Malta Home Maximizes a Small Lot With Cantilevered Design

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Located on the tiny island of Malta, this sustainable home by Chris Briffa Architects was designed on a lot only 250 square meters in size. The green-roofed, energy-efficient Hanging Home has turned into a significant design challenge, incorporating the small space with eco-friendly features into this modern yet traditional home.

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In order to bypass the zoning challenges of the small lot, nearly half of the house is cantilevered over the outdoor space, with portions of the living and dining rooms literally floating over the outdoor pool on a slab of concrete.

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The home uses low-energy radiant floor heating to stay warm in the winter, and stays cool in the summer through natural ventilation. The design allows for plenty of natural daylight and cross ventilation, keeping energy use at a minimum. Overall, the natural materials and strategic design provide a sustainable, energy-efficient home that is simple, stylish, and comfortable.

Building Materials Nutrition Label: Declare

Declare is a new “nutrition label” or ingredient label for building materials that will provide an answer to three main questions: First, where does this product come from?  Second, what is it made of?  Third, where does it go at the end of its life?  Seems like three hard questions to answer on one product label, but as you can see in the label attached above, Declare gets the job done.

Declare is operated by the International Living Future Institute, so there is definitely an alignment with the Living Building Challenge and particularly the Red List.

For example, products with a Declare label that are Red List Free will be noted.  Alternatively, the label may note LBC Compliant, if there’s a temporary Red List exception (with Red List ingredients indicated in red text), or none of these if Red List ingredients are noted in the text.

But on a more basic level, the Declare label can be applied to any product regardless of its makeup, provided the manufacturer pays the initial $850 or so it takes to get put into the database.  The label will indicate things like where the product was assembled, how long it may last, and whether it may be reused or trashed at the end of the useful life.

There’s a database that will grow over time to help consumers and professionals research various products. And project teams will have a new source to find materials for Living Building Challenge projects.  All things considered, this may actually facilitate a new culture of transparency and openness in materials.  I’m impressed.

[+] More about the launch of ingredients label Declare by ILFI.

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Read the original here: Building Materials Nutrition Label: Declare

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Orlando-Area Resort to Award $10,000 Treasure; Guests to Compete in Summer-Long Treasure Hunt Challenge

Kissimmee, FL (PRWEB) April 1, 2008

Those who seek Florida’s fabled lost treasures shall look no further than Orlando, where Gaylord Palms Resort is giving summer visitors an opportunity to compete for a grand-prize treasure of $ 10,000 in cold cash. This interactive experience, called Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge, will be available May 2 through Aug. 28, 2008.

Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge is a contest of skill that gives package guests an opportunity to act and think like pirates and treasure seekers as they earn points while traversing the resort and deciphering clues, solving intricate puzzles, and performing other “piratey” tasks. At the end of the summer, the team that accumulates the greatest number of points during their stay will be awarded the $ 10,000 prize. The second-place team will win a $ 3,500 cash prize and the third-place team will be awarded a three-night stay at a Gaylord hotel.

The Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge is intended for groups of adults or families. Some tasks are appropriate for family members to tackle together, while others will challenge even the most creative of adults.

In addition, children ages 10 and under can participate in Little Pirates Treasure Hunt, a fun activity designed just for them. The hunt includes totally kid-friendly clues and a small prize for those who complete the adventure.

The Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge experience unfolds over two days, and can easily be combined with visits to Orlando’s world-famous theme parks and attractions.

Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge room packages start at $ 219 per night plus tax and parking. The package, which must be purchased for a minimum of two nights, includes Florida-view accommodations, one registration to compete in the Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge, participation in the Little Pirates Treasure Hunt (for children ages 10 and under) and an official Treasure Seekers Log Book. In addition, the package includes the following “resort fee” amenities: complimentary scheduled shuttle service to Walt Disney World theme parks; daily newspaper; fitness center access; wireless and high-speed Internet access in guestroom; and two bottles of Dasani water delivered daily to guest room refrigerator.

“This is not your ordinary summer resort experience,” said Kemp Gallineau, general manager. “But then again, we’re not your ordinary Florida resort, either.”

To make a reservation, or to receive more information about Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge, call 407-586-HUNT, or visit For official rules, guests can visit

The Thrill of the Hunt

Pirates and their quest for hidden treasure have been recurring themes in popular culture. But due to the success of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise, these swashbucklers have enjoyed newfound popularity. Since the original installment debuted in 2003, interest in pirates has catapulted.

In addition, hit reality television shows like “Survivor,” “Road Rules,” “Kid Nation” and “Amazing Race” and movies like “National Treasure” have increased the appeal of scavenger hunts to the family audience.

“Activities such as the Gaylord Palms Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge are the natural progression of these trends,” said Gallineau. “We are giving families a safe and controlled way to put themselves in the middle of the action while competing for their own treasure – just as they have seen on television or in the movies.”

Summer Treasure Hunt Challenge is part of Best of Florida LIVE!, an ongoing Gaylord Palms exhibition that celebrates the history, events, creatures and habitats of the Sunshine State. Because Spain used the state as a staging area for convoys, pirates played a noteworthy role in Florida past. These pirates preyed upon the treasure-rich Spanish fleets that sailed the waters near Florida. In fact, the state is home to the popular Gasparilla Pirate Fest in Tampa, a long-running festival that celebrates these infamous visitors.

WOW! What a Summer

Don’t count on a normal Florida weekend at the beach! Visitors to Gaylord Palms this summer (including summer holidays – Memorial Day, 4th of July, Independence Day Weekend, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even Flag Day) will also have a chance to experience all that is new at the resort, including the colorful Clearwater Cove water activities playground, Coquina Dunes executive putting course, and the trendy SORA sushi bar.

Gaylord Palms Resort features a soaring 4.5-acre glass-covered atrium that celebrates the best of Florida, including the destinations of St. Augustine, Key West, and the Everglades. Inside the atriums, guests encounter live alligators and other native creatures, enjoy amazing landscapes, visit innovative shops, dine at award-winning restaurants and participate in on-site entertainment.

In addition, complimentary shuttle service is offered to Orlando’s world-famous theme parks and attractions, where guests will find plenty to do this summer:

– Universal Orlando Resort will showcase “The Simpsons” in a new simulator ride experience.

– At Walt Disney World, the newly renamed Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut Toy Story Mania!, a 3-D ride; “Block Party Bash,” an interactive new Disney parade; and “Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!,” with a whole new cast.

– SeaWorld Orlando is home to a brand-new state-of-the-thrill water park, Aquatica

– Epcot is featuring a new gallery exhibition, “National Treasures.” Three dozen artifacts from American history are on display in the American Heritage Gallery of the American Adventure pavilion, including items from Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington Carver.

About Gaylord Palms

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, a certified Florida Green Lodging hotel, has gained the attention of the meeting and convention industry by providing world-class convention and leisure-focused amenities – all in one place. The award-winning Gaylord Palms is a Gaylord Hotels-branded property owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a leading hospitality and entertainment company based in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit or

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Jacobs Challenge Wrestling Championships Scheduled Jan. 9-10 in Mesquite, Nev.

Mesquite, Nev. (PRWEB) December 23, 2009

In his continuing effort to bring athletic events to the CasaBlanca Resort Casino, hotel sporting events manager Christian Adderson has teamed with Ed Gutierrez of Denver, Colo., for the Jacobs Challenge World Championships youth wrestling event to be presented Jan. 9-10 in the hotel’s Special Event Center.

The first of its kind gathering will include youth wrestlers from Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Washington and Oregon competing in various weight classes on eight mats for competitors ranging from kindergarten through ninth grade. The promoting body Rocky Mountain Nationals Events (RMNE Events) has been in business for ten years.

With 30 dates planned in 2010, The RMNE Series is considered the premier youth wrestling series in the country. The series is expected to bring together more than 15,000 along with 60,000 competitors during the season.

The idea of presenting youth wrestling at the CasaBlanca came when Adderson met Gutierrez at a convention in Denver. One thing led to another and the facilities combined with the close proximity to surrounding states turned an idea into reality.

“We have presented youth wrestling events all over the country in states like Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon,” explained Gutierrez, whose business also includes dedicated help from wife of 26 years, Julie, who handles the accounting elements of the events; along with sons Adam and Josh, both directors. “Mesquite offers so much from the facilities to the hotel rooms and a close proximity to other cities.”

Gutierrez said wrestling offers life lessons to youth adding “The biggest lesson to be learned from wrestling is that you get out of it what you put into it. It’s just as in life. Hard work and perseverance have their reward.

“This is a first-time event, but we really see it becoming the place to be in future years. And with airline flights being as cheap as they are now during a tough economy not to mention the affordability of staying in Mesquite, this event has everything going for it. Considering that this is the first event on our schedule, it provides the competitors with a chance to gauge the rest of their season.

“We have sure received a lot of inquiries about the Mesquite event and we are considering this to be a long-term event.”

Other RMN events are presented at world-class facilities such as the Denver Coliseum, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex (Orlando), Idaho Center (Boise), Magness Arena (Denver), Pan American Center (Las Cruces, N.M.), Pepsi Center (Denver), Selland Arena and the Toyota Center (Prescott).

Adderson said the wrestling event is yet another example of a continued push to bring special events to the CasaBlanca and Mesquite.

“Since Labor Day, we have had an endless run of special events including the Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ competition, the Mesquite Marathon; the Teacher Games along with the Nevada Senior Open and the Nevada Open golf tournaments,” said Adderson. “About the time we conclude one event, we’re on to another one and the wrestling tournament is an example of that.”

Further information can be found at or by calling Gutierrez at 303-635-1549 or by calling Adderson at 888-711-4653, ext. 51.

Mesquite is situated about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas off I-15.

Contact: Mike Henle, 702-279-3483


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Smith & Associates Joins Houston Green Office Challenge

Houston, TX (PRWEB) September 29, 2011

Smith & Associates, an industry leader in the field of global electronics distribution, today announces its participation in the Houston Green Office Challenge. Smith?s participation in the Challenge coincides with the upcoming completion of its Houston headquarters? sustainability renovation.

?The Houston Green Office Challenge has goals that are firmly compatible with ours,? said Art Figueroa, Smith?s Environmental Director. ?Their initiative to make Houston?s office buildings greener is a challenge we?re enthusiastic to take part in.?

The goals of the Houston Green Office Challenge are to equip and motivate property owners and managers throughout Houston to reduce their energy consumption, waste production, and water usage, as well as to encourage more office tenants to adopt sustainable practices like recycling, carpooling, and green product purchasing.

The program will offer free training sessions, workshops, and other resources to teach companies how to reduce their waste production and resource use.

Smith has been making measurable strides in these areas at its Houston headquarters, with the installation of a solar electric system to provide renewable energy to its headquarters building; a solar thermal system for heating water; and a solar panel-covered parking structure with electric car charging. Other elements of the overhaul include the replacement of the building?s previous roof with an energy-efficient TPO ?cool roof? and the substitution of air cooled chiller towers, exterior water pumps, and chill water air handling units for the previous compressed gas HVAC system.

?Every change makes a difference,? Figueroa said, ?from small changes like reducing the number of days we water our landscaping and changing out our light bulbs for more efficient types, all the way up to installing solar power structures and altering our facilities. Dramatic changes and small ones alike are all going to add up for Smith, and for the planet. Making sustainable changes one step at a time is the philosophy we practice and see echoed in the goals of the Green Office Challenge.?

Smith will be dedicating its newly-renovated headquarters building in a public ceremony October 12, and will continue making strides after to continue its growth toward being an energy-neutral and zero waste global company.

The results of the Houston Green Office Challenge will be announced after the end of 2011.

For more information on Smith & Associates? sustainability initiative and projects, please visit

About Smith & Associates – Founded in Houston in 1984, Smith & Associates ( is a leader in the independent distribution of semiconductors and electronic components to electronics and high-tech manufacturers. Smith offers shortage sourcing for commodity and obsolete parts, innovative purchasing and inventory management solutions, redistribution of excess inventory, and component stocking for warranty and repair programs.

A privately held company, Smith & Associates employs more than 300 people worldwide, with annual revenue in excess of US$ 400 million. Smith’s regional hubs in Houston, Hong Kong and Amsterdam are ISO certified and IDEA compliant. In addition, sales and purchasing offices are located in Silicon Valley, Barcelona, Guadalajara, New York, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, and Denver. For more information or to reach a Smith representative 24 hours a day, please call: 1.800.HOUSTON or +1 713.430.3000

For more information, contact:

Mark Bollinger

Smith & Associates

V.P. of Marketing

+1 713.430.3000


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Celebrating Energy Awareness Month and “Get Smart, Go Green!” Sweepstakes, Green Mountain Energy Company and Smart Center Dallas Sponsor Energy Trivia Challenge

Dallas, TX (Vocus) October 30, 2009

A series of energy-related questions were asked during today’s “How Energy Smart are You?” Trivia Challenge sponsored by Green Mountain Energy Company and smart center Dallas. Questions included “What type of light bulb uses 75% less energy and lasts 10 times longer than a regular incandescent light bulb” and “What is the leading cause of industrial air pollution in the U. S.?”. The Challenge celebrated Energy Awareness Month as three North Texas residents answered a series of energy-related educational trivia questions and competed in a smart car race to determine the winner. The event took place at smart center Dallas, 6113 Lemmon Avenue.

Green Mountain, Texas’ only electricity provider dedicated to cleaner energy, and smart center Dallas, hosted the Trivia Challenge to promote their “Get Smart, Go Green!”2009 Sweepstakes to give away one of the most environmentally-friendly cars on the road today — a smart fortwo Passion Coupe. The car (equipped with the manufacturer’s standard base model package and limited warranty) that has an approximate retail value of $ 16,235 before taxes, title and license to a qualifying Texas resident.

How Energy Smart are You? Trivia Challenge