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Lehigh Valley Green Building Expo helps homeowners learn about green building, remodeling, and gardening

Published March 09. 2010 05:00PM

Lehigh Valley Green Building Expo is back for its second year and Jake Arner, board member of the Lehigh Valley Green Builders Forum, said the event will be bigger and better than last year.

"Our event was so successful last year that we decided to make it expand, so we moved it to the Northampton Community College Main Campus in the Spartan Center Gymnasium," said Arner. The event will be held on Saturday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Arner said the board has been busy organizing the 50 booths and exhibits. He said that all the workshops and classes are included in the $5 entry fee. He said the focus of the expo is to educate more people into making green choices.

The Expo provides information on Green Energy, Green Building and Remodeling and Green Living and Gardening. There will also be a variety of introductory and in-depth talks demonstrations and workshops for homeowners and professionals who want to learn more about green living.

Families can learn about "Solar Photovoltaic" (PV) (Electricity Generation), which is an introduction to PV for homeowners who want to learn how to select the right PV system components and contract, the financial incentives for PV and how it works; "Solar Thermal" (Hot Water Generation), which introduces families to solar water heating for their homes, how using solar hot water for their pools and spas can save money and they can seen demonstrations about using alternative energy sources for radiant floor heating and cooking.

There will also be information available about "Geothermal" heating and cooling, plus information about "Wind Power" for homeowners and communities. The "Green Building" seminar introduces green building principals for homeowners, designing and building a green home through a homeowner's perspective, plus how to incorporate green and energy saving materials into renovations, natural building techniques, healthy homes and green roofs.

"Energy Efficiency" will teach homeowners how to make their home more energy efficient, how to lower their electric bill, steps to cut heating and air conditioning bills, electric generation and how to seal their home; and "Green Living and Gardening" will help homeowners organize their life with a green twist by providing information about sustainable landscape design, rain gardens for managing water problems, creating wildlife backyard habitats, container gardening. Also during this seminar homeowners can make their own rain barrel.

For professionals, topics will include: "Green Building Practice," "Designing an Energy, Water and Material Neutral Building," " Using Lime Mortar in Building Restoration," " Building with Insulated Concrete Forms," "Design and Construction of Permeable Paving," " PV Electric Installation," "Radon," and "Construction Recycling and Incorporating Recycled Materials."

There will also be space set aside for the children and tweens. They can make their own worm composing bins, perform wind power science and clean water science experiments, recycle paper into paper, plant seeds to start their own veggie garden, learn energy efficiency tips and do crafts and activities with an environmental flavor.

There will also be healthy and sustainable food choices available.

"The people loved it last year," said Arner. "We worked hard to get more displays, more programs and classes."

He said that some of the classes will be video taped for use at the Northampton Community College.

Green building professional planning to present information include: Arner Development and Construction Services, LLC; BCH. Corporation; Kehm Design and Consulting LLC; Liberty Homes Custom Builders, Palmerton Lumber Co., PENCOR Construction Company, R.F. Ohl Fuel Oil, Inc.; R.A. Fritz Plumbing and Heating; Summer Mountain Custom Homes, LLC; and T and T Contracting.

A Green Home is home that is highly energy-efficient. The appliances, windows, and water heating system will have Energy Stars ratings. They will use energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs.

"The seminar will help homeowners learn how their green projects in their home could be eligible for federal and state incentives and will help them find out how to make their home more efficient and save on their heating bills," said Arner. "

"Being green makes a big impact," he added. "Not only is it a good deal to save money, but it saves the environment. Whenever you save money to heat a home, it means less coal is used to heat homes and coal produces about 50 percent of the electricity."

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