If you saw last night’s episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which I had the fun opportunity to work on, you might have noticed several green elements in the home. The home has water-efficient Kohler products, rooftop solar, a green trellis and solar wall, etc. It also has lots of copper products — due to the connection with Kennecott and Rio Tinto — such as this Japanese-style tub made with 99.7% pure recycled-content copper. The 200-pound, hand-hammered ofuro made an appearance on TV by donation from Premier Copper Products. The fully recyclable tub retails for $9,999.
3form makes a resin panel called 100 Percent with 100% post-consumer, recycled, high-density polyethylene. Each panel includes more than 1,000 old milk bottles and can help a project team earn a couple LEED credits. Well, this year — in time for ICFF, NeoCon, and other design shows — 3form unveiled LineUp, a new 100 Percent collection available in two pattern directions and four colors (beach, husk, stream, and turf). The collection is suitable for countertops and tabletops, and the panels are 4″ x 8″.
Cali Bamboo is now offering a new product, BamDeck, which is a composite material made with 100% recycled content — 60% recycled bamboo fibers, 40% recycled plastics. It’s twice as dense and strong as the leading competitor, according to Cali Bamboo, and doesn’t require sealing, painting, or refinishing. BamDeck comes in four colors (natural, coffee, caramel, and slate) and three surface options (smooth, rigid, or alternating). Quotes available through Cali Bamboo.
Today CalStar Products unveiled a new Thru-Wall unit which combines the structural properties of standard concrete masonry unit with the look of a traditional brick wall. The units are half as tall as standard concrete blocks but still strong enough to do the job of a brick. Plus, the Thru-Wall unit is made with 40% post-industrial recycled material, fly ash, and comes in several different colors.
Wooden shipping pallets are typically a low-end commodity. Sometimes a pallet will get reused a few times before it ends up being scrapped or used as firewood. But Icelander Högni Stefan Thorgeirsson, owner of Iceland-based Arctic Plank, found a better use for it and produces flooring made from upcycled used pallet wood.
In an economic climate that has companies hunkering down rather than innovating, sustainability leader Kliptech has spent considerable effort making their EcoTop recycled-paper countertops even more environmentally-friendly and affordable. This extremely durable surface material already received plenty of LEED points for its high recycled content — and at $35sq/ft, EcoTop was a pretty good deal.
So why mess with a good thing?