Archive | Materials & Products

High-Tech Tenants & Building Principles Unite in Collaborative Innovation Center

In 2002, Carnegie Mellon University approached Davis Gardner Gannon Pope Architecture with their vision of a structure where research-oriented private organizations could collaborate with other experts, attracting both local and national specialists to Pittsburgh and, in turn, growing knowledge workers.  Just several years later, CMU’s idea is becoming a reality.  In June of last year, […]

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Pushing LEED Toward Full Sustainability Using The Natural Step Framework

With the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program gathering momentum across North America, one might believe that we are well on our way to constructing sustainable buildings.  The current version of LEED is a great tool to help benchmark green efforts, but even if a building achieved all of the available points, it would only […]

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Green Spotlight on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Cornerstone speaks with Jenny Carney and Keith Winn Q: What is Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) and what scope of products and services does it cover? A:  EPP highlights products or services that have a reduced effect on environmental and human health in comparison with competing products/services that serve the same purpose.  For example, a product might […]

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Groundbreaking Ideas: Top 10 GreenSpec Products

This past November, BuildingGreen, Inc., publisher of the GreenSpec® Product Directory and Environmental Building News™, announced its 2003 selections for the Top-10 new green building products.  This is the second year of BuildingGreen’s Top-10, and the award recipients were announced at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh, PA.  These premier residential and commercial […]

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EnvironOxide Pigment: From Orange Streams to Green Buildings

(Edited from a Greenbuild 2003 paper by Robert S. Hedin and Evan J. Verbanic of Iron Oxide Recovery, Inc.) For decades, water pollution was considered an unavoidable consequence of coal mining. This belief resulted in the degradation of thousands of streams, rivers and lakes, with water pollution continuing in most cases long after the mines responsible […]

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Green Spotlight on Pervious Paving

Cornerstone speaks with Jim Pillsbury What are the differences between pervious and impervious paving? Pavement is necessary to support the weight of vehicles and to provide a hard, firm driving surface.  Without pavement, we would have mud in wet seasons and dust in dry times, much like road conditions 100 years ago.  Most types of pavement […]

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Green Spotlight on Life Cycle Assessment

Cornerstone speaks with Dr. Robert Ries Q:   What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of building materials, and how is it done? A:  Life cycle assessment or life cycle analysis (LCA), whether for building materials, products or systems, is a structured analysis of their effect on the environment.  The considered time span typically includes the entire life of […]

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Don’t Turn Up Your Nose at Waterless Technology

Every year more than 20 billion gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater escape from overflowing sewer and malfunctioning septic systems into waterways and groundwater in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties. One method to control sewage problems is to reduce the amount of wastewater that needs to be […]

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Building-Integrated Photovoltaics Make More Than Fashion Sense

From providing electricity for satellites to powering solar calculators, photovoltaic (PV) cells capture the sun’s energy for many purposes.  But what is the reality of using solar cells to generate electricity for buildings?  This is a critical issue since buildings use more than one-third of the total energy consumed in the United States.  In the […]

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What Lies Beneath: Ground Source Heat

Held just below the earth’s surface is a huge energy storage device, capable of absorbing 47% of the sun’s energy—that’s more than 500 times the energy mankind needs every year in a clean, renewable form.  GeoExchange systems, also known as geothermal heat pumps or ground source heat technology, take advantage of this great reservoir, transferring […]

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