Colorado has millions of acres of pines throughout its forests that have been killed by an infestation of beetles. New Town Builders, a residential homebuilder in Denver, Colorado, has begun using salvaged wood from these trees for the structural framing of homes it is constructing. The company was approached about building a single demonstration home using wood from lodgepole pine trees which had been killed by the mountain pine beetle. New Town found that the wood was discolored but structurally sound and has now begun using the “blue wood” for all of their framing.
One of the many friends of Jetson Green in attendance at Greenbuild this year pointed our attention to the ecobee thermostat, a high-tech, wirelessly connected, programmable thermostat. In addition to controlling temperature, ecobee also gives you control over the fan settings (allowing you to have the air circulation operate for a minimum number of minutes per hour). Ecobee measures humidity and can be used to control humidification/dehumidification equipment.
Insulated concrete forms (ICF) are an appealing method of construction because they offer a good combination of strength and energy performance. For foundations, they offer a far more insulated wall than conventional CMU or poured concrete. There are those who don’t like the plastics in ICFs, but not all ICFs are made with petroleum products. Durisol has been making ICF blocks using only wood fiber and cement, and these blocks offer a number of advantages that make them an appealing construction material.
Radiant flooring is a popular method for heating a space. Typicaly, installing a radiant slab on grade has required the time- and labor-intensive process of laying down wire mesh and then tying the tubing to the grid of the mesh to provide an even layout. But using the Creatherm radiant floor panel makes it faster and easier to install radiant tubing, as well as providing an insulation layer beneath the floor.
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Wooden shipping pallets are typically a low-end commodity. Sometimes a pallet will get reused a few times before it ends up being scrapped or used as firewood. But Icelander Högni Stefan Thorgeirsson, owner of Iceland-based Arctic Plank, found a better use for it and produces flooring made from upcycled used pallet wood.