WFH House by Arcgency is a Sustainable Modular Home Made of Three Shipping Containers

wfh house 4

Located in Wuxi, China, the WFH House by Arcgency is made of three shipping containers combined to create this beautiful Nordic-style home. The sloping green roof sits atop an open, spacious interior, which is made of a single container on one side and a stacked set on the other. The style can be customized for various climates, layouts, and plots of land.

wfh house 1

wfh house 2

The containers are lined with insulation covered in bamboo, and the central space is airy and open with skylights that fill the area with natural light. The second floor consists of bedrooms for the kids, with a giant glass curtain overlooking the living area.

wfh house 3

The roof is lined with lush greenery that filters rainwater and provides natural insulation, along with solar cells and sustainable bamboo draped along the exterior. The home is a simple, cost-efficient modular design, especially for those living in areas with extreme heat or a high risk of earthquakes.

wfh house 5

The building components are simple and minimal, and undergo a graceful aging process that minimizes wear and tear and reduces maintenance costs.

See the article here: WFH House by Arcgency is a Sustainable Modular Home Made of Three Shipping Containers

Japanese Home Offers a Minimalist Design With Natural, Earthen Floors

Buy American: Earth-Friendly Stone and Tile from GREENSTONE

When you’re looking for exterior paving stone or interior tile made from 100% post-industrial waste, you’ll want to have a look at GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products.

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

American-owned and operated in Winder, Georgia, you’ll feel good about buying local with these materials that are made of locally-sourced raw materials from countertop fabricators that would normally end up in landfills.

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Add to that: GREENSTONE products meet LEED and Earthcraft Certification standards.

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

GREENSTONE exterior pavers are durable – three times stronger than concrete, with the ability to withstand up to 24,000 psi.

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

They don’t need maintenance and their colors won’t fade. The finishing process results in a non-slip, textured surface

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

GREENSTONE Tile comes in a wide variety of natural colors and textures.

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Options include granite and marble, and can be ordered to specifications such as color, length, and thickness.

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

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See the original post: Buy American: Earth-Friendly Stone and Tile from GREENSTONE

Ecotec is a Soy Oil Based Solid Surface

Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House.  It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.“  The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil.  Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.

The composition makes Ecotec stronger, lighter, and greener, according to product brochures.

Specifically, it’s 20-25% lighter than acrylic or polyester-based solid surfaces and more scratch resistant.  In addition, Ecotec is made in the USA from a Missouri-based company, highly antimicrobial, fire resistant, and available in an unlimited color palette.

[+] More about soy-based solid surface Ecotec.

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Read the rest here: Ecotec is a Soy Oil Based Solid Surface

Hop Over To Here

Starck Sweeps in with Emeco Broom Chair

Broom is another chair made by Emeco and Philippe Starck, but this one isn’t made with aluminum.  As explained by Starck: “Imagine … a guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop, and with this dust he makes new magic.” In this case, the dust is discarded industrial material — 75% reclaimed polypropylene, 15% reclaimed wood fiber, and 10% glass fiber — and the magic is a stackable chair.

The polypropelyne is left over from plastic production, while the wood fiber is left over from lumber manufacture.  The wood-polypropelyne composite is called WPP (see below), and it’s injected with gas during molding to create the chair structure.

Broom is available in six colors (white, yellow, orange, green, natural, and dark grey), and all of them are suitable for outdoors except for the orange version.  The recycled-content chair has a seat height of 17″ and weighs about 10.5 pounds.  I’ll update this article shortly with availability and price details.

[+] More about Broom by Philippe Starck and Emeco.

Credits: Emeco.

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See the original post: Starck Sweeps in with Emeco Broom Chair

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New Elements Surface Launches in Texas

Elements by Durcon is officially launching in the DFW market in Texas, where it is also manufactured (about 200 miles from Dallas in Taylor).  The eco-friendly surface is made with a proprietary blend of at least 10% post-consumer recycled glass, natural quartz minerals, and resin to create a low-VOC material that’s solid, non-porous,  and “never requires sealing,” according to Durcon.

The material carries GREENGUARD certification for indoor air quality, SCS certification for the claim of 10% post-consumer recycled glass, and NSF 51 certification for food contact. It may also contribute toward LEED credits in various areas.

Elements is made in the USA, 100% recyclable, and can be recycled through Durcon’s Dust-to-Dust program.  Basically, when the material is at the end of its useful life, fill out the form, ship the surface to Durcon, and Durcon will recycle it at no extra charge.

After the launch in Dallas and Fort Worth, Elements will be available in San Francisco and Toronto later this year, in 2012.  It’s perfect for use in kitchens, baths and other high-traffic surface design applications.

[+] More about Elements by Durcon.

Credits: Durcon.

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Go here to see the original: New Elements Surface Launches in Texas

Stratum is a Bamboo-Filled Surface Material

So, what do you get when you sandwich a plywood bamboo material called PlyBoo with two sheets of a paper-composite called RichliteStratum, a new surface material made through a venture between Smith & Fong and Richlite Company.  The material was inspired by nature and the majestic basalt cliffs of Palouse Canyon in eastern Washington.

I first noticed the material when the Chad Ludeman mentioned that he was chomping at the bit to put Stratum in play as an upgrade for a new project called reNEWBOLD.

Stratum combines the green benefits of PlyBoo and Richlite so it’s FSC-certified and may contribute towards LEED points.  Richlite is made with FSC-certified fibers, while PlyBoo is made with rapidly renewable bamboo and soy adhesives.  Stratum contains no added urea-formaldehyde.

The material is non off-gassing and heat, scratch, and stain resistant, according to Richlite.  Stratum is available in a 1″ thickness and 48″ x 96″ sheet sizes with any of the ten available Richlite Northwest colors.

[+] Get more technical detail about Richlite Stratum.

Credits: Richlite.

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Read more: Stratum is a Bamboo-Filled Surface Material

Basic Pharox LED Light Bulb for Under $5

Dutch-based Lemnis Lighting is hitting the LED scene with a cut-rate, basic light bulb selling for $4.95 — the Pharox 200 Blu.  It uses 5 watts, has a 2700 K color temperature, has a CRI of 85, lasts about 15,000 hours, and outputs 240 lumens.  The bulb could replace 25W incandescents and is suitable for task lights, accent lights, and other ambient illumination.

Lemnis has other LED lights available, too, including a Pharox 300 Blu bulb that uses 6 watts, has a slightly cooler 2900 K temperature, has a CRI of 87, lasts about 15,000 hours, and outputs 360 lumens.  It sells for $6.95.

These LEDs don’t dim but they also don’t flicker when turned on.  The lighting is instantly available, according to Lemnis Lighting.  Plus, these lights aren’t made with mercury — putting pressure on the typical CFL — or lead.

[+] Shop online for Pharox Blu lights from Lemnis Lighting.

Credits: Lemnis Lighting. 

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Continue reading here: Basic Pharox LED Light Bulb for Under $5

Hair Loss Treatment

New ‘Artificial Leaf’ is a Real Gamechanger

Green solar technology that’s shaped to imitate nature has been a somewhat common thing over the last few years. However, instead of constructing a set of buildings meant to blend in and look like trees, as people did at the start of the nature building trend. Now scientists are beginning to look at natural, highly beneficial processes – in this case photosynthesis – and attempting to replicate nature’s solar successes.

Substantial progress has been made in this area. Recently researchers at MIT announced that due to a major breakthrough this year they have finally made the solar ‘artificial leaf’ a reality. The leaf is able to split apart the oxygen and hydrogen that make up water. It does this by opposing catalytic bonds on different sides of the leaf to draw the elements apart. It all sounds very complicated; mostly because it is, but it is an astonishing breakthrough whether its one we can fully understand the science behind or not. Once the two elements have been separated they can then be used as a source of energy.

The successful creation of the artificial leaf has reignited people’s imaginations. What we can do using technology grows with each new day. A worldwide group of scientists have looked at the groundbreaking artificial leaf and speculated that the technology can be used to create even more effective photosynthesis like reactions generating even more solar power. A leaf in nature can separate and efficiently process a large amount of different types of energy. The artificial leaf is the first major step to taking advantage of all the different types of energy the sun has to offer and replicating the already safe and clean solar reactions in nature.

This ‘artificial leaf’ development lead one professor, James Barber, who is unconnected with the project to comment, “there is no doubt that their achievement is a major breakthrough which will have a significant impact on the work of others dedicated to constructing light-driven catalytic systems to produce hydrogen and other solar fuels from water.”

It’s pretty much unanimous that the artificial leaf represents a major development and one that has even more amazing potential for growth and innovation. Stay tuned for more groundbreaking developments in solar power potential because they are everywhere.

New ‘Artificial Leaf’ is a Real Gamechanger is a post from: Boots On The Roof

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Roof Materials For Your Log Home

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Roof Materials For Your Log Home
By Mercedes Hayes

Your roof is a great opportunity to make a
dramatic statement to the world. This
colorful creation is going to sit atop a
unique, custom home, and no matter what
material you choose it’s going to look
awesome. There are more choices on the market
today than ever before, and an extra
investment will probably make a bigger impact
here than elsewhere in your home. Even
asphalt shingles have taken on a new
personality. Here are some varieties modern
technology has made available to us (my cost
estimates are very broad, and only meant for
comparison’s sake).

ASPHALT (or Composition) SHINGLES:
(also known as three-tab shingles) The most
commonly used shingles, these are made from a
mixture of asphalt and fiberglass. The
ceramic granules protect the asphalt from the
sun’s UV rays. We tend to buy them according
to life expectancy, which starts at 15 years
for the thinnest shingles, 25-30 years for
the next level. Their lifetime depends on the
environment and how well the roof is vented.
This roof will cost around 150 per 100
square feet.

called architectural or dimensional shingles,
this shingle is still made from a mixture of
asphalt and fiberglass, but is built much
thicker, giving it a more three-dimensional
look. Architectural shingles make the roof
look more textured, are larger than a
standard shingle, and come in an amazing
variety of shapes. They are usually
guaranteed for 40 years and could easily cost
twice as much as standard asphalt shingles.

METAL ROOF: Metal is one of the more
sought-after roofing materials for log homes.
Usually made of steel, aluminum or copper,
the most commonly discussed metal roof is the
standing seam – sometimes called vertical
panel – roof. You can also get metal shingles
that resemble cedar shakes, slate, or tile.
There are several advantages to using a metal
roof, not the least of which is its fire
resistance. These roofs are also remarkably
lightweight, and stand up to hurricane-force
winds. This roof will generally cost about
600 per 100 square feet (very big range
of materials and composition). Life
expectancy is anywhere from 30-50 years up to
100 years.

difference between a Cedar Shake and a
Shingle is that, generally, the shingle is
sawn on both sides and the shake is
hand-split on one (or both) sides. The shake
tends to be thicker. Cedar looks
picture-perfect when installed, and will age
to a beautiful gray, given the right
environmental conditions. However, it is
prone to moss and mildew, and the shingles
have been known to curl. To combat their
inherent vulnerabilities, many brands are
treated to prevent mildew, and others are
treated for fire retardancy. The average life
expectancy is about 25-30 years and could
cost $400-500 per 100 square feet.

CONCRETE TILES: You’ll find a lot of
concrete roofs in Europe. Needless to say,
they are incredibly durable and
fire-resistant, and because concrete takes
stain so well, you can find it in up to 50
colors. Of course, this is a hefty solution
for a hefty home: figure out about 1000
pounds per 100 square feet. Concrete roof
tiles come in several profiles, and have a
life expectancy of about 80 years and can
cost around $200-400 per 100 square feet.
There will be extra expense for beefing up
the rafter system to support the weight.

CLAY TILES: When you mention clay
tiles, most of us think of the half-round
shapes on Spanish Mission buildings. Think no
more! Clay tiles are flat, interlocking,
rectangular, slabs… and of course
barrel-shaped. You can get them in solid
colors or blends, textured or smooth. Figure
about 1000 pounds per 100 square feet. They
have a life expectancy of about 50 years, and
can cost 500 per 100 square feet.

SLATE: Complex, durable, and
beautiful, slate has a life expectancy of 60
-125 years, and more. Your standard slate is
about 1/4″ thick. The slates are overlapped
so that the bottom edge of the slate is
actually covering two additional layers, and
less than half of the slate is exposed. This
standard thickness will weigh about 750
pounds per 100 square feet. Modern variations
of slate roofs are: Rubber Slate
(post-industrial waste) and Engineered Slate
(marble dust and polyester resins). A real
slate roof can cost up to $1000 per 100
square feet installed.

One of the things I’ve noticed over the years
is that lighter colored asphalt shingles have
a tendency to streak as rainwater washes down
the roof. Even my dark green roof is
streaking in one spot, although the green
masks the darker stain. Before you decide on
a color, do yourself a favor and drive around
the neighborhood; look for other houses with
similar shades. Then you can make a decision
as to what’s more important: how your roof
will reflect or absorb the heat, or which one
looks better over the years.

About the Author:
Mercedes Hayes is a Hiawatha Log Home dealer
and also a Realtor in New Jersey and
Pennsylvania. She designed her own log home
which was featured in the 2004 Floor Plan
Guide of Log Home Living magazine. You can
learn more about log homes by visiting

Read more: Roof Materials For Your Log Home