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Articles Archive for July 2010

WATER, WOOD »

[28 Jul 2010 | 2 Comments | 9,138 views]
Renewable Liquid Wood: Arboform

Imagine it’s the late 1990’s.  The Backstreet Boys are playing without a trace of irony on the radio and Bill Clinton is President of the United States.  People are using dial-up modems and AOL for their Internet and email needs.  In Germany, in Pfinztal near Karlsruhe, a group of scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology are inventing a renewable plastic that has wood-like qualities but can be cast by a machine.
Scientists Juergen Pfitzer and Helmut Naegele, working with Norbert Eisenreich, Wilhelm Eckl and Emilia Inone-Kauffmann found that lignin, …

WATER »

[22 Jul 2010 | 2 Comments | 2,572 views]
Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound

I live in an apartment in the city, and while the demising walls between units are relatively stout, it should be noted that I often hear the shrill bark of my neighbor’s dog and the skittering sound of scampering paws.  On occasion my upstairs neighbor will take to jumping rope, which produces a curious rhythmic click-slap followed by a kind of “bam!” sound as said neighbor’s feet hit the slab above my head.  When I found out about Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound, I wondered what kind of damping effect judicious application throughout my abode might …

FIRE, WATER »

[19 Jul 2010 | 3 Comments | 5,639 views]
Ice Chiller Thermal Energy Storage

I just had one of those moments when you realize you’re compulsively writing about air conditioning.  This is my second post on the subject this month, and I can’t swear that it will be the last.  I’m most likely drawn to writing about AC because it’s summer in Texas and the heat index on any given day makes the national debt seem piddling and insignificant.  I’ll probably be writing about heaters in December, so you have that to look forward to in addition to the winter holidays.
The material on which I intend …

FIRE, WATER »

[14 Jul 2010 | No Comment | 1,212 views]
Singing Acoustic Fibers can Hear their Environment

Every once in a while in the course of my quest to discover materials with architectural potential, I stumble across something so interesting that I emit an audible yelp akin to the bellow of an excited elephant seal, drop whatever I’m doing, and write a post about it.  Unfortunately this tendency has resulted in the accidental smashing of several objects, including one unfortunate incident where I dropped an ancient and rather valuable Ming vase on an unforgiving tile floor with predictably catastrophic consequences. 
Yesterday I learned that researchers at MIT have developed functional plastic fibers that can detect …

WOOD »

[13 Jul 2010 | One Comment | 5,730 views]
Eco-Friendly Reclaimed & Sustainable Millwork Panels: Kirei USA

Even if building owners aren’t always eager to spend the considerable amount of capital it takes to certify their projects with green building programs like the US Green Building Council’s LEED and the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes, municipalities are increasingly adopting green standards into law.  Green building programs and codes don’t expressly certify materials, but material choices can go a long way towards meeting recycled content, low VOC, and reclaimed materials requirements for certification.
Kirei USA (kirei is the Japanese character signifying “beautiful”or “clean,” and it’s pronounced “Key’-ray,” in case …

FIRE, WATER »

[1 Jul 2010 | One Comment | 2,140 views]
Energy Recovery Wheels

The content of this post can be summed up in two lines from the song Wheel in the Sky, written and recorded by Journey in 1978, which I hope is now as firmly stuck in your head as it is in mine:
“The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’ / I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow”
Well, okay, I mostly know where I’ll be tomorrow (at the office) but there are a few hours between work and going to sleep tomorrow night that I’m going to play by ear.

Image credit www.moonbeammcqueen.wordpress.com
So now onward to our …

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