The main driver for the performance and affordability of the recently-mentioned Rainbow Duplex is a panelized prefab system of construction that was designed to help projects meet the Passive House standard. BC Passive House in Canada has a manufacturing plant that’s making these panels, and I thought it would be interesting to share what’s inside the company’s next-gen, high-performance panels.
Fireclay Tile recently announced “the most sustainable glazed brick ever produced” with a new Glazed Thin Brick for interior and exterior applications. The brick is available in nine colors and made in the USA with a skinny brick sourced from McNear Brick and Block near San Jose, California. Glazed Thin Brick has anywhere from 30-90% post-consumer recycled content and a lead- and VOC-free glaze.
Here’s an interesting product that got its start with a successful funding from Kickstarter. SmartDeco is affordable, engineered, blank furniture made with 100% recyclable Enviroboard — a light-weight corrugated fiberboard, like cardboard, but with a middle layer of oscillating arcs for strength. The flat-pack furniture is made in California and folds in places without the need of tools. Available pieces include a stand, dresser, and desk, and all of these items are available for about $65 or less each (white costs a little more).
Elements by Durcon is officially launching in the DFW market in Texas, where it is also manufactured (about 200 miles from Dallas in Taylor). The eco-friendly surface is made with a proprietary blend of at least 10% post-consumer recycled glass, natural quartz minerals, and resin to create a low-VOC material that’s solid, non-porous, and “never requires sealing,” according to Durcon.
Italy-based Benetti Stone Philosophy makes a beautiful mosaic surface called Ivory Dream, which is made from vegetable ivory. In this case, the vegetable ivory — which was used to make buttons before plastic became popular — comes from the seed of an Amazon palm tree called Tagua. The seed is hand-harvested without causing any damage and is then cut and supplied for use as a floor, covering, or other surface mosaic.
I’m sure by now you’ve read some of the political talk circulating the web as a result of a recent article by The Washington Post about the Philips LED bulb that won the L Prize and $10 million. The contest was meant to spur lighting innovation and make LEDs more affordable, but readers noted the bulb’s unrebated MSRP of $50 and basically flipped out.
Even Energy Secretary Chu commented on the price: “Nobody expects to pay $50 for a light bulb and quite candidly, if you’re filling your house with light bulbs like that, they should be part of your will,” according to Andrew Restuccia of The Hill.