Fiberglass Windows Are More Energy Efficient

For making energy efficient windows, fiberglass composites offer many advantages over wood, aluminum and vinyl. Wood warps and rots over time, allowing air infiltration that undermines the insulating power of the glass. Aluminum conducts heat and cold into the interior of buildings. And vinyl can weaken with age leading to a breakdown in insulating power. Fiberglass is 8 times stronger than vinyl. It doesn’t shrink or expand like aluminum and it doesn’t warp like wood. It is also friendly to the…

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Architects admire steel framed house

Pre-Cut Steel Buildings Snap Together Like Legos

The flexibility and simplicity of steel framing systems draws many clients because there are no interior load-bearing walls, so remodeling or reconfiguring rooms when needs change is a snap. “When children leave at 28, you can easily knock down walls. And when they return at 32 you can erect them again,” BONE founder and president Marc Bovet joked (perhaps, inappropriately) about the ease with which his system allows a steel building frame to be reconfigured. → Also see: Metal house kits → Also…

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Which Is More Green – SFI or FSC Lumber?

The two main sustainable forestry certification programs (Sustainable Forestry Initiative, SFI, and Forest Stewardship Council, FSC) have been fighting for years to determine which is better. SFI has struggled to gain a foothold in the industry, and has been working to be approved by the US Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system. In an attempt to fully understand the potential greenwashing, let’s take a look at the two wood certification systems compare, green-wise.   Harvest Requirements The FSC standard…

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What Is LEED? – Materials and Resources

This is the sixth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, the fourth at Water Efficiency, and the fifth at the Energy and Atmosphere credits.   Materials and Resources What materials are used, where they come from, how they are made, and how they are disposed of are instrumental in determining how green a project is. Using…

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Waxed Cardboard Insulation Comes From Produce Boxes

Students at Portland State University have developed a new insulation material made from shredded waxed cardboard produce boxes. The insulation helps local grocery stores sustainably dispose of the boxes and could provide low-cost energy savings. PSU assistant architecture professor Margarette Leite heard that many local grocery stores were looking for a way to sustainably dispose of their waxed cardboard produce boxes. The boxes have traditionally gone into the store’s compostable waste, but because of the wax coating it can take…

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Bamboo, Plastic Bottles Make Eco-Friendly Greenhouse

Hanoi architecture firm 1+1>2, in collaboration with Action For The City, has designed an eco-friendly greenhouse that protects growing plants from the elements, provides a place for farmers to rest and a offers a creative play space for children to learn more about their environment. It also offers a break from the visual sameness of traditional rice patties. The plastic bottles were donated by students and the local community. They filter the sunlight during the day, protecting the growing plants from…

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low voc paint

Green Materials Report – Low VOC Paint

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 hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings. Enjoy the series! Low VOC Paint…

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Sustainable Forestry Initiative lumber

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Recognized By BREEAM

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has been recognized by green building rating system BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) for its ability to allow the construction industry to responsibly source forest products. Their efforts to make one of the greenest building elements- wood!- even greener are definitely worth taking notice of! According to the BREEAM website, its “assessment uses recognized measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction, and use.” “The…

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Green Materials Report – Wood

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 green materials green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings.   Wood, and its long…

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Green Materials Report – Smog Eating Roof Tiles

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 green materials green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings.   A team of students…

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Fiberglass insulation from Owens Corning

Green Materials Report – Fiberglass Insulation

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 green materials green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings.   Fiberglass insulation is a…

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Metal roofing

Green Materials Report: Metal Roofing

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 hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings. Enjoy the series! Metal Roofing Metal…

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Building materials of the future

More Building Materials of the Future

Thanks to Gizmodo Australia for this look into seven building materials of the future. The gap between material science and actual construction is very far and very wide. It can take decades to move a breakthrough in engineering from a lab to a building site. But as architects and engineers face bigger challenges — from earthquakes to dwindling resources to sheer cost — a new generation of smart materials is emerging. Paint That Can Sense Cracks in a Structure…

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Cork flooring

Green Materials Report: Cork Flooring

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 hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings. Enjoy the series! Cork Flooring Cork…

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C-SIS exterior sheathing system

Exterior Sheathing System Improves Energy Efficiency

Composite Panel Building Systems announced the introduction of a new sheathing system that can improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings and homes, as well as new construction projects. The C-SIS exterior sheathing system combines insulation, an air/water barrier, structural components, and a water drainage plane into a compact panel that can be installed easily over traditionally framed walls. The C-SIS insulated sheathing system is designed to replace traditional plywood sheathing that is installed on the exterior of a framed…

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CertainTeed air cleaning drywall

Green Materials Report – Air Cleaning Drywall

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 hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings. Enjoy the series! Air Cleaning Drywall…

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Treehouse in Memorial City, Both are More than a Name Suggests

As cities re-develop and re-define themselves in new urban and sustainable ways, mixed-used mini-cities are becoming popular oasises in the midst of traditional metropolitan areas. In Houston, Texas, one of such, ‘city-with-in-a-city’ exists and is called Memorial City. It is 7.6 million SF of a place that intertwines the living, shopping, working and play parts of its population’s lives. Memorial City is, “A privately-held real estate investment, development and management company headquarters.” Part of that headquarters is a 14,700 SF,…

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Urbana Creates Beautiful Experiences

When art is experienced it becomes part of a person and if the experience is grand enough it becomes part of the space it occupies. A design firm that specializes in such unique visual experiences is Urbana. Three of their projects that are beautiful, large-scale and interesting to explore are: May – September Draper Lumenscape May – September is a parking structure at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was recently completed and fights the previous concept that a, “Parking…

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