ETFE Football Stadium Will Soon Be Minneapolis Showcase

When it opens this summer, US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis will feature the only ETFE (ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene) roof on a sports facility in the United States. This resilient and transparent material, long used in Europe, will now provide Minnesota Vikings football fans with a comfortable experience inside the stadium and a clear view outside, even if the outdoor temperature is far below zero degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast to the preponderance of opaque domed stadiums in this country, some 60% of the…

Read More

Reversible Concrete Allows for Easy Removal

Yes, you read the title correctly – reversible concrete! It seems like an oxymoron – concrete is known for its stability and strength, and its permanence. Well, not anymore! Last October at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Self-Assembly Lab at MIT and Gramazio Kohler Research of ETH Zurich showed off a process that might finally one-up concrete, using only a 3-D printing extruder, rocks, string, and smart design. The short, unscientific version is that the rocks are bound together by the…

Read More

Analyzing Exterior Deck Options

When asked what is a highly desired feature outside of the house, a good number of people will first select an exterior deck or porch. Here’s why: if done well, it makes an inviting place to visit with family or friends to enjoy summer cookouts, or simply as a great place to sit back, relax, and savor the wonderful natural world outside the house. If you happen to be one of those wanting to build something like this, you are…

Read More

Designed For The Future: Eco Lodges – Jordan

GBE will be featuring three posts highlighting projects from the recently published book Designed For The Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World. The book asks the question: “What gives you the hope that a sustainable future is possible?” Featuring responses by 80 innovators spanning architecture, urban planning, landscaping, journalism, and also environmental leaders, the resulting book is a compilation of their interesting ideas on how to create a better future.  Create models that mix old and new; they will be…

Read More

Forests & Civilization – John Perlin Interview Series Part III: Forests Change the World

Thanks for stopping by Part III of this interview series conducted with John Perlin, author of “A Forest Journey: the Story of Wood and Civilization.” I believe this is an important book to read in understanding the history of deforestation and knowing the significant role forests have played in the survival of both our civilization and our environment. Perlin’s work, first published in 1989, was recently republished in a third edition. In the face of global climate change challenges, the…

Read More

6 Tips For Picking A Paint Color

Whether you are painting with green paint or “green” paint, everyone can use some help picking a paint color. There are so many to choose from, almost too many, and how do you pick the right color and shade to go with your decor? Noelle Parks, professional interior designer for Dunn-Edwards Paints, shares six expert tips on finding the right hue: 1. Choose color based on desired mood of a room From high-energy red to mellow blue, psychological responses to…

Read More

Our Forests & Our Civilization: Interview Series With John Perlin – Part II – Forests Change the World

Welcome to Part II of our interview series with John Perlin on forests. Perlin is author of “A Forest Journey: the Story of Wood and Civilization,” an important book that has now come out in its third edition. Our topic? Our forests and our civilization. Perlin details the place of forests and wood in our civilization’s evolution. In case you haven’t read it, Part I in this series can be reviewed here. I believe this is important read for anybody who champions green…

Read More
Cross laminated wooden tower proposed for Paris

Metsä Wood Re-imagines Empire State Building As Wooden Building

Metsä Wood of Finland, manufacturer of quality wood products from local forest sources, is working with internationally known architect Michael Green to promote its Plan B campaign, which seeks to educate design professionals that wood should always be considered as a serious construction option. Green is famous for re-imaging existing buildings, such as his current projects – the Empire State Building and the Coliseum. Wood is more sustainable with lower emissions than traditional building materials. Green’s design for the Empire State Building features engineered…

Read More
Paint Shield kills bacteria

Breakthrough Paint Has Ability To Kill Bacteria

A new paint from Sherwin-Williams boasts the ability to kill bacteria within two hours of contact with the painted surface.  It is the first EPA-registered microbicidal paint that continuously kills bacteria for up to four years after application. Paint Shield offers customers an important new tool to help prevent the spread of bacteria that can cause hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).  Surfaces painted with Paint Shield kill greater than 99.9 percent of Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli),…

Read More

Building Materials, Fossil Fuels’ Ugly Cousin

We still live in a time when we do plenty things that are very harmful to our planet. It seems we’re all aware that fossil fuels like oil and coal create a considerable portion of our greenhouse gas pollution. But many people don’t understand that we also do a lot of harm to our planet with the materials we use to build and remodel our homes and buildings. If you examine some our most prominent building materials, it quickly becomes obvious…

Read More

Market for Green Building Materials Set to Soar Through 2019

Green building is here to stay!  As if there were any doubt, a recent study by BCC Research has shown that the market for green building materials has been increasing and will continue to climb at least through 2019, when it is expected to reach $69 billion in the US alone. Currently, the US market for green building materials sits at about $43 billion.  According to the report and the USGBC (US Green Building Council), as of April 2014, more than…

Read More
Doors and windows effect R-value of a building

What Affects the R-Value of a Building?

This is part two of our posts on R-value.  Read the first post to get a definition of R-value and find out what it means to you. Doors and Windows As much as we love, and need, doors and windows, they are not good for a building’s insulation value.  Doors open and close, allowing air to move freely inside and out.  Additionally, it can be tough to completely seal the gap around a door, causing even more air leakage when…

Read More
R-value of building insulation

What Is R-Value and What Does It Mean To You?

What Is R-Value? Simply put, R-value is a measurement of how insulating a building material is, protecting one side from the heat or cold on the other side.  A higher R-value means that a material insulates better than one with a lower value. In order to get an idea of what these values are, here are a few examples of common building materials and their R-values: 1/2″ drywall – 0.45 1/2″ plywood – 0.62 4″ wide brick – 0.80 1″…

Read More
BluBloc insulated concrete forms

New Insulated Concrete Blocks Made From Recycled Styrofoam

A new company in Portland, Oregon is gearing up to manufacture large quantities of the latest product in the ICF (insulated concrete forms) world.  BluBloc offers a twist on standard ICF products – it uses recycled styrofoam instead of manufacturing new for use in the forms. BluBloc is 85% recycled polystyrene foam (styrofoam) and 15% cement.  Like other ICF products, the “blocks” interlock to form the outside structure of a building.  Cement is then poured inside the forms, creating a…

Read More