Blog : November 2015

Dental Practice Bolsters Green Economy

By Katelyn | Nov 2, 2015 | in

By Anne Twombly

In a world where the vast majority of American manufacturing takes place overseas, there is still a place for the artisan craftsperson in Newmarket, NH. Jon Piatt, local woodworker has been working collaboratively for the past few months with the owner of Newmarket Dental, Dr. Nate Swanson, to furnish and adorn the dental practice’s new office space. By hiring local labor and utilizing found materials, Newmarket Dental is exemplifying the positive impact thoughtful businesses can have on the local economy as well as the global environment.

When Swanson moved his popular small practice, Newmarket Dental, from its tiny downtown Newmarket location to a larger, newer space, he made sure that every facet and function of the building was as efficient and sustainable as possible.

“I loved working in a 200-year-old building, but for the purposes of healthcare delivery, it just didn’t work,” he said. “We had to consider patient volume, clinical efficiency, disability access, and parking. The whole notion of moving into a building less than 10 years old may seem counterintuitive sustainably speaking, but now we’re getting other benefits like much greater energy efficiency.”

New Hampshire Homeowners See the Bright Side of Solar Energy Systems

By Katelyn | Nov 2, 2015 | in

By Craig Robert Brown

Not far from the seacoast, just over a half hour from downtown Portsmouth, is the sleepy town of Farmington. Much like neighboring towns Rochester and Dover, Farmington’s history is steeped in mill manufacturing.

Since those early days, Farmington remains a large farming community some of which, like Butternut Farm, continue to serve the community with freshly grown produce. Though the downtown has changed, the scenic views of mountains and lakes of Farmington’s farmland haven’t. Nestled amongst those rolling hills draped in winter's gleaming whiteness, is what at first glance appears to be another 19th Century farmhouse and barn. However, the property is anything but traditional.

Homeowner Jay Lawrie, a builder, and his wife, an architect, built the home to look just that way, to blend in with the surrounding heritage and history. One noticeable difference to the barn’s exterior, however, is the addition of a solar PV system that drives the air to water heat pump, which covers the homes heating.

“We don’t have any fossil fuels. We’re completely electric,” said Lawrie. “We’re aiming for [net-zero]. It’s working great.”

The home is grid-tied, meaning that the energy it produces feeds into Lawrie’s utility provider, which credits his monthly energy costs. With the system still relatively new, Lawrie is monitoring its progress to offset his costs.

“We’re banking kilowatt hours because we produce a lot more than we use. But in the wintertime, because we are electric heat, then we use more than we produce. So in the perfect world they’d be just about balanced,” he says. “It’s hard to tell. We’re constantly working on it.”

The PV system on the home has been running for nearly a year. It’s made the home very comfortable, according to Jack Bingham of Seacoast Energy, who worked with Lawrie on the installation of the two systems.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Favorite Foods

By Katelyn | Nov 2, 2015 | in

Who: For more than 27 years, Favorite Foods has been the region’s go-to independent food distribution company, building a reputation with quality products, excellent customer service, and a focus on working with locally owned restaurants and businesses while remaining environmentally responsible.

Started in 1978 by brothers Chris and Jeff Barstow, Favorite Foods offers everything from small wares, paper products and cleaning supplies to dry groceries, meats, dairy products, and frozen goods. A large portion of those items are eco-friendly, locally sourced or compostable. In the recent past, the company added a 527-panel, 140-kilowatt solar installations to its warehouse.

The company recently underwent a dramatic overhaul of its refrigeration unit, partnering with Biotek Environmental LLC to audit the warehouse and help improve operations and efficiency. Favorite Foods also offers its clients a consultation on everything from restaurant and menu design to customer tastes and business development strategies.