Tucson Green Construction – Rastra Blocks

Rastra is an insulating concrete form (ICF) used to make walls for buildings. Its main components are concrete and thastyron which  is a mixture of plastic foam and binder which are subsequently molded into blocks. The main components of rastra are cement, water and expanded polystyrene. Rastra blocks come in different sizes, and can be easily cut with woodworking tools to form the desired shape. These blocks are commonly attached together with clamps or glue to form a grid-like system. Rebar is then used to reinforce the blocks and the grid is filled with concrete. Rastra has important environmental considerations in that up to it contains up to 80% postconsumer and postindustrial plastic. The products low weight reduces transportation pollutants. Rastra has many advantages that include: Reduction in noise. Fire resistance Rodent proof Termite proof If you’re ready to explore how Rastra can be used in constructing or remodeling your home call Hayes Construction today (520) 297-9643. Please like &...

Tucson Green Building – Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters, or solar domestic hot water systems, can be a very cost effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use (sunshine) is both clean and free. Solar water heating systems include storage tanks and solar collectors. There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don’t. Most solar water heaters require a well-insulated storage tank. Solar storage tanks have an additional outlet and inlet connected to and from the collector. In two-tank systems, the solar water heater preheats water before it enters the conventional water heater. In one-tank systems, the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in one tank. Three types of solar collectors are used for residential applications: 1.  Flat Plate Collector Glazed flat-plate collectors are insulated, weatherproofed boxes that contain a dark absorber plate under one or more glass or plastic (polymer) covers. Unglazed flat-plate collectors which are usually used for solar pool heating have a dark absorber plate, made of metal or polymer, without a cover or enclosure. 2. Integral Collector-storage systems Also known as ICS or batch systems, they feature one or more black tanks or tubes in an insulated, glazed box. Cold water first passes through the solar collector, which preheats the water. The water then continues on to the conventional backup water heater, providing a reliable source of hot water. They should be installed only in mild-freeze climates because the outdoor pipes could freeze in severe, cold weather. 3. Evacuated-tube solar collectors They feature parallel rows...