Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Let’s Celebrate the 1st Annual World Green Building Day

Posted By Lyndsy Czapla (DRN Intern)

September 23, 2009 will mark the first World Green Building Day presented by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). According to the WorldGBC, this annual event was established to unite the efforts of Green Building Councils from around the world as they strive for market transformation of the global property market and building industry. The day is marked with a summit and reception that will take place in Toronto, Canada where speakers such as Karan Grover (world-renowned architect) and Frank Biden (an advisor to President Obama) will advocate green building practices.

Along with the activities scheduled in Toronto, there will be events in several other countries including: the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan, India, and Australia. As for the United States specifically, 75 advocates from across the country will attend the U.S. Green Building Council's "Congressional Advocacy Day" at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. The advocates will discuss everything from green building policy topics to creating ideas on how to incorporate green building practices into long-term climate change mitigation legislation.

To read more on this exciting day click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Are You Simply Mad to Recycle?

Are we all about to lose it trying to recycle everything?

I would like to suggest that sometimes the practice of recycling is just crazy and inefficient. Why spend extra money (and energy) to reconstitute a door into a pizza carton when someone can use it as a door again, as is?

The energy in your home's framing lumber has held the house up for 50 to 80 years or more (not to mention the several hundred years worth of energy it took to grow the tree) and you're going to pay extra to have those 2x4's and 2x8's turned into mulch because you can't wait 2 short weeks to salvage them? Consider letting someone use your 2x6's again.

Your home's materials carry tax deductible value and energy. ReUse them before you rush to recycle. The Deconstruction & ReUse Network and great home building organizations like Habitat for Humanity, and Corazon will help you achieve a smarter solution.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Deconstruction Creates Fabulous Furniture

Posted by Lyndsy Czapla (DRN Intern)

Turning House Furniture is bringing new life to old wood by way of deconstruction. The company launched its green furniture line earlier this year and has been creating beautiful pieces of furniture from reclaimed wood that would otherwise end up in landfills. Thus far, the furniture’s sister company, Turning House Millworks (who performs the deconstruction), has managed to recycle 98 percent of each building they have deconstructed. Many of the buildings they have deconstructed were built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, during the Industrial Revolution. Structures built during those times were primarily made from wood rather than steel. According to the company’s website, these structures yield a large amount of old growth wood from beams, posts and flooring—beautiful hardwoods that are centuries old and virtually unavailable today outside of reclaimed sources.

Turning House’s latest project involves the deconstruction of an abandoned tobacco warehouse in Winston Salem, NC. This project will bring new life to more than 230,000 feet of vintage wood. The deconstruction of this warehouse alone will allow the company to create tens of thousands of new furniture pieces from reclaimed woods that cannot be found anywhere else. The woods being deconstructed include long leaf pine, oak, and sugar maple. What’s really neat about Turning House Furniture is the fact that their furniture is not only green and environmentally friendly, but their deconstruction practices allow them to preserve history.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Las Vegas Hits the Jackpot with CityCenter

Posted by Lyndsy Czapla (DRN Intern)

Sustainable building practices are making a huge impact in Las Vegas this year with the almost completed CityCenter. The CityCenter is a sprawling 67 acre mixed unit development that will comprise everything from hotels, casinos, retail stores, and several entertainment venues, to its very own fire station and on-site power plant. It is located right on the Vegas strip where the Boardwalk Hotel once stood. From the start, the goal of CityCenter developers has been aimed towards being one of the world’s largest green building projects. According to CityCenter’s website, We aspire to achieve LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, taking an innovative approach to site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental air quality.

Thus far, the CityCenter’s green efforts have included: recycling 95 percent of all construction waste… keeping it out of the landfills; incorporating reuse of materials from the Boardwalk Hotel for construction of the development; using reclaimed water from the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino for dust control in place of drinking water; installing an 8.5 megawatt natural gas co-generation plant that will provide efficient electricity on site (10 percent of overall CityCenter use), reduce emissions, and utilize the waste heat from the power generation to provide all the domestic hot water necessary at CityCenter, including within its numerous pools; as well as clean-burning natural gas stretch limos for guests, among several others.
If CityCenter developers stay true to their goals, this could be a turning point for other large-scale projects in the future and could help LEED the way to a better world.
Deconstruction And Buildingmaterials Reuse Network Inc