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Out Today: Our New Book, Remodelista in Maine

Above: Photograph by Justine Hand for Remodelista.Two and a half years in the making, our new book, Remodelista in Maine: A Design Lover’s Guide to Inspired, Down-to-Earth Style, is officially out today from Artisan Books.Anyone who’s ever been to Maine for a summer weekend—or returned over a lifetime—can testify to the pull that this place has, from its wild, rocky coast to its lighthouses (and lobster) and dark pine forests. But Maine is also something of a design haven, a place where makers, artists, and writers have always gone to live creatively and to make by hand. Those who call…

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Object of Desire: The Elemental Manico Chair

Meet Giuseppe Arezzi’s Manico armchair, a comfortable distant cousin of the director’s chair (with a passing resemblance to the butterfly chair, too). Arezzi says he dreamed up the framework seat 10 years ago for a competition in which Sicilian designers were asked to come up with a piece of furniture inspired by Sicily.“I decided to tell the story of the transition from traditional agriculture, which used manual tools, such as hoes and rakes, to contemporary agriculture, which makes use of increasingly sophisticated machinery,” explains Arezzi. “The Manico armchair, built with the handles of tools that are no longer used, is…

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2022 International Builders’ Show (IBS) Recap

After several years of avoiding crowds and few live conferences even happening, I attended the International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando February 8-9. The event was, understandably, smaller than in the past, but reasonably well attended. The exhibit halls, while still enormous, were occupied by fewer companies. The most notable absences were the major window manufacturers: Pella, Andersen, Marvin, and many others. There were large empty spaces in the exhibit hall, likely because vendors pulled out late. (I think the most common booth was for massage chairs. I have neither the space nor the inclination to spend $10,000 for one,…

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Study Explores Methane Leaks in Gas Ranges

A limited study in California provides one more reason to ditch the gas kitchen range and convert to electricity. Researchers estimate that the more than 40 million gas stoves in U.S. kitchens emit significant amounts of methane even when they are turned off. Methane is a major component of natural gas, 86 times as powerful as carbon dioxide for global warming when measured on a 20-year timescale. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology late last month, measured the methane released by kitchen stoves in 53 homes. The Stanford University researchers measured leaks when the stoves were…

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Energy-Efficient Building Enclosures and Improperly Detailed Ducts

I recently visited a home being built by a national production-home-building company. As you can tell from the title of this article, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that building enclosures have improved, especially the air barrier. The bad news is that ducts still don’t get the attention they deserve. Let’s take a quick look at some of the things I saw. Building enclosures have improved . . . mostly The lead photo above shows the ceiling joists going across the wall between the garage and the living space. I’ve seen some horrible jobs of…

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Three Myths About Renewable Energy and the Grid, Debunked

The article originally appeared at Yale Environment 360. As wind and solar power have become dramatically cheaper, and their share of electricity generation grows, skeptics of these technologies are propagating several myths about renewable energy and the electrical grid. The myths boil down to this: Relying on renewable sources of energy will make the electricity supply undependable. Last summer, some commentators argued that blackouts in California were due to the “intermittency” of renewable energy sources, when in fact the chief causes were a combination of an extreme heat wave probably induced by climate change, faulty planning, and the lack of…

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