Houzzers on Houzz.com Say

Houzzers on Houzz.com Say: Dream Kitchen Must-Haves


by Becky Harris

Houzzers on Houzz.com Say


The kitchen above one among many must have for kitchens. This kitchen features a Pot filler. This handy faucet means no more having to schlep a heavy pasta pot full of water from the sink to the stove-top.

Bianco Antico: Granite

Bianco Antico: Granite used in kitchen above

The Granite counter top featured in this display is called Bianco Antico and isoffered in our Jackson Stoneworks Stoneyard, located on 1111 SW 22nd Ave, Gainesville, FL.



Hidden knife storageThe Kitchen below features a Hidden knife storage. These boxes pop up from the counter. Similar systems exist for storing other items, like herbs and even iPod devices.

Big cabinet drawers. Houzzers want to make the most of every square inch of storage space. Big drawers, especially those with dish racks and other inserts, maximize bottom cabinets’ storage potential.

Kitchen and Bath

Kitchen Remodel Costs: The Mid- to-Upper-Range Kitchen Remodel

by Bud Dietrich, Houzz.com contributor 

Kitchen and BathSeems that whenever I meet a potential new client, the first question is, “How much will this project cost?” I then try to explain that this is like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”

You see, there are just too many things that will influence a project’s cost. From basic construction issues, such as repairing what may need repairs, to client selections for cabinets, appliances and everything else, to whether or not we plan on moving things around or adding space, there are so many variables that come into play.

What if the existing kitchen layout doesn’t work? Maybe you want more space because you really love to bake and want a place to roll and cut out all those holiday cookies. Or a kitchen island is something you’ve always wanted so that friends and family can sit nearby as you display your culinary skills.

A $40,000 to $75,000 kitchen remodel might include:

 1. A total rework of the space. Everything, including the kitchen sink, may need to be moved, which means new plumbing, electrical, air ducts and so on. 

2. Professional-style appliances. From the 48-inch built-in stainless steel refrigerator to the 48-inch cooktop with grille and griddle to the 30-inch double convection ovens, this kitchen is all about creating wonderful meals.

3. Custom island. And if you want an island, why not make it like some large piece of furniture with legs and beadboard? It’s a perfect place for the kids to sit and do homework while the evening meal is being prepared.


4. Custom cabinetry. Beaded, inset doors of clear alder with a custom stain and glaze in nonstandard sizes with all the accessories make for a beautiful and functional kitchen at a cost.

5. Designer hardware. Forget about using big-box knobs and handles. Take the time to find the pieces that are special. After all, you will be using these things constantly.

6. Wood flooring. Wood or porcelain tile or a stone floor will be more costly than a vinyl tile or sheet.


7. Stone counters and a glass tile backsplash. A quartz or natural stone material such as granite will certainly be more costly than a laminate top. For some, the look and feel of these materials is worth the extra cost. And while laminate may start to look used and nicked up in a few years, stone will be fresh and new looking for years, even decades, after first being installed.


8. Custom storage. With custom cabinets, you don’t have to settle for what’s stocked. So if you want a cabinet designed to handle small appliances with drop-down doors that become extra counter space, custom is the only way to go. 


Press Release


“Gainesville stone manufacturer to offer revolutionary new Dekton countertop material”

Gainesville, FL -

Local countertop manufacturer, Jackson Stoneworks, has been selected as the authorized fabricator in North Central Florida for a new material that represents the next step in the evolution of countertop surface materials. The new material is called Dekton and it signifies a technological and industrial leap forward in the countertop industry.

Made by Cosentino, Dekton is created through a process that employs an accelerated version of the metamorphic change that natural stone undergoes when subjected to high temperatures and pressure over thousands of years. Essentially, Cosentino’s process employs modern technology to mimic the earth’s natural processes for forming stone.

Known as “Ultra-compaction”, the process is responsible for the material’s revolutionary mechanical properties and contributes significantly to the material’s low porosity, making it low-maintenance and long lasting. The sinterization and ultra-compaction processes are exclusive to Dekton and create a non-porous material with a lack of micro-defects, which is designed to eliminate tension or weak spots in the material.

As the material does not require sealing, it is marketed as “Stain Proof” by its manufacturer Cosentino. The material also contains no resins, so it can withstand high temperatures without burning, scorching or cracking, and is resistant to abrasion.

The manufacturing process controls the pigmentation and decoration of the material giving the product color consistency from slab to slab, and because Dekton is also highly resistant to ultra violet (UV) light, it will not fade or degrade over time even in outdoor applications.

Dekton products are available in three thicknesses, from 8 to 20 mm, and have 5 times the flexural strength of granite, so it can be installed in thinner material over greater spans allowing for up to a 12-inch unsupported overhang on countertops, islands and bartops. This makes it an ideal material for walkways, pavers or driveways.

Jackson Stoneworks President, Tyler Ryals, was one of only 25 fabricators in the US selected to participate in certification training on the new Dekton material at Cosentino’s headquarters in Houston, TX, and Ryals believes that the product has a wide range of applications.

“It’s a great material and we are excited to have been selected. It’s stronger than natural stone and can be used for everything from walls, to floors, and of course countertops. And since it doesn’t fade in the sunlight, it’s an ideal material for outdoor applications like Outdoor Kitchens.”

For more information about Dekton materials, contact Jackson Stoneworks at 352-372-6600 or email them at dekton@jacksonstoneworks.com.

Fiber Up, Slim Down

Losing weight can be a frustrating experience if you feel hungry all the time.  Did you know you can curb your appetite — and your frustration with weight-loss efforts — by increasing the amount of fiber you eat?

High-fiber foods can help you lose weight by helping you feel full on fewer calories.  A healthy diet of lower-calorie foods and regular physical activity is your best strategy for achieving a healthy weight – and maintaining it.


The Scoop on Hunger and Satisfaction

How full you feel depends on several factors:

  • How often you eat
  • How much you eat
  • What type of food you choose
  • When your brain tells your body that it’s had enough food.

Why fiber?
High-fiber foods often require more chewing and have more volume. This can help your body recognize that it is full, before you start eating more food.  Fiber can also help reduce your cholesterol, ensure normal gastrointestinal function and lower your blood sugar.

Finding Fiber — Get the Skinny
Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and leafy greens are some of your best bets for higher-fiber foods. The American Heart Association recommends eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, based on a 2000 calorie diet, and three servings of fiber-rich whole grains.

This or that?
Look at these two lunch choices.  On the left: a fried chicken sandwich on white large (1)bread with a shake.  On the right: a turkey and veggie sandwich on whole-grain bread with a blended fruit smoothie. Which is healthiest and best for weight loss? The turkey sandwich and the smoothie are – and they prove you don’t have to sacrifice taste when you eat healthier.  Better choices made consistently over time can lower your weight and improve your health.


spectacular wood counter

Dream Spaces: 12 Ultraglam Powder Rooms

Lisa Higgins
Houzz Contributor
Often the  smallest room in the house, the powder room is a place where homeowners can easily realize their most extravagant design aspirations. Remodeling one is less expensive — and less time-consuming — than revamping a living room or installing a new kitchen, so these manageable spaces are a good spot to get a lot of design bang for your buck.Graphic wallpapers and rich colors that might be overwhelming elsewhere provide pizzazz here. For lighting, think shimmering chandeliers or eye-catching pendants, rather than conventional overheads. Instead of a traditional vanity, why not use a modern vessel sink atop a wooden slab?If you’re itching for a small project, the powder room is a great place to experiment. Here are 12 inspiring spaces chock-full of good ideas that are easily transferable to many homes.
interior design
With its gleaming black walls enhanced with silver picture-frame wainscoting, this elegant room is the epitome of glamour. A vessel sink sits atop a waterfall slab of marble, flanked by two large square towel holders. The traditional Duchess sconces from Boyd Lighting come complete with luxurious tassels.
sink plumbing
The narrow floor-to-ceiling mirror behind the console sink makes this space look bigger — and also hides the sink plumbing. The soothing color combination works, too: Benjamin Moore’s yummy Seacliff Heights wall paint is teamed up with a dark gray textural tile backsplash (Wenge Mosaico by Fibra).
In a nod to the architecture of this Spanish colonial house in Phoenix, the powder room’s custom moldings and sink are made from Cantera, a quarried volcanic rock mined exclusively in Mexico and South America. The muted walls (painted Deep Ocean by Dunn-Edwards) set off an eclectic collection of vintage art, carved wood mirrors and hanging pendant lamps.
 spectacular wood counter
The wow factor here is the spectacular wood counter, custom made by the architects at Krannitz Gehl. But as they helpfully point out, you can do this at home: “You just need to get a big timber, blacken and wax it, drill holes for the plumbing and mounting plates, and bolt it to the wall.”More drama comes from the dark stacked-pebble tile and custom bronze sink with a WaterBridge faucet by Sonoma Forge.

chinoiserie design
Impress your guests with a striking wall covering like this chinoiserie design, Shantung Silhouette by Schumacher. Offsetting the boldness of the walls: a simple white pedestal sink (Memoirs by Kohler), a glass-fronted cabinet from Restoration Hardware and a large, gold-framed mirror.
pale wood floor
A design element in itself, this sleek, high-backed toilet (discontinued by Duravit; its Starck 1 model is similar) fits easily into the narrow confines of a modern space in San Francisco. The rich purple on the walls (Benjamin Moore’s Caponata) contrasts beautifully with the pale wood floor.
ornate mirror
There’s nothing expected in this half bath. Rather than a standard vanity, a chunky Turkish marble basin sits atop an antique painted chest. The muted blue shade (Pinedale Shores from Behr) on the walls shows off the framed art and ornate mirrors nicely.
powder room
This powder room, in a classic Greek revival house in Chicago, is beautiful in its simplicity. The veined gray and white tile wall is enhanced with touches of black (the base of the sink, the metal sconce) and glints of gold (a Kohler Purist wall-mounted faucet and soap dish). Add in the single, small oil painting, and it’s just about perfect.
oval mirror for primping
This moody blue, watery color scheme was inspired by Cape Cod, Massachusetts, although the house is in California. Other nice touches: shimmering wall tiles (Muse from Oceanside Glass), a large oval mirror for primping and a disco-ball hanging light (from James Modler) that reflects patterns on the wall.
soft grey walls
The vibe in this space is cool and collected, from the soft gray walls (Benjamin Moore’s Rocky Coast) to the elegant marble moldings and custom-made console. Silvery chrome legs on the console and a simple shiny mirror complete the design.
Rich gold rules in this dramatic space. Asuka wallpaper (from Osborne & Little), with its stylized white peonies against metallic gold leaves, sets the scene. The theme continues with luxe gold fixtures, including the towel bar and cabinet pulls.
Silent Auction & Member Mixer

BANCF Silent Auction/Mixer

What? BANCF Silent Auction/Mixer
When? August 14, 2014 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Where? Santa Fe College

Silent Auction & Member Mixer

The annual BANCF Member Mixer held at Santa Fe College features music, open bar, food from some of Gainesville’s finest restaurants, and a Silent Auction filled with lots of great items. This year, Jackson Stoneworks will be featuring four Granite Lazy Susans cut from some of the most Exotic stones in the world. All types of items are available in the auction such as…a products or services from various companies, specialty items such as tickets to a concert, golf outings, dinners for two at a local restaurant, weekend getaways, gator tickets or other fun items. Proceeds from the Silent Auction benefits the BANCF’s educational and training division.

BANCF Member Mixers are fun events with more time to socialize and network with fellow members! This Member Mixer will host the ever-popular Silent Auction Luau Style. Put on your best Hawaiian attire and have some fun! Includes open bar, all-you-can-eat great food from our restaurant members and many items to bid on. Bring your spouse, employees, and co-workers! Proceeds from auction items fund BANCF’s Education and Training Programs including scholarships for building construction students at University of Florida and Santa Fe College.

Member Mixers are BANCF events that encourage meeting new people and having fun! After reviewing a member survey, it was evident that members wanted to have a casual event designed specifically for networking. Member Mixers provide just that…no speaker, no agenda! Lots of good food, drinks, and time to have fun and make important business contacts.

RSVP for next Thursday by clicking here.

Top 5 Tips to Staying Cool During Your Summer Workout

You’ve been exercising regularly, but now it’s summer — and hot. Sometimes even dangerously hot, and seemingly too hot to go work out.

But don’t decide this is the time for a little summer break from fitness, experts say, because you may be hurting yourself in the longer term.

“It’s important to continue exercising over the summer because the effects of exercise training are rapidly lost once training stops — use it or lose it,” said Barry Franklin, Ph.D., director of the William Beaumont Hospital Cardiac Rehab and Exercise Laboratories in Royal Oak, Mich. “Most studies suggest many of the key benefits are lost in four to six weeks of inactivity.”

Staying Cool During Your Summer Workout

Be smarter than the heat

Still, you can’t just ignore the heat because you could wind up with heat stress, heat stroke or other problems. So to keep the heat from melting your workouts, Franklin recommends you:

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Maintain salt-water balance by drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during and after physical activity.  Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  2. Exercise smarter, not harder. Work out during the cooler parts of the day, preferably when the sun’s radiation is minimal — early in the morning or early in the evening. Decrease exercise intensity and duration at high temperatures or relative humidity.  And don’t hesitate to take your exercise inside, to the gym, the mall or anyplace else where you can get in regular physical activity.
  3. Ease in to summer. Allow your body to adapt partially to heat through repeated gradual daily exposures. “An increase in the body’s circulatory and cooling efficiency, called acclimatization, generally occurs in only four to 14 days,” Franklin said.
  4. Dress the part. Wear minimal amounts of clothing to facilitate cooling by evaporation. “Remember, it’s not sweating that cools the body; rather, the evaporation of sweat into the atmosphere,” Franklin said. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton.
  5. Team up.  If you can, exercise with a friend or family member. It’s safer, and could be more fun.

Know what’s up

Because vigorous exercise in hot and humid conditions can lead to heat stress, heat stroke and related complications, you should know the signs of danger to keep an eye out for.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Headaches
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, moist skin, chills
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Warm, dry skin with no sweating
  • Strong and rapid pulse
  • Confusion and/or unconsciousness
  • High fever
  • Throbbing headaches
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

Take steps to cool down and get medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Transitional kitchens

12 Great Kitchen Styles — Which One’s for You?

by Sheila Schmitz
Houzz.com Contributor 

Style is easier to recognize with your eyes than with words: You know it when you see it, and the photo that inspires you most can often surprise you. Think you know your kitchen style? Check out these guides to a dozen favorite kitchen design themes, then tell us which one takes the cake.

Warm and homey farmhouses

Farmhouse kitchens. Warm and homey farmhouses anchored a life on the land, and they still offer great functionality and comfort. Their open shelving, wide sinks, classic flooring and big kitchen table make them easy to work in and easy to love.

rustic kitchens rival

Rustic kitchens. “Worn,” “distressed” and “rough hewn” may not be the first words that come to mind when we think of kitchens. But today rustic kitchens rival the classic white kitchen in popularity — thanks to their timber, stone, brick, vintage appliances and fireplaces.

modern kitchen designs

Modern kitchens. Definitions of “modern” vary widely, but when we think of modern kitchen designs, we often think of frameless cabinets, sleek and simple hardware, strong horizontal lines and a lack of ornamentation, with the natural beauty of the materials shining through.


Traditional kitchens. Traditional kitchens are defined by their details, which can include arches, decorative moldings and corbels, raised-panel cabinets, a mix of antique finishes and furniture-like turned legs — even a chandelier. Whether they have a classic American or old-world flavor, they still carry the stamp of their owners’ personal style.

Contemporary kitchens

Contemporary kitchens. Contemporary kitchens can be very sleek, but while a purely modern kitchen often celebrates structure and grid, a contemporary kitchen is often more playful in form and finishes, including elements of other styles and creating its own reflection of the times.

Transitional kitchens

Transitional kitchens. Think of a transitional kitchen as the great moderator. With the warmth and welcome of traditional design and the clean, simple lines of contemporary style, transitional spaces project balance and harmony. Because they offer a great deal of flexibility, they’re a great choice for homeowners whose taste spans the two.

Craftsman kitchens

Craftsman kitchens. Craftsman style arose in the early 20th century as a reaction to the mass-produced fussiness of the Victorian era. Its rich woods, built-ins, handcrafted tiles and well-made simplicity continue to charm us.

Cottage kitchens

Cottage kitchens. Cozy, happy and unpretentious, a cottage kitchen harks back to simpler times and evokes a sense of easy, carefree living. Beadboard, soft colors, vintage hardware, wood floors and colorful accents and curtains will infuse your kitchen with cottage comfort

Paris bistro kitchens

Paris bistro kitchens. If you long for a sugar-laced café au lait on Rue Monmartre, why not bring a little Parisian style into your house? Intimate kitchen lighting, pretty cookware on display, tile floors and a striped awning ought to do it.






Classic kitchens

Classic kitchens. What is classic? The answer is as varied as cooks are. Still, white or cream kitchen cabinets, simple architectural details and black accents offer a blank slate that homeowners can personalize with contemporary, traditional and eclectic touches as they see fit.

Mediterranean-style kitchens

Mediterranean-style kitchens. Flared hoods, hand-painted tile, warm wood cabinets, beamed ceilings and arched cooking alcoves are just some of the features that put Spanish revival kitchens on the most-wanted list.

Eclectic kitchens

Eclectic kitchens. Do you rebel against styles and refuse pigeonholes? It’s your house; you can mix and match for your own distinct kitchen style however you please. The trick: Be a rebel with a cause. Get ideas for a very personal kitchen, with touches of modern and rustic styles, well-traveled flair, humor and irreverence.

Summer Tips for a Healthy Heart

Summer Tips for a Healthy Heart

The arrival of summer means days at the pool, family barbeques, picnics, sports and other outdoor activities. Follow these tips this summer to keep your whole family happy and healthy:

Staying active in the summer months

The arrival of spring and summer means days at the pool, family picnics, baseball and other outdoor activities. Here are some tips to keep your family physically active in the warmer months:

  • Hydrate! Drink plenty of water before, during and after physical activity to avoid dehydration. For low-calorie flavor, add slices of your favorite fruits such as melon, oranges, berries or even cucumber or mint to a pitcher of water and refrigerate for two hours.
  • Protect your family from the sun: wear wide-brimmed hats, always apply water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
  • Heat safety: avoid intense activities between noon and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Dress for the heat: wear lightweight, light colored clothing, choose light, breathable fabrics such as cotton, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Head indoors: when the heat gets unbearable, try indoor activities at your local YMCA or rec center like basketball, swimming, yoga or racquetball.


Heart-Healthy Cookout Ideas

  • Go fish! Fish, especially oily fish like tuna and salmon have great nutritional benefits including omega-3 fatty acids. Rub a fillet with lemon juice and parsley or rosemary for enhanced flavor.
  • Make a better burger: if you’re grilling burgers, be sure to buy lean or extra lean beef, drain off the excess fat after cooking and avoid making huge patties – remember that a serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards (3 oz). Add finely chopped green pepper to your beef to get in some veggies.
  • Baked fries: Slice white or sweet potatoes into sticks, lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray, pepper and paprika and bake on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • Veggie kabobs: load up skewers with mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash or other veggies. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray and grill until slightly blackened.
  • Try grilled corn on the cob: leave the husks on, and grill for about 30 minutes over medium flame, rotating occasionally. Remove from grill, let cool for about 5 minutes, remove husks and enjoy!


Health Road Trip

Road trips can take a toll on everyone – here are some ideas to keep things healthier while on the open road:

  • Make “rest breaks” active: pick a road stop or park and get the family out of the car to take a brisk 10-minute walk and move around. Not only will it burn off some energy, but it can also help the driver feel rejuvenated and more alert.
  • Pack healthy snacks: finding healthier snacks at road stops can be difficult. Pack apples, grapes, raisins, whole grain fiber-rich crackers or another favorite low fat, low sodium healthy snack to take with you.
  • Pack to play: plan to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine while you’re away from home. Pack a football, soccer ball, Frisbee, or paddle balls so that you can be physically active throughout your downtime.
  • Reach for water: sitting in the car for long periods of time can make it tempting to drink soda, which has extra calories and added sugar. Pack water (flavored or regular), fat free or lowfat (1%) milk and small portions of 100% juice to quench your thirst.


Summer Snack Ideas

Try some fun and refreshing summer snacks that the entire family can enjoy:

  • Fruit pops: Homemade freezer pops are an easy, fun treat for kids to make. Mash up fruit like peaches, grapes, berries or watermelon and put them in paper cups, insert a popsicle stick, freeze overnight and enjoy!
  • Cool and crisp: keep a variety of colorful veggies on hand that stay cool and crunchy for   a refreshing treat – baby carrots, cucumber slices, and celery sticks are just a few ideas.
  • Fruit smoothies: blend your favorite fresh fruits with fat-free or low-fat yogurt and ice for a refreshing drink or freeze and eat with a spoon like a frozen ice chill.
  • Mix it up: make your own trail mix using your favorite unsalted, oil free nuts, seeds and dried fruits (just be sure to keep your servings to 1.5 ounces or 1/3 cup).
  • Just slice and serve: summer months are peek season for most fruits, just slice and serve – the whole family will enjoy the refreshing natural sweetness and juices just the way nature made ‘em!

8 Creative Lighting Solutions for Food Prep

by Christine Tusher, Houzz Contributor

Lightingg can be a real doozy when you’re assembling your dream kitchen. Not only do you need to make sure that key food prep and cooking areas are well lit, but you also have to create a balance between the fluorescents and LEDs so many planning boards require and the softer light sources you desire.They key to finding this balance often lies in choosing fixtures that not only brighten your prep spaces but also draw the eye away from can lights, fluorescents and LEDs. Here are eight creative ideas for lighting your prep space, no matter what your style.
 fluorescents and LEDs
Oversize pendants with solid shades direct light directly onto this island, offering plenty of light for slicing and dicing. By directing light toward the center of the island, this cluster also softens and diffuses the focus on the eating area, making it ideal for both ways this space needs to function.
hanging pots
Can’t see the fixture? Look again. It’s cleverly mounted in the center of the pot rack just below the level of the rack itself, ensuring that hanging pots won’t block the light when this home chef takes advantage of the island’s butcher block.
traditional kitchen
A mix of lighting sources anchors multiple prep spaces in this traditional kitchen. Traditional sconces break up a majestic oversize backsplash and light the counter below, while lantern-style pendants help anchor the island and light the second sink.
high-traffic kitchen
The family who owns this home has six hungry boys, making the kitchen a high-traffic area. They worked with The Home Depot’s design team to create a kitchen with plenty of snack-making space lit by a long row of pendants from Blue Moon Trading Co.
Granite for the Kitchen
In the same home, the soft light diffused by the pendants’ wire shades does double duty on the other side of the island, where a breakfast bar provides additional seating for this large family.
modern decor
This huge dome pendant provides ample soft lighting for this prep-space-meets-seating-area. It suits this home’s minimalist, modern decor perfectly, creating a simple focal point by contrasting the countertops’ sharp edges.
built-in lighting
An elongated vent hood with built-in lighting makes this ultramodern space shine. Placing nonfluorescent downlighting lower than ceiling level helps to diffuse and soften the light while still keeping the prep space bright.
Southern California home
An angled roof created a particular lighting challenge in this Southern California home. The solution: midcentury-inspired Pele pendant lights hung over the kitchen island …
eye track lighting
… which create a focal point to draw the eye away from the track lighting that’s doing the heavy lifting.
UF's Green building program

UF’s Green Building Program Paying Off

By Jeff Schweers
The Gainesville Sun Staff writer

UF's Green building program

UF’s Green Building Program is showing some green.

The University of Florida announced last week that it had received $37,000 under a special tax benefit program for businesses, architects and contractors that build new buildings or retrofit existing ones to be more energy efficient.

“UF has secured more than $135,000 of savings, including (the) announcement, and we expect additional savings to be announced in the coming months,” Curtis Reynolds, vice president of business affairs at UF, said about the tax benefit.

UF has made energy savings one of its top priorities, Reynolds said. Under its Green Building Program, it has designed many of its newer buildings and recent renovations of existing buildings with the goal of saving energy and getting LEED certified.

The 2005 Energy Policy Act created the 179D deduction, which allows a tax rebate on each new or retrofitted energy-efficient building put in use between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2013. The business can apply for a rebate of 60 cents per square foot for each of the following categories: HVAC, electrical and envelope (windows, roof, insulation) — up to $1.80 per square foot if all three components are included.

“If you do a green building, you get the benefit for all three … they automatically follow that category because they are doing all three elements,” said Bahar Armaghani, assistant director of building, design and construction at UF and director of its Green Building Program.

She credited Reynolds with supporting her effort to lead the 179D program and make it a reality.

Government entities like UF don’t pay taxes, but under a special rule they can designate the benefit to a tax-paying “designer” and receive savings in return for the allocation, Armaghani said.

“The rule actually says a federal, state or public entity that is tax exempt can get those benefits through the designer and contractor who designs and builds these buildings and does these retrofits for you,” she said.

Once the building or renovation is completed, the designer has an independent contractor inspect and verify the building, the system and the energy model, compare its energy use to the prior system, and report that information to the IRS.

The designer submits the application to the IRS, and when it sends the refund, the designer splits it with UF 50/50, Armaghani said.

The tax rebate is an incentive for the designer, and UF is essentially getting a rebate on the project, based on the energy efficiencies integrated into the building.

“It is a process we have to go through, but it’s worth it in terms of the benefit you get from it,” Armaghani said.

The $37,000 refund was for the Biomedical Sciences Building, designed by Affiliated Engineering Inc., she said. Other projects AEI or other contractors worked on as “designers” to get a tax savings for UF include the Institute on Aging Clinical and Translational Research Building, which netted a $40,000 savings for UF; the Lake Nona Research and Conference Center for a $39,000 tax savings; and Hough Hall, which netted UF an additional $18,788.

“We have more projects in the pipe for saving between $100,000 to $200,000 in the next few months,” she said, but declined to give an exact number until the third party verification for those buildings was completed.

UF hired Efficiency Energy LLC, a tax consultant out of Denver, in 2013 to help administer its 179D program to claim any savings it can get. Even though the program has expired, it still applies to projects completed between 2010 and 2013.

The U.S. Senate is considering extending the program to projects completed in 2014 and 2015 and increasing the tax credit to $1 per square foot per category, or up to $3 a square foot total, Armaghani said.

Current projects that could benefit if the program is extended include the renovation of the Reitz Union and the construction of Heavener Hall and Cypress Hall.

“As a matter of fact, we have integrated this into our contracts, meaning that every project will benefit,” Armaghani said.

Also, UF has integrated this feature into several Energy Service Company contracts. ESCOs are business enterprises that develop, install and finance projects designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce operations and maintenance costs for its customers’ facilities, she said.

5 Steps to Loving Exercise

5 Steps to Loving Exercise … Or At Least Not Hating It

5 Steps to Loving Exercise

We all know the benefits of regular physical activity – increased energy, better cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke and looking more svelte.

But about 80 percent of Americans don’t make exercise a regular habit, and, according to a recent American Heart Association website survey, 14 percent say they don’t like exercise.

So how do you overcome an exercise aversion? Mercedes Carnethon, Ph.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, has some tips to help you incorporate exercise into your life – and maybe even learn to like it.

  1. Exercise That Suits You
    Find an exercise that best fits your personality, Dr. Carnethon said. If you are social person, do something that engages you socially – take a group exercise class, join a kickball team or walk with a group of friends. Or, if you prefer having time alone, walking or jogging solo might be a better fit for you. MyWalkingClub.org is the perfect way to connect with others who share your goals, lifestyles, schedules and hobbies.Try some of these ideas to help you get moving – at home, at work or at play.
  2. Make it a Habit
    It takes about three weeks for something to become a habit, so give yourself the time to create a regular routine. One way is to try to exercise around the same time each day.
    “Exercise can become addictive in a positive way,” said Dr. Carnethon, who is also an American Heart Association volunteer. “Once it becomes a habit, you’ll notice when you aren’t doing something.”
  3. Build Exercise Into Your Lifestyle
    Be honest with yourself. If you don’t live close to a gym, it’s not going to become a habit for you. Likewise, if you are not a morning person, don’t plan on somehow getting up at the crack of dawn to make a boot camp class.“The key is building activity into your lifestyle so it is not disruptive,” Dr. Carnethon said.There are many ways to fit exercise into your life, and it doesn’t mean you have to make a big financial investment.

    You can borrow exercise videos from the library or DVR an exercise program. Do weight or resistance training with items around your home (for example, use canned goods as light weights).  Walking is great option, as well. The only investment is a good pair of shoes.

  4. Do Bouts of Exercise
    It’s OK to break up your physical activity into smaller segments, Dr. Carnethon said. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes a day of exercise most days, but if that sounds overwhelming, try three 10-minute workout sessions.You could do a quick calisthenics routine when you wake up, take a brief walk after lunch at work and, if you commute with public transportation, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
  5. Keep Going
    If you miss a day or a workout, don’t worry about it. Everybody struggles once in a while. Just make sure you get back at it the next day.“It doesn’t take too long to get back on track,” Dr. Carnethon said. “It’s easy to make something a habit again. You will see same benefits before. Any little bit you can fit in will show benefits.”