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Sustainable Choices
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Maybe one day there won’t be a need to highlight sustainable building products since they will be the norm, not the exception. Many of the products featured this month have been recycled from materials that would have ended up as waste, while others prevent waste in the first place. Rita Catinella Orrell

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Eco-Terr has a recycled content of 80 percent and can be specified for countertops (top), backsplashes (bottom), or flooring.

Recycled granite, marble, and glass blended into a LEED-friendly kitchen countertop
MFor his 4,000-square-foot Fischer Island home, accessible by ferry off the coast of Miami Beach, Ron Burton wanted to use eco-friendly finishes either made with recycled content or emitting low or no VOCs. At the same time, Burton required an enduring material that would have a contemporary, Minimal look.

To match his home’s white, black, and silver color palette, Burton selected a Black Diamond–colored Eco-Terr countertop and backsplash from Coverings Etc. Made from recycled granite, marble, and tempered-glass chips, and held together with a cement binder, the finish boasts a recycled content of 80 percent.

The product’s high recycled content helps commercial and residential projects attain LEED points, since it falls under Credit 4.1 and 4.2 Recycled Content.

Eco-Terr is available in a choice of 24 colors, but can be custom colored for larger projects. Tile sizes are 16'' x 16'' x 5¼8'' and 24'' x 24'' x 3¼4'', and slabs measure 100'' x 57'', in 3¼4'' and 11¼4'' widths.

In addition to countertops and backsplashes, Eco-Terr can be specified as a sustainable flooring material. Coverings Etc., Miami.   [ Reader Service July 2005 # 211 ]



The systems integrate into the
project’s green spaces.

The next generation in wastewater treatment
Introduced by Dharma Living Systems (DLS) at last year’s USGBC national conference in Portland, Oregon, a new generation of Living Machine wastewater-treatment systems can provide higher levels of water quality, use less energy, and are cost competitive with other wastewater-treatment options. Dharma Living Systems comprises a group of engineers, architects, and ecologists that provide integration services for natural living systems for projects that need water conservation methods to reduce their impact on natural resources.

The newer machines require no environmental enclosure, even in temperate climates, and can be integrated into the green spaces of a variety of project scales. The new systems do not use some of the earlier conventional processes like clarifiers or forced-air components, do not produce waste bio-solids, and can withstand large variations of loadings associated with seasonal uses. Living Machines, Taos, N.M. [ Reader Service July 2005 # 212 ]



The panels will no longer use formaldehyde.

Plywood plants switch to soy-based adhesive
Columbia Forest Products announced it has begun to convert its veneer-core hardwood plywood plants to formaldehyde-free manufacturing processes using a patented, soy-based adhesive cooperatively developed by Columbia, the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, and Hercules. Hercules has awarded Columbia a license to utilize its adhesive system on an exclusive basis for all of Columbia’s North American decorative-panel markets. The new adhesive, made primarily of soy flour, will allow Columbia to completely eliminate formaldehyde from its veneer-core and Woodstalk agrifiber-core panel products. The company expects the conversion to be complete within a year. Currently, there are few no-added-formaldehyde alternatives to UF-based adhesives on the market, and all are significantly higher in cost. Columbia Forest Products, Portland. [ Reader Service July 2005 # 213 ]



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