Green Building News

Maine Firm Develops a New Type of Insulated Block

Posted on June 2, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A Maine-based concrete block manufacturer, Genest Concrete, has developed an insulated block combining concrete and expanded polystyrene. The blocks are designed to be assembled with a thin layer of adhesive rather than conventional mortar.

Tesla’s Solar Roof Has a Competitor

Posted on June 1, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A Palo Alto, California, company says that it has developed a building-integrated photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. system with a top layer of tempered glass that looks like a standing-seam metal roof. The solar panels can be installed for $3.25 a watt — roughly the cost of a conventional racked solar array.

Lumber Dispute Drives Up Construction Costs

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Scott Gibson

An ongoing trade battle between Canada and the U.S. over softwood lumber has pushed up the cost of building a typical single-family home by several thousand dollars, according to the National Association of Home Builders, and prices could be going higher yet.

Fiberglass and Cellulose Makers Tangle Again

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A long-running feud between the fiberglass and cellulose insulationThermal insulation made from recycled newspaper or other wastepaper; often treated with borates for fire and insect protection. industries has broken out in a new round of mudslinging, drawing a public rebuke from an agency that oversees truth and accuracy in advertising.

The latest spat started with the publication of three online articles that challenge the performance claims for cellulose while suggesting that the insulation, made mostly from newspaper, is a potential fire and safety hazard.

UMass Opens ‘Landmark’ Timber Building

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst officially opened the new Design Building late last month, calling it the most advanced cross-laminated timber structure in the U.S. and the largest building of its kind in the Northeast.

Tesla Will Take Your Solar Roof Order Now

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Tesla has now answered one of the big remaining questions about its textured glass Solar Roof — just how much will it cost? — and the estimates show some homeowners could benefit financially over time despite substantial upfront costs, according to an analysis published by Consumer Reports.

CEO Elon Musk promised last fall that the innovative roofing tiles, which can be made to look like one of several roof coverings, would cost less than a conventional roof.

Kentucky Coal Museum Goes Solar

Posted on May 12, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The exhibits inside are all about the glory days of coal, but it will be the solar panels on the roof that knock as much as $10,000 off the power bills for the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum.

Housed in a former International Harvester commissary, the museum features exhibits detailing the history of coal mining in the city of Benham and surrounding parts of Harlan County, a bastion of mining in eastern Kentucky. The museum, which opened in 1994, is owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

GAF Dives Into the Residential Solar Market

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Scott Gibson

GAF is branching out from its familiar role as a manufacturer of roof coverings to offer a line of residential solar panels called DecoTech.

The low-profile panels are attached to the roof with a proprietary frame that GAF developed, skipping conventional metal racks that keep panels elevated slightly above the roof surface and require installers to drive fasteners through roofing shingles. The edges of the array are flashed to prevent water intrusion.

Mineral Wool Makers Dropping Formaldehyde Binders

Posted on May 4, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two manufacturers of mineral wool insulation have announced that they will stop using binders containing formaldehydeChemical found in many building products; most binders used for manufactured wood products are formaldehyde compounds. Reclassified by the United Nations International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2004 as a “known human carcinogen." in at least some of their products, a move aimed at addressing long-standing health concerns and meeting tougher green certification requirements.

Home Depot’s Lead Paint Compliance Under Review

Posted on May 2, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two federal agencies are investigating The Home Depot after receiving reports that its contractors did not comply with lead paint regulations.

WSB-TV, a television station in Atlanta where Home Depot is headquartered, said that it spent months investigating claims of "questionable business practices" and uncovered a number of customer complaints about contract work involving the removal of lead paint.

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