London and Dallas-based Accsys Technologies recently announced a new variant of the modified wood product Accoya, but this one is made with North American red alder. The company puts wood through a proprietary acetylation process in whichwood molecules that want to bond with water are replaced with more stable acetyl groups. This improves durability, hardness, water absorption, and dimensional stability.
I’m catching up on some reading and noticed a great article in the October issue of Dwell by @DianaBudds. In “Counter Arguments,” Dwell shares its findings from putting seven eco-friendly surfaces to test with stains, spills, cleaver chops, and falling objects. We’ve mentioned most of these surfaces previously, but some of Dwell‘s findings are summarized below in case you’re thinking about an upgrade or purchase.
Keeping our tootsies pampered during midnight trips to the bathroom is a job any carpet can handle. But clean the air of all that icky stuff floating around that we know is there but glad we can’t see? According to Dutch carpet manufacturer Desso, their new carpet line AirMaster can greatly reduce the concentration of that microscopic particulate matter to improve indoor air quality eight times better than hardwood floors. Tall claim, but they have several independent studies backing it up.
After five years of internal and third-party testing, Boral USA today announced the introduction of TruExterior Trim, an exterior trim material made with a blend of bio-based polymers and coal combustion product materials. The poly-ash product contains a minimum of 70% recycled content and a Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver designation.
K-tect Sustainable Building Systems makes a wall system that the company calls the “newest generation of structural insulated panels.” Although not a sandwich panel, the system is kind of like rSTUD but different and more comprehensive. K-tect includes a light-gauge, metal-stud frame with insulation in a thermally broken assembly (see below) that improves thermal efficiency and controls noise.
Once again, there is discussion in the U.S. Green Building Council (“USGBC”) to allow other wood certifying organizations to have a place within the LEED guidelines for green construction. The new Pilot Credit 43 [PDF] for certified products would allow several wood certifications — e.g., Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, American Tree Farm — to contribute to a point under the trial credit.