Improve Quality of Life With the Latest Building Design Trends

In the 1980s and 1990s, people were worried about lead paint fumes, fluorocarbons, asbestos and other toxic chemicals found in our homes and offices. This fear was so widespread that the news media dubbed it “Sick Building Syndrome.” As a result, much attention has been focused on sustainable, energy-efficient, health-promoting building design. Making the necessary adjustments to your home may be as simple as choosing compact fluorescent light bulbs and Energy Star appliances, or it may be as complex as trading in that dated carpet for recycled bamboo flooring.

Green interior design lighting is important because light sucks up electricity, generates heat and costs us money. A green lighting designer would tell you that compact fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent lamps, using 80% less energy. “CFLs last 10 times longer than incandescents and normally pay for themselves,” explains David Lee, a 23-year lighting designer with The Lighting Source.

Each bulb replaced with a CFL could save you $30 on utility costs, experts say. Of course, since these bulbs contain mercury, disposing of them is just as critical when it comes to green building design. Home Depot stores have orange bins to collect and recycle these bulbs. For those who wish for sunnier lighting color, halogen lights still offer 30-40% energy savings, compared to incandescents, although they are not as good as CFLs.

Many eco-friendly consumers are also looking for green interior design furniture and furnishings too. As you may know, indoor air quality can be affected by mold, moisture, organic compound emissions from paints, and formaldehyde emissions from cabinets and ventilation systems. Some building design materials collect contaminants and dirt as well. When shopping, you will want to avoid phenolic resin derived plastic laminate found on inexpensive furniture.

Make sure your wood products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure the harvesters followed sustainable building practices. Wool that has not been treated with moth-proofing chemicals is preferable to polyester. Beware of polyurethane foam padding that contains polybrominated diphenol ethers, which are flame retardants.

The latest building design trends will focus on improving the quality of life and our planet in an affordable way. “Sustainable development allows economic progress and environmental quality to be compatible goals,” said Christine Ervin, Department of Energy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. “Communities are finding that sustainable development strategies save taxpayer money, improve the profits of local businesses, and make the community much more livable.”

Popularity of Bicycle Team Building

Almost ten years ago an Event Planner in Dallas asked my colleague to generate a conference event with a philanthropic element. After a good bit of brainstorming on our team, the bicycle team building was created. The Dallas program was warmly received with some minor glitches. We rethought some of the elements and I conducted the second ever bicycle team building in Orlando for a large pharmaceutical company. The Senior Vice President emailed me to say, “Your bicycle program was the single best team building event I have ever attended. And let me tell you I’ve attended plenty.”

When I last checked online there were 80+ companies offering bicycle team building events. Over the years tens of thousands of bicycles have been given to children in need. As someone who did the second event ever held and since that time has conducted over 200, I think I am uniquely qualified to answer the following questions: Why has this program become so popular? What are the key elements that make a bicycle team building successful?

1. Why so popular? A well-planned bicycle team building has three key elements…

A. Accomplishment – Team building can be fun, and at the conclusion of a bicycle team building your group has accomplished something tangible. Participants feel a sense of pride after coming together as a team and creating something valuable for needy children.

B. Bikes – Everybody has had one. Think about how you felt when you received your first bike. Remember the thrill of ownership and feeling of freedom your bike gave you. Quite simply, bikes engender fond memories for most adults.

C. Kids – The well-selected charity will bring children who need bikes and often times have never owned one. The look in a child’s eyes when they receive their first bike is something adults won’t soon forget.

2. What are the key elements? There are many decisions to be made correctly when planning a successful program.

A. Venue – Making a decision where the event will be held is important for two reasons. The first is to insure sufficient square footage for the size of your group. Participants will be moving around and assembling parts. If they do not have enough space it can create logistical problems. The second decision is whether to hold the event indoors or outdoors. When the weather is good, having the event outdoors gives participants a break to the indoor meetings they have likely been attending all day. A change of surroundings can foster a change in mood. Keep in mind that temperature and weather conditions where you are traveling from can be radically different than where the event will be held. Late spring can be extraordinarily pleasant in the Northeast, but uncomfortably hot and humid in Florida.

B. Charity coordination – It is highly desirable to work with an organization that is accustomed to moving their children in groups. They are likely to have suitable transportation and staff to manage their youngsters. They must select children of the appropriate age for the bicycles being built. Finally they must need the bicycles. I live in Orlando, a key convention destination. Some charities have become saturated with bicycles. If you don’t ask, they won’t tell. I was recently told by a nationally known organization with branches here in Orlando, they had almost a hundred new bicycles in storage. Your team building consultant should be able to find a children’s agency in need of bicycles.

C. Secrets – Who knows what? I believe it adds a vital element of “POP!” to the event if participants don’t know what they are going to be doing. So calling the event Bicycle Team Building pretty much gives away the story. I also strongly encourage the presence of the children receiving their bikes at the end of the event. The surprise experienced by the participants who are building bikes is surpassed by the excitement of meeting the children for whom the bikes were built.

Bicycle Team Building has grown from a standing start ten years ago to the most popular team building event. Many of our large corporate clients do events repeatedly for different divisions within their organizations. I was recently talking with a large healthcare client at the conclusion of an event and she told me, “This is my tenth bicycle team building and I cry every time!”

Build Better Barns With Metal Building Design Contractors

Constructing better barns is as much about innovation as it is about experience. Finding the right metal building design contractors for your projects can help you take advantage of the best of both worlds. When your agricultural enterprise, cattle ranch, or hobby farm could benefit from sound structures with a large array of benefits, consider the opportunity to build your barns or outbuildings with steel instead of wood.

One hazard that traditional wood barn owners constantly have to be on guard against is the potential of a catastrophic fire. If a hot engine is stored too close to a hay bale, your entire structural investment could go up in smoke along with its contents. Steel is fire-resistant and metal building design contractors have your back if you’d like to put some of that fear to rest. If your concern is more about cold than heat, these barns can also be insulated to ward off winter chill, keeping livestock safe and comfortable.

Of particular concern to those running a business, the cost benefit of hiring experienced metal building design contractors is great. By working with professionals who have existing designs to draw from instead of starting from scratch, you’ll be able to not only get the work done more quickly, but save on design costs. Plus, steel is a relatively inexpensive building material that thrives with minimal maintenance, saving you time and money in the long run. Due to the aforementioned fire resistance, you may even be able to get lower rates from your insurance carriers.

Perhaps the greatest reason to choose steel over wood is the material’s comparative permanence. Wood warps and splits over time, an issue avoided entirely with steel construction. Termites and other wood-burrowing pests have zero interest in steel walls and under-structures. It does not rust like other metals will and it is well suited to additions so that your barn can grow with your business. An investment that’s built to last longer is always valuable to savvy owners.

Whether you’re interested in a standard, open unit, a hay loft, or something else customized to your specific needs, metal building design contractors can help you create the perfect barns and outbuildings to meet your needs. If you require a special feed storage area or know you’ll need a milking room in the near future, be sure to communicate your ideal setup so that you can get economical, long-lasting results that are also highly functional right from the start. Build a better barn by making it with steel!