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We have talked about green homes, eco-friendly homes, passive homes, and now, we are entering a phase of living homes or living buildings. In a press release dated April 1, 2015, the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington earned the Living Building Certification – the first in the world! This is a landmark moment in construction and the green materials industry!


“To earn the certification, the Bullitt Center demonstrated that it produces more electricity from solar panels on its roof than occupants use in a year. In addition, toxic chemicals were screened from all building materials and all wood was Forest Stewardship Council certified. Its occupants’ human waste is composted and rainwater is captured for all uses, including drinking.” Yes, you read that right; they are composting residents’ waste… They have thought that far into the process of how the building can be not only self-sustainable, but can give back to the environment.


In 2014, the Bullitt Center produced 60% more energy from solar panels than it used. Jason McLennan, CEO of the International Living Future Institute says “quite simply, this is one of the most important buildings in the world. The Bullitt Center proves that dramatic improvements are possible when a talented group shoots for the stars.” Pushing the envelope, the developers worked tirelessly to create and design a building that would supersede all green buildings on the market. It will be the new proto-type for green construction in the near future.


With governments lagging behind worldwide on protecting the planet’s eco-systems and environments, it is critical that we as consumers become keener on the products and materials we are purchasing and using. Just as the Keurig controversy stirs with all the non-recyclable K-cups, and the effects past generations have had on the glacier systems and climate change, we must take the reins and create more eco-friendly homes. As green as we can get them to be honest. And we have to stop creating items that will only fill landfills with no foreseeable future of change.


Using chemical free materials, renewable resources, energy producing solutions, and more will be critical in all new construction for our environment to have any chance to heal from the damage we have already inflicted upon it. Consider the passive house movement we discussed earlier this year. These homes are very energy conservative as well as having strict LEED certification requirements for materials and construction. It may cost more out of the gate, but it will save both money and, more importantly, the environment in the future.


When creating a green home, consider cork as another renewable material for the interior walls and floors. Cork is also frequently used in many high-rise and apartment constructions for its excellent thermal and acoustic insulating properties. We offer many products to suit many tastes and can help guide you through the decision making process. Contact us or shop online today. Even if you are not building a new construction, small room by room renovations can have the same energy saving results as boasted by new constructions.

 

April 28, 2015

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