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VitraStone Eco-Friendly Sinks + Surfaces

Wedgesink 2314cgrey

I’m excited about this post.  When it comes to surface materials, there’s a lot out there, and I’ve blogged about a few companies that have good products.  Concrete countertops appear on house flipping-type shows every now and then, so I thought it was time we all got to know VitraStone.  VitraStone products are made from 70-85% recycled content (post consumer & post industrial) such as recycled glass and fly ash blended with a proprietary mix of ceramic cement.  Products in the VitraStone line up include vessel sinks, sink tops, countertop systems, back splash, floor tiles, wall cladding, and furniture and accessories.  VitraStone is strong, too.  Scratch and chip resistant.  Freeze/thaw cycle resistant.  Mold resistant.  VitraStone products come in a variety of colors (as you will see below) for interior and exterior applications.  No off-gassing here. 

Couple cool things about VitraStone:  (1) you may get LEED credits for using these materials, and (2) VitraStone offers free design services to create 3-dimensional layouts for client approvals (or they’ll work directly with architectural specifications).  Matter of fact, the green building store here in Salt Lake City carries VitraStone, so maybe I can push the old landlord into a green kitchen renovation?  Any thoughts …

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Trend Q: Modern, Green All Surface Material

Trend Q

Trend USA has just released details of their new engineered, agglomerate stone product called "Trend Q."  Trend Q is a USA-made, 1/4" surface material that is impervious to stains and fading.  It can be made in sizes as small as 12" tiles and as large as 10′ x 4′ slabs.  Containing up to 72% post consumer recycled content, Trend Q not only contributes to LEED certification, but it comes in a veritable cornucopia of colors.  Organic neutral.  Fiery orange.  Brilliant red.  You name it.  Another cool aspect of the product is that it’s made to be applied to all types of surfaces, whether it’s walls, counters, or floors.  Just bust out the water jet machine and make that magic happen. 

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VERDIER Solar Power Camper, Rethinking Westfalia VW

Verdier Solar Power Camper

Based on the old "hippy" classic VW Westfalia camper, Alexandre Verdier has completely redesigned the Westfalia into a modern, green camper with major appeal.  This camper is powered by a 200 hp hybrid (fuel or diesel) + electric engine.  Some other features include solar panels on the camper roof (40 watt – 12 volt), GPS navigation, wireless internet, and a sink with 4 spots for cooking.  Priced at $69,000, I’m thinking there’s market for something like this.  Don’t you?  Video + images below; via Modern Flat

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Josh Dorfman: The Lazy Environmentalist

The_lazy_environmentalist A couple months ago, I wrote about Josh Dorfman and his Modern Green Living directory, so I wanted to kick out a shout for his new book in stores now.  For some reason I thought the book was coming out in August and had it on pre-order, but it never came.  Today, I was surprised to see it on the shelf, so I bought it on the spot.  With The Lazy Environmentalist, you’re not overpaying for the hardback variety just to get good information.  It’s out in sturdy paperback.  And if you’re wondering about taking the plunge, there are two good interviews of the author at Treehugger and Green Options.  Josh is smart and extremely informed on the subject of environmentalism.  Don’t be fooled about the "lazy" moniker.  There’s nothing lazy to his approach.  The way I see it, Josh is bridging the gap between idealism and behavior, finding ways for everyone to live happier, healthier, and more plentifully.  $10.17-$14.95

Construction Waste: Singh Intrachooto + OSISU

Tilee Bench

Recently, I’ve run across the work of an environmentally friendly Thai architect named Singh Intrachooto.  Singh saw a problem in the industry and decided to do something to close the loop.  If you’ve ever been involved with construction of any form, you know there’s tons of wasted materials.  That’s where Singh comes in.  He takes left over scrap from construction sites and designs furniture with them, each piece being different depending on the size and shape of the materials that get salvaged.  Now, Singh’s furniture has exploded and is on display in Los Angeles and Paris.   

Singh sells the furniture via his website, OSISU, but I’m not necessarily advocating the purchase of his work.  It’s incredible and inspiring, but we have our own construction waste here in the U.S.  We have tons of it.  And it’s going straight to the landfill.  Why not find value in that trash?  Let’s close the loop and put good materials to use.  With Singh, it was just about 18 months ago that he decided to start making this furniture, and in his words, "people thought he was crazy."  Now it’s getting big-time coverage all over the media.  All it takes is asking the construction workers to set aside scraps like wood, steel, and concrete.  The pieces pictured were made from reclaimed teak morsels.  Via reuters


Riverhouse, One Rockefeller Park = Greenest Residential Building on East Coast? [S2]

Riverhouse Riverhouse, or One Rockefeller Park, is slated to open in late 2007 in Manhattan, and the word on the street is that it could be one of the greenest, most stylish residential developments on the East Coast.  The developer, Sheldrake Organization, is planning on LEED Gold certification for the building.  To do that, Sheldrake has enlisted the help of Polshek Partnership Architects for the exterior design and Ismael Leyva Architects for the interior design.  In addition, the famous Rockwell Group is working on interior design for the one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences and other aspects of the building. 

Green Features:
Here’s a list of some of the things the developer will do:  use recycled wastewater for cooling the tower and landscaping; generate electricity from solar photovoltaic panels on the roof; draw in natural lighting without heat gain by using low-E, double-pane glass; use Energy Star appliances to save energy and Toto dual-flush toilets to save water; construct the building with about 20% recycled materials and recycle over 80% of the construction waste; and acquire over 40% of the building materials locally.

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