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Criterium Engineers

Your Roof: Eight Things to Consider

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:34

If your house is like most in this country built in the last 50 years, it probably has a sloped roof with one of the following roofing materials:

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Water - The First H in H2O (Part 1 of 2)

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:33

Water – it’s as important to our survival as air. We assume there is an unlimited supply of quality water, or maybe we just never really think much about it; it’s just there when we turn on the faucet.

But we can’t take it for granted. The supply of quality water in our world is limited, and we should take that seriously.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Water - The Second H in H2O (Part 2 of 2)

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:32

Water — it's as important to our survival as air. We assume there is an unlimited supply of quality water, or maybe we just never really think much about it; it's just there when we turn on the faucet.

But we can't take it for granted: the supply of quality water in our world is limited and we should take that seriously.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Wood-Destroying Insects

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:29

Except for the most northern states, wood-destroying insects are a concern to homeowners. Why? Because they are "wood destroying" and most of our homes are built with wood. They will eat your house!

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Getting to Green

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:28

GREEN BUILDING - You’ve probably heard about it, but do you really know what it means? It’s definitely not about the color of your home! You may have heard that it has something to do with the environment and energy conservation. That’s correct, but the Green Building program does not stop there. The goals are quite far-reaching. The following is intended to give you a better understanding of the intent, motivation and objectives of the Green Building program in the United States.

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Six Steps to Success

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:25

Which siding is best? Which roofing? What about the windows? Which appliances? What should I choose? How can I make the best choice? We often hear these questions from clients, and with good reason. Choosing building materials, whether for repairs, renovations or new construction, is tough. There are many, many choices. What’s right for you?

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Feng Shui – Is it Science or Superstition?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:23

Feng Shui, or "wind water," is believed to be the process of maximizing the fl ow of energy to achieve harmony between people, structures and nature. It has been an important part of many Eastern cultures for centuries. However, after the Communist take over of Mainland China in the 1940s, Feng Shui was branded as a superstition, at least in that country.

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Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters - Whose Fault Is It, Anyway?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:20

The term Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is likely familiar to you. But did you know that a GFCI is a device that, when properly installed, provides you and your family with enhanced protection against electrical shock? And now, there is a new phrase to get familiar with: Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI).

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Indoor Air Quality

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:15

Indoor air quality - IAQ - how significant is it and should you be concerned? Perhaps more importantly, what can you do about it?

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Copper Pipe Crisis

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:13

Recently, copper pipe, which is widely used in plumbing systems, has been the target of many complaints regarding unexpected and premature deterioration, often leading to leaks.

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Wild And Crazy Roofs - It's Not All Good News! Have You Noticed?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:12

Have you noticed?

Roof lines are getting more and more complex and creative. The traditional gable roof (single ridge, symmetric slopes and vertical end panels) is quickly becoming a distant memory. While a gable roof may not be architecturally exciting, it is simpler to maintain and the risk of premature leaks is minimal.

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New Construction: If It's New, Is It Good?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:09

How good is new construction in the United States and Canada? Generally, it is pretty good, but there are some significant areas of concern.

Our goal is to provide information that will allow quality-oriented builders to improve upon the products they deliver.

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Septic Systems

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 14:07

Approximately 25% of the housing units in the United States are served by septic tanks or cesspools (private, subsurface wastewater systems), according to a 1995 American housing survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. That means there are currently more than 25 million septic systems in the United States. Further, each year about 400,000 new systems are built. In Canada, there are about 3 million active septic systems and about 40,000 new systems built each year.

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Other Wastewater Systems

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 14:05

Wastewater systems come in many forms. While the most common is the septic system described above, there are alternatives. For various reasons, most often unacceptable soil characteristics, ledge or high ground water, several alternative systems have been developed. These include gray water systems, composting toilets, pressure-dosed systems, mound systems, and sand filters.

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Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 13:48

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have received a lot of attention in the last few decades. Some folks believe they cause cancer, especially childhood leukemia. Others argue that there is no risk.

Controversy and confusion continue. It seems like a good time to review the current thinking on the subject.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Pressure-Treated Lumber - Should You Be Concerned?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 13:45

Blood poisoning. Cancer. Infection.

These have all been linked to pressure-treated (P/T) lumber in recent years. How real are these risks, and what, if anything, should you do about them?

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Energy? What Does It All Mean?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 13:39

Have you ever wondered how you use energy in your home? More basically, have you ever wondered about energy itself? The following is a review of the basics of energy and how we use it to heat and cool our homes. We will also look at some guidelines for saving energy. This is a brief summary of an extensive, complex subject. It is intended to offer a practical perspective, not a detailed analysis.

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That Noise is Driving Me Crazy!

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 13:15

Community living has many benefits.

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Energy Conservation in Community Associations

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 13:00

With existing buildings consuming 40 percent of our energy supply, they represent a logical and necessary target for energy conservation measures. In this issue of Common Foundations,our goal is not to convince you that energy conservation makes sense. Most of us can agree that it does. However, community associations represent an ownership class with a wide range of needs, opportunities, and responsibilities. In this issue, we try to address what a prudent board might do with regard to energy conservation, depending on the type of associ

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How Much is Enough?

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 12:50

How much should our association keep in our reserve fund? is a question we are often asked. At first blush, the answer seems simple – enough to cover all anticipated expenditures over the reserve period. Upon further analysis, the answer is not so simple at all. A number of inter-related factors may affect this decision dramatically.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers