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[10 Jan 2011 | 5 Comments | 29,154 views]
10 Awesome Materials from 2010 and Reasons They are Awesome

ARCHITERIALS is a year old now, and like most healthy, well-adjusted one-year-olds it needs to be changed constantly, crawls all over my apartment, and makes strange burbling noises.  No, really – it does.  It’s terrifying.
Over the past year I’ve profiled approximately 65 materials and learned about blogging, bacteria, and biscuits, although I must confess that the biscuts were a side project.  A delicious, buttery side project.  Anyhow, to celebrate the birthday of ARCHITERIALS and the fact that the tagline “Investigating architectural materials since 2010” has finally attained temporal legitimacy, I’ve compiled for this, …

EARTH »

[12 Oct 2010 | One Comment | 3,358 views]
CalStar Fly Ash Brick “Comes in Eight Colors. All of them Green.”

 
When I first heard the term “fly ash” in architecture school, I remember thinking that it sounded pretty sick.  I mean, flies are annoying and it’s gross when they buzz over and land first on some unidentified, dog-generated substance on the ground and then, without a single shred of consideration, approach and settle on the rim of your drinking cup or slice of pecan pie.  But it boggles the mind to think about the enormous number of flies you’d have to crisp in order to produce so many metric tons of fly ash that there’d even …

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 …

WOOD »

[21 Jun 2010 | One Comment | 5,891 views]
Smile: Plastics from Recycled Bottles, Boots, and Banknotes

If you’re anything like me, you don’t spend much time around children and probably find them slightly unnerving.  I mean, think about how fast they’re growing.  It’s completely freaky.  Just consider this: if you measured a child’s foot when it was one year old and then you measured it again six years later, the second time you measured it, the foot would be a completely different size.

Image courtesy www.geekinspired.com
Feet grow, but shoes don’t.  What this means, of course, is that children go through an enormous quantity of plastic rain boots as their feet get larger.  And …

WOOD »

[11 May 2010 | No Comment | 14,380 views]
Pulverized and Recycled Vulcanized Rubber ON THE GROUND!

Sometimes when you’re really mad and you’re an adult, you just want to throw something on the ground and smash it to smithereens in order to vent your frustration with “the system”.  In fact, in the United States each year 300 million tires are thrown on the ground by adults of both genders.  Some of these tires are then buried under other trash and discarded objects in landfills, and some of them are sheepishly picked up again and burned for fuel in cement kilns.  For a long time, throwing tires on the ground …

WOOD »

[19 Apr 2010 | No Comment | 3,162 views]
Leggo my Ecomat Blocks!

Remember when you could invite people to your house to build a fort, and nobody thought it was unusual?  You’d be all, “hey, wanna build a fort?” and Linny and the rest of the gang would be all, “sure, but you should know we’ve already built three sweet fortifications this morning and we’re walking to the candy store for pixi stix first.”  These days if I called up some friends and asked them if they wanted to build a fort in the living room they’d think I was crazy.  Well, my friends would probably …

WOOD »

[18 Mar 2010 | No Comment | 8,341 views]
Le Cageot: Repurposed Wood Pallets

One of the really nice thing about living and working in the United States is that individuals have the right to buy in bulk.  If you need six pounds of Country Time Lemonade mix, then you can go buy a six-pound canister.  If you want 48 pairs of identical tube socks, then you can purchase them in a neatly shrink-wrapped package.  Need a gallon of Vidal Sassoon shampoo or 60 grapefruit?  No problem. 

Image courtesy Inhabitat.com
None of this bulky goodness would be possible without a humble, often overlooked construction: the wood pallet.  The …

FIRE, WOOD »

[3 Mar 2010 | One Comment | 4,027 views]
Bio Glass

I’m not sure why this product is called “Bio Glass” because to me using the prefix “bio-“ should signify that the material is somehow alive.  But perhaps I’m being needlessly particular about my prefixes (and you know, it wouldn’t be the first time).  After all, slabs of Bio Glass do look like they’re made out of compressed jellyfish. 

Image credit coveringsetc.com
So now, I’m sure you’re wondering, exactly what Bio Glass is when it’s at home?  It’s a solid surfacing for counter tops, walls, floors, and other applications.  Bio Glass is “made from 100% recycled glass, heated and …

EARTH »

[26 Jan 2010 | 2 Comments | 6,046 views]
Integrity Block

Concrete Masonry Units, also affectionately called “CMU,” provide those fortunate enough to be able to lay hands on them with an easy, fire-resistant, low maintenance, cheap way to throw a wall together in a hurry.  All that’s needed is a foundation, the aforementioned CMU, reinforcement, mortar, concrete to fill the voids in the blocks where necessary, and somebody with a strong back to put it all together.  Convince your somebody to stack these ingredients evenly in neat rows – and voila!  You have a wall.  You can even cover up CMU with something else if they look ugly.  So where’s …

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