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Note: Design Forward LLC is proud to have served the Southern California area designing straw bale homes for over 15 years. However, we have moved on to other business ventures and have closed the business as of January 2017. We will not taking any new projects or responding to phone and email requests. This website will be left up as an archive of data for straw bale and design. You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer. Thank you!
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June 2005
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter June 2005, vol. 27
in this issue
  • Natural Living
  • Practice Safe Sun
  • Join in the Organic Rebellion
  • Feedback

  • Greetings!

    Welcome to the June 2005 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

    Quote of the Month: "...a simple wave of a few materials articulates space into rooms..."
    - Rudolph M. Schindler

    Lisa Van Veen

    Natural Living

    More New Mexicans are turning to energy- efficient, green-built homes

    Ask Sue Smoot the size of her cozy North Valley home, and she has to stop and think.

    "Inside or out?" asks the 79-year-old, who designed the straw-bale home herself after earning an architecture degree at the age of 57.

    Because the walls of her home are nearly 2 feet thick - the 18-inch width of the bales plus a few inches of plaster on either side - the energy-efficient structure measures 1,600 square feet on the exterior, but only 1,300 square feet inside.

    The sacrifice in space was worth it to Smoot who, like a growing number of New Mexicans, was motivated to build "green" after living most of her life in energy-extravagant homes.

    Green building uses energy-efficient, nontoxic and renewable materials, and is designed to conserve natural resources and exploit Mother Nature's advantages.

    Article & Picture Carrie Seidman

    Practice Safe Sun

    It that time of year again - summer! It is many people's favorite time of year - the beach, the lake, the picnics, the barbeques, and the SUN. It is always important to take precautions in the sun.

    Skin Care Facts
    Approximately 9,000 people a year die of skin cancer in the United States. One in 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed with malignant melanoma - an increase of 1,800% since the 1930's. Melanoma is the most frequent cancer in women ages 25-29, second only to breast cancer. More than 1 million cases of non- melanoma skin cancer are also found each year.
    The Dangers of Exposure
    UVA rays can lead to premature signs of aging, dark spots, discoloration and loss of elasticity. They can pass through glass and reach deeper layers of skin. UVB rays can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer. They are strongest at low latitudes and high latitudes - which increases as the ozone layer thins.
    Environmental Aggressors
    Toxins such as smoke and pollution can lead to more damage - long-term effects can include discoloration, uneven skin, lines and wrinkles. Be careful on high pollution days which the ozone levels are high.

    Ten Tips
    The American Academy of Dermatology provides ten tips for staying safe in the sun:

    1. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (protecting the skin from both UVA and UVB light) with an SPF of 15 or higher.
    2. Reapply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors even on cloudy days.
    3. Wear protective, tightly woven clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt and pants.
    4. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when outdoors.
    5. Stay in the shade whenever possible.
    6. Avoid reflective surfaces, which can reflect up to 85 percent of the sun's damaging rays.
    7. Protect children from sun exposure.
    8. If you don't see your shadow, seek shade! If your shadow is shorter than you are, you're likely to burn.
    9. Avoid tanning beds.
    10. Try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Article Aveda. Article American Academy of Dermatology. Picture http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/earth/air /skin.htm

    Join in the Organic Rebellion

    This is just for fun - Join the adventures of Cuke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Cannoli, Chewbroccoli and the rest of the Organic Rebels fighting against Darth Tader and the Dark Side of the Farm.

    Picture Grocery Store Wars


    Design Forward works toward promoting Sustainable Design. If you know of a project that should be featured, please contact us. Let us know why you think it should be featured and give us a basic intro to the project, the sustainable elements and any websites or contact information.

    If you would like to submit a fun and/or entertaining quote about architecture, building, the environment or such, send it in! If it at all possible, include the author.

    If you have any other feedback concerning this publication, please feel free to send an email or use the form.

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    Revised June 6, 2005