Category Archives: Technology

Tools for Planning a Green Community

Porchscapes is a housing project designed by the University of Arkansas Community Design Center for client Habitat for Humanity. Winner most recently of an Urban Design Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects, the project is innovative on several fronts.

The building program is for 43 single family homes that are compliant with Habitat guidelines; individual units are sized from 1,150 to 1,250 square feet.

Construction costs for the housing are low, estimated at $60 per square foot. This is because of the voluntary nature of Habitat’s building program, with future homeowners contributing sweat equity during construciton. This figure does not include Infrastructure costs.

The project, located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is intended to foster a sense of community while simultaneously solving tricky ecological conditions unique to the site. The students and professors involved in the design have looked to the natural environment for ways to address these objectives.

Stormwater Management

The 10 acre housing site is a catchment area for water runoff from 220 adjacent acres. Stormwater surges not only cause flooding but can result in the release of toxic wastes from pesticides, fertilizers and other pollutants. To deal with stormwater runoff, the project uses a low impact development (LID) system.

Conventional stormwater management strategies are costly to build and rely on pipe and pond systems which redirect water flow away from affected sites. Using an LID or “soft engineering” approach, stormwater runoff is absorbed into the ground with the site acting like a giant sponge.

The management system includes rainwater meadows, rubber sidewalks and shared streets, all surfaces designed to be pervious to water. Pollutants are rapidly removed in the event of a storm, and water flow velocity is diminished.

This holiday, there is a huge sale on construction tools like laser levels, orbital sanders and more. Also, make sure to check out laser level reviews to find the most reliable and cost-efficient laser level.

Green Neighborhood Transect and Shared Streets

In planning Porchscapes, the designers set out to build a community that would be sustainable socially, environmentally and financially. The green neighborhood transect accomplishes these goals.

Transect planning is an approach that mimics the way the natural world creates communities, with one ecosystem transitioning into another. The green neighborhood transect is composed of five elements that reflect this planning concept:

  1. House: distinguished by a compact footprint and passive design strategy to maximize the benefits of solar orientation
  2. Porch: encourages natural convection and extends the house into the adjacent green space, with the intent of enhancing social interaction among residents
  3. Lawn: rather than being a strictly decorative element, the lawn functions as part of the ecologically-based stormwater treatment system
  4. Shared Street: streets at the site are designed to slow or calm automobile traffic, safely accommodate pedestrians and cyclists, and be part of the LID stormwater management system
  5. Open Space: backyard activity is accommodated in a shared landscape to promote connections between residents

Porchscapes’ shared streets are a key component of the strategy for managing stormwater. They incorporate bioswales, sediment filters and infiltration trenches. The financial benefits are substantial: costly curbs, gutters, pipes and catch basins are eliminated, for a potential 40 percent savings, versus conventional pipe and pond solutions.

Making Low Impact Development Ordinance-Friendly

One of the most significant aspect of Porchscapes is the design team’s success in overcoming municipal engineers’ objections to the LID strategy. Sustainable approaches to urban planning often meet with rejection because they conflict with well-established practices and bylaws, or ordinances.

Under existing municipal ordinances in Arkansas, rubber sidewalks, shared streets and rainwater gardens would be considered illegal. By consulting and collaborating with the fire department and ecological and civil engineers responsible for water and utilities, designers were able to resolve planning and policy issues.

As a testament to Porchscapes’ sustainable design, the project has been selected by the US Green Building Council for LEED-Neighborhood Development certification.

Best Vacuum for Hair

Most people, at the thought of a vacuum cleaner for hair instinctively think of something for cleaning floors, carpets or dog sheddings. The problem is a little simpler for animals than it is for us humans, because theirs is mostly seasonal and they don’t mind shedding in the first place, but for us,  it’s quite the opposite. The only real way to prevent you hair from being all over the place, in both humans and pets, is proper grooming. Brush your pet’s hair regularly to prevent it from shedding all over your carpet. It’s a win-win. He’s comfortable, and you save yourself a whole lot of work. However, it’s completely possible to attack the problem at the core – just stick a nozzle on whatever is shedding and prevent it from happening in the first place. Voila! Problem solved.

This may sound a bit too good to be true, but we’ve had the technology quite a while already, and despite all the pain you have to go through cleaning up your hair, you can still use the same vacuum to clean your dog’s hair, even from the carpet.

Even so, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to cleaning hair. There are some things you have to consider when you’re out there on your search for the best vacuum for hair. The relatively important ones of these are outlined below:

  • Corded or cordless: Hair is really thin (duh), which gives it the superiority over you when it comes to playing games. Basically, hair can get trapped, literally in any crevice in your house. If you want to be able to reach it in even the hardest of places, or even clean the stairs, you need to get a model with a relatively longer cord than normal models. Bonus points if you’re able to get a cordless model.
  • Power: Pet hair is notoriously difficult to clean up once it gets onto surfaces such as carpets. To get it free, you need to have some serious suction power on your vacuum. Of course, it has to be adjustable because you don’t want to be going out full power on your own hair.
  • Brush roll: The primary problem with using a normal vacuum cleaner for pet hair instead of something more specialised is that pet hair tends to get stuck on the brush roll. A good pet vacuum cleaner should be designed with this in mind and compensate for it accordingly.
  • Type of vacuum: Here, the battle of supremacy is essentially a fight between canister and upright vacuum cleaners. It’s a source of debate among kitchen and animal lovers which one is better, but as a general rule of thumb, the canister variety is more powerful and more portable while the upright variety is cheaper and more flexible to use. At the end of the day, though, it’s a matter of personal opinion.

Littmann Cardiology III review

The Littmann Cardiology III has been named among the best seller stethoscope from this brand. It is put at the third position in the best seller list.

Why the stethoscope became successful

As you continue to read this Cardiology III review article, you will find out that this stethoscope offers the best performance but at the same time, it is at competitive price. It offers many features like reliability and backup.

Littmann Cardiology III is a simple stethoscope and it is affordable in all Cardiology models. This means that it is a perfect stethoscope for specialists in cardiology, anesthesiology, internal medicine and pulmonology. Even if it has the name cardiology, it does not mean that it is an exclusive tool to use only in cardiology. It is named this because it is a stethoscope that has more than an average performance. It is accurate and more reliable. It has capacity of detecting many acoustic nuances.

With the stethoscope, you can hear S4 and S3 sounds, Grade I murmurs and midsystolic clicks. The specialty of this stethoscope is found within the nuance, detection of the details and the sensitivity using a high accuracy.

Many nurses and family doctors choose to buy the stethoscopes from the cardiology range. They do this because they would like to have a reliable and excellent tool to diagnose their patients. The other reasons is that the stethoscope is being manufactured in United States so it is resilient and it is built using the premium materials and it comes with a guarantee of 5 years. They are stethoscopes built to last for long. You can use the stethoscope on daily basis for 15 years.

Dual frequency and a tunable diaphragm found with Littmann stethoscopes

As it is found with many of Littmann stethoscopes, the two sides of a Cardiology III chestpiece has a dual frequency tunable diaphragm. With it, you can get both low and high frequencies and this depend on pressure which is exerted at the patient.

To get light pressure, you should use a bell mode which auscultates low frequency sounds. Firm pressure using membrane or diaphragm, it is used to auscultate high frequency sound.

Longest diameter side of a chestpiece stethoscope is found at both side of a diaphragm and it can be used on adults and the shortest diameter side performs same function for pediatric clients.

As you can find in this Cardiology III review article, the stethoscope may be used for both pediatric and adult patients. It is also possible to use shortest diameter side as a traditional open bell. A stethoscope can include non chill bell sleeve so that it may replace an adjustable diaphragm which is installed with it by default.

Dual lumen tubing is meant to reduce the friction with environmental noise which is a challenge to the acoustic stethoscopes. The Littman had achieved an improvement when it comes to this and this is because of dual lumen tubing used with its stethoscopes. The dual tube is the variation of the typical shape of the stethoscope and it helps to reduce the noise while improving acoustic performance.