Browsing the "building materials" Tag

What Are Health Product Declarations?

April 30th, 2014 | by Dawn Killough

Health product declarations (HPDs) provide a full disclosure of the potential chemicals of concern in products by comparing product ingredients to [&hellip

What is Life Cycle Assessment?

April 16th, 2014 | by Dawn Killough

Life cycle assessment (LCA) looks at the environmental impacts of a building material over the entire life of the material, [&hellip

DIY Wonderland

September 23rd, 2013 | by Glenn Meyers

Australian website provides plenty to find for home improvement and gardening do-it-yourselfers The laundry list of what a DIY home [&hellip

Green Building Elements: Decking

July 9th, 2007 | by Philip Proefrock

It's full-blown summer now, and people are spending more time outdoors on their patios and decks. So let me offer a summertime question for discussion. Which is better to use for an outdoor deck: wood, or a manufactured product (like Trex, Timber Tech, etc.)?

This is no more a black and white issue than most other green building questions. This can depend on the particular situation and the specific needs of a particular project. I'm not going to give you a definitive answer, because I don't think that there is one, any more than I do for most green building topics (other than greener is better).

First, there is the issue of material content. On the one hand, the manufactured products often use some combination of wood fiber (which is often sawdust and other scrap that would otherwise go to waste) and plastic (sometimes incorporating post consumer recycled material). On the other hand, wood is a natural material. It is sustainable, in that wood can be grown and harvested. There are some deck materials that have natural rot-resistant properties, but these tend to be more expensive. There is also the question of whether or not they are sustainably harvested, as well as the issue of shipping these materials.

Insulated Concrete Forms

April 2nd, 2007 | by Philip Proefrock

<img src="/files/images/ICF.png" border="0" alt="Insulock" width="239" height="178" />Photo Credit: InsulockInsulated concrete forms (ICFs) are an alternative method for building concrete walls. They are most typically used for foundation (basement) walls, but can be used in some other applications as well. Of course, they offer green benefits. <br /><br />The most obvious improvement offered by using ICFs is the addition of insulation. Concrete has a very low <a href="">R-value</a> (an 8&quot; thick concrete basement wall would typically have an R-value of approximately 0.75; even less than a single-glazed window with an average R-value of 1.0). So concrete walls offer very poor thermal performance. Even in the summertime, a concrete basement wall will be cool to the touch, because of this. Adding even a small amount of insulation to the concrete wall makes it better, and ICFs provide a good way of getting an insulated concrete wall

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