Tetra Pak and similar gable-top cartons have many advantages such as keeping food fresher for a longer period of time. However, one drawback has been that these polyethylene-coated packages cannot be processed in most curbside recycling programs. The ReWall Company, on the other hand, can’t get enough of the stuff.
I’m fascinated by the work of Netherlands-based Dave Hakkens in a recent project called “Rubble Floor.” Interested in reusing old building materials as new building materials — and inspired by terrazzo floors — Hakkens conducted several tests on materials such as roof tiles, bricks, nails and screws, and glass. He used concrete as the binder and crushed old materials into pigments and fillers. In the end, Hakkens found it’s entirely possible to make new materials with the old.
When Vanillawood founders Kricken and James Yaker outgrew their home office and started shopping for a design studio in Portland’s hot Pearl District, opening a retail store was the farthest thing from their mind. Yet they happened upon a 1000 square-foot warehouse with beautiful natural light and too-good-to-pass-up lease terms, so the design/build team seized the opportunity to showcase their organic contemporary style.
When Aquafil began manufacturing carpet fiber almost 50 years ago, sustainability wasn’t an option but a must. Doing business in the Lake Garda region of Italy, where environmental protection has always been top priority, meant constantly innovating to keep up with strict mandates on noise, water, and air pollution. “Preserving the environment is in our DNA,” says Giulio Bonazzi, President and CEO of what is now the second largest worldwide supplier of Nylon 6 yarn for carpet producers like Interface and Desso. A timeline of unprecedented milestones, including the recovery and reuse of all their own internal production waste, has led to their most important environmental undertaking to date: the Econyl Recycling Project.
Today my alma mater Southern Methodist University celebrates a new master’s degree program in sustainability and development. The degree covers sustainability-related topics from policy to design in both developed and developing worlds. SMU will kick off the endeavor mid-day Friday with London sustainability strategist Peter Bishop and the unveiling of a low-cost Pallet House prototype designed by I-Beam Design.
Oregon-based Viridian Wood Products, maker of shipping pallet flooring, recently introduced a line of new architectural-grade veneer panels made with reclaimed North American wood. The 4′x8′ panels include old-growth redwood previously used in wine tanks, Oregon black walnut reclaimed from urban salvage, and old-growth Douglas fir from warehouse deconstruction.