If you work with LEED, you’re familiar with FSC, and if you read good books and magazines, you’ve probably seen both SFI and FSC. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) both certify and provide labels for wood and paper products. Consumers look to these for comfort with regard to environmental impact and sustainable harvesting of wood, but after you read Monte Paulsen’s five-part series on the topic for The Tyee, you may not be so sure about what’s going on.
The same folks behind Bio-Glass, Coverings Etc, recently sent us information on another interesting product, Bio-Luminum. Bio-Luminum tiles are made from 100% recycled aluminum salvaged from retired aircrafts. Available with a beveled edge on one side and straight edge on the other, the company says the strength of aircraft aluminum makes this product perfect for high-traffic flooring and high-end wall treatments.
Sustainable design start-up SMIT has been working on solar and wind powered facade technology for a while under the GROW moniker. Now, the company is about to blow the lid off the solar-powered GROW with commercial availability. SMIT is using a new name and website, Solar Ivy, for the biomimicry-inspired innovation made with recyclable polyethylene leaves, Konarka Power Plastic organic photovoltaics, and a structural stainless steel mesh system.
Sustain Design Studio, based out of Toronto, makes contemporary prefab green homes, including the popular miniHome. They’re small and approachable in price terms but require no sacrifice of style. This home, the 12×36 TRIO, currently located in Brighton, Ontario, has about 400 square-feet of living space, including a master bedroom, kitchen with open living space, and a bathroom.
Most of the energy monitoring tools on the market right now gather aggregate information about the overall electricity use of a home. But the new eMonitor from PowerHouse Dynamics could change all this with circuit level monitoring. The eMonitor solution combines hardware, software, and service elements to provide home electricity use, electricity cost, and carbon footprint information by the minute. Past and present information is then available online and on the iPhone (starting in about Q2 2010).
Nearly two years ago, I followed reports by Curbed LA, which was tracking the sale of the Office of Mobile Design's ShowHouse. At the time, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom home was listed at $175,000, and I always wondered what happened with it — until the other day when Allison Arieff tweeted a photo of the Jennifer Siegal-designed structure on a beautiful desert lot. The 720 square-foot portable house found a new home.