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Six Smart Home Technologies For Safer & Greener Seniors

Smart home technology often seems like something out of The Jetsons – but it’s a fast growing industry, with equipment that can control all elements of daily living. Modern seniors are looking to age in place and reduce their environmental impact…

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…

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…

Shigeru Ban is Awarded The 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Everyone has their heroes, their role-models, their if-I-could-be-like-anyone-it-would-be persons and I am no different. I wrote about his past accomplishments, including his cardboard cathedral and paper tube relief houses on GBE a couple of years ago and now my career hero was given the ultimate award in architecture this past month. He is Shigeru Ban…

Water-Saving Toilet Invention: Tap-n-Flush

Water-saving toilet controller manages water used per-flush without installing a new toilet This innovative dual-flush toilet product, the Tap-n-Flush, was released February 15 by Hawaii-based company, Prodius. We have written about water-saving toilets in the past but none to date are quite as simple to use or inexpensive.  I first heard about this low-priced dual-flush…

What is Life Cycle Assessment?

Life cycle assessment

Life cycle assessment (LCA) looks at the environmental impacts of a building material over the entire life of the material, from extraction to disposal.  LCA attempts to quantify these impacts for the purpose of comparing materials or buildings. What is measured? LCA is a scientific study of the environmental inputs and outputs to a building…

Luminous Ceiling Provides Future of Lighting

 In a move that brings science fiction predictions to reality, Philips is introducing its OneSpace luminous ceiling to the world.  OneSpace integrates LED lights with a fabric to create a white light ceiling surface that hides the source of light completely. The result is a smooth and clutter-free ceiling that emits a uniform and glare-free light. “This innovation…

Pressure-Treated Lumber: Safest Options

Those who have built retaining walls or raised garden beds over the past few years may have used pressure-treated 4 ‘ to 8″ wood immersed with CCA, or copper chromium arsenate. A growing number of people have charged that this product, containing inorganic arsenic, can be toxic to people, pets, and even food grown in…

Guest Post: Living Green in Your Log Home

Log homes are great examples of sustainable homes. The wood used to build the home, when properly managed, can be grown again. The abundance of beetle-killed pine, coupled with potential fire dangers, make log homes a good option for building materials. And who isn’t drawn in by the beauty of a log home. This guest…

Water Smart Products: Caroma Profile Smart 305 Dual Flush Toilet With Sink

There are many places we can be smarter about the water we use. Start with the toilet, for one. Give it dual-flush capabilities for starters, then put a sink on top. Featured here is the Caroma Profile Smart Dual Flush Toilet with Sink. Caroma provides this profile information: Unique design and advanced performance make the Caroma…

A Bright Beginning: U2 Adapter Campaign

There are tons of inventions that may be small in scale but are big in economical value. Simply put, finding another use for an item that will go in the trash is a huge value. There are multiple web sites available to help beginner inventors get their start, such as Kickstarter, Invent Help and Indie…

Guest Post: 7 Benefits of Using LED Bulbs

As compared to traditional lighting, light emitting diodes (LEDs) have been getting a lot of publicity for the benefits and advantages as far as energy efficiency goes. LED lighting is by far smartest solution as well as the most power saving compared to other illumination methods available in the industry. The LED revolution is a…

Companies & Building Products Worth Watching: Thermo-ply from OX Engineered Products

To better understand the integral quality of home’s structure, inspecting its unseen parts will usually tell the best story. Try structural sheathing, for instance. Is it plywood, particleboard, or some other concoction? What glues or chemicals were used? Does it contain formaldehyde? OX Engineered Products, a division of OX Paperboard, specializes in a line of…

Guest Post: Are Energy Systems Really Focused on Sustainability?

As the focus for sustainability has been gaining strength throughout the last decade, many developers are trying to accommodate the mindset. Standardized rating systems provide a measure for those developers to strive for in order to connect to a growing market need. While some of these rating systems may have some good points to them,…

Vito Selma; Nature Inspired Modern Furniture Designer

I’m inspired and intrigued when I find a designer or a firm that’s basis is found from the always changing, always amazing, purest form of systematic design: Nature. Vito Selma, furniture designer from Cebu, Philippines, takes the complex notions that nature puts forth and breaks it into simple components of lines, forms and movement. His…

A Commercial Product Specialist: C/S Corporate

The companies that are the most inspiring are the ones that grew out of necessity for a product and stand the test of time by continuing to grow their product, meet the demands of industry and introduce new cutting edge materials. One such company that has been around for over 60 years is the Construction…

Meet a Modern Yurt: Ed Ryan’s circHouse

Special thanks to Ed Ryan, developer of the circhouse, for providing GBE with this guest post. The circHouse is a durable, easily constructed, multi-use building which has been designed to serve many functions, among them, humanitarian and relief housing, offices for medical facilities, storage and logistics applications, and recreational, resort and lifestyle uses. The basic…

Modular Design Lab: Meet the Flat-Packed Honeycombed HIVEHAUS

Here is an interesting way to approach building an easy-to-assemble living space, configured to be as small or large as you wish. HIVEHAUS, a new concept in modular living space – “inspired by nature- influenced by modernism and constructed using unconventional building techniques,” writes the UK-based company. Each hexagonal HIVEHAUS cell is a self-contained unit…