New and Unusual Building Materials and Options

January 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm Leave a comment

There are quite a few developments, improvements and novel applications to talk about tonight. They range from the playground to the lights in your house.

It is amazing to me that it has taken an industry this long to jump on the recycled materials bandwagon but the playground equipment manufacturer, Playmasters Recreation has finally brought some to market.  These are the high end park or school playground pieces but the idea is welcome and a long time coming.  This should help those schools and apartment buildings by giving them another way to score some points under LEED or the other rating systems.  The story with pictures is on Ecofriend.org (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-art-recycled-playground-equipments-for-green-fun-time/)

Next is a great interview about the carpet recycling process on Greenopolis.com (http://greenopolis.com/media/headlines/closing-the-loop-for-carpeting).  The interview is with a representative with a process that allows a potentially unlimited number times that the material can be recycled. Other carpeting recycling methods are not nearly so efficient.

In another example of “why” we have the timer switch.  This is a programmable switch that can adjust for the daily change in the time of sunset., however it is not smart enough to handle daylight savings time. It is an okay idea but certainly not polished enough and not that economical a solution.  It would be far better to spend the money wiring a whole house kill switch or set up a X-10 remote command system.  The story is on Treehugger.com ( http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/latitude-based-timer-switch.php).

A better story on Treehugger.com (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/hurriquake-nail-resists-wind.php) is about the lowely nail that has be redesigned to better withstand huricanes. What a great idea that is low tech and cost effective!

Next we have a lemons and making lemonade type of story.  A manufacturer of back lights for LCD televisions ends up with a factory designed for TVs that are that are now too small.  However the backlights the plant is designed to make are great lightbulbs! The story on Ecogeek.org  is pretty detailed and can be found here: (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2416/).

Lastly tonight is a story not really building material themed but really important anyway.  A Yale university spin off has come up with a much more efficient in terms of energy consumed to desalinate water.  Living in Southern California this could be really important some day.  The link is at MIT’s Technology Review: (http://www.technologyreview.com/business/21934/?a=f).

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: askthefm@gmail.com

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