Science Archives - Green Building Elements

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New Construction Materials… That Self-Repair?

Opening up a new field of design for construction technology, the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is envisioning futuristic materials that repair themselves. After recently launching the Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program, DARPA’s goal is to create a whole new class of construction materials. Imagine engineering living cellular systems into the […]

September 12th

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 […]

March 9th

Scientists Developing Paint-On Coating For Energy Efficient Windows

US Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists are developing a new paint-on coating that will help building owners improve the energy efficiency of their windows, without the need for trained installers. “Instead of hiring expensive contractors, a homeowner could go to the local hardware store, buy the coating, and paint […]

February 26th

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 […]

November 2nd

Mushrooms Hold Key to Stormwater Treatment

Mycoremediation, the use of fungi to treat water and soil, could be the stormwater filter of the present and future.  A couple of projects in Portland, Oregon are putting the science to the test. According to Wikipedia, “one of the primary roles of fungi in the ecosystem is decomposition, which is performed by the mycelium. […]

June 19th

New Tool to Improve Building Energy Efficiency Fits In Backpack

A group of scientists from University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new tool that measures a building’s dimensions, locates HVAC systems and ductwork, and maps out the location of electrical sources, all in an effort to improve building energy efficiency. When a building is slated for improvements, designers usually have to comb files to […]

May 27th

Lowe’s Offers 3-D Printing Out of Any Material, Including Gold

Lowe’s Innovation Labs is now offering 3-D printing of household hardware items from a Lowe’s-owned Orchard Supply Store in Mountain View, California.  While 3-D printing is becoming more commonplace, it takes a certain knowledge to program a printer to create an item.  With Lowe’s new system, average homeowners are able to design and print their […]

May 5th

First US Power-to-Gas Plants Open in California and Colorado

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) is bringing science fiction to life, launching two demonstration projects to create and test a carbon-free, power-to-gas system for the first time ever in the U.S. The technology converts electricity into gaseous energy and could provide North America with a large-scale, cost-effective solution for storing excess energy produced from renewable […]

April 24th

Beyond LEDs: Try Brighter Energy Saving Flat Panel Lights Based on Carbon Nanotubes

Moving forward from from incandescence to fluorescence to light-emitting diodes to carbon nanotubes! We are witnessing the inspiring evolution of lighting, all which translates to far greater energy efficiency and better living conditions. Take this news item, for instance, about carbon nanotubes in the quest for better lighting. Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel […]

October 15th