack rings.
87. Only put out full garbage bags.
88. Make use of sites like Freecycle or Craiglist when getting rid of unwanted items.
89. Donate to places like Salvation Army or Goodwill.
90. Donate old cell phones.
91. Host a yard sale.
92. Organize a clothing swap.
Outdoors
Photo by Flickr user Sharon Mollerus.

94. Strategically plant shade trees around your home.
95. Sweep outside instead of using a hose.
96. Rake your yard instead of using a leaf blower.
97. Collect rainwater to water your houseplants, lawn, and garden.
98. Water your lawn and plants early in the morning when the air is cool to cut down on evaporation.
99. Use a watering can instead of a hose.
100. Plant native plants in your garden that require less fertilizer and pesticides.
102. Start a vegetable or herb garden.
103. Avoid using pesticides in your garden.
104. Pull weeds yourself or use a natural herbicide to get rid of them.
106. Put up a bird house to attract bug-eating birds.
107. Start a compost bin or compost pile in your backyard.
108. Don’t litter.
109. Pick up litter when you see it.
Transportation
Photo by Flickr user Alain Gavillet.

110. Own a light-colored car.
111. Consider tinted windows.
112. Drive the speed limit.
113. Keep your tires well-inflated to save gas and extend their life.
114. Clean out your car and trunk to reduce unnecessary weight.
115. Replace the air filters in your car regularly.
116. Get regular tune-ups on your car to avoid wear & tear and save gas.
117. Use a commercial car wash instead of washing your car yourself.
118. Turn off your car instead of letting it idle.
119. If the line at the drive-thru is too long, park your car and go in to order.
120. Schedule all your errands for the same day so you only make one trip per week.
121. Switch to a hybrid car.
122. Carpool with a friend or neighbor.
123. Ride a bike.
124. Make use of public transportation.
125. Walk to your destination.
Shopping
Photo by Flickr user Annie Mole.

126. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
127. Buy frequently-used items in bulk.
128. Buy products that use recycled materials or are recyclable whenever possible.
129. Buy concentrated products (e.g. fruit juice, laundry detergent, fabric softener).
130. Avoid buying from dollar stores.
131. Don’t buy products with an excess of packaging.
132. Avoid buying aerosol spray cans.
133. Choose paper instead of plastic when getting your items bagged.
134. Invest in cloth shopping bags.
135. Reuse any plastic bags you do get.
136. Shop at thrift or secondhand stores – especially for children’s clothes.
137. Check items online to see if you can buy them gently used instead of new.
138. Shop for groceries online.
Finance
Photo by Flickr user khrawlings.

140. Take advantage of tax credits on energy efficient items.
141. Seek out rebates on ENERGY STAR appliances.
142. Do your banking online instead of being mailed statements.
143. Pay your bills online.
144. File your taxes electronically.
145. Ask your employer if you can have your paycheck directly deposited.
Going Paperless
Photo by Flickr user Hobvias Sudoneighm.

146. Read newspapers and magazines online.
147. Buy e-books instead of print copies.
148. Send electronic invitations instead of snail mail.
149. Send e-cards instead of purchasing paper cards.
150. Opt out of receiving phone books or Yellow Pages.
151. Remove yourself from junk mail lists.
152. Use cloth napkins instead of paper.
153. Use cloth hand towels instead of paper towels.
Leisure
Photo by Flickr user martinak15.

154. Download software instead of purchasing a disc.
155. Download or stream the music you want to listen to.
156. Download or stream movies and TV shows.
157. Borrow books from libraries.
158. Entertain at home.
159. Take a staycation instead of traveling.
At Work
Photo courtesy of Campaign Monitor.

160. Pack your lunch in reusable containers instead of plastic bags.
161. Print on both sides of the page.
162. Think before you print so you don't waste paper.
163. If you are able, telecommute or work at home.
Beauty
Photo by Flickr user Steven Depolo.

165. Use eco-friendly beauty products.
166. Let your hair dry naturally after you wash it.
Children
Photo by Flickr user verybadlady.

167. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable.
168. Make your own baby food.
169. Send kids to school with a lunchbox instead of a sack lunch.
Holidays
Photo by Flickr user m01229.

170. Use newspaper to wrap presents.


Miscellaneous
Photo by Flickr user wonderlane.

174. Use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap.
175. Use mugs instead of Styrofoam or paper cups.
176. Cancel your landline.
177. Buy rechargeable batteries.
178. Use shredded paper instead of Styrofoam peanuts as packing material.
179. Run outside or in a gym instead of using a treadmill.
180. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
181. Use matches instead of disposable lighters.
182. Quit smoking – or don’t start.
183. Bring your own thermos to the gas station when you get coffee.
184. Use the air dryer instead of paper towels in public restrooms.
186. Use non-toxic paint.
187. Do not dump hazardous materials.
Conclusion
As you can see, going green isn't as difficult as you might think. There are plenty of simple changes you could make in your everyday life that make an impact. It all starts with doing the research, like reading this article or others like it! You might also consider taking a class or attending a seminar on going green.
Then go on to increase awareness about conservation and green alternatives to the people that you know. If you want to take it a step further, maybe even donate to environmental groups and causes. Each of us should do our part to protect this planet we share!

Which of the suggestions on the list have you already implemented in your everyday life? Were there any ideas you hadn't thought of before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below; I would love your feedback!
187 Simple Ways to Go Green by Sarah Marchant

This article is reposted from Geodeker's


SARAH BARNARD is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and is recognized by the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology as a Building Biology Practitioner (BBP) and by the United States Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). She has served on the Santa Monica Conservancy’s board of directors and specializes in green interior design and historic preservation.