CalStar Products makes brick with a proprietary manufacturing process and a binder of fly ash. By using fly ash, the company diverts waste from the landfill (37% recycled content) and eliminates energy-intensive firing — these bricks are cured overnight at temperatures below 200° F, according to CalStar. To give the market comfort with their sustainability claims, CalStar obtained a lifecycle analysis (LCA) from Perkins + Will and published the results in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
These are Interwoven Eco-Panels by New York-based Architectural Systems, Inc. The company has tons of green materials for retail, hospitality, and entertainment projects, etc, but these interlocking panels would work as a focal point in a multifamily- or single-family project, too. They come in walnut, maple, and American oak with no VOCs and FSC-certified wood, upon request. Interwoven panels may contribute toward LEED credits for low-emitting materials and certified wood, according to ASI.
Zero Cottage — a net-zero energy project pursuing Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, Green Point Rated, and Passive House certifications — is finishing nicely. Part of the exterior has a handsome rainscreen of vertical cedar battens and salvaged maple flooring. The maple strips were charred with a roofing torch shou sugi ban–, or yakisugi-, style for longevity and aesthetics. The result is a clean and modern look.
Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House. It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.” The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil. Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.
California-based Fireclay Tile today announced a new collaboration with designer Kelly LaPlante to create a line of eco-friendly tile. The Runway Collection has four custom patterns inspired by fashion: Cravat, an interpretation of houndstooth, Chaine Femme, a nod to interlocking chains in jewelry and belts, Chaine Homme, a masculine version of Chaine Femme, and Corset, which is inspired by corsets and lace-ups on footwear.
Reclaimed wood is a growing category of floor covering, and that is good news both for consumers and for the environment. Because of the popularity of reclaimed wood flooring, there are more and more affordable choices than ever. Sourcing just the right material for your home is still a little more work than buying off the shelf at your local flooring store, but armed with some basic information before you start talking to suppliers will make finding your perfect floor much easier. Not all suppliers are created equal, either. In most cases it is worthwhile to do due-diligence to make sure the company is reliable, established and has consistent stock before you fall in love with a particular style.