Green Product Review
CaesarStone has introduced the newest addition to its Environment First collection: Starry Night. This new color consists of finely crushed remnants of Blizzard, CaesarStone’s best-selling color. CaesarStone is the only quartz surface to recycle waste generated by stonemasons, something the company has achieved through a local Recycling Program, reports the company.
“As with all of our products, we have strict quality-control systems in place,” said Arik Tendler, President of CaesarStone US. “Only the finest in quality and durability reach the hands of our customers, so naturally there are surfaces that don’t make the cut. However, these scraps do not go to waste. They are collected and sent to our manufacturing plant to create new surfaces. This program was established in 2007, and has already prevented over 2,400 quartz surfaces from ending up in landfills.”
As a result of this groundbreaking Recycling Program, CaesarStone has created Marrone (pictured), Carbone, Starry Night and Spring Blossom. These new colors have been met with great enthusiasm from its customers - not only because of their beauty and versatility, but also because of their story and attainability, states CaesarStone.
CaesarStone’s recycled products were also the first quartz surfaces to be approved and certified by SCS (Scientific Certification Systems), according to the company. All of CaesarStone’s quartz surfaces comply with American GEI (GREENGUARD Environmental Institute) certification. CaesarStone is a member of the Green Building Council.
Tile of Spain-branded manufacturer Ceracasa most recently introduced a complementary system to Bionictile called Lifewall - a vegetated facade that uses the simple process of photosynthesis to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. Developed by architect Emilio Llobat of Maqla Architects, Azahar Energy and Cercasa, Lifewall is a system of panels that are 1 square meter and can hold any vegetation. The plants are watered by drip, optimizing water use while the panels can be used as part of the design of the facade.
These facades are designed to work in perfect symbiosis with Bionictile, which filters harmful pollutants from the air. By combining this smog-eating tile and the vegetated wall by Azahar Energy, this system offers a decontamination solution for urban environments. Carbon dioxide is turned into oxygen through the plants supported by Lifewall. These plants are in turn nourished by the benign nitrates left behind after Bionictile converts harmful nitrogen oxide from the atmosphere.
Cold Spring Granite Co.
Completed in 2008, the new D.H. Blattner headquarters in Avon, MN, was designed and built to reinforce the company’s corporate brand in the wind energy business with sustainable design practices. The building, designed to achieve Platinum level under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) program, incorporates numerous sustainable features, including energy optimization, alternative transportation and the use of regional materials. One example includes the limestone selected for the buildings “fins.” Kasota Valley limestone, with a Diamond Smooth finish, was quarried and fabricated within 100 miles of the project contributing to LEED points. The limestone’s golden-cream color tones complement its natural surroundings and the masonry products and glazing chosen for the building’s main exterior cladding. The material was supplied by Cold Spring Granite Co. of Cold Spring, MN.
Cosentino, a world leader in quartz surfacing and one of the world’s largest natural stone importers, has launched ECO™ by Cosentino, a revolutionary new line of countertop and surfacing material composed of 75% recycled material. The result of a $6-million research and development investment, this innovative new product caters to the environmentally conscious and design-oriented architect, designer and consumer by providing high performance, design and sustainability.
ECO™ by Cosentino is composed of 75% post-industrial and post-consumer recycled raw material. By utilizing these recycled materials, Cosentino is “upcycling” products that have reached the end of their lifecycle - meaning that they cannot be incorporated in to any other industrial product and would otherwise collect in landfill sites. According to Cosentino, approximately 3,000 glass bottles equals 1 ton of raw materials. The production of ECO™ by Cosentino is expected to re-use the equivalent of 60,000,000 glass bottles every year.
The recycled content is then mixed with 25% natural material, including: stone scrap from mountains, quarries, manufacturing, and fabrication; and is bonded together with a proprietary eco-friendly resin made in part by corn oil and resin.
ECO™ by Cosentino’s unique make-up of recycled materials combined with natural elements is achieved through state-of-the-art technology and delivers a hard durable surface that has high stain, scratch and scorch performance. Unlike concrete-based countertops, ECO is a non-porous surfacing material and does not require sealers, according to the manufacturer.
Architects and building teams will gain points toward LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for a building project that utilizes ECO™ by Cosentino surfacing. ECO™ by Cosentino is Greenguard certified for low chemical emissions.
Custom Building Products
Custom Building Products, a leading manufacturer of tile and stone installation systems for the North American market, recently introduced its CEG-Lite™ Commercial Epoxy Grout, a lightweight 100% solids epoxy grout. Formulated with CustomLite® Technology, CEG-Lite represents a major breakthrough in epoxy technology, delivering the high stain and chemical resistance professionals expect, reports the manufacturer.
CEG-Lite Commercial Epoxy Grout is formulated with the same recycled content found in Custom’s other lightweight setting and grout materials, making it the first 100% solids epoxy grout that contributes to LEED certification based on recycled content. The introduction of CustomLite’s lightweight recycled aggregate gives CEG-Lite a smoother, creamier consistency that flows easily into grout joints and works effectively on vertical applications without additives.
CEG-Lite is color-fast, delivers uniform color, and can be used for horizontal or vertical grout joints ranging in size from 1/2 inch down to 1/16 inch, without sagging or slumping, according to Custom Building Products.
Because of its high strength and extreme resistance to acids, alkalies, solvents and other chemicals, CEG-Lite is ideal for heavy-duty applications such as chemical or food processing plants, or locations such as restaurants and hospitals that maintain clinical sanitation with harsh cleaning methods that can erode mortar and grout joints. CEG-Lite exceeds ANSI 118.3, and can be used with virtually any type of tile, reports Custom Building Products.
For convenience and reduced waste, CEG-Lite is sold in both 1- and 2-gallon sizes, each packaged in over-sized containers to facilitate mixing. CEG-Lite is available in 18 shades, which correspond with Custom’s popular Polyblend® Grout colors, and is protected by Custom’s exclusive lifetime warranty when used as part of a qualifying system.
The Ecocement collection is the latest offering from Eliane, a Brazilian tile manufacturer. The new product line has been constructed with 20% pre-consumer recycled content for LEED designs with tile in commercial or residential building projects, reports the company. Ecocement is characterized by being satiny to the touch and also, its subtle use of silk screening in the production process, resulting in a life-like, natural look and finish. The product is available in two sizes, 18 x 36 inches (44 x 88 cm) and 18 x 18 inches (44 x 44 cm), for both floors and walls. Ecoment is offered in three colors which will complement virtually any interior design.
Energia is the latest introduction from Laminam - an Italian tile manufacturer who was the first to create the largest and thinnest ceramic surface ever (3m2 and just 3mm thick). The company recently announced its partnership with the photovoltaic panel producer, System Photonics, to produce a system that insulates and protects buildings while producing clean, renewable energy, with solar panel slabs for roofs as well as building facades. It features a 3 mm ceramic slab followed by a photovoltaic slab containing high-efficiency crystalline silicon cells and a layer of solar temperate glass. It is available in different colors and two sizes: 40 x 60 and 40 x 40 inches.
Laticrete® SpectraLOCK® PRO Grout provides both unique design options as well as maximum stain resistance. Laticrete SpectraLOCK PRO Grout is designed to be as durable as the tile or stone itself, and it will repel stains, year after year, according to the manufacturer. Always cleanable to its original color, Laticrete SpectraLOCK PRO Grout never requires sealing and is easy to maintain. The product offers unique design options with 40 vibrant colors to choose from and an optional Dazzle component - providing up to 220 total color options. Laticrete SpectraLOCK PRO Grout is Greenguard certified for low VOCs and contributes to LEED points. Additionally, it includes Microban® antimicrobial protection, according to Laticrete.
The growing trend toward very large, very thin, vertical tile installations is easily accomplished with lightweight, non-sag, medium-bed Ultralite Mortar from Mapei. At half the weight of standard tile, easy-to-handle, low-profile tile perfectly complements back-friendly Ultralite Mortar. Packaged in 25-pound (11.3-kg) bags, Ultralite Mortar provides the same great coverage as standard 50-pound (22.7-kg) bags, saving installers in costly time, labor and transportation. This polymer-rich mortar utilizes Mapei’s Easy Glide Technology™, which makes spreading a breeze without sacrificing the ability to hold ridges. With 30% recycled content, remarkable Ultralite Mortar helps contribute valuable points toward LEED-certified projects, reports Mapei. Additional details about the product can be found on Mapei’s Web site.
Tesoro’s new corporate headquarters campus is located on a 40-acre wooded site in the hills north of downtown San Antonio, TX. The facility includes 600,000 square feet of office space divided between two buildings - a 14-story mid-rise and a 6-story low-rise.
The design team focused on creating a new, iconic presence for Tesoro, while remaining respectful of the landscape. To this end, the team chose to use local Texas materials from TexaStone Quarries of Garden City, TX, to both reinforce the regional flavor and target a sustainable design goal of LEED Silver certification.
Native Texas Pearl limestone highlights major architectural features on both the exterior and interiors of the project. A limestone structure forms the main “Stonehenge” entrance, and leads into the grand double-height lobby that connects the two buildings. Also accented in limestone are the employee entrance from the outdoor courtyard and a dramatic “architectural slot” that extends 14 stories high along the building’s side and is visible from the highway.
A stunning three-level monumental stair is one of the campus’ most spectacular design features, with an elliptical shape to mimic the curves of the building, Ribbon Sapele wood panels, Permian Sea Coral limestone floors, glass and stainless steel handrails, and custom glass treads that are lit from within.
Vermont Quarries has achieved Greenguard Indoor Air Quality and Greenguard Children & Schools SM Certification for marble surfacing. The company, which prides itself in being a leader in all facets of green building by offering a stable, long-lasting and environmentally safe marble for both home and commercial use, reports being the first quarry to have its complete line of marble certified under this program. Air quality standards are becoming increasingly important and Greenguard is leading the way with its certification program in assuring that the products put in homes are safe, clean and toxic free, according to Vermont Quarries.
Vermont Danby marble has met the qualification standards for LEED certification credit 7.1: Heat Island Effect, non-roof: Using light-colored natural stone with a solar-reflective index of 20 or greater can reduce heat-island effects. Danby marble comes in at over 60. With LEED certifications so far, Danby marble will add to any project within 500 miles of the quarry two LEED points confirmed with a possible third with Greenguard. If the project is outside of the 500-mile radius, a minimum of one to two points will still apply.
DurastoneTM tile by Voguebay is an environmentally friendly porcelain tile on today’s market. The product consists of two very distinctive layers of clay pressed together and fired at a high temperature to form one solid full-body porcelain tile. The thin top layer, which makes up the true color and surface finish of the tile, requires less additives and color pigment. Moreover, the main remaining body is made in neutral clay, allowing recycled or broken tiles to be added to the mix, reports Voguebay.