Monday, July 19, 2010

Attended Lakeside Living Expo in Gilford, NH

By Mark J. Donovan

This past Saturday I attended the Lakeside Living Expo in Gilford, NH and got a chance to see some of the latest in green technology. Of particular interest to me was the geothermal heating and cooling system offered by Dragin GeoThermal of Meredith, NH. In the winter time, a geothermal system works by drawing BTUs from the ground to heat a home. In the summer time, the processed is reversed by drawing BTUs from the home and sinking them into the ground to provide air conditioning. The geothermal HVAC process is relatively simple in function however it provides a much higher efficiency than oil and gas furnaces. In addition, geothermal systems are eligible for energy efficiency tax credits.

Besides geothermal, there were other neat booths that showed off the latest in solar and wind energy systems designed specifically for the home.

I was also impressed with a steel roofing product that is designed to emulate the look of architectural asphalt shingles. It is guaranteed for 50 years, and from just a few feet away looks like any other standard architectural asphalt shingle. The material cost of this type of roofing is about 30% higher than standard asphalt shingles; however the labor costs are on par, to a little less, than installing standard asphalt shingles. They are also designed to support wind velocities of up to 100 MPH.

There were also a number of lake home builders in attendance showing off pictures and sketches of their lakeside home construction projects around the New Hampshire lakes region area.

Furniture and accessory suppliers who cater to lake side homes were also in abundance. Some of the furniture was quite ornate in appearance. Natural building products and faux fauna indigenous to the area were heavily emphasized in the displays.

There were also a couple of chainsaw wood carvers/artists who were showing off and demonstrating their work. Each made a variety of bear and other animal statues out of White Pine logs.

Overall the show was very interesting, however the weather was quite warm and humid.

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