CalStar Publishes EPD for Fly Ash Brick

CalStar Products makes brick with a proprietary manufacturing process and a binder of fly ash.  By using fly ash, the company diverts waste from the landfill (37% recycled content) and eliminates energy-intensive firing — these bricks are cured overnight at temperatures below 200° F, according to CalStar.  To give the market comfort with their sustainability claims, CalStar obtained a lifecycle analysis (LCA) from Perkins + Will and published the results in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).


By |November 25th, 2012|Materials, Recycled|4 Comments

FSC Wood Interwoven Eco Panels by ASI

These are Interwoven Eco-Panels by New York-based Architectural Systems, Inc.  The company has tons of green materials for retail, hospitality, and entertainment projects, etc, but these interlocking panels would work as a focal point in a multifamily- or single-family project, too.  They come in walnut, maple, and American oak with no VOCs and FSC-certified wood, upon request.  Interwoven panels may contribute toward LEED credits for low-emitting materials and certified wood, according to ASI.


By |November 20th, 2012|Materials, Modern design|0 Comments

Low-Tech Rainscreen with Charred Wood

Zero Cottage — a net-zero energy project pursuing Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, Green Point Rated, and Passive House certifications — is finishing nicely. Part of the exterior has a handsome rainscreen of vertical cedar battens and salvaged maple flooring.  The maple strips were charred with a roofing torch shou sugi ban, or yakisugi-, style for longevity and aesthetics.  The result is a clean and modern look.


By |November 15th, 2012|Materials|0 Comments

Recycled Bottle Bubble Light by Souda

New York City-based Souda, a design and manufacturing company co-founded by Isaac Friedman-Heiman and Shaun Kasperbauer, recently shared a new project called Bubble Chandelier with Jetson Green.  Kasperbauer said the light fixture is made with 60 two-liter, used soda bottles collected by homeless individuals and can collectors in the area.  The company collaborates with and returns a portion of sale proceeds to local Sure We Can to make each chandelier.  Souda has a two-week lead time for the 22-inch item, which runs on a CFL or LED bulb, preferably.  It’s available in clear or green from $780.00.


By |November 7th, 2012|Modern design, Products|0 Comments

Ecotec is a Soy Oil Based Solid Surface

Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House.  It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.”  The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil.  Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.


By |October 31st, 2012|Materials, Surfaces|0 Comments

How to Read a Home Window Label

This is the beginning of our series called Energy-Efficient Windows 101 made possible by Marvin Windows and Doors.  For this first article, I want to talk about the various acronyms you might see on a home window label, or in window specification materials, so you’ll know more about what you’re reading.  When evaluating energy-efficient window options, Marvin suggests that you understand the basics of the following words and acronyms:


By |October 26th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Products|1 Comment