Category Archives: Materials

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Green Materials Report: Beetle-Kill Pine

A majority of the beetle-kill mountain pine forests destroyed by the mountain pine beetle remain standing as a hugely valuable unclaimed resource for building and manufacturing needs. But if left unclaimed, this same resource will transform into dry tinder releasing CO2 and potentially causing devastating forest fires. Companies taking the lead A number of millers,…

Green Materials Report: Ecovative Design’s Mushroom Magic

Are there alternatives to foam  when it comes tp packaging and insulation? Absolutely yes. contends Ecovative Design, a Green Island, NY company engaged in the design, development, and testing of new products and biomaterial applications. The company has launched two extremely green mushroom-based products.  Start with the packaging material, said to perform in customized shapes…

Green Materials Report: Breeze a Green Landscaping Product

For those many people who have struggled to build garden pathways or patios and lost the challenge to an uncontrolled mishmash of weeds or broken concrete, breeze is a green material worth trying. Crushed breeze, also referred to as crusher fines (dust and fine grains remaining from crushed rock), is used as an inexpensive  walkway material…

Green Materials Report: FSC Certified Lumber

FSC certified lumber

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned.  We…

Carbon Footprint Labeling Begins In China

Carbon Footprint Labeling Begins in China

Thanks to ClimateWire for this look into a new carbon footprint labeling program in China: A group of Chinese companies recently earned a certification from their government for producing goods with a significantly smaller carbon footprint than the market average, marking the start of a carbon labeling system in the country that is the world’s…

Green Materials Report: Permeable Concrete

Permeable concrete allows water to drain through

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned.  We…

Green Materials Report: Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned.  We…

Green Materials Report: Wheatboard

Wheatboard under veneers

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned.  We…

Green Materials Report: IceStone Countertops

IceStone countertops in kitchen

This post is part of the Green Materials Report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned.  We…

Rhino3 Creates Shipping Container Homes starting with a ‘Queen’

A new creation has come to fruition on the plains of Colorado. The first of its kind is called “Zulu Queen” and it is a Corten steel shipping container ‘high cube’ turned home. The designed home emerged from a team of an artist/architect and an outdoor woman/tech guru of Sam Austin and Jan Burton as…

UNH Names Innovative Composting Facility after Sustainable Agriculture Pioneer

The University of New Hampshire has named its high-tech composting/energy capture facility at the Organic Dairy Research Farm in honor of the sustainable agriculture pioneer who advanced the technology — the Joshua Nelson Energy Recovery Compost Facility. The facility is the only one of its kind at a land-grant university. Recently members of Nelson’s family…

Green Materials Report: Linoleum Flooring

Samples of linoleum from Shutterstock

This post is the first in the Green Materials Report series.  GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green.  Each post focuses on one material.  We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it…

Building Innovation: Inflatable Concrete Dome

Building innovations like this inflatable concrete dome may revolutionize certain building standards — roofs, for instance. Look at the interior  photographic perspective. Remember Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome?   When concrete shells are constructed, they usually have to be supported by elaborate timber structures. A revolutionary technique developed at the Vienna University of Technology now uses…

The Compost-Powered Water Heater – Books to Buy

Gaelan Brown’s new book, The Compost-Powered Water Heater, is a work that demands being read by anyone interested in learning more about all the free energy available to renewable energy stewards who also happen to be composting champions. Brown provides plenty of detail in this innovative approach for heating rooms and generating hot water. Brown,…

Strength and Design in Concrete Forms

There is something amazingly raw and beautiful in cast concrete forms and buildings. These forms can become any shape imaginable and all that is required is the form to hold the concrete as it dries. Panels of remarkable sizes can be placed on site in construction zones, allowing buildings to rise in record breaking time…

6 Building Materials of the Future

These futuristic building materials will change the way we construct buildings in the years to come. 1. Graphene Graphene is a one-atom thick layer of carbon.  It is thin, strong, flexible, conducts electricity, and is virtually transparent.  Researchers won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics for developing graphene.  It’s potential uses include solar cells, touchscreens,…

Earthbag Buildings – Functional to Beautiful

Divine Nectar retreat cabin

In homage to our previous post on all natural building products, here is a photo collection of earthbag buildings – built from bags of dirt or sand, stacked brick-like, and covered with mud mixed with straw. Divine Nectar retreat cabin – This stunning earthbag cabin was built as part of a retreat center in the desert…

3D Printed Buildings Speed Up Construction

3D printed house assembly

Will the buildings of the future be printed? Chinese construction materials company Winsun New Materials says it has printed 10 houses on its new 3-D printer that cost them about $3.2 million to develop and took 12 years to build. Winsun’s 3D printer is 6.6 meters (22 feet) tall, 10 meters wide and 150 meters…