Even before people existed, bacteria are believed to have been doing so
many roles in shaping life here on earth. They play diverse roles that
we discover a new one each passing day. They can adapt to any eco system
colonizing even new ones and breaking down materials as energy source.
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Bacteria are known to be either beneficial or detrimental to human
beings and other living creatures they come in contact with. They can be
beneficial when they perform the role of breaking down waste and
producing antibiotics. They can be detrimental when they play the role
of assaulting living organisms to cause diseases.
Because their being so adaptable to any environment, it didn’t take long
for them to be introduced to ponds. The type of bacteria that cause
human beings to acquire illnesses such as ulcer, septicaemia and fin rot
is the type that gives benefits to ponds. They basically work in pond
filters and help keep balance in the whole water system.
Despite the various benefits that bacteria can cause to ponds, their
impact to the pond still a bit underrated. Most pond keepers are well
aware of the fact that beneficial bacteria are the ones responsible in
the management of nitrogen cycle in the pond by breaking down ammonia
into nitrite and then into nitrate. What they do not know is that’s just
one of the many good things these bacteria can do to maintain a pond in
its pristine condition.
Beneficial bacteria are the ones to be thanked for the existence of bio
filter. This type of pond filter is responsible for making the water
suitable for bacteria to flourish in the pond and do what they got to do
in the pond–breaking down wastes products that enter the pond. The
role of beneficial bacteria is not a little thing to be overlooked at.
Among all the things that beneficial bacteria can do especially in koi
ponds, the breakdown of noxious ammonia into nitrites and then nitrates
is the most well-known. Many pond keepers resort to the use of bacteria
thinking that what they can just do is dealing with ammonia and nothing
else. This is extremely important since ammonia pose a huge threat to
the lives in the pond.
If the beneficial bacteria in the pond is being appreciated to the right
extent, you will find out that they are capable of causing much even
better things in the pond and maintaining the good quality of the pond
If ever you notice that despite the presence of beneficial bacteria in
the pond, the fish start gasping for air or organic matters start to
overtake the water system, you might be forgetting to do something.
Remember that bacteria are simple, one-celled organisms that digest
organic matter by discharging their digestive enzymes into the
surrounding water. If there are too much organic matter accumulation
more than the bacteria present in your bio filter can handle, you should
do something like cleaning the pond water yourself. As the owner, it is
still your duty to regularly do water changes so that beneficial
bacteria won’t have a hard time dealing with organic matters building
The 2010 Southern Building Show, which features its annual showcase
home, inspired a children’s playhouse – a miniature copy of a bold,
innovative sustainable home design featuring Marvin window and doors
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Every year the Southern Building Show in Atlanta features an innovative
and inspiring showcase home. This May’s show did not disappoint,
offering another exciting home design including Marvin windows and
doors. Known as the Midtown Green House, this year’s project features
green construction and will seek EarthCraft, LEED and ENERGY STAR
certification, as well as following the NAHB Green Building Standard.
From the concrete foundation to the green roof with garden, this eco
home’s bold, mid-century style combines converging planes of glass,
stacked stone and stucco and an asymmetrical, loft-style floor plan.
This private residence is located in Atlanta’s Midtown section, known
for its eclectic architectural style. Click here to see photos.
The AVI team of consultants worked with architect Joel Kelly Design,
builder The Hoots Group, and building engineers to ensure the Marvin
Clad French doors, Casement windows and Direct Glaze Polygon windows met
structural, architectural and energy efficiency requirements. All
windows and doors featured LoE3-366®glass, contributing to the home’s
sustainable design. The technology behind these windows is especially
effective at keeping the sun’s heat out in warmer climates where cooling
costs are high, such as Atlanta area homes. “And thanks to Marvin’s
design flexibility, the windows look just as beautiful in this
contemporary design as they do with traditional décor, said Peter
Diehl,” sales manager for AVI.
Building on the excitement generated by this showcase home, The Hoots
Group built a kid’s playhouse which also debuted at the Southern
Building Show. The Hoots Group provides home performance improvements
to existing homes and well as building new homes with a “whole-house”
approach to achieve healthy, comfortable, and energy efficient results
The playhouse will be raffled off as a charity benefit for the HomeAid
Atlanta’s Project Playhouse 2010 event, which takes place at The Avenue
Forsyth in Cumming from September 25 through October 23. HomeAid Atlanta
is a nonprofit organization that builds and renovates multi-unit
transitional housing for homeless families and individuals in the metro
Atlanta area. Through the building industry’s generous support, HomeAid
has built or renovated nearly 1,000 shelters. An article in the Atlanta
Building News featured the HomeAid playhouse event this past May.
This stunning miniature copy of the showcase home incorporated the same
mid-century contemporary design and green architecture translated into a
kid-friendly funhouse with an artificial turf cool roof, a roof-top
terrace, and a roomy loft accessible by ladder. Keeping with the
original design’s sophistication, the playhouse also includes faux stone
and stucco facades, spray foam insulated walls, high grade hardwood
interiors and energy efficient Integrity® from Marvin Casement windows
donated by AVI.
“We’re pleased to contribute to such a great cause, plus Integrity
windows fit the green aspect of this project perfectly,” said Peter
Integrity windows and doors are made of Ultrex®, a pultruded fiberglass
window material whose main ingredient is sand, a safe, renewable
resource. In addition, Integrity’s manufacturing process incorporates
steps to protect the environment. The fact that Integrity’s Ultrex
fiberglass construction is exceptionally strong and long lasting means
they require less window replacement and upkeep, reducing wasted
building materials that must be land filled and decreasing the need for
solvent-based paints. From start to finish, Integrity’s sustainable
design contributes to a greener future.
Whether it is modern myth, legend or fact, it is said that as soon as
painters finish painting the Forth Bridge in Scotland, they have to
start again. Sometimes it feels like that with cleaning windows – as
soon as you’ve done it, they seem to need cleaning all over again.
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Well imagine how long that might take if your whole building was made of
glass. We’re not talking about people who live in Greenhouses here, but
the massive modern facades of contemporary office spaces, their faces
glistening and bright. And while people in glass houses shouldn’t throw
stones, they should also think about how they’re going to clean the
But if that’s not enough, these modern, gleaming edifices can cause even
bigger problems – repair and maintenance. Think about it – in the time
you live in your house there’s a chance you will replace the windows,
maybe more than once. You very rarely need to replace the bricks. So for
those buildings that are predominantly glass this can be a massive
undertaking. While they look pretty flashy, they can be cause of a huge
amount of commercial glazing maintenance. Glazing repairs have to be
handled by professional outfits and if you thought changing your glass
was a pain, imagine doing it thousands of feet up. Commercial glazing
maintenance is not only about replacement but also needs to take into
account the upgrading of thermal and drainage performance, replacement
of handles, hinges, locks, installation of seals and relevant safety and
privacy films as well as upgrades to meet current health and safety
regulations. And once all the glazing repairs have been done there’s
still a fair bit of cleaning left to do.
So next time you’re moaning about cleaning your windows, just remember it could be a whole lot worse.
Un-Plasticized Polyvinyl Chloride or uPVC windows and doors have gained popularity in the UK. This is because of the various advantages they offer over their counterparts. Some of these advantages include:
- Energy Efficiency: uPVC windows and doors are composed of
a material that provides greater thermal insulation than the standard
wood or aluminum based products. This means that you will make huge
savings on heating systems during the winters, since these doors and
windows will provide adequate insulation, and in the summers, they will
help keep the temperature low, thus cutting back the air conditioning
costs. The prices of electricity are on rise in the UK and these
products are a great way to save on energy bills.
- Maintenance: Wooden frames on windows and doors require a
lot of maintenance, such as painting, sanding and refilling of wood.
Aluminum frames provide some respite but they too are highly vulnerable
to rusting. uPVC windows, on the other hand, are a perfect substitute
for both. They are made by using a plastic substance that is both highly
durable and resistance to the adverse effects of the elements,
including fire, water, snow, etc. Cleaning them is also an easy job and
can be done with the use of a wet cloth and cleaning liquids. To obtain
the original shine, all you have to do is wash and wipe.
- Cost Efficiency: uPVC windows and doors can be purchased
at similar prices to their identical aluminum and wooden counterparts.
They also provide value for the expenditure because they can last for a
- Safety of Product: Wooden doors and windows can be easily
broken into. This is yet another area where uPVC products take the
lead. Their firmness and strength match that of the aluminum frames.
However, to utilize their full potential, it is advisable to install a
good quality locking system, probably a multi point locking system.
- Beauty: uPVC windows and doors allow light to recede through their frame. This can help create beautiful contours in the living space.
uPVC Windows vs Composite Doors
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Composite doors are the latest offering from the house furnishing
industry. These doors are designed keeping in mind the common
shortcomings of the single material doors. These utilize a unique
combination of materials, handpicked for their specific properties, to
create a combination that effectively weeds out the old flaws.
Some of the materials used are PVC, insulating foam, wood and glass
reinforced plastic (GRP). The subsequent product is extremely strong and
secure. A composite door is even more weather resistant than its uPVC
counterpart and the insulated foam core provides extended heat
resistance. These doors are specifically designed to resemble wooden
doors, but, unlike wood, they neither get discoloured nor do they fade
or require extensive maintenance. uPVC windows and doors provide all
such capabilities and at lower costs.
Bi Folding Doors made of uPVC
Bi folding doors made of uPVC are designed to meet the needs of
contemporary households that combine beauty and utility. Here the door
panels are configured into several folds, which provide greater
versatility. This means that the doors take up very little space at the
entrance or exit but provide optimal lighting with minimum obstruction
to movement. The wider opening allows the owner to have a much better
view of the outdoors and attached garden all year round. These doors are
also ideal for installation in areas where a partition is required
between rooms or where the exit leads to a patio.
Some manufacturers are providing even more superior forms of bi folding
doors. These revolutionary products offer a smooth and simple
functionality with the use of a top or bottom rail concertina mechanism
rather the conventional top hung system. The door system has a slim
panel gap, which offers increased aesthetic appeal. These products can
be used to create a glass wall up to 6 metres wide. They can even come
with a 10 year guarantee.
The very short answer as to why window templates should be used is that
they ensure much faster construction of complex windows. Window
templates are made from cavity closers which have become an essential
component of the construction industry over the years. Cavity closers
are comprised of a number of different parts, all neatly packaged into
one, easy to install product. A rigid bricklaying template, a window
acceptor, a damp-proof course and a thermal break between the inside and
outside of the wall all make up a cavity closure. Once this has been
installed, the window can be easily and quickly fitted, saving
construction workers both time and money.
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Cavity closers and window templates were first introduced in the 1980’s
and since then have become more and more relied upon for quick and easy
window installation. Windows in the home not only need to look good, but
they also need to provide excellent security, noise reduction and
insulation. In the winter months the heat needs to be retained, and in
the summer months the heat from the sun needs to be kept at arm’s
length. Cavity closers made of PVC-U fulfill all these functions well.
Furthermore the material PVC-U is completely recyclable too which makes
it a friend rather than a foe of the environment.
A PVC-U cavity closure ensures the total elimination of moisture around a
window or on the glass. This can sometimes be a major problem with
houses and can cause a great deal of damage. The effective seal and
unique properties of this type of cavity closer remove this problem
altogether. They are completely air tight and comply with all building
regulations on this matter. They also come complete with an overhead
vent with an external flush grill that improves their aesthetic appeal.
Another feature of a PVC-U cavity closer is that they act as a brickwork
template so the window itself can be easily fitted at a later date.
This is a huge time saver for construction workers and builders who can
complete the job much more quickly.
There is no other product as effective at sealing cavities around newly
built walls and consequently they have become one of the essential
components in any new-build project. They optimise productivity for
those who are installing windows as much less time is required to do it.
The spring-clip system allows pre-glazed windows to be “clipped” into
place in no time at all. There is no adhesive required or any special
tools needed to fit windows once a cavity closer is in place. The damp
proof layer and effective moisture barrier continue to be effective for
many years to come helping to keep a home completely dry and free from
moisture. The PVC-U material lasts for decades too as it extremely hard
wearing and durable. Despite this it is 100% recyclable unlike other
types of plastic materials.
Cavity closers and cavity barriers made from PVC-U are completely
recyclable, easy to install and allow huge time and monetary savings to
be made. They do not harm the environment and are an efficient way to
fit windows. The idea of a window template such as these has
revolutionized the way windows are installed and removes the need for
tools, equipment and specialist adhesives. The end result is a window
that look great, is super strong, offers great protection and keeps
noise levels to a minimum. The insulation offered is second to none too.
They make the installation of glazed windows and even the fitting of a
window board much easier to do, and that is how they have become
invaluable to building teams across the world.
If you have completed decoration of your home and office except
bathroom, kitchen and window of your living space and are planning to
enhance internal beauty of these places with stylish decorative
accessories, then roller blinds is perfect solution for you because
apart from beautifying it also controls heat, magnifies the sunlight,
prevents dust and proficiently maintain privacy. Furthermore, highly
attractive roller blinds check unwanted noise from entering into the
room and also maintain coolness and cleaning of office and corporate
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Roller blinds are effective for kitchen and bathrooms because waterproof
roller blinds also available in the market. Before the advent of roller
blinds, all of us were using old, outdated and traditional kinds of
curtains that fail to prevent dust and unwanted noise and could not give
the complete privacy to users. Today, roller blinds are favored as it
occupies less space and look trendy as compared to conventional kinds of
curtains. These roller blinds are made to fit your windows. They are
not only providing privacy to your bathroom area but also ensure that
your roller blind fabric is complete waterproof and the fabric doesn’t
spoil from frequent splashes.
There are a wide rage of roller blinds are available in the market which
are panel blinds, velux blinds, conservatory blinds, venetian blinds,
roman blinds, blackout blinds and many more blinds to choose the perfect
according to your requirement, theme of the wall of home, kitchen,
bathrooms of office and corporate house. You can also choose the roller
blinds according to your budget that suit you.
Choosing simple and plain roller blinds will not be advantageous because
these blinds can be spoiled by water as these blinds are not waterproof
therefore always use waterproof roller blinds for kitchen and bathroom.
It also has the quality to offer the complete privacy to customer who
have own these waterproof roller blinds. The other options are available
to waterproof roller blinds, like the Venetian roller blinds that are
also water resistant and give an alternate option for your bathroom
The waterproof roller blinds are available in both with manual operation
and motorised. Motorised blinds run on the electricity the help of
remote control. You can choose one from either as per your requirement
and budget because motorised blinds are little bit expensive. The plain
and waterproof roller blinds are available in various colours such as
gaudy orange, maroon, blue to sober cream, beige, and lilac. Choose the
colours or roller blinds as per theme of your home and office.
We’ve all had that period of time in which we simply didn’t have time to
clean. Later, we regretted it, almost were attacked by dust bunnies,
and then learned the value of keeping a good scrub brush handy.
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However, there are some who cannot neglect house cleaning or have
neglected it so much that if they were to allow the dust to kick up, it
would cause respiratory problems. These people are those who have
respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
Or perhaps you’re older and the house cleaning has fallen by the wayside
as your health deteriorated or as your bones started to creak.
The point is, loads of people experience a period in time when they
cannot clean the way that they would or did. It’s nothing that they can
do–it just happens. But the question is, what can they do?
Luckily, cleaning companies are more than willing to come to the rescue.
But you might be wondering–why hire a cleaning company? What should
you look for in a cleaning company?
First of all, you need to understand that a cleaning company is not a
maid service. Will they do your house cleaning? Yes! Will they do your
dishes, laundry, and care for Fido? No. That is not their job–they do
more deep cleaning than anything else.
For example, if your dishwasher has practically grown fangs, is running
amok around your house, and is now sporting a rather ridiculous looking
toupee (all exaggerated of course) because of how dirty it is, they will
clean it. If you have a carpet that’s about ten different shades and
none of them are its natural color, they’ll clean it (depending on if
their service offers it).
However, before they come over, you need to clean up a little bit. Maybe
this means picking up the socks that somehow made their way under the
couch or simply washing a sink of dishes, but it needs to be done. It
creates a better house cleaning workspace for the company and allows
them to work quickly AND effectively.
Keep in mind that almost all of the modern day, UK cleaning companies
have a website that you can use. This means that you can get any
information that you would usually have to drag out of a representative
right there and then, easily, and–best of all–on your time.
There are also companies that are using eco-friendly, safer house
cleaning methods. This means that if you have asthma and usually have to
duck out of the house while others are cleaning or risk having an
asthma attack, then you won’t have to or won’t have to for as long. And
let’s face it–a lot of cleaning products, whether we want to admit it
or not–just smell. Sometimes they make our eyes water, sometimes it’s
worse. Either way, the chemicals are putting off irritating fumes and NO
one needs to be exposed to them!
It’s easy to find safe, eco-friendly companies that use these products; usually, they’re only a Google search away!
Most people do not often sleep on their porches. However, it is the
best of both worlds – you are somewhat indoors yet can feel the cool
night breeze, watch the stars, and wake up to birds chirping and a
lovely sunrise. Sleeping porches have been sued for centuries and are
beginning to be more popular in recent years.
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A sleeping porch is essentially a screened-in porch that is furnished
with a place to sleep, normally a bed or a day bed. Screened-in porches
are already common features of many homes that give homeowners a place
to relax and spend time without being bit by bugs or affected by the
weather. Think of your screened-in porch as a place that you can also
sleep in as long as it is outfitted with the proper furniture to sleep.
In the spring and fall, when nights are cool, sleeping on your porch is a
great thing to do. When it is hot in the summer, some people prefer
sleeping outside on warm nights instead of opting for air conditioning
inside that may keep you too cold. You can even use your sleeping porch
as a place to enjoy a short afternoon nap, as the warmth will make you
tired and put you to sleep quickly.
If you aren’t interested in sleeping on your porch, your kids may very
well be. They love the adventure of sleeping outdoors, and this is a
viable option for them that will keep the parents happy too. You will
know that they are safe since they are inside an enclosed room, and they
won’t have to worry about bugs, overnight rain, or dew on the ground
when they wake up. They will be able to look back on the experience
positively as well as get a good night’s sleep.
If you don’t already have a sleeping porch, you should consider
installing a screened-in porch or adding the necessary furniture to
sleep on. If you think that adding a full screened-in porch may be too
much money for you to handle, you could take a lesser route and install a
porch with a porch awning. You could still sleep under it since the
awning will act as a layer of protection between you and the sun,
although you will not have the comfort of screens around you. The
choice is yours, but either one is a good one to make.
When building a conservatory or orangery you will need an understanding
of the soil and ground conditions before any work can be undertaken on
the building foundations. Most conservatory or orangery companies do not
provide ground work as part of their service so ideally you should find
a company that does because the work can then be included within both
the cost and guarantee. Given all of that it is a good idea to have some
knowledge about how the ground conditions will affect your build, after
all, it is what your conservatory or orangery will sit on.
Read More →
Before any building work can be started an understanding of the subsoil
strata will be required first. When doing this you will need to consider
• The position of sewers.
• The position of inspection covers for drains.
• Whether the soil is clay or not.
• Whether the site is on reclaimed land or not.
• How close trees are to the proposed building.
Building over or near sewers
If your house was built prior to 1939 then it should have a private
sewer system so it will not be owned by a local water authority. If
unsure then just contact your local authority to find out. If you are
building within 3 meters of a public sewer then legally you must contact
the local water authority and consult with them before gaining their
approval for the build. Allow time for this within your schedule. Also,
you need to know the position of existing pipe work to ensure the extra
weight cause no problems like cracks.
Building over inspection covers
If you plan to build over drainage inspection covers you really have two
options, build over it or move it. Building over it can be an easy
option but make your builders install a sealed screw down cover over the
existing cover to prevent odours and gases coming into your new
conservatory. This of course will affect your choice to flooring too. If
there are no other inspection covers it may be worth moving it to a
point where you can gain easy access. Remember blocked drains are not
common but over the life span of the property they can occur, so if they
do and your toilet facilities are overflowing, think how quickly and
easily you will want to fix this!
Building on clay soils
Clay soil is subject to big changes in volume due to the moisture it
carries. This volume change depends upon the make up of the fine
particles that make up clay. Foundations within clay soils need to be a
minimum of 1 meter but if the clay is very soft this may need to be
deeper. A good builder will consult the local authority building
inspector regarding this and this may need signed building regulations
before you can insure your property.
Building on reclaimed land
Britain has limited space, a need for homes and a rich industrial past.
All this means your property may be built on reclaimed land. This could
be a brown fill site or old marsh land. What this means is that your
conservatory or orangery may need different foundations to the standard
build. This is not arduous as it used to be and it is now quite common
to sink concrete bore holes into the ground so they rest of more solid
ground. These bore holes then have concrete beams placed between them to
provide a solid base. With access to the property and modern machinery
this is not as big a job as it used to be, in fact one can even hire
smaller bore hold diggers if access is restricted. That said it is still
more work than normal foundations so this needs to be factored in.
Building near trees
Trees can take up so much moisture from the soil that this can cause
subsidence. Therefore it is necessary to ensure you have the right
foundations to avoid this problem if you are building your conservatory
or orangery near trees. The guide is that if you are building within 35
meters then you could be affected. The type, the size and number of
trees will clearly have a big impact on this. To help with this, the
British Standard 5837 2005 “Guide for Trees in Relations to
Construction” will be very helpful.
As with all of these considerations, it is a good idea to seek good
advice on your particular build and it is a good idea to consider a
conservatory or orangery company that include ground-works within their
service so they can factor this into the build of your conservatory.
The use of concrete blades is growing rapidly on both commercial and
residential construction projects. A big benefit of these blades is that
they can be used for various applications such as walkway pavers,
patios pavers, and sidewalk pavers, pavers for driveways, project
entrances, and walkway through a city park, playgrounds and pool decks.
Here are some of the valuable tips; some of the concrete contractors
have shared with us. Hopefully, they will ignite your knowledge about
Read More →
Determine Cutting Efficiency
Cutting ability is normally expressed as how much area the diamond saw
blade can cut in unit time. It indicates the sharpness of the blade. The
blade may be newly ground, keen, and sharp; or it may have been
considerably dulled by use. This is the criterion that users should
first consider. The teeth may be worn thin from long use, and not strong
enough to stand the strain of maximum speed. The blade sharpness should
match the operator’s cutting efficiency requirement. Generally, using
coarser diamond grit or/and lower diamond concentration can improve the
sharpness of the blade.
Determine Diamond Concentration
Diamond concentration greatly affects the performance of a diamond saw
blade. The ideal cutting result will not be attained, if the
concentration is too low or too high. It is when, the concentration
increases, the diamond blade’s sharpness and cutting efficiency drop,
while its service life increases. So where you need high efficiency,
diamond blades with low diamond concentration and coarse diamond grit
Determine Service Life
Proper curing of concrete blades is important to ensure that they meet
their intended performance and durability requirements. The aim is to
provide the best possible estimate of the service life of concrete
blades. In other words, exact determination of service life but
reasonable answers should be the objectives. Service life is normally
measured with the total area the diamond blade can cut. When a certain
specification of material is cut, this criterion can be also met how
long the blade can cut. It signifies the durability of the blade. When
the operator is satisfied with the blade’s cutting efficiency, its
service life should then be paid attention to. Generally, higher diamond
concentration or/and finer diamond grit can enhance the blade’s service
The design options and customization choices are nearly endless with
concrete blades providing you with a palette of opportunity to create a
one-of-a-kind surface. With a handful of the above useful tips, you
should be able to select a competent and high-quality concrete blade for