New Building Materials for April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009 at 9:31 pm Leave a comment

Happy Earth Day everyone!  I have several new building materials for discussion tonight from recycled glass to some created by fungus!

We will start off with the most mundane of the group, an innovative 2 way swinging door setup featured on Toxel.com (http://www.toxel.com/tech/2009/04/18/innovative-two-way-doors-by-venetian-celegon/). The ERGON door design allows the door to be opened in either direction of travel with a simple push as well as only requiring 50% of the usual door swing area.

Next we have an article perfect for this Earth Day, X-Board.  This product made from recycled paper waste is designed to take the place of traditional plywood or MDF in furniture.  The story on Treehugger (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/04/recycled-rigid-board-material-furniture-product-design-architecture-x-board.php) covers the product very well and I recommend it as a good green alternative.

Also we have a story via Ecofriend (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-tech-filterpave-recycled-glass-pavement-captures-rainwater/) where a company called Presto Geosystems has come up with a way to make a paving material using recycled glass that is porous enough to pass water to a collection medium below and also filter it to some extent.

Excerpt: “The glass used in the pavement undergoes a special process that rounds the edges and cuts the particles into specific sizes and shapes. This aggregate glass loses its brittleness and is claimed to be even harder than stone. The final product is strong, safe for use around plants and animals and is 38% porous, which allows it to not only collect runoff water but also filter it before it is finally stored in an underground system.

Lastly tonight we have a material that can be used as insulation or as packing material that is created by a fungus. The story on Ecogeek (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2684/) goes on to explain that the fungus grown on various types of agricultural waste that renders the waste into a gooey substance that can then be molded for use.

Excerpt: “Ecovative currently makes two products: “Greensulate” (for insulation) and “Acorn” (for packaging). The insulation seems somewhat unimpressive. The insulating capacity of a piece of insulation is measured by its R-value. Greensulate has an R-value of 3, as opposed to materials such as polyurethane and polystyrene – which are bad for the environment, but have R-values of around 6 or 7.

My concern for this product is the fairly low R-value which significantly changes the life cycle cost versus benefit scenario.

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

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