Articles - September, 2011

Thinking Small, Cohousing EcoVillage, Greener Cities, + Ending Suburbia

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DuChateau Unveils Luxe Natural Floors

This week DuChateau Floors announced that the company is bringing European-style floors to the U.S. market with an eco-friendly hard wax oil and FSC-certified woods. DuChateau has eight distinct collections with long-length, wide-plank, or parquet patterns that have been hand scrapped, smoked, wire-brushed, and treated for a vintage, old-world look. They’re made for interior commercial, retail, and residential applications, whether on the floor, ceiling, or wall.

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Kliptech Innovates with EcoTop Counters

In an economic climate that has companies hunkering down rather than innovating, sustainability leader Kliptech has spent considerable effort making their EcoTop recycled-paper countertops even more environmentally-friendly and affordable. This extremely durable surface material already received plenty of LEED points for its high recycled content — and at $35sq/ft, EcoTop was a pretty good deal.

So why mess with a good thing?

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LSG Intros Glimpse Retrofit LED Downlight

Florida-based Lighting Science Group (LSG) recently announced a new LED product called Glimpse.  The Title 24-compliant downlight is compatible with most 5″ and 6″ recessed cans and can be surface mounted to a J-box as a luminaire.  Glimpse is Energy Star qualified in all model types, according to a press release, and provides up to 20% more light than other products on the market with the 750 lumen package.

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Just Right and Airtight [Building Science]

In an article that’s sure to raise the hackles of the Passive House crowd, Joseph Lstiburek, a principal of Building Science Corporation, says the Passivhaus airtightness requirement – 0.6 ach @ 50 Pa — “doesn’t seem to be based on anything that makes any sense.”  He suggests the following: “if you get below 3 ach @ 50 Pa the comfort problems go away, things become predictable, and you save energy. Add the controlled ventilation piece and the combustion safety piece and nobody dies and nobody gets sick and life is good.”  In other words, remove large holes in the building envelope, install a controlled ventilation system, and use sealed combustion or power vented appliances. 

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Tiny Prefab Utilized as a Flex Office

KitHAUS makes kit structures like this one with a bolt-together aluminum frame and SIPs floors, walls, and ceiling.  With 117 square feet, the kitHAUS K3 is being used on a Shea Homes project in San Diego as a leasing office, though it could easily be used elsewhere as an artist studio or home office.  A Halcyon model mini-split from Fujitsu cools the space, which costs about $40k with decks and accessories (but not the mini-split).

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