Green Building Materials Update for April 4, 2010

April 3, 2010 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

It has been a good week at the start of spring and green is certainly in the air and in the minds of builders everywhere! There have been some very interesting developments that I will share with you tonight.

First we have the great news that the competing green building standards may have buried the hatchet as is evidenced  at the release of the International Green Building Code (IGBC) on March 15, 2010 as is mentioned here at BuildingGreen.com (http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2010/3/31/Standard-189-Integrated-into-New-Green-Construction-Code/).  The Standard 189 is set as an alternate compliance path showing the move toward integration of the 2 standards.

Next on Treehugger.com (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/04/doe-energy-efficiency-regulations-for-hot-water-heaters-2015.php?campaign=th_rss_design) we have the federal government coming out with new and much stricter standards for water heater efficiency.

Excerpt:

“Beginning in 2015, New Water Heaters Will Have to be More Energy-Efficient
The second option is exactly what the U.S. Department of Energy is trying to do. It has just announced stricter energy efficiency standards for water heaters that can hold 55 gallons or more.

The new regulation will require electric water heaters to use 47% less energy starting in 2015, and gas water heaters will need to be at least 30% more efficient.

“Over three decades, DOE says the new rules will save a total of $10 billion and prevent up to 164 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions — the equivalent of taking 46 million cars off the road for one year.'”

The US EPA has also released the final specifications for shower heads under the Water Sense Program (http://www.epa.gov/watersense/partners/showerhead_spec.html). This is a program that hasn’t gotten a lot of press but I am in favor of it as I believe that the general public will be more likely to purchase the appropriate products if a good and trusted rating system is in place and publicized.

My last two items are certainly more fun than those above but certainly no less important.  Bamboo, long used as a building material is trying to make a comeback as a main stream construction material.  Called Lumboo (http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2010/4/2/Bamboo-Dimensional-Lumber-Lumboo-Is-Here/) it is a dimensional lumber product made from strips of bamboo.  While it is only being marketed for fencing and decking at this time, because there has not been sufficient structural testing for it to be approved under existing building codes I find it highly interesting and hope it someday becomes approved.  The company website is here: http://www.calibamboo.com/bamboo-lumber-lumboo.html

Lastly tonight we have an entry from Treehugger.com (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/03/gorgeous-radiators-from-jaga.php?campaign=th_rss_design) about some truly beautiful hydroponic heating products for your home.  Even out here is California I am seeing more of this type of heating as a part of multifamily housing, mostly for its efficiency but these products can stand on there own in regards to adding to the design of a space as well.

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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