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Creating a Circular Economy for the Construction Industry

The construction industry faces unique challenges in reducing the volume of waste sent to landfills. But change is possible. Illustration courtesy of Recycle Track Systems. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs—and in the construction industry, the eggshells tend to be rather large. In fact, while the industry is most commonly associated with creation, the waste generated by both construction and demolition is a huge problem—a problem that has no easy solution. In 2015, an estimated 548 million tons of construction and demolition waste were sent to landfills in the U.S., twice as much as standard municipal solid…

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Minnesota Homestead: Nordic Roots

Inspired by an 18th century farmstead in Sweden and a simple Danish interior, the house is an attempt to reclaim architecture suited to a specific region. Photo courtesy of Matt Vetting and Tracee Vetting Wolf. Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of posts describing the construction of a net-zero energy house in Rochester, Minnesota, by Tracee Vetting Wolf, Matt Vetting, and their son Max. You can find their complete blog here. A list of their previous posts appears at the bottom of this column. This post was written by Tracee. Air conditioning was invented in 1902 to solve…

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California Startup to Offer MDF Made from Rice Straw

A California company is nearing completion of a manufacturing plant that soon will be turning out medium-density fiberboard (MDF) made from rice straw instead of wood fiber. CalPlant 1 is building the $315 million facility on 276 acres of land in Willows, California, some 85 miles north of Sacramento, in an important rice-growing region. When complete, the company says, the plant will produce the equivalent of 140 million square feet of 3/4-inch MDF per year. MDF, almost all of which is currently made with waste wood fiber, is widely used in cabinets, doors, and floor substrates. CalPlant 1 said its…

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Homeowners Save Money by Going Green for Energy Awareness Month

Homeowners Save Money by Going Green for Energy Awareness Month | 2019-10-11 | Walls & CeilingsWalls & Ceilings logoWalls & Ceilings logo This website requires certain cookies to work and uses other cookies to help you have the best experience. By visiting this website, certain cookies have already been set, which you may delete and block. By closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of cookies. Visit our updated privacy and cookie policy to learn more. This Website Uses CookiesBy closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to our…

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The Best Reason to Have an All-Electric Home

There are many reasons to build, buy, or convert to an all-electric home. Photo courtesy of Energy Vanguard. Maybe you’ve heard the rumblings coming out of the environmental and building science crowd.  Maybe not. But it’s getting louder lately. The rumbling I’m alluding to is the move to switch from natural gas to electricity as the energy carrier of choice for buildings. There are a number of reasons for doing so. Combustion safety is a big one. Your water heater will never kill you with carbon monoxide poisoning in your sleep if it’s running on electricity. Also, heat pumps can…

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Top 10 Questions from Insulation Systems as a Design Element Webinar

We recently hosted our live webinar, “Insulation Systems as a Design Element,” where we received a variety of excellent questions. Below, you’ll find the answers to the top 10 questions from the webinar (plus an honorable mention). Many of the answers have links to resources where you can find additional information on the question topic.  What does PSK Stand for?PSK describes a type of facing used on an insulation material and it stands for “Poly- scrim-kraft.” This type of facing is made from a scrim-reinforced kraft paper with a polypropylene coating on top. Traditionally, PSK facings are white, but JM…

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