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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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