Taxonomy Term http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/1805/GreenSpec%20Insights en 6 Ways Our Household is Saving Water—And Energy http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/6-ways-our-household-saving-water-and-energy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Saving energy isn’t only about using less electricity and fuel; it’s about saving water.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Kohler_Bancroft_showerhead_1614_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Kohler_Bancroft_showerhead_1614_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Our 1.75 <abbr title="Gallons per minute (gpm) is a measurement of the flow rate of water faucets and fixtures."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1854">gpm</a></abbr> Kohler Bancroft showerhead.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">In this weekly blog, I’ve focused a lot of attention on the energy-saving measures at our new home—from the innovative insulation materials we used to the air-source <abbr title="A type of heating and/or cooling equipment that draws heat into a building from outside and, during the cooling season, ejects heat from the building to the outside. Heat pumps are vapor-compression refrigeration systems whose indoor/outdoor coils are used reversibly as condensers or evaporators, depending on the need for heating or cooling. In the 2003 CBECS, specific information was collected on whether the heat pump system was a packaged unit, residential-type split system, or individual room heat pump, and whether the heat pump was air source, ground source, or water source."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2404">heat pump</a></abbr> heating system and our top-efficiency <abbr title="A ventilation system that transmits heat from exhaust air to incoming fresh air."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2405">heat-recovery ventilator</a></abbr>. What I haven’t said much about are the measures we’ve taken to reduce water use and why these measures save energy as well.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/6-ways-our-household-saving-water-and-energy" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/6-ways-our-household-saving-water-and-energy#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:59:08 +0000 Alex Wilson 18517 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Urine Collection Beats Composting Toilets for Nutrient Recycling http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/urine-collection-beats-composting-toilets-nutrient-recycling <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Human urine collection and use provides a better way to recycle nutrients than use of <abbr title="Composting (or Nonwater) toilet systems are dry plumbing fixtures and fittings that contain and treat human waste via microbiological processes."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2304">composting toilets</a></abbr>.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Abe_Noe-Hays_5423_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Abe_Noe-Hays_5423_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Abe Noe-Hays of the Rich Earth Institute standing in front of a urine storage tank. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p>Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy this blog over a cup of coffee here’s an article on…urine?</p> <p class="Standard">Really?</p> <p class="Standard">Let me explain.</p> <p class="Standard">Urine is a largely sterile, nutrient-rich resource that can be used in fertilizing plants. In fact, according to the <a href="http://richearthinstitute.org/">Rich Earth Institute</a>, the urine from one adult in a year can provide the fertilizer for over 300 pounds of wheat—enough for nearly a loaf of bread per day.</p> <p class="Standard">The Rich Earth Institute is a Brattleboro, Vermont-based organization that’s at the leading edge of the little-known practice of urine collection and use—something that’s emerging in Sweden and a few other places. This past Friday night roughly 200 people gathered at the <a href="http://www.strollingoftheheifers.com/">Strolling of the Heifers</a>’ River Garden in downtown Brattleboro to hear Abe Noe-Hays and Kim Nace from the Rich Earth Institute, along with a New York City comedian/activist, Shawn Shafner, discuss the idea.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/urine-collection-beats-composting-toilets-nutrient-recycling" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/urine-collection-beats-composting-toilets-nutrient-recycling#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:20:12 +0000 Alex Wilson 18460 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Can This Man Reinvent Concrete? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/can-man-reinvent-concrete <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">A California company, Blue Planet, is reinventing concrete and envisions a world in which the 8 billion tons of concrete used each year sequester billions of tons of carbon dioxide.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Concrete_pour_1586_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Concrete_pour_1586_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Pouring the foundation for our Dummerston Home; someday soon, concrete may be able to sequester huge quantities of carbon.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">I’ve been in the San Francisco <abbr title="A bay is a component of a standard, rectilinear building design. It is the open area defined by a building element such as columns or a window. Typically, there are multiple identical bays in succession."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2239">Bay</a></abbr> Area for the past week speaking at various conferences. (When I travel I try to combine activities to assuage my guilt at burning all the fuel and emitting all that carbon dioxide to get there. Between conferences, I’m now spending time with my daughter in Petaluma and Napa.)</p> <p class="Standard">I spent three days last week at <a href="http://www.ecobuildnetwork.org/buildwell-2014">BuildWell</a>, a small conference organized by my friend and colleague Bruce King, P.E. that is focused on “innovative materials for a greener planet.” The roster of presenters included such well-known thought leaders as Ed Mazria, FAIA of <a href="http://www.architecture2030.org/">Architecture 2030</a>, who is leading an effort to shift to zero-carbon buildings by 2030; John Warner, Ph.D., the father of <a href="http://www.warnerbabcock.com/">Green Chemistry</a>, which is transforming manufacturing by reducing toxicity; and Mathis Wackernagel, the founder of the <a href="http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/">Global Footprint Network</a>.</p> <p class="Standard">A less-recognized presenter (and attendee throughout the three days) was <a href="http://biodesign.stanford.edu/bdn/people/bconstantz.jsp">Brent Constantz, Ph.D</a>., the founder and CEO of Blue Planet and a professor at Stanford University. (Blue Planet has no website currently.) Little did I know how audacious Constantz’s plans are: to reinvent concrete, transforming it from one of the world’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide into one of the most important tools to sequester the carbon dioxide emitted from power plants.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/can-man-reinvent-concrete" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/can-man-reinvent-concrete#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:06:49 +0000 Alex Wilson 18417 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Our Green Home Cost a Lot, But Yours Doesn't Have To http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/our-green-home-cost-lot-yours-doesnt-have <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Our house cost a lot more than I would have liked, but many of the ideas used in it could be implemented more affordably.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Exterior_from_NE_1218_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Exterior_from_NE_1218_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>We picked up these two salvaged garage doors for $500 total—while new they would have cost $3,500 apiece. Using salvaged materials can save a lot of money.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">My wife and I tried out a lot of innovative systems and materials in the renovation/rebuild of our Dummerston, Vermont home—some of which added considerably to the project cost. Alas!</p> <p class="Standard">The <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/safe-all-electric-induction-cooking-try-home">induction cooktop that I wrote about last week</a> is just one such example.</p> <p class="Standard">For me, the house has been a one-time opportunity to gain experience with state-of-the-art products and technologies, some of which are very new to the building industry (like <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/7/30/Expanded-Cork-All-Natural-Rigid-Boardstock-Insulation/">cork insulation</a>, which was expensive both to buy and to install). We spent a lot experimenting with new materials, construction details, and building systems. While we haven’t tallied up all the costs, we think that the house came in at about $250 per square foot.</p> <p class="Standard">All this has raised the very reasonable question about <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2014/3/3/How-to-Build-Green-At-No-Added-Cost/">whether all this green-building stuff is only feasible for high-budget projects</a>.</p> <p class="Standard">So I’ve been thinking about what lessons from our project would be applicable to more budget-conscious retrofits. Here are some thoughts. (Also see our recent <em>EBN</em> feature article,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2014/3/3/How-to-Build-Green-At-No-Added-Cost/">How to Build Green At No Added Cost</a>.)</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/our-green-home-cost-lot-yours-doesnt-have" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/our-green-home-cost-lot-yours-doesnt-have#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 15:51:54 +0000 Alex Wilson 18403 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Safe, All-Electric "Induction" Cooking: Try This At Home http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/safe-all-electric-induction-cooking-try-home <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Induction cooktops respond quickly, avoid gas combustion, are tops in energy efficiency, and limit risk of burns.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Cooktop_1360_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Cooktop_1360_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Our induction cooktop blends in well with our matt-black Richlite countertop. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">One of our early decisions in the planning for our farmhouse renovation/re-build was to avoid any fossil fuels. If the State of Vermont can have a goal to shift 90% of our energy consumption to renewable sources by 2050, we want be able to demonstrate 100% renewables for our house today.</p> <p class="Standard">That decision meant using electricity, rather than propane, for cooking. Electric cooking was actually a very easy decision for us. When our daughters were very young, roughly 25 years ago, my wife and I replaced our gas range with a smooth-top electric range. I had read too many articles about health risks of open combustion in houses; I didn’t want to expose our children to those combustion products.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/safe-all-electric-induction-cooking-try-home" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/safe-all-electric-induction-cooking-try-home#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:14:41 +0000 Alex Wilson 18382 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Heat Pump Water Heaters in Cold Climates: Pros and Cons http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-pump-water-heaters-cold-climates-pros-and-cons <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">While a heat-pump water heater will save significant energy on a year-round basis, be aware that in a cold climate the net performance (water heating plus space heating) will drop in the winter.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/WaterHeater_February_2014.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/WaterHeater_February_2014.jpg" /></a> <strong>Electricity consumption by our GeoSpring <abbr title="A type of heating and/or cooling equipment that draws heat into a building from outside and, during the cooling season, ejects heat from the building to the outside. Heat pumps are vapor-compression refrigeration systems whose indoor/outdoor coils are used reversibly as condensers or evaporators, depending on the need for heating or cooling. In the 2003 CBECS, specific information was collected on whether the heat pump system was a packaged unit, residential-type split system, or individual room heat pump, and whether the heat pump was air source, ground source, or water source."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2404">heat pump</a></abbr> water heater in February. Note the spike mid-month when I switched the mode to "boost." <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: here</em></div> <p class="Standard"><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/picking-water-heater-solar-vs-electric-or-gas-just-beginning">We chose a heat pump water heater</a> for our new house, and as I've recently discussed here, there are a lot of reasons why you might be doing the same.</p> <p class="Standard">Using an <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2014/2/3/How-Air-Source-Heat-Pumps-Work/">air-source heat pump</a>, heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) extract heat out of the air where they are located to heat the water.</p> <p class="Standard">That means that a HPWH cools the space where it is located. That’s a good thing in the summer—it doubles as air conditioning—but in the winter it’s not so helpful. That’s especially the case in a cold climate in a house without a standard heating system.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-pump-water-heaters-cold-climates-pros-and-cons" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-pump-water-heaters-cold-climates-pros-and-cons#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 03:41:44 +0000 Alex Wilson 18366 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Picking a Water Heater: Solar vs. Electric or Gas Is Just the Beginning http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/picking-water-heater-solar-vs-electric-or-gas-just-beginning <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Why we opted for electric water heating over a solar water heater</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Geospring_1295_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Geospring_1295_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Our GeoSpring heat-pump water heater. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">As we build more energy-efficient houses, particularly when we go to extremes with insulation and air tightness, as with Passive House projects, water heating becomes a larger and larger share of overall energy consumption (see <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/8/30/Solar-Thermal-Hot-Water-Heating-and-Cooling/">Solar Thermal Hot Water, Heating, and Cooling</a>). In fact, with some of these ultra-efficient homes, annual energy use for water heating now exceeds that for space heating—even in cold climates.</p> <p class="Standard">So, it makes increasing sense to focus a lot of attention on water heating. What are the options, and what makes the most sense when we’re trying to create a highly energy-efficient house?</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/picking-water-heater-solar-vs-electric-or-gas-just-beginning" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/picking-water-heater-solar-vs-electric-or-gas-just-beginning#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:31:02 +0000 Alex Wilson 18301 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Insulated Vinyl Siding: Worth the Extra Cost? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulated-vinyl-siding-worth-extra-cost <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3>Two studies indicate some benefits to using insulated vinyl siding, but more data is needed to win over this skeptic.</h3> <p><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/thermal_imaging_before_and_after_siding.png" title=" Vinyl Siding Institute." class="image-right" height="293" width="300" />Setting aside the overall environmental profile of the oft-demonized PVC (check our coverage in this month’s <em>EBN</em> feature “<a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2014/2/3/The-PVC-Debate-A-Fresh-Look/">The PVC Debate: A Fresh Look</a>”), I’ve been getting a lot of questions about insulated vinyl siding—the vinyl siding with form-fitted expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation permanently built into the back side of the double-four courses of vinyl siding.</p> <p>Thanks to claims being made by the Vinyl Siding Institute and specific manufacturers, I’ve been hearing questions like these:</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulated-vinyl-siding-worth-extra-cost" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulated-vinyl-siding-worth-extra-cost#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:50:50 +0000 Paula Melton 18257 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Commissioning Our Home's Heat-Recovery Ventilator http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/commissioning-our-homes-heat-recovery-ventilator <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">To function properly, any ducted HRV has to be balanced after installation</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Zehnder_Balancing_1181_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Zehnder_Balancing_1181_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Barry Stephens measuring the airflow through a ceiling register of our HRV.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">After <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-we-chose-our-heat-recovery-ventilator">choosing and installing</a> our state-of-the-art <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-we-chose-our-heat-recovery-ventilator">heat-recovery ventilator </a>(HRV), we completed a critical step in the installation of any <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2013/9/30/Choosing-Between-an-ERV-and-an-HRV/">HRV</a>: commissioning, including the critical step of balancing the air flow.</p> <p class="Standard">This is absolutely necessary to ensure proper operation and full satisfaction.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/commissioning-our-homes-heat-recovery-ventilator" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/commissioning-our-homes-heat-recovery-ventilator#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:08:57 +0000 Alex Wilson 18253 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com 4 Resources Help Draw the Shades on Poor Window Performance http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/4-resources-help-draw-shades-poor-window-performance <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>Predicting performance and rationally selecting window coverings—from awnings to films to cellular shades—is incredibly challenging, but real help is on the way.</strong></h3> <p><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/drawing_the_shades.jpg" alt=" CC BY 2.0." title=" CC BY 2.0." class="image-right" height="263" width="350" />There is a lot of interest in just how much (and at how low a price point) window coverings can improve building thermal performance.</p> <p>Both the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been working on this issue; electric utilities would like to know how window coverings can fit into their efficiency programs; and both building professionals and consumers need objective guidance on how to compare window coverings—to each other and to window replacement.</p> <p>Where does our industry stand on assessing thermal performance of window attachments, or coverings? There are four new or emerging resources that paint a more complete picture.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/4-resources-help-draw-shades-poor-window-performance" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/4-resources-help-draw-shades-poor-window-performance#comments Sat, 15 Feb 2014 17:53:39 +0000 Paula Melton 18252 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com How We Chose Our Heat-Recovery Ventilator http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-we-chose-our-heat-recovery-ventilator <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Zehnder’s state-of-the-art HRV will provide years of service in providing fresh air with very low energy consumption.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Zehnder_Condensate_1146_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Zehnder_Condensate_1146_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Barry Stephens installing the condensate drain on our Zehnder ComfoAir 350 Luxe HRV. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Balanced ventilation requires two fans: one bringing fresh air into the house and one exhausting indoor air (see <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/6-ways-ventilate-your-home-and-which-best">6 Ways to Ventilate Your Home</a>). By balancing these two fans and the airflow through their respective ducts, the house is maintained at a neutral pressure—which is important for <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/hpba">avoiding moisture problems</a> or <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/3/26/Radon-Risks-and-Prevention/">pulling in radon</a> and other soil gases.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-we-chose-our-heat-recovery-ventilator" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-we-chose-our-heat-recovery-ventilator#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 03:06:09 +0000 Alex Wilson 18251 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com 6 Ways to Ventilate Your Home (and Which is Best) http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/6-ways-ventilate-your-home-and-which-best <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">How a green home really "breathes"</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Zehnder_1150_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Zehnder_1150_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Should a green home require a piece of ventilation equipment like our&nbsp;</strong><strong>Zehnder HRV?</strong></div> <div><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">One of the features in our new house that I’m most excited about barely raises an eyebrow with some of our visitors: the ventilation system. I believe we have the highest-efficiency <abbr title="A ventilation system that transmits heat from exhaust air to incoming fresh air."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2405">heat-recovery ventilator</a></abbr> (HRV) on the market—or at least it’s right up there near the top.</p> <p class="Standard">But first, a lot of people may be wondering, should a "green" home require mechanical ventilation? A lot of people might think that this is just the kind of energy-consuming system that homes should be getting away from—while cracking windows for fresh air.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/6-ways-ventilate-your-home-and-which-best" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/6-ways-ventilate-your-home-and-which-best#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 18:46:33 +0000 Alex Wilson 18231 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Cold Weather Tests the Limits of Our Mini-Split Heat Pump http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cold-weather-tests-limits-our-mini-split-heat-pump <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Testing the limits of the air-source <abbr title="A type of heating and/or cooling equipment that draws heat into a building from outside and, during the cooling season, ejects heat from the building to the outside. Heat pumps are vapor-compression refrigeration systems whose indoor/outdoor coils are used reversibly as condensers or evaporators, depending on the need for heating or cooling. In the 2003 CBECS, specific information was collected on whether the heat pump system was a packaged unit, residential-type split system, or individual room heat pump, and whether the heat pump was air source, ground source, or water source."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2404">heat pump</a></abbr> in our new house with this cold weather</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Interior_finished_1185_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Interior_finished_1185_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>The interior unit of our Mitubishi air-source heat pump. <em>Click photos to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">It’s been pretty chilly outside. A number of people have asked me how our air-source heat pump is making out in the cold weather. I wrote about ths system <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/electric-heat-comes-age-installing-our-mini-split-heat-pump">last fall</a>, well before we had moved in to our new home. Is it keeping us warm?</p> <p class="Standard">First, if you want to get up to speed on the surprising and counterintuitive nature of <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2014/1/31/How-Air-Source-Heat-Pumps-Work/">how an air-source heat pump works</a>, check out our primer on the topic—which includes a great diagram.</p> <p class="Standard">We’ve only been living in the house for a few weeks, but so far, so good. Our 18,000 <abbr title="A unit of energy consumed by or delivered to a building. A Btu is an acronym for British thermal unit and is defined as the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at normal atmospheric pressure. Energy consumption is expressed in Btu to allow for consumption comparisons among fuels that are measured in different units."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2258">Btu</a></abbr>/hour <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=5033">Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump</a>&nbsp;(MSZ FE18NA indoor unit and MUZ FE18 outdoor unit) is doing remarkably well in keeping us comfortable. We don’t have any oil or gas heating in the house, only the electric heat pump and a small wood stove that we’ve fired up twice so far.</p> <p class="Standard">The indoor heat pump unit is mounted on a wall next to our kitchen, and it’s been operating pretty steadily in this cold weather. (Even though we’ve heated with wood for decades and have all the wood we could ever use, I’ve been curious how the house will do just on electricity, so have refrained from using the wood stove.)</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cold-weather-tests-limits-our-mini-split-heat-pump" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cold-weather-tests-limits-our-mini-split-heat-pump#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 15:30:05 +0000 Alex Wilson 18145 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com 7 Green Building Wishes for 2014 http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/7-green-building-wishes-2014 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Here are some green product developments I’d like to see in the New Year</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/GridStar_car_charging_0588_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/GridStar_car_charging_0588_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>A plug-in hybrid vehicle charged using a net-metered PV array at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. I want to see the market share of plug-in vehicles double next year. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">I spend a lot of time writing about innovations in the building industry—the cool stuff that’s coming out all the time. But I also like to think about what’s needed: stuff that’s not (yet) on the market or performance levels not yet available.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>1) Rigid insulation with no flame retardants and insignificant global warming potential</strong></p> <p class="Standard">We've been highly critical of the brominated and chlorinated flame retardant chemicals added to nearly all foam-plastic rigid insulation today as well as the high-global-warming-potential blowing agents used in extruded polystyrene (see <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2013/6/27/Can-We-Replace-Foam-Insulation/">Can We Replace Foam Insulation?</a>). I would love to see affordable alternatives. They could be new formulations of polystyrene or polyisocyanurate that doesn’t require flame retardants or inorganic materials that are inherently noncombustible (see our review of <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2013/12/30/Innovative-Products-and-Technology-from-the-Greenbuild-Expo">cool new products from Greenbuild</a> for some advances). I’m intrigued by advanced ceramics and could imagine a foamed ceramic insulation being developed that meets these criteria.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/7-green-building-wishes-2014" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/7-green-building-wishes-2014#comments Thu, 26 Dec 2013 13:43:09 +0000 Alex Wilson 18043 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Flywheels: A Cleaner Way of Stabilizing Our Electricity Grid http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/flywheels-cleaner-way-stabilizing-our-electricity-grid <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Beacon Power pushing the envelope and creating a more resilient utility grid with large-scale flywheel power storage</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Beacon_Power_4th_generation_flywheel.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Beacon_Power_4th_generation_flywheel.jpg" /></a> <strong>Schematic of Beacon Power's Energy Smart 25 flywheel.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Beacon Power<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">After I wrote last week about a company developing <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/solar-powered-microgrids-could-protect-us-power-outages">power grid electrical storage systems</a> using lithium-ion battery technology, a reader alerted me to another, very different approach for storing electricity to make the utility grid more stable and <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/2/28/Resilient-Design-Smarter-Building-for-a-Turbulent-Future/">resilient</a>: flywheels.</p> <p class="Standard">We've written before about <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2009/12/1/Pentadyne-GTX-Backup-Power-from-a-Flywheel/">flywheel electrical storage for use in data centers </a>to provide instantaneous back-up power that can last for a few minutes until back-up generators can be started up. But I had not been aware of utility-scale projects that were in operation.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/flywheels-cleaner-way-stabilizing-our-electricity-grid" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/flywheels-cleaner-way-stabilizing-our-electricity-grid#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:53:05 +0000 Alex Wilson 18001 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Is There a Place for Vacuum Insulation in our Buildings? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/there-place-vacuum-insulation-our-buildings <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>For insulating our buildings, vacuum insulation panels may not be cost-effective, but they will become common in other applications</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Vacuum_insulation_Microtherm_SlimVac_10330s_1MITH.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Vacuum_insulation_Microtherm_SlimVac_10330s_1MITH.jpg" /></a> <strong>Microtherm's vacuum insulation panel, with a microporous substrate covered with an impermeable aluminum skin. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Microtherm</em></div> <p class="Standard">I’ve recently worked on revising the <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/insulation-webcast">BuildingGreen Guide to Insulation Products and Practices</a> (available as part of a webcast), so I’ve been steeped in all sort of insulation materials, including some oddball products. One of those is vacuum insulation—operating on the same principle as a Thermos bottle.</p> <p class="Standard">Vacuum insulation is a great idea—in theory. To understand why, it helps to know a bit about heat flow.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/there-place-vacuum-insulation-our-buildings" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/there-place-vacuum-insulation-our-buildings#comments Thu, 14 Nov 2013 01:19:41 +0000 Alex Wilson 17919 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Mineral Wool Insulation Entering the Mainstream http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/mineral-wool-insulation-entering-mainstream <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Owens Corning’s entry into the mineral wool insulation market with the purchase of Thermafiber, promises a higher profile for this insulation material</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/UltraBatt_0039_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/UltraBatt_0039_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Thermafiber's new UltraBatt mineral wool insulation is distributed nationally through Menards. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Thermafiber</em></div> <p class="Standard">I recently reported that <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/mineral-wool-boardstock-insulation-gaining-ground-homebuilding-world">a new mineral wool insulation product from Roxul</a>&nbsp;can be readily used in place of foam-plastic insulation materials like polystyrene in certain applications. As part of our ongoing research into how builders and designers can make better insulation choices (see our <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/mineral-wool-boardstock-insulation-gaining-ground-homebuilding-world">full webcast and report on the topic</a>), I have new mineral wool developments to report.</p> <p class="Standard">First, a little background: mineral wool, variously referred to as rockwool, slagwool, and stone wool, was one of the first insulation materials to be widely produced commercially—starting back in 1871 in Germany.</p> <p class="Standard"><a href="http://www.rockwool.com/"></a></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/mineral-wool-insulation-entering-mainstream" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/mineral-wool-insulation-entering-mainstream#comments Thu, 07 Nov 2013 03:00:21 +0000 Alex Wilson 17895 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Insulation Quiz: The No-Foam Challenge http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulation-quiz-no-foam-challenge <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Op-Ed </div> </div> </div> <h3><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/stack_of_insulation.jpg" alt="How well do you know your insulation? Photo: BuildingGreen, Inc." title="How well do you know your insulation? Photo: BuildingGreen, Inc." class="image-right" height="239" width="300" />A lot of people are questioning the widespread use of foam insulation. Are you familiar with their concerns, and the upsides and downsides of alternatives?</h3> <p>What are all the environmental and health challenges presented by foam insulation products? What about the healthier substitutes? Are they ready for prime time?</p> <p>These are some of the questions tackled by our new report, and accompanying webcast and course,&nbsp;<a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/insulation-webcast">Choosing and Detailing Insulation for High-Performance Assemblies</a>. Even as more designers and builders are thinking twice about using rigid and spray-applied foam insulation, the alternatives to these products are sometimes misunderstood.</p> <p>Our pop quiz tests your knowledge of the application-specific challenges and opportunities of these materials. Score yourself, and then read our answers and explanations below.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulation-quiz-no-foam-challenge" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights Op-Ed http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulation-quiz-no-foam-challenge#comments Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:01:39 +0000 Tristan Roberts 17827 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Formaldehyde-Based Foam Insulation Back from the Dead http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/formaldehyde-based-foam-insulation-back-dead <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><abbr title="Urea formaldehyde is a combination of urea and formaldehyde that is used in some glues and may emit formaldehyde at room temperature."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2536">Urea formaldehyde</a></abbr> foam insulation (UFFI) has been out of the spotlight, but going into a lot of buildings—often being referred to as Amino Foam.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/cfiFOAM_CMU.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/cfiFOAM_CMU.jpg" /></a> <strong>Amino Foam is a highly flowable foam that can fill CMU cavities from below—rising as much as 18 vertical feet. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: cfiFOAM</em></div> <p class="Standard">In working on major updates and expansions to <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/insulation-webcast">Insulation Choices: What You Need to Know About Performance, Cost, Health and Environmental Considerations</a>, we’ve had an opportunity to dig into some of the insulation products out there that you don't hear so much about. Some of what we’re found has been surprising.</p> <p class="Standard">Anyone remember urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI)? Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s it was the ultimate bad guy of the insulation world. Installed in hundreds of thousands of homes in the U.S. and Canada following the 1973 Energy Crisis, UFFI was found to emit high levels of formaldehyde in some circumstances and shrink considerably, resulting in performance problems.</p> <p class="Standard">The Canadian government spent millions of dollars insulating 80,000 to 100,000 homes with this insulation, then spent many more millions uninstalling it when reports of problems emerged. Canada banned the product, as did the <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/">Consumer Products Safety Commission </a>in 1982 in the U.S.—though the latter later reversed the ban a year later.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/formaldehyde-based-foam-insulation-back-dead" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/formaldehyde-based-foam-insulation-back-dead#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2013 20:05:48 +0000 Alex Wilson 17823 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Electric Heat Comes of Age: Installing Our Mini-Split Heat Pump http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/electric-heat-comes-age-installing-our-mini-split-heat-pump <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Installing a Mitsubishi air-source <abbr title="A type of heating and/or cooling equipment that draws heat into a building from outside and, during the cooling season, ejects heat from the building to the outside. Heat pumps are vapor-compression refrigeration systems whose indoor/outdoor coils are used reversibly as condensers or evaporators, depending on the need for heating or cooling. In the 2003 CBECS, specific information was collected on whether the heat pump system was a packaged unit, residential-type split system, or individual room heat pump, and whether the heat pump was air source, ground source, or water source."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2404">heat pump</a></abbr> in our new house</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Mitsubishi_indoor_unit_9973_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Mitsubishi_indoor_unit_9973_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>The indoor unit of our Mitsubishi minisplit heat pump. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Thirty-five years ago, when I first got involved with energy efficiency and renewable energy, the mere suggestion that one might heat with electricity would be scoffed at by those of us seeking alternatives to fossil fuels.</p> <p class="Standard">Amory Lovins, founder of the <a href="http://www.rmi.org/">Rocky Mountain Institute</a>, likened using electricity for heating to “cutting butter with a chainsaw.” Electricity is a high-grade form of energy; it doesn’t make sense to use it for a low-grade need like heating, he argued. It made much more sense, we all agreed, to produce that 75-degree warmth with solar collectors or passive-solar design.</p> <p class="Standard">So, it represents a bit shift that I’m now arguing that electricity can be the smartest way to heat a house. And that’s what we’re doing in the farmhouse we’re rebuilding in southern Vermont. I should note, here, that all of our electricity is being supplied by a solar array on our barn.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/electric-heat-comes-age-installing-our-mini-split-heat-pump" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/electric-heat-comes-age-installing-our-mini-split-heat-pump#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 03:48:56 +0000 Alex Wilson 17812 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Can A Pending Standard for LEDs Prevent Another Lighting Debacle? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/can-pending-standard-leds-prevent-another-lighting-debacle <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>LED light quality is still not very good, but a new California standard could change that, and prevent another <abbr title="1. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)– light source in which the tube is folded or twisted into a spiral to concentrate the light output; CFLs are typically 3 to 4 times as efficient as incandescent light bulbs, and they last 8 to 10 times as long. 2. Small fluorescent lamps used as more efficient alternatives to incandescent lighting. Also called PL, CFL, Twin-Tube, or BIAX lamps. (EPA) 3. A light bulb designed to replace screw-in incandescent light bulbs; they are often found in table lamps, wall sconces, and hall and ceiling fixtures of commercial buildings with residential type lights. They combine the efficiency of fluorescent lighting with the convenience of standard incandescent bulbs. Light is produced the same way as other fluorescent lamps. Compact fluorescent bulbs have either electronic or magnetic ballasts."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2284">CFL</a></abbr>-style consumer rejection.</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Brent_Blog_Images/Cree_TW_Series_60W_Bulb_Lit_mediahighres.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Brent_Blog_Images/Cree_TW_Series_60W_Bulb_Lit_mediahighres.jpg" /></a><strong><em>Cree's TW Series LED Bulb provides impressive 93 <abbr title="Color-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2317">CRI</a></abbr> light quality yet costs less than $20.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Cree<br /></em></div> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><abbr title="Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, use semiconductors to produce light, giving them more in common with computer chips than with conventional incandescent lighting."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2553">LEDs</a></abbr> provide some of the most efficacious lighting available today, with some products offering over 100 lumens per watt, or lpw—an incandescent bulb is a paltry 15 lpw. Unfortunately, as consumers know from compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which have never been fully embraced, energy efficiency can come at the cost of light quality. Unless something changes, LEDs could become the next CFL, offering energy efficiency at relatively affordable prices, but with poor color and durability and limited dimming ability.</p> <p>In this month’s <em>Environmental Building News</em>, we look at two products, Soraa’s MR16s and Cree’s TW Series LED Bulb, that offer innovative LEDs with demonstrably superior light quality to standard products (see <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2013/9/30/Soraa-New-LED-Technology-With-Improved-Color-Quality/">Soraa: New LED Technology With Improved Color Quality</a>). These lamps, however, are an anomaly in an LED industry where light quality plays second fiddle to <abbr title="In lighting, the ratio of light output (in lumens) to input power (in watts). Higher efficacy indicates higher efficiency."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2353">efficacy</a></abbr>.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/can-pending-standard-leds-prevent-another-lighting-debacle" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/can-pending-standard-leds-prevent-another-lighting-debacle#comments Thu, 17 Oct 2013 02:21:09 +0000 Brent Ehrlich 17809 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Our Deck Is Made from Pallets—But It's Not What You Think http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/our-deck-made-pallets-its-not-what-you-think <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Viridian tropical hardwood decking is reclaimed from shipping materials—and it should last decades</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Front_porch_decking_0026_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Front_porch_decking_0026_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Installing Viridian decking on our front porch. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">We’re moving along with some of the wrap-up work on our house in Dummerston. One of those projects is installing the porch decking on both the front and rear porches and a handicapped ramp up from the garage to the back porch. (We plan to live there for a long time!)</p> <p class="Standard">For the decking, we used a product we recognized in our annual&nbsp;<a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/buildinggreens-top-10-products-2013">Top-10 Green Building Product </a>selection&nbsp;last year.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/our-deck-made-pallets-its-not-what-you-think" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/our-deck-made-pallets-its-not-what-you-think#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 01:40:35 +0000 Alex Wilson 17808 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com New Home Proves LEDs Are Ready to Supplant Older Lighting http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-home-proves-leds-are-ready-supplant-older-lighting <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">LED lighting has come a long way in a very few years and can now fully supplant incandescent and fluorescent technology</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/LTGCRSeriesDownlights_CR6625L_down.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/LTGCRSeriesDownlights_CR6625L_down.jpg" /></a> <strong>Cree's new CR6 LED downlight for recessed cans.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Cree</em></div> <p class="Standard">Our electrician was in last week installing lighting in our new home here in southern Vermont. Virtually all of our lighting will be <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/11/29/LEDs-The-Future-Is-Here/">LEDs—the state-of-the-art today in energy-efficient lighting</a>.</p> <p class="Standard">LED stands for “light-emitting diode.” It’s a solid-state lighting technology that converts electric current directly into visible light. LED lighting has far higher <abbr title="In lighting, the ratio of light output (in lumens) to input power (in watts). Higher efficacy indicates higher efficiency."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2353">efficacy</a></abbr> (the number of lumens of light output per watt of electricity consumed) than incandescent lighting—which converts roughly 90% of the electric current into heat; only 10% into light.</p> <p class="Standard">Most LED lights also have modestly higher efficacy than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The recessed LED lights we installed have an efficacy of 66 lumens per watt, which is not to different from that of CFLs, but LEDs are much more directional than CFLs, so they work better in recessed cans in delivering usable light to where you need it.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-home-proves-leds-are-ready-supplant-older-lighting" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-home-proves-leds-are-ready-supplant-older-lighting#comments Wed, 02 Oct 2013 19:57:20 +0000 Alex Wilson 17786 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com 4 Insider Tips for Choosing Flashing Tapes, from a Real-Life Engineer http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/4-insider-tips-choosing-flashing-tapes-real-life-engineer <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sticky Business </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>A research engineer at Pella Windows finally offers some adult supervision for our benchtop tape tests.</strong></h3> <p><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/pella_smartflash.jpg" title="Pella used several test methods to develop its SmartFlash system." class="image-right" height="533" width="350" /></p> <p><em>This post is part of a series on adhesives, sealants, tapes, and gaskets. <a href="www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business">Click here</a> to view all the posts.</em></p> <p>When the Wingnut Test Facility (WTF) took its tape testing protocols on the road, as I reported <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/blogs/shocking-truth-about-tapes-emerges-wingnut-test-facility">in my last post</a>, a stranger stepped forward to politely offer some “adult supervision.”</p> <p>It’s true that there aren’t any industry standards for testing tapes in dirty, wet, or cold conditions, says Jaron Vos, a research and field engineer for <a href="http://www.pella.com/home/default.aspx">Pella Corp</a>. That doesn’t mean manufacturers are ignoring the issue.</p> <h3><strong>Welcome to the real world</strong></h3> <p>According to Vos, in 2001 when Pella was developing its SmartFlash Tape, the company’s researchers focused on conditions they thought the tape would encounter during real use by real installers. They tried to replicate those conditions in the lab and got feedback from installers.</p> <p>“It’s not that <abbr title="Voluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services"><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2233">ASTM</a></abbr> and similar test standards are not useful,” though, says Vos. “In fact, we used AAMA’s 711 extensively for measuring performance after trying to replicate jobsite or service life conditions.”</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/4-insider-tips-choosing-flashing-tapes-real-life-engineer" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/4-insider-tips-choosing-flashing-tapes-real-life-engineer#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 19:10:29 +0000 Paula Melton 17609 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A Heat Pump Using Carbon Dioxide as the Refrigerant http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-pump-using-carbon-dioxide-refrigerant <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">A new generation of <abbr title="Carbon dioxide"><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2298">CO2</a></abbr>-based heat pumps could avoid the high global warming potential of standard refrigerants and generate much higher temperatures</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Mayekawa_UNIMO_Australia_Dentention_Center_facility_2_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Mayekawa_UNIMO_Australia_Dentention_Center_facility_2_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>A Mayekawa Unimo air-to-water heat pump installation in Australia. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Mayekawa</em></div> <p class="Standard">In researching and writing about building products for <em><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/news/">Environmental Building News </a></em>over the past twenty-plus years I’ve had an opportunity to cover some fascinating breakthrough products and technologies. One such technology I was writing about a few weeks ago is the use of <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2013/7/28/Next-Up-in-Heat-Pump-Refrigerants-Carbon-Dioxide/">carbon dioxide as a working fluid for heat pumps</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p class="Standard">But let me back up with a little context about refrigerants. These are the fluids used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and heat pumps that transfer heat from one place to another in cooling or heating a space. This “vapor-compression-cycle” equipment takes advantage of the principle that compressing a gas absorbs heat and expanding it releases heat—so it’s a way to move heat from one place to another.</p> <p class="Standard">When this compression and expansion cycle results in a phase change (converting it from liquid to gas or vice-versa), significant heat can be absorbed and released.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-pump-using-carbon-dioxide-refrigerant" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-pump-using-carbon-dioxide-refrigerant#comments Wed, 28 Aug 2013 16:14:20 +0000 Alex Wilson 17525 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com What to Avoid in Interior Paints http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/what-avoid-interior-paints <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Op-Ed </div> </div> </div> <p>Occupant health and performance are the key consideration when choosing an interior paint. Most people have heard of low-VOC paints, but there is a lot more to look for. And it’s easy to miss out on high-performing paints when low- or no-VOC is the main thing you’re looking for.</p> <p>We have some editor's picks in this area, and we'll be offering more guidance like this in a members-only <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/specthis1-webcast">August 21st webcast</a>.</p> <h3><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/paintbrush.jpg" class="image-right" height="678" width="216" />First, check for emissions</h3> <p>First things first—paints that offgas a lot of <abbr title="1. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate). The compounds vaporize (become a gas) at normal room temperatures.2. A molecule containing one or more carbon atoms that tends to evaporate (volatilize) into the air at typical ambi­ent conditions. Some legal definitions of VOCs are restricted to those that react with sunlight to generate smog. Some VOCs are carcinogens, suspected carcinogens, or known irritants at typical levels."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2541">VOCs</a></abbr> are bad for installers and bad for occupants. Even after the air clears those compounds can adsorb onto fabrics and furniture in the interior and stick around.</p> <p>There’s no perfect test right now for emissions from wet-applied products, so the best bet is to make sure it has both low VOC content (under 50 g/L), and has met <abbr title="A leading emissions specification on which many other U.S. certifications are based. Test methods ensure pollutant concentrations in a finished space do not exceed certain levels."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1821">California Section 01350</a></abbr> emissions requirements.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/what-avoid-interior-paints" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Op-Ed http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/what-avoid-interior-paints#comments Mon, 12 Aug 2013 14:22:13 +0000 Tristan Roberts 17501 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Beating the Achilles Heel of Grid-Tied Solar Electric Systems http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/beating-achilles-heel-grid-tied-solar-electric-systems <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">A new inverter from SMA allows us to draw some daytime power from our PV system when the grid is down, even without batteries</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/PV_array_7150_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/PV_array_7150_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>The 18 kW PV array on our barn is a group-net-metered system with some of the output going to other houses. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">One of the biggest complaints I hear about most solar-electric (photovoltaic, PV) systems is that when the grid goes down you can’t use any of the power that’s produced. Consumers have spent thousands of dollars on a PV system, and during an extended power outage during a bright, sunny day when the PV modules are certainly generating electricity, they are disappointed that none of that electricity can be used.</p> <p class="Standard">This problem applies to net-metered PV systems that do not include battery back-up. Off-grid systems work just fine when the grid is down, but the vast majority of the roughly 300,000 PV systems in the U.S. are net-metered systems without batteries, and most of them lose all functionality when the grid is down.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/beating-achilles-heel-grid-tied-solar-electric-systems" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/beating-achilles-heel-grid-tied-solar-electric-systems#comments Thu, 08 Aug 2013 02:59:56 +0000 Alex Wilson 17497 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Smart Vapor Retarders: Not Just Your Grandmother’s Poly http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/smart-vapor-retarders-not-just-your-grandmother-s-poly <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">New smart vapor retarders block most vapor diffusion when you want to eliminate risk of condensation, but allow vapor flow when you want drying potential</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/DB-plus_6717_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/DB-plus_6717_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Our Pro Clima DB+ smart vapor retarder on the insulated roof. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Nowhere in building design has there been more confusion or more dramatic change in recommended practice than with <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productsByCsiSection.cfm?SubBuilderCategoryID=1350">vapor retarders</a>. Thirty years ago, we were told to always install a polyethylene (poly) vapor barrier on the warm side of the wall. Then we were told to forget the poly and go with an airtight layer of drywall (<em>airtight drywall approach</em>). Insulation contractors, meanwhile, often said to skip the vapor barrier; we need to let the wall or ceiling cavity dry out.</p> <p class="Standard">It made for a lot of confusion. And I’m not sure we’re totally out of the woods yet.</p> <p class="Standard">Some experts are now looking to vapor retarders whose vapor permeability changes based on the humidity conditions. We installed one of these new materials on our house.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/smart-vapor-retarders-not-just-your-grandmother-s-poly" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/smart-vapor-retarders-not-just-your-grandmother-s-poly#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2013 00:50:51 +0000 Alex Wilson 17471 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Getting to Know Spider Insulation http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-know-spider-insulation <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Spray-applied fiberglass insulation offers huge benefits over fiberglass batts and even has some advantages over cellulose</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Spider_6680_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Spider_6680_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Spider insulation being sprayed into an open wall cavity. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">We’ve just completed the installation of a relatively new and (at least in New England) little-known insulation material called Spider. As a reminder, the house we are renovating (really re-building) in Dummerston, Vermont has provided an opportunity to try out dozens of innovative products and materials that I’ve long researched and written about in <em><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/news/">Environmental Building News</a></em>.</p> <p class="Standard">Insulation has been a particular focus of the project, in part because some of the most common insulation materials on the market have <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2013/6/27/Can-We-Replace-Foam-Insulation/">environmental or health concerns</a>, including halogenated flame retardants and blowing agents that contribute significantly to global warming.</p> <p class="Standard">In previous blogs I described <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/gaining-experience-new-material">Foamglas</a>, a cellular-glass material, that we installed under the foundation slab and on the outside of the foundation walls, and <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/installing-cork-insulation">expanded-cork boardstock </a>insulation that we installed on the outside of above-grade walls spanning over the wood framing. Here I’m covering the third innovative insulation product we used on the project: a spray-applied fiberglass product made by the Johns Manville Company called <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4518">Spider</a>.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-know-spider-insulation" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-know-spider-insulation#comments Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:02:43 +0000 Alex Wilson 17423 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com From Tyvek to Pro Clima: The Evolution of Weather-Resistive Barriers http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tyvek-pro-clima-evolution-weather-resistive-barriers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">We’ve come a long way from the early Tyvek housewrap; our experience with the German Pro Clima Solitex weather-resistive barrier</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Housewrap_5047_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Housewrap_5047_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>Pro Clima Solitex weather-resistive barrier installed on our home. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">I remember years ago—I hate to remember how many; it must have been around 1982 or 1983—writing for <em>New England Builder</em> (now the <em><a href="http://www.jlconline.com/">Journal of Light Construction</a></em>) about <a href="http://www2.dupont.com/Tyvek_Weatherization/en_US/">Tyvek housewrap</a>. It was then a fairly new product—and really a new idea: a material that would wrap over the outside of a house to provide an air barrier and improve energy performance. &nbsp;</p> <p class="Standard">Tyvek wasn’t actually new in the early 1980s—it was invented by DuPont in 1955 and first commercialized in 1967—but it was new enough in the building industry that two technical experts from DuPont trekked up to Vermont to give me a dog-and-pony show about it. <em>New England Builder</em> was gaining a reputation as a leading purveyor of practical, on-the-ground information for builders, and DuPont wanted to get the message out.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tyvek-pro-clima-evolution-weather-resistive-barriers" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tyvek-pro-clima-evolution-weather-resistive-barriers#comments Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:29:37 +0000 Alex Wilson 17319 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Installing A Group Net-Metered Solar Array http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/installing-group-net-metered-solar-array <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">The 18-kW photovoltaic array on our barn roof is nearing completion</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/PV_array_6041_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/PV_array_6041_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>The first PV panels being installed on our barn roof. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">When we started planning the rebuild of our house and the rest of the farm in West Dummerston, Vermont my wife and I knew that we wanted to produce all of our energy onsite. That meant a solar photovoltaic (PV) system that would generate as much electricity as the house and barn are consuming—net-zero energy.</p> <p class="Standard">We also wanted to protect as much of the ten acres of agricultural land as possible. That meant we wanted to avoid a ground-mounted PV system. Wherever land can be used for farming—now or in the future—I prefer to install PV arrays on buildings, keeping the land open for agricultural uses.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/installing-group-net-metered-solar-array" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/installing-group-net-metered-solar-array#comments Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:06:29 +0000 Alex Wilson 17274 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Mineral Wool Boardstock Insulation Gaining Ground in the Homebuilding World http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/mineral-wool-boardstock-insulation-gaining-ground-homebuilding-world <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Roxul ComfortBoard IS has some important environmental and performance advantages over XPS and polyisocyanurate insulation</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/ComfortBoard_IS_install_Roxul_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/ComfortBoard_IS_install_Roxul_MedRes.jpg" /></a> <strong>ComfortBoard IS, Roxul's exterior insulation board, is being distributed nationwide in the U.S. at thickensses up to 3".</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Roxul</em></div> <p class="Standard">Readers of this Energy Solutions blog may be aware that I’ve been critical of some of our foam-plastic insulation materials. I’ve come down hardest on <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulation-keep-us-warm-not-warm-planet">extruded polystyrene </a>(XPS), which is made both with a blowing agent that contributes significantly to global warming and with a brominated flame retardant, HBCD, that’s slated for international phaseout as a persistent organic pollutant.</p> <p class="Standard">So I’m always keeping an eye out for alternatives. I’ve written here about two of those alternatives that I’ve used in our own home: a cellular glass material called <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/product/foamglas-sheet-insulation/pittsburgh-corning/3597">Foamglas </a>with high compressive strength that works very well below-grade; and <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/product/expanded-insulation-cork-board/amorim-isolamentos-sa/11076">Thermacork</a>, an all-natural rigid insulation material made from expanded cork.</p> <p class="Standard">I like both of those materials a lot, but they have two big problems: high cost and limited availability. They just won’t be able to enter the mainstream home building industry—not yet, anyway—since they cost more than twice as much as XPS and polyisocyanurate and are hard to get hold of.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/mineral-wool-boardstock-insulation-gaining-ground-homebuilding-world" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/mineral-wool-boardstock-insulation-gaining-ground-homebuilding-world#comments Wed, 15 May 2013 14:10:43 +0000 Alex Wilson 13956 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Why Can’t I Buy a Non-Toxic Sofa? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-can-t-i-buy-non-toxic-sofa <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nadav Malin </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Op-Ed </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/room_without_sofa.jpg" alt="Photo – Greg Habermann (Remixed under CC BY 2.0)" title="Photo – Greg Habermann (Remixed under CC BY 2.0)" class="image-right" height="236" width="316" />After years of living with a nice-looking but rather uncomfortable daybed in our living room, my family and I went shopping for a new sofa. We explored a range of styles and configurations, trying to find something that looked good, would be cozy, durable, and fit in our rather small space. Oh, and we also wanted to avoid bringing <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2004/6/1/Flame-Retardants-Under-Fire/">toxic</a> and <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/5/14/Flame-Retardant-Rules-Result-of-Deception-Says-Investigation/">ineffective</a> flame retardant chemicals into our home.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-can-t-i-buy-non-toxic-sofa" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Op-Ed http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-can-t-i-buy-non-toxic-sofa#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 16:46:03 +0000 Tristan Roberts 13019 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Shocking Truth About Tapes Emerges from Wingnut Test Facility! http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/shocking-truth-about-tapes-emerges-wingnut-test-facility <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>Think you understand pressure-sensitive adhesives? Think. Again. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Do not try this at home.)</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/WTF_at_NESEA.png" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/WTF_at_NESEA.png" alt="" /></a> <strong>WTF at BuildingEnergy 13! Children, do not try this at home.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Courtesy Peter Yost<br /></em></div> <p>My last post in this <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business" target="_blank">series</a> on adhesives, sealants, and tapes ended with this line:</p> <p>“We hope to follow up this baseline ideal conditions testing with more field-like conditions.”</p> <h3><strong>Introducing the WTF research troupe</strong></h3> <p>Well, it took a while, but we finally got a venue for some more testing of pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes: the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association annual conference, <a href="http://www.nesea.org/buildingenergy/" target="_blank">BuildingEnergy 13</a>.</p> <p>NESEA premiered its <a href="http://www.nesea.org/buildingenergy/tradeshow/demonstrations/" target="_blank">Trade Show Demo Stages</a> this year, calling the stage demos “Recess for building and energy professionals—Let’s play!” Sure seemed like the appropriate forum for us to premiere the Wingnut Test Facility (WTF), a new round of “benchtop” tape testing with a focus on field conditions: wet, cold, dirty, and just about all of the above.</p> <p>They actually <em>invited</em> us to come do our tape testing on stage!</p> <h3><strong>Our crack slapstick lab staff</strong></h3> <p>Fellow WTF founder, Dave Gauthier (President of <a href="http://www.vantempanels.com/northeast.html" target="_blank">Vantem Panels</a> here in Brattleboro) and I set up the testing this way (<a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/PSA_Tape_Bond__Durability_Test_R2_3-6-13.xls">download the spreadsheet for details</a>):</p> <ol> <li><strong><em>Cold, wet application (no primer)</em></strong>—We put on our jackets and adhered the various tapes to rough <abbr title="Oriented-strand board (OSB). Consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, wheatboard, oriented-strand board, and strawboard."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2472">OSB</a></abbr> outdoors when it was about 28°–36°F (temps rose as we worked; see comments in spreadsheet). “Wet” meant this: we sprayed water from a standard spritzer bottle, then wiped off the OSB with our bare hands—to mimic what might be considered “prepping” the surface on a typical jobsite….</li> <li><strong><em>Cold, wet application (with primer)</em></strong>—We used two priming materials: <a href="http://www.foursevenfive.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&amp;cPath=70_72&amp;products_id=280&amp;zenid=29485be2ce65bb0b01c4c21333ad08a0" target="_blank">Pro Clima’s acrylic primer</a> and <a href="http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Adhesives/Tapes/Products/~/3M-Super-77-Multipurpose-Spray-Adhesive-24-fl-oz-Net-Wt-16-3-4-oz-12-per-case?N=4294964027+5000130&amp;Nr=AND%28hrcy_id%3A859J3TM7W6gs_P2MHB9S3M8_N2RL3FHWVK_GPD0K8BC31gv%29&amp;rt=d" target="_blank">3M’s Super 77</a>. We chose the Pro Clima primer because it is appropriate for acrylic tapes, and we had prior experience with it and could easily get ahold of a relatively small quantity from the supplier. We chose the multipurpose 3M Super 77 spray adhesive for the modified bitumen membrane and the butyl rubber flexible flashing product (a specialized primer would have to be specially ordered in quantity).<br /> After all the test samples were set up, we stuck them in a freezer, keeping them below freezing until we transported them to the NESEA demo stage in a cooler.</li> <li><strong><em>Dirty application</em></strong>—To reflect another common jobsite condition, we took the substrates outside, smeared mud on them, and then “prepped” the surface by wiping off the excess with the palms of our hands. We did this testing inside at room temperature.</li> </ol> <h3><strong> </strong></h3> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/shocking-truth-about-tapes-emerges-wingnut-test-facility" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/shocking-truth-about-tapes-emerges-wingnut-test-facility#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 14:10:27 +0000 Paula Melton 12716 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com EcoSeal: A New System for Air Sealing Homes http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ecoseal-new-system-air-sealing-homes <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Knauf Insulation's EcoSeal can provide significant air-sealing prior to installing cavity-fill insulation</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Knauff_EcoSeal_4988_Medres.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Knauff_EcoSeal_4988_Medres.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Installing Knauf EcoSeal at our farmhouse. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Getting back to our Dummerston, Vermont farmhouse this week, I’m reporting on our use of a relatively new product for air-sealing homes: EcoSeal from Knauf Insulation.</p> <p class="Standard">First some context: In the building science world, there is growing interest in achieving a robust <em>air barrier</em> at the sheathing layer of a house, with layers inside of that able to dry toward the interior and layers on the outside able to dry to the exterior. To make that work, the sheathing layer has to be tightly air-sealed.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ecoseal-new-system-air-sealing-homes" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ecoseal-new-system-air-sealing-homes#comments Tue, 16 Apr 2013 16:37:34 +0000 Alex Wilson 12639 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Installing Cork Insulation http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/installing-cork-insulation <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Climbing the learning curve in working with a new insulation material</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Cork_install_4594_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Cork_install_4594_MedRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Sliding a slab of precisely cut cork insulation against a door jamb. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">What do you do if you’re a builder and your client (that would be me) hands you a material that no one’s ever heard of, let alone installed in this country, and asks you to insulate his house with it? A lot of smart builders would run the other way. Eli Gould, our partner in the Dummeston, Vermont farmhouse we’re renovating (really re-building), took it on as a challenge.</p> <p class="Standard"><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cork-insulation-our-farmhouse">Last week </a>I wrote about the cork insulation that we’ve installed—the last of it went up at the end of last week. Here I’ll review some of the installation details that Eli and his crew figured out—including such seemingly minor issues as how to cut the stuff.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/installing-cork-insulation" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/installing-cork-insulation#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2013 15:59:08 +0000 Alex Wilson 12572 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Cork Insulation on Our Farmhouse http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cork-insulation-our-farmhouse <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Why we chose cork exterior insulation for our net-zero-energy house</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Cork_install_4550_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Cork_install_4550_MedRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Installing cork insulation on our farmhouse. </strong><strong><em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Among the innovative—some might say weird—products we’re trying out at our Dummerston, Vermont farmhouse, none is more unusual than the expanded cork insulation we’re currently installing as a layer of exterior rigid insulation. As I mentioned in a <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/expanded-cork-greenest-insulation-material">blog last summer</a>, cork insulation has a great story behind it.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Cork? You’ve got to be kidding!</strong></p> <p class="Standard">I first learned about expanded cork insulation years ago when exploring the attic of a 1920s-era home in Brattleboro. I found a rigid boardstock insulation comprised of cork with plaster on one side. It was made by <a href="http://www.armstrong.com/corporate/">Armstrong</a>, which was then a company making cork products but is today one of the world’s leading manufacturers of flooring and ceiling products.</p> <p class="Standard">It turns out that the product was invented by accident in 1893 in New York City by a boat builder, John T. Smith. The cork granules he used to fill life preservers became clogged in a large tin funnel, and that slipped into the coals of a fire used to steam oak staves. When the owner of the shop discovered the tin funnel the next morning he expected the cork to be burned up, but instead it had expanded to fill the form and solidified into a solid block.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cork-insulation-our-farmhouse" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cork-insulation-our-farmhouse#comments Wed, 20 Mar 2013 02:23:34 +0000 Alex Wilson 12564 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Transparency in Building Products, and HPD, Gain Momentum http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transparency-building-products-and-hpd-gain-momentum <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Russell Perry, FAIA </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Op-Ed </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/hpd.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/hpd.jpg" alt="" /></a></div> <h3>With the HPD now available as a recognized format, design professionals have started to request its use by manufacturers.</h3> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This guest post comes to us courtesy of Russell Perry, FAIA, managing director of SmithGroupJJR's Washington, D.C., office.]</em></p> <p>The global movement towards transparency gains steady momentum. In the design and construction world, the 2012 Greenbuild conference saw the <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/11/9/Health-Product-Declaration-Provides-Building-Product-Nutrition-Label/">launch of the Health Product Declaration (HPD)</a> format, the launch of the eagerly awaited Declare format, and USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi’s spirited defense of practitioners’ need to know what chemical exposure comes with material choices.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transparency-building-products-and-hpd-gain-momentum" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Op-Ed http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transparency-building-products-and-hpd-gain-momentum#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 23:46:59 +0000 Tristan Roberts 12556 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Windows 2.0 – Report from Leonard Farm http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/windows-20-report-leonard-farm <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Building complex window surrounds for a deep-energy retrofit</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Windows_install_4420_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Windows_install_4420_MedRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Insulated, splayed window surrounds that will frame the exterior wall insulation. The Pro Clima housewrap on the window surrounds will be taped to the wall housewrap after insulating. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard"><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/state-art-windows-installed-our-new-home">A few weeks ago </a>I reported on the amazing, high-tech Alpen, R-12 (center-of-glass) windows that we installed on the north and west facades of our farmhouse in Dummerston, Vermont. At that time I promised to report on the <em>other</em> windows we were installing on the south and east facades (windows 2.0 if you will).</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>First some context:</strong></p> <p class="Standard">With our new home, we are creating a demonstration with dozens of cutting-edge energy-saving and green building features and products that one can include in a new or existing home. As someone who has written about such products for several decades now, this is a lot of fun—though the decision-making often remains a challenge, since there are so many great products and materials to select from.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/windows-20-report-leonard-farm" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/windows-20-report-leonard-farm#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 18:01:02 +0000 Alex Wilson 12551 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com FTC Cracking Down on False R-Value Claims http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ftc-cracking-down-false-r-value-claims <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Large fines levied on companies making deceptive claims about R-values</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Supertherm_brochure_border.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Supertherm_brochure_border.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Exaggerated claims, like this one for SUPER THERM, claiming R-19 for a coating of paint, are getting the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Superior Products International.<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Most of us want to do the right thing in improving the energy performance of our homes. We research energy-saving products like appliances and insulation. We search the internet or clip ads from the paper looking for products that will save us the most energy (and money). We look for the most R-value for the money. Well-meaning homeowners do this all the time.</p> <p class="Standard">But it turns out that in a troubling number of situations there’s a significant discrepancy between claimed and actual performance. With insulation materials, for example, exaggerated R-value claims became so rampant in the 1970s—when adding insulation to homes came into vogue following the 1973 oil embargo—that the government stepped in to regulate energy performance claims.</p> <p class="Standard">The threat of fines hasn’t been as successful as we might have hoped, as exaggerated claims have long continued. Some long-overdue legal actions against insulation companies in January 2013, however, may finally begin to rein in these scams.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ftc-cracking-down-false-r-value-claims" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ftc-cracking-down-false-r-value-claims#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 18:57:41 +0000 Alex Wilson 12463 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Wind Power: Why it Doesn’t Make Sense Everywhere http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/wind-power-why-it-doesn-t-make-sense-everywhere <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">I'm a huge fan of wind power, but we should recognize that some applications of wind don't make sense</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/P1020405_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/P1020405_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Aerovironment wind turbines on the Boston Museum of Science. Performance has been poor and Aerovironment has discontinued the product. </strong><strong><em>Click to enlarge.&nbsp; </em></strong> <br /><em>Photo Credit: David Rabkin, Boston Museum of Science<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">At least in our neck of the woods, wind power is very much in the news these days. The Vermont legislature is debating whether to institute a three-year moratorium on what detractors refer to as “industrial wind power,” and debate is raging in the nearby towns of Windham and Grafton, Vermont about a potential wind farm. I figured I should weigh in.</p> <p class="Standard">As readers of this blog know, I am a strong proponent of renewable energy, including wind power. But I’m also not shy about pointing out situations in which wind power doesn’t make sense. This week I’m going to focus on those misguided or less attractive wind power applications. Next week I’ll cover where we should be heading with wind power and discuss projects like the one proposed for Windham and Grafton.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Don’t put wind turbines on buildings</strong></p> <p class="Standard">Wind turbines almost never make sense on buildings—even tall buildings. When I started researching “building-integrated wind” a few years ago for my newsletter, <em><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/news/index.cfm?">Environmental Building News </a></em>(EBN), I thought I was going to write an article that painted a positive picture of putting wind turbines on top of buildings. After all, tall buildings can get the turbines up high where it’s windier, and like rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems, the power is generated right where it will be used.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/wind-power-why-it-doesn-t-make-sense-everywhere" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/wind-power-why-it-doesn-t-make-sense-everywhere#comments Wed, 06 Feb 2013 13:17:31 +0000 Alex Wilson 12422 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com State-of-the-Art Windows Installed in Our New Home http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/state-art-windows-installed-our-new-home <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Top-performing quad-glazed windows from Alpen installed with three <abbr title="Low-E or Low-Emissivity Coating: Very thin metallic coating on glass or plastic window glazing that reduces heat loss and heat gain through the window; the coating emits less radiant energy (heat radiation), which makes it, in effect, reflective to that heat. In that way it boosts a window's R-value and reduces its U-factor."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2440">low-e</a></abbr> coatings and krypton gas fill</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/AlpenWindow_4055_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/AlpenWindow_4055_MedRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>R-12 windows from Alpen with three low-e coatings and krypton gas-fill.</strong><em><strong> Click to enlarge.</strong></em><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Having written about windows and emerging window technologies for longer than I care to admit (since before low-e coatings even existed), I must say that it’s incredibly fun to be building a house and having an opportunity to try out some of the leading-edge stuff I’ve been writing about.</p> <p class="Standard">In my effort to create a “demonstration home,” we are actually installing two very different types of windows in the 1812 farmhouse rebuild that’s underway. On the north and west facades we’re installing state-of-the-art, fiberglass-framed casement and awning windows from <a href="http://www.alpenhpp.com/">Alpen High Performance Products</a>. These windows, which we ordered from <a href="http://www.pinnaclewindowsolutions.net/">Pinnacle Window Solutions </a>in Maine, are the subject of this blog.</p> <p class="Standard">On the south and east facades (which you see from the road) we’re doing something very different that I’ll describe in a future blog.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/state-art-windows-installed-our-new-home" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/state-art-windows-installed-our-new-home#comments Thu, 31 Jan 2013 02:17:07 +0000 Alex Wilson 12399 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Making Healthier, Greener Foam Insulation http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/making-healthier-greener-foam-insulation <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item odd"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">A proposed change to the residential building code (International Residential Code) would eliminate the need for halogenated flame retardants in many applications</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/12_inches_XPS_032_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/12_inches_XPS_032_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>For this Passive House in New York's Hudson River Valley, 12 inches of XPS were installed beneath the concrete slab. With proposed changes to the IRC, subslab insulation wouldn't need to be treated with flame retardants. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Jordan Dentz<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">As readers of this blog know, I’ve come down fairly hard on certain types of foam insulation over the years. The downsides include the <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/avoiding-global-warming-impact-insulation">blowing agents </a>used in extruded polystyrene (XPS) and most closed-cell spray polyurethane foam and the flame retardants that are added to all foam-plastic insulation to impart some level of fire resistance.</p> <p class="Standard">Now there’s an effort afoot to change building codes in a way that would allow manufacturers to remove the hazardous flame retardants. This is the subject of a just-published <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/12/31/Getting-Flame-Retardants-Out-of-Foam-Insulation/">feature article in <em>Environmental Building News</em> </a>(log-in required).</p> <p class="Standard">This is a significant energy issue, because layers of foam insulation provide the easiest way to achieve the level of energy performance needed to approach net-zero-energy performance. If we’re going to add a lot of foam insulation to our homes, we want that to be safe for the occupants and the environment.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/making-healthier-greener-foam-insulation" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/making-healthier-greener-foam-insulation#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2013 16:14:20 +0000 Alex Wilson 12336 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Open-web rafters for superinsulated roofs http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/open-web-rafters-superinsulated-roofs <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Open-web, parallel-chord joists with solid-wood diagonal struts for use as superinsulated roof rafters.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Installing_rafters_2934_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Installing_rafters_2934_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Open Joist Triforce rafters being installed on our house. Click to enlarge.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Last week I wrote about an innovative foundation insulation material, Foamglas, that we used in our new house in Dummerston. This week I’ll talk about the open-web rafters we’re using to achieve a superinsulated roof.</p> <p class="Standard">First, a little background. To create highly insulated roofs there are several approaches:</p> <p class="Standard">When the insulation is installed in the attic floor (creating an unheated attic), it’s easy to obtain very high R-values inexpensively—it’s cheap, that is, as long as you don’t count the cost of the lost living space by creating an unheated attic. Basically, you just dump in a lot of loose-fill cellulose or fiberglass on the attic floor, filling the joist cavity and more.</p> <p class="Standard">I’ve heard of as much as two feet of cellulose insulation being installed in this manner, achieving about R-80. To make room for a lot of insulation at the roof eaves, it’s usually necessary to install “raised-heel” trusses for the roof framing (so that the insulation thickness at the edges is not significantly compromised.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/open-web-rafters-superinsulated-roofs" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/open-web-rafters-superinsulated-roofs#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 14:21:03 +0000 Alex Wilson 12274 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com 5 Cool New Products from the Greenbuild 2012 Expo Floor http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/5-cool-new-products-greenbuild-2012-expo-floor <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>From high-tech <abbr title="Building-integrated photovoltaic systems use photovoltaic (PV) modules that are integrated into functional building elements, such as roofs, glazing, and building façades."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2579">BIPV</a></abbr> to smarter plugs for the home, we found lots of great new products at Greenbuild this year. </strong></h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Lutron_Light_Filtering_DC_Shell.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Lutron_Light_Filtering_DC_Shell.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Lutron's Serena remote-controlled shades install easily and are inexpensive compared to most automated shades.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Lutron</em></div> <p>Greenbuild is always a great time to find new products and reconnect with friends and colleagues. It’s a busy, rewarding, and exhausting few days—especially this year, since the trade show was spread across three buildings and a couple of city blocks.</p> <p>I did a lot of walking, but it was worth the effort. Here are a few of the products I spotted on the expo floor.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/5-cool-new-products-greenbuild-2012-expo-floor" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/5-cool-new-products-greenbuild-2012-expo-floor#comments Mon, 03 Dec 2012 14:57:25 +0000 Brent Ehrlich 12260 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Gaining Experience with a New Material http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/gaining-experience-new-material <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Using Foamglas instead of polystyrene to insulate beneath our basement slab and on the foundation walls.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Foamglas_1679_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Foamglas_1679_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Eli Gould cutting Foamglas for use under our basement slab. <em>Click to enlarge.</em></strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">In my role with <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/news/index.cfm?">Environmental Building News </a>and our <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/menus/">GreenSpec Product Database</a>, I get plenty of opportunity to research and write about innovative building products. That’s one of the really fun aspects of my job.</p> <p class="Standard">On occasion I also get an opportunity to try out new or little-known materials. In the construction of our new home in Dummerston, Vermont—actually the rebuilding of a 200-year Cape—I’ve had opportunity to get some real experience with lots of products. One of these is a cellular glass insulation material known as <a href="http://www.foamglas.us/building/home/">Foamglas</a> (check out <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/product/foamglas-sheet-insulation/pittsburgh-corning/3597">Foamglas in GreenSpec</a>).</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Why we need a product like Foamglas</strong></p> <p class="Standard">I’ve written often about the problems with extruded polystyrene from an environmental and health perspective. Relative to performance, extruded polystyrene (XPS) is a great product. It is water-resistant so can be used below-grade; it has high compressive strength so can be used beneath a concrete slab floor; it insulates very well (R-5 per inch); and it’s inexpensive. These properties make XPS the nearly universal choice for sub-slab and exterior foundation insulation today.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/gaining-experience-new-material" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/gaining-experience-new-material#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2012 15:00:42 +0000 Alex Wilson 12224 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A Few Product Highlights from Greenbuild http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/few-product-highlights-greenbuild <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">The Greenbuild conference, as usual, was the place to find out about innovations in green building products.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Agepan.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Agepan.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Agepan THD wood-fiber insulative sheathing is now being sold by the Small Planet Workshop. Click to enlarge.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Small Planet Workshop<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">I attended the <a href="http://greenbuildexpo.org/home.aspx">Greenbuild Conference </a>and related meetings in San Francisco last week. This is the largest conference and trade show in the green building field, and it is increasingly becoming <em>the national event</em> where large manufacturers roll out new building products.</p> <p class="Standard">Described below are a few product highlights from the trade show that caught my eye as I wandered around. I only got through about a quarter of the trade show.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Wood-fiber insulation from Germany</strong></p> <p class="Standard">In Europe it is becoming increasingly common to use high-permeability wood fiber sheathing as an exterior insulation material, and at least one such material was on display at the conference. <a href="http://www.smallplanetworkshopstore.com/">The Small Planet Workshop </a>in Olympia, Washington, is now distributing the German product Agepan THD. These 2"-thick panels insulate to R-5.7 (R-2.3 per inch) and have a high perm rating of 18—meaning that water vapor can pass through it fairly easily.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/few-product-highlights-greenbuild" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/few-product-highlights-greenbuild#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2012 17:41:10 +0000 Alex Wilson 12213 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Google Gives USGBC $3 Million for Healthy Building Materials Research http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/google-gives-usgbc-3-million-healthy-building-materials-research <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> BuildingGreen Talks LEED </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Google_interior.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Google_interior.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>This indoor space at Google has sustainably forested wood floors, soy-based furniture, and ample daylighting.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Christophe Wu / Google <br /></em></div> <p>In one of the biggest announcements to come out of Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco thus far, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a $3 million grant from Google to support work on healthier building materials. Google has already been a pioneer in keeping toxic chemicals out of building products used in its building projects (see <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/5/29/A-Peek-Inside-Google-s-Healthy-Materials-Program/">A Peek Inside Google’s Healthy Materials Program</a>), but this grant takes its public support for research and advocacy in this area to a new level.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/google-gives-usgbc-3-million-healthy-building-materials-research" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen Talks LEED GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/google-gives-usgbc-3-million-healthy-building-materials-research#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2012 17:44:08 +0000 Tristan Roberts 12206 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Top-10 Products for 2013 Take the Long View on Resilience and Durability http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-10-products-2013-take-long-view-resilience-and-durability <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Resilience and building science are the focus for our eleventh annual BuildingGreen Top-10 product awards.</h3> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-10-products-2012-our-picks-resilient-future">Last year's BuildingGreen Top-10 product awards</a> were the first to emphasize resilient design. This year, in the wake of more droughts, wildfires, and the last straw—SuperStorm Sandy—our need to focus on resilience is ever more urgent. Hand in hand with resilience is durability: sound building science helps prevent moisture problems that can compromise our buildings during normal times as well as during and after extreme weather events.</p> <p>Below you'll find the basics, but you can get a lot more details about each product <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/buildinggreens-top-10-products-2013">on our press page</a>—including relevant LEED credits and contact info for each company.</p> <p>If you're at Greenbuild this year, please stop by the manufacturers' booths to congratulate them and learn more about these forward-looking products. You might also be able to squeeze into <a href="https://register.greenbuildexpo.org/2012/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=1438&amp;tclass=popup#.UAbe8rOlm0Y.twitter">Alex Wilson's presentation about the products</a>, bright and early Friday morning!</p> <h3><a href="http://www.amorim.com/en/cor_neg_isolamentos.php" target="_blank">Amorim</a> expanded-cork boardstock insulation</h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Amorim_cork_autoclave_525.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Amorim_cork_autoclave_525.jpg" alt="" /></a> <br /><em>Photo Credit: Amorim Isolamentos, S.A.<br /></em></div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/expanded-cork-greenest-insulation-material">Amorim expanded-cork boardstock insulation</a> is a 100% natural, rigid-insulation material produced from natural cork. The material insulates to R-3.6 per inch, offers excellent acoustic control, is highly durable, has high vapor permeability, and meets fire-safety requirements (Euro Class E, based on EN 13501) without flame retardants.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-10-products-2013-take-long-view-resilience-and-durability" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-10-products-2013-take-long-view-resilience-and-durability#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2012 01:50:44 +0000 Paula Melton 12202 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Masonry Heaters http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/masonry-heaters <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">One of the cleanest and most efficient ways to burn wood is provided by high-mass masonry heaters.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Tulikivi_2700_51_09.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Tulikivi_2700_51_09.jpg" alt="" height="327" width="250" /></a> <strong>A Tulikivi masonry heater made of soapstone with an integral bake oven and bench.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Tulikivi</em></div> <p class="Standard">Over the past two weeks I’ve written about wood stoves and pellet heating. This week I’ll focus on another way to burn wood cleanly and efficiently: using a masonry heater.</p> <p class="Standard">A masonry heater, also called a masonry stove or Russian fireplace, is a wood-fired heating system that is fired intermittently at very high temperature to heat up the large quantity of thermal mass, which then radiates heat into the home. The heater has a circuitous path through which the flue gasses flow. Here, the heat is transferred to the stone, brick or other masonry elements of the heater.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Key benefits of masonry heaters</strong></p> <p class="Standard">From an environmental standpoint, masonry heaters burn fuel very rapidly at a high temperature. This results in very complete combustion with little pollution generated. Except when first starting the fire, there should be no visible smoke.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/masonry-heaters" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/masonry-heaters#comments Thu, 01 Nov 2012 12:27:55 +0000 Alex Wilson 12179 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com How to Prevent Your Worst Building Assembly Fears from Coming True http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-prevent-your-worst-building-assembly-fears-coming-true <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>Expensive callbacks and lawsuits can result when you don’t attend to the assembly details.</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/continuous_barriers.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/continuous_barriers.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Directional drying is designed into high-performance buildings, and all three control layers must continuously manage water, air, and heat. Note how the air barrier is primarily accomplished at the interior and how difficult it is to prevent thermal bridging at structural framing if exterior rigid insulation is not used.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Steve Baczek Architect<br /></em></div> <p>We’ve all heard the nightmare scenarios: water leaks that mar the finest architectural features of a new building; air leaks that cause hidden mold or rot inside the walls; thermal bridges that compromise occupant comfort and energy performance.</p> <h3><strong>Money on the line</strong></h3> <p>These scenarios have two things in common: first, they could all land you in court. Second, they are all preventable if you’re giving each building assembly detail the time and attention it deserves.</p> <p>During a recession, most firms are already working with knifeblade-thin margins, so it can be tempting to cut corners. While the “extra” work required to get the details right might seem expensive in the short term, it’s a good long-term investment.</p> <p><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/10/26/The-Hidden-Science-of-High-Performance-Building-Assemblies/">In this month’s <em>EBN</em> feature article</a>, Peter Yost and I take a look at how industry leaders are changing the way they practice architecture in response to the increasing complexity of—and increasing demands on—our buildings and building assemblies.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-prevent-your-worst-building-assembly-fears-coming-true" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-prevent-your-worst-building-assembly-fears-coming-true#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:26:58 +0000 Paula Melton 12176 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com NSF’s Fly Ash Ruling and Post-Consumer Alchemy http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/nsf-s-fly-ash-ruling-and-post-consumer-alchemy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Since when are coal-burning power plants “consumers”? A look at NSF’s dubious recycling definitions.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/biocel.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/biocel.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>BioCel carpet backing replaces petroleum-based polymers with those made from soybeans and contains Celceram fly ash as recycled content.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: United Textile<br /></em></div> <p>Fly ash, a by-product of coal combustion, is considered “post-industrial” or “pre-consumer” recycled content by just about everyone…with the notable exception of NSF, which recently, and inexplicably, decided to label fly ash “post-consumer” for its <abbr title="An ANSI-approved multiple-attribute third-party standard for carpet, to which manufacturers have their product third-party certified. This standard has four performance tiers with Platinum the highest achievement level."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1836">NSF-140</a></abbr> carpet standard.</p> <p>NSF justifies this labeling change—explored <a href="http://www.pharosproject.net/blog/detail/id/144/from-smokestack-to-floor%E2%80%93post-consumer-fly-ash">here</a> by the Healthy Building Network’s Tom Lent—as follows:</p> <p>“It is our contention that coal is consumed by the utility (the end consumer of the coal) in the process of production of electricity and that Celceram [Boral’s branded fly ash] is a product that can no longer be used for its intended purpose (i.e., the generation of heat to create steam) and would otherwise be sent to the waste stream.”</p> <p>Hmm, industrial waste is now post-consumer recycled content? It is a dubious argument at best.</p> <p></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/nsf-s-fly-ash-ruling-and-post-consumer-alchemy" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/nsf-s-fly-ash-ruling-and-post-consumer-alchemy#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2012 14:14:00 +0000 Brent Ehrlich 12146 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Heating With Wood Pellets http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heating-wood-pellets <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">What to like and what not to like about pellet stoves and pellet boilers.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/PelletStove_3279-LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/PelletStove_3279-LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Our Quadrafire pellet stove, which we can operate even during a power outage. Click to enlarge.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">We have a sort-of love-hate relationship with our pellet stove. My wife leans more toward the latter, while I see the benefits outweighing the negatives. In this column I’ll outline the primary advantages and disadvantages of pellet heating.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Advantages of wood pellet heating</strong></p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Regional fuel.</strong> The fuel is—or can be—local or regional in origin. At a minimum it’s not fuel that’s coming from places where they don’t like us—like the Middle East. When I’m buying pellets, the source is a significant consideration. I’m willing to pay slightly more to have my pellets come from nearby plants in Jaffrey, New Hampshire or Rutland, Vermont.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Carbon-neutral.</strong> The life-cycle of wood pellet production and use can—and should—be close to carbon-neutral. With natural gas, propane, or heating oil we’re taking carbon that was sequestered underground millions of years ago and releasing that as a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere (where it contributes to global warming). When we burn wood pellets we’re still releasing about the same amount of stored carbon into the atmosphere, but that carbon was sequestered in the wood fiber over just a few decades, and if we’re managing our woodlands properly (replacing harvested trees with new ones) the entire life cycle results in almost no net carbon emissions.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heating-wood-pellets" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heating-wood-pellets#comments Wed, 24 Oct 2012 11:20:58 +0000 Alex Wilson 12139 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com How Many Bikes Really Fit on that Rack? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-many-bikes-really-fit-rack <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Martin Solomon </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Sometimes bikers have to improvise where to leave their bikes, but many common bike racks may be worse than nothing.</h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/fish_bike_lock_forkergirl_resized.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/fish_bike_lock_forkergirl_resized.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Bikers need wheel benders like a fish needs a bike lock.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: forkergirl</em><em>, October 28, 2002 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.</em></div> <p>Biking cross-country from San Francisco to Boston with a friend in 2010, I saw few showers, and had even fewer shaves. As we paused for rest at various cities, towns, and trees across America, we attracted a lot of attention for looking like we lived out of the packs on our bikes (probably because we did).</p> <p>But while we were seeing a lot of our bicycles, a lot of places we visited seem to have been designed as if bikes had never been seen there. Truth be told, where to lean our bikes while we stopped for a snack was low on our list of concerns (did you know that Cameron Pass over the Rocky Mountains peaks at 10,276 feet?), but as someone who often bikes around cities, finding a secure place to lock my bike while I go grocery shopping is sometimes a major problem. (For more on the importance of biking in green and resilient design, <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/resilient-communities">check out Alex’s article on Resilient Communities here</a>.)</p> <p></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-many-bikes-really-fit-rack" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-many-bikes-really-fit-rack#comments Wed, 24 Oct 2012 01:07:53 +0000 Martin Solomon 12138 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Concrete and Green Building: Reducing Impacts, Avoiding Toxic Chemicals http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/concrete-and-green-building-reducing-impacts-avoiding-toxic-chemicals <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div>&nbsp;<br /><br /><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/concrete-stairs.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/concrete-stairs.jpg" alt="" /></a></div> <h3>Concrete and other cementitious materials have both environmental advantages and disadvantages. As builders and designers, should we be looking for alternatives or embracing concrete over competing materials?</h3> <p>A new report from BuildingGreen, <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/concrete-and-green-building">What You Need to Know About Concrete and Green Building</a>, takes a look at how these materials are made, presents the key environmental considerations relating to their production, use, and eventual disposal, and describes ways to reduce their environmental impacts.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/concrete-and-green-building-reducing-impacts-avoiding-toxic-chemicals" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/concrete-and-green-building-reducing-impacts-avoiding-toxic-chemicals#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 20:40:55 +0000 Tristan Roberts 12102 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com LED and Power: Quality Matters http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/led-and-power-quality-matters <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>LED replacement lamps look super-efficient on payback charts and utility bills, but they may be sucking more power than you realize.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Cree_LRP38_edison_angle_med.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Cree_LRP38_edison_angle_med.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>LED replacement lamps like this one from Cree&nbsp; have a high power factor; those intended for residential use often don't. </strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Cree, Inc.<br /></em></div> <p>GreenSpec and <em>EBN</em> have reviewed a number of LED replacement lamps over the years and have reported on <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ongoing-revolution-led-lighting">improvements in efficacy</a> (light output in lumens per watt of electricity consumption), <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2007/8/2/Light-Emitting-Diodes-Chasing-White-Light/">color, and light quality</a>; <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/7/1/LED-Systems-Provide-Huge-Energy-Savings-for-Jobsite-Lighting/">lower costs</a>; and <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2010/10/29/Modular-LED-Lighting-Enters-the-Mainstream/">its increasing acceptance</a>.</p> <p>In the <em>EBN</em> article <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/11/29/LEDs-The-Future-Is-Here/">LEDs: The Future is Here</a>, we explored briefly how LEDs interact with the power supply, but we were surprised when an email from Stefan Bernath, Alberta infrastructure energy coordinator, came in describing how LEDs were affecting his building’s power supply.</p> <p>His email got me wondering if power quality and LEDs are going to be a bigger problem in the future.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/led-and-power-quality-matters" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/led-and-power-quality-matters#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 11:37:20 +0000 Brent Ehrlich 12100 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Free Webcast on Toxic Chemicals in Buildings: Now Available Online http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/free-webcast-toxic-chemicals-buildings-now-available-online <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>Did you miss the live webcast? Get it here for free—and take a quiz for continuing education credits too.</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/guineapig.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/guineapig.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Guinea pigs everywhere want to know: do you know as much about toxic chemicals as a building professional should?</strong><br /><br /></div> <p>Nadav Malin and I had a great time presenting our webcast featuring BuildingGreen's new handbook, “<a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/guidance/Avoid-Toxic-Chemicals-in-Buildings">Toxic Chemicals in Buildings: How to Find &amp; Avoid the Worst Offenders</a>,” to almost 500 participants in late September.</p> <p>If you missed it—or if, like many audience members hoped, you wanted to see some of the slides again—now’s your chance. We've posted the video at the bottom of this page.</p> <h3><strong>What it’s about</strong></h3> <p>This webcast is designed to help you sort through the constant barrage of information about everything out there that “might be killing you” and help your clients build healthier buildings. Topics include:</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/free-webcast-toxic-chemicals-buildings-now-available-online" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/free-webcast-toxic-chemicals-buildings-now-available-online#comments Thu, 04 Oct 2012 20:36:36 +0000 Paula Melton 12075 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A Growing Database of Healthier Building Products http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/growing-database-healthier-building-products <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nadav Malin </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>The new Declare "nutrition label" and database will streamline the ardous task of finding Living Building Challenge-compliant products.</h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Declare.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Declare.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>The Declare label lists ingredients with color coding, making it really easy to see which ingredients might be a concern.</strong> Click to enlarge.<br /><em>Photo Credit: International Living Future Institute<br /></em></div> <p>After teasing the Living Building Challenge community for a couple of years with promises of an ingredient label for products, the International Living Future Institute has launched <a href="http://www.declareproducts.com/">Declare</a>.</p> <p>The branding and basic premise of the program are as we described back in January, in the <em>Environmental Building News</em> feature article “<a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/12/27/The-Transparency-Movement-Peeking-Behind-the-Corporate-Veil/">The Product Transparency Movement: Peeking Behind the Corporate Veil</a>.” While the original description focused on the idea of a product “label,” however, in practice most people will interact with Declare as an online list of red-list-ready products.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/growing-database-healthier-building-products" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/growing-database-healthier-building-products#comments Thu, 04 Oct 2012 14:36:38 +0000 Paula Melton 12071 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Have Your Wood or Pellet Stove and Cleaner Air Too http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/have-your-wood-or-pellet-stove-and-cleaner-air-too <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Wood smoke is still a guilty pleasure in the northern U.S. and Canada. But newer wood stove technologies produce less smoke—and less guilt.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Wiseway_stove.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Wiseway_stove.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>This gravity-fed </strong><strong>pellet stove from Wiseway produces few emissions and uses no electricity.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Wiseway Pellet Stoves<br /></em></div> <p>I love fall and the start of heating season here in Vermont: the leaves are changing colors, there’s frost on the grass, and the morning fog mingles with smoke from wood stoves, its scent triggering memories of home, family, warmth, and the pending winter.</p> <p>There must be some primeval connection to smoke that I find comforting, yet I know that wood smoke is also a significant source of pollution in the form of fine particulates that are lung irritants and asthmagens; sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides that cause <abbr title="The precipitation of dilute solutions of strong mineral acids, formed by the mixing in the atmosphere of various industrial pollutants (primarily sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) with naturally occurring oxygen and water vapor."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2205">acid rain</a></abbr>; and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, <abbr title="1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions.2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2381">formaldehyde</a></abbr>, and dioxin that are carcinogenic. Fortunately, there are a number of newer wood stoves available that significantly reduce these emissions.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/have-your-wood-or-pellet-stove-and-cleaner-air-too" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/have-your-wood-or-pellet-stove-and-cleaner-air-too#comments Wed, 03 Oct 2012 14:55:42 +0000 Brent Ehrlich 12041 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Drainline Heat Exchangers http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/drainline-heat-exchangers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">This simple system for recovering heat from wastewater makes a lot of sense—especially for families and commercial buildings that produce a lot of hot water.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Power-Pipe_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Power-Pipe_MedRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Power-Pipe drainline heat exchanger. Heat from the hot water going down the drain pipe is transferred to water passing through the smaller-diameter pipes.</strong> <em>Click to enlarge</em><br /><em>Photo Credit: RenewABILITY Energy<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Over the past few weeks I’ve written about various strategies to produce hot water efficiently. We’ve seen that tankless water heaters are more efficient than storage water heaters (though are not without their drawbacks), and we’ve learned that heat-pump water heaters produce two to three times as much heat per unit of electricity consumed as electric water heaters that rely on electric resistance heat.</p> <p class="Standard">But the unfortunate reality is that even with the most efficient methods of generating hot water, we still lose the vast majority of that heat down the drain. Domestic hot water is a once-through product. I’ve seen estimates that 90% of the heat in hot water is lost down the drain. Dan Cautley, an energy engineer with the Energy Center of Wisconsin, says that drain water “may be one of our largest untapped resources.”</p> <p class="Standard">It turns out that we can do something about that. Im the right application, drainline heat exchangers allow a significant portion of the heat from hot water going down the drain to be recovered.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/drainline-heat-exchangers" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/drainline-heat-exchangers#comments Wed, 26 Sep 2012 20:04:49 +0000 Alex Wilson 12000 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Dirty Tires Become Clean Floors in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/dirty-tires-become-clean-floors-pennsylvania-s-amish-country <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Martin Solomon </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Pastoral scenery provides a contrast to Ecore’s factory, where it produces unique recycled rubber flooring systems that could change the industry.</h3> <p>Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, home to one of the largest Amish communities in the United States, is also home to the headquarters of Ecore International, a company predominantly known for several rubber flooring offerings.</p> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/york_lancaster_pa_web.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/york_lancaster_pa_web.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>The Columbia–Wrightsville Bridge crosses the Susquehanna River, connecting York and Lancaster counties.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: pennstatelive, May 14, 2008 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.</em></div> <p>During a recent visit to Ecore’s manufacturing location in York, Pennsylvania (located in York County, adjacent to Lancaster County), I got an inside look at “itstru” (pronounced “it’s true”) technology, a process that Ecore has developed to bond a diverse variety of wear layers to a recycled rubber underlayment, resulting in interesting new possibilities for flooring options—flooring like vinyl or carpet, with the performance characteristics of rubber, and easy to install.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/dirty-tires-become-clean-floors-pennsylvania-s-amish-country" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/dirty-tires-become-clean-floors-pennsylvania-s-amish-country#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2012 13:49:39 +0000 Martin Solomon 11993 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A Look at Heat Pump Water Heaters http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/look-heat-pump-water-heaters <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">New federal regulations beginning in mid-April 2015 will require that larger electric water heaters be heat-pump models. It’s time to pay attention to this option.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/GeoSpring_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/GeoSpring_MedRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>The GE GeoSpring heat-pump water heater is the quietest model I could find and the only one that's made in America.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: GE Appliances<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Last week I wrote about <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hybrid-water-heaters">“hybrid” water heaters</a>, a relatively new type of water heater that includes features of both storage and tankless models. This week I’ll cover another type of water heater that is also (confusingly) referred to as “hybrid”: <abbr title="A type of heating and/or cooling equipment that draws heat into a building from outside and, during the cooling season, ejects heat from the building to the outside. Heat pumps are vapor-compression refrigeration systems whose indoor/outdoor coils are used reversibly as condensers or evaporators, depending on the need for heating or cooling. In the 2003 CBECS, specific information was collected on whether the heat pump system was a packaged unit, residential-type split system, or individual room heat pump, and whether the heat pump was air source, ground source, or water source."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2404">heat pump</a></abbr> water heaters. These produce over twice as much hot water for each unit of electricity consumed as any other type of electric water heater (storage or tankless).</p> <p class="Standard">You’re going to be hearing a lot about heat-pump water heaters over the next few years, because new federal regulations that take effect in 2015 will require heat pump functionality for larger electric water heaters—more on that below.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/look-heat-pump-water-heaters" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/look-heat-pump-water-heaters#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2012 20:20:08 +0000 Alex Wilson 11992 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Hybrid Water Heaters http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hybrid-water-heaters <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">A relatively new type of water heater combines features of both tankless and storage water heaters.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/AOSmith_next_hybrid-crop.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/AOSmith_next_hybrid-crop.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>A.O. Smith's NEXT Hybrid water heater.</strong><em>Click to enlarge.</em><br /><em>Photo Credit: A.O. Smith<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">In <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/difference-between-storage-and-tankless-water-heaters">last week’s blog </a>I compared tankless and storage water heaters and explained why tankless water heaters often don’t make that much sense.</p> <p class="Standard">This week I’ll describe a newer type of water heater that has some features of both storage and tankless designs and solves several problems that are common with tankless models. While these are referred to as <em>hybrid water heaters</em>, they are quite different from <em>heat-pump water heaters</em>, which are also often referred to as hybrid. I’ll cover heat-pump water heaters next week.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hybrid-water-heaters" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hybrid-water-heaters#comments Thu, 13 Sep 2012 12:01:05 +0000 Alex Wilson 11404 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Free Webcast: How to Find and Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Buildings http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/free-webcast-how-find-and-avoid-toxic-chemicals-buildings <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>Phobia or fatigue? When it comes to toxic chemicals, we all have our own way of coping with information overload. A </strong><a href="https://buildinggreen.webex.com/buildinggreen/onstage/g.php?t=a&amp;d=664813568"><strong>free webcast</strong></a><strong> helps you sort it all out.</strong></p> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/vinyl_sheet_flooring_installation.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/vinyl_sheet_flooring_installation.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Do you know where the most toxic chemicals are in building products? Vinyl sheet flooring is a top hazard, but far from the only one.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: DIYadvice.com</em></div> <p>Even if we try to ignore it, we are constantly barraged with information about dangerous chemicals in our food, our water, our dust, our air…even our grocery receipts.</p> <p>The information is often sensationalized, always incomplete, and sometimes downright contradictory from one day to the next.</p> <p><strong>You can’t “go organic” at work</strong></p> <p>It’s hard enough to make choices about everyday things like organic food, antibacterial soap, or vinyl flooring in your own home.</p> <p>As a building professional, your clients look to you to help them make solid, science-based decisions about even more complex products and materials. Decisions about a school, a multifamily building, or a commercial office space can affect a lot of people. Do you have enough information to answer the questions of concerned clients?</p> <p>Other clients may be skeptical about the dangers of certain materials or worried that alternatives will cost too much, even if they’re interested in healthier materials. How do you cope with that?</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/free-webcast-how-find-and-avoid-toxic-chemicals-buildings" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/free-webcast-how-find-and-avoid-toxic-chemicals-buildings#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2012 21:49:03 +0000 Paula Melton 11403 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Hidden Seam Failures? We Put Flashing Tapes to the Test http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hidden-seam-failures-we-put-flashing-tapes-test <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>Flashing and air barrier seam tapes get buried deep in our walls where we rely on long-term performance without monitoring them. Are they doing their jobs? </strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Zip_tape_company_testing.png" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Zip_tape_company_testing.png" alt="" /></a> <strong>Companies do their own more sophisticated testing, like this tensile test on ZIP Tape. The company has <a href="http://www.zipsystem.com/science-behind/tape.aspx" target="_blank">a whole video on its testing procedures</a>, but it's more fun to try this at home! </strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Screen shot from ZIP System video<br /></em></div> <p><em>NOTE: Read this whole series <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business%3A%20Achieving%20Weathertightness" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>Service life of tapes can determine the service life of an entire high-performance building assembly.</p> <p><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/blogs/adhesives-and-sealants-performance-first-materials-matter">Performance testing of adhesives and sealants</a> used in our weather barriers is improving due to new field-testing research, as we’ve written about before. However, the improvements in testing haven’t reached a critical product area: pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes used for sealing seams in flashing, housewrap, and generally creating continuity in air and weather barriers. “I am unaware of any work being done on this issue, either laboratory or field tests,” says Christopher White, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).</p> <p>The most commonly cited adhesion tests for pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes are as follows:</p> <ul> <li><abbr title="Voluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services"><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2233">ASTM</a></abbr> D3330 – Standard Test Method for Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes</li> <li>ASTM D903-98-04 – Standard Test Method for Peel or Stripping Strength of Adhesive Bonds</li> <li>ASTM D1876-01 – Standard Test Method for Peel Resistance of Adhesives</li> <li>ASTM D3654 – Standard Test for Shear Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes</li> <li>ASTM D3330 – Standard Test Method for Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes</li> </ul> <p>But none of these tests is ideally suited for lab-testing high-stretch construction flashing tapes, and none go anywhere near testing under field conditions. And since just about all tapes are used in concealed weather and air barrier systems, we really need a field-service-life prediction test.</p> <h3><strong>&nbsp;“Workbench tests” of flashing tapes</strong></h3> <p>So we took matters into our own hands—or rather, our own workbench. Lately I have been just sticking a slew of tapes on different building materials and gauging how hard it is to pull them apart.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hidden-seam-failures-we-put-flashing-tapes-test" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hidden-seam-failures-we-put-flashing-tapes-test#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2012 11:54:28 +0000 Paula Melton 11363 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Saving a Little More Energy With Exit Signs http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/saving-little-more-energy-exit-signs <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard"><strong>Those ubiquitous exit signs use a huge amount of electricity; a little-known alternative to conventional LED products offers surprising savings.</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/ExitSign_0395_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/ExitSign_0395_MedRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>An exit sign at Yale's LEED-Platinum Kroon Hall. </strong><em>Click to enlarge.</em><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">In the years that I’ve been writing about energy and energy conservation (longer than I really want to admit), I’ve reported on several dramatic transitions in how we illuminate the exit signs in commercial buildings. For an energy geek, it’s been an exciting technology to watch.</p> <h3 class="Standard"><strong>Why care about exit signs?</strong></h3> <p class="Standard">Why do we even pay attention to exit signs—those ubiquitous red or green illuminated signs that direct our escape from a building should the need arise? They can’t use very much energy, can they?</p> <p class="Standard">Each one uses relatively little electricity, but they are on all the time. And we have a lot of them in our schools, factories, and office buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are more than 100 million exit signs in use today in the U.S., consuming 30–35 billion kilowatt-hours (<abbr title="A kilowatt-hour is a unit of work or energy, measured as 1 kilowatt (1,000 watts) of power expended for 1 hour. One kWh is equivalent to 3,412 Btu."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2429">kWh</a></abbr>) of electricity annually.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/saving-little-more-energy-exit-signs" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/saving-little-more-energy-exit-signs#comments Wed, 29 Aug 2012 21:23:08 +0000 Alex Wilson 11362 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Insulation to Keep Us Warm—Not Warm the Planet http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulation-keep-us-warm-not-warm-planet <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard"><strong>An update on getting the global warming potential (<abbr title="Global Warming Potential is a measure of how much heat is trapped by a given mass of gas, contributing to global warming, compared with the same mass of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide has a GWP value of 1."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1853">GWP</a></abbr>) out of insulation materials.</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Straube_SPF__2519_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Straube_SPF__2519_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Today's closed-cell SPF has a global warming potential of 1,430, but if producers adopt new HFO blowing agents, it will drop to close to zero.</strong> Click to enlarge.<br /><em>Photo Credit: John Straube<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">I’ve been pretty vocal about a big problem with some of our most common insulation materials: that they are made using blowing agents that are highly potent greenhouse gases.</p> <p class="Standard">All extruded polystyrene (XPS) and most closed-cell spray polyurethane foams (SPF) are made with HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) blowing agents that have global warming potentials (GWPs) many hundreds of times greater than that of carbon dioxide. (My apologies for contaminating this column with so many acronyms!)</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Insulation: good news, bad news</strong></p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulation-keep-us-warm-not-warm-planet" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/insulation-keep-us-warm-not-warm-planet#comments Wed, 22 Aug 2012 20:54:46 +0000 Alex Wilson 11315 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Adhesives and Sealants: Performance First, but Materials Matter http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/adhesives-and-sealants-performance-first-materials-matter <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <h3>Exterior adhesives and sealants are formulated for performance, but some contain chemicals that pose risks to unprotected workers or the environment</h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Brent_Blog_Images/Blog__Adhesives_window-caulking.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Brent_Blog_Images/Blog__Adhesives_window-caulking.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>The silicone found in many window caulks is not much of a health risk to onsite workers, but the chemicals used to produce silicon are coming under greater scrutiny.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: ArmaCo Construction<br /></em></div> <p>&nbsp;<em>NOTE: Read this whole series <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business%3A%20Achieving%20Weathertightness" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>As discussed throughout this series, adhesives and sealants used outside the building envelope have to adhere to the substrate and seal gaps, and they often need to be as durable as the building itself. Performance is the primary concern, and the chemical constituents often take a back seat. Unlike products used on the interior—where <abbr title="1. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate). The compounds vaporize (become a gas) at normal room temperatures.2. A molecule containing one or more carbon atoms that tends to evaporate (volatilize) into the air at typical ambi­ent conditions. Some legal definitions of VOCs are restricted to those that react with sunlight to generate smog. Some VOCs are carcinogens, suspected carcinogens, or known irritants at typical levels."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2541">VOCs</a></abbr> and other potentially hazardous chemicals can concentrate to create indoor air quality problems for occupants—for exterior products, exposure risk is mostly limited to workers who manufacture and apply the products.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/adhesives-and-sealants-performance-first-materials-matter" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/adhesives-and-sealants-performance-first-materials-matter#comments Wed, 22 Aug 2012 17:10:45 +0000 Brent Ehrlich 11314 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Sealing Without Stickum: Gaskets Make a Place for Themselves http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sealing-without-stickum-gaskets-make-place-themselves <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <h3>Compressible gaskets keep air and water barriers continuous without liquid sealants or adhesive tapes. But they don’t all last equally well.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/karuna_passive_house_gasket_sill_plate.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/karuna_passive_house_gasket_sill_plate.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>This Holst Architecture-designed Passive House project, <a href="http://hammerandhand.com/karuna-passive-house" target="_self">Karuna House</a>, includes gasketing on the sill plate—common in Northern Europe for decades but fairly new to the U.S.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: <a href="http://hammerandhand.com/_blog/Field_Notes/post/Karuna_House_concrete_detailing_and_pour_shown_in_site_photos/#.UCwyrUR9kZJ" target="_blank">Hammer &amp; Hand</a><br /></em></div> <p><em>NOTE: Read this whole series <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business%3A%20Achieving%20Weathertightness" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>In the U.S., we tend to put a lot of faith in caulks, tapes, and wet-applied sealants. But in Europe it’s a different story.</p> <p>Some Gaskets can be used in place of tapes or liquid sealants, mainly as part of residential air barrier systems. According to <a href="http://www.conservationtechnology.com/building_gaskets.html">Lee Jaslow of Conservation Technologies</a>, a leading U.S. distributor of high-performance gaskets and one of the <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/bg-custom/csi/1512">high-performance gasket listings in GreenSpec</a>, the market for gaskets in residential construction is small but growing, with increased interest due to high-performance rating systems such as Passive House.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sealing-without-stickum-gaskets-make-place-themselves" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sealing-without-stickum-gaskets-make-place-themselves#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2012 23:44:46 +0000 Paula Melton 11297 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Sustainable Sealants: The Challenges of Predicting Service Life http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sustainable-sealants-challenges-predicting-service-life <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>Caulk joint sealants can be a major deciding factor in how long your building envelope lasts. Is there a better way to predict how long <em>they</em> last?</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/pvc_weathering_engine.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/pvc_weathering_engine.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Mounted on the roof at NIST, this "weathering engine" tests sealant durability</strong><strong>.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: National Institute of Standards and Technology<br /></em></div> <p><em>NOTE: Read this whole series <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business%3A%20Achieving%20Weathertightness" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>Durability, or service life, is critical to the overall performance of liquid <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/search/apachesolr_search?filters=tid%3A44">caulk joint sealants</a> in the water and air barriers in our buildings.</p> <p>If we can figure out how long sealants actually last then we can come up with a prudent inspection schedule—and have a good idea of how they’ll fail and how to replace them. The good news about sealants is that they are generally exposed to view—unlike flashing tapes, which are generally buried and inaccessible. (More on tapes in a future post.)</p> <h3><strong>Fairly assessing durability or service life</strong></h3> <p>We are always hoping for that one magic test that fairly, accurately, and realistically portrays one or more performance attributes of our building materials.</p> <p>The trouble is that, while field tests can be more realistic, they tend to introduce many uncontrolled or non-measurable conditions. And the trouble with laboratory tests is that they set, control, and measure many conditions, making them often far from what actually goes on in the field.</p> <p>It turns out that we have plenty of useful standardized laboratory tests for both liquid sealants and tapes that we use in our weather and air barriers. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we haven’t had useful tests for the field service life prediction of those same sealants and tapes—until recently.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sustainable-sealants-challenges-predicting-service-life" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sustainable-sealants-challenges-predicting-service-life#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2012 19:39:00 +0000 Paula Melton 11286 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Expanded Cork - The Greenest Insulation Material? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/expanded-cork-greenest-insulation-material <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Introducing all-natural expanded cork boardstock insulation to the North American market.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/ICB_boards_MedRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/ICB_boards_MedRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Expanded cork insulation is available up to 12 inches thick and can be used much like polyiso. </strong><em>Click to enlarge.</em><br /><em>Photo Credit: Amorim Isolamentos<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">I’m always on the hunt for the latest, most interesting, and most environmentally friendly building materials, and I have particular interest in insulation products—partly because many conventional insulation products have significant environmental downsides. (See “<a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2010/6/1/Avoiding-the-Global-Warming-Impact-of-Insulation/">Avoiding the Global Warming Impact of Insulation</a>” and “<a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2009/7/30/Polystyrene-Insulation-Does-It-Belong-in-a-Green-Building/?show=all">Polystyrene: Does it Belong in a Green Building?</a>”)</p> <p class="Standard">So I was thrilled to learn about <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/product/expanded-insulation-cork-board/amorim-isolamentos-sa/11076">expanded cork boardstock insulation</a> made by the Portuguese company <a href="http://www.bcork.amorim.com/en">Amorim Isolamentos </a>and just now being introduced into the North American market. Francisco Simoes, of Amorim, visited our office in Brattleboro in June and told us all about it.</p> <p class="Standard">Familiar to wine drinkers as the traditional bottle-stopper, cork is a natural product made from the outer bark of a species of oak tree that grows in the western Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa. The bark is harvested after trees reach an age of 18–25 years and it regenerates, allowing harvesting every nine years over the tree’s 200-year life.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/expanded-cork-greenest-insulation-material" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/expanded-cork-greenest-insulation-material#comments Tue, 31 Jul 2012 11:47:08 +0000 Alex Wilson 11208 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Saving Wood from the Landfill, Without the Supply Issues http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/saving-wood-landfill-without-supply-issues <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Oregon-based Viridian upcycles shipping waste to make stylish flooring, tabletops, veneers, and other products</h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Blog_Viridian_Jakarta_Market_Blend.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Blog_Viridian_Jakarta_Market_Blend.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Once destined for the landfill, this wood was taken from shipping materials and upcycled into Viridian's Jakarta Market Blend flooring.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Viridian Reclaimed Wood<br /></em></div> <p>Over the years, the GreenSpec team has looked at a lot of reclaimed lumber. It’s usually taken from barns and other aging structures, checked for lead paint and chemicals, and then turned into flooring and other products.</p> <p>It’s rustic and attractive, but actually ordering it is fraught with supply challenges, so when Joe Mitchoff, co-founder of Viridian Wood Products, stopped by the office to show his company’s products to Alex Wilson and me, my expectations were not particularly high. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the product and the story behind it.</p> <h3>The Process</h3> <p>Most of Viridian’s wood is not reclaimed from buildings. Instead, it comes from overseas shipping materials gathered from the Port of Portland, Oregon, and other area ports. Mitchoff and his business partner, Pierce Henley, discovered that the wooden pallets, crates, and other packing materials that came into the port everyday were sent to the landfill as a matter of course—up to thirty, 30-yard dumpsters per ship. “We found this tremendous waste at the Port of Portland,” Mitchoff said, and they began looking for ways to upcycle it.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/saving-wood-landfill-without-supply-issues" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/saving-wood-landfill-without-supply-issues#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2012 03:27:38 +0000 Brent Ehrlich 11049 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com The Results Are In: Green Builders and Designers Might Need Toxicology Summer School http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/results-are-green-builders-and-designers-might-need-toxicology-summer-school <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>We’ve run the numbers from our quiz on toxic chemicals in building products, and we all have some explaining to do. Put down your #2 pencils and listen up!</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/chewed_number_2_pencil.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/chewed_number_2_pencil.jpg" alt="" /></a></div> <p>SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t yet taken the <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/blogs/are-chemicals-poisoning-your-perfect-designs-test-your-knowledge-building-product-hazards">GreenSpec toxic chemical quiz</a>, head over and do it now—yes, <em>before</em> you read the answers.</p> <h3><strong>Find out how you did</strong></h3> <p>Find out below how well you did on the GreenSpec toxic chemical quiz. And feel free to brag, commiserate, add your expertise, or kvetch about “trick questions” in the comments.</p> <p>Afterwards, if you want to learn more about toxic chemicals in building materials—or if you are looking for a simple, straightforward way to share your knowledge with colleagues, students, or clients—please check out the report we've just released, <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/guidance/Avoid-Toxic-Chemicals-in-Buildings" target="_blank"><em>Avoiding Toxic Chemicals in Commercial Building Products: A Handbook of Common Hazards and How to Keep Them Out</em></a>.</p> <h3><strong>Which one applies to you?</strong></h3> <p>20–25 points: Consider a career change: you should be teaching toxicology summer school!</p> <p>13–19 points: You have a pretty good handle on how to design healthier buildings—but the unknowns could keep you up at night.</p> <p>6–12 points: You know just enough about toxic chemicals to be dangerous!</p> <p>0–5 points: What you don’t know can hurt you: consider brushing up.</p> <p></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/results-are-green-builders-and-designers-might-need-toxicology-summer-school" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/results-are-green-builders-and-designers-might-need-toxicology-summer-school#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2012 14:07:30 +0000 Paula Melton 11103 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com The Ongoing Revolution in LED Lighting http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ongoing-revolution-led-lighting <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">LED lighting keeps on improving as yet another record <abbr title="In lighting, the ratio of light output (in lumens) to input power (in watts). Higher efficacy indicates higher efficiency."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2353">efficacy</a></abbr> is announced.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Cree_XP-G2.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Cree_XP-G2.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Cree's new XLamp XP-G2 LED chip delivers up to 165 lumens per watt.</strong> <em>Click on image to enlarge.</em><br /><em>Photo Credit: Cree</em></div> <p class="Standard">A few days ago I got yet another press release about a new efficiency record with LED lighting. These are almost commonplace as we ride the revolution that is redefining electric lighting.</p> <p class="Standard">To back up, let me provide a short synopsis of lighting technologies and history.</p> <p class="Standard">Incandescent lamps provided the first electric lighting, with Thomas Edison inventing the first commercially viable light bulb around 1880 (building on the inventions of many others), and the technology has changed relatively little since General Electric introduced tungsten-filament light bulbs in 1911. Electric current flows through a very thin, coiled filament made of tungsten wire and glows white-hot, producing light. With incandescent lighting, roughly 90% of the electricity is converted into heat, only 10% into light.</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ongoing-revolution-led-lighting" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ongoing-revolution-led-lighting#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2012 13:00:35 +0000 Alex Wilson 11100 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Stickiness Explained! Making Building Tapes and Membranes Stay Put http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/stickiness-explained-making-building-tapes-and-membranes-stay-put <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <h3>When you use tape to seal a seam or flash a sill, you need peel-and-stick performance—not “stick-and-peel.”</h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/duct_tape.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/duct_tape.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>...or is it? Our confidence in tape <em>might</em> be a little misplaced.</strong></div> <p><em>NOTE: Read this whole series <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business%3A%20Achieving%20Weathertightness" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>While liquid sealants most often are used on the exposed surfaces of building enclosures, <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/bg-custom/csi/1457">pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes</a> (member link) and membranes are used one or even two layers deep in the building assembly to seal the margins of weather-resistive and air barriers and at penetrations such as window openings.</p> <p>Their location means that they cannot be inspected, repaired, or replaced; we need to know that they will maintain their integrity and function for the full service life of the assembly.</p> <h3><strong>What makes stuff “sticky?”</strong></h3> <p>It’s pretty easy to take pressure-sensitive adhesion (PSA) for granted; from band-aids to masking tape to peel-and-stick membranes, we use them pretty much every day. But the science of PSA is complex and even a bit uncertain.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/stickiness-explained-making-building-tapes-and-membranes-stay-put" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/stickiness-explained-making-building-tapes-and-membranes-stay-put#comments Tue, 10 Jul 2012 21:34:16 +0000 Paula Melton 11047 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Are Chemicals Poisoning Your Perfect Designs? Test Your Knowledge of Building Product Hazards http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/are-chemicals-poisoning-your-perfect-designs-test-your-knowledge-building-product-hazards <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MCZK769">Take our quiz</a> to find out how much you really know about <abbr title="1. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate). The compounds vaporize (become a gas) at normal room temperatures.2. A molecule containing one or more carbon atoms that tends to evaporate (volatilize) into the air at typical ambi­ent conditions. Some legal definitions of VOCs are restricted to those that react with sunlight to generate smog. Some VOCs are carcinogens, suspected carcinogens, or known irritants at typical levels."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2541">VOCs</a></abbr>, lead, toxic flame retardants, and other common hazards in building materials.</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/hazmat_at_the_office.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/hazmat_at_the_office.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Sometimes you feel like you should wear a hazmat suit to the office—but it <em>can</em> be difficult to find a tie to match.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: </em><em>Reena Rose Sibayan, NJ.com</em><br /></div> <p>Food, toys, furniture, building products—just about everything around us—can contain chemicals that will make us very sick or even kill us if we are exposed at a certain level over a long period of time. Sometimes it seems like there’s some new killer substance in our homes, schools, and offices almost every day of the week.</p> <h3><strong>Information overload</strong></h3> <p>But news stories about these products usually provide little or no context to help people understand when they may truly be in danger.</p> <p>A lot of people, overwhelmed by the constant scares and unclear on which products are actually hazardous, give up on keeping track of everything that might poison them.</p> <p>Building industry professionals don’t have that luxury.</p> <h3>Also Read</h3> <h3><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/chemical-industry-attacks-leed-buildinggreen-checks-facts">Chemical Industry Attacks LEED; BuildingGreen Checks the Facts</a></h3> <h3><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/why-we-need-nutrition-labels-building-products-video">Video: Why We Need “Nutrition Labels” for Building Products</a></h3> <h3><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-concern-about-pesticides-exterior-paints?bgcfmauth=1">New Concern about Pesticides in Exterior Paints</a></h3> <h3><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/4/5/New-Flame-Retardant-for-Polystyrene-Too-Much-Like-the-Old/">New Flame Retardant for Polystyrene—Too Much Like the Old?</a></h3> <h3><strong>Clients are paying attention, but they need your help</strong></h3> <p>Knowing which building materials and products are likely to contain which toxic substances—and knowing when to minimize use of those materials or find less-toxic alternatives—comes with the territory. And the need for this knowledge is not just confined to the green building world anymore.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/are-chemicals-poisoning-your-perfect-designs-test-your-knowledge-building-product-hazards" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/are-chemicals-poisoning-your-perfect-designs-test-your-knowledge-building-product-hazards#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2012 19:05:12 +0000 Paula Melton 11031 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Specifications for LEED “Certifiable” Projects: 4 Approaches http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/specifications-leed-certifiable-projects-4-approaches <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mark Kalin, FAIA FCSI LEED BD+C </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen Talks LEED </div> </div> </div> <h3>Many owners and municipalities are requesting LEED “certifiable” buildings from their design teams. How is a specifier to respond?</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/LivingLearningCenter.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/LivingLearningCenter.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>The ZGF-designed "Living Learning Center" at the University of Oregon was designed to the LEED Silver standard but did not apply for certification. Colleges &amp; universities frequently take this approach.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: University of Oregon<br /></em></div> <p>In our experience with over 200 (real) LEED projects, we have seen four approaches.</p> <h3>Approach 1: Declare an early victory</h3> <p>The team completes the LEED scorecard and declares victory. There is no mention of LEED in the project manual and the contractor is asked to “make the right green choices.” There is no review of the scorecard after construction. While this is clearly a useless LEED approach, there are many who accept this result. In fairness, some are municipalities that are not able to mandate certification, others are architects who believe their professional training and personal commitment is the correct measure of sustainability.</p> <p><strong>Specifier’s Response:</strong> As always, at least include low-VOC products, high-performance products, and construction waste management in your specs.</p> <h3>Approach 2: Sprinkle in some requirements</h3> <p>The team completes the LEED scorecard, makes a determination of which design credits could be easily achieved, and includes only a few requirements in the specifications. Perhaps construction waste management, <abbr title="Independent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2382">FSC</a></abbr>-<abbr title="Wood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2282">certified wood</a></abbr>, and Green Label Plus carpet are sufficient to demonstrate some interest in sustainable design. Data-intensive credits such as recycled content, regional materials, and low-emitting materials are typically avoided. Again, the scorecard is not evaluated after construction.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/specifications-leed-certifiable-projects-4-approaches" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen Talks LEED GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/specifications-leed-certifiable-projects-4-approaches#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2012 14:43:14 +0000 Tristan Roberts 10956 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Five Steps to Choosing Healthier, Greener Furniture http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/five-steps-choosing-healthier-greener-furniture <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><strong>Furniture constantly touches our skin and can emit <abbr title="1. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate). The compounds vaporize (become a gas) at normal room temperatures.2. A molecule containing one or more carbon atoms that tends to evaporate (volatilize) into the air at typical ambi­ent conditions. Some legal definitions of VOCs are restricted to those that react with sunlight to generate smog. Some VOCs are carcinogens, suspected carcinogens, or known irritants at typical levels."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2541">VOCs</a></abbr> directly into our breathing zones. These five steps will help you make safer, greener choices.</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Think.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Think.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Steelcase's lightweight Think chair is one of a handful of products that have achieved level 3 certification through <abbr title="A multiple-attribute level, third-party certification, and label for commercial furniture with three tiers, level 3 being the most rigorous, based on points earned but with no prerequisites."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1849">BIFMA</a></abbr>.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Steelcase</em></div> <p>We already have plenty to think about when it comes to the environmental and health profile of basic materials like wood and plastics. Complex assembled products like furniture multiply all those considerations.</p> <p>What’s more, new products come out all the time, and their features can be radically different. And the nuanced interplay of function, aesthetics, ergonomics, and cost already choreographs a delicate dance for designers and specifiers. That's not even mentioning compliance with <a href="http://www.leeduser.com/credit/CI-2009/IEQc4.5">LEED IEQc4.5: Low-Emitting Materials: Furniture &amp; Furnishings</a> in <a href="http://www.leeduser.com/rating-systems/CI-2009/leed-commercial-interiors-2009">LEED-CI</a> or <a href="http://www.leeduser.com/rating-systems/Schools-2009/leed-schools-2009">LEED for Schools</a>. How do you stay on top of it—and still manage to pull green considerations into the mix?</p> <p>One way is to step back a bit and think through what are the top green priorities for furniture.</p> <h3><strong>1. Put health first</strong></h3> <p>Desks, chairs, cafeteria tables: these interior products are in regular, close contact with building occupants, so human health has to be the top priority among many green considerations.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/five-steps-choosing-healthier-greener-furniture" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/five-steps-choosing-healthier-greener-furniture#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2012 19:04:26 +0000 Paula Melton 10918 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com How to Choose a Sealant That Works http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-choose-sealant-works <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <h3>Any sealant can perform well in the right application, but knowing which to pick for your job is another thing. Our guide to sealants and how to use them.</h3> <p><em>NOTE: Read this whole series <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business%3A%20Achieving%20Weathertightness" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Dap_caulk.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Paula_Blog_Images/Dap_caulk.jpg" alt="" /></a> <br /><em>Photo Credit: DAP</em></div> <p>When <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/search/apachesolr_search?filters=tid%3A36%20tid%3A38">selecting a sealant</a>, these properties are typically the most important:</p> <ul> <li>movement tolerance (rated by Class per <abbr title="Voluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services"><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2233">ASTM</a></abbr> C920, with 25 meaning joint movement of 25% of the linear width dimension of the sealant bead)</li> <li>substrate compatibility</li> <li>workability, particularly based on temperature</li> <li>paintability and its converse—substrate staining</li> <li>relative cost</li> <li>service life</li> <li>material constituency and hazardous content</li> </ul> <p>There are seven basic types of liquid sealants, largely based on their chemistries and subsequent strengths and limitations. Each sealant’s suitability to an application is based primarily on its performance properties, the properties of the substrates, and cost.</p> <h3>Also Read</h3> <h5><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/5/3/EPA-Takes-Action-on-Spray-Foam-Health-Risks/">EPA Takes Action on Spray-Foam Health Risks</a></h5> <h5><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/4/29/Spray-Applied-Latex-A-New-Tool-for-Air-Sealing/">Spray-Applied Latex: A New Tool for Air Sealing</a></h5> <h5><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/category/csi-sections/07-00-00-thermal-and-moisture-protection">GreenSpec Products: Thermal and Moisture Protection</a></h5> <h5><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/11/1/How-Blower-Door-Tests-Measure-Airtightness/">How Blower-Door Tests Measure Airtightness</a></h5> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Latex</strong></h3> <p>Latex sealants are water-based, easy to tool, easy to clean up, paintable, and relatively less expensive than other types of sealants. Some premium latex sealants may be appropriate for exterior use (appropriate service life) and are rated for movement in classes 12½ and 25. Latex sealants may be best suited to interior finish applications.</p> <h3><strong>Acrylic </strong></h3> <p>Acrylic sealants are also paintable but are solvent-based and more difficult to tool. They are used more in commercial and exterior applications than latex and have very limited movement capacity (Class 7½). Acrylic sealants tend to be used in commercial construction in low-movement joints. Their cost tends to be in the low to moderate range.</p> <h3><strong>Butyl</strong></h3> <p>Butyl sealants are solvent-based, synthetic rubber materials demonstrating strong adhesion to a wide variety of substrates. They have excellent weathering characteristics but tend to be stringy and difficult to apply. They generally have limited movement accommodation (Class 7½ ). Butyl sealants are sometimes used in curtainwall systems where adhesion to rubber materials is required. The cost of butyl sealants tends toward the moderate range.</p> <p>The next group are sometimes called “high-performance” sealants and are most often used in commercial building assemblies.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-choose-sealant-works" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/how-choose-sealant-works#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:30:42 +0000 Paula Melton 10883 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Six Things LEED Consultants Do Wrong in Specs http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/six-things-leed-consultants-do-wrong-specs <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mark Kalin, FAIA FCSI LEED BD+C </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> BuildingGreen Talks LEED </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/mark.gif" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/mark.gif" alt="" /></a> <strong>Mark Kalin</strong><br /><em>&nbsp;</em></div> <p>LEED consultants are paid to lend their expertise to achieve a project’s <a href="http://www.leeduser.com">LEED certification</a> goals. Their decisions focus on achieving credits and their participation is absolutely vital to the project, but some can actually work against the project's sustainability goals. Here are the top six problems I see.</p> <h2>#1 Discouraging bidding by specifying unrealistic LEED requirements</h2> <p>When a specification requires a regional source, a recycled content percentage, and certain certifications for a product, the specifier has to be certain that conforming products exist. On a recent project, the only bidder for the doors couldn’t actually meet all the requirements and put in a premium price. Other bidders declined to bid citing the requirements of the specifications. The worst outcome was a project that decided to abandon certification because of unnecessary requirements in the specifications that pushed the project over budget.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/six-things-leed-consultants-do-wrong-specs" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen Talks LEED GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/six-things-leed-consultants-do-wrong-specs#comments Fri, 01 Jun 2012 19:13:45 +0000 Tristan Roberts 10841 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com New Concern About Pesticides in Exterior Paints http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-concern-about-pesticides-exterior-paints <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="bodytext"><strong>Although exterior paints have moved beyond lead and the most toxic solvents, new coatings contain biocides that may pose a different set of concerns.</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Bob_Cusamano.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Bob_Cusamano.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Biocides play an important role in a paint's durability by protecting it from mildew, but biocides cannot make up for poor application practices.</strong><br /><em>Photo: Bob Cusumano, Coatings Consultants, Inc.<br /></em></div> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p class="bodytext">Most of us are familiar with the volatile solvents found in alkyd, or “oil-based” paints. These are typically hazardous airborne pollutants with large volumes of smog-causing <abbr title="1. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate). The compounds vaporize (become a gas) at normal room temperatures.2. A molecule containing one or more carbon atoms that tends to evaporate (volatilize) into the air at typical ambi­ent conditions. Some legal definitions of VOCs are restricted to those that react with sunlight to generate smog. Some VOCs are carcinogens, suspected carcinogens, or known irritants at typical levels."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2541">VOCs</a></abbr>. Coatings containing these solvents are regulated in many areas of the country, such as the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).</p> <p class="bodytext">Biocides in coatings, however, have largely flown under the regulatory radar in the U.S. In the June issue of <em>Environmental Building News</em>, we take <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/5/31/Exterior-Paints-Long-Term-Protection-and-Environmental-Tradeoffs/" target="_blank">a look at the environmental tradeoffs of exterior coatings</a> (member link).</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-concern-about-pesticides-exterior-paints" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-concern-about-pesticides-exterior-paints#comments Thu, 31 May 2012 03:13:59 +0000 Brent Ehrlich 10791 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com More Cool Products from the AIA Convention http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-cool-products-aia-convention <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Innovative energy-savings products from the AIA National Convention this month.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Caramel-Bamboo_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Caramel-Bamboo_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>The energy-saving Haiku ceiling fan in bamboo.</strong> Click to enlarge.<br /><em>Photo Credit: Big Ass Fans<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">Last week, I wrote about a number of innovative window and glazing products I came across at the <a href="http://convention.aia.org/event/convention-home.aspx">AIA Convention</a> in Washington, DC earlier this month. Here are a few other products I came across with energy-saving features.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>Haiku fans from Big Ass Fans</strong></p> <p class="Standard">Despite the over-the-top company name, Big Ass Fans has been at the forefront of ceiling fan development for some years now. The company is known for it’s large, well, big-ass fans that are used in improving comfort in large commercial spaces—overhead fans that may have diameters of up to 24 feet. Now the company has introduced a line of smaller, residential-scale fans that work in homes.</p> <p class="Standard">Before getting into the specifics of the Haiku fans, it needs to be pointed out that ceiling fans don’t actually cool a space (i.e., lower the temperature). What they do is make a space more comfortable by evaporating moisture from our skin. If you are normally comfortable in a space at 75°F, with a gentle breeze you can be comfortable at 80° or even 82°F. Not only do ceiling fans not lower the air temperature, they actually <em>raise</em> the temperature slightly—from the waste heat generated by the electric motor (so turn that fan <em>off</em> when you leave the room!).</p> <p class="Standard"> </p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-cool-products-aia-convention" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-cool-products-aia-convention#comments Tue, 29 May 2012 12:53:16 +0000 Alex Wilson 10769 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Cool Window and Glazing Products from the AIA Convention http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cool-window-and-glazing-products-aia-convention <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3 class="Standard">Glazing and window manufacturers showed off some highly innovative products at the 2012 AIA Convention in Washington, DC</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Exterior_9469_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Alexs_blog_images/Exterior_9469_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>Pythagoras Solar's new <abbr title="Building-integrated photovoltaic systems use photovoltaic (PV) modules that are integrated into functional building elements, such as roofs, glazing, and building façades."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2579">BIPV</a></abbr> glass was one of two innovative glazing products on display at the Guardian booth at the AIA Convention. <em>Click on image to enlarge</em>.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: Alex Wilson<br /></em></div> <p class="Standard">I just spent three days at the American Institute of Architects <a href="http://convention.aia.org/event/convention-home.aspx">annual convention</a> in Washington, DC, including a fair amount of time at the massive trade show there. I didn’t make it all the way through the acres of exhibits over the eight hours or so I walked the floor, but I saw some really interesting products. I’m highlighting here a few of the windows and glazing-related products I found.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong>SunGuard PVGU from Pythagoras Solar and Guardian Industries</strong></p> <p class="Standard">Guardian Industries, one of the world’s largest glass manufacturers, showed off two new products at the show. One of these was a unique building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) glazing system developed by Pythagoras Solar and marketed by Guardian. Most BIPV Glazing systems have thin-film or crystalline PV cells integrated into the glass directly, so the visible transmittance and daylighting potential are significantly compromised. Pythagoras has developed a unique solution to this problem: an insulating glass unit (IGU) with integral bars of tiny PV cells&nbsp; that intercept most of the solar energy striking the outside of the glass.</p> <p class="Standard"><strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cool-window-and-glazing-products-aia-convention" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cool-window-and-glazing-products-aia-convention#comments Wed, 23 May 2012 20:20:21 +0000 Alex Wilson 10748 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com UL and Perkins+Will Launch “Transparency Briefs” http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ul-and-perkinswill-launch-transparency-briefs <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nadav Malin </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> AIA Convention </div> <div class="field-item odd"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3>New EPD summaries give a snapshot view of LCA data, but are limited by their document-centric paradigm.</h3> <div><a href="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/transparency_brief.png" target="_blank"><img src="https://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/transparency_brief.png" alt="" /></a> <strong>This two-page summary of an EPD is a new format that seeks to make <abbr title="1. Life-cycle assessment is an analysis of the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service.2. The practice of quantifying and characterizing all the resource and pollution flows associated with a process or product, for the purpose of documenting its environmental impact. It is defined by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) as"a compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life-cycle.""><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2436">life-cycle assessment</a></abbr>-based information easier to use.</strong><br /><em>Image Credit: UL Environment<br /></em></div> <p>Environmental product declarations (EPDs) are, in theory, the answer to our product information prayers. To the extent enabled by the appropriate Product Category Rule (PCR), a product’s EPD discloses environmental life-cycle assessment results including its ingredients and environmental impacts. If that information is validated and certified by a credible third party, so much the better. To better understand how all that works, check out <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/Environ_Product_Declarations.pdf">BuildingGreen’s graphical EPD primer</a> (PDF) and our <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/12/27/The-Transparency-Movement-Peeking-Behind-the-Corporate-Veil/" target="_blank">feature article on product transparency</a> (member link).</p> <p>Current LCA methods are not very helpful for some key issues, such as human health, ecological toxicity, and habitat disruption, so most EPDs wisely omit those categories. Even the information that remains, however—a 20-30 page structured summary of an LCA study that might run 100 pages or more—can easily overwhelm designers and other potential users of all this information.</p> <h3>Brevity to the rescue</h3> <p>In an effort to make the key parts of this information more accessible, <a href="http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/offerings/businesses/environment/">UL Environment (ULe)</a> has now unveiled a new two-page “Transparency Brief” that summarizes the LCA results even further.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ul-and-perkinswill-launch-transparency-briefs" target="_blank">read more</a></p> AIA Convention BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ul-and-perkinswill-launch-transparency-briefs#comments Sun, 20 May 2012 00:53:45 +0000 Nadav Malin 10717 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Crucial State Incentives for Small Wind Turbines Still Need Work http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/crucial-state-incentives-small-wind-turbines-still-need-work <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Martin Solomon </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>As the small wind turbine market feels the pain of temporary holds on state incentive programs, turbine certification could bring the stability and improve the market’s reputation.</h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/broken_wind_turbine_world_future_energy_summit.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/broken_wind_turbine_world_future_energy_summit.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>New Jersey placed a rebate incentive program on hold due to catastrophic mechanical failures of multiple small wind turbines.</strong><br /><em>Photo Credit: World Future Energy Summit<br /></em></div> <p>The reputation of the small wind turbine industry has tended to fluctuate as much as the output of some of its turbines. Consumers seeing the benefits of wind as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels have at times been burned by mechanical failures and less-than-expected power production.</p> <p>And on their way to “saving the planet,” some turbine installations have been implicated in numerous bird and bat deaths. While there are numerous financial incentives to install wind, several state incentives have recently been put on temporary hold. These setbacks are potentially the most troubling, as incentives are generally regarded as key to increasing turbine installations.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/crucial-state-incentives-small-wind-turbines-still-need-work" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/crucial-state-incentives-small-wind-turbines-still-need-work#comments Wed, 16 May 2012 14:45:22 +0000 Martin Solomon 10706 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Breaking the Bonds of Bad Sealant Jobs http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/breaking-bonds-bad-sealant-jobs <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Seals at window openings and other penetrations need to be done right the first time. Are your seals failing because of the most common application error—forgetting the bond break?</strong></h3> <div><a href="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/street-creep-repair-step-2-lg.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/Blog_Images/street-creep-repair-step-2-lg.jpg" alt="" /></a> <strong>It's great they remembered the backer rod in this attempt to seal the joint, but with the depth of the sealant so skinny compared to the width, it's probably going to fail. Read on to learn why.</strong>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>NOTE: Read this whole series <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business%3A%20Achieving%20Weathertightness" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>Continuous air and water barriers are essential to healthy and high-performing buildings, but making these barriers truly continuous is more than just slapping on some building paper. It requires meticulous detail work. Sealants—properly applied—are a key part of that.</p> <p>Sealants are liquid-applied substances tooled to a concave surface shape, with “edge bonding” to each substrate. In the case of air and water barriers, they connect one field of the wall to another or to the component in the penetration—the window, the pipe stack, the duct, etc.</p> <h3><strong>Drawing a bead on proper joint sealing</strong></h3> <p>Essential to any sealant application is a backer rod or bond breaker tape. These ensure that:</p> <p>• adhesion is between the substrates only (no perpendicular stress from the back of the joint to weaken the focus on the connection between the substrates)</p> <p>• the sealant is supported on the back side as tooling exerts pressure on the sealant</p> <p>• the sealant bead is well-proportioned (ratio of width to depth of 2:1)</p> <p>Backer rods come in various diameters so that they compress about 25% of their cross-section into the gap.</p> <p>Open-cell backer rods have the advantage of “breathing,” allowing curing to the backside of the joint, and are not affected by any puncturing that might result during tooling. By contrast, closed-cell backer rods, if punctured during tooling, can offgas and create bubbling in the sealant. Closed-cell backer rods don’t absorb water, while open-cell ones do. A third type of backer rod is the “hybrid” bi-cellular backer rod; it does not outgas when punctured and only takes up moisture at cut ends.</p> <p>Use the type of backer rod recommended or required by the sealant manufacturer.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/breaking-bonds-bad-sealant-jobs" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/breaking-bonds-bad-sealant-jobs#comments Wed, 09 May 2012 19:59:03 +0000 Paula Melton 10675 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Biobased PVC? Take Vinyl Industry Claims with a Grain of Salt http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/biobased-pvc-take-vinyl-industry-claims-grain-salt <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3>Making plastic from corn, soy, or sugarcane has some advantages--but fixing the petroleum problem barely touches what's wrong with PVC.</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//coca-cola-hopenhagen.jpg" alt="" /> <em>By the way, the "plant bottle" is not biodegradable, but it does recycle just like any other PET or HDPE bottle. After all, that's what it is. Just because a polymer's feedstocks come from a renewable source doesn't mean it is any more biodegradable, compostable, or even more environmentally friendly than any other plastic.</em></div> <p>What if all of the common plastics in use today were made from renewable materials rather than from fossil fuels? Would they start looking better in the eyes of environmentalists?</p> <p>This is no idle question. The plastics industry is exploring a wide range of approaches to sourcing today's typical plastics from <abbr title="Generally, classification of products and materials derived from plant and animal sources as opposed to minerals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a program to promote the use of emerging biobased products that defines them more narrowly, to exclude products that already have established markets, such as food, animal feed, and lumber."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2243">biobased</a></abbr> feedstocks, and their use in common products isn't too far off on the horizon. We're already seeing these entering the market. An early example is Coca Cola's "plant bottle," which uses PET or HDPE made from ethylene derived from renewable sources instead of fossil fuels.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/coca-cola-hopenhagen_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=410141">coca-cola-hopenhagen_1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenProductCertWebcastAdSquare_5.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27904">GreenProductCertWebcastAdSquare_5.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_48.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_48.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/biobased-pvc-take-vinyl-industry-claims-grain-salt" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/biobased-pvc-take-vinyl-industry-claims-grain-salt#comments Wed, 02 May 2012 20:39:00 +0000 Web Master 10621 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Rate Your Windows! (And Share Your Lessons Learned) http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rate-your-windows-and-share-your-lessons-learned-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Web Master </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p> <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T9VLDJX"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//windowratings1.jpg" /></a></p> <p>Windows are a big investment, and while they may look great on paper, how well do they hold up once installed? Do they meet your performance specifications? How responsive was the company to answering your questions and responding to complaints? </p> <p>The GreenSpec team has already combed the world of windows available in the U.S. and Canada for manufacturers that can meet our tough performance specifications. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/windowratings1_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=30488">windowratings1_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-png" alt="image/png icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/image-x-generic_1.png" type="image/png; length=443">image-x-generic_1.png</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rate-your-windows-and-share-your-lessons-learned-0" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rate-your-windows-and-share-your-lessons-learned-0#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 16:37:00 +0000 Web Master 10657 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Rate Your Windows! (And Share Your Lessons Learned) http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rate-your-windows-and-share-your-lessons-learned <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T9VLDJX"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//windowratings1.jpg" /></a></p> <p>Windows are a big investment, and while they may look great on paper, how well do they hold up once installed? Do they meet your performance specifications? How responsive was the company to answering your questions and responding to complaints? </p> <p>The GreenSpec team has already combed the world of windows available in the U.S. and Canada for manufacturers that can meet our tough performance specifications. </p> <p>Now we need your help in providing ratings based on your actual experience as a customer--things like like whether the window failed the year after it was installed and the distributor won't return your phone call, or whether the manufacturer easily met your specs and installation was a dream. <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T9VLDJX">Please take five minutes and provide confidential 1–5 star ratings on windows you have experiences with.</a> </p> <p>Our team will compile your ratings and share them in aggregate with anyone who participates in this poll, as well as subscribers to GreenSpec and BuildingGreen's other publications. </p> <p><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T9VLDJX">Take the poll now and rate your windows!</a><br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/windowratings1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=30488">windowratings1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_45.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_45.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rate-your-windows-and-share-your-lessons-learned" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rate-your-windows-and-share-your-lessons-learned#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 16:37:00 +0000 Web Master 10519 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com The Toxic Chemicals that Lurk in Unfinished Wood Floors http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/toxic-chemicals-lurk-unfinished-wood-floors <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jim Vallette </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//sapstain treatment.jpg" /></p> <h3>One might think that an unfinished wood floor is devoid of synthetic chemicals. It sure looks that way--but toxic preservatives may lie in plain sight.<br /> </h3> <p>Moist lumber is susceptible to fungal staining. This staining does not cause physical decay, but it looks bad. Commonly called "blue stain," the offending fungi may be yellow, orange, purple, gray, or red in addition to shades of blue. The stain penetrates into the sapwood and cannot be removed by resurfacing. </p> <p>Lumber mills can prevent these blemishes without <abbr title="Chemical treatment includes the use of biocidal, conditioning, dispersant, and scale-inhibiting chemicals to control biological growth, scale, and corrosion in cooling towers. Alternatives to conventional chemical treatment include ozonation, ionization, and exposure to ultraviolet light."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2288">chemical treatment</a></abbr> through standard air-drying practices or, especially in moist climates, kiln drying.&nbsp; </p> <p>However, a lot of lumber is treated with biocides called anti-sapstain treatments. While preventing visible blemishes, these can disfigure the toxicological profile of an otherwise benign product. </p> <h3>What is this stuff?<br /> </h3> <p>Anti-sapstain formulations have been used for millennia. Egyptians used powdered subcarbonate of soda to prevent the staining of papyrus, according to independent wood scientist Mike Freeman. During the Shang Dynasty in China, wood ash dissolved in water was used to prevent mildew growth on chopsticks. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/sapstain_treatment_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=231893">sapstain_treatment_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/sapstain_label_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=113323">sapstain_label_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/sapstain_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=19060">sapstain_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_40.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_40.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/toxic-chemicals-lurk-unfinished-wood-floors" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/toxic-chemicals-lurk-unfinished-wood-floors#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2012 20:44:00 +0000 Web Master 10466 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Minimizing Exposure to Chemicals in Clear Wood Finishes http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/minimizing-exposure-chemicals-clear-wood-finishes <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3>High-VOC content is still the norm in clear wood finishes, but depending on the application you can minimize exposure and maximize durability.</h3> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Mill-Complex-025.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Mill-Complex-025.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Clear finishes help bring out the natural beauty of the wood, while protecting it from aging and the elements. Photo: Vermont Natural Coatings</em></div> <p>Clear finishes can help protect woodwork against aging, scratches, moisture, and the chemicals found in common cleaners. There are natural, low-toxicity options for residential furniture, and factory-applied chemical finishes for commercial architectural woodwork, but there is no environmentally perfect finish.<br />Here at GreenSpec, when considering which coatings to list, we look for finishes that are low-VOC; contain no heavy metals, phthalates, or aromatic solvents; and/or are natural products with less environmental burden. Durability and ease of maintenance are important, too, so select the least toxic alternative with the greatest durability for the end use.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Mill-Complex-025.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=128113">Mill-Complex-025.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_21.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_21.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EM2000wvx1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=17836">EM2000wvx1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/minimizing-exposure-chemicals-clear-wood-finishes" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/minimizing-exposure-chemicals-clear-wood-finishes#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2012 12:40:00 +0000 Web Master 10465 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Green Product Spotlight: Enhancing Resilience of Buildings http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-product-spotlight-enhancing-resilience-buildings <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>We need to create buildings and communities that are more resilient to natural disasters and other shocks. These building products can help.</h3> <div> <p><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Resilient_Galveston_Historic_Home.jpg" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Resilient_Galveston_Historic_Home.jpg" /></p> <p></p> <p><em>Damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008, this 19th-century house in Galveston, Texas, was moved, elevated, and renovated to LEED Platinum standards. In addition to insulation, solar panels, and rainwater cisterns, the house features natural ventilation via operable transom windows and a restored breezeway. Photos: Galveston Historical Foundation </em></p> </div> <p>As <abbr title="1. Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008)2.The increase in global average temperatures being caused by a buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This temperature change is leading to changes in circulation patterns in the air and in the oceans, which are affecting climates differently in different places. Among thepredicted effects are a significant cooling in Western Europe due to changes in the jet stream, and rising sea levels due to the melting of polar ice and glaciers."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2296">climate change</a></abbr> becomes an ever greater reality, the need to create resilient buildings and communities becomes more important. Resilience is partly about adaptation to climate change and partly about common sense health and safety issues in an age of increasing resource constraints, growing economic swings, the greater vulnerability to uncertainties that lie ahead.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Resilient_Galveston_Historic_Home.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=83057">Resilient_Galveston_Historic_Home.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/velux-sun-tunnel.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14051">velux-sun-tunnel.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenProductCertWebcastAdSquare_4.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27904">GreenProductCertWebcastAdSquare_4.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-product-spotlight-enhancing-resilience-buildings" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-product-spotlight-enhancing-resilience-buildings#comments Wed, 11 Apr 2012 19:12:00 +0000 Web Master 10430 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Scoring the Referees: How Pharos Judges Green Labels http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/scoring-referees-how-pharos-judges-green-labels <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's note: Today's guest post is authored by Bill Walsh, Executive Director of the <a href="http://healthybuilding.net/">Healthy Building Network</a>.]</em><br /> </p> <h3>When building products carry different green certifications, how do you know which product is best? Maybe there is a way to compare apples and oranges.<br /> </h3> <p>As green certifications and labels have proliferated, so has greenwash. Even among legitimate certifications, conflicts and inconsistency have made them hard to understand. </p> <p>How do you cut through the cacophony and get the information you want? <a href="http://pharosproject.net">The Pharos Project</a> has independently organized information on about 48 major product certifications and products that carry those labels. </p> <h3>Start by finding products<br /> </h3> <p>If you want products certified to a specific standard, you can find the certification standard you are looking for on <a href="http://pharosproject.net/framework/">Pharos's certifications page</a> or, alternatively, simply type the name of the standard into Pharos's search function.&nbsp;Once on the page for the standard you want, click on the tab labeled "Products with this certification in Pharos" and voila.<br /> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Pharos all certifications.jpg" /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Pharos_all_certifications.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=190592">Pharos_all_certifications.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_15.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_15.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Pharos_VOC_certifications.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=175609">Pharos_VOC_certifications.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/scoring-referees-how-pharos-judges-green-labels" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/scoring-referees-how-pharos-judges-green-labels#comments Wed, 11 Apr 2012 18:58:00 +0000 Web Master 10431 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Beat the Bulb "Ban": LED Replacement Lamps in a New Light http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/beat-bulb-ban-led-replacement-lamps-new-light <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>The incandescent ban is here, but <abbr title="Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, use semiconductors to produce light, giving them more in common with computer chips than with conventional incandescent lighting."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2553">LEDs</a></abbr> have improved rapidly in the last couple of years and there are now several bulbs that meet <abbr title="A popular government-sponsored product certification and label established in 1992 for energy efficient products and energy-efficient buildings."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1826">Energy Star</a></abbr> criteria.</h3> <div> <p><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//ToshibaA19.jpg" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//ToshibaA19.jpg" /></p> <p><br /> <em>Toshiba's A19 450-<abbr title="1. A lumen is a unit of luminous flux equal to the light emitted in a unit solid angle by a uniform point source of 1 candle intensity.2. A measurement of light output."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2443">lumen</a></abbr> LED bulb is the equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent bulb yet only consumes 8.4 watts.</em> </p></div> <p> We've been hearing for years that "they're going to ban the incandescent bulb"--is that for real?<br /> Starting on January 12, 2012, the Energy and Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) began regulating energy-efficiency standards for 100-watt screw-in light bulbs (also known as Edison or A19 lamps). These bulbs are now required to use 27% less energy, or 72 watts or less, for the same lumen output.<br /> Over the next couple of years, 75-, 60-, and 40-watt bulbs will have to have that same 27% reduction. And starting in 2020, EISA <abbr title="An uninterrupible power supply, or UPS, provides usually short-term emergency power to computer or other systems in case of outages."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2551">ups</a></abbr> the ante and will require that most light bulbs be 60%–70% more efficient than today's incandescent bulbs.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/ToshibaA19.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=9972">ToshibaA19.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Toshiba_lighting_facts.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=29947">Toshiba_lighting_facts.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Lumens.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=33970">Lumens.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_42.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_42.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/beat-bulb-ban-led-replacement-lamps-new-light" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/beat-bulb-ban-led-replacement-lamps-new-light#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 01:39:00 +0000 Web Master 10377 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com More Heat Than Light: Six Wrong Ways to Daylight a Building http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-heat-light-six-wrong-ways-daylight-building <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3>Thanks to LEED and other standards, everyone's doing daylighting now--but not everyone is getting it right. Here's how it goes wrong--and how to do it right.</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Library.jpg" alt="" /> <em>The Seattle Central Library has been lauded for its daylighting features, but many library patrons and staff have trouble with overheating and glare at workstations like these. Photo: Nadav Malin</em></div> <p>You can't turn around these days without seeing a case study that mentions the use of natural daylight to help save energy and enhance the well-being and productivity of occupants--especially students and employees.</p> <p>Unfortunately, almost as common are horror stories of fabulous green buildings that make their occupants miserable. Here at BuildingGreen, we've heard a tale or three about librarians wearing sun visors on the job, office workers using open umbrellas as parasols in their cubicles, and schoolteachers in award-winning buildings who keep the blinds closed constantly.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Library.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=95716">Library.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenProductCertWebcastAdSquare_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27904">GreenProductCertWebcastAdSquare_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Yale1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=50760">Yale1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-heat-light-six-wrong-ways-daylight-building" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-heat-light-six-wrong-ways-daylight-building#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2012 18:01:00 +0000 Web Master 10326 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Toxicological Riddles: The Case of Boric Acid http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/toxicological-riddles-case-boric-acid <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Even water is toxic if you have too much. How do we keep a potentially harmful but necessary nutrient like boric acid at safe levels in our buildings and our bodies?</h3> <div> <p><a href="http://greenupgrader.com/10212/borax-the-unsung-green-cleaning-hero/" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//borax-is-king.jpg" /></p> <p></p> <p><em>We've been using boric acid and borate compounds in products for generations, and then praised it's green virtues as in the blog post linked to above (click image). The full story is a bit more complex. </em></p> </div> <p>What do you do about a substance that is a biologically necessary trace nutrient, long considered nontoxic, and in a multitude of products--but that is also now listed on a major European Union chemical hazard list due to evidence that it is toxic for reproduction?</p> <p>It's one of those riddles that I can imagine toxicologists love to play with but that drives everyone else crazy. Here's the story, and our approach to answering the riddle--for now.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/borax-is-king_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=56894">borax-is-king_1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_18.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_18.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/toxicological-riddles-case-boric-acid" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/toxicological-riddles-case-boric-acid#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 14:32:00 +0000 Web Master 10255 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com 10 Green Building Products They Still Make in the U.S. http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/10-green-building-products-they-still-make-us <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Erin Weaver </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>It's not necessarily greener to source products made in the USA. But it sure does create jobs.</h3> <p>Let's get one thing clear: the issue of energy spent importing stuff from China is a red herring. The distance from ports in California to China is about twice the width of the continental U.S., but <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2004/3/1/EPA-Launches-SmartWay-Transport-Partnership/?" target="_blank">ocean freighters are about 7.5 times more energy-efficient than trucks</a>, so the energy expenditure of any given product has a lot more to do with the transportation mode than with the distance it travels.</p> <div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//US Map_Products.jpg" /></p> <p><em>By sourcing just 5% of their products from U.S. manufacturers, builders could create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Below are a few products to start you off.</em></p> </div> <p>Nonetheless, reducing miles traveled by our products is probably good. Rail is about 9.5 times more efficient than trucking, so there are efficient ways to get goods across the continental U.S. Why not use them?</p> <p>We also have strong environmental and workers' rights regulations in this country, and by keeping things local we are more likely to care about impacts.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/US_Map_Products.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=44497">US_Map_Products.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AD7_6.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18920">AD7_6.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/maze_nails.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=52499">maze_nails.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/typar_install.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=71339">typar_install.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_38.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_38.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/10-green-building-products-they-still-make-us" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/10-green-building-products-they-still-make-us#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2012 13:43:00 +0000 Web Master 10204 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Biobased Materials—Increasing Our Scrutiny http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/biobased-materials-increasing-our-scrutiny <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> LEED </div> </div> </div> <p>ol, ul {<br /> list-style-position: outside;<br /> list-style-type: disc;<br /> margin-left: 12px;<br /> padding-left: 24px;<br /> }<br /> li {<br /> margin-top: 5px;<br /> }</p> <h3>It's natural that we should gravitate toward <abbr title="Generally, classification of products and materials derived from plant and animal sources as opposed to minerals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a program to promote the use of emerging biobased products that defines them more narrowly, to exclude products that already have established markets, such as food, animal feed, and lumber."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2243">biobased</a></abbr> materials. But many of them are energy-intensive and toxic, so how do we judge what's best?</h3> <div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Oecotextiles.jpg" /></p> <p><em>O Ecotextiles is an example of the kind of leadership company that has worked diligently to address environmental impacts at every step of their product's production--including careful attention to responsible sourcing of biobased materials. <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2008/11/24/No-Compromise-Green-Fabrics-from-O-Ecotextiles/">We discussed Ecotextiles in EBN</a> and had them on our top-10 list of 2008.</em></p> </div> <p>It still seems like biobased materials should be better for the environment. Even after the LEED <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm?mode=entry&amp;entry=CE9DA3C2-BAA5-143C-4DC01966175A2FD3" target="_blank">Wood Wars</a>, even after all the stories of pollution and waste from industrial agriculture, it just seems logical that resources we grow as part of a natural cycle are greener than the ones we mine or extract.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Oecotextiles_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=25826">Oecotextiles_1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Save23_34.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22029">Save23_34.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/biobased-materials-increasing-our-scrutiny" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights LEED http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/biobased-materials-increasing-our-scrutiny#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2012 18:13:00 +0000 Web Master 10191 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Transparency in Action: Health Product Declaration Ramping Up http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transparency-action-health-product-declaration-ramping <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><abbr title="1. Life-cycle assessment is an analysis of the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service.2. The practice of quantifying and characterizing all the resource and pollution flows associated with a process or product, for the purpose of documenting its environmental impact. It is defined by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) as"a compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life-cycle.""><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2436">Life-cycle assessment</a></abbr>, environmental product declarations, and corporate social responsibility reporting are a great start. But can we talk about health?</h3> <div> <p><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//HealthProductDeclaration_TuffStuff.jpg" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//HealthProductDeclaration_TuffStuff.jpg" /></p> <p></p> <p><em>This sneak preview of the HPD for the imaginary "TuffStuff X42" should give you a sense of what the document will include. Click the image to enlarge this first page.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/HealthProductDeclaration_TuffStuff_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=414498">HealthProductDeclaration_TuffStuff_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_20.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_20.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transparency-action-health-product-declaration-ramping" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transparency-action-health-product-declaration-ramping#comments Thu, 15 Mar 2012 08:26:00 +0000 Web Master 10164 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Gypsum Board: Are Our Walls Leaching Toxins? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/gypsum-board-are-our-walls-leaching-toxins <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Martin Solomon </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p>ol, ul {<br /> list-style-position: outside;<br /> list-style-type: disc;<br /> margin-left: 12px;<br /> padding-left: 24px;<br /> }<br /> li {<br /> margin-top: 5px;<br /> }</p> <h3>By any name--drywall, wallboard, or plasterboard--gypsum products may not be as innocent as we once thought.</h3> <div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//drywall-landfill.jpg" /></p> <p><em>Drywall, which makes up 15% of demolition and construction waste, leaches toxins and releases hydrogen sulfide gas in landfills.</em></p> </div> <p>Virtually ubiquitous in our buildings, gypsum board is widely seen as an innocuous building material. However, in the last decade, <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2010/5/17/Chinese-Drywall-Manufacturers-Liable-for-Millions-in-Damages/" target="_blank">Chinese drywall</a> has been linked with indoor air quality problems, while concerns have cropped up around waste from coal power plants and its links to drywall. </p> <p>Domestic manufacturers are quick to point out that gypsum board manufactured in the U.S. has not been linked to indoor air quality problems, but potential leaching of heavy metals and biocides included for mold resistance are among the issues that need to be addressed more thoroughly by the gypsum board industry.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/drywall-landfill.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=103373">drywall-landfill.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AD10_7.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12690">AD10_7.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_47.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_47.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/gypsum-board-are-our-walls-leaching-toxins" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/gypsum-board-are-our-walls-leaching-toxins#comments Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:44:00 +0000 Web Master 10152 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com German Innovation in Solar Water Heating http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/german-innovation-solar-water-heating <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Thermie-Pakete-22.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Thermie-Pakete-22.jpg" /></a><em>With the SECUSOL drainback solar hot water system, the heat exchanger coil in the tank doubles as the drainback tank. Photo: Wagner &amp; Company. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em> </div> <p>I was in Boston last week for the annual <a href="http://www.nesea.org/be12/">Building Energy conference</a>, sponsored by the <a href="http://www.nesea.org/">Northeast Sustainable Energy Association</a>. Each year this conference provides an opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, catch up on leading-edge building design, and learn about product innovations in energy conservation and renewable energy.</p> <p>I was amazed to see the large number of European companies represented in the conference trade show, with most of the leading innovation in windows, biomass heating, and solar energy seeming to come from Germany.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Thermie-Pakete-22_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=780383">Thermie-Pakete-22_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AD7_12.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18920">AD7_12.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Thermie-Anwendungen-01_MedRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=442049">Thermie-Anwendungen-01_MedRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InsulationSmallBanner_11.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=13582">InsulationSmallBanner_11.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/german-innovation-solar-water-heating" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/german-innovation-solar-water-heating#comments Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:28:00 +0000 Web Master 10129 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Eleek: Lighting That's Eco-Friendly Even When It's Off http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/eleek-lighting-thats-eco-friendly-even-when-its <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Eleek luminaire.jpg" /></p> <h3>Eleek strips miles out of its supply chain and carbon-intensive steps out of its manufacturing. That's good for the <abbr title="1. Embodied energy is the energy used during the entire life cycle of a product, including its manufacture, transportation, and disposal, as well as the inherent energy captured within the product itself.2. The energy expended in the process of creating a product, often including the fuel value of its constituent parts as well as transportation to its point of use."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2356">embodied energy</a></abbr> of its cast aluminum luminaires and other hardware.<br /> </h3> <p>Wait a minute. Weren't we criticizing Eleek and its cast aluminum hardware in this blog a few weeks ago? <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/not-green-enough-six-products-greenspec-rejected-and-why">We were</a>--and that sparked a dialogue with one of our readers that led to more discussion with the company, in turn leading us to change our minds, and apologize to them for the rough treatment. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Eleek_luminaire_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=17033">Eleek_luminaire_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/masa_pulls_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=9977">masa_pulls_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/bcorp_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=7342">bcorp_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_26.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_26.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/eleek-lighting-thats-eco-friendly-even-when-its" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/eleek-lighting-thats-eco-friendly-even-when-its#comments Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:01:00 +0000 Web Master 10130 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Tape It? Seal It? Glue It? Sealing Weather Barrier Seams http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tape-it-seal-it-glue-it-sealing-weather-barrier-seams <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sticky Business </div> </div> </div> <h3>Lots of building products offer some help in keeping air, water, and heat in our buildings, but without attention to the joints, you lose critical continuity in your barriers.</h3> <p><em>NOTE: Read this whole series <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/2645/Sticky%20Business%3A%20Achieving%20Weathertightness" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Lobsterman.jpg" alt="" /> <em>To keep out the weather, don't head for the stickum first. Take a page from the lobsterman's book and use weatherlapping, overhangs, and mechanical fasteners. Photo: KGBKitchen on Flickr.</em></div> <p>In just about every climate in which we live and build, the number one job of any building envelope or enclosure is environmental separation. Keeping water, air and heat in or out of buildings can make them more resource-efficient, durable, and safer for occupants.</p> <p>The number-one difficulty or challenge in environmental separation is continuity of our air barriers, drainage planes, and insulation layers, particularly at penetrations, transitions and margins of building assemblies.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Lobsterman.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=229913">Lobsterman.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Pete_Seal.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=324832">Pete_Seal.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InsulationWebcastOrangeSquare_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27259">InsulationWebcastOrangeSquare_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_12.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_12.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tape-it-seal-it-glue-it-sealing-weather-barrier-seams" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tape-it-seal-it-glue-it-sealing-weather-barrier-seams#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 22:29:00 +0000 Web Master 10092 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A Tale of Two Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tale-two-material-safety-data-sheets-msds <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Not all MSDSes are created equal. Because what they are required to report is minimal, manufacturers take very different approaches to how much they disclose.</h3> <div> <p><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//MSDS-HIDDEN.pdf"></a></p> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//MSDS_NoInfo.jpg" /></p> <p></p> <p><em>Looking for better information on chemicals of concern? An MSDS can be a good place to look. Then again, it can be a really bad place to look. Click for a PDF of the full non-information. (We took out the company name; they DID include that much!)</em></p> </div> <p>One of the first tools we use in product evaluations are Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSes, or MSD Sheets). These data sheets, required by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for all products, are designed to address occupational safety and provide a bare-bones assessment of the chemical hazards in a product. The problem is that what manufacturers are required to report is minimal, so disclosure levels are all over the map.</p> <p>If you're looking for useful information to distinguish the health and safety of different products, the lack of data can be so frustrating as to be almost comical. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/MSDS_NoInfo.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=164981">MSDS_NoInfo.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AD7_10.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18920">AD7_10.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tale-two-material-safety-data-sheets-msds" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/tale-two-material-safety-data-sheets-msds#comments Wed, 29 Feb 2012 22:10:00 +0000 Web Master 10064 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Cost-Effective Window Attachments: A Practical Guide http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cost-effective-window-attachments-practical-guide <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Martin Solomon </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3>With so many types of window treatments available, including awnings, shades, storms, and shutters, it's hard to know which one is right. GreenSpec can help.</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//TriVantageAwning.jpg" alt="" /> <em>Awnings are a traditional way to control solar heat gain in the American South. Blocking gain is more effective than dealing with the heat after it comes into the building. However, awnings aren't the best product for every window in every climate.</em></div> <p>Most window attachments are chosen with aesthetics in mind--probably in part because picking the right awnings, shades, shutters and other attachments for their performance characteristics hasn't been simple in the past.</p> <p>In collaboration with BuildingGreen, publishers of GreenSpec, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) has been doing modeling, field-testing, and lab testing to develop standards for window treatment performance. Different types have different strengths, including glare control, thermal performance, and even security, so choosing a particular window attachment depends on your priorities. While performance is likely to be the foremost concern for most people, some products use materials with environmental health and safety concerns.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/TriVantageAwning_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=37417">TriVantageAwning_1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AD10_6.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12690">AD10_6.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_50.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_50.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cost-effective-window-attachments-practical-guide" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cost-effective-window-attachments-practical-guide#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2012 20:24:00 +0000 Web Master 9963 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Making Renewable Energy Work Better: "Swarm Power" Cogeneration http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/making-renewable-energy-work-better-swarm-power-cogeneration <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>There's a lot of talk about how renewable energy like solar and wind can't ramp up to meet our energy needs. What we need are creative solutions to that challenge, like distributed <abbr title="The simultaneous production of electric and thermal energy in on-site, distributed energy systems; typically, waste heat from the electricity generation process is recovered and used to heat, cool, or dehumidify building space. Neither generation of electricity without use of the byproduct heat, nor waste-heat recovery from processes other than electricity generation is included in the definition of cogeneration."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2299">cogeneration</a></abbr>.</h3> <div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//LichtBlick.jpg" /></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.lichtblick.de/h/english_information_395.php" target="_blank">This image is a screen shot from a LichtBlick video</a> demonstrating how distributed cogeneration can take up the slack when wind and solar energy sources are not producing power.</em></p> </div> <p>I just got off the phone with Ralph Kampwirth, at LichtBlick in Germany, who told me about a system his company now has up and running to provide power to the grid exactly when it's most needed, while at the same time providing cheaper heat and hot water to German homes.</p> <p>While we don't like to tease our readers too much with products you just can't get here, sometimes it's heartening to see what's possible if creative minds, engineering, and policy come together. This is the case with <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/product/ecoblue-chp/lichtblick/9790" target="_blank">LichtBlick's EcoBlue CHP system</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/LichtBlick_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=217371">LichtBlick_1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_44.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_44.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/making-renewable-energy-work-better-swarm-power-cogeneration" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/making-renewable-energy-work-better-swarm-power-cogeneration#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:31:00 +0000 Web Master 9961 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Dual-Flush Toilets Shouldn't Be a Crapshoot http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/dual-flush-toilets-shouldnt-be-crapshoot <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//dual flush button.jpg" /></p> <h3>Which flush is which? <abbr title="A type of water-saving toilet that gives a choice of flushes depending on the type of waste— solid or liquid."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2342">Dual-flush</a></abbr> fixtures should be better at making it obvious.<br /> </h3> <p><em>Editor's note: Thanks to Evan Dick for this guest post. Evan is a former writer from BuildingGreen and now works at the <a href="http://cetonline.org/">Center for EcoTechnology</a> in Massachusetts. </em><br /> </p> <p>The adage "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" might be an acceptable water-saving solution in some households, but certainly doesn't meet our expectations for cleanliness in more public throne rooms. Enter the dual-flush toilet, invented in 1980 by Bruce Thompson, an Australian working for bathroom products company Caroma. Dual-flush toilets have a full-flush option for solids and a partial-flush option for liquids. Each flush represents a measured and appropriate response to the waste-removal needs of the moment. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/dual_flush_button_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=103099">dual_flush_button_1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AD7_13.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18920">AD7_13.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/large_Dual_Flush_Toilets_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=3117">large_Dual_Flush_Toilets_1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/dual-flush-toilets-shouldnt-be-crapshoot" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/dual-flush-toilets-shouldnt-be-crapshoot#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 15:00:00 +0000 Web Master 9919 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Scraping the Surface of Exterior Paint Prep http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/scraping-surface-exterior-paint-prep <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p>ol, ul {<br /> list-style-position: outside;<br /> list-style-type: disc;<br /> margin-left: 12px;<br /> padding-left: 24px;<br /> }<br /> li {<br /> margin-top: 5px;<br /> }</p> <h3>For wood siding, preparing the surface is as important as the paint itself. Here are some factors to look for, or fix, to help that next paint job last.</h3> <div> <p><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Blog_PaintPrep_PeelingPaint_BobCusumano.jpg" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Blog_PaintPrep_PeelingPaint_BobCusumano.jpg" /></p> <p><br /> <em>Premature paint failure is often caused by poor preparation.</em> </p></div> <p> Even before you choose an exterior paint product, it's important to learn a bit about what makes paint stick--or not. For background I sought out a few paint prep tips from an expert, Bob Cusumano, president of Coating Consultants and past president and current technical director of Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.</p> <h3>Get the lead out</h3> <p> According to Cusumano, "You first have to consider whether or not there is a previous coat of lead paint." If you have a house that was painted before 1978, there is a good chance that there's lead in the paint.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Blog_PaintPrep_PeelingPaint_BobCusumano_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=35966">Blog_PaintPrep_PeelingPaint_BobCusumano_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/HowToChoose_8.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=21949">HowToChoose_8.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Blog_PaintPrep_Paintshaver-32_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27117">Blog_PaintPrep_Paintshaver-32_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_74.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_74.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/scraping-surface-exterior-paint-prep" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/scraping-surface-exterior-paint-prep#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 13:02:00 +0000 Web Master 9918 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Redefining What Makes a Building Product Green http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/redefining-what-makes-building-product-green <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Bensonwood.jpg" /></p> <h3>It's easy to get lost in a sea of greenwash. Our updated GreenSpec criteria provide clear direction on what makes a product green.<br /> </h3> <p>BuildingGreen has been defining what makes a product green since the start of the GreenSpec directory in 1998--and we're repeatedly surprised by how far and wide our list of green attributes travels. The industry is not static, though, and it is our aim to continue providing a compass that points from today's best practices to truly sustainable materials management. </p> <p>This month's EBN feature article on <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/2/2/What-Makes-a-Product-Green/">what makes a product green</a> lays out our "green attributes" for 2012--a set of broad criteria and definitions, knit together with life-cycle thinking, that we use to evaluate products for listing in GreenSpec. Key changes from our last update in 2006 show both how far we have come and how much further we have left to go in achieving the kind of materials management that would support a sustainable society. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Bensonwood_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=88822">Bensonwood_1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/redefining-what-makes-building-product-green" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/redefining-what-makes-building-product-green#comments Wed, 08 Feb 2012 15:24:00 +0000 Web Master 9842 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Not Green Enough: Six Products GreenSpec Rejected and Why http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/not-green-enough-six-products-greenspec-rejected-and-why <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//solyndra.jpg" /></p> <h3>There are plenty of products that simply aren't efficient, low-emitting, or sustainable. but here are some products that have a lot going for them, but also have some serious flaws.<br /> <br /> </h3> <p><em>Editor's note: Since the original posting of this blog, we have revised our opinion of Eleek, and <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2012/3/13/Eleek-Lighting-Thats-EcoFriendly-Even-When-Its-Off">written more about its cast aluminum hardware</a>, leading us to remove mention of it from this post. We apologize to Eleek and its owners for misunderstanding their offerings.</em> <em>We'll also be taking a second look at IdeaPaint, which is now available from CRE-8 in a lower-VOC version.</em><br /> </p> <p>At GreenSpec, we most often like to talk about our 2,200-plus listings of exemplary green products--listings from over 1,600 companies representing thousands of individual products. For ten years we have annually highlighted our <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2011/10/6/BuildingGreens-Top10-Products-for-2012-Our-Picks-for-a-Resilient-Future">Top-10 products of the year</a>, for example. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/solyndra_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=124605">solyndra_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/ecodomo_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=17369">ecodomo_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/foot_spa_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=13490">foot_spa_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_46.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_46.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/not-green-enough-six-products-greenspec-rejected-and-why" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/not-green-enough-six-products-greenspec-rejected-and-why#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 18:40:00 +0000 Web Master 9832 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC): Will the U.S. Ever Lighten Up? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/autoclaved-aerated-concrete-aac-will-us-ever-lighten <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Lighter, more fire-resistant, and a better insulator, autoclaved aerated concrete caught on in the rest of the world ages ago. It's taking a lot longer in the U.S.</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//AAC_block.jpg" alt="" /> <em>The porous AAC structure comes from being "leavened" with aluminum. Photo: H+H UK</em></div> <p>To read what manufacturers and distributors say about it, you'd think <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/search/apachesolr_search/autoclaved" target="_blank">autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC)</a> was some kind of new, space-age environmental miracle.</p> <p>Although it certainly has some nifty properties, AAC isn't new and isn't miraculous--but it's certainly popular in Europe, and has been for decades; according to one source, it accounted for 60% of all new construction in Germany in 2006. It has enjoyed pretty flat market share (of near zero) here in the U.S., though, since it was first introduced in the 1990s.</p> <p>Is there space for AAC in the U.S. market? Should the green building community be working to <em>make</em> space?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AAC_block_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=42811">AAC_block_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AD10_5.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12690">AD10_5.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/SafeCrete_house_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=48176">SafeCrete_house_2.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/autoclaved-aerated-concrete-aac-will-us-ever-lighten" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/autoclaved-aerated-concrete-aac-will-us-ever-lighten#comments Wed, 01 Feb 2012 19:28:00 +0000 Web Master 9740 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com The End of Greenwashing? Five Myths about Product Transparency http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/end-greenwashing-five-myths-about-product-transparency <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h2>Will environmental product declarations end greenwashing for good? Not so fast.</h2> <h3>This is Part 3 in our series on transparency.</h3> <h3><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/why-we-care-about-product-transparency" target="_blank">Part 1: Why We Care About Product Transparency</a></h3> <h3><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/why-we-need-nutrition-labels-building-products-video" target="_blank">Part 2: Why We Need "Nutrition Labels" for Building Products</a></h3> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Environ_Product_Declarations.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Environ_Product_Declarations.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>We developed this visual tool to help us keep track of what EPDs really are--and what they aren't. Click the image for a larger version. <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Environ_Product_Declarations.pdf">Click here for a printable PDF</a>.</em></div> <p>We all want to know more about where our building products come from and what's in them. Finally, with the emergence of environmental product declarations, we're going to find out!</p> <p>Aren't we?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Environ_Product_Declarations_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=248701">Environ_Product_Declarations_1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/end-greenwashing-five-myths-about-product-transparency" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/end-greenwashing-five-myths-about-product-transparency#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2012 14:47:00 +0000 Web Master 9661 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Green Walls for Greener Cities http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-walls-greener-cities <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Contact with nature is not just an amenity: it's important for well-being. Green walls liven up urban spaces while improving building performance.</h3> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Gsky1.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Gsky1.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>This green wall covers the exterior of Whole Foods in Vancouver, BC.</em></div> <p>I live in Vermont, where agriculture is an integral part of our culture. I drive past the farms as the seasons change and see when the corn is high or when too much rain has made plowing impossible. And the family sees the results at the local farmer's market. Whenever I visit urban areas, I inevitably end up at the local park or waterfront for my early-morning runs.<br /> I value this connection with the natural world--or biophilia--and maybe it's more than just a lifestyle choice. <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2006/7/9/Biophilia-in-Practice-Buildings-that-Connect-People-with-Nature/, " target="_blank">Biophilia has been shown to have tangible benefits</a>, including reduced stress, improved productivity, and faster healing, to name a few, but integrating greenery among limited--and expensive--urban real estate is no easy task. Maybe the answer is to think vertically.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Gsky1_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=35061">Gsky1_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Gsky3_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=35951">Gsky3_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_67.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_67.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-walls-greener-cities" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-walls-greener-cities#comments Wed, 25 Jan 2012 20:22:00 +0000 Web Master 9649 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Choosing the Best Housewrap: A New Standard for Weather Barriers http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-best-housewrap-new-standard-weather-barriers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>There are more than 20 different standardized tests manufacturers can invoke to "qualify" as a code-accepted weather-resistive barrier (WRB); with our <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/search/apachesolr_search?filters=tid%3A360" target="_blank">GreenSpec section on WRBs</a>, we've picked just one that we think does the job.</h3> <p>It's not easy being a weather-resistive barrier (WRB): it has to stop liquid water, be tough and not tear, but also be flexible to wrap around building elements. And it often needs to be vapor-permeable to promote drying.</p> <h3>Finally, water-tight standards</h3> <p>In the past, manufacturers could cherry-pick the standardized test to use to "qualify." That's how we ended up with industry acceptance of perforated and cross-woven housewrap that literally leaks like a sieve.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/WRB_Table1_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=355612">WRB_Table1_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/TearAtFastener_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=198449">TearAtFastener_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_37.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_37.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-best-housewrap-new-standard-weather-barriers" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-best-housewrap-new-standard-weather-barriers#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2012 11:56:00 +0000 Web Master 9624 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Building-Integrated PV: New Opportunities for a Bright Future http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/building-integrated-pv-new-opportunities-bright-future <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><abbr title="Building-integrated photovoltaic systems use photovoltaic (PV) modules that are integrated into functional building elements, such as roofs, glazing, and building façades."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2579">BIPV</a></abbr> has yet to reach its full potential in the U.S., but a couple companies are giving it a shot.</h3> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Soltecture Blog1.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Soltecture Blog1.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Soltecture's Corium thin-film <abbr title="Copper indium gallium diselenide is a type of thin-film photovoltaic (PV) material."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2580">CIGS</a></abbr> BIPV is installed on the company's headquarters in Berlin.</em></div> <p>Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)--photovoltaic (PV) modules integrated into functional building elements, such as roofs, glazings, and building façades--are fairly common in Europe and Asia. Yet finding commercial BIPV façade products<br /> in the U.S. is nearly impossible. Why is that?</p> <p>There are a number of possibilities, including lack of suitable new projects due to the economy, a tempestuous PV market, and concerns about reliability and performance, to name a few--but the real reason might be a lot simpler.</p> <h3>Code compliance and bureaucracy</h3> <p>According to Steven Strong, president of Solar Design Associates, architects are not likely to design a façade around a BIPV manufacturer's standard PV panel offerings. The panels usually have to be custom-built for the project, and therein lies the problem.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Soltecture_Blog1_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=39171">Soltecture_Blog1_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Focus_Materials_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=20986">Focus_Materials_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_31.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_31.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/building-integrated-pv-new-opportunities-bright-future" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/building-integrated-pv-new-opportunities-bright-future#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2012 15:30:00 +0000 Web Master 9561 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Why We Care About Product Transparency http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-we-care-about-product-transparency <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h2>What's in it? Where was it made? Is the manufacturer socially responsible? These questions about green building products are getting easier to answer.</h2> <h3>This is Part 1 in our series on transparency.</h3> <h3><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/why-we-need-nutrition-labels-building-products-video" target="_blank">Part 2: Why We Need "Nutrition Labels" for Building Products</a></h3> <h3><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/end-greenwashing-five-myths-about-product-transparency" target="_blank">Part 3: The End of Greenwashing? Five Myths about Product Transparency</a></h3> <p>There's been a growing amount of buzz recently about "transparency"--a catchy word for giving people more information about products, finances, corporate behavior, and more.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/transparency_vid_screenshot_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=130319">transparency_vid_screenshot_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_41.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_41.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-we-care-about-product-transparency" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-we-care-about-product-transparency#comments Wed, 04 Jan 2012 22:09:00 +0000 Web Master 9522 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Why We Need "Nutrition Labels" for Building Products (Video) http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-we-need-nutrition-labels-building-products-video <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h2>Nutrition labels allow shoppers to compare two bags of chips. The transparency movement seeks that level of transparency for building materials.</h2> <h3>This is Part 2 in our series on transparency.</h3> <h3><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/why-we-care-about-product-transparency" target="_blank">Part 1: Why We Care About Product Transparency</a></h3> <h3><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/end-greenwashing-five-myths-about-product-transparency" target="_blank">Part 3: The End of Greenwashing? Five Myths about Product Transparency</a></h3> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//BrickWall.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Building product transparency has been a hot topic in the design and construction world lately.</p> <p>Pioneering manufacturers like <a href="http://www.interfaceflor.com/epd/" target="_blank">InterfaceFLOR</a> are releasing environmental product declarations (EPDs). Influential firms like Perkins+Will are gathering and publishing more data about what's really in our building materials (if you haven't seen the firm's new Transparency website, <a href="http://transparency.perkinswill.com/default.cshtml?url=/" target="_blank">check it out here</a>).</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/BrickWall_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=191403">BrickWall_3.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-we-need-nutrition-labels-building-products-video" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/why-we-need-nutrition-labels-building-products-video#comments Wed, 04 Jan 2012 21:44:00 +0000 Web Master 9520 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com The 10 Biggest Green Building Stories of 2011 http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/10-biggest-green-building-stories-2011 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen Talks LEED </div> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Windows, carpet chemicals, spray-foam, and LEED lawsuits: these are a few of your favorite things.</h3> <p>It's been a big year for green building. People are tightening up their buildings even as they tighten their belts. The retrofit market and multifamily housing have taken off in a big way in this new financial landscape.</p> <p>The most-read <em>Environmental Building News</em> articles of 2011 reflect these new realities. Please check them out below and tell us in comments what you'd like us to cover in 2012! Don't forget that you can also get continuing education credits for reading many of these articles.</p> <p><em>(NB: many of our most popular articles are available for BuildingGreen members only. You can <a href="https://www.buildinggreen.com/ecommerce/membership.cfm?" target="_blank">check out affordable membership options here</a>.)</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/films1_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=56767">films1_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_43.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_43.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/10-biggest-green-building-stories-2011" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen Talks LEED BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/10-biggest-green-building-stories-2011#comments Thu, 29 Dec 2011 15:00:00 +0000 Web Master 9435 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A Sneak Peek at Nine Products Under GreenSpec Review (And a Chance to Rate Them) http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sneak-peek-nine-products-under-greenspec-review-and-chance-rate-them <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p>For some fun around the holidays, GreenSpec is holding a virtual "open house"--giving you a sneak peek at some cool new products we're reviewing, and our first impressions. We'd like to hear what you think, so please read our first impressions below and then take the quick survey. Happy holidays! <strong>Update: Thank you for your feedback. We have closed the survey and are using it to inform our ongoing research agenda.</strong></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sneak-peek-nine-products-under-greenspec-review-and-chance-rate-them#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2011 03:44:00 +0000 Web Master 9409 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Holiday Cheer: Ozone-Depleting Products No Longer a Big Issue http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/holiday-cheer-ozone-depleting-products-no-longer-big-issue <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>We're making our GreenSpec list and checking it twice. Crossing ozone depletion off of it feels mighty nice!</h3> <h2>By Jennifer Atlee</h2> <p>With the holiday season upon us (yet no snow on the ground here in Vermont since the freak October storm that knocked out power across the Northeast) and the <a href="http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-12-12-the-top-five-takeaways-from-the-durban-climate-talks" target="_blank">Durban climate deal still largely symbolic</a>, I thought some environmental good cheer was in order.</p> <h3>When hairspray kills</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//vintage hair spray can.jpg" alt="" /> <em>Remember when all the hair spray brands switched to pump bottles in the '80s? It worked!</em></div> <p>Remember the ozone hole, and all of the hair spray, propellants, refrigerants, pesticides, and more that were creating it? Well we made a global agreement in 1987--The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer --and we're actually following through on it.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/vintage_hair_spray_can_4.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=141372">vintage_hair_spray_can_4.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_30.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_30.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/holiday-cheer-ozone-depleting-products-no-longer-big-issue" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/holiday-cheer-ozone-depleting-products-no-longer-big-issue#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2011 14:45:00 +0000 Web Master 9369 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Smarter Batteries for a Smart Grid http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/smarter-batteries-smart-grid <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Grid-tied solar could have a siginificant role in the smart grid--if we can get the lithium ion battery technology right.</h3> <p>People living off the grid using photovoltaics (PV) or other renewable energy to generate power typically depend on maintaining banks of lead-acid batteries and carefully managing the amount of energy they store and use as well as maintaining those batteries for long-term durability.</p> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//OES2 batteries.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//OES2 batteries.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>A California utility is experimenting with using grid-tied solar on individual homes and businesses as a way to meet peak demand in the evening. Incentives could help offset the cost of lithium ion batteries for grid-tied PV.</em></div> <p>As the move toward renewable energy gains traction, especially in Europe, an intriguing possibility is beginning to take hold: the use of next-generation batteries in grid-connected systems to store and manage energy capacity.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/OES2_batteries_4.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=76329">OES2_batteries_4.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_34.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_34.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/smarter-batteries-smart-grid" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/smarter-batteries-smart-grid#comments Wed, 14 Dec 2011 18:28:00 +0000 Web Master 9368 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Return of the Insulation Webcast: Guidance on choosing the greenest insulation http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/return-insulation-webcast-guidance-choosing-greenest-insulation <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/landing/insulation_webinar/images/insulation_bright.jpg" alt="" align="right" />Back by popular demand, BuildingGreen presents a FREE 1-Hour Webcast on Thursday, December 15, 2011 1 p.m. EST</h3> <p>After presenting this webcast this week to a full house, Alex Wilson is bringing it back next week with an encore performance!</p> <p>To help professionals make the best design and material choices for their specific projects (and budgets), BuildingGreen recently developed and released the Guide to Insulation Products and Practices.</p> <p>The report emphasizes that there are no universal right or wrong answers. Instead, it offers guidance to support appropriate material choices -- as well as best practices -- depending on the project and budget.</p> <h3><a href="https://buildinggreen.webex.com/buildinggreen/onstage/g.php?t=a&amp;d=669972016">Register Today!</a></h3> <p>On December 15th, BuildingGreen is offering a live webcast in which author Alex Wilson discusses the key findings of this report, and offer guidance on insulation choices -- as well as discussion and background. If you are confronted with choosing insulation in an upcoming building project, you won't want to miss this event.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/insulation_bright_9.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=7337">insulation_bright_9.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/return-insulation-webcast-guidance-choosing-greenest-insulation" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/return-insulation-webcast-guidance-choosing-greenest-insulation#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2011 16:45:00 +0000 Web Master 9347 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Paper Towels vs. Efficient Hand Dryers: New Study Makes the Choice Clear http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/paper-towels-vs-efficient-hand-dryers-new-study-makes-choice-clear <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Drying your hands requires far more water than washing them, according to a surprising new manufacturer study.</h3> <p><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/search/apachesolr_search/faucet?filters=tid%3A137%20tid%3A264" target="_blank">Low-flow faucets and other water-saving fixtures</a> have become a standard water-saving feature in public bathrooms. Unfortunately, it turns out that drying your hands uses a lot more water than washing them--anywhere from 18 to 70 liters (4.8 to 18.5 gallons) per hand-washing session, depending on the drying method. That's according to a <abbr title="1. Life-cycle assessment is an analysis of the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service.2. The practice of quantifying and characterizing all the resource and pollution flows associated with a process or product, for the purpose of documenting its environmental impact. It is defined by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) as"a compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life-cycle.""><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2436">life-cycle assessment</a></abbr> (LCA) commissioned by Dyson, maker of Airblade high-speed hand dryers.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Jet_Towel_Airblade_Battle_4.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=30096">Jet_Towel_Airblade_Battle_4.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/water_graph_4.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=160405">water_graph_4.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/paper-towels-vs-efficient-hand-dryers-new-study-makes-choice-clear" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/paper-towels-vs-efficient-hand-dryers-new-study-makes-choice-clear#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:01:00 +0000 Web Master 9345 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Green or Greenwash? The Quiz http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-or-greenwash-quiz <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Do you really know the difference between <abbr title="Independent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2382">FSC</a></abbr> and SFI? Has the federal government ended all our greenwashing woes? Find out below!</h3> <div><a href="https://www.buildinggreen.com/ecommerce/certifications-report.cfm" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//green certification report.jpg" alt="" /> </a></div> <p>We invite you to test your knowledge with this quiz that we came up with covering key questions around when our building products are green, and when they're being greenwashed.</p> <p>Stumped? We work continually to clarify questions like this with our <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/greener-building-products-detail?greenwashquiz" target="_blank">GreenSpec product and category guidance</a>, and through our <a href="https://www.buildinggreen.com/ecommerce/certifications-report.cfm?greenwashquiz" target="_blank">special report on green product certifications</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/green_certification_report_4.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=116035">green_certification_report_4.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenSpecGreenBanner_39.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=14278">GreenSpecGreenBanner_39.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-or-greenwash-quiz" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-or-greenwash-quiz#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2011 14:00:00 +0000 Web Master 9339 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Webcast: How to make the right insulation choices for your specific building applications http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/webcast-how-make-right-insulation-choices-your-specific-building-applications <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/landing/insulation_webinar/images/insulation_bright.jpg" alt="" align="right" />BuildingGreen presents a FREE 1-Hour Webcast on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 2 p.m. EST</h3> <p>To help professionals make the best design and material choices for their specific projects (and budgets), BuildingGreen recently developed and released the Guide to Insulation Products and Practices.</p> <p>The report emphasizes that there are no universal right or wrong answers. Instead, it offers guidance to support appropriate material choices -- as well as best practices -- depending on the project and budget.</p> <h3><a href="https://buildinggreen.webex.com/mw0306ld/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&amp;siteurl=buildinggreen&amp;service=6&amp;rnd=0.5485161374822612&amp;main_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbuildinggreen.webex.com%2Fec0605ld%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3Ddetail%26confViewID%3D280135320%26siteurl%3Dbuildinggreen%26%26%26">Register Today!</a></h3> <p>On December 7th, BuildingGreen is offering a live webcast in which author Alex Wilson discusses the key findings of this report, and offer guidance on insulation choices -- as well as discussion and background. If you are confronted with choosing insulation in an upcoming building project, you won't want to miss this event.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/insulation_bright_5.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=7337">insulation_bright_5.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/webcast-how-make-right-insulation-choices-your-specific-building-applications" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/webcast-how-make-right-insulation-choices-your-specific-building-applications#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2011 19:42:00 +0000 Web Master 9277 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com BIPV Solar Shingles Angle for Space in the Residential Market http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bipv-solar-shingles-angle-space-residential-market <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//BlogShingleFinally.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//BlogShingleFinally.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Dow's Powershingle <abbr title="Building-integrated photovoltaic systems use photovoltaic (PV) modules that are integrated into functional building elements, such as roofs, glazing, and building façades."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2579">BIPV</a></abbr> is designed to blend in with asphalt shingles and provide power via <abbr title="Copper indium gallium diselenide is a type of thin-film photovoltaic (PV) material."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2580">CIGS</a></abbr> PV cells.</em></div> <h3>Can a building-integrated solar shingle compete with cheap crystalline? Focusing on aesthetics and installation is a great start.</h3> <p>Dow's Powerhouse photovoltaic (PV) roofing shingles are designed to integrate into a conventional asphalt shingle roof, and when Dow announced the product in 2009 they caused a lot of excitement. Two years later and they are finally on the market, but my excitement is dampened slightly, recognizing the tremendous challenges that lie ahead for any thin-film PV in today's market, especially products aimed for a depressed housing market.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/BlogShingleFinally_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=31121">BlogShingleFinally_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Dow_Close_up1_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=17342">Dow_Close_up1_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_71.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_71.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bipv-solar-shingles-angle-space-residential-market" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bipv-solar-shingles-angle-space-residential-market#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 20:24:00 +0000 Web Master 9262 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com "Green" Bamboo Flooring: What Matters Most? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-bamboo-flooring-what-matters-most <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <h3>Eco-friendly bamboo options have gotten better, but the choice is still not simple.</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//plyboo1.jpg" alt="" /></div> <p>If you want the "greenest" bamboo flooring out there what do you look for? We have talked a lot about bamboo over the years, starting in 1997. The options have gotten better, but the choice is still not simple. GreenSpec lists what we think is <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/product/plyboopure-bamboo-flooring/smith-fong-company/1942" target="_blank">the best bamboo flooring available today</a>, and our section description explains our criteria, but lets break it down a bit.</p> <h3>Looking beyond "<abbr title="Term describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less)."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2496">Rapidly Renewable</a></abbr>" to <abbr title="Independent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2382">FSC</a></abbr></h3> <p>Bamboo was originally championed as an inherently green material because it is rapidly renewable, but <em>EBN</em>'s feature article, <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2006/3/1/Bamboo-in-Construction-Is-the-Grass-Always-Greener/" target="_blank">Bamboo in Construction: Is the Grass Always Greener?</a> made it clear that sustainability isn't just about how fast it grows.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/plyboo1_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=270369">plyboo1_3.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InsulationSmallBanner_8.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=13582">InsulationSmallBanner_8.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-bamboo-flooring-what-matters-most" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-bamboo-flooring-what-matters-most#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2011 01:54:00 +0000 Web Master 9216 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Going the Extra 3,000 Miles for Passive House Windows and Doors http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/going-extra-3000-miles-passive-house-windows-and-doors <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>When it comes to green building, you can't always get what you what. So how do you get what you need?</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Schuco window label.jpg" alt="" /> <em>Whole-window R-value of 6.7. Not too shabby!</em></div> <p><em>Note: some of the links below will only work for registered subscribers. <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/landing/ebnperformance1102.html" target="_blank">See low-cost membership options.</a></em></p> <p>BuildingGreen's <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2011/11/1/DIY-Passive-House-Nothing-Passive-about-That" target="_blank">recent field trip to a local Passive House under construction</a> led to some interesting conversations about product selection, with windows and doors a highlight. Ted and Andrea showed us their beautiful new Schüco windows and doors and told us the story of their product selection process, also <a href="http://vermontpassive.com/2011/04/if-you-could-design-your-dream-window-what-would-it-be" target="_blank">described in their blog</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Schuco_window_label_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=239181">Schuco_window_label_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Schuco_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22184">Schuco_2.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/going-extra-3000-miles-passive-house-windows-and-doors" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/going-extra-3000-miles-passive-house-windows-and-doors#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2011 13:58:00 +0000 Web Master 9194 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Fire Risks Not Limited to Spray-Foam Insulation http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-risks-not-limited-spray-foam-insulation <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Riversong's Radical Reflections </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Macs%20After%20Fire.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>Spray foam is only one of a number of building products and methods which increase the risk of catastrophic fire loss (and potential loss of life).</h3> <p><em>[Editor's note: After asking him to pen his series of 10 <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/Riversongs-Radical-Reflections">Riversong's Random Reflections</a> on our blog earlier this year, we asked Vermont builder Robert Riversong back to discuss fire safety issues in residential construction. Riversong is a volunteer firefighter. Enjoy! – Tristan Roberts]</em></p> <h3>A Builder/Firefighter's Thoughts on Fire Issues in Residential Construction and Remodeling</h3> <p>There has been some media and regulatory attention given lately to auto-ignition of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation during the application process. [Editor's note: see <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2011/7/14/Massachusetts-Fires-Tied-to-Spray-Foam-Incite-Debate">Massachusetts Fires Tied to Spray Foam Incite Debate</a>.]&nbsp; While the SPF industry has, understandably, reacted defensively to this development, there are legitimate reasons for caution and concern.</p> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-risks-not-limited-spray-foam-insulation" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Riversong's Radical Reflections http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-risks-not-limited-spray-foam-insulation#comments Wed, 02 Nov 2011 20:40:31 +0000 Paula Melton 8986 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Fire Risks Not Limited to Spray-Foam Insulation http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-risks-not-limited-spray-foam-insulation-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Riversong's Radical Reflections </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Macs After Fire.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>Spray foam is only one of a number of building products and methods which increase the risk of catastrophic fire loss (and potential loss of life). </h3> <p><em>[Editor's note: After asking him to pen his series of 10 <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/Riversongs-Radical-Reflections">Riversong's Random Reflections</a> on our blog earlier this year, we asked Vermont builder Robert Riversong back to discuss fire safety issues in residential construction. Riversong is a volunteer firefighter. Enjoy! – Tristan Roberts]</em></p> <h3>A Builder/Firefighter's Thoughts on Fire Issues in Residential Construction and Remodeling </h3> <p>There has been some media and regulatory attention given lately to auto-ignition of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation during the application process. [Editor's note: see <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2011/7/14/Massachusetts-Fires-Tied-to-Spray-Foam-Incite-Debate">Massachusetts Fires Tied to Spray Foam Incite Debate</a>.]&nbsp; While the SPF industry has, understandably, reacted defensively to this development, there are legitimate reasons for caution and concern.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Macs_After_Fire_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=111950">Macs_After_Fire_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/April_Fool_2_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=316803">April_Fool_2_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/HowToChoose_9.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=21949">HowToChoose_9.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Mac%2527s_Cellulose_Char_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=66398">Mac%27s_Cellulose_Char_2.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-risks-not-limited-spray-foam-insulation-0" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Riversong's Radical Reflections http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-risks-not-limited-spray-foam-insulation-0#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 19:56:00 +0000 Web Master 8987 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Top Products from the Greenbuild Expo Floor: Part 2 http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-products-greenbuild-expo-floor-part-2 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> AIA Convention </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//HempInsulation.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//HempInsulation.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Mem's NaturHemp insulation offers comparable R-values to other batt insulations and is made from <abbr title="Term describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less)."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2496">rapidly renewable</a></abbr> hemp. It is made in Canada, where industrial hemp can be grown legally.</em></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>More new products from Greenbuild! This week we introduce you to some water-saving fixtures, recycled content products, a residential rainscreen system, and hemp insulation.</h3> <p>A couple weeks after Greenbuild, and we are still looking at products from a productive show.</p> <p>Major manufacturers have the budgets for large exhibits on the expo floor to show off their latest offerings. I always enjoy these "booths" because the products are usually well tested and ready for market, but if you want to glimpse some of the real innovators in the industry, it is also worth touring the outer perimeter, where the smaller vendors set up shop.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/HempInsulation_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=47918">HempInsulation_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Rainscreen1_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=45516">Rainscreen1_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/HowToChoose_6.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=21949">HowToChoose_6.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_45.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_45.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-products-greenbuild-expo-floor-part-2" target="_blank">read more</a></p> AIA Convention GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-products-greenbuild-expo-floor-part-2#comments Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:43:00 +0000 Web Master 8989 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Choosing Insulation: What Are Your Deal-Breakers? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-insulation-what-are-your-deal-breakers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h2>Part 2 in our series, <a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/what-type-insulation-should-you-use" target="_blank">"What Type of Insulation Should You Use?"</a></h2> <h3>Even our savvy readers had some trouble with the GreenSpec insulation quiz. Does it <em>really</em> have to be this hard to choose the best insulation for your project?</h3> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/landing/insulation/index.cfm?" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Insulation_Report_Cover_Lgjpg.jpg" alt="" /> </a></div> <p>While paying yet another $3000 heating oil bill this fall, a friend of mine decided it was time to bite the bullet and insulate her 97-year-old home. She mentioned to me offhand that her husband was interested in spray polyurethane foam (SPF) due to its unique performance characteristics: this material can serve as insulation, a continuous air barrier, and a vapor retarder. No other single material does all three.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Insulation_Report_Cover_Lgjpg_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=159691">Insulation_Report_Cover_Lgjpg_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-insulation-what-are-your-deal-breakers" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-insulation-what-are-your-deal-breakers#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2011 23:44:00 +0000 Web Master 8992 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Top Products from the Greenbuild Expo Floor: Windows http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-products-greenbuild-expo-floor-windows <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//RENOVATE Sample.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//RENOVATE Sample.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Renovate, from Berkowitz, LLC. is a retrofit glazing that fits on the interior of single-pane commercial windows, improving the center of glass U-factor from 1.03 to 0.16.</em></div> <h3>Finding the top Greenbuild products among 900 exhibitors is no easy task. This week we introduce you to our favorite windows from the show.</h3> <p>Greenbuild expo floors are typically chaotic and crowded and so vast that it is difficult to find the innovators among the throngs of people, glaring LED signage, and innumerable booths. This year's Greenbuild in Toronto had almost 900 exhibitors spread out over two expo floors separated by a significant walk, which made the search that much more challenging.<br /> <br />Fortunately, I enjoy a good challenge--and the exercise--and I was rewarded by finding some interesting products destined for GreenSpec. For this installment, let's take a look at some windows.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/RENOVATE_Sample_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15458">RENOVATE_Sample_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Traco_large_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=35433">Traco_large_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_57.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_57.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-products-greenbuild-expo-floor-windows" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-products-greenbuild-expo-floor-windows#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 18:31:00 +0000 Web Master 8993 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com What Type of Insulation Should You Use? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/what-type-insulation-should-you-use <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h2>Part 1: The Basics</h2> <h2><a href="http://greenspec.buildinggreen.com/content/choosing-insulation-what-are-your-deal-breakers" target="_blank">Click to Read Part 2: Identifying Your Priorities</a></h2> <h3>Choosing the best insulation to maximize performance and minimize environmental impacts is one of the most complex decisions you can make for a building project.</h3> <p>Insulation is a critical component of any building--especially one designed and built to minimize environmental impacts.</p> <p>Determining what type of insulation to install--and how much of it--can be complex. No other building product category offers such a diverse range of materials and impacts to consider: environmental, human health, performance, and building science.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/How_insulation_works_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=84545">How_insulation_works_2.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/what-type-insulation-should-you-use" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/what-type-insulation-should-you-use#comments Thu, 13 Oct 2011 13:31:00 +0000 Web Master 8995 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Asking the Right Questions About Sustainable Materials http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/asking-right-questions-about-sustainable-materials <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Greenbuild '11 </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Product Talk </div> </div> </div> <h3>Are there <em>any</em> sustainable materials? What does that even mean?</h3> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Howdoyoudecide.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Howdoyoudecide.jpg" alt="" /> </a></div> <p>Near the end of another exciting and exhausting Greenbuild, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with three other women deeply invested in sustainable material management: Lindsay James, InterfaceFlor; Gail Vittori, Center for Maximum Building Potential Building Systems, and Sarah Brooks, Natural Step Canada. We started the session with the question "Are there any sustainable materials?" and ended with the question " What does material stewardship look like in a sustainable society?"</p> <p>In between these two questions lives a world of aspiration and complexity followed, if you're lucky--or defiant--by deeper aspiration. The thing is, this stuff is hard. It's complicated and can be messy. Simple answers can lead to different problems. The deeper answers we need to figure out together--no one can single-handedly provide the roadmap.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Howdoyoudecide_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=309663">Howdoyoudecide_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_17.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_17.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/asking-right-questions-about-sustainable-materials" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Greenbuild '11 GreenSpec Insights Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/asking-right-questions-about-sustainable-materials#comments Wed, 12 Oct 2011 18:23:00 +0000 Web Master 8996 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Fire-Rated No-Formaldehyde Substrates Can Discolor Exotic Veneers http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-rated-no-formaldehyde-substrates-can-discolor-exotic-veneers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Evan Dick </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>The increased use of no-added-urea-<abbr title="1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions.2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2381">formaldehyde</a></abbr> (NAUF) wood products is great, but can occasionally cause unsightly "bleaching" of gorgeous veneers. What to do?</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//English sycamore veneer.jpg" alt="" /> <em>Exotic veneers like this deliciously buttery English sycamore can be devastatingly discolored by some types of non-urea-formaldehyde boards. Woodworking experts have found some solutions to the problem: it's all in how you put it together.</em></div> <p>Medium-density fiberboard (<abbr title="Medium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2445">MDF</a></abbr>) and particleboard are the materials providing the backbone for much of what we see in finished interiors. They are usually composed of sawmill waste and some still use urea-formaldehyde (UF) binders. They are cheap, mill cleanly (MDF more so than particleboard), are made from a waste product, and are fairly durable if installed properly. We almost never see MDF or particleboard, as they are either painted or covered by glued-on veneers that can be designed to look like a myriad of different materials. But reach under a countertop or behind a bookshelf to find an unfinished edge, and you can feel the telltale roughness of particleboard or the glassy smoothness of MDF.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/English_sycamore_veneer_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=327866">English_sycamore_veneer_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AD7_8.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18920">AD7_8.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-rated-no-formaldehyde-substrates-can-discolor-exotic-veneers" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fire-rated-no-formaldehyde-substrates-can-discolor-exotic-veneers#comments Wed, 12 Oct 2011 18:07:00 +0000 Web Master 8997 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Top-10 Products for 2012: Our Picks for a Resilient Future http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-10-products-2012-our-picks-resilient-future <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paula Melton </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Greenbuild '11 </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Our Top-10 Products for 2012 look ahead, offering forward-thinking solutions you can put in place now.</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EnduraLED-On.jpg" alt="" /></div> <p>Greenbuild is one of the highlights of the year as we scout out new, innovative products for GreenSpec and <em>Environmental Building News</em>, and every year we present the Top-10 Building Products as selected by our editorial team. This year we are awarding the top 10 products of <em>2012</em>. That is not a typo.</p> <p>Though we discovered these products over the previous year, they are produced by forward-thinking manufacturers that are addressing fundamental building needs for 2012 and beyond. I met with Brent Ehrlich, our products editor to get the scoop on what's so exciting to him about each of these products. You can read more of the technical details of each one over in the news section of <em><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/10/6/Top-10-Green-Products-for-2012-Picked-by-BuildingGreen/" target="_blank">EBN</a></em>.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EnduraLED-On_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=10102">EnduraLED-On_2.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-10-products-2012-our-picks-resilient-future" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Greenbuild '11 GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-10-products-2012-our-picks-resilient-future#comments Thu, 06 Oct 2011 16:31:00 +0000 Web Master 8999 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com GreenSpec Goes to Greenbuild Toronto http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greenspec-goes-greenbuild-toronto <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/files/Greenbuild 2011 North Floorplan.pdf"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//gb2011northGSP.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Come visit BuildingGreen and GreenSpec at booth 434 in the North expo hall. <strong>Click the image to download a full expo floor map (north) with all the greenest products marked.</strong></em></div> <p>I look forward to Greenbuild every year--especially this year, since it is in Toronto. I haven't been to Toronto since the late '70s, when a friend of mine and I cut class in high school and roadtripped to view an exhibit of Monet and other impressionist artists, something you just couldn't see in suburban Michigan. I was a little overwhelmed by the trip, but the city was vibrant and the exhibit was well worth the repercussions of my truancy.</p> <p>Visiting Greenbuild has a lot in common with that trip. It's busy, exciting, and a valuable learning experience, and there is something about challenging conventions and being on the cutting edge of green technology--that's where BuildingGreen and GreenSpec shine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/gb2011northGSP_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22001">gb2011northGSP_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/gb2011southGSP_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=37755">gb2011southGSP_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greenspec-goes-greenbuild-toronto" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greenspec-goes-greenbuild-toronto#comments Thu, 29 Sep 2011 02:06:00 +0000 Web Master 9005 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A Rare Peek Behind the Scenes at GE's LED Research Complex http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rare-peek-behind-scenes-ges-led-research-complex <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//ge LED.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//ge LED.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>GE's 9-watt Energy Smart LED bulb is the first <abbr title="A popular government-sponsored product certification and label established in 1992 for energy efficient products and energy-efficient buildings."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1826">Energy Star</a></abbr>-rated replacement for 40-watt incandescent bulbs and provides an omnidirectional light that is similar to incandescents. Photo: GE Lighting</em></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/ge_LED.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=52883">ge_LED.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EdgeLight_unlit.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=84121">EdgeLight_unlit.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EdgeLight_Lit.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=77911">EdgeLight_Lit.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_59.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_59.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rare-peek-behind-scenes-ges-led-research-complex" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/rare-peek-behind-scenes-ges-led-research-complex#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2011 16:25:00 +0000 Web Master 9008 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Affordable Thermostat Retrofits: Analog to Digital in 30 Minutes http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/affordable-thermostat-retrofits-analog-digital-30-minutes <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//BlogAfter.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//BlogAfter.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>This Cypress Envirosystems' Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat replaced the old thermostat (lower left) allowing remote control and monitoring of building temperatures at a fraction of the cost of direct digital controls. Photo: Cypress Envirosystems</em></div> <h3>Replacing manual thermostats in commercial buildings with digital controls is usually expensive and invasive, but new technology costs far less and can be installed in less than a half hour.</h3> <h3>Digital controls are a great idea</h3> <p>Pneumatic thermostats have been around for more than 100 years, and are still used in about 70% of existing commercial buildings, according to David Roberts, director of marketing at <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4852" target="_blank"> Cypress Envirosystems</a>, maker of the Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat (WPT).</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/BlogAfter.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18644">BlogAfter.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/BlogBefore.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=17881">BlogBefore.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EBNcertAd3_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27629">EBNcertAd3_1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/affordable-thermostat-retrofits-analog-digital-30-minutes" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/affordable-thermostat-retrofits-analog-digital-30-minutes#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2011 19:39:00 +0000 Web Master 9012 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Water-Based Polyurethanes and Panelization of Athletic Floors http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/water-based-polyurethanes-and-panelization-athletic-floors <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Evan Dick </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>Projects are having trouble with performance of low-VOC finishes on gym floors, but there are ways to avoid problems.</h3> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Bona_application1.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Bona_application1.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Bona SuperSport water-based sealer is applied to a gym floor. Credit: Jason Thomas Flooring</em></div> <p>Wood athletic floors, while unparalleled for all types of play, are typically finished with solvent-based polyurethane coatings that emit high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC). They need to be finished when installed and then refinished about every ten years. This presents a particular challenge to design teams aiming to earn the LEED credit for low-emitting materials, IEQc4. LEED or not, minimizing VOC emissions in schools is a high priority.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Bona_application1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=96466">Bona_application1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/water-based-polyurethanes-and-panelization-athletic-floors" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/water-based-polyurethanes-and-panelization-athletic-floors#comments Thu, 08 Sep 2011 18:25:00 +0000 Web Master 9015 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com New Hub for Information and Action on Embodied Carbon and the 2030 Challenge for Products http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-hub-information-and-action-embodied-carbon-and-2030-challenge-products <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images/scale1.jpg" alt="" /> BuildingGreen is pleased to announce the launch of the <a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/topic/2030-challenge">2030 Challenge for Products Information Hub</a>. Launched by Architecture 2030 in <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/2/14/A-2030-Challenge-for-Building-Product-Manufacturers/">February 2011</a>, the 2030 Challenge for Products is a call to action to reduce not only the operational energy of buildings but also the <abbr title="1. Embodied energy is the energy used during the entire life cycle of a product, including its manufacture, transportation, and disposal, as well as the inherent energy captured within the product itself.2. The energy expended in the process of creating a product, often including the fuel value of its constituent parts as well as transportation to its point of use."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2356">embodied energy</a></abbr> of the products that go into them. While operational efficiency remains a vital goal, the embodied energy of a building represents greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate <abbr title="1. Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008)2.The increase in global average temperatures being caused by a buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This temperature change is leading to changes in circulation patterns in the air and in the oceans, which are affecting climates differently in different places. Among thepredicted effects are a significant cooling in Western Europe due to changes in the jet stream, and rising sea levels due to the melting of polar ice and glaciers."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2296">climate change</a></abbr> before the building ever starts operating. That means that embodied carbon has an effect today, during what many understand to be the critical window to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. The 2030 Challenge for Products Information Hub is a free resource for anyone trying to address the embodied carbon of products.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/scale1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18906">scale1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-hub-information-and-action-embodied-carbon-and-2030-challenge-products" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-hub-information-and-action-embodied-carbon-and-2030-challenge-products#comments Wed, 07 Sep 2011 19:14:00 +0000 Web Master 9016 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Red List Mania: Three Ways to Make Chemical Avoidance Guides Work Better http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/red-list-mania-three-ways-make-chemical-avoidance-guides-work-better <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//red list overlay -HBN.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//red list overlay -HBN.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>This Venn diagram shows the overlap of various "red lists" that recommend chemicals to exclude from building products. Courtesy Healthy Building Network</em></div> <h3>A "red list" of chemicals is supposed to make the screening process simple. But with so many red lists popping up, which ones should you trust?</h3> <p>If you're one of the many people becoming increasingly concerned about chemical hazards found in building products, you might turn to a "red list" of chemicals for help in your screening process. Red lists have been proliferating, and whose should you trust? How does the <a href="https://ilbi.org/lbc">Living Building Challenge</a> red list of chemical hazards match up with the list associated with the <a href="http://www.leeduser.com/credit/Pilot-Credits/PC11">LEED Pilot Credit 11</a>? What's covered by the <a href="http://transparency.perkinswill.com/">Perkins+Will Precautionary list</a>that isn't covered by the others?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/red_list_overlay__-HBN.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=238878">red_list_overlay__-HBN.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_13.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_13.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/red-list-mania-three-ways-make-chemical-avoidance-guides-work-better" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/red-list-mania-three-ways-make-chemical-avoidance-guides-work-better#comments Thu, 01 Sep 2011 13:26:00 +0000 Web Master 9019 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Solar Thermal, Water, and Cold Climates: Can't We All Get Along? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/solar-thermal-water-and-cold-climates-cant-we-all-get-along <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Blog Wel.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Blog Wel.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>36,597 square feet of Ritter XL solar collectors were installed on an exhibition hall in Wels, Austria, providing almost 7 million <abbr title="A unit of energy consumed by or delivered to a building. A Btu is an acronym for British thermal unit and is defined as the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at normal atmospheric pressure. Energy consumption is expressed in Btu to allow for consumption comparisons among fuels that are measured in different units."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2258">Btu</a></abbr>/hr of supplemental hot water for district heating. Photo: Ritter Group</em></div> <h3>Most solar thermal systems installed in cold climates use antifreeze, but Ritter XL Solar is engineering its systems with water. Can a large-scale commercial system survive the cold?</h3> <p><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4998" target="_blank"> Ritter XL</a>is doing what few solar thermal manufacturers have dared: creating large-scale solar thermal systems in cold climates running on only water. The company is using its compound parabolic concentrating (CPC) collectors to generate high-temperature water for commercial, multifamily, district heating, and other applications that have high demand for hot water. Distributed in the U.S. by Regasol USA, a subsidiary of the German company Ritter Gruppe, these complex systems require precise engineering and controls but can provide supplemental solar hot water in cold climates without freezing .</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Blog_Wel_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=33248">Blog_Wel_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Blog_Coney_Island_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=24824">Blog_Coney_Island_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Save23_30.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22029">Save23_30.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_10.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_10.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/solar-thermal-water-and-cold-climates-cant-we-all-get-along" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/solar-thermal-water-and-cold-climates-cant-we-all-get-along#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2011 16:52:00 +0000 Web Master 9023 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com LEDs? Incandescents? Who's Using What for Jobsite Lighting http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leds-incandescents-whos-using-what-jobsite-lighting <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nadav Malin </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//lights.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>I called Pete Samaras, Senior Electrical Estimator at DPR Construction, to ask him about job-site lighting practices for our product review on LED jobsite lighting&nbsp; (see <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2011/7/1/LED-Systems-Provide-Huge-Energy-Savings-for-Jobsite-Lighting/">LED Systems Provide Huge Energy Savings for Jobsite Lighting</a>, <em>EBN</em> Aug. 2011 and our <em>GreenSpec</em> listing of the <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4966">Flex SLS system</a>). To make sure he had the latest information, he surveyed four electrical subcontractors via email. Their responses offer a good window into the shifting technologies used to illuminate jobsites--at least those on the scale of the commercial and institutional projects that DPR builds.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/lights.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=76476">lights.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Save23_14.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22029">Save23_14.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_51.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_51.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leds-incandescents-whos-using-what-jobsite-lighting" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leds-incandescents-whos-using-what-jobsite-lighting#comments Tue, 09 Aug 2011 03:00:00 +0000 Web Master 9026 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Super White Cedar Shingles: Worth the Cost? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/super-white-cedar-shingles-worth-cost <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//MaibecHouse.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//MaibecHouse.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>White cedar contains natural oils that protect the Maibec shingles on homes like this from insects, mold, and decay. Photo: Maibec Sidings</em></div> <h3>White cedar shingles protect a building from the elements, have a small environmental footprint, are easy to maintain, and they look good.</h3> <p>After a long summer of too much rain followed by too much heat, I am finally able start painting the clapboards on our house. The house desperately needs it, but I don't look forward to the prepping, scraping, caulking, and eventual painting. It got me thinking: what siding would I choose if I were starting over with a new home? (Hey, I can dream.) The answer was simple for me...white cedar shingles.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/MaibecHouse_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=37436">MaibecHouse_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Save23_21.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22029">Save23_21.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Maibec_ColorDif_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=55641">Maibec_ColorDif_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_7.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_7.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/super-white-cedar-shingles-worth-cost" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/super-white-cedar-shingles-worth-cost#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2011 12:54:00 +0000 Web Master 9028 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Getting the Most from Old Windows: A Tale of Attachments http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-most-old-windows-tale-attachments <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Peter Yost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//cellular.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>Should you replace your old windows? Using attachments can get more life out of them, and improve performance.</h3> <p>Most of us approach poorly performing old windows with a step-by-step exploration from one less-than-optimal fix to the next. Improving existing window performance shouldn't be that way, and it doesn't have to with new online resources.</p> <h3>Home Sweet Home</h3> <p>In 2000, my wife and I moved into a nearly 100-year old home in New England, equipped with the original wood single- paned double-hung windows. These windows were supported by some pretty typical window attachments: triple-track exterior aluminum storm windows and opaque vinyl interior roller shades. <br /> <br />By and large, the windows themselves operated pretty well. All the sashes raised, lowered, and locked (more than you can say for a lot of 100-year-old windows). But the storm windows and roller shades were another story.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/cellular_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=74964">cellular_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_11.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_11.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/lowe_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=82522">lowe_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_48.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_48.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-most-old-windows-tale-attachments" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-most-old-windows-tale-attachments#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2011 12:08:00 +0000 Web Master 9030 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Upofloor's LifeLine CS: Heavy-Duty Resilient Flooring Minus the PVC http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/upofloors-lifeline-cs-heavy-duty-resilient-flooring-minus-pvc <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Mercy Hospital Ethos and CS Line 5.JPG" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Mercy Hospital Ethos and CS Line 5.JPG" alt="" /> </a> <em>LifeLine CS (blue flooring at left) non-porous surface is chemical resistant and won't support bacteria growth, making it a good choice for health care settings like this installation at Mercy Hospital.</em></div> <h3>The Finnish company Upofloor's PVC-free LifeLine CS resilient sheet flooring is made for heavy-duty commercial use, with a tough surface that doesn't require sealing or complicated maintenance.</h3> <p>Vinyl flooring is inexpensive, which has made it one of the most popular commercial flooring options, but it contains phthalates and other environmentally problematic chemicals, and it requires a lot of maintenance. Enter <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4902" target="_blank"> Upofloor's LifeLine CS</a>sheet flooring (BuildingGreen Suite subscriber link). LifeLine CS is made primarily from limestone (over 60%) along with an ethylene/methacrylic acid copolymer thermoplastic, similar to Dupont's Surlyn.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Mercy_Hospital_Ethos_and_CS_Line_5.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=3046946">Mercy_Hospital_Ethos_and_CS_Line_5.JPG</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_7.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_7.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_40.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_40.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/upofloors-lifeline-cs-heavy-duty-resilient-flooring-minus-pvc" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/upofloors-lifeline-cs-heavy-duty-resilient-flooring-minus-pvc#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2011 14:57:00 +0000 Web Master 9035 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com LEED Pilot Credit 43 and Product Disclosure: Right Direction, Wrong Weighting http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leed-pilot-credit-43-and-product-disclosure-right-direction-wrong-weighting <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> LEED </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Op-Ed </div> <div class="field-item even"> Product Talk </div> </div> </div> <p>There's already been a lot of excellent debate around the new LEED Pilot Credit 43. I find myself agreeing with both sides! Here's where I stand in what may be the eye of the storm.</p> <h3>LEED is supposed to be about buildings--and market transformation</h3> <p>On the one hand, LEED is fundamentally supposed to be about designing high-performing green buildings, and product and material selection is one integrated component. It's not supposed to be about cobbling together a building out of greener products and materials. If the core purpose gets lost amidst the debate surrounding one material (yes, I'm talking <abbr title="Independent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2382">FSC</a></abbr>/SFI), we all lose.</p> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//sunrays-forest.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>On the other hand, LEED is at this point a major market driver for green building products. We need to use all the levers we can find to create truly sustainable manufacturing and sourcing if we're ever going to make it through these pivotal times into a vibrant, thriving, truly sustainable world. So we ought to use LEED for all it's worth in pushing real substantive improvements down through the supply chain.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/sunrays-forest.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=48527">sunrays-forest.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/LUemailAD2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22889">LUemailAD2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leed-pilot-credit-43-and-product-disclosure-right-direction-wrong-weighting" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights LEED Op-Ed Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leed-pilot-credit-43-and-product-disclosure-right-direction-wrong-weighting#comments Wed, 06 Jul 2011 16:34:00 +0000 Web Master 9037 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Structural Thermal Breaks for Steel Framing http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/structural-thermal-breaks-steel-framing <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Blog11.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Blog11.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Fabreeka's Thermal Insulation Material can provide a much needed thermal break between flanged steel framing. Photo credit: Fabreeka International</em></div> <h3>Steel beams are a prime pathway for transferring heat and cold in and out of buildings. This thermal bridging not only wastes energy, but can also cause condensation, corrosion, mold, and other indoor air quality problems. To combat these problems, Fabreeka International, maker of vibration and shock control systems, recently began offering its <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4943" target="_blank"> Thermal Insulation Material (TIM)</a> as a structural thermal break in steel framing.</h3> <h3>There's a reason cooking pans are made from steel</h3> <p>Energy as heat moves from areas of high to low temperatures through convection, radiation, or conduction. In solid building materials like steel, the energy is transferred very efficiently through the material via conduction.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Blog11.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=295323">Blog11.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Blog21.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=222075">Blog21.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/structural-thermal-breaks-steel-framing" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/structural-thermal-breaks-steel-framing#comments Thu, 30 Jun 2011 19:00:00 +0000 Web Master 9038 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Choosing the Right Solar PV Panel for the Job http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-right-solar-pv-panel-job <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Blog_PV First Solar.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Blog_PV First Solar.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>First Solar CdTe thin-film technology combines solid efficiency and good low-light performance with low manufacturing costs, helping make the company one of the world's largest PV producers. Photo credit: First Solar</em></div> <h3>Manufacturers have made incremental increases in PV efficiency over the years but the basic technology found in today's modules hasn't changed much.&nbsp; Here's a refresher on some popular PV technologies and a few products from our <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productsByCsiSection.cfm?csiMF2004ID=4067" target="_blank"> GreenSpec product guide</a> that use them.</h3> <p>In the early 1990's power from the grid was dirt cheap and PV modules were expensive and used primarily off-grid. Rising energy costs, environmental concerns over fossil fuel use, geopolitical instability, and increased rebates and other incentives have helped increased demand for PV worldwide. Now most PV is tied to the grid and it's become almost mainstream, especially in Europe.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Blog_PV_First_Solar.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=217951">Blog_PV_First_Solar.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_17.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_17.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-right-solar-pv-panel-job" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/choosing-right-solar-pv-panel-job#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2011 13:50:00 +0000 Web Master 9040 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Buying an Appliance? Use Research and Reviews from GreenSpec http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/buying-appliance-use-research-and-reviews-greenspec <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>How to use the GreenSpec product guide--even if it doesn't list the product you need.</h3> <div><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//c26-B000R9ABP8-2-l1.jpg" alt="" /></div> <p>I hate shopping. I'll do the grocery shopping, but when it comes to new appliances, home improvement, clothes--really anything else--I tell the shopper in the household what it is we need and he then spends the hours wading through specs, Consumer Reports, and price comparisons to make the final purchase. Thankfully, he likes that kind of thing.</p> <p>I wanted to talk about our most recent purchase, because it gives a bit of insight into how you might use the <em>GreenSpec</em> product guide even if--particularly if--it doesn't list the specific product you're looking for. And here is where my passion comes into play--assembling research that helps folks evaluate an entire category of "green" products.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/c26-B000R9ABP8-2-l1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=114955">c26-B000R9ABP8-2-l1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PharosAdBlue_5.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=15287">PharosAdBlue_5.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_24.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_24.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/buying-appliance-use-research-and-reviews-greenspec" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/buying-appliance-use-research-and-reviews-greenspec#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2011 13:53:00 +0000 Web Master 9043 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Standout Bathroom Water-Savers from the GreenSpec Guide http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/standout-bathroom-water-savers-greenspec-guide <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Stealth_StudioPhoto_LoRes2.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Stealth_StudioPhoto_LoRes2.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Niagara's Stealth toilet offers the performance of a pressure-assist model yet is as quiet as a conventional toilet. </em></div> <h3>If you're looking to renovate a bathroom and save some water and energy in the process, check out some of these standout products from our GreenSpec Directory.</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Stealth_StudioPhoto_LoRes2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=43327">Stealth_StudioPhoto_LoRes2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_25.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_25.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Baja-residential_LoRes1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=84340">Baja-residential_LoRes1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/standout-bathroom-water-savers-greenspec-guide" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/standout-bathroom-water-savers-greenspec-guide#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2011 13:35:00 +0000 Web Master 9044 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com More Sloppy Cotton Batt Installations from Bonded Logic http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-sloppy-cotton-batt-installations-bonded-logic <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Product Talk </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Picture%2020.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>Based on its own videos, the Arizona-based maker of recycled-denim Ultratouch insulation still doesn't get it when it comes to installation quality.&nbsp; </h3> <p>What do you do when a green product doesn't live up to expectations? Here at BuildingGreen, we really want to see green building products succeed in the marketplace, and make it easy for professionals to find the best of the best in our <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/menus/"><em>GreenSpec</em> guide</a>. <br /> <br />But when we see something substandard, we feel it's important to point it out. To win the mainstream over to sustainability, we have to deliver on promises of reduced environmental burdens <em>along with</em> superior performance. <br /> <br />A little while back, I took Bonded Logic to task for <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2008/6/5/Problems-installing-cotton-insulation-Ultratouch-recycled-blue-jeans-denim-how-to-install">flaws its Ultratouch cotton batt design and installation process</a>. </p> <h3><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//cotton-thickness-web1.jpg" alt="" />The problems with Ultratouch</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Picture_20.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=0">Picture_20.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/cotton-thickness-web1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=83726">cotton-thickness-web1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FreeNewsletterGSI_20.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=12623">FreeNewsletterGSI_20.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-sloppy-cotton-batt-installations-bonded-logic" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/more-sloppy-cotton-batt-installations-bonded-logic#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2011 13:13:00 +0000 Web Master 9045 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Isocyanate-Free Polyurethane Maker Glosses Over Bisphenol-A Content http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/isocyanate-free-polyurethane-maker-glosses-over-bisphenol-content <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//InfinionRaceTrackBefore.JPG" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//InfinionRaceTrackBefore.JPG" alt="" /> </a> <em>A cement floor before treatment with Green Polyurethane.</em></div> <h3>A new clear floor coating for the commercial and industrial market is being touted as not containing isocyanates, potentially toxic chemicals used in uncured spray polyurethane foams (SPF), clear furniture and floor coatings, and adhesives such as those found in no-added-<abbr title="1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions.2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2381">formaldehyde</a></abbr> wood panel products. But it does contain epoxy, made from <abbr title="An ingredient in the production of polycarbonate plastics that is a suspected endocrine disrupter. Also known as BPA."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2247">bisphenol-A</a></abbr>. Can an epoxy-based polyurethane truly be "green" as its name attests?</h3> <p><br /> Green Polyurethane from Nanotech Industries International, Inc. is a hybrid polyurethane that uses a proprietary combination of epoxy and polyurethane technologies that, according to the company, creates a surface that has better adhesion, three to four times the corrosion resistance, and 50% more chemical resistance than conventional polyurethanes. And it does so without solvents, <abbr title="1. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate). The compounds vaporize (become a gas) at normal room temperatures.2. A molecule containing one or more carbon atoms that tends to evaporate (volatilize) into the air at typical ambi­ent conditions. Some legal definitions of VOCs are restricted to those that react with sunlight to generate smog. Some VOCs are carcinogens, suspected carcinogens, or known irritants at typical levels."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2541">VOCs</a></abbr>, or the use of isocyanates. Sounds great! Unfortunately, epoxy is made from the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A (BPA).</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InfinionRaceTrackBefore.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=15580">InfinionRaceTrackBefore.JPG</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-png" alt="image/png icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Pharos_logo_2.png" type="image/png; length=0">Pharos_logo_2.png</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InfinionRaceTrackAfter.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=22612">InfinionRaceTrackAfter.JPG</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/isocyanate-free-polyurethane-maker-glosses-over-bisphenol-content" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/isocyanate-free-polyurethane-maker-glosses-over-bisphenol-content#comments Wed, 25 May 2011 15:49:00 +0000 Web Master 9052 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Green Building Product Certifications Webinar: Continuing the discussion http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-building-product-certifications-webinar-continuing-discussion <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <h3>How to tell green from greenwash? Our free recorded webinar is available below, and we're also using this space to answer questions from the live webcast. Enjoy!</h3> <p>We just finished our first webinar on <a href="https://www.buildinggreen.com/ecommerce/certifications-report.cfm">Green Building Product Certifications</a>, and I promised people on the call that I'd create a blog post to continue the discussion – so here it is. To get us started, I've answered a few of the questions that we didn't get to in the webinar Q&amp;A. If I didn't address your question yet feel free to ask again. Also, if you have any tips for your peers, any updates for us, or other issues to raise, we welcome that too. First, logistics: I was asked this: "Is there much information covered in the <a href="https://www.buildinggreen.com/ecommerce/certifications-report.cfm">"Green Building Product Certifications"</a> that BuildingGreen is selling online, that was not covered in this webinar? Would it be worthwhile to purchase this, even after attending the class?" The answer is of course, yes! Though I tried to cover as much as feasible in the webinar, the report has quite a bit of additional detail and perspective. <a href="https://www.buildinggreen.com/ecommerce/certifications-report.cfm">You can purchase it here</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/CertReportCoverSmall.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=23894">CertReportCoverSmall.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-building-product-certifications-webinar-continuing-discussion" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-building-product-certifications-webinar-continuing-discussion#comments Wed, 18 May 2011 21:44:00 +0000 Web Master 9057 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Transpired Solar Collector Performance: More Than Hot Air http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transpired-solar-collector-performance-more-hot-air <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Lubi.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Lubi.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Enerconcepts' Lubi transpired solar air heating system uses perforated polycarbonate glazing to transfer solar energy into the space between a building exterior wall and the panel where it can be used to preheat ventilation air.</em></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Conserval's SolarWall was the pioneer in the transpired solar collector market, but innovations abound. How do the newer systems measure up?</h3> <p>Besides Conserval's <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=377" target="_blank"> SolarWall</a> (the first transpired solar heating system on the market) and ATAS's <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=2886" target="_blank"> InSpire</a> system, there are two Canadian companies now offering transpired solar air heating systems in the U.S.: Matrix Energy's <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4929" target="_blank"> MatrixAir TR</a> and Enerconcept Technologies' <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4928" target="_blank"> Lubi</a> system.<br />(NB: These links are available to GreenSpec subscribers.)</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Lubi.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=31480">Lubi.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/MatrixAir.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=1043716">MatrixAir.JPG</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EBNad1_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=0">EBNad1_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transpired-solar-collector-performance-more-hot-air" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/transpired-solar-collector-performance-more-hot-air#comments Tue, 10 May 2011 00:38:00 +0000 Web Master 9065 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Green Product Certifications: Picking Out Green from Greenwash http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-product-certifications-picking-out-green-greenwash <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Picture 15.png" alt="" /></p> <h3>Enter the greenwash-free zone with the webinar that answers your questions on what green labels really mean and which ones to trust.</h3> <p><strong>Wed., May 18 | 3 p.m. <abbr title="Evapotranspiration (ET) is the loss of water by evaporation from the soil and by transpiration from plants. It is expressed in millimeters per unit of time."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2367">ET</a></abbr> <a href="https://buildinggreen.webex.com/mw0306lc/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&amp;siteurl=buildinggreen&amp;service=6&amp;main_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbuildinggreen.webex.com%2Fec0605lc%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3Ddetail%26confViewID%3D279616853%26siteurl%3Dbuildinggreen%26%26%26">Register now</a> </strong> </p> <h3>What the heck do all these labels mean?</h3> <p>"Green" labels are everywhere today, from your breakfast coffee to every other building product. While there are benefits, if you don't speak the language of labels, certifications, and standards, it's easy to choose a product that appears to be sustainable, but isn't really. </p> <h3>Certifications and standards explained</h3> <p>BuildingGreen.com invites you to a certifications extravaganza: a one-hour live webcast packed with key understandings to sort out the green from the greenwash. We'll cover:</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-png" alt="image/png icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Picture_15.png" type="image/png; length=339992">Picture_15.png</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/staff-jennifer_atlee.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=19180">staff-jennifer_atlee.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-product-certifications-picking-out-green-greenwash" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-product-certifications-picking-out-green-greenwash#comments Tue, 03 May 2011 13:31:00 +0000 Web Master 9068 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com "Greener" Grass—And Other Eco-Landscaping Products http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greener-grass-and-other-eco-landscaping-products <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Silva Cell.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Silva Cell.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>More than 10,000 Silva Cells were installed in downtown Minneapolis to support tree growth and help manage stormwater runoff.</em></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>It's spring and time to get outside! <em>GreenSpec</em> looks at landscaping products that use recycled content, save water, reduce stormwater runoff, and even look good.</h3> <p>After a long, cold winter in Vermont (and yes, it even snowed last week), the temperature rose to an unbelievable 79°F here this afternoon. It's high time to start thinking about landscaping and site improvement products. Whether you're looking for pavers, irrigation, or even grass seed, <em>GreenSpec</em> has a number of resource-efficient products for both commercial and residential uses .</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Silva_Cell.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=61296">Silva_Cell.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Fence1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=77947">Fence1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greener-grass-and-other-eco-landscaping-products" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greener-grass-and-other-eco-landscaping-products#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2011 14:24:00 +0000 Web Master 9070 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A New Spin on Efficient Home Ceiling Fans http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-spin-efficient-home-ceiling-fans <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//MonteCarloAvanti.jpg" target="_blank"> <img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//MonteCarloAvanti.jpg" alt="" /> </a> <em>Most ceiling fans come without lights, but energy-efficient light kits can usually be added.</em></div> <h3>There are thousands of residential ceiling fans out there. <em>GreenSpec</em> picks three lines that outperform others on performance and efficiency.</h3> <p>Have you ever tried to find an energy-efficient residential ceiling fan? There are thousands of models available, using blades in an assortment of numbers, shapes, and sizes. How does anyone sort through all those choices?<br /> Here at <em>GreenSpec</em>, we've done some digging for you and have found the most efficient ceiling fans on the market. Out of those thousands of models we've found three lines from three different manufacturers, each of which offers fans with special <abbr title="Energy conservation measures are installations or modifications of equipment or systems intended to reduce energy use and costs."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2347">ECM</a></abbr> motors that significantly outperform any standard fan.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/MonteCarloAvanti.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=111928">MonteCarloAvanti.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EBNad1_8.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=0">EBNad1_8.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/MidwayEco.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27524">MidwayEco.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-spin-efficient-home-ceiling-fans" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-spin-efficient-home-ceiling-fans#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2011 17:26:00 +0000 Web Master 9073 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Spray-on latex sealants: A new tool for air barriers http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/spray-latex-sealants-new-tool-air-barriers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EnergyComplete2.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EnergyComplete2.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Owens Corning's EnergyComplete latex foam sealant is applied with a paint sprayer, goes on quickly, and remains flexible after curing.</em></div> <p><strong>Build tight, ventilate right is the building science mantra. Spray-on latex sealants provide a new tool for airtight construction.</strong></p> <p>Last month I watched a demonstration of Owens Corning's <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/productDetail.cfm?ProductID=4914"> "EnergyComplete Air Infiltration Barrier and Flexible Seal Technology" </a>on the expo floor at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) BuildingEnergy11 conference. I was intrigued, so I contacted the company for a bit more information.</p> <p>According to Matt Girand, Director of Products and Programs at Owens Corning, "We looked at our core product, fiberglass insulation, and recognized the conversation was shifting away from just R-value to total home performance," Girand said. "We wanted to address both air infiltration and thermal performance."</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EnergyComplete2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=64382">EnergyComplete2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EBNad1_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=0">EBNad1_1.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EcoSeal1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=16420">EcoSeal1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/spray-latex-sealants-new-tool-air-barriers" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/spray-latex-sealants-new-tool-air-barriers#comments Wed, 13 Apr 2011 13:29:00 +0000 Web Master 9076 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Best of the Best Kitchen Products from GreenSpec http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/best-best-kitchen-products-greenspec <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//rosario-lg.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//rosario-lg.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>The Evora cork flooring in this kitchen is renewable, comfortable, and surprisingly durable.</em></div> <p><br /> <strong>Kitchen renovation on your list? We pick some standout green products that are worth a look.</strong><br /> <br /> If you're trying to green a kitchen, you're in luck. Kitchens use a lot of energy and water, and as an indoor environment, they are a place we like to keep clean, bright, and healthy--so there are a lot of needs to meet.<br /> <br /> Fortunately, there are also a lot of opportunities to use green products effectively. Some are great workhorses, some are remarkable but fall into the category of "cost is no concern," and some are just plain interesting.<br /> <br /> <strong>Green from the ground up</strong><br /> <br /> Let's start with the flooring. There are a lot of great flooring options, from <abbr title="Independent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2382">FSC</a></abbr>-<abbr title="Wood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2282">certified wood</a></abbr> to tile. Being from Vermont I like wood, but cork is worth looking at as well. It's comfortable to stand on for long periods of time, absorbs sound well, provides some insulation, and is more durable than you might think.<br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/rosario-lg.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=123494">rosario-lg.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Bosch-800.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=463669">Bosch-800.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/best-best-kitchen-products-greenspec" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/best-best-kitchen-products-greenspec#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2011 19:40:00 +0000 Web Master 9080 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Getting Fluorochemicals Out of Carpets (and into Ski Wax) http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-fluorochemicals-out-carpets-and-ski-wax <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EZStreet Collection blue.jpg" alt="" /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EZStreet_Collection_blue.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=22035">EZStreet_Collection_blue.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-fluorochemicals-out-carpets-and-ski-wax" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/getting-fluorochemicals-out-carpets-and-ski-wax#comments Wed, 16 Mar 2011 16:22:00 +0000 Web Master 9086 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A New Cotton Insulation Enters the Market http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-cotton-insulation-enters-market <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Cotton-Batt_installation-LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Cotton-Batt_installation-LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Applegate Insulation has just introduced a new cotton batt insulation: Mr. Insulate. Photo: Applegate Insulation. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>Over the years, there have been as many as three cotton insulation manufacturers, but for the last several years there has only been one: Bonded Logic, which makes UltraTouch batt insulation, along with duct insulation and sound-control panels. I visited the Bonded Logic plant in 2009 and wrote a <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2009/11/11/Bonded-Logic-Factory-Tour-in-Chandler-Arizona-live-fom-Greenbuild">blog about it</a>. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Cotton-Batt_installation-LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=396491">Cotton-Batt_installation-LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Mr_Insulate_Product_table.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=321387">Mr_Insulate_Product_table.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Mr_Insulate_Cutting-LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=473769">Mr_Insulate_Cutting-LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-cotton-insulation-enters-market" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-cotton-insulation-enters-market#comments Sun, 06 Mar 2011 01:20:00 +0000 Web Master 9092 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Froling P4: A High-End, High-Performance Pellet Boiler http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/froling-p4-high-end-high-performance-pellet-boiler <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//P4-Pellet_Vorratsbehälter_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//P4-Pellet_Vorratsbehälter_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Froling pellet boilers from Austria represent state-of-the-art in biomass combustion. Photo: Froling. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>Froling is a leading Austrian manufacturer of wood-burning heating equipment. The company's cordwood and pellet boilers distributed in North America by <a href="http://www.woodboilers.com/default.aspx">Tarm Biomass</a> (previously BioHeat USA), in Lyme, New Hampshire. <br /> <br />The P4 is Froling's line of advanced pellet boilers. These boilers are available in four sizes and eight different heating capacities (see chart), ranging from 35,800 to 200,000 <abbr title="A unit of energy consumed by or delivered to a building. A Btu is an acronym for British thermal unit and is defined as the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at normal atmospheric pressure. Energy consumption is expressed in Btu to allow for consumption comparisons among fuels that are measured in different units."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2258">Btu</a></abbr>/hour. All are clean-burning and operate at efficiencies between 85% and 87%. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/P4-Pellet_Vorratsbeh%25C3%2583%25C2%25A4lter_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=0">P4-Pellet_Vorratsbeh%C3%83%C2%A4lter_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Froling_P4_Schematic-LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=320684">Froling_P4_Schematic-LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PelletBin_Dummerston_1066.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=444039">PelletBin_Dummerston_1066.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/froling-p4-high-end-high-performance-pellet-boiler" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/froling-p4-high-end-high-performance-pellet-boiler#comments Fri, 25 Feb 2011 22:50:00 +0000 Web Master 9094 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Flame Retardant Used in Polystyrene to be Banned by EU http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/flame-retardant-used-polystyrene-be-banned-eu <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> <div class="field-item even"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//XPS_Fndn_Bensonwood_9811.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//XPS_Fndn_Bensonwood_9811.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Extruded polystyrene, such as this Owens Corning Foamular, is widely used as foundation insulation. The flame retardant used in all polystyrene building insulation is being banned by the European Union. Photo: Bensonwood. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>The European Union announced last week that it is banning HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane), the brominated flame retardant used in polystyrene building insulation. The ban will take effect by mid-2015 and be implemented through the European Union's <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_intro.htm">REACH program</a> (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals). <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/XPS_Fndn_Bensonwood_9811.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=378014">XPS_Fndn_Bensonwood_9811.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/12_inches_XPS_032_LoRes1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=337036">12_inches_XPS_032_LoRes1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/flame-retardant-used-polystyrene-be-banned-eu" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/flame-retardant-used-polystyrene-be-banned-eu#comments Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:50:00 +0000 Web Master 9095 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Reducing the Carbon Emissions of Products Through the 2030 Challenge http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/reducing-carbon-emissions-products-through-2030-challenge <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//GraphicA.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//GraphicA.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>The 2030 Challenge for Products aims to reduce the embodied carbon of building materials 50% by 2030. Graphic: Architecture 2030. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>All right, it's not a product. But the 2030 Challenge for Products, announced today by Ed Mazria's organization, <a href="http://architecture2030.org/">Architecture 2030</a>, BuildingGreen, and others, promises to make a lot of products a lot greener. <br /> <br />The 2030 Challenge for Products addresses carbon (and carbon-equivalent) emissions that go into producing and transporting building products. This is mostly a function of the <abbr title="1. Embodied energy is the energy used during the entire life cycle of a product, including its manufacture, transportation, and disposal, as well as the inherent energy captured within the product itself.2. The energy expended in the process of creating a product, often including the fuel value of its constituent parts as well as transportation to its point of use."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2356">embodied energy</a></abbr> of products, but also can include other non-CO<sub>2</sub> constituents with significant global warming potential (<abbr title="Global Warming Potential is a measure of how much heat is trapped by a given mass of gas, contributing to global warming, compared with the same mass of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide has a GWP value of 1."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1853">GWP</a></abbr>), such as the HFC blowing agents in extruded polystyrene (XPS) and closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation materials--about which there's a <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2010/6/1/Avoiding-the-Global-Warming-Impact-of-Insulation">great discussion online</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GraphicA.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=59659">GraphicA.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-png" alt="image/png icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/News_2030CarbonChart_Mar2011.png" type="image/png; length=50884">News_2030CarbonChart_Mar2011.png</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/reducing-carbon-emissions-products-through-2030-challenge" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/reducing-carbon-emissions-products-through-2030-challenge#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 01:00:00 +0000 Web Master 9098 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Greening the Pink Panther: Owens Corning's New EcoTouch Fiberglas http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greening-pink-panther-owens-cornings-new-ecotouch-fiberglas <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EcoTouch_R30_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EcoTouch_R30_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Owens Corning's new EcoTouch Fiberglas insulation is made with a non-<abbr title="1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions.2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2381">formaldehyde</a></abbr>, plant-based <abbr title="Glue used in manufacturing wood products, such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and engineered lumber. Most binders are made with formaldehyde."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2241">binder</a></abbr>. Photo: Owens Corning. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p><a href="http://www.owenscorning.com/index.asp">Owens Corning</a>, whose pink fiberglass insulation has been around for more than 70 years, whose shade of pink is trademarked, and whose Pink Panther has become almost synonymous with insulation, has begun a top-to-bottom transformation of its fiberglass insulation. Beginning next month, EcoTouch? Fiberglas? insulation with PureFiber? Technology will begin replacing the company's traditional fiberglass insulation, which is produced with <abbr title="Phenol formaldehyde, which off-gasses only at high temperature, is used for exterior products, although many of these products are suitable for interior applications."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2477">phenol formaldehyde</a></abbr> binder. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EcoTouch_R30_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=199294">EcoTouch_R30_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EcoTouch_Install_2-LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=404655">EcoTouch_Install_2-LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greening-pink-panther-owens-cornings-new-ecotouch-fiberglas" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greening-pink-panther-owens-cornings-new-ecotouch-fiberglas#comments Wed, 02 Feb 2011 17:25:00 +0000 Web Master 9102 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Green Building Product Certifications Report Errata and Update http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-building-product-certifications-report-errata-and-update <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jennifer Atlee </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> BuildingGreen's Top Stories </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//biobased.jpg" alt="" /> Our new report, <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2010/11/30/New-Report-Helps-Untangle-Green-Product-Certifications"><em>Green Building Product Certifications: Getting What You Need</em></a>, covers every relevant certification in the field. But of course, as we all know, things keep changing. To ensure you have correct and current information, this errata covers all updates, corrections, and clarifications that we know of to date. If report readers learn of other updates in this constantly evolving area, please let us and fellow readers know by commenting on this blog or emailing <a href="mailto:news@buildinggreen.com">news@buildinggreen.com</a>. <strong>Correction:</strong> <a href="http://www.sustainableproducts.com/mts/smartstandards.html">MTS</a> is an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer and the MTS SMART Sustainable Building Product Standard is available for purchase on the <a href="http://webstore.ansi.org/sdo.aspx">ANSI standards webstore </a> but it is not currently an ANSI-approved standard. Any formally ANSI-Approved standard will be designated ANSI/xxx in its title.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/biobased.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18779">biobased.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-building-product-certifications-report-errata-and-update" target="_blank">read more</a></p> BuildingGreen's Top Stories GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/green-building-product-certifications-report-errata-and-update#comments Tue, 25 Jan 2011 16:54:00 +0000 Web Master 9105 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com EonCoat – A Breakthrough Two-Part Corrosion-Resistant Ceramic Paint http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/eoncoat-breakthrough-two-part-corrosion-resistant-ceramic-paint <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EonCoat_spray8wcap_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EonCoat_spray8wcap_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>EonCoat is a two-part corrosion-resistant, ceramic paint that is highly durable, fireproof, and 100% VOC-free. Photo: EonCoat, LLC. <strong>Click on image to enlarge</strong></em></div> <p>The North Carolina company <a href="http://www.eoncoat.com/">EonCoat, LLC</a>, has just introduced a corrosion-resistant coating that appears to be a breakthrough product that could revolutionize the painting industry--and not just for specialty applications like corrosion control. (Don't mix this up with ceramic paints that are being promoted for questionable insulating benefits.) EonCoat and EonCoat HT (for High Temperature) are water-borne, two-part, ceramic coatings that set almost immediately to form dense, protective barriers on steel, aluminum, interior or exterior masonry, wood, wallboard, and a wide range of other substrates. <br /> <br />The paint dries in minutes, and can produce a wide variety of architectural finishes, including sand plaster, in a wide range of colors. When installed over metal, only light brushing to remove flaked paint is required; the surface does not have to be sanded down to bare metal. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EonCoat_spray8wcap_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=315813">EonCoat_spray8wcap_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EonCoat_Mix1_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=233081">EonCoat_Mix1_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EonCoat_sprayed_blue_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=375067">EonCoat_sprayed_blue_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/eoncoat-breakthrough-two-part-corrosion-resistant-ceramic-paint" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/eoncoat-breakthrough-two-part-corrosion-resistant-ceramic-paint#comments Thu, 20 Jan 2011 16:00:00 +0000 Web Master 9107 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Greensulate – A fungus-based insulation material that's grown rather than manufactured http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greensulate-fungus-based-insulation-material-thats-grown-rather-manufactured <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Greensulate_5_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Greensulate_5_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Prototype Greensulate insulation grown from seed hulls and fungal mycellium. Photo: Ecovative Design. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>I had been reading about the innovative mushroom-based insulation material, Greensulate, which was developed by two industrious college students, for several years. The <a href="http://www.ecovativedesign.com/press/video/">YouTube videos</a> I watched about it were a lot of fun. Yeah, yeah, I thought. This would be a cool product if it ever gets to the stage of actual production--skeptical that that would occur. A lot of great ideas never get to the point of actual production. <br /> <br />But then a few weeks ago, I received a package from a friend who works for one of the nation's largest building products manufacturers. Included was a sample and a postcard-sized brochure about the material. "Have you heard of it," my friend asked me? <br /> <br />Actually holding a sample of a product--even if it still is a prototype--and reading through actual printed literature lends an air of reality to good ideas. I'm becoming a believer. <strong>What is Greensulate?</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Greensulate_5_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=287526">Greensulate_5_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/fire_testing_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=341200">fire_testing_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EBNad1_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=0">EBNad1_2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EcoCradle_Foam_1_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=231132">EcoCradle_Foam_1_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EcoCradle_Foam_3_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=294956">EcoCradle_Foam_3_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InsulationSmallBanner_3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=13582">InsulationSmallBanner_3.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greensulate-fungus-based-insulation-material-thats-grown-rather-manufactured" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/greensulate-fungus-based-insulation-material-thats-grown-rather-manufactured#comments Thu, 06 Jan 2011 16:30:00 +0000 Web Master 9110 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Knight Wall Continuous Insulation Rainscreen http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/knight-wall-continuous-insulation-rainscreen <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//CI-Girt_rain_screen Resized.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//CI-Girt_rain_screen Resized.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Knight Wall System's GI-Girt rainscreen supports a variety of cladding option and provides continuous insulation across the exterior of steel framed buildings. Photo: Knight Wall Systems. </em></div> <p>Happy New Year! I am going to keep the following blog fairly simple, mainly because <a href="http://www.knightwallsystems.com">Knight Wall Systems</a> is interesting enough to deserve a closer inspection, so look for a more thorough follow-up product review in the <em>Environmental Building News</em>.<br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/CI-Girt_rain_screen_Resized.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=26848">CI-Girt_rain_screen_Resized.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/knight-wall-continuous-insulation-rainscreen" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/knight-wall-continuous-insulation-rainscreen#comments Fri, 31 Dec 2010 14:52:00 +0000 Web Master 9113 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Delta Breez: Quiet, Energy-Efficient  Bathroom Fans http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/delta-breez-quiet-energy-efficient-bathroom-fans <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brent Ehrlich </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//1 Delta_Breez_VFB25series3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/1_Delta_Breez_VFB25series3.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=18691">1_Delta_Breez_VFB25series3.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/delta-breez-quiet-energy-efficient-bathroom-fans" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/delta-breez-quiet-energy-efficient-bathroom-fans#comments Thu, 16 Dec 2010 15:34:00 +0000 Web Master 9116 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com BrightShelf – An Easy-to-Install, Easy-to-Maintain Lightshelf http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/brightshelf-easy-install-easy-maintain-lightshelf <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>UPDATE: This blog post and the <em>GreenSpec</em> product entry have been updated to reflect that BrightShelf is now manufactured by Hunter Douglas Contract.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/BrightShelf_with_blinds_5949_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=238014">BrightShelf_with_blinds_5949_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Ray_Tracing_Diagram_BrightShelf_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=141067">Ray_Tracing_Diagram_BrightShelf_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/BrightShelf_ReflCeiling_6115_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=303740">BrightShelf_ReflCeiling_6115_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/brightshelf-easy-install-easy-maintain-lightshelf" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/brightshelf-easy-install-easy-maintain-lightshelf#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 20:45:00 +0000 Web Master 9120 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com New Report Helps Untangle Green Product Certifications http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-report-helps-untangle-green-product-certifications <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Greenbuild '10 </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.BuildingGreen.com/certifications"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//CertCover.jpg" alt="" /></a> The number of green product certifications is large and growing--perhaps 100 so far in the U.S. alone. This month's <em>EBN</em> feature article <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2010/11/24/What-s-New-in-Multi-Attribute-Environmental-Certifications/">provides guidance on the growing field of multi-attribute certifications</a>. The editors of <em>EBN</em> and our <em>GreenSpec</em> Directory provide a lot more guidance like this in BuildingGreen's new special report, "<a href="http://www.BuildingGreen.com/certifications">Green Building Product Certifications</a>." <br /> <br />This 87-page, no-nonsense guide enables designers, purchasers, and manufacturers to steer clear of irrelevant claims and focus on what is significant and relevant for each building product sector. It provides a bird's-eye view of the certification world, distinguishes the key green certifications spanning multiple building product sectors, and provides a sector-by-sector look at finding the green certifications that can help you specify green on your projects. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/CertCover.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=101751">CertCover.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-report-helps-untangle-green-product-certifications" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Greenbuild '10 GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/new-report-helps-untangle-green-product-certifications#comments Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:11:00 +0000 Web Master 9122 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Bringing a New Edge in Specifying Green Building Products: GreenSpecPharos http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bringing-new-edge-specifying-green-building-products-greenspecpharos <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Greenbuild '10 </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Product Talk </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.greenspecpharos.com"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//GSP.gif" alt="" /></a> Architects, designers, engineers and others who need an affordable, comprehensive, flexible tool for specifying green building products will benefit from the a strategic partnership we just announced at Greenbuild. BuildingGreen will link our Web-based green products resource, <em>GreenSpec</em>, with the Healthy Building Network's Pharos Project to provide one trusted, authoritative, independent source for specifying green building products, information, and research. <br /> <br /><em>GreenSpec</em> provides a listing of approved products and guidance on how best to use those products in green buildings. Pharos scores products in specific categories based on what they're made of, in a highly transparent, data-rich tool. Our customers have asked to see the capabilities of <em>GreenSpec</em> and Pharos in one place, combining the in-depth research opportunities of Pharos with the direct advice offered by GreenSpec, and we believe this strategic partnership is the best response to their needs. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-gif" alt="image/gif icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GSP.gif" type="image/gif; length=6460">GSP.gif</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bringing-new-edge-specifying-green-building-products-greenspecpharos" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Greenbuild '10 GreenSpec Insights Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bringing-new-edge-specifying-green-building-products-greenspecpharos#comments Tue, 30 Nov 2010 13:54:00 +0000 Web Master 9123 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com EnGuard GlassFree Polyester Insulation http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/enguard-glassfree-polyester-insulation <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//image001.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//image001.png" alt="" /></a><em>EnGuard is a 100% polyester batt insulation. Photo: Vita Nonwovens. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>I didn't get to spend as much time at the <a href="http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/expo/international-expo.aspx">Greenbuild tradeshow</a> as I would have liked last week, but I did spend three or four hours on 179,000 square-foot exhibit hall floor--that's four acres, by the way--Thursday afternoon with BuildingGreen's product editor, Brent Ehrlich. One of the products that caught my attention was EnGuard polyester insulation, which was rolled out at Greenbuild by <a href="http://www.vitausa.com/enguard.cfm">Vita Nonwovens</a>. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-png" alt="image/png icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/image001_0.png" type="image/png; length=228533">image001_0.png</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-png" alt="image/png icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/image002_0.png" type="image/png; length=66046">image002_0.png</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InsulationSmallBanner_4.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=13582">InsulationSmallBanner_4.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/enguard-glassfree-polyester-insulation" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/enguard-glassfree-polyester-insulation#comments Mon, 22 Nov 2010 22:00:00 +0000 Web Master 9126 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Heat Mirror for Structural Sealant Glazings http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-mirror-structural-sealant-glazings <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Heat Miror Film Final 300dpi V4 Labels.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Heat Miror Film Final 300dpi V4 Labels.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Southwall's pioneering suspended <abbr title="Low-E or Low-Emissivity Coating: Very thin metallic coating on glass or plastic window glazing that reduces heat loss and heat gain through the window; the coating emits less radiant energy (heat radiation), which makes it, in effect, reflective to that heat. In that way it boosts a window's R-value and reduces its U-factor."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2440">low-e</a></abbr> Heat Mirror film can now be used with structural glazing systems in large commercial buildings. Graphic: Southwall Technologies. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>I've been following the evolution of <a href="http://www.southwall.com">Southwall Technologies</a> for years--well, decades. The company invented the low-<abbr title="Emissivity is the ratio of the radiation emitted by a surface to the radiation emitted by a black body at the same temperature."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2359">emissivity</a></abbr> coating in the 1970s, but rather than coat glass directly, the company coated plastic film, which it then suspended between panes of glass. This created two air spaces (triple glazing), further improving energy performance. The company called this suspended low-e film Heat Mirror. <br /> <br />Until now, Heat Mirror was an option for windows, but not large curtainwall glazing systems that rely on "structural sealant" to hold the pieces of glass in place. (Structural glazing now accounts fully a third of the glass going into commercial buildings, according to Southwall.) <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Heat_Miror_Film_Final_300dpi_V4_Labels.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=251402">Heat_Miror_Film_Final_300dpi_V4_Labels.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-mirror-structural-sealant-glazings" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/heat-mirror-structural-sealant-glazings#comments Thu, 11 Nov 2010 02:32:00 +0000 Web Master 9132 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Ornilux Bird-Safe Glass http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ornilux-bird-safe-glass <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Arnold_2006_1st_Instal_PlauenGermany_OrniluxSB1_entire250_m2_facade.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Arnold_2006_1st_Instal_PlauenGermany_OrniluxSB1_entire250_m2_facade.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>The first installation of Ornilux glass was in 2006 on the facade of an indoor swimming pool building in Plauen, Germany. Photo: Arnold Glas. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>The German company <a href="http://www.ornilux.de/cms.asp?IDT=313&amp;Plugin=&amp;H=&#039;1&#039;&amp;T=0">Arnold Glas</a> produces glazing with <abbr title="Ultraviolet light, or UV, is a type of radiation from sunlight and other light sources that is considered a hazard for skin health."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2555">UV</a></abbr>-reflective striping that is highly visible to birds yet nearly invisible to humans. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Arnold_2006_1st_Instal_PlauenGermany_OrniluxSB1_entire250_m2_facade.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=28009">Arnold_2006_1st_Instal_PlauenGermany_OrniluxSB1_entire250_m2_facade.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Ornilux-Mikado_WhatBirdsSee_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=132794">Ornilux-Mikado_WhatBirdsSee_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/DavidSundberg_Esto_04009_Center_for_Global_Conservation_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=438676">DavidSundberg_Esto_04009_Center_for_Global_Conservation_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ornilux-bird-safe-glass" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/ornilux-bird-safe-glass#comments Sun, 31 Oct 2010 15:55:00 +0000 Web Master 9136 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com CC Expanding Sealer – An Alternative to 1- and 2-Part Expanding Foams http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cc-expanding-sealer-alternative-1-and-2-part-expanding-foams <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//CC_Roll_partly_expanded.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//CC_Roll_partly_expanded.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>CC Expanding Sealer comes tightly compressed in 5-meter rolls, and it expands 15-fold once it is unrolled. Photo: CC Production AB, Sweden. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>Since I've been writing this weekly column on innovative green building products, the most interesting products have been brought to my attention. CC Expanding Sealer is the latest. <br /> <br />Manufactured by <a href="http://www.3c.nu/en/">3-C Production AB</a> in Sweden, CC Expanding Sealer is a foam "tape" that expands in a few hours to 15 times it's packaged thickness. The expanding sealer is sold in vacuum-sealed, 5-meter (16.4-foot) rolls in various widths, the most common being 60 mm (2.36 in). <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/CC_Roll_partly_expanded.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=79230">CC_Roll_partly_expanded.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/CC_HoldingRoll.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=70294">CC_HoldingRoll.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cc-expanding-sealer-alternative-1-and-2-part-expanding-foams" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cc-expanding-sealer-alternative-1-and-2-part-expanding-foams#comments Sat, 23 Oct 2010 15:30:00 +0000 Web Master 9140 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com LED Light as Good as Halogen: the Xicato LED Spot Module http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/led-light-good-halogen-xicato-led-spot-module <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//XicatoSpotModule.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//XicatoSpotModule.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>The Xicato LED Spot Module is revolutionizing LED lighting. Photo: Xicato. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>While in California two weeks ago, I visited the headquarters of <a href="http://www.xicato.com/index.php">Xicato</a>, one of the most exciting companies in the burgeoning LED (light-emitting diode) lighting industry. CEO Menko DeRoos explained the company's modular approach to LED lighting and demonstrated the exceptional light quality that is achieved with their system. <br /> <br />To date, Xicato has been focusing on replacements for small MR-16 halogen lamps, defining a very specific niche for the company. The company does not itself manufacture light fixtures; it supplies the LED components to those manufacturers. The first products were shipped to fixture manufacturers in January, 2009, and the company is working with about 60 fixture manufacturers worldwide today. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/XicatoSpotModule.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=123617">XicatoSpotModule.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/LSI_LumeLEX2024_Series_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=241523">LSI_LumeLEX2024_Series_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/ColorSpec.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=322995">ColorSpec.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/FieldMuseum_BrookerGallery_DSC_0002_LoRes.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=331368">FieldMuseum_BrookerGallery_DSC_0002_LoRes.JPG</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/led-light-good-halogen-xicato-led-spot-module" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/led-light-good-halogen-xicato-led-spot-module#comments Wed, 13 Oct 2010 19:13:00 +0000 Web Master 9142 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com NyloDeck – High-Performance Decking from Recycled Carpet http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/nylodeck-high-performance-decking-recycled-carpet <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Nylodeck3_crop_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Nylodeck3_crop_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>NyloDeck is made from 100% recycled carpet and a water-blown polyurethane <abbr title="Glue used in manufacturing wood products, such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and engineered lumber. Most binders are made with formaldehyde."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2241">binder</a></abbr>. Photo: Nyloboard. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>The U.S. throws away a lot of carpet. According to the <a href="http://www.productstewardship.us/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&amp;subarticlenbr=60">Product Stewardship Institute</a>, approximately 2.7 million tons (5.4 billion pounds) of carpet enter the waste stream each year in the U.S., roughly 1.2% of all municipal solid waste. Some of this waste is burned to generate electricity, but much is landfilled. Now there's a better use for recycled carpet: decking. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Nylodeck3_crop_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=409654">Nylodeck3_crop_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/NyloDeck_AmericanGray_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=221550">NyloDeck_AmericanGray_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/NyloDeck_Cocoa_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=280082">NyloDeck_Cocoa_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/nylodeck-high-performance-decking-recycled-carpet" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/nylodeck-high-performance-decking-recycled-carpet#comments Thu, 07 Oct 2010 14:20:00 +0000 Web Master 9144 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Loose-fill Wool Insulation from Oregon Shepherd http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/loose-fill-wool-insulation-oregon-shepherd <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Handful_2400_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Handful_2400_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Handful of Oregon Shepherd loose-fill insulation at West Coast Green. Photo: Alex Wilson. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>I've been at the <a href="http://westcoastgreen.com/">West Coast Green</a> conference in San Francisco the past three days and have spend a good portion of that time checking out the trade show. One of the highlights is a loose-fill wool insulation from <a href="http://www.oregonshepherd.com/">Oregon Shepherd</a>. <br /> <br />I was surprised to learn at the conference--from a different exhibitor, actually--that 90% of the wool that is shorn off sheep in the U.S. is thrown away. Either there isn't a market for it, or there's an inability to compete with inexpensive processed wool from New Zealand. Thus, most wool is a waste agricultural product, making wool insulation an environmentally attractive commodity. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Handful_2400_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=257009">Handful_2400_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Install_00945_crop_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=291593">Install_00945_crop_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Install_0152_crop_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=265029">Install_0152_crop_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Booth_2397_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=325362">Booth_2397_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/loose-fill-wool-insulation-oregon-shepherd" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/loose-fill-wool-insulation-oregon-shepherd#comments Sat, 02 Oct 2010 22:03:00 +0000 Web Master 9146 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Leading the way with Greener Signage: ASI http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leading-way-greener-signage-asi <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//InTacEco_N18S10_02_CM_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//InTacEco_N18S10_02_CM_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>ASI offers interior signs made from renewable and recycled materials and exterior signs with PV lighting. Photo: ASI. <strong>Click on image to enlarge</strong></em></div> <p>Clear signage can help us find our way, it can inform us, and--in a green building--it can highlight environmental features. That signage can also, itself, make a statement about the environment. <br /> <br /><a href="http://asisignage.com/Default.aspx">ASI</a> is one of the industry innovators sign fabrication, and nowhere is that innovation more apparent than in its green product lines. The company offers three distinct lines of environmentally friendly signs: the ASI Solar Series, InTac Eco, and Terra. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InTacEco_N18S10_02_CM_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=233778">InTacEco_N18S10_02_CM_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/solar02_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=208002">solar02_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InTacEco_N18S12_04b_CM_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=232192">InTacEco_N18S12_04b_CM_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Terra_T01S12_09_CM_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=251345">Terra_T01S12_09_CM_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leading-way-greener-signage-asi" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/leading-way-greener-signage-asi#comments Thu, 23 Sep 2010 12:10:00 +0000 Web Master 9149 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Hemcrete – A Hemp-Lime Composite Insulation for Walls http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hemcrete-hemp-lime-composite-insulation-walls <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Tamping_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Tamping_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Hemcrete is poured into forms, tamped, cured, and then both sides stuccoed with lime plaster. Photo: Lime Technology, Ltd. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>Tradical® Hemcrete® is a non-structural, rigid, insulating, composite wall fill comprised (by weight) of about 38% hemp and 62% lime-based <abbr title="Glue used in manufacturing wood products, such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and engineered lumber. Most binders are made with formaldehyde."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2241">binder</a></abbr>. The Tradical lime binder is manufactured in the U.K. by <a href="http://www.limetechnology.co.uk/">Lime Technology, Ltd.</a>, under license from multinational <a href="http://www.lhoist.com/Frame_Home.htm">Lhoist Group</a>, headquartered in Belgium with lime operations worldwide. <br /> <br />I first learned about Hemcrete at the <a href="http://www.ecobuildnetwork.org/">Build Well Symposium</a> in San Francisco last January. Mario Machnicki of <a href="http://www.americanlimetec.com/">American Lime Technology</a>in Chicago, the U.S. distributor of the Tradical Hemcrete wall system. To date, four to five houses have been built in the U.S. using Hemcrete, including a just-completed house in Asheville, North Carolina, that has been widely publicized.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Tamping_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=325606">Tamping_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Push_BagsTradical_8359_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=288571">Push_BagsTradical_8359_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Push_FormsRemoved_8654_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=356531">Push_FormsRemoved_8654_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Push_UnfinishedInterior_0327_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=337335">Push_UnfinishedInterior_0327_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Push_Ashville_ext_7470_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=231835">Push_Ashville_ext_7470_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Push_7453_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=191057">Push_7453_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InsulationSmallBanner_1.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=13582">InsulationSmallBanner_1.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hemcrete-hemp-lime-composite-insulation-walls" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/hemcrete-hemp-lime-composite-insulation-walls#comments Sat, 11 Sep 2010 12:11:00 +0000 Web Master 9153 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Foamglas – My New Favorite Insulation Material http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/foamglas-my-new-favorite-insulation-material <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Energy Solutions </div> <div class="field-item even"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Karte_Hintergrund1_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Karte_Hintergrund1_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Foamglas is an inorganic, high-compressive-strength insulation with no need for flame retardants or other hazardous chemicals. Photo: Pittsburgh Corning. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>I have a new favorite insulation material. <a href="http://www.foamglas.com/building/">Foamglas® building insulation</a> has been made by Pittsburgh Corning for many decades and is widely used in Europe. For the past decade or two, however, it has only been actively marketed in North America for industrial applications. (It's been listed in our <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/menus/">GreenSpec Directory</a> as an industrial insulation material for years.) <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Karte_Hintergrund1_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=143234">Karte_Hintergrund1_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Folie5_1_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=238569">Folie5_1_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Bv_Schobries_Kiel_FG_Unter_Bodenpl_WU017-LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=267469">Bv_Schobries_Kiel_FG_Unter_Bodenpl_WU017-LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/foamglas-my-new-favorite-insulation-material" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/foamglas-my-new-favorite-insulation-material#comments Wed, 01 Sep 2010 22:45:00 +0000 Web Master 9154 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com GraniteCrete – For Natural-Looking Porous Walkways http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/granitecrete-natural-looking-porous-walkways <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Asilomar Beach Access1_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Asilomar Beach Access1_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>GraniteCrete was used at Asilomar State Beach for durable, but natural-looking pathways and steps. Photo: GraniteCrete. <strong>Click on photo to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p><a href="http://www.granitecrete.com/index.html">GraniteCrete</a> is a portland-cement-based aggregate <abbr title="Glue used in manufacturing wood products, such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and engineered lumber. Most binders are made with formaldehyde."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2241">binder</a></abbr> used with locally sourced, ground, decomposed granite or other suitable aggregate to produce porous, natural-looking walkways and other low-traffic pavement. I first came across the product at last year's <a href="http://www.westcoastgreen.com/">West Coast Green conference</a> in San Francisco and have been wanting to dig into it more deeply. I've now done that, and it looks to be a pretty good product. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Asilomar_Beach_Access1_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=304063">Asilomar_Beach_Access1_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GC_3_AdjustingLevels_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=548840">GC_3_AdjustingLevels_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GC_4_FirstVibraplate_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=461497">GC_4_FirstVibraplate_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GC_5_TampingEdges_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=499874">GC_5_TampingEdges_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/granitecrete-natural-looking-porous-walkways" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/granitecrete-natural-looking-porous-walkways#comments Sat, 28 Aug 2010 11:01:00 +0000 Web Master 9156 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Is America Ready for a Home Urinal? http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/america-ready-home-urinal <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Water Wise Guys </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Baja-residential_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Baja-residential_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>The Waterless Company's new residential Baja urinal begins shipping this week. Photo: Waterless Company. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>There are some significant advantages to urinals when it comes to bathroom maintenance (I won't go into the messy details of splashing that happens when males stand and urinate into a toilet). With ultra-efficient urinals (often called one-pint urinals) and waterless urinals, there are also very significant water savings that are achieved. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Baja-residential_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=84340">Baja-residential_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/WaterlessEcoTrap_08-2010_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=215461">WaterlessEcoTrap_08-2010_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/america-ready-home-urinal" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Water Wise Guys http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/america-ready-home-urinal#comments Thu, 19 Aug 2010 14:15:00 +0000 Web Master 9159 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Grundfos (and Wilo) "Smart" Circulator Pumps for Hydronic Heating http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/grundfos-and-wilo-smart-circulator-pumps-hydronic-heating <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Grundfos_Magna_and_Alpha2_LowRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Grundfos_Magna_and_Alpha2_LowRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>The Grundfos advanced, variable-speed, "smart" pumps for hydronic heating systems can reduce pumping energy use by 80%. Photo: Grundfos USA. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>For the past couple years, I've been helping All Soul's Church in West Brattleboro, Vermont, save energy. While developing a plan to improve the performance of the building envelope of this early-1970s, heavily glazed and horribly inefficient building, one of our committee members found out about a grant program from the state that would support a heating system upgrade. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Grundfos_Magna_and_Alpha2_LowRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=133102">Grundfos_Magna_and_Alpha2_LowRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Pump_1700_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=408311">Pump_1700_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Pump_1711_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=414690">Pump_1711_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/WILO_Stratos_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=165683">WILO_Stratos_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/WILO_Stratos_ECO_family_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=185731">WILO_Stratos_ECO_family_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/grundfos-and-wilo-smart-circulator-pumps-hydronic-heating" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/grundfos-and-wilo-smart-circulator-pumps-hydronic-heating#comments Fri, 13 Aug 2010 01:45:00 +0000 Web Master 9161 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Bottle-Filling Water Cooler from Elkay http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bottle-filling-water-cooler-elkay <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EZH20_BottleFillingStationRetrofit_on_EZ style_Elkay_pushbar cooler.JPG" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EZH20_BottleFillingStationRetrofit_on_EZ style_Elkay_pushbar cooler.JPG" alt="" /></a><em>This retrofit Elkay EZH2O bottle-filling station allows users to either drink from the fountain or fill a bottle. Photo: Elkay. Click on image to enlarge.</em></div> <p>As I always do when I fly, I bring my own stainless-steel water bottle, finishing the contents before going through security, then filling it so that I don't need a plastic water bottle from the flight attendant. When I flew out of O'Hare in Chicago to return home from a meeting the other day, for the first time I filled my bottle from a new <a href="http://www.elkayusa.com/cps/rde/xchg/elkay/hs.xsl/ezh2o.aspx">Elkay EZH2O</a> bottle filling station. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EZH20_BottleFillingStationRetrofit_on_EZ_style_Elkay_pushbar_cooler.JPG" type="image/jpeg; length=208370">EZH20_BottleFillingStationRetrofit_on_EZ_style_Elkay_pushbar_cooler.JPG</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Tristan_OHare_1426_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=277583">Tristan_OHare_1426_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GreenTicker_1428_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=209831">GreenTicker_1428_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bottle-filling-water-cooler-elkay" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/bottle-filling-water-cooler-elkay#comments Fri, 30 Jul 2010 14:06:00 +0000 Web Master 9164 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Top-Performing Triple-Glazed Skylight From Wasco http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-performing-triple-glazed-skylight-wasco <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//E-Class_EV1_1189714685.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//E-Class_EV1_1189714685.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Wasco offers a new high-performance , triple-glazed, dual-<abbr title="Low-E or Low-Emissivity Coating: Very thin metallic coating on glass or plastic window glazing that reduces heat loss and heat gain through the window; the coating emits less radiant energy (heat radiation), which makes it, in effect, reflective to that heat. In that way it boosts a window's R-value and reduces its U-factor."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2440">low-e</a></abbr> skylight that meets the 30-30 requirement for the federal tax credit. Photo: Wasco Products. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p><a href="http://www.wascoproducts.com">Wasco Products</a> of Sanford, Maine, has raised the bar on energy-conserving skylights with its high-performance "Triple Glazed 30/30" option. In a fixed skylight, this glazing provides a unit U-factor of 0.27, or a unit R-value of 3.7; in the venting skylight, a unit U-factor of 0.29 (R-3.4). (Note that the "unit" R-values, which account for heat loss through the frame and glazing edges, are a lot lower than "center-of-glass" R-values--but much more accurate in conveying actual performance.) <br /> <br />Both fixed and venting options provide a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (<abbr title="Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC): The fraction of solar gain admitted through a window, expressed as a number between 0 and 1."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2510">SHGC</a></abbr>) of 0.22, meaning that just 22% of the total solar energy striking the glass gets through. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/E-Class_EV1_1189714685.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=377538">E-Class_EV1_1189714685.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Triple_Corner.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=107327">Triple_Corner.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-performing-triple-glazed-skylight-wasco" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/top-performing-triple-glazed-skylight-wasco#comments Thu, 22 Jul 2010 20:08:00 +0000 Web Master 9167 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Schöck Isokorb for Controlling Thermal Bridging http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sch-ck-isokorb-controlling-thermal-bridging <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Isokorb_K_Detail_LoRes.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Isokorb_K_Detail_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></a><em>Isokorb K uses EPS to reduce the thermal bridging at cantilevered concrete slabs. Photo: Schöck Bauteile, GmbH. <strong>Click on image to enlarge.</strong></em></div> <p>A German system for reducing thermal bridging in commercial construction looks like a real winner. <br /> <br />In commercial buildings where cast-in-place, reinforced-concrete balconies extend through the insulated building envelope, tremendous heat loss occurs, and this thermal bridging often leads to condensation and associated mold problems. The German company Schöck Bauteile, GmbH, has the answer with the Isokorb product line. <br /> <br /><strong>How Isokorb works</strong> <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Isokorb_K_Detail_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=214168">Isokorb_K_Detail_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Isokorb_forces_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=55544">Isokorb_forces_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Thermal_bridging_isotherms.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=99410">Thermal_bridging_isotherms.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Isokorb_K_Balcony_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=255331">Isokorb_K_Balcony_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sch-ck-isokorb-controlling-thermal-bridging" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sch-ck-isokorb-controlling-thermal-bridging#comments Fri, 16 Jul 2010 03:31:00 +0000 Web Master 9169 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Innovative Gas-Filled Panel Insulation from Fi-Foil http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/innovative-gas-filled-panel-insulation-fi-foil <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <div><a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//GFP_product_shot.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//GFP_product_shot.jpg" alt="" /></a>Fi-Foil GFP Insulation showing expanded (above) and as shipped (below). Photo: Fi-Foil. <em>Click on image to enlarge.</em></div> <p>A new gas-filled panel insulation material that consists of pockets of low-conductivity gas in a honeycomb foil substrate provides insulation levels as high at R-11 for inch-and-a-half-thick panels. <br /> <br /><strong>About gas-filled panels</strong> <br /> <br />It is well-known that low-conductivity gasses, such as argon and krypton, significantly improve the energy performance of windows. They do this because they have a lower gas-phase conductivity than air, so they retard heat flow through the window. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GFP_product_shot_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=27830">GFP_product_shot_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GFP_Insul_in_Plenum_two_layers_with_facing_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=268151">GFP_Insul_in_Plenum_two_layers_with_facing_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/R-value_GFP_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=54826">R-value_GFP_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/GFP_ProductSpecs_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=176736">GFP_ProductSpecs_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/NYPA_Radiator_GFP_Installation_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=228325">NYPA_Radiator_GFP_Installation_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/InsulationSmallBanner_2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=13582">InsulationSmallBanner_2.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/innovative-gas-filled-panel-insulation-fi-foil" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/innovative-gas-filled-panel-insulation-fi-foil#comments Thu, 08 Jul 2010 23:31:00 +0000 Web Master 9171 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A.O.Smith's Innovative Hybrid Tankless-Storage Water Heater http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/aosmiths-innovative-hybrid-tankless-storage-water-heater <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//AOSmith_next_hybrid-LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AOSmith_next_hybrid-LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=57406">AOSmith_next_hybrid-LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EBNad1_6.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=0">EBNad1_6.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/revolution_family_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=92467">revolution_family_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/aosmiths-innovative-hybrid-tankless-storage-water-heater" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/aosmiths-innovative-hybrid-tankless-storage-water-heater#comments Mon, 28 Jun 2010 13:56:00 +0000 Web Master 9176 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com High-Tech Glazing With Phase-Change Material http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/high-tech-glazing-phase-change-material <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//IMG_8746_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/IMG_8746_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=166638">IMG_8746_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Schematic_ScreenCapture.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=134008">Schematic_ScreenCapture.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/04_207-14_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=89770">04_207-14_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/04_207_08_SeniorHouse_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=145867">04_207_08_SeniorHouse_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/high-tech-glazing-phase-change-material" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/high-tech-glazing-phase-change-material#comments Tue, 22 Jun 2010 00:16:00 +0000 Web Master 9179 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com A Cutting-Edge Hybrid Solar-Thermal-PV Collector from Turkey http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cutting-edge-hybrid-solar-thermal-pv-collector-turkey <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//hybriduk.jpg" alt="" /> There's an exciting new hybrid solar collector from Turkey that combines photovoltaic (PV) power generation with solar water heating. The idea of combining PV and solar-thermal isn't new, but <a href="http://www.solimpeks.com/en/index.php">Solimpeks Solar Energy Corp.</a> has taken the idea to a new level of sophistication with their Volther hybrid solar collector. <br /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/hybriduk.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=120148">hybriduk.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cutting-edge-hybrid-solar-thermal-pv-collector-turkey" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/cutting-edge-hybrid-solar-thermal-pv-collector-turkey#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 13:39:00 +0000 Web Master 9181 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Earthstone Products' Affordable Recycled-Granite Pavers http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/earthstone-products-affordable-recycled-granite-pavers <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//DSC03593_LoRes.jpg" alt="" /> A three-year-old North Carolina company, <a href="http://www.earthstoneproducts.net/">Earthstone Products</a>, has introduced a great-looking, relatively inexpensive recycled-granite paver. Used both indoors and outdoors, the pavers are manufactured from waste slabs of granite. <br /> <br />According to John Tesh, the sales and marketing director at Earthstone, 25% of a slab of granite is typically thrown away. "We came up with a patented process that turns that waste into pavers and interior flooring." Tesh told me. "For lack of a better description, it's a 50-ton granite 'cookie cutter,'" he said. After stamping the pavers in the desired shape, they are tumbled to smooth the edges and provide a an "old world" look. Smaller pieces are turned into backsplash tiles, fireplace surrounds, and other products. The leftover chips are ground into aggregate. 100% of the material the company collects is turned into product and kept out of landfills. Recently, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources certified the company as a "granite recycling center." <br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/DSC03593_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=391878">DSC03593_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/DSC03940_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=270829">DSC03940_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/20070926tc1900-LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=81924">20070926tc1900-LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/DSC04496_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=343943">DSC04496_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/DSC03672_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=258396">DSC03672_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/DSC03694_2_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=265514">DSC03694_2_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/earthstone-products-affordable-recycled-granite-pavers" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/earthstone-products-affordable-recycled-granite-pavers#comments Fri, 04 Jun 2010 22:09:00 +0000 Web Master 9183 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Pearl's Premium: An Environmentally Friendly Lawn Seed http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/pearls-premium-environmentally-friendly-lawn-seed <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-category"> <div class="field-label">Blog Category:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GreenSpec Insights </div> <div class="field-item even"> Water Wise Guys </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//HappyDogAndOwnerWalkOnMadnick&#039;sHealthyLushOrganicLawn-LoRes.jpg" /><br /> We dump a huge amount of water, chemicals, and money on lawns in America, and we spew lots of pollution into the air mowing them. There are some better options. One is to eliminate lawns. The other is to plant a lawn seed mix that doesn't need to be kept on life-support. <a href="http://www.pearlspremium.com/">Pearl's Premium</a> lawn seed, developed by environmental activist Jackson Madnick with help of soil scientists, offers northern-climate landowners a much greener (!) option.</p> <p>Pearl's Premium, named after Madnick's mother and his daughter, is available in two different mixes: a shady-site version, which is appropriate for lawns fully in the shade to 50% sun; and a sunny mix for sites with 50% sun to full sun. The shady mix consists of five different fescues (fescue is a type of grass), three of which are native and two "adaptive," to use Madnick's term. The sunny mix contains three of the fescues in the shady mix, plus a special deep-rooted adaptive bluegrass and an adaptive ryegrass.</p> <p>There are four important benefits of Pearl's Premium turf compared with conventional Kentucky bluegrass turf:</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/HappyDogAndOwnerWalkOnMadnick%2527sHealthyLushOrganicLawn-LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=195795">HappyDogAndOwnerWalkOnMadnick%27sHealthyLushOrganicLawn-LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Pic_of_david_phyllis_Weston_lawn_w_no_people_good_shot-LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=278397">Pic_of_david_phyllis_Weston_lawn_w_no_people_good_shot-LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Pic_Weston_Lawn_w_no_people_half_circle_garden_bg1705-LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=298034">Pic_Weston_Lawn_w_no_people_half_circle_garden_bg1705-LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/pearls-premium-environmentally-friendly-lawn-seed" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Water Wise Guys http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/pearls-premium-environmentally-friendly-lawn-seed#comments Fri, 28 May 2010 21:08:00 +0000 Web Master 9186 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Philips 12-Watt EnduraLED Light Bulb http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/philips-12-watt-enduraled-light-bulb <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//EnduraLED_12W_off_LoRes.jpg" /><br /> Continuing a trend of more efficient LED lights, Philips this week unveiled its LED replacement to the 60-watt light bulb. The 12-watt EnduraLED is a screw-in replacement that fits in standard fixtures, uses 80% less energy, and should last 25 times as long as the ubiquitous 60-watt incandescent light bulb.</p> <p><abbr title="Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, use semiconductors to produce light, giving them more in common with computer chips than with conventional incandescent lighting."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2553">LEDs</a></abbr> are light-emitting diodes. Many experts look to LEDs as the future of lighting. Unlike compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), metal halide, and induction lamps, LEDs do not contain mercury, which is a toxic metal and disposal concern. LEDs are solid-state devices, utilizing semi-conductor technology.</p> <p>Replacing the 60-watt incandescent light bulb is significant because there are so many of them. According to Philips, more than 425 million of these bulbs are sold each year in the U.S., representing approximately 50% of the domestic incandescent light bulb market. Replacing all of these with LEDs, like the Philips EnduraLED, would save more than 32 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is enough to power the lights of more than 16 million U.S. households and save 5.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EnduraLED_12W_off_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=86673">EnduraLED_12W_off_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EnduraLED_12W_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=93424">EnduraLED_12W_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/PhilipsCEO_Randy_Provoost_EnduraLED-LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=127646">PhilipsCEO_Randy_Provoost_EnduraLED-LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/philips-12-watt-enduraled-light-bulb" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/philips-12-watt-enduraled-light-bulb#comments Thu, 13 May 2010 19:07:00 +0000 Web Master 11980 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Stirling SunCatcher with "Heat Engine" Technology http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/stirling-suncatcher-heat-engine-technology <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Stirling_Maricopaphoto0155_Jan2010_LoRes.jpg" /><br /> Those of us who have tracked solar energy innovations for several decades will likely have heard about Stirling engines. This sealed "heat engine" technology has been around a long time--since 1816, in fact--when it was invented by the Scottish clergyman and inventor <a href="http://www.stirlingengines.org.uk/pioneers/pion2.html">Robert Stirling</a>. For decades, while there were cool models to demonstrate the principle in classrooms, actual full-scale solar applications of the Stirling engine seemed always to be just around the corner.</p> <p>Well, it appears that the wait is over.<strong>* (see below)</strong><br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Stirling_Maricopaphoto0155_Jan2010_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=109080">Stirling_Maricopaphoto0155_Jan2010_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Stirling-Energy-Systems-SunCatcher_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=160414">Stirling-Energy-Systems-SunCatcher_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/stirling-suncatcher-heat-engine-technology" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/stirling-suncatcher-heat-engine-technology#comments Thu, 29 Apr 2010 13:30:00 +0000 Web Master 11963 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Lehigh and Stewi Clotheslines: A Really Simple Green Product http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/lehigh-and-stewi-clotheslines-really-simple-green-product <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Secureline 4-Load Parallel Dryer in Use_Crop_LoRes.jpg" /><br /> This being Earth Day--in fact the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day!--I thought it made sense to profile a really simple, really green product: the clothesline. In digging into clotheslines, I came across a number of manufacturers, including the <a href="http://www.lehighgroup.com/lehigh.asp">Lehigh Group</a> in Pennsylvania and the Swiss manufacturer <a href="http://www.stenicproducts.com/drying_racks/index.html">Stewi</a>.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Secureline_4-Load_Parallel_Dryer_in_Use_Crop_LoRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=164486">Secureline_4-Load_Parallel_Dryer_in_Use_Crop_LoRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/lehigh-and-stewi-clotheslines-really-simple-green-product" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/lehigh-and-stewi-clotheslines-really-simple-green-product#comments Thu, 22 Apr 2010 21:57:00 +0000 Web Master 11965 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Kohler Hands-Free WAVE Flushometer http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/kohler-hands-free-wave-flushometer <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Wave_1.28_K-10673_flushometer_KohlerPhoto2.jpg" /><br /> With commercial plumbing fixtures, one trend has been very clear over the past few years: the transition to hands-free operation. Users don't want to touch anything in restrooms, period. The other trend is water conservation. Unfortunately, these two trends are not always in sync.</p> <p>False-flush is a fairly common occurrence with sensor-activated toilet and urinal flushometers. I've had toilets flush three times before I've even used them!</p> <p>Kohler's hands-free <a href="http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatalog/newproducts_detail.jsp?section=2&amp;prod=WAVE%20Flushometers%20-%20KBIS%202009">WAVE technology</a>, introduced in 2009, may help to solve this problem. You flush the toilet or urinal manually--without touching anything. By passing your hand over the top of the sensor (see photo), you break an infrared beam and activate the flush.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Wave_1.28_K-10673_flushometer_KohlerPhoto2_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=26799">Wave_1.28_K-10673_flushometer_KohlerPhoto2_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/kohler-hands-free-wave-flushometer" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/kohler-hands-free-wave-flushometer#comments Fri, 16 Apr 2010 13:45:00 +0000 Web Master 11968 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Sage Triple-Glazed, Tintable Glazing http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sage-triple-glazed-tintable-glazing <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//SageTriple_LoRes.jpg" /><br /> I've been following Sage Electrochromics for a long time. <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/press/topten2006/index.cfm">In 2006, BuildingGreen named SageGlass one of our Top-10 Green Building Products</a>. It was the first practical, durable dynamic glazing that worked in exterior façade applications. This week, the company rolled out a new, much-higher-performance product.</p> <p>By way of context, most glazing is "static." That means it has certain performance properties that remain the same, including visible light transmittance (<abbr title="Visible light transmittance (VLT) (Tvis) is the ratio of total transmitted light to total incident light (i.e., the amount of visible spectrum, 380–780 nanometers of light passing through a glazing surface divided by the amount of light striking the glazing surface). The higher the Tvis value, the more incident light passes through the glazing."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2530">Tvis</a></abbr>), solar heat gain coefficient (<abbr title="Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC): The fraction of solar gain admitted through a window, expressed as a number between 0 and 1."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2510">SHGC</a></abbr>), and U-factor. When specifying windows (or glazings), we try to choose a product with properties that will, on average, provide the needed transparency, control of heat loss, and control of solar heat gain. It's usually a trade-off, because there are times when solar heat gain is desirable and times when it is undesirable.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/SageTriple_LoRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=99217">SageTriple_LoRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/triple_pane_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=234972">triple_pane_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sage-triple-glazed-tintable-glazing" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/sage-triple-glazed-tintable-glazing#comments Thu, 01 Apr 2010 14:35:00 +0000 Web Master 11974 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Knoll Provides FSC Wood as a Standard Feature http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/knoll-provides-fsc-wood-standard-feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Knoll_Reff_7101_MedRes.jpg" /></p> <p>We've been writing about the <abbr title="FSC is a third-party certification established in 1993 for responsible forestry and the resulting wood products. FSC is well-respected among the environmental movement."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term1829">Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)</a></abbr> in <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/news/index.cfm"><em>Environmental Building News</em></a> since the organization was created in 1993. We've watched as FSC pushed the mainstream forest products industry toward more responsible forestry practices even as that industry fought to prevent or slow the adoption of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Rating system because it awarded points for use of FSC-<abbr title="Wood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2282">certified wood</a></abbr> exclusively. And we've continued to recognize FSC-certified wood products through <em>EBN</em> product reviews and listings in our <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/menus/index.cfm"><em>GreenSpec Directory</em></a>.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Knoll_Reff_7101_MedRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=13133">Knoll_Reff_7101_MedRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/knoll-provides-fsc-wood-standard-feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/knoll-provides-fsc-wood-standard-feature#comments Tue, 09 Mar 2010 16:04:00 +0000 Web Master 11957 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Fiber-Optic Daylighting from Parans http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fiber-optic-daylighting-parans <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Parans L2 Environment.jpg" /><br /> Simple is good, but high-tech can be really cool. In the case of the Parans fiber-optic daylighting system (distributed in the U.S. by <a href="http://www.huvco.com">HUVCO</a>), high-tech lets you distribute daylight up to sixty feet via optical cables--bringing full-spectrum natural light to various spaces within a home or commercial building.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Parans_L2_Environment.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=24571">Parans_L2_Environment.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Parans_SP2.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=8683">Parans_SP2.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Parans_L3middle.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=11612">Parans_L3middle.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fiber-optic-daylighting-parans" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/fiber-optic-daylighting-parans#comments Wed, 03 Mar 2010 21:04:00 +0000 Web Master 11960 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Exciting Developments at Marvin Windows http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/exciting-developments-marvin-windows <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//UCA_Wnbry_Set_08_MW_c2_MedRes.jpg" /><br /> I was at Efficiency Vermont's <a href="http://www.efficiencyvermont.org/pages/Business/BuildingEfficiently/BetterBuildingByDesignConferen/">Better Buildings Conference</a> in Burlington, Vermont last week. It's a great conference each February to learn about energy-efficient construction and find out about innovations in energy-conserving products, from lighting to heating systems.</p> <p>Wandering around the trade show at Better Buildings, my attention was caught by several cut-away window corners at the <a href="http://www.marvin.com/">Marvin Windows &amp; Doors</a> booth. For years at conferences, I've made it a point to ask the mainstream window manufacturers when they will give more attention to triple-glazed windows. Usually I just get blank stares from the salespeople.<br /> Marvin has offered a one-inch-thick triple-glazed window since the early 1990s, though never widely promoted the product. Then last year the company introduced a 1-1/2-inch triple-glazed window. Either can be ordered with whatever type of glass, <abbr title="Low-E or Low-Emissivity Coating: Very thin metallic coating on glass or plastic window glazing that reduces heat loss and heat gain through the window; the coating emits less radiant energy (heat radiation), which makes it, in effect, reflective to that heat. In that way it boosts a window's R-value and reduces its U-factor."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2440">low-e</a></abbr> coatings, and gas-fill you want.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/UCA_Wnbry_Set_08_MW_c2_MedRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=35265">UCA_Wnbry_Set_08_MW_c2_MedRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Tri_Pane_MedRes.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=279071">Tri_Pane_MedRes.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/exciting-developments-marvin-windows" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/exciting-developments-marvin-windows#comments Thu, 18 Feb 2010 22:07:00 +0000 Web Master 11936 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com SafeTouch Polyester Batt Insulation from Dow http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/safetouch-polyester-batt-insulation-dow <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//Female_placing-product11.jpg" /><br /> <em>Update: We have learned that SafeTouch was discontinued by Dow in spring 2011 due to poor sales. More detail in the comments below. We have confirmed that <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2010/11/22/EnGuard-GlassFree-Polyester-Insulation">EnGuard polyester insulation</a>, from Vita Nonwovens, remains available. – The Editors</em></p> <p>I gotta say, I was pretty surprised to come across this product recently. I make it a habit of keeping up with new products as they come out--especially insulation materials. I had somehow missed this.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Female_placing-product11_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=35760">Female_placing-product11_0.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/safe_touch11.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=33465">safe_touch11.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/EBNad1_9.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=0">EBNad1_9.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/safetouch-polyester-batt-insulation-dow" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/safetouch-polyester-batt-insulation-dow#comments Thu, 11 Feb 2010 18:43:00 +0000 Web Master 11938 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com TimberSIL Now Made with Waste-Ag Silicate http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/timbersil-now-made-waste-ag-silicate <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Wilson </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//timbersil.jpg" /><br /> We first wrote about TimberSIL from <a href="http://www.timbersilwood.com/">TimberSIL Products</a> in a <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2004/10/1/TimberSIL-Nontoxic-Pressure-Treated-Wood/?">2004 article in <em>EBN</em></a>, touting the company's treated wood as a revolution in the treated wood industry. From an environmental standpoint, a recent enhancement makes the product even better.<br /> I've just participated in the three-day <a href="http://www.ecobuildnetwork.org/symposium/">Build Well conference</a> in Sausalito--a first-ever think-tank conference organized by Bruce King, Ann Edminster, Jan Stensland, and Tom Hahn through the <a href="http://www.ecobuildnetwork.org/">Ecological Building Network</a>. It was a wonderful conference, one of the most exciting I've attended in years. Most of the hundred or so participants were staying at the gorgeous retreat center <a href="http://www.cavallopoint.com/">Cavallo Point Lodge</a> where the event was held, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. The informal atmosphere afforded plenty of opportunity to get to know each other and carry on in-depth conversations on the topic of the moment.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/timbersil_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=5710">timbersil_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/timbersil-now-made-waste-ag-silicate" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/timbersil-now-made-waste-ag-silicate#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2010 17:31:00 +0000 Web Master 11941 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Armstrong FSC-Certified Wood Flooring http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/armstrong-fsc-certified-wood-flooring <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//BruceHardwoodFloors_AmericanOriginals_Maple_GrandCanyon_12996_LowRes.jpg" /><br /> We've promoted the <a href="http://www.fscus.org/">Forest Stewardship Council's wood certification program</a> in the pages of Environmental Building News since FSC was formed back <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/1994/9/1/Tropical-Timber-Seeing-the-Forest-for-the-Trees/">in 1994</a>. We've always looked for companies offering FSC-<abbr title="Wood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System."><a class="glossary-term" href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/glossary/6#term2282">certified wood</a></abbr> products to highlight in EBN and GreenSpec. Over the years, most of those products have been from small companies; larger more industrial timber industry companies have shied away from FSC in favor of the less-rigorous <a href="http://www.sfiprogram.org/">Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification</a>.</p> <p>While we continue to feel great about small companies embracing FSC, we also find it exciting when larger players enter the FSC world--because these companies will help FSC become more accepted by the mainstream timber and building-products industries.</p> <p>Thus, we were really pleased recently to learn that Armstrong World Industries, one of the world's largest flooring manufacturers, had entered the FSC world with FSC-certified engineered hardwood flooring products.<br /> </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/BruceHardwoodFloors_AmericanOriginals_Maple_GrandCanyon_12996_LowRes_0.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=252440">BruceHardwoodFloors_AmericanOriginals_Maple_GrandCanyon_12996_LowRes_0.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/armstrong-fsc-certified-wood-flooring" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/armstrong-fsc-certified-wood-flooring#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2010 00:06:00 +0000 Web Master 11925 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com Clean Dry Hand Dryer http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/clean-dry-hand-dryer <div class="field field-type-text field-field-bg-blog-author-name"> <div class="field-label">Author name:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tristan Roberts </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/images//AWilson(BAC)_72dpi_crop.jpg" /><br /> Every time I turn around, it seems, I'm finding out about some new, really cool green building product. It's time to start sharing this information. Starting this week, I'll be writing a weekly "product of the week" blog. I'll be skipping around from category to category. Not every product will be brand new, but I'm guessing that most will be unfamiliar to most readers. I welcome suggestions of products I should cover. Contact me by email (<a href="mailto:alex@buildinggreen.com">alex@buildinggreen.com</a>) or use the comment field at the end of the blog to submit suggestions.<br /> </p> <h3>Clean Dry Electric Hand Dryer from TOTO<br /> </h3> <p>In <em>Environmental Building News</em>, we've been touting the new generation of high-speed electric hand dryers since January, 2002, just after <a href="http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2002/1/1/XLerator-The-Electric-Hand-Dryer-Reinvented/">Excel Dryer's XLerator</a> hand dryer was introduced. The XLerator was the first electric hand dryer that used a very high-velocity air stream to not just dry hands by evaporating water, but to actually blow droplets of liquid water off hands. By doing this, the drying time is reduced from 30 or 40 seconds to just 10–15 seconds.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-bg-blog-image"> <div class="field-label">Images:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/AWilson%2528BAC%2529_72dpi_crop.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=44246">AWilson%28BAC%29_72dpi_crop.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Clean_Dry_Hand_Dryer_Wall_Mount.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=369963">Clean_Dry_Hand_Dryer_Wall_Mount.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="filefield-file clear-block"><img class="filefield-icon field-icon-image-jpeg" alt="image/jpeg icon" src="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/sites/all/modules/filefield/icons/image-x-generic.png" /><a href="/sites/buildinggreen.com/files/live/Clean_Dry_Recessed_Hand_Dryer_8x6.jpg" type="image/jpeg; length=75809">Clean_Dry_Recessed_Hand_Dryer_8x6.jpg</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/clean-dry-hand-dryer" target="_blank">read more</a></p> GreenSpec Insights Product Talk http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/clean-dry-hand-dryer#comments Tue, 12 Jan 2010 17:11:00 +0000 Web Master 11928 at http://www2.buildinggreen.com