Why Specify Certified Stone?
How The Natural Dimension Stone Sustainability Standard can Assist Green Building Projects
This course highlights how the dimension stone sustainability standard (ANSI/NSC 373) can assist projects with sustainability goals. The standard examines and verifies through a third party, numerous areas of stone production such as: water usage, custody and transportation, site and plant management, land reclamation, corporate governance, energy, waste, chemicals, worker health and safety and innovation credits. It also includes a companion Chain of Custody (COC) program, which ensures traceability of certified stone from the quarry to processing and throughout the supply chain and ultimately to their journeys end.
Speaker: Bill Eubank from Coldspring
Lunch generously sponsored by Coldspring
Meeting space sponsored by City of Charlottesville
February 13th, noon to 1:00pm (lunch provided)
100 5th Street, NE, Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, VA
Join us downtown next Tuesday, March 8th downtown Charlottesville for the monthly seminar on green building.
This month’s luncheon gets into the nuts and bolts of permeable paving. We will learn how to utilize interlocking pavers to turn impervious surfaces into stormwater management tools, improving the area’s waterways.
The luncheon will be held at City Space, 100 5th St. NE, on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, VA. Doors open at 11:45 and the Seminar begins at 12:00. Register Here
Have you bought furniture lately? The first problem is finding something that will last a long time. The second problem is finding something that hasn’t traveled around the world twice. A lot of furniture and cabinetry is made halfway across the world, and to make things worse, some of that wood comes from forests right here! There are still local carpenters making amazing pieces and it doesn’t need to be a dying art; there is plenty of demand. I have spent a lot of time talking with Thomas Johnson about how we need to bring carpentry back as a respected craft. The best way to do that is to support your local artisans with your business instead of the big box stores, but he wants to do more. He has a vision of creating a wood products manufacturing school called Mayflower Landing and rekindle the interest of young people to become masters of this timeless craft.
This is the custom table and bench that Thomas Johnson built just for us. It is solid oak, crafted and finished beautifully, as well as costing less than furniture of comparable quality from overseas.
Strawbales are an excellent insulation material and because of their density, are also excellent thermal mass. They are also a rapidly renewable resource. Up to this point, however, they have been on the fringes of building technology because of the time it takes to build with the material. ModCell has come up with a viable way to turn stawbales into super-insulated building panels for commercial and residential use. They claim that these panels are zero carbon or better to create, which is infinitely better than rigid insulation can even think to claim. Brilliant!
Have you ever wondered about what kind of energy goes into making the common things that you use everyday? I’d be willing to bet that you might change some of the things that you purchase if you knew how bad that some of them are for the environment.
Wouldn’t it be empowering if products had to display something similar to a “nutritional information label” that instead detailed the environmental impact of the product? Enter a new type of product label: “Environmental Product Declarations” or EPD’s. Right now, they are a voluntary way for companies to let you know that they care about the impact of their products, but let’s start demanding them. The rules of the game would change dramatically if they were required.
Architecture 2030 has come up with a challenge for products to reduce their impact; help support their efforts by paying attention to the impact of products and letting it influence your decisions.
In the quest for more sustainable and healthier materials for renovating my own home, I have stumbled upon this gem: Eco-bond Adhesives: Zero-VOC adhesive/sealant/caulk.
Caulk and adhesives are usually chock full of nasty, toxic ingredients that smell terrible and make you light headed while appling them, which is only the beginning of the trouble. The off-gassing can take weeks to get to a point where it isn’t noticable by your nose, but how long will it take for the caulk/glue/sealant to finally be benevolent? Possibly never. I haven’t done scientific testing pitting eco-bond against its gassy competitors in areas like longevity, elasticity, or water tightness. I have used both in my home and it performs the same or better than the conventional alternatives. Support companies who do the right thing instead of the cheapest/dirtiest thing and you’ll have a healthier home at the same time!
Here’s the idea, glue a bunch of small pieces of wood together from quickly growing trees and make yourself a massive chunk of wood. Make these chunks in to massive panels and design them so that they can be easily joined together in the field and super strong by alternating the direction of the grain. It sounds a lot like plywood on steroids. This may seem against the tree-hugger in you, as well as going against the first R rule: Reduce. Actually this is a green technology, here’s why:
First of all, think about the building itself. Mass in a building helps to regulate the temperature of a building, much like a battery (or more technically accurate, a capacitor) it slowly gains heat from its surroundings and slowly releases it. Plenty of people have written about this already: Greenpassivesolar.com is just one. When you have massive walls you need less insulation to have the same effect. Bingo, less fiberglass or foams off-gassing into the building. Panels also take less time to put together in the field, so you spend less time with no roof and waste less material on the jobsite.
Second, think about the environment: Trees are some of the best carbon sequester-ers (I know that’s not a word) on the planet. By building something out of wood, one effectively stores that carbon. This principal is a green one only if the trees used are fast growing (rapidly renewable) and responsibly harvested. The building must also be built to be useful for a very long time.
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