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Housetrends greater pittsburgH

greater pittsburgH | september 2011 | Vol. 5, no. 4 | | $4.95




2 Families, 2 eco-Friendly homes native planting tips

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The Signature Stone Collection Mont Granite now carries the 2011 Signature Stone Collection. Antolini has added a stunning selection of natural stones this year. The meticulously produced designer stone slabs are available in a YDULHW\RIQHZDQGH[FLWLQJĂ€QLVKHVDFKLHYHGRQO\WKURXJK$QWROLQL¡V innovative processes and highest-quality techniques. These gorgeous stones are a must-see and currently available at Mont Granite. We invite you to come see these amazing designer stones in person. “Among the thousands of exceptional stones we process, I have selected a small palette designed to inspire. To fully appreciate the nuance and beauty of this signature collection I invite you to see it, touch it—experience it for yourself.â€?

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Greater Pittsburgh Publisher Bill Slattery Editor Christina Kleiner Contributing Writers Joan Pearlstein Dunn, Phyllis Gricus, Stephanie Aurora Lewis, Holly Schnicke

a letter from the publisher

It isn’t only about building an energy-efficient home, it’s about building a healthy home for our children.

—Sherwood Johnson


Pittsburgh is definitely in the fast lane of the green building renaissance. The Steel City is home to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the first green convention center in the world, as well as dozens of other environmentally friendly buildings. We’re seeing this push to live a sustainable life popping up in our neighborhoods as well. A few years ago, the big focus was on small things—such as energy-efficient windows and light bulbs. Today, everything from your living room floors to your hot water heater can protect Mother Nature and your family at the same time. The two homes featured in this issue are the epitome of green living, from top to bottom, both eco-friendly yet entirely different from one another. In addition to their technologically impressive components, you’ll notice that living green doesn’t mean sacrificing design and character. In fact, there are elements in these homes that are almost hard to believe, from countertops made of recycled paper to kitchen backsplashes comprised of retired airplanes. As you read through this issue, we hope that you learn as much about green building as we did. It was truly fascinating to uncover all of the materials and products readily available that we overlook every day. We’d also like to welcome Mia Feinberg to the Housetrends staff. Mia, born and raised in our great city of Pittsburgh, recently graduated from Arizona State University where she studied Journalism and Communications. Looking forward, our next issue will feature building trends and renovations. Until then, check out for additional photos of the featured homes, as well as extra home and garden tips and ideas. Enjoy and find ways for you and your home to “go green”—we will see you later in the season! Sincerely,

Bill Slattery and the Housetrends staff

Above: Bill Slattery, Mia Feinberg Photo by Craig Thompson

Contributing Photographer Craig Thompson Sales Assistant Mia Feinberg For advertising information call 412-596-1030 E-mail: Write us at Housetrends Magazine c/o Christina Kleiner, E-mail: Housetrends magazine is published by Erilia Publishing LLC, 100 Mulberry Lane Pittsburgh, PA 15235 Visit, your destination for inspiration™ Member of

Corporate Corporate Managing Partners Robert J. Slattery, Kevin Slattery Senior Director of Graphic Services Gary Boys Creative Director Nina Kieffer Editorial Manager Karen Bradner Senior Graphic Designer Tara Burchfield Quality Control Deborah Bolig Color Technicians Elvis Lim, Melisande Weidner Production Coordinator Andrea Rozzi Sales Production Mary Burdett VP of Interactive Media Ric Welker Print Production Dawn Deems Website Development and Prepress Systems Sandy Sinex Advertising Designer Gina Miller Quality Control Supervisor Sandy Whalen Quality Control Team Lisa Cavin, Heather Fox Founder/Executive Publisher Sam Wilder

Published in conjunction with Buzz Publications, LLC and reach publishing llc. © 2011 Reach Publishing, LLC Housetrends magazine is produced by Reach Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. All logos and trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. We assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any inconsistency herein. Housetrends makes no warranties, representations or endorsements regarding any of the services and/or the advertisers, builders, designers or any third parties appearing in the magazine. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of Reach Publishing, LLC except where prohibited by law. Reach Publishing, LLC reserves the right to edit, alter, or omit any advertiser. Back issues are available upon request for $5.00 per copy, including shipping. (Subject to availability.) To have your name removed from our mailing list, Please recycle or send a letter to Housetrends, Name Removal, pass this magazine on 4601 Malsbary Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242. to another reader

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greater pittsburgh | vol. 5, issue 4







22 LEED-ING THE WAY Couple embarks on a journey to live green

35 BUILDING TRENDS Ceiling Fans You’ve come a long way, baby!

12 FRESH FINDS The latest finds in furniture, flooring and lighting

54 HAPPY & HEALTHY Lake MacLeod home is kind to the earth and its family


LANDSCAPE TRENDS Turf Wars Benefits of growing natives in the garden



DECORATING TRENDS Hot on Honeysuckle This reddish pink color will make any room pop

on the cover


GREEN AT HEART Improve five core systems in your home for better energy efficiency and savings will flow

82 HOUSETRENDS.COM Bonus articles, photos, projects, resources and inspiration!


Lou and Amy Weiss built a modified version of the 1998 Life magazine “Dream House,” designed by architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Photo by Craig Thompson

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fresh findsflooring

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Couple embarks on a journey to live green By Joan Pearlstein Dunn Photos by Craig ThompsonÂ

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, Life magazine invited six celebrated architects to design their individual versions of a “Dream House.” One of the chosen draftsmen was internationally renowned architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Jacobsen’s home infused modern and vernacular architectural elements, something he has become widely known for in the building community. Blueprints were made available to the public, and Lou and Amy Weiss, of Squirrel Hill, purchased Jacobsen’s drawings long before they had found a suitable property to build the home.

continued >

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An enviable location They eventually acquired four acres, on an old slag dump, that sits high on a hill with spectacular views of the Monongahela River Valley. “When the lower Hill District was demolished to build the Civic Arena, the debris was dumped on our site,” explains Lou. “There was also cement, and a mélange of flotsam and jetsam that had accumulated through the years, so we needed special excavation and compaction to make the pad build worthy.”

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The couple donated a conservation easement to the North American Land Trust, preserving great views, protecting wildlife, and creating a trailhead into historic Frick Park. Their panoramic view reads like a history book. “We overlook Braddock, which was a battlefield where George Washington, along with General Braddock fought the French and the Indians,” points out Lou. “Also, across the river is the site of the bloody, 1892 Homestead Steel Strike.” With the help of local architect Herb Seigle, of Seigle, Solow & Horne, the original design was adapted to work with their particular site and special needs. Lou, who has multiple sclerosis, had Seigle incorporate 3-foot doors and universal design features into the modified design. “These features will allow us, or at least Amy, to age gracefully and in place,” Lou says warmly. continued >

OPENING SPREAD:The front entry features a simple architectural design and is flanked by two trees. The egg crate shelving unit is a staple often seen in Hugh Newell Jacobsen-designed homes. ABOVE: Architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen first designed this home for Life magazine’s “Dream House” in 1998. BOTTOM LEFT TO RIGHT: The home sits on four acres and overlooks the Monongahela River Valley. Raised gardens, comprised of cement window lintels, allow the homeowners to grow their own vegetables. Instead of grass, the grounds are covered in gravel and only drought resistant trees and shrubs have been planted.

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The kitchen backsplash is made of recycled aluminum fabricated from retired airplanes. OPPOSITE: Noguchi paper lanterns hang above the table in the dining room.

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They also followed LEED’s certification process in all aspects of design and construction, while building their sustainable and energy efficient home. They are applying for LEED certification and hope to receive a Platinum rating. “The house is light on the environment and, in terms of energy use and maintenance, light on the wallet,” says Lou. “Spray foam insulation has cut

our heating bills by half, and the standing seam steel roof should last 100 years.” Rainwater from the roof is harvested into a river rock water cistern, and gets pumped into the house for use in toilets, hoses, and drip irrigation. A windmill provides power for the exterior lighting, outdoor pond, and water pump. Although fundamental in most homes, baseboards

and door trim have been eliminated from the residence. “Constructing a Jacobsen house without these two elements sounds economical and easy,” says Lou. “I can assure you, it’s not,” he smiles.

Pleasing aesthetics Furnishings are a mix of old and new, with some being part of the household for two decades. An African wedding

skirt hangs on the living room wall, and can be raised to reveal a flat screen TV. “A sparse look, neutral tones, and simple lines enforce a sort of discipline to keep things in their place,” explains Amy. “The blonde maple floors and clean white walls make the furniture, the art, and most importantly, people look good,” she adds. Amy, a seasoned cook, hosts Shabbat dinners every Friday

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is an internationally recognized certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in an effort to promote green building. The LEED rating systems provide a framework with an emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability. For more information go to

continued >

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in their sun soaked dining room. Like the counters found in the bathrooms, a glass sideboard is made from 100% recycled bottles. Noguchi paper lanterns suspend 12 feet over the dining room table, spawning a romantic feel. Standing at the sink in her white matte kitchen, Amy can oversee her well-stocked vegetable and flower garden. Designed by John Dreher, the beds are constructed of cement window lintels and a compost pipe, which produces organic soil for the beds. “My garden allows us to have our city and country houses all in one,” says Amy. “I look out the window, see what looks good that day, and make it for dinner.” Backsplash tiles are recycled aluminum, and were fabricated from retired airplane bodies found in aircraft graveyards in Arizona.

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OPPOSITE: The African wall hanging in the living room hides a flat screen television. LEFT: Large windows and Velux skylights flood the home with natural light. ABOVE: The dark Tibetan rug adds the perfect amount of color to the master bedroom. BELOW: Moen low-flow plumbing fixtures can be found throughout the house, including the master bathroom.

Leading the path to the couple’s first floor master suite, egg crate bookshelves are a standout feature in the crisp white hallway. They are a signature detail that can be found in all Jacobsen houses. The bedroom needs little more than the scenic window, which opens to a panoramic postcard view. Mythical snow lions were handknotted into the striking Tibetan rug, adding warmth and flair to this sensational room. The views to the Monongahela Valley give Lou and Amy an ever-changing show depending on the weather, not to mention, spectacular fireworks displays from Kennywood Park.

Nod to Mother Nature “All trees and shrubs are indigenous and drought resistant, and plantings are deer resistant,” points out Lou. “We have no conventional turf, and all of the land around the house is permeable.” Gravel replaces grass, and flanks both sides of the walkway to their front door. A series of trenches directs rainwater through the stones, which then percolates into the soil and into the cistern. Any hint of grass is “No Mow,” and outdoor furniture has been crafted from recycled plastic milk jugs.

continued >

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Although construction took close to two years, you would never know that the couple has been in their home for just six short months. It helps that Lou’s sister owns a leading home design store in Pittsburgh. “We have our cabinets, furniture and blinds from Weisshouse,” says Lou. “Never take sides against the family.” From the building materials to the interior design, the couple couldn’t be happier. “The house is so open and bright,” points out Amy. “It feels as if we are on vacation every day.”

Design architect: Hugh Newell Jacobsen; Project architect: Herb Seigle, Seigle, Solow and Horne; Developer: Weissview Associates; LEED rater: Tom Branch, Comfy House; Roof: Follansbee Steel; Insulation: Bayer BaySystems, installed by InsulRight; Skylights: Velux, 84 Lumber; HVAC: Carrier Infinity, installed by AAA Heating & Cooling; Landscape design: Joel Legall; Landscape, windmill and garden: Jonathan Dreher Garden Design; Drip irrigation system: Robert Kerns, Custom Turf; Lighting design: Steve Iski, Studio I; Lighting: Lightolier, Cardello Supply; Lamps: Artimede, Weisshouse; Kitchen drum light: Lumetta, LaFace & McGovern; Bathroom sinks and toilets: Duravit; Toto, Seymour’s Bath & Decorative Hardware; Glass and mirrors: Rex Glass and Mirror; Kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures: Moen, Splash and Nicklas Supply; Closets, office cabinetry and window seats: Tom Ferri’s Closet Makeovers; Appliances: Sub-Zero refrigerator; Wolf range, cooktop, microwave and warming drawer; Bosch washer and dryer, supplied by Don’s Appliances and John Tisdel Fine Appliances; Cement siding: James Hardie; Hot water heater: Rannai; Garage doors: Overhead Door Company of Greater Pittsburgh; Fireplaces: Spark Modern Fires; Carpet and rugs: Bentley Prince Street; Cork flooring: Expanko; Kitchen countertops: Okite, installed by Granite Reflections; Glass countertops, bath tile and kitchen backsplash: Coverings, Etc.; Woven vinyl rugs: Chilewich; Tibetan carpets: Weisshouse; Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry: Modulo Cuccine, supplied by Weisshouse; Cabinetry installation and egg crate shelving: Carpenter Construction; Outdoor furniture: Poly-wood Furniture; Furniture: Cassina, Band B Italia, Ligne Roset, Mitchell Gold, Artek, supplied by Weisshouse; Windows: Anderson, supplied by 84 Lumber; Paint: Sherwin-Williams Extra White Pro-Green Flat; Painting: Painting Dynamics; Hardware: Corbin Russwin, Houston Starr; Doors: Mohawk Doors, Houston Starr; Window treatments: Hunter Douglas, Weisshouse; Wall hanging above fireplace: LOOM Exquisite Textiles; Hardwood floors: Aacer Flooring

ABOVE: The home overlooks Braddock, the battlefield where George Washington and General Braddock fought the French and the Indians. LEFT: The home follows universal design practices, which includes 3-foot door openings.

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Italian kitchens are known for being both beautiful and highly functional. Weisshouse proudly sells these kitchens. They are 100% green and produce 0% formaldehyde off gassing. In addition, they meet the Japanese Green Standard and are a LEED compliant product. All of the glue, paint and lacquer are H2O based and non-toxic. Beautifully green.

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The Best Locations. Exclusive Designs. Builders That Care. The Values That Matter™ program unites four of Pittsburgh’s most reputable custom home builders with a commitment to building every home with unsurpassed quality and customer service. Together, Paragon Homes, Eddy Homes, Signature Homes, and R.A. Snoznik Construction offer you exclusive plans designed to complement every client’s lifestyle in over 20 new home communities across Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. Every Values That Matter™ home incorporates features that other builders consider fee-based upgrades. By including products and construction practices that exceed minimum requirements for building codes and overall aesthetics, the result is a home that stands the true test of time. This attention to detail and quality commitment also allows for enduring beauty that lasts. A key focal point within the values program is that the client works with the owners of the companies and the craftsman directly to design and build their home to each family’s unique needs. All of the builders are family owned and operated, and strive to instill those values into the construction of their homes. This hands on approach allows the builders to design spaces that are well suited for today’s lifestyle while being customized to meet each customer’s varied needs.


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Ceiling Fans

You’ve come a long way, baby!

By Kelly Z. Clark Let’s be honest, ceiling fans have often posed a dilemma for those who want to be both style-conscious and practical in their homes. With a reputation for being unattractive and unsophisticated, yet highly practical and energy efficient, ceiling fans might be necessary but they don’t often get a lot of style points. Don’t sweat it, though, because the winds of change have blown in new ceiling fan styles that are worthy of being the focal point of any room.

Centaurus by Fanimation

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Altus Hugger by Modern Fan

Artemis by Minka Aire

Fan Museum photo courtesy of Fanimation

It all started when… The first ceiling fans in the U.S. were introduced in the 1860s and ran on a system of running water with a turbine. A few of these are still in use in the southern United States in restaurants and commercial buildings. Then in 1882 the first electric-powered fans were made from motors adapted from Singer sewing machines. By World War I, most ceiling fans were manufactured with four blades instead of the original two. Besides making fans quieter, this change allowed them to circulate more air, thereby making more efficient use of their motors. By the 1920s, ceiling fans had become commonplace in the United States, and had started to take hold internationally; however, during the Great Depression, ceiling fans were out of vogue in the U.S., and by the end of World War II ceiling fans had become almost non-existent, and remained that way into the 1950s. In the 1960s, some East Asian manufacturers started exporting their ceiling fans to the United States. They caught on slowly at first, and although they lacked style they found great success during the energy crisis of the late 1970s, since ceiling fans consume far less energy than air conditioning units. The rest is history, as they say, and you can see the entire history of ceiling fans and desk fans at the American Fan Collectors Association Museum. The museum is located at the Fanimation Company’s facility in Zionsville, Indiana,

and contains more than 450 antique ceiling and desk fans from over 140 manufacturers.

Styles that will blow you away Today, manufacturers are proving that the sky is the limit when it comes to high style in ceiling fans. The San Francisco ceiling fan by Minka Aire, characterized by the simplicity of its bold, clean lines, was the winner of design awards from the Chicago Athanaeum Museum of Architecture and the International Interior Design Association. The Artemis ceiling fan, which is available in nine colors, also makes a striking design statement with graceful and fluid blades that wrap around to form the housing of the fan. According to the Trend Watch, manufacturers are offering fans that are more versatile, accommodate small spaces, and range from two-bladed styles to modern Asian and beach-inspired designs. Colleen McCracken, director of merchandising for says, “We’re seeing a lot of two-bladed fans. They’re as efficient as a 4- or 5-bladed fan, and while it might seem that these are a more contemporary structure for a ceiling fan, they come in a lot of different styles.” For ultimate flexibility, the Multimax fan from Fanimation can be used with or without a light and easily changed from 2, 3 or 4 blades with reversible sides for a choice of finish.

Vetricco by Fanimation

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Big what?! For oversized foyers, lofts, conservatories and great rooms, the Isis from Big Ass Fans may be just the right fit. Big Ass Fans is the leading manufacturer of huge ceiling fans for industrial and commercial settings and offers Isis as their residential solution for rooms that need a “serious air moving machine.” The Isis is precision built using industrial components, and boasts a circulation rate equivalent to nine standard ceiling fans that can be felt from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, but at a monthly operating cost of less than pennies per day.

Torto by Fanimation

Uchiwa by Minka Aire

Airing it out Abby Mays, lighting consultant for Central Light in Cincinnati, says the majority of lighting plans for new homes built in Cincinnati include ceiling fans for the great room and master bedroom. She points to Minka Aire’s 3-blade Concept fan as one of the top choices by her customers for its transitional look and midrange price. For those who want a light kit on their fan, Abby offers this reminder: “The Department of Energy has regulated the wattage allowed on light kits to a maximum of 180 watts. This means that even if you decide to push the limit with higher wattage bulbs, light limiters have been placed on the light kits and automatically shut the light off when it exceeds the 180 watt limit. Some manufacturers are now offering fans with fluorescent lights to provide more lumens.”

Multimax by Fanimation

Three-blade San Francisco by Minka Aire

continued >

Cumulos by Fanimation

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Concept by Minka Aire

Looking good at last It appears that ceiling fans not only have a long history, but they are also here to stay. To that end, manufacturers have gone to great lengths to provide consumers with incredible styles that could literally become the artwork that hangs from the ceiling. With options and styles so numerous, the choices in fans could make your head spin.

Resources;;;;;;; Isis by Big Ass Fans

Style for your windows, savings for you. Hunter Douglas window fashions are always a smart choice for creating inviting, attractive spaces. Now through December 12, 2011, mail-in rebates let you enjoy select styles at a savings of $25 to $300 per unit.* Purchase and install their energy-efficient Duette® Architella® Honeycomb Shades before the end of this year, and you may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $500.** Ask us for details. Clockwise from top left: Silhouette ® Window Shadings, Luminette ® Privacy Sheers, Duette ® Architella® Honeycomb Shades, Skyline ® Gliding Window Panels

Peerless Wallpaper and Blinds

*Manufacturer’s rebate offer valid for purchases made 9/13/11 – 12/12/11. Rebate offers may not be combined; there is a limit of one rebate per qualifying unit. For each qualifying unit purchased, the higher applicable rebate amount will apply. Other limitations and restrictions apply. All rebates will be issued in U.S. dollars, in the form of an American Express® Prepaid Reward Card. **For tax credit details and restrictions and a list of qualifying products, ask a salesperson or visit Hunter Douglas and its dealers are not tax advisors. The tax credit for 2011 is subject to a limitation based in part on the amount of Section 25C credits taken in prior years. It is recommended that you consult your tax advisor regarding your individual tax situation and your ability to claim this tax credit. ©2011 Hunter Douglas. ® and TM are trademarks of Hunter Douglas.



3490 William Penn Hwy Pittsburgh PA M-Th: 10:00-8:00, F: 10:00-6:00 Sat.: 10:00-5:00 412-823-7660

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Prime 1 Enterprises, Inc. PA HIC 345

Phone: 412-257-0160

Additions & Renovations Distinctive Kitchens & Baths Planning & Design


National Association of Home Builders

New Homes


Building on your vision, exceeding every expectation.

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WEST END 510 South Main Street Pittsburgh, PA 15220 412 922-5600

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We design in all styles, from traditional to contemporary. We build to one standard, unmatched heirloom quality, in our own shop. Entertainment Centers, Office Furniture, Kitchens, Bars, Bedrooms, Dining Rooms, and all kinds of wooden furniture. Contact us for your free custom design - and price to build.

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28th annual family house polo match

Hartwood Acres Gates Open at 11:00 AM Polo Match begins at 1:00 PM

Purchase tickets online or by phone!


CALL 412.647.POLO (7656) visit

Nature Inspired. Designed to fit your life.

Landscape Design & Installation • Ponds Waterfalls • Rainwater Retention • Outdoor Lighting • Seasonal Maintenance • Hardscapes

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Living Wall Designs Use



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Benefits of growing natives in the garden By Phyllis Gricus Whether you choose to get your hands dirty in the garden, you hire a gardener or your garden consists of potted plants, you’ve probably heard the word “native” (something that is local to an area) associated with gardening. While you may not have heard plants referenced as alien, (something that is not original to an area) these terms are the buzzwords of the new gardening paradigm. Why the buzz?

Balancing nature Bees, butterflies, and bugs—more correctly known as insects, are essential to the health of all ecosystems. Recent studies have proven that our native insects—the insects that native animals eat—prefer native plants for both food and shelter. Most alien plants, while they are beautiful, do not support or contribute to the local food web. Nearly every creature on this planet owes its existence to plants, including us. Plant-eating insects are the life link between plants and a multitude of the world’s fauna. Birds in particular, about 96 percent of them, rely on insects to feed their young. An insect’s role in the ecosystem is transferring energy from plants to other animals that cannot eat plants directly. In Bringing Nature Home, author Douglas W. Tallamy writes that the plants we grow in our gardens have the critical role of sustaining, directly or indirectly, all of the animals with which we share our living spaces. Which, in the cycle of this story, brings us back to plants. The following pages offer some native plant options that you can plant this fall that are both aesthetically appealing and will make a contribution to your garden’s ecosystem. continued >

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Oak trees are the quintessential wildlife plants as well as a desirable addition to the landscape. Their nuts provide food for deer, turkeys, and squirrels and the tree itself is host to more species of moths and butterflies than any other. Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) is a variety of white oak that has a broadrounded habit with spreading branches at maturity. It makes a fine specimen tree, but give it some room as it grows 50 feet tall and wide. It is fast growing and long lived. It transplants well and will grow in wet soils as well as dry. Another large ornamental shade tree that is underused in home landscapes is Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica). Plant it as a specimen tree in the lawn where you can admire its spectacular fall color and picturesque branching habit. The interesting bark has an alligator-like texture. This tap-rooted tree is more successfully transplanted when you buy it as a container-grown tree. Many birds favor the small bluish-black fruit and it is the host plant for the Hebrew Moth. Attractive to butterflies and birds, Shadblow Serviceberry (Amelanchier Canadensis) is an early spring flowering small tree with showy, fragrant, white flowers. It grows well in part-shade and can be planted under the canopy of taller trees or as a graceful addition

SWAMP WHITE OAK to a small yard. Serviceberry also makes for a great hedge since it can grow up to 20 feet tall. The sweet, dark blue, edible fruit is good for eating so plant enough for you and the birds.

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landscapetrends The red-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea) is host to the sawfly. In the early spring the sawfly is an important source of protein for birds. The larval stages will cause some leaf damage, but there is little risk of mortality to the plant since it happens late in the growing season. An attractive shrub, its greatest attribute is the colorful red stems that standout in the winter landscape. Other qualities include tiny white flowers in late spring and fleshy fruits that ripen in late summer providing food for wildlife into the fall.


Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Blueray’, ‘Duke’, ‘Hardiblue’, ‘Jersey’, ‘Toro’) is an acid loving, deciduous shrub that produces delicious berries in mid to late summer. Reddish-green spring leaves turn blue-green in summer and red, yellow, orange and purple in fall. The great fall color makes it a good replacement for the invasive alien burning bush (Euonymous alatus). From a design perspective the shrub makes a beautiful backdrop for mixed borders. The berries will attract all kinds of wildlife, from songbirds and small mammals to hundreds of species of moths and butterflies. WINTERBERRY Winterberry (Ilex v. ‘Berry Heavy’) lives up to its name—cheerful red berries up and down the multi-stemmed shrub brighten the winter landscape. In the wild it’s found in wet, acidic soils that are high in organic matter. Provide the similar conditions in your garden, and you, along with the birds, will enjoy this winter beauty. The June flowers are small enough to go unnoticed by humans but are extremely attractive to bees. You’ll need the bees and a male pollinator shrub such as Ilex v. ‘Jim Dandy’ to get the berries. continued >


Black Gum photo courtesy of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., Shadblow Serviceberry photo courtesy of Klyn Nurseries, Swamp White Oak photos courtesy of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., Winterberry photo courtesy of Proven Winners

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Some of the finest additions to the fall garden in flower and form are native perennials. Fireworks Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’) has fluffy golden flowering spikes that seem to burst from the lush green bushy perennial. This deerresistant plant will grow in sun or partshade and prefers moist, well-drained soils. Topping out at three feet tall Fireworks provides cover and food for birds. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’, ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘Heavy Metal’) is an essential wildlife plant in meadow plantings and woodland-edge gardens. It is a larval host and nectar source for the Delaware and Dotted Skipper. Because it holds up well under heavy snow the grass offers cover for rabbits and other small animals. A variety of gamebirds and songbirds eat the seeds. There are several varieties to choose from. You’ll be sure to find the perfect one for your garden. The upright grass has blue-green foliage that turns yellow in fall. A favorite of hummingbird and swallowtail butterflies, the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) has brilliant red spikes set against green and purple colored foliage. The flowering spikes open from the bottom to the top and bloom for several weeks starting in late summer. It will be a favorite of yours too if you have a sunny to part shade moist spot in your garden to fill. Cardinal flower is a showy plant; pick a few for they make excellent cut flowers. Here’s a design tip: Irises, Asclepias and Hibiscus and lobelia are best buddy plants.

SWITCHGRASS Like most good friends, they complement each other.

Cardinal flower, Fireworks Goldenrod and Switchgrass photos courtesy of North Creek Nurseries

Phyllis Gricus is owner of Landscape Design Studio in Pittsburgh, PA and specializes in environmentally sound gardening.

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724 444-POND

since 1936

Landscapes . Aquascapes . Florascapes

––––––The 8th Annual 2011––––––

Parade of Ponds Weekend of September 17 - 18. Noon to 6 pm. Tickets are free to download at You can link to Ronald McDonald House Charities, Pittsburgh to make a donation. Come enjoy paradise, dozens of the most beautiful gardens. Experience outdoor living and dining rooms, ponds, waterfalls, and flower gardens.

Parade of Ponds KicKoff Party


There is no cost for this event, but we ask you to make a donation to Ronald McDonald House. We will cookout, hang around the fire, enjoy the gardens, good food, good drink, and good company. Please join us. RSVP to 724-444-7663 or 100% of all donations goes to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh.


Friday, September 16, 6 – 9 pm.

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three seasons of outdoor living

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Visit Our Showroom

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Granite and Stone

Pittsburgh’s Gold Standard for Granite.

Where better to find beauty and function than from Premier and nature itself ?

Photography by Mark May

The skilled artisans at Premier Granite and Stone have hundreds of beautiful slabs at their fingertips to help you make the perfect choice for your home or work space.

Call or Visit Us. We’d love to show you the possibilities… Fabrication Facility: 66 Arch Street, Carnegie, PA 15106 412-429-9324

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Lake MacLeod home is kind to the earth and its family By Christina Kleiner | Photos by Craig Thompson Shawna and Sherwood Johnson have always been conscious of the world around them. Growing up, they both learned the importance of environmentally safe practices and energy efficiency. “My mother has a solar house in North Carolina,” Sherwood says. “Both Shawna and I were taught about the importance of recycling and why it is important to look at the food you eat and the air you breathe.” continued > OPPOSITE: The exterior of the home is covered in green HardiPlank siding. ABOVE: The standing seam metal roof reflects heat and energy away from the house.

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A natural decision So, about four years ago, when they started the process of building a new home for their family, it was only natural that they decided to construct a green home. “It isn’t only about building an energy-efficient home, it’s about building a healthy home for our children,” Sherwood explains. “All of the components and materials that went into this home are not only good for the environment, they’re good for us.” They chose the Pine Township community of Lake MacLeod because of the surroundings, and because of the relationship they developed with Tim Shipley and Chris Frank and their construction company, SureGreen. “We are a very active family and we knew living by the lake would be a good fit for us,” Shawna says. “Plus, Tim and Chris wanted to work with us to build a sustainable home.” The Johnsons teamed up with Lori Smith of Distinctive Dwellings to help them make all the eco-friendly selections, from the concrete flooring on the main floor to the eclectic energy efficient light fixtures. The two-story contemporary boasts a façade of green HardiPlank siding and a recycled standing seam metal roof. “The roof features a special PPG coating that reflects the majority of the energy away from the house. That means the warm temperatures don’t leak into the house,” say Shipley, who also points out the solar panels recently installed on the roof, which are also generating energy for the home. continued >

OPPOSITE: A built-in saltwater fish tank sits next to the staircase. TOP: Energy efficient pendant lights from Teka Illumination hang from the ceiling in the living room. BOTTOM: The homeowners’ two dogs have their own spot, which features artificial grass that can be easily cleaned.

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A soothing water feature and wonderful views of the lake are just a few of the highlights in the back yard. Shawna and Sherwood are veterinarians, therefore admitted animal lovers. “We have two dogs and three cats,” Sherwood says. “The dogs have their private area and we included catwalks and ledges for the cats inside our home.” An outdoor shower, made of bamboo and Timbertech composite wood, offers the perfect spot to rinse off after the family spends time at the lake. “My family has a cottage on Cape Cod Bay and the outdoor shower is a favorite convenience after a day at the beach,” Sherwood says. “We knew it would be the perfect addition to our home.”

colorful A colorful (and green) interior

A big aspect in green building is creating an open floor plan, with an abundance of natural light and natural materials. The main floor of the Johnson home encompasses the kitchen, dining area and living room. The concrete floors flowing through the first floor are topped with a green-hued, low-VOC stain. “The paint and stains used in the home were very important,” Smith says. “Not only were the color combinations important, all 12 paint colors and every stain you see throughout the house are low or noVOC.” The kitchen boasts custom cabinetry made from a local wood source, bamboo floors and GE Monogram appliances. The Johnsons point out that they elected not to have any gas lines in their home. “At first I wanted a gas range, but it would have been the only gas line in the house,” Shawna says. “It just didn’t make sense. So we went with an induction cooktop and it was probably one of the best decisions we made.” continued >

TOP: The outdoor shower is comprised of bamboo and Timbertech composite wood. BOTTOM: Custom cabinets from a local wood source and bamboo flooring keep the kitchen green. OPPOSITE: The homeowners drew their inspiration for the cat ledges and walkways from the book The Cats’ House.

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FAR LEFT: Urban Tree Forge created the unique entry door, which is made of ash. ABOVE: The master bathroom was designed around the intricate Kohler Serpentine Bronze sink bowls. LEFT: Unique wall sconces add a dramatic touch to this hallway.

continued >

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The adjoining living room offers views of the front entry door, made of ash by Urban Tree Forge, and a water feature, as well as a saltwater fish tank and a fireplace. A bamboo-staircase leads to the second floor, which houses four bedrooms, a laundry room and the master suite. “The décor was very important to Shawna and Sherwood,” Smith says. “They made a point of finding unique, local vendors to create one-of-akind pieces for their home.” Among the unique pieces are the vanity mirrors in the master bathroom, custom made to resemble tree branches. Paperstone countertops, a solid surface made from recycled paper, complement the natural look of the mirrors.

friendly Family-friendly activities

The Johnsons wanted to create a healthy environment for their two sons, 8-year-old Connor and 5-year-old Koven, but they also wanted to make sure they offered a happy home. Living on the lake provides plenty of outdoor entertainment, but the couple also wanted something unique inside the home. This is where the rock-climbing wall comes into play. Shawna says they had initially considered adding a climbing wall to the fireplace surround, since original plans called for a two-story living room. “When we decided on the lower roofline, the idea disappeared,” she adds. The idea popped back up when they were looking at the design for the entry by the mudroom. The wall extends up the two-story wall and into the lower level. “We’re not avid climbers, but we enjoy outdoor activities,” Shawna says. “The boys and their friends love it and they’ve become quite good at climbing.” continued >

LEFT: The family enjoys spending time climbing the rock wall that was added to this twostory portion of the home.

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ToasTy TemperaTures

air qualiTy

The home is kept warm thanks to radiant heat flooring and a geothermal heat pump. Instead of pulling in heat from cold outside air, the geothermal system pulls heat from the ground, which is typically around 58 degrees. This drastically reduces the amount of energy required to heat or air condition the home.

Due to a tighter envelope, a HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system and a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) maintain the air quality in the home. The HRV uses heat exchangers to heat or cool incoming fresh air, preserving most of the energy used to condition the inside air that is exhausted. After moving through the heat exchanger, the warmed or cooled fresh air goes through the HVAC or into different rooms in the house. By transferring energy from the exhaust air to the new fresh air, the home uses less energy, essentially reducing consumption. The Johnsons’ system also contains HEPA filtration, so any dust, pollen or other impurities are cleaned out, helping to eliminate allergies. Paints, building materials, and furnishings containing VOCs or formaldehyde were avoided to improve air quality.


The envelope Builder Tim Shipley says the most important aspect when it comes to building a sustainable house is the envelope. Thanks to a foundation made of Insulated Concrete Forms, or ICFs, there are no drafts. “Nothing can blow through reinforced concrete, so these ICFs are much more energy efficient than a concrete block or poured foundation,” Shipley explains. To coincide with the foundation, Shipley framed the home using a minimum of 2x6s spaced 24 inches apart to accommodate a thicker layer of spray cell foam insulation to seal each outer wall. The home is topped with a roof system made of structural insulated panels (SIPs). These high performance panels are strong and energy efficient by combining several conventional building components, including I-beams, studs and insulation. They act as an air barrier, leading to fewer drafts and better insulation and resulting in lower energy bills and more comfort.

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clean Clean living

Thanks to a partnership with Smith and Shipley, the Johnsons were able to create a sustainable home that is good for the environment and their family. The trio is in the process of submitting the home for LEED certification. They are hoping to receive Platinum certification. The home has already been awarded the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Emerald rating and it is Energy Star Plus certified. “The energy savings are great, but the real benefit of building a green home is that you are creating a healthy and comfortable home for your family,” Shipley says. Shawna and Sherwood couldn’t agree more. “We love the house. It feels bright, comfortable and connected to the outdoors. We wouldn’t change a thing.”

ResouRces Architect: Fortyeighty Architecture;

Builder: sureGreen; Designer: Distinctive Dwellings; Paint: PPG Pittsburgh Paints; Home automation: eLAN’s HomeLogic, installed by MGM Automation; Dog patio: K9Grass; Entry door and fireplace mantel: urban Tree Forge; Appliances: Ge Monogram, supplied by Bridgeville Appliance; Master bathroom vanity mirrors and towel racks: Iron eden; Master bathroom countertops: Paperstone; Cabinetry: carl stevens, stevens Woodworks; Climbing wall: Rockworks, Inc.; Flooring: Plyboo bamboo; ecoTimber bamboo; natural cork; Artemis environmental; Loft railing panels: Lumicor; Lighting: Teka; ogetti Luce; Juno; Lightolier; sea Gull; George Kovacs; MinkaAire Geothermal heating and cooling: Wade Heating and cooling; Spray insulation: InsulRight; Landscape: Funyak Lawn & Landscape Management The loft features a bold floor made of black and tiger bamboo.

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INSULATING CONCRETE FORMS Welcome to PolySteel, where “We’re Building a Better World” with the best building materials you can use for the exterior walls of your next residential or commercial project. As a homeowner, do-it-yourselfer, builder, architect, engineer, or commercial developer, PolySteel Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) provide you with a superior construction technology that delivers cost-effective, highperformance structures that are safer, quieter, more comfortable, energy efficient, structurally secure, and environmentally responsible than any building system available on the market today.

SUPERIOR PRODUCT PERFORMANCE Reduced Air Infiltration - PolySteel homes and building consistently average .1 Air Exchanges per hour (ACH). This means that the air is completely replaced every 10 hours. The result is much less dust and pollen, and less heat loss. Superior Insulation - The Polystyrene insulation in PolySteel has a minimum R-Value of 20. PolySteel homes and buildings actually perform at values from R-30 to R-50. Superior Sound Barrier - With only 1/2” drywall, PolySteel walls have a laboratory tested minimum Sound Class Rating of 48+. From party walls inside, to barrier walls from traffic on the outside, PolySteel keeps the noise out and away from where you live and work. Superior Fire Resistance - Poly Steel provides a minimum four-hour (ASTME119) Class A fire wall before any wall covering is applied. PolySteel’s extremely low toxicity, smoke development, and flame spread, make our walls safer from the hazards of fire. Environmentally Responsible - No CFC’s are used during the manufacture of PolySteel. Building with PolySteel significantly reduces the lumber used in construction. Termite Protection - PolySteel is the only manufactured insulating concrete form available with Perform Guard® EPS Termite-Resistant Insulation.

Integrity Construction Co., Inc. & Polysteel of Western Pennsylvania 3950 Hodson Lane Murrysville, PA 15668 Phone: 724-325-0016

“PolySteel has proven to be the best building material you can use for the exterior walls of your next residential or commercial project.”

PolySteel has been providing one of the most energy-efficient, durable, and environmentally responsible building materials available since 1978. PolySteel Forms help you build green through: • Optimized Energy Performance • Recycled Materials • Improved Indoor Air Quality • Reduced Air Infiltration • Extended Building Life Cycles HTPT0811.057

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Green Leaf Landscaping & Lawn Care Inc. 412-881-4166


We Specialize In Walls Pavers & Water Features Landscape Installation & Design


Your Environment and Entertainment

Wait! Before you install the latest ecofriendly innovation in your home, don’t forget the ‘greenest’ phase of the job. Donate your old stuff to Construction Junction.They’ll find someone who will use it like new.

MGM Automation is on the cutting edge of new technologies. We install custom Home Theaters, Home Automation, Lighting Controls, and Distributed Audio. We have been meeting or exceeding our customers expectations, delivering comfort, convenience and peace of mind. Given our experience and expertise, you can count on us to provide the special care and attention to detail you expect. Discover your digital lifestyle today!

Reuse, one of the greenest renovations you can make.

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MGM Automation, Inc. 1665 Washington Rd. Suite 4 Pittsburgh, PA 15228


Donations are tax deductible, build community and create jobs.


Call Construction Junction, the Pittsburgh region’s oldest nonprofit building material reuse retailer promoting conservation through the reuse of building material. Open to all shoppers 7 days a week.

Matt & Melanie Mandros Owners

8/30/11 10:55:26 AM

J. Michael Kelly, President Building, Remodeling and Restoration for over 30 years

office 412.365.0500 cell 412.670.1261 e-mail 340 Denniston Street Pittsburgh, PA 15206

2010 Housing Excellence Award Winner Best Multi-room Renovation over $1,000,000 Best Multi-room Renovation over $300,000

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of Metropolitan Pittsburgh

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“Experts In Craftsmanship, Value & Service” 6311 Butler Street • Pittsburgh, PA 15201



8/30/11 11:02:56 AM

decoratingtrends 1

on HOT honeysuckle


By Holly Schnicke



is more than just a sweet-smelling flower.

Named the 2011 color of the year by Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color, honeysuckle will make any room pop. Go bold with allover wall color or use as simple accent pieces. This reddish pink color will


certainly brighten even the gloomiest of days!

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In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going—perfect to ward off the blues.

—Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute


8 5

1. Dianthus Pillow, Blush Company C

2. Pink Tonal Squares Rug Jonathan Adler

3. Lauren Barstool, Riley Red 5 Louis XV Style Bombe Chest 7. Yates Ottoman, Jessica Charles


4. Grande Fauteuil Chair

Century Furniture

6. Annabel Duvet Set

Serena and Lily

Duquette Melon C.R. Laine

8. Corice Tile, Punch Matte Angela Adams from Ann Sacks

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continued >

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Going green in your home can start with a task as tiny as recycling your cereal box. Slightly more ambitious folks may compost their yard waste or take cloth bags to the grocery store. But if you are looking for ways to save green while going green, take a look at these major systems inside your home for energy and cost saving opportunities.


Lighting system


HVAC system The heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system in your home is unfortunately the mechanical system that is most likely inefficient; often heating one room too much while leaving another freezing cold. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) also states that the HVAC system is the weakest link in an energy-efficient building. Sometimes parts are put on backwards, sometimes the ductwork is not insulated, sometimes the system’s design simply has inlying errors. The solution: Work on this system first. Write down your grievances, find a building professional or HVAC contractor to help analyze the problem, then get quotes to fix the errors or work on the system yourself. At the very least, don’t forget to insulate the ductwork. Once solved, your home will be pleasantly cool in the summer and toasty in the winter without paying at a premium.


LED and fluorescent bulbs are 75% more efficient than specialty and incandescent bulbs, emit less heat, and often last as much as a couple dozen years. “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star-qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than three million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars,” according to the Department of Energy on its website,

New energy-efficient lighting fixtures and perhaps even skylights could reduce your dependence on electricity. The solution: Begin taking an inventory of all the older, inefficient bulbs in your home. Furthermore, look for ideas to redesign part or all of the lighting system. New energy-efficient lighting fix­tures and perhaps even skylights could reduce your dependence on electricity and add a thoughtfully-designed lighting ambiance throughout the home.

A low-flow faucet emits one-third less water than a regular faucet.

Plumbing system Some areas of the country, such as in Ohio, have more of an abundant water supply than other areas such as in Arizona. Nevertheless, as populations increase, the demand grows, causing municipalities to build larger and larger water treatment plants. Homeowners then pay more for the water they use and eventually clean water may become more of a scarcity. Furthermore, supplying and treating cold water requires a significant amount of energy. According to the Stanford University’s Earth System’s Program, letting your faucet run for 5 minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.

The solution: Begin in­stall­ing new faucets, shower heads, and toilets with low-flow fixtures. The amount of water emitted from a low-flow faucet is one-third as much as that of a regular faucet; yet, it feels like the same amount when washing your hands. Replace fixtures that are used more often first.

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Fifteen percent of the household energy costs can be reduced by replacing the windows. 窶年ational Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)

Insulation system The average household spends over 40 percent of its annual energy budget on heating and cooling costs, making an efficient insulation system essential. The indoor temperature should not have large degree fluctuations such as a cold chill in the air just before the thermostat kicks on the furnace or walls that are cold to the touch in the winter.


Indoor air system

The solution: Begin with the most simple and inexpensive step by adding insulating shades and curtains to windows. Consider replacing 15- to 20-year-old windows with new, efficient units. According to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), 15 percent of the household energy costs can be reduced by replacing the windows. Plant deciduous trees on the south side of the home that will provide shade in the summer while allowing solar heat to penetrate through the bare branches in the winter. When replacing the roof or siding, ask your contractor to add enough additional insulation so that the roof system equals at least an R-value rating of 30 and the exterior walls equal an R-value of 22.

Americans spend 90 percent of their time inside, yet according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollutants may be two to five times, and occasionally 100 times higher than outdoor levels. Many people also suffer from poor ventilation, radon, lead paint, mold, unwanted microorganisms, and chemicals from building materials and cleaning supplies, etc. The solution: When renoツュvating and redecorating, choose materials, furniture, and paints that will not off-gas carcinogenic VOCs (volatile organic compounds that may contribute to cancer). Some indoor air quality problems require special kits that can be used by the homeowner and by professionals alike. If radon and mold are detected, then there are special systems, equipment, and construction maintenance measures that can be done to remedy the air quality problems. It never hurts to run these tests, especially if someone in the home already has asthma or any other compromised breathing condition.

resources actions/in_the_home/lowflowfixtures.html;;

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Don’s Appliances ..............................20

Signature, Paragon, Eddy, RA Snoznik .................................34, 72

ASID .................................................70

Case Handyman & Remodeling ........77

Hillmon Appliance ............................20

Architecture Building Performance Architecture ..31

Automotive Day Apollo Subaru............... back cover

AutomAtion MGM Automation ............................66

BAnking / WeAlth mAnAgement First Commonwealth .........................9

Building mAteriAls Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods ......41

consignment Boutiques Black Lamb Consignment .................40

dentistry Esthetics Dentistry ...........................11

Flooring & cArpet Paracca Interiors ...............................15

gArden Farm House Studio...........................31

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Ceramiche Tile & Stone ...................40

Best Feeds Garden Centers .............44

Dente Classic & Exotic Stone ...........42

Greenleaf ..........................................66

Jones Stone & Marble Co. ................21

Ultimate Granite Surfaces ..................7 Vangura .............................................18

home Furnishings & interior design

custom cABinetry & WoodWorking

Bradley Michaels Furniture .................3

MapleTree Furniture .........................41

custom home Builders Heartland Homes .............................52

kitchen And BAth supplies

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TK Construction...............................71

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Premier Granite................................53

Kellner Millwork ...............................67

Leggett Kitchens ...............................51

Rex Glass ..........................................33


Integrity Construction Co. Inc..........65

Kitchen & Bath Concepts, LLC ........19

Habitat ..............................................39

Rosewood Consignment ..................51

Construction Junction.......................66

Copperleaf Kitchen & Bath Design.....6


Mont Granite, Inc. ...........................4,5

Aspen Valley Contracting .................67

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Colonial Modern Furniture...............13

K.P. Soergel & Associates, Inc. ..........49

lighting Cardello Electric ...............................16

orientAl rugs Pittsburgh Rug Company ..................70

outdoor living

Inks Installation .................................21 MasterRemodelers ...........................49 Prime 1 Enterprises ..........................39

speciAl events Family House Polo ............................44 Riverlife Party at the Pier ..................79 Pittsburgh Public Theatre ................78

storAge Guardian Storage ..............................71

vent cleAning Dryer Vent Wizard ...........................80

WAllpAper & WindoW treAtments Peerless Wallpaper and Blinds ..........38 Please visit our advertisers and let them know you saw their ads in Housetrends. This directory is published as an added resource. The publisher does not assume responsibility for errors or omissions.

The Outdoor Kitchen Company ......50

pest control Varment Guard .................................80


Evelyn James Interiors ......................15

Bella Railings .....................................76

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InsulRight Spray Foam Insulation ......32

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PRESIDEnT AnD CEO, REACH USA Robert J. Slattery © 2011 Reach Publishing, LLC Housetrends magazine is published by Buzz Publications, LLC in conjunction with Reach Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.


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Pittsburgh Housetrends  

September 2011

Pittsburgh Housetrends  

September 2011