While green homes often sport all manner of technical solutions to keep them optimized and efficient, the landscaping can have a significant effect on the building and its energy use. Site orientation and landscape can also be powerful tools to control the energy needs of a building. While it’s not practical to reorient most homes, in many cases you can still make improvements by planting trees.
Productive Building is a recycled and recyclable building system concept that was recently demonstrated for the construction of Greenhouse, a temporary, and entirely waste free, restaurant on the waterfront in Sydney, Australia. The Productive Building system is an intriguing and fast way of creating a building with steel, straw bales, and simple interior and exterior finishes.
In addition to dRain Joint, I also noticed this 100% recycled-content board called NewWood at the National Green Building Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City. The “wood” is actually a composite of recycled plastic and recycled wood that is locally sourced and manufactured in Elma, Washington.
U.S. demand for green building materials — products that contribute to LEED certification — is expected to reach $70 billion by 2015, according to an updated study by The Freedonia Group. The market is currently at $39 billion, representing a staggering increase of 13% per year during the next five years. This increase will come from green materials taking market share from non-green materials, but the main driver for demand is a rebound from the construction doldrums of recent years.
I walked the exhibitor floor at the National Green Building Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City and found a few interesting products like this dRain Joint by Arvis Eco. This is a rainwater management product — specifically, an inserted drainage channel — for pour-in-place surfaces in driveways and parking lots.
Every FSC product and building material has a tracking number that points to the source of the wood or paper. It shows, as explained in this personal story by Franke James, “Who Cares About the Forest.” If you’re in charge of purchasing wood products, you should watch this informative and thoughtful video (while keeping in mind that it was underwritten by FSC Canada).