Category Archives: Cool building materials

New, sustainable, environmentally responsible advancements that may change the way we design and build, or materials that will transform how you experience space.

From shou-sugi-ban to acetylated wood – a clean, green future in wood preservation

Since humans began using wood, the material has always been subject to more or less successful methods of wood preservation. Alexander the Great is said to have soaked wood used for bridge building in olive oil. The Romans brushed their … Continue reading

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Good Sources for Cool Building Materials that May Help Green Your Project

The exhibition catalog for the PNC SmartHome Cleveland (the Passive House I wrote about in my last post) – included a list of companies that provided the materials for that project. In an effort to spread the Sustainable Building Gospel, … Continue reading

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It’s not easy being green – an exploration of the purported sustainability of ipé

Politics is ever-looming, wherever you turn in the design world. Kermit the Frog was right when he famously sang that “It’s not easy being green”. In fact, it’s damn tricky! Being a conscientious consumer (and materials specifier) is balancing on … Continue reading

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One quick amendment…

After sleeping on it, I would like to make one small amendment to yesterday’s blog posting on green roofs.  Sometimes, there actually exists a good reason not to employ the glorious expanses of chlorophyll I gushed so extensively about in … Continue reading

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Soften the Environmental Blow With a Green Roof!

Ever since I attended an architectural product luncheon back in 1993, where a Swiss rep was showing his wares – various sizes of the plastic, egg crate-looking modules holding the planting medium used to create planted roofs – and lauding … Continue reading

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How cool is this? Super-strong, über-green German building material!

November 18, 2010 Sometimes, just considering the awe-inspiring properties of some of the new materials available on the market, offers an exhilarating exercise in beautiful possibilities! For the collective benefit of us all, brilliant engineers at the German company Consido … Continue reading

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Lyptus – is it really as green as we want it to be?

22 August 2010 There is a great, sustainable wood option out there, that the trade refers to as Lyptus. It is a fast-growing, plantation-grown tree that is a hybrid of two species of Eucalyptus. It is successfully used in reforestation … Continue reading

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