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School Built with Bottles, Trash, and $3k

Guatemala-kutner-school

This school in the village of Granados in central Guatemala is a fascinating display of ingenuity and recycling.  According to an article in The Oregonian, Peace Corps volunteer Laura Kutner came up with the idea of finishing the construction of a school with the abundance of plastic waste in the area.  With the help of the local community, volunteers from Hug It Forward, and $3,000, the school was completed and painted in a vibrant orange color. 

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Turn Heads with Natural Bark Shingles

Nan-chase-bark-shingles

When searching for a green exterior cladding material, you may consider a corrugated, recycled, or composite material.  But if you're really looking to wear environmentalism on your sleeve, natural bark is gaining popularity these days.  The best bark shingles can last 75 years and contain no chemicals.  Recently, Nan Chase, co-author of Bark House Style, recently contributed an interesting article to The Christian Science Monitor about using bark shingles on her new home in Asheville, North Carolina. 

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10 Shipping Container Projects of 2009

Stacked-shipping-containers

If there's something we're seeing more of it's container projects.  And nothing brings out emotion like a shipping container project.  Some argue that the benefits of using containers for a structure's framework are negligible, if any, while others argue that container projects are too austere.  Or industrial.  Nonetheless, as long as you're building with old containers, we'll likely keep talking about the greener ones.  In the mean time, feel free to review the best of this year (click the text links for more images and information).

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Top 15 Green Products [ED+C Magazine]

Wood-works-fsc-ceiling-panels

At the end of each year, Environmental Design + Construction magazine reviews products mentioned in its New+Notable and Products Focus sections.  The magazine next examines these products for the fifteen that received the most reader requests.  ED+C's 2009 Top Products contains a number of entries designed to save water or manage water.  You've probably seen some of these products already, whether on BuildingGreen's Top-10 Green Building Products list or in our green materials archives.  If not, check these out:

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Koda Recycled Content Exterior Material

Koda-xt-train-color

We first saw this 3form material, Koda XT, with the wavy transit shelters in San Francisco.  Designed by Lundberg Design, the colorful transit shelters use a custom configuration of Koda XT, a material made of 40% pre-consumer recycled content.  3form says Koda XT is the only architectural polycarbonate material available to use towards LEED MR 4.1 for recycled content.

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Elements, a New Green Surface Option

Durcon

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. 

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