Low-Carbon Concrete Products to be Developed by Atlas Block and CarbonCure

Atlas Concrete Carbon Neutral Block

Atlas Block, a manufacturer of concrete products based in Ontario, has signed a licensing agreement with CarbonCure, an emerging leader in science-based concrete technology for green building, to manufacture low-carbon concrete that will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete industry.

Several months have been spent testing the bolt-on technology from CarbonCure at the Atlas Block Hillsdale plant. The method sequesters carbon dioxide into the concrete during the manufacturing process. CO2 waste is consumed during concrete production to transform it into solid limestone, thus creating a better concrete product.

“This could transform the entire concrete industry,” said Don Gordon, CEO of Atlas Block. “I’ve been in this industry many years. This is easily the most exciting technological improvement I’ve seen.” Concrete is responsible for approximately 5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as the most widely used construction material.

Several major firms are beginning to spec the Atlas Block products, including B+H Architects. “B+H Architects is so impressed with the environmental sustainability of this technology that Atlas Block with CarbonCure products will be exclusively specified on all new products,” said Matthew Roberts of B+H Architects.

Atlas Block joins CarbonCure distributors, The Shaw Group of Nova Scotia, and Basalite Concrete Products of Dixon, California to meet the global demand for innovative green building materials.

Atlas Concrete Production


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The rest is here: Low-Carbon Concrete Products to be Developed by Atlas Block and CarbonCure

Electronically Tintable Dynamic SageGlass Unveiled at BAU by Saint-Gobain

Sage Glass transition stage 1

SAGE Electrochromics, which was recently acquired to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Paris, is demonstrating its newly developed advanced dynamic glass that it calls “SageGlass” at the 2013 BAU, the “World’s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials, Systems” in Munich.

SageGlass is electronically tintable to allow for modulation of light, glare, and solar heat gain. With the push of a button, or by of building automation systems or the proprietary SageClass control system, the glass can alter the solar heat gain and visible light transmission. Providing for efficient and flexible control of exterior light, SageGlass replaces blinds and motorized window shades that block light coming through windows, curtain walls, and skylights.

Sage Glass stage 2

Using a patented technology, the glazing level of SageGlass tint is dynamically controllable from 2% to 62% of light transmittance while maintaining transparency so that outdoor views are unobstructed to maximize energy efficiency while improving the comfort  and productivity of building occupants and increasing the value of the building.

Sage Glass Stage 3

According to a recent press release, SageGlass tint achieves this by managing “solar heat with a g value varying from 0.42 in its clearest state to 0.05 in the darkest state (values for a DGU with a Ug value of 1.1 W/m2.k).” The SageGlass dedicated automatic control system enables the tint to automatically adapt to outdoor luminance.

“BAU will be a terrific opportunity to showcase SageGlass’s impact on daylight and sun heat for the first time to the German market,” said SAGE SAINT-GOBAIN Europe, Director of Marketing and Sales, Kirk Ratzel.

Sage glass tint triple pane glass

BluServ™Plus Brings You Full-Service Homebuilding from Blu® Homes

Blu Homes Breezehouse Rear Elevation

Blu® Homes is now offering “start to finish” project management services so that they can more easily provide customers with precision-engineered, green prefabricated houses. BluServ™ Plus services include design, fixed bid, general contractor, schedule management, project management, and site work.

“Our clients asked us to provide this service, so we built a national team of project managers and architects to assure Blu clients the flexibility to get exactly the project design they want. They also get the simplicity of a single point of contact, the assurance of a reliable and clearly articulated building schedule and the confidence that their projects are being expertly managed by Blu’s team for the duration of the building cycle—from the initial design concept, permitting and site preparation to the final walk-through of a beautifully finished home, ” said Brett Chisholm, Blu Vice President in a recent press release. “Our focus is to create a customer experience for Blu’s clients that is second to none.”

Blu Homes builds its architecturally designed, eco-friendly prefab homes in a 250,000 square foot manufacturaing facility near Vallejo, California. Their proprietary steel framing and building technology results in economical, healthy, low-maintenance houses that are strong, beautiful, and finished on-site. Blu Homes can help make sure that your house achieves LEED certification and work with Energy Star or your local green rating system.

For more information about BluServ Plus (not available in select markets), call 888-228-8081 or visit www.bluhomes.com/bluserv. Like Blu Homes on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @BluHomes.

Timber Homes and Their Advantages

When choosing your next home don’t look past the simple timber construction, with all the latest modern building materials and building techniques on the market it is often an overlooked choice of an all timber home. Timer is extremely versatile and has unparalleled eco properties, with the total environmental impact of production being much less that steel or concrete.

Timer homes that are made from re-grown trees are a great example of sustainable building resources, and when built the insulation properties of the correct timer will allow you to retain heat keeping you several degrees warmer than with other materials.

Timber Homes and their eco properties

With no restrictions on the size of the build it is only limited by your budget and imagination. It is extremely flexible material that can be fabricated to any build, a timber house that is well built will be strong and long lasting, even outlasting seemingly stronger and more modern materials, this along with an added advantage of easy modification if you decide to extend or add features.

  • Natural
  • Sustainable
  • Long lasting and durable
  • Flexible in build and modification
  • Low environmental impact
  • Aesthetically pleasing

13 Reasons to Plan a Foam-Free Enclosure

Spray foam has been the subject of much discussion in green building circles.  Whether the concern is installation safety or global warming potential or better energy performance, it seems there’s no shortage of debate.  Along these lines, the guys at 475 High Performance Building Supply, a Brooklyn-based provider of products for high-performance projects, have a list describing 13 ways foam fails, starting with the “dangerous toxic ingredients.

1.)  Dangerous toxic ingredients
2.)  Irredeemable global warming potential
3.)  Unacceptably high fire hazard
4.)  Hypersensitive on-site manufacturing
5.)  Intolerant of adverse job site conditions
6.)  Unhealthy off-gassing
7.)  Counterproductive vapor retarder/barrier
8.)  Terribly hygrophobic
9.)  Weak and unpredictable air control
10.)  Inflexible and prone to cracking
11.)  Excessive shrinkage
12.)  Difficult to identify and repair air leaks
13.)  Degrading thermal insulation values

So therefore why not go “foam free” in the building enclosure, says architect Ken Levenson with 475 High Performance Building Supply. What do you think about this list? If not foam free, then why?

[+] Foam Fails by 475 High Performance Building Supply.

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  1. Eight Reasons for Passive House Growth
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  3. Building Materials Nutrition Label: Declare

See more here: 13 Reasons to Plan a Foam-Free Enclosure

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Container Perfection, Wood Materials, Solar Steam Efficiency, + Urban Infill Examples

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Read more here: Container Perfection, Wood Materials, Solar Steam Efficiency, + Urban Infill Examples


Frack Free Reasons, Tiny House Thesis, Simple Affordable Homes, LEED-Built Homes

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Continued here: Frack Free Reasons, Tiny House Thesis, Simple Affordable Homes, LEED-Built Homes

here’s a nice site

Building Materials Nutrition Label: Declare

Declare is a new “nutrition label” or ingredient label for building materials that will provide an answer to three main questions: First, where does this product come from?  Second, what is it made of?  Third, where does it go at the end of its life?  Seems like three hard questions to answer on one product label, but as you can see in the label attached above, Declare gets the job done.

Declare is operated by the International Living Future Institute, so there is definitely an alignment with the Living Building Challenge and particularly the Red List.

For example, products with a Declare label that are Red List Free will be noted.  Alternatively, the label may note LBC Compliant, if there’s a temporary Red List exception (with Red List ingredients indicated in red text), or none of these if Red List ingredients are noted in the text.

But on a more basic level, the Declare label can be applied to any product regardless of its makeup, provided the manufacturer pays the initial $850 or so it takes to get put into the database.  The label will indicate things like where the product was assembled, how long it may last, and whether it may be reused or trashed at the end of the useful life.

There’s a database that will grow over time to help consumers and professionals research various products. And project teams will have a new source to find materials for Living Building Challenge projects.  All things considered, this may actually facilitate a new culture of transparency and openness in materials.  I’m impressed.

[+] More about the launch of ingredients label Declare by ILFI.

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Read the original here: Building Materials Nutrition Label: Declare

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Expanded Cork Insulation Arrives in USA

If you want to wind up a building scientist, you might mention the topic of insulation.  Better yet, mention the advent of expanded cork insulation in the United States from Portugal-based Amorim Isolamentos.  The insulation is made from leftover material from cork bottle stopper production which is heated and sliced into boards, according to Alex Wilson of BuildingGreen.  Thus, the insulation is rapidly renewable and entirely natural.

Cork insulation is typically installed by wrapping exterior walls with several inches of the material.

Amorim Isolamentos is setting up business in North America, but Wilson estimates that the price for R19 of material could be roughly $5.50 per square foot.  Wilson also indicates that the material has good sound-control properties, insulates to R3.6 per inch, and could be “one of the greenest building materials anywhere.“  Sounds fascinating!

[+] The Greenest Insulation Material — Expanded Cork? by BuildingGreen.

Credits: Amorim Isolamentos.

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A House That Fits Like a Good Suit [Video]

Guy or girl, you’ve probably had the occasion to wear a business suit, right? If you have, you know what it’s like to have a good suit — the material, the cut, the look, the feel. It’s a great feeling, and that’s how Dieter Roskini describes his experience living in the first Passivhaus in Germany, according to a new video called Passive Passion.

Passive Passion is a 22-minute documentary by Charlie Hoxie about energy-efficient buildings with a specific focus on Passivhaus, or what’s called Passive House in the United States. It’s quite interesting and certainly makes a case for ultra-efficient multifamily structures.

That said, one should take the LEED comments with a bit of caution. Martin Holladay already noted one stretch of the truth in the video with respect to Passivhaus buildings being certified based on actual energy-use data. LEED, let’s remember, is a green building standard that may not be as strong as Passivhaus when it comes to energy efficiency, but there’s an argument for LEED’s superiority in terms of certifying for water efficiency, materials use and reuse, environmental air quality, and the location of a building. This is probably why some teams pursue both certifications in tandem.

In any event, this is a great intro to Passivhaus for anyone that’s interested. The video can be viewed online here, or purchased as a digital download ($12) or DVD ($15 plus shipping and handling).

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View original post here: A House That Fits Like a Good Suit [Video]