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Billions Available from HUD for Climate Resilience

Mexico Beach, Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in 2018. Florida is among nine states and five local communities that will be eligible to share nearly $7 billion in federal funds to reduce the risk of damage from natural disasters. Photo: Tabitha Kaylee Hawk / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr Billions of dollars in much-needed federal funding are finally being made available to nine states and five local communities. These dollars are to be used for activities and projects that reduce vulnerability to future disasters, including consideration of how such disasters could become more dangerous due to climate change. The…


Does This Footing Need a Capillary Break?

As he works out the details for a new house, Jason Huffine has become concerned about the potential for trouble in applying a capillary break between the concrete footing and the foundation walls. A capillary break would prevent the foundation—in this case steel-reinforced, concrete-filled block —from wicking up moisture. Huffine’s general contractor isn’t familiar with this technique, and the two of them wonder whether the capillary break would weaken the connection between foundation and footing. “Though I’m as green around the gills as one could be and learning as I go, that sounds like a good question to me,” Huffine…


USG EcoSmart Gypsum Wallboard

USG Ecosmart wallboard used by Hardrock Drywall in a Middlebury, VT grocery store remodel. Photo courtesy of Travis Dashnow, Hardrock Drywall. To understand how USG Sheetrock® Brand EcoSmart gypsum wallboard (GWB) has a better environmental footprint than many alternative wall coverings, it helps to know how it is made. The key is two different gypsum crystals The mineral gypsum comes in two different crystal forms: Calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4  2H2O) is how the molecule is found in nature. Calcium sulfate hemihydrate (2 CaSo4 H2O) is created through a process of grinding and heating the calcium sulfate dihydrate molecules. This gypsum cycle diagram…


Controls on Plastic Waste Are Getting More Stringent

New restrictions on the shipment of plastic waste has increased pressure on wealthy nations to find solutions at home, not abroad. Photo: Carl Campbell / CC BY-SA / Flickr Less than two years after China banned most imports of scrap material from abroad, many of its neighbors are following suit. On May 28, Malaysia’s environment minister announced that the country was sending 3,000 metric tons of contaminated plastic wastes back to their countries of origin, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Along with the Philippines, which is sending 2,400 tons of illegally exported trash back to…


The Unseen Role of Ridgid Foam Insulation

The Unseen Role of Ridgid Foam Insulation | 2019-09-04 | 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 cookie policy. Learn…


N.C. Newspaper Links Solar Energy to Increased Air Pollution

A North Carolina newspaper has rekindled a debate on whether more solar on the grid actually increases air pollution. Photo: Alan Stark / CC / Flickr Does the addition of solar capacity on the grid cause an increase in air pollution? A North Carolina newspaper argues that it does. Earlier this month, the North State Journal pointed to an air pollution application from Duke Energy for gas-fired power plants it operates in Goldsboro, North Carolina, as evidence that solar energy causes an increase in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The Raleigh newspaper quoted Duke spokeswoman Kim Crawford as saying that reductions…

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