Archive for the ‘building materials’ Category
This is unnerving information:
Newer homes are remarkably energy tight thanks to superior insulating materials that are in wide circulation today. The energy savings can be substantial – homeowners can use up to 60% less energy in the most efficient green homes. Now, a study published by a team of researchers in Building Research & Information makes it clear that the very materials that provide us with such energy efficiency are pumped full of harmful flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals, HBCD hexabromocyclododecane and TCPP 1-chloro-2-propyl phosphate, are related to banned and phased-out substances like DDT, pentaBDE, and Tris. They are environmentally persistent, bioaccumulative, and are being manufactured at a frenetic pace without thought to how they might impact our environment and ultimately, our health.
Matt Pike, a contractor living in Marshall, North Carolina, realized just last weekend that he needed to build a coop for the quickly growing 20 chicks that call his farm home.
The coop is made up of two 4′ by 8′ pallets, a salvaged tin roof purchased at a flea market, assorted lumber, and shingles made from empty beer cans. Matt bought the chicken wire and the latches for the gates, and spent less than $40 on the whole shebang, which he built in less than ten hours.
Follow the link for pix and more.
Companies will be able to benchmark their sustainability data against information from thousands of other firms, using a database just launched by the Global Reporting Initiative.
GRI said the Sustainability Disclosure Database includes data on the sustainability and environmental, social and governance ESG transparency of over three thousand companies. This information was previously hard to find, but GRI said the new database will make the data easily accessible for companies and investors alike.
Any organization can upload a sustainability report and profile information to the database, which will help them engage with stakeholders and get feedback, GRI said. A global team of 22 GRI “data partners” will also collect information from companies in their regions, to populate the database.
I’ve been a fan of Diego Stocco’s since I saw his Experibass video a couple years ago. He’s up to new tricks with the Bassoforte:
I started thinking about how I could re-purpose the keyboard of the dismantled piano I keep in the garden, so I thought to build a new instrument by combining it with some other parts I had laying around. I ended up with this mechanical hybrid thing I thought to call “Bassoforte” (bass + pianoforte).
The neck is from a broken electric bass, as a bridge I used a cabinet handle, the pickups are from a guitar, and the part at the top where the strings are attached is a chimney cap, which works as resonator as well as percussive sound.
Open Source Ecology is developing and testing the Global Village Construction Set, a set of tools to build replicable, open source, modern, off-grid resilient communities. By weaving open source permacultural and technological cycles together, we intend to provide basic human needs while being good stewards of the land, using resources sustainably, and pursuing right livelihood.
With the gift of openly shared information, we can produce industrial products locally using open source design and digital fabrication. This frees us from the need to participate in the wasteful resource flows of the larger economy by letting us produce our own materials and components for the technologies we use. We see small, independent, land-based economies as means to transform societies, address pressing world issues, and evolve to freedom.
I really like this idea for managing the acoustics in the the combined music-project room KJ and I are scheming on.
Acoustic treatments are often used to help improve the acoustics of a room by taming “flutter echoes,” “room modes,” and other problems which arise from a room’s dimensions and construction.
Although a variety of treatments are available for commercial use, they tend to be quite expensive. After some research both online and in print, we came across several sources for DIY acoustic treatments using rigid fiberglass panels and simple frames. These are often referred to as “bass traps,” although the ones that we’re focusing on have a fairly wide rage of absorption. While commercial versions are available for almost $100, we were able to make these panels for about $24 each.
For more information, check out the good folks in the acoustics forum at recording.org
Some folks are wondering if there are any possible health hazards from compounds leaching out of PEX tubing used for household water supplies. The Green Building Advisor article below and related links are trying to address the subject.
“As with most building materials today, it’s not easy to determine the relative merits of copper and PEX for domestic water supply,” writes Robert Riversong. “There are significant benefits and liabilities, including deleterious health impacts of both.”
used Scotch tape to pull thin layers of carbon off a block of pencil lead.
That was the start of something big. Atom for atom, graphene turned out to be 100 times stronger than steel — in large part because the single-layered atoms are tightly bonded together in a honeycomb lattice.
Graphene is the future of touch screens, big-panel TVs, body scanners and light, strong composites.
Green design is moving “down market,” where it is most needed.
Green building has been a status symbol among the wealthy. But a transformation is taking place up and down the quiet corridors of the 70-unit affordable housing project that has risen on a grubby stretch of Atlantic Avenue near the Compton border.
The $31-million Casa Dominguez project, built by the Los Angeles-based affordable housing developer Abode Communities, is aiming to be the first multifamily affordable housing project in Los Angeles County to win the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification, the U.S. Green Building Council's highest LEED rating.
The building was constructed with a prefabricated framing system that reduced waste. An on-site healthcare clinic and a child-care center lessen residents' need to drive. The playground surface is made from recycled tires, and drought-tolerant landscaping is irrigated with gray water from the washing machines.
Scientific Certification Systems and ecoScorecard Announce Collaboration to Serve Green Building Professionals
Scientific Certification Systems will add information on more than 2000 green building products to ecoScorecard’s web-based green building tool, the organizations announced today. This collaboration strengthens ecoScorecard’s ability to deliver calculations and documentation for the ever–changing “green” landscape at no cost to architects and designers.
Designers, builders, contractors and remodelers will now have access to a wide range of information about how products from almost 3000 SCS-certified manufacturers meet LEED and other ratings systems’ requirements. ecoScorecard users simply plug products into their online project tracker and the tool provides meaningful information about credits for green building rating systems. Read the rest of this entry »