New Building Materials and Technology for December 1, 2008

November 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm 3 comments

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I was able to collect a pretty interesting and varied group of material and technology improvements for you to consider for your next project.

First let us consider a solution that has been around for quite a while, reclaimed wood for both floors and counters. There is a good company written up by the good folks at ( by the name of Elmwood Reclaimed Timber and they are based in Kansas City, MO.

Excerpt: “The company has launched a variety of wooden flooring options that have been created from reclaimed woods including white oak, heart pine, chestnut and walnut. The wood used by the company is 100% reclaimed from old buildings, barns and other sources of sustainable timber.

The next product is also a re-discovery.  It is called Durisol and it is an insulated concrete form that has been around for quite some time as well and is not made of styrofoam!  In fact an arguement can be made that it is the original version of this technology.  There is a good article on (

Excerpt: “Durisol does not burn or melt. This is not the case with styrofoam and other ICF products. The smallest Durisol wall has a 4 hour fire rating, zero flame spread, smoke spread of 11 and no black smoke or toxic fumes created in the event of a fire.

Durisol is more energy efficient. The thermal mass/dynamic effects are better with Durisol than other ICF systems because with Durisol, the insulation is placed primarily on the exterior of the concrete mass. Polystyrene ICF foam blocks put 50% of the total insulation on the interior, which actually prevents the transfer of heat/energy between the concrete mass and the interior conditioned space. With Durisol, all insulation inserts are positioned towards the exterior, where it should be, to maximize any thermal mass gains. The composition of Durisol is all natural and benign materials – unlike polystyrenes.

Lastly tonight I would like to recommend a eco-friendly gadget I have seen before and I came across a good write up once again at ( These solar air heaters are simple and really do work!

Excerpt: “Solar air heaters don’t carry any solar panels to generate electricity. Instead, they use the sun’s energy to heat air as it passed through a “thermal chimney” – a chamber with glass or acrylic glazing mounted opposite a dark surface that heats up in sunlight, further heating the air surrounding it and the thermal chimney. Since hot air is lighter than cold air, natural convection transfers the hot air from the thermal chimney setup to the room. Users might also make use of solar-powered or standard fans to speed up the process. Readymade heaters are priced between $400 and $1,750. If you want to cut down on the costs its better you design the heater yourself. It requires basic tools and some DIY skills. This way you won’t be spending more than $75 on the setup.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to:

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Entry filed under: Design, Technology. Tags: , , , .

Giving Thanks for Solar Power – Round up for 11/28/08 Solar Power Update for 12/02/2008

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Thanks for this.  |  December 8, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Just what the doctor ordered.

  • 2. diy solar panels, earth4energy  |  December 10, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    That is very interesting

  • 3. Laminate Flooring  |  December 18, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Pergo flooring provides a broad selection of laminate flooring, with an emphasis on reproducing the genuine feel of hardwood and tile.


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