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Survey Shows Manufacturers Used Over 2.2 Billion Pounds of Recycled Materials in the Production of Fiberglass and Slag Wool Insulation

The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) has announced the results of a recent survey of its members' use of pre- and post-consumer recycled materials in insulation and acoustical products in 2017.  The survey includes data from both U.S. and Canadian manufacturing facilities. According to the survey, U.S. manufacturers used more than 2.2 billion pounds of recycled glass in the production of residential, commercial, and industrial thermal and acoustical insulation – roughly equivalent to the amount of Municipal Solid Waste generated by 1 million people in the U.S. in a year. Click here to read more about how recycled glass…

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Quality Management is Key to Third-Party Certification

Third-party certification is widely recognized as playing an integral role in helping companies demonstrate their environmental, sustainability, and safety achievements to their customers and stakeholders.  As a certification body, the question we are most frequently asked is what qualifies us to do this work. Heading up SCS’ Quality Assurance Team, I liken my team’s services to providing a “safety net” for our company’s reputation. We assure that SCS’ operations run uninterrupted by supporting multiple accreditations in good standing and ensuring that our clients receive the most scientifically rigorous, impartial, efficient, and high-quality assessments from our auditors. What is not immediately…

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Photoshop Redo: From No Character to Classic

Photoshop Redo: From No Character to Classic 4 × Finishing Touches: Mailbox Finishing Touches: Mailbox Illustration by Drawgate Inc Warm, vintage-style add-ons enhance the house’s timeless look. Solid brass with art-glass insets gives this letter holder a handsome Craftsman look. Pasadena Vertical Mailbox with Decorative Glass, $275; House of Antique Hardware 5 × Finishing Touches: Porch Light Finishing Touches: Porch Light Illustration by Drawgate Inc Triangles of antiqued mercury glass add sparkle to this multifaceted iron-and-brass flush-mount fixture. Moravian Star Ceiling Mount, $229; Ballard Designs 6 × Finishing Touches: Window Finishing Touches: Window Illustration by Drawgate Inc This tri-muntin casement…

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Domestic Science: How to Wash a Down Comforter

Over the past several months, we’ve been touting the benefits of a clean bed, from pillow to mattress (see Domestic Science: How to Clean a Mattress and Domestic Science: How to Wash a Pillow). Our latest installment? How to wash a down comforter. A good down comforter should be a lifetime-lasting heirloom item. But how do you maintain it? You may think washing a down comforter will mat the feathers or otherwise compromise its integrity, but the truth is, down benefits from a gentle wash. Here’s how. Above: Large capacity front loaders are best for washing your comforter at home. See 10 Easy Pieces: Front-Loading Washing Machines. Professional Option…

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Sleuthing a Basement Moisture Problem

This nasty-looking spot on the dropped ceiling in the basement of the house I just bought indicates a moisture problem. Was it from a plumbing leak? Capillary action in the foundation walls? Bad flashing? Nope. It was something else. That photo above is from my basement. In case you missed my last article, I just bought a 1961 ranch-style house in Atlanta and am embarking on the wonderful building science adventure of turning it into a high-performance home. Ultimately, I’d like to take it all the way to net zero energy. My father-in-law, who sold us the house (Thanks, Stewart!),…

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Steal This Look: A Serene Spa-Like Bathroom in Manhattan

“Serene” and “spacious” are not usually words used to describe bathrooms in Manhattan, but this one by O’Neill Rose Architects manages to be both. Though it’s in a historic brownstone owned by a real estate agent and his partner (see the whole house tour and read about its intriguing backstory here), the design is modern and decidedly unfussy. Above: The bathroom’s soothing palette of white, lavender-gray, and slate contribute to its spa-like feel. A floating console, topped with Carrara marble, provides ample closed storage. (See Remodeling 101: The Difference Between Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuary Marble.) Above: A large steel awning…

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