Day 2 at GreenBuild 2014! By: greening homes

October 25, 2014
Community, Green Materials, Resource Efficiency

It’s Day 2 here at GreenBuild 2014: New Orleans. I’m off to the Rock ‘N Bowl for a zydeco concert tonight. This’ll be a short post!

GreenBuild always introduces one or two neat new things worth a call out. This year, all conference attendees were provided with hotel room card keys made of FSC-certified birch wood! These replace the typical PVC plastic cards typically used in the industry. Here’s mine:

Hotel Key Card 1

Hotel Key Card 2

And here’s Austin “DC” Powers hawking DC microgrids for buildings with his arch nemesis, Dr. “AC” Evil. You had to do a double take to make sure it wasn’t really Mike Myers up there. Austin was representing Merge Alliance (, a not-for-profit seeking to eliminate AC to DC conversions between power sources and devices, and thereby increase integration and efficiency, primarily in the commercial and institutional sector. I know this has little do with our work at Greening Homes, but they did manage to grab a lot of attention:

Austin DC Powers Hawks Stuff

We install WaterSense certified low flow toilets at Greening Homes. Most of these are Toto Ultramax models, which are known for their great performance. They are single flush models at 1.8 gallons/flush. Toto recently introduced an upgrade: the Toto Ultramax II G. It’s a single 1 gallon/flush model that competes closely with dual flush models that use as little as 0.8 gallons/flush for urine, but Toto promises it’s effective for all uses:

New Toto Ultramax

We’re currently working with a musician client seeking different ways to insulate his basement for sound. One strategy we’d like to recommend for him is Homasote panels ( Homasote 440 Sound Barrier Panels are made of 98% recycled paper fibre and screw to studs before drywall is applied. This decouples the drywall from the wood framing and results in excellent sound sound absorbency:

Homosote Sound Insulation Panels

We’ve had a few clients interested in alternatives for asphalt shingles, but who have found the price points for environmentally better options to be cost prohibitive. One Canadian-made option that I’ve discovered here is called Euroshield ( It’s made of 95% recycled material (70% recycled tires), installs and weighs the same as asphalt shingles, and comes with a 50 year transferable warranty. The product looks like slate or cedar (depending on the style you choose) and, although it costs slightly more than typical asphalt shingles at about $3/sqft, it’s about half the cost of many other recycled content roofing options:

Euroshield Recycled Rubber Roofing

And, finally, I finished the day with a presentation by the writer and doctor Deepak Chopra. Dr. Chopra sees the revitalization of hospitals to promote true healing as the next frontier for LEED and discussed his recent research into epigenetics:

Deepak Chopra

It’s off to a late dinner and some music now…I AM in New Orleans, after all…