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Feng Shui – Is it Science or Superstition?

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers

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

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

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Copper Pipe Crisis

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers

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

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers

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

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Septic Systems

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Other Wastewater Systems

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)

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?

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Energy? What Does It All Mean?

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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Categories: Criterium Engineers