Concrete is everywhere in construction, so I like to note what’s happening to make concrete “greener.“ CarbonCure Technologies, Inc. licenses technology in North America to make, for example, carbon-absorbed concrete blocks and other precast products. Basically, CO2 is injected during curing — making limestone — with the end result being a stronger, greener masonry and other precast products.
I noticed in Dwell‘s Prefab edition that one prefab was partially built with an innovative concrete masonry unit (CMU) by Nevada-based Omni Block. Omni Block is a structural CMU filled with Expanded Polystyrene inserts. Walls with Omni Block can be finished or, in the case of the Simpatico project (see below), left exposed for a modern interior or exterior. The manufacturer says the material is fire resistant, durable, and thermally efficient, and the blocks come in colors or with special aggregates.
Portland-based Terra Bona Materials launched Terralite Cement at Greenbuild this year hoping to deliver a product that meets the energy-efficiency demands of the greater building science community. Terralite is a “lightweight” product made with cement and an aggregate that includes expanded polystyrene. Marketing materials claim the product is 20% of the weight of traditional concrete and, according to company president Terry Cotton, insulative with an R-value of 1.8 per inch.
This is another installment in our series called Energy-Efficient Windows 101 made possible by Marvin Windows and Doors. In our first article of the series, I discussed some window basics and how to read a home window label. Now I want to discuss more product options available for your energy-efficient windows. When you buy Marvin windows, you’ll have the opportunity to decide how many panes you need and which glazing and gas options can contribute towards your home performance goals and well as maximize your comfort.
This week Massachusetts-based Osram Sylvania announced a 100-watt replacement LED light bulb that uses only 20 watts of energy. In fact, the company claims it’s the first to market with such a replacement offering. Sylvania Ultra LED is an A21 bulb (larger than the A19 shape) with a rated life of up to 25,000 hours, a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin, and a CRI of 80. The LED bulb outputs 1600 lumens, according to LEDs Magazine, and is expected to sell for about $50 at Lowe’s.