Starstruck at Greenbuild 2008
November 21, 2008
On Wednesday, I visited USGBC’s Greenbuild 2008 with Lisa Kawski of lmkinteriors, ltd. We were so excited as we rushed from the frigid outside into the beautiful Boston Expo Center. We quickly realized that we had no chance of sticking together. Lisa was focused primarily on interior finishes, and had a goal of finding some new resources for sustainable fabrics and furniture. I was more interested in the building envelope and new options and technologies for its construction. So we split up fast, but kept up via cell phone…..
These shows are always somewhat overwhelming. For example, it’s easy to get into a conversation about bamboo and its questionable ‘green-ness’, and then find that a half hour has passed and you are still in the first aisle. Time is limited and there is a lot to see. Most vendors were able to scan our badges to load us in their database. It is a great way to know that you’ll be able to learn more about the product later, but Lisa and I were both a little concerned about what to expect from them in the future. An email follow-up is desirable, a full ‘architectural’ binder is not!
I found myself drawn to green resource collaboratives and distributors. If the collaborative or resource center has a strong vetting process, these can be an effective and efficient way to keep up-to-date on and select materials and products, and to anticipate drawbacks or any special considerations. I have some favorites already – Building Green (www.buildinggreen.com) is one of the most respected and reliable sites for assessing the value of materials. I’ve also been intrigued by Toolbase Service Design and Contruction Guide, which incorporates feedback from the field on new materials and systems.
At Greenbuild this year, I was introduced to some new exciting resources: Sylvania lighting launched (Wednesday) greenwala.com, a green social networking site (and an advertisement for Sylvania, of course), allowing disparate greenies to connect. RateItGreen.com is another potentially valuable resource for green buiding products and professionals.
My favorite building product of the day was the Jaga radiators, found at www.jaga-usa.com . I was stopped dead in my tracks by how beautifully designed the units are. The Jaga units are hydronic or water heating units, which can replace fin-tube radiators or baseboard radiators. They are a ‘Low-H2O’ fin tube radiator, so hold less water than a traditional fin-tube radiator, so they heat faster and in a more uniform and precise way.
From their website:
- high tech aluminium fins: corrugated fins with increased contact surface and smaller interim distance for extra power
- parallel flow copper tubes with brass collectors
- radiator dimensions are calculated to provide the best air circulation with a lower exit air temperature
- low “inertia”: because of the low water content and weight, heat will not be stored in the system, but be emitted directly into the room “
Richard Trethewey from This Old House was checking them out too – I’ll be curious to see what he thinks! Yes, I was starstruck by Richard Trethewey….”Is he the plumber from This Old House??” Wow.