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Archive for the ‘Green & Sustainable’ Category

In our previous post about countertops, we shared some environmentally friendly options that are made from paper and wood.  Now we will show you some great recycled-content countertops that are fashioned out of recycled glass.  Sit back, and enjoy!  There are some real beauties.  They are listed in order of shortest distance from manufacturer to Seattle.

GLASS

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Trinity

  • Content:  70% recycled glass and low-carbon cement
  • Manufactured in:  Seattle, WA
  • Material source:  Raw materials:  WA, Cement:  Mexico
  • # of colors:  6
  • Waste during manufacturing:  Unknown
  • Website:  http://www.trinityglassproducts.com/
  • Notes: Used slabs can be crushed and recycled back into the earth.
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    Fuez Glass

  • Content:  100% curbside recycled glass, low-carbon cement, natural aggregate
  • Manufactured in:  North Portland, OR
  • Material source:  Within 500 miles of manufacturing
  • # of colors:  27
  • Waste during manufacturing:  They reuse the water used in the process and have a recovery service that takes care of the cement slurry.
  • Website:  http://www.fuez.com/details.php?line=FuezGlass
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    Vetrazzo

  • Content:  85% recycled glass.  Curb-side recycling, windows, drinking glasses, building demo glass, traffic lights and Portland Cement.
  • Manufactured in:  Richmond, CA
  • Material source:  Varies cities in the US
  • # of colors:  19
  • Waste during manufacturing:  They have 0 waste.
  • Website:  http://www.vetrazzo.com/products_intro.html
  • Notes:  We have a large slab of Vetrazzo in our showroom – stop by if you would like to see it in person.  The inclusions are beautiful.
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    EnviroSlab

  • Content:  80% recycled glass and porcelain. 20% epoxy resin
  • Manufactured in:  Texas
  • Material source:  Porcelain: Kohler in Texas / Glass – Distributor that collects US glass
  • # of colors:  50+, custom available
  • Waste during manufacturing:  Unknown
  • Website:  http://www.enviroglasproducts.com/slab.asp
  • Gilasi

  • Content:  80% recycled materials, mostly glass
  • Manufactured in:  Chicago, IL
  • Material source:  Within 200 miles of factory
  • # of colors:  24
  • Waste during manufacturing:  Unknown
  • Website:  http://www.gilasi.com/
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    Icestone

  • Content:  100% recycled glass and cement
  • Manufactured in:  Brooklyn, NY
  • Material source:  Cements: York, Pa / Glass:  Throughout US
  • # of colors:  29
  • Waste during manufacturing:  Water used gets recycled – little waste
  • Website:  http://www.icestone.biz/
  • BioGlass

  • Content:  100% recycled or recyclable glass with no colorants or additives
  • Manufactured in:  Italy, Distributed in CA, NJ, FL
  • Material source:  Italy
  • # of colors:  6
  • Waste during manufacturing:  Kiln molded, so no waste
  • Notes:  Extremely durable since it is pure glass
  • Website:  http://www.coveringsetc.com/BioGlassSpecifications.aspx
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    Eco-Terr

  • Content:  72% recycled content – reclaimed granite and marble.  A true Terazzo
  • Manufactured in:  Italy, Distributed in CA, NJ, FL
  • Material source:  Italy
  • # of colors:  36
  • Waste during manufacturing:  None
  • Website:  http://www.coveringsetc.com/EcoTerrHome.aspx
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    Eco by Consentino

  • Content:  75% recycled materials:  salvaged mirrors, windows, bottles, glass, porcelain, stone / 22% corn oil resin bond
  • Manufactured in:  Spain, Distributed in WA and more
  • Material source:  Spain
  • # of colors:  10
  • Waste during manufacturing:  None
  • Notes:  This is one of the more affordable glass products.
  • Website:  http://ecobycosentino.com/raw.html
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    This is a 2 part series in which we will share with you options for using recycled-content countertops for your kitchen and bath remodel.  Gone of the days of ugly recycled countertop materials.  We are in a new era of innovative products that rival – and sometimes surpass – the sophistication of granite.  Whether your space is modern, traditional, or contemporary, there is a sustainable countertop option that is sure to steal the show.

    We have compiled an exhaustive list of eco-countertops and there are new products coming on the market often.  Since we remodel in Seattle, we have ranked them in order of closest to Seattle so that our local readers can make an informed decision about the transportation element of the product’s sustainability.

    RECYCLED PAPER/WOOD

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    Richlite

  • Content:  50% corrugated cardboard to 100% FSC certified recycled paper depending on color. Some are FSC certified.
  • Manufactured in:  Tacoma, WA
  • Material source:  Unknown
  • # of colors:  7
  • Waste during manufacturing:  Unknown
  • Website:  http://www.richlite.com/countertop/
  • Notes: We have had this product in our showroom kitchen on Capitol Hill for 4 years now and have been very happy with it.   We’ve had it refinished once (which makes it look brand new) although many people prefer to keep the patina that it gets over time.
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    Paperstone

  • Content:  100% FSC certified recycled paper and water based phenolic resin with cashew nut shell binder and pigment.
  • Manufactured in:  Hoquiam, WA
  • Material source:  Unknown
  • # of colors:  13
  • Waste during manufacturing:  Unknown
  • Website: http://www.paperstoneproducts.com/
  • Notes:  Created by the same people who created Richlite.  We used Paperstone Mocha in the above left picture.  Click here to see more of this Gaspar’s kitchen remodel.
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    .Eco-Top

  • Content:  50/50 blend of FSC certified post-consumer recycled paper and rapidly renewable bamboo fiber.  Bound with 100% water-based system.
  • Manufactured in:  Tacoma, WA, Wisconsin, Texas, California
  • Material source:  Close to manufacturing.  Bought from nearest paper facility.
  • Recyclable?  Unknown
  • # of colors:  10
  • Waste during manufacturing:  All leftovers and edge trimmings go to Recovery One.
  • Website:  http://www.kliptech.com/ecotop.html
  • Recycle-Top

  • Content:  100% post-consumer reycled curbside paper and corn-based 30% organic resin
  • Manufactured in: Tacoma, WA
  • Material source:  Bought from nearest paper facility.
  • # of colors:  3
  • Waste during manufacturing:  Unknown
  • Notes: This product is so new that it isn’t even on the manufacturer’s website yet.  It will be available some time in 2010.
  • Read Full Post »

    Want to see, touch and feel the latest sustainable building materials all in one place?

    Now you can!  Seattle’s Built Green Conference Expo floor, previously only open to the trades, is now opening its floor to the public.  Everything from green flooring to alternative building methods will be showcased.  Read below for more information.

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    There are so many things that are exciting and fun when it comes to remodeling your bathroom – new countertops, shiny fixtures, beautiful tile.  Selecting a toilet typically doesn’t rate high on a homeowner’s list of fun things to shop for.  They’re all the same, right?

    Nope!

    A perfectly selected toilet will not only blend seamlessly into your bathroom design, it can be the hero that saves you money on your water bill and helps in the bigger picture of water conservation.  In the average home, the toilets account for approximately 30% of household water.

    A good place to start when looking at new toilets is choosing models that are Watersense labelled.  This means that these models have been independently laboratory tested to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency – using 20% less water per flush than the standard federal regulations.  A key trait of a Watersense toilet is that it must perform well!  This ensures that you won’t be sacrificing flushing power, a critical function,  for efficiency.

    We’ve pulled together 5 toilet models that are Watersense labeled to inspire you or your designer in picking the right toilet for your newly designed bathroom.

    1. Kohler Escale®

    • Model #: K-3588
    • Design: 2-piece, elongated bowl
    • Dual Flush?  Yes (1.6 or 0.8 gpf)
    • Finishes Available: White, Almond, Biscuit
    • List Price:  $1076.40+

    2. Toto Aquia®

    • Model #:  CST414M
    • Design:  Elongated toilet, oval SoftClose® seat available
    • Dual Flush?  Yes (1.6 or 0.9 gpf)
    • Finishes Available:  Cotton, Sedona Beige, Bone, Colonial White, Ebony
    • List Price:  $475 – $713

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    I’m discovering that wine bottles, like our feline friends, can have 9 lives too.  Know that when you finish your bottle of wine, it’s adventure is not done yet.

    The Nine Lives of Wine Bottles:

    Life One:  Hanging Lights

    These clever “re-lights” are the experimentation of artist Jerry Kott.  I guarantee you haven’t seen anything quite like these.  The organic curves of the bottles juxtaposed with bold glass colors are such a delight and would be a great focal point to any kitchen remodel!

    See more here.

    Life Two:   Coat Racks

    Funky and dynamic, this coat rack is made from the tops of wine bottles.  They are handmade in Wisconsin and would be a perfect pop of color in a neutral entry-area or living space.

    See more here.

    Life Three:  Vases

    These ethereal tranSglass® pieces are designed by Studio Tord Boontje and Emma Woffenden and are part of Design w/Conscience. Each one is a unique piece and would do well to accessorize an organic-modern design bathroom.

    See more here.

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    For many of us, painting our interiors was synonymous with toxic air and home evacuation.  I remember all of my painting events very clearly – each time running out of my building gasping for air while breathing in ghost fumes from the room I left behind.

    What was this arch-nemesis of my breathable air? VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are a group of carbon-based (organic) compounds that readily enter a gaseous form (volatile).  VOCs have been in interior paints for years and the off-gassing can cause headaches and can even trigger asthma attacks.

    Gaspar’s has been painting Seattle homes with low (99% free) VOC paint for many years. We are staunch proponents of the Devine Color paint line because of their amazing northwest color palette, low toxicity and ease of use.

    There are other alternatives to Devine out there as well.  In “Finally, Good-Looking Non-Toxic Paint?” Stephen Treffinger of the New York Times recently wrote about his experience testing different brands of environmentally friendly paint and concluded that the following performed the best:

    1.  Safecoat Zero VOC Flat ($44.95/gal)

    • Pros:  Went on smoothly, pleasant smell, cleaned up well
    • Cons:  Was thicker than most
    • afmsafecoat.com

    2.  Benjamin Moore Natura  ($49.99/gal)

    • Pros:  Comes in 3000 shades, went on the smoothest, relatively easy to clean
    • Cons:  None
    • store.benjaminmoore.com

    3.  Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion  ($80/gal)

    • Pros:  Went on easily, sophistocated colors
    • Cons:  Didn’t clean up especially well
    • farrowandball.com

    4.  Yolo Colorhouse Interior No-VOC  ($44.95/gal)

    • Pros:  One of the easiest to clean
    • Cons:  Chalky finish that some may not care for
    • yolocolorhouse.com

    5. Mythic Interior Flat Latex  ($49.99/gal)

    • Pros:  Dynamic colors, nice flat finish, easy to clean
    • Cons:  None
    • mythicpaint.com

    6. Stark Paint Velvet Emulsion  ($76.70/gal)

    • Pros:  Creamy, went on smoothly
    • Cons:  One of the worst for smells

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    Now more than ever there are options for recycled-content products.  Even though there has been recycled content tile available for over a decade, although prospects for stylish options were quite dismal.  However thanks to the market demanding more options, manufacturers have stepped up and introduced lines that a designer can be proud of.

    Contact us if you are looking for a remodeler who can provide sustainable, design-oriented solutions.

    What’s below?

    Although there are recycled-content floor tile options, this article will be focused on tile for kitchen and bath backsplashes and shower surrounds.

    We have chosen to only show you tiles that are above 70% recycled content. Even though a product may be made from recycled material, keep in mind that it isn’t very sustainable for your project if you are shipping it from half way around the world.  We have called out the manufacturing location of these tiles so that you can make an informed decision based upon your location.  Since most of Gaspar’s remodeling clients are in the Seattle area, they are in order of those with the shortest travel distance to this area.

    1.  Blazestone by Bedrock Industries

    • Manufactured in:  Seattle, Washington
    • Recycled Content:  100%, glass only
    • Pictured above:  Glossy Forest, Meadow, Celery (Left)
    • Online Gallery

    2. Sandhill

    • Manufactured in: Boise, ID
    • Recycled Content:  100%, glass only
    • Pictured above:  4″ Diamonds – Icicle, Pearl Fog, Mineral, Pebble, Sugar Matte (Left), 4″x4″ Honeydew, Wintergreen, Jalepeno, Sage Glossy (Right)
    • Online Gallery

    3. Glass Roots

    • Manufactured in: Montana
    • Recycled content:  100% post-consumer, glass only
    • Pictured above:  Coke bottle clear, mix of grey, blue and green tint (left), Coke bottle clear – blue tint (right)
    • Online Gallery

    4. Tessera & Muse by Oceanside

    • Manufactured in: Mexico (right outside San Diego – Distributed in California)
    • Recycled content: 23%-85% depending on color / post-consumer glass from curbside recycling and post-industrial glass
    • Pictured above:  Muse Midori – 94& (Left) (Click here to see other pictures from this Gaspar’s Built Green Kitchen Remodel), Tessera Moroccan Desert – 70% (Middle), Muse Spruce Matte – 95% (Right)
    • Online Gallery

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