Cork – now the greenest building material?

Hand-harvested cork s now being turned into expanded cork for green building insulation

Cork has been around for centuries. Most of us became familiar with it through those cork stoppers on wine bottles which, unfortunately, are rapidly being replaced by plastic. But we’re seeing a growing variety of products made from the bark of this fascinating species of oak tree – grown mainly in the western Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa.

And none is perhaps more promising and exciting than the expanded cork boardstock insulation made by the Portuguese company Amorim Isolamentos that’s just now being introduced into the North American market.

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New energy efficiency software makes life easier for builders and homeowners

Ed & Rachelle Begley, the King and Queen of living green; photo by Lisa Franchot

For those of you who may not know them, Ed Begley, Jr. and Rachelle Carson-Begley are “the King and Queen of green”.

Well-known environmental activists, the Begleys take living green to new heights in order to achieve the lowest carbon footprint possible. Along with driving an electric vehicle, being vegan and having what could be considered one of the greenest homes in America, the Begleys introduce TV viewers to an expanding variety of energy efficient, eco-friendly products, services and lifestyles on a weekly basis as hosts of the show Living with Ed.

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Green Building with Eco-Friendly Architectural Salvage Yards

Earlier I read about something I admit I’d never heard of before – architectural salvage yards. Here is an excerpt from the article by Carol Goodwin

More and more, homeowners as well as commercial builders are realizing that there is a virtual treasure trove of building materials already at hand, and using some creativity along with a generous amount of flexibility, one can create masterpieces with reclaimed materials.

Gone are the days when only bargain-hunters are on the lookout for recycled building materials. In fact, some of the most unique and interesting interiors employ antique and reclaimed materials. One of my favorite coffee shops in Paris features ornate doors and window frames salvaged from local renovation projects as the interior decor, and the shop draws visitors from all over the city.

To learn more about this useful and interesting phenomena, see the full article at http://bit.ly/HjjmZl.

VAST Composite Pavers Turn Scrap Tires Into Recycled “Bricks”

Consumer demand for quality recycled materials has grown exponentially as the green building industry expands.  VAST Enterprises is meeting this demand with top quality composite pavers made from recycled materials.

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Making (green) Buildings Safe for Firefighters

Green buildings may present special challenges for firefighters because of new technologies, building materials, and building techniques. That’s the concern Fire Safety and Green Buildings—Bridging the Gap, a new website developed by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM); a handbook on the topic has also been released. 

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