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Inside the ‘Platinum Trailblazer’

Don and Beatriz Rudisill reach for the highest level of LEED certification By Bethany Conway, The Las Cruces Bulletin Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series following the construction of Las Cruces’ first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certified home. Though owners Don and Beatriz Rudisill will not know

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Jim Graham overcomes the hype of going green

Sun & Earth lays the building blocks of energy efficiency By Jonathan Butz, The Las Cruces Bulletin Everyone seems to be endorsing “green” lately because of rising temperatures, higher energy costs and the endless mantra that seems to ring in every corner of our lives – green, green, green.

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Escape from New York

Sandra Barty created her very own quiet, cozy space in the Southwest By Bethany Conway, The Las Cruces Bulletin It is not hard to see why those coming from the big city find Talavera so tranquil. For Sandra Barty of New York, choosing to locate her winter residence in Las Cruces was one of the

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Environmentally Friendly Earth Plaster

Environmentally Friendly Earth Plaster Sun-News, August 2004 The walls are the largest surface area in a room, yet they are often overlooked in favor of furnishings, accessories, and floor treatments. Walls define the spaces in which we live and work. They play an important role in indoor air quality and are a surface that we

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Extraordinary

The Extraordinary House That Jim Built by Jess C. Williams II of the Sun-News, February 1, 1987 It took one man’s special needs, one woman’s special imagination, one family’s determination to pitch in and one craftsman’s ability to translate the plan to reality. This is the house that Jim built. He built it mostly for

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Air Conditioning in Southern New Mexico

For the next issue, I would like to start an article on air conditioning systems that are commonly used in Southern New Mexico. We will begin with a brief explanation of how an evaporative cooler system works, how it can be improved and how it should be operated and the environmental costs of an air

Continue Reading →

Radiant Floor Heating System

Radiant Floor Overview Radiant heating systems convert a floor into a large-area, low-temperature radiator. In most modern systems, warm water is circulated through closely spaced plastic tubing that is embedded in the floor slab or attached to the underside of wooden sub-flooring. Under-floor insulation is a critical component.

Continue Reading →

Post-Tensioning Concrete

Post-tensioning is a method of reinforcing (strengthening) concrete or other materials with high-strength steel strands or bars, typically referred to as tendons. Post-tensioning applications are commonly used in office and apartment buildings, parking structures, slabs-on-ground, bridges, sports stadiums, rock and soil anchors, and water-tanks. In many cases, post-tensioning allows construction that would otherwise be impossible

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11/09

Inside the ‘Platinum Trailblazer’

Don and Beatriz Rudisill reach for the highest level of LEED certification By Bethany Conway, The Las Cruces Bulletin Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series following the construction of Las Cruces’ first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certified home. Though owners Don and Beatriz Rudisill will not know

11/09

Jim Graham overcomes the hype of going green

Sun & Earth lays the building blocks of energy efficiency By Jonathan Butz, The Las Cruces Bulletin Everyone seems to be endorsing “green” lately because of rising temperatures, higher energy costs and the endless mantra that seems to ring in every corner of our lives – green, green, green.

11/09

Escape from New York

Sandra Barty created her very own quiet, cozy space in the Southwest By Bethany Conway, The Las Cruces Bulletin It is not hard to see why those coming from the big city find Talavera so tranquil. For Sandra Barty of New York, choosing to locate her winter residence in Las Cruces was one of the

18/06

Environmentally Friendly Earth Plaster

Environmentally Friendly Earth Plaster Sun-News, August 2004 The walls are the largest surface area in a room, yet they are often overlooked in favor of furnishings, accessories, and floor treatments. Walls define the spaces in which we live and work. They play an important role in indoor air quality and are a surface that we

18/06

Parade of Homes

Sun & Earth showed one of their homes in Parade of Homes. To view the flyer, click here.

18/06

Extraordinary

The Extraordinary House That Jim Built by Jess C. Williams II of the Sun-News, February 1, 1987 It took one man’s special needs, one woman’s special imagination, one family’s determination to pitch in and one craftsman’s ability to translate the plan to reality. This is the house that Jim built. He built it mostly for

18/06

Air Conditioning in Southern New Mexico

For the next issue, I would like to start an article on air conditioning systems that are commonly used in Southern New Mexico. We will begin with a brief explanation of how an evaporative cooler system works, how it can be improved and how it should be operated and the environmental costs of an air

18/06

Radiant Floor Heating System

Radiant Floor Overview Radiant heating systems convert a floor into a large-area, low-temperature radiator. In most modern systems, warm water is circulated through closely spaced plastic tubing that is embedded in the floor slab or attached to the underside of wooden sub-flooring. Under-floor insulation is a critical component.

18/06

Green Building: Minimal Impact on Environment

A green building is any building that is sited, designed, constructed, operated, and maintained for the health and well-being of the occupants while minimizing impact on the environment.

18/06

Post-Tensioning Concrete

Post-tensioning is a method of reinforcing (strengthening) concrete or other materials with high-strength steel strands or bars, typically referred to as tendons. Post-tensioning applications are commonly used in office and apartment buildings, parking structures, slabs-on-ground, bridges, sports stadiums, rock and soil anchors, and water-tanks. In many cases, post-tensioning allows construction that would otherwise be impossible

18/06

Fly Ash

The following is an excerpt from the Western Region Ash Group website: “fly ash is the very small particle mineral residue that results from the burning of powdered coal in utility boilers. The individual particles are very small, like talcum powder, and are carried up and out of the boiler in the flow of exhaust

18/06

Metal Roofing

High solar reflectance and high infrared emittance roofs incur surface temperatures that are only about 3°C (5°F) warmer than the ambient air temperature, while a dark absorptive roof exceeds the ambient air temperature upwards of 40°C (75°F).

18/06

Active, Passive, and Combined Solar Heating

Passive Solar Heating Buildings designed for passive solar heating with natural sunlight to light a building’s interior incorporate large south-facing windows, skylights, and building materials that absorb and slowly release the sun’s heat. Incorporating passive solar designs can reduce heating bills as much as 50 percent.

18/06

Sustainability

Why should we do anything about sustainability? The answer in all cases is to insure a decent, secure, healthy life for all species on this planet. As consumers, we are frequently confronted with lifestyle decisions that can impact our environment.

18/06

Durability

The Foundation We offer post tensioned concrete, using fly ash as an additive material to concrete.

18/06

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency The wholesale price of propane increased at 3.8% per year from 1990 – 1999. That is the lowest annual increase we are likely to see given: propane is tied to the price of petroleum and natural gas petroleum prices have increased and are likely to be unstable, and storage facilities for petroleum, and

17/06

How Good is that Wall?

How Good is that Wall? With a conventional 2 x 6 wall, you get a nominal R-19 rating, but the effective R- value is usually only a little over ½ of that due to heat transfer through wood components, voids around the wiring, and real world conditions. Our preferred framing system is a 2 x

17/06

Adobe & Rammed Earth Homes

Adobe Homes Jeanette Harris is a freelance writer, realtor, and lover of interesting houses. Her article appeared in Southwest Homes, Sun-News on June 30, 2002. Today adobe is labor and detail intensive. Some adobe bricks are still made with straw and also have a small bit of asphalt to stabilize them. Recipes can vary, and

17/06

Economics & Weather

Las Cruces, New Mexico Las Cruces is located in a high desert climate. The weather is characterized by low humidity and abundant sunshine. The low humidity and relatively high elevation contribute to the large temperature swings encountered during the year. The winter days are usually sunny and mild, with a substantial temperature drop at night.