What Is A Green Construction?}

What is a Green Construction?



Zack Verde

As people begin to realize the impact we make on the world around us, going green is becoming a phenomenon. So, just what is green construction?

There has been an increasing concern with environmental and pollution issues in recent years. This has not come about completely without some serious justification. All indications are that we are in a serious crisis. The green construction movement is a reaction to this crisis. Green construction is a home, building, or other structure that is built, maintained, repaired, or even demolished with thought to the environmental impact. This impact may take several forms.One of these forms is energy efficiency. The production of electricity from the burning of fossil fuels is one of the most harmful activities to the environment in existence today. Green structures incorporate renewable energy sources that might include the use of wind, solar, low impact hydropower, or biothermal energy. The source of power is not the only concern. Another concern is the reduction of power use in lighting and appliances.Water pollution is another concern addressed in green construction. This is especially true in the case of urban runoff. Storm water runoff is a major source of pollution in rivers and lakes. Green structures take into consideration the reduction of all toxic materials. This includes mercury, asbestos, and lead. These three substances have been linked to major health problems.Green Building also is involved in waste. Waste is a key word. Waste can be reduced. It can be reused and recycled. The reduction of waste in construction, or renovation, and even demolition involves such things as proper disposal of materials. Landscaping is also involved. Large scale landscaping projects involved with Green Building seek to protect and preserve natural resources as much as possible.The above are just some of the factors that are part of the green construction movement. They have in common a concern for the environment. There are a wide range of issues that are nearing the real danger point. Global warming has become more than just a liberal hobby, and a recognized scientific fact. Pollution of the sea and the waterways is endemic and increasing. Asbestos and lead have poisoned and sickened thousands. People are beginning to wake up and realize that we live on a fragile planet and we continue to abuse it at our risk. The green construction movement is a place to stop the slide, and return to sanity. It is a grassroots movement that offers hope not only to us, but also to the generations that will follow us upon this earth.

Zack Verde is with GreenBuildingCompanies.com – providing information on

green building companies


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What is a Green Construction?

Evergreen Shrubs And Hedges Are Important, Cold Hardy Landscape Specimen Plants

By Pat Malcolm

Next to the landscape importance of trees is that of shrubs that grow in our gardens, parks, landscape foundation, street borders, and commercial landscapes. Thousands of different varieties of shrubs are grown to ornament lawns, yards, and borders, but only a few varieties are available to buy at your local nursery for planting, and growing. Many shrubs are selected and grown on a basis of intelligent buying of flowering hedges, evergreen cold hardiness, non-flowering hedges, berry shrubs, and deciduous shrubs. Many shrubs glow with brightly colored leaves in the fall and winter.

Evergreen shrubs often are planted to grow as a low ornamental hedge, such as: Juniper, Holly, Anise, Boxwood, Aucuba, Pittosporum, and Wax Myrtle. Large evergreen shrubs that, after many years of growing, are Arizona Cypress, Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, Thuja orientalis; Bamboo, Eleagnus, American Holly, Italian Cypress, Several tall Juniper cultivars, Leyland Cypress, Podocarpus, and Wax Myrtle, Myrica Cerifera. Some large landscape evergreen shrubs are planted as specimen plants, Bamboo trees, Italian cypress, Philodendron, Philodendron selloum, Philodendron x ‘Xanadu’, and Podocarpus.

Although it is common for some shrub stems to die from shading out, they will be renewed by new shoots; and like trees, shrubs live for years and are considered a good property, longtime investment, and a permanent fixture in the landscape.

Usually planting shrubs as privacy hedges will mature to a point in four to five years, that the privacy screen will be vigorously solid and dense enough to hide whatever lies behind it.

Some flowering shrubs being to bloom in late winter, such as the fragrant Tea Olive, Azalea, Camellia, and Ligustrum followed by the Abelia, Banana Shrub, Hydrangea, Red Bottle Brush, Bridal wreath, and Yellow Rose of Texas. Most shrubs finish flowering by mid-summer, when flower buds are formed to bloom next year.

Some shrubs thrive in dry soils; others in wet soils, but most shrubs and hedges fall in-between and require well drained growing areas. All other possible growing extremes are important for planting shrubs, and hedges such as altitude, shade, wind exposure, and soil relative fertility levels. Azaleas, for instance, grow well underneath the shade of most trees, including Pine trees, and will decline fast and soon die, if planted to grow in full sun. Azaleas must have organic matter incorporated into the soil to thrive, and the proper acidity (pH) of the soil is necessary for azalea plants to live. Pine straw is often effective to keep azaleas weed free. Long lines of blooming azalea plants are often dramatic when plant underneath pine trees, when the azalea flowers being to display their expanding blooms. The shallow root system of azaleas require substantial watering during dry spells to insure plenty of azalea flowers, the spring season following summer droughts.


Small Evergreen Shrubs

Evergreen shrubs are an important choice to consider for planting, in order to insure green color presence during the gloomy days of winter. Many gardeners want an evergreen shrub as a hedge to maintain privacy when cold weather arrives. Anise, Illicium florianum grows into small hedges in resorts like Sea Island, Georgia, and exotic red flowers and liquorish aromas rise from the leaves in the summer. Acuba japonica variegata ‘Gold Dust’ is also called the Gold Dust plant. Acuba makes an interesting low growing shrub to plant and grow next to brick buildings. Cleyera, Ternstroemia gymanthera, is an interesting shrub for coastal areas, because Cleyera shrubs are very tolerant of salt water spray, and the waxy green leaves have a unique tropical appearance in the landscape. Boxwood, Buxus microphylla asiaticum, is also salt water tolerant with dense coloring throughout the zones 5 – 9. Boxwood is one of the most important and popular shrubs to buy in the U.S, notably as a neat, clean grower, Boxwood is not fast growing, thus requiring many years to reach 3 feet in height. Boxwood plants are commonly planted in rows along walkways. Larger boxwood plants work nicely in group plantings in front of buildings

Eleagnus, Eleagnus pungens, is one of the fastest growing shrubs and grows as a superb barrier hedge or privacy fence that can grow up to 10 feet tall. Eleagnus is salt water tolerant, and can be grown in containers at commercial locales. Interstate highway landscaping is filled with large groupings and plantings of Eleagnus, Eleagnus pungens, shrubs to minimize automobile fumes and truck highway noises.

Holly shrubs are distinctively varied, very adaptable, and versatile in the landscape. The most popular hollies are: Burford Holly, Ilex cornuta; Carissa Holly, Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’; Dwarf Chinese Holly, Ilex cornuta; Dwarf Japanese Holly, Ilex crenata; Helleri Holly, Ilex crenata; Needlepoint Holly, Ilex cornuta ‘Needlepoint’; Sky Pencil Holly, Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’; Savannah Holly, Ilex x attenuata; Stokes Dwarf Holly, Ilex vomitoria ‘Stokes Dwarf’; Dwarf Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria; Weeping Yaupon, Ilex vomitoria pendula.

Japanese Aralia, Fatsia japonica, is most commonly called Fatsia. In landscapes, Fatsia is often planted and grown in large groups near shaded house entrances or underneath shade trees for that bold tropical look. Fatsia can be planted as a large specimen plant, or containerized Fatsia will grow as the shrub as an indoor plant. Philodendron selloum is often used like Fatsia, and can grow into a large, attractive specimen plant on slender, woody-looking trunks (stems). The Philodendron hybrid, Xanadu, is also used like Japanese aralia, Fatsia, and Philodendron selloum, but largely is used as an indoor or outdoor container plant. The waxy, deeply-lobed green leaves are very cold hardy, and even if Philodendron is growing outside in Zone 5 – 10, it will come back to life from vigorous roots in the spring after freezing to the ground.

Pittosporum tobira can be grown as an outside plant or as a containerized shrub. Pittosporum plants displays bright green leaves year and grows best in shady areas of low light. The flowers are small, white, and very fragrant, like the aromatic crushed leaves. Florists use stems and leaves as fillers in floral arrangements. Pittosporum shrubs are not fast growing, but eventually can form an excellent privacy hedge to block out automobile noise and fume emissions. Because Pittosporum tobira shrubs are salt water tolerant, these shrubs are popularly used in landscaping at Sea Island, Georgia. Large specimens of Pittosporum tobira are used as evergreen small trees, that subtly present an exotic, tropical appearance. Pittosporium tobira ‘Variegata’ has variegated white and light green leaves with fragrant white flowers, blooming in the summer. The variegated leaf form of Pittosporum tobira is not burned by strong sunlight, like most variegated shrubs.

Large Evergreen Shrubs

Large evergreen shrubs sometimes grow into small eclectic trees after many years. These large evergreen shrubs provide the garden with specimen attractiveness, privacy, and evergreen, cold hardy color. Arizona Cypress is also called Carolina Sapphire, Cupressus glabra ‘Carolina Sapphire’, and is a fast growing evergreen, that can grow 20 – 30 feet with fine textured, silver-blue leaves. The leaves grow threadlike in very hot areas, and will survive well in droughts or under stress.

Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, is an American native evergreen shrub that can grow almost anywhere in the U.S. The dark green leaves of Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, can turn yellow, orange, or maroon during winter, but the green color is restored in Zones of cold hard tolerance, 2 – 8, in the spring. Other arborvitae species are: Emerald, Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’; Little Giant, Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Giant’; Little Golden Giant, Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Golden Giant’; Aurea Nana, Thuja occidentalis ‘Aurea Nana’;

Blue Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’, will qualify as one of the most important specimen, evergreen trees used in landscapes. The trees are not fast growing, but are cold hardy in zones 7 – 11. The dense leaves are branched and grow into a large column, 3 -4 feet wide. Italian cypress can grow to 40 feet outside, and large container grown Italian cypress trees can be shipped quickly on semi-trucks, or by UPS. Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’ can draw architectural attention to large buildings. Italian cypress trees are often planted at commercial banks, bordering large walkways or memorial gardens.

Leyland cypress, Cupressocyparis leylandii, is a fast growing shrub, that most often is planted as a privacy hedge, but in many cases can grow into a large Leyland cypress specimen tree that might reach 130 feet. The Leyland cypress shrub (tree) is a fast growing intergenetic hybrid. Erosion control can be obtained fast by planting these vigorous Leyland cypress shrubs to embed their roots rapidly into the soil and cool the earth.

Podocarpus macrophylla and Podocarpus nagi are the most commonly grown shrubs of Podocarpus. Shearing Podocarpus is a common plant practice to create a sculptured look. Podocarpus can be grown as a border plant for walkways, but after many years, grows into a 10 foot, small, evergreen tree. The salt water and cold hardy tolerance of Zone 7 – 10 makes Podocarpus a top choice to buy for any landscape garden.

Wax Myrtle or Bayberry, Myrica cerifera, grows normally as a native American plant in forests, but nursery grown plants will provide a fast growing screen that spreads by underground shoots. Birds and wildlife love this plant for nesting and to seek protective cover. The waxy, gray berries are fragrant and commonly are used to scent candles with a woody aroma. All parts of wax myrtle shrubs are fragrant and grow to block out noise and noxious automobile fumes. Very old wax myrtle plants grow into exotic looking small trees, that are aromatic specimens in the landscape. Wax myrtle shrubs, Myrica cerifera, are a commonly-grown naturalized plant that enthusiastically is used as a salt water and cold hardy tolerant hedge or landscape tree at the famous resort hotel at Sea Island, Georgia.

About the Author: Patrick A. Malcolm, owner of TyTy Nursery, has an M.S. degree in Biochemistry and has cultivated various plants for over three decades.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=78668&ca=Gardening

Tips On How To Use Old Wrought Iron Gates And Railing In Different Ways

By Danica Reynes

There are many ways you can reuse those old wrought iron railings or gates, such as hanging pictures on them, using them as headboards, making decorative pot racks out of them, or installing them in your garden as borders or trellises.

There is an elegance and charm associated with wrought iron, whether it is used for a railing, post or gate. If you have Los Angeles iron works and wrought iron pieces that have outlived their usefulness or you discovered some in salvage yards and thrift stores, there are many design ideas which you can follow in order to reuse these items, including.

Use as a headboard to decorate bedrooms

You can hang a piece of your wrought iron railing behind your bed for a charming headboard that be a great accent piece to break the monotony of walls and complement the room’s design schemes. Accentuate any room by using dark metal wrought iron pieces in red, green, and gold color schemes. Enhancing a comfortable cottage-themed room with the stylish and well-worn look of a weathered, white ironwork headboard will make the room more delightful. Painting your wrought iron piece white and sanding off portions to produce a slightly worn look will achieve the shabby chic effect so popular today.


Snaps can be dangle on it

Wrought iron piece can be used as a back ground on your wall or as a base for setting up framed photographs there. Hang the wrought iron section in such a way that its bars are running horizontally and then use hooks to attach the photographs on the horizontal bars. For a fun look, randomly arrange pictures and frames on your wall.

Install a piece on the ceiling as a decorative pot rack

A wrought iron piece can be used for decoration and also be functional. As a rack for pots, a home cook can use them in the kitchen. A wrought iron gate can become a decorative and functional accessory; when mounted to your kitchen ceiling for example it can be used to display kitchen utensils. One option is to paint the pot rack to coordinate with the rest of the room, or you may decide to maintain the original rustic look by leaving it alone.

You can fit it in the garden as a border or as a supporting system

A garden with a deep green grass can be perfect for the use of wrought iron pieces where they will stand out. You can use an old wrought iron gate or a piece of wrought iron railing as a support beam for vines to climb up as they grow. Embed the wrought iron deep enough in the ground so that it does not collapse later. Wrought iron railing sections may serve to surround your garden plot. Not only will these beautiful wrought iron pieces serve as wonderful decor that will surely spruce up the landscape, they’ll also protect your flower beds from pets, children and any other unwelcome guests. You don’t need to be concerned if the wrought iron pieces used are not all in the same condition and are of different sizes, because this will provide an unconventional twist.

The great thing about wrought iron pieces is that they have a unique beauty and charm that allows you to use and reuse them in a nearly infinite variety of ways.

About the Author: Know more about

Los Angeles iron works

by visiting http://www.nobleforge.com/.



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