Tag Archives: building

Five Inconvenient Truths -Global steel industry

Interesting article, it discusses trade, overcapacity, raw materials, growth/slow down in building, and re-purposing of existing mills.  Maybe that is true. Read more here.

I must admit I am most intrigued by the existence of this group:

John Lichtenstein is a managing director for Accenture Strategy and the global lead of Accenture’s metals group.
The article did not discuss:  
  1. Changes in Environmental regulation. What if the total cost of an item was part of the selection process for materials (Aluminum vs. Steel)? What if LEED building specified LOCAL MATERIAL use or adding the effects of long distance shipping into the environmental degradation? What if shipping companies were forced to contribute money to the clean-up of the plastic gyre in the Pacific Ocean when shipping across the Pacific Ocean?  Unlikely, but possible and more sensible than carbon credits.
  2. Quality of the steel produced in China (I’d really like to know why the Bay Bridge is rusting with its low quality steel imported from China), coupled with the environmental devastation caused by converting raw materials to finished goods in a country that does not have strict environmental regulations and technologies.
  3. The main premise that global demand is slowing and will remain so, flies in the face of the greatest population being urban, and the population continues to expand. Housing in urban areas is made with steel, when it is high-density.

There is always room to learn more. I’ll be interested in Accenture’s next set of statistics.

There are many other Accenture articles; here is another from the same author.

Home Advisor Provides a great Service

Yes it’s going head to head with competitors like Angie’s list, Thumbtack, Amazon Local and Porch. It has eclipsed Red Beacon from Home Depot. Why?

FREE to home owners, connects you immediately with many pros and check out the pros credentials.

The database of services is large and  they work with you to make sure you get a good price and a good experience.

How to Rehab Right, Available online

Check out this great reference FREE Book on repairs, construction, methods and materials – it will help you save the home you love!

In 1978, the City of Oakland published Rehab Right: How to Rehabilitate Your Oakland House Without Sacrificing Architectural Assets. This 150-page book recently became available for download as a PDF on the city’s website. Urban Ore’s owners have treasured this resource for decades, and we’re excited to learn that it’s now freely and easily accessible online.

About Us -Urban Ore!

Our Mission – To End the Age of Waste


Urban Ore’s purpose was set in the 1990s by founder Dan Knapp and Board members Mary Lou Van Deventer and Michael Casady. That purpose, To End The Age of Waste, is now printed on every receipt that Urban Ore writes for its thousands of customers to carry home with them. The board’s intention was to set a high performance standard and lofty goal to carry the company into the future.

Throughout its long history, Urban Ore has worked on building the reuse and recycling industries.  It has been active in the politics of recycling, participating in regional and national organizations as well as countless activist and advocacy actions. It has helped write several influential pieces of legislation that became law by votes of either citizens or elected officials.  It has designed community-scale Zero Waste facilities domestically and abroad.  It has based its works on the concepts of founder Dr. Daniel Knapp, a sociologist who was listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering for his development of 12 Master Categories of Discarded Resources.  Some of Urban Ore’s working papers for a Zero Waste future are posted in the Zero Waste Resources section of this website.

Architecture Laid Bare!

In the new book Architecture Laid Bare!, veteran architect Robert Brown Butler focuses on taking the mystery out of the challenges of green architecture. In this highly readable and comprehensive book, he explains the newest and best ideas for creating each element of a modern building’s design and construction. He explains the complex, the political and those nagging concepts you may have been wondering about. The diagrams are clear and helpful, the text is easy to understand and humorous while being filled with facts.

His book is packed with practical ways to help people achieve comfort and understanding about the design and construction of their home or office. He identifies various ways to identify and keep false prophets from luring you with false profits —so you can add green to your life and green to your pocket at the same time.

Another choice is, Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World, which describes inspiring pocket neighborhoods through stories of the people who live there. The role of progressive planners, innovative architects, pioneering developers, craftspeople and gardeners are discussed as well. Another favorite is, The Not So Big House, which discusses size and needs of the residents. The basic idea is  – smaller is nicer.

800SqFtHome What about an 800 sq ft home? Home much do your really need?

It all depends on what you need to do, right? Would a small home help you explore the world outside your bricks and mortar? Might be worth it.