Photovoltaic panels and solar hot water panels both provide useful benefits for the buildings they are attached to, but sometimes there is limited space on the roof, and usually only one or the other is installed. Solimpeks, a solar panel manufacturer based in Turkey, has been producing solar panels for a long time, and has an elegant solution to the problem: a panel that produces both electricity and hot water. It turns out that the Solimpeks Volther dual-use panels increase efficiency more than you might expect.
Kraftplex and Wellboard are two wood-based products made by Well Ausstellungssystem Gmbh. They’re intended for flat-panel applications, furniture design, and more, and they’re both made from 100% cellulose. That means there is no formaldehyde added in adhesives or binders (although there is some naturally occurring formaldehyde in wood). The difference between the two is that Kraftplex is a flat sheet of the material, and Wellboard comes in a few different corrugated profiles.
Once again, there is discussion in the U.S. Green Building Council (“USGBC”) to allow other wood certifying organizations to have a place within the LEED guidelines for green construction. The new Pilot Credit 43 [PDF] for certified products would allow several wood certifications — e.g., Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, American Tree Farm — to contribute to a point under the trial credit.
A new paint technology from Sherwin-Williams has received an innovation award from the Environmental Protection Agency this week. The company’s Water-Based Acrylic Alkyd Technology, or WBAAT, is being awarded a 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in the Designing Greener Chemicals category. The paint uses soybean oil and recycled PET plastic bottles to replace oil typically used in alkyd paint and, in doing so, reduces VOCs in the paint by 60%.
New possibilities with plywood are possible with Corelam, a Canadian manufactured “multi-use corrugated veneer plywood panel product” which we noticed recently at the industrial design site Core77 (no relation to Corelam despite the similar name). The distinctive corrugated wood panels are made with FSC wood and adhesives that do not off-gas formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds.