If you want to wind up a building scientist, you might mention the topic of insulation. Better yet, mention the advent of expanded cork insulation in the United States from Portugal-based Amorim Isolamentos. The insulation is made from leftover material from cork bottle stopper production which is heated and sliced into boards, according to Alex Wilson of BuildingGreen. Thus, the insulation is rapidly renewable and entirely natural.
Today Stramit USA announced the launch of a material manufacturing company operating out of an 88,000 square-foot facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The company has been working with Stramit UK for 16 months to import the process that creates a proprietary and rigid Compressed Agricultural Fiber (CAF) product — made with agricultural waste wheat straw — that can be used for walls, panels, flooring, doors, and furniture.
David Hanacek of EcoCycle Solutions loves to think up practical, cost-effective building products that make a big impact on efficiency. Take his Flow-Thru Finisher for example, a handy little caulk gun attachment that helps get adhesive exactly where and how you want it. Before that, it was a clog-free drain device and lightweight steel shipping pallets. But it’s his new invention, the CanCoverIt, that gets him most excited. After all, what looks like a ho-hum, odd-looking box is actually a breakthrough invention that can save countless kilowatts and millions of dollars for homeowners. Read more »
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.
Insulation is one tough nut to crack. As if you don’t already have several options and factors to consider, I thought I’d mention one more: natural wool insulation by Oregon Shepherd. The company makes batt (PermaBatt) and loose fill (PermaLoft) insulation products, and they both look pretty impressive on paper. Oregon Shepard believes they have the “only loose fill, blown-in wool insulation in the world.”
Alex Wilson, this year's winner of the Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing, selected EnGuard Insulation by Vita Nonwovens as the BuildingGreen Product of the Week following Greenbuild in Chicago. The 100% polyester insulation product is made with recycled plastic bottles, or, more specifically, 15% post-consumer and 35% pre-consumer recycled content.