Waste and Renewables Make for Better Bricks

image bricks; Waste and Renewables Make for Better Bricks

Waste and recycled materials can create high-performance bricks that don’t need energy-intensive kiln firing.

Waste and Renewables Make for Better Bricks

Brick is one of the most commonly used building materials worldwide.

Typically made of a clay mixture and then kiln fired, brick is usually made from local resources and requires straightforward building techniques which have, in most cases, gone unchanged for generations. Kiln firing of bricks greatly strengthens them, but uses vast quantities of wood, coal, natural gas, and other fuels. Brick-making also pumps an average of 1.4 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere per brick, and creates air pollution in developing countries such as India and China.

Alternative options for materials can address these issues, however, while also making use of waste materials.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Green Building Proves its Worth to Australian Business

GRESB; Green Building Proves its Worth to Australian Business - See more at: http://sourceable.net/green-building-proves-worth-australian-business/#sthash.ncdv4pZW.dpuf

Australia is again at the top of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB).

Green Building Proves its Worth to Australian Business

According to the latest Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), Australia is the world leader in green building.

 “Green building is the world’s fastest growing industry, and Australia is leading the charge,” says Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) chief executive, Romilly Madew.

Since 2009, the annual GRESB report has surveyed investors and analysed the sustainability of public, private, and direct real estate portfolios worldwide. Institutional investors use the report to evaluate and improve their portfolios. The 2014 survey included 56,000 buildings held by 637 property companies, with an aggregate value totaling US$2.1 trillion.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Manufacturing Building Materials from Plants and Waste

photo; Manufacturing Building Materials from Plants and Waste

Zeoform is a cellulose that can be sprayed, molded, or formed.

Manufacturing Building Materials from Plants and Waste

With a bit of processing, common materials can be made into high-performance building materials, such as pollution-eating roofing and concrete.

In some applications, fiberglass insulation, foam insulation, and wood can be replaced by manufactured alternatives that are made from waste materials and select raw materials.

Cellulose offers huge potential for building materials. When processed, cellulose can be made into materials that replace wood, plastic, and brick. It’s already used as insulation, sourced from recycled newspapers.

Cellulose is an organic polymer that gives green plants their structural integrity. Wood is 40 to 50 per cent cellulose, dried hemp is about 45 per cent cellulose, and cotton fiber contains about 90 per cent cellulose. As a waste material found in waste paper, cardboard, and textiles, cellulose is abundant and can be used to create a material to replace wood and plastic.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Former Adversaries Agree to Collaborate on LEED

green building; Former Adversaries Agree to Collaborate on LEED

The U.S. Green Building Council and the American Chemical Council are collaborating to promote LEED.

Former Adversaries Agree to Collaborate on LEED

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC), which developed and administers the LEED green building rating system, has announced that it will collaborate with the American Chemical Council (ACC) to advance the LEED standard with help from “the materials science expertise of ACC and its members.”

According to USGBC president, CEO and founding chair Rick Fedrizzi, the collaboration will “ensure the use of sustainable and environmentally protective products in buildings by applying technical and science-based approaches to the LEED green building program.”

Though the ACC has attacked the LEED standard in the past, Fedrizzi said both groups are working to advance the sustainability of the built environment.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Pervious Concrete Offers a Host of Benefits

photo pervious concrete; Pervious Concrete Offers a Host of Benefits

Impervious surfaces create a host of problems, such as an increasing the urban heat island effect, preventing the natural recharge of groundwater supplies, and polluting waterways.

Pervious Concrete Offers a Host of Benefits

“They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.” Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell’s lyric lamenting that “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot” is ringing true as cities become even more urban, with more roads, sidewalks, and car parks. All those impervious surfaces create a host of problems, such as an increasing the urban heat island effect, preventing the natural recharge of groundwater supplies, and polluting waterways.

A different type of concrete, pervious concrete, can solve those problems at little to no additional cost, and with relatively little additional training and equipment changes.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Leaked Design Standards Include Big Changes

photo Melbourne; Leaked Design Standards Include Big Changes

Leaked Design Standards Include Big Changes

Leaked Design Standards Include Big Changes

Draft apartment design standards leaked last month offer clues to substantial changes ahead for new Victorian apartment buildings.

The new Victorian Apartment Design Standards are based on existing New South Wales standards, State Environmental Planning Policy 65, but are not yet complete. Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the completed standards will not be released before the state election in November.

The Office of the Victorian Government Architect, which is drafting the standards, addressed the leaked draft, stating, “Next steps will include formally consulting with the peak bodies of stakeholder groups.”

Many of those stakeholder groups have commented publicly on the draft standards.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

 

Invisible House Named House of the Year

photos: Invisible House Named House of the Year

The Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture blends subtly into the landscape.

Invisible House Named House of the Year

More than four hours west of Sydney, overlooking the Megalong Valley from a site with breathtaking views, the Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture blends subtly into the landscape.

The house was recently recognized with awards for House of the Year and New House over 200 square metres by the 2014 Houses Awards.

Citing the home’s harmony with its location in a spectacular setting, the jury noted that it’s an “absolutely Australian” project in its “modesty, clarity, resourcefulness and consequential delight.” The forms used in this rural retreat emulate the surroundings: the roof slab’s undulating curves recall the surrounding hills, while rusty steel boxes bring to mind old farm equipment.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Building Materials Can Clean Polluted Air

Building Materials Can Clean Polluted Air

Titanium dioxide can be added to roofing and concrete to neutralize oxides of nitrogen.

Building Materials Can Clean Polluted Air

Oxides of nitrogen are harmful components of air pollution, contributing to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particulate pollution that cause respiratory issues in humans.

A common mineral, research shows, can neutralise the pollutants when added to projects in the built environment.

Nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), together referred to as oxides of nitrogen or NOx, are components of air pollution produced by combustion of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants, and off-road equipment. Australia’s Department of the Environment lists electricity production and motor vehicles as the largest NOx polluters, at 36 per cent and 26 per cent of emissions, respectively.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

 

Cairns Council Releases Guide to Tropical Home Design

image: Cairns Council Releases Guide to Tropical Home Design

The Cairns Council recently published “Cool Homes—Smart Design for the Tropics”.

Cairns Council Releases Guide to Tropical Home Design

Architect and writer Steve Mouzon calls the recent era of homebuilding the “thermostat age” because buildings depend on machines for heating and cooling, rather than good design.

“Originally, before the Thermostat Age, the places we built and buildings we built had no choice but to be green, otherwise people would freeze to death in the winter, die of heat strokes by summer, starve to death, or other really bad things would happen to them,” he said.

That’s the magic of vernacular architecture, creating buildings optimized for a specific place.

As part of its Sustainable Building Design Policy, adopted in 2011, the Cairns Regional Council has recently published a guide titled Cool Homes—Smart Design for the Tropics. The 31-page guide aims to help homeowners create a comfortable, efficient, and sustainable home that uses the vernacular design features appropriate for a tropical climate.

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

2014 AIA International Architecture Award Winners Announced

image: 2014 AIA International Architecture Award Winners Announced

ParkRoyal on Pickering bagged the top prize in Commercial Architecture

2014 AIA International Architecture Award Winners Announced

The Australian Institute of Architects recently announced the winners of the 2014 International Architecture awards.

The AIA’s international members submitted 24 projects, with five receiving awards, and six receiving commendations. According to the AIA, the institute’s international membership serves to help its more than 550 members in more than 20 countries maintain their connection to the profession in Australia despite living and working elsewhere. Most of the winning projects are located in Asia.

The award for Small Project Architecture went to Shelter@Rainforest by Marra + Yeh Architects. The architects, with offices in Sydney and Malaysia, created a zero-energy house for the manager and guests of a forestry company in the jungle in Borneo. Jury Chair Peter Wilson noted that “the Small Project Award for a highly sustainable Rainforest Shelter must be singled out as exemplary. It is not a product of big bucks overseas work, more a responsible, sensitive signpost and yardstick.”

Read more here.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture