Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
- Water quality - private well systems, public treatment programs, and sources of contamination as well as remediation techniques
- Indoor air quality - irritants from volatile organic compound (VOC) off-gassing, allergens, pesticide residue, mold, and radon
- Historic contamination - any type of property contamination, such as leaking underground storage tanks or industrial contamination that occurred during prior ownership
- Green buildings and health - contruction programs and certifications for new and existing property, along with government-sponsored incentive programs
I have access to certified and insured professional inspectors and remediators who specialize in each of these areas of concern.
The second area of study, which I am currently working on, addresses energy efficiency, materials, and techniques for a sustainable environment.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
- Green Advantage has an education program, completion of which confers GA Certification
- The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) issues the Certified Green Professional designation
- National Association of the Remodeling Industry education program can confer a Green Certified Professional designation.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
- There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10am on Monday, June 16, for the Montrose Road bridge and tie-in intersection (in front of St. Elizabeth's Church) opening. This will eliminate the current detour for westbound Montrose Road traffic, and we will no longer have to turn onto East Jefferson St. when heading toward I-270. Montrose Road will intersect Montrose Parkway.
- The piece of Montrose Parkway between E. Jefferson St. and old Old Georgetown Rd. (behind La Madeleine) is complete, but will not be opened to traffic until the state intersection project is built. This will take several years. The intersection project takes Montrose Parkway under Rockville Pike and dumps it back onto Randolph Road before the CSX tracks. Funding has been allocated (the county is "lending" some of the funds to the state to start construction sooner; don't hold your breath for getting this money back), but engineering is not complete. Concrete General won the construction contract (big surprise). So, we have a completed road section that will sit there, unused, for years, while all eastbound Montrose Parkway traffic has to turn at E. Jefferson St.
- There is some confusion about the trees that were planted today on Tildenwood Drive. The old cherry trees were not taken down first, and I still don't know if the county planted the new trees (unlikely), or they were mistakenly installed by Concrete General's landscaping crew (more likely). I will write again about this when I find out what happened.
- Final paving for Montrose Road & Parkway will occur between July and September, and Concrete General will consider the project complete. They think it's likely to be July-August, but are saying September to be conservative.
- The sign for Hitching Post Lane at Montrose Road is missing. Conc. Gen'l's rep told me that they have the sign, but, until the final paving and re-alignment of the lanes, they can't install it. Hoping that it will be up within the next month.
- They still haven't finished the brickwork or planting in what remains of the traffic island on Tildenwood Drive. Promises, promises. I asked about planting shrubbery or ground cover around the new eastern redbud tree that's supposed to go in, but the staff on hand were not aware of any landscaping plans that included anything other than a single tree. Negotiations continue.
- I understood that Concrete General was responsible for planting trees and other screening on the berm next to the sidewalk on Tildenwood Drive (between the sidewalk and the new storm management pond behind Faith Methodist Church). Staff at the office had no record of this requirement. Again, I will follow up on this with the county tree maintenance department and with Roger Brown, the project manager for Concrete General.
- There are currently no crosswalks at the intersection of Montrose Parkway and E. Jefferson Street. I have had to take my life into my hands getting around that intersection on foot or on my bike. Final plans show crosswalks for all four sides of the intersection, with pedestrian signals to be installed. I hope to find out when this will occur and let you all know.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
- Modifications that can be made to an older home to conserve energy (such as adding insulation, plugging up gaps around windows and exterior outlets, replacing windows, doors, and old appliances with Energy Star items, installing solar or wind systems)
- Materials that can be used in construction that are sustainable and renewable
- Lifestyle changes to reduce waste (such as choosing products with less packaging, choosing items that are local, changing lights to compact fluorescents, and composting)
- Choosing transportation & workplace options that reduce the use of the automobile
A note about compact fluorescent light bulbs. We tried many of them, and find that, if you search for the bulbs that are rated 2700-2800k (kelvin), you will have a bulb that most closely replicates the light quality and color of an incandescent bulb. The lower the kelvin rating, the "yellower" the light; the higher the rating, the "bluer" the light. We found the higher k bulbs to be very harsh. You cannot use the standard compact flourescent bulbs on circuits with dimmer switches; there are special compact bulbs for that purpose. We are using them everywhere we can, and find virtually no difference at all. They also last many, many times longer that the comparable incandescent bulbs. Just be sure to take the "spent" bulbs to the Shady Grove transfer center (not in your recycling bin) so that they can be disposed of properly; there are trace amounts of mercury inside the tubes.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
- Montrose Road used to have a "dip" over Old Farm Creek between St. Elizabeth's Church and Treeline Way (townhouses). The creek passed under Montrose Road through a small culvert. They are raising Montrose Road about 7' above where is used to be, eliminating much of the dip, removing the culvert, and building a bridge over the creek that will be large enough to accommodate a wildlife crossing beneath it. I believe that they are also talking about having a human path (bike path? - I'll be checking on this) to link our new parkway bike path to the north side of Montrose Road, into Rockville.
- Once Montrose Road, traveling westbound, crosses the new bridge over the creek, it will veer left (south, and away from St. Elizabeth's) to intersect with the parkway. When you are on the parkway, you can see what looks like an incomplete intersection, with the booms for the traffic lights already installed. That's where Montrose Road will tie into Montrose Parkway.
- The part of the old Montrose Road that went in front of St. Elizabeth's (between Tildenwood Drive and the new Montrose Road/Montrose Parkway intersection) will be removed.
So, here are the pictures of the construction so far...
View eastward from Tildenwood Drive & Montrose Road, taken from the north side. You can see the parkway veering off to the right. The construction is further along on the left, on the closed section of Montrose Road.
Friday, February 15, 2008
- The Tilden Woods gazebo, just east of Tildenwood Drive & Montrose, is falling down and needs to be replaced or removed. In fact, contractors who illegally removed trees from the adjacent property felled limbs on the gazebo, making a bad situation worse.
- On Tildenwood Drive, the traffic island was ripped up and has not been rebuilt or replanted.
- Sidewalks were not built along the new length of Hitching Post Lane; the sound walls only allow vehicles through so that walkers cannot follow Hitching Post Lane to the swim club.
- Numerous cherry trees were cut down along Tildenwood Drive, particulary near the new storm water management pond south of the back of Faith United Methodist Church and near the intersection with Montrose Road, leaving large blank spaces in our tree canopy. I have arranged with a county department to have these replaced, no thanks to the parkway construction contractor.
- The contractor was to replant and landscape the earth berm between the storm water management pond (just mentioned above) and the sidewalk.
That's just near the entrance to Tilden Woods! Further east on the parkway,
- The bike path gets to East Jefferson Street, continues on the other side, but there is no crosswalk. In fact, the vehicular traffic around that corner does not stop, and it is decidedly treacherous to cross the street to stay on the bike path.
- The county transportation department (DPWT) has striped and re-striped the pavement along East Jefferson Street so that lanes suddenly appear, disappear, merge, and make forced turns in such a bizarre pattern that accidents are nearly a daily occurrance.
- Although the utility companies have finished moving cables from the poles that were in the middle of the widened Montrose Road, not all of the poles have been removed. Notably, there is a pole in the street at the corner of Montrose & Tildenwood Drive. After I sent an email to the county, the contractor put a few barrels around it and nailed neon stripes to it, but it's an accident waiting to happen if someone rounds that corner and doesn't see it (or the barrels get blown aside, as one did this past week).
Do you know of other problems to be addressed? Be sure to post them. Thanks.