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A Wood Panel System for Passivhaus

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.

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New Glazed Brick for Eco-Friendly Design

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.

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SmartDeco is Simple, Affordable, and Green

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).

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New Elements Surface Launches in Texas

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.

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Ivory Dream is an Eco-Friendly Mosaic

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.

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The Light Bulb as a Home Appliance

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.

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