Work smart with BuildingBlox

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Anyone involved in the construction business, or working on a project, would understand the importance of collaboration, planning, finding the right materials and verifying quotes.

What if you got it all with the click of a button, on one platform? Well, that’s what we at BuildingBlox.in are working towards. As the building industry moves into the era of cloud computing there is huge potential to improve our project planning processes. Whether it be product discovery or virtual collaborations with professionals, technology has opened up possibilities for a much more efficient and well-coordinated design process.

There is no need for architects to stock samples in their offices or to go out and spend hours on material sourcing. With our platform they can shortlist the products that they like and very quickly access information about such products. Similarly users can find service providers, view their portfolio and connect with them with a few clicks.

By placing these elements onto one platform we are creating a tool for professionals and end users to connect these dots and create a more transparent process of designing which will not only save time and costs but also allow sharing of knowledge and faster absorption of innovation in a rapidly transforming industry.

We hope you find the idea interesting and that you will share your valuable feedback and insights with us so that we can mould this platform into a truly groundbreaking tool. With this in mind we would love for you to join us and invite others from your network to do the same.

Interesting Facts About Energy Saving LED Bulbs

Led Bulb

Most people identify LED from their size and color; but here are some core differences between a regular incandescent light and an LED:

An incandescent light bulb is a simple device with a tungsten filament which consistently produces light with the same characteristics. Whereas LEDs produce light through the use of a semi-conductor that emits light energy when an electrical current is passed through it. LED lights get their color from a phosphorus coating, which needs to be applied consistently during manufacturing; else it ends up producing different shades of color. Also, LEDs should not emit a lot of heat, as incandescent bulbs do; else it loses its efficiency dramatically.

Led lights for home

Below is a list of 5 things to look for before buying an LED light to insure a beautiful and consistent color, long life, and maximum efficiency.

  • What is the CRI (Color Rendering Index) of the LED light?  

Each bulb is given a CRI score. CRI stands for color Rendering Index and is a measure of the ability of a light source to accurately represent different colors. Put simply, you want to make sure you get a bulb that makes your tomatoes look red, rather than a strange orangey color. Traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs are near perfect and score in the high 90s. LEDs and CFLs are a little behind this and are more likely to have a CRI value in the mid-80s. 80 is considered an acceptable level, although like many things it comes down to personal preference.

  • Do the LED Lights Produce Consistent Color?

The circuitry of the LED should continually measure and adjust the output of the light to insure it is consistent in color temperature from fixture to fixture and over time as well.  Ask your LED salesperson if the LED lights you are buying will be consistent in color temperature.

  • Direction of Light: Will the LED Light Shine Light Where I Need It?  

An LED is a small semiconductor chip, which by nature only emits light in one direction.  LED manufacturers then place a lens on top of the LED to either narrow or widen this light. Unlike an incandescent lamp, most LED lights come with a specified beam spread.  Whether you need a 10° spot light, a 60° flood light.

  • Does the LED have an Effective Thermal Management System?  

The LED fixture should be designed to effectively pull the heat away from the LED.  Many people think LEDs do not produce any heat.  This is not true.  They do produce a small amount of heat, but at the small junction on the LED surface where the light is being produced, the heat is intense.  A well manufactured LED light using LEDs of .5 watts or more will have a piece of metal with fins for cooling as part of the fixture.

  • Find out if the LED has a dimmer.

led bulbs

Points to keep in mind when reading a label:

  • LEDs are measured in lumens and not watts, higher the lumens higher the brightness.
  • Life of the LED measured according to an average of 3 hours per day
  • Light appearance: Warm/Soft White colors (at or around 2700 Kelvin) have a lower color temperature and an inviting, comfortable and relaxing atmosphere similar to the light from an incandescent bulb. Cool/Daylight bulbs (closer to the max of 6500 Kelvin) create a bright, clean and lively mood with a bluish tone.
  • Make sure you buy a bulb which has the best shape and fitting to replace your existing lights (carry an old light bulb with you to the store).
  • Check the CRI value

Hope you understand LEDs better now and make a knowledgeable decision on which ones would suit your project.

Take a look at the LED Lights at BuildingBlox.in

Getting that Vintage Wooden Flooring Right.

Wood Flooring Large Living Room

Let’s face it; we all love the look and feel of a nice wooden floor. But wooden flooring is not only expensive, a number of precautions need to be taken while laying it. It needs to be laid out on a completely dust & moisture free base and is also a tad bit difficult to maintain.

We aren’t dissuading you from getting it installed but just wish to make you aware of some steps you should observe before the planks are tiled.

Wooden Flooring Room

Where should you ideally install a wooden floor?

  • Avoid areas that could be prone to seepage and termites. For this one would have to ensure that the foundation is termite proofed and the plumbing is proper. Else the floor would get spoiled.
  • Avoid using wooden flooring in the basement, as waterproofing in basements is often an issue.
  • Any area which is exposed to heat or extreme weather conditions should also be avoided. So getting a backyard deck, with wooden flooring, may not be a good idea.

However, wooden flooring in the living room/ bed rooms/ offices does add a lot of vintage charm to the house/office. Here are some steps you could follow while installing the same:

With dry concrete and the right sub-floors and vapor retarders, solid hardwood floors can be installed on slabs that are either at ground level or above ground level. If you insist on wooden flooring in the basement, you could use engineered wood floors made of layers of wood glued together.

Protect the Flooring

Ensure that the building is completely enclosed and the windows and doors are installed, before the floor is placed. In fact all concrete, masonry and sheet-rock should be completely dry. In warm weather, the building should be well ventilated

Dry Slab

The concrete on which the sub floor will be placed should be dry. In fact, wooden flooring should not be laid over concrete that is less than 60 days old.

Testing for dryness, starts 30 days after the concrete has been laid. By now, you would have realized that determining moisture content of both the wood flooring and the sub-floor is an important part of quality control in the flooring installation process. Detailed qualitative and quantitative testing methods are provided by the National Wood Flooring Association.

Living Room Wooden Flooring

The Concrete 

The concrete floor should be flat and should have a trowel finish, free of grease, oil, stains and dust. So you’d need to grind off any high spots and fill any low spots.

Vapor Retarder

Layers of asphalt felt with asphalt mastic or 6 mil polyethylene sheathing could be used as vapor retarders on top of the concrete, to ensure that if any moisture enters the concrete, the wooden flooring is not impacted by it.

Sub-floors

Solid hardwood floor planks are usually nailed on the sub floor; hence it is extremely important that the quality of the sub-floor is maintained.

Once the sub-floor is installed, the hard wood planks are nailed onto it. Making the flooring secure.

Acclimation

Flooring is considered acclimated when the moisture difference between the wood and the subfloor material is within 4% for flooring less than 3” in width. For any flooring 3” or wider the difference should be within 2% mc. Without a proper moisture meter, you cannot determine if the flooring has been properly acclimated.

Maintenance: 

Avoid using water/ oil based products to clean the floor. Use a vacuum cleaner preferably, to suck any dust that may have gotten stuck in the crevices between the tiles.

Ensure that the room with the wooden flooring isn’t exposed to moisture. Use dehumidifiers if the humidity levels increase.

Use small mats near outside doors to prevent the dirt getting further into your house.

Take a look at the hard wood flooring on BuildingBlox.in: http://ow.ly/QBsZ3

Safety tips during construction and renovation

Construction Safety

The concept of renovation insurance is rare in India, which is why it is important that you pay extra attention to the safety measures been taken by your contractor, both for the safety of your house as well as the labor on site whose health and safety is most often ignored. Here are some pointers on how to stay vigilant.

  1. Don’t allow smoking during construction.
  2. Remove combustible debris from site everyday.
  3. Provide fire extinguishers.
  4. Store paints, solvents and combustible material safely.
  5. Also dispose of solvent stained cloth safely.
  6. Make sure that the labor is wearing protective gear: helmets, face masks, gloves etc.
  7. Keep the air clean: painting, sanding, adhesives etc. cause toxic fumes which should never be inhaled.
  8. Keep the fan on and try and do as much of the work outdoors as possible.
  9. Insist on keeping children (yours or anyone else’s) away from the construction, same for pets.

Feel free to suggest any other safety tips you have in mind, in the comment section.