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A Perspective of Green Building [Quotable]

Bruce Irving

"Truth is, I’ve been a skeptic about many aspects of the green building movement.  My eyebrow arches when, for example, someone uses bamboo flooring (which is held together with lots and lots of glue, often containing formaldehyde, and is shipped to the US on bunker-oil-burning ships) to floor a new ‘green’ 11,000 sf house.  Tough too to get on board when magazines feature low-VOC paints on one page and walk-in showers with multiple heads and bodywashers on another.  Greenwashing, marketing whatever’s hot, and just trying to make ourselves feel better as we change almost nothing about our consumption habits — the suspicion of these plus the thought that a year’s worth of green living is negated by 2 minutes operation of a coal-powered electricity plant … you get the picture … but after my time in the desert of cynicism, I’ve been reminded that every little bit helps, and just because larger forces are at work doesn’t mean we do nothing as individuals—as long as we keep lobbying against the big stuff, like coal-powered electricity plants."

     — Bruce Irving, Renovation Consultant, former producer of This Old House

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Any Thoughts on Quick Crete's Greener Concrete Mix?

Ecocasttiles After extensive R&D, Quick Crete was able to come up with a house blend of greener concrete called Ecocast.  Ecocast is made of 70% post-consumer and industrial waste.  The blend may help contribute towards LEED credits for your project and contains recycled aggregates and other materials such as pozzolans.  The new formula produces an average compressive strength of 5000 P.S.I. in 28 days and comes in four colors: strata, geo, erosion, and stone.  Ecocast can be used in standard and custom designs, so check it out to see if it’s better than what you’re currently using.  Anyone have any experience using Ecocast?

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Énóvo House, Modular and At One With Nature

Énóvo House

I pulled out the April issue of Dwell this weekend and noticed an ad for the Énóvo House.  My interest was piqued by reading the copy, so I went online to research more.  There’s a website for the Énóvo House, which is currently being built just north of Montreal.  But from my research, the Énóvo name seems to represent something bigger — the idea that a green, modular home can evolve with the needs of the owner.  According to the website, Énóvo can be adapted to most any terrain, and because it’s configured by modules, the design can morph according to the various particularities of an owner’s life and needs. 

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Botanist Fuses Style and Sustainability

Margo Chase

I received an email about Orange22’s launch of the Botanist Blank Canvas Project at ICFF and it looks pretty interesting.  Orange22 enlisted the help of eight iconic designers to place their fingerprint on the popular Botanist line of indoor/outdoor furniture.  The designers include Yves Behar, Margo Chase, Milton Glaser, Kahi Lee, Karim Rashid, Joe Ricchio, Massimo + Lella Vignelli, and Claude Zellweger.  Pieces come in a variety of designs and can be used as end tables, benches, cocktail tables, or anything else you can think of.

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Projects Recognized for Green Roofs, Living Walls

Vancouver Aquarium Green Wall

Recently, several green roof/wall projects were honored by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities established the Green Roof Awards of Excellence in 2003 with an aim to increase general awareness of green roofs and walls and spread awareness of their benefits. This year, seven projects in various categories received Green Roof Awards of Excellence and here they are:

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Great Selection, Quality from Elmwood Reclaimed Timber

Elmwood Reclaimed Timber

Elmwood Reclaimed Timber is a Missouri based company that reclaims old wood to give it a brand new life.  They offer products ranging from stair treads and cabinetry lumber to flooring and beams.  They have an incredible range of wood species offered including oak, elm, pine, walnut, redwood and their own special mixes such as "Vermont Moonlight Medley" (shown above). 

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