Tag Archives: sustainable building materials

Online Green Building Tool Helps Industry Choose Safer, Sustainable Materials · Environmental Leader · Environmental Management News

The American Chemistry Council’s www.BuildingWithChemistry.org provides the building industry with the tools needed to make “informed decisions” about materials and products that improve safety, energy savings, durability and other sustainability and performance benefits, says Richard Skorpenske, director of advocacy and sustainability at Covestro, and chair of ACC’s building and construction subcommittee.

The website includes an interactive graphic of a mixed-use residential building that highlights how chemical ingredients are used in materials, from polycarbonate panels in skylights, to plastics in piping, to nylon and polyester fibers in carpeting. Individual pages feature specific chemicals used in a range of building and construction applications, with information on where the chemicals are used and the functionality they provide.

Source: Online Green Building Tool Helps Industry Choose Safer, Sustainable Materials · Environmental Leader · Environmental Management News

Michaela is Here! The Reclamation Administration is proud to welcome aboard Michaela

We are super excited to have Michaela interning at the RA!

Here at the RA we have a strong ethic of volunteerism, and we are happy that others do too.   Our internships are educational experiences tailored to the interests and goals of our participants, and of course our readers!  We are always thrilled when people step up to participate.

This spring we are super excited to have Michaela join us in creating new content by writing articles and updating resources.

Michaela is a student at Metropolia University in Helsinki, Finland studying sustainable building engineering. Her interest in innovative building was sparked with an initial project in the Mojave Desert at Aquarius Ranch on a super adobe dome underneath UFOs and starry skies.

She stumbled into the natural building world through working on organic farms and continued on with projects utilizing cob, light-clay straw, adobe, and infinite recycled materials. After working at cafes and arts non-profits to support her wanderlust, she chose to return to the Nordic region to get back to her building passion.

She currently is on work placement with Whole Trees Architecture in her native Wisconsin with one of her architectural heroes, Roald Gundersen. In the future she hopes to creatively develop accessible hybridized building techniques. She believes natural materials, inspiring integrated design, cradle-to-cradle material reuse, and updated vernacular architecture are the future for a sustainable built environment.

When she’s not brainstorming building compositions and calculating structural integrity you’ll find her biking aimlessly, foraging in the forests, enjoying beers at a sauna evening and flipping around with her acrobatics group.

Look for articles by Michaela over the next few months!

Owner of Heritage Salvage Wants to “Reclaim” America With New Reality Show – Petaluma, CA Patch


For years, Michael Deakin, the fedora-wearing, camera-wielding owner of Heritage Salvage, has turned old wood, metal and other reclaimed material into new furniture, cabinets, floors and even art.

Now Deakin, known to most as “Bug,” wants to breathe new life into struggling towns across America by teaching them how to use salvaged materials.

With the help of a New York talent agency, Deakin is launching “Reclamation Road,” a reality show that he hopes will take him to small towns around the country decimated by factory closures and the shipping of jobs overseas.

“We are going to reuse, repurpose, rejuvenate and resuscitate using the stuff that’s already sitting in your backyard,” says Deakin, who is never without a bounce in his step or a glint in his blue eyes.

Deakin built his first house using reclaimed materials more than 40 years ago and then went on to build movie sets in Los Angeles. He opened Heritage Salvage in 2002 and since then has accumulated a following for his green vision and desire to reuse and restore old wood.

Now, the carpenter with a penchant for recycling (he showed up at a recent event wearing a “Plastic is Drastic” shirt and decked out in a wooden necklace adorned with a giraffe), says he wants to help other communities harness the power of reclaimed materials to create jobs and make their own items, instead of purchasing them at a big-box store.

“As I watched this downward spiral of towns and the middle class, I realized that there is something much bigger that we can do,” Deakin said. “I want to change the way the country views its buildings.”

Deakin is starting by putting out a call to all of America, especially people living in the rural Midwest, to send him YouTube videos about why they would benefit from such a project. Once selected, Deakin and his crew would travel to the town and teach residents how to deconstruct a building and turn it into new items the community needs.

And since Deakin has a penchant for big, grandiose ideas, he’s not stopping there. He wants to team up with Aqus owner John Crowley and Daily Acts founder Trathen Heckman to “drop in” on towns to teach them everything from how to create a community around a café to using sustainable resources.

“It’s about shopping local and making the most of your social capital,” he says. “We have to fix this country by the way it got built, not by the way it got broken.”

via Owner of Heritage Salvage Wants to “Reclaim” America With New Reality Show – Petaluma, CA Patch.