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Top Tips At AltBuild Expo At Santa Monica Civic Auditorium:

The 9th Annual AltBuild Expo and Conference returned to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium last Friday and Saturday.

It served top industry professionals such as architects, builders, contractors, engineers, and landscapers as well as local consumers.

The Mirror spoke with several of the vendors.

Richard Goodman, President of Laguna Bamboo, said he had been working exclusively with bamboo since 2003 after he decided to build bamboo skateboards for his grandchildren.

“We basically build bamboo kitchens and bathrooms,” Goodman said. “We decided in having a product that includes functional art and we decided that this material would be cool in skateboards.”

Sandy Fischler, Marketing Director of Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County, said she told visitors at its booth about its offer of 2 percent APR on energy loans.

Through Matadors Community Credit Union, this 2 percent fixed APR offers loans up to $50,000 in order to switch to this energy efficient upgrade.

“We cover things such as attic insulation wall instillation, windows, heating, air conditioning, and duct ceiling,” Fischler said.

“These are all building envelope improvements designed to make the house more comfortable energy efficient and improve the indoor air quality.”

The Building Doctors booth offered interested parties the chance to see how their infrared devices work to check where air leaks out of homes so to pinpoint where the upgrade in the house would be needed.

“We do energy audits on homes to see if there is missing insulation and if there are air leaks in the home,” said Dan Thomsen, President of the Building Doctors. “We use this for diagnostic testing on equipment.

Steve Williams, of The Surfrider Foundation, spoke about its oceans friendly gardens program that strives for “activism, education, and hands on workshops to help people reduce polluted runoff from their homes to the streets to the storm drains to the ocean by implementing all these different techniques.”

“From rain barrels to rain gardens to whales, berms, infiltration kits, mulched landscapes, driveway cuttings, all these techniques that keep runoffs on sites rather then taking it down to the ocean,” Williams said.

AltBuild featured more than 150 handpicked exhibitors covering green building and design materials, energy efficiency techniques and technologies, alternative energy, water efficiency and management, environmental plumbing, municipal and state agencies, and non-profit organizations.

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