Miraloma Life Online – June 2009

  • A Word From Captain David Lazar of Ingleside Station
  • Reminder: MPIC Annual Election
  • Glen Park Canyon Bird and Plant Tour a Wonderful Experience
  • The Housing Element: Planning Issues for All to Consider
  • Why Plan? What is the Housing Element and Where Is it Taking Us?
  • Miraloma Park Residential Guidelines
  • The Short Happy Life of Francis Macphotochromer
  • Legal Ease
  • Design Matters

A Word From Captain David Lazar of Ingleside Station

I am serving as your new Police Captain and would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is David Lazar and I am a 4th generation San Franciscan. I was born and raised in the City and I am a graduate of Miraloma Elementary. During my teenage years, I lived on Teresita Boulevard and in my twenties I lived on Rio Court. I now live less than a block outside Miraloma Park in the Forest Hill Extension and I consider this community my home.

This is my 18th year in the Police Department. During my career, I have been assigned to 8 police stations, 6 investigative assignments, and as the Lieutenant at the Police Academy in Diamond Heights. In my last assignment, I served as the Commanding Officer of the Homicide, Robbery, Gang Task Force and Special Investigation Divisions. I am fortunate to bring this experience with me to the Ingleside District.

It truly is an honor to have been selected by the Chief of Police to be the Commanding Officer of Ingleside Station. I have some big shoes to
fill in following both Captain Chignell and Captain O’Leary, who are great leaders and champion the concepts of community policing. Public Safety, quality of life, and problem solving are my priorities for Miraloma Park. I read every police report and I watch the activity closely in our community as it relates to crime and traffic. It’s important that I receive feedback from the residents and merchants so that I may make informed decisions as to deployment strategies. We have enjoyed having a lower crime rate lately and I will be focusing on traffic enforcement related to speeding and stop sign violations on Teresita Boulevard. You have some of the most dedicated, hard working police
officers in San Francisco.

The Ingleside Police District is the second largest district in San Francisco, with 6.5 square miles and 114,000 residents. We cover the
Miraloma Park, Diamond Heights, Bernal Heights, Outer Mission, Excelsior, Noe Valley, Sunnydale, and  Visitacion Valley neighborhoods. I served as a Sergeant at Ingleside Station from 1996 to 1999. Back then, there were 84 officers assigned to the station. We now have 125
officers assigned to Ingleside Station and I am grateful for the staffing.
The Department has been privileged to be the subject of several organizational studies in the last several months. The Police Executive
Research Forum was one of the consulting organizations which studied the SFPD. The studies included efficiency, staffing, foot beat, and
technology, to name a few. From these studies, the Police Department received approximately 350 recommendations, with 47 of those
recommendations set aside at the station level. The Department decided that Ingleside Station would be the pilot station to implement the recommendations, and when successful these new ideas would extend to the remaining district stations. Ingleside has now been the
Phase 1 Implementation Station for the last 6 weeks, and we are achieving our goals.

I look forward to working with the Miraloma Park Community and will be meeting at the Miraloma Park Improvement Club on June 4.* I hold a
monthly Police Community Relations Meeting, which is on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. The meeting is held in the community every other month. If you would like to subscribe to Ingleside Station’s daily newsletter, you may send an email to
sfpdinglesidestation@sfgov.org. I may be reached at 415-404-4030 or at david.lazar@sfgov.org.

*This refers to the MPIC Board Meeting; members may attend but to speak must ask in advance.

Reminder: MPIC Annual Election

As noted last issue, the Miraloma Park Improvement Club will hold its annual election for Directors and Officers on Thursday, June 18, 2009
from 7 to 8 pm, at the MPIC Clubhouse. The election will be part of an open-house social event with wine and tasty treats, which our District
7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd will attend. The theme will be “How Can the MPIC Better Serve Miraloma Park.” Please come, make your
suggestions to the Board, and bring your neighborhood and city-wide questions and concerns to Supervisor Elsbernd. As of May 1, on the
ballot for re-election as Director are current Directors Karen Breslin, Sue Kirkham, Dan Liberthson, Gary Noguera, and Kathy Rawlins.
Nominated to stand for election for the first time is Thad Sauvain. Dan Liberthson is standing for a repeat term as Corresponding Secretary.

Glen Park Canyon Bird and Plant Tour a Wonderful Experience

by Dan Liberthson, MPIC Board Member

On May 2, Allan Ridley, a former biology and ornithology teacher, and his wife Helen McKenna-Ridley, SF Botanical Garden docent, led 25
avid birders and plant spotters on a walking tour of Glen Park Canyon. A light rain fell—just enough to bring the birds out to bathe and hunt
bugs and to perk up the plants and flowers, and a plethora of natural beauty opened before us.

After examining a bulky great-horned owl’s nest in the fork of a eucalyptus, recently vacated by the adult couple and their newly airborne offspring, we met the thigmotropic (moving in response to touch) native sticky monkey flower, pollinated by bees and hummingbirds, and once used by the Miwok and Pomo tribes as an antiseptic promoter of healing in scrapes and burns. Hummingbirds zoomed: Anna’s hummingbird (the only Bay Area native) and the Allen’s and rufous types (both Mexican migrants), and we watched an Anna’s shake bugs from the foliage and grab them out of air. Cedar waxwings, an “eruptive” species that appears unexpectedly in flocks, flew among the treetops avoiding a landing red-tailed hawk, from whom they actually had little to fear, as red-tails eat only land animals like voles and mice, while red-shouldered hawks indulge in other birds and aquatic life (crabs, frogs) as well as land animals. So, red-shoulders nest near water, in this case the branch of Islais Creek that flows through Glen Canyon, while the red-tails prefer homes near open space.

Some chickadees nested in a hole made last year by a downy woodpecker (the smallest local woodpecker, a riparian or riverside-dwelling species) which had moved on to other quarters. Dominant in the fields were wild oats, a European species brought over by Spaniards to feed their horses. Like most exotics (non-native plants), wild oats are annuals, which for some reason outbreed the largely perennial natives, so that there are only a few native spots left in the City. Recently, though, the CA Native Plant Society has been restoring areas of native plants in Glen Canyon, and the Miraloma Park Improvement Club has expanded its garden of native plants from Glen Park Canyon (across O’Shaughnessy Boulevard), located in front of the Clubhouse.

Among plants, glistening with raindrops, we saw native elderberry and alder trees, California sycamore, coast live oak (scrub oak), horsetail
rushes, lupine (glorious blue covering the hillsides), wild radish (sparkles of violet and pink all around the canyon), rattlesnake grass (shake it and hear the rattle!), the lovely California golden-eyed grass, Missouri iris (elegant violet whorls), coffee berry (a laxative, containing
cascara), checker mallow, and soap lily (used by the tribes to stun fish and make soap and twine). A fiesta of birds foraged and fed their
offspring, including house finches, black-headed grosbeaks, pygmy nuthatches, Bullock’s orioles, white-crowned sparrows with their lovely
fluting song, Wilson’s warbler (“a great little bird,” commented Allan, “yellow with a black yarmulke”), ravens (wonderful aerial acrobats and
wind riders), Pacific Coast flycatchers, and bush tits (which build sock nets of spiderweb and lichen hidden in droopy trees).

“Rushes are round, while sedges have edges,” we learned, and eucalyptus flowers are a popular food source for many nectar-sipping birds, but their sweet liquid dries up and gets sticky, plugging bird beaks and nostrils, sometimes interfering with breathing and perhaps even killing the birds. For their expert and enriching introduction to all these plants and birds, which had passed unnoticed, or at least unnamed, as I walked my dog in Glen Park Canyon, and for a magical 2-hour nature tour, I thank Allan and Helen many times over. We all hope they will be back again next Spring.

Glen Park Canyon Owl

Allan Ridley and Helen McKenna-Ridley

The Housing Element: Planning Issues for All to Consider

From the Editor: In this issue of the Miraloma Life we devote considerable space to the important process by which the Planning
Department is creating the next Housing Element (HE), for which it has solicited public input in several outreach meetings. First, we offer an
article by Jed Lane, a student of Urban Design at SF State University, which explains the theory of the HE process in the broader historical
and governmental context. Next, we present a letter sent by the MPIC to Planning Director John Rahaim outlining the MPIC Board’s position
on the HE and supplying the neighborhood perspective the Department has solicited. We hope readers will contemplate these articles and
then present their own ideas to the Planning Department and to the Miraloma Life, to further a general discussion about the HE and
development of an optimal plan.

Why Plan? What is the Housing Element and Where Is it Taking Us?

by Jed Lane, Westside native, Miraloma Park resident

In 1969 the state legislature mandated that local governments “adequately plan to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community.” Periodic Housing Elements (HEs) have addressed this requirement. San Francisco’s 1990 HE was
updated in 2004, but the 2004 HE, though accepted by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), was never
enforced because of a lawsuit brought by neighborhood groups over the lack of an environmental impact report (EIR). The courts ruled that
all impacts of the HE could not be “mitigated,” as the City claimed, and that an EIR was required. The City is preparing this EIR as the 2009
HE is being written. That both the 2004 and 2009 HEs are being worked on simultaneously is confusing to some, who ask “why not abandon the 2004 HE and just work on the 2009 HE?” The answer is that each new HE builds on the previous one: only the changes must be studied, discussed, and assessed for impact.

So why plan? The 1969 state law mandates that local governments describe how they will address the housing needs of all economic strata. Though the City is required to show the state that, via zoning and land-use policies embodied in the HE, SF has addressed projected
housing needs, the private sector actually will build the houses, which it cannot be forced but must be induced to do. The state HCD Department analyzes and projects the growth of the state in each region, and informs the regions of what they need to do. In the Bay Area, the regional entity is the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), which breaks down projected growth by city and county.
Negotiations do occur at this level, and ABAG will play a larger role in the future because regional transportation issues are now tied to land
-use policy.

Since the HE is a part of a General Plan tied to regional, state, and federal planning goals, overarching aspects affect HE proposals. A
driving force behind current requirements and planning is the need to address green house gas (GHG) emissions and related global
warming. A relatively new aspect of the HE links transportation to housing creation in an attempt to curb GHG. Each component of the HE will be more or less controversial to residents, groups, and neighborhoods, depending on how it impacts them. Understanding the reasons for HE provisions in the context of federal and state laws will promote more relevant public discourse.

San Francisco (with the Climate Action Plan of 2004) and the CA State Assembly (with AB32 in 2006) mandated reductions in GHG emissions, and the State Senate (with SB375 in 2008) put teeth into the laws, requiring that if regions don’t act to reduce GHG, they lose state and federal transportation dollars. A major emphasis resulting from these laws is reduction in carbon-fueled vehicle miles traveled (VMT), either by using alternative-fuel vehicles (leaving the responsibility of transportation up to the individual) or by improved mass transit.
The State likes the former option because it would not have to build adequate infrastructure and provide workable mass transit systems.
The latter plan would reduce GHG more, but would be most effective if ridership reached high numbers via increased density.

Urban centers in America grew as economic centers for trade or transit of trade. Originally, San Francisco, like Boston and New York, was
designed for walking, but later additions south of Golden Gate Park and west of Twin Peaks were designed for the auto, with easy parking in
front of houses and at daily destinations. Thus, our western neighborhoods stand to be impacted by efforts to reduce VMT, but these largely single-family housing zoned areas will need better service from MUNI to succeed in cutting VMT by getting people out of cars. I confess that I drive everywhere, but as a realtor I know that many people don’t want to own cars. Providing housing for such people on transit corridors without parking would meet their needs, assuming good mass transit, and allow for more units per structure with less height and bulk than if parking were required. The idea of “greater density” on transit corridors and at transit hubs is thus appealing to planners. Historically, planning was done from the top down (resulting in such redevelopment failures as Japantown and the Fillmore), but now a bottom-up approach is favored, so the Planning Department is organizing events around the City to discuss the HE and get public input. As HE proposals are discussed, it will be important to understand the motivation of the planners and the ramifications of the plans in order to have a productive dialog.

I believe cities should be dynamic and evolving, but this should happen with the help of informed citizens who delve into the issues and
understand the decisions. The planners are asking for community input because they need to know how people live in order to design better
living habitats. In this process, knowledgeable and respectful people will be listened to and those uninformed and disrespectful will be tuned
out. Planners moderate between government dictates, developers, and residents. They are also public servants who work for us and need
our help to know what’s important to our lives in our western neighborhoods, these “suburbs in the City.” Let’s work to afford the planners the thoughtful and accurate input they need to write the 2009 HE.


From the Editor:
While recognizing the appeal to planners of the concept of “transit hub” or “transit corridor” development (referred to in Jed Lane’s article) as promoted by CA state law, the MPIC does not support the current concept of transit corridors as developed in 2004 HE, because in this document the transit corridor was defined so broadly as to encompass and open for extensive development large areas beyond the immediate major transit routes, potentially including areas such as the whole of the West Portal district and Miraloma Park’s
Portola commercial area. We believe add ional density and reduction in parking would be destructive to the existing neighborhood character
of these two traditional commercial venues in our area, and therefore undesirable. The Planning Department has given indications that in
the 2009 HE it will not emphasize the transit hub concept in the West of Twin Peaks but rather at or along major transit routes like the Geary
Muni corridor and BART stations. The MPIC Board believes this approach would help to preserve the residential and small commercial
neighborhood character of Miraloma Park and most of the West of Twin Peaks, while still affording progress toward reduced GHG. We
invite residents to tell us what they think about this issue by phone, email, or letter, using the contact information on the back page. The
MPIC Board’s views are stated in the following letter.

To: John Rahaim, Director, San Francisco Planning Department

Dear Director Rahaim:

Like most other West of Twin Peaks (WOTP) neighborhood and home-owner organizations, the Miraloma Park Improvement Club (MPIC), which represents about 2200 homes on the slopes of Mt. Davidson, wants to preserve our RH-1 zoning, which we see as essential to maintaining quality of life and property values in our community. In support of our zoning, we have in the past resolved to protect in our neighborhood the current height and mass limits, rigorous design review according to our Residential Design Guidelines, now Standards (adopted in 1999 by the Planning Commission), a continued ban on illegal units and no legalization of these units, the current NC-1 zoning of our Portola commercial district, and a 1 to 1 ratio of parking spaces to dwelling units, existing and new. Additionally, Miraloma Park and most WOTP neighborhoods are nearly 100% built, with little room for new housing permitted by the zoning we seek to preserve. Therefore, we would expect most housing developments to be planned for other areas that have more available land for new construction. The MPIC believes that most West of Twin Peaks neighborhoods are in agreement with us on these points. We are aware, however, that in other parts of the City the needs and desires of neighborhoods are different from ours, and we appreciate your request for input to the HE process from all neighborhoods. It is heartening and encouraging to us that the Department has recognized that neighborhood input is crucial to successful planning. For this reason, we are letting you know what’s important to our lives here in these West of Twin Peaks neighborhoods, and what positions we have taken.

We are aware that planners are subject to the requirements of state and city laws, including the new drive toward the reduction of green
house gases (GHG), fulfillment of ABAG-projected housing needs, and pressure from the developers who want to build the housing. We
believe that a balanced, thoughtful approach, with an attempt to plan for these demands while keeping in mind the character and desires of
individual neighborhoods, will strengthen the cooperative process between planners and the public in the development of a mutually
beneficial and forward-looking 2009 HE.

In the light of demands from city, state, and federal legislation, we urge planners to draft a realistic and practical HE that meets these demands for the required 5-year term of the plan without compromising zoning and quality of life in the West of Twin Peaks neighborhoods. While we realize that GHG reduction is imperative, effective and affordable public transit augmentation must precede policies promoting restriction on the use of personal cars. In citywide planning, the reduction and restriction of destination parking to induce increased use of public transit is fine in theory, but in our hilly neighborhoods that are poorly served by MUNI the effect of such planning will be isolation and
suffering unless MUNI service is increased to provide us ready and efficient access to the high-volume transit lines. Instead, what we see
now, due to budget constraints that show no sign of ending, is a further reduction in already insufficient Muni service, an increase in cost of both Muni and BART, and no plan (much less reality) to provide a means for our communities to function without as many cars and parking spaces.

The state and city have currently mandated GHG reduction, and as private citizens we may also support this, but neither the city nor the
state now, or for the foreseeable future, has the money to create a mass transit system that will help achieve this goal without seriously
impacting our quality of life. We ask the planners to recognize these hard facts and come up with a plan that mitigates the impact of
strategies mandated or adopted to reduce GHG.

Moving forward, while we, as involved citizens, work to protect our neighborhoods, we also will be scrutinizing the projected population and housing numbers from ABAG, as well as plans to meet those projections. We will also be actively working to be sure that the development community input is balanced by that of the residential, neighborhood community. In the past we have seen too much one-sided planning, but we now believe that the Planning Department is responsive to the community of residents, and we applaud the change and are committed to work with the Department to provide input and review of plans.—MPIC Zoning and Planning Committee

Miraloma Park Residential Guidelines

Adopted in 1999 by the SF Planning Commission to promote preservation of neighborhood character by encouraging residential design compatible with neighborhood setting, these Guidelines can facilitate the complex and often frustrating process of permit application and design review and can prevent costly, time-consuming Discretionary Review proceedings. The Guidelines are at www.miralomapark.org.

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macphotochromer

by Garrett Griffin (©2008, Garrett Griffin)

Unlike Hemingway’s fictional Francis Macomber, who traveled to Africa to hunt game, Francis Macphotochromer has only to go out the rear
door of his house where his backyard Serengeti lies before him. It beckons Francis, tempting him with opportunities for wild life hotography without all that dust, heat, pestilence, bad water, strange languages, and real dangers.

In Francis’ backyard, he has only to turn over a rock to discover a large Wolf Spider still cold and sluggish in the weak morning sunlight. With little movement from the spider, Francis aims and takes several shots, not with a .30-06 rifle with 220 grain bullets, but a digital Nikon camera and close up a lens. He turns, and there hovering before him is a beautiful butterfly. It lands on a geranium, and Francis pounces with his Nikon, capturing an image of the brown beauty. He looks up in time to spot a mature red-shouldered hawk lift off the branch of a eucalyptus tree. Francis snaps three shots in quick succession, capturing the raptor pumping his great wings on takeoff. Pleased with his kill, Francis moves on. A Vilnius bumble bee hovers near a purple Madeira bush. Francis drops to a knee and shoots again, freezing the bee in mid-flight as it approaches the Madeira. A little further, a red dragon fly poses for Francis, who takes advantage of the moment, getting a beautiful close-up of a slender red thread of an insect.

Bigger and more dangerous game lurks not far off. Three feral cats named Grandma, Daddy, and Big Brother circle their food dish. Francis
creeps nearer, hiding behind a rose bush and deftly shooting all three of the show-boating wild felines. Farther on, waiting for the cats to
finish their course at the food dish, Bandit and her offspring Pick and Pocket, the resident raccoons, hungrily look on from under a lilac bush.
They are next in line at the feed trough. Francis takes out all three with A red-shouldered hawk lifts off from an eucalyptus branch. one shot.
He stealthily creeps along another 30 feet, where he spies Flower and her offspring Daisy, Maisy, and Lazy, the neighborhood skunks. They
are next in line behind the raccoons. Francis takes several more shots, being quite careful, aware of their powerful defenses. The animals
all act very polite, letting whoever was eating finish before taking their turn. It’s all very civil and orderly. Occasionally, the pecking order
changes, but seldom is there a conflict.

Francis rapidly fills his SD chip with trophy shots. On the way back to the house, he spots Opie the elusive opossum. Opie is high in a plum
tree, so Francis quickly goes into the house, runs up the two flights of stairs, and out onto a deck above the marsupial. He carefully aims
and then blasts away at Opie, taking him from above. He looks at the LCD screen and smiles, happy with his day’s hunting.

Francis Macphotochromer has taken more game in a couple of hours than Francis Macomber took in several weeks in Africa. He wasn’t
uncomfortable and didn’t spend any money. Sure, the animals weren’t as big, scary, or glamorous as African game, but with a little forethought, care, and a touch of Photoshop, his backyard trophies can look just as impressive in an 8 X 10 inch frame.

[Note: This article was originally written for The Photochrome Camera Club of San Francisco; see photochrome.org/ club on the Web.]

Hawk on Eucalyptus Branch

Dragon Fly Close-up

Legal Ease

Contractors, Liability, and the Law

by Mary Catherine Wiederhold, Esq.

In 1962, California became one of a minority of states that allowed a contractor’s employees to seek recovery from the property owner for
injuries caused by a negligent general contractor. In addition to the state workers’ compensation insurance, the law allowed the injured
employee to sue the homeowner for damages. This column discusses the current law of “independent contractors” and a homeowner’s
liability when there is an injury.

In 1993, the California Supreme Court decided that a homeowner who hired an independent contractor who became injured while on the job
could not be sued when the homeowner did not cause the injury. It reasoned that because workers’ compensation covered the contractor’s
employees, the homeowner or general contractor should not be held personally liable. Workers’ compensation entitled all employees to
recover benefits for injuries arising out of their employment. After the 1993 case, the courts would not allow employees of an independent
contractor to sue the homeowner. Even if the general contractor illegally did not have workers compensation insurance, the injured worker would still receive benefits under the state’s uninsured employers fund. The rationale was that injured workers would receive a “windfall” if allowed to collect workers’ compensation and sue homeowners for their injuries.

In 2008, however, the Court of Appeals decided that a worker, who was an independent contractor and not an employee of the general
contractor, and therefore was not covered under workers compensation insurance, could sue a third party for damages. The court’s decision was based on the fact that an independent contractor hired by the general contractor had no access to workers compensation insurance. In that case, Jeffrey Tverberg was an independent contractor who had been hired by a subcontractor of a general contractor who had subcontracted the installation of a canopy. Mr. Tverberg was injured when he fell into a hole that had been dug where the canopy was to be installed. He sued the general contractor and the property owner who hired the general contractor.

Mr. Tverberg was not an employee and had no access to workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, the court allowed his lawsuit to go
forward. In February 2009, the case involving Mr. Tverberg was accepted for review by the California Supreme Court, so we do not yet know if this rule will survive.

A legal commentator argued that this case represents an end-run around the earlier 1993 case decided by the California Supreme court.
But if an injured worker has no insurance and cannot sue for his or her injuries, then we all end up paying for the worker’s health care
through increased taxes and medical insurance premiums.

Homeowners should be especially careful when hiring contractors. Many general contractors hire subcontractors to perform specialized
trades such as electrical and plumbing. Some of these subcontractors may be independent contractors and therefore a homeowner might
be liable if there were an injury.

DESIGN MATTERS*

by Peter A. Zepponi, AIA, Architect

This column addresses basic residential design and home improvement topics of interest to Miraloma Park residents. If you have a question or topic you’d like considered for a future article, please send an email to pazdesignmatters@aol.com, call 415.334.2868, or visit
www.zepponi-architects.com.

Q: What are some simple, cost-effective ways to make my house more ‘green’?

A: Pick the low hanging fruit first. These are old houses. Start with the easy things. When people think about going ‘green’ and saving
energy, and being environmentally friendly, one of the first things they think about is solar panels or energy efficient mechanical systems, or
any number of devices you can buy and add to your home to make it ‘better’. The trouble with this kind of thinking is that every device
contains ‘embodied energy’ required to produce it, and some devices take a lot of energy to make and can be very expensive to purchase.
So before you even go there, change your mindset and pick the low hanging fruit first. By that I mean that most of us live in old houses built when materials were plentiful and energy was cheap, so not much attention was paid to thinking about the energy efficiency of the home as a working engine. There are a number of simple, cost-effective measures you can take to improve your home and the environment at the same time. Rather than adding something new to your house, fix areas where energy and resources are being wasted. Apply this strategy first to get the biggest bang for your buck. Who cares how efficiently you are creating energy or heat if it is all just escaping out poorly sealed doors and windows? This is the principle of Resource Conservation.

Here are a few ideas:

Step 1: Seal exterior doors, windows, and holes with weather stripping, caulk, or foam.

Step 2: Replace incandescent light bulbs with screw-in fluorescent bulbs, especially on the porch.

Step 3: Replace you furnace air filter. Dirty filters make the furnace motor work much harder.

Step 4: Fix your leaky faucets, toilets, and showers or replace them with certified energy efficient “WaterSense” new ones. Look for the new
“dual flush” toilets with 0.8 gallons per flush (gpf) for #1 and 1.6 gpf for #2.

Step 5: Insulate exposed hot and cold water pipes and HVAC ducts. Condensation on cold water pipes can cause building moisture and
mold.

Step 6: Insulate accessible walls, floors, and attics. Most older houses have no insulation, and it’s really important to conserve energy.
Blown-in insulation is most convenient for already built structures.

Step 7: Put glass doors on your fireplace to keep the heat in your living room rather than losing it up the chimney.

Step 8: Replace your old thermostat with a programmable one.

These low-cost, simple measures will improve the energy efficiency of your home and conserve resources, including your money. First pick
these low hanging fruit and then start thinking about all the other possibilities, especially if you are planning a remodel. You don’t have to do everything at once. However, if you are remodeling, take advantage of the opportunity to make informed choices and improve the quality and efficiency of your home one step at a time.

* This column and its content are intended to be a source of general information. Applicability to your specific project should be verified.

Peter A. Zepponi, AIA – Architects, is an architectural firm in San Francisco specializing in residential and commercial architecture. A
Certified Green Building Professional – Build It Green.