Low-VOC Vs. Eco-Friendly Wall Paints and Coatings

Most conventional paint products and coatings emit dangerous VOCs that are used to enhance product performance and shelf life. Bowing to consumer pressure, the industry has made a significant shift to water-based paints that are lower in VOCs than solvent-based paints. Today, many low-toxicity, and low-VOC paint alternatives are available. What are low-VOC paints? These paints are now generally accepted to mean a paint with a VOC content less than 100 mg/L. While a variety of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints {Read More}

Straw Bale in Green Building and Construction

Q: Is straw bale considered a green building material for houses? Does it meet the building code standards? Straw is a renewable & natural material that has many useful applications in basketry, crafts and the production of biomass power. However, one of indigenous and prevalent uses of straw is to build and insulate houses. Straw is commonly mistaken for hay and it is important to make a difference between the two. Straw is the byproduct of cereal grains (barley, oats, {Read More}

Cork Flooring Pros and Cons

Cork is increasingly being embraced as an eco-friendly flooring choice for the kitchen and bathroom. If you are considering cork flooring for your home, you are likely to weigh pros and cons of your decision, particularly when cost, durability and environmental sustainability are at stake. The lifestyle priorities are rapidly changing and the indestructible vinyl is, thankfully, not in any more. Fresh information has become available and now the arguments in favor or sustainable lifestyle have climbed up in the {Read More}

What are Environmental Pros and Cons to Using Aluminum as a Building Material?

Q: What are environmental pros and cons to using aluminum as a building material? When evaluating eco-friendliness of building materials the following questions need to be asked:  Is the material toxic? Where does it come from? Is it recycled? How intensive is the manufacture? And is it reusable & recyclable? Aluminum is fabricated from bauxite, a mineral found primarily in tropical areas. More than 160 million tons of bauxite are mined every year. On average, 4-5 tons of bauxite are {Read More}

Green Roofs: Combining Aesthetics With Ecology

When Charlie Miller, a stormwater engineer built his first green roof in 1998, extensive green roofs were practically unknown in North America. Miller built a simple, low-maintenance 3000 square foot green roof on the roof of the Fencing Academy of Philadelphia, that stands up to this day. Today, green roofs are not considered a novelty they used to be in 1998, but represent a growing trend in green urban design that can effectively be combined with solar panels and wind {Read More}

Seeking Environmental Harmony With Eco Friendly Building Materials

In the shift toward greener home living, eco-friendly building materials are no longer disregarded as being impractical and posh. In fact, almost everyone understanding the simplicity of the energy formula realizes that using eco-friendly building materials in construction presents an opportunity to cut down on energy consumption and carbon emissions. Needless to say, the durability of the construction and the health of the occupants are significantly enhanced by applying the holistic concept of eco-friendly construction. Eco Friendly Buildings Rating Systems {Read More}

Home Green Home: Energy Efficient House Plans

Energy efficient house plans were given a serious thought during the gigantic oil crisis of the mid 1970s. It is during this crunch that the price of gasoline rose by more than 56% to hit the 74.9 cents a gallon mark. Energy efficiency interventions in home construction are usually implemented under the following three categories: The control of heat loss and heat gain by using improved windows and door designs, vapor barriers, insulation, sealing and caulking The use of free {Read More}