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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 You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer.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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September 2006 - [Sustainable Concepts] Green Roofs and Saving Water
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter September 2006, vol. 42
in this issue
  • Greening of Chicago Starts at the Top Floor
  • Save Water Outdoors
  • Feedback


    Welcome to the September 2006 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

    Quote of the Month: "To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."

    Lisa A. Swan

    Greening of Chicago Starts at the Top Floor

    Atop the scalding eighth-floor roof of the Chicago Cultural Center, workers dripped sweat as they planted row upon tidy row of hardy plants, the latest signal of one big-city government's determination to be green.

    On other downtown rooftops, tall corkscrew-shaped turbines will bridle the winds that race across the plains. A new roof on Chicago's vast convention center will channel 55 million gallons of rainwater a year into Lake Michigan instead of overburdened storm drains.

    Skeptics snickered 17 years ago when Mayor Richard M. Daley added flowers and trees to the city's honey- do list. They scoffed at the apparent folly of beautifying a sprawling, gritty urban landscape, figuring Daley for a modern-day Potemkin.

    A few tulips, they figured, would be the end of it.

    But the city-kid mayor raised on the rough-and- tumble South Side stuck with it. The greening project grew strong roots, giving Chicago a reputation as one of the nation's most committed environmental cities of any size. The company it keeps is not Newark and Detroit, but Portland and Seattle.

    The urban environmental movement has spread from the margins to the mainstream, from a countercultural statement epitomized by the 1960s riff, "Save water; shower with a friend," to a policy option welcomed in boardrooms and council chambers. As other cities have climbed on board, Pacific Northwest progressives no longer have a corner on the market.

    Article & Picture washingtonpost.com

    Save Water Outdoors

    Top 8 ways to save water outdoors.

    1. The average homeowner uses twice the amount of water needed to keep plant healthy. Use a watering calculator to know exactly how much to water your plants.
    2. Check your sprinkler system for leaks, overspray, and broken sprinkler heads.
    3. Update your sprinklers to drip systems or water- efficient sprinklers where appropriate
    4. Reduce the amount of water-thirsty grass. Keep only the what you need and replace the rest with less-thirsty plants or permeable paving
    5. For the grass you keep, set your lawnmower blade higher.
    6. Adjust your sprinkler timer downward in September. Plants need less water when the days are shorter.
    7. Use a broom instead of a hose for cleaning sidewalks and patios.
    8. Mulch! A layer of mulch, gravel, compost, sawdust, or low-growing groundcover evens out the soil temperature and allows better water retention.

    Info provided my Southern California Water Agencies.

    Picture bewaterwise.com


    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 1, 2010