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Empowerhome – The Sustainable Net-Zero Home of the Future


Empowerhome - The Sustainable Net-Zero Home of the Future

The Empowerhouse, a home that produces all of its own energy, has just been built in a Washington D.C. neighborhood. It was designed by students at the New School and Stevens Institute of Technology as part of a Solar Decathlon design competition, which partnered with the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development. This made one of the competition’s homes a reality for the first time ever. Read more »

Buy American: Earth-Friendly Stone and Tile from GREENSTONE

When you’re looking for exterior paving stone or interior tile made from 100% post-industrial waste, you’ll want to have a look at GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products.

Green building products materials tile

Green building products materials tile

American-owned and operated in Winder, Georgia, you’ll feel good about buying local with these materials that are made of locally-sourced raw materials from countertop fabricators that would normally end up in landfills. Read more »

Windows That Help with LEED Certification

This is the third installment in our series called Energy-Efficient Windows 101 made possible by Marvin Windows and Doors. In the previous article, I discussed some of the product options available for your energy-efficient windows. For this article I want to focus on how Marvin windows contribute towards a home’s efficiency and LEED certification.
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13 Reasons to Plan a Foam-Free Enclosure

Spray foam has been the subject of much discussion in green building circles.  Whether the concern is installation safety or global warming potential or better energy performance, it seems there’s no shortage of debate.  Along these lines, the guys at 475 High Performance Building Supply, a Brooklyn-based provider of products for high-performance projects, have a list describing 13 ways foam fails, starting with the “dangerous toxic ingredients.

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Wood Fiber Insulation Arrives in the USA

Looks like wood-fiber insulation board is coming to the USA, according to a Greenbuild update on Green Building Advisor.  Agepan THD is the name of the product and it’s used as exterior sheathing for walls and roofs.  Agepan boards connect in tongue and groove fashion and insulate to R-5.74 per panel (2″ x 74.5″ x 23-5/8″).  The material has a high permeability (18 U.S. perms) and can be used in a wall assembly to dry to the exterior.  It’s offered through Washington-based The Small Planet Workshop Store.

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Omni Block is an Insulated Concrete Block

I noticed in Dwell‘s Prefab edition that one prefab was partially built with an innovative concrete masonry unit (CMU) by Nevada-based Omni Block.  Omni Block is a structural CMU filled with Expanded Polystyrene inserts.  Walls with Omni Block can be finished or, in the case of the Simpatico project (see below), left exposed for a modern interior or exterior.  The manufacturer says the material is fire resistant, durable, and thermally efficient, and the blocks come in colors or with special aggregates.

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