You’ve probably seen bamboo tile, but have you seen some of the handcrafted wood tile from Colorado-based Everitt & Schilling Company. They offer a Trail Mix series (pictured above) that is made from the scraps — alder, poplar, oak, walnut, hickory — of cabinet and door makers. E&S also has a few country-luxe lines made with reclaimed barnwood and finished with water based, low VOC finishes. Re-Claimed Barnwood tiles come in 2×2, 4×4, 2×8, and 4×8 with various configurations. Pricing varies and can be provided upon request, though I understand it starts at around $24 per square foot.
North Carolina-based Meld USA, maker of several materials we’ve mentioned including ecoX, Micro, and Plus Plus, introduced a new material in the last year called Luxe. Luxe is made in Raleigh with up to 74% pre-consumer recycled-content material and can be used with various products, including countertops, tiles, and wall paneling. Meld offers six standard colors — Natural, Cement, Graphite, Saddleback, Caper and Southern Mud — and basically infinite custom colors.
Tetra Pak and similar gable-top cartons have many advantages such as keeping food fresher for a longer period of time. However, one drawback has been that these polyethylene-coated packages cannot be processed in most curbside recycling programs. The ReWall Company, on the other hand, can’t get enough of the stuff.
I’m fascinated by the work of Netherlands-based Dave Hakkens in a recent project called “Rubble Floor.” Interested in reusing old building materials as new building materials — and inspired by terrazzo floors — Hakkens conducted several tests on materials such as roof tiles, bricks, nails and screws, and glass. He used concrete as the binder and crushed old materials into pigments and fillers. In the end, Hakkens found it’s entirely possible to make new materials with the old.
San Diego-based DuChateau Floors, maker of luxe natural flooring, just announced a new collection that replicates the popular look of reclaimed barn wood. The Heritage Timber Edition is made with FSC-certified European white oak and then distressed with surface scrapes, nail holes, notches, and saw kerf marks reminiscent of salvaged textures. Heritage has an environmentally friendly, zero-VOC, preservative-free, hard wax oil finish with planks of 7-7/16″ wide. Pricing starts at $12 per square foot.
When the Museum of Science and Technology in Chicago wanted a “smart” house on their grounds to showcase energy-efficient and healthy living at its best, architect Michelle Kaufmann was a natural choice to design it. After all, her passion for sustainability, coupled with an impeccable eye for style and plenty of award-winning projects under her belt, has made Michelle an authority on good green design. The Smart Home: Green and Wired exhibit has inspired thousands of visitors with its perfect mix of high and low-tech green building techniques, materials and gadgets in a friendly, modern setting.
Current and recent projects for Michelle Kaufmann Studio include a sustainable neighborhood, a co-housing complex for some very with-it Franciscan nuns, and several private residences for green-minded clients. With so much hands-on experience with many of the materials and technologies we write about here at Jetson Green, I was eager to pick Michelle’s brain.
I proposed a series of open-ended questions starting with “What is the one green product …”, hoping the busy designer would find it a fun, thought-provoking exercise. Luckily she did — and I hope you find her responses as illuminating and insightful as I have!