Home In Brief

Paving the way to a greener home, an “Infusion” of new construction ideas and decorating with good ethics.

A special heating process saves materials for repairs, and that helps save the planet.Paving the Way

Fixing your driveway can be an exercise in going green. Just ask this contractor.

Need a pothole filled or your driveway repaired? Rest easy, says Richard Piendak. His Richards Paving in Wilmington has been using technology to repair and replace driving surfaces in an eco-friendly way since the early 1990s.

To repair a pothole under normal protocols, for example, a paving contractor would need to cut out the hole with a diamond blade, remove the chunks with a backhoe, transport them to a recycling facility, then fill the hole with fresh quarry aggregate and virgin asphalt material. Not Piendak. He’ll position a specialized 6-by-8 foot heating element above the damaged asphalt to essentially melt the material with infrared rays.

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“In a few minutes time, we can re-rake, spray some rejuvenator on there. It becomes fresh asphalt,” Piendak says. “It’s almost like a microwave, how it heats from the inside out. It’s a one-step process, so it saves on removal and hauling.”

Another machine, which Piendak lovingly calls “the crusher,” is a 125,000-pound, 85-foot-long monster that pulverizes chunks of paving surface into reusable stone base. It eliminates the need to haul away the old base in heavy trucks, and it minimizes the need for new base materials to be brought in from a quarry.

For its green initiatives, Richards was the state’s first business accepted into Delaware’s Green Industries Program, earning valuable tax credits for its efforts.The company has its fingerprints all over the state’s biggest businesses: DuPont, AstraZeneca and more.

“We see it as putting those natural resources back into the environment instead of depleting them,” he says.         —Matt Amis

Page 2: An “Infusion” of New Ideas | Julie and Tony are building a new kind of home—a universally designed green home. They’d like to share their knowledge with you.

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An “Infusion” of New Ideas

Julie and Tony are building a new kind of home—a universally designed green home. They’d like to share their knowledge with you.

A few years ago, Julie Panaro’s father was crippled by a stroke. As he was recovering, she noticed something: The world was not an easy place for everyone to maneuver. Wheelchairs don’t fit through all doorways. Bathrooms aren’t always accommodating. She began to wonder, why do we do this to ourselves? “Because if the people who have a special need are not mobile, it means their caregivers are struggling, too,” she says.

So Julie, a real estate lawyer in Wilmington, and her husband, Tony, owner of Panaro Construction, learned about universal design, also known as “aging in place” and “design for all.” Universal designs make spaces usable for all in the same way, regardless of age or ability, without adaptation or specialization.

Another benefit: Universal design is green. Designing homes for a lifetime of use doesn’t require new construction. There’s no need to move from the starter to the family home to the empty-nest place or a specialized living facility. Few things are as kind to the environment as recycling a house.

To make things even better, Julie and Tony, long interested in green home products, technologies and techniques, have incorporated them into their idea of universal design. Called Infusions Design, they think it’s the wave of the future, so they’re building their first infusion-design home now—and they’re writing about it at www.delawaretoday.com so you can learn more.

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Check in every month to see their progress. Learn how they worked with UD to plan their project, how they found green products and how they’ll achieve LEED certification. You’ll learn about costs, financing, siting, building and design in ways that will help you renovate your own home to make it the house of a lifetime.                   —Mark Nardone

Page 2: Good Ethics | A local home decor company gives disadvantaged women a sense of empowerment.


Good Ethics

A local home decor company gives disadvantaged women a sense of empowerment.

A few select touches can add enough color or texture to complete a room. Some pieces do more. Hand-embroidered pillows of Syrian silk, cotton cloth cushions in warm earth colors and table runners in intricate designs not only provide beauty, but help the Bedouin women who make them. Such items are distributed by Arden-based Ethical Arts.

Local Lynn Shapira founded the venture in April 2007. Working with Israelis Rachel Oren and Yael Slavin of Ethnicware, Ltd., Shapira helps Bedouin women of the Negev Desert use age-old needlecrafts to make contemporary products. Many of the workers live in tent dwellings. Most women are illiterate and impoverished. And they are confined to their homes, caring for large numbers of children, unable to step outside without permission from their husbands.

The Jewish women of Ethnicware, Ltd. have built relationships of trust within the Arab community. Twice a week they deliver embroidery and stitching to the Bedouin women and pay them fair wages for the work. Bedouin men are beginning to appreciate the benefit, and the women have found motivation and self-confidence in their ability to sustain their families. “These women are now hopeful for their futures,” Shapira says. “Many have already built homes with electricity and moved out of their drafty tent structures.”

Ethical Arts also distributes handmade gift items and products from recycled goods by other disadvantaged populations in Israel. See www.ethicalarts.org for more.                —Susan Oates


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