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Green Materials

In addition to building a solar powered "zero-energy" home, the team's goal is to embrace environmentally friendly building products from the ground up and from the inside out - right down to the furnishings and decor. The materials team began by creating a priority list of environmentally friendly criteria by which to select materials. These criteria include the following: low embodied energy, sustainably harvested, environmentally friendly manufacturing process, recycled, recyclable, value added, non-toxic, low VOC (volatile organic compounds), and made in the USA.

In the course of our research we discovered that as of today there is at least one "off-the-shelf" building material available in nearly every construction category that meets at least three of our criteria. Additionally, these materials are for the most part either less expensive or comparable in price to conventional building materials while generally providing greater efficiency. We are pleased to report that the following environmentally friendly products will be showcased in our BASE+ competition home: (note items in green have thumbnail pictures labeled under folder materials pictures)

Earth and turf friendly piers     Earth and turf friendly piers for portable and temporary structures (Pin Foundations, Inc.)

Truss Joist     Beams, columns and joists manufactured from sustainably harvested, fast growing aspen (Truss Joist)

SIP panel     SIP panels - 8 inch thick, structurally insulated panels for the roof and walls, providing strength and R-29 insulation (Premier Industries)

Fiber-cement siding     Fiber-cement siding, soffit and facia manufactured with no hazardous asbestos, fiberglass or formaldehyde (James Hardie Co)

Bamboo flooring     Bamboo flooring - the most sustainable plant on earth, providing durable and beautiful flooring (Wood Floor Importers)

Techpod solar selective sheets     Techpod solar selective sheets decrease penetration of heat-transmitting near-infrared solar energy, while allowing the visible light wavelengths to penetrate. 100% Recycleable. (Polygal Plastics)

cabinets     Reclaimed lumber and sunflower board cabinets (Phenix)

Paints     Paints, sealants, caulking and adhesives contain no volatile organic chemicals (AFM Company)

decking     Recycled plastic and wood fiber decking (Evergrain)

Faswall     Recycled wood chips, fly ash and portland cement - replacement for traditional concrete blocks (Faswall)

Thermally insulated blinds     Thermally insulated blinds (Hunter Douglas)

Countertops     Countertops made from a composite material that has half the weight of stone and requires less mining of the earth (Fireslate)

    Water based foam insulation providing 95 percent thermal efficiency in the floor (Icynene)

    R-20 radiant barrier paint additive that reduces heat transfer (Heat Shield)

    Heat mirror film in insulated glass panels (Southwall Technologies and Alpenglass)

    Plumbing fixtures made in USA (Kohler)