The photograph above may not be what you would expect. The outdoor bench in this detail is not made from an unsustainably harvested tropical hardwood. The wood itself is actually maple, a widely available species that can be farmed and harvested without ripping up acres of rainforest. But maple and many other similar woods are too susceptible to decay and rot when used unprotected outdoors. The usual alternative has been treatment with chemical pressure treatment. Now, through a method called kebonization, a Norwegian company, Kebony ASA, treats soft woods in a non-toxic process that allows readily available woods to be used for outdoor uses.
When it comes picking a green surface material, there's a lot out there to choose from. And we're going to give you another option, Elements by Durcon. Elements is made with 10% post-consumer recycled glass, an epoxy resin, and fine quartz. Available in five main colors, Elements is non-porous and has inherent anti-fungal and anti-microbial characteristics. The surface does not require sealing, and according to Durcon, it will not off-gas.
Alright, so it's not exactly brand new — Kirei introduced Chocolate Bamboo back in September 2008 — but it has this deep, sophisticated look and we just haven't had the chance to mention it yet (well, Re-nest jogged our memory). The dark color is obtained through a secret, dark carbonizing process. The bamboo is made from sustainably harvested Moso bamboo grass and a low- or no-added urea formaldehyde adhesive to create the panels. If you're looking for something like this, look up a dealer.
At one time, Paradise Park Children's Centre in London had a lush vertical hydroponic garden covering certain portions of the structure. That time is no more, reports The Architects' Journal, the BBC, and the London Evening Standard. The building, designed by DSDHA, called for a living wall to mitigate against planting the structure on a portion of open park space. DSDHA retained landscape architect Marie Clarke and had the green wall system installed at a cost of £100,000.
If you're in the market for green, modern, designer-built furniture, make sure to check out Studio Nola. You can see a few examples below. These pieces are built with FSC certified woods, 90% recycled steel, zero-VOC powder coated paints, low-VOC sealers, and locally sourced materials. Plus, if you need one or a few shipped, Studio Nola will send them out on a carrier using the EPA's SmartWay transport system.
Turner Construction is substantially finished with New York City's largest green roof. The company, one of the largest green builders in the country, installed plants, grasses, and fourteen benches made of FSC certified lumber for the United States Postal Service (USPS). The 2.5-acre green roof sits on the Morgan Mail Processing Facility on West 28th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.
It's expected to reduce storm water runoff and save ~$30,000 each year in heating and cooling costs.