Posts Tagged 'GreenBuild 2008'

Santa brought me Cool Glass

I found a sample from CoveringsEtc on my desk.  This is one of the coolest products from GreenBuild that I haven’t written about yet.  I thought it was one of the most captivating displays and video.  The product is called BioGlass. The pictures barely capture the feeling of this great product.  Everyone that has come by my desk touches it and loves the material.100_2987

Bio-GlassTMsolid surfacing for countertops, walls, floors, and other applications is made from 100% recycled glass, heated and
agglomerated under pressure. There are no binders, colorants, fillers, or other admixtures.  Depending on color, the product is either pre or post-consumer, or a blend. The translucent, nonporous material is available as 110-inch by 47-inch slabs, about 4.7 inches thick with a lightly textured, slip-resistant surface; smooth surfaced slabs are also available, approximately 4 inches thick. The product is currently available in white and light green, with blue, brown, and dark green to follow.  This product will contribute to LEED Credit – MR Credit 4 – Recycled Content. 

It is made from only recycled colored glass.  Most products that reuse the recycled glass also use an epoxy to bind the glass.  This product is different.

The old glass is sorted by color and re-fired to just the right temperature and pressure.  The end result is stunning.  The ground polished edge revels the evoking layers of each piece’s former life.  The top is nicely surfaced, the brown glass reminds me of a leather texture, those are from beer bottle.  The green is from red wine bottles and so on.

The cost ranges from $85 – $125 per sf.  This is not cheap but comparable to a nice marble.  So instead of ripping a slab of marble from the earth consider this product for a stunning covering.


GreenBuild 2008 – Closing Plenary

This year’s GreenBuild seemed to have had alot less ceremony.  Which, by the people I heard from, was A OK.  The two featured speakers for the closing plenary were EO Wilson and Janine Benyus.  For me they completed the theme I had heard throughout the conference.  That theme being nature and how it relates to us as humans, particularly how it relates to design and engineering solutions.

wilsonEO Wilson is an entomology scholar who is linked to the Encyclopedia of Life aka EOL.  This is an amazing resource available to all, now, for free.  EO Wilson is like the absent minded professor that you can’t get enough of.  He is brilliant and his contributions to the world are tremendous.  EOL is an amazing resource!  It boggles my mind to know that there are so many different and wondrous living things in this world.  What a powerful tool available to all of us.  Now you can leaf through these electronic pages and discover animals and plants just like you did when you were a kid leafing through the pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica on the living room floor.  

Janine Benyus is the co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild and founder of the Biomimicry Ijanenstitute.  Her website is Ask Nature.  It is an intriguing resource for linking engineering solutions to processes found in nature.  She gave a stirring childhood story of being an explorer of her neighborhood lands, that was until the little orange flags appeared one day.  That land was turned into Phase 2 of her housing development and as a child she watched.  Seeing the natural habitats destroyed led her to create the link between nature and design that has evolved today.  The word biomimicry comes from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate.

GreenBuild catch up…..

I was not able to post as often as I wished during GreenBuild, as there just weren’t enough hours in the day.  I was not one of the people that was busily typing away on my laptop or twittering while the seminars were in progress.   It is hard to believe that GreenBuild 2008 has come and gone.  (Well except for the remaining tours on Saturday)  Now that I have had a little time to decompress here are somtrash1e of the things I saw during GreenBuild 2008.

Trash Police – These kids were great!  Don’t get me wrong, I really like the trash attendants – a few guys but mostly girls.  The first few times I attempted to throw away a soda can on the floor of the expo, I got this very stern “Is it empty!?”  The only response to such a young lady with such a forceful tone is YES MA’AM!  I got very tickled the rest of the conference as they continued on their presorting ways.  Keep up the good work!

The Expo was just the best ever.  I promise I will devote an entire post if not more to the products I saw.  There were several worth mentioning.

Project Frog debuted at GreenBuild.  This was a cool net zero structure for project-frogclassrooms that assembled super fast (six days at the GreenBuild site).  We got to go inside, look around and be impressed.  There was plenty to see and it didn’t feel like a modular.

As expected by many, USGBC and GBCI made announcements concerning LEED 2009.  What it means for newbies and oldies.  I am still digesting the information and will write more about that too but in the mean time check out Pat’s take on it at InTheLEED.

The seminars I attended were diverse in nature.  Wind Turbines, Green Blogs, Platinum Educational Projects, and Sustainability on $2 a day.  They were all great.  I learned something in everyone of them.  The last one was not a seminar I would have normally attended but two of my coworkers were giving it so I thought it would be cool to check it out.   I am sure I was not the normal “Birkenstock hippie” type, but I remained open for the entire presentation and learned a little in the process. 

The idea of poverty as some parts of the world know it just isn’t comprehensible in this country.  It was explained that the poverty line is those living below $2.18 per day.  Geez I can not even imagine….. I spent $2 just to check my coat each day at GreenBuild and I am not even going to tell you how much a diet Pepsi cost me.   I know there are poor in every city but I do believe that those are different situations from what was demonstrated today.  In the demonstrations today the poor in those countries just don’t have any opportunity for work.  Well educated people are idle. 

There were ideas about slums being models of sustainability.  They usually don’t use electricity, cars are not part of their equation and a host of other things we take for granted.  The practices to make housing completely sustainable were creative and encouraging.  Mark Reiner talked about building low cost housing just outside of Rwanda.  Where the infrastructure is completely decentralized.  No roads through the villages, much less any sort of utility.  Thus making the need for every house to sustain itself essential. They accomplished this by utilizing rainwater collection, pit latrines with bio-gas digestoconc-roofrs and methane harvesters for kitchen cooking fuel.  Roof panels for another structures was made out of chicken wire and cloth with concrete poured in place and compressed earthblock technologies were used in yet another.  In one case the waste generated by the village – everything that wasn’t recyclable was put into compost and sold as an organic fertilizer.  Cottage industries like that were helping the villages sustain themselves much like their housing was sustaining itself.

I am not so sure that I have enough Birkenstock Hippie gene in me to ever want to go to a developing country to l help, but I am so very glad that I know other people that are.  Good Job and Thank you!

GreenBuild 2008 – Opening Plenary

This morning’s opening plenary began with a short welcoming speech from Thomas Menino, the Mayor of Boston.  Rick Fedrizzi took the stage next with his usual high spirited and motivational talk.  I enjoy listening to him and believing what he has to say.  He then introduced Archbishop Desmond TutututuHe is a surprisingly funny, charming and down to earth speaker.  Immediately he was able to reach out and grab the audience with his wit.  Check out the introduction and beginning of his speech in the vodpod video.  While I thought his speech jumped around a bit and had several different messages I did take away a few poignant thoughts.  See the second video for an excerpt.

I think my favorite quote of the day was Tutu saying “You are the craziest nation I know.”  He was referring to the contridiction between the struggle with civil rights in this country and our new president elect.  His talk on human rights and this country’s race relations somehow directed itself towards sustainability.  He compared the two several times and said that our struggles were not all that different from those struggles.

One of the great features of the conference is that you can view the opening plenary by visiting Greenbuild 365.  The quality is much better than mine and you can see Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s entire speech.  Another great resource available to you.

After the speeches the African Children’s choir preformed once again with a great couple of songs and dance.  They are a special group of young children.

This year the opening session was mush shorter than last year.  It seemed as if something was left out.  Most everyone agreed that the shorter program was a welcomed change.  There was no major announcement concerning LEED 2009 (I am expecting that tomorrow) at least not yet.  There was a bit less pomp and circumstance than last year (thank you).

After the shortened opening plenary, I along with the 10,000 in attendance ventured into the expo. (30,000 total for GreenBuild) There are just so many great products this year.  I was happy to see a few that had gotten lost in the shuffle last year.  I will post on the products coming up……..

GreenBuild 2008 – Opening night at the Expo

GreenBuild Expo 2008 in Boston

GreenBuild Expo 2008 in Boston

Just getting in from the opening night of the expo.  I am so happy to report that the registration/check-in/pick up your badge and bag process is sooooo much better than last year.  Even though I got my stuff tonight (early)  it is much more streamlined and smooth.  Very helpful attendants and efficient processes will make this a much easier process than last year.  Good Job GreenBuild!

The only snag I ran into tonight was that the coat check was full by 6:30.  This is a very windy cold town and everyone is in a heavy coat – get more coat check room.  A minor infraction in my book.

I only bit off a small part of the expo tonight.  From what I saw it is bigger and better than years past.  There is so much to learn and see.  I am looking forward to a few more swipes at the products in the days to come.  The new video posted is the ride down the escalators into the expo entrance. 

First full day tomrrow and it promises to be packed full.  Got to get to bed and get out early.

Shades of Green


Kicking off the new blog with lots of sustainable ideas floating around my head.  As I move through my typical day, I see things green and things that should be greener, here is where I will present them to you and hopefully have some discussions.  Here is somewhere between yellow and blue – no matter what shade of green you happen to participate in, I hope you will find useful information to make your world a bit more sustainable.

I gets lots of emails everyday with great sustainable ideas and products.  Filtering through these ideas is somewhat like drinking from the green fire hose.  Hopefully we can drill down through some of these things and get to information that you and I can make most useful.

To get this site kicked off I will be posting some recent popular entries from my personal blog.  I found that some of the good green information was getting lost on my personal blog so they will find a new home here.

As I get ready for GreenBuild 2008 in Boston, I will try posting from the convention and keep you involved along the way.  Please feel free to drop me a line and let me know how your green thing is going.